solarbird: (tracer)

So we all went downtown to walk on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and through the Battery Street Tunnel, both of which will be gone forever soon, and for the most part, honestly? Good riddance.

A lot of people are enamoured of the view, particularly from the upper deck, and while the view of Elliot Bay was nice, I'll give it that, you can get as good or better elsewhere without driving, and the way it separated downtown from the old harbour, prevented downtown from going south past Pioneer Square, and ruined dozens of blocks with the hellish noise it made were completely not worth it.

Mind you, the new tunnel they've built will be a "correct answer" for maybe another six years, tops, just like the viaduct was. (That assumes it's not obsolete already, which it should be, but might not be quite yet.) And that's one of the oddest things about this whole project, and kind of a neat parallel if you think about it.

Everyone forgets that the viaduct was the correct answer when it was planned. It really was. And it stayed that way when it was built, and for another... four to eight years, depending upon whether you start count from 1956 (northern half), or 1960 (southern half).

That's because those downtown docks were industrial loading docks, and all the buildings facing what's now the viaduct were industrial loading points, or buildings which serviced the shipping industry. Nobody - nobody - wanted to be there if you weren't working in industrial shipping.

So the viaduct got non-freight traffic up and out of the way of the trucks, and gave that part of Alaskan Way underneath the viaduct to commercial traffic. Problem solved. It was great!

...until 1964, of course. That's when containerised shipping took over, and they'd built the new docks further south at Harbour Island and all that, making the downtown docks completely obsolete, virtually overnight, and the Viaduct no longer served its intended purpose. And now that those old docks are tourist and ferries and entertainment and science, and not industrial in the slightest, the viaduct is a huge, huge minus.

At least the new tunnel won't be that. It's out of the way and not blocking anything. You'll be able to run busses in it, if nothing else. Maybe make it commercial-traffic only, eventually - that would work. But who knows? And unlike the viaduct, this project doesn't make anything structurally worse - in fact, a lot of blocks are being knit back together, particularly on the north end, but also on the south. In particular, a fatal viaduct-ramp blockage keeping downtown from expanding south past Pioneer Square will be gone, and Pioneer Square will be surrounded by downtown, not a stub at the end of it.

(Historic districts like that generally do better when they're surrounded by, rather than stuck on the end of, modern areas. 1st Avenue South, the old original "road into town" before even 99, will be back in business, and it'll be wonderful.)

I'm really looking forward to all the side-benefits, even if the tunnel itself is a waste of money. It is a marvellous feat of engineering, I'll absolutely give it that, and that has a lot going for it.

Here are a bunch of photos. I really liked taking pictures down through the huge cracks between the viaduct road decks. Yeah. It's in that bad shape. Seriously. 10cm gaps in some places, or close to it. It was bad.


Aug. 1st, 2016 12:20 pm
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
IF YOU LIVE IN WASHINGTON STATE, BALLOTS ARE DUE TOMORROW. Yes it feels like it's still, idk, June or something? But it's not, it's AUGUST.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)


In real life, I-1515 is a vicious anti-queer initiative that actually targets trans kids with abuse and puts a $2500 bounty on their heads and I am not even making that up.


solarbird: (molly-braceforimpact)
We've just had two Stage 3 power events (multi-second complete outages) and come back from both. The first was a good 30 seconds, and I was headed to the server room to bring the murknet down. Then back up. The second one was a couple of minutes later, down seven seconds and back up. THIS IS FREAKISH AND NEVER HAPPENS, so nice re-routin' there, PSE.

But there is no way we are staying up through this storm. XD
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Copied from my Twitter feed:

So angry: I just found a $45 parking fine for Thanksgiving shopping at QFC.

I'd been - past tense - shopping there for DECADES.

But because I stopped for five minutes at a locksmith before going to spend >$300 at QFC...

Said locksmith is, I note, in the SAME PROPERTY as the QFC...

I got hit with a $45 fine for PARKING ON THE PROPERTY. The SAME property.

I was, for the record, getting a GUEST KEY made for my THANKSGIVING GUESTS

Before going to spend an hour and >$300 at the U. Village QFC. SURPRISE: $45 FINE.

On top of everything - we don't drive much; it was hidden from the inside by the dashboard.

Had I not noticed it going into the garage for something else, it would've jumped to $73 (in another few days).

Now, this wouldn't screw ME economically. But I've got friends who would've been pooched.

And it's the same lot I'd been parking in for YEARS. MANY years. Until they added a level. (And after!)

So it's an ambush ticket on top of everything else. A big HA HA FUCK YOU from QFC.

The cancellation has shown up on Diamond's website. I've printed a copy.

But my gods, what a slap in the face.
solarbird: (korra-wha)
Oh my gods, this is the most fucked up thing. I mean, on the scale of things, maybe not, but for its scale, the clusterfuckery is magnificent.

Okay, so, there's an arterial road not far from my house, NE 145th Street. We're trying to get HOV and transit improvements on it, but it is a jurisdictional nightmare.

Here's what I mean:

It's also a state highway, designation SR 523. The state DOT state have authority because of that.

But also, Seattle city limits go up to the middle of the road, so the eastbound lanes and the southern sidewalk are City of Seattle, and City of Seattle has exclusive jurisdiction over the southern sidewalk, except that the state has a right of way covering that same sidewalk.

Meanwhile, Shoreline, which is by far most affected by this road? Their city limits start at the northern edge of the north sidewalk, and cover none of the road or that sidewalk. But! Any additional widening - necessary for HOV and/or improved transit - will be into their city limits.

You may notice that leaves the westbound lanes floating between the two cities. Yes, that in fact means that the strip in between is unincorporated King County. As is the sidewalk. Which is King County's responsibility. As you can tell, seeing as it's never, ever repaired.

to wit

This is a special kind of how-did-we-get-here-and-how-do-we-get-out, I gotta say. Fortunately, from what I'm reading, everybody is willing to hand over their chunks to Shoreline, and Shoreline is willing to take it on, because it affects them most. Except it will still be a state highway, but that's fine, all the state highways are like that and people know what to do.

But right now, wow. That's just... impressive.
solarbird: (Default)
...I just realised I'm going to miss the U. District Streetfair here in Seattle for the first time in ... decades?

Seriously, I've gone to this thing since forever, more or less. I'm not originally from the U. District? (I don't even know where I was born?) But I'm from the U. District. And Streetfair was always just a hop over the hill to the Ave and then STREETFAIR! which means summer is here, in a way Opening Day never did for me, even though I go to that too sometimes, and there's way too many foods and booths and vendors and clothes and street performances and and and...

...and I'll be in Oregon doing shows with Leannan Sidhe.

Which is awesome. Don't get me wrong. If I had to make that decision intentionally I probably would. Probably.

But... streetfair. snif.

Echoed from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (Default)
With a new Raptor-class shuttle comes new landing tolerances. I didn't have the traditional tennis ball, so I just used a bit of old muppet pelt.

I sure could use some help counting to four!

And if you're in the Seattle area, the surplus one's up for sale.
solarbird: (Default)
Honestly, this windstorm kind of reminds me of the Inauguration Day windstorm in... 1991? No, that can't be right. '93. 1993. Something about the sound it's making reminds me of that big one. And it was a big one, too.

Hopefully this one isn't as bad, damage-wise. But the sound of it... yeah. It's very familiar, somehow. I was trapped on the eastside for a day, it was just that goofy.
solarbird: (Default)

solarbird: (Default)
I posted Seattle Windstorm Roll Call on lj:Seattle, go check in. :D
solarbird: (Default)
Anybody local want a cleaning head / brush set for Roomba 500-series? These are the green and yellow brushes. IT IS NOT WORKING, but I think the brushes are fine. It's either the dirt sensor (likely) or the motor (not as likely) or could be the gear assembly (no idea). I just installed a replacement instead, because the replacement is also a pet-fur upgrade, which is definitely an upgrade if you have cats. Irrelevant otherwise, but yeah, it doesn't clog on cat fur like the old one did.

Anyway, answer like right away, I don't like things piling up.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Scarecrow Video has been a Seattle institution for many years. It started as a video rental store – and still is one – but it was owned by the kind of crazed film fanatics who run a business primarily as a way to build the biggest collection of things imaginable. The original owner was the sort of person who would fly on an hour’s notice to former Soviet republics on the rumour that he could get a SECAM videotape copy of a particular obscure Stalinist-era Belorussian film. And half the time, he’d return with it.

Despite having one of the largest film collections in the world – possibly the largest in the world – video rental doesn’t cut it anymore, so they’re going non-profit. But that’s expensive, too, so they’re launching a Kickstarter to make it happen. Go help.

I started renting from them when they were next to J&S Phonograph Needles in Roosevelt – yes that was a store for phonograph needles it didn’t make much sense then either – and remember when they moved to the U. District, on 50th and Roosevelt. They bought out what used to be the biggest Radio Shack ever, a multistory building with its own screening lounge and everything.

This is a small fraction of their collection.

It’s pretty damn cool, and it’d be a disaster to lose such a comprehensive film collection – particularly as it is actually available to the public. Even the exotic stuff can be rented and/or screened – they have multiformat players available, too. In some cases, they have one of only three to four copies of films still in existence, and you can see it. That’s the kind of collection this is.

I’ve known one of the current owners for a long time; this project is a big deal for them, too. So go help them flip that switch to non-profit. As I write this, they’ve made 60% of goal in a day, thanks in no small part to The Onion‘s AV Club. Let’s see if we can’t get them there by tomorrow, eh?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Lecturing)

I’ve started a special-purpose Tumblr blog dedicated to an old newspaper I found being used as packing material at an estate sale. It’s called Seattle—July 20, 1971 (or “Let’s Read the Newspaper!”) and it’s photos of pages, ads, ephemera, and mostly-local-news articles from salvageable pages of that newspaper.

No deep meaning; just ephemera.

I won’t be crossposting that here, so if you want to follow it, go follow it separately, either on Tumblr or via its own RSS feed.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Default)
Fred Herzog's photos of mostly Vancouver, mostly from the late 1950s and early 1960s, but not exclusively. The one directly linked, too, though - that's old St. John's. I've been there. But the Vancouver photos are great. There's also one of south Lake Union, Seattle - kind of now known as Amazonia since they put their main campus there - in the same period.

Also here are some excerpts. They're awesome.
solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)
solarbird: (Default)
So on Wednesday we were getting pretty worried - Snowpocalypse wasn't letting up, more snow was predicted Thursday morning, and one person had already dropped out from our invitation list, and large leftovers looked likely as I was baking for Second Thanksgiving.

But to my surprise, Snowpocalypse actually boosted our attendance quite a bit, as people had to bail on other plans thanks to travel plans being disrupted. We ended up with 16 people, counting ourselves, and we have far fewer leftovers than usual. (I figured out something with my stuffing - now that I'm using a lot more dried fruit I can cut back down on the spices, and I tried that this year, and it worked really well.) But I'll still have my Turkey Tacos. ^_^

A lot less Rock Band was played than usual, but we did squeeze in some traditional Jenga. Mostly, it was large enough that we had three or four conversational groups going at once, which I like to see, since it usually means everybody's having a good time. For the first time in I don't know how long, the music circle actually happened - we had a decently large circle going for a while, made up mostly of various members of jamming groups mostly associated with Anna. I think the lineup was me, [ profile] cflute, [ profile] mamishka, Anna, and if I forget anybody, I apologise[ profile] technoshaman! (Sorry for leaving you out the first time!) We hadn't done that in forever. Most people didn't even start leaving until around midnight - I finally got to bed around 2am.

Then yesterday [ profile] flashfire and [ profile] spazzkat and [ profile] annathepiper and I went to see the Battlestar Galactica exhibit at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and the Harry Potter exhibit at the Pacific Science Centre. (I'm not quite sure how that presentation space works out, but let's leave that aside for now.) Anyway, the BSG exhibit is smallish but there are a few nice models and the full-scale vipers and raider are excellent. The Potter exhibit, particularly early on, triggered lots of nostalgia for prep school dorm life. Particularly the notice board in the Gryffindor common room, and having a common room called a common room, and all that. XD But if you have any interest in this series at all, go. It's huge, and stuffed full of set pieces, furniture, props, costumes, books, and really - it's just great. (And if you're doing both, do the BSG exhibit first, or you'll be disappointed just because it's so much smaller.)

I have a lot of good photos from the BSG exhibit - my quarter-second-to-full-second-handheld photo ability came in handy again - but my Flickr account is full, so NO PHOTOSTREAM FOR ME. Maybe I should pony up for the "pro" level, but I'm so not a pro photographer. XD
solarbird: Cover of the first Crime and the Forces of Evil EP release, Sketchy Characters (sketchy characters)

Show tonight! Wayward Coffeehouse, 8570 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, 8pm. No cover and it’s a coffeehouse so it’s all-ages. If you think I’m joking about the rage-driven acoustic (yes, acoustic) elfmetal – I’m not. Come see.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

April 2019

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