Rowena Fire Experience 2014

I have to say, never have I experienced anything like this before in my life. For people of the Pacific Northwest, this is a common situation every summer. However, the Rowena fire that I have been tweeting and putting pictures up on Facebook even had my family concerned. On Wednesday it was creeping a little to close to The Dalles, a town of 14,000.

The Dalles at night from Sorosis Park

The Dalles at night from Sorosis Park

On Wednesday my little family and I all loaded up in our Subaru and headed to Oregon for a vacation. We had no idea what was waiting for us. We were about a few minutes outside our destination. When we ran into this:

RowenaFirefromI84

RowenaFire2RowenaFire3This sort of fire I have seen before. Large plums of smoke near a road. Usually some sort of emergency presence. Just keep motoring and everything is fine. We were a little alarmed though when we saw a helicopter dropping water and filling up in a little lake. Usually they don’t expends such resources on a small event.

HelicopterWhen we arrived at my in-laws I started looking into the fire. There did seem to be some concern on social media, as well as on the news. It didn’t take long though to hear about the first evacuation notices, so we actually did go for a drive to investigate. This is what we saw:RowenaFireFromChenowith RowenaFireByFredMeyerRowenaFireDuskRowenaFireCloseThe the fire was advancing in a line right for the city! It was starting to get freaky really quick. Soon you were able to see if from the shopping center, then, almost anywhere in town. The smoke w thick and the tensions started to ride. That night we were thinking about what to do if we evacuate, and we all kept our phones next to us in case of any alerts.JustBeforeNightFireAtNightThe the next day when we woke up, the reports on twitter were positive. The fire had burnt itself out! However, that wasn’t  the end. The wind and the dry day was promising for more, and the fire crews had a long day ahead of them. And I have to say this, those men and women are hero’s. They work tirelessly here in the PNW to protect everyone from these fires, we are lucky to have them. The next set of photos show the aftermath of Wednesday night.

TheDallesViewTheDallesSorosisThursday was a little lighter for the city, but not for the firefighters. It was another day of intense protecting of life and structure. There were also some very tense evacuations and one house that burned. My thoughts go out for that family and everyone else who had to leave their home not knowing if they would have it to return to. That night we went out and tried to get some night shots of the fire. All I had was my cell, so these are all the shots I got.

ClosedHighway30NightViewRowenaFireFireOthers with more talent and better equipment also had some better shots, here are a few links to other examples.

https://twitter.com/RowenaFire2014/status/497545304871546880

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QFT-M-_kkk&list=UUBK2o97kf9lm8DjS7kXvfIA

https://twitter.com/johnawolf/status/497244761690886144

It is an event like this that really puts things in perspective, and I fell very fortunate for my family being safe this week. It isn’t over yet and if you want more up to date information, please visit the official facebook and twitter accounts of the Rowena Fire. And if you are a member of this community reading in this, my families thoughts are with yours. Take care.

Musashi’s Review

Mel and I have recently started living on a strict budget. Day care and baby expenses sure add up. And lets face it, we are older a need to be a little more responsible (little more is the key word). Anyway, this has us thinking about our eating out habits in Seattle. We don’t want to stop altogether, cause, well city life doesn’t really allow for it. But we need to reduce the cost. This led us to Musashi’s, a local known sushi hotspot on 45th in Wallingford.

Musashi's on UrbanspoonFirst off you need to know they are cash or check only location. Hey, if keeps cost down I am all for it. Second, they are a small venue. So expect it to be crowded and busy. You may have to wait and rub elbows with Seattle locals.

Our last visit was this week. Mel and I had the day off, with our little one was in day care for the morning. We stopped in around 1130, and the place was actually kind of quite. We ordered four rolls, and order of Unagi and Inra.MusashiSushi2The entire order came out very quickly, while we sipped complentry hot tea (already located at your table). Pictured above is our order of Unagi and Inra. Below is spicy tuna, wild salmon with cream cheese and smoked salmon rolls. All where very good, with nice pieces of fish each.

MusashiSushiPictured last is our Yellowtail roll. Probably my favorite. Great subtle flavor, with a very fresh taste.

MusashiSushi1Our entire meal came out to just under $20! Not bad at all for a lunch in the city. And to top it all off, we headed over to Molly Moon’s ice cream for dessert. A post on them next week ;).

Bridal Veil Falls Hike Washington State

Babies and all we decide to try and conquer Bridal Veil Falls, near Lake Serene in Washington. From the web, we were able to assess that hike would be 4 miles, round trip, with an amazing waterfall at the mid-way point of the trail. On a hot day, you knew that a waterfall hike is just what one could use. But with two babies, it promised to be an exciting expedition.

 

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When we arrived in the parking lot of the trailhead, we were surprised on how many cars were in the lot. Continue reading

Mad Skills Book and Seattle Class

Recently I was asked to checkout a book written by author Ben Musholt. Turns out, he has written one of the largest illustrated exercise books out there called “Mad Skills Exercise Encyclopedia“. Considering my interests, I was instantly intrigued.

Mad SkillsI was able to check out a teaser. Right away I was impressed with the introduction and the promise of “700 body weight exercises”. 700? That is very exciting considering I just had myself a little one and my time is very valuable. So I then started to scroll through some more pages. I started to see something exciting. Pages and pages of exercises I have done, but never consider doing outside of a class setting. Visions of a home gym start flashing through my head. A text of this manner would be a great addition to anyone’s library that is thinking of supplementing fitness at home!

Ben MusholtSince I only had a teaser, I can not go into a full book review. That may be coming in the future, however, since Ben Musholt himself will be coming to Seattle for a book signing and a class on ‘creative calisthenics’. I am very seriously considering checking out this event. It will be 6:30 pm, January 31st at Parkour Visions, 210 W. Nickerson Street Seattle. Admission is $15 a you can call (206) 923-8864 for more information. Sounds like fun!

If you want to check out the book, you can find reviews and purchase it on Amazon. You can also find out more about Ben and the book at madskillsbook.com.

The Sox Box Review

Has anyone else been seeing those cool knee-high socks around lately? I started seeing them about a year ago, and knew that I would like to get myself a pair. They are the socks with the wording on the side that has cool catch phrases like “Run Faster” or “Steak Eggs”. A little while ago I decided to look into them, and found “The Sox Box” on facebook.51dc41e4e4b02bbec324b004

After I contacted them, they were generous enough to send me a sample pair. I was excited to open the mail to find my very own “Coffee Time” knee-high socks. Talk about a perfect match for me.

shopThe socks fit like a charm and are very warm. I know they are designed for crossfit, giving you shins protection from rope burns and scraps. But I have actually been wearing mine mostly for days of leisure. Hanging around the house, in the hammock, short runs to the store. It is great to be able to wear comfy shorts in the winter, but still keep my legs warm.

CoffeeTimeSoxBoxI have been keeping my eye on their inventory, watching for pairs that I like (which is actually most of the men designs. Head over to thesoxbox.com to check them out for yourself!

 

Interview With Ky Furneaux of Naked and Afraid

About 3 weeks ago I discovered a new show on the Discovery Channel…get it? Well that show was Naked and Afraid. The concept of the show is they take a male and female contestant, drop them off in a remote location, take their clothes from them, and give them one survival item each.

Talk about very intense. Not only do you have to battle the environment, you have to battle your mind. Struggling with the fact you have to keep your composure, you have to help keep your partners.

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As for Ky Furneaux, She was one of the show’s top badasses of the first season. She had to be, she was placed, willingly, in the Louisiana bayou. Yes, that is one of the most remote and scary-as-hell-spots one could end up butt-ass-naked. But she…well I shouldn’t spoil it and let you watch the episode found here on the Discovery Website. Continue reading

Winter Pineapple Classic 5k Review

Earlier in November I was able to take part in this year’s Winter Pineapple Classic 5k. It is a fun race to do with friends, that is a really good cause. All donations go to support the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I was able to raise some money, thanks to my Dad, and have something really fun to do on early on a Saturday!

Pineapple-2012-Wrapper-950We showed up pretty early. There were a few groups dressed up, but mostly people in standard running gear. My team was the “The Schooling Pineapplefish”, how cool is that? We all dressed in yellow hoodies with scales drawn on them, and two fuzzy eyes on the hoodie (made by Mel and her Dad the day before). We were ready to school and hit some obstacles. We even had some people come up to us and ask about our costumes! It was a pretty fun time already and we hadn’t even started. WinterPineappleClassic1

We started at the front of our pack, hitting the obstacles with excitement. So much so I almost fell flat on my face on the first go. Luckily for me (okay actually opposite of lucky), Mel was there to catch the attempt on video. Good ol’facebook had that video out so quick I got a call from my brother laughing his ass off shortly after it happened.

WinterPineappleClassic2There were monkey bars, wood walls, cargo netting you had to crawl under, and others of that sorts. It wasn’t like “tough mudder” by any means, but fun none-the-less. All in all it took us about 35 minutes, and we crossed the line as a team!

After the run there was free food and beer. Well, not free per-say but it was part of the event. The food was very good actually, with pulled pork as the heartier option. There were even some vendors out giving away some goodies. It was a fun event and a good day, it was also great to support a good cause. Oh ya, and I didn’t loose my pineapple!

 

DIY Frugal Stocking Holders

Have you ever gone to the store looking for a way to hang your stockings on a fireplace mantel? That s&#% is expensive. No joke, it is $20 for four basic hooks, or $20 for a large hook thingy that has a reindeer on it or something. Half of them I found were tacky anyways. Well that really grinds my gears because all I wanted to do was hang some stockings on our new mantel. So I got a bright idea.

StockingHolderWhat I did was I took one of those little metal ornament hooks (you can get a package of like 100 from Freddie’s for super cheap) and secured it to the mantel with some of that adhesive putty you use to hang picture frames and posters. Continue reading

Marriott Seattle Coffee Infographic

Recently I was contacted by a team member over at Marriott hotels. I was asked if I was interested in posting the following infographic on my website. The cool thing is, it is about coffee. As most of you already know, Seattle is coffee. That is how we roll here on the west coast. The great part of this infographic is it helps anyone traveling to Seattle, or who lives in the area, find a great cup of Joe. Check it out and let me know what you learn from it, or better yet, if you have any tips to add!

Seattle_CoffeeYou have to click on the image to get a good look at it. Also, you can check out a high quality version of the infographic and additional information about the topic here. This Infographic was Powered by Marriott.

Seattle Public Library Rocks…

Recently I signed up for a library card at the Seattle Public Library (SPL). Little did I know that having a library card in Seattle is awesome. I have been checking out books slowly, but steadily.  I just read ‘Outliers: The Story of Success‘ by Malcolm Gladwell and I am currently on ‘Ready Player One: A Novel‘ by Ernest Cline. Both books that I have been wanting to read, yet didn’t want to drop money on. Thus, the library.

g_spl_logoI also had no clue that the library has kept up the the times. SPL is part of different media share platforms like hoopla, Freegal music, and OverDrive. Each platform gives you an opportunity to stream, download, and/or check-out media! And lots of it.

I just discovered hoopla today. So far I have been able to listen to Jay-z’s, Pearl Jam’s, Bruno Mar’s, Lorde’s and the Arctic Monkey’s new albums. All in one day. And that is just what I have found so far. I am sure there are many other albums I would like to listen too, oh and they have movies, audiobooks, and tv shows. In hoopla’s case you have to ‘check-out’ the material, to be returned at a set date. Saves me tons of cash on media that I just want to check out first before I buy. Also, there is an app for that…

Freegal lets you download three songs a week (or one music video and a song). As far as I know that is what you get, no returns, no problems. Lots of selection too. I just got a KRS-One album and working on a newly discovered artist’s album by ‘Meklit Hadero‘. So chill. They also have a ‘Wish List” you can populate with music you want to have in the future. I am using this as an opportunity to obtain music I normally would not want to have for money, but enjoy none-the-less.


OverDrive I have been using for audiobooks. I have the app on my phone and I have listened to the bulk of “4-Hour Work Week” (once I hit how to be rich by selling crap part I got sick of it, but learned a bunch about time management and good work habits) and have started into “Spark:The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”. So far it has just been providing evidence of how good exercise is for the brain, so it better pick up soon I will drop it fast. This is the beauty of the library system, I am not invested! I can drop books and music without the regret of a huge monetary investment.


Maybe I am late to the party, but if you have a Seattle area address, get hooked up with a library card stat! There are branches all over the place. If you are in another part of the world, check out you library. Maybe you will be amazed with the new media capabilities, and save a butt load of cash. Either way, my life has totally been enriched just from this simple discovery, so mark me down for a win.



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