The Life and Times of Jim
Hi, there. I'm Jim. Welcome to my phlog!
This site was written for Las Vegas, then LouisVille. Now, it seems to be about anywhere. In these phlogs, you'll see a lot of my personal notes and pictures. I like to post my observations here to remember life and celebrate it. I'm not religious. I don't pray for good fortune. I'm ecstatically grateful for the gift of life and I think our time should be remembered and not taken for granted. I'm not a writer. I think pictures tell stories so much better than words. I love just about everything in this life, and, I guess that would have to include you. So, if you've seen me, don't be surprised if your picture is in here somewhere. Of all the critters, people are absolutely the most interesting. 
<< 03/2007 < 02/2008 Calendar 04/2008 > 03/2009 >>Sign InView Other Logs
03/16/2008 10:52:01
 jim  Dress Shopping Day
It was supposed to be a shopping day.
Renee wanted clear plastic plates and some spray glue.
We went to Michaels, Walmart, Fred Meyers, Costco, Joannes, Ross, Party City, and AAA China Buffet. Becky got a blue dress that is killer (see the previous blog entry). 
03/16/2008 10:39:59
 jim  Becky - All dolled up!
03/15/2008 09:59:51
 jim  Belltown Bldgs
03/13/2008 20:49:23
 jim  Seattle Compared - Per Diem
The Cost of Living per day.
Seattle, Wa $216
Tacoma, Wa $167
Portland, Or $155
Everett, Wa $144
Eugene, Or $136
Olympia, Wa $129
San Francisco, Ca $232
San Diego, Ca $203
Los Angeles, Ca $182
Sacremento, Ca $170
Redding, Ca $126
Phoenix, Az $216
Las Vegas, Nv $188
Reno, Nv $153
Denver, Co $189
Aspen, Co $168
Kansas City, Ks $147
Omaha, Ne $127
Co Springs,Co $127
Albuquerque, Nm $124
Chicago, Il $213
Cleveland, Oh $161
Nashville, Tn $161
Louisville, Ky $145
Indianapolis, In $141
Memphis, Tn $139
Lexington, Ky $137
Chattanooga, Tn $129
Key West, Fl $303
Atlanta, Ga $188
Miami, Fl $178
Tampa, Fl $177
Savannah, Ga $153
Orlando, Fl $148
Manhatten, NY $375
Queens, NY $308
Boston, Ma $284
Washington, DC $265
Philadelphi, Pa $213
Pittsburg, Pa $162
These are set by the government.
They reflect the cost of living per day, in different cities throughout the US.
The IRS excepts this amount as untaxable.
If you are a for salaried employees working away from home, and you would normally be paying 30% in taxes, and were living in a $200 per diem city, you would save $60 a day because of the per diem allowance. That works out to $1,500 extra a month you would no t have to pay in taxes.
03/12/2008 21:00:25
 jim  The big hole in my dash is handy
Don't need no stereo. I can fill that hole with snacks! It could even hold a night bag.
I was surprised how easy it is to break into an F150.
The thief must have taken a screwdriver, placed it in the key slot, punched in the door lock and given it a twist.
The door lock is just barely held in place, so its easy to punch inward. Once the lock is loose, all it needs is to be rotated.
I'm just grateful he didn't rip the wires out. He was careful enough to unclip the wires from the stereo, and to remove the moldings without breaking anything.
My locks needed fixing anyway.
Ford's power lock actuators (the things that electronically unlock the doors) go bad in Vegas heat.
When they go bad, you can't use the remote to unlock your doors.
They will fix them for $400, and they'll go bad again, and again.
And you'll end up living in a cardboard box howling at the moon.
I got two actuators today for my door locks.
The idea was to get the remotes working, then I don't need my busted key lock fixed (which could be very expensive if Ford did the work). It took 1.5 hours to do the driver side door. Gosh, they make it. You need fingers 5 inches long!
But now that I know how to do it and the tools are already down there, the passenger door actuator should go much quicker.
Maybe. was a productive night, and now I can drive around with a little confidence.
What I liked about Ford's improvements
Ford used to have these clips that would break whenever you took off a door panel. No more...the panel has one screw, and simply unhooks.
I replace the hard drive in my laptop last weekend.
Actually, its the laptop the SAE used to have. Becky was using mine. My hard drive croaked. I got a new laptop, then fixed my laptop, and gosh, I'm getting more confusing the more I babble!
03/12/2008 07:17:56
 jim  In search of...Coffee Vending
We've been kicking in around, and our next adventure might just be a real adventerture.
300 cups sold in a day = $1,000 !
Coffee Guy
Seattle Coffee trucksMobile espresso coffee and fruit smoothie concession trailer
Seattle Coffee Truck - Best Looking TruckMobile espresso and fruit smoothie truck
Mobile espresso and fruit smoothie truck
03/08/2008 03:30:07
 jim  This weeks highlights
The bus pass experience - Having to walk all over in the rain to get the wrong pass replaced.
The truck being burgled - A visit from Poppa Lock yielded no stereo, no GPS.
Dining Out - Eating at Fremont Dock, Nickersons, and Bubba's BBQ.
Finding a way - Venturing off to St Marks Cathedral across the lake.
Gaining New Friends - Its hard here, but its happening. Progress is extremely slow.
03/06/2008 22:05:02
 jim  Could a BBQ Place be this easy?
This BBQ take out place is smaller than our apartment. It looks like a simple business to manage. Really easy!
They sell sodas, 4 sides, and 4 types of BBQ sandwiches that they smother.
They have a heat rack, a cooler, sink, fridge and POS cash register..
03/06/2008 21:57:47
My truck is parked in a locked garage under our building. It seemed secure.
Someone popped my door lock today and stole my stereo and GPS Unit.
I guess we're cursed here. We've been robbed twice in three months.
03/05/2008 20:05:24
 jim  Its funny how the nights move
Seattle is a lonely place with lots of people. We are just passing through it.
We take things one day at a time here. We've seen no cheering crowds.
At the end of the day, we roll the credits, and fade off into the next day.
03/05/2008 19:53:18
 jim  St Marks Episcopalian Cathedral
We see it across the lake. It takes a seagull less than a minute to get to it. For us its 20 minutes by car, 40 minutes by bus, 60 minutes by walking.
03/05/2008 18:49:06
 jim  Seattle-Fremont Dock
On the advice from my bus stop buddy (Patty), we went down the road to Fremont Dock. We didn't see a dock.
It looked like a dive to me. Its not the kind of place Becky and I usually hang out at.
Becky ordered the best Reuben I'd ever tasted. I had a country burger (BLT, egg burger). VERY NICE!
03/05/2008 04:13:41
 jim  Seattle-Night Fog
I often wake to catch the world sleeping
The balcony views here are incredible
This morning, fog rolled over Seattle
03/04/2008 17:53:45
 Jim  Theres times in my life...
There are times when, no matter how lost and alone I feel, no matter how blue, there's something that comes along that puts it all together. I see something that's common, and once again its beautiful, like it was the first time I'd ever seen it.
I experience a warm glow. I feel like a kid again when everything was new. Its like the first time I saw a kitten, a weeping willow near a pond, or a pasture of  frosted grass glowing under the moonlight. It feels good.
I get these feelings when I see Becky smile.
I love her so much.
03/04/2008 03:17:01
 jim  More fun with Bus Passes
It would have been a great day for walking.
But it drizzled all day.
I started to hop the bus this morning, and was surprised when the bus driver told me my pass wasn't good enough. I needed a quarter more. OUCH!!! He let me on though. These bus drivers a pretty cool.
So, now, the problem was exchanging my pass
I had just purchased my pass Friday from Bartell's for $54. I guess they didn't know the rates had changed March 1st. hmmm.
I walked to Bartells.
They had to get the manager and I waited. She told me they don't do exchanges or refunds, and that I'd have to go to the Transit Station on University and 4th. Its in a mall.
I walked the Transit Station.
I went through a long line, but it moved quickly. They told me that they didn't do exchanges or refunds either! I'd have to go to the bus station on the other side of town. They could, however, sell me a booklet of 25 cent passes...hahahaha....The booklet was twice the size of a quarter! I'd bet it expires too!
I hopped a bus to the Bus Station at 201 Jackson Street off 2nd and Main.
The bus dropped me off at a 5 way intersection. There was a bus depot two blocks away, but it was vacant. What I was looking for was a building that wasn't even marked, at least, I didn't see a sign on the building.
So, I went inside and there was the line from hell.
It wound back and forth, ending up at three windows. I had plenty of time while standing in line, to contemplate what I may be doing wrong, (did theyt take Visa, did I need a receipt, did they do exchanges at this building).
I finally got to the window.
The clerk said she didn't do exchanges. She said I'd have to see the manager at another window. Wow. I did, and he had me fill out a form that I had to return to the first window.
Well, I finally got the pass for $63. Did I mention its only live 2.6 miles from my apartment to work? It costs about about 63 cents a mile to ride the bus. Toss in that it cost $150 a month to park my truck at the apartment and I'm paying a lot to get around here.
Leaving the bus station/whatever they call it, I couldn't find a bus back to work.
The street I came down (3rd Street) turns into a one way street, which means there was no bus stop on the other side from where the first bus dropped me off. Now, I'm thinking, I could gamble, and wait at any bus stop to ask the drivers if they came close to 3rd and Madison, or I could walk down 3rd street until it turned back into a two way street. I decided to walk.
On my walk back, I noticed there were two 2nd and Main Streets.
I'm serious!!! One is 2nd Avenue, the other is 2nd Street....I still don't know the technical difference.
I always thought that avenues were short and streets were long. Its reversed here. Maybe thats normal...hmmm.
The worse thing about this whole experience wasn't walking up the steep hills.
When I got up this morning, I got dressed in the dark and I put on a mismatched pair of shoes.
03/04/2008 03:16:02
 jim  Bus Pass Walk Pictures
I did enjoy the walk from the station.
The timing could have better though. Its alway amazed me how essential public customer services are always open when the majority of the public is working.
These shots were taken with gray skies. It looked gloomy so, I jazzed them up a little.
03/03/2008 00:39:56
 jim  Harbor Island
03/02/2008 19:22:15
 jim  Cloudy Days, Apartments, and a Baby
03/01/2008 05:54:51
 jim  Kodak camera wide shots

I bought a Kodak Z712 IS a while back. Its got some really great features. I was checking out its panorama feature.

This camera lets you take 3 shots R2L or L2R. When you are done, the camera stitches them together. This is the first digital camera I've seen that does that.

 Others, you upload your pictures, run some software and it stitches the pictures together, so you never really know what you've got until you've left the scene.
02/28/2008 20:51:35
 jim  GE has an openning for a contractor
If anyone's interested...give me a ding dong.
02/28/2008 08:20:03
 jim  .So, what is happening with Jimmy R.C.?
Things change quickly around here. Dustin may be coming down to stay for 5 months.
But I'm not in a rush to find anything.
At least, I don't think I am. I made a lot of mistakes on this last move (I'm still a newbe at this wandering contractor thing). I rushed into it too fast. What's nice about where I'm at now is, I can take my time looking for only the best job opportunities. I've got 5 months to peruse the job opportunities. Eugene sounded pretty interesting.
02/23/2008 20:15:35
 jim  Lake Union Day
02/23/2008 19:14:38
 jim  Lake Union-In Awesome Weather
02/23/2008 07:11:28
 jim  Seagull Buddy
One of the things I like to do when I'm around Seagulls, is teach them to catch. This one is starting to get the idea.
They have an excellent memory and are extremely easy to train. They cock their heads when their learning. You can almost hear them say "huh?". 
This little fellow never quite got it together. Our balcony is too high.
02/23/2008 05:55:51
 jim  Capitol Hill, Seattle

We toured a little Euro restaurant.
It had hallways that were 2 foot wide.
They were defined by curtains. Tiny tables were behind them with 8 people sitting around them. It had a bar that was 10 foot wide with 9 people sitting at it. I am so serious. That was pretty wild!!! I could have fit the restaurant in our small apartment.

We  missed its attractions, somehow.
We walked a mile north from Broadway and Denny. It was alright.. We wolfed down some gyros at this near vacant hole-in-the-wall. The people who worked there were Greek. wow....

Anyway, my judgement is on hold.
I've heard the warm weather will bring out the street entertainment here. 
I am realizing that Seattle is pretty big, and pretty crowded. We haven't begun to see it all.
I finally fouund decent beer at QFC.
Its called Hornsby's Hard Cider.
02/22/2008 07:54:38
 jim  Walking to Starbucks in the AM
Its a 0.5 mile walk to Starbucks from our apartment. It takes just 10 minutes to walk it. That is COOL!
This old dump truck probably still runs! Its got a load of dirt in its bed. The Backhoe behind it has a load of dirt !
02/22/2008 03:38:17
 jim  ..Our Friday Destination - The Skylark Cafe
Now I'm reading about Belltown . Its on 4th and Bell. But wait...we've been around there at night. hmmm.
I've read and heard alot about Capitol Hill too. We've been by there though. Its on Mercer and 11th.
Its surprising to see you on SAE...its 4 am here. GMornin!!!
02/22/2008 03:38:17
 jim   (Reply)Our Friday Destination - The Skylark Cafe
They Skylark Cafe and Club. Its on 3803 Delridge Way SW, West Seattle, WA 98106.
The downside is, even though its only 4 miles away
Its a 40 minute ride on the bus. Its a 13 minute drive, if you can find a place to park.
According to the Stranger - It is Seattle's night life's saving grace.
Editorial Review for Skylark Cafe & Club – by Hannah Levin
West Seattle has long struggled to find a solid, attractive spot to function as a live music destination, and Skylark proprietress Jessie Summa-Kusiak has finally nailed it with this café's cozy, neighborhood vibe. The diner-style food is a top-notch combination of the comforting (homade meatloaf with all the trimmings) and the sophisticated (penne with vodka sauce), while the high quality, free-of-charge live music draws appreciate crowds with a mix of indie, rock, and alt-country acts, and the occasional singer-songwriter.
02/22/2008 02:42:09
 jim  Where do tourist go in Seattle?
We went strolling down the waterfront walkway last night.
What can I say...most of it was closed at 7pm. Lots of piers. Little on them.
I keep expecting to see a little bit of San Francisco in Seattle, but its just not here.
Every town I've seen has a party district.
I'd describe a party district as a fun place to go at night after you get off of work. It has dance joints, bars, bands, street entertainment and shops. Most towns these days have place area where you can ride in a horse drawn buggy after dark. Its usually safe, with police walking the beat.
I think every major city in the US has a Hard Rock Hotel . Portland and Seattle don't.
Lets see:
Louisville had its Fourth Street Live  Orlando had its Universal City, and downtown area. San Francisco has its piers, downtown and China Town. San Diego has its Gas Light District. Los Angeles has Universal City, piers, marinas. Las Vegas has its Strip. Nashville has its Strip. Sacremento has Old Sac. Omaha has its Gas Light District.
Even Bowling Green has a Strip
Seattle has Pioneer Square, but its scary at night.
If you had a carton of cigarettes, you'd be a celebrity there for 5 minutes.
Seattle has its scattered party areas.
Pikes street is okay. Its got some cool malls and shops.
Fremont is okay. Its got quite a few restaurants lined up.
I think the most pressing problem this town has is, there is no place ot park.
You have to ride the bus or take a cab.
You can't say, hey, I have got $20. I'm going out to have some fun here.
You need that to get where ever you are going, and it is going to take awhile for you to get there, and you are going to do a lot of walking. You will run into some pretty strange people on your trip. Its just not worth going out.
There are no convenient places to go (that I've found).
02/20/2008 22:20:36
 jim  Seattle-Night Shots
02/20/2008 21:12:15
 jim  Lunar Eclipse, Fog, Night Shots
02/19/2008 05:30:12
 jim  Deception Pass, WA - Boats
02/17/2008 14:47:38
 jim  Deception Pass, WA - People
02/17/2008 14:47:26
 jim  Deception Pass, WA
02/17/2008 08:48:04
 jim  Kayaks
02/17/2008 08:18:44
 jim  Seattle-Where Are You?
It's amazing how often Seattle dissappears, then reappears just right outside our balcony. The picture below is Mt Rainier which is 60 miles away.
The rest are from this morning.
We're still waiting for blue skies
These pictures are gamma enhanced
02/16/2008 16:20:08
 jim  The Flight Museum-Planes
02/16/2008 16:10:45
 jim  Flight Museum-Gossamer Wings
02/16/2008 16:10:44
 jim  Flight Museum-Space
02/16/2008 16:07:01
 jim  .Had a not so good day.
Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear that.
Enrique is such a great guy too. I learned a lot from him while I was in Orlando.
Give him my condolences.
02/16/2008 14:43:08
 jim  Along the Pacific Hwy
02/16/2008 03:49:00
 jim  ..Sometimes the lake outside looks like glass
Java. Java. JAVA!!! I bleed coffee these days!
Its rare when I do want a beer, and actually I wouldn't mind it if no one sold beer anywhere.
The world would be better place without it.
However, beer does seem to go nicely with a live band and a dance floor..
It would be great to go out dancing somewhere.
We just haven't found any place that has a  band, or a dance floor.
There is a Hooters across the lake that we haven't tried yet.

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