About Me

Semi-retired technology (originally) entreprenuer living in Seattle with my partner, Michael, and our three cats: Barnum, Bailey and Buster.  Currently mostly on hiatus from technology; exploring new things I couldn't when I worked full-time.  And...continuing my love of all goods baked. 

About this Website

Musings on things that interest me: the stock market, personal and enterprise technology, pop culture/entertainment as well as my family and other general observations in my daily life.  Also, this is the place to find out more about our charitable foundation and what non-profits we are currently supporting.

The Family
Twitter Updates

Posts on general observations in life, with my family and I might also write some pop culture/entertainment quips.  This is the closest thing I'll likely ever have to a journal.


Biking...for a cause.

The Chris-is-sick-and-tired-of-going-to-the-gym-everyday-and-needs-a-new-way-to-burn-the-calories-necessary-to-continue-eating-anything-he-wants-and-stay-thin cause.  Also known around the house as "Biking for Hunger... (my own)" and "Free Breakfast (calorie-wise that is)". 

It is a cause near and dear to my heart since I was not blessed with a naturally high metabolism.  I was at my heaviest in the Internap days when I realized I had to do some sort of workout (either gym or running) pretty much every day to stay thin if I didn't want to severly restrict my caloric intake.   After 8+ years of regular workouts I can honestly say I hate the gym.  I go because I must, but I hate every minute of it. 

So, how might I change up my workout and avoid the gym at least some of the time?   Take one part Seattle Magazine (Jan 2010) 55 Best Breakfasts issue and add to that...a bicycle.

Now, I have had an on-and-off again relationship with the bicycle during my lifetime.  Avid cycler until the age of 16 when I lost my heart to the automobile.   It wasn't until almost 15 years later that I took up cycling again, but only for a year or so because of work.  Happened again 5 years after that, but work continued to impede and at the time I never really thought of trying the bicycle for commuting because I don't really like biking in the rain or the dark (a given for any true Seattle bike commuter).

Today's catalyst was Amazon's move to South Lake Union and Michael's decision he would start commuting there from our place on Alki on fair weather days.  I didn't know if he would follow through, but he did and I was duly impressed.  So, I decided to pull my 1996 REI Novara out of storage, get it tuned up and see if I could fall back in "like" with the bike.

I have always liked cycling better if there is some destination point involved.  Doesn't have to be much...a small cafe will do, but it does have to be a place to stop and chill.  Well, when I was re-reading that best breakfasts issue of Seattle Magazine I thought it was the perfect opportunity.  Have many different cycling destinations;  test out Seattle's best breakfasts; don't worry about the calorie intake; and still (hopefully) have workout calories to spare.  Extend a breakfast ride to 2 total hours at avg 15mph should I get about 1600 calories.  If I don't go over 800 calories for breakfast (this could be very difficult) I still have 800 workout calories left.  Though, let's just say if today's Coastal Kitchen calorie count is any indication, I might have to do 3-hour rides to have workout calories left over :) (I am sure it was the spicy hashbrowns which pushed the gingerbread waffle, eggs and bacon waaaay over the limit).  Even if I do end up eating up all my biking calories with breakfast, at least I'm getting it calorie-free.

Here is a preview of what I will be sampling over the next few weeks and months:

  • Portage Bay Cafe - Best Northwest-style Pancakes ✓
  • Coastal Kitchen - Best Waffle ✓
  • Table 219 - Best Grand Slam
  • Geraldine's Counter - Best Northwest Spin on French Toast
  • Spring Hill - Best Gluten-free Breakfast (cheese grits and bone-in ham steak)
  • The Bay Cafe - Best Chicken-fried Steak

...and the list goes on.  Check out my location check-ins on Facebook and Twitter as I progress through the above as well as the many others on the list.   I should probably also keep posting my weight to keep me honest about my calorie intake:  155lb (on 5'11" frame) as of 5/24/2010 :).






#miley "Party in the USA" #lyric #fail 

You can put that judgemental face away there mister (missey)!  Yes, I likes me some Miley.  What about it?!?

For some reason today I decided to actually listen to all the lyrics in "Party in the USA".  Did you realize that Miley lands at LAX and then takes a cab, presumably to a Hollywood club where she will arrive in "kicks" as opposed to the female shoe of choice in SoCal, the stilletto?  Well, anyone who knows LA knows that LAX is in the extreme west of the city and that Hollywood is north and a little to the east.  This means the Hollywood sign is in the mountains north above the city.  So how is it that Miley sees the Hollywood sign when she looks to the right (come on sing it with me, you know you want to:  "Jumped in the cab, here I am for the first time.  Look to my right, and I see the Hollywood sign")?

If you are travelling in the back of a cab heading north on the 405 and then east on Santa Monica Blvd. toward Hollywood, the mountains with the Hollywood sign are on your left, not your right.   They don't have those British cabs in LA where you can sit backwards which would have fixed the problem.  Maybe she visited her peeps in Chino first (in the extreme east of LA), but forgot about that part of the trip when writing the song.  Or maybe she really landed at Burbank or Pasadena, but it didn't sound as cool ("I hopped off the plane at Burbank(Pasadena) with a dream and my cardigan..".  It's one of life's mysteries.



Bacon Burger...$12. Tater Tots... $3. Chocolate Peppermint Shake...$3.  Heartburn...Priceless

In my continued homage to my friend @stephenspeicher's recent gastro adventures, I decided to visit Lunchbox Laboratory (LL) for lunch today.  Despite it's off-the-beaten-path location north of Ballard and all the ambiance of the Sanford and Son junkyard (yes, I am showing my age here), I do believe this place too has become my favorite Seattle burger, beating out my former love, Zippy's Burgers here in West Seattle.

For those not familiar with LL,

it is basically one of those burger joints where every aspect of the burger (and accoutrements) can be customized, down to the salt you want on your fries or tater tots. 


Upon entry I found the "Daily Experiments" board, LL's version of the specials board.  How could I resist entries like "Burger of the Gods", "Truffle Love", and "Hothead".  But in the end it seems I couldn't resist the "Homage to Dick's Deluxe".  Mmmm.  Bacon,  American Cheese and "Special Sauce"!  And to be honest, it was a picture of tater tots from Steve's trip to LL that got me there in the first place, so I had to order those.  And then the shakes.  They are listed in two columns separating the "chocolate base" from the "vanilla base" and the 15 choices or more you have in each.  I am normally a vanilla kind of guy, but I about had a heart attack when I saw chocolate peppermint shake as an option, so that was going to be my "drink" (or is it dessert?).

Not having been to LL before, it was not clear where to order except for the surly looking staffer standing at the end of the menu board.   I ordered.  She asked me if I wanted 1/4 lb or 1/2 lb.  I thought, why be gluttonous, just get the 1/4 and paid my $18 (I did think to myself this had better be damn good for 18 bucks, but I kept an open mind).  Little did I know.....

Little did I know that my 1/4 lb burger would come with another 1/2 lb of bacon :)  And look at that tin the tater tots come in.  How cool.  And the shake...scrumptious!

The meal was fantastic.  I tried, but could not finish the entire thing.  I also couldn't get my mouth around that burger without some removal of bacon.  I know.  Sacrilegious!

The only downside...the worst food-related heartburn that I have had in a very long time.  Pharmaceuticals could not even combat that pain in my chest.  And now, as dinner punishment for this egregious display of lunchtime greed:  salad greens and cottage cheese.  Num?  Was it worth it?  By all means.  I will be back.

I suggest you go.  And take friends.  It needs to be seen to really be believed.




Musical cars!

Through an unusual (well, not that unusual) set of circumstances, not the least of which is that we simply love changing them up approximately every 3 years (typical manufacturer warranty period if you get my drift), 2010 seems to be the year to refresh every vehicle.

First this , turned into this

Now we've just ordered this , to replace this

And shortly we will order this to replace this .

That second one is a 2011 BMW X6 M.  Yes, a 555 hp SUV (or SAV in BWM speak).  Uses the same twin-turbo V-8 that will be found in the new (2012) M5.  It is the first M-series car to have a turbo *and* AWD.  It is as fast 0-60 as the previous generation M3 and that is saying a lot for a 5,200 lb. car.  There is not a single reviewer that said they didn't enjoy driving the car.  There were a few that said "why bother?".  I say "because it's fast and totally different".  The looks have had to grow on me over time, but I have come to find it very cool looking, especially in person.  Pictures don't do it justice.

The third is a 2011 Maserati GranTurismo S with its 433 hp Ferrari 4.7-liter direct-inject V-8.  Why you say replace one for the other.   Hello...3-year warranty.   Still not comfortable owning a Maserati beyond it's warranty period, though this time around it has been virtually free of repair.  Our first one was in the shop at least once every other month.   But our current Maserati has been missing some of the car creature comforts that we have come to expect from our driving experience (bluetooth, iPod adapter, Sat radio) which makes it difficult to be a daily driver.  Come on, the Italians had a cow when Americans wanted cup holders.   Maserati finally has pulled their head out and given the newer versions everything else we want.  The new one also has the bigger engine and faster transmission gear changes.  This one is Michael's configuration: Nero Carbonio (dark gray metallic) exterior, Nero interior with Giallo (yellow) contrast stitching and break calipers.

Can I just say before you start judging my carbon footprint that in our (admittedly weak) defense, we don't drive the cars much.  All cars together didn't drive more than 8,000 miles last year.  Also, I never said I was a full-time "greenie" :)


No glove. No....truck?

Out on my typical (non-rain) daily walk from our house to Starbucks for breakfast (yes, you can get essentially free, calorie wise, breakfast of tall nonfat carmel machiato and bfast sandwich by walking 3.5 miles rt) and came across this:

I seriously thought this was a new way to ship cars.  When we shipped our Jeep back from Chicago, it was on an open-air truck and had 1700 miles freeway dirt on it when it arrived in Seattle.  I thought with this new packaging mechanism, it would save someone the hours upon hours that I spent with a toothbrush getting road grit out of the nooks and crannies of the automobile.

Alas, it was merely a "Just Married" prank

...and quite a good one if you ask me.  Too bad.  Because I think shrink-wrapping your car before shipping should be mandatory.