Category Archives: Seattle

Link Sunning in the Park

Link Sunning in the Park

For those of you who didn’t know, Link from the Legend of Zelda lives in Seattle. He is often wandering around the Capitol Hill area of the city, always wearing the same green outfit. I walked through the park this past weekend and there he was enjoying the sun. I believe that’s his handy sword (sometimes thought to be padded PVC or a solid metal bat) in a sheath next to him, leaning on the chair. As the Wiki page describes, he is often seen with “Old Man” and sure enough, sitting nearby on a bench was his friend. There’s more information about Link here.

Google Working on Flash Games?

Like some people with personal websites or weblogs, I have my resume sitting on my site, just hanging out. Every once in a long while I’ll get a recruiter who stumbles across it as they’re doing searches. I received this in an e-mail the other day:

I am a recruiter looking for some top talent to fill an exciting Software QA Tester position at Google.

There is a Google office that opened up not too long ago in Kirkland, Washington and apparently they’re looking to fill a number of QA positions (temporary assignments). I do have a bit of experience, but unfortunately I’m not too interested in moving back into QA, let alone on a temporary basis. The rest of the message was your typical technical job description and common sense requirements: “a quick learner, a great team player, and able to work independently…” But at the top of the requirements there was an intriguing line, surrounded by double asterisks:

** Some of the openings require extensive experience testing Flash applications and some game background. **

What is Google working on? Flash and games? Not a lot of Google’s products currently use Flash. There’s Analytics which was almost entirely acquired and not in-house. Google Video uses Flash to embed their videos, and Google Finance does some nifty Flash stock charts. Is there much else?

And games? What’s the plan there? Sure, it falls somewhere on the list of possible directions that Google could go. Yahoo has a huge user-base in their online games, and Google may want a piece of the pie. It would of course be a huge area for targetted advertising through the AdSense behemoth. Puzzle games, maybe an umpteenth Bejeweled clone, Google-tris… A Flash-based Google MMORPG? Although I think they’d make a real killing if they went with online card games and poker, using real-money powered by Google Checkout.

Anyway, if you’re interested in a temporary QA position in the Seattle area, the big “G” is up to something.

The Seattle Monorail is Back!

When I look at the Department of Licensing FAQ, it tells me that my Monorail tax is still going to pay for a new Monorail! Sweet! Wait… no… it’s just the taxes that are still around. That’s right, some of us still have to pay taxes toward the now non-existent Seattle Monorail Project. The long story of it all is available in various publications over the years, but basically the budget and beuracracy of the Monorail Project killed itself. After 3 (or 4?) votes in favor of building the Monorail, the outrageous budget proposal prompted opponents to bring it to vote yet again, and it finally failed. So, after 2-3 years with no progress ever made to build a thing (they bought some land!), the Monorail folk are closing up shop. According to the Monorail news, they even decided to end the Monorail tax early, since they’re getting such good returns on the real estate sales. But not early enough. Those of us with June ’06 tabs (like me!) or earlier still have to pay.

I was all for the Monorail project from the start. Even though I own a car, I take buses, walk or bike as much as I can, and I wanted to see something even better than the often-lousy bus system. I’ve paid nearly $500 in Monorail taxes over three years, and it leaves a bitter taste knowing that it only ever went to pay for some committee member salaries, and some PR campaigns. Maybe the taxes we’ve been paying for the Sound Transit Light Rail will actually be useful. At least that one’s under construction.

Sigur Ros in Concert

Last Wednesday was the Sigur Ros concert at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Being that they’re one of my favorite bands, I’d tried getting tickets weeks ago, but it had been sold out since the first day tickets went on sale. Thanks to the good folk at Ticketmaster, there were no other options for finding tickets other than eBay, and I wasn’t about to bid upwards of $100 -$150 per ticket. So on Wednesday night I opted for another fun event and was out having a happy-hour drink listening to Plan B play a DJ set at a Parskid art opening. It was a good alternative, and at about 8:30PM, on our way out a friend of a friend happened to produce two unused tickets for the Sigur Ros concert that was going on at that very moment, just 3 blocks away. What incredible luck!

Arriving at Benaroya Hall 10 minutes later, it happened to be the start of intermission. The seats were orchestra level, toward the back, but a perfect view. And then the show continued. Let me just say that I’d heard time and time again that Sigur Ros puts on an amazing live show, and everything people have said is completely true. The performance and the visuals were just breathtaking.

Sigur Ros Concert, Benaroya Hall Seattle Sigur Ros Concert, Benaroya Hall Seattle

It’s hard to imagine the instrumentation that goes into each songs when listening to their albums. There are the typical drums, keyboard, bass and guitar, but at times the lead singer was also backed by 4-5 violinists, violas, cellos, glockenspiels and flutes. All the while, the lead singer/guitarist was creating the band’s signature droning sound by using a cello bow on his guitar. The combination of seeing all the various instruments together, and hearing the organic swells of their songs, on top of dancing lights, and video projections was goosebump-inducing.

Sigur Ros Concert, Benaroya Hall Seattle

This was by far one of the best live (albeit half) shows I’ve ever seen. There are some videos from their concerts on their site and also clips on YouTube, but they just don’t do as much justice. If you ever get a chance to see them perform, I highly recommend it. Until then, check out some of their music for download here, and their music videos for Glosoli (mov) and their big hit, Hoppipolla (YouTube) which is also being used to promote the BBC’s Planet Earth series. What else has Iceland been hiding from us?

D-List Celebrity Sighting

Santino at the Game

At the Mariners game on Sunday, sitting down the aisle in the same section was Santino Rice from Project Runway. He was pretty easy to spot. For those of you who don’t even know who that is, or even care, just check out this video (YouTube) from VH1’s Best Week Ever, which sums up Santino’s character pretty well. I snapped a couple other photos, but decided not to be too paparazzi-ish.

Stumbling onto a Seattle Crime Scene

I was out for a walk this afternoon, around the extended Capitol Hill neighborhood and I managed to stumble onto the massive crime scene of this multiple murder, and suicide.

Seattle Shooting Crime Scene Seattle Shooting Crime Scene

At first I had no idea what all of the police activity was for, but then I ran into someone I knew. He assumed I knew what had happened since I was in the area with a camera. Little did I know… He filled me in on the details he knew. There was apparently a zombie-themed party (creepily ironic) at Capitol Hill Arts Center on Friday night, and many of the party-goers went to a big after-party at this house afterwards. As all the news stories describe, a guy with a shotgun entered the house and killed 6 people before killing himself when confronted by a police officer.

It doesn’t exactly give you warm-fuzzies about your neighborhood. This was exactly 9 blocks due East from my apartment. The story is on the front page of CNN at the moment. The Stranger is blogging live updates and seems to have the most comprehensive information so far.

Sunset from the Roof

Seattle Sunset Panorama from the Roof

Moved into my new place and internet is finally set up, so I give you a panorama taken from the roof of my building last night. I can’t wait to spend some summer evenings up there. Here are the large and larger sizes on Flickr. (the true original is 9600×2200)

Go Fish Eagles!

Update — In an unprecedented turn of events, Seattle claims the championship afterall, as Paul Allen buys the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Is a Seahawk a real animal? No, but a “Sea Hawk” is, and it is another name for the Osprey. It can also be referred to as a “Fish Hawk” or “Fish Eagle.”

It’s a gorgeous sunny day here in Seattle, the first we’ve had in a couple weeks. This only adds to the already high excitement and buzz around the city before the Superbowl this afternoon. Walking around the neighborhood, everyone is smiling and saying hi to each other, people are carrying cases of beer around at 10:30AM, and setting up kegs on their porches. There were some severe wind storms yesterday, and many people still without power around the area, but it is still shaping up to be a great game day. Find a place to hunker down, drink some beers and cheer for the Seahawks during this Xtra-Large Superbowl.

My bet:
Seahawks take it 24-14
MVP: Hasselbeck