February 27, 2005

Vancouver, B.C.

We took the PT Cruiser up to Vancouver for the day. Gorgeous sunshine made for a nice drive. We spent most of our time in Stanley Park.

My favorite part of the trip was watching the Beluga whales at the aquarium.

February 26, 2005

Smoosh Live

We went to hear Smoosh at Chop Suey. I was astounded by the maturity of their music. Didn't sound like something from a 10 and 12-year-old at all. At 12, I was making up (really bad) songs about feeding apples to Dusty, the pony that lived behind our house.

February 23, 2005

Aerobics, Auditions and Interviews

A superb day. I taught my step aerobics class at the Federal Building. Had some new choreography which went well. After class I jogged up to the Seattle Athletic Club near the Pike Place Market for an interval training audition. I hadn't done one of those in 10 years, since my audition for Kari Anderson's ProRobics. It's strange doing an audition for a fitness class in a big empty studio, pretending there are 30 exercising bodies in front of you. The audition went well and the director asked if I could start the day after tomorrow. Cool, I'm up to 3 classes per week now. 4 more to go.

Jogged back to my Pioneer Square apartment for a phone interview with Boeing. They have a multimedia design position open. The two people on the line were friendly, easy-going and professional and I felt comfortable speaking with them. I was invited to come for an in-person interview.

I showered, put on a suit and headed to Redmond for an interview at Microsoft. Brian drove me in the PT Cruiser. This interview was for a training developer position. The program manager was amaaaazing (current lingo here in Seattle, or perhaps even US-wide). She is sharp, energetic, optimistic, driven, entrepenurial, has a fun spirit and is enthusiastic about her project and working for Microsoft. I spent an hour and a half with her and her enthusiasm for the project infected me. I want the job!

February 22, 2005

Best Night View of Seattle

Seattle at night from Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill. Photo by Sucad Dage, 2005

This view from Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill is magical at night. We saw a news crew at the park taking some shots as well. Claudia, Sucad and I each took a photo with my EOS 10D mounted on the tripod. I set the aperture at f/16 and tried an 11 second exposure. Claudia then tried a 12 second exposure. Both were a bit too dark, so Sucad took this one with a 25 second exposure which turned out the best.

Here's what the view looked like in 1936.

View of downtown Seattle from Kerry Park in 1936
Photo coursesy of Seattle Municipal Archives

February 17, 2005

Save the Market (for Saturday)

Sucad, Claudia and I started the day by strolling through the Pike Place Market. Being Thursday, it wasn't as bustling and energetic as the weekend Market and in retrospect, I realize I should have saved this for Saturday. We had brunch in a tiny booth at Lowell's in the Market. The food was just mediocre but the view was amaaazing (lingo that is new since I've been gone from the US).

Mono-ra-ru. Sugoi desu!

The Seattle monoraru isn't actually all that sugoi. It's slow, expensive and the windows are covered with advertising that obstructs what should be a lovely view of the north end of the city center. I can't imagine how Seattle will make it a viable form of public transportation. Are the Japanese involved?

In spite of its inefficacy, I hauled Claudia and Sucad onto the monorail. It's a fun way to get to the Space Needle once a decade. Surprisingly, there was a human driver on board. Japanese obviously not involved yet.

Best Day View of Seattle

Downtown Seattle as seen from the Space Needle. Photograph by Stacy Munn, February 2005.

The Space Needle has my vote for best view of Seattle during the day. It's amaaazing how much water is in the area and you get a good sense of it from up here. When the weather is clear you see both the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.

Click here for a super-sized version of photo above.

Sucad and Claudia freezing on top of the Space Needle. Photograph by Stacy Munn, February 2005.

February 15, 2005

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

With all my credits from Audible.com, I've got some listening to do. Last night while I was doing my graphic design homework, I listened to a few hours of Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

---From the Audible website---
At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this "divinely inspired" crime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith. Along the way, he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America's fastest-growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

Awesome Audible

Audible.com came through. Abby in customer support sent me a very nice email yesterday informing me that she restored my 6 missed credits. I immediately went to my Audible account and sure enough, the 6 credits were there.

Not only that, but today Audible gave me a free credit as a 1 year anniversary gift. A+ for Audible.

February 13, 2005

EOS Digital Camera Class from Exposure 36

I recently took a brilliant 1 day seminar on how to use my EOS digital camera. It was packed with information, some my brain retained and some it didn't. The 17 handouts given to each participant will help me remember those bits I forgot. The class attendees had different types of EOS cameras including the Rebel, 10D, 20D and a couple lucky ones sporting the 1D. In addition to the equipment range, participants photography knowledge was also varied. The instructor, Jim Altengarten, did an exellent job of pacing the information, balancing it with some individual attention so that all participants could learn a lot during the day.

The class ran from 8am - 5pm on UW campus and cost $83 for UW non-students. Registration was through the Experimental College and they add another $10 registration charge. For me, it was well worth the money.

The biggest improvement I made was with my focusing, use of my Speedlite flash and how to properly clean the sensor. Mr. Altengarten also runs intensive photography workshops through his company, exposure36 that last several days. I highly recommend him as an instructor.

February 12, 2005

Audible Audacity

I'm a bit irritated by the fact that I missed 6 downloads from Audible for which I paid. I'm signed up as a Premium Listener, meaning I pay $19.95/month and can download 2 audio books per month. During my move, I didn't have time to download, let alone listen to any books. I assumed the credits would accumulate and when I had a chance to log in and check out what was available, I could collect all six books at once. Nope. If you don't download within the month, you lose your credits, but still get charged the $19.95. Now that I've taken the time to read all the FAQs, I'm aware, but this info should have been conspicuous along with all the propitious text encouraging me to sign up as Premium Listener.

I've written to Audible explaining the circumstances and courteously requesting my 6 credits. Will report here when I receive a reply.


I got a Valentine in the post from mum today. On the little paper heart was written, "Collect your Valentine package at Elliott Bay Book Company." I rushed down the block and excitedly told the guy behind the counter that I would like to collect my Valentine package under the name of Munn. He smiled and handed over a bag with wrapped packages. At home I discovered they were historical books about Seattle and the Pioneer Square neighborhood. My mom is a gem.

February 10, 2005

Knife Skills

Want to learn how to cut vegetables with your left or your right hand from clean, clear illustrations plus text? Look here.

Push The Button

...is the new release from the Chemical Brothers. Listening to it on Rhapsody. The Harleys outside the Central Tavern make a nice backing rumble.

Something for the iRiver


Hooray! Too bad my model is 400 too low.

February 09, 2005


I had dinner with Greg Vlasak at Typhoon this evening. Greg was one of the most enthusiastic, motivating and hard-working cyclists in my spinning class at the Vault. We exchanged travel tales and fitness experiences whilst feasting on shrimp and scallop dumplings with a green curry sauce, eggplant with black bean sauce and shrimp, and delicately flavored green beans. All this with a superb bottle of Zinfandel. Manufique!

February 08, 2005

Kicked my own @ss

I taught my first fitness class in 5.5 years today. So nervous leading up to it that I couldn't sleep past 3:30 am. The participants were wonderful and class went well. But I must admit that my gluteous muscles are mighty sore.

February 07, 2005

Dahlia Lounge

At Dahlia Lounge in Seattle

Mom spent a good chunk of her retirement money treating 7 of us to dinner at Dahlia Lounge at 4th and Virginia in downtown Seattle. Kristin is in town for a professional conference. She and two other SkillsSource employees are staying at the Westin. Mom, Julie Olufson, Brian and I met them for a meal on the west side of the mountains.

The atmosphere is formal, but this being Seattle, you could wear just about anything and not feel out of place. The waiter didn't kneel at our table, nor did he say, "An excellent choice!" Both good attributes in my book. He did use a lot of adjectives when describing the herbs in a sauce, how a meat was cooked and the texture of the dollop of potato that came with the salmon. And the salmon with bearnaise, braised salsify (I had to look this one up) and Bloomsdale spinach. It was delicious. The portion was small, which I'm all in favor of, but the price should have been a touch smaller as well. $26 is too high for a fistfull of fish.

February 05, 2005

Pho Cyclo

I met William Bloxom for lunch at Pho Cyclo Cafe. It's on 1st Ave S across from the SODO center/Starbucks headquarters/Sears building or whatever it's called these days. The proprietor has done a fabulous job with both the cuisine and the atmosphere. I had a bowl of rice noodles with shrimp cakes in a broth with sublime flavorings. I highly recommend the food here. Seattleites certainly lunch early compared to the London crowd. I arrived at 11:15 and the place was packed.

William suggested the Chilly Hilly bike ride. I made lame excuses about not being in proper shape, etc. etc. He mentioned the fact that he pulls his dog around the course. Right. I'm not that big a wuss. Gimme that registration form.
William and Buddah on the Chilly Hilly

February 04, 2005

It Rained Today...

...a lot.

February 02, 2005

Penske delivers iJoy

Rented a Penske truck, drove to the Microsoft campus in Redmond and visited Michelle at her office for the first time. She's loaning me her red iJoy. Ahhhhhh....

February 01, 2005

Oaxaca Bound?

Went to have my eyes examined and get a contact perscription in the U district. I went onto campus again because I love it so much there. I was amazed at the enormous satellite dishes on top of Kane Hall. Satellite dish on Kane Hall roof

I dropped into a lecture just for fun. The auditoruims in that hall are so huge I knew I wouldn't be noticed. It was a social deviance class. The professor was talking about Oaxaca, Mexico. He asked the class if anyone had been there; he highly recommends it. Now Oaxaca is on the list of places to go in the next couple of years.