I caved. Well, not really. Well Sorta.

I inadvertently logged into Facebook after about 2.5 weeks. Unfortunately, it also also reactivated my account. I spent several hours cleaning out people, pages, and other things that post garbage to my timeline, mostly in an attempt to remove anything or anyone that would post things that I’d see that would be the trash posts that FB is known for.

Since I removed FB shortcuts and apps from my phone/laptop/toolbar/etc I have to visit the site by manually entering in the URL. Not a big lift, of course, but still a barrier to the instantaneous access before that made it a trivial gesture. I find that I log in maybe once or twice a week, for a few minutes. I made the effort not to scroll down through the feed, and avoid liking and commenting on a lot of things, lest I give the tracking algorithms any more data than is necessary.

Maybe one day I’ll just delete the thing outright, but right now limiting my engagement with it has been good so far.

And…we’re done [With Facebook]

After about 11 years on the platform, and about two years of continually thinking about deleting it… I finally deactivated my FB account last week.

Given that Facebook has little desire to safeguard our data – at least until they’re forced to – about two years ago (post-election) I removed all my personal data (address, workplace, etc) from the site and disabled the platform – the latter of which was how third-party applications and companies access the former. I went far enough to also remove the FB app from my phone and disabled all notifications. In doing so I found without a constant reminder, I didn’t look at it as much anyways. And since then the amount of animosity and vitriol that existed on there simply made FB not worth it any more.

It’s only been a little less than a week and other than a few times when I’d go to the browser on my phone and instinctively try to go to the URL or go to click on the Chrome tool bar shortcut – I haven’t really missed it. Nothing groundbreaking – no “OMG, I feel liberated!” moments as of yet.

Right now, Twitter is filling the void of ‘thing to look at when bored.’ It’s not reached the point where I feel the need to avoid it, but then again it’s user interface doesn’t lend itself (in my opinion) to much more than a few minutes of scrolling. Time will tell.

Canadian Rockies, Day Three: Banff to Lake Louise, via Johnston Canyon

On day three, we left Banff headed for Lake Louise for two nights. Originally we were supposed to spend two nights at a B&B in Field, BC – but when we contacted them the day before they wrote back after a long delay – stating that they had written down the wrong dates and we had no accommodations there for the nights we had planned. So we got online and found Post Hotel had some openings, and it was located in Lake Louise – which was not far from the things we had planned to see.

Before we left we grabbed some things and headed up to our first destination, which was recommended by the B&B hostess from where we had just departed in Banff:  Johnston Falls, located in Johnston Canyon. She recommended taking the Hwy 1A, which paralleled the Trans-Canadian Highway, as it was a more scenic drive, so we pulled off the main highway and set off winding towards the canyon.

Once we got there we found that the lots were full, and we just parked along the gravel on the side of the road and walked in. It quickly became obvious that this was a very popular destination: lots of cars and naturally an unfortunate number of charter buses. We weaved our way along Johnston Creek towards the upper falls. It was an okay hike, maybe 2.5 km but it took forever because you were behind lollygaggers and people that didn’t pay attention to anyone around them and blocked the often very narrow walkway. Eventually, we arrived.

Johnston Falls
Johnston’s Middle Falls

Upper Johnston Falls
Johnston’s Upper Falls

As you can see, it was one of the sunniest, and probably most clear days we had during our trip.

Continue reading “Canadian Rockies, Day Three: Banff to Lake Louise, via Johnston Canyon”

Canadian Rockies, Day Two: Kootenay Nat’l Park & Town of Banff

On our second day of our Canadian Rockies adventure (did you miss Day 1?) we woke up to a cool morning as we departed Radium Hot Springs for the entrance to the first park: Kootenay National Park (official) (Wikipedia). The weather so far wasn’t unlike what Seattle had experienced this summer: warm, dry days and cool, refreshing nights. After a tasty breakfast at the motel, we hit the road for the park entrance – it was less than a kilometer away.

Radium Hot Springs Morning
A cool mountain morning.

The actual entrance to the park was unique in that it went through a canyon – Sinclair Canyon, to be exact – on its way to a valley where you could see cool alpine rivers and sweeping views of the valley and its bordering mountains.

Continue reading “Canadian Rockies, Day Two: Kootenay Nat’l Park & Town of Banff”

Canadian Rockies, Day One: Seattle, WA to Radium Hot Springs, BC

On our first day, we set out from the Emerald City (Seattle…just in case you were unsure) and headed eastbound on I-90 around 0800 Pacific. I wanted to get through Snoqualmie Pass before the Labor Day traffic backed up, but we made it through with little to no problems.

Driving on the ‘dry side’ of the Cascades reveals a landscape that’s very….different (read: boring) than the wet side.

The plains of central Washington
The plains of central Washington…miles and miles of it.

Nearing Spokane, WA
Starting to look a little more like western WA.

The landscape reminded me more of Texas or Oklahoma. Fun fact: most of WA is arid desert, with some irrigated farmland along a lot of the Columbia river. Other fun fact: Seattle’s climate is considered ‘Mediterranean’ (wet winters, dry warm summers) and the Olympic peninsula is classified as a rainforest. Three majorly different climates in one wonderful state!

We crossed the border at a very small crossing in Eastport, ID (or Kingsgate, BC). The Canadian border agent – asked few questions: “Why are you here?” and “Do you have any firearms in the vehicle?” (‘To spend a week in Banff’ and ‘I do not,’ respectively), he replied “Have a good trip.” Maybe it was the NEXUS (pre-cleared border passes) that limits the question or it’s just Canada being awesome, but whatever. I get fewer questions at border crossings with the NEXUS card (even at non-NEXUS crossings) than I did with the full passport.

Canadian Border Crossing
Bienvenue au Canada!

We drove through many miles/kilometers of wilderness, even going past an active wildfire scene (with helicopters airlifting water drops into it as we drove past), we arrived at our first stop: Radium Hot Springs, right on the edge of the Kootenay National Park.

Continue reading “Canadian Rockies, Day One: Seattle, WA to Radium Hot Springs, BC”

Dog Days of Summer

I would say it’s been extraordinarily hot here in Seattle….because it has been – at least this week. When I moved here in June of 2014, I remember that summer being pretty toasty – mild compared to SC in terms of heat and humidity – especially since 2/3 o f places in Seattle and the PNW typically do not have air conditioning. The following two summers were pretty warm as well – normal PNW summers I am told, with several weeks of abnormal heat. Up until this week this summer wasn’t very bad at all – upper 70s during the day with lows in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Those are the summers I signed up for. Tomorrow is allegedly going to hit upper 90s. Bleh.

Live weather from the weather station I’ve mounted on our roof: KWASEATT1710.

I’ll be hiding out in the bedroom with the portable AC unit.

On Memorial Day

Remember as you say ‘Happy Memorial Day’ to friends and family that the holiday is meant for solemn rememberance of those who gave their lives in defense of this country – not for barbecues and retail sales.

Also remember that those who are currently serving and veterans have holidays in their own honor (Armed Forces Day & Veteran’s Day, respectively). Those days are for them – veterans came home (myself included), and active duty are still alive. Memorial Day is for those who didn’t come home.

All Part of the Plan

So today the inevitably doomed GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act was pulled, after they realized that it wasn’t going to pass the vote – a vote that Trump forced this Friday (probably because he doesn’t want it to interfere with his golf game in FL, right?). How I see it is that this – while it appears on the surface to be a big blow to Trump & the GOP (and it is – but read on), is that it’s a win for everyone.

  • Trump gets to blame the GOP for drafting a bill that wasn’t going to pass in the first place
  • The GOP/Paul Ryan will blame Trump for forcing a vote on it before they had gotten enough support
  • American citizens win because the Affordable Care Act remains intact so far

Funny though – Trump is blaming the Democrats for not supporting it. What, exactly, did he expect from them?

Notwithstanding those three points – two of which allow Trump and the GOP to each save face to some extent – it still is a blow to the administration and the GOP as a whole. These clowns have nearly unfettered ability – control of both houses of Congress and ‘control’ of the child in the White House and are still unable to get one of their chief talking points accomplished. Unreal.

I like to hope that we’re watching the GOP unravel before our eyes – the unfortunate part is that it affects the entire country and the lives of its citizens.


More specifically – the packing for the move. Basically the time in one’s life where you discover how much junk you have as you place it all in boxes to marvel – once again – at the same junk as you unpack it in the destination. If you’re doing it right you pare it down as you pack, so as to not move junk from point A to point B. But most of us know ourselves better than that.

Fortunately, when I moved from SC to WA I literally pared down a 3BR 2.5 bathroom house into what fit into a ABF U-pack pod (which I highly recommend, by the way). So much went to Goodwill, some was sold, and the rest went to the dump. Probably the best thing I ever did – since I knew I had a finite amount of space I had to cut the emotional attachment and make some decisions.

Decision making tips when deciding what to keep, and what not to:

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Do I want to keep it?
  3. If I do want to keep it, is it unique/one-of-a-kind/hard to replace?
  4. If I do want to keep it, and it’s easy to replace, should I really keep it?
  5. Is it more economical to keep it or just buy new when I get there?

For #5, most of mine was just easier/cheaper to buy it when I got to WA as opposed to trying to cram it in the pod. I had a 11-year old living room set that was basically free. I sold it for $100 and bought a new set in Seattle. Bonus: I got something that wasn’t massive and also was 11 years newer.

Lots of things you can do to decide what to keep and what to toss – or buy new later. If anyone has any tips, feel free to comment below.

First One-blundered Days

So it’s still within Don the Con’s first 100 days, and yet here we are with at least two of his appointees recusing themselves from things they have a conflict of interest (Sessions last week, and Tillerson just today). And of course, how can we forget Flynn’s resignation/firing mid February. Naturally ‘conflicts of interest’ seems to be a theme of the entire administration and the appointments to positions therein.

Included within the first 100 days of turmoil (I’m putting it lightly)  is the ever-present Russian element in all of this – just how much did Trump & Co. collude with the Russians? And most importantly – if it is so innocent, then why does each and every one of them feel the need to be deceptive about it or just flat-out lie about it? It’s truly mind boggling, but then again they don’t have much incentive to be honest, as their dear leader Trump himself is blatantly dishonest.

And lest we mention the unfounded allegations that the previous administration bugged Trump’s phone lines. Oh, please. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if there were some wiretaps found, and the culprit ended up being the Russians?

This administration is a train wreck. I’m still curious when the ‘man’ in the White House will be impeached – hopefully before he does any real damage to the country.