That's Gneiss! #100 ~ Not-camping camping adventures

Plus: a drive down memory lane and volcanic sound waves

What a jam-packed week!

Last Sunday we went to the Fontaines D.C. show in Seattle. It was excellent as expected. We started the evening with drinks at the Comet Tavern followed by a slice of pizza at Big Mario’s. The into Neumo’s for the show. The opening band was not good. The opening bars of the first song were all right, then it was all downhill. They had an identity problem - are they Prog Rock? Disco? Funk? Rather than choosing one style of music and mastering it, they were all over the place in a very mediocre manner. They managed to poorly sound like DEVO, Jay Reatard, and Marianne Faithfull with plenty of cowbell before their set was finished. At last they were done, but not before I noticed several dust bunnies clinging to the overhead pipes and waving in the air currents from the fans.

Suffering through unpleasant opening bands is sadly common, but quickly forgotten once the band we’ve come to see starts playing. We’re pretty picky about who we go to see, and are almost never disappointed. Fontaines D.C. (stands for Dublin City) are just getting started and if you have a chance to see them GO! I’ve shared one of their videos below for a teaser. They were men of almost no words between songs and the singer barely stopped moving. Google photos kindly made a couple of animations from the photos I took.

TIP: hold your finger down to get a series of photos, and let Google do its thing! Also - stand in front for maximum enjoyment of the show.

Last week I mentioned we were going to go camping for a couple of nights. That didn’t exactly happen as planned. On Monday I got a phone call informing us that due to a leak the restroom closest to our reserved site was closed, and we could have a full refund if we wished, or move to another site for no fee. We looked at the weather forecast and at that time it was looking pretty bad.


We had no regrets for the cancellation, and instead of what would have been a mostly grim trip we “camped” at home where we got to sleep in our own warm bed, take showers, and the toilets worked! We relaxed, drank some whiskey, went on walks together, and had a right enjoyable time.

Yesterday was especially good. We took a drive to check out 203 (Monroe-Duvall), part of a possible alternative route for skipping 405 when we drive to Yakima. Here’s the route we took for our adventure:

When we got to Woodinville we stopped for lunch at the Tipsy Cow and were not disappointed! The burgers were great, including the buns which is not always the case. So often the buns are an afterthought and barely worth the trouble. I had a burger called The Experience and Michael had the Beast Mode (see menu). I did not partake of anything that might make me tipsy as I was driving.

The rest of our route may look odd, but it was designed for a very specific purpose - to drive by the two houses I lived in when I was a kid! I’d never taken Michael on that tour, so yesterday was the day.

House #1

This house is located on the map where you see the three white circles close together towards the west end of 228th. I had to click a lot of spots to get the route exactly where I wanted it on the map. The Canyon Park area was not developed much at the time - there was only a 7-11 (still there!) and a KOA campground at the bottom of the hill.

I have so many memories of playing in that yard with the other kids in the neighborhood. The trees up and down the street have grown so large that its almost unrecognizable, and some of the housed are almost totally blocked from view. There used to be a crabapple tree and an old stump beyond where that large tree is, and some other large trees that are now gone.

One year there was a wasp nest in the stump so we of course threw crabapples at it. Nobody got stung! Unlike the nest the neighbors’ dog got into back in the woods behind the house, when I got zapped twice.

And speaking of the neighbors, their house looks like it still has the original roof. The people that moved in after our friends left let things go, and it looks like nobody has taken much care fo the house since.

Here’s a photo taken right before the neighbors moved away - look at those pants she was wearing! I wish I had some that look like that now, minus the flares. I was about six when this picture was taken.

House #2

This house is in the short stretch scrunched between the 61st Court NW dot and the 23rd Ave W dot.

We moved into this house while I was in junior high. Fun memories here of hanging out with my best friend who’s dad lived around the corner, and some of the other kids that lived on this street. I don’t have any good old pictures of the outside of the house, so here are my brother and I enjoying a typical 1980’s middle-class Christmas in our living room. I spent a lot of time in this room listening to records and doing my homework at the kitchen counter. I nearly wore the grooves out of my Men at Work and Haircut 100 albums. Also - I still have that book!

It was great fun to drive around my old haunts and show Michael where I grew up. It’s amazing to see how some things have changed, and others haven’t. I’m looking forward to visiting more spots now that we’re living closer. Fall is the time for weekend adventures!

And now we’re off for one last treat to round off our “holiday” weekend - margaritas!


Videos of the Week

Many of you probably know that the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 created the loudest sound ever recorded by humans, with reports of it being heard 3,000 miles away. The pressure waves traveled around the earth several times, causing readable spikes in barometers for days after the eruption.

Six hours and 47 minutes after the Krakatoa explosion, a spike of air pressure was detected in Calcutta. By 8 hours, the pulse reached Mauritius in the west and Melbourne and Sydney in the east. By 12 hours, St. Petersburg noticed the pulse, followed by Vienna, Rome, Paris, Berlin, and Munich. By 18 hours the pulse had reached New York, Washington DC, and Toronto. 

This video shows (on a much smaller scale) what the pressure wave looks and sounds like as a volcano erupts. Imagine the explosive force that created a sound heard 3,000 miles away!

And I can’t not share one from Fontaines D.C.

Question of the Week

If you feel like answering the question (or to just say hello), hit reply to this email. Answers will be shared next week - always anonymous.

This week’s question is borrowed from Rob Walker’s The Art of Noticing newsletter:

Imagine you could devote a year to researching someone’s biography. Who would your subject be?


Last week I asked what “National fill-in-the-blank Day” you’d invent.

I would dedicate a day to playing games. The more games played in a day, the better.

If I were to invent a day of celebration it would be " National Day of Silence". 

National History Day.

Celebrate, learn, uncover and reenact. Eat ancestors food. Dress up. Make it a point to be accurate and to avoid changing narratives. 

I’d invent Bollard Appreciation Day, so we can highlight the import work that bollards do to protect us as we go about our business.

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