Archive | July, 2011

My Amazing Race… The Conclusion

13 Jul

With Auto Battery complete, we head towards Six Arms at 300 East Pike.  It’s all downhill from here.  Literally and figuratively.  We set off back towards downtown, and make our way down the hills with smiles on our face and just four stops to go.  All the wiser since my EAST Union F’ up, Jenny is adamant that I’m going the wrong way as we pull up to the door.  She’s old, tired, and getting cranky.  Her little beet red face is shining in the afternoon sun.  I give her a quick water break, smack on the ass, and we snap a photo.  I promise her the old “pickle tickle” tonight if she can just get her butt in gear for the final stretch.  It works!

Picking up steam now we roll on to Club Zum and The General Consulate of Korea!  Just one stop to go!!

Where is Jim Morrison when you need directions to The (next) Whisky Bar?  Again with bad mapping, I put the address in at 200 2nd Avenue down by the Seattle Center.  Jenny’s pretty sure that’s not right and low-and-behold she saves us from the aggravating trip that will almost guarantee us a last place finish had we done it.  Working a little magic with my Android, I discover it’s actually located at 2000 2nd Avenue which is just minutes from our current location on 6th.

Thank God!  The light at the end of the tunnel is here!  We reach The Whisky bar (check the picture; I spelled it right!)  It looks so comfy and inviting and calls my name, but there’s one last stop and that’s the finish line back at 88 Keys.  Knowing 2nd is a drag for buses, we jump the next one and get off a mere block away.

Me clutching the clue sheets, Jenny clutching her weakened heart, we high-tail it inside to smiles from the CitySolve team members and some inviting bottles of water!  A quick assessment and our goal has been realized!  We’re not last!  Actually, we’re not even that close as a steady stream of racers still continue to pile in the door 45 minutes after we’ve arrived.

We order some drinks and raise a toast to our new friends, and a wonderful day.  And how awesome of a husband I truly am.  This was all my idea.  🙂

See you next year!  We’re aiming high and going for Top 30!!


My Amazing Race… Part 7

13 Jul

Auto Battery, 1009 Union Street, is just over a 1/2 mile away.  However, it’s pretty much straight up a hill so we begin to trudge up Seneca Street to our next destination.  Huffing and puffing, I continually wait for Jenny and her short stumpy legs to catch up.  Poor kid.  Finally, we turn the corner and anticipate Auto Battery coming into view.  Instead, we see, the side of a building.


That’s when I make the discovery that I plotted my course to Union street, not EAST Union street, where the checkpoint actually is.  A quick re-calculation yields good news and bad news.  Auto Battery is only another 1/2 mile away, but…. it’s all uphill.  Great!  Poor Jenny takes it like a trooper and we press on.  Me hard charging and leading the way.  Stumpy bringing up the rear checking out my hot ass.

At last we make it to the bar and at this point all we’d like to do is sit down and have a drink.  But, no rest for the wicked.  Fortunately this challenge is pretty easy.  Shoot a couple English shuffleboard pucks as close to the end of the table as possible.  Jenny lines up her shot that travels about twelve inches and flies off the side.  Mine goes right off the far end.  We bounce back nicely though and lay two scoring shots in with our last round.

Quick picture with the representative at the site for verification and we’re handed Clue 3.

Jenny turns into a little tomato when she's "winded".

Clue 3 is a list of ten “items” that are related to The Wizard of Oz.  I.E. Dorthy’s haircut, What did the Tin man seek, Dorthy’s furry friend, and so on. We need to find three of them.

Fortunately, and I don’t know if this is by design or not, we’re able to fulfill all of them easily using people at the bar.  Found a chick with Dorthy pigtails, a couple of guys drinking with their dogs, and a chick not from WA state (as evidenced by her passport).

With clues 2 & 3 now done we have hit six sites and only have three to go!!  We’ve got our breath back after our mile long hike up the hill and we’re ready to finish strong!  We’re ready to take Top Ten in this thing!!

Little did we know that the top ten teams had already finished the race at this point and were relaxing back at 88 Keys with drinks in hand…

Coming down the homestretch….

My Amazing Race… Part 6

12 Jul

Minutes later we’re riding the elevator up to my office.  Thoughts of abandoned-office, computer-room sex flutter through my brain, but we’ve got more important work to do.

Bada-Boom, Bada-Bing.  With the mighty power of the internet at our finger tips, we mow through the clues…

Clue 2 – Capitol Hill bar that rhymes with OUGHT ROW  SAT HER BEE.  My wife neglected to give me the buzz word phrase at the beginning which read “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines…”.  A quick search of bars on the hill leads us to identify Auto Battery as the place we’re looking for!  And what do you know, it’s on Union!  (NOON BUN)

Clue 6 – Time to tackle the Mariners equation.  After an argument over the number of the Mariners shortstop and which jersey number to use (Ryan or Wilson?), I discover ANOTHER one of Jenny’s mistakes.  It’s not the shortstop jersey number we’re supposed to use, but instead “the number associated in baseball with the Shortstop position”.  Anyone who’s scored a baseball game knows the SS position is always 6.  Always.  We have our next location; 1813 7th Avenue!

Clue 8 – The weird code CNR YGZL, still has us puzzled.  I let “the Genius” work on that one and she finally figures out to try to solve it working from the bottom up and comes up with Six Arms, a restaurant up on the hill.

Clue 9 – After yet another Jenny mistake, we come up with the letters SHIBAR KYW and clues of moonshine, bars, 88 Keys, yeast, and Wild Turkey.  O show me the way to the next Whisky Bar at 2000 2nd Ave!

Clue 10 – We use the web to blow through the crossword puzzle and come up with clues of Peninsula, Seoul, General, Consulate, Korea, and Of leading us to the General Consulate of Korea at 2033 6th Ave!

Hot damn!  I feel like a fat kid locked in the Hostess factory!  We quickly plot a map together and have our route down!  With three checkpoints under our belt, we head out in search of number four, The Auto Battery.  It’s located at 1009 Union which is just up the hill about five blocks and around the corner.

Wish I would’ve written down it was actually located at 1009 EAST Union…..In Seattle, those are two entirely different places….whoops.

More to come…

My Amazing Race… Part 5

11 Jul

On our way to 7th & Union we finally decide if we don’t know where we’re going we could wind up running all over town and get far more exercise than is really necessary.  We agree this is a bad idea and the Sheraton hotel looks like a great place to run in, cool off, and start phoning friends.

We hear back from Michael & Erika who have been absolutely no help in solving our dilemma with the Capitol Hill bar that rhymes with OUGHT ROW  SAT HER BEE on a street that sounds like NOON BUN.  They tell us to go to Newton Avenue East, but warn us there’s no businesses anywhere near there.  We politely thank them, hang up, and completely ignore their suggestion.

We get Shay on the line to do research for our Mariners equation clue.  Five minutes on the line with Shay yields the answer to the question “Do you think Shay can help us?”  Sadly, that answer is “no”, as Shay’s computer decides to cease functioning the second we call.  We’re really starting to feel the pressure.

Then like a thunderbolt, it hits me!  (When I say “thunderbolt”, it’s to add a level of excitement to the story.  In all actuality, it was more  like the last couple seconds of a sparkler right before it burns out.)  I work two blocks away!  At my work, I have a computer and the internet.  If we’re going to do this, we decide we’ll need to do it ourselves!  We also note that over the upcoming year, we’ll need to find more intelligent, tech-savvy friends.  But we’ll have plenty of time for that later.  Back to the business at hand…

We race out the door and around the corner to find an enormous flower-pot with a flower coming out of it that I’ve never noticed once in my life.  Right on 7th & Union that I walk within a block of every single day.  I reaffirm with myself that my powers of observation are far below normal as we try to snap a picture of ourselves as there are no other passersby.  Getting both of us and this enormous flower in the picture proves a little difficult.

However, a lovely little Chinese woman passed by and was able to help us out with an acceptable photo.  (Although I would’ve expected a clearer shot from a race of people born with cameras around their necks.)

Three checkpoints done and we bust ass to my office on 4th & University.  We’re almost an hour into the race..

More to come…

Fat people can do the same things skinny people can do!

My Amazing Race… Part 4

11 Jul

On the same block as Juno is a bus stop.  I’m already sweating buckets having fast-walked nearly two blocks.  Ready for a beer and a shower, I press on and muster up all my energy to take a seat at the bus stop.  We know we have to go uptown towards that 7th & Union public art something-or-other so we figure we’ll just head in the right direction while we wait for a bus and work on these damned clues!

Clue 6 – Solve the equation below to find this checkpoint located on 7th Ave!  Year of the Mariners Innagural Season (’77 we think?) – the distance in feet from home plate to second base (I know it’s 90′ between bases, but from home direct to 2nd base? No idea…Last time I had Geometry I don’t think I had pubes…..) + Feliz Hernandez’s Mariner jersey number (54?) + 5.  Divide this number by the number of the Mariners shortstop + 1507 and we’ll have the house number!  We decide we’ll need to call someone.  Next clue…

Clue 7 – A picture of the cute little dino Yoshi from the Mario Brother’s franchise leads us to discover there is a place called Marios on 6th Avenue on the 1500 block.  Alright!  We’re heading that way any way.  Another checkpoint clue solved!  We decide this will be our next stop!

We board the bus for what will be a 3 minute ride and try to work out more clues.

Clue 8 – Some matrix we have to use to solve a hidden code.  We come up with CNR YGZL.  Seener Whygazelle?  Makes no sense.  We’ll come back to that one.

Clue 9 – Some fill in the blanks one, then take the designated letters from each answer to form the mixed up name of a Belltown establishment.  The answers will all have something to do with this establishment.  Hmm….. We’ll come back to this one too.

Clue 10 – Last one! – A crossword puzzle with six answers.  Four of the six answers have to do with someplace on 6th avenue.  No idea…..

As our bus comes to a stop we jump out on 3rd and Pine which is a fine downtown location packed with shoppers, tourists, and drug dealers.  I work in the city and avoid this intersection at all costs.  We bust off to the Mario’s checkpoint we discovered in Clue 7.

A few minutes later we arrive and snap our checkpoint photo!!

Marios! Not a pizza joint!

We head off to the Public Art checkpoint we discovered as Clue 1 on 7th & Union.

Stay tuned….more to come….

My Amazing Race… Part 3

10 Jul

Just like sex-with-a-prostitute, where-to-start became our first hurdle.  We have two sheets, containing ten clues, and no strategy whatsoever.  We knew we could complete the clues in any order.  We knew we had one “skip”; one clue we did not have to do at our discretion.  We scanned the clues:

Clue 1 – Mural Mural on the Wall.  Locate the cool public art.  You’ll find it near the intersection of the number of years Brad Pitt spent in the mountains and the side Robbert E. Lee fought against.  Brad Pitt….Mountains….Seven Years in Tibet!  SEVEN!  Robert E Lee was on the side of the Confederates?  So….Union army.  UNION!  7th & Union!!  We had a location of a check point.  We were rollin’

Clue 2 – MANDATORY.  Ladies and gentlemen start your engines…Solve the clue below.  Find the 2 word Capitol Hill bar that rhymes with this phrase:  OUGHT ROW  SAT HER BEE  It is located on the Easten Part of the street that rhymes with: NOON BUN,  Ummm…..the only bar I can think of is Linda’s which is clearly not it.  We’ll call Michael!  Michael is our gay friend who knows everything about Capitol Hill.  He answers!  After explaining to him we’re in a hurry and he’s been no help at all trying to locate a pad and pen, we get his wife on the phone who is ready for business.  (I realize I said Michael is gay, but he’s actually a metrosexual who’s still in the closet.  He irons his T-shirts for Christ’s sake.  He’s gay.)  Erika gets to work on our problem and will call us back with the answer.

Clue 3 – It says we find out about this one once we reach Clue 2.  Move on.

Clue 4 – Show some civic pride…get at least 11 people to spell out EMERALD CITY…..<groan>  Moving on.

Clue 5 – There’s a movie synopsis that we immediately know is the 2007 hit Juno with Ellen Page.  It says this checkpoint is located on 3rd.  Juno on 3rd Avenue?  A quick cellphone google confirms there is a Juno restaurant on 3rd and it’s only a few blocks away.

Teams are starting to disperse so we figure we should roll.  We head towards Juno.  Me walking briskly, Jenny practically crawling.

We’re  on our way!  One checkpoint down and eight to go!!

More to come….

My Amazing Race… Part 2

10 Jul

The next step in the journey brought us to 88 Keys down in Pioneer Square where we were able to size up the competition.    This would serve as the starting and ending point of the race.  Because we’re old and responsible, we were there plenty early and watched as the crowd grew steadily.  They appeared younger and fitter, but we didn’t feel we stuck out.  Which means people were looking at us with only one question on their minds:  Are THEY really racing, or are they just waiting for the bar to open?

The moment was upon us to begin the race and we eagerly gathered around to witness the unveiling of our first clue.

I’m far from a genius.  And I’m not a rabid sports nut by any means.  But being a Seattle native and lifelong resident, it took me about half a second via process of elimination to determine the correct answer.  The Mariners have never won the World series.   The Seahawks have never won the SuperBowl.  And the Huskies have never won the BCS.  Seattle sports, for the most part sucks, and always has.  Everyone knows that.

The correct answer was obviously the Seattle Metropolitans who won the Stanley Cup back around the birth of Jesus Christ.  (Actually, I knew this from a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, ON where I was extremely surprised to learn the 1917 Seattle Metropolitans became the first United States based team ever to win the cup.  Look it up.  It’s true!)

The race had begun and we made our way to 2nd & Yesler where we would pick up the envelope containing our clues to the 10 checkpoints within the race.

Watching the frenzied herd of racers tear open their packet and start in solving their clues was a bit overwhelming.  We found a shady place and joined in the chaos quickly trying to make sense of everything.  Some of the clues seemed easy and obvious, some were cryptic and would take more time.  We raced through them, answering everything we knew off the top of our heads and came up with 2 of the locations, just like that!

More to come….

My Amazing Race… Part 1

9 Jul

On July 9th, 2011, my adoring wife and I entered the CitySolve Urban Adventure race through the city of Seattle.  Like most out-of-shape, middle-aged Americans, we like to push ourselves to try new things and experiences.  Being fans of CBS’s Amazing Race we thought this would be a nice little taste.  And we were right!  It was a blast!  Here’s how it went down… (It’s important to know my memories may be slightly different from my wifes.)

It all began at Pete’s Eggnest in Greenwood where we would plan our strategy for the upcoming contest over a light breakfast.  We figured a quick rundown of popular Seattle destinations would be in order.  We discussed locations such as the original Starbucks, the Pike Place Market, and the Fremont Troll to name only a few.  We also ran down Seattle pop culture like Jimmy Hendrix, Nirvana, and the location of Bruce Lee’s grave.  All this brainstorming would prove to be completely useless, but it was much better than talking about our relationship, feelings, or any lame shit like that.

A light me.

After a sumptuous meal, we noted another couple (of chumps) in this very small restaurant going over their materials for the race as well.  What a small world!  They were considerably younger, in much better shape, and quite a bit more attractive than we are, but that didn’t bother us in the least.  We were on a mission.

That mission:  Don’t finish in last place.

Part 2 coming soon…

The 4th of July … and the American Idiot

4 Jul

While many Americans celebrate our country’s Independence today, I’d like to call attention to the huge population of American dipshits we have living amongst us without the slightest idea of what independence is.  Many of these imbeciles, are the folks eating hotdogs, blowing their fingers off, getting hammered, and most likely calling in to work sick in the morning if by some miracle they’re gainfully employed.  They’re also one of the reasons why this country is so fucked up.

Independence is:

  • Having a child you planned to have because you understand the ramifications of having one, are in a longterm, healthy relationship,  and can afford Pampers & daycare.
  • Moving out of your parent;s house and maybe take care of yourself for a change. You’re 28. It’s time.
  • Planning for the future.
  • Having a full time job and managing to not get yourself fired.
  • Buying your own shit without using imaginary money.
  • Having priorities. The next time you’re shoplifting, ask yourself this:  Do you need the new Little Jon CD or formula for your kid?  Which one is the actual priority.
  • Understanding financing and buying a house you can actually afford.
  • Paying your bills on time. Bills are not surprises that randomly show up in the mail.  Get a calendar and learn to use it.
  • Realizing that being a character on Teen Mom is not a career choice.

I’m having trouble celebrating independence when all I see are more and more American’s living off the government tit and making themselves more and more dependent and running away from their responsibilities.  The continual cycle of idiots bearing and raising new ones will pretty much guarantee this is one of the last 4th of July’s we’ll have to celebrate.  So live it up!

Happy 4th of July!