Fresh groceries from Amazon

November 22nd, 2007

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Amazon has come out with a fresh groceries in the Seattle area.  It’s a pilot program called AmazonFresh where they provide fresh food (meat, dairy, vegetables, fruit, etc) for delivery or pick-up.  Lee & Sachi tried it recently and on their recommendation, I tried it as well. 

First impression: AWESOME!  The whole experience is painless and a little bit better than shopping at a real store.  The list of products is extensive and they will likely have what you want (but maybe not the brand you want).  I found everything I needed, plus a few things that I didn’t need.  I’ll break down the pros and cons to help you out.

    Pros: 

  • Delivery is free (if you purchase certain $$ amounts)
  • Saves time by allowing you to click a few buttons instead of driving to the store
  • Quality of produce is exceptional
  • Can purchase small amounts (1 bulb of garlic, 1 onion, etc)
  • They deliver it within a 1-hour window during the day, or deliver it to your doorstep before you wake up (by 6am)
    Cons: 

  • You have to purchase $25 for free early morning delivery or $50 for free daytime delivery
  • Can’t purchase food for tonight’s dinner, tomorrow is the earliest delivery time.  (Note: you can order up till midnight and still get delivery by 6am)

I ordered food last night and scheduled it for delivery this morning (Thanksgiving day no less).  I only ordered $27, so I got free early morning delivery. Around 4:30am, I woke up from the TV noise (yes, I fell asleep in front of the TV) and checked to see if my delivery had come.  Sure enough, I had 3 plastic crates outside my door.  Each crate had a tamper-proof plastic tab on it.  Inside the crate was a styrofoam cooler with reusable ice-bags.  I will put the crate, cooler and ice-bags outside my door the next time I expect to receive an order, so they can pick it up and reuse it. 

In the 35 degree November morning, the food was never in jeopardy of going bad (being in a cooler with ice).  When I unpacked my groceries, everything was perfect.  The eggs were unblemished and the eggplant had no dents or bruises that all eggplant seem to have.  I don’t know where they get this exceptional produce from, but I think it’s better than grocery stores just because they want to prove to customers that online purchases can be trusted.

I’m definitely a believer and if you live in Seattle, give it a try…. since you’ll be pleasently surprised by what you get and how easy it is to get it. https://fresh.amazon.com

12 innings and 4+ hours

August 2nd, 2007

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Tonight’s game lasted over 4 hours, but in the bottom of the 12th inning, the Mariners finally pulled it off.  The game seemed well in hand in the 7th inning, with a good 3 run cushion on the 1st place Angels.  The 8th inning went off without a hitch and our shutdown closer J.J. Putz was supposed to finish the 9th.  Putz ends up giving up 3 runs in the 9th inning and off to extra innings we went.  A few times both teams had great chances to score, but defenses came through and the night kept going on.  The crowd dimmed only a little, from about 30,000 at first pitch, down to 18,000 at the final out.  With bases loaded and only 1 out, the Mariners seemed destined to win in the bottom of the 12th.  The Angels brought the centerfielder in to play infield…. making 5 infielders and only 2 outfielders.  Even with this unorthodox defense, the Mariners were able to get a ground ball through the infield and the crowd erupted with appreciation that the team won, AND that they were able to go home.  I think another inning or two would have made me put my feet up and take a nap during the breaks.  Now the Mariners are only 3 games behind the Angels and only a half game back in the AL Wild Card race, behind the Indians.

Trivia night winners

July 20th, 2007

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A few times each year, I get together with friends for trivia night.  There are a bunch of bars around Seattle that hold a trivia night once a week, which consists of someone reading trivia questions over a microphone while teams of 4-6 people at each table attempt to answer the 40 questions.  Each city has bars with trivia nights, in Philly we called it quizo nights.  So last night, I met some friends at Norm’s, a chill Seattle bar in the Fremont district.  The previous quiz night at Norm’s was back in December, when Lee & Sachi came to play as well.  We didn’t do too well that night… I think we got 23 points out of 40, resulting in 7th place out of about 20 teams.  This time was a different story.  After round 1, we were a perfect 10 points out of 10.  Round 2 had a couple hiccups, but we still pulled 8 points…. resulting in a halftime score of 18 points, tied for 1st place.  The third and fourth rounds were a bit harder and we only squeezed out 12 out of the possible 20 points in the 2nd half.  Figuring we had enough for a top 5 place but probably not enough to win, we paid our bill and were ready to leave…. but wait….. we ended up winning by 1 point.  WOOHOO!  This is the first time I’ve won, and I’ve played about 20-30 times.  The cash prize was $165, split 5 ways.  A $33 payday ain’t bad for answering a few questions.

Just to see if you’re smart enough to play trivia, here are a few questions from last night:

  1. Measuring over 3100 square miles, what is the largest U.S. city in terms of area?
  2. What Tammy Wynette hit was sung by Jake & Elwood Blues in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers”?
  3. During the 1980’s, name the only two Chicago Cubs to receive the MVP award?
  4. In the 2004 movie “Dodgeball”, what are the five “D’s” of dodgeball?
  5. What songstress has a museum dedicated to her in Kentwood, Louisiana?

If you know the answers to these questions (without looking on the Internet), then you’re probably great at trivia since you’re filled with useless knowledge.  If you can’t answer these, then consider yourself among the normal, since most people shouldn’t know all these weird facts.

Saturday softball tournament

June 4th, 2007

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This weekend, my co-ed softball team played in a 1-day tournament up in north Seattle. Being June, the weather in Seattle is 80 and clear skies. The whole field consisted of 5 teams playing double-elimination. Our first game started at 9am and we whooped the other team… something like 22-8. The next game had a similar result, which put us into the championship game. Since we hadn’t lost yet, we were able to relax for a couple hours while the other teams played each other to earn the right to play us for the championship. In the final game, we played against a team that didn’t like us, since we already beat them once earlier in the day. Down 4 runs in the final inning, my team fought back and scored 5 runs to win the tournament. We all got t-shirts… yay, free stuff.

One thing we all noticed was the differences between most other softball teams and ours. Part of the difference is age and part of it is our demeaner. My team is between 28-35 yrs old and we all have higher education backgrounds. Not to sound snobby, but other teams seem to be more whiskey-tango usually with one or two guys in their fifties, trying to relive their thirties. Other teams also tend to have tattoos, or have women with legs the size of bridge abutments. We don’t fit in when compared to other teams… especially those that are competitive enough to play in weekend tournaments. Instead, we fit the mold of teams that play at Greenlake for fun with the other Seattle urbanites. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Seattle tournaments, so I guess we’ll have to keep venturing out to play the crazy-competitive and trashy teams that seem to be in every tournament.

2 hours of my life wasted watching Spiderman 3

May 23rd, 2007

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On Monday I went to watch Spiderman 3, following an evening out at Refresh Seattle, where Lee spoke about how online communities are like parties waiting to happenSachi and I had collected free movie passes from a Safeway promotion a few months ago that had to be used in the next month, so we figured it would be nice to catch a current flick while out with friends.  The tickets were essentially free, but even that was paying too much.  I had seen Spiderman 1 and 2, which were both somewhat cheesy and predictable… what else do you expect from a comic-book character?   This third installment brought it to a whole new level… a new low.  I’m not giving anything away by revealing that Spiderman wins in the end… of course, he’s the comic hero.  But outside of some of the special-effects of spiderman swooping around buildings on his webs, there wasn’t much else to get excited about.  In fact, there were whole sections of the movie that were just absurd and made me think they brought in a bunch of 4th grade writers to create the story.  One thought that entered my head while leaving the theater was, “this isn’t even Netflix worthy”…. meaning that I wouldn’t want to waste a spot on my queue for this movie that’s more of a drawn out velveeta-ized sequel than anything resembling a new or worthwhile story.  Save your money and when it finally comes out on free tv, turn off your tv and go outside and do something productive…. like wash your car.  It’ll be 2 hours of your life you’ll be happy to not have wasted watching Spidey 3.

This softball game is sponsored by…

May 21st, 2007

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After a few years of playing softball in Seattle, my co-ed team (Bottom of the Fifth) finally has a sponsor.  Instead of paying the $80 per season (typically 2-3 seasons during a year), we now have a full sponsor.  A friend of ours, Tate, owns a bar/club in Fremont called Nectar.  Besides the paying of our league fees, Nectar has also provided us new uniform shirts and there’s even talk about team hats.  But best of all, Nectar provides us with a post-game hangout where they serve tasty pizzas.  Big thanks goes out to Tate and Nectar for what hopes to be the beginning of great relationship.  Check out Nectar if you’re around Fremont and itching for a bite & a drink.  FYI, so far our Nectar team is undefeated after our first two games.

Watch your back Blake…

March 3rd, 2007

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Our good friends Blake & Christi have finally gotten back at us. To back up the story, about 3 1/2 years ago, Lee, Sachi and I had a little fun on Halloween night 2003 by decorating Blake & Christi’s front & back yard with double-ply toilet paper. It was a prank that was supposed to kickstart an innocent feud between us. However, Blake & Christi never retaliated. Until this week……

Tonight, Lee noticed that the metal stars that hung on the walls of the living room were missing. These weren’t small items, one star was about 4 feet in diameter. Lee, Sachi and I realized that one of 2 things had occurred. Either 1) A bugular entered the house and took only the stars (leaving other valuable items in sight), or 2) One of our friends were playing a prank on us. Being the considerate folks we are, we called our friends who had keys to the house and asked them if they’d seen any metal stars recently. They all said they hadn’t, so we then assumed the burgular scenario.

We didn’t feel too good that a burgular had been in the house, so I went ahead and attempted to hack into the alarm system for the house. We didn’t know the code to operate the alarm, but thanks to the internet, I was able to reprogram the alarm system. That handy internet has answers to pretty much anything you need. Now that we have a working system, we rested and watched some TV again.

Only then we received a sinister email from our friends Blake & Christi…. it appears that they DID have our metal stars and this little prank was retribution for the toilet paper incident 3 years back. I’m all for the revenge of one prank for another, but 3 years? What were they waiting for? Now that the ball is back in our court, they should expect, and expect soon, the next round of practical jokes. You won’t know when, or where it will happen, but when you realize you’ve been had…. you’ll know it’s from us. muhahahahaha!!!!

pumpkins

October 20th, 2006

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I haven’t written for awhile, partly since nothing has been going on that’s worth writing about…. but also, the days are getting shorter and blogging seems like a poor use of good daylight. Halloween is coming up and the onslaught of trick-o-treaters are just a week and a half away. That means it’s time for a little pumpkin carvin’. I haven’t carved a pumpkin in years… and when I have done it, it’s been the usual 2-eyes, nose and a mouth with a couple teeth. This year I think I want to try something more elaborate. Look what Lee carved 2 years ago. I have to admit that this is much more detailed than I can likely do. This is just the teaser blog since I haven’t carved it yet… but I plan on carving a pumpkin (or maybe a couple) this weekend and have it ready in time for the 100’s of kids that beg for candy on the 31st.

Camping - dog included

September 14th, 2006

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This past weekend was a camping softball extravaganza…… my co-ed softball team signed up for a tournament in Mt Vernon, WA, which is about an hour north of Seattle. Instead of driving up and back each day for games, we decided to pack tents, coolers, and a coleman grill to make a camping weekend out of it. I didn’t even have to say the word “camping” to Amos… once he saw the tent and cooler in the foyer, he immediately sat by the door waiting to go. This dog loves camping…. but he’s losing the stamina to stay awake all-day at a campsite. His normal routine is sleeping for 20 hours a day, so being awake and having people all around him sure tires him out fast.

On Friday night, we hit the road and got up to the campsite by 7pm. After setting up a few tents and chairs, we were ready to camp…. which typically means, sitting around chatting with a beer. Most campsites had 4 or 6 people, which doesn’t add up to a ton of noise… but given that our whole softball team was there (plus a couple tag alongs) we easily out-noised the rest of the campsites. This also led to the park rangers stopping by a few times to shush us and finally forcing us to go to sleep around midnight. Everyone turned in to their tents… everyone except Amos and me. Seeing the oncoming rain clouds a-brewing, the black dog and I slept in the back of the SUV, which was both warmer and most-importantly, LESS WET than the tents. In the morning, there were stories of puddles in tents and tales of loud snoring episodes that I was very glad to have missed. The overnight rain turned into a beautiful clear day, but forced our Saturday games to be cancelled. We spent the day lazily playing games and walking around the campgrounds. Saturday night brought the rangers back… and this time, they not only told us to be quiet and go to sleep, but they also told us that we HAD to leave by 8am. I think that’s how they kick people out of the camp… they don’t tell you to pack up and leave in the middle of the night, they give you till daybreak to pack up and be gone. Luckily, we intended on leaving at 7:30 in order to make it to our first morning softball game.

We didn’t play any softball on Saturday, which left only Sunday to play the entire tournament. The first 3 games determined the seeding for the tournament. We won 2 games and lost 1, which made us 2nd seed. In the afternoon games, we beat up on each team we played… keeping them each under 10 runs per game. We were the only team from Seattle, all the other teams were from rural wherevers around Mt Vernon. Score 1 for the city-folk caus’ we won the whole darn thing. WAHOO! Everyone had fun, since winning is always fun. Amos was beat tired after a whole day camping and a whole day laying in the dugout watching me play softball. Everyone on the team kept complimenting Amos on being so well behaved. Well behaved??? I think it’s more the fact that he sleeps wherever he goes, not that he’s trained to be chill. Back at home, a shower never felt so good. Amos still needs a B-A-T-H, (need to spell it, since he understands this word), since he smells like dirty-dog.

I’m back….

April 1st, 2006

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Hey Blog-readers… sorry again for the temporary vacation. After sitting in front of my laptop for hours and hours during the day at work, I relish the ability to avoid my laptop once I get home. Granted, I still do work emails and such at home, but it’s because I need to, versus the blog, which sometimes can be left on the back-burner.

So What has been going on recently you ask??? Well let’s see. Since my last entry, I’ve traveled to Phoenix for a friend’s bachelor party and the following weekend attended a wedding here in Seattle for Mike and Traci Liu. Mike was a classmate of mine. There are pictures on my flickr site (see right). During the week, work has been taking most of my time, so no big news to report there. Now that we’re all caught up to the present, let’s see what’s new to report.

It’s April 2nd and we just lost an hour. Why is my weekend shortened??? They should switch time at noon on a Tuesday, since then we’d all have to work an extra hour less, hahaha. The only other thing to report is the new neighborhood pizza joint that opened a few weeks ago. It’s called Mioposto and is located at the entrance to the Mt. Baker neighborhood. Very good pizza and I could see this giving Tutta Bella a run for its money. Plus, it’s only 4 blocks from my house, so it’s PERFECT on those lazy weekends when I don’t want to cook. I went with the Rahn’s on Friday and we sampled a few salads, a few pizzas and left very full (with leftovers). I highly recommend it if you are in the area. Coming up on the next post…. Opening Day baseball with the Mariners on Monday. They are currently tied for first place (since the season hasn’t started yet), so Seattle is enjoying it’s first-place position while it lasts……



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