Tea Fryme: Sabbatical

Part Two

~October 20st to 25th 2012

Here is a song by Broadcast I've been listening to:

Train to Seattle was mainly blissful. An endless parade of goldenrod. Late on the first night I talked to a 19 year young man on his way to Minot, ND. He was to take a 70/h a week sheet rocking job to save up for a semi-automatic rifle, pickup truck and motorcycle. He shared some of his favorite Johnny Cash songs, I turned him on to Tame Impala. Once I had heard enough about muscle building, fireworks and knives, I passed out in the observation car.

Seattle was colder than expected. Chilly rain stings. Lots of friendly bikers stopped to help guide us towards our host in Columbia City (suburb of Seattle) but the difficulty of the ride made us reassess our plans to bike to Portland. Turned out the train to Portland (Cascades) is inexpensive and convenient to bring a bike on board.

Columbia City was comfortable. Empire Coffee is a nice coffee shop there which serves waffles, paninis and beer.

Lichen and moss cover everything in the pacific northwest.

On our third day we learned about the fire that consumed Seattle and how modern Seattle was built on top of the ruins. On my list of things to do if I ever return to Seattle is to take the tour of the underground.

While walking to the Space Needle Emily and I redefined the words 'foible' and 'vice'. Foibles under our definition are small, instant pleasures which often distract from more noble pastimes (with possibly delayed or nonexistent satisfaction). Examples inlcude sweets, coffee, alcohol, cuddling, television, other forms of entertainment, socializing. Foibles can be used for good, obviously, like socializing is required for human bonding and coffee can make one more productive. But we decided that abusing foibles would be to use them as a 'vice.' So if one sits around all day eating doughnuts watching tv, one is using foibles as vices. An example of an acceptable use of foibles could be one who works hard all day and then at the end of the day enjoys a beer with friends.

Ah cognitive biases.

Immediately following our discussion, a friend from college (Ray) showed us around the Experience Music Project museum (well constructed exhibits and interesting content (props from sci-fi movies, Jimi Hendrix's guitar) but ultimately pretty dry) as well the hip Capitol Hill district.

Our hosts which I found via Couch Surfing were kind enough to let us stay for 3 nights at the last minute. Was interesting to hear the life experiences of our host Becca who lived in Paris as a writer, went to grad school and now writes and nannys. Her dog Squinchy was cute and she gave us helpful advice for the trip.

On the fourth day we got on a train to Portland.

Here are some pictures, (click for big):

The feeling of being on a space ship is heightened at night.

Some train stations have excellent plants.

"Welcome to the geographical center of North America." Minot, ND

Further reinforcing the feeling of space travel.

These are the air vents on the Empire Builder train. Pretty sure the black streaks are soot; definitely smelled like it especially towards the end of the trip. Awful.

Squinch's brother.

"If your trip is costs more than the pass value on your ORCA card, user your e-purse to cover the difference." Taking transit in Seattle was this confusing.