George V. Reilly

Seattle: Overturned Truck

Seattle traffic ground to an eight-hour standstill today after a propane truck overturned on southbound I-5. Both directions of I-5 were closed until the truck had been emptied enough so that it could be righted. The wet winter weather didn't help, as snow fell in­ter­mit­tent­ly.

Given the danger of a massive explosion, this was the right thing to do. Had the truck gone up, the outcome would have been much, much worse.

Still, it drives home (heh) the fragility of our in­fra­struc­ture. The closure's effect rippled throughout the region's roads, causing a systemic failure of the road network. Snarled traffic and chaos everywhere for miles.

We've had two similar incidents in recent years, both continue.

Seattle Accessibility

I've been using a knee walker for the last couple of weeks. For the first time, I took public trans­porta­tion by myself to attend Papers We Love tonight. I rolled myself from 1st Ave S & Washington up to the Pioneer Square station, took the Light Rail one stop north to the University Street station at 3rd & Seneca, then rolled down the hill to 2nd & Spring. It's a trip I wouldn't have thought about twice if I were walking nor­mal­ly—and I probably would have walked the entire way rather than take the Light Rail only one short stop.

It's a different matter on a knee scooter. I continue.

AIDS Walk 2016

AIDS decimated the gay community in the 1980s and early 1990s before effective treatments were developed, and AIDS and HIV continue to affect the LGBT community dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly. I personally have walked in the Seattle AIDS Walk every year since 1992.

Please sponsor me at­ly I am also the captain of the Freely Speaking Toast­mas­ters team and we'd love to have you join us.

Any money you donate or raise will support people in King County who are living with HIV or AIDS. It will help feed them, pay for medicine, and prevent further infections.

I've walked for 25 years to honor the living and the dead. I've known people who continue.

Teatro Zinzanni

Teatro Zinzanni is a long-running circus dinner theater in Seattle. Six of us went tonight and enjoyed a blend of cabaret, circus arts, fine dining, and vaudeville.

The current show, Hotel L'Amour, is ostensibly set in a fine hotel, where the oc­to­ge­nar­i­an Madame reminisces about her career, while Caesar the lounge lizard hams it up, Maestro Voronin brings a puppet girl to life, one aerialist cavorts around an enormous martini glass, a juggler dazzles with his ver­sa­til­i­ty, another aerialist works the straps, and the soprano trills. All this while the audience eats a fairly decent meal spread out over three hours.

'Twas enjoyable to be sure and the acts were good but it continue.

Panel on Marriage Equality

There was supposed to be a second showing of The Queen of Ireland doc­u­men­tary this morning at the SIFF Uptown, preceded by a panel discussion on Marriage Equality. We attended the discussion, which was moderated by Phil Grant, the Consul General of Ireland. The three panelists were Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss, out of drag, the accidental activist who became the face of marriage equality in Ireland; Mayor Ed Murray, an Irish-American and Washington state's best-known gay politi­cian; and Gary Gates, an LGBT de­mog­ra­ph­er, married to an Irishman, who advised the Irish cam­paign­ers.

I have a strong interest in marriage equality, going back more than 20 years—I was wearing a HERMP shirt continue.

Seattle Power Outage

The power suddenly went out at work today about 11:30am. There was a technician who was running wires, standing on a ladder next to us, who disclaimed all re­spon­si­bil­i­ty. Since the wires were Ethernet cables, we believed him. It quickly became apparent that it was not just our office or even our building, but many blocks of downtown Seattle that had lost power. One person was trapped in the elevator in our old Pioneer Square building. Within half an hour, everyone had left the office. Although most of us have laptops, no elec­tric­i­ty meant no Internet. I drifted up to Capitol Hill and spent the afternoon working with two colleagues in a continue.

New 520 Floating Bridge

I moved to Seattle in 1992 and spent the next 13 years commuting to the Eastside, largely across the SR-520 Floating Bridge. Ten of those years were at Microsoft; the rest, elsewhere in Redmond and Bothell. It was im­me­di­ate­ly obvious that 520 needed more capacity. Only now, 24 years later, are we getting that extra capacity: a new bridge that will replace the old, worn-out bridge.

The old bridge has only two lanes in either direction and there's no shoulder. If anything happens, like a flat tire or a stalled car, one lane im­me­di­ate­ly grinds to a halt. The second lane promptly jams up as everyone merges into it. The continue.

First Hill Streetcar

The new streetcar line that runs from Pioneer Square to First Hill and Capitol Hill opened on Saturday. I rode it this evening to get from First & Jackson to Broadway & Pine, a three-mile ride that took a full half-hour in the early evening. The streetcar is clean and pleasant and tem­porar­i­ly free to ride, but it has no dedicated lane. Car drivers are still un­ac­cus­tomed to it and the streetcar driver had to blow his horn several times at cars that were blocking our progress.

The new light rail extension line will open in March, connecting Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium. It's several months early and more than $100 continue.

Unseasonable January Weather

While the Northeast is being hammered with a major snowstorm, we've enjoyed some un­sea­son­ably warm weather in the Northwest. Yesterday, it was 63°F (17°C) in Seattle—a record high tem­per­a­ture. The flowers are blooming. I smelled some glorious blossoms yesterday and today. One friend dubbed it “sumter”.

Craft Distilleries

Washington state is well-known for coffee, wineries, and mi­cro­brew­eries. Dozens of small-batch craft dis­til­leries have been started in Washington state since 2008 after a change in the law. Most of them are quite good. I drink Irish and Scotch whiskies, but otherwise neither of us drink spirits often, so we've barely tried the local dis­til­leries.

We drank a really nice gin from Sun Liquor at a New Year's Eve party, and we've been meaning to follow up. This afternoon, we stopped at the Oola Distillery on Capitol Hill and sampled all their wares. We left with a half bottle of their Rosemary Vodka. Then we stopped in at Sun Liquor and came out with continue.

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