2/23/11

Greetings from a cool day in Portland…….

We are expecting a few inches of snow to fall here overnight – will be the first major accumulation of the season here.  The locals here are all worried about it…. I think the big difference around here is the hills and terrain makes the snow covered roads extra dangerous.

Was surprised and happy to hear about how the federal government will no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA in court. This is another step closer to federal recognition of same sex marriage. Will be a happy moment when John and I can file a joint federal tax return… maybe in the next few years….

Last night John was working on connecting the new audio amplifier and he thought he broke the Sony in-dash radio.  He disconnected the main power plug from it while power was on.  Then when he reconnected everything the radio was dead.  Not good…. Thought he was going to have to purchase a replacement one… and add to the cost of the repair.

He thought about it overnight and after dropping me off at work checked a few things.  He discovered the main “B” power line kept having its voltage drop below 12 volts when he turned on any of the 12 volt items connected to it.  This indicated to him that it was grounding out on something.  He channeled his “inner Scott Hicks” and ran a new power line off the distribution panel to the dashboard.  He then connected the radio to the new line and it worked.  He believes the faulty power was also to blame for the burned up amplifier.  Good thing he caught it before something else went up in smoke – like the new amplifier.  He has the new amplifier in place and it is working with both the front TV and Radio… good job done…

John continues to get ready for starting online classes through DeVry University.  They want him to have a campus tour and he attempted to have it tomorrow.  They were too worried about the few inches of snow coming our way that they insisted on doing it Friday.  He will be starting classes next Monday.  Will be interesting to see how he likes it….

So back to our fun weekend in Seattle.  The next tourist thing we did was Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.  It was a fun 90 minute tour that explained the history of Seattle and why the first floor of many old buildings are now underground.  The short version is that Seattle was built in a low swampy area with lots of wooden buildings.  They had a big fire that wiped out most of the town.  When they rebuilt they decided on a plan to raise the city up by filling it in with dirt from a big hill above town.  Only problem with the plan is that it would take 6 to 8 years to complete.  Many businesses needed to rebuild immediately – so they built buildings knowing the first floor would be buried eventually.  The underground tour takes you on the old sidewalks underground around what was once the front of the building.  It was cool to see and hear about the politics and characters that helped to form Seattle into what it is today.

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Underground first floor of a old hotel. Beams hold up outside sidewalk.

The tour guide mentioned a book written by Bill Speidel called “Sons of the Profits” that describes the corruption and political posturing that went on in the early days of Seattle that would be an interesting read.  I’m hoping to find an eBook version of it so I can read it on my Nook:

Not much else going on… looking forward to playing Warcraft tonight… have not played for 5 days… starting to go through Warcraft withdrawal….

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