We just got back from the Joint Statistics Meetings which were held in Seattle this year. What a great city. The weather was wonderful, cool and a nice mix of sunny and dreary. We stayed at the Marriott Waterfront which was on Pier 66. We had a beautiful view of Elliott Bay out our balcony. Pike Street Market was about 3-4 blocks from the hotel, and I walked through it to the convention center every day. We did a lot of walking (which was fantatic in the cool weather) and a lot of eating (dining itinerary to follow) in the 5 days we stayed. We visited a gallery of dog and cat art (The Studio of Ken Bailey) which is where the pictures come from.

Sunday August 6

Elliott's Oyster House
Steamed Penn Cove Mussels
Tossed with jalapeño peppers, fresh lime juice and tequila paired with a classic Caesar salad
Alaskan Cod
Pike Ale battered and panko breaded, served with coleslaw and Elliott’s fries
Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Dark and distinctive like Black Butte itself, Black Butte Porter uses chocolate and crystal malts, crafting a rich, approachable porter.
Blackberry Margarita
Cuervo Gold blended with blackberry juice, fresh lemon and lime juices, blackberry brandy and triple sec

Ivar's Acres of Clams
Crispy Calamari Dusted with Smoked Paprika
Fried baby spinach and caramelized sun dried tomato, Smoked roma tomato coulis, lemon aioli
Sautéed Manila Clams and Penn Cove Mussels
Basil pesto, garlic, pine nuts, white wine sauce
2003 Benton Lane Pinot Noir
The hot growing season resulted in a “big” Pinot Noir with a dark ruby color, and aromas of ripe black plums, dark berries, currants, and cassis framed by sweet and spicy oak notes. The concentrated ripe berry fruit mid-palate is balanced by lively acidity. The finish is long and succulent.
2002 Sagelands Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine reveals an intense nose of Bing cherry aroma, and a delicate touch of sweet vanilla and caramel. On the palate, bright cherry flavors, round tannins and a touch of cocoa powder on the lingering finish.

Monday August 7

Starbucks (Flagship Store)
Pike Place Blend
This distinct blend of the finest Latin American coffees offers a smooth complexity and a touch of roast intensity that capture the true essence of our very first store

Von's Grand City Cafe
Open Faced Turkey with Cheese

Ohana Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Belltown Roll
Salmon, avocado, cucumber
Crunchy Roll
Crunchy, mayo, & masago, topped with shrimp
Firecracker Roll
Tuna, salmon, krab, avocado & cream cream cheese with peanut sauce & spicy mayo on side
Spicy Tuna Roll
Spicy tuna, cucumber, kaiware
Blue Hawaiian
Bacardi Light Rum, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice, sweet & sour mix, served over ice
Blue Dragon
Absolut Mandrin Vodka, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice and Coco Lopez, blended smooth

Tuesday August 8

Le Panier - Very French Bakery
pain au chocolat
Chocolate filled croissant
Café Petit
The world's tiniest cup of coffee.

Pike Place Chinese Cuisine
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Steamed Mussels À La Mariniere
Fried Fisherman's Platter
Fresh Cod, Shrimp, Scallops and Oysters with Salt & Vinegar Fries
Sour Cream & Onion Mashed Potatoes
Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay - Searby Vineyard
Clean, vibrant and intense, with crisp green apple, spice, citrus and hazelnut flavors that feature lively acidity and a long, persistent finish that keeps the fruit at the forefront.
Elk Cove Williamette Valley Pinot Noir
This 2002 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley gives beautiful black fruit combined with an intensity of earth showing on the nose. The palate follows the bouquet with sweet black cherries intertwined nicely with tar and spice notes, finishing off with a bit of tobacco while acknowledging the purity of fruit and acidity.

Wednesday August 9

Tully's Coffee
Breakfast Blend
This blend of African and South American coffees is an aromatic masterpiece. The sweet floral aroma inspires a cup that is bright and delicate with hints of blackberry and citrus. Tully's Breakfast Blend brings warmth to the beginning of your day.
Caramel Latte Macchiato
The Latte Macchiato is essentially a layered latte, prepared to inspire a unique espresso experience. Hovering just under a layer of foam, the espresso is present in the very first sip, along with a touch of foam, followed by velvety steamed milk for a unique blending of flavor.

Cafe Campagne
Parisian ham and Gruyère on pain de mie with a green salad
Merguez en baguette
Spicy beef and lamb sausage sandwich with carrot, garlic and lemon salad
VdP des Cévennes Domaine de Gournier
La Saison de Rosé! In Southern France, rosé is the beverage of choice - as an aperitif, at lunch, at dinner. Santé
Côtes du Rhône Mirelle et Vincent
Cool and elegant, pure and with lovely scent of loganberries.
94 Stewart
Fried Avocado
Panko encrusted ~ tomato ~ chive oil ~ Dungeness crab ~ corn relish
New York Steak
Grilled to order ~ roasted pepper, braised shallot butter ~ Yakima vegetables ~ Portobello potatoes
San Joaquin Gold
The creation of the Fiscalini family. A semi-hard cheese with a natural rind and a mild buttery taste. The best of many cheese we love all rolled into one wheel. Straw in color, it is a wonderful cheese for snacking, but can also be used as a topping for soups or salads. Superb grating and melting cheese.
Blackberry Crisp
Covered with vanilla gelato...yummy!
2004 Willakenzie Estate Pinot Noir
The wine displays an appealing garnet color and exceptional clarity. The aromas give an initial impression of fresh, bright red fruit, enhanced by subtle herbal tones.

Thursday August 10

Fish Club (by Todd English)
“Fish Club” Sandwich
Grilled Fish of the Day with tomolive tartar sauce, Bacon on Toasted Sourdough, salad Frites
Half Pound Grilled Burger
Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, Sautéed Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic Herb Frites


Chili (4 months)

Chili is growing up. She is now almost 30 pounds. She is actually heavy when you pick her up now. And, when she uses your leg as a pillow, her weight can put your leg to sleep.

Since her last trip to the vet, where she was boarded for two days, she has become quite unmanageable when it comes time to crate her. She essentially turns into Cujo when she nears the crate. We have tried feeding her in the crate, and that has helped some, but she still hates the crate. Since she is better about not peeing in the house (at least not as much), we have begun leaving her out for short trips away from home. So far she has done pretty well.

She has also learned a few commands (or as she sees them, suggestions)

  • Come - this one works about 60% to 70% of the time
  • Sit - she is pretty good with this
  • Down - she is also good at this one
  • Shake - she just learned this, so it is still improving

All of these commands go out the window as soon as a cat walks through her field of vision. And, when there is food involved, she will go through all she knows in no partcular sequence. We have tried to teach "off", but that only works about 10% of the time.

The other big event in Chili's life in the past couple of weeks was the purchase of a Gentle Leader Head Collar. This contraption came highly recommended by pretty much everybody in the world of pets (Humane Society, vets, etc.). You put this deal around the dog's head and also part of it goes around their snout. Then the leash attaches to the part that is around their nose, so that when they walk too far ahead of you or pull on the leash, their head gets turned around. It is supposed to work miracles. It lasted under two seconds. She pulled it off immediately. After re-tightening the leader so that she was essentially muzzled, we tried again. This time she fell over on her side, paws working at the leader like mad, and the thing came off in under a minute. We tried several days, thinking that she might get used to the dumb thing. Didn't happen. When I mentioned this to the guy at Bone Adventure in Edina, he recommended the Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness as an alternative. This worked like magic. She doesn't mind the harness, and it turns walking a 30 pound maniac into a breeze.


Wedded Bliss...

California. How do I describe thee? Hot. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. And, to be perfectly honest, it isn't any cooler while you are wearing a tuxedo in that torrid heat. Enough about the heat, let's get on to the crux of this post.

We got Josh hitched! That picture is of him and his bride, Emily. He was the first of our friends to get married and actually have several of us at his wedding. Before this one we are a combined 0 for 3. (Two dis-engagments, and a divorce.) But, I have faith in this one. They really are good for each other.

Not too much to report. The wedding was far better than the bachelor party (Hooray!). The ceremony was poignant and succinct. The food at the reception was not bad. The DJ played some good tunes. People danced, including Tim. Seth and Charlie had the women making goo-goo eyes at them. Josh didn't trip or step on Emily's train. All in all a resounding success.

The one classic Josh moment happened the next day. Place: Outback Steak House. Time: Evening. Josh started eating my salad. Red snapper anyone?