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With the first 40-degree nights in sight, we’re getting ready for the impending doom that is winter in Chicago.  Our hero and I scooted over to Michigan over the weekend to shake down an apple orchard and ride our bikes along the lake, where we learned that much of the lakeshore is private property and not so visitor-friendly.  Our hero would want me to tell you that we picked 45 lbs of apples, so says our bathroom scale.  Jonagolds, Empires, Fujis, and some contraband Honeycrisps –apparently they were off-limits but too tempting to pass up– turned into apple oatmeal, applesauce, and apple crisp yesterday.  Mmm.

Fall also demands a fall jacket!  This muslin pattern will (hopefully) be transformed into a jacket using these fabrics — the satiny being the liner.  I think the colors are more pumpkiney and cornflowerish in real life.  The sewing exploits may spin-off onto a separate blog in the future, lest the land of Lester and cooking be sullied by thread and bobbins.

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It’s been a bit busy lately–we went to Seattle and have been ushering a lot. (seriously, yesterday’s play, which I liked, and the transportation to and from it basically tanked our day). Andrea‘s astounding picassa show was up way before my lazy ass could post this pile of words! up later, but in the meantime here’s a foodcentric rundown of last weekend:

  • Broke fast at tilth, wonderful tilth (our waiter’s tourette’s led to about 30 dollars worth of heirloom bloody mary’s)
  • At a new ice-cream place in Wallingford, I attempted to eat the strangest sundae ever: chocolate ice cream, bergamot-infused olive oil, sea salt, and whipped cream. Will stick to the basics next time.
  • For a bus tour of Seattle, bought some lemonade, tequila, and sunglasses. One should never ride a hot bus in Seattle without a thermos of faux margaritas.
  • Arrived at the Madison Park beach in the mid to upper 80’s, which inspired Andrea to jump in the lake.
  • Landed at Green Leaf, a terrific new Vietnamese place in the ID. Andrea doesn’t like Vietnamese food usually, but she dug Green Leaf (maybe it was the blood cube in her soup).
  • Watched Mariner’s beat the Pods, danced with the little one, and had one more beer at the best bar on Phinney ridge.
  • Woke up, shook off hangover, walked to Senor Moose and ate some fancy beans.
  • Hit the Ballard farmer’s market and walked away with some frozen blueberries, four pounds of rhubarb, and lot of green garlic, mint, and #2 heirlooms.
  • Had a leisurely afternoon making a prosecco sangria (with mangos, canteloupe, grapefruit and the rest of that pomegranate lemonade), blue-cheese/chipotle turkey burgers, roasted potato/garlic salad, a big green salad with the market’s bounty, and a giant rhubarb/blueberry crisp.
  • Proceeded to feed a lot of people this food. Had a contest with Natty to see who could expand their belly the most. Unexpectedly, I lost.
  • Luckily, this boring list comes to life in Andrea’s pictures!
  • Retired to Silver Cloud stadium, which had been billed as ‘close to pike’s place market’ on Hotwire. I noticed afterward that the highlighted portion of the map had a small strip that extended several miles south to include this place. Did Tom DeLay end up working for hotwire?
  • Met with folks at UW, did a little work.
  • Dinner at Jerry’s where I got to meet Ida, who is so cute that she makes buttons look like shit.
  • Post-dinner at Micah’s. Had such a good time talking I never even thought about getting out their wii.
  • The next day, after several aborted meetings, we went to Salumi. It’s a Seattle institution that I’ve never paid my respects too. It’s sort of like being the only guy to have not seen Star Wars, but for foodies. (that’s a little more tasteful than the ‘lost my meat virginity’ phrase that I was originally going to toss out)
  • Attended the department’s awards banquet which had a nice spread and the vundervul Andreas handling mike duties. Andrea was a little overwhelmed by the sea of nerds. Fortunately Paul C. lightened the mood with tails of dropping stuff (beds, etc) on people when he was at the top of one of Columbia’s student towers.
  • Andrea stayed out way late with her ‘reans. I was not invited to their karaoke party at China Gate Great Wall, but should’ve crashed it in retrospect. I guess calling and asking if a “group of Koreans” are at the asian restaurant is a version of crashing. Andrea also apologized for getting carried away and making me worry which I appreciated. What a sweetie!
  • Took a bus to the airport and returned to Chicago. As a reminder to the fact that we were, indeed, back in Chicago, there was a gang-related shooting about 30 feet from our apartment. Yee haw.

Ok, kids, I was going to wax on about my new garden at Argonne, but apparently I’ve rambled too long so I’m waxing off.

rainier_camp.jpgI went camping with Micah, Shelly, Josh, Susan, Evee, and Brenda just outside Rainier this weekend. Tons of fun–learned some new card games, drank a lot, ate some crazy-good food, and did a little hiking. I tried to take some pictures along the way. Apologies for the blurriness–I was often taking non-flash pictures with just a coleman lantern for light.

rainier_pranges.jpg rainiersusan.jpg rainierjosh.jpg rainier_toast.jpg rainier_shelley.jpg rainer_mountain.jpg rainier_evee.jpg rainier_campfire.jpg rainier_slug.jpg rainierbraverevee.jpg

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Ok kids, it’s been…oh gosh, two weeks since we went to Deception Pass with some of Andrea’s friends and friends’ friends and…strangers, I guess (ok maybe not strangers). Anyhow we took lots of pictures–as usual the good ones are probably from Andrea. Enjoy!

andreaatdusk1.JPG driftwood.JPG dusk1.jpg evanandobie.JPG impromptuyoga.JPG insidebridge.JPG lookitsasunset.JPG noooooobia1.JPG sunkenstones.JPG thebridge.JPG viewfromabove.JPG viewfrombridge.JPG wassup.JPG

bigtreeandandrea.JPGAfter Crater Lake, Andrea and I spent a night in Ashland and then proceeded to Prairie Creek State Park, which is part of the northern part of the Coastal Redwood Range. The trees around here aren’t as wide or old as more inland sequoias, but they are the tallest in the world, nearing 400 feet. Anyways, there was a lot of good hiking, eating, and scrabble playing (we tied at 347 one night–ta is apparently a word)…and we took some pictures along the way (the better ones are probably Andrea’s). Okay, I gotta get back to work–speaking of which, you can check out a new paper on arXiv.

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wizard island from above the rim

Ok here are some quick pictures–Andrea and I just had a full day in Ashland, OR and I’m pretty tired (but I promised my sister that I’d put these up, so here goes)

wizard island from above the rim crater1.JPG crater2.JPG crater3.JPG crater4.JPG crater5.JPG crater6.JPG crater7.JPG crater9.jpg crater10.jpg

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rc6.JPG My sister (Rose)mary and her boyfriend Christopher have been in Seattle the last few days. Sometimes having people over can feel like work, but this has been pretty fun…sort of a vacation for me too. Yesterday we had a picnic at a beach in Edmunds, walked through Wallace Falls, and had a gigantic dinner at a Korean restaurant. My camera ran out of batteries, so I only have pictures from the first two places. Most of my pictures are from lower falls where you can climb down from the trail and hang out at the top of the falls.. some folks were jumping into the surprisingly deep pools of water carved into the rocks below. Anyways, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves at this point..

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