Costco detergents

Kirkland Liquid GelI have bad luck with Costco detergent and cars. Two years ago I had a sweet smell coming from the back of my car that turned out to be one of those big Costco laundry detergent containers having popped open and poured liquid detergent all over the back of my station wagon. Had to pay to have car detailed. Extra even, cause the battery is back there.

Unloaded my car last night and saw a smear of white stuff in the back. I thought it was potato salad. Then I got inside and saw the container of liquid dishwasher detergent which I had unloaded from the car earlier in the day and left on my counter. A large portion of the detergent was in a giant puddle on the counter and a smaller portion dripped over the side onto the floor, all having leaked from a nail sized hole in the side of the container. I’m afraid to go back out to check my car because I don’t want to have to get it detailed again.

Quick reaction – Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders

Tonight’s game against Portland was very disappointing. We were up one to nil for most of the game, and Portland tied it in the 90th minute to eek out a draw. I looked down and missed that last play. Our own goal was a nice play where Steve Zakuani anticipated a Portland pass, intercepted it, ran the length of the field, then placed a cross perfectly at the feet of Eddie Johnson for the score. I think Zak should have received the Man of the Match award, not Eddie.

Oba Martins entered the game around the 70th minute and played well despite almost no practice with the team. Zakuani is starting to look like the Zakuani of old. Andy Rose had a poor game, giving the ball away a lot and holding onto the ball for too many touches. And for god’s sake Sigi, please please please drill Eddie Johnson on getting his head back into the game quickly after a blown play. Blown plays happen. Eddie laying on the field in frustration or slowing walking back onside when the Sounders are mounting another attack is just not cool.

I had great company for the game too.

Oh hell yeah! Sounders advance over Tigres in Champions League!

Sounders - Tigres warm-up

Tonight the Sounders played Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. My team started the game down 1 to 0 after losing the away match in Mexico. Then we went down 2 to 0 when Tigres got an early goal. While the Sounders didn’t play particularly poorly, play was overall pretty sloppy.

And then just before the half one of the Tigres players kicked the ball away to waste time on a Sounders free kick. He got a yellow, his second. Off he went. The Sounders moved to a 3-5-2 after that, and started tearing Tigres apart.

First goal, O’Dea High School graduate, DeAndre Yedlin knocks it in from 20 yards out.

Then new Sounder and former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore nails another long distance goal! Defenders don’t get goals from the run of play all that often, so this was especially awesome.

And then finally, with a shot that didn’t look as impressive, but was an extremely skilled shot from a tight angle to the near post of the keeper, Eddie Johnson scored what was the winner. As Darren put it, we need more skilled goals like that in MLS.

The best part was the Tigres fans sitting behind us. They were talking all sorts of smack when Tigres was up 2 to 0. It was so delicious yelling I can’t hear you now! at them. Well, and a few other things.

Quick reaction – Montreal Impact at Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders and Montreal Impact line up for the national anthem

Today was the first game of the 2013 season for the Sounders. My team lost, one to nothing. Unlike a lot of my friends, I thought the Sounders played pretty well. They frequently moved the ball forward without resorting to the long ball and did not get stymied in the midfield. They created a lot of chances on goal, and had a lot of corner kicks. Deandre Yedlin showed much promise, though he really needs to work on his crosses. Andy Rose had a great game. The bad though? Sigi Schmidt’s defense was vulnerable to the counter-attack, and I thought Michael Gspurning made a bad call coming off his line and then watching the ball go over where he couldn’t get a hand on it. And the Sounders finishing was awful. Two shots hit the goal posts, and the rest were right at Troy Perkins. I’m generally a fan of peppering the goal with shots and taking advantage of mishandled rebounds. But to work, those shots really can’t be right at the keeper’s torso. It was a good enough showing that I am hopeful for the season.

I was not thrilled with the new operator of stadium services. It certainly wasn’t worse than last year, but it wasn’t any better. The pro shop was closed for something, as they are constructing something in that space. But the substitute locations had undertrained staff and were understaffed as well. After waiting in line for 20 minutes, the woman working the cash register announced they were out of ponchos and we should all go over to the other location, which had an even longer line. I decided to skip it, and was walking back by the other place, and someone had brought them another couple boxes of ponchos, but now we lost our place in line. Thankfully, one of the fellows in line bought ponchos for me and we were on our way. The food vendor didn’t know how to run a credit card that wouldn’t swipe electronically. I think they were attached to a non-profit that gets a cut for providing volunteers. Which I think is a stupid way to operate stadium services. Get people in there, train them, and pay them.

Gimme some bread!

Bread Slices
Photo by Slice of Chic (CC By-Nc-Nd)

Why did I hate the crust on bread when I was a kid? The crust on bread hasn’t bothered me in years (that I remember anyway).

I remembered why last week. When shopping, I thought I would save a buck or so by buying a cheaper bread than I normally do. Mind you, I don’t normally buy artisan bread or anything particularly fancy. So this one time, I bought a cheaper kind, which I can’t tell you what it is now because it comes in a pack of two loaves and I threw away the outer bag which had all the brand information on it.

I made a sandwich outta this bread. Bleah. The middle of the bread wasn’t awful, but just a bite or two from the crust and I didn’t want to finish the sandwich. I will throw away the bread once I get over the idea of throwing away food that hasn’t “gone bad”. (It was bad to start!)

Mom always bought the cheapest bread possible because we didn’t have much money and there were 5 kids. She was also part of some cheese coop where a bunch of mothers bought cheese in bulk to save money. I have no taste problems with cheap cheese though. I buy that all the time.

Why brick and mortar stores are dying: a tale

One of the things I want to do is start writing letters to people. Actual handwritten letters.

I do not have stationery. So I took the bus downtown after work to look for letter sized lightly lined stationery. I stopped at Office Depot (all sorts of paper!), Papyrus (a paper store) and Hallmark. None of them had stationery for writing letters. Cards, yep! Invitation kits, yep! Stationery for laser printers, yep!

90 minutes wasted. There’s another “fine paper” store downtown called de Medici, but they close at 5:30.

Guess I’m going to look on online. I know I can find it, and I don’t have to subject myself to a 71 bus full of U.W. students, cold weather, and sore feet.

Fleur de Lis Paper Lined Stationery
Fleur de Lis Paper Lined Stationery from Maggie’s Stationery

Maybe my 2013 resolutions

I had one resolution for 2012. I was going to enjoy my two month road trip around the country. Mission accomplished!

What are my resolutions for 2013? I’m not completely certain. Here’s some ideas.

  • I’d like to successfully finish the coding project I just took on.
  • Other than the week I was on the cruise, my reading in 2012 continued the slump that began in 2011. I’d like to get back to reading more. I’m not sure what to do about that though.
    • Join or start a book club?
    • More social reading events?
    • Block out time for reading?
    • Re-read something I really enjoy?

    Kinda tied in with this is that I do not want Read Irresponsibly to remain fallow.

  • 2012 was a lonely year. The woman I was seeing casually at the end of 2011, things did not work out with her after I returned from my trip. I’m not sure what kind of relationship I want though. And I’m really having a hard time following through with my attempts to do anything so far. I re-activated my account on OkCupid, but I haven’t even looked at it in 3 weeks. The thought of selling my good qualities through correspondence there just fills me with dread. There is one person I met in person (not through OkCupid) a week or so ago that I will ask out, and getting a yes/no answer on whether to go on a first date sounds so much more appealing than what seems to happen on OkCupid. OkCupid, must be doing it wrong.
  • There’s a genealogy certificate program at the UW. I’m interested in pursuing that, but I don’t know if that’s doable.

What other possibilities? I don’t know.

Covers for Aicardi

Fantasy author Jim C. Hines did a thing a while ago where he tried to duplicate the contorted poses of female characters on various book covers. It was a hit. People offered money if he’d do it again. Now he’s doing it for charity, the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation specifically. Donate money and as overall donation levels are reached, he picks a a donor at random and attempts to duplicate the cover of the donor’s choice. So far, over $4,500 has been donated to help people suffering from a pretty shitty illness.

I kicked in $100. And my choice was selected. I asked for the cover of Jeaniene Frost’s At Grave’s End. This is the pose:

Cover of At Graves End

I attempted this pose before submitting it, to see if it was indeed possible. It is, but it isn’t easy. It’s also useless as hell. When done like the cover, I was unable to move quickly at all. There’s no balance, and my center of gravity is not over my legs. I just couldn’t spring up to take on bad guys from that position. I suspect the look they were attempting was hot and fancy babe ready to spring into action to kill you but decided to sexy it up well past realistic. As cover artistry does. And it’s just not that hot in my view.

Jim Hines posted the first two poses this morning, including A Groin Cramping Pose:

A Groin Cramping Pose

For the record, the hottest cover pose for me is this:

Cover of Solstice

It’s objectifying as hell (legs and butt only please), but the pose is doable. Anyone wanna guess why I like it? Stompy fucking boots for the win.

Looking at a new kitchen

Now that I have unused capacity for stress in my life, I’m finally moving forward on remodeling my apartment. The big thing is to rip out the kitchen and put in an entirely new one. I’ve long griped about the limited cupboard and counter space in the kitchen. So that will be no more. In the mock-ups below, the kitchen extends out into the area where my kitchen table currently sits.

Kitchen mock-up, view 1
Kitchen mock-up, view 1

Kitchen mock-up, view 2
Kitchen mock-up, view 2

Mock up #2 is of the other side, where my refrigerator and range are currently. Part of the wall there will be removed to let in more light, and there will be counter space to either side of the range.

I am also planning on replace all the carpeting with laminate flooring and getting the popcorn ceiling material remove. I get that styles change and all, but whoever invented popcorn ceiling material and all the people who installed it need to have their heads checked. The shit is ugly, and it can’t be cleaned. It’s not like I walk on the ceiling and track mud all over it, but in an old building like this, all it takes is one water leak and the popcorn material has a permanent mark.

I’m excited about this.

The downside is this is going to cost me a lot of money. I had budgeted a lot for it, but the first estimate I received is about $1,000 over my budget and it doesn’t include replacing any of my appliances or furniture or the cost of storing my stuff for a month. One of my tasks this week is to find another contractor to give me a second bid. Thing is, the first bidder has done a lot of work for my family and it was really good work. I’d like to use them if I can, but it means I will need to find some extra money.