For The Last Time

I’m driving back to Colorado for the last time (at least the last time as an undergraduate student). I’ve been driving back and forth to Colorado for about 3 years now, twice a year. So, 6 round trips, each trip 3000 miles or so: 18000 miles driving between Seattle and Colorado.

In many ways, I’m glad this is my last time having to drive back…it’s getting to be an awfully boring drive. I’m going to try the Twitter thing again, so be sure to follow: http://twitter.com/andrewferguson

Seattle Refuses to Use Salt

…that’s the headline from today’s Seattle Times. After reading the article (well, the above the fold part at least) I can’t believe how idiotic the city is. This is really just precious:
From seattletimes.nwsource.com:

To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.

But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by design.

“We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,” said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “It doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.”

The city’s approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.

The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.

“If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”

So quick recap:

  • “Great progress”
  • Snow and ice left on major arterials by design
  • Trying to create a hard-packed surface
  • Refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster
  • “If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”
  • “Great progress”

Yup, sounds like a great plan. Sometimes I’m sorry I ever left Colorado.

See also: 2 buses skid down slick hill, barely avoid plunge to I-5 (with amazing picture)

P.S. Back in Seattle

In case you missed the memo, I am back in Seattle. I think the twittering was a success, more or less. I’ve archived my twitter updates from the trip below:

is home sweet home! 8:13 PM Dec 16th from web
On I-5. Only 7 more miles! 7:09 PM Dec 16th from txt
Ugh. Traffic sucks. 6:26 PM Dec 16th from txt
Seattle ETA 5:30p 5:27 PM Dec 16th from txt
Ellensberg…getting closer 5:03 PM Dec 16th from txt
About two hours outside of seattle. It’s a race against the run! 4:25 PM Dec 16th from txt
Starbucks in Spokane with liz. Back on the road now. Seattle ETA 6pm? 2:31 PM Dec 16th from txt
Washington!! 1:19 PM Dec 16th from txt
1 1:18 PM Dec 16th from txt
2 1:17 PM Dec 16th from txt
3 1:17 PM Dec 16th from txt
Coeur d’Alene 1:06 PM Dec 16th from txt
What did Ida hoe? 12:18 PM Dec 16th from txt
Spokane: 131 11:52 AM Dec 16th from txt
Alberton? 11:22 AM Dec 16th from txt
Missoula 10:59 AM Dec 16th from txt
Weather: Bozeman, MT -21F, Mostly Cloudy Hum: 70% Tue: -4F-5F, Mostly Sunny Wed: 2F-13F, Mostly Sunny Thu: -1F-20F, Chance of Snow 7:38 AM Dec 16th from txt
In Bozeman for the night 12:04 AM Dec 16th from txt
is eating dinner at Perkins in Billings, MT. 9:01 PM Dec 15th from web
Now entering Montana. Roads have been amazingly good thus far. 7:07 PM Dec 15th from txt
Finally on I90 6:16 PM Dec 15th from txt
Gas is 1.299 at the Exxon in Casper. It’s also -3 F outside. 4:52 PM Dec 15th from txt
Driving through Casper, Wyoming 4:34 PM Dec 15th from txt
Woo! Wyoming! 2:13 PM Dec 15th from txt
At QDoba in FoCo with Caleb. 1:11 PM Dec 15th from txt
Leaving Grandma’s 11:36 AM Dec 15th from txt
Gas at Costco was $1.349/gal! 11:04 AM Dec 15th from txt
Is getting ready to leave. 10:01 AM Dec 15th from txt

Be Back Soon

In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m done with the Fall 2008 semester. Final grades will be posted to Blackboard on Tuesday (I think).

Graduation is tomorrow (Friday) and I’ll be going to that and then some graduation parties. I’m thinking about skiing on Saturday morning and then I head down to Colorado Springs to see a couple of my cousins dance in the Nutcracker.

I’ll pack on Sunday morning, head to church and Old Chicago’s in the evening, and the retire for the night.

I’ll be leaving first thing Monday morning, back in Seattle by Tuesday evening.

The Dream

I had a dream last night. I dreamt that I was back in Seattle at UPC. I was walking around and I saw Earl Palmer. The events of this dream take place just a few weeks after he had left his position as Senior Pastor. I ran over to him, and his eyes started to well up. I hugged him and started crying, just thanking him for being such a good pastor and for our talk this summer.1

I remember feeling happy that I was able to cry. I’ve been very emotionally drained these last few weeks. At times I’ve felt like crying, even wanting to cry. But nothing ever came out. It was refreshing to finally be able to cry, even if it only was in my dreams.

I wonder if he had the same dream.

1 In real life, I never got to say goodbye and thank before Earl left.

And All I Ask is a Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By

Sea Fever
By John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again
to the lonely sea and sky
And all I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song
and the white sail’s shaking
And a gray mist on the sea’s face,
and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
That may not be denied
And all I ask is a windy day
with the white clouds flying
And the flung spray and the blown spume
and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again
to the vagrant gypsy life
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way
where the wind’s like a whetted knife
And all I ask is a merry yarn
from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trick’s over.

One of my favorite things about being back in Seattle are the opportunities to get out on the water. While we do have a speedboat of our own, I don’t think it get’s much better then sailing. At some point in time, I’d really enjoying sailing around the world – or at least part of the world. Although such an adventure will have to wait until I can get a boat of my own and a crew.

In the meantime, I’m fortunate to have a friend, Peter, who has a sailboat. And thus we went sailing on Monday and again on Tuesday (for the bonus round):


Remember all those pictures of your parents that you look at? This picture reminds me of one of those. In fact, I’d call this picture of Staples iconic.

All Images: Copyright 2008 Andrey Marchuk

Pushing Back Departure

For all those interested, I don’t think I’ll be leaving Golden until Sunday morning. It just seems so abrupt to leave tomorrow morning.

Heck, I haven’t even started packing yet.

Pushing back my leave date will allow some more time to clean and pack and have some hangout time with friends before I leave.

General Outline for the Next Four Months

I decided not to pursue working in Houston this summer for a variety of reason. Mostly, I don’t think it’s the right time yet and I think I end up having a better hand by staying in Seattle.

In any event, here’s a brief outline of the next four months:

  • May 1st: Last day of Spring 2008 class
  • May 7th: Last final of Spring 2008
  • May 12th: Summer Field Session Begins
  • May 30th: Summer Field Session Ends
  • June 6th: Start Boeing Internship in Seattle (really Kent, though)
  • August 2nd-3rd: NERDS @ the 2008 NASA Centennial Challenge at San Louis Obispo, California
  • August 7th: End Boeing Internship in Seattle (but actually Kent)
  • August 19th: Fall 2008 Classes begin