Sunday, January 30, 2005


Whew...yesterday was busy. Shawn and I went out and spent a portion of the Nordstrom's gift cards we received as Xmas gifts from my parents. Shawn got some exercise clothes while I got a couple of pairs of new shoes (casual, but dressy looking...well, sort of...I was looking for comfort).

Next, we stopped by Costco in Lynnwood (near the Nordstrom's that we went to). It reminded Shawn of the Costco's of days gone by. Out in Kirkland and Issaquah, Costco has books, music, DVDs, clothes, furniture and such. In Lynnwood, the Costco has none of that, save for some computer desks. Instead, they have an extensive selection of cooking and restaurant supplies. We picked up a couple of new strainers along with some of our regular food items (to which we've added Wilcox Omega 3 eggs from Costco that we can buy for $2 + change for 18 eggs, saving about half off what the supermarkets charge), including some Seattle Mountain Indonesian Sumatra blend coffee ($9 for 3 pounds) which was surprisingly good and will become a decent daily coffee. We didn't go nuts and made it out of the store for slightly over $100.

We also ran by the new vacuum and sewing shop in Monroe to buy a HEPA filter for our vacuum. They didn't have one in stock, but would get it in by Tuesday and would take back the old one we had bought by mistake ages ago - that's good service.

Next door to the Vacuum shop is All Star Fitness. This is a new facility in Monroe. It's your standard health club with weight and aerobics machines, classes, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools and such (swimming pool to be added sometime in the next year). I've been talking about joining since they announced that they were coming here. Shawn's been encouraging me to go ahead and sign up - she already has a membership to The Pro Club which Microsoft subsidizes and which is right across the street from her office. My friend, Davo, was chatting me up about it on Friday night as well (he and Shawn were tag teaming me). We decided to spend a little of the holiday gift money on my membership. I'll be hitting the treadmill and maybe the cycling machine this morning when they open at 8AM.

We were home for a couple of hours before running out again for a cat toy. We had seen this right before Xmas and thought that the cats would like it. Sure enough, they do like it. Even Baraka got involved playing with it. Chaiyo was a little intimidated, but I suspect that he'll be fine by the end of today.

After getting the cat toy, we went to dinner at D-Thai in Bothell. It's in the same strip mall center as the pet shop. The service was slow - poor hostess was slammed at the dinner hour - but the decor was nice and the food was very good. The Phad Thai was different from the ones we're used to eating. It seemed to have a tomatoe based sauce and was denser that many. We ordered it with tofu and got some big chunks. There weren't many veggies mixed in, though. We also order the ginger scallops. Lots of veggies in this dish and a ton of ginger. It was very tasty. All of the veggies were cooked very well. Both dishes were relatively cheap, by Seattle standards, and one dish would be enough for 2 people. Too bad that they didn't have spring rolls in stock. We'll go back if we're in the neighborhood again. However, Monroe is growing and we're adding a Thai restaurant, an Indian restaurant, as well as Canyons and Red Robin (the latter 2 I'm not excited about, but it is growth...then again, so is cancer).

OK, that's the weekend thus far locally. Here's a story from this morning's Washington Post (registration required). It's about how the administration, or someone else, hires handlers to follow reporters around during the inaugural balls. What? Is this China?!!? Note to those who think I'm being anti-Bush: The Clinton administration sometimes did the same thing, according to the story - and it's just as bad. Frankly, I don't trust Democrats any more than I trust Republicans (I just find their politics more tolerable). I'm disgusted by the report. Also of note, the handlers did not interfere with any of the reporter's movements or questions or such, but then again, reporters are often free in China - they just don't get invited back again if they step out of line. Ridiculous.

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