christopherboffoli

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  • in reply to: Question for Jan S #824862

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    You could have talked to her in person yesterday. I saw her sitting on a bench outside of the Admiral Safeway when we were there covering that road rage story.

    in reply to: Clouds #809134

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    I’ve always thought Cumulonimbus clouds were particularly awesome, both for their beauty and their danger. It’s a pity that we don’t have a local climate that produces more of them.

    in reply to: small aircraft flight tours? #805935

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    I’ve taken out of town visitors on Seattle Seaplane flights (which fly out of the southeastern corner of Lake Union) and are a lot of fun. Not sure if they’re still flying their vintage Stinson. But their main aircraft are single-engine Cessna 172 and Cessna 206.

    http://www.seattleseaplanes.com/scenic.php

    in reply to: RAVE: Meat the Live Butcher – Best Beef Jerky! #787517

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    It is not bashing to articulate a personal choice and to back up that choice with research. There will always be boorish people who don’t want to know how the sausage is made…who think the absolute lowest cost is the only metric worth considering, regardless of the true cost for all of us. I’m thankful that I’m in a position to not have to be one of those people.

    In 2013 there is nothing wrong with encouraging people to be responsible for their choices, and encouraging local businesses to support local farmers and ranchers over massive industrial Midwest feedlots.

    in reply to: RAVE: Meat the Live Butcher – Best Beef Jerky! #787508

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Mr. Salle, thanks for weighing in. I’m always glad to hear about longstanding local businesses and also about craftsmen who take up the profession of the generations before them. I just wish your meat was all as LOCAL as you are. I expect the neighborhood McDonalds restaurant franchise owners were born and raised around here. Maybe their parents and grandparents were franchisees too. And like your inventory, it could be said that their products are tasty and represent a good value for some people. But at the end of the day a local business owner and a local product are unfortunately not the same thing.

    When your family business began in the 1930’s my guess is that the beef being sold was sourced from local ranchers whose cows dined on a diet of green grass and winter silage. Those grasses and clovers imparted to the beef heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. The meat our grandparents ate was healthier for them. But because beef was more expensive then, they ate less of it and also were more resourceful about using cuts that today are completely unfamiliar and undesirable to most.

    I expect you know that with the introduction of the Interstate Highway System in the late 1950’s it finally became practical to centralize the production of beef in large feedlots in the Midwest. And in the past 60 years the industry has gone from strength to strength in terms of the efficiency and speed with which they can produce beef. Cows grow a lot faster eating corn then they do grass. And in a country where the government subsidizes corn production it was a no-brainer to put that corn to good use.

    But this ignores thousands of years of evolution that designed cows to do nothing but turn grasses into high-quality protein. Feeding cows a diet of corn eventually makes them sick and requires the use of bovine antibiotics and hormones to successfully bring this low cost meat to market. And consumers unwittingly get to play Russian roulette by eating a lifetime’s worth of (inexpensive but) hormone and antibiotic-laden beef that may or may not have negative consequences on human health. And if they dodge one bullet, they might fall prey to the next, like the cases of children dying at Jack in the Box restaurants because of E.Coli poisoning, or BSE “mad cow” outbreaks, or the recent issues of beef adulterated with horse meat in Europe, or any of the other situations that arise from mass-produced, poorly-tracked high-volume, industrial production of beef.

    Of course the whole corn to cow ecosystem is also hugely dependent on petrochemicals, in the form of fertilizers and lot of fuel expended growing and harvesting crops, processing the grain (15 pounds of which goes into every pound of finished beef), feeding, slaughtering and processing the cows into primals, and transporting that meat thousands of miles (via refrigerated trains and trucks) to your shop. Feedlots alone currently generate about 15-25% of the USA’s annual greenhouse emissions and use massive amounts of water, about 2,000 gallons for every pound of finished beef that comes to market.

    My point in all this is that we innovative Americans conceived a system that was designed to be profitable and to make beef more accessible to more Americans than it ever was 60 years ago. And while those are good things, over time it has become obvious that there are significant hidden costs that too often aren’t considered. I’ve only touched on beef here but the industrialized production of pork and chicken also have long legacies of not only abhorrent treatment of livestock but of calamitous effects on agricultural land and watersheds. And with advancing middle class populations in India and China who are also increasing their consumption of proteins as incomes rise, it only throws into sharp relief the extent to which our current system is consuming a much bigger percentage of resources (and creating corresponding overages of pollution) than cannot be reasonably sustained.

    It is easier than ever for local butchers and meat sellers to include grass-fed beef not only as a small volume, specialty item but as a regular product over meat sourced vaguely from “somewhere in the Midwest.” And local meats are becoming ever more price-competitive. Not only are these products – sourced from a huge constellation of Pacific Northwest farmers and ranchers – usually created in a more sustainable manner with less impact on the environment but they’re more humane for the animals and healthier for the people eating them.

    in reply to: RAVE: Meat the Live Butcher – Best Beef Jerky! #787500

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    PCC sells it.

    Amazon Fresh will deliver it to your door.

    Whole Foods will have grass fed beef when they open.

    Thriftway sells Painted Hills “natural” beef. It’s not necessarily grass-fed but at least it is from the Pacific Northwest and free of the injected antibiotics and hormones that are necessary when you raise cows on a diet of corn.

    in reply to: RAVE: Meat the Live Butcher – Best Beef Jerky! #787498

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    I’d have a hard time patronizing these guys as I feel like we already have more than enough places sourcing beef from industrial feedlots in the Midwest. There are plenty of Washington ranchers doing grass-fed beef within 300 miles of Seattle. Personally, I prefer to support them.

    in reply to: Seattle Street Food #787321

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    You may be interested to see this coverage of a Seattle food truck upstart from 2011:

    The road to a street-food debut: Damiana’s Blue Truck Special

    It includes a bit of the history of the resistance to food trucks in Seattle, the challenges entrepreneurs face in getting food trucks up and running, and how things are slowly changing.

    in reply to: In Search of Somewhere to Prep for a Wedding 9/2 #786026

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    This place right near the Junction might suit your needs:

    http://seatoskyrentals.com/Unit.mvc/Details/49049

    in reply to: HELP ME! :-( #766069

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Seems like a question for NPR’s Car Talk. You should call in and see if you can stump the chumps.

    in reply to: Mid July Pet Peeves #763838

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    You said it Mike! We’re going to blink and it will be Christmas.

    in reply to: objectification of women in advertising #751694

    christopherboffoli
    Participant
    in reply to: Chocolate Covered Bacon: Where? #751911

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    The substrate (be it bacon, fried potato, pretzel, nuts) is almost superfluous. The magic is in the simple combination of chocolate and salt. Put a sprinkle of sea salt on a scoop of chocolate ice cream sometime and you’ll see what I mean.

    in reply to: Chocolate Covered Bacon: Where? #751905

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Swinery doesn’t seem to be doing their bacon and chocolate thing anymore. That was the genius of John Legge, who went on to launch Sugar & Salt: (http://www.sugarandsaltkitchen.com/p/products_21.html

    It looks like you might be able to purchase some of his amazing creations through his Etsy site. Just go to the link above and click on products. I’ve had pretty much all of their products and all are highly recommended.

    Otherwise, the Vosges bacon bar is available among the fine chocolate selection at PCC in West Seattle: http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/product/mos_dark_chocolate_bacon_bar

    in reply to: Are You The Lady With My Missing iPhone? #749225

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Once again, I recommend to anyone that has an iPhone to PLEASE install Apple’s FREE ‘Find My iPhone” app which allows you to use the phone’s GPS to locate it online. You can also remotely lock it or wipe all of the private data off it. I’ve heard many stories of people tracking down and recovering their stolen iPhones.

    in reply to: News Helicopters #738824

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Not to be outdone some other local news guys launched their own “flying machine” shortly after the WSB introduced their zeppelin:

    But their tag lines are considerably less catchy:

    “We’re the news source your grandma reads. On paper.”

    or

    “We’ve been lining bird cages since the 1920’s!”

    in reply to: News Helicopters #738821

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    What? Haven’t you all seen the WSB zeppelin?!

    in reply to: Before N-ville there was . . . H-ville #734311

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    There’s actually an interesting mock-up of a Seattle Hooverville shack at the Washington State History Museum (near the Museum of Glass) in Tacoma.

    in reply to: 10 Years Later – I remember… #733353

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    On Tuesday September 11, 2001 I had been a resident of Lower Manhattan for just two weeks.  That day was my first day on a new job in an office at 330 Fifth Avenue, right next door to the Empire State Building.  I must have been on my way down in the elevator of my apartment building when the first plane hit as I didn’t hear it. And I expect it flew almost directly over my block. I was walking up 6th Avenue trying to catch a cab when a woman stopped me around 16th Street.  New Yorkers tend to wear their blue steel faces on the street and mind their own business.  But if something interesting happens, everyone talks like old friends.  The veneer is actually very thin.  

    “Have you seen this?” she asked, “Turn around and look downtown.”  I did and saw the north tower of the World Trade Center with an oblique slice and (at that point) a thin plume of black smoke.  It had just happened.  People were already disagreeing about the size of the aircraft but the consensus was that it was a “commuter plane.”  What everyone did seem to agree on was that it was a shocking, freak accident.  The sky that day was crystalline blue with infinite visibility.  The skies over NYC were usually crowded with air traffic for three airports.  But it just didn’t make any sense. A small crowd had gathered on the corner and a police officer, Moira Smith of the neighborhood’s 13th Precinct, started taking statements from witnesses.  “What did you see?” she asked me.  I told her I didn’t see it and she moved on to someone else. I was already running late for work on my first day so I didn’t linger.  

    I caught a cab and zipped up to Greeley Square.  I remember the cab driver, who was Muslim, telling me “I’m glad it was just an accident and not terrorism.”  As soon as I got to my office building I ran down to Starbucks to grab coffee.  Very few people seemed to know what had just happened.  The news hadn’t really circulated yet.  Other than what I had just seen, the city still seemed normal, stuck in the final moments of fleeting innocence.  As I stood at the elevator bank, I overheard the doormen at the elevator bank saying it was a “jumbo jet” that hit the World Trade Center.  I smiled to myself as I got on the elevator, marveling at how quickly wild gossip spread.

    I went back to my office and chatted a bit with a colleague about what I had seen.  We started having trouble getting news sites to load on the computer.  They were overloaded with traffic.   In 2001 news websites were still fairly nascent and aren’t what they are now. About 30 minutes later my colleague told me that CNN was saying that a second airplane had stuck the Twin Towers.  I didn’t believe it.  I thought it must be wrong.  The gravity of what was happening still hadn’t sunk in.  

    Suddenly the building management came over the PA and said that the city was apparently under attack and that our office building was being evacuated as the adjacent Empire State Building was a possible target.  We packed up quickly and left the office.  I exited the building on 5th Avenue and didn’t have a line of sight to the World Trade Center.  But the instant I came out the door onto the sidewalk I reflexively looked downtown towards the Flatiron Building in the distance.  At that moment a tremendous plume of gray dust filled the air behind it.  I didn’t know it yet, but it was the moment the south tower collapsed. (Officer Moira Smith, who I had spoken to just an hour earlier, had been dispatched to the World Trade Center site to help with the evacuation of the south tower. She was killed in the collapse. A mother with small children, her body would be recovered months later. I wouldn’t make the connection until I would read a story about her in the NY Times a year later.)

    I walked downtown toward my apartment. The city had changed entirely in 75 minutes time.  People were flooding out of their offices.  The sidewalks were packed as if it were lunchtime.  In the distance I could hear what sounded like just about every emergency vehicle in the five boroughs headed downtown with sirens screaming. People were lined up at pay phones (which were famously scarce and non-functioning in NYC) as mobile networks were overloaded.  I passed a woman who looked like a banker, dressed in an expensive-looking suit, sitting in the middle of the sidewalk sobbing into her cellphone.

    I got to 23rd Street and walked one block west to 6th Avenue.  As I turned the corner and looked south I got my first sight of the World Trade Center.  The south tower was gone. Completely GONE. The remaining tower was gray and fuzzy on the horizon like I was watching some kind of special effects disaster movie. It was incomprehensible. The entire top of the north tower was enveloped in thick smoke now as the fires raged. As I walked down 6th Avenue in a daze, I there were some teenaged boys who seemed to be laughing and cheering what they were seeing amidst others who were crying. Adrenaline does strange things to people. I was about halfway home when I heard and saw fighter jets doing low passes overhead. I heard someone in the crowd yell “You’re too late!” People were exchanging information all around me as I walked. I gleaned from conversations that other planes were missing and that Washington and other places were under attack. I continued downtown, staring at the burning north tower the entire time.

    I had just reached my block in Greenwich Village I froze when I saw the north tower cascade down, as if in slow motion. There was no sound at first, except for gasps and screams from the people all around me. Then I heard and felt the rumble. And it was gone as a massive, churning cloud of gray dust rose in its place. People continued to scream and wail.

    I went up to my apartment. The answering machine was filled with messages from concerned friends and family. But there was no way to call them back as the phone lines were jammed with calls. I turned on the television and watched some of the coverage. But they kept replaying footage of the plane strikes and the collapses which quickly grew difficult to watch. There was a call for blood donors. So I walked over to nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital and stood for two hours in a line that stretched around the block. It was still a beautiful, perfect late summer day. And there was a real sense of community as people passed cookies and snacks down the line. Every so often, a cab or city bus (that had come up from downtown) would drive by in the distance with a thick coating of gray dust trailing off the back as they went by. I never did get in to give blood. They eventually thanked us all and told us to go home. Our blood wasn’t needed. They weren’t bringing in many victims. Everyone had died.

    My office building was closed for a full week. Most of the bridges and tunnels were closed too so the city grew very peaceful and quiet. Planes were grounded so even the skies were empty. Supermarket shelves cleared out as there were no deliveries. Almost overnight, American flags popped up everywhere…in every window and hanging from every terrace. Lower Manhattan was closed to car traffic at 14th Street and during the day the streets were filled with pedestrians and people on bikes. Houston Street and the West Side Highway became main arteries for moving in heavy recovery equipment and National Guard vehicles. Union Square, just a few blocks from my apartment, became a de facto memorial, which filled up every night with crowds of people holding votive candles. It was all incredibly sad but it was also beautiful and peaceful too. I don’t think anything else could have made me feel a part of the community faster.

    Then came the missing posters. Every light pole and wall was soon covered with hand-made, color copied postings made by loved ones looking for those they lost. They were just like what people put up when they lost a pet. Most of them listed the names, company information and the floor of the World Trade Center where they worked. The pictures showed the victims at a happier time in their lives, smiling at parties and posing on their wedding days. The families hoped that in the confusion of the collapse that their loved ones made it out and were being treated at one of a dozen local hospitals. But I think everyone knew the truth. All of those people were gone.

    The fires continued to burn for weeks. Fortunately, the prevailing winds blew the smoke to Brooklyn for most of that time. But on the days when it did blow in the direction of my apartment it was horrible. It was like the smell of burning plastic. Each morning when I went out I’d look downtown in the hope that the smoke would be gone and the fires would be out. But it continued to bleed like an un-bandaged wound. There were horrible, morbid stories about the carnage that recovery teams were finding at the site. That was even worse than the smell of the fires.

    About a week after that day they opened up a part of the Financial District east of the World Trade Center site. After work one early evening I rode the 6 train to the Brooklyn Bridge stop and walked the rest of the way. There was still no car traffic. And power had yet to be fully restored. It seemed that even parked cars had been removed from the streets. And the city had done something to remove a lot of that ubiquitous dust as the streets and sidewalks looked clean at the same time everything had a post-apocalyptic feeling. I walked down what must have been Cedar or Liberty Street, within about a block or two of the site. The National Guard had it barricaded and despite the murk of night the entire site was brightly lit with mercury vapor arc lights which gave it a silvery, angelic cast. Recovery crews were removing mountains of twisted metal and trucking it to barges at both the East and Hudson Rivers. Closer to the site the streets and sidewalks were still covered in ankle deep dust and some of the millions of pieces of paper that had fluttered out of the Twin Towers in a blizzard. Before I left that night I picked up a couple of pieces of paper – pages from a manual from the Port Authority of NY – and I scooped up some of the dust of the pulverized buildings. I didn’t know at that point all of the horrible, poisonous stuff that was in it. It is mostly cement, insulation and glass slivers. I sealed it in a glass vial, put it away and haven’t looked at it since.

    That night I walked all the way back to my apartment. The cool, breezy late summer air was pleasant. I walked through Little Italy, the colorful banners for the San Gennaro festival had been hung before everything was cancelled. The cafes, usually full of tourists, were completely empty, as were the streets. A few dozen blocks to the north, Fashion Week had been cancelled too. It’s white tents in Bryant Park stood empty. Broadway had gone dark for a week. But one of the first signs that I knew the city would be alright was when I started to see lines forming at one of the theaters. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick were currently doing The Producers and it was the hottest ticket in town, completely sold out. But opportunistic New Yorkers, realizing that out-of-towners would be canceling their plans to come to New York, got online to scoop up the tickets.

    I cannot believe that ten years has elapsed since September 11, 2001. Those years have certainly rocketed past. Somehow I have found myself to be increasingly emotional about seeing footage from that day, and reading accounts of the people more closely involved than I was. It’s as if my emotions over that day have only grown more raw and real over time. As entirely horrible as it was to witness the murder of thousands of people with my own eyes, at the same time I have come to understand how horrible events can have a richness of experience in themselves. The events of that day will always be a part of me and I will always be a part of New York, more so as a result of having gone through that attack. That day dramatically changed the course of history. And on a more macro level, it also changed me indelibly. In a strange way, the experience gave me at least as much as it took from me.

    in reply to: Any thoughts???? #732384

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Well it’s hardly earth-shattering news that government is paralyzed by bureaucracy and wastes money. I mean, whoa daddy. Stop the presses!

    in reply to: Deeply disturbed… #729366

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Catnip trafficking. Herring truck hijacking (causing a different type of trafficking). Sounds like some kind of feline organized crime ring. I expect Al CAT-pone is the kingpin.

    in reply to: Let's Get Serious About Bad Drivers #720150

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    I think the spirit of the original post was bad drivers of all ages. But you cannot ignore the realities of senior citizens driving beyond the age at which they should. It isn’t an attack on our elder drivers. Just an acknowledgment that this is another segment of the population with political capital that prevents government from responding to a growing problem. We obviously don’t live in Florida or Arizona. But demographic projections show more baby boomers retiring to the Pacific Northwest in coming years.

    Statistics indicate that older drivers are at a disproportionate risk for becoming involved in fatal crashes. The U.S. Census Bureau projects there will be 9.6 million people 85 and older by 2030, up 73% from today. Road safety analysts predict that by 2030, when all baby boomers are at least 65, they will be responsible for 25% of all fatal crashes. In 2005, 11% of fatal crashes involved drivers that old. Fatality rates for drivers 85 and older are nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25-69.

    An 86 year-old driver plows into a Santa Monica, CA farmers market and kills 10 people:

    http://bit.ly/2L3Z9D

    Elderly Driver mistakes gas for brake in Idaho:

    http://bit.ly/feIYB9

    Elderly driver goes the wrong way on the San Diego freeway:

    http://bit.ly/dGbAR3

    Elderly driver hits LAPD officer in Van Nuys, CA:

    http://lat.ms/65hvCe

    This article includes a long list of senior citizens involved in serious accidents in Massachusetts, putting pressure on lawmakers to act:

    http://bit.ly/fOfBwc

    in reply to: Let's Get Serious About Bad Drivers #720140

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Licensing and continuing re-certification is much more stringent in Europe. Fuel is also double (or more) per gallon and some countries (like Denmark) dissuade private vehicle ownership by adding taxes that triple the cost of a new car. But many European cities and towns were built densely in a way that makes walking and public transport more practical and effective. They’re also more beautiful as a result.

    In the US our zoning laws are written in a way that keeps people dependent on cars, with disparate clusters of residences and commercial space (usually surrounded by parking lots) with a need for a vast, expensive road system between them. We used to know how to engineer beautiful, integrated mixed-use built environments to human scale. Just look at places like Charleston, SC, Boston, Nantucket or Alexandria, VA. Or even central San Francisco with its wonderful cable cars.

    You can thank companies like Bethlehem Steel, General Motors, Firestone and Big Oil for effectively lobbying to get rid of trains and streetcars and encouraging a transformation from farmlands to the ugly sprawl of suburbia, which keeps us slavishly behind the wheel. And we have do choice but to continuously spend billions to build and rebuild roads, freeways and tunnels that don’t ever seem to get us anywhere faster or more safely.

    So you see, our government now has its hands tied in pushing too much to make us better drivers as we NEED cars to get us between work and home. If you curtail anyone’s ability to drive they can whinge that you’re taking away their ability to work. Politics is the sole reason why senior citizens, for example, are not more stringently tested as their vision and reflexes degrade (including the ones who have accidentally hit the accelerator and driven into crowds of people). You take away someone’s right to drive and you’re taking away their freedom. And a large percentage of seniors turn out for every election.

    So the bottom line in saying all of that is that I philosophically agree with you metrognome. But the solutions are complicated as we’re talking about problems and issues broader than just driver certification.

    in reply to: rodent problem #717529

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    Just make sure the cats are fiercer than these softies:

    Honestly. What is the world coming to? If it were up to me these cats would lose their union cards.

    in reply to: rodent problem #717527

    christopherboffoli
    Participant

    John at Adept Pest Control is excellent: http://www.adeptpest.com/

    Their focus is on alternatives to poison and physical exclusion from the property.

    A few years ago we had some rats coming over from an improperly-baited trap at a neglected neighboring property. John did a great job of verifying that there were no rats currently in the crawlspace and added metal mesh to places where they seemed to be getting through.

    John actually came out recently for a check-up and he didn’t want to charge me anything. Really nice guy.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 383 total)