All Signs Point to Paris

After a long break I’m finally going through the last pictures from my trip to Europe in September.

After taking the train from Brussels to Paris and getting settled in our new AirBnB. We still had some time in the day to visit a few churches before on the way to get some ice cream.

Sainte-Chapelle
Notre Dama
Ice cream

Snowing in Seattle

It doesn’t snow often in Seattle. Which is good because it is a very hilly city without the infrastructure to remove snow. On the rare occasion when it does snow this circumstances leave residents with only one option for getting around the city.

Skiing down Fremont hill

Snow Day

This week the impossible has happened. Its been snowing in Seattle. This is a little hilarious and a little terrifying as it is a very hilly city with nearly no infrastructure for snow or ice. It was nice on Monday to work from home and look out the window at the pristine white layers.

A Snow Day

The forecast is predicting twice as much snow again this weekend which might mean the largest snowfall for the city in over 20 years. People are stocking up on groceries ready to be snowed in, but I wonder if I’ll be able to ski down the Fremont hill.

Mill Valley

Some people may say that things are never black and white. To those people I would direct them up to the mountains on a cold winter morning and see a dark world covered in fresh snow. I managed a picture of this winter wonderland while skiing this weekend, with the clouds just retreating back up into the sky and a light dusting on all the trees.

Mill Valley

The Horror

Recently I’ve been playing Arkham Horror the card game. It’s a living card game adaptation of the Arkham Horror board games with many mechanical improvements. One thing its share with its progenitor is that there are a lot of cards and pieces and it can become a confusing mess quite quickly.

blog-2018-08-21 22.45.55

The table after playing Curse of the Rougarou with the unpainted markers

One thing I do like about the Arkham Horror board game is the modular interlocking board pieces that become the setting of the game. Since all the card games has is cards each location becomes a card and instead of interlocking cardboard connectors there is complicated system of symbols on each location card noting which other locations its accessible from.

blog-DSC02056

Painted and weathered token next to an unaltered one

I was not the only one who found this confusing. Users on Thingiverse had uploaded 3D models of arrow tokens which can be used instead to show the connections between the locations. Firing up the 3D printer I printed out a batch. The tokens were very nice, but the flat plastic color didn’t fit the 1920 noir theme of the rest of the game. With a little gold and black paint that was also remedied.

blog-DSC02054.jpg

The markers in use

blog-DSC02057

A fleet of tokens waiting to be used

Link to the Location Connectors STL

Link to the play mat

Let Bob Do His Job

This week has been a political rollercoaster with the Democrats taking the house almost immediately followed by the “resignation” of Sessions. The latter with the appointment of Whitaker as AG crossed a line and yesterday I made good on a commitment made months ago; to take to the streets if there were sign of interference in the Special Counsel investigation. Seattle has a long and troubled history with the Trump administration, so it’s no surprise that I was not alone in showing up on short notice to protest the transparently corrupt actions taken. The point of the protest was to send a message, and to help spread that message I documented many of the interesting signs and people who showed up to support this cause.

In Bruges

Our next day in Belgium we split the day between Bruges and Ghent. Both of these cities were beautiful examples of Gothic ascetics with very little modern construction.

blog-DSC03913

A picturesque hotel right as we got off the train

blog-DSC03916

The morning streets of Bruges

blog-DSC03924

Omer on the streets

blog-DSC03931

Around every corner is another great scene

blog-DSC03932

Jonathan, looking for breakfast

blog-DSC03937

Spires tower over all the city

blog-DSC03938

Getting a picutre

blog-DSC03939

Waling the street

blog-DSC03946-Pano

The Courthouse

blog-DSC03950

The Belfry of Bruges

blog-DSC03951-Pano

blog-DSC03966

Inside the Belfry

blog-DSC03994

From the top of the Belfry we watch a storm roll in

blog-DSC04005

Looking down on the Basilica of the Holy Blood

blog-DSC04008

Bells in the Belfry

blog-DSC04011

“Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries”

blog-DSC04014

A medieval courtyard

blog-DSC04016

The back of the tower

blog-DSC04019

The streets after the rain

blog-DSC04025

The rain removes all the tourist from in from of City hall

blog-DSC04029

blog-DSC04030

Basilica of the Holy Blood, no pictures were allowed inside

blog-DSC04032

Looking cool

blog-DSC04077

Empty streets

blog-DSC04079

blog-DSC04082

Admiring the Church

blog-DSC04088

The Church of St. Anne

blog-DSC04113

The Courthouse

blog-DSC04117

Where we stopped for lunch for Belgium fries

blog-DSC04157

More chocolates

blog-DSC04158

The Senate and People of Belgium?

blog-DSC04165

A Bridge in Bruges

blog-DSC04176-Pano

Top photo spot

blog-DSC04201

Justin by the canal

blog-DSC04208

blog-DSC04217

Behind Church of Our Lady Bruges

blog-DSC04223

Taking a picture

blog-DSC04235

Half Moon’s bier pipeline!

blog-DSC04240blog-DSC04244

blog-DSC04264

On a bridge

blog-DSC04269

Where we should have gotten lunch

blog-DSC04285

Goodbye Bruges, will Justin make it to Ghent?

blog-DSC04286

Saint Nicholas’ Church in Ghent

blog-DSC04289

blog-DSC04291

So many towers

blog-DSC04294

I think the stone tower looks nicer than the crane

blog-DSC04298

The Belfry of Ghent

blog-DSC04302

Belfry of Ghent, St Bavo’s Cathedral in the background

blog-DSC04306

Post Plaza

blog-DSC04311

Looking back at Saint Nicholas

blog-DSC04318

Leie (Lys) River

blog-DSC04333

blog-DSC04339

Gravensteen castle

blog-DSC04352

Despite running to the castle we arrived just as it closed

blog-DSC04357

Defend the gates

blog-DSC04359blog-DSC04365blog-DSC04367-Panoblog-DSC04381

blog-DSC04386

Saint Nicholas

blog-DSC04394

A canal cafe

blog-DSC04420

Sunset

blog-DSC04425

Ghent at night

blog-DSC04435

Back at Gravensteen castle

blog-DSC04437

blog-DSC04439

Canals are calm at night

blog-DSC04448blog-DSC04457

blog-DSC04460

Bridge of the Lys at night

blog-DSC04468blog-DSC04477blog-DSC04478blog-DSC04480

 

 

 

 

Trains and Atomiums

Our first full day in Brussels we enjoy more waffles and chocolates before heading out to see some odd sights. First up Train World a museum dedicated to the history of railroads in Europe, as Belgium had the first rail line in continental Europe. The next destination for the day is the Atomium, a structure like the Eiffel tower or Space Needle, constructed for a Worlds Fair and never taken down.

blog-DSC03655

Belgium waffles disappear too quickly to photograph

blog-DSC03656

Covered streets are great on rainy days

blog-DSC03672

Welcome to the Train World

blog-DSC03684

Trains

blog-DSC03689

Conductor boarding

blog-DSC03699

Steam engines are surprisingly complicated

blog-DSC03704

Train selfie

blog-DSC03706

Lets get out of here

blog-DSC03707blog-DSC03712

blog-DSC03722

Admiring the scenery

blog-DSC03729

Enter a caption

blog-DSC03741

The Type 12, train of the future

blog-DSC03745blog-DSC03753

blog-DSC03762

Our travel itinerary

blog-DSC03764

blog-DSC03771

A model of the train we had taken from Amsterdam

blog-DSC03780

The Atomium

blog-DSC03787

blog-DSC03795

Getting the Instagram picture

blog-DSC03801

blog-DSC03805

Young Atlas

blog-DSC03821

There is no angle from which this structure is uninteresting

blog-DSC03835

A flock of birds flying underneath in the rain

blog-DSC03837

blog-DSC03852

The secret plans

blog-DSC03854

blog-DSC03857

Going up?

blog-DSC03869

Taking a nice pic

blog-DSC03873