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RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/25/13
Jul 24th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

erika j. schultz via twitter

  • Macklemore draws massive crowds to a music-video shoot at Dick’s on Broadway, just for a glimpse of him lip-syncing parts of one track over and over.
  • Courtney Love, meanwhile, doesn’t understand why Seattle doesn’t massively worship her. That’s just so Californian of her.
  • When it comes to getting elected Seattle mayor, is it more important to go to the Microsoft campus than to the Rainier Valley?
  • Meanwhile, John Naughton of UK weekly paper The Observer claims Microsoft has been “sleeping on the job” ever since Bill Gates left.
  • Seattle Weekly, under its previous management, ran a piece charging true-crime author Ann Rule with “sloppy reporting” in a book about a woman who was convicted for killing her fiancé. Nothing in the paper mentioned that the article was written by the killer’s current boyfriend. Now Rule’s suing theWeekly’s new management.
  • Architecture cannot save classical music. (For that matter, building projects are not, per se, a solution to all of society’s ills, even though Democratic-controlled local governments like to think they are.)
  • One of the topics never discussed in conservative spin media is how conservative operatives really work. So you’ll have to tell your conservative relatives about the Koch brothers, and why they’re a menace to even the people on whose behalf they claim to speak.
  • Salon’s David Sirota, to whom we’ve linked before, wrote a piece comparing Obama to George Zimmerman and terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki to Trayvon Martin.
  • Murdoch’s NY Post tries to smear food stamp recipients as immigrant welfare cheats, despite a total lack of evidence.
  • Indie record labels, as a whole, have a bigger market share than either of the three remaining majors.
  • Health Scare of the Week: Vitamin supplements usually aren’t needed (and could give you cancer).
  • Monsanto false-rumor update: No, the genetically-modified seed giant hasn’t bought the security and mercenary-army company formerly known as Blackwater. However, the two firms are allegedly working together on a project to supposedly infiltrate and defame Monsanto/GMO opponents. Allegedly.
  • How Will and Kate named the new royal diaper-filler: “I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him…”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/24/13
Jul 23rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via capitolhillseattle.com

  • Bauhaus Kunst & Koffee, one of the many businesses being “disrupted” by Pike/Pine’s mega-development boom, has its official gallows-humor “wrecking ball” T shirt.
  • As we may have mentioned here before, our supposed “progressive” town has a worse gender pay gap than the nation as a whole.
  • Did Microsoft really waste nearly $1 billion on the Surface RT tablet, or should at least part of that be considered R&D/marketing expense to be carried over into future models?
  • Microsoft has also quietly shut down the product/service once known as WebTV.
  • Meanwhile, the end of Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color tablet shouldn’t be seen as foreboding the end of B&N as a whole.
  • A Calif. tax-planning firm put Seattle as the #2 city for startup companies.
  • And a Forbes.com “contributor” placed Seattle on a list of world cities with the most patent applications per population.
  • Pando Daily’s Sarah Lacy, quoting an anonymous publishing-biz source, insists Amazon is “going to kill” the traditional book industry. Lacy places the blame on book-biz malpractices, such as putting big bucks into celebrity titles instead of the sacred literary midlist that “book people” always whine about. Sorry but no. Snooki’s “memoir” will not kill publishing. Just as previous decades’ celebrity books didn’t. And neither will Amazon. It needs a variety of suppliers, just as all “media channels” do.
  • Seattle’s first dedicated bike lanes are now operational.
  • Are Seattleites “snobbish” when they talk about not wanting to have, or be around, children?
  • Our own Bill Nye made #16 on a list of the 22 “All Time Hottest Hunks of PBS.” Bob (Magic of Oil Painting) Ross didn’t even make the list.
  • Meanwhile, a PBS YouTube “channel” is home to a serious discussion on the supposedly radical “gender bending” aspects of BMO (pronounced “Beemo”), a character on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. Here comes the “but-duh” part: BMO is an anthropomorphic talking computer, a machine. Machines don’t usually have genders.
  • Is Sears being driven into the ground by a CEO who likes Ayn Rand’s theories too much?
RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/23/13
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

city of seattle via slog.thestranger.com

  • You know that big palatial boulevard the politicians have promised to turn Seattle’s central waterfront into? It now looks like it could become something else. Like, a highway with as many lanes as the viaduct (or more!), only side by side and on ground level. (Via my ex-housemate Fnarf.)
  • The Feds want to crack down on The Art Institutes. They charge the chain of for-profit art schools (including a major Seattle branch) with…

…fraudulently collecting $11 billion in government aid by recruiting low-income students for the purpose of collecting student aid money. Whistleblowers claim that students graduate loaded with debt and without the means to pay off the loans, which are then paid for with taxpayer dollars.

  • UW scientists recorded, then time-compressed, the sounds made by an Alaska volcano just before it blew.
  • Congrats to the local makers of the Carter Family graphic bio-novel for winning (er, co-winning) a major industry award.
  • Nice to see Seattle Weekly regaining some of its old form, even if that includes its old cranky-baby-boomer bashing of the Stranger and youth culture.
  • As expected, the living members of Nirvana played at McCartney’s Safeco Field show.
  • Alas, it’s illegal to ride down Capitol Hill streets in an office chair.
  • MillerCoors wants the Feds to investigate the Wall St. bigshots’ manipulations of aluminum prices.
  • Do you know the difference between North and South Carolina? Nike didn’t.
  • Why can’t Third World people speak for themselves on the “global stage,” instead of questionable, self-appointed spokespeople such as (the highly corporate-connected) Bono?
  • R.I.P. Helen Thomas, first lady of the White House press corps and the textbook example of a “tough dame” who speaks her mind and never gives up.
  • While (or because) nobody was looking, Yahoo quietly shut down the pioneering search engine AltaVista.
  • Business Insider posted a promo spot for a Milwaukee TV newscast circa 1980. Frenetic stock music! Jump cuts! Reporters in the field! Huge “mini” cams held by muscular cameramen! Typewriters! That’s infotainment.
  • Do you or someone you know listen to too much Coast to Coast AM? Still? Then follow this handy conspiracy theory flow chart.

the reason stick at blogspot

HERE WE GO LOOP-DE-LOOP?
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

shutterstock via gizmag.com

In one of my several unpublished fiction manuscripts, I have a futuristic travel tube that whisks people between cities at almost the speed of sound.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk now says he’ll soon have a working schematic for such a device. He’s calling it the “Hyperloop.”

Until Musk releases any real specs, observers are speculating about how it would work and what its limitations might be.

Some believe it could only travel in straight lines, which means (1) serious tunnel and bridge costs, and (2) potential big bucks to property owners along the way.

If it really works (safely) and if it can really be built at a recoverable cost (remember, dot-com and housing-bubble speculators redefined the degree of speculativeness people will invest in), it would change intercity travel forever, in all the populated/affluent parts of the world.

And it would potentially devastate (or, in Internet-age newspeak, “disrupt”) the existing airline industry and its suppliers, including Boeing.

Boeing had been involved in experimental high-speed rail development programs in the past, and could theoretically bid to help design, build, and equip Hyperloop lines in this and other countries.

Of course, that might require leadership at Boeing that knew what it was doing, which the company seems to not have now.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/4/13
Jul 3rd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

  • Today’s educational cartoon: “The History of Western Architecture in Under 15 Minutes.”
  • Nope, there won’t be an NHL hockey team in Seattle next season. But you probably suspected that would be the case. I don’t want Seattle to be invoked as “leverage.” I want Seattle to have a team.
  • I’ve been learning first hand how too-damn-high the rent is around these parts these days.
  • How does a metal piece from a wood-chipper machine fall from the sky and crash into a Seattle house? And will the Coen brothers make a movie of it?
  • Jason Everman is more than the guy who got kicked out of both Soundgarden and Nirvana. He later became a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces in Afghanistan, and a real war hero.
  • The only self-proclaimed socialist in this year’s Seattle mayoral race was among several foreclosure protesters arrested at a Wells Fargo branch downtown.
  • Did a Seattle “drifter” really murder a CIA-connected Wall St. financier in 1985? And even if she did, was there, you know, something more behind the act?
  • Steinway (which owns several other famous musical-instrument brands as well as its legendary pianos) was bought by a leveraged-buyout specialist known infamously as an “asset stripper.”
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars have a sure-fire idea for getting more fans at home games: let the fans watch telecasts of better NFL teams on stadium monitors.
  • Douglas Englebart, R.I.P.: The inventor of the computer mouse was also part of many research projects that took computing from the realm of punch cards to PCs and the Internet. (He was also a Portland boy and an OSU alum!)
  • Could the original Lone Ranger (debuting on Detroit radio in 1933) have been based on an African American Deputy U.S. Marshal?
  • Slate’s Barry Friedman and Dahlia Lithwick assert that “the left” should be about more than easy-to-frame, easy-to-poll issues such as gay marriage. It should be about democracy, economic fairness, saving the planet, abortion rights, and other tough topics.
  • And remember everyone, have yourselves a fab holiday and celebrate this nation’s traditions appropriately. I will do so by singing our national anthem with its original lyrics (an English drinking song about the joys of carousing and screwing!).

via wikipedia

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 7/2/13
    Jul 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    wallyhood.org

    I’ll have stuff to say about the big gay parade and the potential for NHL hockey in Seattle a little later this week. For now, some randomosis:

    • Seattle’s next potentially doomed institution: Wallingford’s infamous Chinese restaurant and un-“restored” dive bar, the Moon Temple.
    • By killing King County Metro’s chance to save itself, State Sen. Rodney Tom is not only a traitor to the Democratic Party but to the people of his own county.
    • Here’s Dan Ireland, co-founder of SIFF and the Egyptian Theater, commenting on that storied film venue’s recent demise.
    • Blistering Eastern Washington heat + booze + “rave drugs” mixed by who-knows-whom from who-knows-what = danger.
    • Seattle’s first civil-rights sit-in occurred 50 years ago this week at the old Municipal Building, protesting racial discrimination in housing and the City’s sluggish pace at doing anything about it. An anti-discrimination law still took five years after that to get enacted.
    • The NY Times (heart)s Macklemore.
    • Some guy’s list of the “100 Greatest Female Film Characters” is long on “costume” roles (such as Catwoman) from action blockbusters, crowding out more ambitious drama/comedy parts.
    • Kansas City’s all-underground office complex is only one of the “weirdest urban ecosystems on earth.”

    kenny johnson, the atlantic via io9.com

    THE FINAL REEL
    Jun 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    A lot of Seattleites, especially on Capitol Hill, have things to be happy about this week.

    The gay marriage cause, for which a lot of people here worked very hard this past year, received a big boost from the U.S. Supreme Court—just in time for Pride Weekend.

    But folks on the Hill, and all over town, still have a sad occasion today.

    The Egyptian Theater closes after 33 years of screenings, including most of SIFF’s main shows.

    A little history:

    The Seattle Masonic Temple opened in 1915. By the 1970s, its big auditorium was regularly used for pro wrestling events.

    In late 1975, Daryl McDonald and Dan Ireland leased the Moore Theatre downtown, and renamed it the “Moore Egyptian.” (There had been a previous Egyptian Theater in the U District, which has nothing to do with our story.)

    That’s where McDonald and Ireland started SIFF in May 1976, with a short program of 18 screenings.

    Four years later, McDonald and Ireland leased the Masonic auditorium and re-christened it the new Egyptian. New management returned the Moore to hosting live concerts and stage shows. SIFF used both rooms for a couple of years, then made the Egyptian its permanent annual home base.

    The Masons sold the building to Seattle Central Community College in the mid-1980s. SCCC used the building’s non-auditorium areas for its (also now-ended) film and video program and for assorted offices.

    After a few years, the Egyptian came into the Seven Gables chain, founded by local art-house tycoon Randy Finley. He sold his theaters in the mid-’80s. They later went into the national Landmark chain, which in turn was eventually bought by Dallas entrepreneur Mark Cuban. SIFF continued to rent out the Egyptian as its main venue for three and a half weeks each year.

    (Cuban also owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. In 2008, he was the only NBA owner besides Seattle’s own Paul Allen (representing the Portland TrailBlazers) to vote against moving the Supersonics to Oklahoma.)

    Meanwhile, the economics of motion-picture exhibition got steadily sourer.

    The Internet, that great Disruptor of All Media, played a part.

    So did the consolidation of the big studios and the big theater chains, making things tougher for relatively little guys like Landmark. (Cuban reportedly tried to sell Landmark a couple years ago, but got no takers.)

    While the Egyptian was usually full or near-full during SIFF screenings, its 600 seats steadily became harder to fill during the other 48 weeks.

    Once this year’s SIFF ended, Landmark quietly told SCCC it wouldn’t keep leasing the space.

    The building’s not going away, unlike so many other Pike/Pine landmarks in recent years.

    SCCC has fielded applicants to take over the auditorium, but hasn’t announced any new tenant.

    SIFF has recently returned to running its own year-round theaters. Would, or could, SIFF add the Egyptian back into its full-time fold?

    If SIFF or anyone else wanted to use it for movies, they’d have to get one of those costly digital-cinema projection setups the Hollywood distributors now require, and which have been the focus of “save our theater” fund drives here (Central Cinema, Northwest Film Forum) and elsewhere. Landmark already said it would remove the Egyptian’s digital setup, for re-installation at one of its other properties.

    Alternately, the space could become (at least in non-SIFF months) a concert venue or lecture hall. (The stage is too shallow for much live-theater work.)

    But, pending any revival as a single-screen cinema, it’s safe to say the Egyptian tradition ends today.

    It’s not the last link to Seattle’s 1970s funky art-house aesthetic (the Harvard Exit, Grand Illusion, Guild 45th, and Seven Gables are still with us). But it’s still a loss.

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/28/13
    May 28th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    kuow

    • KUOW has a handy guide to Seattle’s “public spaces that appear private.”
    • There’s a downside to making big popular parks out of former U.S. Navy installations. Magnuson Park turns out to have lots of radioactive, contaminated soil.
    • Wash. state ranks #49 in supporting public colleges and universities. This is not like being a Mariner fan, where being even ahead of one other team is a call to point with pride.
    • Some website I’d never heard of before says Seattle’s “most photographed attraction” is the Elephant Car Wash sign. (Gee, even more than the toothache-man gargoyle?)
    • The Illinois company calling itself Boeing used to have big battery design skills in-house. Then outsourcing mania took over. Result: the 787 disasters.
    • You know how I disdain the marketing company calling itself Pabst Brewing, due to its role in closing the Rainier and Olympia breweries while keeping their brands alive in zombie form. Cracked.com also hates Pabst, but for a different reason: for virtually inventing that commonly despised character type known as the “hipster.”
    • South Carolina Republicans, faced with popular legislation promoting renewable energy sources, rigged a faked “voice vote” to defeat the measure.
    • Daily Kos diarist “markthshark” claims the real IRS scandal is how all those blatantly partisan Tea Party groups got to file as nonpolitical nonprofits in the first place.
    • Are angst and misery really due to a single “great glitch” built into human nature?
    • Paul Krugman sez, “being a good liberal doesn’t require that you believe, or pretend to believe, lots of things that almost certainly aren’t true; being a good conservative does.”
    • The police backlash against protesting garment workers in Cambodia wasn’t at a “Nike factory,” which the hereby-linked headline claims. It was at a locally owned company taking outsourcing work from several Western clothing firms, all of whom can thus take “plausible deniability” about conditions and worker abuse.
    • Some of the outdoor sets from the original Star Wars are still standing, and decaying, in Tunisia.

    lostateminor.com

    ‘BEZOS’S BALLS’ (YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST)
    May 22nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    via geekwire

    Amazon wants to build a triple-globe shaped, five story thing, variously called a “biodome” and a “greenhouse,” as part of its three-block skyscraper project. It would be on Lenora Street east of Sixth Avenue.

    First comment:

    Any architectural thang with three segments, in which the two smaller segments are spherical, is bound to lead to a lifetime of snickering jokes.

    Arrangements of one or more spherical objects at the bottom of a 50-story tower will engender the same responses.

    Amazon’s either being brave, or clueless, or devil-may-care bombastic, or some combo of the above.

    Second, slightly more serious, comment:

    As gargantuan New Seattle monuments to world-class-osity go (and I wish a couple of them would go), this one looks at least somewhat friendlier than the planned central waterfront makeover, kitschier (in a good way) than the Sculpture Park, and not nearly as brutalistic as Chihuly Garden & Glass.

    Depending on how it works out, and how tolerant its staff is toward civilian activity within, it could be a welcome addition to the cityscape. Or at least a place in which to hide out from the rain for a bit.

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 5/20/13
    May 20th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    capitolhillseattle.com

    • Initial designs are now out for the mixed-use megaproject that will replace (while preserving the facades of) the Bauhaus coffeehouse block on East Pine Street. Damn, that looks ugly.
    • Dominic Holden thoroughly skewers the regional political meme that roads-only transportation advocates, corporate-welfare boosters, and blockers of affordable housing somehow constitute “the adults in the room.”
    • Last Sunday’s Seattle Times depicted south King County as the region’s new nexus of “diversity.” Monday’s Times depicted the same spot as the region’s new nexus of poverty. (Note: This post originally, incorrectly, said both articles had run in Sunday’s paper.)
    • SeattlePI.com Shrinkage Watch: The thin gruel of the ex-newspaper site just got thinner with the disappearance of Casey McNerthney, who just got poached by KIRO-TV.
    • Whatever happened to the great Seattle tradition of quasi-illegal “guerrilla art”? Terror paranoia, among other things.
    • Seattle’s next best hope for a neo-Sonics basketball team: the notion that the NBA might consider an expansion team, once commissioner and not-so-covert Seattle enemy David Stern is finally gone.
    • You know the mini-scandal that Disney marketeers were transforming the heroine from Brave into the sexy princess type that, in the film, she overtly refused to be? They’re backing off from that now.
    • In The Office (US version), Staples was often name-dropped as Dunder Mifflin Paper’s biggest Goliath-esque rival. Turns out that was paid product placement. And a Staples subsidiary is now selling official Dunder Mifflin branded office products.
    • If you’ve followed the Silvio Berlusconi sex and corruption scandals, you can expect there’s a lot of colorful Italian political slang.
    • Timothy Noah insists economic inequality is as much a matter of a “skills-based gap” (i.e., the “educated class” pulling away from the traditional working class) as it is a matter of 1-percenters’ greed.
    • Earl Ofari Hutchinson invites you to continue to “yawn” at the newest batch of trumped-up pseudo-scandals attacking Obama.
    • In this digital era, one analog institution has curiously survived. I speak of shortwave radio stations broadcasting coded messages interspersed with strange musical “signature” sounds, a.k.a. “numbers stations.”
    • Creepy, kitschy Japanese pop culture continues to forge new ground with “human doll cloning,” dolls with 3-D printed scans of real people’s faces.
    • Data analysis meets film nerd-dom in a 2-D chart of which film sequels outperformed their predecessors, in terms of Rotten Tomatoes fan approval.

    boxofficequant.com

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 4/18/13
    Apr 18th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    seattle dept. of transportation

    • King Street Station, one of Seattle’s two historic railway passenger terminals (and the one still in use by Amtrak) has looked so drab and awful for so long. In the pre-Amtrak desperate last years of private passenger rail, the Great Northern had “modernized” the main lobby with an acoustic-tile drop ceiling and other ill-informed touches. Now, after a half-decade of planning and reconstruction, the city and private partners have finally restored the room to its full grandeur. You can read all about it here. There’s a grand opening on Wed. 4/24, 11 a.m.
    • In other grand-opening news, the “Old School Pinups” photo studio has one this Fri. 4/19, 5 p.m.-on, at 1922 Post Alley.
    • Something I’ve learned first hand lately: Seattle’s current boom (glut?) of apartment construction hasn’t led to lower rents, but to ever-higher rents.
    • In addition to the dilemmas of cabs. vs. “for hire” vehicles and Zipcar vs. Car2Go, now a new alternative appears in town. It’s semi-pro “ride sharing.”
    • No, Seattle Times guest commenter Grace Gedye, online sexist trolls existed long before Facebook. But can the rising force of “Geek Girls” conquer and defeat ’em once n’ for all?
    • Another classic bowling alley bites the dust. It’s Robin Hood Lanes, in Edmonds since 1960.
    • Are the Sonics Back Yet (Day 100)?: No. And we were supposed to have found out this weekend whether they’re coming back, at the NBA team owners’ annual hobnob session. But that vote’s been indefinitely delayed.
    • We do know that any neo-Sonics would have to negotiate cable-TV carriage of their games with the Mariners, who just bought a controlling interest in Root Sports Northwest.
    • The Oregon Ducks, aka “Nike U.,” have been slapped with NCAA penalties for football recruiting violations.
    • Some Net-pundits are crowing about the simple but apparently devastating “spreadsheet error” at the heart of a 2010 think-tank study promoting “austerity economics” to attack government debt. If not for the faulty math, the study’s critics claim, the study’s claims would be seen as the nonsense they are. Yeah, but facts have seldom gotten in the way of “shock doctrine” partisans, before or since.
    • Eco-Scare of the Week (non-fertilizer edition): Even before rising sea levels submerge many small Pacific islands, they’ll fatally disrupt those places’ fresh-water tables, making them uninhabitable.
    • Scott Miller, R.I.P.: The Loud Family/Game Theory musician was a leading light in the ’80s power pop revival, as well as a top scholar/historian about the pop/rock sphere. For a limited time, his heirs are making six of his out-of-print albums available as free downloads.
    • Blogger Nadine Friedman hates, hates, hates the latest Dove “real beauty” ad campaign. She claims it actually reinforces the standard corporate standards of female ideals.
    • Aaron Steven Miller at Medium.com wants book publishers to take the lead in tech-ifying and social-media-ifying their operations, before Amazon completely crushes them. Of course, that would require book publishers to cease being, as Miller puts it…

    …historically the stingiest, most fiscally conservative, most technologically resistant and investment-averse people ever, with the highest percentage of luddites per capita.

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 3/12/13
    Mar 12th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    • Garance Franke-Ruta at the Atlantic wishes U.S. feminist demonstrators had more dignified, less confrontational visual icons under which they could march. Symbols like “Columbia,” the historic female representation of the nation/continent/hemisphere. Of course, there’s this little matter about how this icon is now best known as a movie-studio logo—now owned by Sony….
    • Are the Sonics Back Yet? (Day 63): No. But Chris Hansen is taking names for a “priority ticket” waiting list.
    • Do you wanna believe Knute Berger, who mourns the pending loss of certain local architectural landmarks to developers and their megabucks lawyers? Or David Moser at Citytank, who believes higher-density urban neighborhoods are the only way to keep lower-income folk from being shoved out to costly, car-dependent suburbs?
    • Richard McIver, 1942-2013: The 12-year Seattle City Council vet, who was the lone “token black” on the district-less council, was a regular champion for civil-rights issues and for neighborhoods the city often took for granted. And he made a great foil for Grant Cogswell.
    • Military officials don’t like a proposal in the state legislature to let “payday loan” companies trot out even more predatory lending products (which are often, but not solely, aimed at troops and their families).
    • Yep, police still don’t want police reforms. But they insist it’s a “labor issue.”
    • The Center School can again teach its “Citizenship and Social Justice” class. But the school district has imposed vague, unspecified restrictions on how it can be taught.
    • Meanwhile, Ta-Nehishi Coates wants to remind you that even “good people” can turn out to be racists.
    • Fret not, Tiffany Willis claims: America is irreversably “becoming more liberal.”
    • Cord Jefferson at Gawker believes when journalism is only open to people who don’t need a paycheck, only people who already have money will be journalists; and, possibly, only stories of interest to people who already have money will be reported.
    SAVE THE (PLYWOOD) COWS!
    Mar 8th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/3731-3611/maes-phinney-ridge-cafe

    roadfood.com

    For sale: One herd of cows (ceramic, plywood, fabric, paint, etc.). Comes with a supply of warm, gooey cinnamon rolls and a classic cafe.

    After 25 years, Jeanne Mae Barwick is retiring from Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. She’s put the place up for sale, and threatens to close it in March or April if an appropriate buyer isn’t found.

    There’s been a cafe at this location since the 1920s. But when Barwick took it over in 1988, she transformed it from a neighborhood destination into a city institution.

    phinneywood.com

    Michael Stern at Roadfood.com describes it as “a multi-room cafe decorated everywhere with pictures, statues, blow-up dolls and every sort of nick-nack imaginable, all depicting cows (an ode to the proprietor’s Wisconsin roots).”

    On weekend mornings, it can take as long as an hour to get seated. Besides the cinnamon rolls (baked in-house), it offers large portions of your basic American breakfast and lunch fare, plus such specialties as trout and eggs.

    It closes at 3 p.m. daily; in offering the business for sale, Barwick notes a new owner could make more money by opening for dinner and offering alcohol.

    In an email sent to customers, Barwick says she may hold an “open house and garage sale” at the cafe in March. Depending on what items a new owner may want to keep, the sale could include the cafe’s cow-shaped salt and pepper shakers “and other miscellaneous moo-morabilia.”

    Barwick also says she’ll continue to host her popular “Karaoke Bingo” once a month at the Greenwood Senior Center.

    roadfood.com

    (Cross-posted with Unusual Life.)

    RANDOM LINKS FOR 1/25/13
    Jan 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    the aurora kmart in 2002

    • Seattle’s last Kmart store, at 130th and Aurora, has lost its lease and is closing. It first opened in 1968 as a branch of White Front, the long-defunct California chain that begat Toys “R” Us.
    • Daniel B. Wood at the Christian Science Monitor asks whether Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is “too high-tech for its own good.”
    • Do we want the Arboretum’s “ramps to nowhere,” the only surviving legacy of the rightfully-halted R.H. Thompson Expressway project of the early 1970s, to be removed? I say no.
    • Could legal “pirate” (quasi-unlicensed) radio be coming to Seattle?
    • How to guarantee a huge turnout at a city hearing: make it about making the rules for legal pot sales.
    • R.I.P. Mary Shirley, who with her ex- Microsoft exec hubby was a major art collector and Seattle Art Museum donor.
    • Local blue-eyed-rap star Macklemore has one devout anti-fan in Brandon Sodenberg (“safe-as-fuck, liberal meme-rap”).
    • In case you’d forgotten, the Chihuly Museum people promised a kids’ playground and a gallery space for other Northwest artists, in exchange for taking up a huge chunk of Seattle Center land. Neither is anywhere in sight.
    • In “boring” news, the big waterfront tunnel digging machine got some small but significant damage during testing in Japan.
    • Janie Stilgoe at The Guardian says the days of “content” web sites scrambling to game Google’s search results through “search engine optimization” are over. Google’s revamped its algorithms specifically to discourage it. Instead, Stilgoe says web sites (including news sites) should embrace “content marketing,” whatever that is.
    • And let’s end it for today with a scenic tour past some “Faded Motels of the Rust Belt.”

    via huffington post

    ARE THE SONICS BACK YET? (DAY 17)
    Jan 25th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

    No, and there’s supposedly some potential legal maneuver by some Sacramento Kings minority owners that could potentially disrupt the deal, supposedly.

    Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, has some classic photos of the classic Sonics (see above), as we await what could be the team’s return.

    And Knute Burger believes the latest potential Sonics arena design looks like a Jell-O mold. Hey: Let’s get some of the designers and artists who lived at Seattle’s original Jell-O mold building (the S.C.U.D. artist apartments on Western, where the original Cyclops restaurant was), to help design the new arena. That place housed the likes of Art Chantry (designer of countless band posters and my book Loser), Louie Raffloer (Black Dog Forge), Ashleigh Talbot (Madame Talbot’s Victorian Lowbrow), and several more.

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