28 February 2009

Tangerine Thai

a few years ago,a friend told me about a thai restaurant that was incredible. it was located in the bellevue galleria, top floor, and said you simply must try them.

several years later, they've moved from the galleria to the expedia building ground floor. this was an expansion dream, with over twice the dining and kitchen space...

thursday night, Tangerine Thai had their grand opening, and oh what an opening. the owners, jeff and a, beautiful as ever. the support staff, ever helpful. the food?


give them a try. invite me. i haven't eaten there in two days, and i'm feeling withdrawal pains.

the palace dishes (chicken or tofu, with caramelized basil and garlic) must be tried to be believed. crab wontons that melt in your mouth. crispy eggplant that makes the carnivore in me drool it is so good. i could go on with their panang curry, the tom kha gai, etc.

you just have to visit, try something, anything, to be hooked. it's that easy.

thai in bellevue that beats everyone else. hands down.

call me. we'll do lunch.
or dinner.

26 February 2009

War on Photography

the war on photography has become a little more surreal. last year, this video short was made, and a petition garnered international headlines. the story: a UK photographer was video recording in a public square and two community support officers accosted him, treating him as if he were a terrorist because they had been recorded. in the end, the two officers walked away, but for a moment it looked as if they were relying on the badge of their office to bully the videographer into stopping.

a few months ago, UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stated there were no laws that would allow a sworn officer to arrest someone taking photographs in a public place, but she would not have a problem with those same officers harrassing those photographers "... in reasonable circumstances," a quote she has not adequately defined.

a few weeks ago, a new British law was put in place that allowed for the arrest of photographers taking pictures of any police officer at any time if the officer believed the photographer was doing so for terrorist activities.

last week, New Scotland Yard was inundated by professional and amateur photographers showing their contempt for the new law. More than a few press photographers were interviewed during the demonstration, pointing out the reasonable probability this law will be enforced only when the government decides it needs more security, when the photography captured is an embarrassment to the government.

While the video here is poorly-edited, the interviews near the end speak to the frustration felt by the photographers present. One, in particular, pointed out that television camera crews doing the interview were not exempt from possible arrest and prosecution.

to say it can't happen in the US is naive at best, and incredibly ill-informed at worst; it already has. websites are springing up all over the place dedicated to the same thing: free photography without hassle.

it has happened locally: birders a few years ago were threatened by boeing security because a rare bird appeared in a park near the renton plant. and, more famously, a photography student was treated as a criminal for taking photographs of the ballard locks and the surrounding countryside, something hundreds of people do each and every day.

as with the photographers at New Scotland Yard, i think i'll start wearing a lanyard with a sign that says "don't shoot me. i'm just a photographer, not a terrorist" when i go out shooting from now on...

21 February 2009

Her Morning Elegance

photography by eyal landesman, music by oren lavie... it's been quite some time since i've seen anything quite this remarkable in photographic stop-motion involving humans...

makes me want to get out there and see what i can come up with. as someone else stated, "who needs a video camera to make videos?"


my thanks to doug plummer for making me aware of this...

19 February 2009

Rambo CAGO

have to give the bird credit for persistence, and the guy AND his dog a lot of credit for not simply ending the goose right then and there...

also have to wonder why the bird went all rambo in the first place, but we aren't told...

18 February 2009


It's been a few years since I've thought of him.

Whitewall: a leucistic male Red-winged Blackbird. He owned the Juanita Bay Park middle boardwalk marsh for a number of springs and summers, protecting his territory from all comers real and imagined.

Turns out he was internationally-known as well. People came from all over to see this little cutie scream his call, and flit from cattail to cattail. Frequently, he would land at velocity, and the cattail (with him riding it) would bow to 15-20 degrees from vertical before eventually reasserting its proper point-to-the-sky posture.

Whitewall's fourth (and unfortunately last) full year at the park started poorly. His presence was noted and photographed for a day or two, then wasn't seen again for almost two months. When he did re-appear, he was missing some tail feathers, but seemed unaffected otherwise. The easy money said he'd survived an encounter with someone who thought he was lunch.

I can't recall, but I don't believe he showed up for his fifth year. If he did, he was not seen for long.

Occasionally, the rangers of the park will hear about a second leucistic Red-winged Blackbird, but to the best of my knowledge Whitewall was one-of-a-kind. We believe he was responsible for a fair number of RWBBs over the years, but none we could positively point to as his, with the characteristic white bum.

16 February 2009

Schroeder is Japanese?

this video is part of the competition on Youtube for a place in Carnegie Hall later this year as part of the Youtube Symphony...

her rendition is incredible considering the inherent difficulty of playing ANY toy piano with precision...

perhaps schroeder could have won a spot if lucy hadn't leaned on his instrument for so many years...

09 February 2009

More Than You Can Chew?

On Tweeters at the moment, there is quite a conversation about a "profligate" Pied-billed Grebe, one that might have bitten off (as it were) more than it could chew.

Last week, I was at Juanita Bay Park, and managed to see much the same fight between a baby catfish and a Hooded Merganser female. While it took the better part of 15 minutes to complete, and there was much good-natured betting the task would not be consummated (the head of the catfish looked larger than the duck's mouth), the catfish finally went down.

I Very Much Hesitate to say any of these birds are profligate, but instead believe they were simply more confident in their ability, or they would never have attempted such.

In the same vein, I have here a photo I took about four years earlier, within 30 feet of the exact same place on earth, of a Great Blue Heron (hereinafter known as GBHE) at Juanita Bay Park, in battle with a salmon who had hoped to spawn on Forbes Creek when its afternoon went terribly wrong.

The salmon put up quite a fight and, for about 10 minutes, the fate of the salmon was not set in stone. The Tale of the Tape:
  • the salmon probably outweighed the GBHE by 3-1,
  • the salmon in length was almost as tall as the GBHE, and
  • the heron never once tried to hack it to pieces.
After an incredible battle of almost thirty minutes, the heron gave up. The salmon's victory was pyrrhic; it had not lived to see the end.

The winner: the gulls and crows who were nearby, watching and waiting, biding their time...

02 February 2009

Mariachi Education

one of the best ideas i've seen in quite some time:

All Things Considered, February 1, 2009 - Mariachi music, long a tradition of Mexican culture, is finding its way into music education in schools across the United States. According to the National Association for Music Education, mariachi music programs are especially popular in southwest states with large Hispanic communities.

01 February 2009

2009.02 Desktop Calendar

Four years and one day ago, this Pied-billed Grebe was photographed along the shoreline fronting David Brink Park, Kirkland.

I have to say, sometimes I can remember everything about a photo, and sometimes there is zero memory of real importance.

I assure you, this is one of those latter events.

About the only things I do recall: it was not warm, I was unemployed at the time, and apparently (given the number of photos taken during the weeks before and after) I was enthralled by the waterfowl of Lake Washington.

Please feel free to download this photo for personal use on your computer's desktop. To download, just click once on the image, which will bring up the enlarged image on a new webpage. Then, right-click on the image and follow your operating system's instructions for pictures / images.

I hope you enjoy :)