Space/time glitch on Seattle skyline

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark (I haven’t aged at all since I first wrote this introduction) and I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

The picture below shows the Seattle skyline, as seen from the top of Smith Tower. The TC, bless her cotton socks, says that the light-coloured angular shape on the left half of the image looks to her like a glitch in the space time continuum. We more sober souls know it’s more likely to be yet another a skyscraper plated in reflective glass.

Word of the day

Glitch is the word of the day. This worm is surprised to learn that it’s a relatively new term, originating among space scientists in the 1960s. The word glitch first meant a sudden surge in current, which often was the cause of a malfunction. Later the word’s meaning broadened to mean a short-lived fault that’s difficult to track down.

The book I’m in

The Hunter’s Oath, by Jason Dean. Yes, I’m still stuck in the same book as I was in the previous two posts. It’s a good read, featuring action hero James Bishop. The hero is a little like Jack Reacher, only meaner.

That’s all for today, folks.

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Published in: on 30 March 2018 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Distinctive motorcycle repair shop in Seattle

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark (I haven’t aged at all since I first wrote this introduction) and I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

This atmospheric motorcycle repair shop is on Aurora Ave N in Fremont, Seattle:

Click on the picture to zoom in, and take a look all the bikes and flags behind the windows.

The business is Vallantine Motor Works. This worm likes the combination of gothic styling and beautiful machines. It quite makes me want to wander in and see what’s going on.

The book I’m in

The Hunter’s Oath, by Jason Dean. A good, fast read with action hero James Bishop. The hero is a little like Jack Reacher, only meaner.

That’s all for today, folks.

Mt Rainier view from Fremont

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark (I haven’t aged at all since I first wrote this introduction) and I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

The TC, bless her cotton socks, has visited Seattle a few times, but without seeing the renowned Mt Rainier. Friends and colleagues assured her it was a spectacular sight, but often hidden by cloud.

On this visit, suddenly, there it was. As if someone had dropped a great big mountain out of the sky.

Here’s Mt Rainier, seen from the bridge on Aurora Ave N in Fremont, Seattle:

The Fremont Troll lurks under the same bridge. I posted a couple of pictures of the troll and the underneath of the bridge.

Mt Rainer lies 87 kilometres south east of Seattle. It’s an active volcano. Although it’s currently dormant, it’s considered one of the 16 most dangerous in the world because of the large amount of damage an eruption would cause to living creatures and property.

Word of the day

On-premise is the word of the day, used in phrases like “on-premise software/services,” to compare such services with those in the cloud. “On-premise” is a malapropism for “on-premises”. The question is whether the malapropism is now in sufficient common use for us to start using it without feeling uncomfortable. The TC, bless her cotton socks, still feels uncomfortable with such use of “on premise” or “on-premise”.

Here’s what the TC says:

I first read the term “on-premise software” about 5 years ago. I was completely flummoxed. “What? Is this software that’s offered under the assumption I’ve accepted some premise or other? Where’s that premise written?” Now, 5 years is a long time in the tech world, but perhaps not outside our industry. As a tech writer, I want to avoid giving people that unpleasant brain-bump of “that breaks my language parser”. What’s the harm in getting it right, and saying “on premises”? I guess someone else’s answer may be: the docs sound old and fuddy-duddy.

The book I’m in

The Hunter’s Oath, by Jason Dean. A good, fast read with action hero James Bishop. The hero is a little like Jack Reacher, only meaner.

That’s all for today, folks.

Troll encounter in Fremont, Seattle

The TC caught this troll by surprise as it emerged from its den under the Aurora bridge in Fremont, Seattle.

I think the troll caught the TC by surprise too, but she had enough composure to snap the picture of the troll, and to turn her back on it to snap the view of the bridge from underneath.

That’s all for today, folks.

Published in: on 16 October 2017 at 5:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Kirkland, WA, a little grey in March

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark (I haven’t aged at all since I first wrote this introduction) and I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC have just spent a few days in lovely Kirkland, on the shores of Lake Washington, WA, in the USA. Kirkland is across the lake from Seattle.

The days were a little grey and drizzly, with a chill around the edges. The TC, bless her cotton socks, was in her element.

My impressions? There’s a touch of colour in everything.

The book I’m in

Dead Man’s Debt, by Elliott Kay. A good military space yarn, with characters to love and cherish. Until they die.

Travel tip

Pack layers. The Kirkland weather is quite changeable, and ubiquitous air conditioning makes the temperature unpredictable.

Recommended restaurant

Milagro Cantina, 148 Lake St S, Kirkland, WA. Tasty comfort food, excellent service, good atmosphere.

The photos

Me cozying up to a gnome on the way to the Kirkland City Dock. He was a little cold and grey:

This squirrel was looking for a touch of colour:

A cyclist’s bright green jacket stands out:

There weren’t many people around at the dock:

This bird looked lonely:

Me chilling out with some young blades at the Kirkland city hall:

The US flag and the State of Washington flag curl in the breeze:

Take heart! Spring is in the air:

Flying out of Kirkland, we saw the first break in the clouds:

And some gorgeous snowy peaks:

That’s all for today, folks.

Published in: on 17 March 2017 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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A stroll down Broadway, New York

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC are in New York, New York. The city that’s so big, you have to say it twice.

My impressions? Smiles are a little hard to come by, but all’s well when you get to know someone.

The book I’m in

Kill Decision, by Daniel Suarez. Convincing death-by-tech end of days adventure. This worm thrives on it.

Recommended food store

Whole Foods Market Chelsea, 250 7th Ave, New York, NY. There’s something for everyone.

Travel tip

Take a stroll through the city in the early morning. It’s cool and quiet. People potter around getting ready for the day. Colours are bright, tempers are soothed.

The photos

Me, your sleepy travelling worm, in early morning Times Square:

Times Square

Now that you’ve seen the obligatory me pic, let’s jump back to the start of our stroll down Broadway. The Flatiron Building is near Madison Square Park, on Fifth Avenue and Broadway. It’s called “Flatiron” because its shape is similar to that of an iron:

Flatiron building

Big Bling is a sculpture by Martin Puryear in Madison Square Park. The shiny bit is covered in gold leaf:

Big Bling, Madison Square Park

Being a little short in stature, I tend to notice things that loom. The skyscrapers in New York are good at looming, particularly when viewed from a park. Here they are, doing it Madison Square Park:

Skyscrapers looming over Madison Square Park

This Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on West 25th Street caught my eye as I strolled up Broadway. It’s just a shell. You can see sky and other buildings through the openings:

Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, New York

Colours, flowers, and bikes outside the Martinique Café:

Martinique Cafe

It’s early morning on Broadway:

Early morning on Broadway

Poor pickings for pigeons:

Pigeons and tables on Broadway

Gotham Hall, with appropriate steam effects:

Gotham Hall, Haier Building, New York

Approaching Times Square:

Approaching Times Square

There’s a strong police presence this morning, possibly because the Gay Pride Parade is due to start nearby in a few hours:

NYPD in Times Square

All is quiet in Times Square. Just some early morning travellers strolling and the usual billboards scrolling:

Early morning in Times Square

That’s all for today, folks.

Lost and found in the Googleplex

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC are in California again. This worm has had an interesting day, navigation-wise.

My impressions? It’s very easy to get onto U.S. Route 101.

The TC decided, bless her cotton socks, that she now knows her way around Mountain View. No need for a navigation aid today. So we set off in good cheer. Faithful readers can guess where this post is going, particularly if they’ve read my previous scribbling.

Our first foray into unaided navigation went well. We found the Googleplex, which was our intended destination. After a few hours in one office, the next step was to get from one part of the Googleplex to another. To those unacquainted with the TC, that mayhap sounds simple, but not so.

In the blink of an eye, in the twitch of a steering wheel, we found ourselves on U.S. Route 101, heading north for San Francisco. Now, the highway is worth a visit, as a venerable and worthy piece of navigation history. Wikipedia says that US 101 is one of the last remaining and longest U.S. Routes still active in the state, and the longest highway of any kind in California. It was one of the original national routes established in 1926. Still, if you don’t need to head north at speed, it’s probably not the best place to be.

Luckily it’s almost as easy to get off U.S. Route 101 as to get on it. Also luckily, the Googleplex is a big place and thus easy to find. The TC kept calm and steered us to our destination unscathed although not unrattled. There to greet us were a giant Google map pin, a Street View car, and the Code the Road bus.

The book I’m in

Caleb Williams, by William Godwin (1794). This worm is enjoying the richness of language and the care taken with phrasing, though it be at times a trifle archaic. Mr Godwin is adept at building up an atmosphere of menace that lurks close beneath a seemingly civilised society.

Travel tip

Ne’er cast a navigation aid til journey be made.

The photos

Me on the giant map pin outside the Google Maps offices. I am here:

worm-on-marker

A Street View car took a well-earned rest nearby. I made use of its rearview mirror for a quick face-and-hat check:

worm-on-street-view-car

Me hanging out with Pegman:

worm-and-pegman

My own dear Peg needed a bit of me time after seeing the above snap. So here are me and Peg, and a big green fuzzy person who happened by:

worm-peg-android

The Google Maps Code the Road Bus was in the neighbourhood too:

code-the-road-bus

Me on the Code the Road bus:

worm-on-code-the-road-bus

That’s all for today, folks.

Published in: on 3 June 2016 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lost in Portland, Oregon

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC are in Portland, Oregon. They told me it’d be summer. They said I wouldn’t be cold. They were mistaken.

My impressions? Warm, friendly people. They smile as you pass them in the street. I feel they’d take care to avoid stepping on a humble worm.

The book I’m in

Rich Man’s War, by Elliott Kay. Military sci-fi as a genre has a strange appeal, especially when travelling. This worm puts it down to a camaraderie among people shoved into small spaces under stressful circumstances.

Recommended accommodation

Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th Ave, Portland, OR. The rooms are furnished with care and talent, and the reception is friendly.

The photos

Me outside Portland Central Library:

Worm at Portland Central Library

Storm clouds loom over McMenamins Ringlers Annex, a tavern at the corner of SW Stark Street and W Burnside Street:

McMenamins Ringlers Annex tavern, Portland

The TC and I went for a stroll to explore the city. Our outing progressed in typical fashion. Before setting off, we checked the map and located downtown Portland. On a whim, we diverted to see the Pioneer area. So, we spent a few hours doing what the TC does best – getting lost!

Here’s the Pioneer Courthouse in SW 5th Avenue, Portland:

Portland Pioneer Courthouse

For a different atmosphere, the Portland Outdoor Store in SW 3rd Ave:

Portland Outdoor Store

With apologies for the bleached out appearance of the lighter areas (the TC says the lighting was difficult) here’s a colourful place in SW First Ave:

SW First Ave Portland

They have trams in Portland:

A tram in Portland

After our impromptu tour of the Pioneer area, the TC and I set off again confidently, continuing our quest for downtown. A few blocks later the TC checked the map, only to discover that we’d been heading in opposite direction. (May I say that this is not an uncommon occurrence when going for a stroll with the TC.) The Portland riverside was now nearby, so the TC decided that was where we wanted to be anyway.

The vintage tugboat Portland, moored off SW Naito Parkway:

Historic tugboat Portland

The tug is a paddleboat, lovingly restored, which now houses an exhibition of the Oregon Maritime Museum:

Paddle tugboat Portland

Geese taking off in front of the E Burnside bridge:

E Burnside bridge Portland

The N Steel Bridge in Portland has a bare nuts-and-bolts feel that must surely appeal to engineers:

N Steel Bridge Portland

It’s sad to see that there are homeless people in Portland, as in so many cities around the world. The TC and I saw many homeless people during our ramble. In the middle of this scene is a shelter built of cardboard and black plastic:

Homeless in Portland

On another day, we hiked along the trail from Macleay Park to Washington Park, in the hills above Portland. The TC, bless her cotton socks, was in her element. She’s quite a one for woodsy walks. Moody moss dripped from the trees:

Moss in Washington park

That’s all for today, folks.

Published in: on 24 May 2016 at 9:16 am  Comments (1)  
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Golden Gate Bridge – a worm’s eye view

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC were in San Francisco over the weekend. We took a stroll under the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.

My impressions? Bleak, booming, bulky, brrr.

The book I’m in

Search for the Star Stones, by André Norton. A paperback volume combining two books: The Zero Stone, and Uncharted Stars. This worm loves a good Sci Fi yarn!

Travel tip

Always have warm clothing with you when in San Francisco, even in summer time.

The photos

Me (the most recognisable, most photographed bookworm in the world) under the most beautiful, most photographed bridge in the world:

Golden Gate Bridge - a worm's eye view

There were other people under the bridge that day:

Golden Gate Bridge - a worm's eye view

Watch the video to hear the booming of the wind and traffic overhead. You can almost feel the breeze pushing that chilly fog around:

That’s all for today, folks.

Hawaii – volcanoes, waterfalls, cliffs and valleys

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC took a helicopter tour of the volcanoes and valleys of Hawaii’s Big Island. One side of the island is flat and dry, a thin layer of vegetation covering the blackly barren lava rock. The other side is lush, green and hilly, with some of the world’s tallest waterfalls, and towering cliffs pounded by fierce ocean waves. In the middle of the island is a steaming, smoking, belching set of volcanoes that continuously create this scene of life on the edge.

My impressions? An island inching its way across the sea – losing land to the ocean on one side, building out land with lava on the other.

The book I’m in

Zero Recall (Legend of Zero), by Sara King. This is the second of the Zero series. Meeting the Huouyt and Jreet again is like seeing old friends. The Geuji is a force to be reckoned with.

Recommended restaurant

‘ULU Ocean Grill, at the Four Seasons Hualalai. Service, elegance, beauty, cuisine.

Travel tip

Hire a car, to get where you want to go, when you want to be there.

The photos

Me. I think the Hawaiian lava makes an excellent backdrop for my distinguished person:

Hawaii

Lava swirls:

Hawaiian lava

I entrusted myself to Blue Hawaiian helicopter tours:

Me at Blue Hawaiian

The TC came too. Bless her cotton socks, look at that smile:

Blue Hawaiian

Ready to see some smoking lava? Here’s a video, just a very small part of the helicopter tour. This worm advises you to mute the audio, because it doesn’t do anything except hurt your ears:

The drifting mist in the video is a mixture of smoke and cloud. We could smell the smoke and sulphur inside the chopper! Quite other-worldly.

Trees don’t do too well when you pour hot lava around them:

Trees in lava flow

Things get real when the lava flow threatens a village. The people of Pahoa had to evacuate their homes in October 2014 because the lava came very close indeed. This photo shows the lava path, with the village in the distance:

Lava approaching Pahoa village

The lava flow has been monitored carefully since October last year, with hourly public announcements of its status. While we were in the bus on our way back from the helicopter tour, a radio announcement stated that the lava flow had stabilised and it was therefore no longer necessary to issue public reports. Our driver expressed great relief at this good news.

The helicopter instrument panel, the pilot’s boots, and a view of lava through the glass floor panels:

Helicopter instruments

After the volcanoes, we set off for the north east coast of the island. Green green valleys, steep cliffs and pounding surf:

Hawaii north east coast

Waipi’o Valley quite took the TC’s breath away. This worm was impressed too:

Hawaii Waipio Valley

The waterfalls in this remote valley are some of the tallest in the world, at around 1,450 feet (440 metres). Our helicopter pilot gave us an adrenaline-punching view of the valley and falls. Again, kill the sound, says this worm:

Back to more traditional views of Hawaii.Clouds:

Clouds

Flowers:

Frangipani

And a sunset:

Hawaiian sunset

That’s all for today, dudes.

Published in: on 3 April 2015 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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