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I was Attacked by Dustbunnies

Computer-frustration I have been computer-less for about a month now.   I'm sorry if you haven't heard from me, but now you know why.   We THOUGHT my hard drive was fried. This is a little embarrassing, but I am going to take one for the team in order to save you a little money and a mountain of wasted time and frustration.  When I had the guys from Click Engineering pick-up my CPU and run diagnostics on it they discovered the inside was covered in dust.  And trust me, this is not from lack of use (ask my kids!).  Apparently every six months or so we should be cleaning the dust out of the inside of our computers.  Who knew?  PC users-there's a little screw in the back that loosens and allows the side wall of your hard drive to glide open.  You're then looking at the guts of your machine and an empty cavity which likely has a bunch of dust sitting on it.  A paper towel and can of air to blow it out should work just fine. Since I learned this lesson the hard way, I thought I would enlighten you too.

Now, onto better gossip.

2CH WHAT IS WITH 2CH?!!! I saw they had a nice little write-up in the Kirkland Reporter this week, which is kind of ironic because about 2 days ago I stopped there to read the small barely legible handwritten note on their front door.  It said something about being on 'vacation' and therefore closed for the next 2 weeks.  As I was turning around in the parking lot I happened to look in the window and notice there is NOTHING in there.  No counter, no register, no nothing.  Someone bringing it out the back door and loading it into a truck. That's some vacation.  This place is like a bad boyfriend and I just can't figure it out.  Are you there for us or not??

There's some good news too: the sand volleyball court on Lake St (next to Beachhouse Grill) is being re-vamped.  It's a collaborative effort between local company Volleyball USA, some Eagle Scouts and the city.  Should be super cool when it's done in just a few weeks so hold onto your swim trunks til then.

Callahan Concierge just opened in downtown Kirkland if you're in the market for a personal assistant.  They offer services for individuals, families, corporate, high end residential and housekeeping.  It's $35/hr with a two hour minimum.  They even offer a drive-up service where you can pull up on your way home from work and they'll get your items right out to you. A girl can dream, right? 

MJ And such a bummer about Farrah and Michael Jackson.  That's a lot of heavy retro sadness.  It got compounded yesterday when I mentioned Farrah Fawcett to a college-aged kid and he had never heard of her!  As I was explaining her sex symbol icon status and reminiscing over favorite Charlie's Angels episodes, I realized I sound an awful lot like my mom and I should just embrace my old age instead of fighting it. ~j

Good News on the 4th of July Celebration!!

Fireworks After teetering on the verge of not being able to pull the fireworks together for this year, things have really turned around for us.  Not only are the fireworks covered, but the fireworks company is kicking in an extra $2K towards our finale because they thought it was cool the way Kirkland rallied to make this happen.  Way to go!

That's not it--as usual, the kids parade will start at 11:30 and the adult one at 12.  After that wraps up around 1, take the kids over to Heritage Park where there will be 4 FREE bouncy houses donated by the Church of the Nazarene.  Prior to the fireworks show, local band "The Ex Box Boys" will be playing music and doing a light show in the pavilion at Marina Park around 7:30.  Rumor has it they are the 2nd most downloaded MySpace band so get ready for a good show.  Kudos to Penny Sweet for working her magic and pulling this effort together for us! ~j

Summertime on the Water in Kirkland

It's one of the things everyone loves about our city- the lakeside!!  And with things heating up around here, I thought there were a few things you'd like to know ......

GD3997075@A-man-collects-dead-f-7985 -What is with all those little dead fishies?  I've seen them too- the small silver ones that are at Marina Park, Waverly Beach Park and Houghton Beach to name a few.    Lots of people are noticing them and concerned, but the parks dept told me this is a natural occurrence that happens each year as the lake temperatures rises.  So nobody dropped their Clorox bottles overboard, it's just nature doing its thing.  Oddly enough, I happen to know a biologist that works for the government and studies local fish and he was delighted to enlighten me on the complicated ecology of Lake Washington.  So I'll net it out- with warmer temps come natural spring turnover which brings the de-oxygenated water up from the depths as surface water sinks and we lose some little guys in the process.  It's warmer than usual this year, so the turnover is probably bigger than in the past. Luckily, our problem does not look like this guy's (photo left).

-After listening to that lesson, you deserve a treat.  Go straight to Trellis at The Heathman and ask for the special peanut butter and chocolate cookies that aren't on the menu.  To die for. Thanks to the Rexs for sharing this secret with me.

-Agua Verde has arrived at Houghton Beach.  You may have visited this popular spot on Lake Union, but now we have one of our own in the waterside hut previously occupied by Jimmy's on Houghton. Smoothies and quick casual Mexican food is awfully convenient after some sunning and park play.

-Random thought:seems with each new arrival there's a departure too.  Farewell to Cafe Harlequin.  I never could afford to eat there, but I'm sure it was good.

Hamrick-trophy0503 -Waterski and wakeboard lessons are on their way to downtown Kirkland!  Being someone that waterskis a few times a week, I'm a bit biased, but I think this is a super cool idea.  My friend and coach, Mark Lord, owns Seattle Water Sports and will be offering lessons by appt Mon, Weds, Fri, Sat and Sun from 6am til noon starting this weekend until Sept 30th.  Additional hrs in the afternoon and evening may be available based on demand and you can also book group lessons in advance.  They will be operating out of the main Kirkland dock.  Half hour lessons are $50 and equipment rentals range from $5-25.  Mark is a great coach- he's patient (a requirement when working w/me, haha) and breaks things down so that you can build skills in a logical progression.   Whether you are a first timer or advanced, this is a great opportunity to hit the water with some know-how.  Seattle Water Sports will also be giving free tube rides this weekend as part of Kirkland's water event from 12-4  Saturday the 20th (there's also free sailing and kayaking and discounted para-sailing). Call 206-310-2628 to arrange a ski or boarding lesson.

-While we're talking about water sports,  I feel obligated to mention boating safety.  Here's a link to the Kirkland Boater's Guide (who knew?).  Always have a third person as a spotter on board when towing a tube, boarder,  skier or surfer.  When an emergency comes up, say....maybe one Janis waterskiier falls and takes her ski in the back of the head, that extra set of hands is critical in dealing with the situation.  Always have enough flotation devices on board too- and if someone goes overboard you throw it to them (don't go after them and jeopardize your own safety). I saw the sheriff stop a couple of kids on waverunners the other day that were crossing wakes just missing one another.  The water always seems so much less regulated (more drinking, no license) you just have to be careful out there.  Oh, and if you see a ski course that looks like a bunch of buoys in a formation (Kenmore, Yarrow Bay) please please stay away from it.  Bad etiquette. ;-)

-One more thing.  Did you know you could be learning how to play water polo?  And it's FREE.  There's a fun group of people that meet at Marsh Park EVERY Wednesday around 5:30/6pm and have extra equipment available for anyone that wants to join in the fun of kayak polo (don't worry, the boats aren't tippy).  No experience necessary.  And they do this year round.  Whoa.     ~j

"Kirkland First" is Keeping it Local

Found_dollar_bill Kirkland has just launched a free online business directory for Kirkland-based businesses in an effort to promote local spending.  You can check it out at www.kirklandfirst.org .  It's just like a hyper-local yellow pages getting underway, so if you or someone you know owns a local business you should get them hooked into this resource.  It's FREE.  And you know I love free.

As a consumer, you might be surprised at the products and services you can find right here in Kirkland by checking out the site (dog training, A/V rentals, event planning, you name it!).  The goals of the Kirkland First program are to give local businesses more opportunities to thrive, build a stronger local economy, and promote community between business, residents and consumers.   So let's get on board and keep our dollars (the few that we have left) here in town. ~j

Northwest Cellars Opens Wine Tasting Room in Kirkland

Stop in opening weekend, June 6th and 7th, for some complimentary tastings and 10% off all wines.  The new tasting room is located at 11909 124th Avenue NE just across from the Ford dealership.  It will be open on Saturday and Sundays noon to 5pm and was designed as a unique and cozy space for wine lovers.  Northwest Cellars produces and distributes high quality, affordable wines which are often custom-labeled for business gifts, fundraisers, weddings and other events.  Wines available for purchase include merlots, petite sirah, pinot noir, chardonnay, Adagio and Intrigue (blends) and range from $14-$30.  So hop on in for a taste and report back---or say hello if you see us there.   ~j