Water + Gravity = ?

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: state parkswaterfallseasy hikes • Places: Wallace Falls State Park

Lying within easy reach of Seattle, Wallace Falls State Park is nothing if not popular. On the edge of the Cascades, it offers visitors lovely views of a series of cascading waterfalls.

I paid it a visit on a Sunday in late March. Was it worth my while?

Spoiler: yes.

Also, yes, this is the sort of park that wants to inspire the youth with Longfellow quotes.
Also, yes, this is the sort of park that wants to inspire the youth with Longfellow quotes.

Two Books on Uzbekistan

✍️ 🕑 Late 2021, Early 2022 authoritarianismsoviet literaturecolonialism

I'm sure that my readers are on the edge of their seats, desperately awaiting a review of the book I was reading while waiting for a tire patch at the Les Schwab in Salem, Oregon.

Well, it took me a month to get around to hitting the "publish" button, so I hope it was worth the wait! As bonus, I am also including in a review of the book I was reading before that one too.

Both these books came out in 2019, and both are about Uzbekistan. The two present very different views from the same(-ish) "country" roughly a hundred years apart. They are both fascinating reads that I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested.

The first, Bagila Bukharbayeva's The Vanishing Generation is a take on religious persecution under the Islam Karimov-led government. I became aware of it through a glowing review on Eurasianet, and added it to my reading list.

The second, Night and Day by Abdulhamid Sulaymon o’g’li Cho’lpon is a turn of the century Uzbek novel, recently translated into English by Christopher Frost. I became aware of it as it was the second in series on "Central Asian Literatures in Translation". I had adored the first book in the series, which led me to be quite intrigued as to the second.

Full thoughts follow.

Big Bunny

• Series: Steve in Seattle • Tags: bunny

One of the unsung vermin of American city life is the rabbit. I feel like I see them skulking about at night, crossing the roads now and then, wherever I am, from Pittsburgh to Seattle.

Increasingly, as spring has sprung, I've been seeing rabbits running about near the Seattle sidewalks. Sometimes at day, sometimes at night.

Never before though, have I spotted one from outside my home office window, popping by to provide a lot of entertainment before a discussion about what would make us feel successful at work. It was humongous, and it ate a leaf.

I had a camera at arm's reach, and I pointed it out the window with reckless abandon, not realizing it was stopped down and photographing with a slow, slow shutter speed. The sort that cannot cope with subject movement from a fast paced bunny rabbit.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

Valley Forge: A Winter of Misery?

✍️ 🕑 2020-2021 (Mostly) • Series: Attractions of Pennsylvania • Tags: philadelphia areaamerican historytoxic wastenational historical parkshanging with my momamerican revolutionary warpatriotic placesbird photography • Places: Valley Forge National Historic Park

Recent history leaving its mark in the historic park...
Recent history leaving its mark in the historic park...

We are surrounded by history.

Whether we're conscious of it or not, the same ground on which we tread has been walked on by generations before us, whether or not they are traditionally acknowledged in history books. History extends to the natural history of other species' before man, and geologic history before that.

And from that rousing paragraph of platitudes, we bring ourselves to... Valley Forge.

If the Philadelphia suburbs should boast any site of historical mythmaking, it's most certainly Valley Forge, the location of an encampment where General George Washington and his troops spent the winter of 1777-8.

The National Memorial Arch at Valley Forge Park - Late 2021. A bajillion more photos follow.
The National Memorial Arch at Valley Forge Park - Late 2021. A bajillion more photos follow.

How I Generate Maps on My Static Site With OpenLayers and Zola

✍️ 🕑 getzolaopenlayerscartographytechnical details

For a long time, I wanted this website to have a "map" feature, where you could look at a nice, dynamic scrolling map of all of the places I visited.

Well, guess what! I've had one on the site since 11/11/21. You can find a map of all posts on the map page, or individual maps of posts in each series on any series page.

At first, I wasn't sure how to get a map set up and working, and even once I got started writing the feature, I was still stuck for a fairly long time before I got it running. It's still imperfect, and my code can get cleaned up, but it's probably worth sharing for anyone else that tries to create something similar.

What follows are a bunch of code/implementation details, specifically related to my choices of the Zola static site generator and OpenLayers javascript map library.

The Many Murals of Toppenish, Washington (& An End To Many Days' Wandering)

✍️ 🕑 September 26-27, 2021 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: street arttoppenish • Places: Toppenish, WA The Edge of Mt. Ranier National Park

I wish I had a bit of better timing for the last day of my trip, but hey, what can I do.

Much of the "in between" from Boise to Seattle is highway, or mountain. An easily accessible hiking trail seemed off the cards, because many seemed like they were more of a detour than I was willing to take.

Meanwhile, Oregon is home to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute -- the only Native American museum along the Oregon Trail. I wasn't super interested in going to hear any settler accounts of the Oregon trail, but this sounded like a nice stop, and a place that could be really interesting.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

But, I my drive was on a Sunday and the museum was closed. Instead, I decided to visit Toppenish, Washington, with the hope of getting some Frybread Tacos for lunch.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

To my dismay, the restaurant opened only in the mid-afternoon, and I wasn't going to hang around for hours, but the detour meant I got to check out... *erm* the many murals of Toppenish.

52 Frames (April 2022)

✍️ 🕑 April 2022 • Series: 52 Frames • Tags: flowers

This month has been a whirlwind of activity for me, and though my blogging activity has been focused quite intently on wrapping up some loose threads from last September & December, my 52 Frames activity has been anchored in the present.

It's impossible to take a photo a week without those photographs representing the time and space in which you find yourself.

So in this case, the photos take us to Pittsburgh, New York City, and back up to Skagit County, north of Seattle. Rather weird that I would have spent so many days on the least coast, but perhaps, it only makes sense that we've got at least one photo from the only city in the world that matters...