This is probably more buffalo than are strictly required, but it’s less than I actually saw and, besides, it’s traditional.
I meant to get to this post a couple of days ago, but a surprising amount of my spare time has been devoted to trying to get my phone transferred to T-Mobile (more on that in its own post), and when I’m not doing that I’m catching up on Twitter, reading in a nice place so that I can mention it later — it would, of course, be cheating if I didn’t actually read in the place — and then trying to get in some Elder Scrolls Online time before I forget all my attack moves. It’s a hard life, is what I’m saying.
Seattle was a good time. Hanging out with Sarah was good, hanging out by the lake was good, goodness positively abounded. After the day spent hanging about the cabin on Wednesday, Thursday was a tiny bit more active. Sarah did some accounting work in the morning while I continued my sumo wrestling with AT&T over my iPhone unlock, and then we headed down to Seattle, about 45 minutes away, to stop by REI (I need new shoes and have had trouble finding any that I like), have lunch at a great Irish place I know near Pike Place Market (famous site of the original Starbucks, and where fish vendors apparently throw fish at each other because the life of a fish vendor is a rich and colorful one), and then go to the Asian Art Museum (where I’d tried to go a few years before, after a SakuraCon anime festival, only to discover that they were closed that day). We got out slightly later than we’d planned, and in swinging by Sarah’s mailbox place we could not help but observe a Starbucks practically next door, at which point there was only one possible course of action and we became ever so slightly later. Then, the driving began.
We got to REI slightly after 11; that location may be their flagship store, and it’s very impressive, but it had no suitable shoes. (The perils of shopping for an equatorial country in the middle of a northern hemisphere winter.) They did, however, have a full-on jurt near the entrance to the store, where you could go in and sit on logs and listen to recorded wildlife and just relax. It was surprisingly nice.
Defeated but undaunted, we painfully made our way out of the labyrinthine REI parking structure (I swear, one of these days that trail of breadcrumbs technique is going to work for me), and then we went to lunch at Kells, my favorite chain Irish restaurant. I’ve been to this location a couple of times, and it’s probably my favorite, in a little boutique alley off of the Pike Place Market, with a bit of a bay view:
I had my first steak and kidney pie here, and two Irish coffees, which I will courteously imagine included the Irish whiskey that they were supposed to.
By the time we were done, I proposed not going to the museum after all, and Sarah was game to also not go, so we wandered the market for a bit, hit some nearby clothing stores (still no shoe luck), and then headed back home in time for ESO gaming with Mum. Then Sarah made a lovely salmon and asparagus dinner and we watched Galavant, the new medieval comedy musical on ABC, which is far funnier than I feared from the trailers and well worth watching if you have any inclination.
I totally thought this was John Stamos, I think because he’s in the second episode and I heard his name associated with it. It’s not, it’s Someone Else, but Someone Else is fantastic in this. No, really.
So, Friday dawned, as it is accustomed to doing (and we had no objection), and Sarah drove me to the airport (with a brief stop at the chiropractic office she works at), and then I was on my way to Bozeman, Montana.
There was a little wrestling over my giant backpack on Yet Another Tiny Plane (YATP), but it all worked out quite well in the end, and by mid-afternoon local time I was happily ensconced in Lynne and Roger’s well appointed home. (The chimney-piece alone had cost eight hundred pounds!) I should note that Lynne and Roger have one cat that attempts Cuddly, but isn’t really good at it and mostly just meows. It has a tiny head on a fat body, and no teeth, due to some dental problem, but curiously that doesn’t stop it from eating dry food, which it did immediately after being brought home from the dentist. It makes sense, I guess, because cat’s teeth are designed for tearing meat; cat food doesn’t need tearing, and can go straight into the stomach to be digested, just as the chunks of meat would have been. Still, as cats go, I can rate this one no better than a C-.
(For the record, my sister’s cats rate a B+ and a B-. I liked both well enough, but I don’t give out As freely, and the Cuddly cat got points taken off for going in and out way too much to be convenient.)
It must be said that while the company and conversation and food here were excellent, there is little point in dwelling on anything in Montana other than the scenery, so here are some pictures, taken on the way to (and in) Yellowstone Park:
I should point out that buffalo were everywhere inside and just outside of the park. There were so many buffalo, in groups of 2 to 20, that nobody cared anymore and spent all their time looking for wolves, with cars parked on the side of the road and groups of people with binoculars mounted on tripods. (The binoculars, not the people. Mostly.) Even I looked for wolves, although not with any great amount of dedication. But apparently wolf watching is a big past time in Montana, to which I say, “Have you heard of video games? They’re all the rage in the warm states.” But it guess Montanans don’t have to deal with #GamerGate, and I didn’t hear of a #WolfGate, so I guess it’s a draw.
Wait, here’s more:
Fine, fine, I’ll move on.
Lynne and Roger have tried a lot of new diets over the years, but I’m grateful to whichever one resulted in this all-nuts breakfast granola, because it was amazing. No lie.
You’re gonna think I’m exaggerating… stop. Just stop. I’m so very very not. This was the best breakfast cereal I’ve ever eaten. Lynne gave me the recipe, which I’m going to faithfully reproduce below. Your money back if you’re disappointed.
•1 cup chopped raw almonds
•1 cup chopped raw cashews
•1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
•1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
•2 tbsp flaxseed
•1 tbsp chia seeds
•1 tsp cinnamon
•½ tsp nutmeg
•½ tsp allspice
•1 tbsp stevia or ½ cup raw sugar
•3 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, flaxseed, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add stevia or sugar and stir. When well blended, drizzle with butter and toss to coat.
Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and, using a spatula, spread into an even layer. Place in oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted and aromatic, about 25 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool.
Will keep in a covered container in refrigerator for up to one month.
See? Travel pictures, wildlife, and local cuisine. Is this travel blog living up to its name or not?
Oh, wait, its name…. Right. Here’s where I sat out to read on Monday:
It was around 30° out here, but nice in the sun if you had a coat, scarf, gloves, hot tea, and a blanket. Which I did. The book I started reading here is L.E.Modesitt’s latest in his Recluce series, Heritage of Cyador:
I’m enjoying the book — I nearly always enjoy Modesitt’s books and buy them immediately whenever they come out. He’s one of my favorite writers. But it must be said that he has a formula that works for him and he writes it again and again in every book with only minor variations. Young sensible hero in a land with some inventive form of magic discovers that he has to use that magic, in pretty much the same way no matter what type of magic it is, to fight petty, greedy people in a steadily escalating series of violent encounters that the hero regrets having no choice but to inflict on his jerk-face enemies in order to save perfectly decent people who weren’t doing any harm, until the enemies get so big and he’s become so strong that an especially mass-destructive finale is reached and the day is saved. Add some legitimately interesting philosophical and political exposition, as part of the hero’s education in becoming the Best In The Land, and often a Strong Woman Who Is Nearly As Sensible As the Hero But Slightly Confusing In Her Reasoning. (In a few cases, the hero is a woman, in which case she’s perfectly Sensible and Not Confusing, but that doesn’t happen too often.)
This will probably sound a bit sarcastic or critical, but Modesitt writes this really well. If you like a well done variation of Heinlein’s Competent Man, you’ll like this. Just don’t plan to read too many back to back, or the sameness of one to the next may become a bit overwhelming.
Also, if you haven’t read any of Modesitt’s books so far, I can very highly recommend The Magic of Recluce and then, if you like it, go on to the others in the series. They jump back and forth through that world’s history, and many of them are quite excellent.
Tuesday morning, at about 5:30am, Roger drove me to the airport (all useful flights out of Bozeman leave at gawd-awful hours of the morning, it’s the law), and then after going through the Worst TSA Checkpoint In The Land, and having another wrestle about my backpack on YATP, I was off to Denver. But I’ll continue with that in my next installment, “Denver, the Mile Long Airport”.