Old Town

Old Town
Pioneer Square

Friday, April 3, 2015

Reb MacRath's Seattle Rock: V. 7: 04/03/15

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Nuts and Bolts

You're three days late, MacRath. It's true. But it's a good thing I can tell you that with a proud and happy face. For March, my seventh month in Seattle, tested my mettle--and awarded Thumbs Up.
--The trip to San Francisco--nearly canceled when my guest accommodations fell through--turned out to be a real success. I met with an online friend...an afternoon that resulted in the idea for a new book--with a plot line I'd never considered. More about this below, in the 'Litrachoor' section.
--After six years with my employer, in Charlotte and Seattle, I left. I've written often of the 3rd and Pike location--known as 'The Scourge of Seattle'--and the dangers that working there posed. When armed cops tell you that your job is more dangerous than theirs, take the hint and move along. There are cleaner, safer and healthier ways to make a living. And, though they say you need a job to get a job, you've also got to be ready to start when a new place has an opening.
--Redid my resume, filled out applications...
--My laptop died. More time lost, finding a new used one, affording it and setting it up.
--Completed a 'roundtable discussion' with six terrific authors on the subject of violence in art.  The whole thing was a delight and a cake walk...till it came time to copy and paste their individual responses, then find a format that was easy on the eye. A week's work. See the Entertainment section below.

City Beats

Seattle is:

--RE-PC: where to go if you need a used laptop.

The photo doesn't quite suggest the immensity of this store and warehouse: "the oldest and the largest computer retail recycler in the Pacific Northwest."

Terrific selection of used laptops, ranging from $69 to much higher. I found a Dell Latitude #6410 with Windows 7 PRO 64BIT, Intel GD Graphics for $239.95.

Location: 565 5th Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98134

--The Ave, The Ave, The Ave!

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I'd gone for an interview in the University District. Startled by the lack of restaurants, shops and cafes--students no longer drank coffee?--I asked. Good thing I did. For I was only several blocks from another, really major, piece of Seattle Heaven. From Wikipedia:
"Once a 'department store eight blocks long', The ave has gradually turned into what now resembles an eight-block-long global foot court. And it is the District's pulsing heart for nearly 96,900 students, faculty and the staff of the UW. Here I found what I had sought: new and used bloo and record stores, clothing stores, movie theaters, cafes, inexpensive restaurants.
Location: University Way NE, most densely between NE 41st and NE 50th Streets.

--UtiliKilts. A Seattle take on the Scottish manly skirt. Think Cargo Kilt. Pockets galore.

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Founded in 2000, this is a classic American success story--and a testimony to the power of word of mouth. Without paying for product placement or seeking commercial endorsements, using customers not models in photos, this outfit's profits are soaring. Annual sales at the start: 750. Three years later: 11,000. And still growing.
Location: 620 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104


On hiatus this month. The hunt for a new job took most of my time. The next photo sums up my feelings about the gym vacation:

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A big change is coming on April 13.  But let's avoid the J-word--

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--and save the details for next month. Stayed tuned for further news.

Entertainment: Kick of the Month

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For some time I'd been toying with the idea of a group discussion on violence in art. The trick of it--and no mean trick--would be to assemble a lineup of a half-dozen topnotch writers...then to solve the logistical challenges of setting up and sticking to a production timeline, copying and pasting responses, creating a format that was easy on the eye and also easy to follow (six reponses to each question.

To learn more about those challenges and how I went about solving each, have a look at the following blog post:

All in all, in turned out to be one of my writing life's better adventures. The discussion went Live on my blog 3/31. And you can find it here:


Now finishing: History of Julius Caesar by Jacob Abbott. A short history in the public domain. Surprisingly well done, considering that the author published 160 books in his lifetime. I needed a good, no-nonsense account of a controversial but great man. In this book I found the basics I needed for my new Work in Progress.

In the works: 
1) On my short trip to San Francisco, a chance remark from a friend led to my decision to stop work on one book--and go full steam on an idea I'd never even considered. I started work the next day and have held fast to a quota of 1000 words a day. First draft should be finished in 2-3 weeks. Then, while I'm revising that, I'll complete the outline for...
2) The fourth Boss MacTavin mystery. When I set it aside last month, I'd completed most of the research and had half-finished a detailed outline. I plan to begin drafting it in June. So, for the first time in my life, I'll actually be working on two books at once.
3) Meanwhile, I need to proof and edit the scanned version of Mastery, just in from Yvonne Betancourt. I hope to release this as an ebook by June.


Improvements to the studio had fallen behind until I had the chance to act upon a long-standing dream. One day in Target, I saw my chance on a clearance shelf..and you'd better believe that I grabbed it at less than a third of its regular price. Say hello to Babycakes:

Jack LaLanne Juicer

Slowly, but daily, I begin my return to the health regimen I once enjoyed long ago in San Francisco.. And it begins with fresh juices that I make more adventuresome: adding parsley, lime, spinach, kale, ginger to such conservative standbys as carrots and apples, etc.

Homebodying also includes now almost daily jaunts to Pike Place Market for small quantities of fruits and veggies.

Conclusion: The best way to return to our lost Glory Days may be to regain our lost wisdom on fitness and nutrition. And to follow our young footsteps.

Ripoffs and Savvy Savings
1) Do you take tea with your sugar? Or: God save us all from Bubble Tea.
I didn't mind spending $3.00 to use a Patrons Only bathroom before my job interview.  And I was okay with their not serving any herbal teas. But really, I thought I'd get something that I was able to drink.

Sharetea - ChauTime X ChauHandZ!!! - Seattle, WA, United States

One sip and I understood that I'd gotten a cup of hot sugar, flavored with ginger and a taste of black tea. Into the garbage it went.

2) Great shaving adventure update:  I ended up getting 25 shaves from my first Dorco cartridge. And it would have lasted 30, except shaving a thick mustache off took its toll. No nicks, no cuts: the honeymoon continues. And the tube of Proraso shaving cream looks good to last me a year. Not only that, the Proraso leaves my skin so smooth that I don't need after shave.
Monthly shaving cost, shaving every other day: about $1.

Laptop Hoboing

This section will be under construction through April. My new job will take me to the University District, where I plan to explore thoroughly the section called The Ave. I find that I've been limiting myself to the handful of coffee shops I listed in the March issue. An expert laptop hobo, though, needs a deep, expert lay of the land to give his adventuresome spirit more room.

Ask El Reberoo

Joe Bob Dee asks: So how I do get out of my own dead-end job? Not all of us are lucky, dude.
El Reberoo responds: A shift in your perspective might turn out to be the key. I'd always had the willpower of ten men, But what I needed to find a new job was the WON'T power of one man--me: I won't be treated like this any more/I won't be disrespected/I won't even consider that I might possibly fail. At all costs, Joe, keep the faith. For self-doubt's a tired soul's unending good night to its dreams.

Deep Thoughts

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1) Abstinence makes the fond grow harder.
2) Poverty ennobles the spirit, they say...between sales of Florida swamp land.
3) The higher the horse that you sit on, the broader the view of your butt.