Friday, June 30, 2006

It's Seafair Already?

Seafair's here. Yay? spanning_time's never been to a Seafair event, so we don't know whether to be all that excited by it (plus they tout the Blue Angels so much it's annoying - Air Force childhood and background at work). That streak seems set to end with their first event for this year: Milk Carton Boat Racing. Displays of brilliant successes and amazing failures? Yes please.

The Baffle Gab Milk Carton Derby at Seafair
Most people think of the Blue Angels when they think of Seafair, but the festival is actually a month long affair, culminating with the famed air show. Help kick-off the festivities by cheering on the first event, milk-carton boat races on Greenlake. (The boats' flotation relies entirely on milk cartons.)
When: Saturday, July 1, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location:The southwest portion of Greenlake
Cost: Free; $5 donation for lunchtime show
Info.: 206.728.0123 x 103

[via Red Tricycle]

UkeFest 2006!

spanning_time has posted a lot of movies lately, and while those are indeed fitting for this space, it's not really what this blog is intended to carry (Quick reviews. Labyrinth - dated but fun/The Dark Crystal - wow, still kinda freaky though/Wordplay - fits right into the wordy documentary space/Superman Returns - maintains the Superman spirit, so it's good). But back to the more random and weird, and this one delivers. Tomorrow is Ukefest, the fifth annual celebration of the ukulele. Absolutely brilliant. Here's the copy:

Come celebrate the music, history and lore of the ukulele at UkeFest—a full day of dazzling workshops followed by an evening of impressive performances from some very dedicated and rather obsessed ukulele players. Uke stars Joel Eckhaus, and the Boulder Acoustic Society, will share hard-won tips and tear-it-up techniques to help you expand your playing.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Rock Paper Scissors Tournament: Baltic Room Edition

After the hype we generated before the last RPS tournament (and afterwards), we can't help but to feel that we're part of the reason that they're holding another tournament, this time at the Baltic Room. You'll need time to work out your strategy, since this time we're planning to take it all and not get bounced in the first round like last time.

Now to get to work on a Dick's eating contest (and yes, I already thought of the obvious Pride weekend joke there, and chose to refrain).

Further Indulging our Linguaphilia

So just a few weeks ago the spanning_time Spelling Bee Championships viewing was a roaring success. A few weeks prior, the regional Bee provided an enjoyable Sunday afternoon. Now, there's a word-y documentary that was well-received at SIFF that might be worth your attention.

Wordplay (playing for the next week at the Harvard Exit) seems to follow in the tradition of Spellbound or Word Wars, discovering some of the stories involved with the world of crossword puzzles. Interest in the film was already piqued because of the word-based nature, but the fact that crossword puzzles were the activity of choice for downtime in Spain (along with Uno) takes spanning_time's interest over the edge. Even if you aren't a fan of crosswords, this film should be entertaining and quirky, the only two things we demand out of a cinematic experience.

Muppet Update!

Courtesy of spanning_time reader Josh, we've just learned that not only is NWFF playing Labyrinth, tomorrow they're playing the Muppet Movie as well along with an ice cream social to benefit the Children's Cinema Initiative. Thanks for the tip Josh!

To benefit Cinema K Northwest Film Forum Childrens Cinema Initiative!
Saturday, June 24, 3:00 P.M.
Chocolate, Strawberry & Vanilla $25 for the whole family
and Muppet Movie at 5:00 P.M.

A Double-Dose of Henson

Cute, but Creepyspanning_time misses Jim Henson. His creations are a cornerstone of our childhood, and his genius remains unmatched when it comes to breathing life into the inanimate. The fine folks at Pixar come close, but their engaging storylines are more self-contained than Henson's fully-developed multiverse (plus, pixels aren't really tangible). This weekend offers an opportunity to revisit two of Henson's non-Kermit-related works, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

Labyrinth of course stars both a young Jennifer Connelly and David freakin' Bowie, who kidnaps her baby brother as the Goblin King. It's a bit like a trippy, Muppet-driven Alice in Wonderland, but with a Bowie soundtrack. It's got a bit of a cult status surrounding it, with its video releases and lore lasting far longer than the lack of theatrical success would suggest. It's playing this weekend (and for the next week) at the Northwest Film Forum with a new 35mm print.

The Dark Crystal marked a darker turn for the Muppet empire in 1982. I have no problem admitting that I actually haven't finished the movie since it used to scare the crap out of me when I was younger. I always thought I could handle it, but it all just seemed too real (a Muppet Uncanny Valley I suppose), so I would always leave before it ended. Maybe now I can finally see how this quest tale ends. It's playing as the Midnight Movie both Friday and Saturday nights at the Egyptian, which is both awesome and a little scary. If you see someone leaving early, that will likely be us, having an irrational Muppet moment.

[via Seattlest, MetBlogs, and MetBlogs]

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A PacSci Two-fer

The Pacific Science Center has not one, but two things of interest. Having only been to the planetarium for a laser show, it'll be nice to have an opportunity to see a little more of what they have to offer.

Thing One:
The current Game On! exhibit (around until August 31) is centered around using video games as a means to introduce scientific concepts. It's smart to pull people in with the familiar, but it seems like this exhibit doesn't forget to keep it fun, providing lots of hands-on activities while sharing how different facets of science and culture come together to make video games and its attendant industry. Sounds like a good time.

Thing Two:
While spanning_time is still waiting for the release of Snakes on a Plane, there are other movies that are helping to ease the wait. One such movie is Superman Returns, which opens next week. After a long hiatus (and the death of Christopher Reeve, the actor that ebodied the Superman role in its Eighties incarnation), the Superman franchise is making its return next week. Topping even a showing at Cinerama, the Boeing IMAX theater is showing a special 3-D version of the movie, which even includes a sneak preview. Buzz on the movie is universally positive, so it should be worthy of your time, and the IMAXiness would seem fitting for this type of blockbuster.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The Soccer Wall at the Adidas Store in Barcelona
The picture above is from the display window at the Adidas store in Barcelona, Spain. World Cup fever has taken over Europe far more than in the US, and it's hard to not get at least a little caught up in it. The scores for the games were filled in daily, so even if you weren't watching the games you couldn't help but to be aware of what was going on. Small crowds would occasionally gather as well, discussing the games, and only rarely mentioning the shoes. On the whole, it was not only an appropriate piece of marketing, but an engaging one as well.

Upon returning, spanning_time has had a few invitations to watch games around town, so the real point of this post is to remind you that the World Cup is going on, and that you should make a point to catch some portion of a game in the proper setting, that of being surrounded by rowdy football fans. It's not really an American pastime, but when done right, it's entertaining all the same.
A small crowd huddled on a Barcelona sidewalk watching Spain destroy the competition.

Well, It Was Free

This post is going to be a bit different than usual, but this seems like a good avenue regardless. Plus, you get something free, so there's something in it for you readers anyway.

If you go to this site, you can get a free pack of Dentyne Ice sent to you. I'm more of an Extra fan on the whole, but I was willing to give it a go, and ordered my free pack before heading to Spain, and took it with me.

I have to admit the gum is pretty good. I mean, it's gum, but it worked out on that level. It does not work for being in a pocket though, so be warned. I kept the gum in my jeans, and it just sort of melted. Dentyne, if you're listening, you need to make your gum more *Extreme!!!!*-ready, since melted gum is all but worthless. For you readers though, maybe you can try the product under more normal conditions and have better results.

Oh, and yes, this post means spanning_time is back from Spain, with more content to come (and no, we don't really count this post in the category of "content" - but still, free gum).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


spanning_time supports excess in most cases, but with this event, some restraint is going to be necessary (or at least preemptive planning). So Saturday there's the Fremont Summer Solstice Festival, which is always a good time, but if surrounding yourselves with hippies isn't your style, you can surround yourself with beer. The 2006 Washington Brewers Festival is coming to Seattle Center, so you can find out what Washington has to offer in the way of beer. It's uncertain if this is just a sampler or if you can take your favorites home with you, but in any case, if you're into beer and discovery, Seattle Center is where you'll want to be.


Yes, I'm blogging from vacation. I've managed to find some Internet to "borrow" so I might as well use it.

I just wanted to let all of you know that Friday the PinDown Girls are doing their thing at the Showbox. I've never seen them, and don't know the details really, but were I in town I would definitely be in attendance. It's wrestling, which seems to fit right into our burlesque and roller derby little city. There's wrestling the first week of the month at Rebar that I have yet to witness as well, but between the wrestling bands, and certain spectacle, this should be worth your while.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

spanning_time is not Bilingual

Just letting you readers know that spanning_time is off to Spain until the 19th, so no posts for a week (not that week-long hiatuses are abnormal around these parts). Keep an eye on the calendar in the meantime. Don't forget the Solstice Festival next week and there's still some SIFF left.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What Does 6/6/06 Mean to You?

It's another two-for-one post, this time for pointless observances and wild annoyance, two things spanning_time fully supports.

Some group of individuals decided that 6/6/06 should be declared a National Day of Slayer. Yes, speed-metal Slayer. How do you celebrate? From the official site:

Official Statement on Participation
Listen to Slayer at full blast in your car.
Listen to Slayer at full blast in your home.
Listen to Slayer at full blast at your place of employment.
Listen to Slayer at full blast in any public place you prefer.
DO NOT use headphones! The objective of this day is for everyone within earshot to understand that it is the National Day of Slayer. National holidays in America aren't just about celebrating; they're about forcing it upon non-participants.

Taking that participation to a problematic level
Stage a "Slay-out." Don't go to work. Listen to Slayer.
Have a huge block party that clogs up a street in your neighborhood. Blast Slayer albums all evening. Get police cruisers and helicopters on the scene. Finish with a full-scale riot.
Spray paint Slayer logos on churches, synagogues, or cemeteries.
Play Slayer covers with your own band (since 99% of your riffs are stolen from Slayer anyway).
Kill the neighbor's dog and blame it on Slayer.
As for the second observance, the following image says it all:
spanning_time does not condone violence.  Except for the funny kind like in cartoons.Emo used to be good. Now it's crap and it's time to rebel!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pillow Fight Saturday

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye...

Date: Saturday, June 10th.
Time: 1:31pm
Place: Pier 66 (Bell Street Pier), Between Anthony's At Pier 66 (Restaurant) and the Maritime Museum (by the litle whale watching sandwich board sign.)

REMEMBER: 1. Conceal your pillow before the fight (backpacks and shopping bags work well)
2. Keep moving, or at least look busy doing something else. ***What we don't want are people standing around the fight area with pillows in their hands, waiting for the whistle***
3. Listen for the whistle - When it blows, pull out your pillow and start swinging! When you hear the second whistle-

AFTERMATH GATHERING- Immediately following the fight at Liberty (Capitol Hill) 517 15th Ave. Between Mercer and Republican. Sushi, drinks, and fabulous people. Come play with your pillow fight family! We had a great gathering last time. I'd love to meet more of you :-)

*IMPORTANT* - Please spread the word. Repost this message everywhere you can. Talk to everyone you know about the fight. Let's try to make this one a big one. Bring as many people with you as you can. Fill your car with pillow fighting friends!

Special Two-for-One Post!

First off, a thanks to everyone that made it out to the Spelling Bee viewing on Thursday. It was a good time, despite how much the blonde hostess wasn't willing to be accomodating (luckily the waitress (and cheesecake) made up for it). USA!!! USA!!! spanning_time will make an attempt at more such events in the upcoming weeks (with more notice) once back from Barcelona.

Second, this link is a followup to one of the events that inspired this blog's creation. A few month's back Mission held a Rock Paper Scissors Tournament (it was officially sanctioned too). Well, apparently three items is old-hat, since now there's RPS 25 making the Internet rounds.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spelling Bee Gathering Tonight!

This is how pumped we should be.Rather than just merely letting you know about the Spelling Bee Championships, I've called Jillian's and made sure that they're willing to put on the spelling bee later if people are there requesting it. That said, I'm proposing a last-minute gathering there to watch this there. A sports bar seems like the right setting for something like this.

Who: You and your friends
What: Spelling Bee Championships/Jillian's Takeover
When: Tonight, June 1, 7:30pm
Where: Jillian's, 731 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, 98109 - (206) 223-0300
Why: Because we can
How: With much gusto Link

Get your geek on!

Spelling Bee Championships Tonight on ABC

The subject pretty much captures it all. Tonight on ABC, starting at 8pm EDT/CDT, they'll be broadcasting the Championship Rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We posted when it was just the regional, so now it's time to close out the experience. Here's to hoping for nervous tics and speech impediments!

Thursday, June 1:

LeapFrog presents the Preliminary Championship Rounds of the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee live on ESPN from
12 noon to 3 p.m. EDT

Championship Rounds of the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee live on ABC from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT/CDT

Now let's see if a sports bar is willing to put this on...

The High Cost of Free

It's nature looking natural.spanning_time fully supports free and low-cost events. The value there is just too high to ignore, so that's where the focus is. That said, here's the text for a "free" picnic. Why the quotes? Well, you still have to get there, and the cost of gas is hardly negligible. That said, it sounds like a potentially wonderful Saturday.

North Cascades Institute’s 20th Anniversary Picnic and Barbeque
Environmental education is the name of the game for North Cascades Institute. At its newest field campus, in North Cascades National Park (on Diablo Lake), one can absorb info. about wildlife, wildflowers and the rich cultural history of the region. This Saturday, eye the facilities, create some art with the kids and then picnic on fresh, organic food. Afterward, take a guided forest stroll, a mellow paddle or just sit and enjoy the sounds of The Senate, a Seattle-based pop group. Please RSVP online so they can plan for enough chow.

When: Saturday, June 3, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: At the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, 810 State Route 20 (less than three hours NE of Seattle; directions online)
Cost: Free
Info.: Reservations at 360.856.5700 x 212

[via Red Tricycle]