Seattle is splendid in the summer

Happy sunday superheroes! I hope that everybody had splendid weekends. It was a scorcher up here in Seattle, the mercury climbed to the high eighties and mid nineties both days! I chose to take full advantage of the heavenly heat by getting outside as much as humanly possible, and by wearing the smallest amount of clothes that I could reasonably get away with in public.

Less pants, more DATA. If I go into the lab on weekends, I set the dress-code

I started my weekend off on the right foot…and also the left foot…and then the right foot again. I got up and grabbed seven glorious miles. I’m very pleased to report that Achilles was a true valiant warrior: my tweaky tendon had no complaints!

There is nothing more obnoxious than an injured runner, and nothing more joyful than a runner getting back on the roads after a forced rest!

After my morning miles I hit up a yoga class. I got my asana on, then met up with some fellow microbiologists for an afternoon of deep scientific inquiry into fluid dynamics, buoyancy, fermentation, and photosynthesis.

Deep DEEP scientific inquiry

Before I arrived at UW, one of the senior, and extremely talented graduate students, in our department invented a sport called “ca-booze-ing.” It’s extremely difficult to master, so I will break it down into it’s component parts:

1) Step one: rent canoes.

Helpful tip

2) Step two: Paddle canoes around Lake Washington, while enjoying a dry riesling.




3) Step three: there is no step three.

We had a great time paddling around the arboretum, enjoying the sunshine. Seattle may only get 60 sunny days per year, but those 60 sunny days are pretty spectacular


This was going to be a big, busy, smelly overpass right through the arboretum until some environmental groups got construction halted. Now it’s a cool “bridge to nowhere”

The absolute highlight of our nautical excursion (and possibly my mid-twenties) was getting up close and personal with a family of ducks.

Quack quack quack

I got EXTREMELY up-close-and-personal with the momma duck. 

We’re 24 hours out, and so far I’m not showing any symptoms of H5N1 bird flu. Here’s hoping that Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology, is looking out for me. Coming down with a highly transmissible and often fatal disease would be socially awkward and really throw a monkey wrench into my fall training schedule.

Get your shit together, Sam!
I KNOW that Louis Pasteur, my old housemate’s cat, has my back

I think that starting a global pandemic is likely grounds for dismissal from a PhD program. Although, judging from the recent reports about misplaced smallpox virus, carelessly handled live anthrax, and accidents with H5N1 at the CDC, starting a global pandemic may NOT be grounds for dismissal from government research.

"Seriously guys, get your shit together!" Kisses, Louis Pasteur
“Seriously guys, get your shit together!”
Louis Pasteur

I greeted Sunday morning with some sun salutations. The sun greeted me on my way to yoga with a marvelous sunrise.

How many times can you write the word “sun” in two sentences?

After a soothing savasana I changed out of my yoga-spandex and into my biking spandex. My housemate, Alli; Sheldon, a post-doc in my lab; and I put pedals to pavement and rode west on the Burke-Gilman trail.


It was a lovely bike ride. I was nervous heading out the door that the heat and humidity would leave us dehydrated and defeated. Luckily there was a cool breeze off of Lake Washington, and we managed our hydration like professionals.

Does beer have electrolytes?

We rode to the 192 Brewery Taphouse, in Kenmore. It’s a great little spot to kick your feet up and enjoy a hard-earned refreshing beverage in an outdoor beer garden. The entire bike ride ended up being around two dozen miles, round trip. The Burke-Gilman trail is scenic, and flat as a pancake; pedaling on the trail is a dream. It was fun to bike with Alli and Sheldon, although I seriously need to start incorporating some speed workouts in my cycling if I ever hope to progress as a triathlete. Sheldon and I busted out a sprint on a straightaway section. I should rephrase that: Sheldon sprinted, Sam got left in the dust. Nevertheless a good time was had by all.

I might not be a speedy cyclist, but I’m certainly a patriotic pedaler.

Overall it was a wonderful weekend. The entire population of Seattle loses its collective shit when the weather turns nice for good reason: summer in this city is absolutely GLORIOUS. (I love The Oatmeal’s take on the “four…but actually two…seasons” of Seattle weather). I gave myself gotten a serious dose of sunlight to combat a creeping case of Outdoor Deficiency Disorder. I’m feeling pumped and ready to take on whatever the week throws at me.

Hopefully my week does’t throw something cute and deeply disturbing at me…

How was YOUR weekend? What did you get up to?

Was it hot where you are?

What’s the weirdest encounter you have ever had with a bird?

4 thoughts on “Seattle is splendid in the summer

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  1. When Mom and I lived in on the beach in Lynn (Lynn, Lynn, city of sin. Never come out the way you went in.), we lived in a fourth floor walk up with a balcony and a glorious view of the ocean and the Boston skyline. We had a cat named Mugwort (the reincarnation of the first midwife) who would hang out on the porch while we were at work. One day, we got home from work and Mugwort was acting seriously, seriously deranged because he had managed to catch a pigeon and drag it into the apartment. He wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it once he had it injured and inside, but his eyeballs were like saucers and his adrenaline was off the charts.

    So, like any clueless, but well meaning suburbanites, we called the humane society to see if they could help the pigeon. Their response was underwhelming. “It’s a pigeon.”

    So, like any clueful, but not-so-well meaning suburbanites, we stuck the pigeon back out on the balcony, closed the door (and our eyes), and ignored it for a few hours. It was gone and not lying dead in the alley when we checked back on it.

    We shall never speak of this incident again…


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