December 2010January 2011 February 2011

01/28 - Toga's Sandwiches

We finally tried Toga's in its new incarnation as a soup and sandwich shop. We had noticed the change over a few years back, but, as you know, it takes us a while to try new places. Toga's specializes in hot sandwiches, so we tried a few:
  • The Ultimate Reuben - This was a good honest reuben on toast with good caramelized sauerkraut, a well balanced cheese and fairly good corned beef. We're spoiled by the likes of Carnegie Deli and Katz's in New York, but it was a good enough corned beef by Seattle standards. All told, a nice hearty sandwich.
  • Toga's Original Schnitzel Sandwich - This was a lot lighter, with a lightly breaded, broiled pork cutlet, melted jarlsberg and some lettuce, tomato and red onion. This would make a good sandwich to pack for the trail.
  • Baked Dungeness Crab Panini - This sandwich has a nice helping of Dungeness crab with cheese, onions and, we gather, artichoke hearts. The caramelized onions were great with the crab, but this is another messy sandwich, so we ate it at home.
All told, we were pretty impressed. Toga's has some pretty nice sandwiches. They are open from 10 to 6 at 122 West Lauridsen Boulevard. That's on Route 101, just west of the Albertson's. They have a Facebook page - sorry, we don't link to Facebook for security reasons - where they post their specials, and we've posted their menu online here.

The reuben and the crab - It sounds like a fable.

Keywords: togas, reviews, food, port angeles

01/24 - Marymere Falls

Marymere Falls is one of our "too lazy" hikes. It's about 45 minutes round trip, including gawking at the falls. As usual in the winter, the falls were roaring. See the arty pseudo-panorama to the right. Eventually, they'll get cameras for taking pictures of stuff like this, but for now we can be arty.

The top of the falls

The full falls

Middle falls

One of the side waterfalls

The bottom of the falls

Barnes Creek down below

The new bridge over Barnes Creek

Keywords: barnes creek, winter, panoramas, marymere falls, waterfall

01/23 - The Special Bonus Surprise Waterfall Is Back

Our special bonus surprise waterfall is back, thanks to all the rain we've been having this winter. It flows down what we call the Cliffs of Neurosis. They're like the Cliffs of Insanity in the Princess Bride, but not quite so high. Usually, the area is quite dry, but during the rainy season there is often a bit of a flow. This year there wasn't as much of a stream as some winters, but it's nice to see we're having a properly wet winter.

It's a bit hard to see, but there is a stream flowing down the rock face.

Mount Storm King with a bit of snow

A sunny winter day

Keywords: lake crescent, surprise waterfall, winter, waterfall

01/17 - Panoramas and the iPod Touch

We've been playing with a program called Panorama 360 which runs on the iPod Touch. While the iPod Touch is ostensibly an iPhone without the phone, it does have a camera and an accelerometer in it. This means that when you take a picture, the device can tell which way you are pointing the camera. If you take a series of pictures while pointing in different directions, it can paste them together to form a panorama. This isn't the first time anyone did this sort of thing. Mike Neimark built a simlar rig back in the late 70s, but it makes for a delightful new way of taking photographs.

These aren't like the panoramas we've taken before. Those were of much higher quality and stitched together using Adobe Photoshop. The iPod Touch has a cell phone camera, and not a very good one. It doesn't work very well in low light situations, such as one finds in a rain forest. The Panorama 360 program builds the picture while one watches it, so one can see the panorama grow and move the camera to capture more of the scene. The sensor in the camera isn't very good, and, let's face it, the human hand is no substitute for a proper tripod.

Despite all the problems, the panoramic photographs produce are atmospheric. They capture the light, colors and sense of the place surprisingly well. The first photographs were fuzzy, peculiar images, so strange that they inspired the Impressionists to rethink how one represents the world on canvas. These images are fuzzy and, perhaps, peculiar, but with digital cameras adding pixels and improving technically day by day, they offer an alternate way of capturing our world.

Taken from the Olympic Discovery Trail at the west end of the dike

The deli display at De Laurenti in Pike's Place Market

More goodies at De Laurenti, quite distorted because Panorama assumes a circular scan, not a linear one

Along the Lake Angeles Trail

Trying to capture the clearing caused by that great windfall some years back

The little bridge and water

Another view from along the trail

Keywords: panoramas, lake angeles, kale

01/15 - Here Are Two River Otters on a Rock

It's probably Christmas burnout, or the darkness of the season, but things have been slow here. We did see two river otters on one of the rocks off the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. We were getting hungry. That fish looked awfully good.

Keywords: morse creek, otters

December 2010January 2011 February 2011