Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 14

Friedman Acceptability Measure: 4

Friedman's measure might be neutral were it not for his insistence on saying "Or-a-GONE," and, even worse in my book, "NevAHHHHda."

As usual we got up suboptimally early, this time to get a close-up of Mount Rainier. The mountain stands a good 8,000 feet above any other mountain even remotely close by, so it's easy to pick out. A kindly veteran offered to take a picture of the two of us in the mountain's shadow, a picture which he guaranteed would be "frame-worthy."

We hiked over slick snow to a vista point. Friedman unwisely chose to wear his boat shoes, which not only make him look like the pretentious New England Jewish WASP some have accused him of being, but also have the unfortunate property of being approximately frictionless on the bottom. My "sherpa" shoes fared better and helped me blend in with the locals.

Having ventured 60 miles south of Seattle, our next destination was the Boeing assembly plant, 20 miles north of the city. The Boeing people told as at least 5 times that this building is the largest building in the world, by volume. Which leads me to wonder what the largest building by area is. My best guess, inspired by "Uncommon Carriers," is the UPS sorting facility in Kentucky. Each door at the end of an assembly line is the size of a football field. We got to see, but not photograph, the assembly lines for the 777 and 787 (the first 787 rolled off the line the day before we got there). Our tour guide claimed that the 777's engine is as wide around as the 737 fuselage.

It was at the Boeing factory that Friedman's most outrageous blunder occurred. We were required to put our cell phones and other electronics in a locker before the tour, and he managed to lock the slip with our combination on it in the locker. We had to sheepishly beg the nice woman behind the information desk for help when the tour concluded.

The long day had hardly begun at this point, as we headed to the Red Sox at Mariners game. Gabbard began the bottom of the first with 4 walks, a hit, and a HBP, so that was pretty much the end of that. We did, however, see Javier Lopez break the MLB pitch-speed record by a solid 5 mph:

After the game ended on three straight K's by J J Putz, we headed for the ferry that would take us to the Olympic Peninsula. Finally, and I must say I waited many days for this, Friedman got nailed with a speeding violation (68 in a 55, which was really more like 78 in a 55 before he slammed on the breaks).

The policeman, who looked exactly like Jonathan "The Gynecologist" Papelbon (incidentally, this was about as close to Jonathan Papelbon as we got since the Red Sox are so bad at life), was very nice.

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