I’m still roaming around the world on my sabbatical (currently in Thailand), but I was excited to hear from my good friend Aaron today. He and his fellow green startup-ers have officially launched EnergySavvy, a portal for homeowners to get information about making their homes more energy efficient. The site will inform you about government tax rebates for home efficiency projects, and connect you with contractors who they have pre-screened and who can make those projects a reality. You can go there right now and answer a few questions to get your home’s energy efficiency score and then start using their tools to improve it. Of course, I’m homeless right now, so no score for me. ;) But I know I’ll be an active EnergySavvy user when I get back to Seattle.

On my sabbatical this year, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about many ways that innovators are using technology to make people’s lives better, and this is another fabulous example. Plus, it features a cute orange dinosaur!

It Wasn’t Me

I received the following query via text message from my friend Gio this weekend:

Lauren did you write a letter to seattle weekly about steve scher? Check out mar 26 apr 1 edition

No, I never wrote a letter to Seattle Weekly, but the letter in question certainly looks like one that I could have written:

Dear Uptightness,

I’ve lived in Seattle for three years, having previously lived in the Bay Area and L.A. I love it here: the outdoors, the music, the friendly people. And like you, I’m a huge fan of NPR. However, I can’t stand Steve Scher. I have to run to the radio at 9 a.m. to change the station to avoid his rambling and pointless introductions to dry segments that seem to waste everyone’s time. (And why so many segments on gardening?) I’ve been told natives like him, but every other California transplant I know agrees with me. You were interviewed for his program, so maybe you have some insight. Should I get over myself? Or should I be the vanguard of the “Fire Scher” movement?

Cali Transplant

Gio knows that I can’t stand Steve Scher. He was especially struck by the comment about gardening-themed shows, as he’s heard me complain about them on more than one occasion. And the profile fits – I did move here from California after living in L.A. and the Bay Area.

However, there are a few tip-offs that this wasn’t actually me:

  1. While I suppose I technically am a “Cali Transplant,” I wouldn’t be caught dead using the actual words “Cali Transplant.”
  2. I’ve lived in Seattle for nearly 5 years, not 3.
  3. If I were to write such a letter, I would submit it to Seattle’s Only Newspaper – the Stranger – rather than Seattle Weekly.

But still, pretty weird.

Yellow and Red

I ended up spending my photography day two Sundays ago at the Volunteer Park Conservatory, UW campus, and the main branch of the Seattle Public Library. I had a great time at the Conservatory (aside from the one room where my lens kept fogging up), an okay time at UW (I really don’t know my way around campus, and I had to run back to my car early because my camera battery died), and an absolute blast at the library.

The library is obviously wonderful because of its unique amorphous exterior, the shapes formed by its blue metallic frame and panes of glass, and the views of the city that it offers. But I had the most fun playing with the bright colors of the red stairs and electric yellow escalators.





Photogenic Seattle

I’m taking an “Introduction to SLR Photography Class,” and my assignment for this week is to take photos of scenes containing interesting geometric shapes. The assignment can be interpreted loosely — e.g., a pine tree can be a triangle, and the geometric shape in the photo may exist only because I’ve cut off the edges of an object in the way I’ve framed a shot. I kind of copped out on my last assignment because I was so busy and out of town for a few weekends in a row — I ended up finishing my assignment by taking photos around Microsoft campus during my lunch break. As you might expect, they weren’t very interesting.

This time around, I have all day Sunday free and I want to go do some shooting in various parts of Seattle. Here are some thoughts on places to go (mostly very obvious spots):

Any other ideas?