Ring Doorbell craze

The mailman says everybody has them now. I went over to my neighbor’s and they have one. We recently got one. Now that I know what they look like I’m seeing them everywhere. It’s the Ring Doorbell and you have probably been recorded by one.

After putzing around for months trying to figure out which security camera(s) to choose, our decision would ultimately be made by Santa: Ring Doorbell Pro.

Ours has been online for less than a month and I’m a believer. The doorbell camera is noticeable during the day and even moreso at night with the nightvision bulbs. This deters foul play at all hours. The fisheye lens provides great detail in any light and you can customize the detection area so that your motion sensors are only triggered exactly where you want them – I am impressed with how well this feature works.

You need an existing, hard-wired, classic doorbell. You simply replace your existing button with the Ring. Anytime someone enters the motion detection area you’ve set up, or anytime someone rings the doorbell, your cameras are rolling and you are notified via text message. You can hear and speak with anyone at your door anytime from anywhere using a smartphone app. There are two of us using ours, one on an iPhone and one on a Pixel, and we’ve both had a good experience so far.

Footage is available in realtime and also stored for viewing later. 30 days of surveillance backups are included for only a few dollars per month as of this writing in early 2018. There is also a social aspect included with your subscription. Our north end neighborhood has its own Ring community where people are sharing and discussing footage of suspicious activity captured on their doorbell cameras.

NOTE: To make your new button ring your old doorbell chimes, you need to physically wire in a small box (included) to the old chimes. This process took me less than 15 minutes and I am not a qualified electrician. All doorbell wiring is low voltage so you are not at risk of electric shock during installation. To put your mind at ease, you can shut off the power before installing, but it’s not necessary.

Feel free to email me specific questions about the installation and use of the Ring.

Left turn etiquette

The traffic in Proctor doesn’t typically bother me. It gets a little thick at times but I feel like I can get around pretty good.. until I am stopped in my tracks by left turners behind a green circle. There are two distinct brands of bad left turners that we need to address.

Unnecessary use of crowded intersections
The mildest offenders in the bunch, many of you who turn left onto Proctor Street from North 30th at 5:17pm..should turn sooner. There are multiple options to turn sooner (Alder, Union, etc.) and all of them will save you and the rest of us a lot of time. I realize some of you live on Proctor, and of course you are more than entitled to your left turn onto your street. It is the folks headed for Mason Middle School or Proctor Safeway that have much better routes to consider.

Sitting through an entire green light without moving
This is the group of people for which there is no excuse. AT LEAST ONE CAR MUST TURN LEFT ON EVERY GREEN CIRCLE, even if you finish your turn after the light has turned red. I understand there are a lot of people who do not see it this way. They are wrong. There is no excuse for sitting through an entire round of lights unless the intersection is physically blocked.

As our population density increases, so will our need for new left turn lanes and green arrow signals. Until then we should all do our part to follow the new world order of left turn etiquette to reduce traffic queues. Less waiting at intersections means improvements to the following:

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Air quality
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Traffic safety
  • Drive times
  • Frustration levels
  • Road rage statistics

In other words, by being a better left turner, you can save the world time, money and good health. Follow this simple checklist and you are on your way to being a better left turner:

New world order of left turn etiquette
  1. Avoid turning left at signal-controlled intersections lacking turn lanes or green arrow signals
  2. Enter the intersection when you have the right of way and your light is green
  3. Exit the intersection when you have the right of way and your path is clear
  4. Focus on pedestrians and oncoming vehicles at intersections, NOT the color of the light

Only way to “save the Luzon”

The Luzon issue is really starting to get old. How many different groups do we want to look at this before we move in one of many new directions? Personally, I would’ve given up on it long ago. Unlike most of you reading this, I’ve been here my whole life and the massive void in the middle of downtown created by the DaVita parking lot and the Luzon building has long worn out its welcome with me.

On the news of Igor Kunista moving in to try and save the day, I will wait a small while longer before calling for the outright demolition of this dangerous, useless structure. If we DO want to continue pondering ways to salvage the Luzon building, then I will offer my final idea on this matter.

Are you familiar with The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House in downtown Seattle? It is a rather upscale restaurant in a rather small, very old building adjacent to the relatively new and magnificent Washington Mutual Tower on 2nd and University (The WaMu Tower may now be called the Chase Tower, but you won’t ever hear me call it that). The old building that houses this fine restaurant reminds me a lot of the Luzon building.

When the WaMu Tower was built, they kept the little old building on the corner and even incorporated it into the new building, providing it with STRUCTURE and PARKING and a PURPOSE!! Anyone who wants to save the Luzon should take a close look at the Brooklyn.

In the picture below, you can see the Brooklyn’s old building incorporated into the base of the new super structure. From the street level, it works seemlessly, and the precious architecture from yesteryear is preserved.

Brooklyn in downtown Seattle