Listerine Whitening Strips

30 08 2007

I bought some Listerine Whitening strips from Sam’s Club last night. It’s a hydrogen peroxide based teeth whitening system where the strips dissolve as they whiten. You get 86 strips for $26.

These strips are similar in nature to the strips you might stick on your tongue to freshen your breath except these don’t dissolve quite that fast.

I’ve decided to wear them when driving to and from work. So, this morning I put the strips on as directed, grabbed a bottle of water in case my mouth started foaming or burning and headed to work.

The box said the strips would dissolve in 5-10 mins. It’s more like 15 mins and they disappear without a trace. There’s a slight mint taste but nothing overpowering. I was afraid there would be an aftertaste or something chemically unpleasant. According to the box, you can drink or eat immediately after the strip dissolves. This was the selling point for me.

On my way home from the gym, I sat in the car, put the strips on, and started the drive. Just like this morning, the strips dissolved, there was no unpleasant taste, and I didn’t feel put out by the routine.

As it stands right now, I would recommend the product. I will write an update in two weeks to let you know how well the whitening worked. 


Seattle: Mt. Rainier

30 08 2007

On my third day in Seattle, I took a sightseeing tour to Mt. Rainier National Park. I chose a 10 hr tour package with Gray Line of Seattle.  The bus driver, an older gentleman, was also the guide. He really made the trip interesting and fun. I recommend this tour if you ever make it to the Seattle area.

I had hoped I would get to see a glacier while I was there; however, the closest one has receded just enough that you can no longer view it from the road. Now, it requires an hours hike which wasn’t possible on this trip.


In the photo above, the glacier is right around the bend as you look up the rocky glacier bed. I guess at one time the glacier wall came half way down this bed. That would have been cool to see! 

The park itself is beautiful. I happen to be there during the mountain’s “spring season”. The wildflowers were in bloom everywhere. The douglas firs were gorgeous. Their limbs swoop in a downward angle as though the weight of the snow had forced them into that position.


Something else that was interesting was the damage caused by 18 inches of rain the park received over 2 days back in November 2006. You can read all about it at the park’s website. They have some amazing photos of the damage. Take a look if you have some time.

What was interesting was how the mountain and mother nature made permanent changes to the terrain. There’s one river in particular that no longer travels down its original path. It changed direction when the swollen river became clogged with trees and boulders during the storm. It has maintained that new direction ever since.

The park service had to build a new bridge to cross the river’s new path in a place where it had taken out a section of the road. It’s too bad they couldn’t have used the perfectly good, existing bridge about 1/2 mile down the road. Now it crosses a nearly dry river bed.


During my tour, I got to see herds of deer, waterfalls, rivers, and amazing views but there’s one thing in particular I didn’t get to see aside from the glacier: the mountain peak! It stayed hidden in a dense foggy cloud the entire time I was in Seattle. 


Seattle: Piroshky Piroshky Bakery

27 08 2007

It was too much to pass by without stopping. The Piroshky Piroshky Bakery is a little russian bakery located across the street from the Pike Place Market.

The bakery has a large window on the sidewalk where you can watch the baker wrap layers of dough, apple slices and cinnamon together. Or if you prefer something more savory, the cheese, onion, and garlic piroshky.


I walked by the bakery on my first day in Seattle. After watching the baker put together a few apple rolls, I knew Larry had to come see it.

Finally, on our last day in Seattle, we were able to make it downtown to visit the bakery. Larry stood there for awhile and watched the baker do his magic.

Eventually, he gave in, got in line, and ordered a Cheese Onion Garlic roll. Unfortunately, the tray in the display cabinet was empty so he had to wait for a fresh batch to come out of the oven.

Hot and cheesy!

Seattle: View

25 08 2007

During our last day in Seattle, we drove through some nearby neighborhoods to look at houses. We were in one neighborhood where the road slowly made it’s way up the hill. At first the climb was gradual but the incline became quite steep near the crest.

Eventually, we made it to the top and were greeted with this view. I snapped this picture through the windshield.


That’s Lake Washington between us and Seattle in the background. The area we were in is called Somerset.

Maggie Swimming Laps

25 08 2007

See for more Maggie videos.

Keys to the Kingdom

21 08 2007

Today I attended the Disney Institute class “The Disney Keys to Excellence”.  It was held at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.

images.jpgThe course focused on Disney’s flavor of leadership, management, service and loyalty.  There were a few good take-a-ways from the day.

One was establishing a culture by design and not by default. Another concept was creating relationships based on loyalty. And last but not least, focusing on attention to detail.

In the end, we received a nice certificate that said we had completed the course. Unfortunately, I didn’t look at the certificate until I was home. 

“James Louther” successfully completed the course.

Seattle: Totem Pole – Pike Place Market

20 08 2007