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Originally published April 1, 2013 at 9:19 PM | Page modified April 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

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State’s almost-first lady has a way with words

Marilyn McKenna tweets up a storm; Nathan Myhrvold’s hyperactive retirement; and men in skirts (well, kilts).

Seattle Times staff columnist

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She curses. She cracks. And, apparently, Marilyn McKenna ogles “strapping young” lifeguards at the Y.

How do we know all this about the woman who would have been the first lady of Washington had her husband, Rob McKenna, won the November gubernatorial election?

She tweets. A lot.

Nothing is off-limits.

Not her husband:

Or her kids:

But most of McKenna’s tweets are aimed at herself.

McKenna, who has lost 120 pounds over the last couple of years, is training for a marathon, and working on a book called “Eat Like It Matters.”

We’ll get more about all that when we talk with her this week. In the meantime, feel free to follow her: @mckennamarilyn.

His retirement cooks

Nathan Myhrvold still smiles like the sun when he recalls the day he told Bill Gates that he wanted out. Being the chief technology officer at Microsoft was just not cutting it for him.

“He said, ‘You’re kidding!’ ” Myhrvold said of that day in 2000. “And I said, ‘No, really.’ ”

Since then, Myhrvold has been the poster boy for those who cut the so-called “golden handcuffs,” and retire so they can follow their bliss.

Bliss for Myhrvold means acquiring more than 30,000 patents with his Intellectual Ventures and trying to develop a “safe and cheap” nuclear reactor.

But his true love? Cooking. Which is all why Myhrvold presented his second book, “Modernist Cuisine at Home,” to a recent meeting of the Microsoft Alumni Network.

The room was filled with others who had given Gates a grateful goodbye.

“Art Galleries, wine, farming,” Network President Tony Audino, told me as we scanned the room. “It really covers the landscape.”

Nevet Basker is an independent consultant, speaker and policy adviser focused on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Myhrvold’s book is a follow-up to his “Modernist Cuisine,” which won the James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year in 2012.

“It’s the only cookbook in the world with partial differential equations,” he said. I didn’t get it, but other people did. The book, even at a discounted $140, was selling at a nice clip.

He talked of “opening” wine by putting it in a blender (“I did it for a Spanish duke!”) and using ultrasonic baths to make French fries crisp.

“People always say, ‘When I retire, I’m going to do a lot more cooking,’ ” Myhrvold said. “I actually did.”

A leg up

The phrase “leg man” has taken on a completely different meaning, now that the online gallery of gams otherwise known as the 2nd Annual Men in Kilts has been posted.

The site — entirely and unfortunately safe for work — features some of Seattle’s bravest men, all barelegged and bony-kneed in kilts, all to raise money for the Seattle Ronald McDonald House.

The roster is worth logging on for: Brad Evans and Roger Levesque of the Seattle Sounders FC; Dave Henderson of the Mariners; John Moffitt of the Seattle Seahawks and KJR’s Ian Furness, Jason Puckett, and Jerry Brewer, who has only bared his head here at The Seattle Times, where his column appears in the Sports section. There’s also a very limber Jonathan Poretta of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Sean Kelly of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

You can go on the site and vote for your favorite man with a $25 pledge, which covers one night of housing for a family staying at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House.

Voting ends April 12, and the winner will be crowned King of the Kilt.

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Friday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com.

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About Nicole Brodeur's Names in Bold

On Tuesdays, I tell you about my travels through some of the week's social and philanthropic events — not just the ones for the swells, but those for work-a-day folks who care about making this region move and improve.
nbrodeur@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2334

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