Minor Media Mentions - Anacortes Pride


Again for posterity, I submit this article from Anacortes Pride, the monthly newsletter/paper from the Anacortes School District. It was an honor to be profiled and really really fun chatting with the superintendent. The conversation ranged all over, much more than could be covered in this Q&A. The paper copy will go in my scrap book, but now it's in my digital scrapbook as well!
Thursday November 3 2016File under: media, Anacortes

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Anacortes Disc Golf Course

What better activity to fill the gorgeous Sunday of Memorial Day weekend than a nice round of frisbee golf. Even more exciting is that it was my first time playing the Anacortes Frisbee Golf Course! For years I had heard talk of plans to put it in here or there, but never materializing. Finally, though, it is a real thing—9 holes complete with official innova baskets!

We were a group of 6 which was proved really helpful for spotting and searching for errant discs. The course is dense with plenty of undergrowth making for more time spent looking for discs than actually throwing. If you are planning on checking it out, I do recommend long pants and close-toed shoes. The hope is that after the frolfers have their way for a while, it will keep the undergrowth in check, esp. the super invasive ivy.

The course was fun with short-ish holes (having pro and beginner tee "boxes") that covered some beautiful forest. And being walkable/bikeable from downtown is a definite plus as well. The downside, however, is the dense underbrush in which we lost 3 discs in only 7 holes. (We had to cut the course short because we spent so much time looking for lost discs.)

I'll definitely play it again. A course is always more fun after the first time, because you start to get to know the pitfalls and shortcuts of the course. Plus, you're more apt to find one of your old lost discs! So if you're ever passing through town and looking for a fun little adventure, check out the Anacortes Disc Golf Course.
Monday May 25 2015File under: Anacortes, games

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Wheel Of Fortune Viewing Party

This Wheel of Fortune experience (previous covered here, here, and here) just keeps on giving! The big night of the airing of my episode, I put out word that I'd be watching it at H2O and I'd love it if anyone interested would join me. And people came out in droves! It was the party of a lifetime, with so many good friends and family, all interested, exciting, and supportive!

I started out by giving a brief talk about the experience (audition process, taping day, etc.) and taking a few questions. Then we watched the episode on the big screen. During the commercials, I got up and talked about what was going through my head, what was happening behind the scenes, and tried to answer more questions*.

Then [SPOILER ALERT], after enough time to really put people on the edge of their seat, I won! The place went wild. It was so much fun having the excitement that I felt then, that I've been having to keep bottled up, be shared by and with so many people! Then out came the desserts, lots of handshaking, hugging, and congratulations, and just so much smiling.

This was truly a night to remember. A good time has had by all, but not nearly as good a time as was had by me. Thanks so much to all that came and shared in the event to make it special.

And to those who watched it at home, posted about it on facebook, and generally shared in all the excitement with me, thanks to you too. Coming home from the party and seeing all the messages of congratulations and support was so amazing. And to those that missed it due to work, being abroad, or having local news preempt programming*, I'm working on getting a copy that I can send your way, so you can share in the fun, albeit a bit late.

And lastly, a giant thanks to the Wheel of Fortune producers, staff, and crew whose show was the catalyst for all this fun. Thanks to you for such a great experience all around!
Saturday November 1 2014File under: wheel, Anacortes

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Tournament of Champions Champions!

Last night, at the Brown Lantern in Anacortes, the Tournament of Champions trivia night was held. It was an invite only affair that pitted the best teams of the last year and a half against each other with a different format and higher stakes*.

I'm pleased to report that our team, Poupon Parade, the team with the winningest record for the year, prevailed decisively. (For a look at our record, check out the trivia results database here.)

Big thanks to Nick (from The Business) for writing and hosting a great season of trivia and to my awesome team for just plain being smart. Here's to another great season!
Wednesday May 21 2014File under: games, Anacortes

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Tulipy Commute


Skagit Valley is a pretty dang nice place most of the time, but for about a month in Spring, it's super nice. While much of that is due to the emergence from the rainy, short-dayed winter, them purty flowers that show up all over the flats contribute nicely. Normally, I barely see the fields of yellow, pink, and purple from far off on the highway. This year, however, I get to see them up close almost daily!

In a slight divergence from my normal schedule, the last couple weeks I've been hauling gravel, shoveling dirt, and building with rocks (which is typically more of a fall occurrence.)* As always, I enjoy the work and income but lament the loss of free easy days. But that's beside the point. The place we are working requires a commute through the tulips. The first week, the daffodils were just peeking through. Now they've mostly been topped and some tulips are in full swing. Next week, when we're scheduled to finish the job, everything should be going great guns!

The tulips are one of those Skagit County events I take for granted. The last time I truly took advantage was 7 years ago (posted here*). This year, not only do I have the lovely commute to admire them from, I will also be doing the tourist thing when a friend comes up specifically to see the tulips.

For those of you who haven't experienced the glory of the acres upon acres of color, here are some photos from local superstar photographer and ex-blog du friend-er David Clumpner. (You can look at his wedding photography website here.)

Saturday April 12 2014File under: Anacortes, work

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Anacortes Ultimate Points Naming

I've been playing ultimate frisbee here in Anacortes for, gosh, over 10 years now? (Tuesdays 6:30 @ Smiley's bottom except in late Sept and Oct when we go up to Storvik for lights. Join us!) It is a great way to get out and get some exercise and it's a total hoot to boot!

For that last year or so, we've been trying to compile names for every possible combination of points in hopes of us being able to remember the score better between points. It all started with the Richard Nixon Point when the score was 2 to 2. From there, it just exploded. Here's is my attempt to preserve, for posterity, the official Anacortes Ultimate Frisbee points naming conventions. Hopefully they will get picked up internationally and beyond!

Oh, and it should go without saying that yes I realize these are incredible nerdy. Like uber nerdy. But I'm okay with that.
ScoreNameExplanation (if necessary)
0-1Baby pointAmong the more crude explanations. Requires a bit of a visual.
1-1Oh, deerfingers look like horns
1-2Jack Blackopposite of Blackjack
2-1Blackjack
2-2Richard NixonI am not a crook
3-1Blastoff!"Three to one..."
3-2 WiiWhen held up on the fingers, it looks like a "W" and two "i"s
4-2Jackie RobinsonWas the universe point, but that's already a thing
4-0HighFour to zero = 420 = pot smokers' bingo!
3-3Forest"threes" sounds like "trees"
5-0Po poDo you smell bacon? I smell bacon.
4-4Star WarsMay the fours be with you
4-57-inchRecord speed/size
5-5MimeWhen holding up two open hands, it can look like you are a mime hitting a wall

I might be forgetting a few, and I know new ones will crop up. If you feel so inclined, contribute below. Whoop!
Tuesday October 22 2013File under: Anacortes, games

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Community Solar - A Project I Am Proud To Be A Part Of

The sun is shining outside so I can happily play frisbee, bike to trivia*, or get in some outdoor juggling practice. But now I've got another reason to be happy that the sun is shining: it's making me money!

Through the exhaustive legwork and vision of a few very environmentally minded local folks, the Skagit County Community Solar project was born. The idea behind it is this: not everyone can put solar panels on their home (maybe they rent, live in a shaded area, or can't afford the cost of a whole system) but many want to support solar energy. So, if we all pool our money and find a well-lit spot, we can all share in a piece of the solar energy experience. The state of Washington encourages exactly this type of thing with a program called Community Solar. From their side, it encourages local jobs*, raises awareness of solar energy, and helps delay* building new power plants.

In short, the financial arrangement works like this: 20-30 folks bought "shares" to fund the purchase, install, and start a maintenance fund. Then, for the next 7 years, all governmental subsidies/payments get divvied up among the share holders. The money earned from selling our power back to the local power company goes to pay for the lease on the community roof we are using. Then, at the end of 7 years, we will sell the system to the Middle School (where the system is installed) and those profits, plus what is left out of the maintenance fund will be distributed among the shareholders. The idea is that shareholders will recoup their investment plus maybe 4%, depending on weather, maintenance, etc.

All in all, it's really an awesome kind of project to be involved in. We earn money, support the environment, and raise awareness about how others can support the environment as well. Win win win!
Wednesday October 9 2013File under: environment, Anacortes

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Trivia Trifecta Achieved!

My long sought after trivia goal was achieved this week with the help of some wonderful teammates. We completed the Western Skagit Pub Trivia Trifecta*, coming in first place in 3 consecutive nights of pub trivia (the three establishments in question are the ones I reviewed here.)

The competition was tight (esp. at the Longhorn, where it was more crowded than ever), but the categories were with us (former geographic names and Simpsons, to name a few). There was a helpful little overlap on the various pictures rounds* (answers in comments below), though.

And for this triumph, there was no prize in addition to those of the various establishments. But those do add up: 2 pitchers of beer, 2 mixed drinks, 4 t-shirts, and $95 in gift certificates. If I drank or wore beer swag t-shirts, that would be a pretty good haul. But a burger, desert, and good times is enough of a reward for me.

Next week I head to Portland to get a little trivia in down there. Hopefully the streak will continue! Did I mention that I really like trivia?
Friday March 22 2013File under: Anacortes, games

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Two For Tuesday on the Whale

Anacortes has only one radio station, which happens to be on the AM dial*. It isn't often that I feel the need to switch over to AM but the work* truck's radio is a relic of the past and only gets AM. Because of this, however, we invented a wonderful game that causes us to look forward to every Tuesday. Two for Tuesday!!!

Every Tuesday, the Whale (1340 AM) plays two songs in a row by the same artist. The game is to correctly predict the second song after hearing only the first one. There's more to it than you might think. You've gotta first be able to identify the artist as quickly as possible in the first song, then determine another song or songs by that artist, and finally decide which one is most popular/likely given a range of circumstances (i.e. they probably wouldn't have two slow ones by Green Day).

I'll concede that there is a lot of luck involved. And it is a pretty slow game, usually with only a couple points scored in an 8-hour day. And their strictness of playing 2 songs in a row by the same artist isn't isn't exactly German*. But it is actually a really really fun game. And it can't hurt my ever failing music round at trivia nights. So as long as I'm working, bring on Two for Tuesday!
Tuesday October 23 2012File under: Anacortes, games

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Anacortes Pub Trivia Review

Pub trivia has really become a popular thing, and I can't be more happy about it. I've been to 4 different trivia nights...in the past 4 nights*! Three of those were right here in (or near-ish) my home town. Not bad for a sleepy little burg. Anyway, in hopes of sharing my affinity (and local knowledge), I put together a list of the wheres, whens, and whys. If I'm missing one, let me know. Or if your town has an exceptional pub quiz, I might just have to plan a visit.

PlaceTime/DayProsCons
Mondays
Thursdays
8:00pm
$85 in gift certificates for prizes(!), great food, chill atmosphere, really nice hostPoorly attended*, sometimes formulaic/blah questions*
Tuesdays
9:00pm
Competitive while staying fun, great atmosphere*, reserved table for previous week's winner, good questions Crowded, crappy prizes*, annoyingly hard music round, late hour for us party poopers
Wednesdays
7:00pm
Super fun(!), super well written questions, respectable prizes, great group of folks who play, great funny host, timing/food makes for great combo with dinner20-minute drive from just about anywhere, occasional dance-off tie breaker*

Thursday October 11 2012File under: Anacortes

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