|For the past couple years, I've been meaning to get around to writing a year end/christmas letter. I always really appreciate it when I receive such a letter in the real mail as it keeps me informed about my friends' lives and let's me know that they are thinking of me. So this year I finally did it. It was a neat exercise, from picking the few pictures that I could include to narrowing down and summarizing my year.
If people still read the blog (like you do, which I am ever so grateful), most of the content would be a rehashing. And indeed, if you didn't get a fancy schmancy paper copy of this in the mail, it is most likely since I know you are a reader and it would all be redundant. But I wanted to post it here 1) for posterity* 2) because it is a nice summation of my year (and 3) If you can't tell, I'm desperate for blog material these days)
Anyway, click on the image* above and have a read.
|Tuesday January 14 2014||File under: misc|
|Pub trivia (or trivia of any kind, for that matter) is becoming a pretty big part of my life these days. I do my darnedest to attend the three local events (as covered here) and always try to hit up new spots whenever I travel. It's fun. It's engaging. And it can be pretty dang lucrative.
Well, as is my way, I decided to start tracking me and my team's showings just for kicks. Not only will it be neat to look back at how we did, etc., but it will serve as a way to track winnings. At one spot alone last year, we earned an estimated $2000 in gift certificates. Not bad for a bunch of nerds.
Much in the same way I keep my sleeping around online, I've put the trivia data up as well, just for yucks. You can check it out here.
Take that NSA. No need to bug my phone or e-mail. I've got it all laid out nicely for you right here on my blog.
|Friday January 10 2014||File under: games, data|
|Remember those game nights from back in the day, when a bunch of people gathered at my mom's house, chatted, ate yummy food, and played games? If you don't, here's a few links to refresh your memory (2006 and 2007).
Well, after a far too long hiatus, we tried it again. And again, it proved to be dang fun. Thanks to everyone that came and played along.
A first time addition to this game night was trivia, which I wrote and hosted. I really like writing and hosting trivia. I had a go at it this past summer with Chautauqua which proved to be a hit. And this turned out pretty great. An innovation I hadn't experienced before emerged: everyone contribute one question for the final round. Good times. The picture round can be seen here*.
To counter the new time addition, we played a couple rounds of the good old standby Pictionary Telephone (covered here on BdW before). Here are a few of the highlights: 1, 2, and 3.
Yep, to whomever suggested the resurrection of game night, a hearty thanks. And now that I remember how awesome it is, maybe we'll have to do it again next year!
|Thursday January 2 2014||File under: games|
|Twas the night before Christmas
In my cabin made of stone
The only light glowing
was our "tree" which just shone
It's just a twig, really
A humble little bough
But with only 96 sq. ft.
It's all the space would allow
But it serves us supremely
Setting just the right tone
As we bustled about
Making the place feel like home.
We brought blankets, we brought pillows
We brought gifts, we brought food
We brought a generator and 2 heaters
Which did little good
We swept mouse poop, made the bed
With blankets piled high
We juggled and did crosswords
As the evening passed by
To say this place was cozy
Is a tad bit extreme
It's got a ways to go
To live up to that dream
A wood stove would be nice
To chase off the cold
It'd be drier, it'd be cozier
It'd keep down the mold
By next year perhaps,
Or sooner if I try hard
It'll be picture perfect
Straight from a Hallmark™ card
But now, at this moment
I can't really complain
It has all that I care for
And keeps out the rain
My sweetie is beside me
And the world is far away
It's as simple as that
What else can I say?
Some people want Elmos
And others want blenders
Big screens and jewelery
A new car w/ chrome fenders
For me, it's just simple
What makes this evening just so
It sits in the corner
Yes the sweet little twig tree
Brings us plenty of joy
Just a simple little token
No need for the toys
So as our eyelids droop
Whether from sleep or from cold
It'll sign off as always
Lest these rhymes get too old
I wish you and your loved ones
The same joy as me
Happy Christmas to you
And may your New Year be merry.
|Wednesday December 25 2013||File under: holidays, poem|
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Can it be? Really? Well humdinger, it's a Friday Comic! How did I used to do this every week? Now I'm averaging 1 every six months. And this one wouldn't have come about if it weren't for some gentle coaxing from a few friends that, to my utter surprise, expressed missing these artistic atrocities. Well, for those few folks, here you go: an early Christmas present.
And since there have only been 2 comics this year, you've no doubt forgot about all those old ones. Why not check out the archive to track down your favorite or let randomness decide.
And while I'm sure it's a little late and a lot flat, I can't post a comic around x-mas without at least half-heartedly trying to sell you on one of my amazingly funny compilation books. Get them here: Volume 1, Volume 2.
(And for an extra Christmas bonus, Della did a comic too! Good times!)
|Friday December 20 2013||File under: comic|
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|Here are my leftover, didn't-make-the-blog-elsewhere-but-are-still-neat-and-I-want-to-share-them pictures. I attempted a creative way of showing them, like I have before (here, here, and here), but I'm afraid this country silhouette collage method falls a little short. So instead, why not go ahead and click on any tiny picture below (or here) and scroll through them using the good old fashion lightbox slideshow. Included is a little blurb about each picture. You could even think about it like 13 instagram posts in one! Enjoy!|
|Sunday December 15 2013||File under: travel, Panama|
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|When one returns from a wonderful trip, there are lots of memories that will stay for a life time. Then there are the other memories, the stories that get lost when recounting the adventure for family and friends, and after telling more or less the same account of the adventure, get lost even to yourself. So has been so many of my adventures; if it didn't make it to the blog*, it sometimes just slips away.
Since travelling with Della, she's instituted a great new travelling habit, one that I plan to implement on whatever adventure I am on from here on out: chronicling. At the end of each day, we record what we did that day. It's amazing how even little notes about the day can remind you of some story or adventure that didn't make it from short term memory to long term.
Here's a couple examples from this latest Panama trip (augmented with photos of course):
As you can see, it pretty much covers the bases, sometimes a little too much. But having this record will be great in 25 years when we head down to Panama again. After all, it will be very important to remember "Somos los Batidos!"
(Note: Della has been doing her own blogging about our trip and it is totally worth checking out. But please pretend all the photos for this post weren't stolen from there. Thanks!)
|Saturday December 7 2013||File under: travel, Panama|
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|Any glance at a newspaper, TV, or billboard will tell you we've now entered into that Buy! Buy! Buy! part of the year, when anyone who questions the consume, gift giving attitude is sourly looked down on as un-American*. Well, although Black Friday and even Shop Small Business Saturday aren't my thing, there is a branch of this gift buying tree that I can get behind.
I'm lucky enough to have some pretty freaking creative friends who make things, neat things. So not only would you be giving a neat thing with a story to that somebody on your list, you are supporting a good creative person. And if supporting good creative people isn't one of the best parts of consumerism, I don't know what is. So have a look at my 2013 Shop My Friends Buying Guide.
|Saturday November 30 2013||File under: misc, holidays|
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|While I'm not a beach person the way some people are beach people, I've been known to enjoy a good beach every now and again (as testified to in these previous posts: A Day at the Beach, My Kind of Beach, and Beach life (is the life)*). And since it seems somewhat of a sin to go to the tropics and not enjoy the beaches, I made it my goal to complete the Tropical Waters Trifecta*: Gulf of Mexcio, Caribbean, and the Pacific.
First stop, Venice Beach, Venice, Florida*. While initially reluctant to get in due to the overcast skies, I instead busied myself with searching for shells, walking the beach, and lounging. But just as we were starting to pack up, I felt inspired and dove in*. I'm so glad I did. Bobbing in the waves (and rinsing away 2 days of travel grime) was a great start to the trifecta.
Next, 1225 miles SSE, I tested out to the waters of Isla Grande, just east of Colon, Panama. The warmer water made entry much easier, but the best beach on the island charged a day rate we weren't into paying, so we grabbed a quick dip on various other corners of the island. On the plus side, while the beaches weren't great, we did manage to find a mini-beach all to ourselves at a closed down resort (which required crossing the island by foot through some pretty neat rain forest jungle). And since a deserted beach tops a beautiful beach for me most days, I greatly enjoyed phase 2 of the trifecta.
A quick hop across the isthmus, the last stop on my tropical waters trifecta was Isla Taboga, Island of the Flowers. We came to this island just to get a final day of beaching in and we weren't let down. Although I had to stay huddled in a tiny shade patch, I often popped down to the water for a quick soak. And since my shade patch was hammock ready*, my lazy beach day was perfect.
While none of the beaches I visited would be mistaken for the best each area has to offer, they were definitely good enough for me. Now just to figure out where the next beach trifecta will be...
|Sunday November 24 2013||File under: travel, Panama|
|Sometimes, when traveling, there are things that cost more than you want to spend but something tells you to just go for it. The trans-isthmus Panama Canal Railway definitely fell into this category for me. Although the cost was about 10 times what a bus to travel the same route would have been, I love riding on trains. So with the coaxing help of Ms. Della, we decided to do it....and boy was it awesome!
While the route doesn't exactly parallel the canal, as one might assume from the name, it goes through jungle, over swamp, and along the canal for a stint. We saw a crocodile(/alligator?), jumping fish, wild banana and other fruit trees, and some of the coolest terrain I've seen in a long time. We were constantly running from one side of the train to the other to take it all in.
And speaking of the train, it was gorgeous. With exotic wood paneling and dark stylish lighting in the passenger cars and a dome topped viewing/cafe car, it was meant to mimic the experience of riding the trains of yore, when train travel was more than just a means of transportation. Although a picture doesn't do it justice in the least, we tried. But despite the lavishness, Della and I mostly hung out outside to take all the scenery in.
When train travel combines with awesome scenery and some wicked interesting history, it makes for something really remarkable, something that's worth the extra money. Finding gems like these is a big part of what travel is all about.
|Wednesday November 20 2013||File under: travel, Panama|
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