|Being an uncle is awesome. You get a kid to play around with but without all those pesky paternal safety instincts. From the beginning, I took full advantage of this with "games" like baby tuck 'n run* and homogenize the baby*. But the best thing that came from that "neglect for safety"* is The Trick. From about 4-months on, Cora and I performed The Trick whenever we could. She loved it. I loved it. The audience (minus the mothers, of course) loved it. Photographic evidence here, here, and here.
But as her 5th birthday quickly closes in, Cora is getting a little big for The Trick (or perhaps I am getting a little weak in my old age). Since my desire to continue to gravitationally, spatially, and self-masterily expand her horizons hasn't waned, we've developed a new trick. As yet, it still requires some work. Her confidence has a way to go, but only because my ability to keep her upright still needs a little work. But I foresee this trick going good places. I'm thinking Carnegie hall in 2009. Buddo, are you with me? (We'll prolly have to work up a new promo shot though.)
|Tuesday November 27 2007||File under: pics, misc|
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|Last week, I got called in to serve jury duty. As anyone who has been called in knows, the process between being called in and actually sitting on a jury is somewhat complicated, although very interesting. It turns out I have a lot to say on this, so I've split it into three sections below for your reading convenience. Click to read my blurb on each.
About the process:
About my experience:
|Sunday November 18 2007||File under: Anacortes, misc|
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|Besides [somewhat obsessively] keeping a blog, I also am an avid follower of blogs. My netvibes has 60 or so feeds on it. Many of them are topic oriented like environmental blogs, tech blogs, or comic blogs. Mostly those are for-profit endeavors that are maintained by a professional staff. They are updated frequently and are a source of really good information (or entertainment). They help me stay current on the latest developments about what interests me.
A quarter or so of the 60 blogs I monitor* are kept by friends. These are friends mostly from high school or college who, like me, have taken to keeping a personal blog. It is a great way for me to keep posted* on what's going on with them and vice versa. What I noticed the other day, however, is the incredible amount of geography covered by my friends. Each day, I check in on friends who are all over the U.S (Boston, Las Vegas, Ohio, North Carolina, NYC, Baltimore) and all over the world (Japan, Norway, South Africa, Argentina). It is a great way to keep the travel fires stoked while stuck behind a desk.
Not so coincidently, I've recently added Dave Senesi to Blogs du Friends. Worth a look for anyone looking for a glimpse of a westerner's impression of living in Japan.
|Tuesday November 6 2007||File under: misc|
|Looking for a good time? Call 867-5309. Even better, come out this Friday night for a for some fine music courtesy of The Red Note (and special guest!). The show is at the History House in Fremont* at 7:00. To accompany the entertainment, there will be season appropriate beverages for sale. All the information can be found at The Red Note's website (*)
The show is a benefit to help Chapman raise money to fight lung cancer. The money serves as his entry fee to the NYC marathon, which is in turn donated to lung cancer research as I understand it. Running 26.4 miles is a feat in itself and doing it for the betterment of humanity is all the more commendable. If you would like to support Chapman but can't make it to this Friday's show, click here.
|Wednesday October 24 2007||File under: events, misc|
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|I'm happy to intoduce* troothpicks. Over 2 years have gone into developing a printing technique, phrases, logos, website, packaging, and more. I'm proud of the result. I think you will be impressed.
Troothpicks are essentially phrases (proverbs, fortunes, sayings) printed on toothpicks. The idea started as having something to fill the role of fortune cookies at non-Chinese restaurants and quickly blossomed into what it is today. Troothpicks are great for pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres, after dinner picking, and everything in between. They are also great for gifts, esp. for anyone you know who loves to entertain. You can get them for all occasions (birthday, holidays, graduations, etc.) or you can create your own custom picks with your business name on them or custom messages for your event. More information, photos, and how to order can be found at the website www.troothpicks.com.
For anyone who shares my enthusiasm for this product (and who couldn't?), I would love to have you tell your friends about the website. And if you have a non-themed* blog on which a post about a clever product that makes people smile might fit (Dave, Amanda, Andrew, Ryan, Myke, Blake, Saxtor*, I'm looking your way here), I would be ever so much appreciative if you found it in your hearts to maybe mention troothpicks in a post. I'd be happy to return the favor* if you ever have a word that needs spreading.
|Wednesday October 3 2007||File under: work, misc|
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|As the days grow shorter and colder and the leaves change colors and drop from the trees, we are all reminded* that fall is here again. I, myself, couldn't be happier. Sure summer is nice with the long days and sunshine, but I'm always ready for that nip in the air that signifies one thing: hot chocolate season is here.
Besides drinking hot chocolate, fall lends itself to all sorts of things*. One of the things that I wasn't expecting to be excited about this year but was is knitting. Sitting down in the evening in front of some t.v. show that you don't really feel deserves your full attention* but is worth looking up for every now and again and just going to town on the knitting - yes, that is on the top of my list for this fall.
I am no knitting expert, mind you. I've still not yet learned how to purl. (Yeah, I know you say it is simple, but I just haven't learned yet, so back off!) I'm still a mostly scarves and hat guy (well, scarf and hats, to be precise), but perhaps this year I will expand into wash cloths and pot holders. Get ready family, there is going to be quite a bounty under the Christmas Crassula Ovata this year.
|Wednesday September 26 2007||File under: misc, pics|
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Starbucks are everywhere. I've been around the world and seen them in some unexpected places (like the Forbidden City (although it looks like they are about to be banned)). While on the one hand, I think it represents a company that has found its niche by creating a product/service that people really want, I have a hard time getting behind some of their other business practices. Those with similar reservations might be interested in this tool, created by a friend, which helps you find alternative local coffee shops*. But I digress....
If you stand at 15th and Commercial Ave. in Anacortes, WA, you will be within 3 blocks of 3, count them, 3 Starbucks; two of them are within 1.5 blocks of each other! To be fair, 2 of the 3 are inside grocery stores, which, I guess, makes it a little easier to understand, but still...
Anyway, in all my travels, I haven't seen quite this density anywhere else. Does this make Anacortes an anomaly in that way? Can we start adding that to our travel brochures to entice those SUV driving, suburb dwellers (or whomever it is that keeps Starbucks going) to visit Anacortes?* Tell me, have you ever seen a higher number of Starbucks stores nestled together?
|Sunday September 23 2007||File under: Anacortes, misc|
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|I would wager that at least half of you, at some point in your life, have wanted to live in a tree house. Perhaps the desire has waned since you were, say, 12, but let me tell you: One night in a properly built tree house (complete with inter-tree rope bridge) will rekindle that dream.
Recently, I had a chance to briefly live that dream. My travel schedule* required me to pass a night in Bellingham. In asking around for a place to stay, a friend suggested that I might sleep in his tree house. I was hesitant at first, because if it is anything like the few tree houses I have built over the years, morning would find me lying on the ground with broken 2x4s all around and an extremely sore back.
Anyhoo, after watching a lovely sunset from Boulevard Park and crashing a party where I knew absolutely no one, I made my way through the complete darkness to find this arboreal masterpiece. I can't say enough good things about the place: hard wood floors, french doors opening onto a gorgeous view of the pond, and christmas lights to complete the magical aura. It has completely rekindled my desire to spend my nights high off the ground. This is the view I had while falling asleep. (Oh, the one glitch in the evening was the puma* that was audibly stalking around the roof to find an opening to come in and devour me.)
Anyway, keep your eyes out for good tree house trees. I'm officially in the market.
|Tuesday September 4 2007||File under: misc|
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1. A pen: This is the single most indispensable thing for me when I travel. You never know when you'll need to fill out border declaration forms, copy down phone numbers, schedules, or addresses, or give your number to a sexy flight attendant*.
2. A crossword puzzle: Not only does a crossword work great for killing those minutes spent waiting for your bus to come, your food to come, or a late friend to arrive, but it also functions as a great notepad for phone numbers, addresses, schedules, todos, travel observations, and more. I always try to carry single sided crosswords when I travel just for this reason. Looking over the notes taken on the back of them when you return from your trip is always a hoot. (Oh, and I guess Sudorkus could work in a pinch.)
3. Reading material: For the waits that are longer than a few minutes, having a book/magazine/travel guide handy can greatly help pass the time. The one thing that is guaranteed* in travel is that you will always have down time. Paperbacks works great and can often be exchanged with other travelers you meet along the way.
4. Camera: I try to keep my camera handy while traveling, but not to the point of being one of those guys*. You never know when a good shot will present itself. I take pictures not only to remember my trip later, but also to share my travels with my friends and family (via this blog of course. Who actually looks at printed pictures anymore?).
5. Ear plugs: Those $.50 yellow thingies you squish up and jam in your ears can be a lifesaver for flights with crying babies, shared hostel rooms with snorers, or time when you just want to block everything out. I rarely go anywhere with a pair of these handy.
6. Spare change: Having a dollar or two of spare change can save lots of headaches when traveling. Many public transportation systems require exact change (or at least don't give change), vending machines are often the only choice for a quick meal before hopping on a bus, some fountains simply require having a wishing penny thrown in, and for the 11 people left in the world without a cell phone*, public pay phones rarely accept dollar bills.
7. Fork and spoon: While these don't lend themselves well to air travel*, they are great to have around when exploring new places. Often times when you are trying to travel on the cheap, the grocery store provides meals. Eating yogurt with a spoon is much easier than eating it with an expired driver's license. (Using your own utensils is also a great way to avoid sending more plastic to the land fill.)
|Wednesday August 29 2007||File under: travel, misc|
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|I've found myself explaining it so much recently, I thought I might throw a quick post up about supertasterism*. Basically, as I understand it, it is the ability to taste certain substances that others can't, specifically some particular chemical. The chemical is very bitter to those who can taste it, therefore foods that contain this chemical are generally disliked by supertasters. Before I heard about this phenomenon, I, and often people I ate with, just figured that I was picky. After hearing about it, though, I found that many of the foods I dislike are disliked by other supertasters. While I guess it doesn't completely save me from coming across as a picky eater, it does make me feel at least somewhat validated.
Coffee, grapefruit juice, and many dark green leafy vegetables have a bitter taste to me that other people don't seem to share. Wikipedia has a list of food associated with this chemical, and a very scientific exaplanation, here. Noticeably missing from their list is broccoli which I always heard was the main culprit. (And I was really looking for an excuse to avoid my broccoli too.)
Curious as to whether you are a supertaster? Try this experiment or, for the lazier among us, this quiz.
|Sunday August 26 2007||File under: food, misc|
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