Let It Out (a.k.a. SwearBot 2007)

#@!%*
Have you ever just had one of those days, or maybe it was just a moment, where you get so frustrated you just want to scream? This is meant to be a hypothetical question because I know we've all been there. Maybe it is because the cat peed on the chair again, you computer isn't doing what you tell it to*, or you've made the same mistake that you always make even though you swear you will never make it again. Well, when it happens to me, I sometimes want to swear. Who knows where the urge comes from? I'm not incredibly proud of it, however I rarely audibly swear in such instances because you never know when there might be tender ears around.

Anyway, I had this thought: what if I created a forum for such an outlet but somehow buffered it, so readers wouldn't get an earful* but it could still fulfill the desire for an outlet. Plus, by expressing your frustration in a non-intrusive way, hopefully it will encourage others to sympathize with you and send out positive energy to help alleviate said frustration.

With that in mind, I've created the SwearBot 2007. Enter your swears (as unPC as you want. No one will see the untranslated version), exclamations, derisions, or complaints. Press "Translate". Presto! Now you have a squeaky clean outlet that you can paste into an e-mail, print out and put on the office refrigerator, or paste into the comments of this very blog.



(P.S. I promise the next post will be a follow up to "The Next Adventure")

Wednesday December 19 2007File under: misc, coding

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Stuff For the Stocking

Not that troothpicks need any help in the sales department– sales have been through the roof*– but it is worth mentioning that they might be possibly the best stocking stuffer around, esp. if your bare-footed recipient* likes to throw parties, likes to eat little cubes of cheese, likes to clean their teeth, or likes fun things.

Anyway, if you were hoping to surprise that special someone with 48 little pointy cylinders of fun, you had better get your orders in soon. Let's set a "get your order by the holidays" date of Friday, December 15th. Oh, and also worthy of note is that the long awaited "Fortunes" line is now no longer on back order! So place your orders at troothpicks.com or send me an e-mail (or write your order on the deed to a deserted tropical island paradise and send it to...*).

And if you need any further convincing that trootpicks are the perfect holiday gift, have a look at this professionally staged photo. Ooohhh.... Aaaahhhhh.... So festive!
Tuesday December 11 2007File under: holidays, misc

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A New Look

Adopting a new look can be a very empowering experience. It proves to yourself that you are still in control and can change your situation whenever you want*. For me, a new look pretty much only means shaving my beard*. I find myself shaving my beard at times in my life when I need a little empowerment; to prove to myself that I am still in control of something. Or sometimes I just shave because I am starting to look* overly ridiculous. This time was a little of both.

But instead of doing the old clean-cut Wren, I thought I would try something a little new. Mustaches are all the rage these days. Jason Lee in My Name Is Earl wears one. Tom Selleck in Las Vegas wears one. Why shouldn't I wear one? (not that I plan to either be in a trailer park, jail, or Las Vegas anytime soon.) Anyway, I figured this look is better than my previous idea at a new look. (If I only had the nerve...) Plus, nothing says "Hey ladies, check me out" like an awesome mustache.
Monday December 10 2007File under: beard, misc

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14 Years of IDs

Okay, so I want to try out this idea that kind of pushes the technical limit of "blogging". I've written a little javascript dealy that allows you to flip through all the IDs I've ever received in my life. The ID part, while maybe a bad idea re:"identify theft" according to some, isn't so limit-pushing. The embedding of the javascript into a blog post, however, is something I haven't seen before*. What does that mean to you? Hopefully nothing. Hopefully you will see a Anacortes Middle School ID with some goofy kid below and some buttons. If you do, check it out. If it isn't working for you, click here to see the non-blog version.






Wednesday December 5 2007File under: pics, misc, coding

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Let It Snow!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,*
But the fire is so delightful,*
And since I've no place to go,*,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.*.

(If this blog post seems more boring than usual, then perhaps you haven't yet clued into the * phenomenon*. Now is your chance to get in on the fun. Whenever you see a "*" throughout one of my posts (and sometimes comments too), hover your mouse over it and you will get the additional text. Each browser has its own peculiarities in displaying these. IE disappears the tool tip quickly. Firefox cuts long sentences short*. (To view the whole thing, right click and select "Properties".) There have been reports of Mac browsers not able to display them at all, although I haven't been able to reproduce that problem yet. If you are having trouble viewing these little gems, drop me a line with the the browser you are using and the operating system (e.g. OSX 10.4), and we'll see if we can get it all worked out. Hopefully in the near future, I will write a custom rollover function that will be a little more cross-browser compatible.)
Saturday December 1 2007File under: misc, blog

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The (New) Trick

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 2007File under: pics, misc

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One Angry Man

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:

Observations:
Sunday November 18 2007File under: Anacortes, misc

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World of Blogs

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 2007File under: misc

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The Red Note runs the NYC Marathon

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 2007File under: events, misc

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Troothpicks

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 2007File under: work, misc

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