Portland Octathalon 2013

Andrew* and I have somewhat of a competitive relationship. In fact, not a single Portland visit goes by without at least a little money changing hands on one bet or another. This trip to Portland, however, we decided to get organized.

We devised a list of 8 events, spanning various disciplines, to comprise a winner-take-all Octathalon. While some events were old stand-bys (such as darts or Dr. Mario), a few new ones were thrown into the mix. The competition was 4 day of fun filled intensity with lots of good humored swearing and racket throwing.

AndrewWren
Tennis X*
Simpsons TriviaX* 
Frisbee golfX*
DartsX* 
Child-sized foosballX*
Dr. MarioX*
Words With FriendsResults pending completion
HORSE (on mini-sized hoop)Currently tied at HORS to HORS, Andrew's shot*


While officially the final results are still up in the air, Andrew has graciously conceded knowing that as WWF game stands, he hasn't a prayer. But that just makes way for fresh start next visit.

Yet again, Portland proves to be great fun!
Sunday March 31 2013File under: Portland, games

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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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Appreciating Photographers - Maui Hat Draw Edition

Much of this blog is about chronicling events of my life, both to share with you, dear readers, and to have for myself when I am old and grey. And while it occasionally turns out okay to have a words only post, everyone knows that posts with pictures are way better. But if I'm busy doing, I don't have much time to take pictures of those doings. I do okay when I'm diligent about it, but it's fair to say that many posts lack in the photo department.

Enter other photographers, people who know what they are doing, have great equipment, like doing it, and do it prolifically. I'm so appreciative when someone like that is 1) around and 2) willing to share their photos with everyone. And it makes creating a decent blog post that much easier.

Case in point: Kurt at the Maui Hat Draw Frisbee Tournament. Without the awesome photos he took, I'd have 2 or 3 photos Della captured on my not-a-phone to share*. Instead, I've got a whole gallery to choose from to create a post that conveys the experience in a much more efficient way.

And since pictures say much more than words, here they are:
The Action:


The Off-Action Fun:

Big hanks to Kurt and all the other photographers out there that share their art!
Wednesday March 20 2013File under: travel, hawaii

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Happy Pi Day 2013!

Even though I've been looking forward to and semi-planning for this year's Pi Day for over a week now, I somehow find myself celebrating it exactly the same as last year. Well, maybe not exactly because my quiche has spinach and mushrooms in it, but pretty dang close*.

Yep, pecan pie and a quiche, just like last year. But why not celebrate it the same way? It's the awesome way.

Speaking of celebrating Pi Day, did you know that I wrote a Pi Day Crossword? You should print yourself up the crossword, go find a nice slice of pie, relax, and celebrate!

(oh, and if you're really in the mood for all things Pi Day, you can check out my previous posts on this oh so special day here, here, here, and here.)
Thursday March 14 2013File under: holidays

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Maui Transit Review

Never does everything go right on a trip. Every traveler knows that. But with some preparation, the number of hiccups tends to go down. This recent trip to Hawaii seemed to have more than its fair share of hiccups, at least from the get go, starting with a 6 hour plan delay that put us into Maui in the middle of the night, long after our hotel's shuttle stopped working forcing up to sleep in a homeless camp on the beach. But those things happen.

The big hiccup that altered our trip severly was one I never saw coming. We were quite rudely refused service on Maui Public Transit due to the size of our luggage(which I would have been happy to carry on my lap). So all the planning of figuring out the schedules/routes to get us to the frisbee tourney, to campsites, and back out to the airport was lost. I was stunned at the this rule and the rudeness with which it was enforced.

An inquiry to the transit agency after our trip was rather unhelpful as to ascertaining the reasoning behind such a limiting regulation. "The rules regarding luggage size are from City and County of Honolulu." I, personally, suspect that there is a more underhanded motivation behind the rule, to discourage tourists from using the service, instead pushing them to car rental to help boost the island's economy. Call me a cynic, I guess.

So where did that leave us, all transportation plans shot? At the whim of strangers, that's where. But luckily, we found quite a few friendly ones, specifically ones associated with the Maui Hat Draw frisbee tourney* who toted us out to tournament site and helped us find a nice campsite afterward. It also pushed us to the time-honored tradition of hitchhiking, something neither of us has done much but took too rather easily.

While in the end the trip turned out awesome despite the epic fail of the local transit agency, I can't help but have my faith in public transportation slightly shaken by the experience. If I can't believe in the bus, what can I believe in? Am I going to have to become a car-renting, gasoline-burning tourist like the rest of them? We'll see, I guess, as I've got another adventure just around the corner.
Thursday March 7 2013File under: hawaii, transportation

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Hawaiian Vacation Overview

How do you summarize a trip where you didn't really do anything? I can't say "we went to a luau, surfed, and ate fresh coconut every day" because we didn't. But that doesn't mean we didn't have a great time, because we did. And I suppose it would be a bit of a stretch to say we did nothing. While most of our time was spent lounging at the campsite or meandering around Lahaina, we had a few noteworthy experiences.

We saw many breaches of the humpback whales (often right from the beach at our campsite), ate some of the local cuisine, hitchhiked*, hiked to get a geocache, saw the largest banyan tree in the U.S., were warm, reveled in fun yet insignificant discoveries, and just enjoyed hanging out together.

And in terms of bang for our buck, I think we did pretty dang well. The whole concept behind the trip was let's go hang out somewhere warm and not spend oodles of money (hence the camping, hitching, spam, etc.) And while the final receipts haven't come in yet, I know we did amazingly well.

Yep, Hawaii ain't such a bad place to hang out for a week. In fact, I might just have to do it again next year.
Saturday March 2 2013File under: travel, hawaii

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Hawaii Mini-Post

It turns out that 1) Hawaii is pretty dang neat 2) keeping current with blog posts is hard when you are camping and 3) sno-cones are delicious. I'll get some better posts up soon.
Wednesday February 27 2013File under: travel, Hawaii

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New Crosswords!

After taking a bit of a break from crossword creation, I'm back at it. I posted a while ago about the puzzle I submitted to the New York Times. Well, I got a very cordial "no-way bub" response*, so that means I can now make it available to ya'll! It can be found here or at on the games page.

Since then, I've put together two new ones, both of which I think are pretty dang neat. They can both be found over at the games page as well. Format wise, I've forgone the html online version in favor of just .pdf and .puz. If you're greatly missing the html version, let me know and I'll resurrect it.

One puzzle is worth calling attention to: A Reason For Celebrating was created as a welcome to the world for baby Soren (although in reality, it'll be at least 8 months before he's figuring out "Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity spot" in 4 letters.)

Anyway, do the puzzles, share them with your puzzle-oriented friends, and let me know what you think. I've farmed a few more out in hopes of getting published, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll no doubt keep you posted on if anything ever comes of that. In the meantime, I'll keep cranking out puzzles. Because if nothing else, I certainly enjoy them.
Wednesday February 20 2013File under: games

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Welcome Baby Soren!

In case you haven't heard the exciting news, Jule and Katy recently welcomed a happy and healthy baby Soren into this world. From all accounts, all the birthy things went well, although us men-folk are sometimes spared those details so for the full story, you'll have to go to the source or Auntie Fern or Uma. I can tell you he's a big baby, tipping the scales at 9lbs!

It's high on my agenda to get down there and get in some good uncling time soon. Until then, I will be watching the Baby Soren picture stream and you can too. It's linked to over in the right hand column* or here.



Saturday February 16 2013File under: family

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7th(!) Annual Roses Are Red Breakout

This year's entreaty for Roses are red poems is coming a little late. That means you better get your submission in pronto! And remember, the more entries the more fun! (Rules as always: gotta use either "Rose" or "red" in the poem and it must follow the standard Roses are red rhyming/stress scheme.) Happy composing!


oses are red
that much is true
but there isn't a flower
that can hold a candle to you


'll make you a rose
In your choice of hues
If you don't care
What chemicals I use



or 7 years now
I've rapped about roses
How many more years
Til this tradition decomposes






Wednesday February 13 2013File under: poetry, holidays

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updated at 11:18 am Aug 15th


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