New Years Eve Costume Fun

For the past 2 years, Della and I have gone to an awesome New Year's Eve party at Pandaland* in Bellingham. Besides great food (pies!), great music, and great people, the party invites folks to come in costume. While most people interpret this as fancy-dressed-to-the-nines type costume, we always seem to take a different approach.

I particularly like this year's costume because of the juxtaposition of obviousness and subtlety. My costume (which I've worn before) is totally covered in personal ads of men seeking women. Wearing something like this leads to people staring at you all night, which is unsettling until you realize they are just reading the ads. Della's costume is just as you see it, as subtle as can be.

There is a photo booth* upstairs which feeds images to a projector downstairs, so the party can see the fun. It's really a great time. Here's our photo from last year.

Anyway, I hope you had a happy (or restful or exciting or ecstatic) New Year. Here's to 2013 being as awesome as 2012!
Saturday January 5 2013File under: holidays, pics

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Tracking Cabin Spending

One of the questions I know I will want to know the answer to when this cabin building project is all done is how much did it cost? So far, I haven't done a good job of tracking this. But as the build-with-stuff-I-find-lying-around-the-quarry phase is coming to an end and the oh-jeez-another-expensive-trip-to-the-hardware-store phase is starting, I wanted to attempt to start tracking costs.

As I remember it, so far:
  • Mortar: ~$300
  • Framing and sheeting lumber: ~$300
  • Concrete (for the floor): $120
  • Windows: $20
With this post, I will have a place to track money spent so I can have the final number, when the time comes.

Speaking of the time coming, I am making some good progress. As you can see from the picture, I've got the last wall built (to hold up the bed platform). This weekend, I just poured the concrete floor, which will be the basis for a flagstone floor. But more importantly, it means I can install the wood stove so I can keep working even when the weather ain't great. Here's to progress!!
Wednesday January 2 2013File under: quarry

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2013 Bellingham Circus Guild Calendar

Speaking of traditions, it's time* for the Bellingham Circus Guild's annual fundraiser calendar! This year Della took a break from design and layout and I partnered with the ever talented Kayla to make it happen. I did the template, grids, covers, and layout-for-printing logistics, and she did the picture gathering, grouping, and laying out. I think the result turned out super great and I'm stoked to have my portable, perfectly-sized, life-planning calendar to fill in with my busy busy schedule*.

The cover should be enough to make you want your own copy, but in case it's not, here's a few pages: June, September, and October. What's that? Now you've gotta have your own copy, you say? Well, don't delay. Go find a Cirque Guild member and plop down your big monies. Or contact me, and I'll see what I can do. And remember, you're supporting a pretty dang neat organizations whose state mission is "to assist and support the circus arts community of Whatcom County, to promote circus arts to the community at large, and to radically proliferate delight at every opportunity." How can you not want to support that?

Oh, and if you want to check out the previous calendars (which are also pretty dang neat), you can do so here: 2012, 2011, 2010. Yeehaw*!
Thursday December 27 2012File under: circus, misc

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Twas the Night Before Christmas 2012

Twas the night before Christmas
The most low-key in years
No van living, no cruising,
no circus, no gears

It's just me and my sweetie
with no big to do
We quietly watch Jeopardy!
While petting tussie-roo

There's comfort in the quiet
No stress and no hurry
Instead of ham or a turkey
We nibble veggie curry

Our holiday duties
with her kin then mine
Were nice but now finished
Which suits us just fine

Her folks' house was bustling
Full of wonderful smells
With my fam we gathered
In our sweaters with bells

But now is the time
For our traditions to grow
Whether they involve presents
Or a t.v. game show

But all that will happen
For it takes many a year
For now I'm content
with my brand of holiday cheer

So we shuffle off to bed
Just like any old night
Feeling blessed and lucky
And that everything's right

So with that I will end
This holiday rendition
And wish you Happy Christmas
As is our tradition.
Monday December 24 2012File under: holidays, poetry

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Sucked Back In

Two weeks ago, with a stomach full of all-you-can-eat Chinese food and dirty, cold, and wet, I came home from work a happy dude. Why? Because it was the end of my work for the season. For the past couple years, I've been doing a month or two of mason/landscaping work in the fall to refill the coffers, strengthen up my lazy back, and justify such unwise endeavors as all-you-can-eat Chinese food buffets.

After two weeks of much enjoyed time off, with a little of this (Chautauqua Board retreat) and a little of that (chillin' with my homies, I find myself back on the job. I'm thinking this stint will be a short one, because my pile of to-dos is not so tiny* and working outside in the winter in the Northwest isn't as much as you may think.

But just as the weather, hard work, and lack of free time reminds me of why I don't like working, the camaraderie, sense of purpose, and the scrilla reminds me why I do. So I guess it all comes out in the wash. Which reminds me, I should go do wash.

(In my occasional self-portraits series, here's me looking ever so happy to be back on the job.)
Thursday December 13 2012File under: work

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Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

Last week, I submitted a crossword to the New York Times for my first time. I've submitted to the LA Times before, and while I've never gotten one published, the editor there has been very courteous in responding to each submission with why it wasn't selected, etc. But as any crossworder knows, the NYT is where it's at.

I recently met a guy who had a couple puzzles published and he walked me through the process. In this age of e-mails, PDAs, etc., I found it surprising (and pretty dang neat) that the NYT takes submissions by snail mail only. It took a while to format the puzzle to the precise standards of submission (double spaced, numbered clues with no period, etc. etc.), but now it is in the hands of the crossword gods, Will Shortz be thy name.

If you are so inclined, cross your fingers for me in hopes of being able to check that item off my life to do list. And if you are the puzzle inclined, shoot me a message and I'll e-mail you a copy of the puzzle. Or you can always do some of my older (yet still fun!) puzzles over at the games page.
Friday November 30 2012File under: games

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FC 173 - Quack Quack

What better to do on the lazy day after Thanksgiving than sit down and draw a comic! And while I know only our international readers* might find themselves at a desk today*, this might be a welcome welcome back post for that Monday morning reboot.

To be honest, it wasn't the lazy day or even the comic idea that inspired me to create this comic. It was flattering emulation. A former guest comic artist has struck out on her own to take on the world, one punchline at a time. Not to be left in the dust, I wanted to get one up too. And while my art is about 1/900th as good as Della's, hopefully you'll get a laugh out of both of them!
Friday November 23 2012File under: comic

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Working In the Rain

Today is the first day I can ever remember taking a significant portion of work off due to weather. Every now and again, we'll knock off an hour early if it really starts coming down, or take an extended lunch to let a system pass, but today, we knocked off at 12:30 (and would have left sooner if the dump truck hadn't have run out of gas).

Working in the northwest during the fall and winter, you wouldn't get a whole lot done if you only worked on the nice days. And there is an element of pride to getting things done rain or shine. But working in wet clothes and cold gloves isn't a whole lot of fun either.

In celebration of an unexpected half-day off, I built a cozy fire (that doubly serves to dry out all my gear), made a pot of soup, and zoned out. Yeehaw for rain delays!

(Oh, and for all you clever clever folks out there that reply to my work stories with "You work!?!?", I'll have you know that I'm in the home stretch for the year. Another 2 weeks and I get back to the way life should be: sleeping till 9:07 and lots and lots of computer time!)
Monday November 19 2012File under: work

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License To Roof

What do you do with your old license plates? Perhaps you have a stack of them in the garage, waiting for a clever project to come along that could use them? Wait no longer!! I've got an idea!

In the same vein as the winedow, I want to do a roof out of license plates. Chances are I won't do my cabin because 1) I would need a butt load* and 2) It is an untested roofing material and I don't want leaks. But I'm thinking I will need a wood/generator shed and these are the perfect solution!

So with St. Presents Day right around the corner, I humbly suggest if you want to donate to the cause, send 'em my way. (I promise not to use them for robberies, getaway cars, or parking ticket evasion.) Viva la recycling!
Wednesday November 14 2012File under: misc

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And the Money Rolls In

Well, after over 5 years from implementing google adsense on both this here blog and over at People's Guide to Anacortes, I've finally reach the payout threshold!! I thought it would never happen, and I'm overjoyed. On the one hand, it is like winning an unexpected $100. On the other, it works out to about $.0002 per hour from the time I've spent maintaining, posting, etc.

What's almost as fun as the fat check I will be receiving is the data. Watching ad revenues from month to month (and often day to day), is one of my go to time wasters on the internet. Now that it's reached a kind of completion, I ran a few numbers. While there isn't much of a super clearly defined trend, this chart seems to indicate that I might expect another check in a bit less than 5 years.

Over two thirds of the clicks have come via People's Guide to Anacortes which has a clicks per visit ratio over 15 times higher than that the of the blog. It makes sense because all you blog readers* just come to check in on what's up with me while visitors to the People's Guide are actively looking for lodging or other commercial activities.

Anyway, here's hoping that the money keeps rolling in.
Friday November 9 2012File under: blog

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