FC 171 - Puns Rock!

*GROAN* Go ahead, get it out. You know you want to. I figure if a pun doesn't induce a groan, it wasn't a good pun. So I hope you're groaning, maybe combined with a chuckle or two.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working, doing a little stone masoning/landscaping (to maintain my professional status in the eyes of the Heavy Lifters Guild for another year). We've been doing a lot of rock work (wall and patio building) so I've got rocks on the brain. And while hauling those rocks, there's plenty of time to kill thinking of extremely lame rock puns.

Making this comic reminded me of how much I enjoy it (and of how many more I've gotta pump out before the 2nd collection comes out in December). So hopefully I'll get a few more comics (less groan inducing than this one, I hope) out soon. In the meantime, feel free to browse the comic archives or check out this other mason inspired comic from a few years ago.
Thursday October 25 2012File under: comic

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Two For Tuesday on the Whale

Anacortes has only one radio station, which happens to be on the AM dial*. It isn't often that I feel the need to switch over to AM but the work* truck's radio is a relic of the past and only gets AM. Because of this, however, we invented a wonderful game that causes us to look forward to every Tuesday. Two for Tuesday!!!

Every Tuesday, the Whale (1340 AM) plays two songs in a row by the same artist. The game is to correctly predict the second song after hearing only the first one. There's more to it than you might think. You've gotta first be able to identify the artist as quickly as possible in the first song, then determine another song or songs by that artist, and finally decide which one is most popular/likely given a range of circumstances (i.e. they probably wouldn't have two slow ones by Green Day).

I'll concede that there is a lot of luck involved. And it is a pretty slow game, usually with only a couple points scored in an 8-hour day. And their strictness of playing 2 songs in a row by the same artist isn't isn't exactly German*. But it is actually a really really fun game. And it can't hurt my ever failing music round at trivia nights. So as long as I'm working, bring on Two for Tuesday!
Tuesday October 23 2012File under: Anacortes, games

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Anacortes Pub Trivia Review

Pub trivia has really become a popular thing, and I can't be more happy about it. I've been to 4 different trivia nights...in the past 4 nights*! Three of those were right here in (or near-ish) my home town. Not bad for a sleepy little burg. Anyway, in hopes of sharing my affinity (and local knowledge), I put together a list of the wheres, whens, and whys. If I'm missing one, let me know. Or if your town has an exceptional pub quiz, I might just have to plan a visit.

PlaceTime/DayProsCons
Mondays
Thursdays
8:00pm
$85 in gift certificates for prizes(!), great food, chill atmosphere, really nice hostPoorly attended*, sometimes formulaic/blah questions*
Tuesdays
9:00pm
Competitive while staying fun, great atmosphere*, reserved table for previous week's winner, good questions Crowded, crappy prizes*, annoyingly hard music round, late hour for us party poopers
Wednesdays
7:00pm
Super fun(!), super well written questions, respectable prizes, great group of folks who play, great funny host, timing/food makes for great combo with dinner20-minute drive from just about anywhere, occasional dance-off tie breaker*

Thursday October 11 2012File under: Anacortes

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Cabin Progress - Season 2 Wrap Up

Another building season at the quarry has come to an end, at least for me*. And it is really amazing to see how far I've come on the cabin this year from its meager beginnings last year. All the stonework is complete and I've got the frame of walls and a roof in place. Next year (or whenever I can find time and proper weather to dive back in) it's going to be all gravy, putting in windows, doors, walls, a floor, and all the touches that make a place a home.

Until then, I wanted to share where it is now. Below are some schematics I put together (long after they probably should have been done.) It looks so professional on graph paper! And below that are some pictures!*


Grid
Stone walls
Wood walls
Windows
Roof
Captions


Uncheck checkboxes to peel back the layers. It's fun!

Note: While the drawings are attempted to be to scale, they are probably off by an inch or two here and there.



Friday October 5 2012File under: quarry

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The Non-Performer Strikes Again

We all know I claim I'm not a performer, right? Well, I stand by that (despite the fact that I've been on stage over a dozen times this summer.) It takes a lot to get me out on stage, esp. for a solo act. Just such an occasion occured this past weekend. A friend had his 90th birthday party. Way back in the day, he performed a bit of vaudeville himself. Ever since I started juggling, he's been patiently watching my latest tricks and dishing out stories of the good old days of vaudeville. Anyway, for entertainment at his party, Della, Justin Credible, and I put together a little show. It was a lot of fun and people seemed to enjoy it. Here are a few pics.





Tuesday October 2 2012File under: juggling, circus

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Minor Media Mention - Soup Swimming Edition

It looks like I can now add "professional model" to my ever growing resume*. I suppose, to be technically correct, "professional" doesn't really apply here, because I haven't seen a dime in royalties. But I did help set up the photo shoot and strike a pose for the ad that runs in the Fall 2012 issue of the Chuckanut Reader (which you can read here...*)

A slightly better version of the ad can be seen here. It is advertising the wealth of great homemade soups at the Colophon Cafe. And while their clam chowder is really top notch, I don't advise bathing in it.

(File this under news clipping scrapbook, just like this, this, this, and this)
Thursday September 27 2012File under: misc

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FC 170 - Hard Cider

Nearly two years later, I've finally coaxed Della into doing another guest appearance on Friday Comics. Well, to be slightly more honest, just like last time, it took no coaxing at all. She thought it up, drew it up, offered it up, just like that. All I did was add a little color, and voila!, the perfect comic to start off Autumn.

(One of my favorite comic artists, Dan Piraro of Bizarro has the habit of explaining the gag in his comic on his blog, no matter how obvious. I've grown to like the practice so I thought I might do the same. Apples, you see, have a good deal of pectin*. And chest muscles are called "pecs". Bada bing bada boom.)

Yay for guest contributors!! Yay for Friday Comics!
Thursday September 20 2012File under: comic

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Water slide!!!


Last summer, just before Sh'Bang at the quarry, a few of us armed with nothing more than blackberry loppers, a shovel, a few scraps of carpet, a 50 ft. piece of visqueen, and an indomitable spirit set out to make a water slide. While the result gave us all a rush*, it was hardly safe for the public (or fit to last through a winter for that matter), so it was filed away under the Once Upon a Quarry list. Since then, we've been on a the lookout for something a little more sturdy to replace it. As so often happens, when you put the message out into the universe, the universe responds.

As with so many stories, it starts with a motivated young boy. Miles* learned that a junk store in Mt. Vernon came into possession of a real water slide via some auction or another. It wasn't 24 hours later that Stefan and I were on the scene to scope it out. A little wheeling and dealing and, boom!, done deal.

Now to the tricky part. Needless to say, none of us had experience installing a commercial water slide. And although it was supposed to be a bolt-together-and-go type operation, it proved slightly more difficult. But after a dozen or more volunteer man hours*, we had a slide that we guessed wouldn't slide off the hill into the water and, maybe more importantly, wouldn't tear your suit off as you careened over one of the seams*.

Only thing left to do: test it. SUCCESS! And, knock on wood, the success continues. I personally witnessed many gleeful sliders at Sh'bang without injury*.

Here's to many years of safe, fun sliding!!
Monday September 17 2012File under: quarry

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My ShBang 2012 Anecdote

Sh'Bang 2012, if you ask any of the attendees, was a huge success. The video and picture* evidence only serves to reinforce. I don't have any pictures of my own, however, since I was busy racing my soapbox derby car, giving tours of the property (being sure to highlight my cabin!), and encouraging people to go down the new water slide*. But I do have what I consider a wonderful anecdote from the festival which is my contribution to the collective recorded memory.

This year, like the 4 previous years, I built a soapbox derby car (using the same pallet, actually, that the previous 4 years' cars have been built on). As you may remember from years past, my car building skillz aren't so great, so I brought in a little help on the final touches*. Lebn and I put together a pretty dang good car such that I made it down the course 3 times, including one time over the jump! (I did, however post the slowest time which I attribute to my caution rather than the car's ability. (Slowest Time did, however, win me a nice Mallard gift certificate!))

Well, whether it was from taking the jump* or from pushing the limits of my little pallet car, the back wheel was bend pretty good so I decided to opt out of the head-to-head and death match races. Lebn, however, looked like he was itching for a trip down the course. I told him if he wanted to fix the wheel, he was welcome to give it a go. Off he went to find some tools.

The head-to-head racers zipped by in pairs much to the delight of the crowd. Keeping count in my head, I realized that there was only one pair left to come down the hill, so it must be Lebn on the pallet car. I got in a good viewing position and waited. Soon, a car rounded the bend and came zipping by. It's a welded car without a nail or wooden board in sight. But no Lebn. He must have bailed or wrecked earlier up the course, I concluded, and started to walk away. But as soon as I did, around the corner he comes.

But wait, the car looks a little funny. Is it missing a wheel?!? Sure enough, the once tricycle has lost one of its back wheels but Lebn is still coaxing it along by heavily leaning to one side to keep it from dragging to a stop. What determination, what cleverness, what ingenuity! The crowd starts to cheer.

As is so often the case, determination, cleverness, and ingenuity is sometimes packaged with, well, let's call it overambition. The cheering of the crowd grows as it becomes evident that this cleverly-driven hobbled car is going to take the jump. Fortunately for posterity, photographer Peter James was there to capture the moment. Unfortunately for Lebn, tri-cum-bicycles don't really carry speed like their unhobbled relatives. He doesn't quite clear the mud pit and tumbles to the ground.

Not content to let it rest, he hops back on the doubly damaged machine and limps it across the line. Only later does the full damage report come in: a broken collar bone for the fearless rider. Alas. But, even 3 days later he reports that despite it all, he's "still smiling".

Thanks Sh'Bangers for a great weekend and great stories! The Quarry wouldn't be the same without ya'll.
Wednesday September 12 2012File under: quarry

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Completely Stoned


Last week, I placed the last stone in my cabin (aside from a few pebbles to fill the cracks when grouting). Things are coming along and it looks great (if I do say so myself)!. No more scouring the Quarry for suitable rocks, hauling them down the trail, and pounding on them to get them to be just the right fit. And after a couple more grouting sessions, I'll be able to chuck the mortar mixing equipment too. After more than 2 years, it will be nice to reach a phase complete.

But I'm on a mission to get this cabin* finished. It wasn't but a day after putting in the last stone that I started in on the sills* and the central post*. I hope to get a few of the walls framed in this week and the roof rafters on by Soap Box Derby (a.k.a. Sh'Bang) time*. The plan is to have a roof suitable for keeping most of the rain off up by the time rains come.

It's kind of a funny thing, how excited I am about this pile of rocks. I'm constantly thinking about it (where can I get some cheap but nice windows?, I better find some gutters sooner rather than later, what am I going to do about the floor?). If you are anywhere near the area, stop by and I'll give you a tour. Until then, here's another picture or two.
Sunday September 2 2012File under: quarry

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