Inquire Within

Ever since the Back Porch Cafe discontinued quiz night (and subsequently went out of business*) and IHJ's short-lived but incredibly well done Tuesday Trivia went on temporary(?) hiatus, my trivia needs have gone unfulfilled. Sure a nightly rendezvous with Alex Trebek helps, but it is just so one-sided. You can imagine my delight at hearing the Longhorn Saloon in "Historic" Edision, WA has started their own trivia night.

Last night, we got a table early, filled our bellies with brain food (cheeseburger, grilled oysters, and beer) and planned our strategy, which mainly consisted of picking a team name. To make a long story short, Inquire Within came from the ranks of obscurity to conquer the day. After 4 rounds of 10 ?s each (categories of Saturday Morning Cartoons*, Visual Identification, General Knowledge, and Song Recognition), we stood in a tie for first. For the tie-breaker round, each team selected one member to compete in a final 3 question sudden death. Barely edging out My Two Dads, Inquire Within won it all with Paraguay*!

Yes, Longhorn Saloon, I will be back to play your trivia again.
Thursday July 31 2008File under: games, Anacortes

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Stuff and Music


Anacortes has its fair share of festivals: Arts [& Crafts], Waterfront, Jazz, and Oyster Run just to name a few. My favorite, however, is the one-two combo of Shipwreck Day and What the Heck Fest*.

Shipwreck Day is essentially a large flea market/yard sale that takes over downtown. They close off the main drag and people bring out their crap stuff to try to offload on unsuspecting "deal hunters". This year I didn't make it down early enough to snag any of the real good deals, but I heard of a couple steals. But along with the deals and steals, there are bucket loads of Chinese-made plastic crap that is not new, but destined for a used table in the near future (if it survives that long). *

What the Heck Fest is the epitome of a hipster music festival, which I say in the fondest way possible. Bands, both local and not, descend on Anacortes with their ragtag fans in tow. Tents start popping up in front lawns, bicycle racks fill up, and the Keds density increase 100 fold. But it is a good time with bands at bars and all ages venues around town all weekend.

This year, as with many recent years, has been the one weekend a year when I'm out to close down the bars*. New [non-retired aged] people are in from out of town which makes for some great mingling. Old friends (or younger siblings of friends*) grace the scene with their presence. In general, it is a good weekend to be out on the town.
Sunday July 20 2008File under: Anacortes

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Kayamping

After trying to talk people into it for years*, I finally had success in finding someone to go kayak camping with*. Saddlebag Island was the location (about an hour paddle from South Harbor Park). July 4th was the date. From our perch on the rocks, we could see the whole valley lighting off their tributes to America. The highlight, and what we positioned ourselves for, was the Anacortes display, which, as always, didn't disappoint. Watching the fireworks from such a distance and surrounded by such natural beauty was a great new experience. No deafening booms and no car alarms were just a few of the perks.

Not only was the fireworks watching good times, but the camping was good times as well. Dinner was Frito chili pie and corn. Pre-fireworks entertainment was tree climbing and [further*] exploration of the island. Other than the wicked headwind and broken rudder [again...] on the paddle home, we had a grand old time.
Monday July 7 2008File under: Anacortes, misc

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Green Juggling in the Parade

Last year, I posted about Anacortes's 4th of July Parade, the quintessential small town parade. The big highlight for me was the Beat the Heat group who marched to advocate living a lighter impact life specifically through less carbon emissions. This year, since I've become a member(ish) of the group, I decided to walk with them and effectively restart my annual tradition of juggling in the parade.

Since just juggling wouldn't really make any sense in the context of beating the heat, I had to get a creative. My solution: themed juggling clubs. And for those who couldn't really tell what the idea was, I made a little sign I wore on my back. While I don't think anyone really got it*, people seemed to at least enjoy the juggling.

The point of the exercise was as much to have fun both in the artistic endeavor of creating the clubs and walking in the parade as it was to influence/get people to think. I think the whole thing can be called a success.

Thanks to Gretchen, Ma, and Ron for snapping a few photos while I walked.
Saturday July 5 2008File under: juggling, Anacortes

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Happy Summer!

Summer here in Skagit County starts at 5:00pm (and 14 seconds). According to my watch, that is right about....NOW. I celebrated a little early by busting out the hammock and lounging back for some reading and a short little nap. I hope that is a harbinger of the next few months. Summertime and the livin's easy.
Friday June 20 2008File under: Anacortes

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Everyone Deserves a Good Paddling

This past weekend, I took our so often neglected kayak out for its* first voyage of the year. I'm always looking for an excuse to get out on the water, but rarely find one. (Lack of transportation for the kayaks is usually one of the main reasons*.) A friend visiting from out of town was reason enough to get out and have a good paddling.

We launched the double kayak at low time at South Harbor Park (a.k.a. Sea Farer's Memorial Park) and headed over to Saddlebag Island. Saddlebag is my most common destination because it is a fairly easy paddle (we did it in just over an hour) and it is a state park. I've camped there a time or two but not this time. After exploring the island a bit, we re-took to the sea only to find the rudder broken. My arms got an extra workout as I had to paddle hard to keep us pointed in the right direction. Besides the sore arms, broken rudder, and sun burn*, it was a wonderful way to spend the day.

There are pictures of the aforementioned adventure but until they make their way from cell phone to computer (pending learning how to transfer said images), you will have to use your imagination. If human intelligence triumphs over technology sometime soon and the pictures are liberated from the phone, I will post them in the comments. I know how annoying pictureless posts are. EDIT: Humans triumph machine! Here's me on Saddlebag Island.
Monday June 16 2008File under: Anacortes

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Class of 98 Reunion

Ten years ago today, the Anacortes High School class of 98 done grajemated. Ah, the good old days of high school*. We were all so good looking back then.

Besides being a great opportunity to reflect on the good old days and how quickly the time has passed, ten years also means it is reunion time. The only official word I've heard about the reunion is a page over at MySpace. Since I know a good portion of the world doesn't use MySpace*, I felt the need to spread the word. But not only did I want to make sure all you 98ers were in the know, I wanted to include my very sincere plea that you all make every attempt to come. If ever an occasion embodied the phrase "the more, the merrier", this would be it. Even if you only want to see what Robert Kennedy is up to, settle a bet as to how many kids Clint Lucas has sired*, or finally get up the nerve to talk to your old crush, PLEASE COME! If you've got a pseudo excuse, I'm sure we can solve it together.

Anyway, the gist (for those of you who hate MySpace to the point of not even wanting to visit even for information purposes) is August 9th! Location isn't apparent from the page, but something has supposedly been booked, and we can only assume it is going to be here in Anacortes. I'm sure you will all be here too, right?

(Oh, and I plan on having a yearbook study session at my house on the evening before the event so we can at least have a refresher and not pull the old Matt Henry/Peder Moore faux pas. Perhaps we will even break out an old copy of Grosse Pointe Blank to study up on how reunions are supposed to go.)
Wednesday June 4 2008File under: Anacortes, events

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Our Town Our Park

For those readers who reside in the Anacortes area, this is probably old news; it has been the talk of the town, front page news, etc. For the rest of you, I wanted to clue you in on a great project going on here in town.

Our Town Our Park is a community project to build a new playground at Storvik Park. The park was designed by the community (with input from kids), funded by community fund raising, and constructed using volunteer labor from the community, with all sorts of other community involvement (donated meals for the volunteer crews, donated materials, etc.). The organization and enthusiasm for the project have been great and it looks like everything is coming together wonderfully.

I went and put in my shift of volunteer labor yesterday. My team put up a little hut in the 2-5 year old section, a hut that I will be able to forever feel a special pride in*. It was amazing how many people I ran into on the build site: old teachers, parents of friends, high school friends who I haven't seen in ages. Granted the majority of the volunteers have some personal stake in the project (i.e. have kids of their own), but there were other who were there just for the community involvement.

The grand opening for the park is this evening at 5:00pm. Hopefully their website will be updated with pictures of the build in progress as well as the final project (which, I must say, comes close to rivaling the best playground of all time, South Whidbey). The whole deal has been another one of those I-sure-am-happy-to-live-in-Anacortes experiences.
Sunday June 1 2008File under: Anacortes

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Frisbee Season Has Begun

It's that time of year again; the weather is warm(ish) and dry(ish) and I am starting to think about shedding a little of my winter "insulation". Everything is pointing to frisbee time again! This season started last night* with a bang. We had an amazing turnout with a great mix of veterans and first-timers. No more games of 3-on-3 or 4-on-4; we will be playing UPA regulation 7-on-7 and I couldn't be happier about it.

If you find yourself in the Anacortes area, come join us or swing by to watch. We play every Tuesday at 6:00 at Smiley's Bottom, until around September when will we move up to Storvik. All skill levels welcome!
Wednesday May 28 2008File under: Anacortes

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Purty Sunset

I was listening to the radio this evening and heard some talk of people complaining about the weather we have in Northwest Washington. "It is rainy, cold, gloomy, and dark", they said. The host made the good point that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and a little bit of rain and darkness is the price we pay. Well, even in this season of grey and gloominess there is extreme beauty every now and again if you keep your eyes open. I caught this sunset last week. Just beautiful! (Here's another shot that I like*.)
Monday February 11 2008File under: pics, Anacortes

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