A New Toy

I splurged. I bought a new toy. (Although, if the IRS asks, it is a tool for work (and it kind of is).) This weekend, I bought the new Samsung Galaxy 4 player. It sounds like a phone. It looks like a phone. It even cost as much as a phone. But it's not a phone.

For a really long time, I've been looking for a portable media/internety thing. I remember way back before the iPod Touch, I was looking at the Sony Mylo (now so out of date it makes me cringed). The things that pushed me over the edge are: I need a new camera, many of the houses I now housesit at have no land line but do have wifi internet, and being able to send and receive texts while waiting for someone can really simplify communications. And Angry Birds. I felt I was really missing out so much without Angry Birds.

It is my hope that along with all the great communications things it can do*, it will benefit this blog. Although the above picture isn't so great*, this one ain't so bad. I guess I'll just have to stop doing exciting things in low light... And, one of the many benefits over the iPod Touch, I can crop and upload the images directly to BdW*.

Anyway, I'm just 24 hours into playing with it, so I'm sure I'll learn much more *. In the meantime, do you have any android app suggestions that I simply can't live without? Drop them below in the comments.
Monday November 14 2011File under: misc

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Bobland

Most of us go to museums to see art. Sculptures are usually enjoyed in public squares or parks. For my dad, however, art is right outside his back door.

Bobland*, located across the water from Seattle, isn't your everyday suburban home. Giant bones, faces, and balls mostly made of concrete and rebar turn the backyard of this outskirts property into a place where you can roam around and always see something new. And it's not as though if it is just art on display. The art integrates with normal backyard things too!

Each time I visit Bobland, I find it an inspirational reminder that wondrous things exist in the most unexpected places, all it takes to make art is action, and art is not only something that hangs on a wall in a museum. Someday, maybe, these reminders will help me craft my own space into something more than just utilitarian. Until then, I'll always look forward to the experience at Bobland.
Friday June 17 2011File under: misc

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Shoenicycle (Part 1)

I've been putting off this post until the project is complete, but I can't wait any longer. Completion is within sight, but I gotta share what I've got so far.

I introduce you to the Shoenicycle. Totally custom made from salvaged parts (and shoes), it's been a project almost a year in the making. With bucketloads of help from Per, the frame was welded, grinded*, and brazed at his bike fabrication shop in Montreal. The wheel* was put together in Anacortes with my old shoes that I knew I had been keeping around for some reason. Tweaks to the axle/pedal mechanism were made on the spot of the first test ride at the Cirque Lab in Bellingham.

The first (and second) test ride attempts both identified problems, so officially, it has yet to be ridden. But with new steel crank arms, I trust that the last problem will be overcome soon. Hopefully, within a month, I'll have a video of this frankenstein of a machine being ridden around with glee. Then comes working up an act for Vaudevillingham. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for March.
Wednesday February 2 2011File under: circus, misc

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Forging a Trail

I spent today out on Guemes Island working on building a trail with Washington Trails Association and it was great!

Volunteering has been on my mind a lot recently, specifically about wanting to find an opportunity that fits with my skillz, time restraints, and values. While I haven't exactly been beating down doors, nothing was jumping out at me and feeling like a good fit. Luckily, this opportunity to be out in the woods, give back to my community, and help create something that I so often enjoy dropped in my lap (courtesy of my good friend Nora).

I was kind of hoping that we would get to be involved in the plotting of the trail through untouched wilderness, but that wasn't so much the case. Instead, we improved and put the finishing touches on the roughed-in trail that was already there. This consisted of trenching to properly drain water, clearing away organic matter to expose gravel (the preferred trail material), and carrying buckets of rocks to build a French drain to allow water and trail to cross.

All in all, it was a great experience. I learned a little about what it takes to construct (and fine tune) a new trail, got to be outside on a gorgeous NW winter day, felt good about giving a little something back, and will sleep wonderfully tonite being that all my muscles are pretty much done for. Oh*.
Sunday January 23 2011File under: Anacortes, misc

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Friday Comics - Book Edition


"Could it be...? Is that what I think it is? OMG! My dreams have come true. This is the happiest day of my life!"

That's what my imaginary fan base screamed when they heard that I went and did it, I actually made a book of my comics*. The book contains 59 of my favorite comics in full color on 34 pages*. Dimensions are 4.25" tall by 7" wide with a fold binding. If I do say so myself, they turned out GREAT (waaaaay better than this attempted promotional shot makes them look)! I really enjoy this pseudo-publishing thing* and can't wait until I have enough decent new comics built up to make the next edition.

Anyway, I made these books to share. I've really enjoyed making the comics over the years and sharing them with ya'll. So if you want a copy, I'll gladly send you one. I'm asking for $10 per copy to offset printing* and shipping costs (if I can hand deliver the book instead of shipping it, I only ask $8.) Contact me by whatever way you see fit and we'll work out the details.
Sunday January 16 2011File under: misc, books

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Bela the Tripod Dog

What happens when you take an awesome dog and are forced to have her leg removed due to cancer? You end up with an equally awesome dog that just has to hop around a bit more.

My brother's dog Bela is, hands down, the best dog in the world. Now, even only being at 3/4 strength, she still pretty much kicks ass. It's only been 3 or so weeks since the surgery and she's almost back to her old self. She wags and whimpers when she meets a friend, she does great on walks, and when her strength is fully back up, I'm sure she'll be just as keen on hiking as ever.

It was super nice to have her around the house for a couple days over the holidays. It also served as a nice reminder that attitude is so important when overcoming adversity. All the TLC she receives from everyone that sees her doesn't hurt either, though.
Tuesday December 28 2010File under: misc

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The Economics of Knitting

This evening, while having a stitch & bitch with Per and Kris to get a jump on all those handmade Christmas gifts I hope to give this year, I started to think about the economics of knitting.

I am, by no means, a fast knitter*, but I get the job done. I've never timed myself on a project, but I have a pretty good idea of how long it takes me to knit, say, a hat*. I'd guess it takes me between 10 and 15 hours (depending upon how interesting the t.v. show that I am watching happens to be).

If I were to pay myself minimum wage*, I would have to charge between $85 and $130 for a hat, plus materials (probably about $10-$20 in yarn). That's a darn* expensive hat. It's a good thing I do it for the other reasons knitting is good instead of to save money.

Anyway, these economics of knitting are worth keeping in mind when you receive that misshapen sweater from Grams or an ill-fitting stocking cap from a good-intentioned friend. No matter how hideous it might look, at least try it on because someone put a lot of work into it. In fact, that 3 armed turtle neck sweater might be worth $6500.
Sunday December 19 2010File under: holidays, misc

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I Tell Jokes

I've never made up a joke before. I'm pretty good at remembering jokes I've heard and I love sharing them, but I've never made one up. (Comics, of course, don't really count as jokes. Some of them might be funny, but you can't just bust one out in a joke telling session.)

This weekend, while gathered with a bunch of Chautauquans for a benefit weekend full of shows, meetings, and good times, we got into some inevitable joke telling sessions. Many were repeats from previous tours, and there were a few new ones. A something-walked-into-a-bar series* got rolling and it just hit me.

A pair of Daisy Duke's walks into a bar and says to the bar tender "gimme a beer".

The bar tender says "Sorry, you're cut off."

Heyo! Or maybe not. Kind of a groaner, but I've heard worse. What's the best joke you've ever made up?*
Monday December 6 2010File under: misc

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Christmas Lights in Portland

Back in the day, I used to do up our house real nice with Christmas lights. Okay, so maybe not "real nice" but there were a lot of lights and that counts for something. Lately, however, I haven't been around Anacortes for the holidays so haven't had the chance to put up any lights. But opportunity would have it that I've found a new tradition.

This year is the second year that I've helped* Andrew put up lights on his house. Last year we started from scratch and this year added a few more strings. By 2017, look out Griswalds!!

Here's hoping that the tradition continues!
Sunday November 28 2010File under: holidays, misc

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The Height Wall

In your home growing up, did you have that one place on the wall that you marked all the kids' heights as they grew? Well, we did, and one of the great things about still living in the house I grew up in is that I get to glance at the height board every now and again.

Anyway, Punksto was up this weekend and it looked like she had grown another 17.5 inches since the last time I saw her. To the height wall! I got her to stand up straight, no slouching, but no tippie toes and I make the mark: 58 inches. That's a tall little girl.

Then I started looking at the context and just about died laughing. Cora is the same height at 8 years old as Andrew was, with shoes, at 12.5. We all had a good laugh. But don't worry, Andrew, we were laughing with you, not at you. We all, Cora included, still love you!
Sunday November 21 2010File under: misc

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