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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FC 121 - Yum Yum Yum

So I know this is a little late in the day to be posting a Friday Comic*, but I really wanted to pick back up this week but couldn't get this comic done yesterday. Please forgive me.

So, as always, I'm sure glad to get Friday Comics back up and going after the latest travel induced hiatus. Not only does it provide at least one semi-decent post per week, but it also is a very necessary outlet for my creativity and groan-inducing humor (take today's comic as an example).

Anyway, hopefully by next week I will be back on my Thursday night/Friday morning posting schedule (although I hope no one will be at their desk on that Friday morning).
Friday November 19 2010File under: comic

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Canvas Fun - New Kind of Slideshow

I've been playing with a new-to-me feature of HTML called canvas. It allows for new ways to draw, display pictures, do animations, etc. that HTML could never do before. Probably 95% of you will look at this and say "Big whoop. I've seen stuff like that (and better) on the web lots of times." Well, what you've probably seen before is all done in flash. The great thing about canvas is that it doesn't require external software to run. It is built into your browser. That said, it is only fancy modern browsers that support HTML 5.0 as yet. I've been told even Internet Explorer doesn't support it. So if things don't work, it might be your browser. (And I just found that it displays different in firefox than in chrome*, so consider this an alpha version.)

Anyway, you should check it out. If it works and you like it, let me know in the comments. If it doesn't work, let me know that too (and preferably what OS and browser+version you are using). I'm hoping to roll out another travel based canvas project next week.
Wednesday November 17 2010File under: travel, coding

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2011 Bellingham Circus Guild Calendar


It's that time of year again, time to start thinking about finding a new calendar to hang on your wall, to look at day after day, to entrust your appointments to*. I suggest, if I may, the 2011 Bellingham Circus Guild Calendar. It's got lots of pictures of pretty people doing amazing things, fun facts about the Guild, reminder about Vaudevililngham on the 15th of every month, and, best of all, the proceeds go to support the Guild, to keep the Cirque Lab open for teaching classes, giving awesome performance, and hosting a weekly juggling club* among other things.

Why am I shilling this masterpiece of monthly merriness? Well, just like last year's calendar, I am co-creator. This year, however, I was giving more creative license, and from my side of things, the process was much smoother, so no gripes at all. Just a fun calendar to support a fun group!

To obtain a calendar, come by the Cirque Lab during juggle club or December's Vaudevillingham, talk to a cirque guild member, or contact me. I'd be glad to work out the details (payment, shipping*, etc.). We are asking for a donation of $10-$20 per calendar, and again, the money goes to support the Guild.

To entice you further, here are a couple sample pages: July and May*.
Tuesday November 16 2010File under: circus, misc

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Sketchy Dude

This past Halloween, I spent a good chunk of the day on a bus coming back from that fancy Rally that everyone has been so excited to hear about. Partially because of this and partly because I just didn't get my act together, I didn't do the whole costume thing. Luckily for me, however, some good friends threw their annual bash this weekend with a costumed theme: superheroes.

I went as Sketchy Guy. What, you've never heard of Sketchy Guy? Or maybe just not in superhero context? Well, let me tell you something, I've got all sorts of super powers. In fact, just come back to my place and I'll show you ;-) (Note to self: picking a costume that allows you to—nay, requires you to say sketchy things through the night is awesome. Awesome.)

Other notable costumes from the party: a spitting image of Mighty Mouse, Scotch Tape Woman*, Captain Hot Sauce, the Cupcake Kid, and possibly the best of all, Soroptimist Prime*.

Even though my costume failed me and I ended up going home alone*, I still had a great time. Costume parties are fun. Best of all, I've put together a costume that I can reuse next time I go out on the town*. Watch out, ladies!
Sunday November 14 2010File under: misc, beard

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Smashed Pennies

You've all seen them around. They are at just about every hardcore tourist place you can think of: Disneyland, the Space Needle, Maryland rest areas. Penny smashing machines are practically ubiquitous these days, but also offer a great, cheap way of tellin' 'em where you been.

I really like having a mission when I am traveling, something to aim for when I am out meandering so I can objectively say that I had a successful day. Finding penny smashers in the various places I go has become that mission for me. In some places, it is all too easy*. Other places, it is quite a task*.

What do I do with my wallet full of smashed pennies when I get home? Just like any good souvenir, I pass them off to an unsuspecting family member. Jule's collection is actually pretty impressive. Perhaps I'll frame it all up as a photo shoot one day. Until then, I'm off to go find more penny smashers.
Friday November 12 2010File under: misc

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Quote For Monday - Yum


One of the great things about traveling is the access to (and an excuse to eat) great food. On this trip, I've been in some of the best cities for food. I've eaten sushi in San Francisco, Korean food in Toronto, poutine in Montreal, possibly the fanciest meal of my life at a Jean George* NYC hotspot, real Southern food in D.C., and, of course, ice cream all over.

Experiencing (and greatly enjoying) all this great food doesn't need to be only for vacations. So I post this quote as a reminder to myself to eat well whenever I can because food is one of life's greatest pleasures.
Sunday November 7 2010File under: quote, food

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Me in Front of NYC Stuff


I'll admit I have a nasty habit of always mucking up an otherwise good view when it comes to picture taking. But what other way can I prove I've been somewhere? So here's me in front of a bunch of stuff in New York City.

Friday November 5 2010File under: travel, USA

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New York City Subway

Each time I ride the New York subway, I gain a little more respect for this vast vast system. At first, the grittiness and intimidatingly large stations and maps had me put off. But that grittiness and complexity are so very representational of the city that lies directly above it. And just as getting to know the city leads to more comfort with being in it, so it goes with the subway. You quickly learn that if you miss your initial transfer station, there's another route to get where you're going. You learn what time of day which trains will be packed and running behind and know which ones to take instead. You learn the pre-walk, positioning yourself in the correct car so as to most easily access the exit at your final station.

For being such a vast system, it strikes me by how inexpensive it is. It's a one-far system, rather than tiered by distance (like D.C. or Tokyo). Just $2.25 gets you underground or there are all sorts of passes and extra deals for multi-riders. If you had just a day in NYC and only $2.25 to spend, seeing the city's underground might not be a bad option.

Of how many cities can one say that every one of its residents has a shared bit of culture? In New York, people don't not use the subway. It's not really an option. That culture—knowledge, etiquette, opinions—creates a bond between New Yorkers, one that I can't say I've seen in cities like Seattle or Denver. This wide usage also makes for trains full of everyone imaginable, from $900 suits to children in soccer outfits, the nanny with a double stroller to the guy just looking for a warm place to sleep.

I could go on and on about the variation in the modernity from one line to the next, the lonely one-line station vs. the mega transfer ones, the lore associated with the A-train for example, or anecdotes about the random people I see down there, but the only way to really understand is to get to know it yourself. A city's public transit says a lot about the city itself, and it is one of my favorite ways to get to know it.
Tuesday November 2 2010File under: travel, transportation

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Rally to Restore Sanity

What happens when you gather a lot* of people together in a small space to rally for the cause of sanity? Well, it gets a little insane, but in a good way.

Today, I attended John Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington D.C. Let me tell you, it was an experience. Here's my bulleted pointed review.
  • The crowds - we are talking a lot of people. When leaving the mall, we pretty much claimed the streets of downtown D.C. as our own, because there was no way the sidewalks were going to contain us
  • The energy - sane people from all over gathered to enjoy being sane together*. Goofiness with a good dash of passion and purpose is the best I can describe it
  • The special guests - Kareem Abdul Jabar, Yusef Islam*, Ozzy Osborne, Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow, Sam Waterstien, Father Guido Sarducci, the Mythbuster guys* , and more
  • The message - mostly over the top parody (very funny) but ending on a heart-felt serious note of really working together, approaching politics more level-headedly, and tuning out fear-mongering mass media
  • The music - besides those listed above, there were a bunch of famous people that I didn't recognize because they are from a different era, but my cultural translator Saxtor filled me in on the importance
  • The witty signs - Make English (muffins) law, Frustrated Arizonans Rejecting TEA, Give Quiche a Chance, [citation needed], You may have a good point but all this yelling makes it hard to understand, BIG SING IN ALL CAPS, Down with toilet seats, ALL CAPITAL LETTERS MEANS I'M SERIOUS, I support this sign, and so many more. Sign spotting was almost the highlight of the day
Although we pretty much watched the whole event via huge t.v. screens set about the lawn because of the immense size of the crowd, just being there to support the cause, feel the energy, and, well, say I was there made the day a great experience, one like I doubt I'll ever experience again. After all, how often in one's life does one get to gather with 150,000+ people on a beautiful day in a beautiful place and have a bunch of fun?
Saturday October 30 2010File under: misc

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