Oysterfest 2010

Jule, Katy, Kat, and Alex pose as geoduck harvesters
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Oysterfest* in Shelton, WA. What is Oysterfest? In short, it's a county fair-like atmosphere where everything is focused on oysters (and other food from the sea). In addition to the amazing food booths, there was live music, cooking demonstrations, requisite jugglers*, and the west coast oyster shucking championship.

The list of food we consumed is pretty epic, and I just have to share.
  • Grilled oysters (with garlic butter)
  • Bacon-wrapped oysters
  • Oyster curry on rice
  • Clam linguini
  • Clam steamers
  • Shrimp/crab cocktail
  • Oysters shooters (free, as they were the results of the oyster shucking contest)
  • Tempura fried coconut shrimp
  • Clam chowder
  • Five-alarm chili
  • Rootbeer float
  • Elephant ear
  • Raspberry pie ala mode
  • Some other dessert that is just escaping me

Yes we really ate all that. Yum! There was much more that we didn't get around to trying. There's always next year, though. If any (or all) of this sounds appetizing, you might want to make your way to Oysterfest next year.
Wednesday October 6 2010File under: food

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Youngest. Juggler. Evar.


Sunday October 3 2010File under: video, juggling

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FC 118 - Playing Games

This is my second bird related comic that greatly depends on accurately portraying the type of bird*. I've had this one on the list for a while, but just recently have felt ambitious enough to try to tackle it. It is my sincere hope that you can tell the difference between the ducks and the goose. Only then do you even have a chance of thinking it is funny.

Oh, and a word about the "punch line". I couldn't come up with one that I really liked, but instead settled on 2. I stuck a little snippet of javascript in to hopefully randomly decide which one you get. Chances are, however, the code will probably just break everything (RSS, etc.)

If you've got a better punch line, by all means, let me hear it. Or if you prefer one over the other, let me know so I'll know which to include in my book*. You all are my editors. Let's make this comic better together!
Friday October 1 2010File under: comic

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The Amazing Race


People often ask me what goes on at juggling festivals. "Juggling...duh!" I helpfully reply. But it is often so much more, esp. in the case of Lopez Jugglefest. The non-juggling shenanigans are often pretty epic. To that end, as promised in that earlier post, here's footage of the Epic Footrace of 2010. (I think there was only one club related injury reported*.)
Tuesday September 28 2010File under: juggling, video

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Crosswords Creation Continues


Nobody thinks of the team it takes to make a crossword. Learn more about what it takes by watching this video, Garson Hampfield, Crossword Inker
Although it's been a while since I've posted about my crosswords, I'm still cranking them out. I haven't gotten around to submitting any more for publication, but it is on my list for this fall: clean one or two up real purty, and send them away*. I can almost see that "professional crossword creator" business card now.

If you want to have a go at my latest creation Scram!, I'd love to know what you think. Or catch up on any you've missed on the games page. Like all of them, if you are going to print, be sure to follow the "printable" link at the bottom of the page.

If you're not a crossword puzzle doer (as I know most of you aren't), you still might get a laugh out of this video. If you are a cruciverbalist, then you should really watch it! A mockumentary to rival the best. Enjoy!
Sunday September 26 2010File under: games

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FC 117 - Knot What Ewe Think

YEAH!!! Friday Comics are back!!! Okay, so maybe it is just me that is super excited. But these last two weeks without comics has been like an eternity. Or at least has felt like 15 days. My excuse is a simple one: I was working. But I'm over that now. I'm back to having time to pour in my baby, the blog.

But work was good. It made my back a bit stronger, my wallet a bit thicker, and my conscience a bit clearer about my chosen lifestyle. And I got to help out a friend, learn a skill that I soon plan to apply, and do a daily commute by public transportation. Good to do. Good to be done.

But enough about work. You didn't come here to hear about work. You came to read a comic. Oh, and I was going to say a quick something about the comic: the idea, more or less, comes from Luke, fellow hax0r, juggler, and general good guy. (And for those of you keeping score at home, yes that is the same baby-backpack wearing Luke from last post. Chopping babies in half, endangering babies' lives: yep, Father of the Year.)

Anyhoo, I'm excited Friday Comics are back. Maybe this time around I will have the foresight to do up a couple extras for those weeks when I'm tight on time. But probably not.
Thursday September 23 2010File under: comic

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Highlights from Lopez Jugglefest 2010

Another Fall Equinox means another Lopez Jugglefest, the crown of the juggle festival season. While this year was marked with rain and more yellow jackets than you think could exist in one space (much less one inhabited by lots of folks), it was, as ever, a great time. Highlights for me included:
  • Passing 7 clubs with Della, 7 club popcorn with Justin, 7 club ultimates with Tall Matt, and 9 clubs with Lebn.
  • Seeing good friends and picking up like we never left off.
  • 6(!) flavors of homemade, hand-cranked ice cream (and being a part of the process).
  • While serving said ice cream, being recognized as the lion juggler from Vaudevillingham so long ago*.
  • The best party around, but with tons of juggling everywhere.
  • The second annual Epic Footrace between Shane and me*
  • Helping prove just because you've got a baby strapped to your back doesn't mean you can't pass clubs (or throw back-crosses* or do pirouettes).
  • Awesome jugglers juggling just for fun.

Tuesday September 21 2010File under: juggling

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SHBANG pics







SH'BANG!
Thanks to Peter and Stephanie for the awesome photos!




Thursday September 16 2010File under: quarry, pics

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Tide Ride

As always seems to be the case, I came away from this year's Soapbox Derby without nearly enough pictures. So instead of making a pictureless post where I try to describe all the awesomeness (fire juggling, epic crashes, rocking bands, tons of people having a great time, circus arts galore, ridiculous downhill racing, and more), I'll just wait until the pictures come back from the photographer so I can make a proper post.

In the meantime, here's a picture of my entry. The chassis is more or less the same as last year (with a tweak or two). The theme, however, is much different. What you can't see from the picture is the bubble machine that is duct taped to the back. Giant laundry detergent box. Bubbles. It's my Soap Box Racer. Get it? Some people did and some people didn't. And then some people got it but didn't think it was so funny. Oh well. To round out the spectacle*, I ended up wearing this pretty dress all day. So even if I wasn't the fastest derby racer out there, I was voted cutest by the mostly-drunken other participants.

Anyhoo, I hope to get a bunch of pictures here soon and make a proper post summing up all that action and awesomeness that was the SH'BANG!
Sunday September 12 2010File under: quarry

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Sun Chips Experiment Response

To those of you that followed my recent Sun Chips Compost Experiment (esp. the results), I thought you might find this of interest, a response letter from Frito-Lay. Basically, it gives the definition what they consider conditions for a home compost bin and composting tips on how to achieve that. While I kind of feel like they are missing the point of my letter (that I found their advertising campaign to be a bit of an exaggeration), I appreciate the response, clarification, and info.

Hi Wren,

Thank you for contacting Frito-Lay to share your comments about the 100% compostable SunChips package.

As you know, composting generates heat as a by-product. The temperature and rate of degradation will vary on how you maintain your compost pile. The hotter the temperature of your compost, the faster the materials in your pile will decompose. The SunChips compostable bag will break down in about 14 weeks if the compost temperature is maintained above 130F. If your compost pile does not get that hot, the package will still break down, but it will take longer.

It's important to maintain a good mix of "green" and "brown" materials in your compost bin. Try to add about one part "green" for every three parts "brown." The reasoning behind this is to balance the carbon to nitrogen ratio to encourage microbial activity.

Greens: fruit & veggie scraps, grass, garden clippings/flowers, green weeds
Browns: dry leaves, small twigs, straw/hay, sawdust, paper, soil/mulch/woodchips, coffee (include the filter), SunChips compostable bag (cut up)

Thicker, more fibrous items will compost faster if they are cut into smaller pieces before placing in the bin. The moisture level in your compost pile is another important variable for successful composting. Depending on the season and type of bin, you may need to water the compost several times a week.

Our home compost research found that the bigger compost bins (21 cu. ft and up) equals more efficient composting. Having a larger mass of organic materials will enable the pile to insulate itself and lose less heat from the surface, therefore increasing the rate of degradation.

Thank you again for your comments. We will continue to post composting information on www.sunchips.com.


Best regards,

Friday September 10 2010File under: environment, misc

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