|While out meandering around the city the other day, I am came across a neat little exhibit in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown. While a far cry from the sand castles of my youth, these sand sculptures were pretty neat. I even caught one in the process of being finished. All I know is that back in my days of sand sculpting, trowels, squirt bottles, and wooden frames were not part of the standard issue equipment.
Anyhoo, check out these dandy little pictures: Overview of the festivities (did I mention there was music and food going down as well?); Calvin and Hobbes lookalikes; reading brings the world alive unless there is a dragon under your bed unless, of course, he is a smiley dragon; and a Burgerville Display.
To check out the official Sand in the City site, click here.
|Monday July 16 2007||File under: pics, travel|
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|Small town parades are one of the great joys of living in Anacortes. Sure, it is mostly classic cars, candy, kids on bikes, and shameless commercialism (although this guy spiced it up, making me feel better about bowing out of my two year tradition). But chances are, you know somebody in at least one of the troupes which always makes it fun. Plus, walking down the streets, you are bound to run into people you haven't seen in a while, and it is always good to catch up.
One of the bummers that gets me every year is the on-it's-way-to-the-trash-heap crap that Shell Oil and others insist on throwing to the masses. Stop by Kiwanis the week after the parade, and I bet you'll find hundreds of those unthrowable frisbees stuck in purgatory on the shelves. And those are the ones that didn't end up the garbage, like I'm sure the majority of them did. Also, do we really need to pretend we are New Orleans and do the beads thing? The plastic crap is one aspect of the parade I could do without.
On the up side, however, there was a pleasant counterpoint, a new addition to this year's parade. A troupe advocating carbon reduction marched along advocating living in harmony with nature, using bikes and public transportation, and more*. Star of their group was the much talked about electric car.
Yep, living in a small town ain't so bad at all. Top it all off with a top notch fireworks display this evening, and I'll pick Anacortes's Fourth of July any day.
|Wednesday July 4 2007||File under: Anacortes, pics|
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|It seems the talk amongst people my age these days is babies. Everyone is either having them, thinking about having them, reading blogs about them, or fawning over someone else's. Put me in the latter category.
This past week, I've had the opportunity of chilling with Ms. Clara (of Emily and Clara fame) while she and her mom were out visiting from Las Vegas. It is sometimes hard to appreciate the little observations and joys shared on other baby blogs like IHJ and SMaL by those of us that are so far removed from the baby world. Passing time with a young 'un this past week enhanced that appreciation for those little things* you are always hearing people talk about.
Anyway, it was an awesome visit what with the beach, garden, frisbee, goobering, walking, and whatnot.
(First item on the agenda after a week of baby time: a three hour nap. Good times.)
|Sunday July 1 2007||File under: Anacortes, pics|
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|Scrapbooking is all the rage these days. Back in my employed days at www.PhotoWorks.com*, we were always taking the scrapbooking crowd into account when designing our products. ("Who would possibily want to order an empty book? Oh yeah, scrapbookers.") Besides knowing that scrap bookers might want to purchase an empty book and fill it with pictures themselves, I didn't really know much of the nitty-gritty about the world of scrapbooking.
When I got back from Asia, I was thinking that I should a book together for myself. I had saved maps, ticket stubs, and of course had lots of pictures. When looking around and talking to people about scrapbooking, I found that it was much more complicated than putting pictures and ticket stubs in a book. You needed embellishments. "Embellishments, embellishments, embellishments", a scrapper* friend told me.
That same friend recently put together a scrapbook of my scooter trip for me as a gift. Let me tell you, it was a fine piece of work. Embellishments galore! Now that I have an idea of what a proper scrapbook looks like, I might have a go at my Asia one again. Not that I have a chance of equaling the style that is this, this, and this, but I can try.
|Saturday June 23 2007||File under: pics, misc|
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|As far as public art goes, I would have to say that water features are my favorite (with the exception of maybe functional art like bus shelters, etc.). In my meanderings around and about, a good water feature will always stop me in my tracks. One of my favorite attractions in Rome was Trevi Fountain. The Bellagio's fountain in Vegas captures me. At the mall in Pattaya Thailand, I sat and watched a funky little water feature for hours (while I ate $0.65 oreo blizzards by the dozen).
It isn't just in far away places that water features add to the interest of an urban landscape. Just the other day in Seattle, with a couple hours to kill, I thought I would do a quick tour to see what I could find. Pictured to the right is a calm little fountain next to Key Area at the Seattle Center. Also at the Seattle center is the famous International Fountain which, esp. in the summer, doubles as functional art keeping people cool. Downtown has a couple neat little fountains like this one at the Baimbridge Ferry Terminal, this serene waterfall at the birth place of UPS (privately maintained), and one of my favorites at 5th and James. Also vying for a top spot in my favorites are some of the basalt fountains at Amazon.com. I didn't get a chance to trek up to Cal Anderson Park to snap a picture of that great fountain.
So next time you are scurrying through a city with your head down, look up and enjoy some of the public water features!
|Friday April 20 2007||File under: misc, pics|
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|Good cars—I mean cars that we really love—don't come along very often in our lives. It is with great sadness that I had to let Marilyn go this past weekend. She lived to a ripe old age of 309,811 miles. Now she has gone to a better place, the vehicle donation program at KUOW. Hopefully someone out there will find a use for some of her parts, so she can continue to live on in one form or another.
But instead of focusing on the sad, let me look back on the good times she provided. We shared accomplishments,setbacks, learning experiences, and confusion. She took me on adventures and was always patiently waiting for me when I came home. Marilyn, you will be missed.
|Monday April 16 2007||File under: transportation, pics|
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|Who said sparklers were just for kids or making bombs*? With a little creativity, a fancy schmancy camera, and a little help from the internet, lots of fun can be had.
In honor of the IHJ invasion, Ryan held one of his world renowned Movie Nights. (Casino Royale was this episode's feature.) After the movie (and pizza, cake, and splargus*), Ryan coaxed us all outside for a little sparkler art. While I was a little reluctant at first (partially because of the cold, partially because the chances for undesirable fire consequences were not as slim as one would hope), I quickly got into the spirit once I saw the results.
Outlining was the first course of business. Here's Ryan, me, and Chris and Jenn. (You may notice a bit of a solar flare above Chris in that last one. He took it like a champ!) After we had our fun with outlining, we tried a little skywriting. As you can tell, I was decidedly unsuccessful.
|Sunday April 15 2007||File under: Anacortes, pics|
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|For anyone who lives in Skagit County, or even in the whole Northwest, it goes without saying that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world (although it is sometimes worth reminding ourselves of when it has rained for 12 days straight). Tulip time in Skagit County might as well serve as the poster child for the Northwest's beauty, if you ask me.
It wasn't until 2 years ago that I visited the tulips the first time. Of course I had driven through from time to time, but I had never stopped. Since then, I've tried not to miss snapping at least one picture per year. (It makes for a perfect backdrop.) Today, with an out-of- towner in tow, Dave and I played toured guide. He played professional photographer while I attempted to follow his lead. While photography might not be my thing, at least I can do fun computery stuff with pictures. Check out this panorama (Java required).
|Thursday April 12 2007||File under: pics, Anacortes|
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Have you ever wondered where Easter eggs come from?
(I just couldn't help myself. I've had this image on my computer for ages and love sharing it.)
Anyhoo, Happy Easter!
|Friday April 6 2007||File under: holidays, pics|
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|In the interest of revelling in the beauty of the place in which I live, further explore public transportation of the area, and to catch up with an old friend, I headed down to Pt. Townsend on Friday for a day of geocaching. The trip down was a relatively unnoteworthy consisting of a 4 mile bike ride, 2 bus rides, an hour and a half layover, and a ferry ride. Door to door time, 3.75 hours. (This is, as I said, unnoteworthy, but make note because it comes into play later.)
Because I was taking a relatively new cacher out on the hunt, I tried to pick some fun caches. It turns out, I failed pretty miserably on that one. The first cache escaped our searching eyes, the second one was buried beneath a pile of beauty bark, and the third was in a park that was closed for some mysterious reason. Luckily, we bucked that trend with the 4th and 5th attempts of the day. We were quite pleased with ourselves. The last of the day was at Fort Warden State Park and offered this lovely view of the light house (left) as well as this one. Also at the park, I attempted to scare some explorers in the Kinzie Battery, but instead of being rewarded with screams of fright, I was met with a completely disinterested glare. Where are people's sense of fun these days?
To soothe the ache of a mediocre day of caching (and scaring), we sought solace in one of the many fine eateries PT has to offer. After a spectacular lunch earlier at the Thai place (Thai food is good. Maybe I should go to Thailand.), we upped the ante with pizza. It served as the perfect solace for me while some found solace elsewhere.
Because of thwarted caches, good food, and low tides, I missed the ferry I was shooting for coming back. By the time I got to Keystone, it was dark and public transportation had long since ceased. With a little ingenuity, I fashioned a sign and stuck out my thumb. Two rides later, I was back at my bike for the quick jaunt home. Total travel time on the return trip: just under 2 hours. Hmmmm....
|Sunday February 18 2007||File under: geocaching, pics|
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