Mount St. Helens

The last time I went to Mount St. Helens, I bet I was only 14 years old, if that. It's funny how you can live so close to something that is really quite spectacular and fail to give it the attention it warrants.

Well, since the 30th anniversary of the massive eruption is nearly upon us, I thought that no better an excuse to check it out again*. The weather for the day fell into the Oh-this-is-why-Washington-is-the-best-place-in-the-world-to-live category, which made everything glisten and gleam that much more.

Unfortunately, the tippy top visitor's center hasn't opened yet for the year, so we couldn't peer down into the crater, see the spectacular documentary movie, etc. Instead, we had to be content with just driving around and taking in some of the viewpoints which made for a spectacular day as it was.
Monday May 10 2010File under: misc

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FC 104 - Please Pass the Mashed Potatoes

While the worst of the comic is seen here, I should probably throw out of a bit of a warning: there is a chicken running around with its head cut off in this comic. If such grotesqueness offends you, it might be best to skip this week's comic. Otherwise, by all means, check it out.

In an effort to save time (believe it or not, but I've actually been quite busy of late), I considered cutting and pasting my last chicken drawing into this one. But just the thought of that made me feel a little bit dirty, so I bucked up and drew one from scratch (and then cut and pasted it, with a tweak or two, to come up with chicken #2). Oh if I could just draw things by hand like normal comics people, life would be so much easier.

Anyway, I hope you have a fabulous Friday!
Thursday May 6 2010File under: comic

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Another Compost Experiment

Remember that test I did with the supposedly compostable drinking glass from Pizzeria Pagliacci's a couple years ago? Well, I ran across another product making the "compostable" claim, only this time to a greater degree (to see the info, go here and then click "compostable packaging"*). Call me a skeptic if you want, but I just had to try it.

It turns out that the timing is such that the Sun Chips bag is the first item in this year's bin, having just emptied the now well composted soil into the gardens. This means maximum compost time, pressure, and heat. I'll check on it in 12 weeks or so, maybe a little longer to allow for enough other food stuff to really get the party started. Then I will report back.

This is skeptical environmental consumer lookout guy signing off.
Wednesday May 5 2010File under: environment

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Quote For Monday - ABCs


A to Z: you're sure to find something that calls to you. P.S.*

Monday May 3 2010File under: quote

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FC 103 - Work Those Muscles

Wow. It feels like it has been years since I've worked under a deadline like this. It's 11:49 pm on Thursday evening and an hour ago, I hadn't even started this week's comic. Usually, I have it done before lunch on Thursday and all I have to do is cut and paste the post last thing before I go to bed. Not this week. No, this week has been hectic: drive-ins, after parties, double dates, work(!)*, circus ballet, and more.

The result of a hectic week is a quickly thrown together comic. Perhaps you can't even tell a difference. Well, this one took under an hour while most take 2 or more. All in all, though, I'd say the more than 50% drop in time leads to less than a 50% drop in quality, but that's just me. Anyway, we all know 2 hectic weeks back to back for me is practically unheard of so next week's comic will be back in the regular vein. Anyhoo, happy Friday!!
Thursday April 29 2010File under: comic

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My Earth Day Contribution 2010

I've been really making an effort these last couple years to honor Earth Day. While the saying goes that we should treat everyday like Earth Day, it is easy to slip into less than perfect habits. Plus, having one day where everyone (media, organizations, etc.) is focused on doing good things for our planet makes for a wonderful excuse to do something yourself.

The past 2 years, I've been taking a couple hours out of my Earth Day schedule to go pick up trash on the side of the road. Not only is this Earth Day inspired, but when bike is one's primary mode of transportation, one tends to notice just how trashy some of our roads can get.

Besides the great feeling I get from doing my little part to help clean up, it is just downright interesting to see what ends up on the side of the road. In my unscientific survey, here are my observations. At least 3/4 of the garbage on the side of the road is easily recyclable (glass, plastic, aluminum, etc.).* A majority of that (at least in my small test area) is glass such as beer bottles, alcohol bottles, and wine bottles (the weight and breakablity of which led to some interesting thoughts on glass's desirability as a packaging medium). Some roads haven't had a trash crew through in a long time. Just an hour of cleaning up trash can make a huge difference.

I'm hoping to make my Earth Day trash clean up a yearly thing. If you happen to be around next April, feel free to join me.
Monday April 26 2010File under: environment

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FC 102 - Holiday Comic Cop Out

Two years ago, I planned a whole month of comics in honor of Earth Day. But I ended up being on the road for most of April so couldn't get it all to come together. And then last year, I was on the road again, so again it didn't happen. This year, I have no excuse except that I forgot. But while I might have forgot about my Earth Day comic aspirations, I didn't forget about Earth Day, of course. But more on that later.

Anyway, this is one of the comics that I was planning for that month long homage 2 years ago. Had I known how quickly it would come together, I might have just made it happen back then. (Comics without people in them are so much easier to draw.)

Anyhoo, I hope you all had a happy, productive, and conservative Earth Day.
Thursday April 22 2010File under: comic

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A Beard With a Story

Here's the story:

There is a short beard-related documentary showing at the Pickford Cinema here in Bellingham. Being a beard enthusiast, I rallied my beard-o-phile friends together to go. Then I had the thought, "Hey, I'm due for my bimonthly shave anyway. Why not get creative for the event." I promptly called my buddy to borrow his hair buzzer.

Said buddy is a clowny fellow. And it just so happened that the buzzer exchange was going to happen at Vaudevillingham. Clown buddy decided that we should turn the ridiculous beard trimming into an act. I somewhat (but not really) reluctantly agreed.

The act was an audience plant act. I was the plant and I was to win the bid on a special hair-cut auction. When I got on stage, I sat down to get ready for my hair cut. Then out came Blinky. He brandished juggling knives, took a shot from his bottle of whiskey, then went to down on my beard. He climbed up on my knees, pretended to shave my legs*, shushed the audience, and generally clowned around.

And then I ended up with this beard. On the Trustworthiness of Beards scale, they call it a Horseshoe a.k.a. The Hogan and rate it "unsavory". If it is paired with oversized, yet mismatched, sideburns, I only imagine that moves it more to the "threatening" side of things. The upside is that after the movie, I'm free to shave it off. The downside is that that won't be until Tuesday.
Sunday April 18 2010File under: beard

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FC 101 - Down On Bourbon Street

A rant: one of my biggest pet peeves is this proliferation of beads in the parade/celebration scene. Okay, so maybe it isn't the beads per se, because dressing up and having a souvenir isn't so bad. It is the fact that the beads are/have become super crappy plastic that is so cheap that no one feels they should keep them. So, during a parade/celebration, those who have the beads want to get rid of them (because they bought a box of 100,000 necklaces or whatever) and when people take them, they just throw them away when they get home. It all makes me cringe.

But that's not what this comic is about. It was inspired by my recent-ish trip to New Orleans and seeing how it has become quite a family tourist destination, which necessarily tones it down. I thought it was funny seeing parents trying to give their kids the New Orleans experience yet also protecting them from exactly that. Oh well. The thought made me chuckle.
Friday April 16 2010File under: comic

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Cirque Lab on the Move

The Cirque Lab, home of the Bellingham Circus Guild, has found a new home. While the old space was pretty dang neat (and home to many great memories*), circumstances dictated finding a new place to better accommodate Vaudevillingham and the other great shows that are in store.

Anyway, along with a new space comes moving. It's really amazing how much stuff can accumulate in a shared space, esp. when shared by circus folk that can turn pretty much anything into a prop or costume. A bunch of people helped out on the moving, so it was a hoot. There was climbing around to unhook aerial equipment, trying on old costumes, and alternative transportation.

So now all the is left is organizing the new space to get ready for this month's Vaudevillingham show. Speaking of which, you should come. Use it as an excuse to check out the new space, see a great show, and support a worthy local circus group. Info (address, times, etc.) can be found on the website. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday April 14 2010File under: misc

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