Let There Be Light!


For those of you who have ever been to my house, on your next visit, you might notice something. (For those of you who haven't, this post might not quite do it for you.) Notice anything funny about the angle of this picture taken? Yes, that is our kitchen. Yes, there used to be a wall there.

In an effort to get more natural light into the kitchen space, Ma decided to sacrafice my old bedroom. Step one: pour through accumulated crap stashed in closet. Step two: remove wall. Step three: clean up. (That pesky drywall dust gets everywhere.) Step four: enjoy the open space created and the light allowed in. Everyone that has seen the change has approved. Here it is from another angle.
Friday February 2 2007File under: pics

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On Being a Tourist in Your Own Town

I've lived in Anacortes a long time now and I feel that I know it pretty well. I can tell you where the best pizza is (Village, of course), how many stop lights there are (13), and the best hike (depends on the weather). But it isn't often that I get to play tourist in my own town.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to do just that. A friend was visiting from the East Coast who had never properly seen Fidalgo Island. (Passing through to the ferry totally doesn't count.) We got to see Deception Pass, Cap Sante, Burrows Island lookout on the WaPa loop, the funny house down by Matt Kanarr's old house, Whistle Lake (with so many new downed trees!), Causland Park, and much more. Some of these I happen upon in my daily life. Others I rarely visit. All of them take on new dimensions when seen through non-resident's eyes.

Being exposed to the beauty that is Fidalgo Island on a daily basis can sometimes cause me to forget how spectacular it is here. Anne's frequent "This is so beautiful!" helped remind me to take a step back and appreciate this beautiful place in which we live.

Wednesday January 24 2007File under: Anacortes, pics

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Billy the Snowman

What a couple of good looking fellas, eh? Sure, one looks a little weird and is giving a bit of a goofy smile, and sure, one of them is made of snow, but still...

Jack Frost graced Anacortes with a beautiful blanket of snow today. The little kid in me (which accounts for about 95%) couldn't help but be giddy. I've got nowhere to go so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Since the temperature is hovering right around freezing (and maybe even a little over), the snow is perfect for packing. It took only 20 minutes or so to put my masterpiece together. If the weather turns warm tomorrow, I'm prepared to build a tent and an elaborate chill tunnel from the fridge to keep Billy around.

Oh, and for some size perspective, try this one.
Thursday January 11 2007File under: pics

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Another Successful Game Night

Well, it was another successful game night at the Studer/Schultz household. As always, it was a great mix of people, food, games, laughs, humiliation, and socializing. A big thanks to everyone who made it.

As for games, we played some of the tried and true games (take two (pictured), the name game, the portait drawing game (can you name these folks? 1, 2, 3, 4), and the drawing telephone game (whether for good or bad (or worse)). We also tried out a new version of the name game which takes a page from the charades book that was a huge success. Many thanks to the Fates for introducing that one to us.

For those of you that missed it this year, you have always have the next one to look forward to. Until then, keep you eyes peeled for any new additions. Now I am going to go play some tiddly winks.
Friday December 29 2006File under: pics, games

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Reminiscing - map and calendar

One of my major activities since coming home (aside from eating cheese) has been reliving, reviewing, and recovering from my trip. I've been compiling photos from the people I traveled with, sorting through maps and books I brought back, and transfering notes from the back of crosswords to a more usuable computer format. In light of these activities, I foresee a couple more travel related posts in the future for BdW. Here is the first one.

In my last couple days in Vietnam, I saw a fellow traveller outlined their general itenary on a big map. It was such a neat idea that I copied it. Here's what I came up with. It is best viewed at large size. (To avoid clutter, I left off the into and out of asia lines. Starting point is Bangkok and ending point is Seoul)

Also, on my trip, I kept a general log of where I was and what I was doing on a daily basis, just to jog my memory when I got back. The bold at the bottom of each day represents where I spent the night. It is prolly an overkill of information for all but the very bored.


Wednesday December 27 2006File under: travel, pics

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Beach life...(is the life!)

So perhaps I spoke too soon (and perhaps a bit generalized) in my last post re:traveling vs. vacationing. Where have I been the last 4 days? The beach. How do I pass my days? Chess, juggling, swimming, and reading. What are my plans for tomorrow? Kayaking to a geocache, chess, juggling, and swimming. How many of these endeavors involve local culture or any sort of worthy pursuit? None. But that's okay.

Ryan and I have lucked out on places to stay out here on Ko Chang. Our first hut was a great little one on the beach about a 20 minute walk down a dirt road. There was a huge lawn for juggling, a great beach for swimming, and hammocks all around for reading and chillin'. The downside was the surly dude that owned the place took an immediate disliking to us. And while we can't prove anything, a large number of fleas and ants did end up in our beds. Perhaps coincidence. Anyway, after a scratchy and sleepless night, we've moved down to the Lonely Planet-recommended Treehouse bungalows. Pictured to the right is my current digs, a tiny hut that will prolly have the porch over the water at high tide. Good times!
Tuesday November 21 2006File under: Thailand, pics

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Travelling vs. Vacationing

There is a subtle difference between travelling and vacationing, but it seems to come up a lot. Every traveller you meet has a different balance of taking in a new culture, geography, etc. and comforts and pleasure. For some, exemplified by those who choose all inclucive resorts in the Caribbean, the balance is towards comforts and pleasure. For others, the balanace is extremely the other way. Think of hauling a big backpack through the heat of the jungle and the chaos of local buses to see the ruins of some religious something or other.

For me, the balance is usually towards the less comforts, more culture side, (although I don't dis the resort life at all (case in point)) This eye opening and sometimes back-breaking pursuit is what I call "travelling". Well, travelling can wear on you. It takes a lot to wade through the challenges that throw themselves at you in a typical traveller's day. So I decided to take a vacation from my travels. Yes, I know. Right now you are saying, "your whole trip has been a vacation". Well, I assure you that there are definitely trials and tribulations that I've been omitting in this blog.

Anyhoo, the vacation: Ryan and I found ourselves in Pattaya, Thailand, a beach resort of some disrepute. (We found out the reason for the disrepute after visiting, and it is safe to say that I will never go back there again. Long story.) Anyway, what the town did have going for it is that it was geared towards vacationers. So for my vacation, I chose a movie in the cinema (James Bond in Casino Royal), a couple of rounds of minigolf, an air conditioned room, and an all you can eat breakfast buffet. Needless to say, it was great! Although I lost 300 baht on the golfing (10 baht per stroke. I'm far off my best), and prolly gained 15 pounds or so (I also upped my daily icecream limit from 1 to 3 for my vacation), it was a much needed recharge with western comforts after my time in China and before tackling Cambodia and Vietnam.

So now we are back in travel mode. We are in Trat, with plans to head out to Ko Chang tomorrow. Today, we took 3 local buses totalling 6 hours, part of which was so hot the sweat just poured off, another part of which was done standing in an oversold bus. Culture at its finest, I guess.
Friday November 17 2006File under: Thailand, pics

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Having a beard is fun



Shaving it off is even more fun.
Sunday September 10 2006File under: pics, beard

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Lasqueti Island Juggling Festival 2006

Lasqueti Island is a world away from everything. Last weekend, Nora and I biked up the east side of Vancouver Island (75 miles, round trip: We were proud of ourselves at least) to catch the little foot pasenger ferry over to Lasqueti. The juggling festival was a good time, but seeing the island and the culture there took the cake for me. The food for our meals were grown right on the property and cooked on the open fire. I slept in the middle of the garden under the stars. I pooped in a bucket. It was awesome.

On Saturday night, we put on a show at the community center. Not too many people showed up, but what can you expect on a little island. Highlights of the show included fire juggling, 6 year olds hula hooping, a mud boot dance, and zucchini juggling.


Biking with gear in my little old milk crate


Luke only paid half price to bring his uni on the ferry


A little juggling action from the public show


Passing fire with Johnny

Tuesday August 29 2006File under: events, pics

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Good music, good fun

Last night I attended the flotsam festival over on Guemes. Being out in the sun with good friends and great music can't be beat. And while there wasn't much juggling to be had there, I'll take this opporunity to post a pic from the last Spoonshine concert I attended.


Sunday August 20 2006File under: pics

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