Crafts Camp

Back when I was on that deserted island in the south pacific*, we used our spare time to make things (or in my case, attempt to make things). We called it Crafts Camp. While very little of what I worked on turned out to be cool, the process of sitting down and creating something semi-artistic felt good.

I had occasion to pursue that semi-artistic creative spirit again recently, this time a little less primitive than coconuts and shells. I tried my hand at stained glass. I had most of the tools around from an attempt I made 10 or so years ago. With a few trips to the hardware store and a little reminding from the woman* who owns Green Frog Glass in Bellingham, the project turned out a success. The whole thing was a great reminder that self-created art isn't out of reach of the everyday man and it is worth the time and effort.
Wednesday June 24 2009File under: misc

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PDX Pics Quickie Post

I've just started a couple week housesitting stint down here in Portland, and if the first few days are any indication, it is going to be a great time. I've greatly enjoyed Portland in the past and I look forward to getting to know it even better this time around. Included are a few of the interesting things I've seen around*. Click on each picture to get the mini-story.

Sunday June 21 2009File under: Portland, misc

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FC 72 - Walk the Plank

Huzzah! Huzzah! Today be Fridee! Nay only be that awesome, but today`s comic be about buccanneers. I haven`t been feelin' so hot about me comics o' late. They jus' haven`t been comin' together. This one, however, turned ou' much t' me likin'. I mean, how often do ye really get t' be seein' buccanneers doin' synchronized swimmin'?

I know this: this buccanneer comic be better than me last attempt (although, truth be told, I still be havin' a fond place in me heart fer that one on accoun' o' I stole th' idee from an 8-voyage old boy. Like th' sayin' goes: "bad artists copy, great artists steal"*)

(Oh, and English to Pirate translation provided by this site.)
Thursday June 18 2009File under: comic

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Stars And Stripes Forever

A couple of ridiculous beard posts ago, I hinted at wanting to attempt to "honor" Flag Day with an appropriate beard. Well, I tried. Here's my attempt at stars and stripes forever. It turns out that we had a much harder time using a sketchy beard as a canvas than ole Betsy Ross did with a bit of canvas. The star was a total failure and the stripes* are a little on the crooked side. But we tried. And it was fun. Maybe someday I will invest in one of those precision trimmers or maybe throw down on a barber (Wouldn't that be a hoot? Walk in to an old timey barber shop and ask them to turn your beard into a, say, sun and moon scape to commemorate summer solstice or something. I can see the look on old Lee's face now.) For now, I'll just make due with what I've got.
Wednesday June 17 2009File under: beard

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Best Swimmin Hole in the County

Summer weather has started early and in full force. For those BdW readers from the Northwest, I know you know. Beautiful summer weather serves to make this place more spectacular than ever and you can't help but notice. For those of you not from the Northwest, just imagine: not too hot, but hot enough and green everywhere you look.

With the just hot enough days of late, I've been hitting up my new favorite swimming spot frequently. I think anyone who has ever swam at the quarry will agree, it is hands down the best swimming spot in the county—cliffs for jumping, clear water, and, best of all, no chumps because it is on private land*. Throw in some good friends, inner tubes and a canoe, and the sense of possibility and inspiration that comes from the land and the project and you've got an afternoon that can't be beat. Oh, and if you're lucky, you might just come away with a dozen fresh* eggs.
Sunday June 14 2009File under: misc

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FC 71 - The Hours Fly By

The amount one person can accomplish in a day is truly amazing and that's no joke. On a very few occasions in my life, I've ended a day with that appreciation, having accomplished something that I can stand back and say "now that is some good work". Unfortunately, "few and far between" hardly touches how often this happens. I'm hoping that maybe making this comic (and perpetually coming back to review it*) will remind me of the value of a day's work.

As a side note, I drew this comic with my right hand! I'm sure the difference isn't apparent, but still, it is kind of an interesting fact. Another interesting fact: I was petting a nice kitty with my left hand for the majority of the time so I guess I should give co-creation credit to Tiny the cat. Her skillz with the mouse ain't so great, though.
Thursday June 11 2009File under: comic

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Salmonberries

Walking around in the woods recently, I was treated to a pleasant surprise: salmonberry season is in full swing and I happened upon a great patch. "What are salmonberries?" you ask. Similar to a raspberry in color and fruit structure, salmonberries are a sometimes slightly bitter wild-growing berry of the west coast. Every couple of years around this time, I usually seem to stumbled upon one or two berries, not quite remembering which of the lesser known edible but not awesome berries they are, but have a munch anyway. This time around, however, we found so many and engorged ourselves so much that I doubt I will be unsure in the future*.

While the taste of the berries wasn't awesome* (I like my berries with a lot of flavor and sweet), there is just something about a wild growing fruit that always gets me. It is one of the reasons I am so fond of blackberries (even though they are horribly invasive and can tear up a short-pants wearing leg in no time). I guess it reminds me of what it would have been like before agriculture, grocery stores, and imported Chilean fruit became standard. You just go out for a hike, happen upon some berries, eat them right off the bush, and then head back to your wigwam to blog about it.
Tuesday June 9 2009File under: misc, food

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Anacortes Sail Boat Racing

For all the experience I have with sailboats (staying on one in the Caribbean, sailing 2200 miles to Tahiti, our family having owned one, etc.), I know surprisingly little about sailing. Yeah, if you tell me to pull the jib sheet, I know what to do. Or if you yell "Jibe Ho!", I'll duck. But if anyone looked to me for what to do, we'd find ourselves up against the rocky shore in no time.

Despite all that, I still found my way onto a boat for Wednesday night Anacortes Sail Boat Racing. The weather couldn't have been better (from my perspective. True sailors would have wanted a good bit more wind.) with a cloudless sky above and a calm sea below. We tacked and jibed our way to 3rd place and had a great time. My job started out as ballast* but was promoted to running-back stay switcher* guy once the captain got tired of me asking too many questions.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time. The whole experience (complete with BBQ at the yacht club afterward) led me to think that maybe I have boat life in me yearning to get out. Sure I don't know how to sail, occasionally get seasick, and am not inclined to perfection, preemption, or patience (all valuable inclinations in the boating world), but the spirit of it all lives within me. Here's hoping for an upcoming adventure involving boat life!*
Saturday June 6 2009File under: Anacortes

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FC 70 - Sound Investing

Wishing wells have been on my mind recently. I have high aspirations of building one in the near future. Not that any of my wishes have ever come true (that I can remember), but I guess I do wish for some pretty far fetched stuff*. Anyway, this comic idea found its way into my brain recently probably because of the ever presence of the wishing well. Astute readers might recognize the person from a previous comic. I thought I would go ahead an be efficient and reuse instead of attempted to create one myself. Thanks go to Gabriella for Robert.

And not that anyone besides Michelle noticed, but sorry for the late post. I try to have the comic up before my Eastern European reader* gets to work on Friday. Last night I was kayak camping on Saddlebag Island, which is glaringly lacking an internet cafe (or electricity for that matter). Anyway, if I got fancy, I could institute an auto-posting mechanism to my custom blog software, but I don't think the Friday Comic will be around long enough to ever make use of it again.

Anyhoo, as always, I hope you enjoy and happy Friday!
Friday June 5 2009File under: comic

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Random Pictures of Life These Days

Here are a few shots from life the past couple weeks. Nothing ground breaking, but a fun diversion nonetheless on these hot lazy days of summer. (Click each picture for a larger version and caption.)
Tuesday June 2 2009File under: pictures

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