Oats!

I'm growing oats! or at least attempting to. As part of an experiment I'm calling "Plants Grow", I've cleared a small plot on our land up in Sedro Woolley and planted oats. I'll touch more or the experiment later in the year once I have some conclusions to draw.

As for why I chose oats, I wanted to find some source of local grain to widen the offerings at this year's local food party*. Oats can be made into flour*, used in granola, and of course oatmeal and oatmeal cookies*.

Finding oat seed is not an easy task. After calling all over the county, I found one place that had some, but I had to buy an 88 lb. bag of the stuff. Since my Sedro plot only required about 3 lbs of seed, I have lots left over*. And while it only used about 1 lb. more, I planted a mini oat field here on the home front (with the help of the neighbor boy*), which will also serve as a good control group for my experiment.

Anyway, here's hoping for oats come fall!
Saturday May 30 2009File under: Anacortes, food

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FC 69 - Thats the One Officer

Rejoice! Rejoice! I've talked my east coast comic whiz into supplying another in the much beloved RoShamBo series. (Previous RoShamBo comics here, here, here, and here). As always, Annie took this one and ran with it. It's so great, in fact, that I didn't touch it one bit. No coloring, no captioing, not even any resizing. (I can start to see how middle management might be appealing.) Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Speaking of which, I hope you have a great Friday. Part of the reason behind this comic series is to celebrate making it through another week, esp. if your week involves sitting at a desk indoor for extended periods of time. So with each Friday Comic post, while it usually goes unsaid, there is the implicit "Happy Friday" wish.
Thursday May 28 2009File under: comic

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Crossword - Ten Commandments (For Rover)

It's been a while since I've posted a crossword, and since once upon a time Wednesday was crossword day, I figure what the heck. My latest (#17*) is titled Ten Commandments (for Fido) (printable version here). To find out what that means, I guess you'll have to go do the puzzle.

If you are a crossword person, be sure to check out all the other ones I've made on the games page (scroll to the bottom). Typically when I release a new crossword, I post it there and also in the "Recent Content" area of the right hand column (instead of giving each one its own post), so keep your eyes peeled.

Lastly, if anyone has an "in" at a publication of any sort that might have an interest in publishing a crossword (newspaper, 'zine, newsletter, weekly, etc.), let's chat. Or if you've got an occasion where a customized crossword puzzle might be a fun addition, let me know.
Wednesday May 27 2009File under: games

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A Weekend with Punksto

Punksto, superstar that she is, was good enough to grace Uma's house here in Anacortes with her presence this weekend. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with my niece, so having some good chill time was wonderful (even if she was running around like a banshee* and could barely pull herself away from playing with the neighborhood kids to humor her poor lonely uncle).

We jointly decided that since BdW adventure is rather low these days*, we'd work up a Punksto post. And since a post isn't a proper post without pictures, these are what we got: a portrait in red, putting the dollies to bed, and beach time after playing with charcoal. The real highlight, though, was her new found affinity for Valley Girl culture.


Monday May 25 2009File under: Anacortes

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FC 68 - Incentives

As promised, this drawing comes all the way from across the Pacific Ocean courtesy of an internet cafe that charges a lot for scanning*. My dear friend Gabriella (artist of various other Friday Comics) was kind enough to contribute this one, which we can only assume she whipped up while sipping a cold Singha on a warm beach in Thailand. Tough life, huh?

I was tempted to save this drawing until I got a cubicle job again and do the caption about the rat race and the futility of it all, but I don't foresee a cubicle job in my near future. Not that I'm opposed, mind you. Having something to fill my days besides creating crosswords* and whiling away hours on various life-draining websites would save much internal strife and help maintain my sanity, but I just don't see it in the cards. One thing I will say for having lots of time: I can keep the Friday Comic series up and going which at least makes me smile*.
Thursday May 21 2009File under: comic

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On Stage

I'm a hobby juggler—meaning I'm not the kind of juggler that likes to perform. That is a hard concept for a lot of people to understand. Often in their minds, juggling and performing go hand in hand. While often times they do, there are tons of jugglers out there that juggle for the sake of juggling: for the social aspect, for the exercise, for the zen of it all. I consider myself firmly in that camp.

But while I don't really like performing, I want to like it. I like the concept of being able to entertain people*. I like the concept of getting good enough at something that you can feel confident in showing it to people. And let's be honest, I like the concept of the positive attention it often garners.

So in a step outside my comfort zone, I took the stage with my friend Amiel at this month's Vaudvillingham* with a short juggling act. Besides a slight miscommunication with the emcee and some lighting issues, I would say it went alright for a semi-rehearsed act: not flawlessly, but not a disaster either. The sizeable* crowd was patient and appreciative, and I think they probably even enjoyed it*.

Overall, the experience was a good one and I'm glad I did it. I hope to get back up on stage in the near-ish future and try my hand at a solo performance. Stepping outside one's comfort zone every once and a while, while hard, is a good thing.
Monday May 18 2009File under: juggling

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FC 67 - A Case of Semantics

I started drawing this comic long long ago. I got the perspective right on the road vanishing into the distance and everything, except the dude. Back then, I didn't have the confidence to create a comic that depended so much on a person and his posture, etc. So instead of finishing the comic as planned, I turned it into this one. Now that I've got my new found confidence with eyes and noses, I thought it was time to give it another crack.

("Hitching" a ride from some wonderful people coming back from the Port Townsend ferry recently also helped kick me in the pants to get this one from the "comic ideas" list to the "comics completed" list. Speaking of the "comic ideas" list, if anyone is aching to get their artistic skillz showcased* on the Friday Comic series, just drop me a line. Next week's drawing comes all the way from Thailand!)
Thursday May 14 2009File under: comic

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10 K Clicks

Normally, a vehicle odometer hitting 10,000 wouldn't be something to celebrate. Cars are still pretty much new after 10,000 miles. Since Scoot Scoot's odometer is in kilometers, 10,000 is an even less impressive achievement. But when you think of going at 35 mph, exposed to the elements and other drivers, 10,000 km isn't so shabby. Because of that, I wanted to post a little homage to Scoot Scoot in thanks for the interesting times we've shared and in hopes that we share another 10,000km.

A quick technical review for anyone happening upon this post who is interested in buying a Yumbo C110: overall, I love the scooter. The gas mileage (110-120mpg) is awesome. I love the style of transmission. It's got more pep than I would have thought off the line. On the downside, the gas tank is really small, it has a hard time starting in cold weather, and if you drive it for a couple thousand miles at high RPMs, something in the engine gets clogged up and you have to take it in. But like I said, overwhelming positive reviews from this scooterer.

Some interesting numbers:
Kilometers traveled (so far)10,000
Miles traveled (so far)6250
Months of ownership26
gallons of fuel consumed (approx.)57
gallons of fuel consumed by average American passenger car1 for same distance277
Number of tune-ups2
Number of times I've run out of gas*3
Rating, on a scale of 1 to 10, of how happy I am that I own this scooter9.4

Wednesday May 13 2009File under: transportation

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Cross-Blog Babysitting Adventure

You often hear horror stories about babysitting gone wrong. "I lost the baby", "The kid #2ed all over the house", or "You're supposed to feed kids!?!?". I offer this as a counterpoint to all those horror stories.

Last night, I had the honor of watching the IHJ kids* and let me tell you, they were super stars. No crying, they ate all their brussel sprouts, they went to bed right on time with no whining, and Calvin even changed his own diaper*. That left plenty of time for such valuable play lessons as "How to throw a frisbee" and "Let's touch the sharp thing".

Not only did I have a great time and was super happy to begin to return the many favors the IHJ crew has shown me, but the experience was good mind-brain fodder at a particularly apt time. Yeah, I might even consider a career change* if I thought all kids were as good at being babysat as Jonah and Calvin.
Monday May 11 2009File under: Anacortes, misc

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FC 66 - Curses

I think I've mentioned XKCD before. It bills itself as "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." In thinking about this week's comic, I realize it is much influenced by XKCD, hence the mention. Anyway, if you've never checked it out, do. But don't give up after reading a couple that don't make you laugh. As with any comic, not 100% of them are funny. (I'd settle for someone saying half of mine are funny.)

Anyhoo, I'm pleased with how the "art" for this one turned out. I finally found a way to do eyes that don't look overly creepy. Also, I like the new way of doing noses. Two features down, only about 27 to go. Also, you can't even tell that I did this one 100% left handed. Three cheers for ambidexterity!

(Oh, and for the sake of comments*, let's all pretend the inspiration for this one is hypothetical. Super.)
Thursday May 7 2009File under: comic

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updated at 04:45 pm Jun 25th


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