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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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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