Kayamping

After trying to talk people into it for years*, I finally had success in finding someone to go kayak camping with*. Saddlebag Island was the location (about an hour paddle from South Harbor Park). July 4th was the date. From our perch on the rocks, we could see the whole valley lighting off their tributes to America. The highlight, and what we positioned ourselves for, was the Anacortes display, which, as always, didn't disappoint. Watching the fireworks from such a distance and surrounded by such natural beauty was a great new experience. No deafening booms and no car alarms were just a few of the perks.

Not only was the fireworks watching good times, but the camping was good times as well. Dinner was Frito chili pie and corn. Pre-fireworks entertainment was tree climbing and [further*] exploration of the island. Other than the wicked headwind and broken rudder [again...] on the paddle home, we had a grand old time.
Monday July 7 2008File under: Anacortes, misc

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Quote for Monday 3

"I began to enjoy the exhilarating delight of traveling, a life of desire, gratification, and liberty."
-Jules Verne in A Journey to the Center of the Earth
Monday July 7 2008File under: quote

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Green Juggling in the Parade

Last year, I posted about Anacortes's 4th of July Parade, the quintessential small town parade. The big highlight for me was the Beat the Heat group who marched to advocate living a lighter impact life specifically through less carbon emissions. This year, since I've become a member(ish) of the group, I decided to walk with them and effectively restart my annual tradition of juggling in the parade.

Since just juggling wouldn't really make any sense in the context of beating the heat, I had to get a creative. My solution: themed juggling clubs. And for those who couldn't really tell what the idea was, I made a little sign I wore on my back. While I don't think anyone really got it*, people seemed to at least enjoy the juggling.

The point of the exercise was as much to have fun both in the artistic endeavor of creating the clubs and walking in the parade as it was to influence/get people to think. I think the whole thing can be called a success.

Thanks to Gretchen, Ma, and Ron for snapping a few photos while I walked.
Saturday July 5 2008File under: juggling, Anacortes

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FC 39 - For the Birds

This comic is for bird nerds*. If you aren't a bird nerd, you probably won't get it, at least not right off the bat. Maybe you will. I don't know you. For the non-bird nerds in the audience, I've left a bit of an explanation in the comments section below.

I really like how this one turned out, both graphically and otherwise. It feels good when a mini-project comes together so nicely (even if it did take way longer than it should have). Maybe one of these days I will do a comic out on paper. Perhaps it would allow me to be less finicky about details and technical conundrums (anti-aliasing vs. non) and complete a comic in less than 4 hours. For now, however, I enjoy my Paint Shop Pro 5.0. Besides, you would not want to see my free hand interpretation of a bald eagle.
Thursday July 3 2008File under: comic

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Web Project Olio

To keep myself sane in between periods of travel, I find myself getting involved in quite a number of computer/web projects. While I know not all of them are super exciting, I figured if I compiled them all into one post, it might pass muster on the interesting scale.

Firstly, I've just finalized creation of a website for Jai Guitars, a guitar refinishing project run by friend, frisbee great, and occasional BdW commenter Joe. I think the site turned out great and was a lot of fun to make. Check it out, and if you end up ordering a guitar, tell him you heard about it on BdW.

Other projects I've been dinking with:
  • I'm helping out the Elect Bill Turner campaign by maintaining their website. It is my first involvement with a political campaign and I think it will prove to be eye opening*.
  • After it initially getting a fair amount of press, I'm continuing to update North Sound Transit Guide. Recently, I added Frequently Requested Routes (fully planned routes mostly between Seattle and major North Sound cities), a feature that I think should be very useful. I hope to be adding more features soon.
  • I threw together this little game for Luke (of Sponsor My Loans, Blog About Beer, and Real World Really)*. It's about as hokey as web browser games can get, but also kind of fun. I think he's putting it together for his boss or something, so if you happen to pass through Portland, Maine, don't go advertising it from rooftops.
  • I continue to work towards getting a crossword published. I've submitted two for publication but haven't heard back. If you want to check out the new ones, they can be found on the games page. (I'm told these latest ones are both better and easier than the first couple, so if you tried before and were dissuaded, think about having another look.)
I've got a few other projects in the works including adding a new product to troothpicks.com*, a face-lift/added feature set for BdW*, and maybe another small business website or two to add to my resume. If you've got some web related project you've been pondering, maybe I can help. Have your people call my people.
Thursday July 3 2008File under: work, coding

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Quote for Monday 2

"Give me slow food and fast internet!"
Monday June 30 2008File under: quote

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Phototastic

I like having pictures of where I've been and what I've done. Who doesn't? As for actually taking them (getting people all lined up, making sure there are batteries in the camera, etc.), that's another story. Esp. when traveling, I really try to force myself to take as many pictures as I can because I know I will appreciate it later. This blog has been a great help in the motivation category on that front. (It is also worth noting that I've had many great people contribute their photos of shared experiences to this blog and for that I'm quite grateful.)

But those are more documentary type photos. Rarely do I think I capture something that can stand on its own without explanation or context. I'm slowly learning the art of photography, or at least producing pictures that I like, and as my skill grows, my interest grows. Someday I will have a photo that I will like well enough to enlarge, have framed, and put on my wall*.

Speaking of fancy photography, my friend and your fellow BdW reader Sweet Julie has a photo in the finals of Nikon's Big Deal Photo Contest*. It is a great photo and worth checking out. Winners of the contest get a fancy new camera, so share the love and go vote!

(Yeah, so this post was a combination of having little going on in my world and wanting to help a friend win a free camera. If you've got a cause you want promoted to the throngs* of BdW readers, send it my way.)
Sunday June 29 2008File under: misc

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FC 38 - Everybody Poops

Before you condemn me for the sacrilegiousness of this comic, let me make a case: everybody poops. Back in the day, toilets were hard to come by. At some point in his life, Jesus must have found himself in this situation. So while the bible didn't specifically mention it*, this week's comic could very well portray a scene from history.

Okay, okay. I know that is pretty weak. My true defense is something along the lines of humor, and the pursuit thereof, being a divine thing and the value in the ability to not take things too seriously. And while I know that defense won't appease all, I'll just leave it at that.

As per her request, the artist of this week's comic will remain nameless. (Unfortunately, the powers that be already know and I'm sure that this will be recorded in the "bad" column in that big scoreboard in the sky, both for the artist and me.)

(Other allusions I tried to work into this post somehow were something about a religious "movement"* and something clever about the pope doing something in the woods.)
Thursday June 26 2008File under: comic

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Apple Splitting Fun


In a further attempt to keep this blog at least somewhat interesting between my travels, I present you with this video I took of myself the other afternoon. A couple years back, a friend taught me how to split an apple with my bare hands. I hadn't done it in quite some time, hence the less than smooth performance. Still I think it is pretty neat.

Do you know any good food tricks? I was thinking of trying to work up a vaudeville-ish style act to demonstrate a bunch of food-related tricks. So far, I've got the t(r)oothpicks/saltshaker/forks balance, the speedy hard boiled egg peel, various grape toss/catch tricks, and this apple thing. I think I will need to find a few more before I am ready for Broadway.
Wednesday June 25 2008File under: misc, video

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Quote for a Monday

"Trust your heart. Follow your feet. You'll know when you get there."

-Stuart McLean, Vinyl Cafe
Monday June 23 2008File under: quote

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