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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Elwha Camping Adventure

Close on the heels of the start of sleeping outside season comes the beginning of camping season. This year's season started with 2 nights at the Elwha Campground in beautiful Olympic National Park. Despite rain and a lost pocket knife*, I'm calling the adventure a success. Being out on new trails, around big trees, and surrounded by unknown wildlife sounds was a much needed change of pace.

One of the highlights was finally making it up to the much storied Olympic Hot Springs. An easy 2.5-mile hike took us to 7 or so shallow, steamy pools. The unoccupied ones were a little grubby for my liking, so I made due with just soaking my feet. Next time, however, I hope to come back in the true off-season and be able to get in the good ones. Shooting for just a couple weeks earlier in the year would not only clear out the other soakers, but would also probably have more than the trace of snow that was around this time. Soaking in natural hot springs with snow and gorgeous nature all around you - yeah, sign me up. Next year.
Monday May 4 2009File under: misc

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More Minor Media Mentions

Forgive me if it seems self-centered to post such little things like a minor picture in a small-press magazine. This blog, while mostly for the purpose of keeping ya'll informed (and hopefully a little entertained), is also my virtual scrap book, something that I will look back on when I am 90 and say "those were the good old days"*.

Anyway, a picture of me made it to the Klipsun magazine, a WWU publication. A big thanks to team Weddle for spotting it and delivering it. To see non-scanned, original photos as well as read the text of the article, check it out on here on their website.

Besides a misspelling of my name, I can't really complain. There is just something neat about seeing yourself in print, I think. Maybe if this small-press media luck continues to rise, I might just make it to the NY Times someday.
Wednesday April 15 2009File under: misc

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Minor Media Coverage

They say there is no such thing as bad press, right? Well, I would argue the same about minor press "coverage". A friend brought me a copy of the latest North Cascades Challenger, the North Cascades National Park Visitor's Guide for 2008-2009 (online here although it seems to be an older copy as I couldn't find the same picture). Lo and behold, who is that on page 3? This picture must have been taken 3 years ago at least. Probably more. I haven't been up that way in ages.

Anyway, it is always a pleasant surprise when something like this happens. And since a blog is analogous to a scrap book*, I thought I would "paste" the clipping here.
Wednesday February 18 2009File under: misc

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A Full Social Calendar

I've been housesitting up in Bellingham for just over 2 weeks now (this stint), and I'm having a blast. Perhaps it is coming from a smaller town where there is less going on, or perhaps it is because I'm starting to get to know the social scene of the town better, but I'm feeling like the most social guy in the world. My dance card is full of activites*.
     + Monday: Juggle club at the Cirque Lab
     + Tuesday: Trivia at Uisce*
     + Wednesday: Trivia at the Longhorn Saloon in Edison
     + Thursday: Something always seems to come up on Thursdays.
     + Friday: Winter League ultimate frisbee with Bellingham Ultimate.
In between all the planned activities, the weather has been so good that I've been out hiking in the woods almost daily. With such a full social schedule, I haven't had time to do all the time-killing activities I had planned (knitting, a jigsaw puzzle, intense nerd-out computer time, watch lots and lots of T.V. on the beautiful flat screen they have here, etc.). But I can't really complain. I'm feeling more busy (in a good way) than I have in years. After all, I can rest when I'm dead*.
Tuesday January 27 2009File under: misc

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Sunny Days In Bellingham

Truly sunny days here in the Great Northwest are few and far between during the winter months. On the one hand, it can make life a bit dreary. On the other, however, it gives a person wonderful motivation to get out and enjoy the sun on the rare occasions that it is there. This past weekend (and so far today), the sun has been going all out to expose the beautiful vistas and invite all to come and play. And play I did.

The above picture was taken off a still unknown trail* off Cleator/Hiline Rd. The road is washed out, so it made for quite a long walk, but wonderful, as there were no people around. Plus, the view we ended up with was great. (Here's a close up of the Olympics which kind of got lost in the panorama.) The day before, I finally made it down to Clayton Beach, which has been on my todo list for quite some time. We got a little lost, but there was still plenty to see.

Yep, sunny winter days are true jewels in the Northwest. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm headed back outside.
Monday January 19 2009File under: misc

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D.C. Jump


[on a brief layover in DC, I stopped in to check out the new Capitol Visitor Center]

Friday December 12 2008File under: travel, misc

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Punkstos Bday

Punksto, hands down the cutest child in her generation of my family, turned six years old this weekend. We made the trek down to Olympia to help her celebrate, and celebrate she did! Family dinner, delicious cake, and a party at the gymnastics place, where mats for tumbling, bars for swinging, and trampolines for bouncing abounded. (It was a great place to practice the new(ish) trick.)

((The gymnastics place didn't let "adults" play on the equipment, which was kind of like putting a piece of pizza in front of someone on the Atkins diet, pure hell. I was ready to risk it all and make a break for the springboard into the foam pit. But I held myself back, for Punksto's sake. I guess that is my present to her: not getting her banned from the gym.))
Monday December 8 2008File under: misc

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Handmade Hat Sale

As you know, I like to knit. The thing is, the only garment I know how to knit, more or less, is hats. I like knitting hats. Here are some hats I made. I want my friends to have them. So I am having a hat "sale". The price is $10 a piece which includes shipping. The reason it is a "sale" instead of a sale is that $10 won't even cover the cost of the wool and shipping. The reason I am charging $10 instead of just giving them away is because I want you to want the hat you receive. It is a terrible injustice when a handmade hat goes unworn, and since you know your tastes better and your current headgear needs better than me, I figured this is a way to help make sure these hats fulfill their destiny. If you want one, let me know. (And if you want any more info about a particular hat, I can provide that as well.)
size: Large
color: Brown and black
This is one that I wear pretty often. It is from pretty thick yarn, so makes for a warm hat. I wear it with the bottom edge folded up. A small head would swim in this hat. view 2
size: Medium (to small)
color: blue with white/grey stripe
This one looks funny on me in the pictures because I have a huge head and it works better on a smaller head (although a friend with a small head tried it on and it was too big for her, so medium heads might like this one best). Warmness-wise, it is not arctic wear. More for fall and spring temps. view 2
size: Large
color: Shades of red
In case the texture don't come through well in the photos, this uses a frilly* yarn combined with a wool yarn, so it gives an overall fuzzy texture. It is made to be a little loose, but it will still keep you plenty warm. (It would take a bold man to wear this hat, as I see it more as a woman's hat.) view 2
size: Medium
color: Flecked brown with off-white bottom
A tight knit hat that will keep you plenty warm. The bottom border is cotton, so doesn't made your forehead itchy*. view 2
size: Large
color: Red shades
Notice in the picture, the 3 ribs towards the bottom rim of the hat. That's what I call style*. This hat is made from pretty thick wool and is made to be a little loose on your head. view 2
size: Small
color:Green with 3 purple stripes
No picture of me wearing this hat because I just can't get it on. It is more the size of a small headed adult or a normal headed child. I think it would be a very cute hat for a child with the curl at the bottom and the little nipple at the top. Very cute. The yarn for this one isn't too thick so this hat won't overheat your little one.

Sunday November 30 2008File under: misc

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Weekend Wall Building

At one point in my life, I was a stone mason's assistant/landscaper guy*. The job mainly entailed carrying heavy rocks and shoveling gravel. As I worked my way up the not-at-all-corporate ladder, however, I got to get in on the actual building part. And while I never did a wall all by myself, I was involved in all the different parts of wall building, at least enough to get the general idea of things.

Fast forward 5 years. I got a chance to put those skills to use. My brother is now a homeowner, and as such, he is on a home improvement kick, as with most new homeowners. A layer of paint here, a new floor there, new gardens here, there, and everywhere. When he started talking about putting in a rock retaining wall/terrace, I couldn't help but give my two cents. To make a long story short, 2 cents became 2 tons over 2 days. This weekend, I went down and acted as director for the wall you see before you. Jule and Katy did the majority of the actual building (as my wrist has recently put in for its 2 weeks vacation for the year and refused to work). I stood by and imparted sage wisdom.

The results, IMHO, are spectacular. With the materials we had in the time we had, we created something pretty freaking nice. It felt good to be back out working with the rawest* of building materials, creating something from nothing. And with the way the wall turned out, I now have an even greater appreciation for those skills that I learned so many years ago, with a yoke on my shoulders, an ache in my back, but almost always a smile on my face.
Monday November 24 2008File under: work, misc

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