A Night at the Drive-In


As much hot air as I spout against driving (vs. public transporation, biking, etc.), there is one situation where a replacement for a car is practically out of the question. While I've heard of people biking or walking in, carrying their own lawn chairs, blankets, and battery powered radios, the drive-in movies just aren't the same unless you drive in.

After keeping an eye on my schedule and the schedule of the theatre all summer long, I finally found a match this weekend: two movies that didn't look terrible with a weekend where I was free and had access to a car. The experience was well worth it. The movies may not have been awesome, and we had a little bit of a car door issue*, but the experience was almost exactly as it should be completely with giggling teenagers running around willy nilly and a foot-long chili dog from the concession stand.

For those of you in the northwest washington "viewing" area, check out Blue Fox Drive-In (open weekends until at least early December). For those of you outside of said viewing area, check for drive-ins in your area here

Oh, and if I can't convince you with the ambience and chili dogs, maybe this will do the trick: two movies for only $6, at 65%* savings over your nearest cineplex.
Sunday October 21 2007File under: movies, Anacortes

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Friday Comic 3

Send in the B-team!

With our first-string artist on a well deserved break, we had to reach down in the depths to find an artist for this week's comic: me. And while the artistry doesn't hold a candle to the work of Deanna, I like to think that it gets the point across just fine.

But don't worry, folks; next week I'll be back on the bench drawing-wise and we'll have a comic worthy of a Friday.

(I would link to all the previous comics in the series here, but 1) they are all within a few posts of this one and 2) to compare them to this one would be an insult to them)
Friday October 19 2007File under: comic

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Beat the Heat

This past Monday was blog action day!, a day where bloggers around the world unite to give coverage to a certain topic. The idea of a group call to action for bloggers doesn't sit extremely well with me (like so many memes), but this year's topic was the environment, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Because environment and environmentalism are such huge topics, I abandoned my original idea of listing all the environmental blogs I read, lists of tips and tricks to lessen your environmental footprint, and maybe even post my reflective essay It's About More Than Carbon, Silly. Instead, I decided to cover just one thing, which happens to fit in with what I've been doing recently.

Beat the Heat is a community group here in Skagit County (which meets in Anacortes) dedicated to working to "slow global warming through public awareness, personal action, and political advocacy." I've attended a few of their meetings to see what they are all about. It was great to see people self-organizing to work towards a goal they believe in. Many of the projects are closely in line with interests/goals of my own*. Their website has some great resources including a calendar of upcoming environment-related events including sponsored movies and lectures.
Wednesday October 17 2007File under: environment, Anacortes

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Return of Quiz Night

After a longer than normal hiatus, the Backporch Cafe's Quiz Night returned this past Friday evening. A lively crowd* battled it out for the fame and prizes. With my regular team absent, I recruited a crack team of first timers to help with the pursuit. Through round one, we held our own. It turns out our knowledge of indigenous plants, world rivers, classic literature, and Antonio Banderas is above average. Round two was a bit of a suck fest for the Imperfect Ladies*. Out knowledge, or lack thereof, of current events, (post?)modern literature, the Clash, and starlets took us from second place to second-to-last. In a quiz tournament so heavily topicized*, you live and die by the topics.

Anyway, as always, it was a good time made even better by the other folks who played. Keep an eye out for the next go round. After all, the more, the merrier.

And for all of you who enjoy playing along, I'll share the two identification rounds. Above (click for larger image) are starlets. How many can you name? Or try your knowledge of indigenous plants. I'll post the answers in special hover code in the comments.

The Backporch Cafe's Quiz night has been covered before here and here.
Sunday October 14 2007File under: Anacortes, games

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Friday Comic 2

Here is the second in the October Friday series of comics. I personally think this one is more interesting in the art (again, courtesy of Deanna) than in the comic part, but I'll leave it up to you. Maybe for those of you who do sit at a desk all day, it will ring true. (Previous comics: Organic vs. Inorganic and Dating a Jeopardy Writer)

Speaking of which, I somehow got dragged back into the grind this week. I'm doing some contract work for PhotoWorks, the company I used to work for down in Seattle. I conceived of this comic well before I rejoined the rat race*. It is rather fitting, though.
Thursday October 11 2007File under: comic

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Whale Watching

If I told you that I have lived in the San Juan Islands for 18 years and have only seen Orca whales twice in the wild, would you believe me? Well, it's true, and I consider myself lucky to have seen them that much. Once was at WaPa where 60+* cruised by no more than a stone's throw from the beach. The other time was off the head at Rosario. Both were pretty spectacular.

This past weekend, I increased my orca sightings by 50%! Emily, who used to work at Island Adventures, managed to score us tickets to go out whale watching. Although it is on the top of some people's list when they come to Anacortes, I have yet to be out on a whale watching boat. I knew that I was in for a real treat.

The weather was quintessential for fall in the northwest. There was a chill to the air, wind gusts here and there, and non-rain moisture coming out of the air somehow, as it so mysteryously wont to do. I was afraid the weather would curtail the adventure, but, at least in my eyes, it only added to it. (Plus, it gave me the excuse to drink a whole thermos of hot chocolate!)

To read more (and see pictures!), click here.
Tuesday October 9 2007File under: Anacortes, pics

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Friday Comic Number 1



Every Friday this month, we here at BdW will be featuring a home brew comic written by myself* me and drawn by Deanna. Our first collaboration, Dating a Jeopardy Writer, can be seen here. I hope you enjoy!

Click on the image to get a larger version.
Thursday October 4 2007File under: comic

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Troothpicks

I'm happy to intoduce* troothpicks. Over 2 years have gone into developing a printing technique, phrases, logos, website, packaging, and more. I'm proud of the result. I think you will be impressed.

Troothpicks are essentially phrases (proverbs, fortunes, sayings) printed on toothpicks. The idea started as having something to fill the role of fortune cookies at non-Chinese restaurants and quickly blossomed into what it is today. Troothpicks are great for pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres, after dinner picking, and everything in between. They are also great for gifts, esp. for anyone you know who loves to entertain. You can get them for all occasions (birthday, holidays, graduations, etc.) or you can create your own custom picks with your business name on them or custom messages for your event. More information, photos, and how to order can be found at the website www.troothpicks.com.

For anyone who shares my enthusiasm for this product (and who couldn't?), I would love to have you tell your friends about the website. And if you have a non-themed* blog on which a post about a clever product that makes people smile might fit (Dave, Amanda, Andrew, Ryan, Myke, Blake, Saxtor*, I'm looking your way here), I would be ever so much appreciative if you found it in your hearts to maybe mention troothpicks in a post. I'd be happy to return the favor* if you ever have a word that needs spreading.
Wednesday October 3 2007File under: work, misc

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Link Letter

Huzzah huzzah! BdW has to come the rescue to save you all from another boring Monday*. That's right, folks, I am pleased to announce the debut of my eighth self-conceived*, home-coded nerd game. (To view all the games, be sure and check out the games page so conveniently listed on the left hand column of this very page.)

The goal of Link Letter is to create a chain of words, each one letter apart, starting at one word and working your way to another (hopefully the in-game instructions will be a little more articulate than that). Currently, there are 20 levels with the possibility of adding more levels (or maybe even separate tracks) later, so get some while the getting is good. Oh, and I've brought back the community high score board with this one, so you can fight tooth and nail to beat out Joe Mama.

Link Letter is written with a javascript front end, so I must deliver my standard hasn't-been-tested-on-Mac caveat. If someone gives it a go, please let me know if it works. As the matter of fact, I'd love any kind of feedback anybody has. I'd love to make this game as good as possible so it might have a shelf life of more than, say, a week*, like all the other games.

Happy linking!
Sunday September 30 2007File under: games, coding

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Chuckanut Dr.

As summer is coming to an end, that also means an end to the [comfortable] scooter season. Time will tell if I am still able to use it as my prime form of transportation. It's been a fine run with the little guy. I often think back on some of the wonderful roads we've taken together (e.g. 395 and 1 as covered here before.) Recently. I was reminded of another spectucular road we have right here in the northwest, almost perfectly suited to Scoot Scoot. I've had occasion to ride it a few times recently, and I didn't think it was fair not giving it a shout out after calling attention to those other roads.

Chuckanut Dr. from the Skagit flats to Fairhaven has got to be one of the best roads of all time. I happened to hit it as the sun was going down on a beautiful autumn day. Returning on a clear night with the moon reflecting off the water was just as spectacular. While traveling via a scooter immerses you in the environment all the more, the road is worth driving in a car as well.

It's a road I recommend to friends visiting from out of town who are headed up to Bellingham, and it is a road to I recommend to all of you who might be passing that way.
Saturday September 29 2007File under: transportation, Anacortes

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