Road Trip!

"Road Trip!" Those words have always evoked a spectacular sense of freedom for me. In my day, I've gone a few doosies. There was the high school road trip to mythical South Whidbey. And who can forget Duck Itch Lake up in Canada? Both the eastward and westward Marilyn roadtrips were not to be forgotten as well.

The time has come for a new page in my road trip history. Much like the road trips of yore, this one is about the journey as much as the destination. What makes this one different, however, is that there will be no sleeping in the back of the car, picking up hitch hikers, locking the keys in the car, or blasting the stereo full blast. This road trip is just me, Scoot Scoot, and the open road. So with my sleeping bag bungeed on, a shiny new trunk for my laptop (can anyone say "internet addiction"?), and perhaps an unrealistic sense of enthusiasm, I embark. Stay tuned to BdW for reports from the road.
Sunday April 22 2007File under: travel, road trip

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Public Water Features

As far as public art goes, I would have to say that water features are my favorite (with the exception of maybe functional art like bus shelters, etc.). In my meanderings around and about, a good water feature will always stop me in my tracks. One of my favorite attractions in Rome was Trevi Fountain. The Bellagio's fountain in Vegas captures me. At the mall in Pattaya Thailand, I sat and watched a funky little water feature for hours (while I ate $0.65 oreo blizzards by the dozen).

It isn't just in far away places that water features add to the interest of an urban landscape. Just the other day in Seattle, with a couple hours to kill, I thought I would do a quick tour to see what I could find. Pictured to the right is a calm little fountain next to Key Area at the Seattle Center. Also at the Seattle center is the famous International Fountain which, esp. in the summer, doubles as functional art keeping people cool. Downtown has a couple neat little fountains like this one at the Baimbridge Ferry Terminal, this serene waterfall at the birth place of UPS (privately maintained), and one of my favorites at 5th and James. Also vying for a top spot in my favorites are some of the basalt fountains at Amazon.com. I didn't get a chance to trek up to Cal Anderson Park to snap a picture of that great fountain.

So next time you are scurrying through a city with your head down, look up and enjoy some of the public water features!
Friday April 20 2007File under: misc, pics

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Dating a Jeopardy Writer

I often wish that I was more artistically inclined. I've known people in my life who can whip out the coolest sketches in no time. Give me enough time and art supplies, I will just end up with a bunch of paper cuts. Luckily, in lieu of art skills, I was blessed with at least functional skills of persuasion.

So when I got the idea for a comic, I applied those powers of persuasion to convince my very talented neighbor to collaborate* with me. The result turned out very nice, if I do say so myself. See for yourself.
Wednesday April 18 2007File under: comic

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Rust In Peace

Good cars—I mean cars that we really love—don't come along very often in our lives. It is with great sadness that I had to let Marilyn go this past weekend. She lived to a ripe old age of 309,811 miles. Now she has gone to a better place, the vehicle donation program at KUOW. Hopefully someone out there will find a use for some of her parts, so she can continue to live on in one form or another.

But instead of focusing on the sad, let me look back on the good times she provided. We shared accomplishments,setbacks, learning experiences, and confusion. She took me on adventures and was always patiently waiting for me when I came home. Marilyn, you will be missed.
Monday April 16 2007File under: transportation, pics

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Estamos En Fuego

Who said sparklers were just for kids or making bombs*? With a little creativity, a fancy schmancy camera, and a little help from the internet, lots of fun can be had.

In honor of the IHJ invasion, Ryan held one of his world renowned Movie Nights. (Casino Royale was this episode's feature.) After the movie (and pizza, cake, and splargus*), Ryan coaxed us all outside for a little sparkler art. While I was a little reluctant at first (partially because of the cold, partially because the chances for undesirable fire consequences were not as slim as one would hope), I quickly got into the spirit once I saw the results.

Outlining was the first course of business. Here's Ryan, me, and Chris and Jenn. (You may notice a bit of a solar flare above Chris in that last one. He took it like a champ!) After we had our fun with outlining, we tried a little skywriting. As you can tell, I was decidedly unsuccessful.
Sunday April 15 2007File under: Anacortes, pics

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Tiptoe Through the Tulips

For anyone who lives in Skagit County, or even in the whole Northwest, it goes without saying that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world (although it is sometimes worth reminding ourselves of when it has rained for 12 days straight). Tulip time in Skagit County might as well serve as the poster child for the Northwest's beauty, if you ask me.

It wasn't until 2 years ago that I visited the tulips the first time. Of course I had driven through from time to time, but I had never stopped. Since then, I've tried not to miss snapping at least one picture per year. (It makes for a perfect backdrop.) Today, with an out-of- towner in tow, Dave and I played toured guide. He played professional photographer while I attempted to follow his lead. While photography might not be my thing, at least I can do fun computery stuff with pictures. Check out this panorama (Java required).
Thursday April 12 2007File under: pics, Anacortes

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Web Guy for Hire

Over the past 7 years or so, I've often dreamed of making a career of independent web work: contracting for a company here, creating small business websites there, working on my own projects in between. While the projects (and therefore income) have been far from steady, I've done some really fun projects. One recent project of note is Cardinal Points, a website for my neighbors' small business.

I want to point this out for a number of reasons. For one, in the vast spider web of links on the internet, search engines reward those sites that are linked to. Also, there's something to be said for promoting local business. (Anybody need a water maker installed on their boat?) Finally, I wanted to use this as an example of the fine work I am capable of. (You knew there was going to be a plug in there somewhere.)

Do you or someone you know need a website: small business, blog, photo gallery, event announcement? Perhaps just a touch up on your current site, or adding a bit of that fancy Web 2.0 functionality? I'd love to help. I charge about half of what you'll find elsewhere (thanks, in part, to my low overhead*), but have the experience and skillz* that rival the best. I won't go into more of a pitch here (because, let's face it, 98% of BdW readers have as much need for my services as Saxtor has need for a blog (ZING!)), but if you have any interest at all, contact me and I'll answer all your questions.

( * hover over for additional ramblings)
Tuesday April 10 2007File under: work, coding

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Happy Easter



Have you ever wondered where Easter eggs come from?

(I just couldn't help myself. I've had this image on my computer for ages and love sharing it.)

Anyhoo, Happy Easter!
Friday April 6 2007File under: holidays, pics

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Project of the Month

One of the many benefits of all this free time I've arranged for myself is the interesting projects and experiments I've been able to play around with. I've posted about some of them before (puzzles, games, and food just to name a few). Now I would like to take the opportunity to share with you some of the environmentally related projects/experiments I've been playing around with. Conveniently, they've all been month long projects which has put me into a nice little routine.

In February, I experimented with 2 ideas. Firstly, I wanted to look at my personal transportation impact, esp. regarding automobile driving. I'm a firm believer that one of the best ways to lessen our personal impact (in many cases) is to simplify. In terms of transportation, I felt like simplification is best achieved by driving less. I gave myself the ambitious goal of driving less than 10 miles a day on average. That means a trip to Bellingham on the weekend must be offset by 8 or so days of not driving at all. Over the month of February, I closely watched my miles. By the end of the month, I was slightly over. Perhaps 100 miles a week is a more achievable goal. Give it a try and let me know!

The second February experiment was with home heating. With Ma in NZ, I was in control of the thermostat. As anyone who visited during that time knows, keeping it set to 63 makes an extra sweater a must. But in looking at the bill afterwards, the amount of natural gas saved was nothing to sneeze at.

March's environmental project of the month was unsubscribing from catalog mailing lists. We get tons at the house that we never even look at, so I thought: save the paper, save the fuel to ship and deliver them, and save the mail carrier's back. Done and done.

April's EPotM definitely falls into the experimentation category. I've decided to take a small foray into vegetarianism, at least for the month. (Those who know me know how I have wrestled with this before.) My experimental step for the month is to purchase no meat. I've got too much in the fridge to go cold turkey, and I hate seeing good food get thrown away on my behalf. But to the best of my ability, I will be doing what I can.
Wednesday April 4 2007File under: environment

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April Fool



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Saturday March 31 2007File under: beard, video

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