|I like making things, esp. making useful things. Most times, I would much rather have a crappy (yet totally functional) thing made by me than a fancy, well made (and also totally functional) thing made by someone else. Perhaps that explains my passable but not top notch comics, crosswords, knitting, and soon to be cabin.
Anyway, the new genre of Things I Made is wooden stuff, in this case spoons. I'm greatly enjoying learning about what woods to use, how to cure wood, and about the tools. I haven't gotten to the complete stage on any of said spoons, but in their current state, they would do just a dandy job of stirring soup or getting it to your mouth. Someday, however, I'd like to get to the point of making some nice enough that I might feel good giving them as gifts.
All this woodworking has me looking at what else I might have an attempt at. In addition to spoons, I've started a spatula and a bowl(!). When/if those ever turn out, I'll keep you posted.
|Wednesday January 25 2012||File under: misc|
|Last week, I tried out to be a contestant on Jeopardy!. Again. As opposed to last time, where you get dressed up*, went to some fancy conference center, and walked away with a souvenir pen, this time was a measly little online test. It was still fun, but I'm sure 100 times more people took it which doesn't bode well for my odds*. They don't tell you how you did, win or lose, so I can't say for sure, but I'm fairly certain I won't be receiving The Call any time soon.
But that doesn't mean it wasn't a step towards my goal of eventually being a television trivia game show contestant. Not only did taking the test give me a better idea of what to expect for next time around, but in surfing around before hand, I came across this guide on How to Win on Jeopardy!. One thing that he recommends doing is, when watching, keep score of yourself using his handy system. It is a way to judge your relative competitiveness as well as keep track of the progress of your training. And while it is optimistic to think I will ever get to test the whole competitiveness thing and I'm not really training, I thought it would be a fun exercise for a week where I'm available to watch Jeopardy! every night*.
The results: My score of $17,000 isn't up to his recommended threshold of a consistent $24,000 to have a shot. But who knows what the week will bring. I'll try to post my progress/stats in the comments at the end of the week.
|Monday January 23 2012||File under: games|
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|So you just get into the office. Your cup of coffee is hot in your hands, you're just wiping the snow off your shoulders, and you sit down at your computer. Naturally the first thing you do is bring up Blog du Wren, since it is Friday and you need your comic fix. Well, the second thing you should do is click through to Potluck Comics and like, tweet, and comment your little heart out*. There, now doesn't that feel better, having helped me win $250 and attain my life long goal of becoming a professional comic maker guy?
Now you can go back and appreciate today's comic, esp. the detail with which the background greetings cards were made. "Wow, he drew each and everyone one of those cards. I bet that took forever," you say to yourself. Well, I told you a thousand times not to exaggerate.
Today is the last day of voting over at Potluck Comics so I won't be playing the shill any more (although if I get another comic featured, I might tastefully advertise the fact). (This whole getting others to do your advertising for you via social networking, etc. really gets my goat. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a post bubbles up out of it. If I win the big moneys, however, I might feel differently.)
|Thursday January 19 2012||File under: comic|
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|Not more than 48 hours after I was musing about how I would really love it if we had a good snowy winter storm, the powers that be obliged, and obliged with fervor. We here in Western Washington got (and, if reports are true, will continue to get) a good dumping, and I couldn't be happier.
Day 1 took me out for a nice walk in the woods in Bellingham. I covered many miles and smiled the whole way. I made it up to Whatcom Falls where snow in the woods was displayed straight out of a Robert Frost poem*.
Day 2 was an adventure in getting from Bellingham to Anacortes on the bus when, unexpectly, Island Transit was shut down. Big props to Skagit Transit* for being there and doing a great job! When the roads are bad, people need public transportation more than ever. (The above picture is taken at Skagit Station)
We were treated to even more snow for day 3, and despite the extra work, I'm as stoked as ever. I've got no place else to go, so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow*.
(As a side note, in looking back through the archive, I'm realizing that just about every winter, I have a snow post, which must say something about my relationship with snow. Anyway, with that thought in mind, here's my archival self-portait).
|Wednesday January 18 2012||File under: Anacortes, misc|
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|In all this hubbub surround my entry over at Potluck Comics*, I've been thinking more and more about Friday Comics, my motivation, etc. Is that old adage of "if it makes just one person laugh, it's worth it" really true? What if it doesn't make anyone laugh? Or what if I never know? All these thoughts have been swirling of late. But enough about that.
In a brief glance back at my comics folder, I sure have a lot of kitchen/food related comics. Hmmm....I wonder if that means something. I do like to eat! And to cook, at least for myself. Maybe not so much for big groups, at least anymore. But enough about that.
Anyhoo, happy Friday! I hope you have a chuckle at poor Chef Bourchard*. Or maybe you'll get a little inspiration for your next salad!
|Thursday January 12 2012||File under: comic|
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|It's starting to look like I will be spending my winter here in the Northwest. It has been quite a number of years* since I've done a full winter here, and I'm looking forward to it (albeit with a little trepidation).
I look forward to taking on many projects that have been stacking up as I gallivant from here to there. Hopefully many of the projects will make for good blog fodder (to fill in for the lack of gallivanting posts).
And who knows, maybe an opportunity to escape the rainy days of the NW will present itself and I just won't be able to pass it up. You never know, which is what makes life so exciting.
|Monday January 9 2012||File under: misc|
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|A promise is a promise, and I like to keep my promises. And last week, I promised a new comic. So what if 11:30 rolls around and I haven't started drawing yet. Who cares if it's almost 1:30 and I still haven't clicked "submit" yet. I'm just a dedicated kind of guy.
And despite all the last minute-ness, I'm pretty stoked on the comic. I had some great help on the slogans and caption. Writing comics is so much more fun with two. Anyway, I hope you like it, the first Friday Comic of the new year!
Oh, and just because I make a comic about having proper grammar doesn't mean you have free reign to attack all my grammar mistakes. (Although I suppose I'm not opposed to a little editorial review)
Oh2. If you haven't gotten a chance to click through to my entry into Potluck Comics, I'd love it if you did so. There's big moneys on the line and every click, like, and tweet makes a difference.
|Friday January 6 2012||File under: comic|
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|In lieu of this week's comic, I have a favor to ask. Well, it is a story combined with a matter of pride combined with a favor. Please bear with me.
In my seemingly never ending web wanderings, I came across a comic site that, instead of posting its own comics, features various other comics from across the web. Since this was somewhat in line with what Friday Comics were back in the day when I had all sorts of guest artists covering for my lack of artistic skill, I had to investigate further. It turns out that in addition to showcasing various comic artists' work, they have some incentive to submit: the most viewed/liked/shared comic can win big bucks!
Needless to say, I submitted one, and much too my surprise, it was accepted! Now comes the favor part: go check it out. If you feel comfortable, share it with your friends, "like" it, or even tweet it. Any traffic, reposts, or social mentions it gets before Jan 17 gets me one step closer to the big bucks i.e. becoming a professional comic artist!
And for your help, I promise you this: I will have a new comic up next week. No holiday excuses, no late posting, no "the deserted island I'm on doesn't have internet"s: there will be a new comic next week for sure...unless you don't go to Potluck Comics and check out my entry. Thanks!!
|Friday December 30 2011||File under: misc|
|It's been a long time since I've posted about one of my crosswords*. But instead of just another "hey look at the crossword that I made" post, I'm spicing this one up.
Through some investigation and lots of dinking with my new not-a-phone apps, I've figure out how anyone can do MY crosswords on their smart phone! (I'm currently working under the assumption that no one does them because it isn't overly convenient to print up a PDF)
Step one: download Shortyz to your smart device (I know it is available for Android but probably for iOS too). Or there might be other apps that support the .puz format ("Crosswords" for the iPhone/iPad is one).
Step two: go to crossword section of the games page and look for the puz link (which currently only exists for the most recent two puzzles).
Step three: click and start doing enjoying the wonder that is a homespun crossword.
All crosswords are also available in an html format and a PDF format for printing, so no mobile device is necessary. So if you're a crossworder, dive in. And if you see something you like, let me know. The biggest thrill* of creating crosswords is knowing that people do and enjoy them.
|Wednesday December 28 2011||File under: games|
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|Disclaimer: I would say that this poem is inspired by true events rather than an actual true story. I've been spending lots of nights in a Toyota van* of late and it's been totally awesome. But the truth is, this actual night before Christmas, I'm in a bed. But the sentiment stands.
Twas the night before Christmas with just us in the van
Parked any old place just cause we can
Last night at the Cirque Lab before that the quarry
When living in a van you can write your own story
The world is your oyster with your bed close at hand
The space's a bit cramped but the view is quite grand.
Now back to the present this O Holy Night
We're parked on a street that's lit up so bright
The blue lights in bushes and white lights that twinkle
Unfortunate inflatables that make my nose wrinkle
So we draw the curtains and settled in to our nest
To make good on the proverbial "long winter's rest"
The rain hits the roof just loud enough to hear
So I close my eyes and imagine reindeer
Dasher and Dancer and Blitzen, the whole posse
With Santa yelling "onward" and being quite bossy
I don't think he'll find us but I'm not going to gripe
Plus he'd have a fat chance of fitting through the tail pipe
But I've got all I want as I scribble these words
I've got health, I've got freedom, I've got Angry Birds
My family's amazing, I've got many a friend
To count all my blessing would go on without end
So as I drift off to nodland, a smile's on my face
Of anywhere I could be, this is the place.
Matt Foley's* wrong in his motivational speech
Van living's awesome, all you need's within reach
So I reach out my arms and she snuggles in tight
I whisper Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night
|Saturday December 24 2011||File under: holidays, poetry|
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