A New Look

Adopting a new look can be a very empowering experience. It proves to yourself that you are still in control and can change your situation whenever you want*. For me, a new look pretty much only means shaving my beard*. I find myself shaving my beard at times in my life when I need a little empowerment; to prove to myself that I am still in control of something. Or sometimes I just shave because I am starting to look* overly ridiculous. This time was a little of both.

But instead of doing the old clean-cut Wren, I thought I would try something a little new. Mustaches are all the rage these days. Jason Lee in My Name Is Earl wears one. Tom Selleck in Las Vegas wears one. Why shouldn't I wear one? (not that I plan to either be in a trailer park, jail, or Las Vegas anytime soon.) Anyway, I figured this look is better than my previous idea at a new look. (If I only had the nerve...) Plus, nothing says "Hey ladies, check me out" like an awesome mustache.
Monday December 10 2007File under: beard, misc

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www.SponsorMyLoans.com

I sometimes wish I was a lawyer or a doctor, or even a used car salesman. These are the types of jobs where you can really help out a friend. When you do something as specialized as web development, opportunities to help out friends, thereby adding to the continual cycle of people helping people*, are limited. That is why I'm always glad to lend a hand when a friend needs some web work done.

In this case, Luke (of blogaboutbeer.com fame) came up with a crazy plan to sucker — um, I mean encourage others to help repay his college debt. Thus was born www.SponsorMyLoans.com. I lent a hand in turning it from a generic template website into the gloriousness that it is today*. In exchange, not only did I get a karma card in the great favor exchange game of life, I also got free advertising for troothpicks.

From the press release:
Portland, Maine � In an unusually audacious move, Luke Livingston, of Portland, Maine is asking everyone with access to the Internet to help him retire his student loans. Livingston, 23, is a 2007 graduate of Clark University, in Worcester, Mass., and like most of his contemporaries, finished school encumbered by a mountain of debt.

Go have a look at the site, if for nothing else to see some neat troothpick banner ads.
Sunday December 9 2007File under: links, coding

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FC 10 - Roshambo

It turns out that my call for submissions last week piqued a few interests which I couldn't be more pleased about. Being able to collaborate with great artists to bring ya'll these comics is quickly becoming a highlight of my week.

What is especially neat about this week's comic, courtesy of Annie down in Florida, is that, if I'm not mistaken, it was drawn completely in Microsoft Paint, possibly the worst drawing program ever made (besides that turtle one back before mouses were invented). Anyway, it just goes to show you how talented some people are.
Thursday December 6 2007File under: comic

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14 Years of IDs

Okay, so I want to try out this idea that kind of pushes the technical limit of "blogging". I've written a little javascript dealy that allows you to flip through all the IDs I've ever received in my life. The ID part, while maybe a bad idea re:"identify theft" according to some, isn't so limit-pushing. The embedding of the javascript into a blog post, however, is something I haven't seen before*. What does that mean to you? Hopefully nothing. Hopefully you will see a Anacortes Middle School ID with some goofy kid below and some buttons. If you do, check it out. If it isn't working for you, click here to see the non-blog version.






Wednesday December 5 2007File under: pics, misc, coding

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Rah Rah Pickford!

BELLINGHAM, WA — House-sitting really suits me, esp. when it is an out of town place. (Yes, I do travel as a house-sitter. Anywhere you've got a house, I'll prolly sit on it.) It allows me to check out a new town which does worlders for expanding my horizons. While Bellingham doesn't completely fall into the "new" category (I did attend WWU for a whopping 3 months back in '00), it has been nice to spend some time checking it out.

One of my favorite finds* is the Pickford Cinema, Bellingham's only independent cinema. It is a tiny theatre with a tiny screen (upgrades are in their future, I hear), but the movies they play and the people there make it so much different (and dare I say better?) than a regular movie-going experience. Growing up in Anacortes, we didn't get much independent cinema (although to be fair, the Lincoln Theatre does show some good ones, but it is still a car trip away.)

Anyway, enough of my waxing nostalgia. The main point of this post was to tell you about the two great movies I have seen recently, both of which I probably would have never seen had it not been for the Pickford.

Into the Wild: I read this Jon Krakauer book back in high school. All I remember about it, though, is that it really inspired me. When I heard a movie of it was coming out,
I was somewhat skeptical that it might shatter the memories I had formed of the story (as movie remakes of books often tend to do). I couldn't have been more wrong*. The movie inspired me the same way that the book did, perhaps even more now that I am an "adult" with my views of the world a little more solid than back in the days. There were a few parts in the movie, as well as in the book, that brought things back to reality which, although probabaly a good thing, took away from the inspirational side of the experience. Oh well. Anyway, I suggest you see it. Good times.

King Corn: To put it concisely, this documentary is essentially the first chapter in Micheal Pollen's Omnivore's Dilemma embodied in movie form. That isn't a strike against it at all. And, no offense Mr. Pollen, this embodiment was much more fun to sit through. It is essentially the story of two guys from the east coast who decide they want to raise an acre of corn. They document their experiment as well as investigate the curiosities that follow. About half the time you are learning about farm subsidies and the processing of corn post-farm, and about half the time you are seeing them run amok with a tractor or interacting with the Iowan townsfolk. As with any good documentary, IMHO, it educated as well as entertained. If the film happens through your town, I highly recommend checking it out.

(For all you RSSers, this post is specifically formated for the BdW layout, just so you know)


Sunday December 2 2007File under: movies

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Let It Snow!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,*
But the fire is so delightful,*
And since I've no place to go,*,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.*.

(If this blog post seems more boring than usual, then perhaps you haven't yet clued into the * phenomenon*. Now is your chance to get in on the fun. Whenever you see a "*" throughout one of my posts (and sometimes comments too), hover your mouse over it and you will get the additional text. Each browser has its own peculiarities in displaying these. IE disappears the tool tip quickly. Firefox cuts long sentences short*. (To view the whole thing, right click and select "Properties".) There have been reports of Mac browsers not able to display them at all, although I haven't been able to reproduce that problem yet. If you are having trouble viewing these little gems, drop me a line with the the browser you are using and the operating system (e.g. OSX 10.4), and we'll see if we can get it all worked out. Hopefully in the near future, I will write a custom rollover function that will be a little more cross-browser compatible.)
Saturday December 1 2007File under: misc, blog

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FC 9 - Rocket Scientists

I really like this drawing. Deanna did a great job. I hope I didn't botch it with my paint bucket and cutting and pasting (not to mention speech bubbles, etc.) Anyway, I hope you like it.

What started out as a month long project has now gone 2 full months without an end in sight (unless my artist goes on strike and tries to demand a percentage of the $4.23 I've made off google ads in the last 5 months*). But since there are always weeks when Deanna's too busy or doesn't like any of the ideas I have, I would like to offer the opportunity partner up on a comic or two to anyone else who likes to draw. (You don't have to be good at all. Just look at some of the ones I've put together.) If you're interested, drop me an e-mail via the contact page.
Thursday November 29 2007File under: comic

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Winter 2007-08 Taste of Anacortes

As the non-tourist season settles in to sleepy old Anacortes, the excuse to get people out on the town known as Taste of Anacortes is afoot again and I couldn't be happier. Last year, I attended 2 Tastes and thoroughly enjoyed them both. (Read about them here and here).

This year, I hope to attend each month's Taste. Good food in small portions ain't something to be scoffed at. If anyone is going to be around Anacortes during one and is looking for a date, I'm totally free.

For those content hungry*, I present you the menu for this latest Taste, at least for the Knife Route, which I took.
    Flounder Bay Cafe: Prime rib with mashed potatoes, and wine if you so desired (two out of the two times our route has included Flounder Bay, it has been the best stop on the route.)
    Il Posto: Bruscetta topped with a chicken meatball sauce. It was pretty good but the atmosphere in that place is about 8 degrees too fancy for me.
    Randy's Pier 61: Crab pot which is a cheesy, creamy crab dip served with festively colored tortilla chips.
    Rockfish Grill: Shrimp salad, which we would have enjoyed way more had we done it as the first stop. The big bonus at the "Rocker" was the Spoonshine Duo was playing. Good times.
    Johnny Picasso's: Carmel drizzled, pumpkin, cream-cheese cake with coffee. I've been wanting an excuse to go in there for the past couple years and I'm glad I finally got the chance. The owner is super nice and, if that cake was any indication, the desserts are out of this world.
Thursday November 29 2007File under: Anacortes, food

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The (New) Trick

Being an uncle is awesome. You get a kid to play around with but without all those pesky paternal safety instincts. From the beginning, I took full advantage of this with "games" like baby tuck 'n run* and homogenize the baby*. But the best thing that came from that "neglect for safety"* is The Trick. From about 4-months on, Cora and I performed The Trick whenever we could. She loved it. I loved it. The audience (minus the mothers, of course) loved it. Photographic evidence here, here, and here.

But as her 5th birthday quickly closes in, Cora is getting a little big for The Trick (or perhaps I am getting a little weak in my old age). Since my desire to continue to gravitationally, spatially, and self-masterily expand her horizons hasn't waned, we've developed a new trick. As yet, it still requires some work. Her confidence has a way to go, but only because my ability to keep her upright still needs a little work. But I foresee this trick going good places. I'm thinking Carnegie hall in 2009. Buddo, are you with me? (We'll prolly have to work up a new promo shot though.)
Tuesday November 27 2007File under: pics, misc

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FC 8 - Priceless

In honor of Black Friday* (also known as Buy Nothing Day), I present to you this week's comic. In a bit of a change from comics of the past, this is meant more as a political/editorial comic rather than a ha ha comic (although I would like to think that it still might elicit a chortle or snicker (or even perhaps a guffaw)).

Anyhoo, I didn't drag my loyal artist Deanna into this bucket of worms in fear that a'doings might transpire. Besides, I'm getting pretty good at this whole electronic tracing thing (as long as I can find an image of the exact thing or scene I want to portray). Anyway, hopefully we'll be back next Friday with a less controversial comic that can be enjoyed by all (or at least by people who like semi-funny things.)
Thursday November 22 2007File under: comic

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Recent Comments:
*Andrew on Green Tree Gum
*Jule on Twas the Night Before Christmas 2014
*Kat on How to Skin a Coconut
*Jule on Hit the Ground Walking
*Horge on Further Minor Media Mentions - Anacortes American

Recent Content:
*Green Tree Gum
*My Crossword Mug Puzzle
*Twas the Night Before Christmas 2014
*Merry Christmas 2014
*Obligatory DR Beach Post
*How to Skin a Coconut
*27(-ish) Waterfalls
*Hit the Ground Walking
*Further Minor Media Mentions - Anacortes American

Blogs du Friends:
*Baby Soren!
New pictures!
*Dullsound photos
(Untitled)
*Gaigin, SMASH!
11. The Authorities (aka Police and Power Rangers)
*HBAdventure
NEW BABY & DOLLIE
*Un Petit Squab


updated at 06:40 am Jan 26th


Link Blog:

Couchward Bound:
I've gone looking through my records for this link enough times for it get posted here. It's a facebook app that maps where all your friends live, quite helpful when planning a road trip.
8/30/2011

Roadside Attractions:
I gotta remember to stop by some of these someday. The Shoe Tree and Forbidden Gardens would be pretty neat.
8/31/2010

SEA to Anywhere:
A list of prices for flights from Seattle to almost anywhere. Great fuel for the travel imagination!
4/18/2010


more links...


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