Olympic National Park

File under "Beauty within a half day's drive from home".

This past weekend, I went for a little jaunt out to Olympic National Park to visit a friend. (Ma was generous enough to leave me her car when she went out of town.) While ONP is beautiful anytime, it is even more beautiful in the rare chance there is sun. We totally lucked out with two days of semi-sun and only rain at the appropriate times when it helped set the mood.

In addition to enjoying Lake Crescent and tromping on the Olympic Discovery Adventure Trail, we headed out to Dungeness Spit in an [successful] attempt to follow the sun. Oh, and it should go without saying that geocaches were involved all around.

Overall, even though the seemingly ubiquitous sickness of late hindered out plans a little, it was a great chance to catch up with a friend, bask in nature's glory, and get away from the routine* of my life.
Sunday March 2 2008File under: travel

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FC 21 - Pre-penny

Annie again delivers this week's comic with her unique MSPaint style. Coloring the comics that are submitted is becoming a favorite weekly task of mine. It allows me to add a little artistic input to the comic but without requiring any artistic skill. Here soon, I will work up a fancy post that shows the evolution of the process from submission to production.

This comic idea was the second one I ever came up with when I decided to start my comic series (which, as you remember, was originally only slated to run one month). No one has been brave enough to tackle it until now. I really like how it turned out and only can hope that I get the concept across well enough in the caption to do justice to the awesome drawing.

(Sorry for the late post. The internet isn't quite as accessible here in the Olympic National Park, where I am enjoying a little vacation)
Friday February 29 2008File under: comic

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Freshly Baked Bread

Whenever I hear about someone baking his/her* own bread, two things occur to me. First, there is always some excitement and pride in his/her* voice. It seems like s/he* feels a very strong ownership not only in the product but in the process and the recipe. Second, I realize how much I like baking bread and tell myself that I simply must do that sometime soon.

Since there is no time like the present*, last night I dove in. I used the same "recipe" that I've been using for years: bloom some yeast in some warmish water, then add some salt and flour. Since this recipe relies heavily on the baker's interpretation of "some", the bread always seems to turn out a little different. One thing is always the same though; it comes out of the oven warm and always seems to make great toast*. Add a little peanut butter and homemade jam and you've got yourself a treat.

Someday I might branch out into fancy breads like ciabatta, challah, etc. but this time around, all I was wanting was the feel of dough beneath my palms and an aroma to fill up the house. Done and done.
Wednesday February 27 2008File under: food

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Content du Wren

I am a student of the internet. I've learned my career skillz from it, honed my communications skillz on it, and been kept current on countless [usually pointless] cultural trends via it. As you all know from some of the projects and websites I've posted about before, my technical internet skillz are above average, if I do say so myself. An arguement could probably be made either way on my communication skillz. As for the cultural trends, I'd like to present an argument in my favor presently.

One of the things about the internet that so often boggles my mind is the amount of content that is created so frequently. Somebody is out there writing up those top ten lists, programming those addictive flash games, and compiling those LOLcat* photos. So in the interest of giving back to the internet a small portion of what it has given me, I've created these 3 bits of content. I was thinking of posting them all separately so as to try and capitalize on the fickle permalinking internet masses, but 1)none of them is good enough to warrant a solo post 2)BdW isn't really a place for non-personal, internet trend-based content (for the most part) and 3) I've got a huge affinity for the number 3*.

So, here you go, content du Wren:
Internet Memes: My take on the internet masses' take on Despair, Inc.'s take on Motivational posters.
Manliness Quiz: Quizes are all the rage on the internet. Here's mine.
Thread Voting: One of the most common links of "content" that I come across in a day is a compilation of stuff on a given topic. While it doesn't really count as content, because the true creative genius is just stolen from elsewhere, there is a bit of a organizational thought that goes into it.
Tuesday February 26 2008File under: misc

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Cute Kid in a Suave Hat

Everybody loves a picture of a cute kid, right? It seems to be all the rage these days. Granted I can't claim any responsibility for this kid being as she isn't a direct descendant or anything, but I can still capitalize on the cuteness, right?

But* in hopes of making this a less blatant attempt at using a picture of a cute kid to fill an otherwise slow time here at BdW, I will say this: see that super-suave hat Punky is wearing? Yeah, I made that. Lately I've been pumping out the hats like an underemployed guy who occasionally knits to make the time pass a little more quickly, which is to say not like a factory or like my income depends on it, but more than last year.

So here's another picture. It is a little better picture of the hat but a much worse picture of Punky. She anticipates the flash when she knows she is getting her picture taken, so she kind of squints her eyes and adopts a "Dude, Where's My Car?" facial expression.
Sunday February 24 2008File under: pics, misc

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FC 20 - One Sly Apeman

This Friday's comic is again MS Painted by Annie from the D.C. area. (For all of you paying attention, it is the same Annie as before and no she hasn't moved from Florida. I was just about 1500 miles off in my geography before. You know how locationless the internet sometimes is*.) Oh, and I added some color and "layering"*.

The idea for this one came when I was down in Yelapa last month*. While we didn't see any snakes, I did see a couple scorpions. Oh, and I did try my share of pick up lines. They turned out about as successful as I imagine Mr. Tarzan's are is to.
Thursday February 21 2008File under: comic

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Wednesday is Crossword Day

I know these crossword are getting old for the majority of you. As for the other three people that actually look at them, I assume the novelty is even wearing out for you. Does that mean I'm going to stop creating them? No. Will I stop posting about them? Maybe. This one, however, should be the last one for a while, as I am soon to enter the working world again* (at least for a short time) and I won't have all this time to kill.

I was tempted to call this crossword BOOBLESS and let it stay as an inside joke until you solved it, but I figured that would be too tactless, so I've called it CALCULATOR SPEAK. I hope that isn't too much of a give away. Because I incorporated more theme elements, this one took me much longer than the previous ones but I can't say if that actually made it any better.

Anyway, if anyone out there is actually doing them, I would love feedback. Do you think any would be newspaper worthy? Maybe not NY Times yet, but perhaps USA Today? Are you at least having a good time doing them? Should I give up on this an refocus on, say, making sudokus?*
Wednesday February 20 2008File under: games

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Troothpicks Update

This blog is supposed to be a log of the exciting things in my life, right? Things that I would share with people who I would like to be in contact with more often but am not for various reasons*? Well, when I do finally get around to catching up with people, one of the things that they always ask about it how troothpicks is going. If that doesn't just lend itself to a blog post* then my name isn't, well, you know*.

Yeah, so troothpicks! This holiday season was a smashing success thanks to the various BdW readers that participated in the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and/or services. In fact, in only a week long period, I almost made back all my invested money*. From here on out, it is profit, baby...profit to the tune of $5.00 an hour! Anyway, I was never in it for the money, right?*

So with the holiday season's market research successful, I figure it is time to widen my audience. As luck would have it, that website I made a while back in exchange for free ad space, Sponsor My Loans, has completely taken off media-wise with coverage in all sorts of fancy places. Since troothpicks ads are all over the page, the traffic on troothpicks.com has increased with the traffic of sponsormyloans.com. In short, people who I don't know are checking things out! I've already got a number of inquiries about custom picks and one from an adoring fan who wants to sponsor the idea to the tune of $10,000*. Alas, no new orders...yet.

Besides ever expanding web traffic, I'm really close to making the retail debut of troothpicks. By the end of the week, I've promised myself that I will have printed up enough stock to be able to visit local novelty stores and beg them to put my product on their shelves. (I plan on working on my puppy dog eyes in a mirror before hand.) Maybe troothpicks are more of an impulse buy rather than a premeditated, fill-out-the-credit-card-info type of thing.

Anyway, I'll keep ya'll posted. (Oh, and Horge, I totally fixed that typo too.)
Monday February 18 2008File under: misc

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CoPost - Living At Home


I get guff for living at home. My friends have more or less gotten over it, but new people usually have a field day (at least after they've gotten to know me well enough to a) learn that I live at home* and 2) feel comfortable giving me guff*). It's all good, though, because I realize the humor in it, esp. when taken in the context of today's societal impression of adult children living at home. Plus, I'm comfortable in the way my situation is set up.

Anyway, in having to defend myself to people* over the years, I've come up with a pretty strong argument both for the general case of living with one's parents and for my specific case. In fact, I feel so strongly about it, I wrote a persuasive "article"* for RealWorldReally.com, a blog geared towards the soon-to-be college graduate. Just like my last cross-blogging experience, it was really fun. I like the format of the semi-anonymous, pseudo-academic article. I hope you (and the millions of readers at both blogaboutbeer.com and realworldreally.com) do too. I'm planning to do another one soon, so stay tuned.

Okay mom, now you can go wild with your oh so witty retort in the comments. I can take it.
Saturday February 16 2008File under: misc, writing

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FC 19 - Magical Sunset

See? I told you it would be relevant. Well, not relevant in a northwest kind of way because the sunsets are few and far between this time of year (except for that one Purty One). No, I figured this one kind of fit with the whole Valentine's Day theme.

I will have to give partial writing credit on this one to River and the whole veggie bus clan. It came from a sunset we all saw together, but River provided the cynicism necessary to turn it into a great comic (although I'm sure that wasn't his aim.) Also, I got my go to artist Deanna to draw this one and I think it turned out great. (She is especially proud of the buns on the dude.)

But don't let this comic distract for more than a moment from the task at hand. Go write a poem. Make it a good one. I like good poems. (Actually, I like the not as good ones just as much.)
Thursday February 14 2008File under: comic

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