North Sound City to City Public Transportation Guide

It's been a year now that I've been without a car. And while Scoot Scoot gets me around, it isn't the most efficient thing for longer distance travel*, so I very often find myself on the bus. In fact, I'm getting to know the local area bus schedule pretty damn well–so well, in fact, that I often find myself acting as consultant to people who want to go from A to B under C circumstance.

Fancy schmany public transportation districts have websites with trip planners where you can get routes to and from anywhere in the system without having special knowledge of which routes run when, where, etc. This is what I've set out to recreate for the transportation districts in our area. You select where you want to start and where you want to go and presto, this website lays out what routes to take, as well as helpful tidbits about schedule, price, etc.

One thing that the site doesn't offer (yet) is a full timetable for each schedule. One reason is because to maintain a separate database for all these would be problematic. Whenever a company changed its schedule, things would be out of sync until I realized the problem. Another reason is because I am just one guy, and the prospect of doing a full blown trip planner (for free) was a little overwhelming.

But despite the lacking time element, my hope is that this tool will help those who want to make inroads into public transportation travel but don't know where to start. Spread the word about North Sound City to City Public Transportation Guide.
Sunday March 9 2008File under: transportation, coding

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FC 22 - Three Piece Suit

Ever since the days of Key Club conventions*, I've always had to chuckle at the term "business casual". That qualifies as an oxymoron, right? These days I don't find myself with the occasion to be invited to business casual events much anymore* Well, only after I contracted out this comic did I really realize that it is written without a slash in between, hence the last minute addition of the "typo" portion of the caption. I think it still works.

Thanks to Deanna for the lovely drawing, as always. (I tweaked the lips a little. Please don't disown me.)
Thursday March 6 2008File under: comic

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The Upside of Being Under the Weather

Ugh. I'm just recovering from a nasty bout with a devilish bug that had me laid up for the past couple days. Today is the first day since Saturday that I feel able to get up and move about in a semi-regular fashion, albeit with significantly less energy. I was fortunate that my particular strain was just achy muscles, headaches, fever, etc. and skipped over the whole yammying* aspect. On the whole, it wasn't a pleasant experience. All my time lying shivering in bed did allow me time to try to put a positive spin on things. Since I know a lot of others are going through a similar aguishness, I thought I might share my look-on-the-bright-side conclusions.

1. Lying in bed is a comfort activity that many of us don't get to do often enough. Sure the shakes are bad, but pulling the covers up to your chin in the middle of the day without the feeling of guilt that you should be doing something else is a bit of a perk.

2. A forceful respite from our sometimes hectic schedules can be a great opportunity to reflect on our lives from an outside perspective. When you're in too much pain to push a broom, write thank you cards, or paint the bathroom, you will find that you have some good old fashion think-time.

3. Being sick gives you an excuse to listen to your body with open ears (for those of us that don't find ourselves doing that enough on a regular basis.) If chicken noodle soup is the only thing that sounds good, eat it. If you wanna lie in bed ALL DAY and not move, do it*.

4. For those times just before the worst of things and right after when you are able to think clearly and move your appendages slightly, but not so much your whole body, there isn't a better time to negotiate working from home. Your work will like it because you won't infect the whole office. You will get to skip out on a commute (and probably a lot of office politicking). Everyone wins.

5. The line between being too weak/incoherent to do anything constructive and being too lazy is quite fine. Bask in that laziness, if just for an afternoon. You know you want to. Trooth* is, the longer you bask in the slow life of letting your body take care of itself as it was made to do, the quicker you will return to health.

Can you think of other upsides of being under the weather.
Tuesday March 4 2008File under: misc

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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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updated at 12:44 pm Jun 25th


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