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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2nd Annual Roses Are Red Poetry Contest


It's that roses time of year
And I find myself single again
So for a creative outlet
I turn to Blog du Wren*

Yep, folks, it's that time of year again. Put on your rhyming hats and get ready for the 2nd annual BdW Roses Are Red Poetry Contest. The rules are the same as last year: your poem must follow the standard ABCB "Roses are red" rhyme/stress pattern, it must make reference to either "red" or "roses", and it must be completed by 11:59 pm PST, Friday Feb 15. After that, come back and vote on your favorite poem (please e-mail me or use the contact page so voting can stay anonymous*). Check out last year's entries for inspiration (and a good laugh. They were seriously awesome. When I went back and read them, I busted my gut all over again. Esp. Chris's about red and blue states–so great).
Wednesday February 13 2008File under: poetry, contest

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Another Crossword - FAMILY TIES

As often happens with me and creative energies, I find an outlet and stay with it for a while. It happened about this time last year with writing nerdy word games*. This year's borderline obsession is creating crosswords. I've incorporated the feedback I got from the 3 people that attempted the last one("It's too hard!" and "Weak!") and hopefully this one will prove much better. Check it out and let me know what you think: FAMILY TIES.

Since I seem to be taking to writing crossword puzzles so eagerly, I thought it might be fun to look into what it takes to get one published (and how much it pays.) Cruciverb.com seems to be the site to go to for that type of information. In a nut shell, you gotta minimize black spaces, use symmetric grids, use as few dumb clues as possible, and do a good theme. That seems straight forward enough. Each paper/organization has its own guidelines on top of those as well as prices. It looks like the going rate is between $65 and $200*.

Anyway, I've got a new goal for the list: become a published crossword [author/creator/artist/guy]. Any feedback you can give would be great. I'll be sure and thank you in my acceptance speech for "best crossword dude from a personal blog" category at next year's Crossies.
Tuesday February 12 2008File under: games, coding

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Purty Sunset

I was listening to the radio this evening and heard some talk of people complaining about the weather we have in Northwest Washington. "It is rainy, cold, gloomy, and dark", they said. The host made the good point that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and a little bit of rain and darkness is the price we pay. Well, even in this season of grey and gloominess there is extreme beauty every now and again if you keep your eyes open. I caught this sunset last week. Just beautiful! (Here's another shot that I like*.)
Monday February 11 2008File under: pics, Anacortes

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Cross-Blogination

Look at this neat picture I drew* of a mug of frosty root beer. Doesn't it make you thirsty for a nice cold one? Me too. Root beer has been right at the top of my favorite drinks list since as long as I can remember. I've often heard about the origins of said elixir and wondered about how it got the dubious moniker of "beer".

Well, when you're curious and underemployed, the only thing to do is go look it up. And since I have been looking for an opportunity to try a little freelance co-blogging, I thought I would try my hand at writing a little "article" on the subject. Well, Luke over at Blog About Beer* was kind enough to post my little "article" being that it is somewhat on topic. See?

Now I am a semi-published, pseudo-contributer of content on this thing we call the world wide web. It is a concept that I think I like. Stay tuned for more cross-blogination* or if you want me to write an "article"* for your theme specific blog, let me know.
Friday February 8 2008File under: misc, writing

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FC 18 - Soap Box Derby

I haven't been able to shake the creative bug* recently, so I took another stab at comicking. (And again I was reminded of how talented my comic artists are and how grateful I am for their contribution.) In all honesty, I spent WAY too much time dinking around, layering, picking colors, etc. etc. This is one of those cases where doing in on paper would probably have been much more efficient. If I only had the skillz....

While the inspiration for this comic came to me so long ago that I can't remember the particular circumstances, I've been reminded of it often in these past couple weeks with politics in such a flurry. So while last Friday's comic about snow was apropos, I like to think this one is appropriate too, what with this week being all super and everything. Should we try to find some relevant topic for next week making it 3 relevant comics in a row?*
Thursday February 7 2008File under: comic

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Create a Crossword - CHECK

Years ago, I made a list of things I wanted to do before I died. I was reminded of this list recently by a [great!] post over at IHJ. (Another great example of a life list, and actually the one that inspired me to make my own years ago, can be found here*.)

I'm not going to post said list because it is still a work in progress (both in terms of refining goals and attempting to accomplish them). One of my proudest to cross off, however, was trying out for Jeopardy*. I didn't get on, but that's okay because it still felt great to have tried.

But I digress. This post is supposed to be about the latest thing I've been able to cross off my list*. As an avid crossword puzzle doer for years, I've always wanted to create my own – not a ghetto one like we made in high school using all the words from the spelling list, but a newspaper worthy crossword that adheres to strict standards (at least in format if not in content).

So here it is: You're in My Top Level Domain Now. There are a few words that I am not overly proud of and a few others that are obscure pop culture references that only very very few people will get, but it's not bad for a first try. Have a go. Tell me what you think.

(You can either print the puzzle (please make sure it shrinks to just print on one page) or you can do the puzzle as it is on your computer screen. The "software"* isn't as fancy as the commercial ones, but it does the trick.)
Wednesday February 6 2008File under: games, coding

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updated at 03:01 pm Feb 09th


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