Jul 31, 2007

Big Job To Do

Hotness & I are getting ready to head off on vacation soon, so before we go we're trying to get things squared away at the house. (Fold all the laundry, wash all the dishes, vacuum... that kind of stuff, so we don't have to face it when we get back)

One of the projects on our "to do" list is mow the front yard.
Seems simple, right?
Yeah, look how big my front yard is.....

Just to give you a little perspective in size... here's Hotness standing in the yard:

Luckily we're borrowing a commercial type mower, and slowly but surely we're getting it done.
Every now and then a critter* pops it's little head up and makes a mad dash for more cover.
I've tried to catch 'em in the mower, but so far I haven't had any luck.

Anyway, we should be done before we leave, or at the very least have most of it trimmed to a reasonable amount.
Hotness really likes when it's cut, but I like to leave it for the wildlife to forage through.

One thing's certain though.... it's a LOT of work!

* These "critters" I believe are Norway rats. I haven't actually gotten a good look at one, but the color is right and we had to re-insulate our pump-house a few months ago because of those little buggers! I know they are in the area (as some of our neighbors have had to deal with them as well). So any chance I get to kill one is one more that can't breed again!

Jul 30, 2007

Lots of Crap Today

Firstly, I would like to wish Ozzy Osbourne good luck as he goes back on tour after having a blood clot removed from his leg.
When asked for his comment after having the surgery, Ozzy said, "Wh-wh-what the b-b-b-bloody Hell?!? I ne-ne-ne I need a drink!"

And all the best to
Paul Stanley as he recovers from an abnormal hearbeat during a soundcheck before a concert.

So the movie "
300" comes out tomorrow. (It was based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae).
Betcha ya didn't know that you too can have the body of a Spartan Warrior, did ya?
you can!
Of course, sending your children out to fend for themselves while facing possible starvation and making them fight with weapons at an early stage could have NOTHING to do with having a "
Spartan physique".... could it? Nah!

It was discovered that Hansa (the
baby elephant that died at Woodland Park Zoo over a month ago) had contracted a previously unknown case of herpes.
There's a joke there, but I'm not going to take it.
It was really sad for it to happen. We still miss her.

And lastly, for those who have no life (or are afraid of the outdoors and fresh air), here's something you can really get into...
Virtual Walk-a-thons!
You'd think the American Cancer Society would show a little more enthusiasm for getting people to actually excercise for a good cause instead of sit on their asses in front of a computer monitor.

Yeah, they raised money. But if somebody came to me and asked me to sponsor them while they "virtually walked" around, I'd laugh at them and tell them to get a life.

Be good until I get back....

Jul 29, 2007


If I could direct your attention to the right for a moment, you'll notice a list of links (that's the "Ch-check it out" section).
I try not to put too many links over there, 'cause then it just gets all cluttered and nobody pays any attention to it. But there is one link in particular I'd like to tell you about: vregopoetry.

"V" is a friend of mine from New York who has been writing poetry since before she was a teenager. It was a way for her to express her feelings and not keep them bottled-up inside.
Since she's been writing for quite a while, she has built up a large collection of poems and decided to post them online for people to read and enjoy.
For a while she was reading at 'open mike' nights at a poetry gathering in her neighborhood, which was garnering her a good bit attention and praise.
She's also working on getting a book published, which has been a slow-going process.
I thought this would be a nice time to give you folks who are reading this a chance to discover something new and different.
I told her I was going to try and send some web-traffic her way and asked if she would like to say anything about herself. She says;
" I'm single & happy that way, at least for now...LOL
Writing is more than expression, it's therapy. I look at my writing as a way to let others know they're not alone. We all have bad days and broken hearts & it's ok feel them as long as we remember to feel the good.

So I imagine you might be asking me, "What? Poetry? I thought you were into comic books and stuff like that."
Well, I am. But just like Shrek, I am like an onion. I have many layers.

If you have a moment to pop over to her site, please do, and if you like what she's written let her know (there's a contact link).
And tell her that I sent you, so she'll know who to blame when her server crashes. Just kidding!

Anyway, if poetry "just isn't your bag"*, no worries. But I hope you'll give it a chance and maybe like it.

That's all for today.
More camping adventure stories coming soon. Hopefully this time presented in "Rain Free Weekend" edition.

* one's bag(n) :something which a person likes, is good at or has special skill or information about. _'Billiards is his bag, he never loses'.

Jul 28, 2007

Random Seattle Pictures - The Architecture

Every big city has a unique skyline.

Here's a few of the Emerald City.....

The first one is a shot of the Supreme courthouse.
Look real close on the second one.... those are walrus heads along the side of the building.

This is a combination picture.
The gentlemen are part of the acapella group "A Moment In Time" that performs down at the Pike Place Market.
The building they are in front of is the ORIGINAL Starbucks Coffee shop.
Yup, the one that started 'em all!

Jul 27, 2007

Random Seattle Pictures - The Art

Here are a bunch of pictures I took with my camera phone while I was in Seattle the last couple of days.
Not much to post about, but I'll give descriptions where necessary.

If you get lost, just find a manhole cover. This one had a map of Seattle on it. Not as easy to carry around as a folding paper map or a GPS, though!

Chief Seattle, our city's namesake

Bumble-bee pig at Pike Market / a squid sculpture / Tricerapig

Bad parking job / Hammering Man (These two were outside of the Seattle Art Museum)

This was along the side of one of the buildings downtown. I think it was one of the (many) bank buildings, but I don't remember for sure.
This depicts a scene from Northwest Native American life before the area was settled.
To the best of my knowledge, the Native Americans in this area were a very peaceful tribe so I'm not really sure what they are doing to that head in the left-hand picture.

By the way, those pig sculptures pictured earlier on this post?
They are part of the Pigs On Parade in Seattle and they are ALL OVER the city.
I only took a couple of pictures, but they are all very cool looking.
There are almost as many pigs as there are Starbucks in Seattle!

Jul 26, 2007

Jury Duty

As promised, here are the exploits of my recent call to do my civic responsibility and report for jury duty.

About a month ago I got a summons to appear at the King County Superior Courthouse in Seattle. I'm surprised it took this long to happen, really. The last time I was summoned was over 10 years ago when I lived in a different county.
So... rather than try to get out of it, I scheduled the time off from work.

You never know what kind of case you'll be a part of (if you're even chosen for the jury), but I was hoping it was something interesting that wouldn't drag on for weeks.
As it turns out I was never even called into any of the jury selections, what few there were.

I rode the bus into the city, rather than take my car. I'm glad I did. I didn't have to worry about parking, or traffic or ANY of that crap. I just rode into town and then walked back a couple of blocks to the courthouse.

By my best 'guesstimate', there were probably 200 or so of us in the jury pool. We all showed up and reported in at 8:00 a.m. and then waited to be called. And waited. And waited.
By 11:00 a.m. they still hadn't had any jury requests, as all court cases had been postponed until later in the day. So instead of making us wait another hour until lunch break, they let us go have a 2-1/2 lunch. We had to return by 1:30 p.m., so everybody split out of there to get some fresh air and take advantage of the long break.
As for myself, I took the time to walk down to Pike Place Market.

While there, I bought some books at Golden Age Collectables and a couple of children's books for my neice at another little bookstore in the market.
Then I browsed around and headed back up towards the courthouse to get some lunch before reporting back in.
(Mmmm! Sushi!)

As the day wore on, it became apparent that they weren't going to need all of us for that day, and they let a few of us go home early.... including yours truly.
So not being one to waste a good opportunity to spend time in downtown Seattle, I called up my buddy G-Rod, who works down on the waterfront and asked if he'd like to meet me and bum around town for a while.
What a beautiful, summer day in Seattle! Let me tell you, when the sun comes out, it's a wonderful day to be in the city.
I met a couple of folks who were from Milwaukee. They were just visiting the Emerald City because they'd never been here before, and they'd picked the perfect time to do it.
They said they were having a wonderful time, although they had expected rain. (heh heh! That's what we WANT people to think, so they won't move here!)

I met G and we walked around town so I could take pictures, we stopped at Zanadu Comics and picked up more books, and went to Pioneer Square to maybe take the Seattle Underground Tour. (Which we were too late for that day)
We stopped at Benaroya Hall and got something cold to drink at Starbucks.
They had a couple of awesome Dale Chihuly sculptures hanging at both ends of the front entrance.

Then we both caught the bus, headed back to his car, and he drove me home where I treated us to dinner at Ixtapa. (I called hotness to join us, and we had a good time)
Today was the second day for me to report for jury duty. When summoned, you are required to appear for either 2 days (in which case, if you are not chosen for jury you are then excused) or one trial (which could last several days... or weeks if it's a major court case).
This time I only had to be there by 8:45 a.m., but since I took the same bus in, I got there an hour early and waited to sign in.
Everbody showed up and we all waited again for our names to be called. But it never happened.
We took a break around 10:00 and when we got back, lo and behold!, some of us were called into a jury selection. I wasn't one of them, however. So I sat in the jury room and that was it.
No other court cases came up that required more jurors to be called on.
They let us go, since we'd served our duty, and again I was in town and didn't want to pass up another opportunity to walk around Seattle.

I called up G-Rod again, and this time we bought tickets for the Seattle Underground Tour. First, though, we grabbed a bite to eat at a little Italian restaurant around the corner where we met a nice, older couple who were visiting from Arizona. They also were getting something to eat before taking the tour, so we sat and talked with them for a while.
(from left to right: Leonard, G-Rod, and Alice)
The tour was fun, and very informative.
Heck! I'm a native from here, and I didn't know most of the history of Seattle.
We had some very corrupt and deceitful founding fathers, let me tell you!

Nothing exciting to report regarding the jury duty itself, but I had an absolute blast walking around Seattle and taking pictures (which I'll post more of a little later).
I hope you weren't expecting something along the lines of me being on a murder trial or anything. (Believe me, that thought crossed my mind too but I'm glad I wasn't).

Jul 24, 2007

Devastating Blow to Journalism

I just found out today that the Weekly World News, the "World's Only Reliable Newspaper", is ceasing publication next month.
This saddens me quite bit, as I had thought it would be really cool to one day become a staff writer for the paper. I guess my dreams will have to die like the rest of my childhood fantasies.

Nowhere else will we be able to find proof that the moon really is made out of green cheese, or that vampires will find all the life-giving sustenance they need from tuna fish.
How will we ever be able to follow the exploits of Bat Boy?
No more "My America" by Ed Anger.

All that will come to an end in August.

Rest In Peace, Weekly World News. You will be missed.

Jul 23, 2007

Camping - Marten Creek

Got back yesterday morning from a weekend camping trip with some friends.

We camped a little north of Seattle and east of Granite Falls at a favorite spot called Marten Creek Campground, located in the Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest.
What a wet trip it was! It rained practically the whole time.
I got up there Friday night about 9:00 p.m to join up with the others in our group.
Luckily Sven & Suzanne had rigged-up a tarp that covered the entire picnic table and still had room for six people and their camp chairs to fit under, so we stayed nice and dry.... mostly.
Saturday wasn't so bad. It rained briefly in the morning and then stopped and was overcast all day until dark. Then it started pouring down and didn't stop until after we left the next day.
But we had a lot of fun, ate a lot of food, and generally lazed about camp reciting lines from "Blazing Saddles" and drinking tequila and mojitos.

The youngest member of our group noticed that there were huckleberry bushes growing at our campsite and that they had ripe berries on them. So we picked quite a few, with plans to make some campfire huckleberry pies but I had forgotten to bring my pie-irons.
I brought them home and froze them and then next camp trip we'll make them.
(we picked quite a few of them!)

I made a quick run to the local "last chance to buy supplies" grocery store about 9 miles away, and found a nifty new camping accessory that will join me on future trips.

On Friday night, right before I showed up, but after the rest of our group had gotten to camp, a group of interlopers drove in to our RESERVED campsite and made their camp in the lower section.
This was mostly just an annoyance, really. We didn't have any trouble with them, but since we had paid for the site and they came in and freeloaded, I told the forest station about it, who in turn told the local sheriff. He came by and had a little "chat" with them about how camping in National Forest sites without paying is a theft of services and is punishable (although I don't think they got a ticket for it).
They left soon after, and then I'll be darned if ANOTHER vehicle didn't pull into our campsite while we were eating dinner to do the same thing. This time we told them to find their own site or reserve this one for themselves next time.

Just a word to you freeloaders out there: Camper Ferretnick dislikes people who take advantage of others. Our National Forests are in serious need of support financially and camping without paying, when required, is wrong and ruins it for everone else.
Be a sport and pay your fare share.

Anyway, we had more visitors to our campsite that weren't of the two-legged variety.
We were visited by not only our native species of slug:
The Northwest Banana Slug: known habits include drinking lattes, wearing fleece jackets and socks with their Birkenstocks, listening to "indie" bands, and biking to work.

But also the non-native black slug:
The European Black Slug: known habits include driving erratically in rush-hour traffic, eating pork-rinds, and slamming down energy drinks like there's no tomorrow.

That's all for this past weekend. Another camping trip is coming up in a couple of weeks, so I'll have more woodsy, adventure stories to share and I'll let you know how those huckleberry pies turn out at that time.

Coming up later this week: Jury Duty! (stay tuned....)

Jul 19, 2007

It's Just A Jump To The Left....

Here is the full-size picture that I had commissioned from Terry.

It's the cast of his comic, "Strangers in Paradise" dressed-up in costume and standing in line for the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

(click on picture for large-size Transylvanian awesomeness)

From left to right:
an unknown person (possibly Terry's wife?) as Magenta
Terry Moore (himself) as a party-goer
Francine Peters as Janet Weiss
Katchoo as Dr. Frank N. Furter
David as Riff-Raff
Casey as Columbia
Freddie as Dr. Scott

Why was this my idea for a sketch?
Well, he'd never done it before and I really like the characters from his book and this seemed like something they would go and do if they were real people.

What do you think?
I'll be posting at in my Comic Art Fans page soon after I get the original, but for now you can see it here (and on Terry's blog).


The Wait Is Over!

Okay, remember that I had some really cool news but I couldn't say just what it was at the time?

Well..... a few months back I had the opportunity to get a commissioned sketch from Terry Moore who is the writer and artist of "Strangers In Paradise", one of my all-time favorite comic books.

When I posted about something exciting happening, I had just found out that he was starting on it and would be finished with it soon.
Yesterday I got the email that it was done and he sent me a .jpg of it to approve before he shipped it.
Let me tell you.... it looks AWESOME!!!

Here's a teaser pic of it:

I won't post the whole picture until he gives the "OK" to do it, but there are the three main characters of his book.
As soon I as I get his permission to post the whole thing I will.

Jul 17, 2007

Nifty Way To Spruce Up Your Desktop

There are lots of differerent places to find "wallpaper" for your computer desktop.
Some of them so sickeningly sweet you can become diabetic just looking at them, and others.... well... let's just say that "Not Safe For Work" doesn't quite cover it, shall we?

But, if your tastes run towards the middle of the road, the Hubble Telescope site has a bunch of cool.... nay, AWESOME, pictures from space that you can use as wallpaper. For FREE!!!
That's right free.

And while I'm talking about free space stuff, they also have a page where you can download a bunch of seperate pictures that go together as one big mural on your wall. Also for free.*

Go ahead decorate your living room with the Carina Nebula.
Better yet, decorate your office as an homage to Star Trek with a commanding view of space using the mural.
It's actually pretty freaking cool looking:

And no, I'm not getting a kickback for this.

I just thought it was cool and wanted to share it.

* You can print the pictures up on your computer, but they recommend taking the files (and they are b-i-g files, by the way) to a place that specializes in developing black & white pictures. So depending on where you go to do that, it can average about $30 per panel.

Jul 15, 2007

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Luckily nobody was hurt as an attempted robbery turned into a group hug at a Washington, D.C. home. I guess Friday the 13th was a lucky day for some folks.

Apparently, somebody did not have a good home life as a child. It's amazing what a little well-placed kindness can do.
It makes me wonder what'll happen to
these children when they get older (and what kind of life their parents had when they were kids).


Totally unrelated, here is an awesome business venture to buy into before it goes away.
Start your very own Haunted House,
complete with LIVE vultures!
I can't believe some Goth-wannabe hasn't snapped this opportunity up.

Well, hopefully I'll be going to a swap meet this afternoon and maybe picking up something really cool. Or just more crap I don't really need. We'll see.
I love yard / garage sales, swap meets, and
flea markets. (Much to Hotness's regret, although every once in a while I get something that even she thinks is pretty nifty)

Jul 13, 2007

I'm About To Burst With Excitement


I just found out some V-E-R-Y cool news, but I can't really share what it is quite yet.
As soon as I have more information, I'll let you know.
But for now... something very cool that I have been waiting for is about to happen.

My head is spinning and I can't concentrate at work since I found out, so I had to write about my excitement and share with all of you.

I promise to fill you in soon, but for now I have to remain cryptic about it so I don't jinx it!

.... Okay. Here's a hint: It's comic book related.

I Feel Kinda Bad...

In my previous post, I talked about going to G-rod's for dinner and a little Guitar Hero.
Under one of the pictures I mentioned that his playing skills were... well... pretty bad.
("Sucking mightily" was the exact phrase)

G, you're one of my best friends and I know you know I was kidding but I thought I should let everyone know.
While you may not be a rock guitar god of epic proportions you certainly give it your all, and for that I commend you.

Now, if I ever get my hands on some video of you singing.... I'm totally going to post it on here for everyone to see.

Jul 11, 2007

"G" is for......

Guitar Hero
and Great Googly-moogly it's hot!!!

It was a scorcher today, as the temp was expected to climb up into the upper 90's here in the western side of the state. A lot of records were set, I'm sure.

When I got off of work and got to my car my temperature gage said it was:

Yeah, that's right 102 freakin' degrees! (That's the OUTSIDE temp, by the way. Not inside the car)

So I opened the windows and headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items.
I was going to head over to G-Rod's house to have dinner (shrimp tostadas) and play Guitar Hero for a while.
Here's G playing the game (and sucking mightily at it!):

A little later, his brother Alex joined us and tried it out.

He actually played better the first time he ever did it, compared to G who has played a couple or three times and still has trouble with the timing.
(Oh well, he's borrowing it for a while, so I suspect his skill level will improve a bunch by the time a I get together with him again.)

We played for far longer than I should have been playing. By the time I actually said "Okay, now I really need to stop and head home", Hotness called me to see where I was.
"Uh, I was just on my way home, sweety. Really!"

So dinner was great. Like I mentioned, we had shrimp tostadas.
Of all the Mexican food I've tried, I've never had a tostada before. Man were they good, and especially on a hot day like today.
I mixed up a little sangrita* for the two of us, which had a nice kick to it because I used a bit more Tabasco than normal.
It went really well with the shrimp.

Well... halfway through the week and I haven't had to kill anyone yet. We'll see how things go the next couple of days.

* Sangrita, in case you're wondering, is a chaser that is usually served with Tequila.
It's a mix of tomato & orange juice, with a bit of lime and a dash of hot sauce and sometimes a few other ingredients.
If you want to try it, my recipe is very simple:
Equal amount of V8 (I prefer to use the low sodium variety) and orange juice
A squeeze of lime (maybe about a teaspoon, but go with your feelings)
A dash of Tabasco

Mix well and serve (cold is nice, but I've had it at room temperature when I'm drinking Tequila and it's still pretty good)

Jul 10, 2007

Random Musings

Another great summer day today... which I got to spend inside answering phones at work.

During my lunch, while reading some other blogs that I follow, I found this handy bit of information:

(I totally 'borrowed' this from the Seattle Umbrella Conspiracy)
Good to know in case you ever need to control your diet.... when you're a zombie.

And, speaking of zombies, here is some helpful information for those of us among the still-living;

(I believe this came from Dave's Longbox a while back)
Never let it be said that I don't provide a public service once in a while.


In other news:
27 years ago today, Coca-Cola switched back to their "original formula" after an unsuccessful attempt at trying out "New Coke".
Wow... 27 years. I'm getting older every day.
And speaking of 27;
Happy Birthday to Jessica Simpson. She's 27 yrs today. (hmmm... coincidence?)

A little sparse in the brain dept., but I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers.


Another evening of mango margaritas at home.
Tonight I drank the equivalent of half a pitcher, then topped that off with a rootbeer float (spiked with rootbeer schnapps). Woo-hoo!

.... I'm feeling a little woozy. Gotta go lie down for a while now.
Be good while I'm napping.

Jul 9, 2007

Heart Attack Waiting to Happen

Mmmmm.... yummy! Burgers!

And what could be better than a burger with lots of bacon and cheese?
I give you the "Baconator" from Wendy's!
Oh my mouth is just watering looking at that piece of meat-art!
At least.... that's what I thought as I was ordering one today at lunch.

I didn't pack a lunch today to take with me, as I was running late (as usual) and figured "Aw screw it! I'll just buy something today."
And so I did.

I had to go to the Post Office to mail a payment I had forgotten to get out on time (Great! Late charges!) and on my way back, Wendy's was the first place I drove buy that didn't take me out of my way.
I like their burgers. So I'm not giving them a bad time about the quality of their food. I go there maybe once a month 'cause it's close to work (and if I get out to lunch at just the right time, I can get there, get my food, and be back in less then 20 minutes. Not bad!).
Standing in line was the ad for the "NEW BACONATOR BURGER".
Ooooh... six, count them, SIX pieces of bacon. Two 1/4 lb hamburger patties. Melted cheese. On a Kaiser roll.
I'm sold!
I ordered the small combo. (C'mon! At least I didn't get a large)
Got back to work and opened up my bag of meat goodness at my desk.
Eh.... THAT'S the cholesterol-bomb I was looking forward to?!?
Yes. Yes it was.
It sure smelled good, so maybe looks aren't everything.
I dug in and finished it off.
And then it sat there. In my stomach. Like a bacon-flavored brick. Ugh!

Well, I'm not a bulimic so I went the remainder of the day weighted down by this 'anchor' in my gut.
Definitely not going to order this one again.

At least there are mango margaritas waiting for me at home!