Thursday, May 31, 2007

More on Groovebox

You've seen the video, now visit the website. Groovebox is online!
I just had to put a plug for my former bandmate Tom on my blog. If you live in the Nashville area and want to hire a kickin' band, look no further than Groovebox. You won't be disappointed.
How's that Tom? Now, when do I get my money? Heh!

Alaskan Cruise Journal # 4

Wednesday May 23rd 1:03 pm
We woke up at 9 this morning to the realization that the ship was traversing ice-filled waters headed toward the Tracy Arm Fjord. We rushed to get ready and then rushed to the deck to watch the scenery. We needed breakfast so we rushed down to eat. While we were eating we found out it was too dangerous for the captain to continue to the glacier face in the fjord. The boat turned around and we stayed on deck for a long time watching Alaska go by. We saw several mountain goats and 4 bears. (2 black, 2 grizzly) From the ship they looked like white, black and brown dots but through the binoculars you could watch them cavort. We went to the sun deck for a snack lunch and settled into deck chairs for our afternoon of whale watching.
So far, we've seen several whales and some smaller unidentified creatures breaching the surface. One came very close to the ship and it looked like a baby orca. One whale flipped it's tail out of the water about 16 times. It was quite a show. Folks were gathered along the rail oohing and ahhing like they are at a fireworks show on the 4th of July. I really enjoyed watching people run back and forth from starboard to port when someone would yell that something was over on their side. At one point I considered fooling people by yelling something like, "Look! It's a bear (pause) shaped rock!" I don't think they would have appreciated it.
It's a bit quiet now but we're gonna hang on the deck all afternoon. The weather is and has been amazing. Sunny and mild. Today's a bit overcast but gorgeous compared to what it should be. This is the best afternoon of doing nothing I've ever spent.

Afterthoughts: While we were watching for bears and such during the Tracy Arm portion of our day, I thought one guys head was gonna explode if he didn't see a bear. When we finally spotted one, he ran to get his wife but by the time he got back the bear had skedaddled. When we finally spotted another one we tried to tell him where to look and he was about to wet himself in anticipation. I was this close to trying to round up a Prozac for the guy.
During the afternoon, I found out from Steve that the UMO's (unidentified marine objects) were Pacific White-Sided Dolphins. I had never seen these guys before. They do look like little orcas. We had to have seen dozens of them that afternoon. The whales watching that afternoon was pretty good. They stayed a fair distance from the boat (no good pics) but through the binoculars you could watch them. I watched one lay on his side and flap his flipper for a couple of minutes. I am fascinated by whales. I am writing a story/poem about them that I started a while back and now that I've seen these guys in person I am determined to finish the story after I do a little research.
The sun in Alaska is alot more intense than anywhere I've ever been. Every day I would go back to the room and marvel at my sunburned face. Even wearing a hat didn't help a whole lot.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Alaskan Cruise Journal # 3

Tuesday May 22nd 11:45 pm
I woke up around 8am. I slept better but it wasn't the perfect night of sleep. We ate breakfast, my favorite meal on the ship and headed into Skagway. It's a sleepy town of 800 that swells to thousands when the cruise ships arrive. It's a cheesy tourist trap of a gold rush town. I've never seen so many jewelry shops in all my life. We finally found Caffiene-Free Diet Cokes at the Fairway Market. (Score!)
We went back to the ship for a quick break and a pizza lunch before heading off for the train ride. The White Pass and Yukon Railroad was an amazing ride! Pure Alaskan wilderness...and a little bit of Canada. (we found out about later) The pics I took won't do what we saw justice. There were quite a few photogs in our car and the clash of the Nature Papparazzi was quite hysterical! I was drooling over my new photog friend Aundrea's SLR and mack daddy lens.
Because of some problems with our train (and another that we found out about later), the 2.5 hour trip turned into a 5 hour excursion. We didn't complain. It was worth it. I stayed out on the little balcony between cars for most of the trip. I just couldn't be inside while all this great nature was passing me by. It was by far my favorite day of the trip.
We got back to the ship around 5ish, grabbed some french fries, a little rest and then headed to dinner with Steve and Justine. After dinner, we watched a few minutes of Willie Tyler and Lester but we had to leave. It was just too painful. It's sad when old entertainers don't age well. (not them personally but their act) I did get a bushwacker tonite and it was yummy. I haven't had one of those in a long while. That drink was invented on Pensacola Beach. I'm so proud.
After a quick trip to the buffet we went up on deck and I shot a few pics of the moon and the sunset. These shots were taken at about 11 and it wasn't completely dark yet. After that, we went to bed.
Afterthoughts: I just can't get over how wonderful that train ride was. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. If you go to Skagway you have to do it. It's the best way to see the beauty around Skagway and to get away from the cheesiness of the town. Oh, and that little town of costs a pretty penny to live there. I think the average price for a home there is 400K. And none of the homes are big. There are no mansions. That's 400K for a regular old house. And I thought Seattle was bad.
The weather was amazing while we were gone. In Juneau, they told us that they average about 44 days of sunshine a year. It was sunny and beautiful there and in Skagway. Before we left the weather prediction was rain. Wow! We felt really blessed by that sunshine. I didn't ever wear a coat on the train and I was fine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alaska Pics

I am going to try and post the best pics to my photo blog but if you want to see more I can send you an invite to view the pics at York Photo. Just let me know and I'll shoot it to you asap.

Alaskan Cruise Journal # 2

Monday, May 21st 11:10 pm
Long day. Fun day. Frustrating evening. Here are the highlights.
Grits for breakfast (yahoo) but they close the line right after we get our first helping.We watched the ship dock in Juneau.Around noon, we leave for our whale watching adventure. We saw between 7-9 whales with calves plus sea lions and eagles. One whale far away may have been an Orca?
After the whales we went to Mendenhall Glacier. Amazing! We didn't have enough time there. Just one hour. We hustled to the waterfall and back and then it was time to go.
Back to Juneau for a tram ride to the top of Mt. Roberts. Scattered throughout the mountain and on it's face are the remnants of the old gold mine. We saw Spirit the eagle who was shot through the beak. She can't be returned to the wild because she's blind in one eye. (Stupid people with guns) We played in the snow but couldn't go to the top due to avalanche warnings. I slid on my tookus in the snow. None of us were wearing the proper footwear so we slid all over the place.
Caffiene-Free Diet Coke search in Juneau yields no results. Alaska seems to love Pepsi. We do buy a six-pack of regular Diet Coke to take on the ship. One can springs a leak on the way up the gangway. While we are trying to clean it up an Asian steward pushing a woman in a wheelchair gets antsy with us and I bark. When we hit the room we had to clean out the bag because everything had DC on it. We finally got all cleaned up and headed to dinner w/ Steve and Justine.
Dinner is weird. The waiters won't let us touch anything because some people got sick. It's the same at the buffet later plus there was no good food at the buffet. It was all leftovers from dinner. The food on the ship isn't as good as I was expecting. We heard from Steve and Nita from Phoenix that Carnival and Royal Caribbean are better.
Watched and judged the first night of Princess Popstar, an American Idol-esque karaoke contest on the ship. I considered singing for a while but decided not to get involved. A couple of people were okay but most were pathetic...but pretty funny. I really liked the guy that sang AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long and rewrote the lyrics to dedicate to his ex-wife. It was a scream.
We watched the ship pull out of Juneau, grabbed a disapointing bite at the buffet and headed for bed. For some odd reason, the pics on our camera won't upload to the computer and the bedspread is missing. Frustration sets in. I really need to sleep tonight. I'm running on empty.

Afterthoughts: There were 2 buffet lines. Ours closed and the other stayed open. Bad timing on our part.
Mount Roberts tram was a great for the view but once up there we found out you could only walk about 50 yards due to dangerous snow conditions. Since the ride was $25 per it wasn't worth the money. A warning down below would have been nice.
The whole "no touchy" thing at dinner subsided after a couple of days but for those 2 days we were not allowed to serve ourselves at the buffet. Heck, we couldn't even touch the butter, salt or pepper. It was weird but I'm glad they were on top of the situation.
It was nice to talk to folks about other cruises. We felt like we learned alot. What we found was that every cruise line has it's positives and negatives. Princess is low on the list for good food, the entertainment is cheesy and they nickel and dime you to death. We heard about one cruise where they served 24 hour ice cream. Not so on Princess. You had to pay for it and it was only open about 7 hours. So, if you're going on a cruise, do some comparative shopping.
The bedspread incident...geez...after 3 calls and one wrong blanket delivered later we found that it was shoved up under the bed. I felt stupid.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Alaskan Cruise Journal # 1

Since internet access aboard ship cost a pretty penny I went back to the old fashioned, hand-written journaling of old. I will share my thoughts from my vacation over the next few days. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 20th 2007
With nothing but ocean on all 4 sides of the Golden Princess, I am sitting in the conservatory reflecting on what has happened thus far.
We arrived at Terminal 30 on May 19th and checked in with a moderate wait. The weather was stunningly beautiful if not a little chilly on the waterfront. We finally board the gigantic ship and find our way to our room. Well, not so much a room as a crackerbox. Needless to say we won't spend much time there. The shower is reminiscent of something you might find at a Nazi Death Camp but it gets you clean if you move around enough. It turns out that moving around isn't a problem as long as you don't mind stumbling around like a drunk. So far Sarah and I haven't found the rocking of the ship very soothing. We're both a little green around the gills and neither of us slept very well last night. But...back to yesterday.
After getting settled in our room and grabbing a snack, we explored the ship a bit to get the lay of the land. (ha) We figured out the drink price money-making scheme immediately and opted to drink water. After a little more wandering we went back to the room to read up on the activities possibilities and get dressed for dinner.
At dinner we sat with a newly married couple in their 20's named Steve and Justine. They are very nice and very funny. They are from Chicago but Justine wants to move to Seattle. We told them how expensive it is but that we love it anyway.
After dinner we wandered a bit more and decided to take a dip in the jacuzzi. It was wonderful! After about 15 minutes I got in the pool to cool off. It was at this time that the boat started rocking big time. The pool turned into a surf contest at Waikiki as I got washed from one end to the other. Sarah was worried but I had fun. It was no worse than the Gulf back home. We hit the jacuzzi one last time and prepared to go to the room. As we were leaving a ship employee showed up to secure the pool and loose items on deck. Today, none of the pools are being used and come are fully drained. I guess it's pretty rough. What am I saying? It's rough. Last night we rolled around in bed (not in the good way) and slept little.
This morning we got up around 8am still a little green but also feeling a bit hungry. We hit the breakfast buffet but neither of us ate a ton. After that we attended the morning trivia. If the point of the activity was to make you feel stupid then mission accomplished. The questions were pretty hard and we didn't do too well. Sarah gave up on the idea of Bingo after finding out that it cost $. There are lots of hidden costs here...why am I surprised?
So, here we sit in the conservatory. Sarah is napping in a chaise and I am contemplating a trip to the arcade. Today we are at sea all day. I think this day is meant for relaxation but so far I'm a bit bored. I guess I'm not very good at relaxing.

Afterthoughts: The rough weather was caused by our passing Vancouver Island and a cold front hitting all at the same time. We later found out that tons of folks got sick and the Medical Office got flooded with folks. They ran out of Dramamine. One lady we met had to get a shot. She said she was worshipping the porcelain god for 6 hours.
The room was small but we were taken care of by our steward named Aldo. He cleaned every chance he got and turned down our bed every night. We miss Aldo.
Princess Cruises are nice but they do nickel and dime you to death. They charge not only for alcoholic drinks (which is fine) but for soft drinks and coffee. A can of soft drink cost around $2.50 including gratuity. We brought a case of water on board but not drinks. The told me on the phone that Caffeine-Free Diet Coke was served on board. They lied. We finally found drinks in Skagway.
It turns out that the pools were empty the next day because the water splashed out of them during the night. What was funny was that they had a TV channel dedicated to ship info like position and temperature and whatnot and they also reported the pool temperatures. They kept on reporting that even though the pools were emply. I found it funny.
At some point on Sunday or Monday we played Putt Putt. You haven't played Putt Putt unless you've played on a moving boat. I think each hole had an average of 20 hits to finally sink the putt.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

We're Back!

We're home but we sure wish we were still in Alaska. What an amazing place. What we experienced was only the tip of the iceberg but it was awesome. I'll be sharing more with you over the next few days including some pics. The great thing about being home is seeing the cats and we have 3 more days off. Reality is held off until Tuesday. Yahoo!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bon Voyage!

This may be my last entry for a while. Sarah and I are leaving tomorrow for a one-week cruise to Alaska on the Golden Princess. It is a much needed and much anticipated vacation. We've spent the afternoon packing and checking our lists and this, that and the other. It's a lot of work to go on a cruise. I know it's going to be enjoyable but having to pack dress clothes...not something I'd want to do every vacation. If there's time, I may share some pics during the trip but I'm not going to guarantee anything. I'm not taking my iPod and something tells me I should fast from blogging for the week. Why not? It's vacation.
So, tavvauvusi everybody! That's Inuit for "goodbye to you all."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sick Kitty Update

The news is in and it's as good as it can get. Mickey has severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It's treatable and not cancer. WHEW! I think we can now leave for Alaska with a semblance of peace of mind. Our friend Amy (thank you very much) is housesitting for us so she can keep an eye on the cats for us and the vet is sending someone over everyday to give Mickey his meds. That service costs but Mickey is such a poop about taking medicine it's worth it to us to not lose Amy's friendship. (ha)
Mickey will start chemo-like meds when we get back and, hopefully, it will go well and he'll get better. We also have to change his diet eventually to high protein game like venison and duck. I wish we were in Pensacola...I could get all the venison I want from my bro-in-law.
So, goodish news 3 days before we depart on our cruise. I think maybe we can relax now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Y: The Last Man: Unmanned (Vol. 1) by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
In this comic, a mysterious plague kills every male animal on earth except for Yorick and his monkey Ampersand.
That synopsis is short but loaded with fun. Perhaps this whole series was based on the Beatle's song Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey. Anyway, a friend at church asked me if I had read this series and I said no. He then told me it was one of the best things going in comics so naturally I got curious. So, I grabbed the first volume out of the library and read it. It's pretty good. I won't say it knocked my socks off. Perhaps that will come in future volumes. It certainly has the potential to be great. I just wish the art was better. As far as comics go, I'd say the art is a bit below average. Art is pretty important to me. I hope the story gets fantastic because the art is leaving me cold.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Groovebox is the band of my friend Tom who lives in Nashville now. We used to play together in the praise band at church and our acoustic outfit Montage back in SC. Very funky! Play it, Tom!

Monday, May 14, 2007


White Night: Book 9 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
"Someone is targeting the city's magic practitioners, the members of the supernatural underclass who don't possess enough power to become full-fledged wizards. Many have vanished. Others appear to be victims of suicide. But the murderer has left a calling card at one of the crime scenes--a message for Harry Dresden, referencing the book of Exodus and the killing of witches. Harry sets out to find the killer before he can strike again, but his investigation turns up evidence pointing to the one suspect he cannot possibly believe guilty: his half brother, Thomas. Determined to bring the real murderer to justice and clear his brother's name, Harry attracts the attention of the White Court of vampires, becoming embroiled in a power struggle that renders him outnumbered, outclassed, and dangerously susceptible to temptation.
Harry knows that if he screws this one up, a lot of people will die--and one of them will be his brother."*
It must be obvious that I'm a fan of the Dresden Files books if I've stuck with them to book 9. I've enjoyed most of them. This is not one of them. I'm not sure why I didn't like it but I think it has to do with the story that was told. I just didn't care. The story didn't pull me in. It seemed like a half-hearted effort. I'm a bit concerned about future books as well. I heard an interview with Butcher on a podcast and he alluded to the fact that he's having to write these books in a hurry these days to meet deadlines. I believe he said there would be one a year from now on. That's great for fans who are dying to read the next book but it's not great news for story development. It sounds like he's just going to crank them out and that doesn't sound like a good thing to me. Jim, if you read this, take your time. Those of us who want a good story will wait. I promise.
For those of you who have never read any of these books, pick them up from the beginning and read them. They are great. Sure, there's a sidestep here and there. It's actually funny because the other one I didn't care for was Summer Knight. Maybe it's got something to do with the word Knight/Night in the title. So, I've really enjoyed 7 out of 9...that's a pretty good track record.


ArtWalk Report II

I got an email yesterday from Rick (from my writer's group) and he wants to buy one of my collages. Sweet!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Poodle Paw

As a result of our cat's minor surgery the other day he has a rather unfortunate haircut on one leg. It's quite funny. We've taken to calling him "Poodle Paw." We're such good pet parents.

ArtWalk Report

The Good
All in all, it was a positive experience. The match up between my art and the business I was in couldn't have been better. Kerry and Wade were great to work with. My art will be on display at Insurrection Vintage/Fickle Fanny's until they ask me to come get it.
Quite a few folks trickled through over the weekend and I had a lot of good comments. I also talked with a fellow on Saturday that coordinates art shows and print exchanges that might be a good contact for me. I will investigate further over the next few days.
I also found out on Saturday that my art will stay on the event website forever. That's great.
The Bad
I didn't sell anything. Wade talked to someone at another business and they said numbers seemed down from last year. That's a bummer.
The Ugly
Most people were quite nice but we had one lady who was...well...rude. She breezed through rather quickly and on her way out she looked at Kerry and I and said, "So-so" while making the little so-so gesture with her hand. I laughed about it but I think Kerry wanted to strangle her. Ah well, you can't please them all.

Special thanks to all my friends who stopped by to take a look. You guys rock!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Evil Empire

I just went to McDonald's. I always say, "I'm not going back to McDonald's," and then I go back to McDonald's. They have lousy service. The food's probably not food. The people who work there are Academy Award winning performers from Shaun of the Dead. Why do I do this to myself?
The fries.
Oh, and on the way to Mickey D's, I see a couple walking together and both of them are talking on their cell phones. What is up with that?
The world...Hell...handbasket.

Ben Again

Here's the latest from Ben. He didn't receive good news.
I'm not going to lie to you. When I imagined going into the doctor's office today I imagined hearing that it was going to be bad. I really am not creative enough to imagine how bad. I have a rare for of cancer called desmoplastic, which are small round cell tumors. This is an aggressive form of cancer that occurs in males in their teens to early 20s. I'm starting aggressive chemotherapy on Tuesday. I'll be in the hospital 4 days and then home for about 2 weeks, then into the hospital again for 4 days, then home for another 2 weeks, and then back in the hospital again for 4 days. I'm doing ok right now. I don't want to die. I want to live and fight this thing and look back at this 15 years from now and marvel at the goodness of God. I need your support and prayers now more than ever.

Ben's a great guy. Say a little prayer for him if you get the chance. And if you want to keep up with his progress, I've posted a link to his blog (802.Heaven) in my sidebar.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Okay, we have these friends who just moved into a condo. They've been in them a couple of months. He goes out of town and she gets invited to dinner by her neighbors.
We've been living in this building for 2 years now and when you say "hi" to the neighbors they act like you have a huge horn in the middle of your forehead or something. I said "hi" to the new girl that moved into the studio apartment today and she looked at me like, "What planet are you from?" There's this one older woman who jumps everytime she sees me. She's seen me in the building for 2 years! I know I am a big guy but I'm not that ugly, am I? I am not a serial killer. I am your neighbor!
Seattle is going to Hades in a hemp handbasket.


The Gordon's have cleaned house this past year. We had gotten "hooked" on quite a few shows but we've culled it down to just a couple. Right now, we watch Heroes and Jericho. We almost didn't give these new shows a try because the year before we really liked Threshold and Invasion and they both went bye-bye. We used to watch Desperate Housewives (guilty pleasure) and Lost but DH got to be a hassle and Lost got lost. I used to watch Survivor and American Idol but I have given them both up due to the fact that I felt like I was wasting my life watching too much TV. I have art to make and books to read and music to listen to and...well...the list is endless.
So Jericho ended last night. For those of you who don't know, Jericho is a post-nuclear view of life in a small town in Kansas. It's pretty darn good. We don't know if CBS has picked it up for next year or not. We hope so. Regardless, last night's episode pissed us off. They killed off Gerald McRaney's character. Dammit! We loved his grouchy-bear of an outdoors-man-mayor-good-father-devoted-husband character. He got shot. He died. I'm so mad. But you know what? It was good storytelling. It sets up a whole "dumping the leadership on the reluctant prodigal son who will seek out revenge" kind of thing. I also think it means the show will focus more on the young people versus the old. It could play out quite nicely...if the show gets picked up for next season. It's too bad though because McRaney was excellent on the show and Pamela Reed as his wife is as good as I've ever seen her.
Arrgh! I love/hate getting hooked on these stories/characters.

Good Art Won't Match Your Sofa

I remember seeing this t-shirt years ago in Dallas. I regret not buying it. What it says speaks to many a frustration I have with the general public's opinions on art. I was listening to an art podcast on my way into work this morning and they were talking about a website (that I haven't found yet) that lets you pick art by color, theme, etc. In other words, finding a piece of art to match your sofa. Arrrgh! C'mon people! Art is so much more than that. It defies definition. It dwells deep down in the soul of man and, when it feels like it, it spurts to the top like an oil geyser and manifests itself in the real world. I don't know how to describe it but I do know won't match your sofa! If anything, you should buy stuff for your house that matches your art. That's what Sarah and I do.
Anyway, the t-shirt design is by Fred Babb. Check it out. I also like the shirt that says, "Go to your studio and make stuff."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Perchance to Dream

A couple of nights ago I had a doozy of a dream. Forget about that theory that we dream in black and white...this one was in day-glo fluorescent color, baby! In the dream, there was a serial killer lurking about killing folks in extremely gruesome ways. I don't remember anything specific but I remember waking up feeling disturbed and a bit frightened. He looked like a cross between Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th films and Casey Jones from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was huge! His weapon of choice was a machete. I don't remember how I escaped but at the end of the dream I remember floating in a balloon with Popeye and Olive Oyl through the remains of an ancient rollercoaster...a post-apocalyptic Scream Machine per se.
These images are so vivid in my mind I may have to do some art based on them. I don't remember my dreams often but when I do, boy howdy, are they weird!

Sick Kitty

Mickey is at the vet right now having part of his insides pulled out for a biopsy. He's been dropping weight for several months now. He should weight about 12 lbs but is down to 7. Other than that, he seems fine. He's his typical loving, ornery self. The vets say it could be a severe bowel disease or cancer. Two options are treatable but if it's severe cancer it won't be. So say a little prayer for our furry companion. He's been with Sarah for 15 years and with me for 3. We love the little booger. We want him better but we would also like some answers before we leave on our Alaskan cruise on the 19th.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

ArtWalk Prep

I got all of my art hung today in preparation for the ArtWalk this weekend. As a bonus, the owners of the business want to keep my stuff up after the ArtWalk and sell it on commission. I was hoping they would. They really seem to like my stuff and they like that it fits well with their funky vintage clothing motif. So, all I have to do is show up Friday and Saturday and then leave. Yeehaw! I now have art selling in two places in Seattle and this one is 6 blocks from our apartment.
Good stuff. And the ArtWalk hasn't even started yet.


A co-worker of ours is going through the poop. You can read about it on his blog. For those of you who pray, give Ben a shout out. For those of you who don' some positive energy his way.

Monday, May 07, 2007


One of the anagrams of my name is


Makes you think, doesn't it?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Art News

I found out yesterday that I now have a show lined up at a coffeehouse in Shoreline for August. In that particular instance, my work will be up for a month and we will have an opening night. Through a friend, I found out about a comedy club that's looking for artists to display their work on consignment. I have no way of knowing if any of this will bear fruit in the future. I'm just going to keep making art and putting it out there any way I can.

Free Comic Book Day II

Sarah and I walked to the local pub for a burger and Cinco de Mayo Margarita last night. After the meal, we waddled over to the place where I'm displaying my art this weekend to touch base on a few last minute details. Following that, we stopped by the comics shop to see how FCBD was going. By this time, they were begging us to take them so they could get rid of them. We grabbed a couple of handfulls and, after stopping for ice cream, headed home.
I love living in a neigborhood where you can walk and do alot. If we just had a decent bookstore and a movie theater, we'd be set. We have everything else. Within walking distance of our apartment we have our vet, the library, a number of coffee shops, several pizza joints, a pub or two, ethnic food out the ying-yang, antique shops, a couple of okay bookstores, a comics shop, 2 grocery stores, 2 drug stores, Blockbuster, a toy store, a thrift store, McDonald's, and a Fred Meyer dept. store. And that's just scratching the surface. With gas prices soaring, it's time to brush off the loafers and do some hoofing.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Free Comic Book Day

I totally forgot about it being Free Comic Book Day until I walked to work and passed the comics store. They had a table out front and lots of people milling around. I went to work, did my thing and came back. I grabbed a few freebies and then picked up some 5 for a buck comics to use in my collage work.
I like to go into a comics shop every once in a while just to see what's happening in the world of comics. I don't collect anymore because it's just too expensive and there's too much to choose from. When the comics went up over $2.50, that's when I quit. I have one box of comics I want to keep. I also have a box I wouldn't mind selling but I know they're not worth much. I might just use them for my collages too.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling (audio)
I have read this book twice now and listened to it once. This is my first audio Harry Potter experience. It was very enjoyable. All of the books are read by Jim Dale and he is a very talented guy. He gives every character a distinct voice and I don't know how he keeps up with them all. It's truly amazing. It is true that certain characters bear resemblances to each other (like Scrimjaw sounds a bit like Greyback who sounds a bit like Hagrid) but that's to be expected with one man reading a book with dozens of characters.
In general, I really enjoy all of the books. Only on this listen did I detect something that annoyed me. After the death of Dumbledore (c'mon...if you don't know by now...what planet do you live on?) everyone gathers in the hospital wing and expounds on the attack by the Death Eaters. The exposition gets a bit long and drawn out and Dumbledore gets lost in the shuffle. It's only when we finally get to the funeral that we actually begin to feel some grief from the characters. Another thing that annoyed me but is just a part of the books is the fact that after 5 years of Harry thwarting Voldemort there is still no one who will listen to his opinion without saying, "Oh, Harry. You're just paranoid." No wonder he's so frustrated. I'm glad he's leaving the school in the final book. I don't know if I can stand anymore of his dealings with stupid adult teachers and clueless teens.
Last but not least, let me just say that I am looking forward to the last book and the 5th movie that are coming out soon. I am going to order the book on Amazon next week so that I can get it pretty quick. Call me a nerd if you like. If a nerd is someone who enjoys a good story then that's me. And yes, I will re-read Order of the Phoenix before the movie comes out.
Okay, nerd it is.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Water Facts: Bottled or Tap?

Curious? Go here.
And just in case you're dying to know...Sarah and I drink tap water filtered thru a Brita pitcher. The water in Seattle is quite good. The worst water that I've ever experienced was in Texas. Ft. Worth's water tasted like dirt.

Greenwood-Phinney ArtWalk

The ArtWalk is almost upon me and I have alot of work to do. I still have to scan and frame all my art as well as get some copies made of my artist statement and some other incidentals I need for the event. It'll all get done...somehow.
For all you locals that can come out for the party, remember it's Friday, May 11th (meet the artist night) and Saturday May 12th from noon to 5. I'm gonna keep buggin' you to come so you might as well resign yourself to it.
And...just in case you're interested...I am now listed on the ArtWalk site. Go check it out here.

Writer's Group

I've been hoping for a long time to hook up with a writer's group. I spotted an ad in a neighborhood paper regarding interest in starting one. We emailed around and finally found a time to meet. Last night was our first critique of our work. I must say I left encouraged as the guys had some very good ideas regarding some children's poems I let them read. Rick had written a cute children's story and Ted submitted 2 chapters of a sci-fi book for tweens. Both of these guys are very talented writers. Ted has done a lot of writing. He's written a few Star Trek novels for the YA crowd and he has a resume chock full of TV and film writing. He's written for shows I used to watch as a kid. If you want to check out his stuff, go here.
So far there's only 3 of us but we hope to generate some more interest and have a couple more people join us. If not, I hope the 3 of us will plug along. I know it will be beneficial for me. If anything, it will keep me accountable and, hopefully, keep me writing.