Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was pretty good. The bird, cooked expertly by Sweet Enemy was wonderful. We'd gotten it locally; since it was from the farmer at the end of our street, it couldn't be more local unless we raised it ourselves. It was expensive, but what we got in return is a really good turkey fed on bugs, squash and apples and allowed to run around outside like an idiot with all it's sisters for the summer. What we also get is a farmer that can stay in the area and leave the farm to his kids rather than have to sell it to a developer.

Family was cool, though my mom was a bit ill again. We all had to harp on her to go to the doctor on Monday. Sheesh. Sweet Enemy's dad and Awesome Step-Mother (the antithesis of Evil Step-Mother) came, and though I was worried, all got along fine. I wasn't worried about fighting, but just everyone having something to talk about instead of sitting around. My little niece was a hoot. She didn't nap on the way up and by the time six PM rolled around she was exhausted, but didn't want to sleep; there were too many new and interesting things to see. This was her first road trip as a cognitive human being. What makes me happiest is that I seem to be a fan-favorite. Let's hope that lasts. I'd really like her to make our place her home away from home; Underhill is too awesome not to share.

What made it pretty good rather than awesome? Well, my family stayed the night but left at ten AM. I had hoped that they'd spend one more day and we could go downtown and see the lake or maybe just walk in the local park or hit the farm. It's a bit... worrisome. Was it us? Our house? What can we do to make it more hospitable? I think an answer might be to let my parents sleep in our bedroom rather than his the fouton in the living room. Wasn't that rude of me? I feel bad about not thinking of that.

Aside from being more respectful to my parents, it will allow my mom go to bed early (as she's want to do) and to hang around in bed a little later. As it is now, since we don't want to disturb her, the night ends early. Also, since we don't have but the one fouton/couch, and some chairs, it makes it harder to hang out and relax when someone is sleeping in the morning. This lack of comfort creates and inertia that makes it easy for people just to jump in the car and go home. Maybe next year I can convince them to stay more than one day. Maybe getting that digital antenna so we can get more than one station will help...

Long Lost Friends Episode Two

A while back I did a post with some slides I'd found of an old friend named Andy Bogard. Now, we're on to my oldest lost friend, Dave Jessing. This is the only photograph I have of him. It was taken on the last day I saw him.

I knew Dave since I was in junior high, he was a year younger than me. He lived in the same town as my Weird Uncle Jim and was one of two kids my age on his street (a strange, dea stayed friends until '90 when I lost touch with him. To this day, I'm not sure why we hooked up. If we had gone to high school together, he wouldn't have been allowed to have anything to do with me. He was very good looking, captain of the football team, and put on muscle so easily he'd often have to stop working out for months because he'd get too big (in contrast I was a pudgy nerd who looked like a young Meatloaf). But, he was an extremely nice guy. Kind, friendly and fun. I slept over WUJ's house a lot and Dave and I hung out for hours, playing guns, walking the railroad tracks to the local drugstore to buy comics, watching ninja movies, re-enacting ninja movies. In short, he was one of my best friends.

I think he was a closet nerd and enjoyed the fact that he could do all of these nerdy things with me and I didn't affect his social standing. Not that he was embarrassed by me. In fact he invited me to accompany him to a graduation party one of his classmates was putting on and I ended up chatting with a cute cheerleader who went out with me a few days later (keep in mind that this was a year and a half into my first USCG hitch and I was in better shape and had a better haircut)

In 1990, we saw each other for the last time. It was February and he took me to see a cool sculpture in a rich guy's yard in the Uxbridge/Whitinsville area. I have no idea where it is, but check it out:

I haven't seen him since. I'd like to see him again even though I'm not sure what we'd talk about after eighteen years (wow. That IS a long time). I just hope he's doing very well.

Listening to while posting: Prairie Home Companion on the stereo upstairs (it's that loud for some reason)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No one ever outsourced for quality

Those words were printed on a home-made sign at the Cabot Hosiery, the last sock maker in New England (if not the USA). They make, what are the Best Socks Ever.

I mean it. Putting these socks on is like slipping into bed with your spouse or significant other. Even after three days of hiking, they still feel nice. These are not everyday socks, these are technical beauties for being outdoors (in fact, Cabot is now making socks for the Army and USMC). If you spend any time on your feet, you will want a pair of these socks. These are so nice, you'll find that you won't wear them around the house for fear of wearing or tearing them and will buy some slippers.

I find two things when I give these socks as gifts. First, when the recipient opens the package they say "Oh. Great. Socks." (sarcastic voice), however, after they use them if I give a second pair the response is "Oh, great! Socks! (very happy voice). This has happened every time.

Secondly, those who I give them to also gift them, but to deserving people. For instance, my dad, I love him very much, but these would always be Just Socks to him. My oldest friend, a hunter and outdoorsman, now there's a guy that responds with the very happy voice.

Today was the second weekend of the annual sock sale. The Cabots open up their factory floor and set up a gigantic sock sale. I mean gigantic. Seconds, irregulars, last year's stuff, running socks, hunting socks, military surplus socks, dress socks, kids socks; thousands of socks.

You go in, guided by a semi-maze of sock-shipping boxes. At the entrance to the sale room, an employee hands you an old plastic shopping bag and you go to town, milling about with yuppies, hunters, UVM green hipsters and deer camp widows. It's hard to stop. It's also hard to keep track of who you are buying socks for. My hunting friend and my chef brother-in-law were getting some as gifts and my buddy KickEnemyMen and his wife sent a basic want list. I hope I got everything. In all, I spent $152 (with 10% off for going over $100) and Sweet Enemy spent $142. This was an investment. These socks last and last and are, as I've said and will say again, are the Best Socks Ever.

If you can find 'em. Get 'em. They will be spendy ($13 or so a pair), but you will never buy a better fitting, feeling and wearing pair of socks. You will also be supporting a made in America sock. Also, don't for get to buy them at your locally-owned gear store and not REI, EMS or what have you. If you must go internet, go Moosejaw. It's a small independent online outdoor gear store with fantastic customer service and a great sense of humor.

Also, I think someone needs to make t-shirts with that saying on them.

Listening to while posting: "What's Going On?" by Four Non-Blondes

Thursday, November 20, 2008

no art, just words

one really cool thing I learned about Barak Obama from a British Newspaper that I thought Swinebread would want to know:

He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics

Wow. If I hadn't voted for him already...

Listening to while posting: Black Cherry by Goldfrapp. But it's stuck in my head and not on my stereo. Stupid earworms

Monday, November 17, 2008

up is down

Down is up. A very intelligent, down-to-Earth african-american is president-elect of the United States and Suns of Charybdis has two new pages.

I'm sorry to equate the updating of a comic with Barak Obama's election. It just felt good to mention it again. Heck, I became a fan back in 2005 when he was on the Not My Job segment of Wait, Wait. Don't Tell Me. Really. It made me wish he was our Senator and we've got a democrat, a socialist and a guy who Dick Cheney told to "f*** yourself".

Ain't life grand?

Listening to while posting: Barak Obama on Wait Wait, Don't Tell me from 2005. with this incredibly, prescient bit by related by Peter Segal:

" No, Mr. President, it says Obama with a 'B'." said Rep. Jan Schakowsky and the president said "Obama? Never heard of him" and Rep. Schakowsky said "Oh, you will, Mr. President, you will"


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

no art post

Sorry. Here's a meaningless meme I was emailed by Sweet Enemy last night.

I'll hit AndreZero, Snab and Becca.

1. Five names you go by:

a. Rick
b. Rich
c. Richard
d. Arkonbey
e. Barkon

2. Three things you are wearing right now:

a. brown 70's vintage wool shirt
b. cool web belt that I can't find any more of
c. Land's End clogs

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:

a. to be good at drawing
b. for the engine cowling on the 1/48 Boeing P-26 Peashooter I'm building right now to actually go together so I can finish the darn thing and get going with hating how bad I am at building models

4. Three people who will probably fill this out:

none that'll respond by email, but I'll post it to Becca, Snab and AndreZero

5. Two things you did last night:

a. Went to a local photography group meeting for the first time
b. Finished pencilling the next two pages of my recent comic collaboration

6. Two things you ate today:

a. Homemade chocolate cake (no frosting)
b. good, fresh, dark fair-trade coffee

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:

a.Sweet Enemy
b.Scott C.

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:

a. Finish inking my comic pages
b. continue working on my P-26

9. Two longest car rides:

a.Traverse City, MI to Elizabeth City, NC. over 1200 mi (about 22 hours)
b.Elizabeth City to Northbridge, MA. In a blizzard. Normal 10 hr. drive stretched into a 23 hr. non-stop drive.

10. Two of your favorite beverages:

a. Coffee
b. guinness