Monday, February 26, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: Opening a Can of Earworms

Earworm: a term for a song stuck in one's head, particularly an annoying one.

It's all your fault, Ish.

It all started innocently enough, last week, when chadams gave a less-than-glowing review of a Guns n Roses song. Naturally, with the AQ crowd involved, the conversation spiraled downward into a morass of musical mediocrity. And then, in a stunning blow to mental freedom, Ish posted the lyrics to "The Llama Song." And as if this wasn't bad enough, I found this Flash Video...

Ish, I shall have my revenge. Somehow. Somewhere. But it shall be mine.

1) I'll have your spam, I love it!

2) Add a pinch of Sharpie, for seasoning.

3) Portrait of the Avatar as a Young Stamp.

4) Can you make the Crew cut?

5) This is why I will forgive chadams for starting the "bad song" thing.

6) Papaya Flips.

7) Cootiequette.

8) Academy Rewards.

9) For Premium Members: a cool new project!

10) Whose woods these are I think I know,
But dang! These clues confuse me so!

11) Carving out a new life.

12) My kind of drink!

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go listen to incessant refrains of "It's a Small World" to get this Llama thing out of my head...


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: Work, work, work, work, work...

Being a dad can be hard work.

Case in point: my daughter Juli turned 13 this week. As a present for this momentous occasion, I am with her and some friends at a hotel (where I am typing this), where we spent several hours swimming in the very warm indoor pool. Then, back to the room for some movies, a very funny game of Pictionary, and enough junk food to fill a 7-11. We drew straws, my wife and I, to see who would have to oversee this excursion: I lost. heheheheeeee....

Sometimes, it's good to lose.

1) To see, or not to see; that is the question.

2) Transatlantic Transplanted Planter.

3) I'll trade this Barry Bonds for a Paul Gauguin...

4) LTC: Love Those Cards!

5) Go with the Flo(rida).

6) Bye George!

7) Blocking tackled.

8) Now we know Ryan's weak spot...

9) When Steve Jobs posts on AQ.

10) Last one in the pool is a rotten egg!

11) Map Quest.

12) No need to get hostel!

13) Baubles, Bangles, and Bright Shiny Beads.

14) But moooooom! It wasn't my fault!

And on that note, I need to go stop a pillow fight... or at least show them how to do it right!


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: Setting a Bad President

Good Evening, boxers!
I apologize for being late(r than usual) with this blog entry. President's Day hit, and, well, I guess I was too busy doing Holiday-y things instead (and YES, that means Letterboxing!)

SO as a Special Treat for being so patient (as if you had a choice), I hereby reward you by SKIPPING all the usual introductory ramblings (such as this), and going straight into the compendium...

1) Kim and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. We truly hope it gets better!

2) Nitrocat and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ditch.

3) Sweet'n'Sour and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad scratch. (See any patterns forming?)

4) D&D: short for "Dung and Drag", right?

5) Since I am posting this, does it become "WOB"?

6) Budding artists.

7) Is that a PT in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

8) Shameless plug...

9) DSS report. So many posts, so little time. Sounds like it was a GREAT event, though - hats off to Lock Wench!

10) Watch out or Webfoot will rough you up a bit...

11) Take off, eh!

12) Virtual history lesson.

13) 300.

14) Now, kids, a "Cootie Club" is NOT a weapon...

15) An apple a day.

16) Power to the People! (Note: Premium Membership link)

17) Cootie Call (hey, sitzmak had the perfect title already, what am I supposed to do?)

18) No Cootie Left Behind.

19) Did someone get any videos of this?

20) Tutor the Turtle. He needs help.

And finally, I want to wrap up with something non-AQ board related. I recently found out that our very own Shiloh once had a part in a Music Video! Check it out: play the video, and at timestamp 03:14, there is a closeup of shiloh! Woohoo!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: We Toad the Line

Ok, I know you are probably getting tired of all the "toad" jokes. But a really cool thing happened this week, and I wanted to make sure it didn't go unheralded. You see, it ISN'T JUST ME that thinks this whole "Encouragement" thing is a good idea (if you don't know what I am talking about, see my previous Toad Hollow posts). D5 Mama of Dunhom5 has taken it one step further, and is actually DOING something with the concept! So, Three Cheers for D5 Mama, and 42 (and counting) Cheers for all those wonderful Letterboxers who are willing to take the time and energy out of their busy schedules to make someone feel a little better.

I am so proud to be part of this community.

But I know why you're here... you want the rundown on all the stuff you may have missed over the week, without having to slog through 7395 posts (not an actual number). (Ok, it IS an actual number, but not THE actual number.) (If I wasn't so lazy, I might go back and figure out the actual number, but I am, so I won't.) (So there.)

1) We want... information... (bonus points for identifying the quote )

2) P. O., Canada!

3) The Shipping News.

4) Stone Soup For the Letterboxing Soul

5) A Modest Proposal.

6) Letterboxers are a Romantic bunch.

7) It's Valen-Time!

8) Now look what you've started, Sprite!

9) Public Service Announcement, from Auntie Biotic

10) She's yarning for perfection.

11) Strike One for Ryan: Lohan Outside.

12) Strike Two for Ryan: Better luck to Morro?

13) A very close call.

14) If you haven't got your stealth, you haven't got anything.

15) Find a happy place... find a happy place...

16) Virtually astounding!

17) Nice recovery.

18) The Tortoise and the Hair.

19) How to be subjective.

20) Cacheing in on her experience.

So... there ya go!

Oh, and by the way... since my last blog, there were actually 1,151 AQ Board posts. So there.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: I Toad You So!

It arrived! Woohoo!

I received a packet of "goodies" from Ralph Morrison. For those of you who don't remember, Mr. Morrison is the man who "invented" The Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement, that I blathered on about seemingly incessantly a week or two ago. Ok, so, I am continuing with the blatherations.

The packet contains articles about the Toad Hollow phenomenon, several handouts from various Toad Hollow workshops, various renditions of the Toad Hollow logo (more on that later), and - this is sooooo cool - a Toad Hollow song! Sung to the tune of "Clementine".. all together now!

O Toad Hollow,
O Toad Hollow,
Where adventure does begin,
You'll be glad you came to visit,
You'll want to come for sure again.

Walk a Trail,
Hear a Story,
Watch the craftsmen at their best,
Then check the Mill out,
Buy some flour,
In memory of the Storyfest!

And now, about the logo...
I would like to scan the logo and post it online (once I get permission from Mr Morrison, of course). What I would like to do is have as many of you wonderful Letterboxers out there as possible, make a Toad Hollow Stamp, and plant it for Toad Hollow Week of Encouragement (March 14-21). Plant is somewhere special to you, someplace where you can encourage and thank others for their work, or where someone has encouraged you... or someplace as a "tribute" to someone special. It's a wonderful sentiment, and I think Letterboxers are uniquely qualified to "spread the word"!

And once again, I would like to thank Leabhar and Nitrocat. I can't say that enough!

And now, the weekend in review:

1) Mayo always receive good news.

2) A Marvy-less idea!

3) The Moors the Merrier.

4) Did you mich the last gathering? Don't Michigan!

5) Because this is my blog, and the Dungeons&Dragons ring is a blast!

6) Owl in the family.

7) A little enthusiasm goes a long way!

8) Rock n Rock boxes.

9) Some good advice.

10) Save the Stumphouse, Save the World.

11) I've been wedding for this issue of "Batman" to come out!

12) Nickels and Bones.

Have a great week, everyone! And I hope all you New Yawkers have a GREAT time at Desperately Seeking Sun this weekend! Keep an eye out for my box, will ya?


Friday, February 09, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: I've Been Googled!

It happened. The inevitable. They forced me into it, I had no choice. I went kicking and screaming, but went nonetheless.

This blog has now been googlized. Google bought Blogger, the blog hosting service, and has been TRYING to convince me for a few months to switch over. But like a piece of Orange Grade B PZKut, I gently resisted. And then, tonight, as I sallied fifth (a fifth is better than a forth), to impart my impartial impertinence upon you, my avid readers, I was blocked. I was not allowed to do anything until I switched from the Blogger engine to the Google engine. Oh, I know you probably can't tell. Frankly, as I enter this entry, I can't really tell the difference either. But I know, deep down inside... I know. Will it look different? Will it act different? Will I suddenly be wittier, cleverer, cogenter, and more letterboxerer? I don't know. But if I am, you can blame google.

And here we go...

1) Starting out with a bit of good news.

2) I haven't been prepositioned in years.

3) A binding resolution.

4) Now all we need is a Theme Song...

5) A little strapped for Cash.

6) Missouri loves company.

7) If Altoid you once, altoid you a million times... USE COMMON SENSE!

8) Boxing Barracuda, Birthday Boy.

9) Ryan is inviting trouble again.

10) A Tisket, a tasket, I really want a basket!

11) This week's self-indulgent link.

12) I think they're shovelling more than snow, here...

13) Polly want a tracker?

14) I'm gonna washer that man right out of my lair.

15) Let the Games begin!

16) Pungent Bob on Purity. Can you say "irony"?

17) Portrait by the Artist as a Young Duckling.

18) Ahhhh... so THAT'S what she meant...

Ok, so... did you notice a difference? Did google improve my performance? Or was it the same old schlock that you have come to know and ... well, come to know.

Hope you all have a boxful weekend. See ya on Monday!


Monday, February 05, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: Post Superbowl... Sounds Like a Cereal!

Good (insert time of day here), Fellow Boxers!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I am guessing that a lot of people actually got out to DO some boxing this weekend, because it seemed as if the Boards were a bit quieter than most weekends. Or maybe it's just me. Or maybe it's because of something else... was there some special Sporting Event this weekend? Hmmm....

I did a lot of carving this weekend, and am about to embark on a very unusual Postal Ring: Dungeons and Dragons. I have linked to this before, so it's not really news, but I AM very excited. I know almost NOTHING about D&D, and so can honestly claim complete ignorance as an excuse for all the stupid things I do. C'mon! How often do you get THAT privilege? Woohoo! The PLB equivalent of "Get out of Jail Free"!

Anyway, on with the weekend:

1) Moby Richard III

2) Cran-iversary Party

3) The Write Stuff

4) Dungeons and Draggings.

5) Sprite is worried about "looking weird"???

6) She's older, so ladder go first.

7) It's neither working nor shopping, and yet it's a Workshop.

8) Accuse? Gesundheit!

9) Things are lurking good!

10) Simple, succinct, and to the Pointer... err, Airedale...

11) Do Be a Newbie.

12) Mystery mystery.

And that's a wrap. Until later this week, have a good, uh, week!


Friday, February 02, 2007

Boxers 'n' Briefs: A Tale of Leabhar, Nitrocat, and a Very Amazing Man


Let me repeat that, because I can't think of anything else that so succinctly sums it up: wow.

The unthinkable has happened: I am at a loss for words! Why am I suddenly just reduced to a whimpering, blathering idiot? Because of two wonderful ladies and one amazing man. Let me 'splain.

Last Boxers'n'Briefs, I offered up a challenge: whoever was first to sate my curiosity by telling me about the "Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement" would win the world-acclaimed dubious honor of being, uh, honored in the blog. *Leabhar* and *Nitrocat*, those googling goddesses, those search-engine sirens, those masters of mustering mysteries, came through with flying colors. Now, before I share their wonderful stories, let me ALSO offer my heartfelt thanks and kudos to all the others that whiled away many a good hour in this quest... Galaxy4, TrekkieGal, kascadekat, and others whose efforts remained anonymous; your efforts were not in vain. And Now, the Rest of the Story...

I got an email from *Nitrocat*, giving me the name, address and phone number of a gentleman named Ralph Morrison, Director, Toad Hollow, in Michigan. *Nitrocat* then CALLED the number, to get more information, but got no answer. And yes, brownielocks (galaxy4), it was the same person YOU came up with. Then, shortly afterward, *Leabhar* sent me an email giving the same contact information, but in addition, found his webpage, and offered this:

Mr. Morrison portrays (among other personas) a rabbi specializing in biblical stories, and a peddler from rural 1950s Michigan, residing in the mythical Toad Hollow "where you imagination comes alive, your dreams come true, and old fashioned values are honored."

*Leabhar* then emailed Mr Morrison, to get more information. It was at this point that I declared, on the last blog, *Leabhar* as the "winner". But did it end there? NO! I subsequently got another email from *Nitrocat*, and it said:

I just talked to Ralph, the sponsor of Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement. This story gets wilder by the minute, but here it is: 20 (or so) years ago, Ralph was teaching a class in MI on storytelling. Someone named Eunice moved to MI from Toad Hollow school. Ralph was entranced with the name and tried to find out about the school and Toad Hollow...long story....he eventually found some info. The school was gone, but there was still a cemetery there, so he and his wife and artist son drove there to see it. On the way he had his artist son draw a logo for Toad Hollow. And by coincidence, when they got there, the logo matched the logo at the cemetery. When he got home, he was given a chance to purchase from the county "Scott's Mill" to form a park. Many volunteers with little money turned a dilapidated park into a non-profit living history park with complete 1800s town, including working grist mill, museum, library... all dismantled from other locations, moved to the park, and reassembled. They started doing volunteer workshops in the community teaching writing, storytelling blacksmithing, sheep sheering and other early American Arts.The volunteers wanted to know what more they could do to encourage people so they started working on a personal level with cards, meals and other things to become involved in other people's lives. Then someone suggested that it be "official" on the calendar and the rest know. The sad part is that once the county realized what they had missed, they took the park away, but not before the "voluntoads" (as they call themselves) dismantled and donated the structures and things to other organizations doing similar work. So all the county got back was the park. Ralph and the voluntoads still continue to do their workshops and other things, but they are a little more low profile now. As Ralph said, "The county can't take that away. Because Toad Hollow is really in your heart."

You can't make stuff like this up!

And still, did it end there? A RESOUNDING NO!

Because *Leabhar* then sent me yet ANOTHER email, and this time, she ALSO had talked to the wonderfully garrulous Mr Morrison. To wit:

I just got off the phone with him (Mr Morrison), he reiterated everything that he told Nitrocat, and I got a little additional information as well. Toad Hollow still functions as a non-profit organization, though on a low-keyed basis, and the former park volunteers are still conducting their workshops and classes and service events. A lot of them seem to focus on getting inner-city kids out to the country, and teaching hand crafts and skills. In addition to the two days we're already mentioned, there is a whole Toad Hollow WEEK of encouragement, March 14-21.

Not only that, *Leabhar* was able to find an ACTUAL PICTURE of the original Toad Hollow Cemetery that inspired it all!!

Surely, you must be thinking, this is where it ended. WRONG AGAIN!

Because I was SO inspired by the wonderful volunteerism and community spirit that Mr Morrison inspired, that I decided to call him myself. Well, actually I called him "Ralph", not "myself", but you know what I mean! I spent nearly an hour on the phone with him, and in addition to hearing more about Toad Hollow and the above stories from him , I was also able to tell Ralph about letterboxing, AtlasQuest, and the fabulous and eclectic "community" that has gathered electronically to share the obsession(s).

Ahhhh.. that MUST be all there is to it. Well, I HOPE not. For you see, as *Leabhar* mentioned, March 14-21 is the Toad Hollow WEEK of Encoragement. Let's try to do a little of what Mr Morrison has achieved and inspired, and show our Encouragement for the people around us. Take a moment to make a card for a friend, carve a stamp and dedicate it to a teacher, or just take a buddy to lunch. Let someone know you APPRECIATE and ENCOURAGE them for who they are, because THAT, my friends, is EXACTLY what the Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement is all about.

Mr Morrison has promised to send me more information and pictures, etc., of Toad Hollow and the organization's activities, and I will certainly share here when they arrive. In the meantime, I want to know if there are any letterboxers reading this who are from the Kalamazoo MI area, and if so, would they be willing to help me organize a Letterbox series in the area dedicated to this wonderful Volunteer and his Voluntoads? You can certainly bet that when I get the actual logo from Mr Morrison, I'll be carving away!

By the way, any inaccuracies in the above stories are most certainly my own, as I am not a very good note-taker while jabbering on the phone. Ralph, if you are reading this (I told him this is where the sudden flurry of phone calls originated - it's all my fault!), forgive me any misstatements!

Thank you *Leabhar* and *Nitrocat*.

Ha! I made you read through all that before we got to what you REALLY wanted to see... the Weekly Summary!

1) Duct, Duct, Goose!

2) The Officer let it slide.

3) Flow, flow, flow your Thoughts, Gently 'cross the screen...

4) Wink Rules!

5) Preative Writing.

6) Don't worry, he doesn't read THIS either!

7) Syntaxes Hold'Em

8) Musee des Bow Arts

9) Half-pint halfback?

10) MO UR Complete!

11) And they call ME a dip!

12) If nothing else, The Land Pirates have Character!

13) I'm ready for my closeup now, Mr DeMille...

14) Congratulations! How'd Jamaica cry?

15) Once again, making the rest of us poor slobs look bad.

16) A bird in the hand is... gross.

17) Things you never knew you needed to know...

18) Ryan gets board so easily.

And... that's it! I know, I know... it was a loooong post. But did I mention how excited I am about the whole Toad Hollow thing? How PROUD I am of *Leabhar* and *Nitrocat*? And how I am looking forward to bludgeoning you electronically over the head with all this again on March 14-21, when I try to drum up some Letterboxing Enthusiasm for Toad Hollow Week of Encouragement? This is NOT the last of it, count on that!