Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Week #52

08week52

Goodbye, 2008!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik
Happy Birthday, Paul!

birthday08

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Start the New Year Right

RatCalendar

I apologize for missing yesterday's "What's On My Mind." To make up for it, I've got a special deal for you. I'm selling my Rasputin Across the U.S. Calendar in my Cafe Press shop for the minimum price: $14.99. That means there's no mark up and I'm not profiting from the sale of it in any way.

Each month features a picture of the ever-popular rubber rat, Rasputin, in front of a famous landmark. Here's a run-down of the months:

January: South Carolina
February: St. Louis Arch
March: Grand Canyon (Arizona)
April: Indiana
May: Prehistoric Forest
June: Route 66
July: A conestoga in Nebraska
August: Mississippi River
September: Oregon Trail
October: Mt. Shasta (California)
November: Bend, Oregon
December: Interstate 80, Wyoming

So folks, if you don't have a giant rubber rat in your life, get a 2009 calendar that features one. Click here to get to the shop.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sometimes On Sundays I Don't Write Letters

Dear Readers,
Today I'm tired. I drove back to The 'Nati from Grandma's today. The drive is a little over 400 miles, or 7 hours. Right now, I still have a bag or two that I need to unpack.

Because I'm sure you're dying to know: I had a blast at Grandma's! I was able to meet a lot of my Mom's family that I've never met before (for those who don't know, Alaska is a heckuva long ways from any family). Sorry, I don't have any pictures, but there were plenty of camera flashes going off (hint, hint, if you have pictures, please send them along).

While I'm disappointing you today, this week should hold some interesting posts. So, stay tuned.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Saturday, December 27, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer:
People

09gear03

Folks, this is the final installment of the 2009 Guide. The last thing Everyday Adventurers will need in 2009 is people. See, people can not only accompany you on adventures, but they can watch out for you, and, most importantly, listen to your stories.

So get out there and find someone to sit shotgun, walk the trail first (so you don't have to feel spiderwebs on your face), or go to lunch with so you can tell them all about your latest adventure!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

PS. If you happen to see your likeness in the doodle above, it is of no fault of mine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Week #51

08week51

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Came Early to Corey the Cat!

kuddlekup01

Last Friday I did my Christmas shopping for Corey the Cat!. I purchased him the Mysterious Kuddle Kup, which works like a magnet because the secret is in the fluff. Instead of making Corey the Cat! wait, I decided to give it to him early.

Observez-vous!

kuddlekup02

kuddlekup03

I think he likes it.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, December 22, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM31

1. It's freezing.

2. It's freakin' freezing.

3. My apartment is an ice box.

4. This is pretty much because I don't really have a back door.

5. See, I hate nagging.

6. So I don't nag my landlord to fix my back door.

7. (It's so bad, I probably couldn't live here while they fix it--it needs a whole new door.)

8. And when I moved in, I signed an "as is" form.

9. I took the apartment as it was.

10. To top it off, I can't turn up the heat.

11. And a space heater does nothing unless I'm in front of it.

12. But, my apartment is super cheap and in a good location.

13. Along with not paying for the heat I can't control, I'm not paying for electricity.

14. So, that space heater?

15. It's running non-stop.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
You do need to drive to 3 different grocery stores--the brownies are worth it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Yes, that is the package you sent me. It did get to me in good time.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Yes, I will see you soon. And we will have brownies.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear KBezzie,
Please, this blog is rated G. Thank you.

And, to run like a superstar you have to be superskinny and superfast. Both of these I am not.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I'm watching my knees. Remember, one knee already pops and grinds when I climb stairs.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


RE: WEEK #50
Dear Mom,
Yes, I write lists just to have lists. Sometimes I'll do something and put it on a list just so I can cross it off. Give it a try sometime.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


RE: 2009 GUIDE
Dear Anonymous,
No, I am not a "birder." I'd call myself a "casual bird glancer." I checked out that bird guide because I had seen a couple of interesting birds while kayaking and I wanted to know what they were.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

PS. You may think you're being tricky by not signing your name, but I know who you are!


Dear Mom,
Do you have a problem with me just now getting to the guidebooks? I'll let you know that I bought both an Ohio and Kentucky hiking guidebook not too many months after I had moved here. And, the guidebook shown with this original post I checked out of the library a few months ago.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer:
Guidebooks Galore

ohiobirdguide

Everyday Adventurers are gonna have to know their stuff in 2009. That's why I recommend acquiring all kinds of guides. Bird guides, plant and tree guides, how to do this in the outdoors, and how to avoid that in the wilderness.

Folks, you only have a week and a half or so left of 2008. Go to the bookstore (or library) and start studying up!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Week #50

08week50

Hot dog! The year is almost over!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Book Review: Complete Book of Women's Running by Dagny Scott Barrios

runningbook

If you've been looking hard at my planner scans, you will have noticed notes in green that mention something about a walk/run. That's right, folks, I've started to jog. And to help me with this endeavor, I bought and read most of this book.

This book is very, very handy and covers everything from apparel to running pregnant. (I can't claim to have read the entire book--I skipped those parts about running pregnant, running old, running young, and running like you're a superstar.) I don't have a whole lot to say about this book except that it's a good guide and I'll probably reference it a couple of times while I transition from walking to jogging.

The most important thing about this book is that it's written for women. So, if you're about female empowerment, read this book--even if you don't plan on running. After reading this book, I realized that jogging is something that makes me and my sisters strong and stronger. We need to start a revolution, womyn!

Ah, I kid bekause I kare. But seriously, if you're looking to get into running and you're more of a lady than a gentleman, read this book.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, December 15, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM30

1. I'm still eating oatmeal for breakfast 5-6 mornings a week. Just thought I'd let you know.

2. I still have a couple of cards and one package to mail.

3. I received my 3rd festive package today. (It came from Budnik HQ in AK.)

4. I'm so excited about making "Budnik Brownies" for my Grandma's holiday party. I leave on the 26th. The party is on the 27th. If I make them on the 25th, they won't be the freshest (still good, but not super-fresh). So, I emailed my Grandma asking if her oven is going to be busy the morning of the 27th. If it's not, I'll bring all the makings and bake them there. This would be the freshest possibility.

5. There's so much I have to do in general and because the anniversary of my arrival to Cincinnati is coming up along with my birthday. Basically, I have to renew my car and renter's insurance along with change the registration tag on my license.

6. You're right, I didn't draw anything that has to do with #5.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear Birdie,
I'm glad that you're informed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
1. Stop dissing on my Sigg water bottle.
2. Those banana chips are delicious.
3. Don't preach to me about the nutritional value of banana chips.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I've had a life for a very, very long time. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #49
Dear Mom,
I'm not telling you nothin'!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Don't worry about Birdie.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
I agree with you--except for the "awesome" part of your comment.

Haha! I kid bekause I kare!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: 2009 GUIDE
Dear KBezzie,
A lot of things have been cosmic lately. Cosmic.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer:
A Good Notebook and a Juicy Pen

RhodiaNotebooks

Any good adventurer takes notes. And, to take good notes, one needs a good notebook and a juicy pen. It really doesn't matter what kind of notebook--just something that feels good in the hand. Above I have featured a couple of Rhodia notebooks. I've never used one, but I saw some at The Container Store a week or so ago and thought I'd like to give them a try (I didn't acquire one, though. I was on a mission and didn't allow myself to be distracted into buying things not on my list).

Moleskines are good, but very popular. You could get suckered into buying one (they're a bit pricey) and end up not liking it. (My first Moleskine was a journal given to me as a gift and I like their planners--not the sketchbooks.) My favorite notebooks to use are the ones I have bound myself. I've gone through 2-3 of these homemade notebooks made with fancy wrapping paper on the cover and scrap paper for the insides. They're cheap and I can make them whatever size suits my fancy.

Let's talk about pens for a moment. Like notebooks, it doesn't matter what kind you use, just as long as it's full of ink and it feels good in the hand. My all-time favorite pen is Uni-ball's Vision Elite. They're on the pricier side (for a disposable pen), but they sure are juicy. I prefer the micro size in black.

Everyday Adventurers, if you haven't already, go find yourself some writing materials and start taking notes, because I guarantee 2009 is going to be a noteworthy year.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Week #49

08week49

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, December 08, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM29

1. My drawings get crappier and crappier.

2. This is because I'm busy. Or at least I feel that way.

3. I did laundry today.

4. I need to sweep my floor.

5. I should probably mop it, too.

6. I didn't wash my Sigg bottle so I had to take a Nalgene one to work today.

7. Sigg bottles are better for the office than the outdoors.

8. I bought a big sack of banana chips this weekend and they are delicious.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
I'm sure there will be rivers and there will be woods on my trip to Grandma's house.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You need to be quicker.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Thank you for the geographic clarification. I can't wait to see you, too!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #48
Dear Mom,
Thank you. I don't strain myself while running. I always stretch out my hammies before heading out.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: 2009 GUIDE
Dear KBezzie,
Why wouldn't you want to pitch a tent on an airplane?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, December 06, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer:
"Luggage"

backpack

"Luggage" is in quotations because this isn't your typical luggage. See, in 2009, Everyday Adventurers will continue to be travelers and when they reach their destination, they're going to walk right into the wilderness.

Something like the above pictured Lowe Alpine Backpack can serve as a carry-on. You can put everything you need for a night in the woods in there--food, blanket, pillow, shelter--because the heavenly being knows that airlines don't feed you or keep you warm. Then, when you arrive, you can sling it onto your back and hit the trail. Fantastic.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Week #48

08week48

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, December 01, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM28

1. Christmas.

2. I bought a new mini-tree with all kinds of decorations the weekend before last. I need to put it up.

3. I started my holiday cards last night, but they're not close to being mailed out.

4. All of these things and more are on my "X-Mas List."

5. I'm taking the 4 (four) Fridays of December off so that I can accomplish all of these tasks.

6. Except for the 26th. That day I'm driving out to Grandma's.

7. This is the first time in my life I can say, "I'm driving to Grandma's."

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

Dear Readers,
Today is day 30 in the daily blogging of November. And, because of this, I am tired. You may be wondering if I will participate in NaBloPoMo next year. Only if I forget how horrible it is to blog every single day. My blogging is fairly regular so I don't think I need NaBloPoMo, but I appreciate the program.

Rest assured, even though I won't be posting every day, you will get the same quality series you enjoy: Monday Drawings, Planner Scans, the conclusion of the 2009 Guide, and, of course, Sunday Letters (done better than this week). There's at least another baking in my brain as we count down to 2009.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Saturday, November 29, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer:
Road ID

roadid02

Dear Readers, I've talked about this product before, but 2009 is going to be the year. The year that we Everyday Adventurers stop wondering during our adventures that if for some forsaken reason we are found incapacitated, people will know who we are, who should be informed of our state, and what our blood type is.

So, get this ID tag available in all kinds of styles and colors. They also have added an interactive version where you can keep information up-to-date. This isn't a "want" item for adventurers, this is a "need" item. I know that I don't carry any ID or even my cell phone with my ICE numbers in it when I go on my almost daily walks. I can't tell you how many minutes I think about what it would be like to be a Jane Doe in a local hospital. With a Road ID, those minutes would be left to think about ponies and rainbows...or my next adventure.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day 10K

TurkeyTrot06

The last time I walked a 10K was back in Atlanta. And, let me tell you, I had forgotten how long 10K really is. As I did in Atlanta, I packed along my spy camera. Here are the photographs!

TurkeyTrot01

The race started and ended at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Bengals. I got to see the stadium without having to see the Bengals lose. Ouch!

TurkeyTrot02

Everyone participated. Even this cow.

TurkeyTrot04

These people were real turkeys.

TurkeyTrot03

The course was so long that we crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky.

We eventually returned to the fine state of Ohio, but I don't have a picture of that, so look at this dog.

TurkeyTrot05

As of this writing, the official times haven't been posted, but when they are, you can find them here. The only thing I didn't enjoy about this event was the fact that it was happening at the same time as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (something I've enjoyed watching since I was a kid), but since I don't have a TV anyway, it's all good!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

birthday09

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Week #47

08week47

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

ap50

The entire trip on the MAX train, I was freezing. From the ten minutes I spent standing outside at the suburban station waiting, until I arrived at the airport. I was headed to the opposite coast for an interview with an agency who decided they wanted to contemplate hiring me. My thin cotton peacoat proved that I was extremely unprepared for Portland, Oregon.

A young woman and her gentleman friend boarded at a downtown stop. They wrangled their 3-4 day-sized suitcases off to the side, grabbed a bar, and she proceeded to talk and talk on her Blackberry. And when she wasn’t doing that, she was texting and emailing. There was a document someone back in the office needed. She pulled out her laptop, scrolled through emails, and found the one with the document attached.

Finally, her fire was put out and she turned to her gentleman friend and started to talk about the weekend—the family and friends they were going to see, what they were going to do after the second day when they started to get restless. A TriMet police officer came aboard the train to check tickets (because there’s no other way to verify passengers are legitimate). The woman asked the man where their tickets were and wasn’t satisfied that they were just in his coat pocket. He got them out and held them in his hand. Her phone rang again, she quickly reassured, and hung up.

The entire time from downtown to the airport, I watched this couple, especially the woman. This was not the reason why I moved to Portland, Oregon. In fact, it was part of the reason why I left Atlanta—I was done with the Bluetooth-talking, “important” business busy-bodies. Portland was supposed to be inhabited by people who focused first on the people they were with, then the people around them…and somewhere down at the bottom of the list, phones and computers. I was disgusted. Here these two were headed off to be with each other and family for the holiday and she was still working.

But, in reality, she was tying up loose ends so that she could enjoy the long weekend. And, in reality, I was jealous. I wanted to be the young professional taking time off to travel for the weekend. I wanted the job that kept me busy up until the last moment. I wanted a boyfriend, her warm coat, and fancy luggage.

Despite my jealousy, I was excited and thankful to be on that MAX train. Excited and thankful that someone was showing interest in interviewing my just-graduated self. And when I got back to Portland the evening before Thanksgiving, I bought a turkey tv dinner and a microwavable brownie for dinner the next night. I was thankful that I had found a room in an apartment to rent (and thankful that even though I was out of town for a day, my roommate didn’t turn out to be as shady as my imagination let her become and my belongings were still there, untouched). I was thankful most for being out of dingy motel rooms.

That was last year. This year, I have things 10 times better to be thankful for. I am thankful that the agency who interviewed me let me down gently and that another hired me. I’m thankful that on Turkey Day, I’m not going to be worrying about my employment, but rather participating in a Cincinnati tradition—the 99th Thanksgiving Day Run/Walk—and eating dinner with a friend. I’m thankful that I work full time. So full time that I get the day after Thanksgiving off.

It's a couple of days early, but Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM27

1. It's a 3-day week.

2. Which means a 4-day weekend.

3. This is because of Turkey Day.

4. Things I might do over the weekend include:

5. Acquire a shelf on which to store my books. (Mom, I don't think your email is working--or mine isn't--I received two more boxes of books.)

6. I just may participate in Black Friday and try to find me a deal on a digital camera. I want to upgrade before I head off to Alaska next summer. And, I need to upgrade in general.

7. This past weekend, I went to Ikea, which resulted in the following:

8. I purchased a mug for 59 cents. (It's blue. I was very, very tempted to buy a green one. And then I realized I've been buying a lot of green lately.)

9. I realized that Ikea is a once-in-a-lifetime event for me. Because

10. I don't like furniture and

11. Ikea makes it difficult for people who don't understand furniture to shop.

12. Finally, I think I'm going to take my aloe plant into work. It's looking a little sad and it's probably because my apartment is cold and dark during the day. At work, it'll be near a window and get direct desk lamp light during the day.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
My pants are only drawn short.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You're just going to have to live with the fact that you're a fee-collecting librarian who gave birth to a late book returner. Deal with it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan,
Thank you for telling me that Uncle Joe has similar water boiling habits as I do. I am reassured that I'm not a weirdo.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HELLO, WINTER!
Dear KBezzie,
I'm not going to dignify your comment with a bonafide response.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I'm not going to dignify your comment with a bonafide response.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #46
Dear Mom,
I'm keeping you in the dark for your own good.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BLOGGING?
Dear KBezzie,
Yah, we all know you like your 15 minutes.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Let me reassure you that after the month of December, I will return to my normal blogging schedule. There will be Sunday Letters, Monday Drawings, Wednesday Planner Scans, along with other miscellaneous posts.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: I'VE GOT NOTHING TO SAY
Dear KBezzie,
How can I call you my sister since you like that movie?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Please refer to my post for a complete list of jogging goals (jog continuously for 30 minutes, jog the Reggae Run, and have jogging be just as enjoyable as my walks).

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: 2009 GUIDE
Dear KBezzie,
Well, I like a little color in my accesories. And, yes, ebags has the Patagonia bag for cheaper than Patagonia. (When I ordered that Patagonia bag that didn't work for my needs, I ordered it from ebags.)

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
No, I had never thought about using a backpack. But, since you left your comment, I have thought about it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer:
A Good Bag

halfmassbag

Everyday Adventurers can end up carrying a lot of stuff--water bottle, sketchbook, camera, an extra pair of underwear--so they need a proper bag. Personally, it's only been 2 to 3 years since I learned that your bag must fit your activity. And, since Everyday Adventurers are, well, adventuring every day, they need one that works 5 to 7 days a week.

I've been using this one I purchased from L.L. Bean a couple of years ago. It fits my wallet, umbrella, comb, water bottle, lunch, and a rolled up fabric grocery bag perfectly. But, I have two problems.

1.) Since I now own this jacket, every time I use my L.L. Bean tote, I look a bit too matchy-matchy (the handle shade of green is just about the same shade as the jacket).

2.) It's getting cold outside and I walk 3 blocks from my parking lot to my building. This means that sooner or later I'm going to want pack a pair of "fancy" shoes, wear rugged shoes to work and then change into those fancy shoes when I get to work. My L.L. Bean tote does not have the space for a pair of shoes and I'm not about to carry shoes to work in a Kroger bag.

I'm not going to tell you that you need a Patagonia Half-Mass Bag (red is a good color, no?). But, I owned the larger version, the Critical Mass Bag, for about an afternoon of my life (I bought it to carry my portfolio in, but it was too small) and it was nice.

So folks, let's stop being matchy-matchy in 2009 simply by default. 2009 is going to be the year we're not only prepared with the proper adventuring tools, but have the proper bag in which to carry them.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've Got Nothing to Say

So I'll tell you this: I've started "jogging." I decided it was finally time to add a little "oompf" to my near daily walks. For 4 evenings this week, I have jogged 6 minutes out of my approximately 50 minute walk. (The 6 minutes were completed in 2 minute intervals--baby steps...literally and metaphorically.)

I'll also tell you this: it is not my goal to become one of those running wizards. I do have a goal to work up to jogging continuously for 30 minutes and to jog the entire Reggae Run next year. It's also my goal that jogging becomes just as enjoyable as walking is to me. As soon as it starts to feel awful, that's when I'll stop. (So far, so good!)

And, just to make things clear, I will be walking the entire 99th Annual Thanksgiving Day Fun Run/Walk next week.

You'll be reading more about this jogging endeavor because I'm reading a book about running. And, I always review the books I read.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blogging?

I just read this Wired article about blogs being out of style. It basically makes the case that if you want to be discovered, blogging isn't the answer. For a split second I stopped and thought about this. And then I decided it was ridiculous. Blogs serve a larger purpose than to let blowhards have their 15 minutes. So, I'm going to continue.

Although, I wish the month of November was over...

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Week #46

08week46

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hello, Winter!

Yesterday it snowed for the first time here in the fine city of Cincinnati, Ohio. Yesterday was the first time I wore my down jacket legitimately. (I won't deny nor confirm that I wore the jacket around my apartment practicing for colder weather.)

That is all.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, November 17, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM26

1. Three of the bajillion library books I have checked out are due. I returned them today. Tomorrow, I have to return another.

2. I like boiling water for oatmeal. I like eating oatmeal. Can you believe that in January I will have lived sans microwave for an entire year?

3. Yesterday I bought a Columbia Sportswear fleece vest. It is light blue. And very warm. I also bought a couple of pairs of pants and a pair of shoes.

4. It's hard blogging every single day for an entire month. I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth it.
Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
I wasn't going to give you a drumstick anyway.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Are you making fun of me?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED
Dear KBezzie,
Yes, Andrew and I do need to compare our penny collections. And, don't you know that entering a site is not necessary for getting the penny? I have a Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame penny and haven't ever been there.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You got some pennies for me over the summer? Send 'em!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Melody-Jane Symonds,
It's too bad you haven't encountered smooshed coins in Europe. Perhaps you can start the smooshed penny trend over there--a revolution of sorts.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Aunt Susan (& Erin),
I am happy to learn that there are other smooshed penny collectors in the family. I'd like to see that smooshed quarter. Was that a manual machine--did you have to crank it yourself?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #45
Dear KBezzie,
I agree.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I am glad that you are glad that I changed the cat box. I am also glad that Alaskans are smarter than what the media has portrayed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: CHANGE IN TASTE
Dear Mom,
I would send KBezzie the Diet Big K if it wouldn't cost me a ton in shipping.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
Thank you for telling me now.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for the tip.

Sincerely,
T.Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
Yes, you did have one of those diet colas when you were here. And, tell me more about soda being liquid Satan.

Sincerely,
T.Budnik



RE: LESS IS MORE
Dear Readers,
I'm not going to dignify your comments with proper responses.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: 2009 GUIDE
Dear KBezzie,
I have no other choice BUT to waste my money on those socks because someone is giving my cat and not me a Christmas present.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
I am going to be in the market for some hiking shoes soon, too. We must compare notes. And, as KBezzie points out, try to find a Sierra Trading Post store (their HQ is in Cheyenne).

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Thank you for your comment despite the fact that you have no thoughts on outdoorsy footwear.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer:
Appropriate Footwear for Every Occasion
J41shoes02

Folks, I predict that in 2009 Everyday Adventurers are going to find themselves in all kinds of situations. The best way to deal with this is to have appropriate footwear.

Everyday Adventurers are going to need something for sidewalk walking, hiking, and those times near the water--just to name a few situations. (And if I named more than a few, well, we'd both be here until the wee hours of the night.) If you don't wear appropriate footwear, well, you just may find yourself in this situation (for some of us, for the second time).

Here's some footwear to check out:

Alissa Walker of writing fame (and one of my former instructors at Portfolio Center) highly recommends Toms. I recommend reading why she likes them.

Why not go eco-friendly and vegan with Simple Shoes?

I had a great pair of Columbia Sportswear winter boots when I lived in Alaska. And I wish I had another pair to sport in Cincinnati.

Of course, you can't forget hiking footwear. These from Merrell are jawesome in an old-school way. I wish they came in brown with red laces and weren't so darn expensive.

I would buy myself a pair of these slippers (either the chocolate or cornflower blue) if I felt comfortable paying $35 for a pair of slippers.

Don't forget that each piece of footwear requires proper socks, too. I've read a lot about wool lately so it only makes sense to acquire some SmartWool socks.

Folks, put on your 2008 shoes and head out to find some gear to help you take on 2009.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Friday, November 14, 2008

Less is More

Like with yesterday's post, you can file this one under "only posted because I have to post each day in November." Anyways, because this time last year I was living out of my car and motel rooms until I secured a bedroom in an apartment and because the holidays are coming up, I've been thinking about stuff--how I acquire it and how I give it.

It's no secret that I prefer to live lightly. All throughout college I constantly kept the stuff I brought back and forth from Palmer to Fairbanks (Alaska) to a minimum. It was just easier that way. Then, in Atlanta due to both my temporary residency and the fact that I didn't have a lot of money, I didn't acquire a whole lot beyond the necessary and useful. And then I sold and gave away a lot of stuff just so that I could be free of it.

Now that I have full-time employment (and thus more money to do spend other than paying bills and rent), I find myself slipping. Just last weekend, I was in Target in search of a metal spatula. The one I had broke (the plastic handle snapped while I was teaching a grilled cheese sandwich what was what). So while at Target I bought 2 spatulas because the metal one I liked didn't seem thin enough to easily slip a cookie off of a sheet. I bought a plastic one, too, because it had this feature. Why in the world do I need 2 spatulas? I guess one is now my grilled cheese sandwich spatula and the other is my cookie removin' spatula.

I have to remind myself that I don't need a whole lot and not to hang on to a bunch of stuff I don't use. When it comes to the holidays, it's easy to buy people stuff they don't need (or really want) and above and beyond what is really expected. This applies also to the stuff we literally consume--cookies, cakes, candies, and turkeys and hams. We cook and bake too much and feel obligated to eat it lest it go to waste (or at least that's my reasoning).

This holiday season, I'm going to continue my story tradition (this will be the third year) and write an original tale to share with my family members. When it comes to baking, I'll bake small batches for myself and friends.

All this said, this weekend I plan on going clothes shopping. I need to beef up my work attire. Haha! (But, to redeem myself I'll give away the clothes I don't wear anymore.)

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Change in Taste

This post definitely falls under the "only posted because I have to post each day in November" category. So, take or leave what I'm about to tell you.

I no longer drink diet cola. (I write "diet cola" because I'm not a hardcore CocaCola fan and have drank the generic version of it). When I was putting my portfolio together in portfolio school, I found myself getting an "early" start each morning and camping out in the computer lab. Sure, there may not be a whole lot of caffeine in cola, but it was something. There was nothing like a diet cola on the rocks and sipped through a straw.

My travels to Portland, Oregon probably stopped this morning drink, but once I made it to Cincinnati, Ohio, I picked up the diet cola habit again and faithfully drank a diet cola five mornings a week. And, I've been here since January.

Then, one day, the thought of a diet cola made me a bit nauseated. But, like a trooper, I still drank it. The next day, I was too busy to drink it (and it still wasn't appealing). I've been off of diet cola (besides the occasional cola with a meal out) for about a month now.

Would anyone like the five that have been living in my fridge?

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Week #45

08week45

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Okay, I'll admit that ever since I started collecting smooshed pennies in 2005, when I drove from Alaska to Atlanta, I make it a point to always carry 51 cents with me in the form of 2 quarters and 1 penny. And, Friday was proof that this practice is very, very smart.

I have already mentioned that last Friday I went shopping. One of the various stores I went to was Jungle Jim's. It's an "international market" or "a food lover's paradise." I like to think of it as just a weird grocery store north-ish of Cincinnati. Anyways, contributing to it's campy style and touristy appeal, there was a penny machine. And you know what? That 51 cents I keep handy was put to good use.

junglejimpenny

See, you always have to be on the lookout, because penny machines aren't just at exits from the interstate.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM25

1. I signed up for the 99th Annual Thanksgiving Day Run & Walk. It's a 10K. Piece of cake (because I'm walking)!

2. I bought a bike helmet. No, I don't own a bike. Last Friday, I took the day off with my friend. First we went shopping (for a bike helmet amongst other things), then we loaded up his bikes and went for a 7 mile bike ride. I haven't been on a bike since I was the tender age of 16 and getting myself to and from work at the Palmer Visitor and Information Center. Some of you will remember exactly how many pairs of pants I tore holes in by crashing into various things, like the ground covered in concrete. Well, this bike ride was crash-free!

3. I need to work on my holiday cards.

4. I need to work on my Christmas story.

5. Because of the last two items, I've been getting up at 6:10am, a full 30 minutes earlier than I usually do so that I can be creative (for my own gain).

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
I wish to inform you that I have ALWAYS had better things to do on weekends other than watch movies and kill silverfish.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You know that I have a camping cot. You will be sleeping on this camping cot when you visit. I'm positive you will find it therapeutic on your back.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HALLOWEEN
Dear Mom,
In the future, please refrain from using the terms "hiphugger" and "shorty tops" on this blog.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for the astute comparison of my dress to Mom's wedding dress.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
I do not know what you are talking about. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #44
Dear KBezzie,
Are you questioning the legitimacy of my weekend activities?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
The Quality Inn was where the Budnik 6 stayed. I wrote it down before they arrived so I could figure out how to get there before they arrived. Satisfied?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: CINCINNATI VISIT
Dear KBezzie,
Unfortunately, I was unable to keep Liam with me. It's unfortunate for you and for me as I won't be able to purchase my kayak.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
I am happy to hear that you all arrived in Denver safely. I stand corrected about saying you were afraid of heights. I'm glad the cookies complemented Pilot gas station coffee so well. And, when can I come see you?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Isn't that a good pic of the Budnik 6? And, yes, Paul is pretty cool. I dig his hat.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear KBezzie,
You just blew my mind.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Yes, read this book, but make an effort to get through it in a decent amount of time, otherwise it drags on and on.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: 2009 GEAR GUIDE
Dear Mom,
Rest assured, I'm not going to depend on this second-hand alarm clock 100%. I always use my cell phone in addition to whatever alarm clock is in my possession.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
You are not the only person I know with an alarm clock older than dirt. See, Mom has one, too. And, don't be dissin' L.L. Bean.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, November 08, 2008

2009 Guide to Outdoorsy Gear for the Everyday Adventurer

Folks, this is a new series. Leading up to the new year, I will feature a few items I deem essential for the year 2009. (Some of these items I already own, so don't go thinking that this is a wish list in a fancy disguise.)

First up: L.L. Bean's MoonBeam Clock

moonbeam

The Moonbeam clock first wakes you with a gentle illuminating light. And if that doesn't get you out of bed rarin' to go, then a persistent bell alerts you that it's time to start adventuring.

Now, some of you may remember that I've wanted one of these clocks for a very long time (okay, only a couple of years). And, Friday was my lucky day, because instead of paying $39.50+shipping and handling for this clock, I found a pink one in good working order at a thrift store for a mere $3.99. While I wish this kind of luck on all of you, go ahead and pay the forty bucks--it's gonna be worth it and will definitely make 2009 brighter.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Friday, November 07, 2008

Book Review: The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

worldwithout

It took me FOREVER to finish this book--probably just as long as Walden, but this book was 100 times better.

Alan Weisman takes a look at what would happen to the earth if humans were to quickly and completely cease to exist on the planet. So, this book is about what we, humans, are doing to the environment. While many of the scenarios played out gave Weisman the perfect opportunity to rail against human pollution and insensitivity to the environment, he doesn't. The book is very fair: illustrating how life will continue with humans or not, but also showing the atrocities humans commit against our home (plastics that will take forever to decompose and the creation of radioactive materal that has no good way of beign stored let alone "thrown away").

Since finishing The World Without Us, I have a better understanding of the (long) lasting effects of human activity and a better understanding of how nautre and its processes (evolution) work. But, the book also gave me hope--hope that small changes can make a huge impact on nature--that even though it may appear we've destroyed the earth beyond the point of no return, we can still rehabilitate it to a lusher state.

So, folks, read this book. It's a good one and worth all the time it took to read it.

Bonus Quote: "Change is the hallmark of nature. Nothing remains the same."

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Cincinnati Visit

Folks, last Sunday, I had a Cincinnati first: it was the first time someone (or some people) came to visit me since living in this fine city. How lucky I felt that these people happen to be The Budnik 6.

I opened my door to the Budnik 6 and let them see how I live--alone, in a tiny apartment. I had to buy lawn chairs so they could sit.

But, not long after showing them my home, we hit the streets.

budnik604

And went up to the observation deck at Carew Tower.

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There, I learned almost all of them are afraid of heights. Oops.

budnik603

After the quick 'n dirty tour of downtown (which of course included the fountain which is featured in the opening credits of that fine, fine 70s sitcom based in Cincinnati), we went out for dinner. That, I have no pictures of. But, I have confidence that you all can use your imaginations.

budnik601

Overall, it was a great visit, but of course, too short. I can't wait for them to get settled in their new home out west so I can come and visit them!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Week #44

08week44

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Halloween

On Halloween proper, I didn't do much besides going for my walk and baking cookies for the Budnik 6. On my walk, I ran into a bunch of trick-or-treaters and was "mistaken" for one myself. See, a group of firefighters offered me candy because they "thought" I was dressed up in my reflective vest. Couldn't the firefighters be thankful that I was wearing a reflective vest and not being hit by a car?

On Saturday, my friend and I got dress up and skipped off to a party. Here I am in my 70s dress.

theresa01

It was bought at an antique mall without really thinking too hard (I didn't try it on, or look at the size). To my surprise (and horror because it's so ugly) it fit perfectly.

The purse is a Lou Taylor, vintage--I'm assuming from the basement/attic smell. I picked that up at a thrift store. If anyone is interested in the purse, let me know, and I'll make it yours.

The dress was well received and the party was fun. Hope y'all had a spooky time!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, November 03, 2008

What's On My Mind: A List (Accompanied by Doodles)

WOMM24

1. Wow, look at these crappy doodles.

2. I did this one super-quick.

3. Because today is laundry day.

4. And I went on my regular walk.

5. Anyway,

6. I'm voting tomorrow. I'm getting up early and plan on getting to my polling location shortly after it opens. Wish me luck!

7. This morning Corey the Cat! found a silverfish sashaying across my floor. Of course, he didn't kill it. So I did. Then Corey the Cat! ate part of it.

8. I have dishes to do.

9. I can't believe I have to post once a day for the entire month of November.

10. I'm thinking about cancelling my Netflix subscription. I got a DVD on Thursday and I haven't watched it yet. I'd save about $10 a month.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear Mom,
You better be kidding bekause you kare!
And, I believe you're well aware of what I am doing with my 2009 vacation time.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Quazimono,
I purchased my reflective vest at a store called Meijer. It's a midwestern chain. I saw the same brand (Sportline) on amazon.com. I suggest shopping there or going to your local running store.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Dear KBezzie,
The word on the street is that Eugie really like her LPS card. Spread the word.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You sing it best.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #43
Dear Mom,
I'm glad that you're glad that I got cat litter and peanut butter. Corey the Cat! and are are two happy campers.

I don't really know the purpose or meaning behind Pioneer Village. It's a bunch of old buildings in a circle. When I first set out on the Caesar Creek Lake hike, I wanted to get to the village but the bridge turned me back. This time I actually made it all the way (the creek was dry--no bridge was needed).

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I'm sorry that Wingus and Dingus only get cat fud. Maybe I should inform the cat authorities about you!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Dear Mom,
Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Believe me, I know that it's a huge pumpkin. Kroger had nothing but huge pumpkins.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: NABLOPOMO
Dear Mom,
I only wish I had a dinosaur costume. I dressed up in a chic 70s dress. Pictures will be posted later this week.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Thanks for letting me know about Blogtober--geez, could you have told me earlier?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaBloPoMo

Happy National Blog Posting Month! This is the month when bloggers everywhere attempt to post once a day. I participated in the first year of NaBloPoMo. This was when I was back in Atlanta and blogging at this site. Last year I couldn't participate because, well, I was on the road. And we all know that being on the road isn't conducive to consistent Internet access--especially when your laptop functions better as a desktop.

To begin this month, I shall tell you my plans for the weekend. Today, I'm going to see this. Then, I'm going to a Halloween party. On Sunday, some of my favorite people in the world are stopping in Cincinnati on their way out west.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I had such a good time carving pumpkins last year, that I decided I must do it again. Really, what makes for good carvin' is good company, so I bought two gourds. One for me and another for my friend.

pumpkin05

Mine is on the left. I picked out the ugliest pumpkin. It had wart-like bumps and liverspots. So, of course, I had to carve an old jack-o-lantern complete with bushy eyebrows and wrinkles. My friend decided power tools were the best way to carve. With the hilarious results, I can't disagree.

pumpkin03

pumpkin04

pumpkin02

Enjoy!
T. Budnik