Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
I live alone. With one cat. I'm just sayin'.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Why shouldn't you read before you go to sleep? I find it relaxing. Unless, of course, I'm reading something about chupacabras.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: ADVENTURE FRIDAY
Dear KBezzie,
I can't think of anything to say.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I believe the polar bears are coming. And, I'm sorry there are no pictures.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #34
Dear Mom,
You sure are nosy, aren't you?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear KBezzie,
You know me well. You know me well.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I'm going to say that you'd probably want to wait awhile before handing this book over to a kid. The publishers have labeled it "humor."

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: OUTDOORSY NUTRITION
Dear KBezzie,
My car floor is covered in the crumbs of these bars.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You should at least sniff a box.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Dear Birdie,
I can't believe you like the maple brown sugar kind. I'll send you my MBS if you send me your peanut butter.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, August 29, 2008

Outdoorsy Nutrition: Kroger Crunchy Granola Bars

crunchy

Folks, I don't eat those outdoorsy bars I've been blogging about when I get outside. This is what I eat. Good old-fashioned generic brand granola bars. I believe these bars are trying to be like Nature Valley. Let me tell you a little bit about why I started eating these bars.

Shortly after visiting Stone Mountain for the first time, I bought an annual pass so I could go regularly and climb the mountain that memorializes our Southern heroes. The first time I headed out to do this, I left my apartment around 5pm--a decent amount of time since I had eaten lunch and a time that would get me back home right around dinner. Since this was in Atlanta, it was hot. And my stomach was empty. It was not a pleasant experience.

So, I decided I needed to maybe, perhaps, eat a little something while in traffic on my way to the mountain. These bars are perfect. Now, I'll eat half a pack (there's two bars in a pack) right after I come home from work and then go take my walk.

They're delicious, nutritious, and I highly recommend them. They may not be Whole Foods-worthy, but they get the job done.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Book Review: Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir by Graham Roumieu

mewritebook

Don't you know that I think cryptozoology is hilarious? Well, I do. And, this book is fantastic. I first encountered this book in possibly the world's worst children's book writing class. I guess being introduced to this book was a redeeming quality of the course. Anyways, I finally purchased it and read it.

The book is disgustingly funny. The illustrations are fantastic. And, for people who aren't much of readers, well, it's a quick read.

I won't say much else. Because you should go acquire this book right now and then read it.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Week #34

08week34

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Adventure Friday

Last Tuesday, I thought that my Adventure Friday was going to be ruined--because the A/C-Heater blower in my car was ruined. The blower was only working on the highest setting, which isn't the end of the world, but really annoying (but not as annoying as having NO blower). So, I googled the heck out of the problem and saw that it's mighty common with my kind of car right around the year of it.

Because I already had Friday off, I decided to take it in first thing in the morning. Along with making plans to have it repaired, I asked a friend to accompany me to Columbus--car or not, I was going to make it to Capital City.

Ends up, because it's such a common problem, the Ford dealership had all of the parts in stock and was able to fix it within a couple of hours.

The problem was that the cowl was leaking water down into where the blower bits 'n pieces are. The water blew out the resistor. They replaced the resistor and cowl panel on the passenger side. Check it.

cowlpanel02

(Thanks, apartment birds, for pooping on my car.)

cowlpanel01

While it cost a pretty penny, I've paid more--for things that weren't even problems, just regular maintenance.

After getting my car fixed, my friend and I headed to Columbus. And, what did we decide to do in Columbus? Visit the zoo, of course. Remember, how the Cincinnati Zoo wasn't very accomodating? Going to the zoo in Columbus was like killing two adventures with one trip: I went to the big city and the zoo.

columbuszoo

I haven't been to a zoo since maybe 2002 when I went to the Alaska Zoo (the only one I had been to prior to Friday) with my oldest brother and his family who were visiting. I had never given much thought to zoos--until now. I feel kind of sad for the animals even though most of them are orphans. The tiger at Columbus was doing that crazy-cat pacing thing. The gorillas looked disgruntled. I analogize it this way: being a zoo animal is like working a shitty job day in and day out and being located in a crappy town. And, for some reason, you don't have the ability to skip town or at least take a vacation.

Although I brought my camera, I didn't take any pictures, because these are caged animals. Why do I need to take a picture? I would have taken a picture if I had seen them in the wild because I wouldn't know if I'd ever see one again or because I'd want to show people that I saw a freakin' baby monkey! But, if I ever want to see these animals again or share the experience of seeing a baby monkey, well, I know where to find them.

Okay, okay, it wasn't all bad. I had a really good time. Shoot, how could I not? I saw a couple of baby monkeys! And, I saw some moose. Oh, it was just like being back home. A couple of the bears were even from Alaska. I cried. Just a little.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, August 25, 2008

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

WOMM19

Sometimes, what's on my mind isn't a list. And isn't doodle-able.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT's ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
What exactly is "fakey hip" about this new water bottle?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You don't have to agree with everything I say.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: ADVENTURE FRIDAY
Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for the warm college town welcome. Have you checked out the new site yet? Have you plugged in your modem yet?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Yes, I was going for the brainstorm look. And, thank you for sharing my hanger joy.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Dad,
I'm glad that you like the revamped website. And, no, I am not a stuffed shirt.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #33
Dear Mom,
Never you mind how long it took me to stamp out that list!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: ADVENTURE SATURDAY
Dear Dad,
I'll take you up on that offer. Let's go.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I don't think I'm living in the wrong state. I just think that the hiking guides are wrong.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Sing it, sister!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear "Skunkie,"
I have not a clue why you've signed your comment with such a moniker.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: OUTDOORSY NUTRITION
Dear KBezzie,
Thank you for reminding me that Mom gave Birdie that Betty Crocker book that I loved so dearly. I have already addressed the issue with Mom. And, it ends up, she bought me the old-school reprint. This edition means more to her because it's the edition she grew up with. So, all is well.


Dear Mom,
We have discussed the Betty Crocker cookbook issue before. It was decided that you, indeed, love me more than my sisters (and there's no "my favorite middle daughter" modifier in there) and decided to purchase me your favorite edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook.

All is well, except, I don't know how Birdie and Kaye are going to handle this news.

Ah, you all know that I kid bekause I kare!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Anonymous,
If I find out who you are, I'll ban you from commenting on my blog. I find your "rectumfied" pun hilarious, but inappropriate for this family-oriented blog.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, August 22, 2008

Outdoorsy Nutrition: Bumble Bars

bumblebars

I think what really makes these bars so damn appealing is the name and the design of the package. Bumble Bars are quite unlike any of the other bars I've tasted. The bars are mostly organic sesame seeds. Basically, they're seeds, seasoned, and kept together by some kind of sweetness. One word to describe them: weird.

But, they claim that they're kid-friendly. And, they're gluten free and vegan. Unfortunatley, their story isn't very exciting at all. In fact, the more outdoorsy nutrition I explore, the more I'm realizing that all of these companies have very similar stories and missions. It's all about good nutrition and lovin' the Earth. Don't get me wrong, I dig this, but there has to be a truly unique spin on this story.

These are the kind of bars you eat once, just to see what it feels like to have a mouth full of sesame seeds, and then you go back to your regular granola bars.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Adventure Saturday

Okay, so on my Adventure Friday I was feeling so cooped up, I decided that I had to get out on Saturday. I woke up, ate breakfast, grabbed a bottle of water, and headed out for a trail just a little south of Dayton.

I ended up hiking around the trails of Sugarcreek MetroPark. Saturday morning may not have been the best time to hike here, you know, with all of the high school cross-country running teams and all.

This was a hike I found in my Hiking Ohio book. And here is where I'm going to gripe a bit about hiking guides. They're hiking guides. You'd figure that the trails featured are rugged and relatively out in the middle of nowhere. The guide I had for hikes around Atlanta included a "hike" around downtown ATL. (Needless to say I never did that one--if that's a hike, then I hiked every day in Atlanta around my neighborhood.)

The Sugarcreek MetroPark trails were nice and well maintained, but they were missing that ruggedness. In Palmer, Alaska, the Matanuska River flowed behind the elementary schools. Frog Pond is in the woods next to the river. The trails through these woods are pretty rugged. Sure, there was a post every once and awhile, but they weren't ever really maintained. Often they were muddy and a bit overgrown. In elementary school we'd go down to the pond and "study" the crap living in it. In the summer, my siblings and I would go to Frog Pond and the river because we were bored. Never did we think that we were "hiking." Let me tell you folks, by the standards of these guides, I've been hiking since I was a 2nd grader skimming the surface of Frog Pond with a net made of a bent wire hanger and old pantyhose.

Oh well, the hike on Saturday was still nice. I took the spy camera--everyone's favorite.

Here's the prairie:

SugarCreek01

And a sign about why the deer are fenced out:

SugarCreek03

Feeling tired? Why not rest on this fine bench?

SugarCreek02

Here's the Osage orange "tunnel." It was a bit creepy. At one point I stopped to hydrate and the branches were squeaking like an old door.

SugarCreek04

Some stones I hopped to get across the creek:

SugarCreek06

And, the obligatory self portrait:

SugarCreek07

What hike is complete without fungi?

SugarCreek05

Despite this hike not feeling outdoors enough, I'd probably go again. Better yet, I'd love to live close to trails like this and walk them daily and then do some more outdoorsy hiking on the weekends.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Week #33

08week33

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventure Friday: tbudnik.com Redesign

I'm sure you all remember when I first launched tbudnik.com. I was on the brink of graduating and I wanted some internet presence. Can you believe that it's almost been a year? Holy Moo Cows!

For some time, I have wanted to redesign my site to something simpler. And, right now is a great time because I'm not looking for employment (because I'm already employed). But, because I am employed, coming up with the time to create a new website is hard to come by. That's why I decided to use one of my Adventure Fridays.

So, on Friday I woke up, ate breakfast, grabbed my sketchbook, and walked up to Ault Park. I did this because sitting in a tiny apartment working on the nitty-gritty of a website can quickly drive someone insane. I was going to walk through the woods at the park before finding a bench to sit on and sketch, but at the trailhead there were landscapers working. I witnessed one peeing into the bushes. I didn't see any bits and pieces, thank goodness, but I was a little surprised that he did it because I wasn't the only person walking by.

Anyway, after sketching for about an hour, I headed back towards home. I stopped at Starbucks to get a frappuccino. Do you know how much I can get done when I have one of those coursing through my veins? A whole heck of a lot.

The designing went well and surprisingly quickly. I really shouldn't have been surprised at how quick it was for me to create the site. My whole point was to make it simpler.

Observez-vous!

tbudnikcom01

tbudnikcom02

tbudnikcom03

There you have it--my new site. Feel free to tell me what you think.

But, that wasn't all I did on Adventure Friday. I went to Target for a bunch of odds and ends that I needed. I've been needing more hangers for quite some time and they finally got onto this Target shopping list. The hangers, of course, are right next to Target's College 08 collection. And, do you know how many freaking college students were there with their moms and younger siblings trying to figure out just how many Rubbermaid tubs they need? (Hint: You always need more than you think.)

All I wanted these people to do was move away from the hangers so I could grab a pack and move on to getting contact solution. And, I wanted them to move quickly, because they made me feel old. I had that been-there-done-that feeling. I've been both the college student shopping AND the younger sibling being bored by tubs and extra-long twin sheets. (For the record, I finally did get my hangers.)

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, August 18, 2008

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

WOMM18

1. The September issue of Outside Magazine featured this new "hydration vessel" made by Kor. From what I can tell from the Kor website, this water bottle has nothing to do with the outdoors. Supposedly, it's just a superior bottle.

I guess I'll have to see. They're not out yet, but I signed up for email updates.

And, do you really need to ask if I'm foolish enough to shell out $30 for this bottle?

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIRDIE!
Dear Mom,
I never, EVER sing off key. How dare you accuse me of such a thing. Don't you know that I'm a musical genius? I know Birdie knows.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
You are welcome.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Yes, "Murray" is a good name for a tuxedo cat. I can tell you a couple of better names for tuxedo cats.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
First, Happy Belated Birthday to your dear cat, Squeaky! Second, yes, you need to eat little cakes and look lovingly into each other's eyes. Really, is there any other way to celebrate a cat's birthday?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Anonymous,
I will address your thoughts in the order you presented them:
1) I have a better idea, I'll just describe my small-batch baking to you over the phone. It'll save postage and ingredients.

2) Per your advice, I won't fight the feeling to buy more teacups and plant succulents in them. Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Per your advice, I will live in the now. Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: ADVENTURE FRIDAY
Dear KBezzie,
Rest assured, I will get to the zoo. And I will take pictures for you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I made myself think I was going to the zoo and then didn't! I'm glad that the picture of the flower brightens the episode. And, thank you. I do enjoy my hat.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
I double-disappointed you didn't I? First, no visit to the zoo with primates. Then, a hike absent of primates. I am truly sorry.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #32
Dear KBezzie,
I did Netflix season 2 of "Arrested Development." That show is genius.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
My new toy isn't quite ABC stamps. It's more like one stamp with movable letters. It's kinda hard to explain.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: OUTDOORSY NUTRITION
Dear Mom,
You're a genius! I need to resurrect God Bars and market them as nutritious energy bars.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
God Bars haven't hit the market yet. Currently, they are in consumer research--we're testing those flavors.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Toni,
I know! I really wanted them to be delicious, too, because of the packaging! Eat a Lara Bar and you'll feel better (those have been the best-tasting bars so far).

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, August 15, 2008

Outdoorsy Nutrition: thinkBars

thinkbars

First, don't eat the thinkGreen Blueberry Noni bar. Gross! The flavor was too strong and the texture was disgusting. The thinkOrganic Chocolate Coconut wasn't too bad.

A huge part of the philosophy behind Think Products bars is prevention. Which, is cool, except I can't help but to think of the vegan I knew my sophomore year of college. He was really into the idea of prevention and his idea of dessert was a plain rice cake, spread with soynut butter, and drizzled with honey. He figured if dessert wasn't delicious, he wouldn't ever binge on it. I couldn't help but to think, why not just skip it? (Or, just give me a Hoho.)

Anyway, there's something about these bars that's really unappealing to me. Maybe it's because there's a photo album on the website that shows the CEO posing with celebrities who are holding the bars. Even Lauren from The Hills. These bars are made on the West Coast, much like a lot of the other bars, but they're too connected to the part of that coast I'm not interested in--Hollywood.

Eat them if you must, but there's better out there.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Week #32

08week32

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adventure Friday: Cincinnati Zoo?

As many of you know, last week I made plans to hit the Cincinnati Zoo on my Friday off. Thursday night, I got directions from MapQuest and the next morning I woke up, got into my car, and headed for the zoo.

First, I couldn't find the street the zoo was supposed to be on because of poor signage. (And before you go thinking that I just didn't see a sign, ask yourself if you've driven across the country three times.) So, thanks, Cincinnati.

Second, when I did finally get onto the road, I discovered MapQuest had given me bum directions. You can't get to the zoo from the road they said it was on.

Third, when I found where I needed to turn, the road was congested with construction and traffic.

"What's that, Universe?" I asked. "Oh, today's not my day to go to the zoo?"

So, I did the only thing that would soothe my soul that was set on seeing caged primates: I went for a hike. I got my car out of the construction and traffic and hit I-71 with a plan. A plan to go hiking at Caesar Creek Lake. I've been there before, but I got burned by the scary suspension bridge. I figured today was the day I'd conquer that creek by taking off my shoes and wading across.

Folks, it was gorgeous there. It felt just like summer. The sweet, warm scent of earth wafted in the early afternoon breeze. I could have spent all day there.

CCL02

CCL08

CCL01

Once I got to the creek, I got a little surprise. It was completely dry.

CCL05

There were a couple of rocks that had fossils.

CCL06

Just so that you know I actually went there and didn't just recycle photos, here's a self portrait with me rockin' the hat that I did not own the first time I went.

CCL04

And, remember how the first time I went, I wasn't sure if the suspension bridge was safe or not because nothing really said, "DO NOT CROSS THIS BRIDGE?" Well, it ends up on the other side of the bridge it's clearly marked.

CCL07

Here is my favorite picture from the day.

CCL03

Come on, striped umbrellas in a boat on a lake? You couldn't ask for a better scene. It seems the red and white umbrella was flipped by the breeze. The person holding it kept waving it around I guess to get it to flip back, but there are easier ways of doing that.

That's not all, either. On the way home, I stopped at Lowe's for some succulents.

Here's what I bought for the teacup.

succulent02

And, here's a picture of it in all its teacup glory.

succulent01

Don't worry, I will get to the zoo. Oh, yes.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, August 11, 2008

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

WOMM17

1. I finally purchased Small-Batch Baking by Debby Maugans Nakos. I am only one person and I do enjoy baking (and then eating the baked good), so this book should get a lot of use. And, yes, the author does look like that.

2. I bought some new succulents last Friday. I bought an aloe plant to go into my late cactus's pot. Then, I bought a small succulent to go into the teacup I bought a couple of weekends ago.

3. I found another teacup at Goodwill that I decided I needed. Please, someone stop me.

4. There are no plans for Adventure Friday on the 15th. This needs to be remedied.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Birdie!

birthday05

Enjoy!
T. Budnik
Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear KBezzie,
Having seen you, your husband (the father), and Chunky (the older brother), is enough.

And, see, "Evan Steven" is already working--you misspelled "Steven."

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Corey the Cat! probably does want me to wait on him hand and foot. But, that's not going to happen until he lets me pet him.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: ADVENTURE FRIDAY
Dear KBezzie,
Please visit my blog next Tuesday when I tell the tale of my zoo adventure.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You know I NEVER get 2 smooshed pennies. NEVER. Why would I?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Daddy,
I only have one thing to say: Thank you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear Mom,
Thank you for the book recommendation. It's going on my list.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: OUTDOORSY NUTRITION
Dear KBezzie,
Your description of the rolls is not only accurate, but hilarious.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You tell KBezzie yourself. I don't want to be the messenger.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, August 08, 2008

Outdoorsy Nutrition: Kashi GOLEAN Roll

kashi

I'm not sure if this was the right Kashi offering to pick up. They were mighty disgusting. First, they were gargantuan. They were so chewy, I had to really, really think about how many more times I had to chew before I could swallow. And, they had no flavor. So, it was like a chore eating these.

I'm grateful that these bars are "designed for an Optimized Glycemic Response with slow release carbs to balance blood sugar, and protein and fiber to help you stay satisfied," but can't it at least be tasty?

Here's a little of what Kashi has to say: "Wellness isn’t a race—it’s a journey. And every day is an opportunity to live life a little healthier than the day before. We truly believe when we eat well, we feel well."

I can dig it, but I can't dig these GOLEAN Rolls. They have been the grossest I've tasted so far.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Book Review: Sick of Nature by David Gessner

sickofnature

This book sucked. Until the very last section, "Howling with the Trickster: A Wild Memoir," which was so good that it made wading through the preceding "Hello-I-have-a-MFA!" essays worth it.

David Gessner is truly sick of nature to the point he doesn't even really write about it in the larger front part of the book. Instead, he writes about his glory days playing ultimate frisbee and struggling to be a writer. Of course, he eventurally goes back to school for a MFA in Creative Writing and his work reeks of it. My main issue with MFAs is that the holders of these degrees tend to be self-conscious. And that saps all the spontaneity out of their writing.

I will admit, though, that I appreciated his anecdote about how he got fired from a bookseller position with a national bookstore chain. "The other cashiers, rather than being appalled by what I'd done, saw me as a kind of hero in the war against the enemy." I, too, admire what he did. I did my time in a bookstore.

But, what really makes this book is the last section. In this essay, Gessner looks for answers about his life in nature--specifically coyotes. He doesn't ever draw any concrete conclusions, but that's the point:

"In the end, Coyote is not "about" anything. Coyote is survival. Coyote is life."

And, "If we are going to try to get close to life--life's source, life's energy, life's wildness--then we need to let in life's uncertainty. We can't have it both ways: We need to be open to what is given."

This is the kind of nature writing I'm looking for.

Check this book out. But, skip to where he assaults the bookstore customer and the finale.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Week #31

08week31

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Adventure Friday: Marblehead, Ohio


What?! Friday on Tuesday? You better believe it! Last Friday, (August 1st) was my very first Adventure Friday. I pulled out my trusty Rand McNally Road Atlas, packed it in the car along with lunch and headed off. But, first I got some gas and then hit Starbucks for one of their devil drinks: a Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino. Except, I my drink didn't have any mint or chip in it. I should have known. The barista-guy gave me a nervous "is she going to notice" look after he passed it off to the barista-chick to call out my name. Oh, barista-guy, I, too, have worked customer service. I, too, have given that nervous look, hoping that the customer isn't a jerk.

I kept walking with my Mocha Frappuccino. All I wanted really was a little shot of caffeine. And, it was a good thing, because the drive up I-75 was kinda boring. Except, there's a giant Jesus along the way. I didn't stop to take pictures. Although, a picture of this Jesus would match my picture of the giant cross. If Jesus ever feels like making his worshippers some pancakes on a Sunday morning, I know where he can find a frying pan.

So, anyway, 4 hours after departing, a sprint up I-75, and some meandering down some state routes, cornfields suddenly gave way to water-themes. All of a sudden the signs declaring where the seeds for the corn came from disappeared and signs for dock rentals, marinas, and new lakefront properties popped up. Bizarre.

I drove through Port Clinton where the road follows the shore. At Marblehead, I stopped at a lakeside park, where I got out, took some pictures, and ate the peanut butter sandwich I packed.

MH01

MH11

Then, I got back in the car and drove to Marblehead Lighthouse State Park.

MH10

I got there at about 1:30pm and the next time I could climb up the lighthouse was at 2pm. So, I had them put my name down and went into the museum. The museum wasn't very interesting--it was very much like the one at the Palmer Visitor Center that the tourists would giggle at when we called it a "museum."

The most exciting part of the exhibits was the smooshed penny machine. You're darn tootin' that I got a smooshed penny. I'm not ashamed to say that I always carry two quarters and a penny with me because I want to be able to take advantage of one of these machines if I happen to come upon one. Can you tell which penny is from Marblehead?

MH13

After touring the museum, I went outside to scope the lake. And, it's pretty much a large body of water.

MH08

MH07

Finally, they called the 2pm lighthouse climbers and a very nice volunteer told us some facts. Then, it was up 77 stairs. And here's what you see from the top: more water (and ducks).

MH06

And, some people were getting married.

MH05

Which, I can't say I understand. It wasn't really scenic. There was one area closed off by some "CAUTION" tape for some reason. The place was swarming with tourists. The parking was crappy. And, someone kept taking pictures of a giant rubber rat.

MH04

Not exactly romantic. Not even beautiful.

Knowing I had 4 hours to drive to get home, I once again hit the road. But, I filled up with gas before. I had to take a picture of this guy. I'm guessing he might be Mickey. I wonder what happened to his hands. I bet he and Jesus go way back.

MH03

The drive home was made exciting by a thunderstorm. Driving through said storm was pretty much like driving under water. I couldn't see much of anything. In such circumstances, you realize a couple of things:
1. when you can't see, slowing down is an excellent idea
2. there is no difference between the fastest windshield wiper setting and the second to the fastest setting--you can't see anything on either
3. in order to stay on the road you need to first become one with the car and then become one with the road
4. feeling the road is the only thing you can do when you can't see
5. carwashes are ridiculously lame when rain like that which I drove through exists (thank you, nature for the scrub down)

Overall, it was a good trip. I saw Lake Erie. I now understand why it's great. And, I stretched my tires. It felt good to be behind the wheel again.

MH02

Until the next Adventure Friday!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, August 04, 2008

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

WOMM16

1. While in portfolio school, I learned the importance of ad campaigns not being just verbal or just visual. They had to be verbisual. I'm feeling like this word needs to be my word of the week.

2. Last Saturday I did a whole lot of nothing. That's my reward for 6 years of weekends spent doing stuff for school.

3. So, on that Saturday I bought the following:

4. Teacup and matching saucer from Goodwill. Soon enough, I will get myself to Lowe's and find an appropriate succulent to plant in it. I am in love with succulents in teacups. (I have one at work already.)

5. Covered litter box for Mr. Corey the Cat!. See, my cat is a pretty big guy. And, he obviously likes to stretch out while doing his business. He's pooped one too many times over the side of his current litter box. Hopefully, the cover will help him hit the litter. Installation of the new litter box will happen on Tuesday to coincide with the regular changing.

6. Glamour Magazine. I'm not ashamed to say I spent a couple of hours on that Saturday reading this magazine.

7. I own a blue pen and I decided to doodle with it.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: WHAT'S ON MY MIND
Dear Kathyb,
Hmmm...it seems your library is manned by unreasonable librarians. I don't know what to say.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Do not fret about bees nesting in my car. Friday I took my car through Nature's Carwash.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I don't mean any disrespect towards your work. But, come on, can I have a book for longer than 3 weeks without having to renew it?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: INTERIOR DESIGN
Dear KBezzie,
Yes, the AC was running. And, no it was NOT poltergeists, chupacabras or any other supernatural forces.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You know how I feel about chupacabras.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #30
Dear KBezzie,
I didn't forget nothing!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Actually, that list was mostly for Sunday. I just didn't turn the page.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUNI!
Dear KBezzie,
So you LIKE young Hoff?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
My sentiments exactly.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
I won't even tell you what his stomach fur makes me want to do.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: NO PROBLEM, EARTH.
Dear KBezzie,
I have no recollection of Mom doing this. I beleive you, though.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I don't have to pay (directly) for water. That makes my efforts to conserve water unselfish.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


RE: OUTDOORSY NUTRITION
Dear Mom,
I detect a bit of sarcasm in your comment. What do you never go for "outdoorsy food?"

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I bet he polishes his head with all-natural wax.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: START YOUR WEEKEND RIGHT
Dear KBezzie,
I'm still hesitant to save his fur and have you spin it. I want to know that it'll be cleaned. My boy is greasy.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
My boy does not have evil eyes. And, yes, he does look like Shpider.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Dear Birdie,
Too bad you can't squeeze my boy.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Start Your Weekend Right

By feasting your eyes on Corey the Cat!

Corey06

Enjoy!
T. Budnik