Walk to the River

I walk down to the river on a pretty regular basis. Here are a couple of photos from today’s walk.

River Walk

I’ve picked up the habit of walking down once or twice a day. I’ve always paced to think, and it helps keep me from spending the entire day in front of a keyboard.

River Walk

It isn’t a long walk, and I mosey more than run, but I can tell the difference if I’ve skipped a couple of days. It might not be much in the way of exercise, but it does seem to help “get my blood moving” and clear my head some if I’m having a touch of writer’s block or something.


It isn’t at the most popular place on the river, on weekdays I’m frequently the only one around. When it is quiet, the animals will come out, and it is a peaceful place in the world to be.


Bleach Tie Dye – Subtractive Art

Tie Dye

With bleach tie dye, instead of adding colors in the form of dyes, the existing dye is removed with bleach. Warning: Only use 100% natural fibers, and there is a danger of damage to the garment. The process involves intentionally overapplying bleach to remove color from the shirt.

To start, gather together 100% cotton shirts, bleach, rubber bands, gloves, and a container to soak them in.

To get started, rinse the shirts, and squeeze to remove most of the water. Now that the shirts are damp, tie as you would for normal tie dying.

Twisting for tie dye

To make a spiral, lay the shirt flat, fold in half lengthwise, and start to twist, starting from the center.

Twisted for tie dye

Continue winding the shirt around the middle, keeping it flat and disk shaped.

tie dye

Secure with rubber bands.


Other patterns can be made by tying in different places in different ways.


Once the shirts are all tied. Put on the rubber gloves, and mix the bleach with water. Add 1 cup of bleach to 3 cups of water. Be careful with the bleach as it can damage surfaces or skin.


Now for the tricky part. Soak the tied shirts in the diluted bleach until the color that is showing starts to fade, approximately 5 minutes. If it is removed to soon, the markings will be faint or non existent, if left too long, the bleach will start to weaken and damage the threads.


Once the shirt has turned to a lighter color, rinse in clean water, untie, and rinse well in running water. Wash to finish.

Bleach Tie Dye

Bleach Tie Dye

Bleach tie dye

It is a fun and cheap activity, but be careful with the bleach, as it can damage carpets, clothes, and skin.

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Tune into the Grow with Grubbycup Show at Wed 5:00 pm Pacific. http://www.dfzradio.com/growing-with-grubby-cup/

eGo C E-cig – First looks

I just received an eGo C electronic vaporizer. So far so good, but time will tell.

eGo C

Since this is a tank type unit that is refilled with the vaporizing liquid. The flavors I’m starting with to try are lemon, cola, Pepsi, Marlboro, tutti fruity, and whiskey.

Okay, so this is another attempt at quitting (or at least cutting way back on) tobacco smoking. I’ve tried pills, gum, patches, hypnosis and a couple things I’m sure I’ve forgotten about. On a previous attempt I tried a pen style vaporizer from Vapor4Life. That style used cartridges called “cartomizers”, which worked well with the prepackaged units, but refilling them was on par with refilling a cigarette lighter by soaking the cotton, an activity I’ve never been all that fond of. I seem to either underfill and am disappointed in how quickly it runs out, or overfill and make a mess.

eGo C

With the eGo C, the heating element is replaceable, and liquid it used to refill the “tanks”.

eGo C

The eGo C kit I received contained 2 complete vape pens, a USB charger with wall socket adapter, 3 extra tanks, and 3 extra heating elements. It also came with a manual and cloth case, neither of which seem particularly useful. I found much more useful information online.

eGo C

The assembled unit is small enough to be carried, although it is much larger than the original more cigarette form factor I’d tried before.

eGo C

I also picked up an extended tank, which holds more than the standard tank.

The eGo C is comprised of a battery, heating element, barrel, and tank. They have their own jargon for the different pieces, but that’s the gist of it.

To use, once charged and assembled, press the button for a second or so, then take a 3-5 second drag on the mouthpiece. It isn’t bad, not like a real cigarette, but at least it incorporates a lot of similar activities. I’m using fluids with nicotine in them, so I’m still intaking nicotine, what I’m trying to do is shift how I’m getting it.

I’ve tried the lemon, cola, and tutti fruity so far. Out of the three, I like the tutti fruity the best, the lemon isn’t bad, and the cola has an odd perfume like quality to it.

It is too early to tell how well I like the eGo C, although so far it seems to be working as intended. The real question is going to be if I use it enough to get my money’s worth out of it, and if it helps me curb my desire for tobacco cigarette use.

Wish me luck!

Grubbycup’s beard, getting longer.

I’ve been known to play with my facial hair a fair amount. I’ve done everything from clean shaven to a full beard.

Clean shaven

This photo is from my first book. No beard at all.


Here it is starting to grow out.


Here is a photo of my beard as I’d kept it for a long time. Full beard, not too long.


Then I decided, well, since my current occupation doesn’t have much in the way of a dress code, I might as well let it get a little longer.


Once it got long enough to play with, I of course played with it. My favorite “beard-do” is with two braids down the sides.


And here it is a bit longer, I’ve been letting it grow out.

My beard is now as long as it has every been, and now I’m starting to wonder how much longer it would go before it hit its “terminal length” where it won’t get longer. I think if it gets too much longer it is going to start getting in the way, but I think it is long enough now to sneak onto the set of “Vikings” on and look like I fit in.


Here is the same beard as above with braids.


Although it is 4 months growth over the photo above it, at this point, it is long enough where a couple of inches doesn’t make much difference.


Fun with braids. Usually I only wear a single braid on each side, but I did this just because I could.

Braille Plate and Stylus

Braille guide

On the list of things I’ve done for a job, this is a memento from one of the cooler ones. Back in college (the first time), as one of the things I did to help make ends meet, I recorded textbooks and did some “seeing eye human” stuff for blind students for a while. What I found out from the experience, was that if the book was okay or better it wasn’t too bad of a job, but if the book sucked, or was on a topic I had no interest in, it wasn’t fun at all. I also found out that people are people no matter what kind, and exactly like everyone else, some are nice folk, and some aren’t.

Grubbycup (Braille US Lvl 1)

The above is (I hope, it has been a long time, so if someone could double check me there I’d appreciate it) The word “Grubbycup” in braille. The first dot shown means the first letter “G” (the four dot group) is capitalized. Since this is level 1 braille, each letter is represented (can you spot the double dot pattern that stands for “b”?). In level 2 or when commonly used; a series of common abbreviations and letter clusters are also used. While this means more to remember, it also means that it is faster to both read and write. I wish I still had it, but I used to have a braille issue of “Playboy” magazine. I have to admit, I was kinda disappointed they translated only the text articles.

Like I mentioned, I never got very good at braille, and would have to look everything up again.

I also took a couple semesters of ASL (American Sign Language) classes, but then never practiced or used it,so pretty sure I’ve lost most to all of that too. I must have been on a roll at the time, because as I recall I was volunteering at a local lockup mental facility at the time (I was still a psych major at that point). There was another eye opening experience for me, although I have to admit. I Worked with people who were literally nuthouse crazy (we did a field trip to the state fair one year that was a lot of fun, but I was so scared one was going to wander off I counted the folks over and over again like I had some sort of compulsive mental problem).

I have to say, hands down, the most heartbreaking group to work with is the SED (severely emotionally disturbed) kids in group homes. What got to me the most was that I only saw a small fraction that were messed up because of a medical condition or other unavoidable event (some, but not many), almost every kid I saw was messed up because an adult or adults abused them one way or another until they broke.

For my 2 cents on the time invested; even though I didn’t use the actual skills in trying to learn at least the basics of braille and sign language, and I wound up not going into psychology as a profession, I still feel it was time well spent. If nothing else, it really got me to take the time and try to imagine what it might be like to be blind, or deaf, or just someone else who followed a different path, and had different obstacles to overcome.

Gentle Readers, no matter what size or shape, try to always cut your fellow freaks some slack, you never know when someone giving you a little slack may come in handy.