Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stumptown Comics Fest - The Best!

Last weekend I accomplished one of my life goals. It's a nerdy and ridiculous life goal but, hey, it's accomplished: I sold my work at a comics convention. Kevin, Nate, Alex Buck and I teamed up for a Snow Leopard Comics table at Stumptown Comics Fest and watched the crowds go by all weekend. It was a good time and it's funny to be in a room with several dozen artists I admire, all in the same boat of trying to hawk our art to stolid convention-goers.

The problem with Stumptown Comics Fest is that it's in the basement of the Doubletree Hotel which is, as you would suspect, drab to the extreme. Long rows of tables under florescent light become overwhelming after only a few minutes, so we tried to liven up our table space with some fabricated vegan bacon and a whole breakfast ensemble. Some guy on Flickr liked our table so much he took a photo of it.

Next year the plan is: no table at all. Just sofas. And maybe real bacon.

My favorite part of the weekend was actually when the convention ended and we emerged from the basement. After months of rain, Portland was sunny and blooming and we headed back to the Dude Ranch for a backyard bbq. We spread all our newly acquired comics and zines on the grass like Halloween candy to be shared.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Long March

I woke up Sunday afternoon to find the trampoline covered in hail and an entire keg of local Rogue beer sitting in the backyard. What had happened? Whatever strange meteorological-sociological events inexorably intersected that Sunday afternoon, it's nothing compared to what occurred Sunday night. While I went to bed early to very responsibly get a full night's sleep, the rest of the house rushed out the front door with a box of spray chalk and handful of stencils.

I awoke Monday morning to no hail, but instead this:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Urban Iditarod

Nate figured out how to use text messaging last week and immediately sent all his friends one text "urban iditarod!!!" When his friends, understandably, responded with some incarnation of "WTF?" Nate replied "Saterday!"

Yesterday, this long-awaited Saterday arrived. We woke up early-ish and prepared our costumes. The Urban Iditarod is an annual event in which hundreds of people deck out shopping carts and race them in teams between Portland bars. Because Nate has a penguin costume, we went as Antarcti-cart. I was an explorer trapped in ice. Jill was a sea lion. Dan was a mad scientist. It was a really great time, until it started raining. Then it was a really wet time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pancake Lodge Victory

So many of us at the DR participated in the making of the pancake clubhouse hole at this years minigolf event at the halocene. The hole won hole I'd most like to take home with me. But i guess one lady there thought that included dan so I can't speak to what these people were actually voting for. But hooray to the PCC and thanks to everyone who helped out.

We've had a few couch surfers come through chelsea and goldie who were on a bike trip down the west coast.

Sam who did yoga with me this morning and is likely taking kids backpacking in africa soon.

Liz who is here right now and will be attending PCC very soon and many more to come.

Dan should be returning shortly as well as adam and ayal. So we will have a full house for a few days unfortunately lacking the olsen twins AND brother joey he was so funny.

The weather has been nice as well.

No movie night this week instead we are encouraging people to go to backspace for a Sarah Mirk/mercury related brewhaha event. be there at 7pm

Next week movie night returns with 1990 and either Teenage mUtant ninja turtles or Edward scissor hands. Thoughts?

enjoy the pics. Peace, Sam

Monday, February 23, 2009


Movie Night Wednesday 1989


7 pm to chill
9 pm to watch

Come enjoy welcome Jill and Nate Back THEIR BACK!!!! YAY!!!

See you then.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More fun than a barrel full of veggie oil or adventures to Mexico

More fun than a barrel full of veggie oil or adventures to Mexico

So Adam and Ayal have been prepping for their trip and we expect their friend Brennan in today from Guatemala as well as Seeder who should be coming in the next few days. We have had a few couch surfers.

Sarah had some friends up from her home town and we had a couch surfer named Beth from Chicago who I took a bunch of bike rides with.

We have two girls who are biking through Oregon from Colorado who are crashing tonight and then nobody for a week or so except for Adam and Ayals friends.

In other news Nate and Jill will be back this Friday from Hawaii so we will be excited to hear about all their adventures. I'm sure they didn't want to leave the tropics for Oregon weather but we're definitely glad to have them back.

Shawns still rocking out at the house and still making sweet cardboard figures were happy to have him around.

Annie the artist in residence has also been around more and we've enjoyed her presence and checking out the work she's been making. We've cooked dinner together a couple of times and I dig collaborating with her on yummy food. Last night we were the only ones who stayed up to watch all of license to drive.

Which I actually enjoyed what I didn't enjoy was another movie I saw this week Wendy and Lucy if you really want to see it go ahead maybe you'll get something out of it I missed. Otherwise I'd at least wait for it to come on net flix.

Ok that's enough free association for now. It's been good times Bike Chariot races, cardboard heart projects, cake parties, the crazy transition team is all over the place but we're all doing well. I have included some of the barrel painting that took place the other day. Hope you enjoy.

Peace, Sam

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Movie Night

So Yeah Movie Night tonight we are showing mannequin and we still have a few jars of bottled beer from the party this weekend so come help us drink it.

7 to hang
8:30 to watch

in other news Shawn will be leaving us here in the next week or so.
:((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( SUPER FROWN
but he will be living in the neighborhood soon so we hope to see him often at the dude ranch. :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) SUPER SMILE

Adam and Ayal got the Luv working again the other day with some new glow plugs and some electricity from Dan's truck. They are leaving for eugene at some point tonight so they won't be here for the movie, but they'll be back in a couple of days.

They only have 3 weeks before their scheduled departure so make sure to come by and say hi to them before they go. We are all quite excited for their trip even though we will miss them when they are gone.

Sarah is back in town and has been working and getting paid SWEET!!!!
It was really interesting hearing about her trip and what she is working on right now. So if you get a chance to talk to her about it you should.

I've been working and making some new contacts in the local music scene and hopefully getting a little closer to having a regular type job here in the next month. Maybe working at a new venue thats opening up in town or perhaps as a tour manager. So good luck to myself in those endeavors.

I guess that's all for now, but thanks to everyone who came to the party this weekend. I guess it wasn't as big as parties have been in the past at the Dude Ranch but I really appreciate everyone who stopped by and esp to those who contributed to the Karmic Keg Fun. It made my first birthday in portland very memorable.

Nameste, Sam

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009




Ground Hogs Day Karmic Keg Party at the DUDE RANCH!!!!

To celebrate my (Sam's) birthday and to just have a good

Don't pay for your own beer pay for someone else's.
Donations will be taken but no fixed karmic charge.
You pay for the person after you.
And pass the Karma Along. We have a trampoline there
will be fire dancing and tom foolery.

It'll be like zombie vs ninja or
ground hogs vs squirrels.

We're getting a Keg of Local Portland Brew
McMenamins Rip City Red (YUMMY!!)

SO come and enjoy People are welcome starting at 7 and
running until we finish the beer probably sometime on



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ground Hogs Day Ground Zero

So thanks to all dude ranchers and non dude ranchers that made my first birthday in Portland rock so very much. I took an awesome bike ride on the esplanade with Theo are coolest of cool couch surfers and then made some sweet vegan lasagna for dinner and vegan oatmeal goop for dessert.

Sarah came back in late last night and Theo and I actually ran into her down at Powell's today which was cool and crazy. I keep getting the vibe that Portland is so small even though it is so big. Anyway, I hope everyone can make it for movie night. Thanks to Shawn again for making the fliers. Howard the Duck should be awesome we are contemplating showing over the top or summer school next week so if anyone has any thoughts feel free.

Annie the artist in residence stopped by today and it was cool to meet her. We look forward to her being around the house from now on and we esp. look forward to her artistic and intellectual contributions. She came and hung out and it seems like she will be a nice cool edition to the scene.

Shawn will only be with us for 8 or so more days, but we all hope his house hunting goes well and hope he stays in the neighborhood. Well I guess that's all for now. Hope everyone had a good ghog day. I didn't see my shadow so spring is coming.

OH and last but not least we are throwing a party this weekend for my said birthday today. I think perhaps a karmic keg/ground hogs day party but I'm not sure details coming soon. Until then.


PS Below is a map of my bike ride today.

View Larger Map

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Well we had a nice and fun movie night last night. For all of those who missed out Legend was gloriously bad Tom Cruise as some sort of Tarzanesque character and Mia Sara who was Sloane Ferris Bueller's girlfriend in FB Days Off as a Princess. Fun was had by all and after we watched two seasons of the Sing Along Blog featuring Patrick Harris of Doogie Howser Fame. (Thanks to Shawn for that HILARIOUSNESS!!)

We have had quite a few couch surfers come through the house over the past couple of weeks and here is the break down.

1. Anthony - 19 yo just out of the Marines on his way to Washington then California and eventually Europe. He was new to couch surfing and we hope we showed him how much fun it could be.

2 & 3. Drea and Martel - Drea is a Yoga Instructor / Massage Therapist and Martel is a music community organizer of sorts. They stayed for a couple of days and returned last night to stay a couple more. They are moving into a place near Belmont in the SE and we are happy to welcome them to Portland. THANKS FOR THE AWESOME TEA LOVE!!!!!

4. Leslie - a nice lady from NYC who is searching for a new place to relocate to. She changed our perspective on the appropriate age to join the circus. She was only here one night but we really enjoyed having her.

5 & 6. Aaron and Joel: Aaron does work with developmentally disabled adults and is up here from California looking for work and a place for his wife and young baby to stay. He is still at the house now and is lots of fun to talk to. We hope he gets the job and place he wants. Joel just moved out here from Chapel Hill and came over for movie night and stayed instead of heading back to Vancouver where he is living now. He rode his motorbike accross the country and wants to get into metal working here in portland. Thanks for the music tips!!

That's all we've had thus far but I'm sure there will be more to come. I'm glad we can continue the dude ranches streak of couch surfers and I hope everyone who's stayed with us has enjoyed it.

The house is super clean thanks to Shawn and Pete who was over last night said he has never seen the Dude Ranch so spic and span. We've been playing lots of Settlers and a few games of Magic.

Adam has been working on his truck and Ayal has been working on music. They have both been in planning mode for their mexico trip. I've been working at my job and shopping around for a bicycle. I also just passed my level 1 Ski instructor exam last weekend at Mt. Hood. Shawn has been looking for work and a place in the neighborhood to live and he bought a new bike just the other day (I'm super jealous of the awesome brown paint job). Good luck to all the transition team members on their endeavors.

The artist in residence for Feb hasn't shown up yet and we are looking forward to meeting her. Other then that things have been going along quite well. We may be having a party at the Dude Ranch this Saturday or the next but more info on that to come.

We hope the old school ranchers are having safe travels and we look forward to welcoming Sarah back shortly from her trip to the UK. If you haven't checked out her blog you should it's been very interesting to read. I think the link in on a previous post of this blog.

That's all for now from the Dude Ranch transition team. Hope all is well in your world.

I'll leave you with a haiku and thanks for reading.

every single day
building a life on high stilts
tied to balls of twine


Friday, January 23, 2009

So Adam and Cedar spent a good portion of last night geeking out hardcore on They spent several hours playing it's unique brand of treasure hunting. Shawn had coffee after missing his planned attending of a volunteer meeting for the Portland film festival. We made lentil soup after discovering we had a large overstock of lentils at the house. While Adam and Cedar were geeking out I went in my room and lit some incense I got in India. This is the result hope you enjoy.

haunting India

I'm not sure what it is, but my mind is calling me back to India.

There were so many things that were so difficult there and maybe time gilds all memories with false gold, but I miss it. There was something so vital about being there. It makes me understand the thrill that pioneers must have felt.

Even as I sit here, smelling the incense I brought back, the ghosts are here. Rickshaws, mad filled buses, bustling train station, and whiskey on Diwali all dance through my head, like those sugar plums in that Christmas story.

I have so many stories from that place a dozen I've told and so many more that I haven't. It is so much more then all those stories. It is so much more than I can even grasp at remembering. Even the slivers of moments that I have captured in this odd little basket in my head are so sublime.

India is madness incredible beautiful madness. It is the kind of madness that the western world has striven to hide beneath the layers and layers of paints and civic order. It is the madness at the root of all humanity and being there reveals it. It reveals it in you and in everything you know. This is the vitality that has driven humanity so far.

The Persian ruler Xerxes believed that an empire must expand or die. I was thinking about this related to the American empire and I was struck with the realization of why so many things seem really futile here. We are already such a large part of the world any gain by any of us is dwarfed by the massiveness of our social influence. We are like a huge worm and any growth is so tiny compared to the rest of the bulk.

India is growing like a vacant lot left to overgrow in the urban summer sun. It is a vibrant patch of jungle writhing through concrete and steel tearing apart the ancient foundations of the modern order. Everything grows out of everything else. Even the chaotic lives of the slums seem to bear some fruit. There are so many people living a way that most of us have forgotten. The pride and cruelty of working long hard days just to sleep on the street and to send a little money back to your family.

This is what is most difficult and most beautiful to see in India. This life all around so much you can't escape it and you start to understand all the glitz and glam in our society. The neon lights and banner ads and twittering are all these empty little shadows reflected on a cave wall. An allegory of false truths is what takes up so much of our time. After being there even for a month I find myself seeing things here as hollow. Convenient simple non confrontational existence. It seems turned down and tuned out compared to the reality, overwhelming as it was, you felt when you were there.

I truly miss INCREDIBLE INDIA. I'm not planning on going back anytime very soon, but I do want to go back. It's eastern beauty calls to you like a siren. The madness is like an infection it gets under your skin and you need it in your life. It's that old crazy girlfriend you had such a great time with. You know in some ways she's bad for you, but you always sort of want to see her again anyway. The US is my faithful girl, the girl I go steady with, the girl in beach boys songs. She will always be there calm and quiet. She may not always be what I want but she will always feel like home.

Every so often I just feel the need for life in my life. Every time my thoughts bring me back. The sounds, the staring, the struggle and the truth of India are there with me again. Someday, I'll go back and if you can you should go back for me and tell her I miss her.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Ranch Order

So hello from the 'Transition Team' ranchers!!!

Our rag tag band of miscreants will no doubt fail to fulfill your every ranch desire, but we will try. The Temp Ranchers include but are not limited to: Shawn just in from teaching in China. Adam (Nates brother ... not that he doesn't have an identity outside of that) and Ayal who are both planning a veggie oil powered trip to Mexico later this year. Lastly is little ol' me.

My name is Sam and I'm currently occupying Cole's room while he is away. Here's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm from Nashville where I was working the last five years in the music biz. The last three I spent on tour as a guitar tech and stage manager for the Gin Blossoms and as a merch guy for Phil Vassar. I hiked 182 miles this summer in a dozen or so national parks and spent a month traveling in India. I'm in Portland working on the weekends at Mt Hood (Tline) as ski instructor and I do online marketing for a record label during the week. I know how to do fire poi and enjoy long walks down the beach with an issue of the Economist or Talk of the Nation Podcast.

Anyway I just wanted to introduce myself and the other members of the 'Transition Team' here at the Dude Ranch. We will be having a winter movie night (Wednesdays) though a consensus on the movies will never be reached in advance.

Thanks all and the faces may be new but we'll do our best to keep the good vibes going.

Nameste, Sam