Just when you thought winter was safe…

political meme

     Anchorage, AK – Between the long awaited cold snap of winter and the rustling stack of political ads in the mail, I found myself starting to envy every hibernating mammal in the Last Frontier. The thought of avoiding the chaos of newly christened winter drivers and angered opinions on social media sounded blissful. Stuff yourself until you pass out and sleep. Sounds nice, yes? Never mind the thousands of responsibilities to do; shoveling, winterizing, shuttling in winter traffic, holiday prepping, just sleep.

    Originally, I had looked forward to winter; bright snowy roads instead of dark dreary mornings, hot cocoa, snowman making, and excuses to consume baked good. But my joyful imagery faded as soon as the first snowfall came upon us. More layers seem to be required to face the day and my ability to stay warm is not a strong as the teenagers who protest winter by donning their flip-flops. The angered “voices” and “facts” streaming through my newsfeed churn my stomach to a degree that most livestock in my ailment would be euthanized in order to ease their misery. The robocalls and text endlessly requesting my opinion even though it will fall on deaf ears were only vanquished via blocks and replies of “STOP.”

I wish we could all just get along, learn to safely drive, respect ideas and live harmoniously. We all have different opinions, lifestyles, and driving abilities. But as I watch my children play and fight, grow and learn, I realize just as with the seasons, trials and tribulations help us mature. On my days off, I struggle to find the motivation to get out of bed; face the chaos of five crazy kids, feed myself and be productive. But we must. We must be awake. We must share our opinions and be horrible drivers. We must learn. Or how else will we grow?

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Arctic Comic Con Alaska April 27 & 28, 2018

Saturday, April 28th, 2018
Anchorage, Alaska

Hello World. Way too long since we last conversed via WordPress. I’m excited to write about this last weekend, however. Why, you may ask? Because Comic Con. From the first time I saw dozens of cosplayers prance upon my tele on KPBS public tv station in San Diego almost 20 years ago, I knew I wanted to go to a Comic Con. At first my reactions were fascination and glee, but the more I learned about Comic Con over the years, the more it became a waning hope if I would ever see it in the flesh. It has become a marker of pop culture popularity far beyond comic books. Cosplayers, celebrity panels, movie sneak peaks, the list goes on… My inner childhood dream of working behind the scenes for Jim Henson was spurred on by the countless videos and photos of self-made Hollywood level costume designs. The intricate attention to detail by fans is truly astonishing, right down to the prop stoogie.

Colby Mabile Ghostbuster Cosplayer. Fully operational Proton Pack!

Colby Mabile Ghostbuster Cosplay. Fully operational Proton Pack!

I always missed my ship to see the San Diego Comic-Con, but as a stroke of fortune, Comic Con came to me. Almost 16 years later, Alaska finally hosted it’s first Comic Con. I had the honor of vending at Senshi Con last year (it was actually my 9 year old selling her art) and absolutely loved being part of such an amazing community.

Wonder Woman Cosplay and Steampunk Cosplay by The Waterworks owner, Kali.

Wonder Woman Cosplay and Steampunk Cosplay by The Waterworks owner, Kali Tucker.

This year I had the honor of working with a vendor booth for Comic Con, The Waterworks Spas and Saunas. A wonderful second generation Alaskan family owned and operated hot tub company. With a steampunk vision and hot tub time machine plan in hand, we set out to make quiet the impression on Comic Con.

The Waterworks Airship

There she is….The Waterworks Airship. Bask in her Limelight glow. (that’s the hot tub series)

With the incredible skill and showmanship, the crew and Captain Kali (that’s what I’m calling bosslady) created a 20′ x 20′ airship! Full on Steampunk airship design with hot tubs at her bulwark and an Endless Pool at her mast.  The framework and the rigging were all set up in just one day!

FUN FACT: Arctic Comic Con’s celebrity guest Ian Ziering once swam in an Endless Pool in an episode of The Love Boat: The Next Wave. A 1998 revival of the classic series.


Season 2, Episodes 8 and 9 | Original airdates: December 18, 1998, and January 1, 1999

So many amazing Alaskans and guest celebrities made this year’s debut Arctic Comic Con epic. From the amateur to professional cosplayers, to the wonderful celebrity panels, gaming stations and the wonderful vendor camaraderie, this con will only get better. If you get a chance check it out today! Con runs from 12pm to 7pm. Enjoy the #Conlife Alaska!

Steampunk Angels at Arctic Comic Con

Steampunk Angels at Arctic Comic Con

Busick Clan at Arctic Comic Con

Busick Clan at Arctic Comic Con

Bonne Année & Bonne Santé | Happy New Year!

Happy New Year fellow humans! 2015 is set to bring a future of epic proportions in innovations, discovery and science. In all our learning may we also embrace a key part of our existence to our future, humanity. While billions of people have a ten mile list of personal goals and attributes to conquer and acquire, many more live with just the hope of mere survival. This massive tilt in quality of life may seem unfair or even fair to many, but in order for our planet to truly move forward together we must realize the degrees of separation from each other are not indefinite.

Studies show that we are all connected by a mere six degrees of separation, where you know someone who knows someone through others that eventually knows Dion Waiters. We all can make small choices everyday that will change the world. Even something as benign as recycling and reusing can reduce the impact of climate change, increase minimum wage and help third worlds.

It seems as though I’m preaching but the truth is a personal conviction led me to the realization that if just one person everyday increased their world conscious acts a day we could eliminate local, national and world problems entirely. We now live in a share/co-funding/community awaken era with more tools than ever to empower real impactful changes. Positive and being community minded has many personal benefits as well, not just an extroverted experience.

These are just a few ways to be more Humanly minded:

Recycle & Reuse – each year billions of tons of trash are hauled to the dump with millions of materials that are 100% recyclable. Some areas do not have a recycle facility but recycling can start at home. If your neighbor has a garden or local greenhouse you can save all your organics trash, egg shells or coffee grounds, etc for their composite. Local compost is gold to a gardener! Also, saving jars or plastic containers. Many schools use these for art projects for students or you can use them yourself for storage of knickknacks or dry goods. Benefit: reduced green house gases from trash decomposing, less waste and community good.

Compassion – I’m not saying give the shirt off your back but a little compassion towards your fellow human can go a long way. We all are various “makes & models” but we are connected. Showing kindness really can make a difference. Personal benefit: stronger connection and reciprocation to your community.

Smile – a smile and an authentic “Hello” can change a person’s entire day. I watch kids constantly smile and talk in public to one another while parents stare at their smart devices or sulk in their coffee. Put it down, look up and smile! Personal benefit: Strengthen social interactions and skills, strengthen connection to your community. Reduce degrees of separation.

Unplug – Just 2 minutes of nothing can clear your mind and aid in thoughtfulness and awareness. Awareness is key to realizing your connections and simple ways you can personally discover how to interact with your surroundings. Closing your eyes, breathing slowing and clearing your mind can be tricky but it’s like a well-needed ‘Defrag’ for your brain. Feel free to increase this time and frequency as needed. Personal benefit: clearer thinking, reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

So here’s to the New Year I bid ye Good Year & Good Health!

Choose Your Rabbit Hole Wisely | Self Employment & Daily Living Tips

     As I tackle 50 million projects and start the day scurrying to ready everyone else, I had an epiphany; ‘I must choose my tasks carefully.’ (Cue Darth Vader voice). Get one kid ready for school, one husband off to work, one toddler some water, race to drink a cup of coffee and semi-function through the whole ordeal. Then onto the stack of paperwork glaring at me as well as numerous online duties.

darth bunny by nienor on deviantART   The maternal multitasking instinct constantly takes over when I’m working and tends to clutter my already over-cluttered brain. How can people actually accomplish anything like this?! With any “To-Do” list it’s always important to take a deep breath and do one thing at a time. You can always reorder the list but bare these things in mind:

What is my schedule?
As much as it is important for those nagging tasks to be completed, you must be realistic to your schedule and include actual time for yourself. Not matter the priority, make time for fun!

Calendar Tip: Start with the important dates from annual to daily. Beginning with the Year, mark your main dates for obvious things like holidays & birthdays. Then comes Monthly, more holiday & birthdays, community events, etc. Then your Weekly and Daily. The Daily by far the most important, give yourself blocks of time not just to work but also relax! You are only human! Use an online calendar, such as Google Calendar, or even the old fashioned organizer. I do both. Bonus: With online calendars you can set the app to send you a reminder to your smart device.

Is there a deadline?
This will make scheduling more realistic. If there is a deadline obviously this has priority. Schedule more time with priority deadlines and give yourself a chance to be ahead of the due date. Example: I usually tell myself my appointments are an hour early or assignments are due a day early. I’m typically late for everything so scheduling early helps me be on time!

Does it really need to be done?
That question sometimes is hard to answer. Do we REALLY need to clean every corner of the house before we start an essay? Or can it wait? Writing your holiday cards or completely reorganizing the closet? Those questions seem so easy to answer but we need to ask them and realize the importance of our time.

Can I accomplish my tasks?
Honestly review how hard your tasks are. If you depend on someone else to meet that deadline, keep an open and friendly line of communication going to maintain the importance of your time. You don’t have to be a nag but telling someone once is never enough. Helpful reminders can help us all reach our goals.

The Real Life Variable
We can plan and plan until we are blue in the face but life has a way of throwing daily curve balls. When you’re scheduling have a sense of humor and realize Father Time is also an expert pitcher. You can knock your tasks out of the park with a lighthearted approach! Studies have found that stress decreases productivity. Workplaces, including your home office, can benefit from a playful approach. Having fun is vital to healthy brain functions; increased blood flow and stimulated neurons that relay information better.

Diet
When beefy brain power is needed be sure to feed your brain adequately. We constantly change our diets based off of our schedule. At home, I eat well (mostly) but when running errands I may allow a cheat. I find myself not completely sustained and drained. While coffee and dark chocolate are both sources of antioxidants, they cannot maintain proper nutrition. (Darn!) Avoid overly greasy foods as this slows down your metabolism and can cause sluggishness. Grains, fruits and vegetables can start your molecular engine revving. Vitamin C and B12 are good supplements to take as an alternative if a nutritious diet isn’t always available. These both increase circulation that can aid with brain function. So grab an orange and avoid the Cheetos when out and about! Most important: WATER! Water water water. Grab a bottle or get a container. Your cell will function properly and be able to process at maximum efficiency. Your body is a factory of awesomeness. Keep it going strong!

Where’s the Fun?
In all your planning, plan fun! Whether it’s doing an Acapella in the shower or random doodles on a notepad, keep it short but sweet. It’s easy to get swept down a river of insanely entertaining YouTube videos but try to unplug! Don’t Facebook that’s not really fun and you know it! When in college, I had an online class forum and constantly had to follow threads and responses. When I first joined Facebook I thought “Wow, just like college!” But as I’ve lived and breathed the social media site for work and personal use I have found it is quicksand to a schedule. My recommendation for fun: Embrace retro entertainment!

Give yourself a pat on the back for facing the day in the first place. Thankfulness is also a great way to keep a chipper beat and whistle while you work. I’ve gotten more done with a playful mood than a stessed-out evil Darth Momma. The kids know when I have deadlines, they can smell it. But when we play and take time to enjoy our needs it makes the day sail.

Best wishes and prosperous journeys friends,

Alicia

Dark Kind – Greyscale Comic in Progress

Those serendipity moments when an idea prowls the brain…. Heavenly.
I stayed up late and a comic idea popped in my head.
Sketched some characters on my iPad. Feedback appreciated.

Dark Kinds | Cover Sketch“Dark Kind”

Original Comic By: Alicia Busick

Black & white & grey-scale comic set in the Arctic Ocean- Pisu has been the relocated lost soul of another enchanted ice world. His memory fails him to place himself in his memories where his proper home is. He lives with the other outcasts and special creatures that make up the outer rim (Dark Realm) where the light has lost it’s power to show color and the grey has overtaken the land. With the help of Wasi, Leone, Lokito and Incontu, Pisu will find and return to his homeland. They are, the Dark Kind.

The True Light land forbids the entry of Dark Kinds, they believe their actions caused them to be outcasts and no longer wish to see a world without color. The border is usually guarded by the mighty Ursus who ironically lack color but claim to have sacrificed it to retain honor for their ancestors.

IMG_1619.JPGCharacters::

Pisu– Main Character. Two faced penguin. Dark grey one side and light grey side, intermittent color patterns each side – Split personalities, not immediately apparent but evident upon close relationship

Wasi– Walrus- hair for crown, round shape back/shoulders. Dark grey with light grey when illuminated. Wise, strong, deep voice, intimidating, mysterious. Penguin is mostly not afraid.

Leone– Ringed Seal- dark with light patches, very angry but moments of compassion spew out at random times.

Lokito– Sea Otter- dark with light grey outlines. Trickster, never takes complications seriously. Has an unexpected heart however.

Cepholous– Octopus- white with dark patterns. Animals seek octopus as a guide. Helps when jammed in a tight spot.

Renocu (Ravens) travel back and forth between both worlds and typically act as informants for the Dark Kinds.

Ideas for design:
Fish & ocean creatures are usually light or white while birds are always dark (silhouettes)
The sea is near them, dark grey with light grey outlines. Waves typically Japanese style comic style.

IMG_1622.JPGIMG_1621.JPG

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Work in Process | Check Back For Update or Follow

Hackathon Wrap Up!

wrap_hackathon copyOctober 17-19th, 2014 – Anchorage, AK

With a bevy of coffee, computers and cables the 5th Semi-Annual Alaska Hackathon kicked off. Attendees of the event are the ethical hacking kind. Groups assist government, non-profits and start-up projects to come to fruition. HTML & CSS classes had a great group that even included a local teacher and a notable author.

This year’s event saw the most viable and completed projects come out of the hAKathon yet. One favorite is Boop! Created by boopone of the event founders, Shane Spencer. It is the ultimate Customer Service Web-based App but works on your mobile browser. With the press of a button you can contact a business or facility nearby and request to have your customer service needs met. Try Boop!: http://boop.link

One mega-hackateer, Brendan Babb with Code for Anchorage, created and facilitated over 5 completed projects. My favorite is the @CutePetsANC Twitter Bot that randomly tweets available pets for adoption. www.twitter.com/cutepetsanc

Other incredible projects include the Trails App. A map to showcase and highlight various trails and features in Anchorage Municipaility as well as Hatcher Pass, Eagle River and Girdwood. The CFA meets every other week every Tuesday evening at the Boardroom downtown. Free pizza and beer.

B0RJ1RICEAExceg

Cute Pets Anchorage unofficial mascot, “Cutie” Follow on Twitter @CutePetsANC

Another great project is the text notification system that updates real time election results. ‘Alaska Election Updates’ is set for completion. One member from that project, Joe Fox, Copy Editor with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, traveled over 200 miles to participate in the 5th Hackathon.

All in all, deemed as the best Hackathon yet. For complete list of projects and teams visit Alaska Hackathon on Facebook.

Plans are in place to continue more events and meet-ups via the Anchorage MakerSpace. The Alaska Hackathon has now affiliated it’s events and services with MakerSpace to offer more resources for hackateers. Currently the establishment is holding a membership drive and offering steep discounts for Hackathon participants. For more information visit Anchorage MakerSpace.

Save the Date! 2014 Anchorage Mini Maker Faire is Planned

Yay! The Maker Faire is awesome! Last year we boosted a Robot that launch Frisbees at targets, underwater Robots, a Flame Shooting Salmon & More!

Anchorage Mini Maker Faire

Thanks to the wonderful people at Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the 2014 Anchorage Mini Maker Faire date has been set! Anchorage_MMF_logos_Facebook

So spread the word! And make sure to sign up if you’re interested in participating in this year’s event. We expect even more vendors, attendees and awesomesauce to abound!

makers-apply-here

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