Category: Uncategorized

Feb 06

Change it’s a-coming!

So, I’ve been chipping away at my student debt. The sales from my two PODs, Cafepress and Zazzle, helped a bit. Of course, I will likely end up paying additional taxes on the wee bit of income, but such is life.

This blog is going to change over the course of the next few month. I am starting on a new adventure with trying to add income to my wallet to help pay down my student debt faster. I’ve been reading up on running small businesses, tax regulations for small business, and all kinds of fascinating and enlightening things on running blog for fun AND profit.

From what I’ve seen online there are several tracks, the first is some pretty blatant THIS BLOG IS ABOUT MAKING MONEY BY BLOGGING blogs out there. More power to them, so say I. Not really my cup of tea. There are also the Mommy blogs that simply scream OMG I LOVE MY KIDS AND CLEANING HOUSE SO HARD but I fear that is also not for me. (You’d agree too, if you’d seen the state of un-cleanliness in my current abode) But I am learning a lot from reading their awesome and informative posts.

One of the things I have up my sleeve is a new blog for re-enactors and living historians called All the Times Past. To do this, I will need to move web hosting servers as the place I am currently using is just a tad too expensive now that I am moving from hobby for-fun to a small business model. This makes me sad, because I love my host as they are so responsive with supporting my frequent issues and questions.

The next few months will bring a new hosting service, a fun-filled blog design and testing, and pulling a whole bunch of content together. I figure to have it up and running by July. Yay! Something new and exciting and challenging, and I am sure…. rewarding.

This idea was sparked when my Dear Husband casually remarked that it would be awesome if we could get paid to visit other re-enactor groups in Europe. MMMmmm. What a clever clever man! So while I am sure there will be other benefits from running a blog for re-enactors and living historians, meeting new people around the world is one of my center-of-the-matter goals.


Nov 30

Save the endangered tree Octopus….

One of the rarest creatures to haunt the Pacific Northwest, the elusive tree octopus shines in the pantheon of fantastical animals. Rarely seen, the shy tree octopus loops itself around the branches of trees to lay in wait for it’s next meal. Currently, one of the most endangered of the arboreal arthropods, the tree octopus needs your help if it is to survive.

Save the endangered tree octopus!

Save the endangered tree octopus!

This retro design in the colors reminiscent of the tree octopus will remind people of the care we need to take with our tree-dwelling eight legged friends.


Save the tree octopus t-shirt

Save the tree octopus t-shirt


Check out these designs at Malarkey Pie!


Nov 22



EVENT: Hood & Portland To Coast – Providence Cancer Center

EVENT DATE: AUG 22, 2014





In August 2014 this team of 12 crazy, amazing, strong, dedicated, determined, did-I-mention-crazy friends is walking from Portland to – you guessed it – the coast (which is where the beaches are).

Did you catch that? We’re walking to THE COAST. The. Coast. That’s *approximately* one million miles from Portland. Approximately. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s still huge. And crazy. And hard. But we’re doing it because cancer sucks. A lot. And having cancer, knowing someone who has cancer, or even just knowing that *anyone *anywhere* has cancer is a lot harder than walking.

Every step we’ll take will be particularly meaningful. Every step will be a punch in the nose to cancer because every dollar you donate here will go to Providence Cancer Center. Every dollar.

Let’s put this all in perspective… As we open up this donation page in early October, the event is about 300 days away…  About 40 weeks…  About 10 months…

If you skipped one latte every week between now and the event, there’s $160. BAM! Punch in the nose.

If you just got a cup of drip instead of that latte every day between now and then, there’s $600. BAM! Sock in the eye.

If you put $1 in a shoebox every day between now and then, there’s $300. BAM! Kick in the knee.

If you set $10 aside every week between now and then, there’s $400. BAM! Smack in the face.

Chances are your company has a donation matching program, which would double your contribution. BAM! BAM!

If you took the change in that jar on your dresser (doesn’t everyone have one?) to the coin machine at the grocery store, I’ll bet it would be a donation amount you’d feel good about, and you’d probably find that button you thought you lost. BONUS!

None of these small sacrifices would be painful. In fact, helping is the opposite of painful! It feels GOOD. True story. You know you want to punch cancer in the nose. Hard. Because cancer sucks. So do it.

You donate – right here.

We’ll walk – to the coast.

And we’ll both feel reallly good about it.

We raise a glass to you! THANK YOU!


Nov 22

10 Best-selling t-shirt designs at Malarkey Pie

Bold (and often snarky) graphic designs for geeks and science-y types abound at Malarkey Pie, but some designs rise to the top and become best-sellers. Here is a review of the designs that have been purchased recently! Every single item that I sell helps me to pay down my student loan even faster!

1. Apparently, fiber geeks also like coffee (or tea! or hot cocoa!)

I am not easily distracted... oh look, Yarn!

I am not easily distracted… oh look, Yarn!









2. Do you love that science fiction television show with the LSD dropping mad scientest, the peacoat wearing prodigal son, the sensible show wearing FBI agent, and a Holstein cow named Jean? Yeah, I loved FRINGE, too! Because, really, every laboratory needs a cow!

Every science lab needs a cow like Jean!

Every science lab needs a cow like Jean!









3. Even feminists love a  comfy t-shirt, and they really seemed to love this fiery feminist symbol. This seemed to pop up on jewelry a lot.

Where there is smoke there is a fiery feminist heart

Where there is smoke there is a fiery feminist heart








4. Edgar Allen Poe himself  would probably drink absinthe wearing this t-shirt.

I'm just  Poe boy from a Poe family!

I’m just Poe boy from a Poe family!









5. If you are looking for geekwear for your favorite geek to wear while watching Star Wars for the thirty thousandth time, then this is just the thing.

Come to the dork side! We have pie!

Come to the dork side! We have pie!









6. Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century poem, the Divine Comedy, this design  showcases beautiful calligraphy.

Inspired by Dante Alighieri's 14th-century poem, the Divine Comedy.

Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century poem, the Divine Comedy.










7. The great state of Oregon is represented here. Pentagon, Octagon, Oregon!

Pentagon! Octagon! Oregon!

Pentagon! Octagon! Oregon!





8. The Ride of the Valkyries is not just an awesome song by Wagner used in a quirky slapstick comedy called Apocalypse Now. No, these awesome female riders carry the heroic Viking fallen warriors to Valhalla.

Ride of the Valkyries

Ride of the Valkyries






9. The real Seven Deadly Sins ….

The seven deadly sins ...

The seven deadly sins …









10. Not all who wander are lost. Tolkien’s words are so right on today.

Not all who wander are lost....

Not all who wander are lost….










Check back for more best-selling t-shirts and gifts for geeks and scientists!


Mar 07

Understanding your community

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”

M. Scott Peck

Define your community – An outreach program is as much an opportunity for you to learn about your community as it is for the community to learn about earthquake and tsunami preparation. Begin by understanding what makes your community unique, what are its strengths, and weaknesses. This portion of your program will enable you to identify leaders that will make your program a success.

Community can be anything from a single hospital or school to an entire county or region. Some will have defined organizational structures and others will be less structured. You can leverage the various advantages from either system,

Example: “Small regional hospital in mid-sized town”

Define your community.

Write down the “Who, what, where, how and why.”

In order to function well and foster a “sense of community”, a few traits need to be considered.

  • People feel like they belong to the community
  • People believe they can influence the community
  • People are integrated into the community
  • The community fulfills a need of the people
  • There is a shared emotional connection to the community.

Spend some time defining and learning about your community and then write up as detailed summary as possible. Include points that address the concerns above. Since the goal of an outreach program is to influence behavior, in this case, to create action in the public leading to earthquake and tsunami preparedness. There are many ways to listen to a community hopes, needs, priorities, and resources. Some involve surveys, extensive interviews, mapping technologies, and complex processes. Those detailed processes are vital for community-wide visioning and strategic planning for public outreach and education. And while these resource-heavy strategies are good, you can also accomplish this process with much fewer resources. Anything that you can do to stimulate dialogue and community-self- reflection will help you to better define your outreach program.

Geographic communities: These communities are based on place or location. They can be a neighborhood, a town, a city, and state, a country, a planet, or a universe.

Communities of culture: These communities are based on interests, whether they are hobbies, special needs, sub-cultures, or arts.

Community organizations: These communities range from informal kinship groups to civic organizations to faith based groups to political organizations.




Sep 20

Hello and welcome to the blog that ate my homework, Alfalfa Press, an avid exploration of all things that I find curious and intriguing.

You will find posts relating to many of my interests, but mostly it will be an outlet for my thoughts on public outreach and running an effective outreach campaign. Eventually, I will pull everything together to offer an eBook on the subject. Many of the posts are chapter excerpts and explorations of specific questions and best practices. How do I know what I’m talking about? Currently, I am the program coordinator for the geologic hazards program for Oregon Emergency Management. This gives me plenty of opportunity to try many of these concepts out on an unsuspecting research group, the entire state of Oregon. <insert mad scientist laugh here>

You will also likely find bits about some of my other interests; Merovingian material culture, graphic design, and (quite honestly) whatever else comes to my mind at any given point. This means you could be in for a wild ride. Squirrel!

If the Merovingian thing piques your interest, I encourage you to pop over to my other blog, Suvia’s Letters, where I keep most of that information. This is where my academic heart beats the fastest. Nothing gets my juices flowing quite like delving into some new bit of information or translating an obscure article in a foreign language and making it accessible to a whole new audience. One of the reasons why this period interested me was that so little is known about it. At least that’s what I thought years ago. There is actually quite a bit of published research… in French, German and other languages. So I spend a lot of time going through publications and pulling out the information and posting it on Suvia’s Letters. I also spend a lot of effort trying to get information out of researchers across the pond.  [Mr. Perin…call me!]

Another interest of mine is graphic design and drawing stuff. I don’t get to do this as much as I’d like. This artistic outlet also serves another purpose by providing a (currently rather meager) source of income. You can see my designs at my Cafepress shops. Take a look at Malarkey Pie for sciency/geeky stuff and Suvia’s Emporium for historically-inspired stuff. I come up with something especially cool or clever, I’ll post about it here. Please to consider purchasing something for someone on your gift list. Your purchase helps to fund a future research trip to Europe as well as the cost of running this site.

A future post will be on my fantasy research trip to the museums housing Merovingian artifacts and visits with researchers and visits with living history groups. My husband would like to visit Italy to see where his family originated, but that would be just for fun. The other part of the trip, the Merovingian part through France, Germany, Belgium, and Poland would be work, work, work! No, really. I suppose I should go buy a lottery ticket. 😀 It’s for science!


Sep 08

So, it looks like you found me!

Keep an eye on this site for more information as I pull together the many strands of my thoughts and actions.


Apr 23

Welcome to the New Alfalfa Press

I am finally making the change to a much more dynamic site. Yeah, I know. I’ve been on the interwebs since the early day back when it was still called the world wide web and people knew what “http” stood for. But I’m not an early adopter by nature, so I’m a tad late to this bloggin thing.


On these pages, you’ll find an eclectic mix of my various endeavors, odd bits of what ever amuses me or strikes my fancy.