Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Ferocious Bear

A bear

As you can see, this is a ferocious bear. You can can tell by the long, terrible toenails on his feet. Ignore for a moment his slight smile, his jolly roundness, and his alarmingly bulging eyes. Be afraid!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Out for a Drive

Guy driving a convertible

I have never owned a convertible. I have never even had a car with a sunroof. I view my car as my spaceship. Every weekday morning I seal myself in, strap on my seat belt, and take off for work. 

I like to be encased in steel, with some sound-proofing to cut road noise because I spend my commute listening to books or music. 

I think driving a convertible would be noisy. I could get a sunburn on my head. I could get soaked from rain. I could get smacked with bugs or crazy birds. 

But this guy seems to be enjoying himself.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

How to Name a Dog

A picture of a dog with dog food in a dish

In the summer of 1970 or so, our family moved into a house on a corner in Chillicothe, Ohio*. One day we visited the house of a friend who had a spare doghouse, with no dog in residence. I don't remember anything about the house we were visiting, but I clearly remember the doghouse. It was a well-built, small house, clad with white quality aluminum siding. Above the front doorway was the name Pepper. It was a premium home for a medium sized dog. 

We didn't have a dog, but we took the house home with us anyway. It didn't stay empty for long (that would have been silly). Soon we acquired a female beagle-mix puppy. 

Coincidentally, her name was Pepper! (Not really, we just didn't want to change the name on the house.)

Pepper was full of energy. She quickly scored points with dad by chewing up his work shoes. She loved taking walks, nearly choking herself into unconsciousness, straining at her leash to chase anything that moved. When alone, Pepper would entertain herself by digging holes in the yard, and tossing her empty dish straight into the sky to see how high it would fly. She was also really good at howling. For naps, she liked to sleep on her roof, just like Snoopy.

Pepper was a great dog, but sadly, the house lasted longer than she did.

Note:  Pepper didn't look anything like the dog pictured above.

*In a previous edition I said Kokomo, Indiana, but that was incorrect. It was a long time ago.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ukulele for the Serious Musician

A ukulele

A ukulele is a nice instrument to play. Some people like to strum it, some like to use a flat pick. Some like to pose with one and sing silly songs. (Anybody remember Tiny Tim?)

I often sit in the evening and finger-pick old-time tunes on mine, or maybe some blues. It is easy on the fingers, not too loud, and whatever I learn on my ukulele is easy to transfer to my guitar. 

There are some pretty famous people that have enjoyed playing ukuleles. George Harrison was a big fan. Eddie Vedder has a ukulele album. Other players include Zooey Deschanel, Katie Micucci, and the overachiever, Jake Shimabukuro.

Try it, you'll love it!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Mechanical Pictures

Picture of a robot

My grandboys love to play Minecraft and build things with Legos. When I was a boy we had Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys. I really enjoyed Tinkertoys. My brothers and I could build different contraptions, and if my brothers messed with me, I could make a sword and give them a poke in the ribs. 

Creativity for humans isn't about making something from nothing. Creativity is making something new from spare parts. I made this picture of a robot with a Sharpy marker on paper that somebody else made. I scanned it into my computer with a scanner and computer that somebody else made. I colored it with Affinity Designer, and added some text with a font that somebody else made.

Thanks to all of the people that made the stuff that helps me make stuff!

Friday, February 19, 2021

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Lady sweeping dust under a rug

It's nice to be tidy, but tidiness is temporary. Eventually a rug can only cover so much. After a while, it's time to roll up the rug, take it outside and thoroughly clean it.

My brain is the same, dust accumulates. I'm not sure of the best way to knock the dust out of my head. There is plenty in there. 

Sometimes the dust in my head takes on a life of its own, like dust bunnies under the sofa. I'll keep on accumulating, sweep it under the rug, hide and keep if for later, then hope for the best!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sight Seeing From Space

Spaceman in space

In my art school days, our teachers encouraged us to squint our eyes when we looked at our work, blurring our vision to check for overall compositional balance, contrast, that sort of thing. My good friend and room mate Bill wore glasses. He would wear them on the end of his nose, so he could quickly switch from blurry to sharp when he looked at his work. Later, my friend and teacher, Morrie Green would encourage people to do the same, he even had a cool name for it: the bi-lateral squint.

It seems sometimes the best way to look at things is to back up and view things from far away. That may be the best way to look at political events lately.

Maybe mom and dad were on to something when they sent me to my room to think about what I had done.