Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'll start tomorrow

Whooooosh! Did you see that? The first quarter of the year is all but gone.

It reminded me that I made some New Year's resolutions, and maybe I should check my progress.

Actually, I think I'm doing okay with them... all except for one. That "volunteer less" thing. I already serve as treasurer on the school PTO and I chair Run With Lumber, which is coming up in about a month.

So, when the PTO president told me she wanted to award t-shirts to the students who brought in $20 or more for Run With Lumber, I was totally fine with it as long as SHE does EVERYTHING having to do with procurring said t-shirts.

And she did.

Of course, she kept me in the loop. The loop of how she had an artist who would design and produce the image. The loop of how that "artist" would bail on her. The loop of how she approached a local caricature artist. The loop of how the caricature artist would do it for an exorbitant amount of money....

Okay, I couldn't stand it at that point! First of all, I have a bit of a thorn in my side with caricature artists, but that's another story. Secondly, the ridiculous FEE.

"HOLD IT! Let me see what I can come up with before we fork over this FEE!", I says. And that's how my volunteer-less resolution fizzled.

As I told her, it's just Lumber with four running children of balanced gender and non-descript ethnicity. If nothing else, we're a PC PTO. It's not a t-shirt just yet, but I have to admit it was kind of fun.

I'll volunteer less tomorrow.


Monday, March 28, 2011

back at it

It's Monday back-to-work day, and it seems appropriate to look back on the week that was spring break.

All in all, it was a nice week off. I was talking with some people at work today - one took a trip to Chicago to meet the girlfriend's family (hot seat!). Another went to the Grand Canyon and had some nice tiny pictures on the cell phone to share.

Me? Well, we went bowling one day - I'm not much of a bowler, unlike some people we know - I just go for the rental shoes; got in some bicycling; took a trip as mentioned to visit/check up on the parents; watched a couple movies.

We watched Red which was a lot of fun. Helen Mirren with a machine gun, John Malkovich in a gilly suit - what's not to like?

Then Magnum and I watched Blood Diamond. I'd heard it was good, but I usually avoid movies with children in disturbing circumstances. I liked it - except for the children-in-disturbing-circumstances thing.

Low-key, yes, but I'm not complaining. It was just about the right length and I for one was ready to get back into the usual routine today. To make the return all the more sweet, it was a speed trap day this afternoon at crossing guard duty.

I swear, it's like shooting fish in a bucket.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Welcome to another installment of Illustration Friday on Saturday!

One thing I really like about this Illustration Friday business is that it often gets me to do things that I wouldn't just choose to do on my own. When I saw that this week's prompt was "toy", nothing came to mind right away.

I sat here pondering and then bounced it off Wolfgang who was here in the room with me. "Hmm... what should I draw for 'toy'?"

I half expected him to join me in my puzzlement, at least for a while. Instead, however, seemingly without even taking a breath, he answered, "Optimus Prime". Yes, he's quite a fan of the whole Transformers conglomeration and has done his part to contribute to Michael Bay's bank account. Recall that he has his own Optimus Prime rendition, prestigously placed on our own Wall O' Muscle.

Anyways, Optimus Prime? Well, I wouldn't just sit down and decide to make a drawing of Optimus Prime, but why the heck not? And so I began.
I got to know good old Optimus more than I ever thought I would. He's certainly not one to be messed with.

I spent a gooder part of the day with Optimus, in fact. In the end, it was all quite fun.

And that's what toys are for, right?

small town mysteries

I awoke this morning to another fine spring day... but alas now, clouds are rolling in.

Oh well. I ended up taking a rather impromptu trip to the Hometown with brother Wombat to visit my parents. One thing about these visits is the risk of running into someone I once knew and not remembering who they are now. It's a curse of growing up in a small town.

Sure enough, there we were. I'd forgotten my toothbrush and was missing it terribly. I decided to walk to a nearby convenience store for another. My dad and brother joined me.

A couple of blocks from the house was a crew of city worker guys working on a water pipe. As we strolled past, one says, "Hey Wombat! Abby! Hi Mr. Dad! It's Carlos."

None of us had a clue as to who he was.

He and my brother shook hands and did a quick 2-minute summary as to where they'd been since ... well... whenever they'd supposedly known each other, while my dad and I stood there all smiley-like.

In fact, my brother did such a good job, I was sure that he'd figured out who the mystery man was, so I asked him as we were out of earshot.

"Who was that?" I says.

"Carlos", Wombat says.

"Carlos who?", I says

"I dunno", Wombat says, "just Carlos".

Crap, he didn't know either!

From then on, I was on alert. In the convenience store, I carefully studied the guy who rung up my toothbrush - some vague familiarity about his face, but... nothing more. We decided to get coffee at McDonald's. The place was crawling with vaguely familiar people, but nothing obvious. In the recesses of my mind, I know that I KNOW some of those McDonald's people, but just couldn't quite make the full connection.

Today, I'm back home. Still wondering about the mysterious Carlos. Maybe it just bugs me because he seemed so nice, and he so quickly recognized all of us.

I know it will continue to bug me, especially when I brush my teeth.

Monday, March 21, 2011

one hundred eighteen

Okay, I spoke to my IT guy... a.k.a Chaco... I think I can get this video to load now.

Recall that quite a while ago I stole showcased a school project of Chaco's for entertainment purposes here. I thought it only fair to do the same with Wolfie.

He made this video recently for a school project. He says he did a total of 118 drawings. I didn't count them, I'll just take his word for it. I know that he spent a good deal of time scribbling away, and I know that the dang video wouldn't even upload the first try before compressing it, then converting it....

... then it was here, but only HALF of it. WT_? I was set to just forgeddaboutit, but then Judy happened to stop by during the brief interlude that half of it was here and commented about it. So I decided to give it another shot:

Anyway, pay no never mind to the name shown in the credits. That's just his publicity name, we all know he's really "Wolfgang Normal".


Saturday, March 19, 2011


Greetings! it's Illustration Friday Saturday once again. This week's prompt is "cultivate".

Behold, the hard-working farmer.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

Sheesh, I nearly missed it!

Now, be sure to celebrate responsibly.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Greetings and welcome to another Sunday Illustration Friday on Saturday. I'm a day behind. This week's prompt is "stir" to which I respond with a drawing of a belly dancer.

Ever seen one live? There were lots of them around in Boulder, CO where I lived for a while. There was a greek restaurant that I remember going to on a date once. A belly dancer would stir herself amidst the tables - jiggling her jewelry and skirt coins and other things... I remember her balancing a candle on her head, all the while.

I find them wonderfully exotic, and I've thought of taking lessons myself. I don't exactly have the typical body (parts) for it, but it could be fun.

Not to worry, I wouldn't quit my day job.

Friday, March 11, 2011

reason number 761...

... why I don't need no stinkin' minivan.

This is the best cupholder!

Ah, comfy cozy blog. It's been too long!

I don't have any good excuses other than the usual "... well, been kinda busy...." But it's nice to be here now. Meego and I are enjoying a nice day off from school. It's actually a pretty decent mid-March kind of day.

I am attempting to upload a video that Wolfgang made, but it's taking for-EV-er. I actually don't think it's going to make it. Blogger keeps saying "uploading video", but I'm starting to think it's just leading me on. *sigh*. Story of my life?

In the meantime, Meego and I took advantage of the nice day and went for a short bike ride. I was positively giddy when I discovered that my frequent drinker 16-oz. coffee cup from Diamond Shamrock fits like a glove in my bicycle water bottle cage! Am I easy to please, or WHAT?!

I wasn't even in the mood for a cup o' joe, but it's the principle of the thing.

And I haven't actually created a list of 761+ reasons why I don't need a minivan, but I'm sure I could come up with one.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Happy Illustration Friday on Saturday! This week's prompt is "warning", so I made this Public Service Announcement.

I've been a school crossing guard for about 2 months now. My latest trick is to stand and point my cell phone at the speeders. It makes them think I'm filming them and usually has the desired effect of slowing traffic down. It has yet to have the undesired effect of pissing someone off to the point of them getting out of their car to beat me up and/or smash my phone.

And... I am now well stocked with candy. But not every shift. It's best to keep them guessing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

testing... testing...

It's state assessment test time here in Colorado. Makes for a little different atmosphere at school. So, I'm a test proctor for a couple of students that get special accomodations.

This is typically seen as a dull assignment - watching kids take tests, but I'm rather enjoying it. For one, since these two require accomodations, I'm a more active participant. I read the test to them, all the directions, all the questions. Being the test geek that I am, that's actually kind of fun. Additionally, I'm enjoying working with tese two. They're typical 5th grade boys. Kinda goofy, not very serious, not big on test-taking.

But they're soldiering on well, knowing what's expected of them, testing my limits occassionally. I think we've got each other figured out now. I think I'll actually miss this when it's over next week.

Yesterday, we were doing a writing session - clearly neither of their favorite activities. But, in typical fashion, they performed their due dilligence. At one point in the excitement, one of the kids summoned me. Naturally, assessment test rules state no talking between students, and no distractions to others, so he was accordingly and quietly obeying.

I leaned over to assist in what was surely a highly important assessment test issue needing resolving.

The issue, in *whispers* :

"The old crossing guard... used to give us candy sometimes"

Good to know.