Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Things that go “fist bump” in the night.

March 18, 2016

fist bump in the night

I know it’s been a long time since I posted any content on this blog, but my kids are growing up a bit and I find I have (slightly) more time on my hands.

Our youngest child is now three years old.  Unlike many others of his age, he has never resisted his bedtime.  In fact, he has a grand time rushing through an increasingly lengthy string of goodnight sayings to each member of the family.  These currently  include: good night, sleep tight, sweet dreams, night night, I love you, and see you in the morning.

However, the speed at which he rattles these phrases off at makes it sounds more like – “Goodnightsleeptightsweetdreamsnightnightiloveyouseeyouinthemorning!

It is usually the last thing he says before he  closes his door for the final bedtime story and snuggle with his Mom.

However, the other night he opened the door again seconds after closing it.  I waited to see what adorable phrase he was adding to the mix now.

He looked at me with his large ernest eyes and said very quietly, “Our house doesn’t have any ghosts…”

“…anymore.”

The door began to shut again.  Just before it clicked, he cracked it open once more and whispered, “Don’t be scared.

As I said above, I finally have enough time to start posting some new drawings.  Goodness knows I’m not using any of it sleeping anymore.

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Few things can ruin a tough guy image like training wheels.

February 16, 2015

tough guy training wheels

Everyone knows that younger siblings emulate their older ones.  It’s an important part of child development and growth.  Small children learn by watching and then doing.

I know this.

I understand this.

The only problem is that our youngest (2 years old) is a boy and the older ones are both girls.  The result of this is that my son’s favorite hat in pink.  He enjoys dancing.  He loves sparkles.  His favorite dress-up clothes are actually just dresses.

He is only 2 years old.  He has no real gender identity yet.  He is simply imitating his beloved older sisters.

I know this.

I understand this.

I’ll just keep repeating these phrases to myself.  I’ll repeat them loud enough that I can’t hear him asking to have his nails repainted…

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All societies have their snobs (300th post).

July 4, 2014

water snob

This marks my 300th post on wordpress.com.

I’m pretty sure that’s important.  I think there might be a special VIP club for 300 post snobs like myself.  Or does 300 posts earns me a major award?  A personal letter of recognition from WordPress founder & CEO Matt Mullenberg wouldn’t be amiss (along with some stock options).

At the very least, I think I’ve earned some frequent flyer miles.

If 300 posts won’t get me any perks at WordPress, perhaps a few of these other stats might:

  • total number of comments = 1,220
  • total number of blog followers = 9,298 (wow!)
  • total number of cartoons posted = 355
  • total number of posts published in a print magazine = 2
  • total number of tattoos that were inspired by my drawings = 2
  • total number of  Thai restaurants illegally using my artwork = 1

Even the Thai restaurant display is flattering (in a way).  Here are photos of the Thai restaurant in question and my original art:


Broccolimy broccoli

If the owner of this Thai restaurant is reading this post, please contact me so I can… thank you… for displaying my art in your fine establishment.

 

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His creative outlet is quite literal.

June 12, 2014

creative outlet

I have talked about my brother before on this blog.  He is a wonderful and very artistic young man.

He also experiences autism.

His creativity and his strong literal sense combine to form a very interesting outlook on life.  Although he has many strengths in his personality, spontaneous humor is not among them.  Because of this, my Father was determined to teach Joe how to tell a joke.  He started with the old classic, “What’s black and white and read all over?”  When the punchline of, “newspaper” was given, Joe would act confused.  Dad would explain the wordplay involved and why it was funny.  Joe would then agree newspapers were read all over the world, but would never break even the slightest smile during the exchange.

As time went on, they went through the same routine repeatedly.

Most men would have admitted defeat.  Most men would have simply accepted that some battles were not worth fighting.  My Father was not most men.  Again and again he would patiently march once more unto the breach – continuing to practice the same joke with the same results.

Every.  Single.  Time.

In fact, it went on for years.  As time passed, the explanation of the punchline and Joe’s expressionless reaction became a tradition that proved far more entertaining than the original joke ever was.  It played out more times then I can possibly count.  It gradually became an in-joke for our family.

My Father passed away six years ago.  Although I tried to continue the tradition, it just wasn’t the same.  We still joked about the exchanges, but it was relegated to category of fond memory.

During dinner a few months ago, Joe surprised everyone by asking, “What’s black and white and read all over?”  We all sat in stunned silence for a moment until my oldest daughter finally asked, “what?”

Joe replied with, “A newspaper…”

And after a heartbeat’s hesitation added “… that’s read all over,” while breaking into an uncontrollable fit of the giggles.

 

 

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Somebody is feeling lucky!

March 16, 2014

In early February, I received an email from a lovely young woman named Jay.  It read as follows:

Hey! So, recently I decided that I really wanted a lucky rabbit’s foot tattoo. Desperate for ideas, I tried a Google search. Luckily (ha ha),  I found your awesome sketch and fell in love. Your sketches are fantastic! I saw someone else had tattooed some of your artwork and I decided that I would join the club. And, well, I figured I’d send it to you!

Voila! Hope you dig it.

Cheers,
Jay

image-2

Here is a photo of Jay’s awesome new tattoo.

lucky rabbit foot unlucky rabbit

Here is the original comic (rotated for comparison and for people web surfing while lying in bed).

Well, I do dig it Jay!  I also think your tattooist did a great job creating  the illusion of depth with his/her shading technique.  It looks great and I am deeply honored to know that there are at least two people now permanently wearing one of my little pictures (here is the first).

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Not many can claim such a refined pallet.

February 23, 2014

refined pallet

In 2013, my wife and I made a different type of New Year’s resolution.  Rather than working on changing ourselves, we decided to focus on spending time together and trying new things on a monthly basis.  As anyone with young children knows, time is always at a premium and we wanted to make sure we had some time reserved for us.  We ended up spending our “us time” reading some new books, cooking a few interesting recipes, and creating a handful of surprisingly beautiful art projects – all together.

It was obviously a more enjoyable resolution to keep than loosing weight or exercising.

For 2014, we wanted to try something that would continue focusing on the time we spend together as a couple.  We settled on a bi-monthly wine and cheese night.  This is a pretty big area of novelty for us because, until now, we have both been non-drinkers.

So far, the cheeses have been quite good (with the exception of a gruyere that smelled/tasted like a dirty old gym sock wrapped in a dirty old jockstrap).

The wines have been a bit more hit and miss.  We tried a very dry red which was fairly harsh.  There was a pink moscato that was very, very acidic.  The two ice wines we have sampled both proved to be quite tasty.  We even bought an expensive aged tawny port that tasted exactly like prune juice and gasoline.  The best so far was a nice Moscato d’ Asti – very light and sweet.

When ranking our picks thus far, we discovered that if we simply listed the wines from the lowest alcohol content (5%) to the highest (20%), it correlated exactly from our favorite to least favorite picks.  The less alcohol in the bottle, the more we enjoyed it.

Essentially, we like grape juice.

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Everyone likes a naval orange.

February 9, 2014

naval orange

Just kidding – those things are the worst.  I prefer my fruit free of pesticides AND umbilicus.

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Some Topknots are more fabulous than fierce.

January 30, 2014

fabulous topknot

At the end of last year my wife and I celebrated a milestone.  Two of our three children are now able to operate with complete independence in the bathroom…

… or so we thought…

It was my Mother (Nana to the kids) who first noticed the suspicious drips and drops sprinkling her bathroom floor.  The splashes were noted again and again over the course of several weeks whenever our three-year-old (Emma) had been there.  Each time, the mysterious moisture was dismissed by Nana as the product of enthusiastic hand washing.

The way Nana tells the story, she accidentally walked in on Emma using the potty.   She opened the bathroom door to find her beautiful and perfect granddaughter bent over the toilet with one arm completely inside the bowl, vigorously splashing the contents.  Emma apparently looked at her and said brightly, “I’m cleaning the potty!”

Nana was so shocked that she didn’t say anything.  Emma evidently saw the concern on Nana’s face.  She followed up with, “It’s okay, I’m using a brush,” pulling her arm from the toilet and brandishing a dripping wet brush in her small hand.

It wasn’t actually a cleaning brush, but rather Nana’s hair brush.

The same hair brush Nana used on her head each and every day of her life after she bathed.

Each and every day – including the past several weeks that it had also been moonlighting as a toilet brush.

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The day after Halloween is when the real monsters appear.

November 2, 2013

real monsters come after halloween

This Halloween was our first with three children.  Our youngest is only 11 months so he didn’t care about costumes (we gave him a cape anyway).  Our oldest is in first grade and cared a great deal about costumes.  She chose Batgirl – it was a homemade costume that ended up looking very cool.  Our middle child stubbornly insisted on being a “Princess-Cowboy-Superhero.”

She definitely proved the most challenging…

…as usual…

 

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50 Shades of Grey Poupon.

October 26, 2013

50 shades of grey poupon

No, I have not read the book I am making fun of.

Yes, I’m okay with that.

 

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Weapons of Mass Deduction.

July 31, 2013

weapons of mass deduction

Sometimes being a parent also means being a bit of a detective.

This could take the form of comforting a crying child while also trying to determine the cause of the tears.  It could be a case of frantically searching for a lost stuffed animal minutes before bedtime.

Most of the the time it just means figuring out what the smell is and where on earth it’s coming from.

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Cheddar should be sharp enough to cut back.

July 22, 2013

sharp cheddar

For the past few years I have been suffering from eczema on my hands.  After eliminating chemical and environmental sources, I have been looking at the possibility of a food allergy.  Our seven-month-old has had some issues with milk sensitivities and we thought perhaps I was experiencing a similar issue.

I visited the doctor in early summer and had some blood testing done.  As we waited for the results we have discussed how much more challenging it would be to avoid other common elements like corn, eggs, gluten, wheat, yeast, etc (or even worse a combination of more than one).  As my wife is still breastfeeding, we have seen how difficult it is to eliminate just one staple like milk from the diet.  Because we eat mostly food that is prepared from scratch, the idea of avoiding several ingredients seemed quite daunting.

As it turns out I am allergic to all of these and more.  It seems that I am at least “sensitive” to everything from the everyday ingredients listed above to more unusual foods like asparagus, lobster, and litchi fruit.  In fact, the only items that I remember having absolutely no sensitivities to were cheddar cheese, horseradish, and grapefruit.

While I will admit that each is tasty in their own way, I can’t think of many tasty recipes that combine all three…

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His Majesty, the Prince of Whales.

May 14, 2013

inkjot.wordpress.com

Our six month-old is developing his own little personality.

He is very curious, exploring everything within reach by gnawing, chewing, and drooling.  He is also very engaging, reacting to loved ones with smiles, giggles, and shrieks.

He is especially fascinated by his two older sisters.  When they are close enough he gnaws, chews and drools on them.  However, he is usually content to watch them run from one end of the house to the other.  He is too small to sit up on his own, but he loves to be held in a sitting position to witness the chaos.  Periodically, he will get tired and bend forward at the waist to rest and thoughtfully chew on his toes.

Each time our three year-old sees this she will stop, bow, and gravely announce, “Your Majesty.”

Then she runs aways laughing like a complete maniac.

She is also developing a personality – a very big one by the looks of it.

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Habitual liars suffer from smokers cough.

April 28, 2013

liar liar

We have a little indoor/outdoor home weather station that sits on our kitchen counter.  It tells us all kinds of neat information like temperature and humidity with great accuracy.

It even provides a forecast for the next few hours.  We have found this to be somewhat less accurate.

If it predicts sun, we watch for rain.  If rain is in the forecast, it’s safe to plan a picnic.  Recently it showed partly sunny/partly cloudy/and rain all at the same time.  Instead, a snowstorm dropped over a foot of snow on us.

These errors may be a result of the fact that the station in still in its 14-day learning mode (as it warns us in large lettering under the weather prediction).

Then again, the 14-day learning mode is well into its fourth year.

At this point we’re not sure if the weather station is a really slow learner or just a dirty rotten liar.

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The centaur for disease control.

April 4, 2013

centaur of disease control

Our youngest recently had his second round of immunizations.  He was very brave.

With each of our daughters, these early check-ups were terrible.  They would cry from the minute we walked into the offices until the moment we left.  From 1-2 months onward they feared the doctor, the nurse, and even the receptionist despite the two month intervals between visits.  They recognized the faces and remembered that they were connected to painful shots.

This is amazing when you consider that babies this young are startled to discover they have feet.

Several times each day.

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Bashful storm clouds never forget their…

March 12, 2013

thunderwear

Only someone with daughters can understand the sheer volume of clothes said daughters accumulate.  Our house is filled with dresses, shirts, skirts, skorts, blouses, tights, leggings, socks, nightgowns, pajamas, sweatshirts, sweaters, shoes, sandals, boots, clogs, etc, etc, etc…

Clothes are picked for school, they are handed down by family/friends, they are given as gifts, and sometimes new outfits seem to just apperate into the laundry baskets.

With the nearly infinite options available, you may wonder how long it takes the girls to decide on what to wear.  Actually, it takes no time at all.

They just run around in their underwear.

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Penguins don’t do casual Fridays.

February 23, 2013

penguins dont do casual

Two nights ago while brushing our teeth, I was asking our daughter Emma what sounds different animals make.  We started with the easy pet types (cats, dogs, and birds) before moving on to barnyard livestock (cows, roosters, pigs, horses).  Like every other two-year-old in the world, she was a pro at mimicking each of these creatures.

It wasn’t until we came to some of the more exotic members of the wild kingdom that things started to get interesting.

          Me: What does an elephant sound like?

          Emma: Achoooooooo!

          Me: Achoooooooo?

          Emma: Yeah.  Their big noses…  achoooooooo!

          Me: Okay.  How about a Penguin?

         Emma: /high-pitched, squeaky voice/ Penguin, penguin, penguin.

         Me: That’s what they say?

          Emma: Baby penguins.  Mama penguins say – PENGUIN, PENGUIN, PENGUIN!

          Me: Wow.  Well, what noise do monkeys make?

          Emma: I like pink bananas!

She delivered each of these answers with no hesitation and complete confidence.  At the moment, we’re not sure if she’s a little bit brilliant or just completely batty.

Either way, she’s awfully entertaining.

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Mother inferiors are often overlooked.

February 12, 2013

mother inferiors

When I was quite young our family moved from Kansas to Alaska.  One of the most immediate differences that our family noticed was the way that people dressed for church on Sundays.

In Kansas, men wore suits (or at least a shirt and tie) and women generally wore dresses.  At the age of four, I already owned a goodwill suit and clip-on tie.  It was the norm.  In Alaska, things were very different.  Men and women both wore sweaters, turtlenecks, t-shirts, jeans (gasp!), and even jackets emblazoned with the name of local bars.

Although we adapted to the more relaxed style over time, to a strict Catholic family from the midwest it looked less like Sunday Mass and more like laundry day.

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Always insist on cultured pearls.

February 3, 2013

cultured pearls (fixed)

This little fellow is dressed up for a special occasion!  Last Friday marked the third anniversary of this blog.  Wow.  I’ve been posting for three years (with a few extended breaks) here at wordpress.  In honor of this modest milestone, here are a few blog stats:

  • total number of posts = 284
  • total number of comments = 986
  • total number of followers = 2,898
  • total number of visitors on busiest day = 3,252
  • total number of countries visitors came from = 148
  • total number of new babies in my household = 2
  • total number of comics published in national magazine = 1
  • total number of drawings that feature a stylish mustache = 26
  • total number of drawings that feature an unstylish mustache = doesn’t exist

Cool.

Cool cool cool.

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The old roll didn’t have the heart to warn the new one.

January 28, 2013

old and new rolls

When my wife and I were newly married, we rented an apartment containing two bedrooms, a small kitchen, and an absolutely minuscule bathroom.  The bathroom was so tiny that it was nearly impossible for two people to stand back to back between the tub and the sink.

One day I was shaving at the sink while my wife was standing at the bathroom door talking.  During a short lull in the conversation I felt a gentle scuffing on my heel.  The mirror was fogged over from the steam, but I assumed that my wife was trying to slip behind me so I scooted forward as much as possible to give her room.  I continued shaving until I felt the small scratching sensation again.  As I attempted to squeeze even further against the sink, I saw someone out of the corner of my eye.

It was my wife – still in the doorway.

In fact, she wasn’t moving at all.  She was frozen in place.  Then, her eyes (which had been focused on the floor behind me) slowly moved up and met mine.

Before I could ask what was wrong, I felt yet another bump on my heel.  I turned quickly and saw a small brown mouse nuzzling against the back of my bare foot.

After a series of impressive jumps, kicks, and manly pirouettes, I was finally able to catch my breath and ask my wife why she didn’t tell me about the mouse caressing my foot.  Or, better yet, why she watched it do so three separate times?!

She couldn’t give me a good reason.

In fact, it’s been nine years and she still hasn’t.