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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.

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Circles are definitely not the sharpest shapes.

January 23, 2013

circles not the sharpest shape

Recently I’ve not been feeling too sharp myself…

I have never signed my little drawings or put the website address on them.  I really liked the simple look that just a sketch and caption have.  As a few of my drawings have become kinda-sorta popular online I have seen them surface on lots of social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, etc…) multiple times.  It’s neat to see them spread far and wide.  The last time my English Muffin cartoon was posted on reddit.com (last week) it had been viewed over 250,000 times in just a few hours.  Pretty cool…

What’s not cool is finding people taking credit for them.  Or even worse selling products decorated with my little drawings.  Over the past few weeks I have found hats, shirts, stickers, mugs, phone cases, and many other products with one of the many cartoons I’ve drawn.

Booooooooooo!

I guess I should have known better.  Putting unsigned content online means that it can be posted and reposted from site to site and the original source can be lost if not cited each time.  Like I said, I’m not feeling so sharp.  So… rather than focus on the problem, I’m going straight to solution!

I have started signing my drawings so that I can retain some amount of ownership as they move out through the world wide web.  I’m feeling smarter already!

…actually, I guess I’ll feel smarter tomorrow since I forgot to sign this drawing…

D’oh.

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Elephants never forget (or forgive).

January 16, 2013

elephants never forgetWhen I was 2 or 3 years old, my parents took my older brother and I to a renaissance fair.  It is actually one of my earliest memories.  There was a log rolling contest that my brother won, but I don’t remember.  There was jousting and sword play by knights in full armor, but I don’t remember that either.

What I do remember is riding on the back of an elephant.  I remember it very clearly.  If you have ever been on a horse, you are familiar with the up and down bouncing motion that riders experience.  The elephant was entirely different.  I remember it involved something more like swaying left and right of center as it moved.

It was exciting.

It was a unique.

It was absolutely terrifying.

Thinking about it now, I realize that many of my earliest memories are things that either shocked or frightened me (being attacked by a goose, choking on a hotdog, crashing my tricycle while being chased by a gorilla, etc…).  Somehow, the more powerful emotions helped the experiences seat more firmly in my long-term memory.

I know that I had a wonderful early childhood filled with special, one-of-a-kind moments… I just can’t seem to actually recall them.

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Stached potatoes are the most stylish side dish.

January 14, 2013

stached potatoesLast summer we did quite a bit of gardening around our house.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, peas, squash, and potatoes.  Although everything did well, the potatoes were the most successful element.  We pulled up about 150-200 pounds worth of Chieftain Red, German butterball, Yukon Gold, and Bake King potatoes.

It was pretty impressive.

What’s even more impressive is that we ate the last ones tonight.

(For anyone who’s curious – that means I have personally eaten at least 50 lbs of potatoes since August.)

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Cover your ears – I’m gonna toot my own horn!

December 28, 2012

In September, I was contacted by the folks at ADDitude Magazine.  The editor had found one of my older cartoons online and wanted to know if they could include it in their Winter 2012 edition.  I said yes and then promptly forgot about it with all of the hubbub of having a third child.

I was reminded of it this week, when I got a copy of the issue in question.  However, I’m not the only one receiving a copy.  This month, roughly 50,000 subscribing doctors’ offices, schools, and even private homes will have the magazine sitting out where people can flip though it.  Even if they are just scanning the pages, tens of thousands of eyes will be drawn to the bright yellow comic found on page eight.

To be completely honest, it’s a bit of a thrill.

Here is the cover:

Magazine Cover

…and here is the page where my drawing is printed:
Editor's Page

Pretty nifty, eh?

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Actually, cucumbers aren’t all that cool.

December 19, 2012

not so cool cucumber

I never wore “cool” clothes as a kid.  I pretty much missed all the major fads over the years.  Parachute pants, acid washed jeans, “Hammer pants,” and annoyingly bright neon colors were never found in my closet.

At the time I felt like I stuck out like a complete nerd in lame clothes.

Now, looking at pictures from my childhood, it turns out I just look like a regular kid.  Even better – all the “cool” kids actually looked a bit like clowns.

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Tempting as it is, don’t high five the cactus.

December 11, 2012

high five cactus

In our society, each stage of “growing up” has it’s own set of expected privileges.

In my teens it was the rights of driving and voting.  Then came the increased personal freedoms of my 20s.  My 30s have brought stability in terms of finances and family.  I have been grateful for each of these blessings as they came.  However, there is one additional perk that came as completely unexpected as it is welcome.

I’m finally old enough that nobody tries to give me high fives.

It’s wonderful.

As a somewhat awkward male, high fives always caught me by surprise.  They were never very natural.  Even worse, occasionally a fist bump would come my way and I would have no reaction other than an apology.

Not anymore, I’m too old.

Hooray!

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None-of-your-business card.

December 4, 2012

none of your business card

Our children are usually well behaved.

Usually.

However, as all kids do, they have a moment now and then where they aren’t exactly at their best.  With all the recent hubbub of a new baby in the house, our 2-year-old (Emma) has needed a little extra attention from her Mama and I.  Nobody else will do when she is in a cranky mood.

One night a few weeks ago, when her Grandma – my mother – was trying to sooth a tantrum, Emma refused to talk to her.  When her Grandma persisted in trying to determine what exactly was wrong, Emma said  (and I quote):

“Leave me alone!  Leave me alone you, you, you… nasty old wizard!”

Although I’m glad this is the worst thing in her verbal arsenal, it was still surprisingly insulting.  We gave my Mother our full support and explained to Emma how we needed to speak to each other with more respect.

Needless to say, we’ve also been calling my mother a “nasty old wizard” whenever the kids aren’t around.

 

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Some teddy bears are not for kids.

November 29, 2012

Image

Get it?  It’s a “TEDDY” bear.  Like a nightgown for women is a “teddy.”

Hmmm…

It made me laugh, but I’m not sleeping much with a newborn baby in the house – anything could make me laugh at this point.

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He was having another señor moment.

November 27, 2012

Image

I’m back… finally.

Thank you to everyone for the emails during my absence, it’s always nice to know when you are missed.  🙂

My wife’s pregnancy was… difficult.  The extreme nausea was eventually brought under control with meds, but then the meds started interacting with each other causing equally concerning side effects.  When she finally started feeling a little better, she was put on bed rest at 33 weeks.  There was nothing easy about this pregnancy.

However, on November 14th at roughly 4:00 am, we welcomed a healthy baby boy into our family.  Whew!

This is our third child and our first boy.  So far, I only notice two difficulties in having a boy:

Firstly, diapers are tricky.  The only way to avoid getting “showered” during a change is to move at speeds that would make a NASCAR pit crew jealous.

Secondly, I cannot remember to refer to him in the masculine.  I keep saying she, her, and girl.  Why?  Maybe it’s because we’ve had only daughters until now.  It might just be a lack of sleep.

Perhaps.

But I think I’ll go with the fact that he is using pink blankets, a pink changing table, and a pink crib.  Oh well, she he won’t remember.

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Fine dining explained.

June 28, 2012

I know it’s really the dessert fork, but I don’t like to share.

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Hitmen have curiously productive gardens.

June 25, 2012

Our garden is actually doing pretty well this year (which is a change from the past two years when either the weather or the local moose population decided to ruin everything).

This year I built some raised beds for the vegetables.  The peas were especially hit hard by the moose last year and I wanted to design something to keep them safe.  I ended up with a contraption that is strong, sturdy, and will do it’s job.

I also did it in the most complicated way possible – proving once again that I possess a Y chromosome.

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Some patients make surgeons nervous.

June 20, 2012

When I had surgery last spring, the doctors inflated my abdomen to create more room for maneuverability.  As far as I know, they didn’t twist me into different balloon animals while I was still under anesthesia.

It sure did feel like it though.

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He finally accepted that he had gone to seed.

June 14, 2012

Earlier this week I was watching Sesame Street with my daughters.  Part way through the show was a clip that had a guest star singing with Elmo.  I had no clue who he was.  Not even an inkling.

I’m under no illusions.  I don’t think of myself as particularly trendy anymore.  I can accept not recognizing all the bands on Saturday Night Live… but Sesame Street?!

C’mon!

When did Sesame Street’s target audience of 3-5 year olds get cooler than me?

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Mustachios – the manly snack food.

June 11, 2012

Would any snack really be worth the effort of both shelling AND shaving?

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How I feel when I dance in public.

May 29, 2012
Solution:  I married a woman who feels the same.  Everybody wins!
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Many shipwrecks were completely preventable.

May 15, 2012

As a teenager, I had a major accident within two weeks of buying my first car.  I ended up totaling the car and a telephone pole.  I hit the pole at about 40 mph (64 km/h).

Backwards.

As you may be guessing, there was more than one error in judgement leading up to that moment…

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Sometimes even simple tasks can be frustrating.

April 26, 2012

You may have noticed that the posts haven’t been as regular as normal.  This is due to difficulties with my wife’s pregnancy.  With each of her pregnancies she has suffered from increasingly severe hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme and persistent nausea/vomiting).  While my poor wife has been confined to her bed, I have been a full-time Daddy AND Mommy. The statement in the cartoon above sums up how everyone in our house has felt at one time or another during this ordeal. After four weeks in and out of the hospital for IV fluids and repeated attempts to find a combination of meds that can help control the symptoms – things are finally getting better.

With some luck, one day soon she will only be somewhat miserable.

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Wow!

April 18, 2012

I received an email about two weeks ago from a gentleman named Michael.   The message read:

“I hope you enjoy this! This is my first tattoo.  – Michael”

Wow!  I ‘m completely honored and flattered that someone would like one of these little drawings enough to have it permanently printed on their body.

However, Michael isn’t just anybody… he’s a bona fide rockstar!  His band, The Handsome Scoundrels have just released their first album.  If you have a few minutes, cruise over to their bandcamp page and take a listen.  If you live close enough to attend a live show – make him take off his shirt and flex.

Here is the original drawing:

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The surprise party proved a bit too successful.

April 11, 2012

I looked exactly like this when my wife told me she was pregnant last week.

Well, not exactly.

…I have shorter hair.

***update***  

I should probably add that I was smiling too (this pregnancy was completely unexpected – but not unwanted).

The eyeball thing is still pretty accurate, though.