With a capital T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for POOL!

Una mas dibuja from Saturday night. The flim flam laid down by Professor Harold Hill was deeply enthralling.

We got trouble, right here in River City!

We went to Missouri this weekend for a family reunion. Good times were had by most.

This was all I could manage to draw on Friday night after the drive. It's not much to look at, but it's an important documentation of card cheating. And I had to take the cheap shot at Kansas, despite the drive actually being much better than a drive through Nebraska.

I did this on Saturday morning while I was waiting for everyone to take their showers. There were dozens of motorhomes strewn about. Despite the roof being completely whacked, this one turned out quite well.

They played the 1962 version of "The Music Man" on Saturday night. It gave me plenty of time to draw the backs of old ladies' heads while writing down the random quote. They sure don't make movies like that anymore.

One quick link: Burnside Writers Collective. Also, Madeleine Peyroux is awesome.


You know what I love?

People who are smart and funny and somewhat vulgar. This category truly has only a few select inhabitants, and one has just been added to their ranks: Joe Mathlete.

Marmaduke Explained (funniest by leaps AND bounds)
Great American Blog (betraying his underlying nerdiness/intelligence)
[Title Too Long] (brilliant idea, one of my new fave 'stration sites)

You should check out his sites a lot. Then he'll see that this site is sending him all sorts of traffic, and he'll check out my blog, and he'll be intrigued and send me an electronic mail, and we'll hang out and be best friends and eat soup.

(Visual stimulation swiped from his site. Don't sue, I don't have anything you want.)


I'm going to give a serious attempt at keeping the football-related posts down to a minimum this year. Last fall I was trying to do a sports blog thing and it wasn't really, um, read. But with Vikings training camp opening up tomorrow, I think it's the proper time to give my analysis.

O-line: They have one year under their belts together, so I have no reason to think that they won't become the dominating force everyone is waiting for. Hutchinson better step it up, or a trade won't be far off.

QB: I'm really excited to see what Jackson can do. However, it will get ugly at times as well. It's a learning year I suppose, but Dante did pretty well in the same role years ago. (Of course, he had Randy Moss and Cris Carter. Which leads us to...)

Receivers: This bunch makes me really nervous. It could work out, sure, but I'm not betting on it. Troy Williamson better not drop a pass all year, or fans will turn on him so fast.

RB: Adrian Peterson is the real deal. Teamed with Chester Taylor, I'd say this is easily the strongest position on the team. The running game will have to be huge for the Purple to have any success.

D-line: Great against the run, and I expect that to continue. But. I have week 4 for Kenechi Udeze and week 2 for Erasmus James in the DE Injury Pool. I remember the days of Keith Millard, Chris Doleman, and John Randle. Very faintly, of course, but I can still remember seeing a pass rush.

LB: Chad Greenway should be a year-long feel good story. This is, surprisingly, an adequate to very good squad. It's about time.

DB: Yeah, um... I expect the long-standing tradition of giving average quarterbacks career days to continue. It's just something that you come to expect as a Vikings fan.

Coaches: Mike Tomlin will be missed. Brad Childress needs to hand off the play-calling duties. I'm really not confident at all in this staff. Makes me pine for Denny Green in some ways. I'll now go stand in front of a train.

So the final analysis is this: I'm not quite as optimistic as last year. Realistically I think this is an 8-8 squad at best. The Vikes just have a way of perpetually regressing to the mean. If Jackson steps up, if the receivers hang on to the ball, if the DEs stay healthy, and if the secondary miraculously stops somebody, then this team has playoff potential. Honestly, the 2000 Ravens weren't terribly far away from this point, and they won the Super Bowl. It's possible. But at the same time (and if you're a Vikings fan, you profoundly know this), it's impossible.


Jimmy D.

In my continuing series of homage to right-wing scallywags, here's an illustration I invented.


Weird Al, I salute thee.

Finally, palindromes and Bob Dylan brought together in perfect harmony.


Saturday we moved into the house. There still isn't a kitchen to speak of, but otherwise it's nice to be in there finally. The move went pretty smoothly, there was only a one-bedroom apartment to clear out. The only hitch came in trying to get the sofa into the house. We had to take out a window, frame and all. I'm beginning to think that the trick of home ownership is simply coming to terms with the fact that you can't fart in your house without something needing repair. Once you accept that, it's all gravy. I have no basis for this, but whatever.

On Sunday I had a couple meetings at church to attend. One of them involved the idea of maybe leading a small group of high schoolers and learning them the Dao of Graphic Design. That'd be super-sweet. In between my meetings I found a nice cool place with a vantage point and finally forced myself to draw a tree. I think the result is not bad.

UPDATE: Here's an idea I'm having. I'm going to pick one band to listen exclusively to between now and next Monday morning. I won't avoid the radio or anything, but as far as it's up to me I'm going to listen to the Rentals for this week. We'll see how it goes. I'm hoping by picking a different band each week I'll reach deeper appreciation for music than just skimming around with no pattern or conviction.


Professional development.

You know how it goes. You say to yourself, "Self, if you're ever going to get better at illustration, you'll have to try something harder." It's kind of the same idea as learning guitar by playing the toughest solos possible. So you try to draw something really difficult, like a tree. But you get into it and it turns out to be much tougher than you thought it would be. Then you turn and see your cup of tea sitting there, and it's so enticingly easy. And it turns out great and you're really proud of yourself. Then you remember that you totally backed down from getting better at something that was really tough, and it depresses you a little. And you resolve to try again later.

Logo creep.

I've long held the subconscious belief that I don't really want to wear logos on my clothing. It's actually a policy here at work (especially pertinent for casual Fridays), so I've always kind of liked that. I will wear logos for the sports teams I support, but otherwise I'd rather not be advertising for anyone, thank you.

I even hate it when people have license plate holders on their cars that advertise for the dealership where they bought the car. It's laziness, plain and simple. I hardly think anyone loves the dealership so much that they'd choose to put something like that on their car, let alone PAY TO DO IT. And yet you see them all the time. It's disgusting.

Then there's this.

I'm officially going to say it now: I am against any logos being anywhere that people don't want them. Is there a logo-related version of an iconoclast? That's for me. Logoclast. Advertising and promotion have gotten carried away in every arena of daily American life, and I am now officially against it. Ironic, but true.


Luke Wilson and literature.

Instead of drawing real people, I'm starting with pictures from magazines. This one was tough. I need to work harder on this. But, I did a small amount of stipling with some success, so I got that going for me. Which is nice.

I've been thinking about Stranger Than Fiction a lot lately. I've seen the movie dozens of times and I listen to about 800% more Spoon because of it. My main problem with the movie is that the book she's writing is supposed to be so amazing, when in fact any book that was like the movie would only be good. I'm not saying it wouldn't make a good book, but it wouldn't be as amazing as the plot needs it to be. All the same, I really enjoy the final paragraph of this fictional work:

"As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And, so it was, a wristwatch saved Harold Crick."


Medicine cabinet.

I finally got around to drawing my medicine cabinet like my sensei instructed me to. The trick, I found, is working your way from the inside out. Because I learned something practical in this drawing, I've concluded that I should be trying to learn something practical with every drawing. I need to get better. It's time to stop with the fumbling and work on some technique.

For those who like photography, here's a fun and interesting twist on the average photoblog: Gordon's Pictures.

Everything is on the internet.


Here's Wilking's bachelor party. I haven't seen him since Jan's wedding in 2004. Most of the people in the pictures I haven't seen since longer than that. It's odd. They look like the same thing we were doing in 1999. I really don't know them personally anymore, but it seems to me like they're Exhibit A on why change is necessary.

You know what? On second thought, that's pretty judgmental. I take that back. It's just a set of pictures of old friends.


Sasha, again.

Paul Lukas.

I've had Uni Watch in my links section (on right) for a while now. I frequent it daily, as it feeds by obsession for sports, for tiny minutae, and for design and aesthetics. It's a perfect storm really, and I just had to point out that today's post is simply amazing. You really should work your way through it if you have the time, it's fantastic.

Also, here's a guy who writes a blog that gets thousands of hits a day, writes columns for espn.com, and I know for a fact that he visited my site once when I wrote an email to him. I'm sure he was unimpressed, but I have to give him gigantic props for being into his fan base like that.



How do you deck out two rooms for under $200? One word for you: polystyrene.

You don't even understand how much of an improvement this is.


Update and a pen.

First, the pen.

I drew this on the back of my notes at church on Sunday. It's of a pen I got from Super Stock at the HOW Conference in June. The drawing doesn't do it justice. It lights up! Red! That fact alone catapults it into the top ten pens I've had in my lifetime. But it writes well too, and in black ink. Money. This is up there with flying cars and living on the moon, the kind of futuristic thing that we were all promised long ago. Only difference is that this actually is reality. It's the future, now!

Here's how my kitchen looked as of this morning. That's a brand new half-wall in the foreground, I made that. It'll all come together nicely when the cabinets arrive sometime.


Pictures from the house.

By popular demand (of one person), here are some pictures! Yay!

We start with the garage. The door has been replaced, and now it's full of old cabinets, my lawn mower, and some power tools. We'll be painting this white after about eight coats of primer.

Here we have the family room, the ugliest room in the house. Eventually I'm going to tear down the wood paneling and put up proper walls, along with overhauling the fireplace. But I have enough to do right now, so it'll just have to stay ghetto for the time being. A very nice cool place to chillax on a hot summer day though. And really, with the flat screen in here I doubt anyone will look at anything else e'er.

The living room. I tried to simulate the color we painted it the best I could. In case you're counting, that's two fireplaces. Aw yeeuh.

The deck. I wish you could see the backyard, so you could cringe like I do. It's a thing of horror.

At last, we come to the kitchen. Three highlights: the peach walls, the extremely grungy cabinets, and the uneven tile job. I'll take a picture of where it's at tonight, and have it posted by Monday. But if you can't wait, just imagine this room completely empty. That's about right.

And finally me with my brand new drill, about to tear into that beeach. Cheers!


Is it coincidence that I'm tearing down and rebuilding my kitchen at home at the exact same time as we're redecorating the art department at the office? It seems like everything old is being remade and reinterpreted, it seems like things are headed in the right direction. Slowly though. Ugh, so slowly. Will I ever arrive? These changes seem like autumn at this point, so very far away.

Have a great fun weekend y'allz, and remember: iTunes U is a college education for FREE! Hot crackers!


That's right, Gary!

I hope everyone had a great 4th. I hope none of you had to call the cops on your idiot, throwing-fireworks-under-cars neighbors like I almost had to. I hope none of you shocked yourselves on live wires while trying to remodel your kitchen.


The Real Chocolate Fountain.

It's amazing how fast you can forget about drawing when you're spending all your time gutting a poorly-constructed kitchen. Hopefully I'll still find time to slow down this week. These are from last Friday.