Airplane back home.

Airplane back home., originally uploaded by nick lee.

A couple hours before the tire blowout.

Also, guys, go out and buy the most recent Apples In Stereo album. Sweet sassy molassy!

Nick Lee, hoop star.

Nick Lee, hoop star., originally uploaded by nick lee.

He's also BEAHS's starting quarterback.

Pooches and pins.

Pooches and pins., originally uploaded by nick lee.

Why can't dogs sit still?

Chocolate Santa.

Chocolate Santa., originally uploaded by nick lee.

Surprisingly good chocolate. Thanks again, Mark!

Aunt Shirley.

Aunt Shirley., originally uploaded by nick lee.

Epitome of a sleepy town.

Epitome of a sleepy town., originally uploaded by nick lee.

Blue Earth, Minnesota in all its glory.

Department 56 toy store.

Department 56 toy store., originally uploaded by nick lee.

First Moleskine drawing ever.

Marcia playing sudoku.

Marcia playing sudoku., originally uploaded by nick lee.

Waiting for Christmas Day to kick off.

Department 56 brauhaus.

Department 56 brauhaus., originally uploaded by nick lee.

These miniatures are good for drawing.


Milwaukee's best.

Milwaukee's best., originally uploaded by nick lee.


One bad pug.

Taken after this fantastic photo. I just wrote down the first Samuel L. Jackson quote I could think of. I seem to be noticing a real nervous line style developing. I think I can nurture that a bit.

I couldn't hit it sideways...

Sorry for the lack of drawing lately. Three reasons for this are: 1. Too many other festivities and things to do, 2. No Conan for inspiration, and 3. Saving it for after Christmastime. But I have a Dick Blick gift certificate to rock, so soon I'll have fresh materials and a load of time to press forward. In the meantime, here are five of my favorite songs today:

1. Radio Radio by Elvis Costello. Gets you good and angry against corporate radio.
2. Hurry Up England. The ultimate example of hope over experience.
3. Heart Made of Sound by Softlightes. Arts and craaaaaaaaafts!!!!

Three. Three songs.


Tis the season.

Tis the season to stuff our faces with horribly unhealthy food in an attempt to distract ourselves from, say, the downright dreadful entertainment at the holiday Christmas party. Sweet mother of pearl, you people need to give thanks this season that you weren't in the room for our "entertainment." You know those SNL skits with Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer singing at school assemblies? It was like that, only without Ferrell or any humor whatsoever. But with hand motions.

Tis also the season to stuff our faces with horribly unhealthy food in an attempt to distract ourselves from, say, being on the front of the Chili's menu. See, the burger looks really big because this guy is holding it really close to his face, and it's a tight shot anyway. Couple that with his irrationally excited expression, and who can deny the sheer delight that comes from an overcooked, coronary-inducing slab of beef?

Not I.


The Mitchell Report.

Mike Greenberg said this morning that the Mitchell Report, released yesterday, has "rocked baseball." Nope.

The steroid thing may have on the whole, but this report is next to nothing. It's a really expensive way for baseball to say, "yeah there was a problem, our bad." It won't affect the product on the field, or the number of fans in the stands, or who eventually gets into the Hall of Fame.

The only thing that this report changes is that baseball players have now become Santa Claus. Your children will believe in them until such time as someone tells them the truth. They'll take a few minutes to digest, and go on with enjoying the season anyway.

The Vick scandal, the NBA ref scandal, the MLB steroid scandal, these things don't matter to us in the long run. We're tied to our sports and one scandalous thing cannot take down what are essentially very lucrative businesses. A hockey strike, ironically, almost did take down a sport. (Don't believe the NHL is dead. We'll all be back on board with them as soon as we figure out they're the sport of the interwebnetlinkcom.)


Food court.

I find it odd and saddening that the most Christmas-y place I can find is the local mall. What that says about Christmas in America is both fascinating and alarming. I did have a good time with this one though. I've never attempted a scene drawing with so many things to draw.

Church doors.

In the wake of the shootings last weekend, there's been a lot of play in the news about security at church. It seems most churches feel they need to have security guards involved. The idea of specific people at a church being responsible for keeping other specific people out of church seems completely bass ackwards to me. American churchgoers have had it good for a long time. They seem to feel they have this inherent right to safety. But Jesus never promised any such thing, in fact quite the opposite.


On olives and werewolves.

Just a bit of wisdom for you to carry with you on your journey through this crazy tundra we call life.

Welcome back, fine-tip pen! You were missed a little.

Ken Burns.

I've decided that I need more affectations. One of them is an irrational hatred of Ken Burns. His hair is unbelievable.

This marks the end of my brush pen. I can't believe how fast it ran out of ink. Screw that.

Carl Kasell.

"From NPR News, I'm Nick's drawing."

I've recently become a gigantic fan of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! Check that noise out if you don't know.

Leather jacket.

My leather jacket hanging at work. Still the best Christmas present ever. Thanks, hon!

Now playing: Jackie Gleason And Jack Marshall - I'll Be Home For Christmas/Baby It's Cold Outside


The Californians.

This is my view at work. There are a fire hydrant and several "NO PARKING" signs visible, though no actual road or path or anything. Fire lane? Maybe? There's a fresh coat of snow on the ground from the weekend, enough so that almost all the grass is covered. There's a hill back there that goes down to some newer housing developments. We call them "the Californians," to tease our native Coloradan in the office. He's of the belief that people from California move in just to drive up housing prices and bring their palm trees to our malls. I'm inclined to agree.

Two points.

I had a long, substantial discourse about this whole "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" thing. Basically, it boiled down to two points:

1. This isn't a Christian country anymore, get over it, and
2. Christians have better things to worry about.

The second point seems rather pertinent this morning, in the wake of the New Life shootings. The church is across the street from my place of business, and for the second time in 13 months there's a swarm of news vans gathered outside of it.

I can't help but feel angry at this. I don't even really know why though. Most of the time when I hear of a mass shooting incident, I start to think of what could have been so wrong in the shooter's life that made them snap. I think we often lose focus on the fact that the shooter's life is thrown away too, as if their humanity was revoked the minute they picked up a gun. But this morning I'm not at all thinking sympathetically about the killer. It's hit a little closer to home and I'm finding it much more difficult to stick to my principles about the value of all human life.

And I hate to be glib about this, but this incident adds to the already large case for attending a smaller church.


EDM #148 - Something soothing.

This comes from a photograph I took in March 2002 in Cibecue, Arizona. This dog was one of many in the roaming band of seeming strays on the White Mountain Apache Reservation. Despite several warnings, Marcia kept petting and squeezing this unnamed pooch. There was another dog that gained the nickname "Farty," for obvious reasons. He was less, shall we say, adorable.

Getting sketchy with the brush pen seems to be serving me rather well. It's nice to bust out of the very controlled style I've had for the last couple portraits. The brush pen is quickly becoming my weapon of choice. Good things can come from forcing yourself to do something.


Wrinkles are money.

What to say about this guy? He looks like he's seen it all. It's a random picture I found a while back, I have no idea who it is.


Sam Beam.

I procured the new Iron and Wine album today. You guys, it's really good. It has a nice full sound to it that I know I'm going to be repeating for days and days. Nothing wrong with The Creek Drank the Cradle, but I much prefer The Shepherd's Dog.

From this picture by Robert Loerzel.

Talk, you!

It seems the drawings I like best, that I've drawn at least, involve one of two things:

1. a comic book feel, or
2. people over 50 years old.

Something about silver hair and wrinkles makes for a good line drawing, I guess. This drawing makes me want to find a Country Buffet on Sunday afternoon, and just go to town.


Work doodles.

Mug - bland corporate mug, one that's easily swapped out for clean ones (so I hardly ever use my personal ones)

Paco Rockwell - always telling me to maxx out!

Bird feeder - empty for now, so no birds to distract me

Kensington Expert Mouse Pro - one of three pointing devices on my desk, the least used one for sure. But, the only one that confirms that not only am I an expert, but a pro too.

Wallet - If you see this lying around, it's mine. I'd appreciate it back, please.

At church.

Everyone was listening attentively to Johnathan Licciardi, who talked about actually taking the things Jesus said seriously (a novel concept, even for Christians). The guy in the upper left always looks exactly like my dad, but only from behind. (He coincidentally has the same first name, too.)


That thing at the top is my dog's bone toy. It has some interesting shapes.