Vera Video has its Debut Today

Vera is the band that my youngest son, Jordan, plays drums for and their first professionally produced video hit the digital streets today. Please check it out and spread the word. It is a very cool video and I think you will enjoy it (and just because I am The Dad does not make me wrong!).


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Ten

Let's clean our palate from yesterday's entry, shall we? To help scrub our subconscious I will stay with 2004, January 5th to be precise. Whenever I feel down, I can't help but get peppy again when I hang out with Christian Man and Dogma (even if the one drawing is a rather funkified version of CM... not sure what was going on there. Maybe he was on the South Beach Diet at the time?). And do not ask me to explain the spitting gorilla. I just won't do it. Enjoy the doodles and check out much more from CM&D at their Web site.

January 5, 2004
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Fan Boy Update (or is that Fan Dad?)

Bear with me as I tout a big event that is coming up next week (at least it is big for my family and, especially, my youngest son). As most of you know, Jordan is the drummer in Vera, a band that is slowly breaking on to the surface of the music world. On March 30 they will debut their first music video and today they posted a clip as a teaser. The best version is at Reverb Nation and you can find it HERE. Keep your eyes pealed for future updates and I will be sure and let everyone know when the video hits iTunes next week.

Thank you for your indulgence with my foray into marketing. You may now return to your regularly scheduled lives...



Minor Thoughts on Health Care

My biggest disappointment with the recently passed health care legislation has nothing to do with our governments attempt to cover the uninsured and help the folks out that struggle to be covered (and, subsequently, help the medical community who never turns away anyone in need, regardless of the cost or the potential litigation if something goes wrong during the free procedures). We have had a health care crisis in this country for a while and we desperately needed to address it. My disappointment is in the outcome. When the “smartest guys in the room” got together to take on this issue, this is the best they could do? Really? Did we have to layer on all of this debt? Was that really the only solution? I heard a lot of different ideas throughout the debate and this is what we ended up with?

Of course, there is so much we don’t know about how this will work (and that is another problem). The process was murky at best, purposefully clandestine at worst. It may turn out to be a raging success; arguments are persuasive both for and against that outcome. But there are enough people on both sides of the political aisle that have grave concerns about what this is going to cost the American people for years to come (and remember, the government is using our money to fund this (it’s called taxes—yours, mine, almost everyone's); it’s not coming from anywhere else... it can’t, there is no “anywhere else” for it to come from). Yes, there are positives in this legislation, the intentions of most in this process, I want to believe, are magnanimous with a strong desire to help folks in need. But the potential negatives are staggering and frightening. Where will we end up as a country (as individuals), regardless of intentions? Does anyone really know? What will be the real costs, monetarily as well as in other aspects of our lives? And will it be worth it? Time will tell.

Until the end game is played out and we discover what this will truly cost us, I choose to think about the single mother in my home group who is strapped and cannot afford health insurance but is finally free from the abusive relationship she endured for too long. Or my kids who are just starting out in their careers and how this may help them get their feet on the ground. But I will temper that with thoughts of friends who own small businesses and of family members who toil in the medical field. Who gets help and who gets hurt? The scales are rarely balanced which makes all decisions harder (and personal). I will continue to pray for justice and love and that trying to apply that to some doesn’t cripple the rest of us in the process.


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Eight

Today will mark the last sketchbook entry for a while. It was fun while it lasted but all good things must come to an end (unlike cliches). And we return to the present (sort of... it's from January of this year which is not technically the present but it is closer to the present than the previous entries. Hmmm... maybe I should just say The Recent Past... wait a minute... am I really writing this as I think it? How embarrassing!) This page is choke full of goodies. Early sketches for The Literacy League logo for DOE, ideas for bus signs and a giant dollar sign for no apparent reason whatsoever. Drink deep, my children. Drink deep and full...

The Recent Past, 2010
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Seven

Today we take one more trip back to 1992. This entry is an example of my note taking. I tend to latch on to a theme from a teaching and elaborate visually. I'm sure I miss a lot of deep truths that are shared after I find my theme but I have had to make peace with that part of my wiring. For those of you who cannot read my writing (yes, that is a common complaint) the left side of the page says the following:

What I see... (and where I want to be; I want to do; I need)
What I know (and my book knowledge; my experiences; my ideas)
Faith (trusting what I don’t know and can’t see and knowing that it’s best)
[NOTE: the "no brain" graphic is my "thinks too much" reminder]

The two faces have nothing to do with the words, although they could be pondering the Deep Thoughts®...

A Really Random Day, 1992
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Six

Today we move forward to 2005, specifically the last week of April and the first week of May. How do I know this? Because I was in the midst of an experiment, writing and drawing a short entry every day of the week and haphazardly filling a giant sketch book someone had given me as a gift. These pages were near the end but they are fascinating to me because of the entries. I did not know it at the time but this was one crazy, significant string of days. Some of the issues covered were my grandmother's 100th birthday, taking my daughter to get her passport application for her first trip abroad (Peru) and a literary agent requesting the full manuscript for my first novel. You may not believe me but I picked this page at random out of the big book because I liked the way it looked. It wasn't until after I scanned the page that I read it (to make sure there was nothing unseemly mentioned) and discovered all the amazing entries. Amazing for me. You? Probably not so much. But let me know if you were moved...

April 26 - May 7, 1992
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Five

Once more into the 1992 breach! This one is particularly odd and I refuse to give any hints as to what is happening here (as if I actually know!). I am leaving this one solely in your hands. Click it, study it and tell me in the comments what the heck I was thinking (if anything). Enjoy...

Yet Another Random Day, 1992
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Four

Today there are faces. Always faces. I probably have drawn more faces in my sketchbooks than any other thing. The source material is readily available, whether from real life or on the printed page. My favorite thing to do is look at old high school yearbooks and find inspiration from another time (and with no fear of being caught by the model). I believe these are from an old yearbook (1950's?) from a high school in Alabama that someone found at a garage sale and brought in to work. Wonderful material and almost endless options. Most of these made it into my self-published book, Ironing Naked, so they would be considered old favorites. BTW: If you see your mom or dad here, please don't tell them.

Since I already told you what I was thinking, tell me in the comments what they are thinking. Cartoon conversations as we hurtle toward Friday. Enjoy...

Another Random Day, 1992
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Three

I am staying in 1993, once again, for today's post. It does seem like a long time ago and, for me, seeing some of these doodles bring back a lot of memories. Admittedly, some are not all that positive but—if you'll allow me to get philosophical for a sentence or two—they are all part of my journey. The positive and the negative combine to forge who I have become (good, bad or ugly). And that is the case for everyone (yes, you too). We deal with every situation different and, hopefully, we get better at absorbing the blows. That may be why I keep all of these notebooks, as a reminder of all that has come before (although my wife may argue it is more of a compulsive hatred for throwing anything away).

Today, the reasons do not matter. What is important is that you look over this entry, study it and tell me what you see. Answer the question, "What the heck were you thinking?"

And, once again, good luck with that.

Some Random Day, 1992
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook, Round Two

Well, yesterday was fun, wasn't it? Instead of subjecting you to another sketchbook page from the present, I thought it would be interesting to dig into the past and drop some extreme sketchbook love on you. Today (and possibly the next few days, depending on response--pressure!) will come at you from 1992. Look it over, study it and then try to interpret what I was thinking/working on when I laid down these lines. Leave your thoughts/guesses/hypotheses in the comments.

And, uhm, good luck with that...

November, 1992
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)


Day in the Life: My Sketchbook

October, 2009
(click on the art to see it gigantic on your screen!)