Drivel that cannot fit in a single panel comic.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hopeline Video

Did not update the website last night because of a thunderstorm. The rain was needed. Saw Wall-E last night. Cute movie.

I was a bit of a slug this weekend. A time for work and a time for rest.

I decided I will open the church for meditation this summer. If someone shows up, we will sit. If no one shows then I will go through the items in the back room. Several books, tapes, magazines and other items were added to the Sangha collection. This past Sunday I reorganized the cushions and went through the books currently in the library and changed their labels. I would like to get the tapes on to CD or DVD (whichever is appropriate). I have the tools for a video tape to DVD transfer but not a cassette tape to CD.

I plan to put together a list of the books in the library. I took a snap shot of each book in the current library and will incorporate the newly added books in the coming weeks. Who would have thought that a cell-phone camera could be so useful?

As long as I'm fully present this work can serve as a meditation tool.

Below is a special video about Hopeline. Feel free to add it to your website or blog.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Exercise Log: June 23 - 28

This week I ran, rowed and biked 18.76 miles, burned 1698.7 calories and weigh 147 pounds.

Monday: rowed 1.26 miles in 10:00
Tuesday: ran 3.37 miles in 35:00
Wednesday: biked 3.38 miles in 15:57
Thursday: ran 3.11 miles in 35:00
Friday: rowed 1.73 miles in 15:00
Saturday: ran 5.91 miles in 65:00

Next week's plan:
Monday - strength and 3 miles on the bike
Tuesday - 30 minute run
Wednesday - strength and 10 minutes of rowing
Thursday - 30 minute run
Friday - strength and 4 miles on the bike
Saturday - 1 hour run

Friday, June 27, 2008

Eating left over tuna casserole alone in the dark

Ron Amalfi has learned his dumping technique from Dr. Drew Corey. Mary will find him with Dr. Jeff at the Bum Boat. Who will receive the slap?

Mary needs a red hat to complete the ensemble.

Today, I found humor in unexpected comics - Heathcliff and Ziggy.

What is the minimum number of countries required to form an axis?

The "God is punishing with a natural disaster" crowd has been quiet about the flooding in the Midwest. Surely, Iowa has done something to earn God's wrath. Maybe God disapproves of the overuse of high fructose corn syrup in our food.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Traces of the Trade

Last night, the church hosted a showing of the documentary, Traces of the Trade, along with a discussion afterwards.

Traces of the Trade explores the experiences of descendants of a family that made its fortune in the slave trade. A very thought-provoking documentary.

One of the discussion questions was about embarrassing or uncomfortable interactions with African-Americans.

An incident from childhood worked its way back to the front of my mind. I thought about sharing it with the group but I couldn't. It hurt too much. I thought about writing about it in this blog but only the emotions and the impact it had on both players in this incident (beyond the immediate reaction to the incident, I can only speculate as to the impact on the other person). I still cannot speak or write of the details of the incident itself.

I'm having trouble even writing about the emotions. All I can say is that it still haunts me even after over 30 years and it ranks as the dumbest thing I've ever said to another person in seriousness. I've said plenty of dumb things that were meant to be jokes; things that get taken the wrong way, intentions not made clear, ignorance or simply poor taste. I said this thing out of ignorance of such a magnitude that someone might have assumed that I had some kind of mental handicap, but I was not joking.

I find myself unable to write any further about this incident despite the emotions roiling within and the thoughts doing battle in my head. Just too much to write about in a coherent way.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin: 1937 - 2008

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits!
May you be at peace.
May your family be at peace.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Exercise Log: June 16 - 21

This week I walked, biked and ran 21.34 miles, burned 1879.7 calories and weigh 148 pounds. I took several days off work and did not go to the gym as much this past week. I still managed to meet my calories burned goal on

Monday: walked .77 miles in 14:07
Tuesday: ran 3.24 miles in 35:00; biked .63 miles in 10:35
Wednesday: walked 1.53 miles in 29:15
Thursday: ran 3.38 miles in 35:00
Friday: biked 5.88 miles in 26:38
Saturday: ran 5.91 miles in 65:00

I had a bit of a scary moment during the Saturday run - I felt really chilly with 9 minutes left on the treadmill. I slowed down a bit and drank out of my water bottle more often. I did not feel dizzy or sick, just cold. It may have been a blast of the gym AC but I've never felt cold during exercise in the summer, even indoors. I stretched and went out to my car, I felt a bit of a chill but that was not unusual. That was just the breeze on wet skin. I took a cool shower when I came home, ate some yogurt and took a nap. I'm drinking more water - Ozarka Sport Vitamin Enhanced.

Next week's plan:
Monday - strength training and 10 minute row
Tuesday - 30 minute run
Wednesday - strength training and cycling 3 miles
Thursday - 30 minute run
Friday - strength training and 15 minute row
Saturday - 60 minute run

I need to check the date for the Harbor Half in Corpus Christi so that I can start training for it. This will be the first half marathon that I train for rather than relying on left over conditioning from marathon training.

My Spark Page for anyone interested in a more detailed look at my exercise, diet and other goals:

Friday, June 20, 2008

A UU Theme Park?

Mary Worth shakes the color out of those roses. I would love to see a live action version of this comic.

Now a peak into my cartoon idea generating process -

Bad theme parks:

  1. ActuaryLand (I don't know what an actuary does but it is always number one on the list of occupations that I would not like on every career interest test I've taken)
  2. JuniorHighWorld
  3. Pea-o-Rama
  4. Tibetan Book of the Dead Land (why should Judeo-Christian holy books have all the theme park fun?)
  5. DaliWood (a Salvador Dali theme park)
  6. UUWorld (I know that's the name of the magazine)

The four and five have the most potential, visually. Number three has a couple of easy laughs built in depending on the angle taken.

I like the comedic potential of a UU theme park. Any suggestions on attractions for UUWorld?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cartoon Fodder and the Future

I used my failed quest for a pair of pants that fit as fodder for a cartoon today. I was not in the maternity section by mistake in case any one was wondering.

A friend and a mentor passed away Tuesday morning. She died peacefully, surrounded by family and in the home she loved. This had been a long illness and I knew the eventual outcome.

She founded the Insight Meditation group at our church. She and I were the only two members of the church in the group. We welcome all people regardless of their affiliation with Brazos UU. There used to be a third church member but he passed away.

Ann did leave a foundation upon which the meditation group could still go on. The two other core members can teach. I can ring the gong and give instruction on the basics (shut up and breathe). This summer, I'm the only one still in town so I've not gone to meditation. I need to inform the office administrator that the meditation group is suspended for the summer. We do get an occasional visitor to the group but rarely do they come back.

Ann did a lot of behind the scenes activities such as keeping the UU Buddhist people informed of our activities and letting other appropriate groups know of our existence. One of the other members has taken that on. I'm not ready for the designation of "the leader." If I always waited until I was ready I would have stopped getting out of bed around age 18.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Quest for a Pair of Pants that Fit

I will go back to work tomorrow. Yesterday, I went on a quest for a pair of pants that fit. I failed with that but did buy some new underwear and shoes.

I feel like skulking around like Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon when I wear the shoes. He wore Pumas; mine are Asics but the general design is the same.

The new underwear look and feel great. I could have lived without the saleslady at Macy's crowding me while I was shopping. I've changed bra size again so Walter will take the bra and the receipt back to Macy's. He works at the mall so it is more convenient for him to do this. I measured again and gave him the correct size. Hopefully, this will just be an exchange. Assuming my size is in stock.

Taking a bra back to the store - another thing that should be added to the vows.

Does anyone make pants for a tall woman without a big belly? I tried several pants - most of them fit well around the legs but left a lot of room in the waist and hips. Enough room that I could remove the pants without unfastening or place both arms inside and still have space to spare. I found one pair that fit well in the waist but added material for curves in a place that I do not have curves. I hate clothes shopping so I probably gave up too soon. Three trips to the fitting room is my limit.

I just want a pair of pants.

I wonder what the people who make pants think of American women?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Putting underwear on a planet

Jupiter looks better in a brief rather than a boxer-brief.
The new guy may save B.C. from zombie-stripdom. This one will generate a few irate letters to the editor.
Does Harriet understand what the cat says or does it just sound like a lot of meowing to her? The cat will have no trouble obtaining a gun permit, it's obtaining the gun that the cat will have trouble with.
Olive Oyl does fit in very well here.

I'm taking time off from work but not from reading the funnies. Today's comics are brought to you by the letter B.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Exercise Log: June 9 - 14

This week I ran, cycled, and rowed 22.44 miles, burned 1801.9 calories and weigh 149.9 pounds.

Monday: bike - 3.90 miles in 16:46
Tuesday: ran - 3.32 miles in 35:00
Wednesday: row - 1.27 miles in 10:00
Thursday: ran - 3.27 miles in 35:00
Friday: bike - 4.87 miles in 22:22
Saturday: ran - 5.81 miles in 65:00

Next week's plan:
Monday: strength training and walking
Tuesday: 30 minute run
Wednesday: strength training and walking
Thursday: 30 minute run
Friday: strength training and rowing
Saturday: 1 hour run

I'm taking some time off from work so I will not go to the gym on those days. I will exercise at home instead. I can do almost all the exercises in my current strength training plan at home.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Identifiable Artwork

The background in the second panel is more interesting than the conversation in the foreground. Giella skips the abstract black blobs in frames and draws more recognizable objects. The sun looking away is a nice touch.

The newspaper in Santa Royale stinks - Ron says he was appointed not elected and Mary Worth is hardly attractive.

I want a framed Moy & Giella for my home.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Giant second panel hand

Dialogue for the undrawn third panel:

Don't mind me, Mary just has her foot on my throat. I will die shortly. Don't let me interrupt your discussion.

Oh my, Jeff what a big hand you have!
The better to bitch slap you, Mary.
I submit, I submit!
Jeff, can we continue this conversation after I put this in the fridge with the rest of the giant hobo.
Forget about that, Jeff, check out my giant novelty lower arm. It looks just like a real arm but only bigger. Unfortunately, this was the only giant man part the novelty shop had left.
I won't need you or any man once I finish assembling my positronic android! He's fully functional!
I'm counseling another man now, a Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Embracing the gray

I want to apply Karen Moy's writing technique to my own cartoon writing; conceive an interesting plot and then write the opposite. In my case, think of something really sad and then write the opposite.

There is still a glimmer of interesting. Jeff goes to Mary's apartment that afternoon and she is not there. But that would be interesting so Jeff will show up and find Mary there.

My hair is now 75% gray, maybe more, but it is hard to tell because my non-gray color is sandy blond with a touch of red. The gray has intensified in the past few months. I've embraced the gray in reality (having thick, wavy hair helps take away the sting of pre-mature gray - thanks, Dad.) but I'm not ready to change my cartoon self-portraits. When I've drawn cartoon self-portraits I've used the current hair length but I just can't bring myself to use the 10% gray to color my cartoon alter-ego's hair. I used a light brown for my cartoon alter-ego so I was not completely accurate there either. This change has happened somewhat gradually (starting at age 25) in reality whereas it would be a sudden change for the cartoon alter-ego.
Unless, I write something about it very few people would know when I choose to inject myself into my cartoons. I guess the alter-ego can keep the light brown hair.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Good save, Jesus!

I like the WTF? expression on the other girl. Dolly does not realize that using every moment, no matter how trivial, as an opportunity for proselytizing is the root cause of her lack of friends.

I knew people like Dolly. They steered every conversation toward God, Jesus, and salvation.

During a casual volleyball game:
"Good save, Bob!"
"Thanks, but it was not as good as the save Jesus performed when he died for our sins!"
"uh, yeah ...praise Jesus."

The New Testament refers to a variety of "gifts of the spirit". I wonder if the ability to make every interaction slightly awkward counts as a gift?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Exercise Log: June 2 -7

This week I ran, walked, biked, rowed and used the elliptical machine for 16.18 miles, burned 1382.4 calories and weigh 150.6 pounds.

Monday - used an elliptical machine (someone was using the rowing machine) 1.15 miles in 15:00
Tuesday - ran 3.27 miles in 35:00
Wednesday - biked 3.20 miles in 15:00
Thursday - ran 3.24 miles in 35:00
Friday - rowed 1.79 miles in 15:00
Saturday - walked 3.53 miles in 1:06:34

I got a good upper body workout on Saturday because I walked both Loki and Backpack. Their leashes are not the same length and they don't pull with the same intensity or in the same direction. It took about 5 minutes for me to get the hang of it. Loki got to go off leash when we went to the nature trail. That made things a bit easier for a mile and a half. I did have a bit of leash tangle just before reaching the house when an owner of a toy dog decided to just let her out to do her business. I managed to hold Loki back while the owner of the little dog called her off like I asked. Loki is not good with little dogs. Backpack was also interested in the little dog so he came round me. The little dog went away and I managed to scoot far enough away to disentangle my legs from the leashes.

I don't know what the deal is with owners of little dogs in my neighborhood. Almost all of the houses have fenced backyards but yet these people let their little dogs out to poop in the front. The little dogs don't stay in their own yards, they poop in other people's yards. I'm tempted to move some of Loki's man-sized dumps to their front yards. I have a long-handled shovel. See how they like dodging those land mines.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Ugly shirt Friday

It's ugly shirt Friday at Affect Advertising. Vera Shields wears a nasty pink number in panel one. She's been working out and has had part of her arm amputated since dumping Drew.

Appointed a member of the city's town council? Try, "...appointed a member of city council." I wonder if the person who letters this comic can do the job without bursting into laughter or tears? Can the letterer read?

Democracy has bypassed Santa Royale. California has not bothered sending ballots, voting machines or anything election related to Santa Royale. Instead a state official phones Mary Worth and asks for her opinion but instead of giving a relevant answer she shares a platitude with the state official.

For the Democratic Primary, the official hung up after talking to Mary Worth and asked colleagues if quoting a wise man counts as a vote for Obama or should he assume that as an old white woman that Mary Worth supports Clinton? One of the colleagues suggested, "Screw it, give Santa Royale to Gravel." Gravel received 8,184 votes in California courtesy of Mary Worth, the original super delegate.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

63 slides

I've spent most of today and several evenings scanning slides. 63 so far. I will see slides in my sleep. I scan two slides at a time on my home scanner and can scan 4 slides at a time on the work scanner.

The process has gone faster thanks to a faculty member who allowed me to take a scanner that he no longer uses. It's an Epson 4490 and I like it so far. It scans slides only up to 1200 DPI but that is better than the nothing that 2 HP scanners did.

If I receive a third HP scanner that does not fully function, I will definitely look at an Epson.

At least the slides have interesting content. Wolves in the high Arctic. Lots of wolf pup pictures.

Right now, I'm listening to my Julie London channel on Pandora. I got tired of scanning and color correcting slides for today.

Now, I go finish coloring and lettering the last You've Been Warned panel. I've put two hours into this panel so far.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Is Anyone Going to Die Today?

I love you, Burl.

A laugh out loud funny Dinette Set. What is happening to the world?

I often ask myself the same question that Burl asks, but for different reasons.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hot pockets in the den

I cannot count the number of times that I've sat in my den and the desire for a Hot Pocket hits me. I wanted a Hot Pocket but did not feel like traveling all the way to the kitchen to prepare one. I usually let the desire pass. Yes, I can be that lazy.

Ron Amalfi has solved his Hot Pocket dilemma by installing a microwave in his den. He does not have to tear himself away from the latest James Patterson thriller in order to prepare a Hot Pocket.

No wonder Mary let Jeff leave, Ron can enable her need to meddle and he has a microwave oven in his den. How cool is that? I bet a man who can afford a den microwave has a lot of money, more than a mere doctor.

Speaking of James Patterson, I drew the last You've Been Warned panel today. I still need to scan, color and add lettering but tomorrow I can resume drawing regular gag cartoons.

The Bryan-College Station Eagle has added comments to its online articles. You can't sent a letter to the editor anonymously but you can write whatever bit of ugliness you want anonymously. Real professional. Ugliness exists in the community but it does not need an anonymous public forum.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Holding my breath in the middle of the ice cream aisle

I'll dispense the advice, thank you very much. Mary does have a problem - she can give it but cannot take it. If Karen Moy does not get on with it then I will lose interest. I suspect the same thing happens to Karen Moy as she writes these things. Sad, that the author loses interest in the middle of a story. I predict the gap between potential and execution will be huge.

For the first time in several months, I wrote gags. The "You've Been Warned" project is coming to a close so now I need to write and draw new material. I bought a new mini composition book to write all my ideas down. I have a pretty decent head start. I bought a new planner case to hold my stuff. Transferring things gave me a chance to remove some clutter from my life.

I've added to my tracker the goal of removing 10 items of clutter 5 days a week. So far I've not completed a full week but the tracker serves as a reminder and I would like to start a streak.

Since the West Virginia primary, I've found aspects of Hillary Clinton's campaign a bit troubling. I get the impression that part of her case for the nomination is her ability to appeal to ugly America. Can we leave ugly America out of this one? Their numbers can't be that huge.

I hope this is over by Wednesday morning. Hillary Clinton still has the options of holding her breath or throwing a huge temper tantrum in the middle of the ice cream aisle.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Exercise Log: May 26 - 31

This week I ran, rowed and biked 17.65 miles, burned 1337.2 calories and weigh 151.9 pounds.

Monday: bike 3.87 miles in 20:57
Tuesday: ran 3.27 miles in 35:00
Wednesday: row 1.27 miles in 10:00
Friday: bike 3.90 miles in 19:07
Saturday: ran 5.34 miles in 65:00

Next week:
Monday - strength training and row
Tuesday - 30 minute run
Wednesday - strength training and bike
Thursday - 30 minute run
Friday - strength training and row
Saturday - 1 hour run

I've added a calorie burning goal to my tracker. I've set it to 2,000 calories a week. This includes all my activities (calisthenics, walks to and from car, walks during lunch) rather than just the stuff I list here. I burned 2,444 calories last week. I may alter the calories to burn per week if I keep going over by a significant amount. This alters my nutrition plan automatically if I do that.