I've been thinking about the "Mommy's In The Kitchen Eating Her O's" poem from the apocrypha of my memory banks... and specifically thinking about what I meant by wanting to be like that.

There's a tendency to think that dark things are more meaningful. Real art should be dark... only this isn't even historically true. Everyone scrambles around trying to be so charged; an offshoot of the element of toxic masculinity that says "If you're not going to be the best there's no damn point in even doing it you loser." Everyone needs to be so important.

Then there's the antagonist thing; most of us never have anything like a nemesis. Frustrations, a crappy society or rules thereof, but not a nemesis. But our stories demand it.

I wanted/want an aesthetic that's more like our lives... kind of boring, kind of wonderful. No supervillain or revenant, no reason to suppose that you have to be the most important person to anyone but yourself. A world of beautiful clouds and plants and landscape, of art and music and fun with people you like. Of dishes and doing your job.

I would like to remind people: It doesn't matter who you can outrun. What matters is can you run? It doesn't matter who you can "outplay". The question is can you deliver a song?


Update: The mailbox plates with the clever bird prevention devices have been kiboshed by the Architectural Committee... Fairly enough, if I'm being honest.

So I'm seeing many that have reverted to the picture on the right as opposed to just letting the birds have their way with us. I'll look around and see if anyone is keeping the signplates that still HAVE the birdpoo problem. I'll keep you posted. ☺


I used to work with Glenda Saade at Moog. Glenda was (ooh is he going to say it AGAIN?!) an amazing human being (yep! he said it again!) (She really was! HI Glenda!)

One year she coordinated our effort to put together teams for the annual Salt Lake City Corporate Games. Every company was invited to compete in a lot of events with teams and individuals in many categories. We had a tendency to win fairly often in our Mid-Sized Sedan division. It was usually between us and Workers Comp, who we felt had an unfair advantage in that people (Ringers! Ringers I tell you!) come and go rather quickly over there. Fabulous bowlers would suspiciously arrive before the games and leave shortly after...

But that's another story that is factually incorrect and mostly the product of sour grapes, and lord knows there are enough of those floating around already. Anyway, Glenda took over coordinating and she had the hardest time getting enthusiasm but eventually she whipped us all into compliance and if I remember right we won.

I made this sculpture of Glenda as the Goddess Lakshmi, with her many arms holding different events (bowling, pistols, darts, cards, go carts, softball, pool, golf).

The likeness is very good. I was as usual trying to caricature and exaggerate and I mostly landed squarely spot on.


Pictures Steal Your Soul

Click on the first picture and scroll through using the arrow key ☺

There's a serious problem with the Jackson Pollock paintings in terms of their longevity... Jackson painted many of them using house paint; latex. This gets old and cracks off, peels, and worse yet it's the amazing inter-layering that makes them what they are, you can't just lay down a flat silhouette of the traces that used to be there. you have to get the third dimension into it, very hard to duplicate.

When Savannah died one of my first thoughts was to make a portrait of her; to layer a bunch of house paint in drizzles a la Pollock, and then take acrylic and paint a portrait over the top of it. Then include with the painting this text:

"Over the course of the next 40 years, this painting will slowly crack and peel and begin to disintegrate. This is a feature and is not to be repaired; it's here to remind us. That's what happens whether we leave in a hurry, or at the usual leisurely pace. This painting holds the place that she'd have held herself; it will last about as long and when it's done you need to let it go."

Pictures steal your soul indeed.



What was wrong with that guy anyway? Operation Sam, I mean... we know what was wrong with Gregory House.

(If you didn't watch the TV show "House" that's who those doctors at the top are, and the "single diagnosis for all the weird symptoms" was the main plot of every show.)

Into The Light

My niece (who is a great niece but not in this instance also a great-niece) Sarah suggested that this cartoon had a gently Christian vibe to it.

I am thinking now about "the light". There are things that we say when someone dies; I'm honestly surprised at the uniformity of some of it. Like a whole unwritten religion that's WAY outside of the usual Books. And while I haven't done the exhaustive interviews that I maybe should, I'm finding on the small sample of nursing home workers I've had to deal with (larger than I wanted it to be, but that doesn't move it into statistical significance) that there are things that they either feel/know or learn from each other and that maybe instead of churches we should go hang out with them, these angels, our better selves.

Because really, we're all  just trying to ease each others' passing.



Our "Compound" has a standard mailbox that we're all supposed to have, and I like it... but there are complaints about the number being visible (say in the dark for pizza delivery guys or something). So an option was made available, reflective number plates that mount on the top... only this had unintended consequences...


Birds see this lovely perch, and they say "Oooh, thank you, you know I wouldn't have said that you people actually liked us but apparently I was wrong." Every mailbox that has this sign also has the bird poo... it's honestly as if they were making sure to hit them all just to make their point.

Well, then again, not every mailbox... because we have a compound full of engineers and these people develop solutions to their problems...


...However mediaeval those solutions might be. Want to bet that these little parapets are exactly 2 cm longer than the longest bird legs of extant North American species known to live at this latitude? ☺

Note: NONE of the spiky mailbox signs has even a trace of bird poo.


When I was travelling a lot the absolute best way to kill time was to bring a sketchbook... I could get source sketches for half a dozen cartoons out of a flight from Salt Lake City to Buffalo. This sketch wasn't for a more serious effort later; it was just a Moments With Jack Handy sort of a thought.

While I'm on the subject of "killing them with kindness", I want my next album to be "Mustard With Kindness In The Library" and have a cover of Colonel Mustard being totally shocked in a room full of books as a shadowy figure hands him cake and booze... (It'll make more sense when I draw it and add it to this post. ☺)


This is one of the oldest. I had an idea for the whole town in a series... Banque du Soleil, Ecole du Soleil...


I know that people are born autistic with inexplicable gifts; knowing how to play the piano, Rain Man with the counting, math whizzes especially. What I did not know until relatively recently was that sometimes this happens with brain damage from accidents; people hit their head on the dashboard and suddenly they can speak Portuguese or weld or something.

Now, I'm not necessarily recommending this but... if you have a particularly useless child lying about, maybe tap them in the head with a brick. Who knows what they might suddenly be able to do?

Who you know

I really want to get a few lines in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. ☺

The Little Match Girl is a horrible story by Hans Christian Andersen. It's arguably brilliant, but I am reminded of when my granddaughter Haley went to see Marley And Me, and when she came back she was SERIOUSLY a dark cloud of pouty rage. "What's wrong?"

"They killed the dog!"

So I decided to rewrite it. (Match Girl, not Marley And Me.) In mine, the girl is starving to death trying to peddle her matches and she meets a patron who says "I could buy a match, but that won't really help you much. You're not moving enough merchandise and I don't really see how you can increase the volume enough to change that. Are you open to some management suggestions?"

So they start trying on different careers... rock star, fashion model, rodeo barrel rider, etc. In this sense it's exactly like the usual themes of Huckleberry Hound cartoons and also a personal favorite, Tutor the Turtle.

The sketch on the left is my "Les Miz Match Girl", the one on the right more of a children's book version. I need to figure out how to end the story... or if to end it. ☺ I mean, Huckleberry Hound never really came to a satisfying series finale.


I did not draw this, I just edited it... someone (Ted Cruz?) said something about "We (indicating the red team) have Homer and Bart and Marge and Maggie and they (the blue team of course) have Lisa." Haw haw haw.

I felt this needed to be said. ☺


This is one of my earliest, back when I was doodling "Snore pie with yawn sauce" at various meetings.

I don't know how well it works, because apparently there aren't as many people who've heard the classic advice about how to apply perfume.

Another English teacher joke. I may have missed my calling. ☺

We re wolf


This is kind of an "English Teacher Joke" but when Veronica suggested a better caption it sparked a story idea in me, detailed below. Her caption:

"We need to see other people."  ☺

First persons - Copy

Adam and Eve are the first Anatomically Modern Humans. (Which technically here means they should be dark brown, but this is not the illustration for this story. Yet. ☺) But Adam wears thin on her after a while, and their child Cain is a bit of a brat... And she loses interest and abandons Adam. Well, she gets involved with a Neanderthal, they're nicer and more spiritual, and they fall in love, and she has a second child... Abel. And from there the sibling rivalry begins, egged on of course by a bitter Adam.

We need to see other people indeed. ☺

El Mangusta

El Mangusta

Along with Rama Don Fastings we also came up with a logo character for test equipment developed by our team. El Mangusta, "The Mongoose". A rogue with a penchant for killing snakes...

I don't really have anything against Python... Any language is a good language, really, and Python is no exception. What none of us cared for at all was a code that was written in six different formats, one of them Python, because none of the people behind it could make any one of them do everything they needed it to do. They also couldn't make all six of them do the deed, either, but eventually they got there. Not before we stepped on it with an elephant and attacked it with an anthropomorphic adventurer of questionable morals, though.

That is python skin on his vest. But the bright spot in his pants is just the flash from the camera and was not intended as shiny pants syndrome.

Anti-Semite Sam

Anti-semite Sam - Copy

This is pronounced "Anti Semitty" the way Yo Semitty is pronounced. The dynamite is from that WB cartoon where Bugs and Sam are running for mayor and Sam keeps trying to get rid of the competition. "NOBODY'll vote for a flattened out rabbit skin... I always say." Sam was "the kind of person who 'always says'..." Much like Foghorn Leghorn.

In this cartoon the attempted violence keeps escalating, and they both look up from their battle to notice that someone else has won the election. A parade goes by with "Our New Mare!" in a car. "A dark horse?!" one of them says. "Mare?!!" the other says. Then they commit suicide. (They pop back up in the end credits to poke fun at the fact that actually, no, they did not.)

But I turned out all right. ☺

PS: I never noticed till I went to look how Picasso Sam was; his ears meet his nose. It's harder to notice with him doing this Handlebar Mustache Combover but they do, and other variations on him are even weirder. People having fun...


An underpainting, or rather a sketch for an underpainting. This is one of those things that I say where I'm not certain what I mean, but my third eye (not this one silly) says "Go ahead, say it, it's appropriate..."




This actually sums up the current state of mankind. We're stuck... all we have to do is let go... no reason to be trapped. But we want the cookies! COOKIES! Don't you understand? We could have the cookies AND not be trapped. Just let go. We'll figure out a different way to get them. Don't you UNDERSTAND?! COOKIES!

Look, no one's even telling you "Eat the healthy peanuts and bananas and forget the goddamn cookies!" Ah, screw it. I'll just wait a few months and do a cartoon with your skeleton still stuck in the jar.


Can you unrevolve a revolution? I mean, "pics or it didn't happen", right? There aren't any pics of this so-called revolution are there?

MAGBA now! ☺

New Bitmap Image


Paula, I don't know if you're reading these, but do you remember a poem (in Dimensions maybe?) that went
"Mommy's in the kitchen
Eating her O's"
That poem made me want more than anything to capture the feeling of being in the sun, of still life being good. No adventure, no murder, no revenge, no overwhelming passion and betrayal. The life of watching the clouds, of being surrounded by all this amazing beauty.

The beauty is in the works of men, too, of course. Traffic on the highway, especially if you're viewing it from on high. Architecture, oh my god.

Tiny epiphanies from the smallest of sentences. I don't know her name, but I owe her... I owe you.

I’m walking through the flea market
Old editions of Archie comics
Some kind of mediaeval-torture-farm-tools
800 different kinds of Malaysia’s finest pocketknives
When I walk past a girl
Psychic readings, it says. She’s the merchandise.
There’s an empty chair and she looks uncomfortable,
Her handler is off buying a beer can cooler or something
And I assume she’s uncomfortable because her handler is not there and she may have to talk to someone, though I suspect she has anxiety branded in her eyes no matter who’s helping her

I want to stop, look into her face, try to tell her
“Don’t dive into their heads, it will make you crazy”
hope you don’t notice that I’m thinking you look like it’s making you crazy
“We need the illusion that we’re civilized
If we hear the awful things that fleet through other people
(before the training kicks in and they decide not to rape and kill you)”
It’s the number of steps between the awful idea and the training kicking in
That makes the difference between a good person and a bad one
“We start to notice them in ourselves
And if there’s a devil, that’s where he starts to work on you
There is nothing you can get from hearing them
That you can’t get just as easily from body language
We think we are so secret but we are SO transparent”
But I hesitate to say this because
At best it would establish a connection between us
Was this a lifesaver? Do I have to take care of you now? Maybe it saved my life, you have to take care of me? Am I ready for that kind of commitment just because you look so sad?
At worst it would establish a connection between us.
The answer to all those questions was no. I’m waiting to see if the training kicks in.

And no matter what the outcome
If the advice is actually necessary
You just heard it all.



imagine the act of picking a dandelion for your mom
Pop! little yellow flower
you rub it on your nose, the yellow rubs off and stains you
you ask if anyone objects to your little act of vegicide
“feel free to kill them ALL,” your father suggests.
only you go to pick one and your mind zooms in on what you’re doing
in slow motion you pull up on the stem
it plants its little feet, it resists.

you imagine it “no! NO!” then “owwwwwaaaaAAAAH!”
and then this hideous tearing sound
the weak spot going first, the membrane ripping around the stem until
the last thread, the strongest, luckiest thread, finally gives it up.
Jesus. that was awful.
so now you’re trying to relax.
it’s a warm spring day. the sun is shining, the birds are singing.
people do things that make them happy… maybe you should join in.
you’re starting to feel a little good again, and
people are doing that nose rubbing thing…
so you bring the little corpse up to your nose, and ZOOM
what exactly IS that yellow stuff?
you know. it’s how plants reproduce.
you have ripped its head off and now
you’re going to wipe its come on your face.
holy SHIT Hannibal, what is WRONG with you?
you try to relax again.
your horrible account of the event
is only one way to look at it
but now you’re thinking of others less damaging to your self-image.
pollen is just dust. you haven’t killed anything.
it will grow back, a new body, it will live on.
you could take a similar tack
trying to flee from your murder of a human.
you are not looking too closely at your tendency
to delude yourself you’re not bad
plants are maybe different.
or maybe it’s the circle of life.
or something.
you have 3.2 gigaseconds to get through,
and it’s going to be hard to do
if you keep getting all subatomic in your metaphysics.
so you ask your dad about dandecide,
and he indicates that his feelings
amount to “death to them and their species,”
and you ask “why?”

they’re a weed.

okay. what does that mean?

undesirable. you don’t want them on your lawn,
and once you get them they’re BASTARDS to get rid of,
they’re tough and they breed like crazy.
you keep the next two questions to yourself:

  1. are they still weeds when they’re not on a lawn?
  2. we don’t like species that are stronger and better, we reward them for being weak and going extinct easily?

you let this go, you have had a successful conversation with your dad.
no point in pushing it into Nuremburg.
apprehensively regain your equilibrium.
do that yoga balance pose, “look at me i’m a tree”
you take the dandelion in to your mom. “i love you mom.”
she smiles. you feel good.
resist zooming in on any of this stuff, just roll with the moment.
she rewards you with a chicken sandwich.
great. here we go again.


later in life you’re still thinking about this.
you zoom in on the tearing of the stalk again.
“the strongest and luckiest holds the longest.”
why not just the strongest?
there’s a thread higher up and you imagine he’s angry.
“hey! i could have held!
we could all still be here
if that was ME holding the line in this little tug of war!”

only he wasn’t connected to a group that was in on the action.
his side had already let go in a cluster of weaker guys below
it was not his destiny to be the One.
it matters where you are,
who you’re with,
and THEN your talents.
you look at your watch. 1.5 gigaseconds to go.
Jesus. that’s a lot of chicken sandwiches.
I say these things and I know I’m saying them to you
Only I wonder if it ever feels to you
like I’m saying them to someone I’ve imagined is you
Some marionette version that maybe kind of resembles you
Some character already predisposed to see these ideas
Like those windchime sculptures that hang in your yard
and look like a pile of sticks twisting in the wind
until they finally turn to just the right angle

and you see OH! A Star of David, how cool!
I decide that no. I can see where you might feel that, but you don’t,
Dandelions do not say owwww

But it does matter
Who you’re with.

as i'm driving to work i see what looks like
one of those messages trailing behind a biplane
flying over the county fair
"go bobcats beat willard"
only i can't find the plane
and can't take my eyes off the road long enough to verify
till i notice it's not a message, it's geese

but then i notice they're in a morse code pattern,
a straight line unusual for geese
so it might still be a message

.... _ _ _ _ . _ . _

this spells "honk"
and now i'm stuck wondering
were they being self-referentially hipster ironic
or is it possible that they want to know
if i love jesus



Waterboard final

There are a lot of reasons why phone conferences are not as satisfying. And how many times I have wished for a mute button to confer on answers with my cohorts in regular life. ☺

Meeting food

This is not supposed to be Robin Settle. For one thing she dresses better. ☺

(Hi Robin!)

push up

It's possible I misunderstood the intent here...

Phone 14 135

They had a picture of my mom, my sister Sandie, my niece Sarah and her son Liam in the Autumnwood Nursing Home Newsletter with the caption "4 Generations". I made a colored pencil sketch of it for mom and she had it on the wall in her room. ☺

(Addendum after the fact: I am pleased beyond expressing that she had this on the wall in her room.)

Send help

This is one of the illustrations I put onscreen when we (an employee band of all engineers, we called ourselves "The Integrators"... Hi Al, Ted, John and Sam!) did the Xmas party at Moog... I wrote a parody of Money For Nothing ("♪ Profits for sharing and a Xmas Tree♫") and one of my lines was "We've got Boeing, offering to 'send help'..."

Whenever someone is offering to "send help" it usually means they've decided you're floundering out of your depth and the help in question usually resembles this drawing pretty closely. "Let's have a stand-up meeting hourly and you will need to provide a detailed explanation of why a purportedly trained engineer can't figure this out."

☺ Good times, eh, guys?

I read a good article today about people misusing (and worse misconceiving) political language... How we have come to use Conservative and Liberal to be equivalent to Left and Right and also Republican and Democrat, and ALL of these things have specific meanings that we have bumperstickered down to Red Team and Blue Team.

Polo Bear

A brief scene from Coming 1.5:

Unicornelius, a demon: "Woo babe, nice Speedo!'

Guy in Speedo: What are you, GAY?

Unicornelius: Jeez, dude, you know I'm not human right? I mean if you're gonna be homosexual don't you have to be homo sapiens first? It's like, a lion can be a man-eater but it can't be a cannibal.


I am going to console myself with the defense that this drawing of Curiosity looks at least as much like Curiosity as my many attempts at drawing Arnold Schwarzenegger look like Arnold.

Diet poison... because you are not done with looking fabulous.

Phone 14 144

There was a crumpled up paper towel and I looked at it and saw this: one 3/4 turn shot of a demon and one profile, at the same time like a Picasso or like a multi-dimensional, um, demon... with one horn. Born that way, not "one broken off"... that's trite... ☺

Named "Unicornelius". So if I need a demon in any of my stories, I think it's gonna be Unicornelius and I have a personality for him already,.. He's hosting a new deadly sin, "Snark". It's a JUNGLE in here.


The "batshit crazy" among us prefer to be called "Guano-Americans".

I want to make the Belfry with the motorized bats out of tinfoil and present it as an art-piece; possibly on the head of the guy on the right. Alternately to make them en masse for sale, for human sized heads.

Phone 2674

Okay, is it just me or does this squirrel look... evil?

Phone 2675

Yeah... there's definitely a pattern here. ☺

Anyone ever notice that "E-Bay" is "Be" in Pig Latin? ☺