Monday, December 30, 2013

Quiet on Set

We make a gingerbread house every year, but this year was a fiasco. Somehow the gingerbread turned out thick and puffy1, and the glue-icing wasn't gluey enough. I briefly got everything assembled, but then the house toppled, and no amount of jury-rigging would fix it. So...

The gals improvised, using the front of the house as a "movie set facade" and arranging the gingerbread men in a sort of old-time western shootout. Note the Twizzler railroad tracks, and my favorite detail, the sparkly red sugar-blood streaming from the victim.

Lemons into lemonade.

1 I blame the seventies-and-humid weather we were having when Sarah made the dough.

Friday, December 27, 2013


June wanted to start the new season of one of her favorite shows1 that had finished the previous season with a big cliffhanger. She said "I really want to watch it because it ended on a big hangover!"

Kids say the darnedest things.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cafe Brulot

Photo by my cuz'

We had family festivities for Christmas Eve, and I wrapped up the meal by making a local classic, Cafe Brulot, basically warmed brandy with spices, set on fire, then mixed with coffee and served (after it's stopped flaming). I hadn't made it before and didn't really know what I was doing, but it turned out quite tasty — and no one was burned in the process. Good fun.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Santa As a Young Hipster

Dunno. I just drew this guy, a bearded hat-wearing sort-of-hipster. June said he looked like a young Santa.1 So there you go.

1 Santa is a long-lived guy. But presumably he wasn't simply spawned as a full grown Santa. He must have been young once. What what were his pre-career years like? Hmm...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

At the Track

Yours truly and Miss Lulu (and some horses). Photo by Sarah.

We don't go to the track nearly enough. It's a fine place to be: the horses, the wide open grounds, sunshine, betting a few bucks, the people-watching. Yeah, especially the people-watching. It's officially "all walks of life": the country gentry in their cowboy boots and two-hundred dollar jeans, the urbanites breaking out their fancy hats for an afternoon, the hardcore betters with their cigarettes and crumpled tickets, the jockeys, the horse handlers... Fascinating.

Cats Are Crazy

When I got home, as I walked up to the front door, I heard Delilah inside, yowling to get out. I opened the door. She ran out. I went inside. When I got to the kitchen, I heard Delilah at the back door, yowling to get in. I opened the door. She ran in. Cats are crazy. 

Monday, December 02, 2013


I'm not a big re-poster, but I'm compelled to pass this video along: a really cool audio-visualization1 of where various pronunciations and idioms2 are used throughout the country. It greatly pleases my inner armchair linguist. And more specifically, it exactly answers the very question I asked on this blog a little while back: where is raining-while-the-sun-is-shining described as "the devil's beating his wife"? (Discussed in the video around 1:45.) As it turns out, it's mainly used in a region extending from right where I grew up in Virginia on down here through Louisiana and into eastern Texas. (So yeah, the South.) There you have it. Enjoy.

1 Is that a word? Whatever. If not, it is now.

2 "Idioms": sounds funny.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Utility Pole with Weird Symbol

Does anybody know what the hell that means?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Joe Draws a Banana

Joe returns to his artwork, this time a nostalgic digi-ma-doodle of a banana,1 his favorite food from back in the day when he had a stomach and the general set of innards required to eat. Poor Joe. No more bananas.

1 There was indeed a request for Joe drawing on an iPada though the requested subject was not a banana. But sometimes Joe asserts his own free will.
 a As this doodle was in turn drawn on an iPad. Again, wheels within wheels, man. (This seems to be the catch phrase of Joe's current day.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Joe Picks Out a Halloween Costume

With the Halloween season nearly upon us, Joe must choose a costume. What will he be? Ah! Joe decides to dress as...  a skeleton.1

More to come!

1 Wheels within wheels, man.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Joe Plays Roller Derby

After solving the debt ceiling crisis, Joe blows off a little steam with a vigorous round of roller derby.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

DJ Sweater

June made DJ a sweater out of an old partnerless argyle sock. Brilliant.1

1 I always thought the little-dogs-in-outfits thing was just frou-frou. Turns out that little Chihuahua-esque critters are actually prone to chills. Mr. DJ shivers when there's a nip in the air. An argyle sock-sweater is just the thing.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Joe Solves the Debt Ceiling Crisis

Having started his day with some quiet painting, Joe steps out into the world and solves the debt ceiling crisis.1 Go Joe! More to come in Joe's New Big, Very Exciting Day.

Sarah at Galatoire's

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Favorite Idiomaticisms of the Past Couple of Days

  • Eavesdropping at Whole Foods: My cashier, talking about her niece or somesuch, described here as "spurled". It took me a moment to parse: "spurled" = "spoiled".
  • The girls wanted doughnuts. It was early. I stumbled bleary-eyed into the doughnut shop. The lady at the counter asked me, "Are you woke yet?" (Again — partially due to my not-woke-yet-ness — it took me a moment to parse: "What's that?" "Are you woke yet?" "Oh, yeah, trying to get there.")

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Walkin' the Dogs

With our new addition, I now walk two dogs. It's like flying two kites at once. And one of the kites is young and goofy and doesn't quite understand how this business works. There's lots of tangling. Good fun.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Joe Paints a Landscape

Before entering into the hectic fray of his busy day, Joe takes a meditative moment to paint a landscape.1

1 Okay, okay. This wasn't actually one of the requests. (We'll get to those.) But a while back, Matt asked me to paint landscapes. Trouble is, we don't have many landscape opportunities in our densely packed little city. (And landscapes are hard, and I'm lazy.a) So as a bit of smart-assery, I outsourced the landscape painting to Joe.b
a Though I may still get around to them one of these days. 
b For what it's worth, the landscape that Joe is painting is in fact a cheeky insider reference to a landscape I did myself paint as a young lad, the Lost Painting at the End of the Earth. So... I've drawn a landscape-drawing-copy of a landscape-painting I once painted, and I've drawn Joe in turn painting a landscape-painting of that landscape-drawing-copy. Wheels within wheels, man.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Joe the Skeleton's New Big, Very Exciting Day1

Perhaps you remember Joe the Skeleton. Perhaps you don't. A recap. Joe is a skeleton. He wears a funny hat. He has big exciting days. And he does whatever the readers say he does (a sort of crowd-sourced bloggy choose-your-own-adventure).

Now, after retreating from the limelight for a spell, Joe is back. And he's ready for a new big, very exciting day. And you have to say what he does during this big day. And I, the mere facilitator of this illustrative narrative, draw it. And then you tell me the next thing. And I draw it. And so on and so forth. And Joe’s day unfolds with great fun (and bizarre unpredictability).

Let the game begin! What happens first on Joe the Skeleton's New Big, Very Exciting Day?

1 As per Marco's request.

Meteorological Musings: Winds of Change

Well, Karen was a shoo-shoo:1 puffs of wind, piddles of rain, a few events cancelled.2 But now this cold front has moved through, and suddenly we have our New Orleans version of autumn. Right now, at 6 a.m., it's a frigid sixty-four degrees.3 (Brr.) And highs today in the mere seventies. We have entered one of those brief spells where our weather here is what might be considered perfect.

1 A nothin' storm.

2 Our weekends are so busy these days — kids activities and whatnot — that was the most significant consequence, a comparatively unbooked schedule, a quiet treat.

3 Tangentially (that's what footnotes are for), DJ Tiny is curled up in my lap, and he has the hiccups. Oh, there. They just stopped. Dogs with hiccups are funny.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Party Time

Driving home just now, I pulled up at a light behind a construction guy in a battered white truck. As soon as he came to a stop, he popped open the driver-side door, walked around to the back of the truck, opened a cooler in the back, took out a Bud Light tall-boy, got back in the truck, and when the light turned green, rolled on his way. I guess party time couldn't wait.

Fat Boy

I don't know about you, but that name does not make me want to eat one.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

Questions, Questions: Slim Thinks Hard

As requested, a drawing of the way my face feels while wondering what to draw. More to come.

Autumn Equinox

Ooh! Belated happy autumn equinox! (I confess, I'm more of a spring equinox kind do guy — longering days and shortering nights — but in my book, any major solar calendar event is a cool thing.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

DJ Tiny

We're suckers. This wandering little guy showed up on our porch Saturday afternoon. I couldn't help but bring him in. Just for a few hours until we found a neighbor-owner nearby. No dice. Okay, foster him for a few days until we find him a new home. (We've got a dog and two cats. Of course we can't have another animal.) Yeah...... no. Sarah, who normally plays hard-ball in such matters, broke down first. And I'm a soft-touch from the get-go. So. We have a new dog.

His name is DJ Tiny, a ridiculous name, one that Louise made up in a silly riff on what we would call him during his "temporary" stay, but it stuck; so "DJ Tiny" he is, "DJ" for short, (or "Tiny", and I sometimes like to call him "Biggie Smalls"). He's three months old and barely over three pounds./1 He is, as best as we can tell, Chihuahua plus somethin'-somethin'./2 He's absurd and cuddly and crushingly cute. 

Welcome to the family, DJ.

1 Sarah went to the store to buy him a harness so we could walk him. The dog harnesses were all way too big. The cat harnesses were too big. The only thing that fits him is a kitten harness.

2 We're not "small dog people", but he's not the least bit yippy, doesn't have that uber-hyper demeanor some little dogs have. He's more like an incredibly goofy cat.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Questions, Questions

I don't know what to draw. What should I draw?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sixties Girl

For a school project, Louise had to dress up like she was from the early sixties. This was the result. Hilarious.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Fifteen Years

As of today, the Lady and I have been married fifteen years (and together nearly twenty-three). I consider that a might fine thing. Woot! Woot!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Lil' miss Poet: The Weaver's Tree

I'm allowed to occasionally brag about my kids, right? So there's this Louisiana Writes contest: school kids from all across the state submit writings in various categories, many hundreds of submissions. And my Lulu, my lil' miss poet, won third place in the poetry category. The poem:
The Weaver’s Tree had been around longer than anyone could remember.
It’s glossy green leaves never darkened,
never fell to the ground in autumn.
The roots rambled over the ground.
They ran away from the trunk,
like people from a fire,
spreading in all directions.
In the spring, apples hung from the boughs of the tree
like a child clinging to the monkey bars.
They would drop, untouched,
to the soft grass of the meadow.
And the air would drip with the sickly sweet smell of rotten fruit
until the summer rain would wash it away 
Not too shabby for a twelve-year-old. I'm a proud papa.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fantasy Dorkiness

I know comparatively little about football. I like football. I can greatly enjoy a Saints game, follow the action, keep tabs on the main Saints players. But who's the quarterback for the Oakland Raiders? Couldn't tell ya. Who's the highest ranked running back in the league? Couldn't tell ya. Which major player got embroiled in which major scandal this week? Couldn't... Etc.

But I play in the fantasy football league at work.1 I've done it for a couple of years, and I've done pretty well, beating a lot of guys who know twenty times as much as I do. My theory is that, to be good at this goofy game, it's best to know a lot about football or almost nothing at all. (A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.) The folks in the middle have hunches and notions (so-and-so is going to have a breakout year...), and they're often wrong. I couldn't even tell you who I've got on my team right now. I just know they've got good stats.2 (Isn't that that whole Moneyball thing?). And I know I'll beat a lot of those guys with a lot hunches and notions.

This year, by the way, I plan to crush.

1 Dudes are dorks. Football may be hyper-macho, but a fantasy-football draft is a big nerd-fest. (Of course, women play fantasy football too, and I'm sure they're equally capable of dorkiness, but I work in software engineering, so it's almost all dudes anyway (though my daughter is fixin' to fix that). Add to that the male-tilt of fantasy football, and the result: this draft was all dude-dorks.)

2 Actually I have two criteria: the player must have good stats, and they must play for a city I like. (I don't even mean a team I like, about which I often have no opinion. I mean the city itself. And I tend to like old hard-times cities (not unlike New Orleans). I usually end up with at lease one player from Detroit.)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Meteorological Musings: Under the Umbrella

I like rain. I don't necessarily like getting drenched. Now I have a giant umbrella in my backyard1 (with a comfy chair underneath). All is good.

1 It's a slightly broken umbrella, hence the bungee cord jury-rigging.a Such is life. (I am, by the way, the king of jury-rigging, a consequence, I believe, of being both handy and lazy.)
a "Jury-rig": good word. (I use to think it was "jerry-rig". Turns out both are legit, but I've decided I like using the older-school version. (I still pronounce them pretty much the same.))

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meteorological Musings: I Like That

With our highly localized summer storms, it can be calm and dry here and monsoon-like over there. I like at night, when it's cool and dry1 and mild, and somewhere far away lightning is flashing, much too far even hear the thunder, just momentary sweeps of light on the horizon. I like that.

1 I say "dry", meaning it's not actually raining. The air is still plenty wet.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

June with Safety Glasses

The girls did "glass camp", blowing glass and welding and other such things. They needed safety glasses. June was quite pleased with hers, apparently feeling they were rather fly.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013


I should get a herd of dairy cows and seal the deal. I've in general, in recent years, drifted towards farmer's hours: early to bed, early to rise...1 This morning though, for no good reason, I sprung up wide awake at the ungodly hour of four-thirty. Now I've got nothing to do but sit here in the dark, imagining a passel2 of cattle3 roaming around my teeny back yard, grazing on my purple queen.

1 I can thankfully claim health. I'm not so sure about the wealth or wisdom.

2 "Passel": good word.

3 I grew up on a sheep farm. Sheep require plenty of work. But I had a great uncle who was a dairy farmer, and that always struck me as the most relentless form of farming: a bunch of mama cows that have to be milked early every single morning, then again every evening; and a whole long day in between to toil away: no thanks.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monster with Red Eyes

He seems to be suffering some emotional burden. It must be hard being a monster. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Monster With Yellow Teeth

I couldn't think of a person to draw, so I drew a monster. Roar!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lil' Miss Programmer

On her last week of summer, Lulu had a gap in camp coverage. I took her to work with me one day, hanging out in the geek den, where we sling the bits and bytes. She fit right in. (She did her coding tutorials. Her current career goal is to work at Google some day.)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Holy Sh!t

I was just sitting here in my urban New Orleans backyard, 6:15 a.m., and a possum walked out from under my fence and scurried up to within two feet of me, at which point I said "holy sh!t", at which point it noticed me, at which point it turned around and scurried back under the fence. Possum. My backyard. Weird. (Where does it live?)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My, My

Well, we had our little last hurrah at the beach, a state park in Florida, and the frenzy of the school year begins again. Seventh and fourth grade — my, my.

Beach Feet

Monday, August 12, 2013


Oh, hey! This is my three-thousand-and-first1 post! Dang. That's a whole lotta lotta about a whole lotta lil'.

1 Three-thousand-and-first... firtht... first. Sounds funny. I keep wanting to add a "th" in there somewhere.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friday, August 09, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Mimosa Tree

The mimosa tree has quintupled in size since this spring, now spreading its canopy over half the yard. An amazing lovely beast of a tree.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Just Felt Like Sharing

I'm sitting in my yard. It's 5:44 a.m. And it's 80°. Just felt like sharing.


My pilfered horsetails are doing quite well.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Monday, August 05, 2013

Banana Leaf

We seem to be taking a photo-tour of the backyard, so lets continue. Banana leaf. Banana leaves are cool looking.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Night Blooming Jasmine

Each evening, the mimosa closes its leaves. Each evening the night blooming jasmine opens its flowers.1 (The smell is amazing.) Funny that some plants have daily schedules.

1 This was taken in the early morning, before this last cluster of blooms had shuttered for the day.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Why Are Clouds Magic?

I don't know but they are. So many different kinds. I love them, most of them, most of the time. Some can be boring. But mostly they're magic. Soaring cumulo-nimbus, moody stratus. The low-slung fast moving night clouds sliding overhead right now are definitely magic. I'd say we're pretty lucky to live on a cloud-graced planet. Imagine a world without them, a blank skied orb of rock. T'would be a sad thing.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013