Monday, June 30, 2008

walnut ink drawing; Bellevoir

I lunch broke several days on this one. Had I known at the start that I would spend that much time on it, I would have efforted greaterly at getting the windows straight. On the whole, however, I'm pleased with it.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Peas and Corn

Yesterday we ate the year's first peas from the garden. Erin and the corn are in a race; will we get some corn to eat before she turns four? It will be close, I think, and my bet is on Erin.


Hens & Chickens

I didn't know these things flowered until just recently when they grew this big stalk with flower buds at the end. My mom, who gave these to me last year, said she didn't know they did this, either.


Monday, June 23, 2008


More and more often, Erin is asking tough questions; questions that are maybe a little hard to answer, especially in terms a not-quite-four-year-old can grasp. The latest one was a couple of days ago in the car, when she asked, "Why do people have two legs but horses have four?" That's not as hard as her question, "What is a mind?" from a few months ago, but still.


Friday, June 20, 2008

detected coin totals

Yesterday I had my best detecting hunt yet; I found about 15 coins, totalling about $1.30 in change. I also found my first foreign, a Canadian cent.

I just cleaned (some of) the junk from my car, and combined my coins in one jar. This tally probably isn't completely accurate. I think I still have a few coins rolling in my car or on my desk at work. But this is most of it:

cents: 96
nickels: 6
dimes: 21
quarters: 14

total coins: 138

total face value: $6.86

So far, no wheat cents and no silver.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Riding the bronze giraffe

It wasn't long after this statue was installed that they put a canopy over it; in the sunshine on a summer afternoon, that metal vaporized skin on contact. Now he's mostly harmless. Father's Day at the Louisville Zoo

Black walnut ink drawing 6-17-08

I dated this one 6-16 by mistake, a mistake compounded by my continuation of work on it several days afterward. I darked some areas today, and it's finished. It's 7x9 inches. I'm not as happy with the tree trunk on this one as compared to the previous drawing, but on the whole I think it looks good. I'm definitely eager to do some more ink drawings, both walnut and sumi (black).

Lightning bug

Jill's first night catching lightning bugs.

The lightning bug flew from Jill's hand and zoomed toward the lens as the picture was taken, just in case you are wondering why it looks like it's as big as her fist.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The week before last I decided to reverse myself again regarding the verbing of "impact." Even if it is acceptable in many circles, one unspoken aspect of my job is to try to keep fellow employees from looking stupid. Regardless of whether it's warranted, there are a lot of people who think the use of "impact" as a verb is stupid. It's a minor thing that is easy to change, so I will continue unverbing impact.
Also on the topic of verbing, a few years ago Kinko's was using the following tagline in its advertisements: "Kinko's: The smart way to office." Ugh. That still gets to me. What really made it grate was the fact that Kinko's was sponsoring lots of NPR programming, and that phrase was read by the NPR announcer between shows about once an hour for half a year.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Lunch break sketch 6-12

Another one with walnut ink. Most of this was done using a small brush and a metal pen nib. The composition is more focused; it's smaller in subject matter, allowing me to give it a more refined look. I like it.

There were kids splashing in the creek nearby the whole time I was drawing; one little boy was prowling with a net, yelling, "Listen here, fish! You have three choices: Die, come with me, or..." then he sort of trailed off. I think he was unwilling to admit that the third option, no doubt chosen by most or all of his piscine prey, was "flee the vicinity."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I spent twenty minutes detecting at lunch today at Hounz Lane Park. I poked around the picnic pavilion for a while, and found that it was very trashy. Lots of signals that were screws and bolts, pull tabs, who knows. I decided to hunt someplace with less stuff popping up, and selected a mulchy hillside across the creek. There was a lot less trash, and I quickly found a quarter and a dime. The coins were nothing special ('96 and '72, respectively), but they surprised me because they were in a spot that would receive relatively light foot traffic.


D&D 4.0

My initial reaction to the news that there was a 4th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game coming out was: Feh. I'm already running a version 3.0 game, and there's no way I'm shelling out a big wad of money for new rulebooks that will totally change the system and end my current campaign.
But I keep hearing good things about it ( Admittedly, much of what I'm hearing might be coming from industry shills. But still, it's interesting and I want to hear more.
I will not end my current campaign or make any changes any time soon, but maybe when we get to an end of this massive story arc that is slowly playing out, I'll switch over. That would be years from now.
Still, it's a pity that they didn't come out with these great improvements for the 3.0 release in 2000.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bug update

Bug update: Yeah, the cicadas are 17-year cicadas. And the spider was a wolf spider, because fishing spiders don't carry their young on their backs.

Tonight Erin asked me why mosquitoes bite people, so I gave her a rundown of the mosquito life cycle. She also asked why the bites itch.

Lunchbreak sketch 6-5-08

walnut ink drawing

These drawings were done with black walnut ink, twigs, brush, and dip pen.

Lunchbreak sketch 6-4-08

Sketch last week

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Don't read this if you are disturbed by bugs or parental tragedy

Just a few minutes ago I walked through the door of the building where I work and had a disturbing experience. There was a large spider on the floor near the door; and when I say "large", I mean like a hairy milk jug with legs. I paused to look at it. I think it was a brownish gray fishing spider, but it might have been just a really big dark wolf spider. Anyway, I noticed that it was carrying its (hundreds of) babies on its back.
Our building's cold sterile lobby is no place for a young single mother to raise a family, so I decided to try to herd the spider back out the door. When I propped open the door, though, the wind created by our building's ventilation system was blowing strongly inwards, causing the spider to run the opposite direction, away from the door. I tapped my foot in front of her, trying to get her to run to the door, but she wouldn't go that way. Finally, I kicked at her, trying to nudge her, but I mishandled it. It was a strong enough kick that she was send flying a foot or so away, but he babies flew off all around where she had been. The spider ran off to a corner, but where she'd been standing there were now about ten thousand tiny baby spiders running haphazardly in a slowly expanding pool of spiderness.
Recognizing that I had wrecked the situation beyond repair, I said, "Unngh, I am SO out of here," and left. I am now both disgusted at the creepy-crawliness of what I witnessed, and wracked by guilt.


Monday, June 02, 2008