This evening’s class went really well, in spite of the fact that I brought the wrong sketchbook. I’m learning more and more about brush finesse, blocking tones, and controlling water so that I can lay a quick pencil sketch down and start working with ink sooner. The ratio of successes to misfires was a lot higher as a result.

As I was packing up my stuff at the end of the session, the short-pose model came over and asked if she could take a picture of the work I’d done. Flattered, I asked her which one she liked the most, and gave it to her:

Date posted: June 28, 2011 | Filed under art/design, drawing | Leave a Comment »

This morning I said goodbye to my old MacBook Pro, the 17″ workhorse that got me through three years of freelance and the beginning of my current job. I’d had it on Craigslist for the last month or so, gradually lowering the price by $50 each week, but it wasn’t until yesterday that I got a solid offer. Walking away I had a twinge of regret and a fear that I’d sold it for too little, but had to remind myself that cash in the pocket is worth more than an unused computer on the desk.

Meanwhile, my Moleskine notebook and sunglasses have gone missing somewhere in the house ever since I got back from Bennett’s place this weekend. I’ve grown accustomed to carrying my notebook with me everywhere I went, writing notes down for myself (it’s little more than a reminder/planner, but for my attention span, the perfect size and shape) so I’m feeling a huge hole in my conscious brain every five minutes, when I think of something else to do, check on, or remind myself of. I’ve had it for about two weeks shy of a year, so the habit is strong. I tore the house upside down last night looking for it, but it wasn’t until this morning when I realized my sunglasses are gone too—this is a good thing, because it means both things made it back inside after my trip on Saturday, so they must be someplace inside the house. The question remains: where?

Date posted: June 28, 2011 | Filed under general, life | Leave a Comment »


Saturday morning, I rose bright and early, got the ladies fed, and hoofed it up to Mariottsville to help a Scout buddy clean out and organize his workshop. He’s come through for me and my Scout on multiple occasions, so it was the least I could do to spend an afternoon elbow deep in insulation and auto parts to begin returning the favor. I also got to meet and work with a bunch of folks I’ve only read or heard about, which was great, and to top it all off, his mom made us some delicious barbecue for dinner.


Finn and I spent Sunday running errands and reading books together so Mama would have a day off; her reward for accompanying me from boring store to boring store was a final stop at the Toys ‘R’ Us to look for some good hand puppets. Sadly, everything we found was associated with a Major Motion Picture or theme park mascot, so we explored everything else. She spent lots of time in the electric car section (she loves to test-drive), the book section, and the Thomas the Train Engine display. I felt awful when it came time to leave, because we had so much fun playing together.


After dinner, I sat on the couch and read books with her, one after the other, until it was time to go upstairs and get ready for bed. As I left the room and clicked off the light, I said, “Thanks for a great day, Finn.” She replied, “You’re welcome. Happy father’s day, Daddy.”

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: June 26, 2011 | Filed under finn, friends, photo, Scout | Leave a Comment »

Thanks Mr. Scout! Now I have a ton of research to do on regulators, hoses, couplings, and carbon dioxide…

Date posted: June 23, 2011 | Filed under brewing, friends | Leave a Comment »

The heat’s back, and with it the humidity. We’re in one of Baltimore’s common weather patterns where it’s hot and sticky during the day, a quick thunderstorm rolls in sometime in the afternoon, and immediately the heat returns, stickier than before. It’s enough uncertainty that I’m not driving the Scout in fear that I’ll get it soaked—something I’d like to avoid until I get the inside of the tub sanded, POR-15’d and coated with bedliner. Which means notime in the immediate future.

Drawing class went moderately well last night; I got one good drawing out of the evening but I feel like I’m learning more about technique. I definitely need some heavier watercolor paper to stand up to the brushes, but for now a basic sketchbook will work.

June 21, 2011

This Saturday I’m heading up to a friend’s farm to help clear out and sort his collection of IH parts, and connect back up with some Scouting friends I haven’t seen in months. It should be a really good time (here’s to hoping the weather holds out) and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.

Next up, we have the parade to prepare for. Mama has been doing some beautiful work out in the yard cleaning up the flowerbeds and trimming the bushes in the front of the house; I never realized what a difference it made before now. There’s a pile of cuttings that need to be hauled out, and I have to find time on Sunday to rent a chainsaw in order to finish cutting our dead cherry tree down, as well as the two apple trees that will never bear fruit. There are a million other small things to do before the 4th, and I hope I have enough time to get to all of them.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: June 22, 2011 | Filed under art/design, drawing, Scout | Leave a Comment »

The Most Awkwardly Public Break-Ups In Facebook History. Scroll down until you hit “Steak and Shake”.

Date posted: June 21, 2011 | Filed under humor, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I’ve been getting up with Finn at 3AM to use the bathroom, hoping the experience will get her (or, at least, her bladder) used to peeing during the middle of the night. I set an alarm on my phone and what I’ll usually do is get up, use the bathroom myself, and then go in to gently rouse the girl. These days, she’s kicking the blankets off completely, so she’ll be surrounded by her stuffed animals, splayed out in the center of her bed. I usually locate Ox first, then quietly wake her by whispering in her ear, and plant her on her feet at the foot of the bed. Steering her by her head, we stumble into the bathroom, and I set her on the potty, where she plugs her thumb in her mouth and Ox into the crook of her arm. I wait until she’s done, get her all buttoned back up, and steer her back into her room to get tucked back in again. Last night was especially foggy for both of us; neither one of us said a word until I tucked the blanket back up under her chin and whispered, “Night-night, little one.” She whispered, “Night-night, Daddy,” which made me smile. I found myself saying, “I love you,” as I stood up to leave, and she whispered, “I love you too, Daddy,” before turning on her side to go back to sleep.

Date posted: June 20, 2011 | Filed under finn | Leave a Comment »

Another busy weekend is behind us; highlights include 10 bags of mulch deposited around the yard, a batch of Hefeweizen brewed and bubbling in the basement, a rear bench seat installed in the Scout, and various errands run. An unexpected Father’s Day bonus was a dozen and a half crabs for $15 from the guy across the street, something I could get very used to.

Date posted: June 20, 2011 | Filed under brewing, photo | Leave a Comment »

This weekend, I finally solved the mystery of the rear bench seat. When last I’d attempted to swap out the bench that came with Peer Pressure (a fantastically ugly, ripped pillowed vinyl) I was stymied by two latches that hook around posts mounted on the inner wall of the wheel well. The latches were too high and didn’t catch the posts, making the seat an unsafe proposition for any passengers I might be transporting. (in the event of a sudden stop, the seat would most likely shift forward, squishing passengers between the seat and the seatbelts they were buckled into).

Saturday evening, while moving three benches around the garage, I finally noticed something missing from the original bench, and everything suddenly made sense. IH mounted two feet on the bottom rear of each seat, which propped it up off the floor by about 2″. These feet were missing from the bench the truck came with—they had been knocked off with a hammer. I reasoned that once the feet were gone, the seat sat lower on the floor and the latches were able to swing under the posts correctly. So I busted out the POR-15 and painted up two mounting brackets in preparation for Sunday afternoon.

After I’d knocked the feet off of one of the spare benches (no pillowtop, thank GOD), I sat it in the bed, adjusted the sides, and bolted it into place just as easy as could be. The only thing left to do now is scoot the Tuffy console forward about two inches so that fold becomes fold-and-tumble. And, after unbolting the set of belts it came with, I can get rid of the original bench and reclaim that much more space in the garage.

Sunday afternoon I took a quick trip down to visit Brian H, who has taken a Sawzall to his driver’s floor, and we shot the breeze for a half hour or so. He’s making adjustments to his cab before welding in all new metal—floor mounts, rocker, the whole works. What he’s got done so far looks good, and his welds are really coming along. He’s trying to get her back on the road for next weekend’s trip to Bennett’s farm…I’m pulling for him.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: June 19, 2011 | Filed under friends, Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Now, With More Seating.

This is right before I started a dinosaur puppet show for her (the theatre is behind her to the left).

Date posted: June 17, 2011 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »