Friday, December 31, 2010

The end of a year . . . . .


It’s still some time from the new year, but it is time for bed for us.  We’ve watched numerous bowl games and had a delicious dinner of lobster tail – cooked at home, of course.  The meal was supposed to be lobster tail, steak, and cheddar bay biscuits.  I did the steaks on the grill, but we didn’t eat them.  That’s for breakfast tomorrow.  We’ll have to eat them early as we’re hosting the annual “Bullfrog Family & Friends Brunch.”  I’ve got 2 hams to put on the grill.  Nothin’ like ham on the grill.  I also thought about putting ribs on, but Holly nixed that.  Maybe that’s a Sunday night meal . . . hmmmm . . . . . that sounds promising.  ■  2010 was a pretty good year.  Two weddings, I think one funeral, and pretty good health – except for my type II diabetes diagnosis.  Music was good with Bullfrog, but it seams that Bullfrog is coming to an end.  Heck, all good things come to an end.  Got the start of a new band going and if I could get my brothers-in-law off their feet we could have a new band with them.  I’ve got the cd of the recording that we did a couple of weeks ago and it’s really good.  Time will tell.  ■  Off to bed in a minute.  Got to lure the dogs out of our bedroom . . . . . ■ 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A sad day . . . . .


. . . our son left to go back to San Diego.  He was only here a week.  That’s not long enough.  ■  I’ve got a couple of errands to run this afternoon, so I’ve got to get going pretty quickly.  ■  I’ve got a couple of drawings to redo – I wasn’t satisfied with my initial efforts.  ■ 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hackney’s for lunch . . . . .

Went to Hackney’s in Lake Zurich for lunch yesterday.  Their Hackney Burger and loaf of fried onions are hard to beat.  122810_001■  Aaron goes back tomorrow.  He just flew in last Wednesday and now he’s got to leave.  It’s way to short of a visit.  ■  Got our annual Bullfrog Family & Friends brunch coming up this Saturday – New Year’s Day.  Still waiting to hear from some folks on that.  ■  I’ve got to get a drawing back to one of my customers.  I forgot to sign the drawing.  Pretty bad when you can’t remember to sign a drawing!  ■

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas drawings are done!


This was the last one.  Finished and just waiting for the customer to pick it up.  ■  Picked up Aaron from O’Hare airport yesterday afternoon.  It’s so good to see him.  I think it’s been about a year since we were together.  That’s too long.  ■  I’m still not ready for Christmas, but heck, it’s not Christmas Eve yet.  Still time to find gifts.  ■  Got some errands to run. . . . . . .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Drawings for Christmas are ‘bout done.


I’m about finished with all of the drawings for Christmas.  Just a little “sitting time” on the last two.   ■  Aaron comes home tomorrow.  It’s only for a short week, but it’ll be great to see him.  I think it’s been about a year since we’ve last seen each other.  ■  Time for bed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yup, it’s winter . . . snow . . . cold . . . . .

122110_001Snow.  We didn’t get much – 3 or 4 inches, but it made driving miserable last night.  Today the roads should be better as they’ve been plowing them.  ■  Working hard on a drawing of a home in our neighborhood.  I’m about 1/2 done.  Much more to do.  Back to work.  ■

Has it really been a week since I posted?

I can’t believe it’s been that long, but I’ve been busy.  Lots of drawing and then a weekend up in Green Bay.  Now I’m back to drawing – 2 left.  ■  Green Bay was fun.  Jammed with my two brothers-in-law on Friday night and then again Saturday.  One plays great guitar and the other is a terrific drummer.  And me?  I played bass.  We recorded it.  I may put some up on the net when I figure out where.  I’ll let you know.  ■  TFB.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A building of historic value . . . . .


Every once in awhile I get to draw something out of the ordinary.  This is a depiction of an Irish cottage from the 1800’s.  I only had a partial picture of the home, so the rest was left up to some detective work and some imagination.  I had done another historical drawing for this customer prior to this one.  It does make it fun.  ■  Only two more drawings to go before Christmas.  I’m working my fingers off to get them done.  ■  What’s with this coooold weather?  We shouldn’t get temps like this until January.  ■ 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It’s cold . . . and snowy . . . . .

Yes, it’s cold – and it snowed today.  And my driver’s side headlight went out.  I’ve got to remember to head over to Autozone and get a new bulb.  ■  Had an appointment with the diabetic nurse and dietician on Wednesday.  My glucose readings are pretty good.  I’ve been watching what I eat and drink and it’s been paying off.  I still need to refine my diet, but I’m on the right track.  ■  I’ve been drawing like a maniac for the past couple of weeks.  I have some that will go out Monday.  Others will go out as soon as they’re finished.  ■  Next Wednesday I’m giving a presentation on my Pen & Ink business to my chamber networking group.  I’ve begun to organize my thoughts using some mind mapping software on my 120910_0011iPad.  I have the same type of mind mapping software on my pc and have used it a few times.  It’s a great way to visually organize your thoughts and ideas.  If you’ve never used mind mapping software you should try it.  The one on my pc is FreeMind.  It’s open-source and can be found at:

Check it out.  ■  Working tomorrow, so as I’ve said so often – good night!


Monday, December 6, 2010

One . . two . . . three . . . .


I’m burning along on the drawing.  I’ve surprised even myself at how much I’ve been able to accomplish.  But I have many more to go.  ■  A couple of the toes on my right foot have been going numb.  This has happened over the past maybe 6 months.  Now I’m wondering if the numbness is due to diabetes. It is one of the symptoms/problems that I’ve found.  One of our customers has a diabetic brother who they refer to as “two toes”, as that’s all he has left are two of his toes.  ■  It’s cold here in Cary.  19º right now.  Tomorrow will have a high of 20º.  Brrrrrr . . . . ■  Back to work on my drawings – nose to the grindstone as it were . . . . . ■

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Drawing like crazy . . . . . .


I’ve been drawing like crazy trying to get all the orders for Christmas done.  I’m making great progress, but I’ve got to keep my fingers to the pen in order to finish.  ■  Talked to an old friend tonight.  Tried calling him on his land line – disconnected.  Tried his cell phone – someone else answered it.  I had begun to think that maybe he’d passed away.  Finally I emailed him and he called me within a few minutes.  He’d gotten rid of his land line – that’s saving him about $1000 annually. Not a bad idea.  I know my across-the-street neighbor Jac has done that.  ■  I have another appointment with the diabetic nurse and dietician this week.  ■  Next Wednesday I’m doing a presentation at my Chamber business networking group’s meeting.  I’ll need to prepare for that.  ■  Looks like it’s nothing but cold for the next few days.  Brrrrr . . . already I’m wanting warm weather.  ■ 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow, but no picture . . . . .

What’s up?  Usually I always try to post a picture in my posts.  I think it makes it a bit more interesting.  No picture today – yet again!  ■  The new band is still looking for a bass player and a singer – hopefully both in the same package – but not likely.  ■  Almost finished with one of my Christmas rush drawing.  On to the next one tomorrow.  ■  The weekend is coming up.  It’ll be nice to be off, but working on drawing.  ■  At some point in the near future the new band will have to go into the recording studio to do a demo.  Anyone interested in one?  ■ 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still here . . . just been busy . . . . .

I know I haven’t posted in awhile.  I’ve just been busy with the past holiday, drawing, work, and a new band.  ■  I’ve also been testing my blood for glucose levels.  I’m getting’ tired of sticking myself multiple times a day.  ■  Tomorrow (it’s past midnight, so I guess it’s today) I’ve got a business networking group meeting at 8:00 am.  It’s after 1:30 am now.  Off to bed I go. ■

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feet. Can’t walk without ‘em . . . . . .


On Monday I woke up with pain in and around the big toe of my right foot.  It wasn’t gout.  I can identify that.  Tuesday the pain subsided, but began to move from my toe to just behind my toes in the middle of my foot.  That’s where it’s currently residing.  What’s causing it – I don’t know.  I imagine it’ll be gone in another couple of days.  I hope it’s nothing to do with diabetes.  I’ve got an appointment with both the diabetes nurse and the diabetes dietician on Monday.  ■  Last Friday our friends Cheryl and Bill had us over for a fish fry.  These were fish that Bill caught down in Mississippi – well in the Gulf of Mexico off of Mississippi.  Mississippi . . . doesn’t that just roll off of your tongue?  It does mine.  At any rate I painted a picture (that’s the one in this post) of a fish and a sign expressing our liking of the best fish fry ever!  ■  Thanksgiving is coming up.  Lots of friends and lots of food in our near future.  Mmmmm . . . . . Monday I’ll find out what I can eat!  ■  TFB.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ribs . . . guitars . . . garage door safety sensors . . .

Did ribs tonight.  They were delicious.  Next set of ribs I do I think I’ll do as sauerbraten style.  It could be very interesting.111410_001  I’ll let you know when I’m doing them.   ■  I’m trying to get another band set up and going, but it’s tough just getting everyone to a first practice.  We’ll see if it works.  ■  Bought another guitar.  In reality I traded one of my other ones for the new one.  And what is it?  It’s an inexpensive Telecaster.  I really like teles.  This one needs decent tuners put on as well as some decent pickups.  All in due time.  ■  Got the Santa Fe back from the repair shop.  That deer had done some $5000 worth of damage.  It looked bad, but not that bad.  The more they took apart to fix the more damage they found.  ■  The safety sensors for my garage door have gone kaput.  It looks like I’ll have to replace them.  That’s an expense I don’t need.  ■  Lots to do this week . . . and it’s time for bed.  ■

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A picture . . . a drawing . . . a video . . . .


Saw this picture of my friend posted on facebook.  I decided to try and draw it using an app on my ipad.  The result is below.  All the drawing is done with your finger, so accuracy, at least with me at this stage, is shaky at best.Bob_at_Wrigley_drawing_small  Perhaps I’ll get better with time.  And below that drawing is a video that shows how I drew it.  ■  Way past time for bed.  Lots of drawing to do in the next few days. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wake up Dad . . . it’s time for breakfast!


Abby woke me up this morning at 6:30 by standing on my chest with all four feet.  That got my attention.  I think she weights about 50 pounds, but the four feet just don’t spread that weight out enough to be confortable.  That’s my Brushes sketch of her as she lays by me at the pc.  ■  Holly’s doing well.  She’s still in some pain, but it’s getting better all the time.  She has to pretty much stay off her feet to let them rest and get better.  ■  My brake light went on and stayed on today.  Jac was great as he came over and checked the car out.  It looks like the brake fluid sensor may just have been stuck.  It’s alright now, but Jac says I need new pads and rotors.  I’ve got to find out what rotors are and how much it’ll cost to get it repaired.  Just what we need.  More bills and less money.  ■   

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Doing well . . .

Holly’s doing well.  She rested all afternoon and came downstairs tonight for a little while.  I think this operation is 110410_001hurting her less than the first one.  To the right is my Brushes sketch of part of the waiting room at the hospital.  ■  The dogs get to sleep with me tonight.  Normally we kick them out of our room so that we can sleep in peace.  Four bodies with a total of 12 legs doesn’t fit as well as one might hope.  And 8 of those legs are pushing against you for more room.  ■  Doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning.  This time with my “sleep doctor.”  ■  And it’s time for bed.  ‘Night. . . . .

Home . . .

. . . and sleeping – Holly that is.  The surgery went fine.  She sees the doc next week, but until then she won’t be able to physically go to work, but she’ll be able to work from home.  ■  Checked out the garage door opener this afternoon.  It looks like the sensors are kaput.  ■  The dogs are already bothering me for their dinner.

Waiting . . .

Holly's in surgery now. It'll be a couple of hours until I can see her.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I’m already starting to pine for warmer days . . .


It’s not even very cold, but I’m missing at least some of the summer heat.  That’s probably what prompted my painting on the left . . . ■  Dropped our Santa Fe off at the body shop today to get the damage from the deer that hit us.  It should be ready either Friday, or Monday.  ■  Our garage door opener has been acting up lately.  It won’t go down unless you hold the button – and it won’t go down at all using the remotes.  It appears to maybe be a misalignment with the electric eye safety thing-a-ma-gig.  I tried looking at it today, but I’m pretty hopeless with mechanical or electrical things.  The FAQ I’m looking at tells me to look for an indicator light, but I don’t see any lights.  ■  Got a new glucose meter today along with training on it.  Back to testing my blood twice a day.  Bummer.  ■ 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dreaming of beaches . . . . .


Not really, but I have been experimenting with drawing beaches and the waves coming in from the ocean.  This drawing was done on my iphone.  It gives you a very small drawing surface, but you can do some amazing things even within those physical limitations.  ■  Cary is doing one final brush pickup this Monday due to the high winds we had earlier this week.  I only had some small branches come down, but one of my neighbors had a pretty big branch break off from his birch tree.  At any rate I’ve got to get those out to the street for pickup.  ■  Time for bed.  I can’t keep my eyes open.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Drawing and a sore shin . . . . .


Lots done, or worked on today.  The Hyundai goes in on Monday to be fixed for the damage done by the dumb deer.  I’ve been driving 40+ years and have been able to avoid hitting any deer.  This one just came over the guard rail and right into the car.  Didn’t see him/her coming as the slope beyond the guard rail was below my field of vision and – bam!  There it was!  ■  I’ve been doing some drawing.  The sketch above will be for my cousin and his wife that will be imprinted on a thank you card.  It’s a sketch of their porch – at least part of it.  ■  Somehow I’ve banged up my right shin.  It’s swollen and black and blue.  I don’t remember hitting it on anything, but I may have on the boat and not noticed it.  It’s sore and not getting any better at the moment.  ■  Cut the back yard this afternoon and mulched up the leaves on the lawn.  I need to do the front tomorrow.  ■  Next Thursday Holly will have an operation on her left foot.  She says it shouldn’t be too bad, but I’m worried.  You have to worry about any operation.  ■  I’ve been experimenting with the Brushes application on my ipad.  It’ really neat and I’ve done a couple of “paintings” on it that are pretty good, if I do say so myself.  The best thing is that I’m getting better at each new painting.  ■  Yeah, TFB.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drawing blood . . .

Yep, again I'm having blood drawn. After this it's something for
lunch and then out to get estimates for the car repair.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Home and Blue Herons . . . . . .

102410_001 What a title.  Home and Blue Herons!  That’s a picture of a Blue Heron that my cousin, Tom, took on our boat ride.  We didn’t get that close to it – he had a zoom on his camera, but it was a sight to see!  We don’t have Blue Herons around here – just robins, blue birds, cardinals, sparrows, etc.  ■  Arrived home this afternoon around 3:30, or so.  It was a nice trip except for the deer that ran into me.  Yes, it ran into me, I didn’t run into it.  It hit just aft of the front headlight – on the side.  I’m glad it hit there and not in the front of the car.  I’ve seen cars totaled by deer.  In 40+ years of driving I’ve never, ever hit a deer.  Just some geese.  ■  The new ipad performed beautifully.  I’m glad I bought it.  It’s nice having it in the car – gps so you always know where you’re at – and with 3g it’s pretty fast.  I tried to interest my mother in it, but I think it’s over her head at this point.  Maybe if I had more time . . . ■  The Brushes app I bought for both the ipad and my iphone is really neat.  Lots to learn about it and I’m not a painter, so there’s really a learning curve . . . I’ve got to learn how to paint!  Yet another skill I don’t yet possess.  ■  Time, yes, for bed.  ‘Night. ■

Getting there . . .

We're north of Indy. Still miles to go. Listening to the Bears
game. Haven't heard a score yet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kentucky . . .

. . . and we're behind this slow moving truck in an 8 mile
construction zone.

Crossing another river

I didn't even see a sign for the name of the river. We're east of
Huntington, WV yet.

A deer hit the car . . .

. . and you can see some of the damage. The car is still driveable
and no one was hurt - except fir the deer. It happened about 25 miles
east of Beckley, WV. The deer came from below the highway - out of my
view- over the shoulder barrier and into the car! Stopped and looked
at the damage - took one part off and put it in the car. Filled up
with gas in Beckley and two more gentlemen helped remove another piece
which may have fallen off in the next hundred miles.

West Virginia

I've been sleeping and Holly driving for the past couple of hours.
We're in WV and making progress!

On the road again . . .

. . . just about by Charlottesville, NC. Miles to go . . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

Painting . . . . .

I've been painting using the Brushes app. Lots of capabilities, just need to figure out how to use them. And it's not terribly easy to "paint" with ones finger. Leaving here tomorrow morning. It's a long haul to Louisville. I'll do some posting on the road.

Back in Midlothian . . .

. . . with a couple of small purchases at some antique shops.

On the way. . .

. . . To Midlothian. Stopping for lunch here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In Hertford, NC . . . . .

In NC for a too short visit with my cousin and his wife. Went for a nice ride in his boat. He does a lot of fishing. Back to my mom's home tomorrow. Below is an attempt to draw one of our dogs using a new app for my phone and iPad. Night.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First attempt at using Brushes

Brushes is a drawing program developed for the iPhone. It's been used to paint, I believe, two covers for the New Yorker magazine. And that's just on the iPhone version! I've installed it on my iPad and this is my first amateurish attempt at using it. Enjoy!

Rainy day . . .

Holly's playing gin with my mom. I've been attempting to reconnect
with my dobro. I, unfortunately, haven't played it much in the past
couple of months and it shows. I'm just initially trying to get back
what I had before I try and add new things. More later.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dinner . . .

Dinner at Red Lobster. I must say it was very good. Back at my mom's
home. Bed is not long in coming.


We made it a couple of hours ago. Sitting here with a cold beer.
Going out for dinner in awhile.

On the way to Richmond . . .

Got a late start. Stopped for breakfast at a small cafe - pancakes
and sausage for me and eggs and home fries for Holly. This pic was
taken at a senic overlook on hwy 64 going towards Richmond. We're not
far from Monticello.

Fire alarm!

At 1:00 am. The very loud fire alarm went off right after a big boom
of thunder. We and all of the other guests went out into the hall to
find out if there was a fire. No fire, but it took mgmt about 15
minutes to turn it off. Oh, and the fire dept never showed. Back to
sleep - I hope.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Made it!

We made it to Petersburg. That's my old Navy buddy, Chuck, who I
haven't seen since 1973. He's the same ol' guy. I'm so glad we made
the trip. Tomorrow we're off to Midlothian, VA.

Back on the road

. . . after breakfast. About 145 miles to Charleston, WV.

On our way . . .

. . . to Petersburg. Stopping for breakfast in Mt. Sterling, Ky.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Ate dinner at the Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot. Good BBQ and cold
beer. Off to Petersburg, WV tomorrow to see an old Navy shipmate.
Can't wait. It's been 37 years since we've seen each other.

In Louisville . . . .

. . . At last. There was a huge backup on 65 getting into
Louisville. Apparently it was an accident, or so someone told us. We
ended turning around - going back north and then west on 265, etc.
But we're here!


Passing thru the middle of a windmill farm. There are thousands of
them. Beautiful weather. More later . . .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Good gig . . . . . .


Had an afternoon gig today.  It was a wedding reception/open house party at a beautiful home in Lakewood, Illinois – which is just a short drive from Cary.  Nice home and very nice people.  They enjoyed our band.  Maybe we’ll get some gigs out of it.  That’s a panoramic view of the party – although I missed some of it to the right.  ■  Tomorrow we’re off on a trip.  I’ll be blogging from the road.  And I’ll even try blogging via my new ipad.  We’ll see how that works.  So, stay tuned – reports from the road.  Maybe we’ll even find some great diners, drive-ins and dives.  ■ 

Friday, October 15, 2010

A few years old . . . . .


This was taken at Wrigley Field a few years ago – not sure of the date, or score, but it was before Aaron went in the Navy.  It’s just one of my favorite all-time photos.  That was back when I weighed a mere 115 lbs . . . . ok, I’m kidding about that.  ■  Worked today and will work a couple of hours tomorrow morning/afternoon and then off to an afternoon gig.  It may well be Bullfrog’s last gig.  Don’t know at this point, but I’ll keep you filled-in.  ■  I broke down and bought an ipad.  Just couldn’t keep new technology out of my hands.  It’s a weakness of mine.  New technology, guitars and amps.  “He who dies with the most toys wins.”  It’s a tried and true staple of life.  I’m at 19 guitars and 10 amps.  I haven’t won yet, but it’s not for lack of trying.  And I’m not done yet!  ■  Off on a trip next week, so expect some on-the-road blog posts.  We’ll try and make ‘em interesting.  ■  TFB. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I said “Doctor . . . Mr. MD., can you tell me . . .”

. . . . . “what’s ailing me?”  Actually I didn’t feel poorly, but he told me that my blood sugar is a bit high.  Probably due to my rotten eating habits – orange juice (I LOVE orange juice, but it’s got a lot of sugar in it), orange sherbet (I do love orange sherbet), too much bread (although it’s not as if I eat a lot of bread, but certainly more than I did a couple of years ago) and . . . the other food items that I’m sure I shouldn’t eat.  I’ve got to go for a 2 hour blood sugar test.  Wonderful.  ■  Apple ipad.  Do I need one?  Good question.  Do I want one?  ■  Books.  I have 3 that I want to publish.  Two of them by the end of the year.  The other can wait awhile.  ■ 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A nice fall day in my neighborhood . . .

It’s been yet another beautiful day in Cary.  Temps were perfect, the sun was out all day – just beautiful.  ■  Got the hose rolled up and put away.  Just one more thing done in preparation for winter.  My mailman reminded me that I’ll have to clean the gutters before winter.  What a pain, but it’s got to be done – but first the leaves have to have finished falling.  ■  Doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  He wants to talk to me about my blood-sugar levels.  We’ll see what he has to say.  ■ 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The ribs were delicious . . . . .


The ribs were delicious.  Even better than I had imagined they might be.  Top that off with some home-made key lime pie and mmm……. what a meal!  ■  The weather was absolutely fantastic this weekend.  Couldn’t have asked for better weather.  Got the grass cut, the hose ready to be put away, and got the part I needed to fix the stopper in our sink.  ■  This coming Saturday is a Bullfrog gig.  It might be our last.  Kind of sad to think about that, but things do come to an end.  ■ 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

. . . a long time . . . . . . . . .


Some household repairs take a long time.  I don’t want to tell you how long this has taken, but it’s measured in years rather than months, weeks, or days.  The repair?:  The stopper on our master bath was missing a small piece which wouldn’t enable it to stay up, or down with any certainty.  I’ve probably thought about this for the past X number of weeks, months, days, and finally today I went and bought the needed part.  Mind you I haven’t installed it yet . . . so it’s not yet fixed.  I can tell you that I had to spend about $7 for the part – actually the purchase was for a bunch of bundled parts – I just need one!  ■  Holly and I were talking and we’ve decided to do ribs tomorrow.  Terry – I can’t even come close to your ribs, but I will try.  Pictures tomorrow of the prep and cooking.  ■  Need I say it again?  TFB.  ■ 

Friday, October 8, 2010

What awaits you at the top of your stairs?


This is what awaits me every night – and during the day too.  That’s Zoe on the left and Abby on the right.  Right now the 2 of them are lying on our bed – sacking in with Mom.  ■  It was another beautiful day today.  It’s been sunny and temps in the mid to high 70s.  And it looks like it’s going to be that way for the next few days.  ■  Our weekend is pretty much free.  Foodwise I’m thinkin’ maybe ribs, although I’m not sure it’s time for ribs again.  The last ribs we had were Terry’s and his are pretty much unbeatable.  ■