Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All



Merry Christmas to everyone.  May your holidays be loving, blessed, and fun.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last drawing of the year . . .


This is the last drawing of the year.  I’m waiting on my customer to call me back to answer some questions about the windows.  I’m not pleased on how the drawing has turned out.  Still more to go on it though.  ■  Cold!  Dang, it’s cold out.  -5º  yup that’s minus 5 degrees.  Too cold for me.  And in this weather we have to watch out for Zoe.  ■  I got my Kindle up and running and am reading a book.  I like it.  Easy to see and use.  ■  Time for bed.  ■

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas is near . . .


Almost Christmas.  Am I ready?  Not really, but then I’ve got 2 days to go.  ■  The sketch on the right is a preliminary pencil sketch I did for a pen & ink customer.  The actual pen & ink is below. ■  The customer emailed me and said she loved it.  Always nice to get compliments.  ■  Got one more drawing to get done before Christmas.  Got up early to start – and – finish it.  ■  It’s going to be very cold for the next few days.  Burrrrrr.  The older I get the colder I get.  I’m beginning to understand why older people 122313_002need to have the heat on higher.  My mother used to have the heat set at like 75º.  It was way too hot for us younger folks.  ■  We’re in the early stages of planning a trip to Florida.  We want to see Holly’s sister and one of my old high school friends when we’re down there.  ■  Back to my drawing.  ■

Monday, December 9, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Another drawing to do . . . . .


Another drawing to do.  This is one home in Cary that I’ve been wanting to do for some time.  The house has been the home to a few businesses – real estate, web design, party planners, and probably a few more.  The person that lives there now won a pen & ink drawing of her new home at our chamber’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” night back in October.  ■  Got to take an hour or so and do some clean-up around here.  ■  More later.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rosemary sleeping . . grandpa working . .


That’s new little Rosemary sleeping on grandma’s lap.  ■  I’ve been working on some drawings.  Got one shipped yesterday.  I’m also working on our Christmas card this year.  Got to hurry up and finish it so we can get ‘em in the mail.  ■  Back to work.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Here’s one I just finished


I just finished this home in Houston.  I had done one last year for them, but that one was a gift.  For this new home the order came from them.  ■  Next drawing is of a farm.  Gonna be tough to lay that one out, but I’ve got some ideas.  ■ 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The newest member of the clan . . . .


Rosemary  . . . the newest member of the clan.  Born on Thanksgiving.  Isn’t she beautiful?  Yes, she is.  ■  Finished one drawing today – ship it tomorrow.  Have started on the next one due.  ■  Playing as much square neck dobro as I can.  Never seems as it’s as much as I want, or need to.  ■  More tomorrow.  Time for bed.  ■

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I’m back.

112613_001Been away from this blog for awhile.  Things just got busy and I guess I got a little lazy about posting.  ■  The picture to the left is of me playing my Weissenborn (look it up) guitar at our friend’s daughter’s wedding.  The gentleman to the right is Ray, the vocalist.  What a voice.  The song we did was “Storybook Love” from “Princess Bride.”  ■  Our daughter and son-in-law will soon have their next child.  Only days to go.  Grandma – Holly – is all packed and set to drive down to Louisville as soon as she gets the call from Libby.  ■  Had our first snow of the winter today.  We actually have a small accumulation on the ground.  And it’s cold out to boot.  ■  Let’s see, since I last posted I retired from my job at the music store and Holly lost her job is a divisional consolidation.  It’s going to be a struggle.  ■  And, good night.  ■

Monday, August 19, 2013

Now two weddings to play for . . .

Steph’s is September 1st and the song is “Always Love.”  Devin’s wedding is in October and her song is “Storybook Love.”  Always Love is done in Open G and Storybook Live in Open D.  At least that’s the plan.  Lots of practice left to go in order to make it perfect for both of them.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Looking forward to Steph’s wedding

Our niece, Stephanie, is getting married in September.  My son and I have been asked to play a song for the father-daughter walk-down-the_aisle part of the wedding.  We’re very honored to be able to do so.  I’ve been working diligently on the song for the past 3 months.  It’s not a hard song to do, but I’ve had to arrange it for the wedding.  It’s a rock song that has to be done elegantly.  And – it’s time for bed.  ■

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yeah, we had a lot of rain!


Rain – yup, we had a lot of it.  Over 6 inches.  And we had some water in our basement.  Not a lot, but enough to ruin some of the carpeting down there.  Went out and bought a wet/dry vac and a blower.  The basement’s dry now.  We’ve decided to take all of the paneling and carpeting and dropped ceiling out down there.  We think the house will sell much more easily if the basement is a blank slate.  ■   Back to work.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Zoe’s doing better.

Our Zoe is doing much better.  The doc put her on some pain meds and over the past couple of weeks she’s like a new pup.  She’s back to laying in my office with me which she hadn’t done for a few weeks.  Abby has also taken to laying in my office.  Nice to have the company.  ■  I have a drawing that I’ve got to finish tomorrow, so bed is calling me . . . ‘night.  ■

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Zoe . . .

Took Zoe to the vet today.  Not really much he can do for her.  He gave us some pain medication for her.  I hope it’s helping. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Zoe . . .

Zoe is still slowing down.  Likes to stay in her hidey-hole.  Hard to get her out of it – have to pull her out by her collar.  But she’s a fighter. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Zoe – having problems

053013_001Our dog Zoe is having problems.  She’s experiencing some pain and then some paralysis that lasts for a minute or 5.   I’m guessing she’s have some small strokes.  She’s going to sleep in our room on the floor.  And Abby, I’m sure will be on the bed.  I’m wondering if I should sleep on the floor next to her.  I’ve got to see if I can do that with my cpap mask.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Now just have to get note cards printed and then ship t052813_001he drawing.  I think it came out pretty well.  ■   Memorial Day weather – poor.  And it rained tonight/this morning.  ■  Lots on my plate tomorrow.  And with that – good night.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Black door, or red door?


Still working on the house drawing.  The house has a red door, although that’s very hard to distinguish in the photos, and the owner wanted to see what that would look like in the black and white drawing.  I scanned in the drawing, printed out side-by-side copies and filled in the door as black in one drawing and red in the other.  The red I have is kind of garish, but I could tone it down a bit by adding tiny dots of black.  ■  It’s almost 3:00 am and I’m up.  Stomach is “off” and head aches a bit.  Here I am doing a blog post with Abby on the floor next to me.  I have trouble sleeping.  I used to be able to drop off asleep in a few minutes and sleep the night through.  Now I’ve got a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep.  The ambien (generic) isn’t working anymore.  ■  Went out to dinner tonight as the Crystal Lake Rib House.  Had their chicken dinner. It was very good.  Have to thank Ellyn and Terry for the gift certificate that we used for the dinner.  ■  I hear tails wagging and hitting the floor.  Zoe has joined Abby and I in my office.  They’re looking expectantly at me like it’s time for breakfast.  ■  At last a yawn.  Maybe I can retire to bed and get some sleep.  ■ 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Catching up . . . . .


This is drawing for someone that won/purchased it at a benefit.  I’ve been busy with other drawings and stuff and now I’m finally getting down to drawing it.  I did do a preliminary sketch of it 3 or 4 months ago, but hadn’t the time to get to it.  Now it’s on its way towards completion.  ■  Had a great time at Murphy’s for their Lilac Parade party.  Saw folks I hadn’t seen in months.  Great food, too.   ■  I’m still working on the ol’ dobro.  Trying to get lots of practice in and it’s showing.  My playing is getting better bit, by bit.  I want to learn to play “Danny Boy”, so I bought some tab (that’s a type of musical notation for guitar (stringed instruments) in open G.  Open G is one of the alternate tunings used by guitar players.  There are dozens of different open, or alternate tunings.  Open G is simply tuning the guitar to a G chord (when all the strings are strummed.)  “Danny Boy” came in open G – but I discovered that it was a different open G tuning – there are several.  My square neck dobro is tuned GBDGBD, while the tab was in DGBDGB.  While they both basically sound the same, the tablature for each would be different.  I couldn’t get the song to sound like itself when I followed the tab.  I thought I just wasn’t playing it with the correct timing.  Not so.  Now that I’ve figured out what was wrong I’m going to have to figure it out by ear.  Not a big deal, but it’s going to take me more time to get it down.  ■  My right knee is still hurting and I wear a brace on it every day.  If a bad knee weren’t enough, I threw out my back Monday morning reaching for shoes to put on.  The back will take a few days to heal.  Usually about a week before it’s back to 95% normal.  ■ 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Practice makes perfect.

It’s true.  Practice does make perfect.  I’ve been practicing my dobro, but I’ve got a long way to go before it’s anywhere close to perfect. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lost picture found . . . . .


It wasn’t really lost ‘cause we hadn’t been looking for it, but Holly found it yesterday.  The picture was taken in New Orleans by the Riverwalk.  From left to right:  Erin, Libby, Justin, and Aaron.  Erin’s an engineer, Libby’s a lawyer, Justin’s a chef, and Aaron’s a 2nd class petty officer in the Navy. ■  My knee felt fairly good yesterday, but today is a step back.  This just isn’t healing like I thought it would.  I’m wearing a brace everyday to help minimize movement.  ■  Elmhurst Lilac parade coming up this Sunday.  Looking forward to it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Band starting again?

Pat has obtained a transfer to Chicago and should be back in town at the beginning of June.  Now to put together some music.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4x6 Drawings . . . . .


This drawing was very quick to do.  It’s only 4x6 so that’s a lot less space to have to fill.  If I did add them to my list of drawing sizes what should I charge?  Things to think about.  ■  And it’s raining . . . again.  I think everyone is sick of so much rain.  The Fox River has done some flooding.  I’m not sure how bad it is.  ■  Lighthouse meeting tomorrow morning at 7:45 am.  TFB.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday chicken dinner . . . . .

Is that typical?  Nah.  We were hungry for chicken.  It was delicious though.  ■  Tomorrow I’ve got to call the doc, get blood work done, start on a couple of drawings and hope this knee isn’t too bad.  Short post.  TFB.  ‘Night. ■

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Medical fun . . . . .

042013_001 Went to see the doctor this morning.  Ended up going to the hospital for x-rays of both knees and an ultrasound of my right leg (for possible blood clots – none found.)  Then a new prescription – steroids for my right leg.  Already my leg feels better.  ■  Delicious steak on the grill tonight and chicken planned for tomorrow.  ■  Supposed to be 57º tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to warmer weather.  ■ 

Friday, April 19, 2013

I don’t like crutches!

I started on crutches last night and have been on ‘em all day today.  My right leg/knee is killin’ me.  Crutches.  I’ve almost fallen 4 times going up and down stairs with them.  I think I need crutch lessons!  I’ve got a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning to see what’s causing this and how to fix it.  ■  What crappy weather.  It’s April 19th and we’ve got little snowflakes coming down.  It’s 35º out now with a high of 45º tomorrow.  Come on – let’s warm up!  ■ 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Can’t straighten my right leg out.

This pain at the back of my right knee (almost said left) won’t let me straighten out my right leg.  It was about the same from Monday night until late this afternoon.  I went to work and by the time I got home I could hardly walk.  I’m on 2 canes right now, but that just helps to steady me.  The pain is getting worse.  Hopefully a good night’s sleep will do some good.  Otherwise it’s a call to the doctor.  ‘Night.  And wish me no pain.  ■

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Maybe some jammin’ this weekend.

Maybe some jammin’ with Vince this weekend.  Got to see how things shake out.  And not just jammin’, but also recording.  ■  The 041613_001poster you see here is one I created for our networking groups upcoming mixer.  Straight and to the point. Give the day of the week, date and time along with the address, a photo of the place as well as a map.  Easy to see where everything is rather than looking at just the date and wondering what day of the week it falls on.  And it’s nice to have a map to the place as opposed to just the address.  Let’s not make it hard on people. ■  My right knee will only straighten out with some pain.  Ah, the daily features of aging.  ■  And it’s still raining.  ■  Terrible thing to hear about the bombs in Boston.  ■

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dizzy . . .

Experienced dizziness twice today.  The first time early afternoon for about 2 or 3 minutes and the second time late afternoon – but only for maybe 30 seconds.  Strange.  I wonder what caused it.  Can’t be a middle ear infection this time ‘cause it didn’t continue and wasn’t nearly as bad as middle ear infections have been in the past.  Strange.  ■  Had planned on going to see our old bass player’s band tonight, but the dizziness called that off.  Stayed home and did some salmon on the grill.  ■  TFB  ■

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is it ever going to stop raining?

The rain keeps coming down.  What a mess for the dogs.  And us.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pencil sketches . . .


This is a quick pencil sketch of one of our local burger joints called Kojack’s.  The food is good.  Had a double cheeseburger from there for lunch today.  Delicious.  ■  Voted today.  Hope everyone else did, although two people I asked did not.  ■  Tomorrow morning I’ve got my chamber networking group meeting.  We’re all developing our “elevator speeches” – a quick sentence that you can use to tell someone what your, or your business does.  I’ve got some ideas such as:  “I'm an artist that creates memories with my pen & ink drawings.”   “I'm an artist creating memories with my pen & ink drawings.”    “I'm an artist creating magical memories with my pen & ink drawings.”  or maybe   “I'm a magic man creating memories with my pen & ink drawings.”   ■   I’ve got to get to bed early.  The meeting’s at 7:45 am and that’s early for me!  TFB ■

Monday, April 8, 2013

Off to the eye doctor . . .


Off to see the eye doctor this morning.  Hope my eyes look better than my drawing of an eye.  ■  ■  ■  Back from the eye doctor.  Report is good.  Got a prescription for glasses for distance.  Doctor said that it’s so slight that I really don’t need it.  But I may try a pair from an online company.  ■  Holly’s brother Brian came down from Green Bay this weekend.  He and I had a lot of fun playing guitar and singing.  Brian bought a vocal pedal that has autotune (brings your voice up, or down automatically for pitch correction) as well as adds harmonies and vocal effects.  Even I sounded in tune when singing though it!  ■ 

Monday, April 1, 2013


A quiet Easter morning and then down to our friends the Murphy's for an Easter feast.  And it was good.  Ham, pineapple slices, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, fruit salad, rolls, deviled eggs and cheese cake.  I didn’t have any of the cheese cake.  I was a “good boy.”  ■  Back home watched some lite tv and checked the net for news.  ■  Holly and the girls – Abby and Zoe – are in bed sleeping.  It’s about time for me to get in there, kick the dogs out and get some decent sleep.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

No, it’s not snowing . . . . .


It’s actually been, well, warmer than the temps we’ve had over the past week.  That’s Abby, if you’re wondering, trotting out one snowy night to make her rounds.  Almost all of the snow is now gone except for those areas that get very little direct sunlight.  Hopefully it’ll all be gone in the next day, or two.  ■  Did ribs on the grill tonight.  Came out very well.  Still have a couple left over for tomorrow, or Monday.  ■  We’re going to our friends Terry and Ellyn’s for Easter dinner tomorrow – really today as it’s after midnight.  ■  Got to remember to call for a couple of doctor appointments on Monday.  ■  And it’s time for bed. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bump below the knee

This post is mainly for documentation purposes.  Drying myself off from my shower I noticed that I had a rather large bump below my left knee.  It doesn’t hurt at all.  I know if I had bumped something that produced a bump that big I’d remember it!  I guess I’ll watch it for a couple of days and see if it changes.  Strange.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More snow . . . but maybe . . .


. . . not too much.  It’s been snowing steadily for the past few hours, but the flakes are small, so it’s not accumulating very quickly.  The snow is supposed to continue and one weather site predicts up to 4 inches of snow.  That’s certainly not a lot.  ■ 

A fellow emailed me . . . . .


. . . . and asked if I could draw a home for him for his new business.  Which I did.  It’s the one labeled "PLAN”.  I very happy he uses it on 2 pages of his website.  ■   And another business used one of my pencil sketches on their menu.  They grabbed it off of a Bullfrog Band poster that I made for the gig.


It’s supposed to snow today (today since it’s after midnight).  Looking at the current weather map it still looks like it’s quite a distance off.  ■  On another note my toes feel like they’re burning.  Weird.  ■

Friday, March 1, 2013

Put post title here


Our daughter and son-in-law have decided to buy another home in their same neighborhood.  This is a quick pencil sketch of it.  Can’t wait to see it for real.  ■  Went into work for a couple of hours late this afternoon.  My boss had already sold 2 guitars by the time I got there and sold 2 more after that.  It was a good sales day.  ■  Holly and I went out for a burger tonight.  Tried 2 restaurants before we settled in at our Village Squire in Crystal Lake.  The burger was good as was the acoustic music.  ■  I think next Friday we’re meeting some friends and going out for fish.  Sounds like fun to me.  ■ 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Every guitar/music teacher’s . . . . .

022813_001  "I'm not really into jazz, but I respect it and I want to learn to incorporate some jazz ideas in my lead playing' -Every Failing Jazz Student.

Tab isn't for sight reading. If you have to look at it then it's because you don't know it.

You don't have to understand why C=Am.... I'm just asking that you believe me.

I'm not upset because you're not getting it. I'm upset because you never tried it.

No, you have to play all the notes. There are eight notes on the page. You can't stop after three notes every time. You have to play all of them.

I didn't write out the bassline to 'Shots' by Lil Jon for my health. I wrote it because YOU suggested it. Don't make me report to your parents that you need to work harder on your gangsta rap if it was my idea to base your guitar curriculum off Lil Jon synth lines. I just wanna give you something you'll play.....

I'm not expecting you to play with perfect rhythm. I do expect you to play with an 'awareness' of rhythm. That means playing the first note and trying to get to the next note with some minimal urgency. Play it like you care whether or not you get to the end. Don't play one note and look up for approval....

I didn't ask you tell me about your week. I asked if you played your instrument this week. I'm not interested in why you didn't play your instrument, just whether you played it or not. Also, it's not your mom's fault you couldn't play.

If you have to take your jacket off in between switching chords....then you don't have it yet. Try it again.....

Until you play it a couple hours a response to your question will be 'gee, I dunno, try playing it a couple hours a day and see if that helps.'

Most of what we do in our lesson isn't hard... But you'll never realize that if you never try it.

How much could you have practiced if you can't remember what we worked on last week?

Reading the numbers out loud on the tab from start to finish won't help you play it. You need to touch your hands to the fretboard to get started.

You have to try it again....once isn't enough for anyone to get it right. Try again....we have 20 minutes left. And please, don't waste so much time in between tries....

The above were grabbed from a guitar teacher’s facebook postings.  Well said, Eric.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chicken on the grill . . . . .

Yeah, I had to do a quick drawing of it – chicken on the grill.  But seriously, it was delicious.  Moist, tender, and smoky 022713_001 - mighty fine chicken.  ■  I’ve been investigating moving my website to a different platform.  I need something easier to change – less coding by myself and more professional.  So far it looks like WordPress is the way I’ll go.  Still some more questions to answer, but I’m anxious to get things going on it.  ■  I’ve got to get some type of carpeting to put on the last 3 or 4 stairs that go up/down to the 2nd floor.  Zoe is old and having real problems negotiating the last 3 or 4 steps at the bottom when going down.  ■ Night.  Time for bed.  ■

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter again . . . . .


Winter has hit again.  This time it was about 5 inches, or so of heavy snow.  I had to shovel some of the driveway so that Holly could get her car in.  She didn’t like it that I shoveled.  Hard on the heart, but I took it a little at a time.  ■  I’m still in the process of rebuilding my pc – software-wise.  Taking some time to find out that programs I used to use aren’t on my pc – then it’s off to find them again.  ■  I’ve been doing some research on what software to use to redo my website.  I want something that’s drag and drop.  I’ve done enough hand coding for the last few years.  It’s time to let the software to do most of the heavy lifting.  ■  The photo above is of our patio with the lights on the trees.  It does look beautiful.  ■  We did pork on the grill this past Sunday night.  I tried a new prep for the pork – one which I’ve been doing for steak for a bit – and it worked like a charm.  Best pork I’ve ever had.  ■  The new band has practiced  3 times now.  I don’t know if it’ll work and we’ll become a band, but we’re giving it a shot.  ■  TFB.  Night.  ■

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Abby & Zoe @ The Bank


I had a display at our local Harris Bank this past week.  Saturday I sat in the lobby by my work and talked to a few people.  This is a painting of the lobby by the teller windows with Abby and Zoe waiting to deposit money for biscuits.  ■   Holly’s off for a short week in Florida to visit with her sister.  Ah . . . warm weather.  Wish we had it here.  ■  With this last painting of an Abby & Zoe card I’ve got to start my Abby & Zoe book.  At least book I.  First I’ve got to get all of the paintings in one place – no duplicates – and then build it from there.  ■  Up early tomorrow morning to take Holly to the airport.  ■  TFB.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Almost done

I’m almost done with a drawing for a customer in Pittsburgh.  It just needs a little sitting time – time for me to look at it with fresh eyes.  ■  Meanwhile I’ve started on another drawing.  Hope to have that one finished this week.  ■021113_002  Got to go to work shortly.  I won’t post this until later tonight.  That’ll give me a chance to add more.  ■■■   Forgot I had this open.  ■  Still quite a bit to go on the drawing I just started.  If I can remember I’ll post a scan of it tomorrow.  Night.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Display at Harris Bank

Hey, I’ve got my artwork displayed at our local Harris Bank in Cary.  It’ll be there all of this 021113_001week and possibly next.  ■   And this Wednesday I’ll do a presentation on my pen and ink business to my networking group.  ■  Band:  the new band is practicing.  We’ll have to record ourselves to listen to how we actually sound.  Could be interesting.  ■  As usual, it’s time for bed.  ■  ‘Night.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cold out and possible new band . . .

It’s cold out!  It’s –2º  - that’s too cold.  Started my car about 10 minutes before I left work and it still wasn’t warm when I got in it.  It looks like it’ll be quite cold for a few more days.  ■


May be starting a new band.  A three piece – guitar (Eric), bass (me), and drums (Charlie our drummer from Bullfrog.  The guitar player is one of our teachers at the music store – and he’s a great guitarist.  Vocals – both Eric and I will try to sing.  We have to see if that works – if either of us can sing.  One thing we’ll try is to tune down either a full step, or half step.  A lot of bands do that.  It helps the vocalist.  We’ll have our first try at it this Friday afternoon and see if it works out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Strange . . . . .

Strange.  What does it mean to you?  Right now it’s having my mother pass away.  And not being able to see her for the last time.  Death happens to everyone – none of us gets out of here alive.  But I thought I’d see her one last time.  And now I feel very strange.  I miss you mom.