Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Halloween!

The kids are all sleeping off their sugar highs, finally. I thought they'd never get to sleep. I didn't even think about dressing up today for work. The last time I did that I was the only one. I felt silly dressed as an aging rock star. Never again, I told myself. So when Steve, the new guy walked into the edit bay this morning carrying a snowboard and wearing bibs and a ski jacket, I thought he was just checking in before taking the day off and heading up to the slopes. Not only did Halloween not cross my mind, neither did the fact that none of the ski resorts have snow yet, so what was he going to do, fly to the Alps or something? I'm always a little shy when it comes to sharing work experiences here. I never know what I'm supposed to keep quiet. So all I can say is that we had a nice lunch on the company and then a very pleasant and unexpected surprise from the GM. How vague is that?

After work, my brother and his wife brought their little girl and my sister's children to our house and we all went trick-or-treating in one great eclectic mob. Our group included a clown, a pink poodle, a dinosaur, Dr. Frankenstein's monster, a knight of the Round Table, and even the highly esteemed Benjamin Franklin. My three year old kept telling me that we were "triggertreating" and people were giving him candy, a truly exciting prospect. The group only lasted a couple of blocks and were ready to go home. When I was a kid, my friends and I would hit two or three whole neighborhoods and then change into the spare costumes we had with us and hit them again. I guess that will come later, when they're a little older. We went home and ate pizza then watched the kids sort through their loot. Then, after two hours of "No, more candy!" they went to bed. Or so I thought. When we checked on them to see if they were asleep, their beds were empty. I went to the next room and found rollercoaster tycoon fired up but with no one playing it. There was only a heap of blankets on the floor next to the computer. Which is a good thing, because the kids know they're not supposed to be playing games. But where are they? And why is that pile of blankets moving?

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The Latest Pics

We all worked late doing the pre, half, and postgame shows and Scott went crazy with his new lens yesterday. Here's a small sample. Unfortunately, I'm in most of these, so if you're squeemish, you might not want to look.
These are in the edit bay, where I spend most of my waking hours:

This is on the set with anchor Audrey Piper:

And this is earlier in the day on the set of another project with host Emily Layton:

And, finally, this is the latest version of the drawing I'm working on. If you look closely, you can see the outlines of the other two kids:

Whew! That's a lot of pictures!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

New Camera

My friend Scott Frederick bought a nifty digital camera that he's been coveting for months and now he's snap happy. Here's one he took of me the other day while we were working on Ute Sunday with Coach Urban Meyer:

He just got a cool new fisheye lens for it today and he's been taking pictures like a madman. I'll post some of them when he gets them to me.

Still Here

I'm still here. I've just been so busy lately. I've been given new responsibilities at work, writing and producing for a new project that will be national shortly. And I've hidden the mouse and keyboard so that my kids won't sit at the computer all day playing games and I won't be distracted from doing my drawing, which I've made quite a lot of progress on. Work is pretty stressful now. It's a different world.

Yesterday evening my wife had a meeting so it was just me and the kids for awhile. I read to them for half an hour and then we all sat down to draw. My kids are quite creative. I was working on my drawing and after awhile my oldest came to me with a sealed envelope that was addressed to Dad from Fred. He said it had come in the mail and he'd forgotten to give it to me. I asked him who Fred was and he said, "I don't know!" When my wife came home we showed it to her and she wondered aloud who's dad it was for. My boy took the letter, saying he had to check something and left the room. He came back a few moments later after "inspecting" it and there was our address on the back of the envelope. I must have missed it. Well, I'm the only dad at our house so the letter must be for me. I opened it and found a drawing of a man with a huge head yelling, "Grrrrr!" at a school. My boy's name was on it, so it really was from him after all. He really had me fooled.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Starting Over

I didn't do as much preparation for that drawing as I should have. When I got the guitarist done, I realized that the other two figures had to be head to toe so that I could show what they were doing, playing soccer and skateboarding. Since the guitarist is waist up, this would throw the picture off balance. I talked to my client, telling him that what really needed to be done was for me to get bigger paper and draw the guitarist smaller and the other two larger. He said I should do whatever looked best and that if the picture turned out bigger, he would pay me more. He's very understanding. So I started over. I decided to sketch all three before starting to fill in the detail and it worked. I put in about six hours yesterday and have outlines of all three done. It looks good. I feel a lot better about it than the first one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Warm Fuzzies

Princess Rufflebutt is asleep on my lap. It's been nice, kinda bonding with her, and I started to get a really warm feeling. Then I realized she was peeing on my leg. I guess her diaper's had about as much as it can take.

The tests came back and my three yr old is producing growth hormone. There are several criteria that all have to be below "10" to qualify him for the therapy. He had quite a few below "10" but not enough to put him in that category. He'll have another battery of tests in six months. I'd feel uncertain, to say the least, about giving him so many tests that affect him so adversely except that he loves it. He comes home loaded down with all kinds of toys and treats. So it's not so bad.

Well, I'm off to change my pants. Have fun.
My three year old seems to feel a lot better. He seems to have changed, but that's because I look at him a lot differently now. I've always cherished him, but the impact of his reaction to the tests and the fact that he might have to have a shot everyday until he finished puberty has made me want to hang on to him and never let go. My behavior has changed, too. I'm a notorious grump when I'm awakened in the middle of the night, but he woke us up last night and I surprised myself with my patience and kindness to him. And it wasn't through gritted teeth, either. It was genuine. I hope that can last.
We don't have the results yet. We should get them today or tomorrow. I'll keep you informed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

New Pictures

First, here are some pictures of Princess Rufflebutt--and her brother--I took over the weekend:
And now I'll continue the series of drawings to show the progress I'm making. I'm not particularly pleased with it so far but this has been a good experience, posting them here. It allows me to see it from a distance so that I can see what changes need to be made.

Notice the guitar neck. It needs to be straighter. Even though this is intended to be impressionistic, the pick guard and body of the guitar need more detail so they look more "real." I was thinking I might be able to move on to the next person in the drawing, but after looking at it here, I realize there's a lot more work to be done.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Sick Boy

When my wife brought my 3 yr old back from the hospital after seven hours, he could barely stand up. They had put him on medication that lowered his blood pressure so he became lethargic. He's been that way ever since. I've just wanted to hug him since he came back. How could I have ever been upset with this little guy for anything? All the times I got mad at him for not going to bed or not cooperating or crying...I was so mistaken. He can do nothing wrong. He's sick now, still lethargic, but now he has a temperature and hasn't eaten anything. He threw up when I made him dinner. I feel so bad for him.

Day Off

My wife says I don't full appreciate how hard she works even though she doesn't have a job. I do, and this knowledge is being reinforced as I am staying home for the day to watch the kids and take care of the house while she takes my 3 yr old to the hospital. There is enough work in this house to keep you busy FOR....EVER. Not just for a day, or a week, or a decade. FOR....EVER. You've seen Disney's animated version of "Alice in Wonderland." Remember when she's walking down the path, trying to find her way home and a dog or some other kind of animal with brooms for a head and tail comes along, sweeping away the path so that all progress is stopped and there is no hope for backtracking? This is what cleaning this house is like with two little boys in it. Except, the are more like vacuum cleaners set on reverse. And Mrs. C. has THREE boys here when she's around.

The hospital appointment is for an extensive test to see whether he needs growth hormone therapy. I know I said he didn't but I may have spoken too soon. The tests that came back were not the hgh tests. Those are happening today. Keep your fingers crossed. I don't like the idea of subjecting him to it.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

What I'm Working On.

Ok. Here it is. This will eventually have three kids in it. I've started with the one who'll be on the right side of the paper. He's not finished yet, so don't judge too harshly:


Have you seen my sister's blog? I've always known she was intelligent and thoughtful but this is amazing. She's the only other person in our family who reads, I think. And she can remember the quotes, apparently. So she's one up on me. I read and comprehend but remembering and communicating the info to someone else is an entirely different matter....

I spent most of the day drawing. I think I'll scan what I have tomorrow and scan more as I go along so you can see the progress. I always surprise myself. I get so insanely impatient that I actually think about giving up--but not in the way most people would give up, by walking away from it or throwing it in the trash. No. I think about drizzling my salsa over the whole thing, or ripping it up in tiny little bits and then going up to the roof to toss it to the wind--something ritualistic. As I sit, hunched for hours (ok maybe an hour), working really hard on it, struggling with a detail that I just can't get right, a thought rises gradually in the back of my head like a river flood, until it bursts forth, drenching all of my hopes of producing something good to look at: "You suck! Why do you keep on with this impossible notion that you can draw anything?" Then out comes the salsa. But I don't pour because then I'd just have to start over.

Then, after a few hours of working on it, spread over weeks, of course, I look at it and see something I could not possibly have created. It has a pleasant-to-look at style to it. A local artist once commented that my pencil drawings look like oil paintings. Sometimes I think he's right. They have a soft, impressionistic quality to them. But I'll never be an "artist." More like a breathing photocopier. I can't create. I'll never be a Cassatt or Degas (two of my favorites) who, while painting models and still lifes were still able to make it something more than life, something original. But maybe I'll be a Warhol, if I ever learn how to silk screen. At any rate, the salsa will always be there. Heck...if I'm imitating Warhol I can "paint" the salsa.

I'll get some more pics for you, Busy Mom. I don't have a camera. I have to use the video camera from work and then still some shots from the tape. So it'll be a day or so.

P.P.S. Please go to the review site and comment on Laser Jock's review. He just posted it a couple of days ago and he keeps bugging me: "Has anyone commented on my review yet? Have I had any hits yet?" Humor me, please?

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Run Away Mom

My wife called to say she was going to pick up dinner (woo hoo!) and she sounded pretty frustrated. She had told the kids, moments before, that she was running away because of the way they were behaving to a variety of reactions:

My three year old became excited about picking out a new mom.
My seven year old said, "Oh. Well, if I don't see you before you leave, bye."
My five year old went into his room to cry.

She didn't run away.

A Day in the Life

Here's what happened yesterday:
7:00 am My alarm went off as it always does.
I hit the snooze button as I always do.
7:09 am My alarm went off again.
I hit the snooze button again.(This went on until...
7:36 am Got up and went downstairs.
7:37 am Pulled Jr. out of bed, and, making sure he was awake, told him to get dressed because we were going to be late.
7:38 am Took a shower.
7:49 am Got out and went downstairs.
7:50 am Told Jr. to get up and get dressed because we were going to be late.
7:52 am Cooked an egg for Jr.
7:57 am Told Jr. to eat his egg.
7:58 am Got dressed.
7:59 am Waited for Jr. to eat his egg.
8:05 am Got in the car and waited for Jr.
8:09 am Left for Jr.'s late.
8:12 am Dropped Jr. off and went to work.
8:35 am Clocked in and "worked."
5:35 pm As I was getting ready to go home, someone said that Peter Cetera was out on the stage.
5:36 pm Stared at Peter Cetera as he watched the orchestra under his direction rehearse a passage of music.
I thought I recognized it but, as I am not a fan of Peter or Chicago, I couldn't be specific.
5:45 pm Went home.
6:01 pm Went to get dinner. Bought frozen lazagna, baby formula, olive oil, water, and french bread.
The rest of the night: Ate dinner, played with the kids, got on the computer, tried to resume drawing but couldn't find the power within me, watched a little "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" that I'd seen before, went to bed.

At the computer I was holding Rufflebutt, who was asleep, and I heard this cute little giggle. She was laughing her head off. I'd never seen her do that before. She was asleep, or drifting in and out, and everytime I laughed, she'd start giggling again. My wife says she does that all the time in her sleep--never when she's awake.

Peter Cetera's still here, I think, though I haven't been back to see. I guess there's a concert tonight because I got an email from the Delta Center saying that I could come and pick up complimentary tickets. Should I? I don't know if I'd enjoy myself. Guess not.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

When I Grow Up

What did you want to be when you grew up? Was there one thing you had your heart set on? Did it turn out? Are you doing that now?

We were asked that question in third grade and we were supposed to answer by drawing pictures. Most of the kids drew one picture: A fireman, a policeman, a dog catcher, etc. I drew five or six different pictures. I couldn't decide on just one thing. It wasn't even like most children who want to be something for awhile and then switch. I couldn't pick one and stick with it even for a few weeks. I decided I wanted to be a drifter who hitchhiked from town to town, picking up a different job everytime I stopped, then pulling up stakes and moving on. I wanted to do it all. I wanted to write, draw, and teach for a living. I wanted to design aircraft until I found out how much math I would need. I wanted to be a racecar driver, an undercover cop, an underwater photographer or underwater welder. I wanted to be a rockstar. At one time, perish the thought, I even wanted to be a lawyer. Wow. A lawyer.

I'm still looking. I'm 36 years old and I don't know what to do when I grow up. In my quest to do everything, I've done nothing. In an earlier age, I might have been da Vinci. A rennaissance man. But television programs sucker-punched me and turned me into an amorphous, minute-attention-spanned, blob. Where would da Vinci be if he had had to schedule his life around "Friends"? That may be why people are so specialized these days. You can have many irons in the fire if you're not distracted by frivolity. As it is now, distractions lie, waiting to pounce, around every corner. So we're doing great if we can focus most of our attention on one thing.

I try to nurture in my children a desire to do something meaningful with their lives, whatever that be. My middle boy has wanted to be a chef since he was 2 or 3. We bought him a toy kitchen. By the way, why don't they make those for boys? They're all obviously for little girls. I do much of the cooking in my house. Just look at the famous chefs around. They're mostly men. Of the 53 chefs on this list, only 17 are women. I'm seeing more and more men cooking for their families. If I went home from work and said, "What's for dinner?" my wife would throw a frying pan at my head. It's not a gender-specific profession. By exclusively putting pink plastic kitchens in the toy stores with dolls and pretty flowers and other "girlie" things on them, the toy industry is saying that it's woman's work. Anyway, so we talked a lot about cooking to our middle boy. I showed him how to make a few things and he seemed really excited. My oldest has wanted to be a fireman since he could talk. So we got videos on firemen and firetrucks for him. Both of those have waned a little lately. Whatever comes up in the future, we'll support them all the way.

Monday, October 13, 2003

banana's a-peel

banana's a-peel is here. Well, it's a start, anyway.


I've been up late the last few nights getting my sister into her new blog. She's new to the blogosphere so give her a nice welcome when you get a chance. I won't post the link until later--the place is still a mess, boxes everywhere, a lot of unpacking still to be done. But I'll let you know when it's going.
Bananaface and I have seen very little of each other the last 10 years or so, as she's been living in AZ. She's a lot of fun. She likes a lot of the same music as I do and she's very much into fitness. She's a masseuse, a yoga, aerobics, and gymnastics instructor, a hiker, biker, name it. She and I have been close since she was born. I'm told I used to guard her crib--or maybe that was the dog--at any rate, I did name her when I was four years old (not bananaface...she chose that name her self). So I hope you'll get to know her. I think you'll like her. Now if I could get her to hurry up and update her site....

Saturday, October 11, 2003

100 Things--finished.

I finished them. Now you know everything there is to know about me. Except what I didn't tell you, of course.

Friday, October 10, 2003

TV Crew Scheduling: The World's Worst Job.

I love my scheduler. He's a great guy and he's scared of me. What more could you want? He always seems so apologetic about scheduling me for edits that I start to feel guilty. Am I that rough on him? I don't think so. Yesterday morning my schedule looked fairly open. Not a lot, a couple of things in the afternoon was all. Then I looked again a while later and my bitch (the other word for a scheduler around here--m.b. for short) had scheduled a "half hour's for so-and-so." Well, so-and-so is an agency guy that's not too bad to work for. I've done a lot of work for him and he likes how quickly I do it. M.B. thought I'd be mad and was apologetic again. I mean, that's what I'm there for. What's he getting all worked up about? Maybe he's just being nice--because, after all, he is nice to a fault, inspite of being a bald, mean-looking ex-college basketball player. What So-and-so had planned was simple: Two already-produced spots, one that needed a super, and another that need some stills added and a super change. Half hour tops, right? It turns out that So-and-so didn't like the way the spots were edited before at one of the network affiliates, even though he was the producer. So I spent nearly three hours re-editing both spots almost from scratch. I told M.B. that this morning so he didn't bill for just half an hour and he immediately started pleading with me to forgive him. Wow. I don't know if I can handle this much power. I think he thought I was complaining. I don't know where he got that. Like I ever complain. Sheesh. I mean Sheesh!
I should be appologizing to him. I would really hate his job. In fact, I turned it down when it was offered to me, and I felt sorry for him when he got it. It's a lot of work, let me tell you.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

My Store!

I was talking to my buddy, Dick, the other day (by the way, remind me sometime to tell you how he got his name.) about putting Dinky on some T-Shirts and coffee mugs and other stuff. I researched silk-screening and how much it would cost, and decided I might do it sometime. Then I happened across Cafe Press which takes your designs and puts them on shirts, mugs, mousepads, whatever. There's even a if you'll buy Dinky on a thong, let me know. My friends and I are coming up with all kinds of things for Dinky to do on a shirt (or thong, if that's what gets you going) so keep checking in. You know...the more I think about it, the more I like Dinky on a thong...naw. It'll never fly.


This new commission I'm supposed be doing is the lowlight of my life. Well, probably not that dramatic, but it is hard to get going. It's not just laziness that's slowed my motivation, though that's part of it. The drawing itself is going to be difficult. The photos are small and out of focus so I'm going to have to rely on imagination--not usually successful when drawing a subject that your client is so familar with: These are the kids of the friend I'm doing the work for. Which brings up another thing. He's me friend. Never do this kind of work for your friend. You don't know how much to charge, you put a lot of work into it but don't feel right about asking full price, and on and on. I've had the photos for two months now and I haven't started yet. I've made the decision that this will be the last commission like this. I prefer drawing what I want and trying to sell it to drawing to others' expectations. But I've committed to this, so I'll get to work. But it's the last one. Now, if someone could teach me to market my other stuff.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Blog it Forward

I just read a very nice post about my site from Busy Mom. Thanks, Mom, that was very sweet. It's apparently an idea started by Buzz. We're supposed to pick a blog (or two) that we like and explain why we like it. I like all the blogs on my blogroll. Look at them all. It's hard to pick just one. Come on! Why do I have to pick just one? I mean there are Layne and Anne for their terrific writing style that keeps me coming back, and Monkeyspit for the hilarity...and...well, just check them all out.

My Hero

In our chaotic world, filled with ambiguous role-models who seem as confused about right and wrong as those who might look up to them, an icon shines through the clouds of confusion. I watched Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood when I was a kid and I've through my adulthood I've carried him with me as a hero. Everything he did was about making others feel good about themselves while at the same time helping them to face the harsh realities of life with confidence and courage. I was pleased to find that my boys look up to him too. When he died seven months ago, my oldest came to us sobbing. He mourned him for a few days after that. It was surprising how much impact he'd had on him. I just learned that there is a book of Fred Rogers' writings and wisdom coming out soon. I saw an interview with his wife who seems just as wonderful as he was. She's helping to promote the book. I can't wait to get it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

100 Things About Me

I posted some uninteresting details of my life over on the side there. I'm up to 86. That should suffice for today's entry.

Monday, October 06, 2003

They're Baaaack

What a weekend. My family leaves for a couple of days and I turn into an animal! After they left, I went straight to the computer and played Battlefield 1942. Then I started the aforementioned roast then plugged in my guitar and turned the amp to 11. That night I stayed up until almost midnight! Yes, Layne, I slept in. I didn't get up until almost 9 am. It's a wonder, after all that, that I could even pay attention at work. Of course, I did the dishes and mowed the lawn, too. There's no sense in unleashing the contention not cleaning up would cause.

Speaking of work, much of this live and live-to-tape stuff I do is sports related and I'm not a sports fan. I think I boycotted it because of all the people I know who think it's the only thing going. For instance, if the BYU football team lost, my sisters and I would have to put up with an angry, short-fused father the rest of the weekend. Loving sports is fine, but then there are the people who think I'm less of a man because I don't think they're that important. I even had a woman look at me in disgust because I told her I don't like sports. And let's not forget about the pro athlete's themselves. Aside from a few very well educated and insightful people, the ranks of the pro ball players are stacked with self-important, dull-witted baffoons. Karl Malone is an acute example of this for me. He has stabbed the team that really was his family in the back every off-season with the stupid comments he'd make. And now he's gone and I think it's because he knows he's nothing without John Stockton. Not to mention the fact that Karl pushed me into the wall in the Delta Center. I was loaded down with a bunch of equipment when I felt a shove from behind. I turned around, ready to duke it out with the jerk who couldn't politely ask me to move, and I found myself staring straight into Karl's abs. Of course, I didn't voice my outrage--I'd rather die at concert, something I enjoy...not a basketball game. The NBA lockout sealed the deal, though. I couldn't believe some of those idiot players who were complaining about losing money, appealing to the public with pleas like, "I have to sell one of my nine Porsches to make ends meet," until someone told them they weren't helping their case much. At the time, my wife and I had a total income of about $15,000 a year. You can probably guess how sorry I felt for those poor guys. Now there's an article in USA Today that seems to praise Karl for taking less money in LA so the team (and himself) can get a ring. WHY DIDN'T HE DO THAT WHEN HE WAS HERE? He had two chances to get a ring here, if he would have been a team player--and no one will ever convince me that he was a team player. So I hate sports. I love to be active. I'm a skier, I love to swim and hike and bike. And I even love to play basketball and football--except when it turns in to a huge, egotistical competition--which is almost always. But I'm just not into organized sports.

Ok. Having said all that, I must say that I like Urban Meyer, the new head football coach for the Utah Utes. He is taking the team in a new and exciting direction. I loved coach McBride. I knew him personally and think he's a great guy, and we were kind of miffed when he was let go the way he was. But I really think Meyer is better for the team. He's really turning it around, and the players seem to have a great respect for him.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Next time on "Dinky the Bachelor"

My wife and kids went to her mother's house this morning. I have to work tomorrow afternoon so I had to stay. I have the house all to myself...let's see...what should I do first? I think the first thing will be to stuff a pork roast with garlic and sundried tomatoes, and put it with some little red potatos in the crock pot for a few hours. Wild huh? She hates pork roast, especially when I cook it because I love spices and she likes plain food. Man! am I gonna live the high life tonight. I might even get a two-liter of soda and drink it straight from the bottle.

Friday, October 03, 2003

The Object of my Desire

R.E.M. played the Today Show this morning and I fell in love with Peter Buck's 360 Jetglo Rickenbacker. So I talked Mike into going with me to Guitar Center for lunch. I was disappointed to find that they didn't have any Rics there, but they're the best store on the planet because they'll let you play anything. I played around with a Gretsch Tennessee Rose and then I found the Schecter Omen 6. I love that thing! It had a beautiful walnut satin finish that reminded me of Lindsey Buckingham's Rick Turner, and it sounded wonderful. It's marked down to $300, so feel free to buy it for me for Christmas (pleeeeease). I played it on a nice little Crate amp...nothing spectacular, but I liked it. (Hint, Hint)

The Game

I've been bingeing again. I went to an all-night LAN party last Friday in which I was introduced to Battlefield 1942. I took my 7 year old. He's a gamer like me and we loved it. He was also excited that he got to stay up late for once. He tells everyone he stayed up till 4 am because that's when we went home. In reality, he fell asleep at about 11 pm on the blanket and pillow I brought for him. I, myself, am too old to try such a stunt again anytime soon. I'm still feeling the effects. I can't pull all-nighters anymore like I used to in college when I had a paper due the next day. I hardly ever started a paper sooner than the night before, so I would frequently stay up all night, write the paper, and get up from the computer and go to school. Then I'd work an eight-hour shift before going home. I can't do it anymore. This just about killed me. And now I'm addicted to the game. Can't get anything worthwhile done.

My Bands

I posted a list of the bands I didn't listen to back in the eighties so it's only right that I post one of the bands I did listen to (The bold entries are the ones I just couldn't get enough of, the bands I worshipped.):


I can't remember all of them so I'll be updating this from time to time.