The Persistence of Peanut Butter


Peanut butter is very persistent. It will stick to the roof of your mouth for a long, long time.

When it comes to success, persistence is a secret weapon. Especially these days.

In this era of microwaves and text messages and 24-hour news stations, we expect immediate results. We worship the idea of overnight success and lament when it doesn’t come our way, overlooking the reality that the overnight successes we are trying to emulate are ten years (or more!) in the making.

When you begin any project, whether it is becoming a parent, writing a book, losing weight, training for a marathon, cleaning your garage, or starting a business, you have the advantage of enthusiasm on your side. You are excited to begin and the image of success is crystal clear. But when doing anything worthwhile, you will eventually encounter roadblocks. They will deflate you, discourage you, and disenfranchise you. You will doubt your original vision, your sanity, and whether you really even wanted it in the first place. These are facts.

When it gets hard is when most people give up.

If you want to be an overnight success, you’ve got to be persistent.

You’ve got to be like peanut butter.

[ The Persistence of Peanut Butter. Acrylic on newspaper. 8 x 10 inches. ]

Are You Hanging Out with the Wrong Crowd?


Back when you were a kid, your mom warned you about those people. They were the ones up to no good, always involved in various nefarious activities. They were the burnouts, the troublemakers, the future inmates.

We may no longer be in high school any more, but Mom’s warning still holds water.

If you want to avoid Adultitis, you need to stay away from the wrong crowd at all costs.

You may have trouble recognizing the wrong crowd these days, because they are not easily recognized by their missing homework, black death metal t-shirts, and ever-present fog of cigarette smoke. [Read more...]

You Are The Milk to My Cereal

Pretty much how I feel about my wife. I lucked out big time.

[ You Are The Milk To My Cereal. Acrylic, graphite, and Sharpie on newsprint. 10 x 7 inches. ]

Ode to Magritte


[ Not a Peep. Acrylic on newsprint. 9 x 12 inches. ]

How to Ward Off Your “I Wish I Wouldas”

We in Madison have had a mild winter with roughly half the snow that dumped on us last year. But even though my back appreciates the limited amount of shoveling it had to endure, and even though the sub-zero days were few and far between, I still can’t wait for winter to be OVER. [Read more...]

The Hidden Lesson of Green Eggs and Ham

I’ve never appreciated Dr. Seuss more than since having kids. He made books as enjoyable for adults as they are for children. Hands down, I rather read ANY Dr. Suess book over the Disney Princess Golden Books that have been the focus of Lucy’s recent attention. The former is fun to read, the latter comes off like a lifeless book report of an otherwise entertaining movie. (Just the facts, ma’am.) After reading Cinderella for the seven hundredth time, there are only two possible forms of relief: either a cannonball to the face or a reading of Hop on Pop. [Read more...]

Why Your Whiz-Bang Gadgets Might Be Giving You Adultitis

Sometimes I miss the days when the most advanced technological gadget I owned was an Etch-a-sketch. [Read more...]

14 Super Fun (and Thrifty) Ways to Say I Love You

Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love. Well, at least according to Hallmark. The stores are saturated in pink and red, the calendar has that pesky little fine print next to the fourteenth day of February, and the pressure is huge to commemorate the big day with your sweetheart. That often means roses, chocolate, a dinner out…zzzzzz…oh, sorry, I drifted off there for a second. Valentine’s Day may be one of those obligatory holidays, but it’s never a bad thing to show someone how much you care, and it needn’t be boring. Your honey deserves more than ho-hum! And the fun ideas that follow won’t break the bank, either. [Read more...]

A Simple and “Delicious” Way to Ambush Adultitis

“I enjoy sleep like a good steak.”

Bill Cosby said this, and I couldn’t agree more. [Read more...]

What I Learned From One Family’s Battle with Leukemia

I met Kevin and his family when I was in college. They were very involved in the church I attended. Such cool people; kind, warm and welcoming. The parents modeled a marriage worth emulating. Kevin reminded me of me when I was his age: brown curly hair, smart and thoughtful, a little bit shy.

I’d lost touch, but was recently saddened to hear that Kevin, just twenty-three years old, was battling leukemia. He had been in Texas getting treatment and fighting hard, but with the cancer on the verge of winning the war, he returned this past September to spend his final months at home. Kevin’s favorite holiday is Christmas, but it wasn’t assured that he’d live to see the next one. So his family did a cool thing. [Read more...]

Best Friends Forever (Art Made On My iPad)

Over my holiday break / paternity leave / month of sleeplessness, I watched a video by illustrator Will Terry in which he demonstrated his technique for creating art on his iPad. I’d played around with doing art on my iPad but was never able to get comfortable with it (or at least the feeling of being an untalented hack with two left hands). But something amazing went off in my brain while watching Will’s video, and I thought, “Hey! I can do that!” So I decided to give it another try.

The S’Mores image was my first official work done entirely on the iPad. I had so much fun with it that I kept making more. Two more food-related ones are below. More to come!

When Christmas Trees Get Jealous

When you shine brightly and share joy with the world, not everyone will be appreciative.

These Adultitis-ridden doo-doo heads will laugh at you, mock you, and try to run you down. Mostly they are just threatened by your example and attack you in order to feel better about their own cowardice or laziness.

Shine on anyway.

[ Watercolor on paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

How Many Kids Can You Really Have Before Adultitis Takes Over?

Does having more kids increase your chances of Adultitis?

If so, how many kids can you have before it takes over your life completely? [Read more...]

The Cardboard Chameleon

It’s the thing that gets played with the most on Christmas morning.

It’s been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

It’s the blank canvas that can, with the cleverness of a child’s imagination, swiftly transform from a a getaway car to a medieval castle to a time machine at a moment’s notice.

It is proof, as Thomas Edison proclaimed, that the greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child.

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 10 x 14 inches. ]

Middle-Aged Werewolf

Eventually, Teen Wolf grows up and gets a job in middle management.

[ Watercolor and colored pencil on acid-free paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

Where Memories Are Made

You don’t make great memories doing the same thing you’ve always done. And they usually aren’t made amidst the whirling dervish of your day-to-day. [Read more...]

Broomstickers

But the broom gets better gas mileage.

[ Watercolor on acid-free paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

Why Mummies Don’t Play Flag Football

It’s all fun and games until…

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

Die Empty

We are all born with great potential. It’s a shame if you still have too much of it at the end.

The great challenge of life: getting to the end having shared all your gum balls with the world.

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 10 x 14 inches. The original painting is available for sale. ]

Lost Marbles

Sometimes stated as scientific fact, others consider it an urban myth: the average pre-schooler laughs about 400 times a day, whilst the typical grown-up laughs just 15 times.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that no matter how the numbers actually fall, the daily laugh gap between kids and adults is definitely quite wide.

Clearly, grown-ups would probably be a lot less stressed and have way more fun if they upped their laugh quota.

But here’s the weird thing: show me an adult that laughs in the ballpark of 40 times a day, and I’ll show you an individual other people would consider a bit weird.

Let’s face it, if you laugh too much, people are liable to think you’re a bit unhinged. Not quite right. That you’ve lost your marbles.

As if it’s a bad thing.

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 10 x 14 inches. ]

Steve Jobs: Breaker of the Rules That Don’t Exist


Who said computers were too complicated for regular folks?

Who said an electronic device can’t be powerful and beautiful?

Who said no one would pay for digital music?

Who said Grandma couldn’t make her own movies?

Who said a single person couldn’t change the world? [Read more...]

How to Live a Better Story


Once upon a time…

Ever notice that all the good stories seem to start that way? (With the notable exception of “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”)

Have you ever thought of your life as a story?

And more importantly, is it a good one? [Read more...]

Hopscotchtape

[ Colored pencil on paper, 9.5 x 12 inches. The original drawing is available for sale. ]

Cookie Sale

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 10 x 14 inches. The original painting is available for sale. ]

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