Baldness

I don’t think about it much, but I feel fortunate to have the hair I do. It’s been said that baldness is a genetic trait that is carried by the mother. I’m no biologist but I’ve always understood that to mean that if your mother’s father was a cue ball, most likely you would be too. Thankfully my maternal grandfather wasn’t. The strange part is I have cousins who were pretty much bald by the time they were thirty – and their mother had the same grandfather. Yikes!

Rare

This sketch is loosely based on my memories of Biology and Chemistry. I actually didn’t mind dissecting dead critters (‘Mickey’ Rat included) but really hated that Formaldehyde smell. Chemistry was a completely different story. I had very little passion for balancing molecular equations and memorizing how many available electrons existed in the outer orbit of an element’s atom. Ionic compounds be damned! I don’t know how many elements there are in the Periodic Table anymore but 103 seemed like an unused number. If not, ‘St’ could stand for ‘Stupidium’.

Mad Scientist

I suppose if a Mad Scientist were to get involved with your sixth grade science project it would most likely go wrong. I know it’s cliche, but I couldn’t resist – it was the first thought that came to mind. What exactly is so funny? Nothing. He’s MAD! Mad, I tell you!

Sketchbook Project

After two weeks of waiting, I finally received the Moleskine I sent for to participate in the “Sketchbook Project: 2011 Tour”. Participants choose from the list of possible themes (Help!; Jackets, blankets, and sheets; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; . I simply couldn’t decide and I found myself choosing ones that I thought would be easiest. In the end, I chose ‘random’ and let them choose a theme for me, so now I’m challenged with filling this 84 page sketchbook with images relating to a ‘Science Project Gone Wrong’ by January 15th. I’m kind of looking forward to it but also a little frightened what might come out of it. This should be interesting.

Labor Day Telethon

I remember when the ‘Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon’ was the television event of the weekend. For years Americans have tuned in to watch an all-star cast of entertainers perform for the sake of raising money for Jerry’s kids and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I don’t remember ever camping out in front of the television to watch this (though on rainy days like today it’s very likely we did), but do recall my parents occasionally tuning in to see fellow Rat Packers like Sinatra, Martin and Davis Jr. all perform. Seeing a very sweaty and tired-looking Lewis come out with his bow-tie undone and his collar open during the closing minutes of the telethon is burned into my memory. His sincerity and passion for MDA is incredible and to see him continue this tradition at 84 is equally impressive.

Recession 2.0?

According to some economic analysts we’ll likely see another recession. I’m more of a ‘supply-sider’ myself so I wasn’t too thrilled when the $814 billion Stimulus Package was passed last year. It gave government the right to intentionally add to our deficit in order to create jobs. Now the unemployment rate is nearing 10% and, despite recent rallies, it still looks like a bear market. It may have sounded like a good idea but I think many forget that the money has to come from somewhere. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” by either borrowing money or raising taxes doesn’t add up in my mind. We’ll all be paying the price for years to come. How does this get us ahead? With the threat of deflation on the horizon it scares me to see the President picking at this economic scab.

Fads

Fads come and go with every generation. When I was a kid bracelets were a hit mostly with the girls. Intricately woven friendship bracelets and thick colorful rubber bands were common.

The latest and greatest with this generation, both girls and boys, are the shape bracelets. Just about any object that has an identifiable profile can be found as an extruded colorful rubber bracelet. For about 3 bills you can buy a pack of two dozen shape bracelets (or silly bandz). What I find puzzling is how anyone, when wearing them, is able to tell the difference between one of these bracelets and a simple rubber band. Apparently that’s all the fun; taking them off, looking at them and then trading them with your friends (I heard that this trend has been banned from some schools in the south because it’s become too much of a distraction).

Once again someone has managed to ‘tap into’ the psyche of the kid and make a mint. In an industry that’s very hit and miss, it’s always interesting to see what makes it.

Proficiency

If Joe claims to be a good carpenter, then wouldn’t you assume that he would be proficient with more than just a box-end wrench? Come on, Joe. Who are you fooling? We all know that a carpenter is handy with a number of tools, not just the wrench. Saws. Hammers. Drills. I mean, really.

I know you’re really proud of that shelf unit you built, but the cuts look… well… like you used a wrench to make them. If you want anyone to believe you’re a carpenter then your work better be more representative of what a carpenter does.

A proficient carpenter uses the right tool for the job. Until you add some other tools to your box and learn how to use them (and use them well), don’t call yourself a carpenter. I’m sorry, but nobody will jump to hire a carpenter that insists on doing everything with a wrench.

Critics

Everyone has an opinion and some get paid to share it with others. Sometimes an honest appraisal is appreciated and other times, not so much. In many ways the critique’s severity needs to be tempered with the recipient’s own skin thickness. That being said, I think there’s great value in constructive criticism provided that the goal is to offer pointers from an experienced point-of-view with the best interests of those being judged in mind. I’ve always found the role of critic to be a difficult one because I always fear hurting one’s feelings in the process of offering my opinion.

I marvel at the confidence of Food Critic Jeffrey Steingarten, frequent judge of Food Network’s Iron Chef America. In the spirit of Simon Cowell he is quick to offer his opinion in a sort of blunt eloquence that borders on bourgeois snobbery. His assessments come off sounding harsh at times, but his praise is equally poetic. Mr. Steingarten’s finesse certainly elevates the well-delivered critique to its own art form, though largely diplomatic and almost all political.

Banking

I realize banking is a business and like most businesses they’d like to grow. Advertising plays a huge role in that and I’m quite sure all my bank’s efforts to use me for referrals has failed miserably. It’s not that I don’t like my bank but putting a business card size flyer into the drive-thru canister asking me to tell a friend so I can get a can cooler is very little incentive. The worst part is I think even the tellers know that it is a complete waste of their time. Part of me wants to tell them not to bother giving me one and maybe save the bank (and its customers) a few dollars. Nine times out of ten I simply leave it in the canister for the next customer to refuse.