Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gee, thanks, Parkinson (and KDHE)

Jobs trump public health and the environment, as usual in Kansas. Even though most of the power goes to Colorado, which is cutting back on coal plants within their state, we trumpet the benefit of some temporary construction jobs (often using out-of-state companies) and we become the outhouse of neighboring states. Textbook case of low self-esteem. "Go ahead and dump on me, I deserve it, in fact I welcome it."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wow. A December cartoon that doesn't rely on a Christmas metaphor!

But does rely on really is all about me, isn't it.

For extra credit, what's wrong with this image? Answer is below the toon. (And it's very inside so you probably won't know it.)

That's right. This is a drawing of Rhonda and Phil. Problem is, Phil has a beard now.

Sheesh. I can't keep up. (Oh, the other problem is: I don't office at the Eagle anymore, where they are.)

Dim lights

Got LED lights on your house or tree? I started out my KMUW commentary last week whining about how dim the dang things are and it morphed, as often seems to happen, into something else. Listen here or just read on:

This Christmas season we found that some of our big, bright C9 multicolored light strings weren’t working so well. So, I decided to try to be a little greener this year and bought some strings of the new low-voltage LED lights. I climbed up on the roof, attached them and plugged them in. Then, I had to check the connection to see why they weren’t lit up, and I realized that they were, indeed, lit up. (I’m making little quotation marks with my fingers when I use the term, “lit.”) They are about 1/5 of the brightness level of the old incandescent lights.

My problem is that I believe in big ol’ sloppy. gaudy Christmases, and these new lights just don’t cut it. The big plastic early-1960s Santa and Frosty Snowman that stand on our porch, and the color-wheel-lit aluminum tree in our window embody the spirit of a more jubilant time, I guess. They contrast with our sad, dim LED roof lights. The grins on Santa and Frosty’s faces are beginning to look a tad ironic.

My daughter reminds me that we are doing something better for the environment with our weak LED lights, and I try to find some solace in that. Perhaps, I reason, the new, faintly glowing decorations are a metaphor for the weak economic times that are the backdrop to this holiday season.

This Christmas does seem a bit muted in its exuberance at our home. We have several friends that are dealing with serious health issues or the recent loss of loved ones. Are my dim Christmas lights there to remind me to look less at the outer and more at the inner meaning of this season? Perhaps I should seek more of the comfort and a little less of the joy this year. Maybe you know someone who needs comforting as well. Holidays are hard for those grieving or dealing with the uncertainty of serious illness.

Maybe the light we need to share doesn’t come in strings across a roofline. Maybe it comes from a star.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You're invited

Last year my family and 3 of our ace musician friends did a Christmas music program at my church, Calvary United Methodist. Karen, Haley and I are joined by guitarist and mandolinist Dennis Hardin, bassist Phil Burress and violinist Rob Loren. Two other churches requested we do it for them and this year we're at it again.

This summer we recorded 13 of the songs on a cd which is available at Watermark Books and at Artworks Gallery in Picadilly Square. Or you can buy one from us directly (and we make a little more money that way!)

Our cd release party will be at Watermark on Saturday, December 18 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

You'd be welcome at Calvary tomorrow night at 6:00, if you'd like to come listen. It's at 2525 N. Rock. It's free but the offering plate is passed.

Love to see you there!

Crack house

Luckovich time

Perry Christmas

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Perry Como rocks. Ok..."rocks" isn't exactly the right word but you know what I mean. My last KMUW commentary was about Perry should you wish to hear it, go here.

This was our only Christmas album when I was little. It still gets played in my house every Christmas.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My spacey talk at the Cosmosphere

Just lining up an appearance by me at the Kansas Cosmosphere. They have an exhibit opening on Feb. 12 about Snoopy and the space program and they asked it I would come and give a cartooning presentation. I love Peanuts and jumped at the chance. Plus I love space. Outer space and innner space. So I'll post more later as we get closer to the event. Being a spacey cartoonist does sometimes have its perks!