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Blog fiction

The Widow Maker

I like to imagine a contraption called the Widow Maker. The Widow Maker is sitting under a tarp in a field. The closest building is a barn. The Widow Maker, being too destructive, needs to be away from any structure, lest it destroy said structure. The tarp will keep it from rusting in the rain and snow.

The inventor of the Widow Maker, a man who is not a widow himself, wears aviator goggles when working on his contraption. He is covered in oil, and has a magnificent grey moustache (yellowing now from all the tobacco he’s smoked). He is a humble man, and his interest in the Widow Maker is not for purposes of war, or terror. He just wanted to make something useful. A better harvester, say, or a time machine.

In the end, though, the only thing the Widow Maker is good for is destruction. You turn it on, via a series of switches and buttons, and the gears start grinding. Steam rises steadily from two or three pipes. It is loud, and the valley echoes with sound. Then the Widow Maker destroys whatever is around it.

The Widow Maker has not been turned on in quite some time. In fact, the last time it was turned on was by some boys who lived in the town nearby. None of them survived, bless their souls. Sure, they were troublemakers, but who isn’t at that age? They didn’t deserve the end they got. Certainly, Timmy’s younger sister should have been spared finding his kneecap way up there in the Swanson’s tree. After that, the inventor of the Widow Maker fenced off his field and posted warning signs all around.

The inventor won’t dismantle the Widow Maker, in spite of pressure from the Mayor and from his beleaguered wife. He just worked too darned hard to construct it just right. It’s his pride and joy. Someday he’ll find a good use for it, and won’t his wife be sorry if that day comes after he has dismantled it. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater, here.

You can’t see the Widow Maker from the county road, and the inventor won’t give tours. It isn’t big enough to see from space, but you can be sure the government has it tracked by satellites. The Widow Maker is best kept quiet.
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autobiography Blog

Here’s a textbook example

I’m a big fan of experts. Experts on anything. You’ll find that I’m not the only one to share this point of view. Ask any news agency. Newspapers, TV news, radio. The gall-durned internet has been a real boon for Experts. With chat rooms full of Experts on every conceivable subject, Wiki- fueled websites that can be updated by anyone with an axe to grind, and of course those accursed blogs that everyone seems to have now-a-days, Experts make up a higher percentage of the population than ever before.

I prefer to think of Experts as scientist-types clad in white lab coats and carrying clip boards. I recently drew a few comics about those kind of Experts. My thinking is, if you have a degree (preferably advanced, but not necessarily), a room full of books, and a professorial tone to your voice, you could be an Expert on just about anything.

Want to be an expert? Go to the library and start talking in a clear voice. Do not mumble. If you mumble, you are not an Expert. You are a Crackpot. Crackpots can be Experts, but Experts cannot be Crackpots. The crucial difference is not in your knowledge but in how you present it to other people. Mumbling, screaming, stubbornly refusing to let the other person talk: these are all Crackpot qualities. Experts are friendly. They have social skills. They do not repeat the same facts over and over and refuse to let anyone else get a word in. I will allow you to make your own list of Crackpots and Experts.

See what I’m trying to do here? I’m becoming an Expert on Experts.
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autobiography Blog comic

Forgetful

Sometimes when I draw a batch of comics (I usually draw 20-30 new strips at a time, after writing for a few weeks) I forget things. One of the more embarrassing things is when I sign a strip twice. I always put my signature somewhere on each strip. For some reason, there are times when I forget whether I’ve signed one or not. The thing that amazes me is, there isn’t that much space to put my signature. So if I’ve already signed it, that means I’ve had to find two suitable places for it. Fortunately, I check my strips many times before sending them out; I can usually catch these mistakes before they become public. But if you happen to see my signature twice, that doesn’t mean I’m especially proud of my accomplishment. It just means I’m forgetful.

Categories
Falling Rock

Falling Rock National Park

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Falling Rock

Falling Rock National Park