autobiography Blog

a great day for redheads

conanTomorrow marks an historic occasion for redheads (AKA ginger kids) everywhere. Conan O’Brien will begin hosting The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The show may even have to change its name.

For as long as redheads have been around, we have been the object of intense jealousy by damn near everyone else. We understand. We are intrinsically awesomer by our very redheaded nature. The ability to Rock long and hard is in our DNA.

You may ask, then, why it has taken so long for a redhead to be the President of a major late-night television show. To that we just chuckle and shake our heads. Oh, the things non-gingers don’t know.

I may be a blogger, but I am not petty. I’m not here to lord my awesomeness over you (which is an 11 on a scale of 1-10, by the way). I’m also not here to betray the Code of the Redheads (a code which I am forbidden to reveal, sadly). No, I’m here to celebrate a great day for redheads.

Here’s to you, Mr. O’Brien. May you live to be one thousand years old.

Blog friday robot

Can you smell what the Friday Robots are cooking?

3386265400_337deb460e_oDwayne Johnson sure knows. It’s Friday and he is enjoying his retirement from the Evil Robot Fighting Squad. Little does he know there is one last job he needs to do before he can finally kick back and enjoy the margaritas. The world’s fate hangs in the balance. The Rock is the only guy man enough (and with the technical know-how) to fight these evil non-organic beings from another dimension.

We’re behind you 100% Rock! Well, all of us except robots who are posing as people in an attempt to infiltrate our government, media, and national cartooning societies.friday-robots-5-29-9


autobiography Blog

tuna fish

I was pretty old when I first saw a real tuna fish. I had been eating canned tuna for years, but never knew what it looked like before it was diced up. Turns out tuna are huge – much bigger than I expected. Not, you know, whale shark big, but sizable nonetheless. A fish to be reckoned with. No wonder dolphins kept getting caught in tuna nets: dolphins and tuna probably hang out all the time, down in the sea.

Canned tuna fish was my lunch from middle school all the way through college and a few years afterward. The tuna sandwich was my calling card. If I wanted to get all fancy I’d add lettuce or cucumbers, but usually a few slices of bread was all I’d need. It was low-maintenance yet more exotic than peanut butter & jelly. Plus you don’t want to overdo the number of times you have peanut butter in one meal: crackers, apples, celery. Best to spread these things out a little.

I am ashamed to admit I ate it with mayonnaise. You do what you need to survive in these hard times. After many years of experimentation, I found the golden ratio of tuna to mayo: too little and the flakes of fish would fall everywhere, too much and you’re eating a mayo sandwich. I couldn’t tell you in grams, but I’d know the correct proportion if I saw it.

I can’t eat tuna anymore or I’ll die. At least, that’s what I decided a few years after college. I started getting these stomach aches after lunch, and by process of elimination, I eliminated all the things I was eating for lunch at the time. My body was telling me that I’d reached my lifetime limit of mercury, and if I have one more bite of canned tuna I will die from mercury poisoning. I’m like a ticking time bomb or Rocky. One more hit and it’s all over.

Once you’ve consumed your lifetime limit of any given food, you have to move on. Fortunately my body warned me before shutting down completely. Now I live my life, chock full of deadly mercury, but happy still. I can’t ever get pregnant, but that’s the kind of tradeoff you make when you enjoy delicious tuna fish.

I just hope I don’t reach my lifetime limit of eggs. I really like eggs.

One year in high school I submitted a t-shirt design for my swim team; it was a can of tuna fish. A drawing, not an actual can – this wasn’t conceptual art. It got voted down unanimously. My swim team, like my girlfriend later, did not see the comic potential in a can of tuna fish. You either see it or you don’t, I guess.

Have you ever been to Costco and seen that huge can of tuna fish they sell? I used to think it was made up of thousands of individual fish, but now I know that number is probably more like 2.

I always wanted to buy that can and take it home and not ever open it. It would have been a decoration, a conversation-starter. This was before I moved in with a girlfriend. Some bachelors decorate with beer bottles or posters of Dave Matthews Band. I wanted to have this giant can of tuna fish in the center of my studio apartment.

Once I moved in with a girl, however, that dream was over. Girls ask too many uncomfortable questions. Explaining the humor would have made it instantly unfunny. I don’t know, maybe I find too many things funny. It could be my fatal flaw. That and the mercury poisoning.

I do miss eating tuna fish. I went through a phase where I made sandwiches with lunch meat. I’d put avocado and mustard on them, but they got boring pretty quick. Then I ate out for lunch; that was unhealthy and expensive (but tasty).

I haven’t found one single thing to replace the Chicken of the Sea. Some days I have soup, some days the aforementioned eggs. I always admired the people who made a lasagna on Sunday and brought in pieces of it all week long. Seems like a lot of work but then you have something to look forward to all morning. Nobody looks forward to a cold sandwich, a piece of fruit, and some crackers.

Tuna fish must be my spirit animal. Even though I no longer eat it, the tuna guides me through life’s obstacles. It must be a good guide because I’ve had a good life so far.

Blog comic


Recently it was brought to my attention that original ideas are often not the same as commercially successful ideas. This cut me to the core. After all, I believe people love to accept new ideas. Just think how thinkers of new thoughts have been treated in the past.

I began thinking about how I could use this information to better my chances at comic strip syndication. Falling Rock is fairly original; I haven’t seen too many curmudgeonly owls or large lizards wearing baseball jerseys populating the comics section of the newspaper. What I need to do is think up a thoroughly non-original idea.

My first idea clearly has potential: Barley Clown.barley-clown1
He’s a real blockhead. He can’t ever kick a soccer ball, his basketball team never wins, and his pet chihuahua Loopy is temperamental and demanding. What could be funnier?

I’m diligently at work on my submission packet for Grapenuts, but here is the first strip just to get a taste. Hopefully it will be the next comics sensation!barley-clown2


Blog history


We cannot get rid of mankind’s fleetingly wicked wishes. We can get rid of the machines that make them come true.

I give you a holy word: DISARM.

–Kurt Vonnegut

Blog friday robot

Friday Robots

You may have noticed that Welcome to Falling Rock National Park has gone into Summer Rerun mode over at my website. The site that distributes Falling Rock goes on summer sabbatical because most subscribing newspapers are colleges: no students, no paper, no comics needed. It will return with a vengeance in the fall. I plan on filling the summer with drawings nonetheless. Friday Robots (and this here blog in general) will continue without interruption!

What I’d really like to know is, what would you be interested in seeing on my website or right here? I’ve stopped taking requests from the pervert: NO MORE PERVERTED REQUESTS, PERVERT. For the website, would you like reruns of really old episodes of Falling Rock? Or do you want to see the newest stuff? (You can also buy one of my books to relive Falling Rock hijinx!)

Onward and upward with the arts. Today’s hastily drawn Friday Robots:friday-robots-5-22-9

Blog reviews

it occurred to me

Venn Diagrams are a fun and easy way to compare things to other things. The average Venn Diagram looks a lot like this:venn-diagram

Where “One Thing” represents a thing of some kind, and “Another Thing” represents a thing of a different kind. The dark space in the center, where the circles intersect, represents what those two kinds of things have in common.

Usually the intersection is not large, but I think I found two things that have a very large intersection: people who are way into LEGOs, and people who love Star Wars.venn-diagram-lego-star-wars

My eureka moment came whilst strolling the aisles of BrickFest ’09, the annual LEGO celebration that happened to take place in Portland this year. Me, along with my friends Ian K. and Caitlin, were taking in the sights and noticed there were a disproportionate number of LEGO sets devoted to the Star Wars galaxy. Not only that, people had taken it upon themselves to build parts of the Star Wars galaxy that LEGO had not even thought of.

My hunch is that, on this planet, there exists an entire Star Wars galaxy in LEGO form. We did not see more than the tip of the iceburg at BrickFest. In the dens and basements of this dear world, boys and men (and maybe one or two women) have done what scientists deemed impossible: the creation of a universe within a planet. That universe is completely fictional, and it was built with colorful plastic blocks, but that should not diminish the importance of this effort.

LEGO Yoda would be proud.

autobiography Blog

what in the sam hill?

L1000836         Our trip to the Maryhill Art Museum was not all about bad peacocks. It was nothing less than a trip into Oregon’s peculiar history.L1000814

Oregon’s past is chock full of characters. Boogeymen, vampires, lumberjacks, Lewis & Clark: it took a special breed to brave the rain back before there was a single Fred Meyer grocery store. Sam Hill was one of these strange individuals.

Sam Hill was a visionary. It was his planning that brought the interstate west along the Columbia River. When lesser men said it couldn’t be done, Sam Hill got his own crew and began digging. When people scoffed “What in the Sam Hill is he up to?”, Mr. Hill proved that he was up to no less than the Future of Our State. When people said Portland couldn’t support a proffessional basketball team, Sam Hill played alone for eight years (his record in the league was 8-648). Sam Hill was truly one of the men who took a decagon and turned it into an Oregon.L1000813
After his work with the interstate was done, Sam Hill did not rest. No, he wanted nothing less than a house that would stand for 1,000 years after his death. Maryhill, situated in Washington overlooking Hill’s beloved interstate as well as the river, was built of concrete and steel beams and can withstand even the strongest gust of wind blowing through the Columbia Gorge. It is so safe that Dick “Nixon” Cheney used it as a hiding space when the terrorists wanted to kill him, and then again later when the hippies wanted to kill him.

Ironically, this safehouse to the conservative standard-bearer is located within eyesight of hundreds of windmills. One can only imagine Cheney’s rage when he would venture out of the bunker and see the enemy’s power source spinning in the breeze, mocking him mercilessly. It is said he still awakens from his sleep sweating and cursing windmills, ineffectually fending off the night-terrors.L1000822

Although Maryhill may be Dick Cheney’s worst nightmare, it is quite pleasant if you don’t hate nature or art. There is a beautiful sculpture garden in the shade of trees.L1000883

(Quantum Man)

(Taco Bell)L1000800

Inside there is even more art, if you can believe it. Sculptures by Rodin,L1000877
a variety of chess sets from across the globe,L1000869L1000862

and, of course, Hill’s magnificent gun collection. It is said he used these to ward off the zombie attacks Maryhill regularly endured in the 1920’s.L1000853There was more, but I ought to let that be a surprise. After all, what happens in Maryhill, stays in Maryhill.

If you’re up for a Portland day trip, if you like history and art and politics, then keep Maryhill near the top of your list. Just watch out for the peacocks.

autobiography Blog


You are looking at the face of evil.L1000780
Isis and I had planned on a peaceful picnic in the Columbia Gorge. All the omens seemed be in our favor: outside it was sunny without much wind, the traffic wasn’t bad on the way out of town, the blueberry muffins were on sale at the supermarket. It all seemed so perfect.L1000794

We opened our cooler at our selected table. Our picnic, which began so beautifully, was rudely interrupted by the ferocious lunch-stealer and her obnoxious boyfriend.L1000792
It was so bad we actually had to switch tables. Yet they followed us. The peafowl were not fooled by our rudimentary escape plan.

They didn’t say much, they just crept closer and closer until their beady black eyes stared directly into our very souls. “Give me some of your sandwich,” the peahen seemed to implore. “Surely you’re not going to eat it all.” I was going to eat it all, but my message did not penetrate her pea-brain.

Let this be a lesson, dear readers. Nature, as the Chaos Theory clearly states, will find a way. On this fateful day, nature clearly wanted this peahen and her peacock to eat our lunch. The only thing I can do is warn the rest of you to BE AWARE and, if you see this peahen, DO NOT eat a picnic lunch near her. The blogosphere is a useful communications tool, and I hereby invoke blogger solidarity to STAY AWAY from this peahen. I will post one more photo to make sure you know what she looks like.L1000789
Heart of darkness, dear readers. Heart of darkness.

This has been a public service announcement of Falling Rock National Blog.


Falling Rock Signposts

For those of you still unsure of Falling Rock’s authenticity as a National Park, I present these photographs as evidence. I can assure you my love of Photoshop knows no bounds.falling-rock-photo-sign2 falling-rock-photo-sign