Color Plate 11

Toads having muffins in their kitchen, with their adopted son, the ball player.

Well that was lucky. I had no real desire to see what kind of creatures were making that noise in the barn. The ballplayer’s dad was at the table looking at a big basket of muffins. Mom sat a mug across the table from him.

“Good morning, sir.” Good start, anyway. “Your son is a remarkable ball player.”

“He’s pretty remarkable at everything he tries. Thankfully he’s trying to help his family just now.”

“Is that why he has a job at the Inn?” I asked. I figured I’d jump right to it.

“Pretty much. It wouldn’t be what we’d chose if things were different. But they are what they are.” I would have asked a little more but the ballplayer came in with his little sister. They were a real team, the little one idolizing the big brother.

Rough, plate 10

Mouse winding up on the pitcher's mound, ready to hurl to a young frog batter while a cricket waits to fetch.

I picked up a ball and gave it a gentle, underhand toss right into the zone. She held the bat out, letting the ball hit it and bounce back to me. “That isn’t the way you teach pitching, is it, coach?”

She took her stance again, looked me right in the eye. I didn’t want to embarrass either of us with another soft pitch, so I wound up and let one fly towards an inside corner. It wasn’t my fastest pitch, but it had some pepper on it. She dropped her left shoulder a bit, started to crouch, then swung. There was a crack, and something flew by my left ear.

“Coach, we only have two balls. You have to catch them, or we’ll spend all our time in the woods looking for them.” I picked up the second ball and she took her stance. Her eyes didn’t leave mine. I took a few steps back so I’d have more time to react. This was a tough player. My eyes locked on hers. I wound up, then curved one over the outside rear corner. Or, at least, that’s where it was heading when she smacked it. It came back right in the same place as the last one, but I managed to get a glove up. It cracked into the glove. She was aiming her hit so I could catch it. I’ll be darn!

Mouse color plate 9

A young frog in a pink tee shirt probes a honey cell in a comb inside a bee hive.

“Careful, coach,” Hailey warned me, then came past me to grab a bundle of wooden slats. She unrolled it between the combs so it would provide a solid footing for me. “And this is the brace,” she said as she picked up a metal pole that I hadn’t seen. “Help me push this comb a bit,” she said as we both leaned on the same comb. It gave easily, swinging on some sort of pivot up at the top. The little tad dropped one end of the pole between a floor rod and the comb then let the comb swing back to rest against it. “That should make it easier!”

“Thanks! You really know what you’re doing in here don’t you?” She was ahead of me again. I hung back to watch. She picked up a long metal tube with a hose coming off one end. “Is that the ‘extractor’ your dad mentioned?”

“Yeah. We don’t have to pull anything into the tank. Just a little into the tube… like this.” She turned to the comb and found a spot to plunge the tube into. It seemed to sink in easily. Hailey smiled and pulled up a handle on top of a canister that I now saw the hose was attached to. Just that quick she pulled the tube back out and took a small tool of some sort and pushed the wax back in place. “Hold out a finger.”


A sans serif uppercase B with a lowercase e superimposed, both double stroked in white and black.

On May 31, there was a post from the Bellefonte School District on facebook.The district wanted to be able to trademark their “B” logo and requested the submission of a more ‘trademarkable’ letterform. They used a googledoc to convey the particulars for creating and submitting, and there’s also a link on the District homepage:

A classic sick Mac in a walker.

Opportunity to Brand the “B” Logo
The district has a Branding Committee and it is opening up the opportunity to staff and to the community to help brand the “B” logo. The current red “B” is not unique enough to be copyrighted. Therefore, the district would like a version created that can be copyrighted in the future. This opportunity was originally available to students at the middle school and high school levels, and now the Branding Committee would like renderings submitted from the community.

Please watch the following video for more information. You can find the form to submit a rendering in the description section of the video.

The committee allowed the inclussion of a one page artists statement, but I chose to let the work stand on its own. After all, it will have to. My rational, though is very simple. The District uses “Be” as a tag line on posters and web campaigns; as in “Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Kind…” There’s a list, but ultimately, the charge is “Be”. Just “Be”

So that’s it. I got rid of the clichéd slab serif, switched to a contemporary sans stroked for consistency, then superimposed one letter over the other to maintain the historic “B”. It includes a subtle Raider’s “R”.

I think it’s exactly what’s needed. We’ll see what the committee thinks.

Edit: October 6:

Just dawned on me that this might be better. Oh well. Too late.

A slab serif uppercase B with a lowercase e superimposed on an angle, both double stroked in white and black.

first birthday picture

Three lizards climbing on the deck, waiting for a friend to come out to play.

I’ve done over 30 birthday cards for my daughter. I recently found this- the first picture I did for her birthday when, I think, she was three. It wasn’t a card, though; it was a framed pastel. The actual card had only one lizard on it and a poem/riddle that spelled out her name. The first name is also written in chalk on the deck. Now, the cat in the window is long gone, the large maple growing through the deck is gone, the deck is collapsing and the yard is overgrown. Ah, time.

If it was not for an “E,” not an “r” or a “d,” I think a lizard you would have to be

for anne

Simple line drawing of a young girl cradling a book against the wind.

My intent was to run this every June, but with other things going on I forget. I make a drawing of my daughter at her current age every year on her birthday card. This is Anne Frank in a birthday remembrance that I did a few years ago showing Anne at roughly the age she’ll always be, wearing a detective’s outfit and cradling a book against the wind. Happy Birthday, young lady.