Archive for the ‘Family’ Category


Mom and Sam

December 31, 2017

Saying goodbye at the Albany airport on December 26th.






The present of the future

December 19, 2017

This is quite possibly the coolest gift I’ve ever received.

What you’re seeing and hearing in that video is a Fisher-Price Music Box-Record Player from the 1970s … playing a custom 3D-printed toy record of a song I wrote about the birth of my younger son.

My wife used a free software program to create a music-box-style arrangement of the song and create a SCAD file. Then she used a different free program, OpenSCAD, to create an STL file that could be 3D-printed.

And how did she know how to do all this? She followed the directions in a hobbyist’s blog post, of course.



On gentleness

November 26, 2017

If you can, be kind;
If not, at least be gentle.
Both are goals to keep in mind,
But only one is fundamental.

Personally, I think of kindness as positive support of others, and gentleness as an avoidance of negative words and actions.

On my good days, I try to be kind. When I am sleep-deprived and/or stressed out, I ask myself only to be gentle. This mindset is obviously not the stuff of sainthood, but it’s a way to get through the day.

This Thanksgiving weekend, I am feeling thankful for, among other things, a wife who is especially gentle, and a son who has made excellent progress in this area. (I’m referring to the 11-year-old, not the 10-month-old, who mostly ignores our frequent exhortations to “Be gentle!”)

Even gentleness can be irksome sometimes. For many years, I sort of turned up my nose at “Run gently out there,” the sign-off of Whidbey Island runner John Morelock in his many Internet posts and columns for UltraRunning magazine.

For me, running is first and foremost about self-improvement and competition rather than the community and the environment. I mostly aspire to run swiftly, boldly, determinedly, etc. “Gently” is not among my top 10 running-related adverbs.

Presumably, though, John wanted people to be gentle (when running) more or less in the way that I want to be gentle (when not running). In any case, if there was an appropriate time to debate his diction, that time has passed. John died of abdominal cancer on February 5th.

Rest gently, John Morelock.


SJZC #14: “Sammy the Sea Lion”

August 29, 2017

SJZC 14: a poem


SJZC #13: “Prodigy”

August 8, 2017



SJZC#12: “Parents’ Night Out, Part 2: Karaoke!”

July 23, 2017

SJZC 12: parents' night out, part 2: karaoke


SJZC #11: “Parents’ Night Out”

July 22, 2017

SJZC 11: parents' night out


SJZC #10: “A Visit from Tom’s Cousins”

July 21, 2017

SJZC 10: a visit from Tom's cousins


SJZC #9: “The Appellation Trail”

July 17, 2017

This episode represents the very first idea I had for the comic.



SJZC #8: “Small Packages”

July 16, 2017