Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Howdy All -- Catchup with those Fries?

Morning, all, and sorry I've been away.

It's been a long week or so. We've had some computer and internet woes amidst total preoccupation with all things related to the move -- including buying the new house and starting the process of selling our current Marlboro home -- on top of the day jobs and daily duties, so apologies, but it's been, ah, overwhelming, to say the least.

There's much to report, but little time to get it down for you.

Let's see, though "I'll have mine" soon (high-speed internet access, that is, in Windsor), it's been important to me to responsibly transition out of the nine months of labor (what, no contractions yet?) on getting some or any form of high-speed broadband internet access for Marlboro. I'm happy to report that the months of work on the behalf of the entire committee just this past week yielded a $50,000 state grant for Marlboro; it was the efforts of Patrick Moreland initially and Jane Wilde and Tom Lowell in the home stretch that landed this grant, and it's a great accomplishment -- though it's a drop in the bucket in terms of what Marlboro and the neighboring towns will need to accomplish the goal of high-speed internet for all. Cable, Verizon, etc. are clearly not options, so it'll be towers, antennae, repeaters and such to accomplish the task in Marlboro's rugged terrain. Still, a very significant milestone, this, and a good grace note to depart from the process, knowing seed money is at last in place. Now the real work begins -- but for Marlboro as a town, not ol' Bissette, who's bound for new horizons in just a couple of weeks.


This past Friday, Marge and I closed on the loan necessary to the new home purchase, and the closing on the Windsor house (if all things fall into place) is a mere week away. With that at hand, we've been busily packing and moving daily -- the most momentous moving day thus far was
  • the weekend we had help from Center for Cartoon Studies students (photos posted here by lanky Joe Lambert, who is a godlike being).

  • It's a process which we'll be repeating soon for one last haul before the real movers show up after Christmas; Marge cooked up a hell of a meal for all involved and we paid for gas, so it's not slave labor or anything (next session, I'm cooking up a massive batch of home-made pancakes and more for the students helping; grub is a necessity!). My son Dan has been pitching in, too, and we put in an evening together of box-hauling and packing just last night.

    We've still got a long way to go, though, and a short time to get there...


    There's also been some quiet resolution to the Dave Sim exchange,
  • over here on Dave Sim's new blog.
  • Wow, Dave blogging -- it is the 21st Century.

    For those of you blissfully unaware of this exchange, the
  • bombshell hit over here on Al Nickerson's Creator Rights site,
  • way back in June, and
  • my reply is posted here, on the same site.

  • I waited the summer to post for a couple reasons: I wanted to think through my response and not respond out of anger or a defensive position; I wanted to see if anyone else would weigh in (I love how those who chide me at times about these matters simply never engage, especially when it could make a difference); and I wanted to be sure Dave had nothing more to add or say on the matter. That said, this all worked out for the best in the end.

  • The recap and highlights are posted here, though, for easy digestion.

  • A little context: Dave and I go waaaaaaay back, this latest exchange continuing a conversation begun in, oh, 1984. Dave and I have never backed away from confrontational conversation, even if it sometimes takes years to sort things out. And Dave, like Rick Veitch, can say any damned thing they'd like about me, having known me and put up with my bullshit for decades now, through thick and thin (that doesn't mean I don't reply when they're talking shit, mind you -- and Dave was most certainly talking shit).

    This feels like a resolution, and I'm happy about that.

    Nice to have this behind me, too, before the new phase in my life begins.

    I see the move to Windsor providing a geographic transition point to the emotional/creative changes ahead.

    It's all a big adventure, really.


    Time's up for this morning.

    I have a mega-full day ahead, teaching at CCS and prepping for tomorrow's CCS sessions, too.

    BTW, we of the CCS had a great week past, including
  • an amazing morning drawing session at the Quechee, VT VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) Raptor Center, drawing a half-dozen birds-of-prey from life (photos posted here by jangly Joe Lambert).

  • This was a truly excellent life-drawing session, which I put together with the good folks at VINS, especially Karen Keane, Teresa Mitchell and Amala Posey (who is the bird handler in the photos Joe's posted, and was the most gracious and informative host imaginable), and the blessings of James Sturm and Michelle Ollie at CCS -- and I'll find a way to post my drawings here soon.

    I'm honestly stunned that we were the first drawing class to arrange such a session with VINS; I mean, Dartmouth is just across the river. I'm the first drawing instructor to think of this and act on it? Well, there ya go -- another CCS innovation!

    is an amazing resource, and we were privileged to have this kind of access to such amazing birds. Having the chance to sketch owls (two species), hawks, kestrels and a full-grown Turkey Buzzard in a classroom setting was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I'm determined to make not-once-in-a-lifetime. This needs to be an annual or every-semester event!

    It was also a natural progression from our earlier fall drawing session at the likewise-nearby Montshire Science Museum; both experiences, I feel, provide eye/heart/mind-opening experiences for young artists and cartoonists.

    And we geezer cartoonists can use the shot of adrenaline, too, this brings.

    OK, I gotta run -- more later, best to y'all --