Friday, February 20, 2009


This is a drawing that I did today based on a doodle from a few days ago. Illustration Friday has the topic of the day of "Instinct". Certainly instinct plays a critical role in skiing along with refelexes, coordination, judgement (or lack thereof for barrelling down a mountain on skis at bone breaking speeds at my age) and a Jedi like ability to control your fear. This self portrait was done in my usual style with Higgins India ink and a #1 American Painter brush.

Update: Watercolor coloring applied to reprint of original drawing.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

House of Superman

10622 Kimberly Ave., Cleveland, OH 44108
The boyhood and young adult home of Jerry Siegel, the writing half of Siegel and Shuster, creators of the most iconic superhero ever created, Superman. Is there anybody at all who has not heard of this fictional character? Well, I happened to be driving through Cleveland yesterday and decided to have a look at this place where one of the greatest characters of fiction was created.
It was then, and still is, a hard scrabble neighborhood in a beat up area of the city. Certainly, young Jerry must have been inspired by his surroundings to create a hero that could transcend these squalid streets and elevate his imagination to a higher plain. A place where Truth, Justice, and the American way prevailed. It is little wonder why his imagination transported him to this wonderful realm of fantasy. "Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's SUPERMAN!
Superman's house. As you can see, the current owner has tried to keep with the color of Superman's costume. You have the light blue reflected in the porch and gable, red trim, and yellow in the middle. There is a construction dumpster in the driveway, so evidently they are renovatting. It is fitting that such a historic place is not left to rot like so many things in our throwaway culture. Unforunately, it appears that they have a ways to go...

The house next door needs much more work to be presentable.

The street .

H/T to Daniel Best for the address.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Bristol Mountain, NY

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to ski Bristol Mountain in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. I was there in Syracuse on business and brought my skis for this side trip.
It was a little pricey ($50 for a 4 hour lift ticket), but the skiing was definitely worth it. With a vertical of over 1200 feet, it easily beats anything in Michigan, even in the UP.
It was a great experience, and a great way to further hone my skiing skills on some challenging runs. Even though it is a beginner run, their longest run "Milky Way" is over two miles long and took me over 7 minutes to get to the bottom, or three songs on the Ipod.

"Comet" was a double black diamond run that I enjoyed because it is by far the hardest run I have ever skied. It was extremely steep with large moguls and some sheet ice thrown in for extra terror! My skis were sideways and I was still going 35 mph! (Sorry, too busy not getting killed to take a pic!)

For skiing newbies, the trail color code is:
Blue- more difficult
Black (1 diamond)-most difficult
Black (2 diamonds)-extremely difficult
Black (three diamonds)-experts only

These are two snowscupltures made by the lift operators. The shark had a really cartoony face but since I was loading on the lift I really couldn't get a detailed pic.

Bristol Mountain trail map.