Rob's Blog

August 14th, 2014 – Book: ‘The Garner Files’ by James Garner.

by on Aug.14, 2014, under Books

The Garner Files: A MemoirThe Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can hear James Garner’s voice as you read this book. As he relates stories of film and TV it’s clear that the stories are coming from him.

The book is well written obviously thanks to the co-writer. Parts of Garner’s life as broken into bits that have a logical order. Maybe a bit too organized. Though I like the last few pages where Garner comments through a specific list of his film career, it does also feel a bit micro-manages, too. I am glad the golfing and racing parts are delineated. That way, i can write here, if you don’t care for racing and golf, avoid these chapter. Garner gets into a lot of detail about each. Especially in the racing section about cars and tracks and all. I would alert any racing fan you know to pick up the book for just that chapter, in that it has a lot of trivia they are bound to enjoy.

There are quite a number of admissions in the book. These days such confessions don’t mean much in a coarse world, but would’ve made headlines twenty years ago.

Any movie buff will love many details revealed here. Unlike some more recent celebrity volumes, this one has only short trivial mentions as compared to lengthy stories.

Leaving the book, you will have a very complete view of Garner’s life. i knew it so well going into the book, that it’s a bit hard what to write and not write about parts of this book.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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August 12th, 2014 – On the #drawing board: Patriotic Caricatures!

by on Aug.13, 2014, under Caricatures


This couple is very patriotic and that was amongst the list of individual likes provided. After pencils and prep for ink, I watercolored the artwork before it was mailed to them.

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August 11th, 2014 – Book: ‘Last Train to Woodstock’ by Colin Dexter.

by on Aug.11, 2014, under Books

Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse, #1)Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is what a mystery should be. Baffling throughout. I should go back and drop star for other mysteries I’ve logged into here.

If only the rambling messes being published today could be so smart. Police/detective work is nearly entirely research and hypothesis. So many dead ends. This does a terrific job of relating the job. The main characters have their service jobs and making the most of them. The writing of the police procedure is excellent.

This is my first Colin Dexter book and I really like his pacing of the story. There’s so much going on. Dexter has laid out so many leads for the characters and the readers. Some go places and some do not. Wonderful handling of all that!

Bottom line: I recommend this book!

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August 7th, 2014 – On the #drawing board: Fundraising for children in Ocala!

by on Aug.08, 2014, under Caricatures


Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection teamed up with The Ivy House in Ocala to raise funds for children in threatening environments. I was there drawing a bit to help add to the funds. The photo is of Daniel who is mighty bright 27 year old. Had a great conversation about the philosophical ideas of mathematics. With him is his mother who runs Kimberly’s and was coordinating the event.

While visiting Ocala, I highly recommend a stop at The Ivy House. outstanding food at moderate prices in the ambiance of and outstanding 1890 house.

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On the #Drawing Board: Illustrating Springs Experts at our event Tuesday night, ‘Sacred Springs’.

by on Aug.06, 2014, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Illusration


I was part of the symposium about our Florida springs Tuesday night, named ‘Sacred Springs’. I was setup in the front of the auditorium and illustrated each speaker as they did their presentations to the audience. There were nine speakers this time and I couldn’t finish them all at the event. In the next couple weeks I’ll share some of the watercolor paintings I worked on. I didn’t get to finish as many as in other symposiums due to the limited time and the amount of speakers. I’ll be going back to finish the paintings.

‘Sacred Springs’ was a gathering of experts of our Florida springs. Speakers included Johm Moran, Dr. Robert Knight, of the Springs Institute; Guy Warwick, the Felburn Foundation; Jim Stevenson, Wakulla Springs Alliance; Doug Ray, Ocala Star-Banner & Gainesville Sun; Ryan Smart, Florida Conservation Coalition; Karen Ahlers, Florida Defenders of the Environment and Whitey Markle, Suwanee-St. Johns Sierra Club & Florida troubadour.

A surprise audience member was former Governor Buddy MacKay.

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August 4th, 2014 – On the #Drawing Board: Swampy Days!

by on Aug.04, 2014, under Cartooning, What's New?


In the past week I’ve been illustrating the celebratory days of the week. For example Tuesday is ‘Work Like a Dog Day’. My art for that is on the upper left. Click here to learn what that is about.

Swing over to the Swampy’s Florida website and watch the rest of the artwork turn into color. Return each day so you can know what to celebrate each day on the Swampy’s Florida website or the Swampy’s Florida Facebook page.


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August 3rd, 2014 – On the Drawing board – Swampy Characters.

by on Aug.04, 2014, under Cartooning, Swampy's Florida


Time for me to get back to “On the Drawing Board”. Sure motivated me to get more artwork done. This is for the Swampy website to help explain the characters. Been meaning to do this for a long time and a conversation with friend Cheryl Otero and listening in on motivator Bob “The Teacher” got me to set some other art aside and get this done. First met Bob over five years ago during the great Ken MacArthur’s motivating conference.

Clcik here to see where I used this artwork on the Swampy’s Florida website.

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July 31st, 2014 – Book: ‘Invasion U.S.A.: Border War’ by William Johnstone.

by on Jul.31, 2014, under Books

Border War (Invasion USA, #2)Border War by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Invasion U.S.A.: Border War” is the second book of, so far, a two book series. This second book is far superior to the first, that is also very good. This one is far better written with a much more involved plot.

Whereas teh first was chock full of gun play and explosions, this one is handled very differently. There’s more setup to explain the gun play and explosions. With the more involved plot there are more involved characters. Something the Johnstone Clan excels at is characterization. That occurs here even better than the first book.

This one does have less tension with the first. i was literally on teh edge of my seat with the first. This one I had to read much more carefully as the plot unfolded in more intricate and well written detail.

Wondered about giving it five stars, but the writing isn’t up to the par of a Faulkner or Slaughter.

Bottom line: i recommend this book.

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July 30th, 2014 – Phil Silvers & Shelly Winters.

by on Jul.30, 2014, under Caricatures, Cartooning


While working on my Thursday editorial cartoon, ‘Bouno Sera, Mrs. Campbell’ was on Turner Classic Movies. i got a hankering to draw Phil Silvers trying to explain a sticky predicament he was in involving Shelly Winters. I went ahead and added color and there it is above.

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July 28th, 2014 – Book: ‘Invasion U.S.A.’ by William Johnstone.

by on Jul.28, 2014, under Buddies

Invasion USA (Invasion USA, #1)Invasion USA by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first of a very short Johnstone Clan series of two books, this one and ‘Border War’. This one has in it what the Johnstone Clan does best: Creating a well developed series of characters the reader cares about. It amazes me the scores of characters I’ve read about in the many Johnstone Clan books and how very few are similar. Really quite extraordinary.

The bad guys, on the other hand, can tend to be similar in the books I’ve read. The bad guys in this one are similar to a number of others in previous books.

The story unfolds and takes a few directions i didn’t see coming. No twist in the story, but, as can happen in Johnstone Clan books, characters do things and things happen to them that really moves the story and makes it even more intriguing.

The ending is not all that unexpected, but still satisfying. I’m going to straight to book 2 of the series.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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July 27th, 2014 – Book: ‘Florida Land of Images’ by Nixon Smiley.

by on Jul.27, 2014, under Books

Florida, Land Of ImagesFlorida, Land Of Images by Nixon Smiley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nixon Smiley has collected a series of informative essays of various historical markers in Florida history. Each is very well written and most provide a very good back story to the points in history. I wish he had more details not otherwise found in so many other volumes, but I’m not sure how unique this book was when this book was published in 1972.

There are certainly better books that cover the material here more thoroughly, but this is a nice volume to introduce people to our fantastic Florida history.

The illustrations by Bob Lamme are very good.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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