Rob's Blog

Archive for March, 2016

More artwork done! – March 31st, 2016

by on Mar.31, 2016, under What's New?

Got a bunch of artwork done tonight! Finished a painting, which I’ll show later after I scan it in. Started another painting and penciled & inked two Swampy’s Florida cartoons for this week.


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Book: ‘Jane Arden – Space Nurse’ by Kathleen Harris – March 31st, 2016.

by on Mar.31, 2016, under Books

Jane Arden, Space NurseJane Arden, Space Nurse by Kathleen Harris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This apparently continues from an earlier novel that I can’t seem to locate. One of the biggest troubles with this book is that author Harris expects you to have read the first. There are references at times that aren’t well explained, such as a mysterious farm her fiance has.

The story is pretty awful in writing and the conclusion very obvious. The dialogue is also simplistic with characters paper thin. There’s some mild excitement at points and a drifting romantic feel that never is much realized.

The Florida part: Outside of the Cape Canaveral air base part there is little resemblance of Florida outside of the names Cape Canaveral, Vero Beach, Palm Beach and Cocoa.

Where the book excels is the writing of the setting of the air base and the interwoven tale of the early days of the space program. From the Mercury Program to Gus Grissom, details are well described. Despite this:

Bottom line: I do not recommend this book. 3 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Out of the Depths’ by Leonard Holton – March 30th, 2016

by on Mar.30, 2016, under Books

Out of the DepthsOut of the Depths by Leonard Holton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first I’ve read of Father Bredder and I like the character a lot. Written with deep respect of the Catholic Church, molding the character with reserved humility and encasing the story as a Father might do themselves, the title, for instance. Doubt a mass market book like this could be published today.

The story is well plotted, though the mystery was obvious to me from the start. I believe the reason for this is the perspective of what has happened since this book was published in 1966. Curious if what was going on was obvious to others.

All of the characters are well described, if not too much so. For a short book of 157 pages the characters are well detailed. There are also other parts of the book that are very well handled from scuba diving to gardening. For a short book, this top notch author used a minimum of words to great effect.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 8 of 10 points.

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Retirement card for Rob Spindler! – March 30th, 2016

by on Mar.30, 2016, under What's New?


While working in the City of Orlando Planning Department I got to work with a really great crew. Certainly that included my supervisor, Jeff Parker. Another was Robert Spindler who was one who took over my position when I moved over to the Engineering Department.

Rob is amazing in that he could be asked to do a project, amidst a maelstrom of other projects, and has the unbelievable organizational skills to get the job done fast and accurately. Skills I wish I had.

Rob retired Tuesday from City Hall after 26 years.
Congratulations and Best wishes, Rob, during your retirement!


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My newest finished painting: Jumpy on the GreenWay – March 29th, 2016.

by on Mar.29, 2016, under Illusration, Swampy's Florida


Here’s a painting I finished last night. The painting is from a photograph I took along the Cross Florida Greenway hiking trail in Central Florida. Critters were added. This painting is part of my Swampy’s Floridqa collection.

Contact me if you are interested in getting one of these paintings for yourself!


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Getting artwork done during Easter! – March 28th, 2016

by on Mar.28, 2016, under Cartooning


Finished one painting, to be completely revealed later, and a great start on two more in just a few hours! Finished watercolor preparation and started painting a group illustration that features caricatures of a family involved in a football game. Another was penciling, preping and adding watercolor to a caricature of a child with their pet dog and video games and psychiatry! The third has to remain a mystery illustration including a caricature of a friend

Now on to home!

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Book: ‘Hostage Zero’ by John Gilstrap – March 27th, 2016

by on Mar.27, 2016, under Books

Hostage Zero (Jonathan Grave, #2)Hostage Zero by John Gilstrap
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The second part of the Jonathan Grave series is as much fun as the first. It is all a bit ridiculous and the story does take itself a bit too seriously, but it is fun to read. Gilstrap reminds me a bit of author James W. Hall.

The premise of a kidnapping and the pursuit is far more than any person might do with so little evidence to work from. Here the story takes a bad turn as so many characters who had been known to clam up, suddenly gush their stories. How benevolent for the story. Grave being wealthy to further manipulate the story in the direction it would be thought to go, is also far too convenient. Garve is almost Batman without the costume.

The settings are well described. Though there are a ton of troubles when the story moves to a point in South America. The rain forest jungles tumble away with ease to further the story’s obvious trajectory.

Gilstrap unfortunately took a number of easy ways out more than the first book, taking away some of the fun. No real twists and too much obvious. Despite all that the story is good and…

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 5 out of 10 points.

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Hiking Circle B Bar in Lakeland – March 27th, 2016

by on Mar.27, 2016, under Florida Outdoors!

Did some hiking earlier in Circle B Bar Reserve. Much more now and to come over at Swampy’s Florida.




Many thanks to my pals of many years, Russell and Alice Sue Noell for their hospitality this weekend. Great vittles and socializing! Another dear pal, Debbie Schafer, called while I was there exclaiming, “You’re socializing!!??!” It is an unusual occurrence.

Right now dashing off some artwork before I get home!

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Caricatures in Auburndale! – March 27th, 2016

by on Mar.27, 2016, under Caricatures, Cartooning

Been doin’ that interactive illustrative life coaching thing this evening! A return visit for this family event. Great folks that included fellow civil servants, educators and an opportunity to get some nifty photos of a really cool historic home, now hair salon, I’ve wanted to get closeup photos of in St. Cloud!


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Man in the Swamp Report – Friday Project Report & Other Silliness! – March 25th, 2016

by on Mar.25, 2016, under What's New?

People have been asking where else they can see me speak and be ridiculous. So, this is the first of a weekly series of videos showing projects I’m working on, how I create them and even some showing me actually producing the art. A bit of Easter good cheer thrown in, also. smile emoticon

By the way, if you would like me to create a painting for you or other artwork, let me know!

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