Rob's Blog

Archive for August, 2017

I’ve been drawing… a lot! – August 28th, 2017

by on Aug.29, 2017, under Illusration

Hunkered down for hours and inked 24 illustrations. Deadline looming and I’m chugging hard to it. Gotta work around performing an event in Tampa Wednesday, Dade City on Friday and Melbourne on Sunday. Very busy week ahead.

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I’ve been drawing Santa Claus… – August 27th, 2017

by on Aug.27, 2017, under Cartooning, Illusration

Today started with me feeling like I got out of the wrong side of the planet. I so very much planned and wanted to go see my friend, musician, cartoonist Roy Schneider perform today in Winter Park, Florida. It was even per chance organized by fellow former Orlando City Hall colleague SusieCool Foster-Trewick, who is also a musician.

But the realities of getting projects done and the deadlines involved did me in. That and the mortgage payment due in days. I had a LOT to draw and little time to do it in. So, instead of south to Winter Park, I headed north to Gainesville to a place that has consistently been a location I get tons done and done pretty well: Lollicup.

Why do I even bother to try and draw anywhere else? What the heck is it about this place? I have no idea. But I got it all done with time to spare.

I also went in clouded in a surly mood. About an hour later a dose of Lollicup frozen coffee drink and a combo of Frank, Dean, Sammy and I was brightened again.

I’ll return in a day or so to ink and then there’s all to color in the studio.

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I’ve been drawing kitties! – August 26th, 2017

by on Aug.26, 2017, under Cartooning, Illusration

I’m working on another puppy book. this one for Christmas. Lots of puppy drawings to come!

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Book: ‘Leader as Coach’ by David B. Peterson – August 26th, 2017

by on Aug.26, 2017, under Books

Leader as CoachLeader as Coach by David B. Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Leader as Coach’ is geared to those in managerial positions at white colored businesses. It could be read by anyone, setting aside all of the managerial advice. This book would also be good for those going into business coaching.

The writers are very thorough in mapping out a plan to make the reader a greater leader and coach. Most books of this type tend to spew out words and move on. This one checks you many times throughout in many ways. Though not obviously. Great for motivation.
The book looks short & simple, but care should be taken to have a note pad ready and to set aside the book and work on what is presented. Otherwise, this book may not have the results it could for the reader who tries to just read through it.

A drawback is the layout. It’s way, way too stylish and type font, colors, text size, text setting are all wrong. Those with any eye problems will have trouble getting through the book and may end up with a headache. Who had the idea was it to have text laid in with white and gold???? Might look good from a world view. But extremely stupid from a practical view. The layout also makes it very hard to mark passages.

Bottom line: I recommend this book: 7 out of ten points.

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Book: ‘End Game’ by John Gilstrap – August 22nd, 2017

by on Aug.22, 2017, under Books

End Game (Jonathan Grave #6)End Game by John Gilstrap
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘End Game’ is probably best of the series I’ve read in order. This is book 6 of the Jonathan Graves series.

Though the premise is familiar, child needs saving from really bad guys, this book had extra layers built in far more plausible than other in the Gilstrap series. I really like the last part involving a street gang and how their turf has been crossed too many times. The bad guys are also deftly folded into the story.

The best part of the book is how exciting it all is. Gilstrap kept me ripping through pages to see just how one challenge after the other would bring me to a successful -How could it be?- conclusion. The book is VERY well planned, plotted and assembled. Nicely done.

Bottom line: I recommend this book: 9 out of ten points.

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The death of Jerry Lewis – August 20th, 2017

by on Aug.20, 2017, under Celebrity Illustrations

Most in my age group did not grow up with Jerry Lewis. I did. From my youngest days I took in Lewis and Martin films. I admit I’m more of a fan of Dino, but Lewis had a large impact, too.

While many young people my age in the ’70s were watching media more risque and serious, i was laughing. There was more than Martin and Lewis. The Marx Brothers were a big part of it, too. Also, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Debbie Reynolds, Danny Kaye, Doris Day, etc., etc. It was great to grow up with them all. It was rather solitary. None of my family were interested and no one in school knew what I was chattering about. It was all just fun for me. I figure whatever sense of humor I have is thanks to taking in those early films. The Marx Brothers and Dean and Jerry especially.

Of course, most all were familiar with Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Telethons each Labor Day weekend. Each raised incredible sums for research. Each also was a vast showcase for a large variety of entertainment. I believe those of the last half of the century knew Lewis more for the telethon than any other media he’s done.

Lewis did so much more than telethons. There were the 17 films with Dean Martin, the Colgate Comdey hours and other radio programs and television. After Lewis and Martin split, Jerry went on to make 40 more films up to the year ago. Lewis even had a hit record with ‘Rock-a-bye My Baby’. He was a media whirlwind continuously between 1949 to about 1970.

After ’70 Lewis was older and the ’60s had altered American tastes. His films were harder to finance and he had more trouble making them. Though he continued to produce films he never hit a stride he seemed to aim for and Woody Allen has accomplished of a film a year for almost 50 years.

It was around 1980 when i read ‘Everybody Loves somebody (Especially himself)’ by Arthur Marx (Groucho’s son). The book is about Martin and Lewis and their time in entertainment. Marx wrote of Lewis being a control freak and insufferable during during the entire filming process. He also wrote of Lewis’ office in the ’60s. It was set a foot off the floor so Lewis could look down on anyone in the room. Lewis would also bring in his old shirts, socks and underwear into the office and lay them across the floor. he would then invite staff members in to take whatever they could use. Marx’s book really turned me off to Lewis and have never forgotten it. Along the way Lewis apologized for so much he did earlier in his career to the point of nausea. I believe he meant it.

Lewis admitted to some of his meglo-manical past. At one point he was writing, producing, directing and sweeping the studio floor. Along the way he also developing filming techniques that broke new ground and still used today. The first film Lewis directed (and wrote and starred in), ‘The Bellboy, was entirely assembled in Miami Beach and filmed at the legendary, and original, Fontainbleu Hotel. It was a pioneering effort as Lewis broke ground using video assisting equipment so that director Lewis could watch that actor Lewis was correctly performing Lewis’s script. If i recall correctly, Lewis wrote the script in weeks and rewrote during production and the entire film was shot in a month. For Florida, the Bellboy is a video tour of the magnificent Fontainbleu on Miami Beach. The hotel has been severely changed and ‘the Bellboy’ forever preserves memories of magnificent architecture.

Lewis also took the stage. that is where i got to see him closest. While performing in ‘Damn Yankees’, the play stopped in Oralndo, Florida, at the bob Carr Auditorium. I got a hell of a seat in the second row that was as much the front row. The play was amazing. best was, during intermission, Lewis coming from behind the curtain doing about 15 minutes about himself and just to joke around. An incredible night!

As the years went on it was realized this comedy legend might live forever. In December 2015 media host Raymond Arroyo did, in my opinion, the best interview i’ve heard with Jerry Lewis. One of the best i’ve heard with any celebrity. Though Arroyo is a bit fawning, Lewis opens up about everything. It is very revealing and cane be found here: https://youtu.be/sGmyHivWyN8

It is very sad today to learn about Jerry Lewis’s death. One of the greatest clowns ever has darkened the stage.

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I’ve been drawing life enhancing caricatures in Ocala! – August 17th, 2017

by on Aug.18, 2017, under Caricatures

I’ve been sick this past week and worked to get better for work to do and two events Thursday and Saturday.

I was fortunate to draw for an assisted living facility Thursday. As always, i hear so many wonderful stories. Here are a few and their stories….

A note of the photographs: Had something fading out most all I took. Sorry about that.

Kathryn long hauled bananas for a couple decades back when few women were on the road in a cab by themselves for days on end. These days she crochets.

Gloria’s family goes back, far, far back in Florida history. Family owns or lives on the islands in the Suwanee River. She isn’t able to get back into the Florida wilds she loves and misses fishing. These days she likes to play the organ.

Jessie is a Scottish lassie who loves cards and clowning around. Even her brightly colored attire reflects her playful fun.

Earl is full Cherokee. He mentioned his displeasure with how things have turned out for the Cherokee. Otehrwise, Earl struggles with what to say and his memory. I have him in the early 1800s in Tennessee approaching an American Army encampment.

Debbie has a number of things she likes to do, like reading romances. She also loves watching old western TV programs, like Maverick, Laramie, Tales of the Wells Fargo, etc.

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Book: ‘Everglades Assault’ by Randy Wayne White – August 17th, 2017

by on Aug.17, 2017, under Books

Everglades AssaultEverglades Assault by Randy Striker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another of the seven MacMorgan action novels Randy White wrote before taking off with his Doc Ford series. This is very tight and reeking of formula. Nothing surprising or much of anything to make this stand out. Very disappointing is the ending which is an oft repeated ending in Florida novels. ‘

White’s characters are good. The settings are the best of the book and the only parts really worth reading.

Bottom line: i don’t recommend this book. 5 out of ten points.

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Book: ‘The Case for Impeachment’ by Allan J. Lichtman – August 15th, 2017

by on Aug.15, 2017, under Books

The Case for ImpeachmentThe Case for Impeachment by Allan J. Lichtman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I should first note: A friend wanted me to read this and I agreed to.

Lichtman does a fine job laying out why he thinks Obama should be impeached….oh, did I write Obama?…Well, he does that, too, unknowingly….Impeach Trump is what i meant to write. The writer goes chapter after chapter after chapter with well thought out reasoning. Lots of supporting data is included along with footnotes to support the writer’s reasons for impeachment of president Trump.

The writer includes much background of past impeachments and other historical information that help support his viewpoint. One huge qualm i have is one cannot compare the effort to impeach Andrew Johnson and Trump. could not be more different circumstances.

There are many drawbacks. First of all is that the writer reaches too far too often. Most of his claims are based upon what he writes as “lies”. Lie has becoming a mighty subjective term as late and this fellow is unforgiving involving misstatements and bravado, arguably Trump’s largest problem. Many of the “lies” would never hold up involving impeachment. Or else every politician and realtor with be in court for treason.

I find his part of Trump’s real estate games are taken apart as reasons for impeachment. Is there a realtor alive, who makes a living, that doesn’t platy the game Trump does of bending reality for a sale? I know of none and one reason i don’t tend to care for realtors and developers.

His climate change ideas are preposterous. To impeach Trump would first demand China’s dictator’s be deposed, based upon his arguments. America is the ultimate treehugger compared to most of the rest of the world. That and you can’t convict Trump for actions developed over two centuries of America as the author writes.

The writer get into the Russian hacking as reasoning for impeachment. Trouble is the only true evidence involving Russian hacking involves e-mails revealing the head of the DNC, Debbie Schultz, John Podesta, etc. worked to undermine their Democrat electorate and force them to regard a candidate who lost. Go for impeachment and that is what will be the response.

He goes on for pages about a temporary ban of countries that Obama wanted banned, too. He coulda left out the entire chapter. Can’t impeach a president when the previous president wanted the same thing.

The writer wraps up with his ideas as to how Trump could clean up his act. Trump should pay attention to that part.

Overall, this is a very good effort, despite my vast disagreements.

Bottom line: i recommend this book – For those looking for such ideas or wanting to read a differnet viewpoint. 6 out of ten points.

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Book: ‘Hunted Like a Wolf: The Story of the Seminole War’ by Milton Meltzer – August 13th, 2017

by on Aug.13, 2017, under Books

Hunted Like a Wolf: The Story of the Seminole WarHunted Like a Wolf: The Story of the Seminole War by Milton Meltzer
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Absolute rubbish. Rare that I’ll be that blunt. but, this deserves it. The book claims to be “THE story of the Seminole War”. This is political commentary with a very abbreviated, narrow view of the Seminole War.

Extract the commentary and the history might make up 50 pages. And the only history told is to support the commentary. So much is left out, that if the commentary is taken out, the story wouldn’t make sense. General known history of the war is here. But so much is not! Most all of those who commanded are brushed by. Hard to do with Scott and Jesup, but this guy manages to do it. That leaves out so much why the US took certain actions. The writers fills in with his political theories. Not history, but theories. Why waste time with documentation when you can make it up with theories? This volume is full of it. All blasting from a narrow minded political view of war.

That is THEE problem with this book. The writers slanted view point. This book should be titled as the writer’s commentary and political viewpoint of the Florida Seminole War and how horrible America is. The entire book is a treatise of America being a horrible country trying to take over the world. Could America have handled the indian issue better? Sure. But that should be examined not as history, but as opinion.

Take the line,”For once, the whites found it expedient to tell the truth.” (Page 86). There’s plenty of documentation that “whites”, whoever they are – I’ll suppose Americans, told the “truth”. His writing declare “whites” only told the “truth” once. That is not history. that is opinion!

Take page 52 where the writer states the settlers felt a need for “security”, writer’s words. Then the writer proceeds to disseminate why security was needed and how dare settlers ask for it and so on. Along the way bashing people’s faith. Opinion, not history.

The page preceding, 51, has this, “Florida belongs to us, they said, the way a foot belongs to a leg. We have a “right” to it.” – His writing. From there he writes how wrong he feels his interpretation of his writing of their thinking he assumes he thinks he knows. What???? No history here.

Interesting is that this 1972 books is peppered with words, human rights, refugees, white invaders, etc., are all political buzzwords found part of a certain mentality today.

I knew i was in trouble as the writers extensively used “white invaders” over and over and over and over again. This guy has a political ax to grind and this is his treatise of his hate of white people…and cloaked in it all, a lot of others, too – If i may leave MY opinion.

Bad title, bad history, opinion that does not belong….

Bottom line: i strongly do not recommend this book. 0 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Seminole: A Novel of Osceola’ by Theodore Pratt – August 11th, 2017

by on Aug.11, 2017, under Books

Seminole: A Novel of OsceolaSeminole: A Novel of Osceola by Theodore Pratt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pratt assembles this tale of Osceola based upon much that has been recorded. He gets a lot of the non-fiction right, but his fictional parts don’t pull it all together well.

The historical accuracy of much of the book is very accurate. From the killing of Wiley Thompson to his wife Morning Dew to the Green Corn Dance. To create his book, Pratt ads Gideon Sauny to intertwine in Osceola’s life to tell Osceola’s story. However, Pratt stumbles involving dialogue of Osceola and Gideon. Painting Osceola as such a stoic creature and then throwing that all away to fit Gideon doesn’t ring true. Or I could write Pratt’s writings sound like that of a white man. The entry of Gideon into the Green Corn Dance, despite the story, is unbelievable. Then there’s a whole thing of Prat trying to wrap up the book and this sends Gideon on a ridiculous trip and another unlikely conclusion.

The writing is not as good as other Pratt books. The writing is also far below similar work by Frank Slaughter.

The settings are very well written. Pratt does an excellent job letting readers know where they are in Florida. This is a tremendous help in orienting other activity in the book.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend the book. 5 out of ten points.

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