Thought Provoking Award

I was nominated for a Thought Provoking Award by How To: Dating Twenty Men. I like the idea of being thought provoking, but I’ll settle for simple provocation any day. For some readers, I’m simply insulting (and I delete their comments). I am often surprised by this because it take a lot for me to become insulted, so I’m now surprised when someone goes around being insulting and doing a bit of trolling. That’s what YouTube and the forum sites are for. I do like the idea of thought provoking. I listen to the TED talks and they are thought provoking. I listen to video feeds while I draw from the different cable News Programs. Often they are thought provoking. MSNBC & Fox News are just provoking (and quite insulting to the intellect).

So, to say the least, I like the idea of being Thought Provoking. So, How To:, thank you very much for this award. I appreciate it and the intent.

So, the requirements:

1) Thank the person who nominated you and write a blog about it.

2) Share seven things about yourself.

3) Pass the award to five blogs you enjoy.

4) Post the image on your blog.

Seven Things:

This is hard, because my about page is fairly thorough and quite huge (and heavy handed).

1) I don’t blog & cartoon about some issues because they are excluded by one of my favorite people, Laura Hamblin Ph.D. at Utah Valley University. She won’t let her freshmen students write about them in her English 1010 or 2010 classes or her Ethics & Values classes. The subjects are so controversial, they always alienate and/or intimidate other students; there is generally very little scholarly work available for these subjects and student papers about these subjects tend to be quite cliche. Interestingly enough, these are often the popular subjects that drive American political parties: abortion, gay rights, religious freedom of or from and globalization being four examples. She has several others she will not allow in class.

2) I haven’t eaten kimchee in over a year.

3) I just watched The Help for the first time and so just went and made corn pone.

4) I have recently been trying to figure out how I can store one year’s supply of food in my one bedroom.

5) I think this election year is very devoid of humor, but is filled with hatred and a mutual-refusal to listen to the other side. Both political parties are equally guilty.

6) I am very ready for Football!!! Go BYU!

7) Substitute teaching this week was very fun. I am still primarily working at Central Utah Enterprises, a transition center for cognitive-disabled adults. I will be working at other schools later on and will be able to blog about them. The legal requirements for blogging about teenagers are very simple compared to blogging about the disabled if you are not their immediate family.

8) I love flying. I haven’t flown anywhere since my last trip to San Fransisco five years ago. I drove to San Diego twice in the last year, but I want to fly someplace.

9) I can count, but I don’t like to.

Passing Along:

I like the idea of passing an award along as opposed to nominating. It is just a little more informal.  Keep in mind those I am nominating/passing to: you do not need to pass along or nominate if you are not comfortable doing so or if you are just too busy or if it is just not your thing. I am fine with that. Really. I will still love what you are doing.

Also, there is no particular order to the passing along here.

1) Marina Kanavaki at her self named art blog is one of my biggest supporters. I love everything she does and to me, she is very inspirational. Her watercolors are understated and intelligent and she is hard so she can earn a living as an artist on line.

2) Mark at Reflections of China is a fantastic photographer. His images of China are very thought provoking and quite often breath taking. I love Asia and miss living there. If I ever do return to live in Korea, I will take a similar approach to life in Asia and post images of the things I love (and hate) about South Korea.

3) Gipsey at Emprerdedor is a very thought provoking guy and not because he blogs in Spanish. He does have English translations. Gipsey is very philosophical and generally quite funny. His posts are comics of the stickman style, so the image does not interfere with the text.

4) Davide at Rubicorno is an architectural photographer of the highest quality. If photo interpretation is your thing, you will love Davide’s work. He takes his pictures with his smart phone and then runs them through several processors resulting in very interesting images. I love architecture and so Davide’s work is very meaningful to me.

5) Wayne at Bo’s Cafe Life writes a pixie cartoon about wannabe/fail authors who meet daily and bitch about their crappy, unfulfilled life as writers. I identify with Bo, the protagonist/POV, because I have been publishing poetry for quite a long time and my publication rate is about 1:10 (not including the hundreds of poems and short stories I never even try to send out).


Thank you for reading this blog. I want to thank everyone I passed along to. I am inspired by everyone of you. There are many other bloggers I am inspired by. I am sorry I did not include you here. You deserve being nominated, too.

I also want to thank, How To:, again. This is a great award to be nominated for. I am glad I am thought provoking for someone.


The O.

Illuminating Blog Award

I have been nominated for a number of awards this summer and unfortunately I have not been able to respond to them as I should have. I apologize. I have been working on a big project that should be rolling out mid-September, so I suppose I’ll use that as an excuse (other then that, I suppose you can go with the assumption that I am just a lazy bastard–my ex-wife’s opinion).

I have been nominated for and accept the Illuminating Blog Award by one of my favorite bloggers, Ms Katykins at Spineless Wonders. I have enjoyed her blog and support during the summer. I have been experimenting with Reddit this summer and those jerks hate me, so I am very happy that I have friends here at Word Press. Thank you Ms. Katykins, Cyril and Willy.

A Few Requirements:

1) Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you on their blog.

2) Thank the blogger who nominated me on my blog: thanks again Ms. Katykins. I also want to thank all the other bloggers I’ve been a complete tool to by not responding to their very kind nominations (sorry, I suck): thank you guys very much for being great bloggers.

3) Say something random about my self: my first food related dare ever was to eat twenty earthworms. I was ten. I ate the worms and then got into a fistfight with the kid who dared me, because he reneged on the dare.

4) Select five or so bloggers, notify them of the nomination and write a blob of text about them (see below).

5) Copy and paste the award jpeg someplace in your blog.

6) This is my thing: I want to remind the bloggers I nominate that I appreciate them and their blogs and that they do not need to reciprocate in anyway shape or form. One of my earliest supporters was intimidated by an award I nominated her blog for.  She was just not comfortable with awards. I understand. If you would like to ignore the award and nomination, that’s cool. I still think you’re awesome no matter what you think.

Explanation: I do not always like blogs that are similar to my own. I love fun and/or silly cartoons. I love honest political blogs of all political strips. I love blogs that represent my past lives. I also love blogs that make me think and smile.

Here are my nominations:

1) Karl over to Landscape Urbanite. I have enjoyed Karl’s blog from the second I came across it. He is very thoughtful. I love his attention to detail and love of urban landscape architecture.

2) Map Collection. When I was a kid, my favorite thing about Dungeons and Dragons was drawing the maps. Sometimes I would just draw maps for fun. This is still true. I have posted five maps here over the last year. Now, I just came across this blog, but man there is some great stuff here.

3) Marek over to Coffee+Dumplings+Komics. I have nominated Marek before, but if there is an illuminating cartoonist out there, Marek is the man. I love his comic and I think I’ve liked every single one since I came across his blog. If I didn’t, I sure did mean to. I don’t think Marek accepts these awards, but I don’t care. He is just too awesome and is way smarter than me.

4) Pete over to petegalantingdraws. Pete has another blog that I’ve nominated before (Delicate Adventures), but this time his emphasis is not on eggs. This time he is drawing whatever he wants. I like Pete because of his crazy eye for detail. I just draw too fast for the careful line work in his art.

5) Liyin over to Liyin Creative. I have been liking Liyin for quite a while and I finally decided to follow her blog when I discovered she is doing what I want to be able to do eventually: she draws (and draws quite well) on an iPad. There are a couple of problems with me doing this. I don’t have an iPad. Substitute teachers just do not get paid enough for cool gear like that. Eventually, I want to draw stuff using modern technology. I just don’t have the loot.


Now, I love loads of other bloggers (Michelle, Don, Doodlemum, Doodledad, Davide, Wayne, Maria, Raymond, Seven-legs, Grotski and hundreds of others). I am inspired every single day by the blogs I read and steal quite often from them (even if I forget to tell them).

Thanks again, Ms. Katykins. You are great.

The Sunshine Award

I was nominated for the Sunshine Award by two bloggers: by Matt at Mr. G Kids (a fellow cartoonist and substitute teacher) and Larissa at lestwentytwo who nominated me back in April. I love both of these two cartoonists.  I am quite jealous of their style and skill; they are great.

I think she’s a Dr. Pepper girl.

I have always liked The Sunshine Award. When I first started blogging, I thought: “boy, I’d like one of those.” I particularly liked what doodledad did when he won it by incorporating it into a piece of art. I wanted to do the same and what better way to do so when discussing the opposite of sunshine: local governments spying on their own citizens and governments dictating what one can eat or drink (personally, I like regulating high fructose corn syrup).

I like what Matt did when he broke the rules and discussed some of the stuff he recently learned. Here are three things I learned this week:

  • I learned that I would have to drink approximately 1,400 cans of Diet Cokes a day for the Aspartame to give me brain damage. This is the conservative number. The FDA says I drink 7,159 and still be safe.
  • I learned that Apple Cinnamon Pork Sausage cooked in cabbage and mushrooms with salt & pepper, mustard and in a bit of Coke-a-Cola is very yummy.
  • I learned that food-lobbyists sound ignorant, rely on emotion when defending the drinking of sugary drinks and repeat themselves when debating face to face with educated and informed  nutritionists, doctors and scientists and their years and tons of accumulated data.

Yeah, I like learning about food.

I would also like to nominate some great bloggers for the Sunshine Award as well:

I like political cartoons and obviously cartoons that are not.
Again, thanks for the nomination Matt and Larissa. You guys are great.

One Lovely Blog Award

First: I want to thank Elizabeth at She is a very fine artist and cartoonist. She nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.Second: the Rules of Acceptance:
  • Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  • Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
  • Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.
  • Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.

Third: the seven things:

  1. My favorite building in the world is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. My favorite architect is Mimar Sinan of the Ottoman Empire.
  2. My university capstone project (dissertation if you will) was about The Trial by Franz Kafka. This is probably obvious (duh, right), but my dissertation is based on a mathematical equation I wrote to represent why every reader of The Trial comes up with a different interpretation of the book and what Kafka’s intentions are (essentially why Kafkalogists are up in the night).
  3. When I blog, draw cartoons or write in general, I listen to my iTunes on random. I get a bizarre mix of classical music, heavy metal, spoken word poetry, scripture, lectures, country music, pop, techno and whatever else I or my kids have stuffed into the computer (120g of stuff — right now it is “Violin Concerto No. 1 In G Minor, Op. 26: I. Allegro moderato” by Max Bruch and performed by Leon Barzin & Philharmonia Orchestra).
  4. I only greeted one celebrity. I was at a urinal in Salt Lake City when LaVell Edward’s (of BYU Football fame and legend) induction into the College Football Hall of Fame was announced. I looked to the right and there he was. I couldn’t help myself and said: “Congrats coach.” Embarrassed, I washed my hands quickly and ran out of the restroom.
  5. I always use the most left urinal in the men’s room.
  6. There are only two foods I truly dislike and avoid at all costs: grape jelly and bundaegi.
  7. My favorite comic is Pogo by Walt Kelly followed by The Far Side by Gary Larson.

Forth: nominate fifteen or so bloggers to receive the award and contact them.

This is the hardest part. Once, a blogger I greatly admire rejected the nomination for good reason. Awards should be wanted. I was nominated for another award just after this rejection and have yet to act on it. So, to all my friends I’ve nominated, if you do not want to act on this nomination, please do not do something you are uncomfortable with.

Here are the bloggers I’d like to nominate:

  1. Sofi’s World
  2. Sketches from Memory
  3. Lestwentytwo
  4. Doodledad
  5. Coffee+Dumplings+Komics
  6. Simon Kneebone
  7. Sparrowcanyonillustrations
  8. Doodlemum
  9. By Common Consent
  10. Don in Massachusetts
  11. Spite Wall
  12. Zinccomics
  13. Pussy & Owl Webcomics
  14. Motley News and Photos
  15. Maria Pace-Wynters

I love these blogs. There are many others that I love. I love each of these for different reasons: honesty, simplicity, complexity, beauty, politics, creativity, intellectualism, fun, humor etc..

Elizabeth, I want to thank you again and compliment you for the lovely spider drawing. I love spiders (though, there are a couple I kill on sight).

Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Seven Legged Express Journey earlier this week. I am very grateful for this award. I have been nominated for two other awards, but I am such a virgin-blogger that I either did not know how to respond or I just did not read enough. Most of the blogs I read now are either comics like Seven Legs, art, illustration, design, photography and of course politics and teaching and so awards like The Versatile Blogger or One Lovely Blog Award do not apply to these blogs and bloggers or they have already received it.

This week has been quite hectic with ego-boosting stuff. First, I received this award, then the 200th person chose to follow my blog, and finally, I participated in a poetry reading with fifteen other poets at the annual Association for Mormon Letters conference. All of us and many many others were anthologized in a new collection of poetry by and about mormons called Fire in the Pasture.

I have to be honest, I am very blown away by the several honors and at the same time needed it. I don’t deserve the awards given here on wordpress since political cartoons are considered the lowest form of art, however I do accept the award because of the experiences I’ve had substitute teaching (though blogging about that is now quite difficult). I do not belong with the other poets in the anthology and told the editor Tyler Chadwick, but he and several of the others there told me to knock it off.

I really want to thank Seven Legged Express Journey with some commemoration art (not a requirement for the award):

And I would like to nominate the following five bloggers for their support and creativity (the crappy thing about these awards, is that there are more people I want to thank, but there isn’t enough room):

Mary McGowan. Mary has been a very long term supporter of my blog and is also a skilled illustrator, watercolorist, singer, poet and blogger. I am always happy when she posts something new and also enjoy the posts she chooses to reblog.

Michelle at Motley News. Michelle is a news and political junky and a great lover of dogs. She just celebrated her one year anniversary as a blogger. A great many of my posts were inspired by her posts especially the many War on Women posts.

Pete Glanting. Pete is a such an arcane and insane cartoonist. I admire him for his very unique comics and portraits. He posts almost daily and his posts always show a great deal of OCD attention to detail.

Wayne Pollard. Wayne is a pixie cartoonist, meaning a cartoonist that does not often change the art in their strip. There are quite a few good pixie-strips out there, but I want to see new art. Wayne’s is the exception. His writing is very sharp and near to my heart as I have literally received hundreds of rejection letters.

Mark at Images of China through English Eyes. I love Asia and I love good photography. Mark’s blog has these in spades. I have liked almost every photo he’s posted since I came across him.

I also want to take this chance to thank Ron, Don, Doodlemum and Doodle Dad for their inspiration, support and friendship.


Yesterday, after the errands were run and before my son Rob came by to hang-out, Ken and Jim (my roommates) ganged-up on me and said: “Look you jerk, we are trying to form a guild and need you to play Star Wars more often. Write you blog and do you silly art another time.”

I caved. Yesterday for six hours I played Star Wars: The Old Republic. I do like this game a lot, I am just a tad mift at it because they are refusing to make a Mac friendly version of the game. We already have guild on one server, but it is Imperial. I don’t much like the Imperial side because it is mostly kids and the server that guild is on is one of the most crowded in the game. The new server has very light traffic and I get to play a Republic Trooper.

I was thinking, I would play a little swtor this morning and then go to church and then go over to my parents to watch the Super Bowl, but I woke to find Michelle at gave me the versatile blogger award. So I spent a while reading all the other blogs she gave the award to.


I was very surprised at my company. The other bloggers are amazing. Michelle is amazing.

It is going to take a while to find fifteen blogs I would award this to. There are a bunch out there I like, so this is going to take a bit of time.

Here are the other requirements:

  • nominate 15 other bloggers
  • inform my nominees
  • share 7 random (unknown) facts about myself
  • thank the one who nominated me
  • add a picture of the award to this post


The Ogre

(brushed ink & quill)

I’ve had a few requests about why I go by “the Ogre.” In the early 90s, I lost a job from a tele services company, because I was too scary to a female employee who suffered from some sort of mental condition. She said I looked like an ogre and was threatening to sue to company, because my working there created a hostile work environment. I honestly didn’t mind because I was going to Maui, Hawaii for a summer internship two-weeks from then (and I had already given notice few days earlier) and the ex had already gone to Seoul, South Korea with the kids where we would meet afterwards.

I don’t know how I looked like an ogre then, because I was thinner and since I went to BYU at the time, I shaved everyday and had a business appropriate haircut. The teleservices job required business attire for work and so I wore a tie and jacket everyday. Who knows what the problem with that lady was, but more than anything, I thought it was funny. I now however look quite ogre like when I let my hair beard grow out.

While in Korea, I got involved in a few mormon related forum sites and used the handle “the Ogre.” It worked nicely back then. I was involved in very few flame wars, but was still able to be very assertive without trolling. I was particularly aggressive when “anti-mormons” (usually American Evangelical Christians–real trolls) would go onto the site(s) and spread falsehoods or would start declaring all mormons were going to hell. I was equally aggressive with mormons who were close minded and tried to equate extreme Conservative/Libertarian/Republican political ideals with church doctrine (one of the chief concerns to most Evangelical Christians is that the mormon church is in fact too moderate if not quite liberal on key issues like abortion and gay-rights (of course liberals think the opposite thus showing the mormon church is most likely quite moderate)). Drawing parallels between political philosophy (especially from John Birchers and Libertarians) is especially irksome to me.

The drawback is I learned a lot of my debate skills from the 90s flame-wars and so when I started going back to college when my kids got old enough to watch themselves, I got into quite a few sharp discussions in various English and Humanities classes. The professors never minded, but some of the students did. I have learned to tone it down, stop using profanity and not brow-beat younger students who do not read as much, study as hard, buy into pretentious political fads or who just don’t have any life experience (I still go after people who insist on being stupid though).

I stopped using the forums about four years ago. It got boring. I lost finical aid for college at the same time, so no college (I am three classes short of finishing–I’m taking a class or two this fall). I still have a lot of friends, however, who know me as the Ogre (and in fact some of my followers here are surprised my first name is actually Aaron), so I stuck with it. I don’t mind the name. It’s kinda grew on me.

What do internet ogres do when they get older? They write blogs.