Saturday, March 2, 2019


THE GOOD NEWS: After taking the winter off I got out there and ran a little today. IN OTHER NEWS: I just found out I have LUPUS. What in the world is lupus?
HERE’S THE STORY: Went to a dermatologist thinking I had skin cancer (I've already had one bout with it a few years ago.) He tells me I don’t have skin cancer. I have discoid lupus (basically means I'm allergic to daylight). OK, I can deal with living A VAMPIRE’S LIFE. I can make that work.
Then they wanted to take a blood sample just to rule out systemic lupus (the bad lupus ...) He told me if I'm a runner there's no way I could have systemic lupus because YOU DON'T RUN with lupus. So they draw blood. I wait a week or so then they call.
NURSE: “We got your blood test back and the doctor wants you to see a rheumatologist …”
ME: “Did they find something in my blood work?”
NURSE: “Yes, it showed positive for ANA. (ANA? I had to look it up: It stands for antinuclear antibodies … I know, it sounds cool, right? Like I’m turning into a superhero or something … but it isn’t and I’m not.) “The rheumatologists’ office will be calling you in the next two weeks.”
ME: oh, OK. Thank …thank you. (I was kind of in shock. I have never even heard of lupus before a couple weeks ago and the derm doc kept telling me I didn’t have “THE BAD KIND.” But I guess now I do.
I still haven’t looked it up too much to see exactly what it is. I’m kind of a hypochondriac so if I read the symptoms I’ll probably start imagining I have them.
I don't know yet how much of an impact this will have on my day-to-day life since I love the sun and love being outdoors. Only time will tell.
ANYHOW … the good news is … I RAN TODAY! I’M A RUNNER!!!!

The good news is I finally have a legitimate excuss to wear full-brim hats, which I've always wanted to do.

#lupus #runningwithlupus #wtfislupus

Thursday, January 24, 2019

#ONEWEEK100HANDS ............ WHAT?

I've always have had trouble sketching hands, especially sketching them quickly for urban sketching.

Even coming up with a "mitten" shape that could resemble a hand loosely is hard for me.

So I decided to take a cue from #oneweek100people challenge and maybe start my own #oneweek100hands challenge, or more likely just combine it with the 100 people challenge and include hands in each sketch. Either way, that would be 20 hands a day for 5 days.

Wow, this sketch took me about an hour to do and I was just sketching from photos.  I can't imagine sketching 20 hands a day from real life but I figure if I can accomplish it hands may start to be a little easier to sketch.

So pass the word if you also have trouble sketching hands. #oneweek100hands.

Take care and see you out there.


I've been doing a lot more sketching of subjects I could easily take a photo of. 
I’m practicing so maybe I can start sketching to illustrate some of the stories at work. I'm trying to get a portfolio of reportage sketches together to show the editors and see if it's something they might be interested in.

We’ll see how it goes. i still have a lot of work to do to get there first though.

Here’s a quick sketch of an apple stand I did last fall.
I also need to work on speed. You need to be able to sketch pretty fast to keep up with live events.

iPad Pro 12.9 inch, Apple Pencil and the app Procreate. Thanks for stopping by. Please comment below if you have any questions or comments.


While walking during my lunch break last week I came across this tree that must have been close to 100 feet tall. It just seemed to stand out among the other trees and towering over its nearest neighbors so I just had to sketch it.

I thought it would be fun to draw this with a light and loose touch and try to capture the airiness of the branches.

for this sketch I used an iPad Pro 12.9 inch and Apple Pencil using the Procreate app.

Thanks for stopping by.


Here's a sketch from one of my day dreams ... Taking a road trip in an older VW van and driving through some of the canyon lands of Utah.

I have a timelapse video on YOuTube that shows how I sketched this if you'r like to watch. You can find it here: VW VAN ROAD TRIP

For this sketch I usedan iPad Pro 12.9 inch and an Apple Pencil. Because we live in such a small space I find that having just a tablet and one pencil is a lot easier than using numerous sketchbooks, pens and pencils and a variety of watercolors, although I still have all of that and do use them occasionally.
Take care and please subscribe to my YouTube channel. It’s free. thanks for stopping by.  

Monday, December 24, 2018


I wrote this poem 9 years ago next month. It's inspired by the poem in "10 Things I Hate About You"

You o triathlon, 
builder of egos and breaker of hearts ... 

I hate it when you raise me up 
I hate it more when you tear me down. 
I hate it when you promise me glory 
Then throw me to the ground.

I hate your 5 a.m. wake up calls 
and swimming in the dark.
I hate your freezing cold olympic pools, 
and ocean swims with sharks. 

I hate it when it's time to ride 
and ride and ride some more. 
How your gale-force wind is always there,
that ain’t no Kona lore. 

I hate the way you make me run 
I hate it, but it’s cool. 
I hate the way you challenge me 
Like I'm back in school. 

I hate the fact we cannot draft 
Bike refs make sure of that. 
I hate those cards of yellow and red 
and that whole penalty tent format. 

I hate it when you make me laugh, 
even worse when you make me cry. 
But love that you made me an Ironman 
then branded me till I die.

I hate it when you’re not around 
after Kona’s race in the fall. 
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, 
not in swimming or biking 
not in running 
not even at all. 

*Inspired from “10 Things I Hate About You”

Monday, September 10, 2018


I undertook a self-imposed challenge this summer — to go from zero running to being able to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) in 10 weeks.

That has to be the most painful thing I've done in a while. Nearly every step of running hurt all summer long.
A thumbnail from an episode of Zero To Half Marathon video series on YouTube.

While I have run on and off (maybe a couple of miles on the tready every couple of months) I was basically starting from scratch. The first day I ran 1 mile with a lot of pain. By the end of the first week I ran/walked three miles. I have to tell you, 13 miles seemed impossible from where I was.

But I kept at it running 2-3 days a week and increasing my long run day by a mile every week.

By Sunday of week 10 I ran 13.2 miles in 2 hours and 23 minutes. Slow and too much walking but I made it.

There's a half marathon race on Sept. 23 that I may run but my main goal was/is to just get in shape and run long runs when I feel like it.

I also recorded my "Zero to Half Marathon" challenge in a series of YouTube videos on our YouTube channel. You can find them here: Zero to Half Marathon

Here a few more of the thumbnails (cover images) from the series on YouTube:
The first week of training video.

Video of Week 2

the final week's video
As a follow up on the challenge to go from zero running to half marathon distance in 10 weeks,  which ended on Labor Day, after hitting 13 miles I backed off on my training  a little. For me hitting 13 miles in 10 weeks was really a struggle and I did not want to get injured so for now I'm limiting my long runs to 10 miles and trying to increase my over all weekly mileage, which has been less than 20 a week all summer.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe I'll see you on the road. Take care and be safe.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


What do you do when you don't have time to go out on location to do urban sketching? My time is very limited and I often don't have time to go on-location to sketch. To solve that time-crunch I started sketching my home, my yard, my street and my neighborhood.
Our rig. I often sketch in and around our place.

Most of us think our home environment is too boring to sketch because we see it every day. But sometimes that thinking can causes us not to sketch at all just because we don't have time to go anywhere. And as you know, even sketching a familiar, "boring" scene is better than not sketching at all. Right?

Before we moved into our fifth wheel RV trailer, I probably sketched our living room of our house at least 10 times from all different angles. And I sketched the view from our front window at least a half dozen times. I've sketched the outside of our house, our backyard, the twins and NJ quite often.

 I also sketch my desk, and the view from my desk at work at least once a week because I spend 8 hours a day sitting there and when the sketching bug bites, it's the only thing I have to sketch.

Plus, even though your home surroundings may be familiar to you, they may not be familiar to those you share your sketches with.

The view and sketch from our front yard in the RV park.

When I was a photojournalist I often photographed my neighborhood and neighbors and they loved seeing our tiny, familiar neighborhood in the newspaper.

Click here: URBAN SKETCHING FROM MY RV to watch a video of sketching from my RV.

Recently, I only had an hour to sketch and no time to go anywhere, I decided to sketch right outside the door of our RV, and even though it's only shrubs and a parking lot, it gave me something to sketch and a chance to use watercolors, which I haven't had much of a chance to use in a while.

You can find the video of me sketching this scene on our YouTube channel at:
Adventure Road Travel Sketchers

Our channel is evolving as our lives are evolving.

Our channel started out while we lived in Hawaii  and I was competing in Ironman triathlons. That's why the first few videos are about running and Ironman competition.

Since we have moved back to the mainland I became interested in sketching and RVing (we live full-time in an fifth wheel trailer) so I switched it up to producing sketching videos, sketchbook tours, reviews, and how to sketch videos as well as life in an RV with a deaf and disabled daughter in a wheelchair, twin 4-year-olds and a 6-year-old grandsons.

Our Youtube channel.

Our lives can be very busy, very hectic and very squished at times.

Please join us as we adjust to a tiny living space and begin our next adventure down the road of life. Thank you so much.

HELP SUPPORT THIS BLOG AND OUR CHANNEL FOR FREE: We are part of the Amazon Affiliate program which means if you click on one of the links and purchase anything I get a small commission paid by amazon and costs you nothing more. It's a way for you to help support my channel for free.

Below are a few Amazon links for some of the art supplies I use.

Platinum Desk Fountain Pen:

Platinum carbon ink bottle ink black 60cc:

Stillman & Birn Beta Series A5 sketchbook:

M. Graham watercolor tubes:

Da Vinci Kolinsky red sable travel brushes No. 10, 6 & 4 round
(This is a great deal for real red sable. Three brush set):

Sakura Pigma Micron pens:

Lamy Safari fountain pen extra fine nib:

Pentel Aquash water brush:

My palette: Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections: The Classics (I took out the Prima paints and replaced them with half pans of M. Grahams tube paints):

GoPro Hero 2:

GoPro Sessions 5:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Distance running: I've done it, on and off, my whole life. From marathons to Ironman World Championship where you swim 2.4 miles, Bike 112 miles then, after all that, You run a marathon (26.2 miles) all in the same day.

So, let me just put it out there for everyone to read: In the next 10 weeks (basically over the summer) I'm going to go from zero running to 13.1 miles (a half marathon) distance. AND within another 4 weeks after that I'll be able to race at that distance.
The past two years is the longest break I've had from running since 2006 when we moved to the Big Island.

Yeah, it's a lofty goal for someone in their late 50s who hasn't run much for the past couple of years.

In the past 9 years I've competed in two Ironman World Championship triathlons and several half Ironmans and numerous other triathlons, marathons and other distance running events. but for the past two years I've reverted back to a couch potato.

Now I want to change that and get back into Ironman shape. Well, at least marathon shape.

All I can do is either succeed or fail. And you can follow along, either on this blog or on my YouTube channel, to see which I do and to hold me accountable for training and sticking with it. I will need your support, encouragement and advice along the way so please subscribe to either or better yet, both, and comment on each of my training videos. I'm lazy and can't do this on my own.

You can watch a video on our YouTube channel where I talk about this 10-week challenge of getting off the couch and running a half marathon here:

ABOUT OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Adventure Road Travel Sketchers
you can find it here:

Our channel is evolving as our lives are evolving.

Our channel started out while we lived in Hawaii and I was competing in Ironman triathlons. That's why the first few videos are about running and Ironman competition. Since we have moved back to the mainland and I became interested in sketching I switched it up to producing sketching videos, sketchbook tours, reviews, and how to sketch videos.

Recently our lives have taken a new direction. We moved out of our three bedroom house with a double car garage and moved into a 264-square-foot fifth wheel RV. We plan to begin traveling the country as soon as possible and sketch the places and people we visit and meet along the way. We plan on sticking to the rural areas as much as possible -- the roots of America.

We also plan on interviewing some of the people we meet and discover what makes their town and neighborhoods special to them.

We will be producing content about sketching, RV life, which includes repairs, coping with small spaces and the pros and cons of full-time RV living. Our daughter, Rebecca is disabled and is wheelchair bound so we will also be talking about how we manage all the work arounds in a world made for people who walk, including how accessible places are for disabled people.

I've changed the name of this channel (for now) to Adventure Road Travel Sketchers (ARTS for short) and my wife Karen, daughter Rebecca, 4-year-old twin grandsons Leo and Desmond and our 6-year-old grandson NJ, will be contributing content as well.

Thanks and please subscribe (it's absolutely free) and it would mean the world to us.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


How many times in your life have you installed seat covers in our vehicles? I've probably installed 20 or more sets of seat covers in my life. 

I have to admit that installing seat covers in a pickup truck is the hardest though. Especially when the seat covers are custom made for the truck, which means they are extremely tight fitting. The problem is I have a 2017 Ram 2500 crew cab truck and installing seat covers on the backseat can be pretty difficult. Actually it’s the back of the backseat that’s the hard part.

I found a set of covers we liked on Amazon from a company that makes them to order. Reading the reviews though made me pause. One reviewer who had the same truck as me mentioned he had to remove his backseat to install the seat cover. What? Although that’s not that difficult to do, just time consuming, I’d rather not have to do that. Other reviewers mentioned that the covers were so tight it made it difficult to install. And still others mentioned that the directions were worthless. (I never read directions anyhow … so that doesn’t matter to me.)

Our Ram 2500 and fifth wheel.

I had already purchased similar covers for our half ton truck last summer so I knew they were tight and as far as removing the backseat I didn’t have to do that with the half ton so hopefully I wouldn’t have to on our 2500.
These are the seat covers we installed from Amazon. They come in a lots of different colors.

As you know we have twin 4-year-olds (almost 5) grandsons who stay with us half the week and a 6-year-old grandson who stays with us two days a week so our backseats can get pretty stained up if we don’t cover them.
It's rare but all three boys asleep in the backseat of the truck.

Once the covers arrived I tore open the package. I love the embroidered Ram logo. I couldn’t wait to get started on installing them. Of course it was rainy but hey, it’s Oregon. We can take it. 

I started with the backseat. I figured I might as well get the hard part over with first. The bottom went on easily. It was snug but that’s what they should be.

Now the hard part. I removed the headrests and worked the covers onto the seat back. The gap at the top of the seat back was barely wide enough for my fingers to fit in. My first thought was I was going to have to remove the seat after all. 

Fortunately, the bottom of the seat raises up so I was able to access the bottom of the seat back which I found to have a large gap that my hand and arm would fit easily. I tucked the seat cover straps down the top of the seat back then from the bottom I reached up and was able to grab the straps and connect them to their counterparts on the bottom. 

Viola! I wouldn’t have to remove the seat after all. I think it took about a half hour to install the back and about 15 minutes to install the front, which were very snug but went on. Just be patient and work them down the seat back from the top slowly.

You can check out the video I made of the backseat installation here: DON'T REMOVE YOUR BACK SEAT 

I’ll have the front seat installation video posted shortly. 

Yeah, this isn’t about sketching but it is about RVing (this is our tow vehicle) and our blog and YouTube channel are transitioning into a rv travel sketchers blog and channel. By the way, I do have an iPad sketch of an R Pod trailer superimposed over part of the installation video if you want to watch that as well. 


So I hope this may help anyone who is having trouble installing seat coves on the backseat of their truck. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


I was searching my blog for a photo June 12, 2018, when I discovered a blog entry I forgot to post. Actually I thought I had posted it. It is from Sept. 26, 2012. We were to travel cross-country from Idaho to North Carolina and back in 9 days plus run at least 5K (3.2 miles) in each state we drove through. ( I did post a recap of our trip in late October of 2012 but never posted this one.

Below is that forgotten post (with photos from our trip added June 12, 2018).


November 3rd, our son, Daniel, is getting married in North Carolina. So Karen, Rebecca and I decided that instead of flying back there, it would be fun to drive from Idaho to North Carolina. Along the way we would take a detour and head south to Georgia and see our daughter, Rachael and our two granddaughters, Maddie and Zoey. (NOTE FROM 2018: Rachael now has a son, JJ, too).

This is our planned route.

We have nine days to make the nearly 5,000-mile round-trip journey. Not a lot of time right? But that's only half of it. We decided that we wanted to do something different. Something that we would remember. Something that would be challenging. So we decided to run at least 5k (3.2 miles) in every state we drive through. 
At the wedding.

I know that doesn't sound like much. Big deal, 3 miles a day for nine days, wow ... Well, it's actually more than that. A lot more. We'll be going through 15 to 20 states and some days we'll be driving through 3 or 4 states in one day. So the mileage will build up fast. Not to mention weather conditions. After all this will take place the last week of October and first week of November.
Our actual route and all those pins are where I took photos.

Again, it's not a lot of mileage but being under the gun to drive 2,500 miles in three days and still be able to stop in Georgia and make it to the wedding  on time will be a challenge. Not to mention making it back home in time for work nine days later.

Here are some photos from our first trip across the US. And we did make it back in 9 days. Including driving to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a job interview. It was a great trip. The only bad thing is we hit a deer just outside Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that dented the front of our nearly new Honda Fit. The deer was fine, by the way.
Rebecca and Zoey.

On teh beach at Camp Lejuene.

Running at sunrise somewhere in Iowa.

Running along the Utah Freeway. I didn't have any warm running clothes so I ran in jeans.

Running on the beach. It's the first time I ever saw the Atlantic Ocean.

Running at night in South Carolina.

our precious granddaughter Maddie. 

Maddie making faces with Papa for the camera.

Karen and Rebecca at the beach at the Atlantic Ocean.

running in Rawlins, Wyoming. It was cold and windy.

Daniel, our Marine son and I at the beach. 

Thanks for stoping by and check out our YouTube channel at

We are just beginning to post RV and Sketching videos and really need your help to make our channel grow. We need comments on what you'd like to see and ways we can improve our channel.  We are taking courses on how to improve our videos so follow our journey and grow with us. 


THE GOOD NEWS: After taking the winter off I got out there and ran a little today. IN OTHER NEWS: I just found out I have...