What’s been happening? I ask myself that sometimes. Sometimes I even answer myself.

I got a flat tire on my new bicycle last week. The first flat tire I’ve gotten in a long time. I ordered a new tube for it but I also went out and bought a patch kit. It’s been so long since my last flat that the glue went bad in my old patch kit. I wasn’t even sure how well the patch would hold on these new high pressure tires on my bike. That’s why I hedged my bet and ordered a new tube.

Even though it’s been a long time since I patched a tire everything came out okay in the end. I followed the instructions, which were as I remembered them, and the tire has held air just fine. My lack of confidence in my bike tire patching skills turned out to be unjustified. I have the new tube sitting on the shelf just in case.

I had to lock a groundhog out of his hiding hole under my front steps this week. They are your basic concrete steps that critters in the suburbs sometimes dig under to make hiding holes. A skunk crawled under there once and died. Not pleasant.

Last year a small groundhog starting hiding there whenever he thought he was in danger. This year the groundhog is bigger and hiding there again. That would have been okay with me except he started digging. A little at first but then I came home to find a big pile of dirt on my front walk. Enough was enough. Sorry dude.

I got myself a spare piece of 1×12 pine and some stakes (old and battered stretcher strips that I had lying around), put the board in front of the hole (which was on the side of the steps), drove the stakes in next to the board, and nailed the stakes into the board. Like a little billboard blocking the hole.

I didn’t close the hole on the other side of the steps just then in case the groundhog was in there but I did lean a second piece of pine against the hole. If the critter was in there he could push the piece of wood aside and leave. But he wasn’t in there.

I happened to be looking out the front window a little later when I saw the groundhog arrive. He looked confused as he went to the unsecured board side and couldn’t get in and then went to the staked in side and also couldn’t get it. It then quickly ran across the street and dove into another hiding place it had in a rock wall. I haven’t seen him in the front yard since. And I secured the other side.

On the creative front I’ve been working on my first oil painting in quite a while. I’ve worked mostly on small 8″x10″ canvases in acrylic paint recently but wanted to get back to bigger canvases in oil. It’s going okay so far. It’s a different type of painting than I do in acrylic. I like the way oil paint holds its surface and texture. It does that better than acrylic.

Since I work larger in oil than I do in acrylic it’s more time consuming. Oil paint takes more of a commitment from me. That time consumption was why I started working smaller and in acrylic in the first place. I wanted to paint and explore more images in a shorter period of time. Instead of one image a week I wanted to make six. I enjoyed that for a while but now I want to spend some time with one image and get it just so.

This week I finished twenty five comic strips in the web comic series that I’ve been working on forever. The comic is as yet unnamed and about the tenth different concept I’ve tried but this is the first one where I’ve gotten it to where I like it. It’s still a work in progress but I’m happier to have made more headway on it than any of my previous attempts at a web comic.

I am going to make a web site for it but that is still to come. I want to get more strips done and have a lot to figure out in how to present it. I need to find an easy way to post and update the site once I get it up. Otherwise I’ll never update it and what would be the point of that? Still after so many web comic false starts I’m amazed I got this much done.

One final though this week has to do with women’s fashion. What the heck is up with shaving your eyebrows and then drawing a line in with an eyebrow pencil? I know it’s nothing new and women have been doing it for ages but I don’t get it. I can understand tweezing an eyebrow to get a shape you want but drawing an eyebrow on your face? That would be like shaving your head and then drawing hair on your bald dome. Some things I just don’t get.