October 17, 2001

Well, things are returning to normal around here. I've put back the 'tip the cartoonist' links on the front page, although clicking on the flag, the red cross, or the candle will take you to pages where you can make donations to more charitable causes.

Also, I cranked out two scripts and two strips this evening, and laughed at my own work. That hasn't happened in a while, and it's nice to be back in the groove. I'm still only ahead of the game by 14 strips, but I'm gonna fight my way back above 20 in the next week or so. And they'll be GOOD strips, I tell you. Funny, with that schlock-quality artwork you've come to expect.

Did I mention that my wife and I just went a bazillion-thousand dollars into debt to buy a minivan? This is not a plea for cash... this is a comment on "getting while the getting is good." We got a 48-month loan at 0.9% APR. Not long ago a friend of mine bought a minivan, and got a 48-month loan at 8.9%. I'm not personally in favor of international crises, or recession economics, mind you. I'm just in favor of cheap access to large quantities of someone else's cash.

Clarification: legal, cheap access to large quantities of someone else's cash.

So desperate were they to sell me the vehicle, they agreed to give me the vehicle for a few days while they waited on some paperwork... without me having completed the bank agreement yet. And it's a good van, too. One of those ones with the TV in the roof. Man-oh-man... I remember road-trips when I was a kid. No walkman, no game-boy, no palm-pilot... just 8-track tapes, AM radio, and no chance under anybody's heaven of a television right there in the car!

I'm spoiling my kids. Not only do they get a TV, but I drive faster than my dad did.

The night we bought the van we explained to my four-year-old that we needed to go upstairs and give the nice man some money. We went through the piles of paperwork, and the kids got increasingly bored. As we were wrapping up my son importuned, explaining with gestures and grunts that we hadn't yet given the man any money, and shouldn't we get around to that so that we could GO HOME NOW!?. So I handed Aarik a dollar bill, and told him to hand it to the nice man (who was instructed via gestures and winks to slide that dollar into our packet--no way was he getting an extra greenback out of me, I tell you). The exchange took place, we left... and now my son is going to be convinced that prices were very, very low back when he was a kid.