Back to the Digital Drawing Board


I started this Paper 53 piece last evening while stationed – along with 5 other Art Hop artists – at Cue Spot Billiards in downtown Merced, CA. The emotion that I wanted to convey was linked to my finding out that none of my digital painting entrees was selected by jurors for inclusion into this year’s top one hundred at the Mobile and Digital Arts and Creativity Summit (mDAC) 2017. You may recall that I had a piece selected in mDAC 2016 and one in mDAC 2015. This year’s winners are really awesome, click here to take a peek. So, I’m a little disappointed; but, I’m using the development as an opportunity to re-evaluate my artistic vision as part of the coaching and rebranding process that I’m currently engaged in. In that process I’m trying to articulate not so much what I do, or even how I do what I do, but rather why I do it. I’m having some insights, thanks to Adam James Butcher’s coaching process. So let me go back to piecing together some things and dismantling others.

Three Bullet Points

I’ve had this drawing with me for several years. I think I sketched at an evaluation conference in the early 2000s. At any rate, they say that if you break complicated things down into three points, then folks will be more likely to understand them, maybe even become them.  I tweaked a thing or two in Procreate. It was rough to begin with,

  • Who know?
  • Who cares?
  • So what?

The Letter of Paul to the Procrusteans

Greetings brothers and sisters. I’ll keep this relatively short in anticipation of my visit to your homeland. Please feel free to accommodate your image of me as you see fit, but once I am in your company, keep your hands off of me and my actual details and dimensions. Yours in ambiguity, not either/or, but both/and, for Pete’s Sake, Paul


N.B. I’m adding this additional information several days after the original posting date to shed some additional light on this rather esoteric post for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, ethnographers and evaluators, cartographers, food critics, and exegetes. Knowing something about temptation and Procrustean Solutions will help you better understand the post, but that will only get you so far. For the rest of the story, much more of it at least, it might be helpful to know that, before my monastic exclaustration, I was also a seminarian, and that I had a classmate from the Pittsburgh Diocese named Robert Barie. Bob was a gem of a person…and a hoot! Remember Norm Crosby and his malapropisms? Well, Bob suffered from the same inflection, as it were! One day it was his turn to read at mass, and so he heads up to the lectern. Now, because Bob was Bob, we’re sitting there, his classmates, already chuckling sotto voce. He gets to the microphone and without looking up, without even a pause he says, “A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Macadamians.” Naturally and somewhat explosively, our subdued chuckling rose up from the crypt and filled the chapel in a collective, sidesplitting belly laugh. After only completing his third year of theological studies, Bob died of cancer in 1988. May he forever rest in peace.

The Customary 2014 In Review Canned Report

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Balloonist and the Hiker (An Evaluator Joke)

balloonist and hiker
A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman hiking down below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The hiker, shouting back, replied, “You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are somewhere between 29 and 31 degrees north latitude and 89 and 91 degrees west longitude.”

“Hey, what are you, an evaluator?” yelled the balloonist.

“Why, I am,” the hiker yelled back, “How did you know?”

“Well,” shouted the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information! Fact of the matter is, I’m still lost, and you haven’t said or done a damned thing to help!”

“You must be a program manager.” The hiker yelled back.

“I am,” shouted the balloonist, “but how did you figure that out?”

“Well,” the hiker bellowed, “you don’t know where you are.
You don’t know where you’re going.
You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air.
You’ve made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and now you expect me to solve your problem.
The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

[Oh those crazy evaluators!]
Source unknown. Maybe I got it from someone at the American Evaluation Association. I found this story in my digital files the other day while, of course, looking for something else. It does come in handy; I’m thinking a lot about the relevance and utility of evaluation findings.
Hey, help me out, if you know to whom I should attribute this, then by all means, leave a comment. Thanks.

Let’s Shake on It ® – and Work Together from There

Are you sick and tired of initiatives, projects, programs, and assignments that go nowhere simply because of someone’s inability or unwillingness to get along with others even when the others are on the same team? Now with Let’s Shake on It ® you can finally single out individual team players who possess both the skills and the motivation to collaborate.

Simply attach the adhesive sensor to the palm of your right hand, make sure the jack is plugged in, the cable is running up your sleeve, and it is connected to your iPhone. The Let’s Shake on It ® software takes over from there. All you need to do shake hands with potential partners. {A wireless version is in development.}

The Let’s Shake on It ® software is touch activated. The palm sensors will assess the other person’s collaboration disposition using a continuum developed by Arthur Himmelman. If an individual scores 1 out of 4, that means he or she is only willing and able to network, that is, exchange information for mutual benefit. A score of 2 out of 4 indicates that the individual can network with others and coordinate, that is, alter his or her activities for mutual benefit to achieve a common purpose. An individual scoring 3 out of 4, accordingly, can network, coordinate, and cooperate, which means that he or she is also inclined to share resources.  Now, when an individual scores a 4 out of 4, it is time to take notice. In addition to having what it takes to network, coordinate, and cooperate, this person can collaborate, can execute all the above and more driven by the desire to grow and the commitment to take part in the growth of team mates and partners in the very process of working together!

When the sensors have identified a collaborator, the Let’s Shake on It ® program will chime. Do not let go of that hand!

Let's Shake on It ®

FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

I know. I know. Some of you will say, these lenses are interchangeable, nobody is without bias, what about the MSNBC lens? My point is that we’re so good at polarizing that our conceptions now dominate our perceptions.


Inuit Proverb:  When the snow melts…

Actually, what inspired this drawing was a post I read earlier this morning related to educational evaluation on EVALTALK, the listserve of the American Evaluation Association.  The post references Bill Moyer’s PBS show and guest, Diane Ravitch, who, among other things, has explored FUD efforts.

Nobody Likes Change (or Complexity)

I once heard a change-management consultant tell a conference room full of hospital administrators, physicians, and staff … “the only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.” (Hey, I subsequently dealt with this image, click here to see.) I was one of those administrators in that conference room in New Orleans about six months after Hurricane Katrina at a hospital whose survival depended upon a very deliberate and systematic organizational transformation; and yet the natural forces of resistance to change – among the victimized and exhausted few who were not temporarily or permanently displaced – were functional and ready for a good fight. It’s only natural. However, there was no alternative in this case. The organizational and structural changes simply had to take place and the resistance to change had to become collaboration in change; and this happened in large part due to an extraordinarily unique combination of chronic passion (joie de vivre) and acute Katrina fatigue in an extraordinarily unique context in an extraordinarily unique city.

However, when the need for change is perceived as optional and any sense of urgency is a matter of opinion, development efforts can drag on for years, resistance to change can become business as usual, and collaboration can be confined to ongoing turf battles. Even when complicated baseline findings of the communities’ perceived needs are available and displayed along side the communities’ complicated aspirations for all to compare, there can be voices crying out for simplicity and ease … but not for change.



If I ever do this again, I’ll try to remember to start off with that catchy quote about the baby, the diapers, and change, which reminds me of a drawing/post I have up my sleeve about calzones and how I suspect that this term, which means pants, really comes from little, little pants…diapers?  The fullness of diapers?