Friday, August 26, 2011

Date Night (Part 2)



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Please note that both this comic and this blog are available on my new site http://www.twoxtwo.ca and that starting september 1st 2011 I will NO LONGER be using this blogspot account to post material. This is, in fact, likely to be the last post I ever post here. *tear*

So this is the second installment in what I believe will end up being a 5 or six part series. I’m fairly happy with how this turned out. I was drawing this one while sitting next to Sarah, so she was giving me pointers as I drew. I’m a lazy man, so I took the pointers moving forward, but didn’t correct anything already inked (that would just be way to time consuming). As a result, you may notice that Roseanna’s head gets bigger in every frame.

I always ask people permission before rendering them in comic form. Occasionally thereafter I will show them a glimpse of what the comic might look like. In this case I posted the picture on her facebook. I found the exchange most humorous. Now, as you may well know, I am almost completely computer inept, and so I have no idea how to photo capture the screen from facebook and display it here. As you also may well know I am extremely lazy, so I am not about to go on Google and ask how to do the above mentioned action. It just seems like way too much work. So instead you will have to rely on my old friends “Ctrl C” and “Ctrl V”

Jeff Baker posted a photo to Roseanna’s Wall.
Sorry you had a bad day yesterday! Here is a frame from your upcoming debut into the world of comics! Hope it brightens today :)

*
o
Roseanna: Y do I look so angry? and like I hate life?
o
Joshua: i love you and all Jeff but I am married to her and would have had no idea who this was a picture of if I didnt know it was supposed to be her. Skin is too dark and hair looks wrong. Sorry buddy but it needed saying. Love you!
o
Jeff Baker: ‎@Roseanna: you are unimpressed to see us
@Josh: yeah… I never said I was a GOOD artist…
o
Roseanna ‎:O when have I ever been un impressed to see you?! gasp!



So, apparently “Ctrl C” and “Ctrl V” work just fine, lol. I deleted their last names and their photos to protect their anonymity.

Adding new characters always poses the problem of how to make them somewhat recognizable to the person they represent. I thought the black and white ink and paper version of Roseanna was spot on, apparently she lost some likeness in the colouring process. I have a few other characters to send out to people for approval. I hope I do a better job with them that I did with Rose.

I didn’t get anymore comics drawn on my vacation, but I did finish this one and edit the colours a bit. I suppose that is enough. I was more focused on relaxing. It turned out I needed the break more than I had anticipated.

Anyway, I suppose that is all I have for today. I’ve been pretty bad lately about posting blogs that are not comics, but I am trying to get better. I managed to squeak one out on Tuesday. I’m hoping to get back into a MWF routine. Keep me accountable! Send me e-mails of angry comments demanding that I blog. I always give in to peer pressure.

-Jeff

Friday, August 19, 2011

Date Night (Part 1)



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Please note that this comic and blog are also available on my new site http://www.twoxtwo.ca and that starting on September 1st I will be posting exclusively on twoxtwo.ca and will no longer use this blog as a forum.

This is the first in an indeterminate amount of strips in a series I call “Date Night”. I wanted to write these strips after I realized that Sarah and I spend an inordinate amount of time on our dates looking at pictures of our kids that we snapped on our cell phones. It’s also a good way to introduce new characters. Roseanna will be appearing in next weeks comic, which opens the gate to eventually feature her husband Josh, and later in the Date Night series we will meet up with Joel and his wife Lynn. I’ve been meaning to add these characters for a while but the opportunity thus far has not presented itself. My original vision for the comic was to be about parenting, couples relationships, and ministry(two by two, get it?). I’m having trouble coming up with ministry based story lines (except so far for “the power of prayer”) mainly because the things I find funny about church and ministry others either won’t, or will be offended by… Sooo…. it’s more of a “know your audience” issue right now.

I’m proud of myself for planning ahead. Next weeks comic is currently drawn and sitting in front of me :) So it will be up on time for sure, despite the fact that I will be on vacation in Windsor. I will be using my vacation time to further increase the amount of aheadedness that I am in my comic drawing.

Any way, I must go and do the dad thing. Enjoy!

-Jeff

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Essential Fatherhood Skills #1



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Please note that this comic AND this blog are both available on my new site http://www.twoxtwo.ca Starting September 1st I will no longer be posting here and will be exclusively posting on twoxtwo.ca.

My sincere apologies for not getting a comic out on Friday. Sarah hasn’t been feeling well so I’ve been working from home. On top of that I was preparing a sermon for Undignified North, so things just didn’t work out. This is a concept I have been kicking around that I hope to revisit in the future. I plan on having a whole line of “Essential Fatherhood Skills” that will appear sporadically throughout the series.

This comic, like most actually happened. I wasn’t playing Halo though, I was playing Prince of Persia. I think it’s a bit presumptuous of me to assume I would hit a running riot as well (15 consecutive kills without dying). Either way, I was pretty proud of my accomplishment. Both babies were fed and happy to stare at me while I played. They are too old for that now though, any type of TV screen, even one that is off, will distract their attention from whatever they are doing.

I will have another comic up this Friday and then, hopefully, I will resume posting with some frequency and consistency.

See you then!

-Jb

Friday, August 5, 2011

Precious Cargo



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Please Note that both this comic and this blog post are also available on my new site http://www.twoxtwo.ca

As of September 1st I will no longer be using this blogspot account to post in and will ONLY be using http://www.twoxtwo.ca Don't get left behind!

I had accepted a week long speaking engagement at a summer camp in Muskoka (go camp Kwasind! http://www.kwasind.com) Sarah has been going to Kwasind since she was a kid, and I more recently have been involved in ministry as the Assistant Camp Director and Staff Chaplain. We were excited to go back and to start a family tradition of our own for our boys, but our kids are a lot of work; so we asked Sarah’s sisters, Rachel and Leah, if they would come help us as our nannies for the week. It was a fun. Half way through the week I needed to go into town and Leah needed WiFi, so we packed up Eli (Caleb was sleeping so we let him be) and headed into town. Then it happened, after I passed a guy (going a speed my mother in law is comfortable with me driving at ;) ) Leah reminded me that I have precious cargo in the car. I was humbled, until she mentioned that on top of the precious cargo I also had a baby in the car. I almost died laughing. It was at that point that I knew: I would be drawing this episode in a few weeks.

It didn’t happen exactly like that, we were short one baby in real life, and I’ve never got my car up on two wheels (nor do I think an Elantra Touring would make it on two wheels, lol) but never-the-less, an episode in hilarity to be sure. Thanks Leah, for being awesome.

Like I said in my last post; I’m having trouble respecting my own deadlines. I finished this strip yesterday and reaaaally wanted to post it right away, but I’m trying to maintain some iota of professionalism (crappy drawings and infrequent blog posts aside, lol).

Note also that I still can’t draw hands. In Leah’s introduction her hands are conveniently in her pockets, and in the strip only my hands are shown, and only on the wheel (10 and 2 o’clock y’all!) I’m just not a hand guy. I’m more of a face guy. Well, not eyes. Or noses… or lips, I hate lips. Ears are weird too. Okay, so I’m not so much a face guy as I am a perspective guy. …as long as the perspective isn’t an object. Not all objects, just cars, or guns, or swords, or phones… okay I can’t draw objects. But bodily perspective is my specialty. …As long as the perspective doesn’t involve faces or hands…

Okay, so I can’t draw, alright?

…Which begs the question…

…Why do you even come here?

lol

-Jeff

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dream Theory 2



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My new website is up and running! Yes, we have our very own domain name now and a fully functioning website! I still need to tweak some things for better efficiency on the website, but other than that, thunderbirds are go! check it out http://www.twoxtwo.ca I'm posting the comics and blogging there, and come September that will be the exclusive source for the comic. Well, I already blogged over there, and I don't have much else to say, so read it on the website! WOO!

-Jb

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Man of the House



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I should start by saying that it's been a few years since I've heard a telemarketer ask for "the man of the house", but the last time I heard it I was mildly offended. Is my wife incapable of making decisions for us? Is she to clouded by her female emotions to make an informed choice? Truth be told, Sarah handles most of our finances anyways as I am terrible at math and budgets. I can do budgets for work and stuff, but when it comes to a personal budget I just lack that ability.

This is one of the few comics I've done that hasn't actually happened. Although, when Sarah did her pregnancy test I was playing Halo, and apparently when she came out of the bathroom her thought was "really? can I handle another one of these?" lol. Jokes on her, we had twins, ha ha. The boys love video games too; they can't play them obviously, what with being only 7 months old at this point. But they love playing with the controller, and they love watching the screen. I've had to stop playing video games when they are in the room because I don't want them exposed to that kind of violence (but I'm okay exposing myself to it? hmmm....)

Great news! Soon this blog will be moving to its very own domain! In the next week or so we should be up and running at twoxtwo.ca I've registered the domain and found a web host, so all I need to do now is design the site and we're good to go. Mind you I'm tech impaired and don't know the first thing about designing websites... I'm sure it will be fine, lol.

Any way, should have gone to bed an hour ago. Hope you enjoyed todays comic! I will post another on Friday and two next week as well to make up for my lack of comics the past few weeks. Ciao!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sleep Deprivation



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I did it! I can't believe it. Amongst all the craziness that happened this week I still got 2 comics out. I hope you enjoy this one. Next week I will be up at camp so I wont be able to post a comic, but I will post 2 again the week after.

So... yeah... this actually happened. In my defense I don't think I had slept in about 45 hours by this point. The boys were still pretty new and just back from the hospital, so I still didn't know what I was doing (I still don't know what I'm doing, lol). I was able to calm him down by rocking him back and forth, and eventually his bottle warmed up and I could give it to him. ...poor kid...

Exciting news! I am working on shifting this operation to an actual domain name! this way I will have a little more control over how the site looks and the different features that are available on it. I will keep you posted as development happens, and I hope to have it up and running in the fall.

Well, I have another busy day today so I will leave you with that!

grace and peace,
Jb

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bath Time!



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Our kids love the bath. As soon as you lay them down on the towel on the bathroom floor to get them ready they start giggling. I've heard some parents say their kids hate the bath. I'm glad our kids like it, I would just prefer it if they didn't practice Water-Bending while I'm trying to bathe them (obscure reference! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAEfcTShZxQ) It is pretty common for whoever is bathing them to wind up completely soaked by the end of the bath.

I feel like I upped my art work in this strip. The reason being is I always had an easy out when drawing Sarah. What I mean to say is, I can't draw hands. And so, when she was pregnant, her hands were always on her tummy, around the bottom, where finger details didn't matter. Now that she is not pregnant any more, she has to have hands! so this strip I actually stick personned and blocked out positions and did some perspective yadda-yadda-yadda. Anyway, I'm fairly happy with how it looks, so I might keep it up.

I realize I said I would post 2 comics this week like I did last week, but a last minute scheduling change happened in the preaching schedule at church and it looks like I'm up :) I haven't had a ton of time. It is unlikely that I will have the next comic up before I leave for camp, but who knows, you might get a black and white one :)

anyway, so much to do, so little time. That's all for me for now. Ciao.

-Jb

Thursday, June 30, 2011

double whammy!

Okay, so I feel super bad about not having a comic up the past two weeks. I was swamped with things to do two weeks ago, and then last week my scanner broke. Everything is fixed now though, and to make it up to you, I made 2 comics this week!

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I will post 2 next week as well so that I am all caught up. The week after I will be away on a speaking engagement at a summer camp for the week, so I'll have to figure out whether they will let me post from camp, or whether I entrust someone here with my comic while I'm gone. Maybe I'll pull a penny-arcade and bring in a guest artist, who knows.

Once again, these strips are almost too close to reality. It wasn't the doctor who was shouting "Get Mad!" it was a feisty 4 foot nothin Philippino nurse. The advice didn't really help. All the nurses and doctors kept telling Sarah where to push (is there generally confusion about that? I don't know.) The way Sarah tells it, it wasn't that she didn't know where to push, or even when to push, it was the fact that she was flat on her back that gave her so much trouble. "Let gravity do it's thing!" she said afterward. And I agree.

It's really difficult to advocate for yourself and your medical options when your in the heat of things. One thing I will say, having kids gave me a spine (It's also slowly destroying my spine, but in a more physical, less symbolic way than I was implying previously.) All of a sudden I had the courage to tell off anyone who was getting all up in my families bid-ness. Maybe I should have had kids earlier. I wouldn't have been such a push over with my bell bill :P ha ha.

Apparently the doctor was talking to me while I was texting everyone we knew. I don't really remember, and if she was I'm sure I paid attention to her AND my cell phone.

It's funny, I think I was almost as excited for my comic strip babies to be borne than I was for my real life babies to be borne. I just have so many great moments that will lend themselves well to a comic strip, so now I have the oportunity to tell all of our stories. Should be some fun :)

Anywho, I think that's all from me. It's almost 1:30 am, and I should sleep before thing 1 and thing 2 wake up for food. See you next week.

-Jb

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Scanner Broken



My scanner broke. Comics will come. Just not this week. Sorry folks. In the meantime, here is a video of me playing guitar :) It's my acoustic version of "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Delayed

Sorry no comic today! I had to much to do this week. I will post one by the end of the day tomorrow though.

Jb

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Medical Science



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This doctor was dead set on Sarah having a C-section. She kept trying to talk us into it, and even after Sarah delivered Eli naturally, she wanted to do a C-section with Caleb (cause what woman wouldn't want to recover from both birth and surgery at the same time while trying to parent twins?) I think the strangest thing about Dr. "Levi" (name changed) was that she didn't do anything during the birth. Another doctor did all of the work while Dr. Levi stood by and watched. Afterward, Sarah was wheeled out to recovery and I was left to take off my scrubs with the doctors. The doctor who did all the work says

"Excellent work Dr. Levi!"

and Dr. Levi says "Thank you." and walks away. Not "thank you, you as well." not "Thank you, but you did most of the work" not even "well we should all be proud. I was a team effort." Just "thank you." I wanted to slap her.

Overall that hospital was a terrible experience and we won't be going back there for any future births.

I feel like I'm getting better at posting comics, this might be the third or fourth week that I've actually gotten it up on time. As for my other posts (the monday/wednesday post) I blame the twins for that. Who has time to write anything? I'm going to keep trying. I actually have things I want to post those days, it's just a matter of getting around to it.

Well. That's all I got tonight. Time for bed. sweet dreams.

Jb

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For...



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This really happened. It didn't happen exactly like this, but this is more or less how it went down. To be fair, I said things like this pretty much everyday for the last month of her pregnancy.

"I don't want to work today. Can you go eat some Indian food and shovel the walk so that you go into labour and I can leave early?"

"Rent is due. How about going into labour and getting us an extension?"

"It's Tuesday today. Labour anyone?"

Call me a bad husband. I call it hilarious. I think the stupidest thing that happened that day (and there was a lot...) was that I beat the ambulance to the hospital by 15 minutes. AND they left 15 minutes before me. AND they forgot to call in that they were coming. So I'm waiting at the hospital for 15 minutes yelling at nurses and doctors saying "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T HAVE A SARAH BAKER HERE? SHE'S HAVING TWINS! I'M MISSING THE BIRTHS OF MY SONS!" The next few weeks will be hilariously chronicling one of the most difficult times in our lives. I hope you enjoy our discomfort :)

Vector Imaging
You know how I was saying I haven't yet got the hang of my new program? here's what I mean:
It's not terrible, and I feel like I'm on the verge of a breakthrough with Inkscape, but as you can see the edging is much thicker, and the definition in the drawing is more crude and unrefined. colouring is another issue, I don't mean the different colours in the different pictures, but I mean adding colour in general. Inkscape doesn't want to fill in the lines, it just wants to make a rough vector shape of the colour I want inside the lines, but not touching the lines. I got them to touch in this picture through some kind of old world voodoo involving a chicken and Al Roker... or I expanded the barrier of colourization or something. If anyone has any pointers I welcome them!

Honourable Mention
This is Joel. He and his wife Lynn were supposed to be in an earlier issue where Joel tries to get Sarah to go into labour simply so that he has an interesting evening by being present. That actually happened too. We were all out for sushi and Joel kept mentioning how he hoped it happened that night so that he'd have an interesting story for Monday or something. Out of spite Sarah waited until the next day. I didn't ever end up making that strip because I couldn't make it as funny as I wanted it to be. I haven't drawn Lynn yet either. I'm okay making Joel look like crap, but I'd feel bad if that happened to Lynn, so I'm taking more time on hers. They should be making cameos in future strips.

This particular post is making me realize how Canadian I am. All the "U's" in words like "colour" and "labour" are coming out as spelling errors on this spell check. ha ha, oh well.

That's all I have for now. I will try and remember to blog something on Monday. Ciao!

Jb

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Art



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When you have twins all the days run together. I can never keep track of what day it is, which is the only explanation for why I keep realizing I'm supposed to be blogging right as I'm going to bed on the days that my blog is "due" (I say "due" because they are days I've imposed on myself). I do plan on having a new comic up on Friday, and yes, the rumours are true: Sarah will be going into labour! (in the comic. babies have been here for a while in real life). I realized I have so much more post-pregnancy material than I do pre-pregnancy material. And even most of the pre-pregnancy material I have works post-pregnancy too. so here they come!

I'm still getting the hang of my new vector graphics program. It still is not perfected so for now I'm still using illustrator. I'll post a comparison later today so you can see the difference between what I'm able to do currently with each program. I assume I can do most of the same stuff with inkscape (that's the new program) I'm just having issues with the tracing option. Illustrator's "live trace" and "live paint" options give the artist god-like drawing capabilities. whereas inkscapes potrace option is more limiting at the moment. Inkscape is definitely better for free design though. I am making a poster today for a coffee house we are doing at church, and I'm going to use inkscape over illustrator.

That's all I got for now.

SAMMICH!

jb

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Power of Prayer



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I don't know what it is about being a pastor, but since I started working at Lorne Park I've been asked to say the grace every time I sit down to have a meal with people. It's almost as if people believe that being a pastor makes me more qualified to be thankful for food. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind saying grace; I love prayer and talking to God, and if you've seen my pant size you'll know that I'm grateful for food! I just think it's funny is all. Part of me almost hopes that this trend continues because it really reminds me that I do need to be active in prayer. another part of me feels the need to encourage others to pray as well.

My friend Ryan (the recipient of the box comic) is a student at MacDiv; he explained it this way: "Well, pastors make really low wages, so maybe we are more grateful for food! because its more of a rarity when we have some!" we then decided that we should eat with homeless people more often and ask them to pray, because they would be the most grateful for it. (Before you recoil at the offensive nature of the joke, take a moment to think about the truth hidden inside of it. Maybe you should go eat lunch with a homeless person. They would be very grateful!)

I'm trying to improve my prayer life in general, so maybe grace is a good place to start. Remembering to pray before meals could be a good gateway to remembering to pray before everything.

And hey, we could all do with a little less wizardry in our lives. repent.

Jb

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mr. Cellophane

It’s about to get real

My life has gone through several transitions lately. I recently became a father. I have two amazing kids who I’m grateful for every day. I also recently became a pastor. It is the best job I’ve ever had. However, in both cases there was a key area that I was unprepared for. The idea that I am now a role model for not only my kids, but other people’s kids as well has been slightly more crushing in its gravity than I had anticipated.

Before this year I had made it my goal to live transparently. I wasn’t afraid or ashamed of any of my sin because I was confident in the redeeming power of Christ and in the salvation I had attained through his sacrifice. My thinking was: if all my dirty laundry is out in the open, then no one will ever be able to dig anything up on me. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe all the things I believed a year ago, but I realized something recently: it is easy to live a life of surrender when you have nothing to lose. A year ago God could tell me to go anywhere in the world, for any length of time and with zero notice and I’d have hopped on the next flight. To my embarrassment I don’t know if I’m so willing now. You see, 5 months ago I got something to lose. I got a lot to lose actually. I got 2 kids who are learning how to be people from me, and I got a nice job with an office, benefits, and a pension. I got all these things and I realized that if I messed up bad enough, I could lose everything. Subconsciously I became afraid and I began to burry my sin. I don’t think that I was sinning any more or any less than I had been before, but I began to hide it; I hid it from my job, my wife, my God, and myself. I was so crushed by the idea of being a positive influence on people’s lives that I shrouded myself in deception. (I should state that I think I’m making it sound worse than it is, but this is the severity I feel inside me. I was also during these past few months dealing with my annual spring depression [Seasonal Affective Disorder] which probably played into the spiritual haze I was feeling). I was worried that if people saw me as I was and saw all of my imperfections and struggles than they wouldn’t trust or respect me. This is of course bogus. Who wants to hang out with Mr. Perfect all day?

Being a Christian is a conundrum. We are to strive each day for perfection as we follow Christ, and yet be humbled by our imperfections and submit ourselves to Christ. I got my job by not caring about my past sin, by not worrying about what the world thought, but by being concerned about what God thought. Why did I think I would keep it by acting differently?

I realized something the other day. I was praying and praying, trying to figure out how I could repair what I viewed as a damaged relationship with God. What I realized is my whole problem stems from the fact that I am trying to do something. God wants me to surrender everything, my family, my job, my pride, even my relationship with him. I had repented of my sin to all those affected, myself, my wife, my church, but not God. I hadn’t come before my creator and surrendered myself, calling a spade a spade and telling him what I’d done, asking for his help, surrendering my pride. Part of being a role model to my children and to others is showing the proper way to repent. I hadn’t done that. I won’t make that mistake again. I am transparent once more. I am shaky, nervous, scared, but see through. Wide open. No secrets. Some regrets, but regrets remind me of where I’ve been and where I want to go. I am scared to raise these boys, to pastor these kids. I am scared but equipped. God is my guide, I am only his vessel. This is his ministry, not mine. Praise God for that.

Jb

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dream Theory



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I don't know what Freud would have thought about my dream. It was a pretty awesome dream though. Not only did I get to be a screen acting legend, but yes, I could control tornadoes. I have a long history of just completely ridiculous dreams. Sarah has learned over time not to ask me what I'm thinking or what I dream about. The answer is very often to awesome for mere mortals to behold. I think the Betty White dream probably came about as a result of my realizing I was dreaming. I often have anxiety dreams about tornadoes, and occasionally if I realize I'm dreaming, I can begin to control the different aspects of my dream. As for Betty White, well... a man can dream, can't he? a man can dream...

I've been terrible at posting lately. The reason is that I've been dipping my hand into the science fiction pot, hoping to pull out some nerdy gold. My original plan was to write different installments and post them as I write them, which is still the plan, but it's taking longer than I had planned. I will eventually post it, but until then, I appreciate your patience.

Well it's getting late and I have babies to feed soon, so I must go nourish myself first. Have a good night and be well. Happy Easter.

Jb

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Be a Man!



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Fact: The manliest thing a man can do is to pistol whip a bear while riding a shark. As I see it you have three of Bear to pistol whip, Grizzly, Kodiak, and Polar; and two options of Shark. As the comic states, the last thing you want to do is to pistol whip a koala while riding a nurse shark. It just takes all the oomph out of it. I suppose pistol whipping a koala, on a nurse shark could be good practice for children. Maybe when my boys are a little older I will take them to the outback and see what type of marsupial we can whip. Currently I have them punching lemurs on a daily basis, just to ingrain an innate sense of manliness into them.

Sorry this comic took forever to post. I totally neglected my posting duties last week due to an essay I needed to write, and then the comic was late going up because I'm preaching tomorrow at church and I needed to finish my sermon. Next week should be back to normal somewhat. that's all for me.

Jb

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Forgiveness

I apologize for not getting a comic up on Friday or posting anything on Monday. It's exam week. I have one last essay to write and I'm all done. New comic this Friday! promise.

Jb

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bonus!



What's this? a comic? On Wednesday? Blasphemy! Well consider it a little bonus. I don't really think of this as a comic. Our church intern Ryan was complaining that he never gets left anything in the church office; so I drew this up and shoved it in an envelope. I decided to post it because it makes me laugh. I didn't clean it up any though. Well, I retyped the words (poorly) because they didn't make it through the scan.

We had an interesting day yesterday. I woke up at 8:30 and started getting some bottles ready for the babies. As soon as the water boiled the fire alarm started going off. I decided just to move the whole operation to the balcony, because I've been told that's where you should wait in an apartment fire. I stepped out onto the balcony and looked across the lot (our building is V shaped)and saw that the apt. 2 floors up and on the other side of the building was ablaze. fairly furiously as well. Sarah and I made a quick call and said "well, it'll take a while for that to make its way over here" so we packed up our rabbits, cat and babies and headed for the car. (our unit is right next to the stairwell and exits into the parking lot by our car). once we were safely out we went and stayed at Sarah's Grandma's house for a few hours. Eli thought the whole thing was awesome, he kept smiling and laughing. My guess is that he thought he was watching the price is right (his favorite show). After all there were buzzers, lights, people totally freaking out. Caleb was less amused. He had this terrified little look on his face... it might have been gas. Anyway, no one was injured. Our apartment was untouched by the fire. Sarah took some pictures of the fire that I will post in a later blog, probably tomorrow. All in all it was a pretty average day for the Bakers.

That's all for me! New comic on Friday.

Jb

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jeff's Got the Bob-omb!



I always wanted to “got” the bob-omb, and now I do! I found him at the dollar store when I was buying toys with which to make awesome youth group games. As it turns out he is filled with a disgusting candy powder that erodes your soul; but then, such is the destructive power of the bob-omb. Oh the many times the bob-omb has foiled my plans whilst coming around the bend on the highway levels of Mario Kart. Yes, with great power comes great responsibility; responsibility to never let anyone try the horrible candy powder within.

Originally I was going to use the bob-omb as a mascot of sorts for the youth group. I also thought of starting a Christian Indie band called “Abstinence Bob-Omb” to contrast Scott Pilgrims band “Sex Bob-Omb”. After much deliberation however, both these ideas seemed convoluted and esoteric.

There has always been something ridiculous to me about the concept of the bob-omb, or about Mario villains in general (a ridiculousness well portrayed here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpKNtWHtFtQ [mind the swearing]). For that matter, there seems to have been something wrong with all video game villains in the 80’s and 90’s. They just don’t possess that killer instinct needed to get the job done. (not that I'm an expert at having "killer instinct" [another wonderful Nintendo franchise]). I’ve been studying way to much Calvin this year, so my automatic answer is that video game villains are predestined to fail, which is not entirely incorrect. They have been programmed to be beaten by the hero. It really makes you think... about video games...

Just a note of clarification: I showed Friday’s comic to a friend at school who seemed offended and told me she didn’t think it was funny. I was taken aback (after all, who wouldn’t think it was funny?) and then realized, she didn’t get the punch line. I was talking to the cat! If you read the comic and were offended, please note that I was talking to the cat. I would never call my wife “fatty”. It just doesn’t fly at our house.
That’s all I got for today. Enjoy your week. We’ll talk on Wednesday.

Jb

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Context is Everything



(Click to enlarge)

Just in case you missed the first comic (scroll down!), she is pregnant, not fat. That is to say, she is not currently pregnant, but was pregnant when these events transpired. This particular episode was followed by profuse apologies and explanations. "No I wasn't talking to you! I was talking to the cat! I would never say that to you!" the real hilarity came when Sarah said, "oh, okay good. ...can I have more food?" I took a few creative liberties on how the ordeal transpired, there was no crying, (at least not on her end [you try inadvertently calling your pregnant wife "fatty"]) and the whole thing seemed almost instantly funny to the both of us. George the cat got his food and we got ours.

I was finally able to figure out the best method for colouring this comic. In the past I've shied away from shading, which just makes the whole thing look like it was drawn on MS paint (which coincidentally, I have used to draw comics in the past). It's not that I'm opposed to MS paint, I just think the ridiculously expensive software I'm using should turn a better product. I'm hoping to find a freeware version of Illustrator so that I can upgrade to a CS4 level, but so far to no avail. If you know of one, give me a shout!

That's all for me. I should have a new post on Monday, no comic though. Comics come on Friday (or in this case Saturday.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Snafu

I tried to have a new comic up today, but it didn't work out. The comic is actually written and drawn, the challenge just seems to be putting those two things together. Having done other comics you would think that I would have a preferred way to create them, but I seem to try new strategies each time. I am still finding what way works for this comic. I will try and have it up tomorrow or Monday. stay tuned!

Jb

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Theological Imprecations

video

This is a song I wrote for my Psalms class this year. It is based on Psalm 137.

2 Timothy 3:16
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Psalm 137 presents an interesting theological problem. The psalmist finishes the psalm with the verse “Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” (Psalm 137:9). This strong language is issued against the Babylonians who, in the context of the psalm, have recently brought the nation of Israel into exile. The problem is this: we adhere that the psalms are books of scripture, we adhere that, as I have written above, all scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching and training in righteousness. We also adhere that Jesus is the Christ, God incarnate, and that he has told us to love our enemies as ourselves (Matthew 5:43-44). If we adhere to these things and hold them as truth, then how can we accept Psalm 137? Should not the psalmist have had an inward knowledge of the inevitable covenant with Christ? Should not the editors of the psalms have seen this as unbiblical and discarded it? Should not one of the ecumenical councils have seen this psalm as un-canonical and stricken it from our Holy book? And yet, here it is.

I think the emotions expressed in this psalm speak to a school of thinking in modern Christianity that is flawed and incorrect. We tend to view God through a karmic lens, assuming that he is vengeful, and that if we are sinful he will give us a limited number of chances before he destroys us. And if that is true for us, it must also be true for our enemies. This method of thinking is flawed. God does not deal justice in karma. If he did, we would not have needed Jesus to come to Earth, die for us, and be raised again. We wouldn’t need a saviour, because we would be able to save ourselves with good karma. It’s here that I feel the old joke “my karma ran over my dogma” holds true. Although sins have consequences we know from the book of Job that bad things happening aren’t necessarily as a result of sin. On the flip side we see in King Solomon that good things happening aren’t necessarily a result of God’s good favour. Job was righteous and blameless and he had everything taken from him, whereas Solomon was a deplorable letch (with a harem bigger than Hugh Heffner and Warren Jeffs combined) whose reign was accompanied by unfathomable wealth, peace, and success.

We forget that the psalms are emotional pieces of poetry. God is just; in due time he will right all that is unjust. Occasionally our human interpretation of what is just and unjust is skewed. The bible often gives examples of the human condition as well as examples of how to live. The psalmist in this verse is heartbroken. He is telling his oppressor’s that turnabout is fair play. Does this mean that we should go around cursing those who have wronged us? No. We are called to something more. Have other believers felt those intense emotions? Yes. Can we find comfort in that? Absolutely.

Ultimately we are called to forgive. This week I heard a quote of whose source I am unsure of. It says that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting our enemies to die. We need to forgive, or we remain heartbroken.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beginnings, Intentions and Introductions



(The caption reads: "Waiting for bloodwork at the Pregnancy Clinic" Click to enlarge)


This actually happened. My wife and I had recently had a conversation regarding whether or not we wanted to start a family or stay in school and finnish our degrees. We decided to stay in school. God decided it was family time. We were at a walk in clinic waiting for the pregnancy test bloodwork results when suddenly someone's child starts screaming its head off. A cold chill rushed down my spine as I felt an eerie sense of foreshadowing. Little did I know that person had it easy. God has blessed my wife and I with two beautiful boys. I tend to do everything in twos (hense the name of the blog.) Double major, double honours, plan on doing two masters programs, for a while I had two jobs, why not start our family with twins? Anyone who doesn't think that God has a sense of humour needs to look at my life. God laughs at me. God laughs at my plans. Not in a bad way mind you. He just seems to take great joy in foiling my schemes and kicking me onto the right path. It happens frequently, and it has taught me the meaning of trust.

My name is Jeff. I am a youth pastor in Mississauga. I have a passion for theology and philosophy as well as all forms of worship to the one God. I have two cute baby boys (cuter than yours!) and a wonderful wife. This blog is going to serve as my outlet for creativity. I will philosophize on it. I will sing on it. I will draw on it. I plan on updating this blog at least 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). I am also going to try and have a new comic out every friday (I know, it's Tuesday. Give me a break.) The comics are based on my life and for the most part, actually happened. I hope you enjoy yourself.


Jb