For those that don't live in Texas, let me tell you about June bugs.

June bugs are marble sized brown beetles that are arguably the dumbest bugs on the face of the earth. You don't see them during the day usually, you mainly see them at night, breaking their exoskeletons against porch and street lights. They have no navigational skills around these night lights and end up flying in circles and into walls, doors, people, anything not moving around. When they land, they are upside-down wings still buzzing like they've just dropped acid and are hallucinating being chased by a bird in a Dali painting. I mean, I've seen some dumb bugs before, usually beetles, but these have got to be the 'tards of the insect world.

So it got me thinking about why bugs fly into lights at all. It's seems pretty weird that most flying insects do this. When in Colorado, it was the gnats and miller moths that turned the 50 ft radius around any street light into a blizzard of buzzing wings. I checked a few entomology sites and found that no one knows why bugs do this. There are some simple theories however. 1) They use the sun to navigate during the day and instinctually follow it's light in a straight line, helping them know where home and food are. They never get closer to the sun, so it's always in front of them. 2) Moths are attracted to the full moon's light so at night they will fly high and try to reach it, there by spreading their population out over large areas. 3) Insects are more attuned to light waves and the frequency of artificial light over natural light drives them crazy.

Either way, the phenomenon is dependant on two things; the kind of light and the kind of bug. Some bugs are content to sit near the light, some are perpetually flying around it, some try to smash themselves against it. June bugs seem to go into a Bezerker Fury whenever they're near my porch and it becomes an American Gladiator spectacle to watch anyone leave the house. Last night one did a Greg Luganis right into my coke, I can only assume the caffeine calmed it down.


I have to say I wish life were a little better lately. I'm working on just working and staying afloat mentally. Doing this comic book seems a bit selfish and pointless with all that's happening. Things could be smoother on the homefront in a couple aspects, and that forces all participants to sort of step back and take stock in where they stand, what they want, and where things are going. I don't like thinking that in a year I could be by myself, or anything drastic like that. I don't like thinking it because it puts all the other tasks and endeavors in your life into perspective and it's hard to resurrect them. Any death in the family or major schism tends to emphasize the fact that your hobbies are just that and you suddenly start looking at other people who have it worse than you with a feeling of pompitude and egocentrism.

I'm about 30 days away from being 30 years old and it's starting to put perspective on my life. I don't feel old, although Mrs. Austin will be the first in line to comment on my graying hair and snapping joints, but I do feel that from this point on I can't be frivolous with my time. I can't afford to waste efforts and long hours on things that won't help me or my family. I think that's what eventually gets people when they become parents over 30 is they still linger to the vices of their youth but come to a realization that they can't wollow in that life anymore without some detrimental effects. I still want to draw my own comic book, but I just feel like I'm missing the window when I can easily turn this dream into a reality without sacrificing exponentially more than I would have years ago.

Focusing nearly all my energy on this comic, which in all rights is just a couple hundred photocopied pages of chicken scratch, and having so many real life events take place has left me a little empty. Things have happened lately that make me feel like I don't have many friends left, another aging stereotype. My friends are really people I work with or live with and when bad things happen in any of those places you don't feel you have anywhere to go and you feel alone and stranded with nothing to do but sit tight and hope the boat doesn't sink right from under you. It's a nasty, clammy feeling that you can't wash off in a shower or drown with liquor. It's one of failure and hopelessness. It's not a depression, but how a depression would feel, like there's just no escaping the ultimate doom that is the course of your life, so why bother doing anything at all, least of all piddly shit like a comic book that maybe 20 people in all the world will read. It's a big black Nothing that you can't fight off, you can't sell enough crap on ebay to buy your way out of, and you can't put off because there are too many days between now and payday and not enough between now and the due date.

Somehow though, you take a smoke, settle down, drink a beer and realize that this situation happens about 1,523 times in each persons life. They reach a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and they lose all faith until they realize it's not as bad as all that and get past it. Some handle it better than others, some ignore it, some meet it head on, some falter a bit and need help. However it happens, you have to realize, you're not dead yet. Short of total incapacitation, there are usually options, things you can do to right the ship, get back on course. I have to realize that this comic book is mine, it's my outlet. As paltry and plastic as it seems to me right now, I have to keep in mind that to stop this would be to stop being myself.

I just hope I buy what I've been selling here.


Lil Miss Austin's birthday was last week. She's officially now 2 years (and 7 days) old and boy is she acting the part.

The birthday went off without a hitch. Only one couple and their kids didn't attend but I think they may have been out of town, so that's cool. There were 5 kids, including LMA that made it and the inflatable pool playground in the backyard was a big hit. We went with the Spongebob theme and there was Crabby Patties (White Castle burgers), Jellyfish (Jell-O cups turned over and set on gummy worms), Pirate Bootie (bowl of Pirate Bootie), punch and cake. The cake was pretty awesome, I'd purchased a mold for Mrs. Austin to use and we were very excited, but the task of decorating the cake had her not looking forward to the experience. It turned out just wonderfully and was the high point of the party, to us.

Lil Miss Austin was the perfect center of attention. She played well with the other kids, didn't fight, shared her cake and was very nice when saying Thank You and Goodbye. She was actually able to open the couple wrapped presents by herself and knew that the paper was not the fun part, but the item inside. Last year she was more fascinated with ribbon and tissue paper than the actual gift. Amazing what a difference a year makes. By next year I'm sure she'll be asking where her cell phone and computer are because these kids toys just aren't cutting it anymore.

I'd also like to offer mad props to Mrs. Austin's sister for sending a box full of loud musical instruments. A gift that guarantees we don't get to sleep late on Saturdays. It's only fitting since we've been doing the same for a couple years now with her kids, mildly amused at our own precociousness for giving another parent's kids loud noise-making toys. Well, it was apparently payback time. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be that way, there is a drumset in our garage, and all the kids in Mrs. Austin's family were in band or played an isntrument at some point, so it was a very cool gift.

She likes the triangle the best.


Over the next few months, Mr. Austin will be working on getting ready for a comic book convention in Chicago, so the updating, if any, will be done by Mrs. Austin. After the con, she will also be taking a photography class and the quality of pictures you see here will just floor you. Really.

For those that frequent this little log, we thank you for your continued patronage and apologize for the loss of old articles or pictures. The grandparents of Lil Miss Austin have plenty of emailed pics and they are the most important.

In passing I'd like to mention we went to Alegria last weekend and it was stellar. For those who haven't seen a Cirque du Soleil of any kind, might we suggest checking them out. The music and the pagentry more than make up for any naysayers who are afraid of clowns or aren't into theater. It really is a treat of sights and sounds.

Now onto the updates. Lil Miss Austin is finally learning to sleep in a bed, not a cage. We've removed the front of her crib and are working on letting her get in and out of bed on her own, and yes, falling out on her own. It's only been going on for a couple weeks and in that time she's fallen out a handful of times. Before you cal the CPA on us, it's a natural thing to go through. As long as there have been beds, people have fallen out of them. If if were more of a problem, there would be beds closer to the ground or floors with mattresses built in. Moving on.

She has been really good so far. One of the more adorable aspects has been her getting up and coming to the door, uncertain if she should come out. Imagine sitting in the living room and hearing the creak of a door, look down the hallway to see the door opened just a crack, then close suddenly as a little person on the other side sees you and realizes they may be in trouble. We end up calling down the hallway to her and she slowly opens the door and waddles out, sometimes still asleep. It more than makes up for the pooping in the bathtub and tantrums at the mall.

Well, the other day, the two parents were awoke by a small cry, but not a wail so we were unsure what to do. After a few moments, I decided to check on her to make sure she was ok. We have hardwood floors, so we've put large throw pillows below her bed in case she falls out. Falling on carpet is one thing. I open the door to find that she's not in her bed. I start looking around the room to see if she's wandered off, then back out into the hallway to see if she's slipped by me. Nothing. That's when I turn the light on and see this.

I mean really, how can you not love kids.

She was under there with her blankets and stuffed critters, almost like she had gone down there on purpose. Well, after a few minutes we put her back, not wanting her to sleep on the cold floor, but I was tempted to leave her there as it was kind of obvious she was terribly comfortable.