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Critical Care Comics Saint Rose Hospital Visit 2016-03-24

You guys might have seen me talk in other posts about my volunteer work with Critical Care Comics, but in case you haven’t here’s a brief rundown: a bunch of big kids get together with local nerds & do-gooders to gather comics books, then summon up some superheroes and hand out those comics to kids in local hospitals to bring some much needed fun to their day.  Who wouldn’t be happy to have Spiderman, Supergirl and Deadpool bring you a fat stack of comics?! Normally Batman would join us, but this time around he had some business to take care of back in Gotham…something about a fight with the man of steel…pfft…boys.
While I’ve been doing visits with them for a few months now, they’ve been around for 4 years doing good deeds and assembling their super squad! They’re all pretty awesome people in their own right and though Deadpool is a recent addition he’s a smash hit! It’s so much fun seeing how the kids light up when their favourite heroes (or anti-heroes) walk in! I tag along and do caricatures for any of the kids who’d like to be drawn as their favourite heroes or cartoon characters. On this last visit to Saint Rose I got to draw a little Beast Boy, a Wonder Woman and an Elsa along with a super cute little Mickey Mouse! Sometimes the kids will be too nervous or shy to interact much but will light right up when they see my drawing, which is really heart warming to see. Any reason to be in the hospital generally isn’t going to be good, so to bring a smile and some joy into their day is pretty cool! I’ve been doing caricatures for nearly 8 years now and it’s great to be able to give back and do something for people who might not feel up for going out at the moment. 

During this visit we had a camera crew of Channel 3 news tag along for a segment that aired later that day. Our super crew went about business as usual, just with a bit more fanfare than normal. ^_^; It was pretty cool seeing our group get some tv-time. We’re legit! It’s true! We really do what we do!
And it’s pretty awesome. I aim to keep tagging along and doing what I can to help cheer people up when and where I can as long as they’ll give me the honour of doing so with their awesome team. 
Thanks to @SandraNews3LV for coming today to spotlight everything that @CCComics4kids does in our community!

— St. Rose Dominican (@StRoseHospitals) March 24, 2016

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Vegas: Red Rock hike 2014/11/01

Las Vegas, for the uninitiated, is a city seemingly adrift among the vistas of the harsh Mojave desert. While there are several small towns and cities within an hour’s drive of the ever-expanding edges of the Vegas cityscape, once you pass those you’re pretty much in the wastelands. We’re talking the land of infamous Area 51, the Nevada Nuclear test site, Graboids, and Fallout New Vegas. The benefit to all this expanse of unrepentantly rough terrain is that much of it is exquisitely beautiful if you dare brave getting to it. Red Rock Canyon is among these prettiest of places while conveniently close to the city limits and relatively low on the difficulty. You can certainly opt to scramble up challenging rocks and scurry through caves and cracks, but you do so at your own discretion. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is named for the signature red rocks that proliferate the land. Other colors also streak through the stones, providing contrast and context.  Lighter stones could indicate mineral leaching from being underwater, while darker colors might indicate the presence of dense clays or different combinations of compounds. While I’m no geologist, I have to admit it’s a bit awe-inspiring to peer upon stones that chart the changes of eons in their striata…and besides, the red rocks are simply pretty. Many of the plants that grow in the desert are a less vibrant shade of green than you see in forests or grasslands, but the subdued hues contrast against the red quite nicely.
Despite the unyielding temperament of the desert, animal and plant life still flourishes. After hiking around for a little while, we found this little amphibian and his pals in a small pond that had sprung up atop a stone during the last rain. Rain is a scarce commodity and the ecosystem has adapted to take full advantage of it when it finally arrives. 

Driving back into Vegas from Red Rock is especially pretty during sunset, as the sky grows moodier and the city lights begin to twinkle to life. If you have the time to linger, enjoy the stars unhindered by the distant city lights.
 Few things in life are quite as lovely as the stars in a crisp, clear desert sky. 
Have you ever ventured into the Red Rock Canyon conservation area outside of Vegas?
If not, I highly recommend it during your next visit!

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Vegas: 2015 Halloween Comic Fest w/CriticalCare Comics@ Cheeseboy Comics

Did you know that Batman is quite the capable skateboarder?
Well, now you know.
For Halloween I was lucky enough to be invited to Cheeseboy Comics to join Critical Care Comics & FatBeard in the 2015 Halloween Comic Fest! 
Critical Care Comics is a non-profit organization that collects donated comics and delivers them to sick children in the hospital, along with visits from their favorite superheroes! 
Not only is their mission ridiculously awesome, they’re a pretty cool group of heroes, too!
In the Halloween spirit, costumes were greatly encouraged!

This little Charizard was the cutest thing! 
“I’m a dwagon!”
Then she lifts her tail to show the fluffy flames sewn on, “Look at my tail!”

Gentlemanly Cthulhu as requested by this dapper gent!

Spidey broke up this gang of Batman villains before world domination could be had.
Thanks, Spidey!
Leave it to your friendly neighborhood webslinger. 
Kids’ costume contest contestants! Aren’t they cute? 

Breakdancing Catwoman and a Khaleesi!

Riddler and the Penquin, up to no good 😉

the 9th Doctor (!!!) and Starlord!
So excited to see an Eccleston cosplayer, the 9th Doctor really doesn’t get enough fan love IMHO.

A charming fashionable take on the Riddler and creepy Joker from the Death of the Family comic! 

Spiderman and Bob Ross!

Wonderwoman flexing her guns!
The Toy Story couple showed up after the official costume contest was well over, but their couples’ costume was too well done to leave out.
There was even cake!!

All in all it was a great event and I had a lot of fun!
I got to draw a lot of fun people in great costumes (including Bob Ross and another couple drawings I didn’t get to photograph).
These events are always great, bringing out the whole family and giving big kids an excuse to dress up too! Everyday should be Halloween, as far as I’m concerned. 
Hope you enjoyed the photos, thanks for stopping by!

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Boulder City: the Coffee Cup & Hemenway Park 2015-10-01

Just hanging with some of the locals, you know? Chilling.
These were taken in Hemenway park, in Boulder City. 
The park has long been known for it’s popularity for grazing among the local Big Horn sheep population. When we initially drove past we didn’t see any of the rams, but after stopping for breakfast at the Coffee Cup diner we were willing to give it another shot. Good thing we did!

First thing first, a girl has got to eat!

If you should ever find yourself passing through Boulder City, the Coffee Cup is a bit of a landmark. It’s been featured on the Food Network show Diners, Dives & Drive-ins featuring Guy Fieri…
While I’m not sure how much I really trust that guy’s reviews, I have spent enough time in Boulder City to vouch for this place.

I’ve always enjoyed the collection of license plates adorning the walls, and the sports equipment is a kitschy but fun touch. 
There is some serious bible thumping going on here, though, with biblical quotes emblazoned in huge letters across a hallway near the bathroom. o_O  huh.
The important thing, though, is the food!
If the food sucked, no amount of cutesy kitch or righteous Godliness could possibly save it for me.

Luckily, the food is good enough. 
I don’t know if it’s really “the BOMB” as Guy Fieri put it (I’m telling you, that guy reminds me way too much of the singer of Smash Mouth and late 90’s college party boys for me to trust the legitimacy of his culinary critiques) but when you’re hungry after a long drive or a night sleeping among the coyotes, it will most certainly fill that void and do it sufficiently well. 
Antho got the chicken fingers, a standard dish for him, and he enjoyed them.
Their bloody mary is pretty damn good, too. Look at that bacon!
Made just for me with a big ol’ J. D’aw. 😉
The olive and celery were on the dry side, but the drink rehydrates them so it’s not a buzzkill.

Louie’s healthy breakfast hash full of veggies~ 

I got the huevos rancheros, smothered in their famous green chile sauce. I’m prone to enjoy green chile anything, though I wasn’t particularly fond of the hash browns as an accouterment. Personally I think I would’ve been happier with rice and beans…so it goes. 
After refueling and doing a bit of thrift shopping where we found some pretty groovy stuff (a new tie-dye shirt for Antho! Cecil B. Demented on VHS! A sailor blouse for me!), we decided to try our luck with the sheep again. Initially it looked like we had struck out, but we waited anyway, enjoying the slight breeze… 
after a few minutes, the sheep began to migrate from a nearby neighbor’s yard and make their way into the grassy lawns of Hemenway park! Hurrah!

One by one they made their way over…

There are signs in the park explaining the purpose of the collars, which are used to monitor the migration patterns and habits of the sheep. Researchers have been using the sheep population from the nearby mountains here to repopulate other areas where the populations have become endangered. Doing so has allowed the sheep to thrive and brought them back from a perilously low population!

Living it up in the lap of luxury. Just look at that view!

Louie actually managed to crawl pretty close to the sheep in order to snap these photos. With two males in attendance we had to be extremely cautious- those horns aren’t just for show! If incited to attack, those big horns can do some serious damage. Luckily he managed to stay far enough away to keep the peace while getting these great photos! Louie’s a boss. 
After getting our fill of staring at sheep, we headed back into the city.

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Las Vegas: Visit from a little bee buddy

Just nature doing nature stuff.
This little bee landed in the little patch of astroturf we have here (be water smart, shop s-mart) and hung out for quite awhile, posing for us like a true professional.
I’ve never been spooked by bees, and I’ve been stung several times.
Stinging someone requires having their guts ripped out… o_o
Why would anyone want to do that?
Even bees aren’t that cray cray unless you force them into a situation where they’d have to be.

 This little home-bee meant no harm!
And neither did we.
These are the flowers that attract the little guys. They also attract humming birds!

Thanks for hanging out with us little buddy!