It’s the New Blog. Improved? I’ll Let You Decide.

ppc-newversionIf you are a frequent visitor of this blog, you have probably noticed that it has been redesigned (you are also a person who has way too much free time on your hands and may want to consider a hobby).

After a couple of months of working with cartoonists and web designers, the new and probably not improved blog is ready to go.

Sadly, a fancy new blog design doesn’t make my writing better or my thoughts any more coherent (and yes, that is actually me in the cartoon… well, actually it is a cartoon version of me… which means it’s more handsome).

The blog 1.0 version served me well for over two years, but I felt it was time to give it an updated and cleaner look.

Welcome to The Blog 2.0.

Since it involved technology, I learned a lot going through this process. Being a middle-aged school administrator isn’t as easy as it looks. Computer and website stuff can be confusing to those of us who aren’t 14 years old.

Hiring people to work on this project (I prefer project vs. very small unimportant job) proved to be a challenge. Not angering them proved to be even harder.

Artists. So sensitive when you tell them how to do their jobs.

It’s like they have never been bossed around by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about before (I bet the cartoon version of me is way nicer than the real me).

I may still end up in couples counseling with my cartoonist.

But at least he was trustworthy.

When I started looking for a designer, I received estimates from $185 to $3500. Crazy. I had no idea what it should cost. Even worse, I had no clue who I could trust.

Luckily, I found an ex-Marine who went to art school (and ladies… you thought all the good ones were gone).

Paying for the redesign was probably not the brightest thing to do. Especially, when you consider how much revenue this blog and the website produce.

Counting a very successful last quarter, I have officially taken in zero dollars.

This does not make my cheap wife happy (and by cheap I mean frugal… and yes, that is her in the snazzy cartoon pants suit… and yes, she is too good for me in real life and cartoon life).

I have invested over two years in this website/blog and it has given me nothing. Not a dime. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not even so much as a thank you.

My daughter has made more money on her birthday. And at Christmas. And Easter. And Groundhog’s Day. And generally, any time a grandparent is within 5 miles (and of course, that is her in the cartoon… and our soon to be new family pet… Buddy).

I shouldn’t complain because I did get a free shirt once. And who doesn’t love a free shirt (and if you want to send one, please click on the new contact tab for ways to get in touch with me).

The point of the blog/website was never to make money. It was to provide resources to school administrators.

I think it has accomplished that. At least once or twice.

So money isn’t everything.

Plus, if I get into a financial jam I can always sell that free shirt for at least $11. At least I have that going for me.

But back to the redesign. The blog has outgrown me.

In the beginning, I had no idea people would read it. Or comment on it. Or quote it.

If I had known this, I don’t think I would have been brave (or foolish) enough to write it.

It has now grown to the point where I feel like I’m its caretaker. And because of this, I felt obligated to update it and keep it current.

So here it is.

The brand new PrincipalsPage the Blog.

Thanks for visiting and please let me know what you like, or don’t like about the new design. You can be honest, just don’t be mean. Because if you’re mean, I probably won’t be allowed to play with you anymore.

A side note… sorry ladies… blog designer says he is taken and has been for 14 wonderful years and has two strapping young boys to show for it.

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My Cartoon Guy Hates Me.

My Cartoon Guy.

My Cartoon Guy.

I have a problem. Actually, I am pretty sure I have lots of problems but I can only tackle 17 at any given time (it’s good to be an administrator).

My focus right now is that I have a cartoon guy.

You might be asking yourself what adult has a cartoon guy.

I do. And don’t kid yourself; you are jealous.

Or more likely you may think I am odd. Get in line. But as a school administrator I must tell you, when you are in line I expect you to be quiet and keep your hands to yourself (which is a challenge in the springtime… especially for boys).

I can prove that having a cartoon guy doesn’t make me odd. Let the record show that I was odd way before the cartoon guy came into my life.

My problem isn’t that I have a cartoon guy, but the fact that I may have inadvertently angered the cartoon guy.

While this sounds bad, I consider it progress.

When I was younger and angered/annoyed/bothered people, I usually didn’t even notice.

Now that I am older and wiser, I realize when I have angered/annoyed/bothered people, so I think that is a real sign of maturity.

Although, having a cartoon guy may be a big step backwards.

The bigger problem is this time I may have upset the wrong person.

In an effort to redesign this blog, I had a brainstorm to make myself a cartoon. Sounded innocent. And it sounded different.

My thought was a cartoon header would give the blog a certain “fun” quality.

People were asking me what I look like. Now they will know. Except, it will be the cartoon me, which is way cooler than the real me.

Plus, as a kid I always thought it would be cool to be a cartoon. I also thought it would be cool to have my own action figure (not to be confused with a doll), but that is a blog for me to discuss with my psychiatrist.

I figured if the blog had a cartoon on it and the latest blog (don’t email me and say it’s a post… I know that, I just don’t care) stunk, at least the cartoon version of me would be there to cheer up total strangers.

Or give them something to mock. Either way it’s win-win for everyone.

So I hired a cartoonist.

That’s not as easy as it sounds. Finding a good cartoonist turned out to be a challenge. Finding a good one I could afford turned out to be an even bigger challenge.

Eventually, I found “the one”. A cartoonist who does portraits. Portraits are like caricatures, but without the huge ears and noses.

He was perfect. I on the other hand need work.

Everything was going well, but like most relationships it got complicated.

I first noticed this after emailing him about 47 times. My sixth sense told me that something just wasn’t right. The tip off was his response to my last email which gave him detailed instructions on how he could do a better job.

Turns out cartoonists work alone.

And they aren’t afraid to write a 3 page (single spaced) response to my emails.

I thought I was being helpful. He thought I was annoying.

To make sure I hadn’t done anything wrong, I asked for my wife’s opinion. She is the type of person who can quickly access a situation and tell me I’m right.

There was no doubt in my mind that she would have my back (it’s almost like we have our own little gang).

After hearing my side of the story and reading the cartoonist’s email manifesto, she contemplated for nearly a full second. Then she announced I was wrong.

She said I was an annoying dork and she was stunned cartoon guy had tolerated me for as long as he did.

As a school administrator with a keen ability to know when I have lost a battle, I concluded this particular one wasn’t going well.

For me.

If there was any sort of divorce in this situation, I had just received verbal notification my wife was going to be awarded custody of the cartoon guy.

This was bad.

I couldn’t have a new blog design without a cartoon. And I certainly didn’t want cartoon guy drawing me if he was angry.

I needed him to make me more handsome, not hideous.

At this point I realized you don’t ever want to cross a cartoonist. Can you imagine the shear amount of graffiti he could produce? My name (and unflattering caricature) could be scribbled on bathroom walls across the country.

Even worse, he may have access to spray paint. That would not be good.

The lesson here is a simple one. I try to follow this in my professional life, but I obviously need some work on it in my blog life.

Hire good people. Give them some direction. And then get out of their way.

This blog was written with the permission of Mr. John Goodrich. A nice man and a great cartoonist. If you find yourself needing a cartoon guy, he is as good and patient as you will find. Please visit

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.