December 11, 2009

It's Time to Make the Change

Friends, we admire your persistence. We celebrate your fortitude! But, simply put, you are in the wrong place.

Examining the interweb statistics for The Barnstorming and Idiots'Blog, we see that many of you are stubbornly clinging to the old instead of embracing the new. We know that old habits are hard to break, but the fact remains, in order to keep up to date on the latest, you will have to retune your RSS feeds to, because that's where the party's at.

Posted by bogenamp at 11:11 AM | Comments (53)

December 08, 2009

What You're Missing

Hello. If you are reading this post, you might not realize that the hard-hitting journalism that is The Barnstorming has moved to a new address. We're now blogging (and so much more) from the new, improved, sleek, functional, and downright sexy version of

We suggest that you go there promptly to see all the fun and excitement.

Here's a link to the new site. And here's another. And yet another. Why are you still here?

Posted by bogenamp at 11:57 AM

December 06, 2009

End of an Era

Hello, friends.

This is the 657th edition of The Barnstorming and probably the last. For the past six months or so, Robbi has toiled admirably to build the new Idiots'Books web site/blog. At long last, it is complete and ready for your perusal.

The URL is the same as the old Idiots'Books site, and you can link to it by clicking here.

Some of you have written with concern about the fate of The Barnstorming and our intentions for its successor. Perhaps you will take comfort to hear that although we'll no longer be adding new content to The Barnstorming, it will remain intact and available should you ever feel the need to surf posterity for photos of Alden in various containers. As for the all-new Idiots'Blog, its look and feel might differ, but the same unexacting journalistic standards will be maintained. Meaning, there will still be lots of photos of babies with occasional mention of bookmaking and life in the barn.

Thanks to all of you who have spent your precious minutes with us on this site. It has been a lot of fun for us. Rest assured, we think the best is yet to come.


Posted by bogenamp at 08:48 PM | Comments (4)

December 03, 2009

Big Bad City

Today, Robbi and I are headed to New York City to meet with some people about some things. More on that to come. If we do not return by this time tomorrow, please send rescuers. We'll be the small town folk cowering miserably in the middle of Times Square.


If someone can give me a rational explanation for why so many people choose to live in one small place, I would be extremely grateful. It simply does not compute.

Posted by bogenamp at 07:41 AM | Comments (4)

November 30, 2009

So Many Ways to Die

As subscribers know well, we recently collaborated with the rock band Bombadil, creating the album art for their most recent record, Tarpits and Canyonlands.


Robbi also illustrated the lyrics to each song, which we bound together in a small book (which you can also get in PDF form when you download the album from iTunes).


Just today, Bombadil released a new video for one of my favorite songs from the album, So Many Ways to Die.

The clip is worth watching just to hear the song, but it also contains all sorts of fantastic footage of people doing inadvisable, perilous, disastrous things--a history of bad ideas: roller skating on the edge of tall buildings, throwing knives at little girls, plunging over waterfalls in barrels, fighting bulls, attempting to use a homemade jetpack, etc. It's beautiful and tragic and rife with the futile, reckless hope that makes us human.

Posted by bogenamp at 10:16 PM

November 29, 2009

Four-Day Weekend

On Thanksgiving, we rested. For the first time in 12 weeks, we spent an entire day without thinking about Idiots'Books. We slept in. We baked bread. We ate a lot of food. We played Nintendo. We went for a walk. We watched TV. No writing. No drawing. No scheming. It was nice.

Our turkey weighed 18 pounds. Alden weighs 18.2 pounds. In spite of this slight edge, she was wary.


When the time came to eat, she trembled with anticipation.


But when her plate arrived, heaped with turkey and other delicious things, her protest resumed.


I had no such reservations.


After stuffing ourselves, we crashed profoundly for a number of hours. When we emerged from our collective stupor, we decided a walk was in order.

Lately, Alden has been quite interested in ducks. In fact, her favorite word is probably "quack," a thing she says with great conviction whenever any duck-like object presents itself. Living on the Eastern Shore, we see lots of ducks about: real ducks, duck decoys in shop windows, and rubber ducks in the nightly bath.

This weekend, we went to see the real ducks, which gather in abundance near the town pier. We have a tendency of forgetting to finish our bread before it turns dry and unchewable. And so we decided to unload it on the ducks.


Alden took her task seriously.


She dug deep into the bag of bread, pulled back her arm to launch some crumbs toward the waiting waterfoul...


...and managed to throw her handful approximately four inches. Poor kid lacks technique. Takes after her old man, it seems.


But the ducks were not to be denied. It seems their interest in the bread outweighed their fear of the 27-inch dynamo. Alden convened with the ducks, proclaiming "quack" repeatedly as the feast continued.

And then, all of a sudden, she lost interest in the ducks and the bread and ran in a new direction.


Which is what kids do, I guess.

It was getting to be nighttime, anyway.


We got back home and Alden crashed.


All that quacking takes it out of a girl.

Once Alden had gone to bed, Robbi and I downloaded Super Mario Brothers 2 from the Wii website. Robbi and I had both loved the game when we were kids and had all sorts of shared memories about playing it. Once upon a time, I was uncommonly good at earning extra lives in the slot-machine style bonus game at the end of each level. As it turns out, I haven't lost my touch.


Yesterday was cold and crisp, but it was also the Chestertown Christmas parade, and so we bundled Alden in her cold weather finery and headed out to see the spectacle. She stood in the middle of the street as the parade approached, completely unprepared for what was coming her way.


With each passing float and marching band, she grew more incredulous.


What in the heck were these people up to?


She is a small town girl with small town sensibilities. She responded with a grim pragmatism, keeping her emotions in check.


But later in the privacy of her own home, she took out her fears and frustrations on her pancakes.


Last night, seeking food comfort in a futile attempt to ward off the reality of the coming end to the holiday weekend, I drove to New Castle, Delaware (about an hour away) for some quality pork ribs.


Seeing the feast, Alden told us she was ready to partake. We decided to let her try, wondering to ourselves how it was going to go. She may throw breadcrumbs like her sissy dad, but the kid can eat smoked pork like a champion.


When not eating and resting, we have been working dutifully on readying the new Idiots'Books web site for its upcoming debut. We don't have a firm date in mind, but we're hoping to launch in the next week or so. We'll let you know when the time comes. For now, enjoy the waning moments of your weekend. I take heart in knowing that the next batch of days off is not so far distant.

Posted by bogenamp at 04:19 PM | Comments (7)

November 24, 2009

Help from the Masses

Hello everyone - Robbi here. We are currently in the process of revamping our Idiots'Books website (spoiler alert! - theBarnstorming will soon be subsumed under the new Idiots'Blog. No worries, though - it will still include pictures of babies, pancakes, ice cream, jumping, etc). One of the exciting new things we plan to offer other than books (and pictures of babies, pancakes, ice cream, jumping, etc.) will be t-shirts. But since we don't really know what we are doing, we thought we'd post some of our ideas here and see what you think of them.

I am even turning on comments so you can have your say. Here's hoping V!agara2339 and Russ!an_Lady don't keep coming back and posting lewd (but compelling) comments. Matthew just can't help but click those links.

Here they are, in no particular order:













Oh, and I forgot - we might also carry these, though we're still trying to decide whether I should draw the binkie instead of having the vector art. And whether anyone would possibly buy them:


I mean, we know we would, but you all know in what low regard we hold our child.


Any suggestions, likes, dislikes, requests, etc are welcome. You are also welcome to include comments about our fantastic hot models (compliments of American Apparel). Apparently, according to Alden, the gent with the fair hair looks like Mama. Maybe it's the skeptical sidelong glance that is fooling her.

But basically, do you like these shirts and would you buy any of them?

Posted by ribbu at 09:47 AM | Comments (31)