The kids and the little boat

I count 17 or 18 people here.

Every weekend, I have this ritual where I watch this bunch of kids head out in their boat and then return.

What I mean is, at the condo next door, I see a bunch of kids, who look to be about 16-years-old, possibly older, go out in a small boat. They leave in the afternoon and return at sunset, when the sun is at the magic hour. For some reason, I enjoy watching them. I don’t spend much time snooping, I just usually hear a lot of noise – music, people talking, etc. and I look outside and there they are.

I watch them head out and when I hear the music/noise at sunset, I see them coming in.

I think the boat is owned by an older man, because when they return, this silver haired guy goes out and checks the boat, locks it up, and does whatever it is he does. He must be the father or grandfather of one of the kids. I think one of the boys, because I’ve seen the boy alone with the older guy’s dog a few times, so it’s basically his father’s or grandfather’s boat.

That’s one crowded boat.


I love the energy that these kids have and how polite and helpful they are. They help each other on the boat and off the boat and when they return, they help with removing all the stuff, you know, coolers, towels and such.

The strange thing is that there are usually from 15 to 20 people on the small boat. Yes, I counted. The boat looks to be 20 to 24 feet, so I’m not sure how comfortable that is, but most likely they head out to a sandbar or “the flats” and I heard the older man mention Soldier Key one time. So the kids ride out and then spend the time in the water, I guess.

I know, I should mind my own business. But I just love the scene of them going out and coming back. I don’t know why. Maybe it reminds me of my youth. For so many years, I spent it boating or at the beach, I grew up in and around the water – I went to the beach almost daily for years. So maybe I’m remembering my youth. Whatever it is, I get a kick out of seeing them.

When they started this routine, it was the end of the school year, so I thought that this was their last hurrah after school ended, but it went on all summer. They usually go every Saturday and sometimes Sunday, too. Now that it’s September, they are still at it.

It’s about the same number of boys and girls – all friends and really good friends it seems.

I know a few of the people who live in the condo building next door, but not the boat owner, so I am speculating about who all these people are.

One funny thing is that on a weekday – usually a Monday or Tuesday, a lady and man come and clean the boat. I guess it’s full of sand, dirt, footprints and the like, and they spend hours there, cleaning, getting it ready for the next weekend. This photo below is the lady this morning. She’s there early, cleaning it up.

Right on cue, she’s there Monday morning to clean the boat.

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The Addams Family, in color

Today’s cartoon over at TomFalco.com is of the Addams Family. I drew this a few years ago, but I keep seeing them in the new Progressive Insurance commercials, so I thought I would dust it off and bring it out. There’s a new Addams Family movie coming out October 1. The cartoon originally had Lurch saying, “You Tweeted?” but I thought texted sounded more personal for the Addams household.

Anyway, notice the walls in the living room? Pink. Why? Because that’s what color they were!

I’ve been seeing this photo below, around the internet for years – it’s by Richard Fish, a well-known photographer at the time. It’s not colorized, this is the original color photo.

I never did find out why the walls were pink and green, but maybe that showed up better on black and white tv at the time and perhaps they thought the tv show would eventually be done in color.

Swipe back and forth and see the difference between color and black and white.

COMPARE – COLOR TO BLACK AND WHITE

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No shift, Sherlock

I didn’t think people would get today’s cartoon, but I’ve been living by Jason Chatfield‘s credo – “Don’t curate your art to what gets likes. Curate it to what you like.” So I did and people do get it. At last count, there were over 2200 shares on Facebook!

Originally I did this cartoon years ago and it was Watson handing Sherlock a dress, which is called a “shift,” which I remember from my grandmother for some reason, she must have used that word. And he says, “No shift Sherlock,” handing the shift back to Sherlock, and the explanation is, “Watson does not like this week’s disguise.”

But I didn’t think people would understand that “shift” is a dress. According to a blog called Who, What Wear, “A shift dress refers to a short dress that hangs straight down from the shoulders with clean, simple lines.” But who knew except my grandma and me.

There’s always that one . . .

There is always one comment left on my cartoons that bothers me. I could have thousands of people like a cartoon, but the one person who makes a negative comment gets to me. But haters gonna hate.

I try not to leave negative comments on any social media posts. I don’t see the need for it. I have a friend who had a friend who used to do food reviews for the NY Times and she told my friend that if she went to a restaurant that she didn’t like, she did nothing. She just didn’t write about them. She felt that there was no point giving press to a place she didn’t like and what was the point of writing that she didn’t like the place.

I tried to live by that. What is the point of ruining someone’s day, usually a total stranger, for no reason at all.

But again, I get tons of nice comments and accolades, but the one person who probably isn’t intelligent enough to get the joke ruins my day.

I am trying to get a thicker skin. I guess any attention is good attention. I noticed years ago when I was written up in a publication during my daily news days, even if the write up was negative, my numbers would go up in readership and social media followers. As the saying goes, “Any news is good news,” or even better, “Say what you want about me, just spell my name right!”

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Avoiding phone calls

There’s a new thing where people are keeping their phone ring tones off permanently. They would rather get texts than talk to people on the phone.

I have a weird thing where I don’t answer my business phone line, I do answer my private line. My business line has a message that says text or email me and it seems to work. Although I remember years ago my accountant was doing my taxes and he said that my business was down a lot in the last quarter. He asked me why. I told him it could be because I removed the phone number from my website. And his response was, “Well, you better put it back on there.”

I don’t like speaking to strangers. I cringe at the thought. I have lost many large orders due to that, but that’s they way it is. I’ll go broke before I speak to a stranger, I guess.

I like texts. But there are a couple of texts I have the ringer off for. There is my building text – my condo – where we’re all one long string. That can be very annoying when everyone has to chime in on a text. Like someone will ask, “Did someone see my Amazon delivery?” and rather than just ignore it if you know nothing about it, everyone has to respond, “Not me,” Not me,” Not me,” Not me.” And it goes on. So I leave the ringer off for that. But it is odd when you look down at your phone and see “45 text messages” came in. Then you look and see it’s that nonsense.

Not long ago someone asked via text, “Who called the cops on the car that had the alarm going off?” I didn’t answer, so they assumed it was me. But for the record, I have never in my life called the cops on a neighbor, or on anyone for that matter.

With my family, the texts aren’t that bad, But one friend who we have all known since we are kids is on one of our family texts and when it is someone’s birthday (including Paul McCartney or any of the Beatles), he will send about 20 texts in a row, so fast, I don’t know how he does it. All saying “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary” or something, with pictures and texts and so many things. For about 10 seconds, the beeping goes on and on with texts coming in from him – so those texts are silenced, too.

But anyway, I remember when we all thought cell phones were so cool, and now we find them annoying. There’s an interesting article from a couple of years ago called, “The hidden stress of cell phones,” and it explains a lot.

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What do Batman and Starry Night have in common?

I’m getting excited about New York ComicCon in October. As far as I know, it’s still on. I saw an ad on Instagram yesterday for ticket sales, so I assume since they are selling tickets, it is still on.

I lost my Batman/Van Gogh shirt. I like to wear it at ComicCon one of the days. I also have a Spider-man shirt and a Captain America shield shirt that I wear. That’s as far as I go with costumes.

Anyway, I ordered a new Batman/Van Gogh shirt and it arrived yesterday. I think I probably left the old one in New York a couple of Octobers ago, because I think that is the last time I wore it. It must have fallen off a chair or something and I didn’t pack it when I was heading home.

Anyway, you may remember, in April 2018, there was a story on the news about a guy in Mount Dora, Florida, who painted the exterior of a house with Van Gogh images. He had on this shirt and it was two of my favorite things combined, so I did a search online and found it. You can see the picture and video of the house and the guy wearing the shirt on the news here.

It’s just September 1 today, so I’m not trying to rush the month away. But I am getting excited for October.

Speaking of September 1, for some reason, as I get older, things move in slow motion, rather than fast motion, which you would think. For instance in the past, on September 1, I used to tell friends, remember this date, because before you know it, it will be January 1! And that was always the case.

But the past few years, maybe five, six or seven years, life has moved in slow motion and of course I love that. So September 1 to October 1 will hopefully take awhile to happen. I know Ferris Bueller says life moves too fast and you have to slow down and take a look around, but in many cases, it moves slow, and I like it that way.

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Just what the doctor ordered

I was holding off on posting this Doctor Who cartoon until there was a male Doctor Who again because I didn’t want to redraw it with the female Doctor Who. I felt it suited a male Doctor Who better for the gag. This is a cartoon I created in 2014.

When I first published it, it was shared a lot online. George Takei shared it on his Facebook page and at the time it got thousands of likes and shares; that was April 1, 2014. He called it “Just what the doctor ordered.” Here is the post and the comments from that day.

Anyway, I am publishing it today because I notice the other day that another cartoonist posted something similar and I didn’t want to publish it in the future and make it seem as if I took his idea. And therein lies the rub of cartooning. There are so many similarities and so many minds think alike that there always looks as if someone is copying someone else.

In the past could swear that people were stealing my work. How could they not I thought. But in reality, I guess there are only so many ideas. Many people feel, “It’s all been done” regarding so many things in life. I see it happen so often with cartoons and comics. I’ll create something and then see it has been done or someone does something and I think they took it from me.

For years, one of my cartoons, “When the milk goes bad,” has been compared to a Far Side cartoon. I think there may be two of them. One is “The chicken went bad” and he’s holding a gun from inside the fridge, you don’t see him, but his hand/wing is sticking out holding a gun.

I had never seen the cartoon when I created this one. Mine was created in the mid 1990s and I had not seen the Far Side chicken one until a year or two ago! But it always gets compared. It bothered me for a long time because I like mine and I use it on my business card, I feel it sets the tone for my humor and people can “get me” by just looking at this one cartoon.

But after years of hearing “it’s been done” or seeing “my work” in others’ work, I’m over it all and I grew a thicker skin.

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but in 1899, Charles H. Deull, the commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” In other words, we don’t need to patent anything else. It’s all been invented. In 1899. Can you imagine if all inventions had stopped then?

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The IRS letter

Informed delivery by USPS

I get pictures of my mail early in the morning so that I know what’s coming in the mail that day. I did this awhile back so when I’m traveling I can see if something important arrived and needs my attention. I have one of my neighbors take my mail in when I’m out of town, so I can easily ask her to open a particular piece if need be and I’m up to date with whatever it is.

Of course, that has never happened yet, but never-the-less, I have pictures of my mail come about 9 am each day. You can get this service, too, if you want, it’s called Informed Delivery, a service of the US Postal Service.

The issue with my mail is that it arrives about 6 pm, which sucks. The day is over by the time the mail arrives, but even worse, when you see something in the Informed Delivery email – good or bad – you have to wait for it to arrive all day.

The other morning, I saw that the IRS sent me a letter. What was it? Did I owe them money? Was I in trouble? It didn’t appear to be a check, so all day I worried about it.

At about 5:30 pm (the delivery was early that day), I ran out and got the mail. The letter from the IRS was informing me that my refund, which should have arrived months ago, is going to have interest added to it, since the IRS is late with it. I can relax now after worrying all day.

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New design

A friend suggested I design a character or something that could be sold on items or as posters, etc. I came up with this design. I’ll do more.

This is the first design, but I’ll get into it more when I get a chance and do themes. For instance, say NYC, I’ll do a piece with all NYC images or Paris with Paris images and so on. This one is a mishmash of different happy images and I like it.

I have it on some items at my Etsy shop – t-shirts, mugs, hoodies and even a shower curtain. You can see them here.

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CBS all night

Saw this old tv guide page on Facebook. It’s from December 1962, a Monday night. Looks like a NYC edition by the channel lineup.

I think I would watch CBS, channel 2 all night. Maybe up till 10 pm and then change to ABC Channel 7 for Ben Casey.

When we were kids my father was supposed to be on To Tell the Truth. It was live I think, because he was coming home late from work and my mother told me that the reason was he was going to be on To Tell the Truth, so we put it on and waited, but he never came on the show. I forgot the reasoning, maybe a technical issue or something and they showed a rerun.

He was going to be one of the liars/false people, making believe they were the person who was supposed to be the subject. I have to ask him about that, see if he remembers all these years later.

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