Saying ‘ok’ is okay

I saw this quote and it’s me! I do this all the time. But I didn’t know it was a sign of maturity. I do it so that I don’t have to have a long conversation. It seems easier to just say, “Ok” and leave it at that.

I say “ok” a lot on texts. I also do it because I don’t want to type, or dictate a text. A couple of my cousins sort of mentioned it. They sort thought it was rude for me to just respond, “ok” to their texts.

I do it to be agreeable and to answer a question or statement concisely. There’s a thumbs up thing now, so I can do that rather than even type “ok.”

For instance, I’ll get a text that says, “We’re meeting at such and such place at 2 pm.” And I respond, “ok.” Or they text, “We want Italian food, so we are going to such and such restaurant,” and I respond, “ok.” They have said, “Take the R train because the M train isn’t running,” and I respond, “ok.”

But seeing that they don’t care for those “ok’s,” I’ll sometimes answer, “Ok, looking forward to it,” or “That damn M train is always out of service!” or things like that, just not to be “rude” which I don’t think I’m being, I think I’m being economical.

One interesting thing is that two of my brothers type “okay” when they respond, they spell the whole word out, which I find interesting. I don’t think I have ever done that.

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My doctors

I wrote about going to the doctor recently. It was about the mole on my head, which turned into a cartoon. But the mole was benign, meaning it was nothing. The doc cut it off and I’m good as new.

This was a new dermatologist because my previous one, the one I had been going to since I was a child retired! As did my dentist. It’s a weird feeling when doctors you have been going to all of your life retire. You think they are always going to be there.

My GP or PCP or whatever you call them changed over the years. Why? Because two of my doctors died, which is even worse than retiring.

One was hit by a deer, or maybe it was that he drove into a deer or swerved off the road while avoiding a deer, while vacationing with his family in rural New England. It happened years ago, so I don’t remember all the details, but I believe the doctor and his kids were killed and only the wife survived. Horrible.

A second doctor died a couple of years ago – from covid! Very shocking and sad. A doctor he worked with told me and was in tears while describing it the whole time.

All of these doctors were mild mannered and gentle. Very quiet and peaceful guys, who made you feel comfortable. All of them.

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Worrying about the wrong things

I had to go to the doctor’s recently. It was at a place downtown where I had never been and my biggest concern was the parking situation. and finding the location. I even did a dry run drive on a Sunday, to be sure I could find the place on a busy rush hour Monday. I wasn’t worried about the actual doctor’s visit, I was more concerned with finding parking and finding the actual place.

Then there was a follow up for the results. I was nervous about that. I wasn’t nervous about the results, I was nervous about how it would work. Will he call me on the phone? Will I be on Zoom on the computer? I never set up Zoom on my new computer because I haven’t used Zoom since I got the new computer, so what will I do?

That’s what worried me.

I had a recent conflict here at my condo recently. I was supposed to be on the board, the board members begged me for months to run, and then at the time of voting, not one board member voted for me. I did not want to be on the board, but I felt obligated, but yet I was upset.

A friend asked why I was upset since I didn’t want to be on the board anyway, and I was upset because I had gotten psyched up about it. I told him, “I wasn’t psyched up in a good way, like I wasn’t excited about being elected. I was psyched up in the way you get when going to the doctor or dentist.” Maybe that’s why I don’t dread a doctor’s visit since I psych myself up ahead of time into dealing with it. Sort of like being on the condo board.

There’s a cartoon in all this somewhere. Or maybe a Seinfeld episode.

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Simply the Best

I redid my cartoon from yesterday, it seemed only right. I added Tina Turner up in heaven on a cloud, replacing the random guy from yesterday. What do you think?

I’m in mourning for Tina. Her death hit me hard, I don’t know why. I mean I know why – I loved her. But I don’t know why when some celebs die it hits me very hard. I sometimes believe it’s the state of mind you are in that day or week and that mood translates to the death of someone whether you knew them or not.

I saw Tina in concert many years ago, maybe 2008, around that time, she was of course already an icon. Our seats were great. I was looking for the photos I took, but can’t find them. She came up right over us on a crane. She was right there -feet from us.

I think I know every one of her songs and all of them from the 1980s are stuck in my mind – I can remember that time frame when I hear the songs. “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” reminds me of the summer of 1984 – one of my favorite years. I can remember that summer so clearly whenever I hear that. The video was all over tv, and you could hear the song in stores, on the street, wherever you were. You hear the first few bars and you know the song.

In 1984 or 1985 I stole a big Tina cutout that was outside a record store in the mall. I’m not sure where it is now, probably folded up in my parents’ garage. It was sitting right outside the entrance, I was with my cousin, and I just took it. I was possessed. I kidnapped Tina!

“Simply the Best” of course is iconic and it’s used in so many ways these days – at events, on tv commercials, it reminds me of HBO, which used it for many years as part of their brand.

I love “River Deep, Mountain High,” and “Rolling on the River” reminds me of my mother, she loved that. My mother also loved the Tina and Bryan Adams song, “It’s Only Love,” whenever that video came on we stopped what we were doing and watched.

I remember as a young kid seeing Ike and Tina Turner on tv and thinking, “what a funny name,” it just sounded funny to me. But she’s been part of my life, like so many of us.

We all know her story, how she escaped from Ike with nothing, made it to a motel, where the owner let her stay even though she had no money, and through it all, she reinvented herself and became a superstar.

Seeing the announcement of her death yesterday was a shock.

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Some things never change

Recently this old west cartoon was published regarding the Pony Express. By the way, the pony express only lasted 18 months – from April 1860 to October 1861. It went bankrupt in that short time, and by then the telegraph was being used which made it obsolete.

I like to do these “living the dream” cartoons once in awhile – it’s usually regarding something that was ultra modern back in the day and we laugh about now. I’ve done old tv sets that were new at the time – getting a whole three channels on a big 12 inch screen; and I’ve done cavemen all confused about the new fangled tech device called fire.

I often think of those times – 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, whatever. Even today, we think we are living in the most modern of times, but think of 100 years from now, how so many of the things we think are the highest of tech will be laughed at as being primative.

I may have goofed with this old west cartoon because people are joking about that being post office is today, only they really aren’t joking.

I ordered a book not long ago which was shipped from California on the same day I purchased it. It got to Florida exactly one month later. One month to the day.

There was a time during election time where I was selling a bunch of election stuff on etsy – a lot was selling, but I had to discontinue because the items which normally take 3 days or less in shipping time, were taking a month or more!

Some of the comments I got from readers regarding the this “living the dream/pony express cartoon,” are:

“It’s still 12 days, with all our automation and computers, only 163 years later.”

“Looks like we need to go back to the pony express.”

“Takes that long to mail something from one house to the neighbors now.”

“Some things never change!”

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Seeing things in things

The queen

I’ve been doing a thing called Cloudy With A Chance of Faces, where I post images of clouds that look like things. I wrote about it here if you’d like to see more examples and links to the sites if you care to follow.

But now I am always looking at the clouds, seeking out faces and things. In the past, I would catch the image by accident, but now I am hunting for them. And it’s turned to all sorts of things.

As you can see here, I have a cowhide rug in my living room and I see things in that.

I see a dad walking a child to school, who has a dog on a leash. See it?

A guy or maybe a lady, looking at the clouds.

A child praying.

A southern lady entering the ballroom as a lady to her right ushers her in, that also looks like a heart dancing to her left.

The cowhide rug.

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There’s a new word – “Tipflation,” it’s regarding those non-stop tip requests. I hear that even self check-outs are asking for tips now. That’s how I came up with this cartoon. It’s also called, “tip creep.”

I love using self-checkouts, it’s great for introverts, we don’t have to interact with people and it seems to go faster, but so far, I have not seen this tipping request. I use the self-check out at supermarkets, Home Depot, drug stores, etc. So far, so good. No tip requests. But it really makes on sense. You don’t tip the cashier when she checks you out, so why would you tip a machine where you are checking yourself out?

But I do see it on lots of take-out apps. I use them a lot. It’s easy to order and just go and pick-up. I have used it for food delivery services, and alarmingly, I recently read about these delivery drivers asking people for extra tips if they want their deliveries to arrive! What do they do, throw the food out if they aren’t tipped enough?

I think I wrote about this before – at the beginning of the pandemic, when everyone was afraid to go anywhere, I would use the delivery services for supermarket delivery – Publix, Winn-Dixie, Whole Foods, etc. There were so many people using the services at that time, that they literally would take days to deliver the food.

They would let you know in advance, for instance, you would order on a Monday and they would have openings for food delivery on Thursday at 8 pm, something odd like that. But I read somewhere that if you tipped a lot, you will get faster delivery. So I tried that, I would normally tip $5.00, but I upped it to $20.00 and sure enough, the food would come days earlier, many times the same day! So there is something to be said for tipping ahead of time, although I’m not really a fan of tipping before I receive the service.

I tip on apps like Subway and other food apps where they are preparing my food, because unfortunately, they ask for the tip before the order goes in and I feel that they might do something with my food if I don’t tip. My mother used to always say you don’t argue with people handling your food and I guess that goes the same for tipping them.

At my local Starbucks, I don’t tip on the app where I order and just pick walk in and pick up the order, but every once in awhile I do tip $5.00 or $10.00 and I make sure they see me putting the cash in the tip jar.

I like these new hand-held things that restaurants now how. It’s just the push of a button and the tip is added and you don’t have to deal with doing math. The problem with all that is you never really see the final bill. I’ve asked for it to be printed out, but it never is.

I’ve also heard of people tipping flight attendants after a flight. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done, but that seem a bit strange. What next, we tip our doctor or dentist for a job well done?

Years ago I bartended for a short amount of time. I didn’t care about the job and didn’t care if I got fired or not. It was for a Hyatt hotel and I had to deal with all that corporate crap which is insane many times.

If a customer left me a quarter tip for a beer or two, I would give it back to them. I would pick it up off the bar, hand it to them and say, “Here, you must need it more than I do.” I found it insulting and I wasn’t gonna scrounge for their tips. The staff knew I didn’t care about being fired, so they would use me to tell customers off.

One night of the week, there was ladies night and ladies would drink free. But they never tipped! So the waitresses would come to me and ask me to say something, so I would – and of course I would get attitude back like, “Oh, so that’s how it is?” And the non-tipping customer would walk away. But of course they never complained because they couldn’t walk up to a manger and tell them they weren’t tipping for their free drinks they were getting all night.

I always tip Uber, but I read recently that only 16% of people tip, which I find astounding. I’ve always tipped a taxi driver, why not Uber? I always put the tip on the app, and as I exit the car I say, “I’ll add the tip to the app,” and I leave. I usually forget until a bit later, but I always add it, and then I’m concerned about what the driver thinks, does he/she think I stiffed them? But now seeing that only 16% of people tip drivers, I guess just as long as I’m leaving the tip, even if it isn’t immediately, that’s a good thing.

So I guess I’ve been on both ends of the tipping spectrum, but I still find it odd to tip a self-check out register.

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Getting her bearings

Cartoonist Liz Climo creates cartoons with animals doing cute things. This one stood out to me because it reminds me of my own mother. I think about her every day and I guess since yesterday was Mother’s Day, I really had her on my mind, but I do think of her every day and one instance similar to this cartoon always sticks out in my mind, and I don’t know why, because I have millions, maybe billions of memories of her.

I must have been 8 years old, maybe a bit older and it could have only happened a few times. It must have been summer because my brothers and I were all home from school. And during that summer, early in the morning, I would go into my mother’s room and wake her up. My father had already gone to work, and it was still quite early.

I would wake my mother up and she would roll over groggily and say, “Good morning, do you want breakfast?” And I would say “yes,” and she would sit at the edge of the bed and say, “Ok, just give me a minute, let me get my bearings.”

She never yelled, she never said, “Get out of here, I’m sleeping!” She woke up smiling and happy to see me and I always remember that. I always remember her saying the “get my bearings,” part.

I’m sure she yelled at me a thousand times in my life, but I only remember her being kind and happy.

I don’t know if it happened once, twice, 10 times or what, but that one summer memory is always in my mind and this Liz Climo cartoon really brought it rushing back.

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Al Jaffee in his own words

I came across this great Al Jaffee video where the Mad Magazine cartoonist talks about his life and Mad Magazine-related things.

Al passed away in April at the age of 102. My father always used to say all of these old comedians lived long lives because they laughed all day and every day – George Burns, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, etc. I guess you could add Al Jaffee to that list.

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How to take pictures of the moon with an iphone

All three photos taken with an iphone.

I got a great picture of May’s Flower Moon. It’s reddish, lit by the sun at night.

I took pics on Friday night, but they were not so clear, I was never able to get a clear picture of the moon in the past. But a friend posted a beautiful image she took the same night.

I said to her, “You always take such great moon pictures.” She said she took it with her iphone and she’ll show me how to do it.

Having no patience to wait for her to show me, I googled it and I found out how to take a picture of the moon with an iphone or any night shot for that matter. And on Saturday night, I got the image I was always trying to get. A beautiful moon image.

If you don’t have patience, like me, and don’t care about how to do it, just skip the rest of this below and just enjoy the pics here!

You need to use the 1x Wide lens or the 2x Telephoto lens if using the latest iphone. For some reason, the 0.5x lens doesn’t work for night images. There is a night vision icon (a moon) at the upper left when looking at the phone/camera. The icon usually pops on by itself, but if not, it will be white. Just tap it to put the night mode on.

I had seen that working the night before, it does a count down, holding the shutter open, but I didn’t know what it meant and I kept stopping it from doing it’s thing.

But that’s what you want – it will count down the seconds it needs to capture the night image – usually 3 to 5 seconds. Maybe more in a very dark space.

After that, you need to play with the editing feature on the phone. Edit the image to get rid of all the light and bring up the brightness of the image itself. Make the sky around it black.

Save it. And after saving it, you may see a halo around the moon. Open the image again, and darken it.

So you’re going to edit it twice – first time using everything you can to bring out the brightness and clarity. Second time, getting rid of the by darkening the background.

Hopefully that works for you.

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