The OMNY card for the NYC Subway system

I joined OMNY – the click and pay method on the NY Subway system. They’ve had it for a few years now, but I’ve always bought a weekly pass which allows you unlimited rides for a set fee, rather than paying for each trip, which is $2.75. I think the weekly pass is $33.00 now, but it adds up fast, $33.00 is 12 trips, which do go fast. Round trip is two trips right there!

The advantage to the weekly pass is that you don’t have to always think, “Is this trip necessary?” I think that’s a saying from World War II days, but with the weekly pass you can travel to your heart’s content.

Another plus is that people “swipe” for people. Like you are leaving a station and someone says, “Hey man, can you swipe for me?” And you swipe for them to let them in, and you’re not wasting any trips that way.

The good part about the OMNY system now is that you swipe for each individual trip, but once you reach the $33.00 limit within 7 days, you automatically get unlimited rides for that week. Clever. So now everyone gets a weekly pass as long as they end up paying for it. It’s called the “Weekly Fare Cap.”

I remember the days of tokens, all those coins in your pocket, and then I remember when the MetroCard started, now they will phase the MetroCard out by 2024 and it will all be tap and pay.

You don’t have to sign up for the OMNY card, you can tap your credit card at turnstiles if the card has a chip and you can also use Apple Pay. But if you want the unlimited ride thing, you need to sign up for the OMNY card, which is actually just signing up a credit card and every time you tape that card – Visa, AmEx, etc., it registers the trips on your OMNY account.

So you can have an actual OMNY card if you wish, or just use the actual credit card that is activated and linked to the system.

All the OMNY info is here.

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The nurse needed nursing

My father was in the hospital recently. Nothing major, he had hurt his leg, he had to have it checked out. He would get anxious at times and I guess to calm him down, they had some sort of nurse in the room with him. She was just there for comfort, not to actually nurse him, more of a sitter. For a few days it was a different person each day.

It was unnerving at first, but then sort of turned into a reality tv camera – you know, it’s there, but you don’t notice it/her. You go about our conversations and business and she is just taking it all in, but you ignore her – you know, “Don’t look at the camera!”

Well, one nurse was a complete mess. She complained of having a headache, she had a backache, she also said her blood sugar was 300! and she some other issues. She complained about not having eaten, she wanted to know where her replacement was so she could go down to the cafeteria and eat.

She didn’t get the memo to shut up and just “film” the scene.

My father was cracking up. He said, “She is supposed to be taking care of me, but I think I have to take care of her!”

Other than all that, she was very sweet, at times she reminded me of my grandmother, my father’s mother.

One man sitter was noisy as hell. He totally ignored us, which was good; he was on his cell phone most of the time, talking loud, which was bad, almost yelling; he was a loud talker. I had to literally shout over him to be heard in the room!

Dad’s home now. The nurses/sitters are off “filming” someone else now.

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Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the gang on sneakers

Peanuts characters are featured on a new line of sneakers from Converse.

The collection will include the Chuck 70 ($100), One Star ($90), and Chuck Taylor All Star ($70) styles.

There are also matching t-shirts, shorts and other items.

I’m tempted to buy this read pair, but I don’t wear high-tops and I’m not sure I would actually wear them. Although I might.

The collection is available Tuesday, May 24. You can see them here.

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Wordle showoffs

I love this cartoon because I love the characters. I drew this months ago and it had different text and context. I don’t even remember what it started out as, but I changed it so many times over the past few months.

I didn’t change the drawing, I changed the wording. It reminded me of something someone said on social media about the New Yorker cartoon I wrote about the other day – that “they draw the images and then figure out what they are saying later,” which of course I don’t think that’s the case, but maybe it is, because this Wordle gag ended up that way.

One part of love about the cartoon is that the thought Steve is thinking “Ouch!” as a Wordle answer is not really an answer because it’s only four letters. But it almost makes it seem like his whole life is Wordle, including all his thoughts.

I find it silly that people post their Wordle scores on social media every day. The silly part is that you don’t see their answers or the way they got to the final word of the day, it shows blank boxes. It doesn’t show what the previous word tries are or even what the word is.

Maybe people just hit a “share” button on Wordle somewhere and it posts your final score without you even realizing what it looks like on Facebook or wherever.

It’s like saying, “I’m great!” everyday.

One friend of mine posted his score every morning and I actually appreciated it because it reminded me to play the game. But posting your score without any concept or content is like saying, “I won an award for something,” and not saying what the something is.

It’s annoying when people post this online, but then again, it gave me the idea for this cartoon, so it all worked out.

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My cartooning styles and ideas

A friend came up with the concept of today’s cartoon.

He kept telling me to do something with “intense” and “in tents.”

“Get it?” He asked. Yes, I got it, but I didn’t know how to put it together. It took a couple of weeks and a couple of different drawings, text and concepts until I came up with this. Lots of changes to come up with this.

This one is self explanatory. Not to put down New Yorker comics lovers, but I wonder if they just pretend to get most of the gags just to be part of the “in crowd” or whatever you call them.

Not being sour grapes here, it’s just a gag and I do admire the cartoonists a lot who do work for the New Yorker. I have interviewed many, I have gone to some of their talks and showings, went to a Roz Chast exhibit a few years back at the Museum of the City of New York.

I’ve submitted stuff to the New Yorker and I know it’s a numbers game to get your first cartoon published and then become “one of them.” But the thing is they take too long to respond to your submission – sometimes eight months! And they have first rights of refusal. So imagine me sending them my fresh work, unpublished, and then waiting months for a reply. The work I publish daily would be eight months old after getting the rejection from the New Yorker, and then is it work publishing “rejected” work?

I have two cartoon styles – one was designed to be a “New Yorker style” and the other is the one I have used all my life, I call a Hanna-Barbera style, or “Flintstones style.” So I have accommodated my work to fit in with the New Yorker, and I like it. I go back and forth, depending on the gag, to see which drawing fits.

Like this one here I call the New Yorker style.

And this caveman one is my “Flintstones/Hanna-Barbera style.”

By the way, this caveman one, speaking of Flintstones, has been one of the most shared, viewed and liked cartoon of all of mine, so who knows what style is best. I just go with my mood that day. Same with the borders. Sometimes there is a very think board, sometimes a wild fat freestyle border, other times no border.

I think the fat, freestyle border works with this chicken cartoon.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say today!

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New Peanuts stamps coming soon

The U.S. Postal Service has announced some new 2022 stamps and you can see here that these new Peanuts stamps will be added to celebrate Charles Schulz’s 100th birthday.

There are 10 designs surrounding Charles Schulz’s image.

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps from original Peanuts artwork.

I’m going to buy them, and of course never use them. The release date has not been announced, but I’ll be checking the stamps on my snail mail to see who uses them first, it would be interesting to see who does! Schulz was born Nov. 26, 1922, so possibly November would be the date they are released.

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Vintage history

I came across this picture online. It’s Coney Island, one day in 1906. It’s crazy, seeing all these people crammed in together at the beach, and so many of them in black suits.

My favorite part is these little guys at the left, if you look to the left of the guys walking, there is a smaller guy digging in the sand. He’s very intent on doing what he’s doing. Does he have to go back to a labor shop the next day, was he a newsboy working 6 days a week selling newspapers? Kids didn’t have it easy back then, but these three looked happy on this day.

I wonder what the two kids that are walking are talking about? They seem deep in conversation.

The one guy at the very bottom, where his head is partly cut off looks like a time traveler – but I always see some sort of time traveler in old pictures, that probably aren’t. I guess it’s his haircut that looks very modern.

I colorized this image below. Makes you feel like you’re almost there, doesn’t it? If you click oh the two large images above and below, they will open much larger.

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Returning to the 1980s

I’m always wanting to return to the 1980s – my favorite decade.

I always imagine that when we die, we can return to any time period we like – mine would be to relive Jan 1, 1980 to Dec. 31, 1989 and then do it over and over again – sort of like a 10 year version of Ground Hog Day.

I saw this picture recently, the Kevin Bacon poster. it’s from 1986 and it’s still hanging in the subway – at one particular station in NYC. Still there, 36 years later!

I’d like to visit it and sort of be in a picture in front of it, transporting myself to 1986. It’s at the 71st and Continental subway station in Forest Hills Queens. I am always at that station, too. I get off at that stop (and get on) when I’m coming and going from the city when I meet my cousins in Queens. I will visit this when I get to NY in a couple of months. Look for it here!

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Arranging meet ups with friends

I’m planning my trips for New York this year. From June until the end of the year I spend a lot of time there.

I was talking to a friend the other day, we were talking about all the meet-ups I had in New York over the years, you know, with friends from Miami, who happened to be in NY at the same time.

What’s interesting is that in the 1980s and 1990s, I did this a lot. I would meet friends from home/Miami and we would hang out in NYC for the day or whatever. But how did we do it? We didn’t have cell phones and I can’t remember how we arranged it.

I just know that on such and such date, at such and such time, we would meet up. I remember meeting my friend Albert in front of the Empire State Building and my friend Vincent came by my hotel and so many others would meet up with me.

I’m wondering if I made an announcement -” I will be in NY from Nov. 10 to 30. If anyone is going to be there, let me know.” I mean we didn’t have social media, did I just announce it to everyone at once? Did I tell people one-by-one over time? Whatever the case, we were at the appointed location, date and time. Always. I can’t imagine that happening now. Now we would text each other 20 times before we would ever end up meeting up.

Back then I would stay at my cousins’ house or at hotels but I don’t remember people calling either place to arrange to meet for lunch or hang out or whatever. So I am guessing we made the plans way in advance.

I’m just flabbergasted that we met at the exact place and appointed time. And I guess I made it known when I was going to be out of town. I had a lot of friends back then, so I really think I must have told each one of them one at a time what my plans were and if they were going to be in town at the same time, we arranged our meet up date. Amazing.

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