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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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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The Ed Sheeran quandary

An artist friend posted the article of Ed Sheeran being found innocent of copying Marvin Gaye’s music for one of his songs.

My friend was saying it’s a thing that happens, things sound and look the same.

A few years back I wrote about a little book I have called Steal Like an Artist which says says that there are no original ideas – everyone steals from each other.

Over the years I was positive people were stealing my cartoon ideas. I was so admant about it until it happened to me and I looked as if I was stealing others’ ideas. It just happens, there are just so many ideas. I don’t call it stealing, I just call it life.

Recently a guy suggested I took one of his ideas, but I wrote about how I came up with the cartoon and it has nothing to do with his cartoon.

I saw a cartoon recently that I came up with years ago. Only thing is I never published it and never told anyone about it, but there it was, created and published by someone else, and now I feel that I can’t ever publish my cartoon. I had been putting off redrawing it to fit the format I use now and I wanted to freshen it up a bit, but putting it off just caused me to look as if I am stealing someone’s work, so I guess it will never see the light of day now.

Many years ago I sent cartoons to a syndicate and a month or so later, I saw one of my ideas in a famous comic strip. I was convinced that the cartoonist saw my work at the syndicate some way and used it. Never mind the fact that he published 365 cartoons a year, I was convinced that one was taken from my idea.

My cousin sent me the link to a movie called Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, he was explaining it to me, he saw it the other night on tv. I told him that was Mama Mia! So it happens, whether the writers agree or not to the fact. In this case, the Mama Mia movie and play people say it isn’t the same thing.

So anyway, I’m glad Ed Sheeran was not convicted of anything. Things sound the same all the time and things look the same all the time. It’s the zeitgeist of life.

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Rescued cartoon art

Another great story on CBS Sunday Morning this past week.

Bill Blackbeard, over 30 years, has preserved 2.5 million comic strip artifacts – actual ephemeral newspaper comics sections. I love this, but I do wish he would have saved the whole newspaper of the times! Some go back to 1904.

He drove around the country with his wife and friends, collecting old newspaper comic sections, a lot from libraries who would microfilm the newspapers and then have no future use for them after filming them.

The comics are being featured at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University right now.

Included with the newspapers is the whole original set of 1931 comic art pieces of Blondie – actual drawn pieces of art from the time.

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Cloudy with a chance of faces

A cloudy eagle

I started this thing called Cloudy With A Chance of Faces. It’s images I see in clouds.

I’ve been posting pictures over the years and a friend suggested I make a thing of it. I add a few outlines to show what I’m seeing and there it is.

I live in Miami, right on the Bay, that combination makes for interesting visions in the sky. The clouds here move very quickly, if you see a formation, you have to capture it quick or it’s gone.

Every morning when I wake up, I look outside and there is something staring me in the face. Many times the clouds look like mountains, other times Snoopy or a lady or whatever.

You could get addicted. I could literally stand in one place and get so many images in a short amount of time. Now that I’m doing this Cloudy project, it gets a big hard not to be obsessed and just be staring at the clouds all day long, waiting for the next image to appear. But oddly enough, when I’m deliberately looking, I don’t see anything. It seems to be an organic thing, you know, it just happens when you least expected, you look up and something is staring down at you.

Snoopy over the bay.

A friend visiting from New York once said that our clouds have layers. I take that to mean they are very expressive. And they are.

If you’d like to follow my venture, I have set up two social media sites. I have the website, too, but I haven’t done anything with that yet. I just wanted to get the name while it was available.

Here is the Instagram account:
and Facebook:
Also Tumblr:

Hope to see you there!

Abe watching over the city.

Madonna, Marilyn Monroe or Mae West? You choose!

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Right place at the right time

Today’s cartoon is about a peacock, or rather a peacock feather. When I looked at my personal Facebook page today, it featured a memory from two years ago – peacocks crossing the street. I don’t know how to show that here, but that isn’t the point, the point is that a sign like that means I am in the right place at the right time. According to my friend jak anyway.

jak always said that if you read a word and hear a word at the same time, that’s a sign that you are in the right place at the right time and coincidences like that always mean the same thing.

Where I live, we have peacocks all over the place. Some people love them, others hate them. I love them. But a few years back there was an issue that got in the news about people wanting to get rid of the peacocks. They would round them up and send them to a farm somewhere, which makes no sense, since they will never get them all, they are always proliferating.

NPR called me up to interview me on the radio about the birds. I talked to them about 15 or 20 minutes and I told them that I loved them and that they were part of the character of the neighborhood. I did say I could understand how people despised them because they were dirty, loud and they pecked at their reflection in cars in people’s driveways, which ruined the paint job.

The interview ran on the radio and it was picked up by newspapers all over the country. But what the newspapers did was pick up my comment about them being dirty, loud and a nuisance. They didn’t pick up the part where I said they should be left alone because they are loved by most of us and they are part of the village and village life!

One newspaper wrote a story and as is the case, newspapers all over the country picked this piece of news up. My uncle read my quote in the NY Post of all places! They ran my quote about them being loud.

I was in the Chicago Tribune and Michigan newspapers, Los Angeles, the Midwest, all over – I was branded a peacock hater, which was the total opposite! They all chose to run the negative comments, which really weren’t negative, they were just facts about the peacocks. I’ve always defended the peacocks, but that part they ignored.

It was a bit funny, except the people in the village where I live were not pleased with me. Since the original interview was on the radio, I didn’t have anything in writing to defend myself. But I was part of our peacock mascot project some years back where people painted and designed about 50 of those cement art pieces that you’ve probably seen in different incarnations and animals around the country (cows, dogs, cats, etc.). And I used the peacock as my business logo for years. So I am a peacock fan.

Anyway, I guess I’m in the right place at the right time today since the cartoon and one of the peacock memories popped up on Facebook today. Right?

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Yes? No?

This cartoon ran the other day.

Followed by this one the next day. Which I thought was funny because she still had the streak in her hair, even though she dyed it.

There were two other versions I did, which you can see here. But I think I like the one above, with the streak. It’s sillier.

And they are all a play on this one with the lions manbun, which was published a couple of years ago.

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‘305 Day!’

Still lots of things going on this season. I missed the Lake Worth Chalk Festival last weekend and a few other art events, but managed to get to this past weekend’s Gifford Lane Art Stroll, which is a block party in our village. It’s a yearly thing – 25th year, this year and it brings out the whole village. It’s like a tv show where the full cast shows up for an event and they are all in one scene.

It was also “305 Day,” on Sunday, which is the area code for Miami and on March 5 (3/05).

The hit of the block party is cucumber punch which is delicious on a hot day, which always seems to be the case for this event each year – it’s been a cool winter, but Sunday was totally hot.

The first year I went, 20 years back, I didn’t know the cucumber punch had gin in it, and I really had my fill, I was feeling no pain. Now that I know the ingredients, I take it easy.

They used to serve the gin at a friend’s house where everyone lined up outside his green door and he and his wife and friends would serve it up to thousands. I guess after 23 years they felt enough was enough with the non-stop traffic through their house, so they have it out in someone else’s driveway now. So last year, I went to the driveway for the first time and got some punch and people started talking to me. But the homeowner was not having it, she started yelling, “Tom, you have your punch, now get out of here!” I couldn’t argue with her, because she is 97 years old! She’s a spry 97, but still.

This year while it was outside her house, she wasn’t around. She’s an avid bike rider at her age, so maybe she was out bike riding!

Anyway, it was a great day, I think I saw everyone I know there which is always nice. There’s a lot of food, live music and kibitzing. A perfect day for a small village.

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