Summer in October

Friday in NY was fantastic. It was like summer.

I usually prefer fall and would want the weather to be in the 50s and 60s, but this past summer was crap – 107 degrees or heavy rain constantly and this past week was blah, overcast and not really cool, but not really hot.

But Friday, was bright, the sky was blue, the temperature was 80 degrees and it seems like the whole city was out. Every park was full of people of all types from school children to office workers.

I watched in delight as some school boys climbed up on one of the statues in Union Square, where one of them struggled to get up there with his friends. Just matter-of-factly, two friends grabbed him by the arms and dragged him up. And then it looked as if they all had lunch sitting up on the statue base.

An older guy played the guitar and sang old hippie songs from the 1960s, and was amazing. The whole day was amazing.

I took the subway out to Coney Island. While the weather was great, strangely enough, there weren’t many people out there and it wasn’t as lively as it was in the summer. But I still enjoyed it.

Thursday night I spent with my cousins, We all went to dinner and it had been almost two years since we did that due to the pandemic, so it was very enjoyable, one of those nights I’ll always remember.

We may go apple and pumpkin picking upstate this weekend, but the weather is supposed to turn to rain again, bringing in a cold front, so we’ll see. The rain would stop us from going, not the cold front.

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It’s a subdued NY Comic Con

So I made it to NY Comic Con 2021! I hopped on a plane and got myself to NYC.

It was a bit subdued this year, the massive crowds weren’t here. They Comic Con people, Reed Pop, have been very good about covid protocols and I guess regulating the amount of people permitted into the event is one of them.

It’s all the excitement of every year, just with less people.

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NY Comic Con

I was supposed to be in New York today for the start of NY Comic Con, but I’ve been delayed, due to a family issue. Hopefully I can get there this weekend.

I am all set for my visit to the Jacob Javits Center. There is an app called “Clear” where you enter all your covid info – you have to scan a copy of your vaccine card, then scan your driver’s license, then take a current photo of yourself and then scan yourself live, to show that the photo you snapped is you!

They’re being quite careful, but still, thousands of people will be there shoulder to shoulder.

My cousin Michael is there already, he is showing his work at a booth, he’s a cartoon artist. And the photos are making me “homesick” for Comic Con.

A friend asked me yesterday what the big deal was – same thing year after year. I couldn’t explain it. It’s an experience. From the moment you get on the 7 train and see that most of the people on the train are dressed as a character from tv, movies or the comics, to the large crowds exiting the Hudson Yards train station, heading west to the Jacob Javits Center.

It’s electric. The whole four days are electric. Indescribable.

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Simple car and Uber issues

I had to go back and get something done on my car yesterday – flat tire. So I left the car and had to take an Uber back and forth. I made sure I had my phone on me at all times, didn’t want to go tracking it down again.

I didn’t know it was a flat tire, I thought it was a fan belt, because of the flapping noise the car made when I drove. The tire was not fully flat, so it was letting air out slowly and that’s why I didn’t know it was the tire. I had looked up what the sound could be online and it suggested the fan belt. I was telling the mechanic that’s it’s like WebMD, where you look up your symptoms and then you think you’re dying when you have a simple cough or something. Same with the car symptoms.

I brought the car in very early and the tire was fixed by 8:30 am, when he called me to pick it up.

Anyway, the Uber drivers – let’s talk about them. I had two, one to get home from the shop and one to go back and pick up the car. The first one and I talked the whole drive. He was very friendly and we talked about everything – but mostly about how over-developed Miami is these days, we reminisced about the old days.

The second driver didn’t say much. I had to force to say something every once in awhile, just to not appear rude in the back seat. It’s funny how people give off such different vibes.

Another thing I noticed is that each takes a different route to get to and from the same place. Even last week when I took Uber back and forth from getting work on the car, I noticed it. I guess their GPS adjusts to traffic patterns now, like Waze does.

In the past, I would tell them how to go, you know, how to take shortcuts; even going to the airport I would do that. But more than once we got stuck in traffic or hit a detour, so I keep my mouth shut now.

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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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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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Cocaine Cowboys

I started watching the 6-part Netflix show, Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami. And to my surprise, I know so many of the characters/people. I’ve lived in Miami most of my life, so this all transpired during my lifetime.

I’m friends, well, let’s say I’m friendly with one of the dealer’s sons. I know two of the women, who are now Real Housewives of Miami. I know them through a good friend, who is good friends with them. I know one of the lawyers, I work out with him at the gym, and so on and so on. They even mention and show old videos of my own little neighborhood in the show.

So many of the news stories, I remember seeing on the tv news at the time.

The 1980s, my favorite decade, was a wild time in Miami. I was of course removed from al of these drugs things going on, but they were always front page news at the time. And the people I know from the stories, I know now, I didn’t know then.

I love the part in the show where one juror says that Willy and Sal, the drug kingpins didn’t look like gangsters to her when she saw them in court, she said, “The attorneys are the ones who looked like gangsters.”

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Work from anywhere; just answer the phone

This cartoon from the other day reminds me of an old neighbor I had. She and her husband used to spend time between Miami and New Hampshire and I asked her how she did it. Didn’t her clients (they were lawyers) care that they were not always present or in the same city?

She said, “It really doesn’t matter where you are. They just care that you pick up the phone.” And I always remembered that. I don’t always pick up the phone – I prefer email or text. But I did like the thought that if you get the job done, who cares where you’re getting it done from.

She ended up moving away, but was still in Miami. She ended up on the city’s historical board and was probably the only one who cared about preserving history and was anti-development. I always agreed with her regarding that stuff. In Miami, there is no reverence for history – it’s all about new – new chrome and glass.

Regarding the fact that you could be anywhere and conduct business, it reminds me of when I first started an online business, back in the stone age when things were new online. Customers would call me on the phone to give me their orders. They didn’t feel safe putting their credit card numbers online. But the thing is, I would take the numbers and put them online myself, that is how you put the credit cards through the system – online. And when I would take the number from them, there were times I was at a restaurant or in the park and I was literally taking their info down on a napkin. So much for keeping their credit cards secure. It would have been secure if they had just put their numbers into the system online to begin with.


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