Travels with Farley

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The famous Gerald Ford WIN buttons, when turned upside down meant NO IMPROVEMENT NOW! according to many.

One of my favorite older comic strips is Travels with Farley. I remember seeing it in The San San Francisco Chronicle when I would visit, but I see from an article by Bill Van Nieekerken, that it was a nationally published strip for many years, starting in 1975, and in 1985, Phil Frank, the Farley cartoonist, moved to San Francisco and the strip was then only posted locally mostly about local issues, those are the ones I remember.

The strips are popping up along with other older strips on a Facebook page called The Batavia Funny (and Not So Funny) Pages and I love seeing them. Even though they are dated, for some reason they speak to me. They always remind me of San Francisco, but they are funny.

A lot of the reruns I’m reading covered the 1976 elections and Jimmy Carter/Gerald Ford and so many of the strips reflect life in the ’70s from elections to inflation. In the ’70s, Farley travele around the country and met people from all walks of life and they discussed the issues of the day. Reading them now makes me want to go back.

Recently there was a parade in town and a guy in the parade looked like Farley! I took his picture and said, “You look like the old Farley comic strip character!” he just smiled and I don’t think he knew what I was talking about, but he was the spitting image of the comic character.

The strips here are a few random ones from 1976 and 1977.

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Every day is a winding road

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So in my last post I was talking about the Boho van, which I would love to own and use, but in reality, I don’t like to drive – not even a mile away, so I don’t see myself on long road trips any time soon, plus, where would I park the Boho while in different states? Do you just pull up to a parking meter and that’s that? It seems so glamorous and easy on old tv shows like “Movin’ On” and Route 66.

For many years I would drive down to Key West, maybe five or six times a year. I didn’t mind the three hour drive because I guess I was driving through so many small villages and there was something to see. I had friends who lived on the west coast of Florida for many years and when I would drive up to see them in Sarasota, Port Charlotte or Venice, that was torture. It was just nothingness for hours on I-75. Naples is just about an hour and a half and I often think of going just for the day, but that’s a long boring drive even thought it’s not a very long drive.

But this pandemic has me thinking, there is lots of time to think.

My realistic plan, and Universe, I hope you are reading this – is to sell my condo, I have a lot of equity in this place. I’ve lived here many years and I can make enough money to retire on if I choose. The good part about that, too, is that I have about three neighbors who have relatives or want the place themselves. So I don’t have to look for buyers or pay a realtor commission.

The only reason I didn’t sell it to neighbors in the past is that none of them is willing to give me an offer that they are willing to pay, and I never gave them a figure that I wish to sell for. So we’ll have to pin that down now.

I would love to move to a lower cost place, in the area, not far away, and then travel and cartoon. I have always dreamed of spending the summer in Italy or even North Carolina or Connecticut or New Mexico, and just live there for the season, cartooning while I am there. So my main goal is to cartoon and travel.

I have a business I would sell, for whatever I could get. It’s either that or just shutting it down, but if I can get a few dollars, why not? I think the website URL and the mailing list is what competitors would want; they probably wouldn’t want the actual business, they would just fold it into theirs.

I could live on the equity I get from the condo I sell and I could make money in the future by re-investing the money and also from the comics/cartoons. If I get enough followers on social media, I could get paid for product placement. It’s done all the time with people that have thousands, if not millions of followers. And I have a plan to start doing commission work now.

So there is my manifest. The goal now is to clean out the apartment, you don’t realize all the crap you collect over the years. A friend told me a few years back that the worst part of his move was all the books, and he is right about that. But little by little, I am going to empty this place out – books, old clothing, old electronics, old plates and kitchen stuff – everything. I am making way for new owners – you know, telling the Universe that I am out of here!

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Moving on down the road

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I’ve been wanting to move for the longest time, but I’m too lazy to move. This whole lock down/Caronavirus thing is sort of resetting our lives; it’s resetting the whole Universe. I have been thinking differently about my future and how I want to live.

I want a change of pace and I would also love to take the money out of my current place and re-invest it and live. I need to start enjoying it. I started cleaning closets and other things out so that there wouldn’t be so much to move when and if the time comes. With all this free time now I guess I should start the “spring cleaning” again. I think if there is less stuff here it might be more motivating in getting me to move.

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I saw this thing on Shark Tank last week, it’s a van turned into a sort of trailer. So basically you live in the van, there is a kitchen, bed, shower, everything, but it’s easy to drive and maneuver since it’s not a huge RV. Trouble with that is I hate long driving trips, but I still do love the concept. The vans are called Boho campers. But I’m sure there are similar vans available, too.

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Oddly enough, on the same episode, this girl had portable solar panels, which you hang on a window, it charges up, and you use it to charge things. That would work perfect in the small camper. That can be seen here.

Now all I need is the balls to go ahead with it and see the country, but first, I need to sell this condo I’m in, and clean it out first. I’m putting it all into the Universe along with the end to the Caronavirus so all this can start happening. Oh, and I would draw comics and post them from my Surface Pro along the way!

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But I do have a more realistic plan that will work better for me. And I can retire in the process if I want. Stay tuned, I’ll explain that in the next blog post.

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Things seem to always work out

Shelter-in-PlaceI don’t mind the self quarantine or shuttering in place. I’m not sure why, perhaps because I work from home normally and I’m used to it. Some days do seem drawn out and I’m tempted to invite friends over, but I know that’s not the thing to do.

Last night, the City of Miami was put under a “Shelter in Place” order. Which sounds quite a scary proposition, but I’ve been doing that anyway, I guess it just didn’t have a name and order attached to it before. We are still permitted to go outside, take walks, do things that need to be done – go to get groceries, go to the pharmacy, pick up food, etc.

I think my only concern now money; my business is at a standstill and that’s a concern, but things have always worked out so I’m not panicking. So many times over the years I would tell the Universe I needed this amount of money or that amount of money to make it through the summer and the money appeared in my checking account.

Now I’m not saying it happened by magic. Most likely I forgot to make a notation of a deposit or two earlier in the year, but more than once this has happened and it saved the day, or the summer. I am seeing that happen now, when needed.

I am cartooning, that is going great and I’ve started Spring cleaning, first time in my life I think, but I’m doing it. I just dumped a lot of canned food with expiration dates on them from 2008! A few years ago I got a new refrigerator and when I emptied the old one out, there was frozen food in there from 2007; and this was in 2015 or 2016!

Anyway, I know this is frivolous talk, but I”m just trying to fill this space every day.

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Skyping the news

I like seeing everyone’s houses and offices when they skype into the news.

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Al Roker has been doing the weather from his kitchen at home on the Today Show.

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He shows different angles of the room on different days.

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Here Ari Melber is interviewing our Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Suarez has been all over tv lately because he has the corona-virus. But interestingly enough, many people are asking him why he doesn’t shut down the beaches that are crammed with spring breakers and he may be too polite to explain that the City of Miami really doesn’t have big sandy beaches. All those beaches you see are in Coral Gables or Miami Beach of course, or Key Biscayne, so Suarez has no jurisdiction over these beaches.  But I heard the county stepped in and shut down the beaches to protect those college kids from themselves.

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Ari Melber on MSNBC interviews a lot of people from their homes.

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Joe Biden has the best room, looks like a comfy den, well appointed.

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This is a doctor, you can tell by the degrees on the wall.

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Books are a common denominator, I’ve noticed many people are in their home offices or living rooms, which have great book shelves.

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Another bookshelf, a small one.

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Here is a bookshelf and a living room setup.

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You either see the glass half full or half empty; which are you?

panicIt’s amazing to me how people react to our times today regarding the caronavirus. People’s true selves come out. Weird, when I do a spell check for caronavirus, it comes up as “carnivorous. ”

I have one friend who is all doom and gloom. He thinks the world has ended, all he does is watch the news, but I think he only hears the bad stuff, the scary stuff, and he also speaks to too many people who spread rumors and falsehoods.

When I heard that some of the islands around here are closed, I looked at it as a good thing – Key Biscayne is closed except for residents; the Florida Keys are closed except for residents. All hotels in Miami Beach are closed, tourists are asked to go home. I see that as a positive sign for fighting the virus. My friend sees doom and gloom.

Another friend told me the National Guard is coming in, she got the news from an informed source, “They are in Jacksonville now and making their way down I-95, you know why? To ward off chaos, riots and looting!”

The first thing I thought was that they are here to build field hospitals and such. It’s all how you see things, your own perspective. I always choose to see the brighter side of things. Maybe she is right, I don’t think so. For one thing – this isn’t a hurricane, we have food, electricity, tv and internet. Oh yes, food – she says we will run out of food because the food manufacturers are shut down. I don’t think that is the case, that’s like saying the N-95 mask and ventilator manufacturers are shut down.

Another friend refuses to stay home, he is out daily on his bike, he is a long-distance rider, he goes out with his biking group and hits places all over the county, he doesn’t like the fact that county parks are shut down to visitors, even cyclists. I have one friend training her clients in parks that she can get into, maybe large front lawns, I don’t know. I sort of don’t mind that as she has to make a living.

Another friend can’t stay home, he is all over the county, sneaking into places that are closed so that he can take pictures.

I fear that if these people don’t take this seriously, it will go on and on. We need to end this virus spread today. It won’t work with people like my friends, and these foolish Spring breakers who think “not me.”

As for me, I don’t mind the solitude, I guess that is the introvert in me, although yesterday, Sunday, seemed like it would never end. There wasn’t anything on tv and I didn’t feel like watching anything on demand. I do enjoy watching Governor Andrew Cuomo on tv, he is very calming and makes a lot of sense when he speaks. Others, not so much.

I finally received my food delivery from Wholefoods – at 10 pm Sunday night! Now I am afraid to touch the bags and the food, due to the panicking of friends who told me not to. I’m not sure how to eat now if I can’t touch anything.

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How is working at home working out?

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My cousin and I were taking about working from home – we both do and are used to it. I’ve been working from home alone for many years. I have a regular business and of course I cartoon and I blogged for 15 years – all solo jobs that I do from home.

So this “Shelter in Place” and working from home isn’t really phasing me much, I’m just worried about lack of money at this point.

I’ve seen people post things on social media where they are going crazy at home. I’m more of a loaner, most people aren’t. They need all those people around them, which is good and healthy. But they say they are distracted while working at home. Maybe it is an art. I actually think people who work from home get more done than those in the office, I find there are more distractions at the office – people walking through, conversations with different people every other minute, more visual distractions, etc.

I’m seeing funny memes like this one pertaining to home schooling by parents: “Many parents are just about to discover the teacher was not the problem.” I sent that one to another cousin who is a teacher.

Or in my case, one meme rings true: “When you find out your normal daily lifestyle is called ‘quarantine.’ ”

One of my favorites says something like, “Your grandparents were called to war, you’re being asked to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. You can do this!”

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