Snowballed

Wednesday’s snowman/people cartoon really took off. It was liked and shared by thousands of people, it really went viral. You might remember a month or so ago I was having problems with social media algorithms, but it seems to have passed. Many people are back to seeing my work.

I got the idea about the snowballed kids really fast. I had a morning show on, I think the Today Show, and a guy was talking about how his social media post took off. He said it started slow and then snowballed.

And the word “snowballed’ just hit me. I heard the expression all my life, but in that moment, it struck me as something I could use for a comic. I thought of the snow people right away and I drew up the cartoon right then and there.

One of my neighbors and his wife go walking around the neighborhood daily, and I ran into them one day, we started walking together. I asked them if I was intruding and he replied with a funny quote that I think he made up himself. At that moment, I thought it would be good for a cartoon, but I just kept walking and talking and I forgot what the quote was.

A bit later, he asked where I get my cartoon ideas from. I said they just seem to pop into my head. I then mentioned the quote he had said a bit earlier and I said I thought that would make a good cartoon in some way, only I couldn’t remember it. So he repeated it and we laughed.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember it again and can’t use it. But that’s where I get my ideas – hearing things and twisting them around in my mind.

Speaking of the Today Show, Martha Stewart was on the other day, she was making her famous eggnog recipe and last week I ran that cartoon with the witches discussing Martha Stewart’s and Ina Garten’s eggnog recipes. It all comes full circle, I guess.



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I gotta cut the cord one of these days

I was having trouble with my AT&T Uverse a common problem. One day I will finally cut the cord.

My tv freezes often, it’s been doing it for years. The issue is that one of the tv’s is too far away from the main router and the signal just dies at certain times, usually at the point on a tv show where they say, “And the murderer is . . . ” or “And the winning number is . . . ” or something like that. I have a booster that AT&T installed, but apparently that doesn’t work well.

So when the tv froze, I reset the router, which I have done 100 times before, but in this case, the wifi was lost after I reset the router. So I called AT&T and a lady helped me. For some reason, my wifi lost it’s name and password I couldn’t find it on the list of routers, this had happened before. Apparently it reverted to an original router name/number like ACXVR123XXX35. She reset the name and password for me and things seemed to work. We hung up and I was happy.

I watched tv all night and then went to turn off the tv to go to bed and the tv would not turn off. The cable box would not shut down and the tv would not shut off. I tried for maybe a half hour to get it to turn off and finally just pulled the plug out of the wall, As I was doing this, the phone started ringing, it was late at night, so I ignored it. But I noticed it was coming from AT&T so I finally picked it up and wondered if they could tell on their end that I was having issues.

It was the lady from AT&T on the other end of the phone, the one who had helped me hours earlier! This has never happened before, I don’t remember them calling back to check on the issue from earlier in the day. I told her what the problem about not being able to turn the tv off and she had me do some things to fix this issue like pull the plugs out, which I had already done and wait 30 seconds for this and wait 15 seconds for that and so on. She also asked me to change the batteries in the remote. And I did it all while she held on.

Years ago, I used Earthlink to host my business website. Every time something went down, I called them and their first thing was to tell me to back up the whole website and to delete it and reinstall it. Of course, I freaked out and never did that and in the end it always was some server error on their end, which is really what I was calling about to begin with, I just wanted to be sure it was them and not something I did. It’s basically the same thing with AT&T – try everything until something works.

During all this going back and forth with the lady on the phone, I noticed I had two remote controls in the room. One was on the bed and one was in my hands. I realized as she was going through her spiel on the phone that I was trying to turn the tv off with the remote from the other room, my office. I don’t know how it got into the bedroom, but there were two in there all night and I never noticed. You would think the remotes would all work for all tvs, but they don’t. When I switched remotes to the correct one, it all worked out perfectly. The tv and cable box turned off.

I was too embarrassed to tell the AT&T lady about that, so I just said that what she told me to do on the phone was working and everything was fine now. I thanked her for her help and we hung up.

I still have red lights blinking on the booster/router in my office, but everything is working, so it will just blink sort of like a “check engine” light in the car. Just there, blinking away for no reason.

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Van Gogh in America

There is a new Vincent Van Gogh exhibit in Detroit, called “Van Gogh in America.” CBS Sunday Morning featured the museum and their plans for showing Van Gogh’s work on the 100th anniversary of their aquiring their first Van Gogh piece 100 years ago.

One hundred years ago the Detroit Institute of Arts became the first museum in the U.S. to buy a piece by Vincent Van Gogh. Now, the museum is honoring the century by featuring 74 of his works from around the world, which explores America’s introduction to the artist, who by the way, is believe to be American’s favorite artist, living or dead.

I fit in a Van Gogh cartoon whenever I can, I love him and his work so much.

I came up with this cartoon idea from the segment on CBS Sunday Morning. In the tv piece, curator Jill Shaw said, “The texture of his paint strokes is like cake icing.” And it is!

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Be her guest

Ina Garten (left) and Julianna Margulies

I barely boil water and don’t like to cook, but I love watching cooking shows. I watch them all. I find them relaxing.

I know what a chocolate ganache is, how to make a roux, I know the best way to crack eggs and I know the best extra virgin olive oil to buy, but I don’t cook. I just eat.

I was on a plane recently and I started watching an Ina Garten show called Be My Guest With Ina Garten. It’s an hour show where she has people come to her Hamptons house and the first talk for about half an hour over a drink and then they cook together. The best part is the first half hour because you learn so many life lessons from people from different walks of life. One guest is better than the other.

I’ve been DVRing the show and I watch it when I can.

The episode I watched on the plane was with Julianna Margulies where she talks about living life on her own terms. I’ve never seen ER, but she talks about leaving that show. She was offered $27 million to stay for two more seasons after she decided to leave, but she left. People talked bad about her, saying she was thinking she was too big for her britches, when in reality, she left the show to move from Hollywood to NYC where she directed a play for $270.00 a week. $270.00 vs $27 million.

Years later, she was offered the show, The Good Wife, she loved the concept, but she did not want to move back to California, so they ended up moving the whole production to New York, just for her! I have a cousin who worked on that show, as part of production and also the spin-off show – The Good Fight.

I saw Nathan Lane and Emily Blunt and Marcus Samuelsson, who has an incredible life and story.

They talk during the cooking segment, but the best part is when they are sitting across from Ina, telling their story. I learn a lot from their journeys. I’ve rolled back the episodes and watched segments again.

And of course, they go out into the Hamptons at times to shop and that’s a place I love. I was there recently this fall. And if the village of Southhampton didn’t change the schedule, I’ll be at this year’s Tree Lighting and Christmas parade again in a couple of weeks.

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Doctor Who rides again

This Doctor Who cartoon was published recently. It’s re-do of one from 2014. The original is Matt Smith as the doctor, but if you swipe the image, you can see the new doctor, David Tennant is the doctor.

David Tennant played the doctor from 2005 to 2010 and Matt Smith played the doc from 2010 to 2013, right after David. But for I think, it’s three episodes, David Tennant is back for the 60th anniversary specials. So I thought it would be cool to make the cartoon reflect that.

I know they don’t look exactly like either guy, but it’s just a suggestion in both cases because Doctor Who changes so often, that I wanted to cartoon to be timeless. When I first did the cartoon, I didn’t realize that a lady would play Doctor Who, and that happened from 2017 to 2022 with Jodi Whittaker as the doctor.

I’m not a great Doctor Who fan, I’ve only seen a handful of episodes, but the gag is obvious and it’s been done by other cartoonists over the years. I’m surprised the old Abbot and Costello bit stands up to this day, but people do get the gag and like it.

A guy left a comment on one of the published pieces of David Tennant’s Doctor Who here and said he looked like Colombo. Maybe he does by the way he is touching his chin thinking. I have done a Colombo gag or two over the years. Here is one. Similar, but no way David Tennant, not that the Doctor Who cartoon is either, but you know what I mean.

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The Great Pumpkin won’t be on broadcast tv this year

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown won’t air on regular tv this year.

I know, I know, we can watch it on DVD’s and other methods, but there’s something about knowing when it’s on broadcast tv and we are all watching together.

This year, you can only see it on AppleTV+, and it is free for a couple of days, so you can download the app on your tv or wherever and watch it from Friday, October 28 to through Monday, October 31.

And it’s the same for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Those can be seen on AppleTV+ from Nov. 23-27 for the Thanksgiving special and Dec. 22-25 for the Christmas one.

I miss those old Dolly Madison and Coca Cola days when the shows were on CBS every year. Guess it’s time to move with the times.

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My idea for a tv sitcom

I saw this in the Edge City comics trip the other day and it reminded me of a similar idea I have for a tv sitcom. I’ve had the idea for a few years now. Maybe I shouldn’t share it here, but then again, I have proof of the idea here, posting it Sept. 1, 2022.

It all began one night when it was storming outside. The wind was howling, there was driving rain and it woke me up. That always freaks me out, once I’m up, that’s it for the rest of the night until the storm passes. I went to the bathroom.

In the bathroom, it was dead quiet. I couldn’t hear any of the storm outside and I stayed there for a bit. It was maybe 2:00 in the morning. My mind started wandering, what if I lived in the safe bathroom. It’s large enough. I use the shower, but never use the oversized soaking tub. There’s a closet, the toilet and shower are in a separate area with a private door. There’s a large counter where the sink is which I could use as a desk and eating area and the large tub is where I could sleep and watch tv.

And best of all, there is an exit out to the street. I could literally enter and exit the bathroom using my own entrance without going through the main house. And there is where my sitcom idea starts.

Ands so the sitcom pitch goes like this: I’m struggling to pay the mortgage. The place is large – 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and all the rest of the house. What if to save the place from being foreclosed, I move into the bathroom and rent out the rest of the house which pays the mortgage? The renters can use the other two bathrooms and of course the whole house; everything other than my bathroom and I’ll give them reduced rent to allow me to live in the one bathroom and there is the sitcom premise. I just typed “shitcom” before I corrected it to sitcom, so maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something about my idea.

Anyway, so the family is living in the main house and I’m living in the bathroom. And hilarity ensues. One time they come home and I’m lying in their bed watching tv while I’m on the phone. Another time they arrive home and I’m in the kitchen at the table eating cereal and so on. I am a part of their family, but I’m not. It sounds sort of like Kramer on Seinfeld in a way. Almost as if Kramer had his own spinoff.

I never have come up with a title, but it could be something clever, related to the bathroom being the apartment.

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Days of our Lives

I saw an article on line about Days of Our Lives, the soap opera – it’s moving from on air to the Peacock streaming platform.

The only reason it caught my attention is because seeing this hour glass and logo reminds me of summers so long ago. Way back when our mothers would watch this, I think it came on at 2 pm. How do I know? Because we kids would run around the neighborhood jumping from pool to pool at each other’s houses and as we ran along the sidewalks, we would hear the theme playing, “Like sands through an hour glass, these are the days of our lives,” and then the music would play.

Almost every summer day we would hear it coming out of each house as we ran down the block. I guess people listened to tv’s quite loud in those days and also people didn’t have air conditioning, so they weren’t locked in and confined in their cocoons and the sound came blasting out.

I had a similar experience in Boston a couple of times. When the Red Sox play, it seems like every tv and radio in town has the game on. And as you walk down the street, particularly Newbury Street, you can hear the game coming from each establishment. So you actually hear the whole game as you are walking – from pizza places, clothing stores, restaurants and so on.

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News from around the country

There are places I want to be. I don’t mean to visit, I mean to live. So I watch their tv news. My Roku tv allows me to do this – live, as it’s happening.

For years I followed the newspapers and tv news channels of places all over the US on Facebook. And now I watch the tv news. I watch Albuquerque, New Mexico; Connecticut and Charlotte, North Carolina. I don’t even know how to spell Albuquerque or Connecticut, I had to use the spellcheck, but I love these areas.

I started loving Albuquerque, thanks to Breaking Bad. I thought I wanted to be in Phoenix, AZ all these years, but I realized I like the climate in New Mexico better. It’s actually cooler. When it’s 108 degrees in Arizona, it’s 89 in New Mexico, when the low is 70 in Arizona, it’s 40 in New Mexico. I guess it has to do with the elevation.

When I was a kid, I used to imagine that I lived in a trailer in the desert. Not sure why, was that were I lived in a previous life? And then I saw Breaking Bad and there it all was – the desert – the trailer!

According to their news, Albuquerque and Connecticut are boring. There’s nothing happening in either place. New Mexico has a lot of wildfires and for the first half of the news the other night all they talked about was wildfires. And both New Mexico and Connecticut don’t have major league teams, so they talk about high school and college sports when the sports report comes on. But that is all charming in a way.

I love the southern shore of Connecticut and would love to live their except for their rough winters. I like that you can take a ferry from New London, CT to Long Island, NY and be in The Hamptons quite quickly. Not so much that I want to be out of Connecticut so quickly, but I spend time in The Hamptons with my cousins and this would make it easy to get there and even better, to the North Fork of Long Island, which I love, too. And also, with Connecticut, it’s easier to get to Upstate New York where I like to visit, especially in the fall.

North Carolina – well, there’s a big lake I like, where I would like to live in a big green forested area. I love Asheville, but it gets too cold in the winter, and it’s too far from the airport. So a nice lake in the suburbs of Charlotte is what I like.

An interesting thing with Connecticut news is that I watch the NBC channel, but there is no number attached to it. I think the whole state gets it on channel 30 from New Britain, CT. But they just call it NBC Connecticut. I watch NBC4 – KOB in Albuquerque and ABC9, WSOC in Charlotte, NC. And I watch WNBC, NBC4 from New York City, but usually only if there is a major New York story that I want to see like the Frank James subway shooter. BTW, Frank James was Jesse James’ brother’s name, wasn’t it?

I also dream of living in Tuscany, Italy, can I get their live tv news? I guess I’ll have to learn to speak Italian first to appreciate it.

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Sharing Cher; Thank you for being a friend

There is a special dedicated to Betty White on Monday night – 10 pm eastern time on NBC. This is Cher who taped this as part of the special. Cher is singing on the Golden Girls soundstage.

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