Is she a judge or a doctor?

This cartoon ran the other day and of course there was a lot of arguing over it. Most people felt that masks were not needed now or ever.

I don’t like to do political stuff because it’s not what the readers expect from me, but this really isn’t political. I’m not taking sides, I’m not saying wear a mask or don’t wear a mask. I’m just asking if a judge should be making medical decisions?

You may agree with the CDC or not, you may agree with a doctor or not, but why should we be having a judge make the decision on whether we should wear masks on airplanes and even Uber rides?

There was a report by the Associated Press that says Most people in the US want masks for travelers.

This cartoon below is from 1918, regarding masks during the 1918 pandemic.

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How to catch a smuggler

I was watching How To Catch a Smuggler the other day. Ever see that? I’ve seen so many episodes, they are almost repetitive now. It’s a reality show where they show people trying to smuggle drugs or illegal food or packages and things like that into various countries around the world, including the United States.

One time recently, I was coming through the JFK airport in New York and they flagged my carry on bag. The TSA guy called me over, “Whose luggage is this?” he yelled. “Mine,” I said, putting my hand up.

“Come over here,” he said. “And don’t touch anything!”

I replied, “I know, I know, I watch ‘How to Catch a Smuggler.” He laughed and said, “So do I.”

It ended up being a small pair of scissors in my luggage which set off their machine. He let me keep them and I was on my way.

I used to get nervous about being stopped at the airport, but it’s happened so much to me, I’m used to it now. These days, it’s getting my hands swabbed for explosives. Now I know the drill and when they start swabbing, I ask, “What are you doing, swabbing for explosives?” And they are taken aback and look at me.

Many years ago, I was traveling to Cleveland for a wedding. I had to stop in Atlanta. For some strange reason I was wearing cowboy boots. This was the first and only time I ever wore them. Again, I don’t know why.

I had my wallet in one boot, it was easier to carry and I didn’t have to sit on it, if it was in my back pocket.

In Atlanta, I was sitting, reading the newspaper, waiting for my connecting flight, and two big guys in suits came up to me. They said, “Sir, we have been watching you. Can you please reach into your boot slowly and take out whatever it is you have in there.”

So I reached down and took out my wallet. They looked it over. And I don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but they said something about wanting to check my luggage. I told them that if they went to get my checked luggage they would make me miss my flight to Cleveland, but they were more than welcome to check it in Cleveland.

Their last words to me were, “Maybe we will.” And they walked away. I always remember those words as if it was yesterday, “Maybe we will.”

This was long before 9-11, it was in the 1980s in fact, so it was strange that they were keeping such a close watch on me traveling to the midwest of all places.

They never did meet up with me in Cleveland. I didn’t fly back home to Miami from Cleveland, I drove with my cousins after the wedding, back to New York and I flew back to Miami from NY later that summer.

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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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Do people like snakes?

This snake/worm cartoon from last week has gone viral on Instagram. I’m not sure why, do people like snakes? Or is it worms?

You can see by the numbers below that over 2 million Instagram accounts have seen it, and by the time this story runs, the numbers will be even higher. Over 83,000 people so far have “liked” the image and over almost 8000 people have “saved” the image on Instagram and over 2800 have shared it. They don’t link back to me or tag me, which is the proper thing to do, so those many people shared the image without giving me, the artist, any credit, but that’s ok, my signature and copyright is on the cartoon.

But it’s interesting to see what goes viral on the internet and what doesn’t and this snake/worm cartoon has really taken a life of its own.

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Trades people mid 1800s

Found these old Daguerreotypes online – mostly from 1850s and 1860s.

Only a nickel, or maybe a penny

I saw this photo online and came up with the cartoon below, which was published Friday. This is an image from the Jersey Shore in 1905. It was entitled, “Ice cream sandwiches at the beach.”

As I looked at the photo, I was thinking, “They probably paid a nickel for the ice cream since back then everything was a nickel.” But then I noticed on the wagon it says the ice cream sandwiches were only 1 cent.

But usually whenever you hear of something from history – not even that far back, like say the 1940s and 1950s – things were a nickel – the price of a movie admission, the price of a sandwich, the price of an ice cream cone and of course the price of a pickle.

I suppose the cartoon could have taken place today, in a dollar store, where everything is a dollar, but I like historical things and drawing historical images.

I know I went overboard with all the items and prices, but I thought it made the image funnier.

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Stolen credit cards

Someone was using my credit card in NY the other day. VISA contacted me to tell me that someone tried to spend $1075.00 at a Versace store, but they stopped them and blocked the card. They knew it wasn’t me from my spending habits! Which is correct, I don’t wear Versace. I’m a t-shirt and jeans guy. Basically a slob.

The only reason I bring this up is that I find it interesting that our credit card companies know more about us than Google or Facebook. They know what we spend on everything these days – people use credit cards to buy a cup of coffee. If I drink coffee every day and order tea one day, will they see this as fraud?

A few months ago I wrote about having my card declined at a gas station which was a few miles from home – it was out of my usual buying pattern.

A few years back I was notified by American Express – they said someone was using my card fraudulently. I asked them how they knew – they said they were buying motorcycle parts – which was out of my buying pattern. The same week, VISA contacted me, again it was a case of fraud. How did they know? Someone was buying Avon – which was out of my buying pattern. So I guess my buying pattern is somewhere between motorcycles and Avon.

I’ve been extra careful with my credit cards, I keep them in special sleeves so they can’t be scanned, but I guess there is always a crook out there who knows a loophole or two. I’m glad that the credit card companies are stopping sales in their tracks and not letting them through. Still – it’s all about getting new cards and dealing with changing all that info on auto billing places.

Last month I had to change my American Express card – someone set up a fake account on Etsy and they were charging small sales to people. They charged me for four items at $62 each. I only noticed because I have this thing set up where they email me every time I use the card where the card is not present – mostly online. Even when I guy something they send me an email, which I like.

They don’t send out new cards overnight like they used to. What they do is give you the new number through secure means and you can use that number until you get the actual card. I already changed out my Apple Pay account with the new card info.

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Art curated by museum guards

I saw this piece on CBS Sunday morning. It’s about the security guards at the Baltimore Museum of Art curating the art.

It’s fascinating because they are usually shadows. I totally ignore them when I’m at a museum. For one thing, I always feel they are watching me. They have asked me to stop filming more than once – snapshots are ok, filming not so much, I’m still not sure why, but usually because of that reason, I avoid them.

As one lady says in the piece above, the guards are around the art more than anyone else – day and night. And they know about the art. If you have a question, they probably know the answer. The question I most ask them is, “Where is the exit,” because I’m always getting lost.

But I see them in a whole new light and next time at a museum, I won’t ignore them, I’ll say, “Hello!”

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Filming ‘Funny Girl’ in Hoboken

I was flipping through YouTube one night and this video popped up. It’s the filming of Barbra Streisand and the making of the “Don’t Rain on My Parade” segment in the movie Funny Girl. What caught my attention is that it was filmed at the old train station in Hoboken, which I frequent often. If you get a chance, you should watch this whole segment, it’s about 10 minutes long.

It was closed for renovations back then (in the mid 1960s), so the 1907 station was perfect for a movie set.

I come up from the PATH (subway) from NYC at that station and I sometimes hang around the old historic building at the water’s edge, looking across the Hudson River at NYC. It’s one of my favorite places when I’m in NY and NJ.

I did a story on visiting the Hoboken train terminal here where you can see some current photos of the place.

According to Wikipedia, the station is “served by nine NJ Transit (NJT) commuter rail lines, one Metro-North Railroad line, various NJT buses and private bus lines, the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail, the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) rapid transit system, and NY Waterway-operated ferries. More than 50,000 people a day pass through.

There is a lot of history at this train station.

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