Tag Archives: blogging

One Week Later

Okay, so we’re back in business!…

And there’s no shortage of graphic art to be posted!…

I’ve been looking and downloading and uploading. Everything except posting!

Of course, it’s nice to be in demand, but there’s something to be said for time off as well…

I’m sure the time may come when this humble blog will return to political topics, but not just yet…

Until next time, please know every visit is appreciated, as is every time you make use of the “like,” “share” and/or “comment” buttons below!


Ooops

Annnnnnnnnnd I’m out.

Three Months Later

Dude, where HAVE you been?

As usual, I’ve been commandeered by that original social media platform, Life.

Someday, I may write more about this pause in my posts, but for now, I’m just pleased to be back. I’m also learning to use the WordPress app that I’ve just installed on my tablet.

You may wish to check that your seatbelt is fastened and that the safety lap bar is locked in the down position…


So now that I’m back, let’s make up for some lost time with good ol’ Rick Stevens!…


At this point, let’s see what else I’ve been salting away for an eventual return…

I know, it’s a little dated. But let’s be clear, in this country, at this time, nothing has much of a shelf life, except for human nature. For a while, at least, I want to see if I can keep this humble blog a little less political. That would make for a lot less wear and tear on your humble blogger…

There’s plenty more to come in the days and weeks ahead! Please be patient and thanks for coming back!


Annnnnnd I’m out… 

1,461 Days Later…

Hi there, boys and girls! Do you know what today is? That’s right campers, it’s the FOURTH ANNIVERSARY of this blog!

(Insert pause here to allow for the thunderous applause, whooping and whistling to die down and give everybody a chance to take their seats again.)

Yes, it was back in the dim dark days of 2013. Mitt Romney was still coming to grips with his own election defeat. President Barack Obama was considering arming Syrian rebels. The U-S was telling Mexico any trade deal would have to be tied to immigration reform. Any of this sound eerily familiar?

And a temporarily unemployed former radio announcer from Pittsburgh set out to kill a little of his extra free time by trying his hand at blogging.

We were living in a much simpler era. Humorous signs that used to be confined to cubicles in the office have since taken on much more sinister meanings.

For example:

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…is now the unofficial motto of both the White House and Congress. Whereas:

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…is now the unofficial motto of the US Departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security.

Four years ago, if I wanted to treat my online followers to dinner, all I’d have needed was a single booth at the local diner. Today, I’d probably need to book something at Chuck E Cheese, assuming we didn’t mind sharing the place simultaneously with a few children’s birthday parties.

But it’s been worth every penny.

I’ve had the chance to stretch my writing talent (and, occasionally, to sprain it,) to become acquainted with new people all over the world (some of whom live in the most unexpected places,) and just generally acquire my sea legs in an emerging medium. And I haven’t done it alone.

Some very talented people have contributed to this effort. I try to always make it clear that the cartoonists get credit for their unique gifts; folks like Rick Stevens, Arianna Stefannini (“Kotopopi,”) Jen Sorensen, Matt Lubchansky, Matt Bors, Rob Rogers and, of course, Tom Tomorrow.

My wife and daughter get credit for tolerating this obsession.

But it is the support and encouragement of my fellow bloggers which has proven to be so important. They have set an example and given me more than a little idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my thanks to the President of the United States.

Every artist must have a muse.

Over the past two years #EmperorDonaldTheLast has been a fertile source of ideas such as I would never have imagined four years ago when I set out on this project.

His singular level of absurdity, audacity, lack of grace and mind-boggling sheer stupidity make this exercise an unalloyed pleasure.

Donald, I couldn’t have done it without you!

And now we return to our regular programming…

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Please help me to celebrate this anniversary bigly by liking, sharing and commenting, via the handy-dandy widget buttons below… So important…

Annnnnnd I’m out.

Cats, Creativity & Caricature!

Let us take a moment to compose our thoughts…

There, that ought to do it.

We begin this latest installment with dependable Rick Stevens’ “Diesel Sweeties...

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Our pixelated pundit likes to tackle the topic of creativity…

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Do you think he has a feline companion (or two) in his life? He certainly seems to relate to them well! I don’t recall ever having seen a dog in any of his work…

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We haven’t seen much of Don Asmussen‘s work recently.

Please permit me to remedy that inadvertent oversight…

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Please be of good cheer! These samples of feline admiration, creativity and caricature are here for your enjoyment thanks in large measure to the permissions of the respective artists!

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As always, I also thank you, the readers who visit this humble blog.

Several weeks back, while pondering where our readers come from, I noted that almost all of our readers hail from the Northern Hemisphere.

Well, a few folks must have taken notice! Since that time, our Readership Research Department informs me we’ve since seen a significant upswing in readers from South Africa!

It would seem word really does travel across the Internet!

Isn’t modern technology wonderful? Seriously, right now I am SO filled with wonder!…

Among other things…

See you again soon!

No Cartoons This Time.

Think of it as an experiment…

As this humble blog goes careening across the Weird World Web (that is what those three ‘Ws stand for, right?), we will soon be approaching its fourth anniversary.

There’s still so much I do not understand.

Specifically, why am I inundated with offers of webinars, books and classes to help me drive more traffic to my blog?

Listen up, everyone, I don’t want a lot of traffic!

This, this right here, is simply a harmless outlet for my own little essays, frequently peppered with some carefully selected cartoons from artists who largely publish online and see no harm in my reposting the selections of their stuff that I personally enjoy, in their own private dreams of the world beating a digital path to their own online doors.

It goes without saying – up until this dependent clause – that the last thing I ever expect to see is the world beating a digital path to my online door.

Had I ever truly thought it would, I’d be selling my stuff for some Real Money by now and this little diatribe would never have seen the light of your screen.

Believe me, I spent 20 years in American Radio, almost 10 years in TV, and almost every second was steeped in a blind desire to generate the largest audience possible. And in the end, it made no difference how well I had achieved that goal. That career came to a close.

Trust me, large audiences are overrated… and they can be so constricting as to make a python blush.

No, what really baffles me about blogging is the seeming irrelevance of the locations from which my blog is read.

Don’t get it twisted, if anybody at all reads these posts, I figure I’m waaaaaay ahead of the game.

But the assortment of countries often puzzles me.

Since English is my native language, I’m not surprised to see the United States and Canada as the top two countries that read my stuff. But then come Germany and France… Followed by the United Kingdom (for as long as that lasts…) Considerably further down the list come Australia and New Zealand.

Unless you’re seeing this blog for the first time, you know I take an almost unhealthy interest in American Politics.

I suppose many other people are at least as baffled as I am about, you know, that person in the White House.

You know, the one who tweets. A lot.

Sorry, folks, all out of profound insights on that one! Your guess is as good as mine. I got nothin’.

I’ve never thought of my self as racist or sexist. Is there such a thing as “hemispherism”? Almost all of this blog’s readers live north of the equator.

Do my posts somehow subtly signal that I’ve never spotted the Southern Cross in the night sky, or that when I flush a toilet, the water flows counterclockwise?

For the first half of last year, I was seeing a tremendous amount of traffic out of Brazil. I have absolutely no idea why. I’d like to think I briefly benefited from a fleeting craze during which sun-bronzed nubile 17-year-old girls followed my every word while tanning themselves and listening to sambas along the beaches of Rio.

It’s the romantic in me.

It seems I do not appeal to Scandinavian tastes at all. That’s okay; apart from Ibsen, Ingrid Bergman and smoked pickled herring, I can’t claim to admire much there. I don’t even care for IKEA. They can keep their meatballs. If I want to eat something bland, there’s no shortage of American cheese over here.

Also, while I appear to be generally well tolerated on the European continent, nobody in Spain reads my blog. Again, I have absolutely no idea why. I mean, if people in France and Portugal find me acceptable, why should the Spanish shun me? I can’t recall having ever expressed anything even remotely insulting to such a revered culture.

What am I to make of this seemingly arbitrary trivia?

Of course, I am nothing if not mercurial, so that could change at any time. In other words, if you happen to know anyone in Madrid or Barcelona, you may want to tell them to get with the program while I still currently revere them.

The absences of certain other locations I completely understand.

For example, I fully comprehend why nobody reads this in Russia, China, Cuba or the Philippines. On the other hand, I appear to draw a small but devoted readership in Malaysia. Don’t ask me why; no idea.

However, where are the readers in places like Chad, Peru or Sierra Leone?

Oh, Iceland, are you out there?

Come in, Latvia, all is forgiven!

Maybe it’s better this way. Maybe the whole low profile thing keeps me out of harm’s way. Quite possibly there’s a hidden benefit to being too small to be considered worth bothering with?

I think I just invented Humble Narcissism.

Too bad there isn’t a market for it…

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RSDS: Cats Can Be Stubborn!

And so can people!

First up, Rick Stevens and “Diesel Sweeties”:

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Of course, there’s a reason both species have a reputation for being stubborn:

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Okay, so much for felines and their companions, let’s move on to something almost as universal, courtesy of contributor Matt Lubchansky:

Some of the folks who actually return to this humble blog voluntarily may be wondering why we haven’t gotten around to something by Tom Tomorrow..

Well, to them I say:

And, in closing, please return soon!

Remember, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the RCMP, the White House, MI-5, #10 Downing Street, the Kremlin and probably the Salvation Army as well already know you’ve visited this humble (and inoffensive) blog.

Good luck!

(And don’t get too smart in front of your Samsung smart TV…)

 

Do We HAVE to Celebrate Presidents’ Day This Year?

First of all, I have nothing against Presidents, as a rule. Some my favorite people are Presidents, you can ask ANYBODY!  Really.

And I happen to think it’s just environmentally responsible to recycle leftover Valentine’s Day cards…

Seriously, when I was a lad, every grade school student recognized that historic tableaux of “George Washington Crossing the Delaware (River)”.

Of course, the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would NEVER be content with anything so humble as a mere rowboat…

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Most Presidents embrace the concept of political correctness, but Rick Stevens’ “Diesel Sweeties” crowd is a crowd apart:

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And the notion that the current new administration is especially warm to Kremlin interests is simply ridiculous:

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When every cabinet level appointment candidate’s the best available, especially where education’s concerned:

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I thank Rick Stevens for permitting me to repost his work here.  And special thanks to David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times. Thanks also to you for coming to look at it.

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Seven Donalds; see if you can guess which one is not like the others!…         (Hint: The duck BELONGS there!)

 

See you soon!

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Birthday Musings

Some Thoughts Further Along the Timeline

Gosh!   Has it really been a year already?   Wow!

366 days ago (remember, it was a leap year,) I had no idea how much change was in store.

We were about to weather an ice storm which would shut the town down for almost three straight days.

The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup.

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series!

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And something else happened; if only I could recall what it was…  Oh yeah, that’s right!…

Everybody thought the election in November would boil down to a contest between Clinton and Bush.

We were a simple people. It was a simple time in our history.  And now we know:

👉 About 46% of us are still a simple people! 👈

As one of my former Radio colleagues used to say on his morning talk show almost two decades ago, “Paging George Orwell!”

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Eric Blair, better known to the world by his pen name, George Orwell

I suppose it goes without saying that, as simple people go, some are simpler than others.  Take this map of the world as seen by the new federal administration:

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A View of the World, as Seen by Emperor Donald the Last

Let’s change the subject shall we?  Oh, yes please!…

My wife and I are more in love than ever after 11-and-a-half years. Our daughter is blossoming into a beautiful and truly awesome young lady. Tiny Pochapin is as devoted as ever. Whatever may happen outside these walls, that will never change.

I have transitioned from a desktop PC to a tablet computer (a TC (?)) and have developed a shaky talent for typing with two fingers on a miniaturized keyboard equipped (or as I prefer to think of it, “booby trapped,”) with a dangerous autocorrect feature.  It hasn’t managed to sneak anything by me yet, but it’s only a matter of time…

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My work continues to keep me busy, but I still manage to carve out a little time to write.

I’m proud to say I’ve invented a new word, Trumpid™©®, and a couple of hashtags, #ThanksVladimir and #EmperorDonaldTheLast.

I onced fantasized about writing a monumental novel that would move people deeply and alter the course of their lives. Now I’m satisfied to spit out a hashtag that struggles to achieve a couple days’ currency.

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My thanks go out to the many talented artists, such as Tom Tomorrow, Rick Stevens, Kotopopi and Matt Bors, who have blessed this blog with their own genuinely extraordinary gifts over the past year.

In fact, it’s been too long since Matt Bors’ talent has graced this blog..

Last month my Mother passed away at the age of 90. That was a challenge, but my family was there for me to help me meet it.

She never saw this blog, but I know she would have approved of it inasmuch as I learned progressive pragmatism at her knee.

But death didn’t just touch my nuclear family. For Baby Boomers like myself, the Grim Reaper seemed to gallop straight through the heart of our popular culture, as not just David Bowie but Maurice White, Buckwheat Zydeco, Alan Rickman (my favorite “Galaxy Quest” character) and…

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Prince!

My God, the way that man moved around the stage, he had to be in prime physical shape… except for the painkillers. But still, he was almost 10 years younger than I am!

I mean, what am I still doing here?

Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds…

Mary.

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I SO would have married her in a minute!…

Mary F**king Tyler Moore!

Where is the justice?

Oh, and this just in!… or out…

Sir John Hurt!

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John Hurt and Derek Jacobi 40 years ago relishing a scene together in the BBC production “I, Claudius” as nephew Caligula and his uncle Claudius. Their characters would both be emperors of Rome before the series concluded.

Man! This is turning into one casualty-intensive year! The man who channeled Caligula, Winston Smith,

John Merrick and the poor Kane, himself the first casualty in the sci-fi action-thriller “Alien” franchise.

Let me tell you something…

I would trade ALL of the Desperate Housewives AND throw in the entire cast of Jersey Shore PLUS most of the Republican National Committee AND the entire present day White House staff (ESPECIALLY Kellyanne “They made me read “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in college but I never really got it” Conway) just to get all of these departed talents back.

It would be a bargain, and…

Admit it, just between us, who’d miss ’em?

Finally, perhaps, here’s a purported White House Press Corp flow chart intended to help the dishonest media stay oriented:

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Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.

Until next year.

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Your assurance of quality… pretty much…

Trump, Voltaire & Proust?

Hello, everybody!  It’s time once again for the one-fingered typing tutorial, in which our hero (that would be me) tries to craft a series of interesting and articulate sentences without losing grasp of the idea(s) he wanted to express in the first place back when the sentence began.

I’m serious.  This a real and genuine problem.  But then at my stage of life, anything that exercises and strengthens short-term memory is a good thing.

Unless we’re talking about #45.

You know, Old Don. The Supreme Comb-over. Melania’s federal Sugar Daddy and Trust Fund Baby Daddy?

Tha-hat’s the one!

Back on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, the super-villainous Borg were fond of threatening everyone they came into contact with with the quickly-hackneyed phrase that “Resistance is futile.”

Everybody.

Even the baristas at Starbucks (“Hey, that’s OUR motto!”)

Even the poor schmuck who delivered from Pizza Hut (“Okay, so that’s 2,000 pepperoni, 3,000 meat-lovers, 500 cheese-lovers… and one thin and crispy crust with anchovies and black olives…”

“Oh really?  No tip?  Dude, that’s not resistance, that’s just messed up…”)

Please excuse me for a second while I scroll back up just far enough to remind myself where me and my finger were going with this.

Right, got it, the President-Defect, old what’s-his-face…

Okay, well, the New Administration may WISH they commanded the kind of sang froid normally associated with the Borg, but it turns out there’s a big difference between what’s futile and what is merely juvenile…

The art of cartoonery above is the product of Mark Kaufman and the writers at the editorial cartoon website, http://www.thenib.com.  Much of the art that you see here comes to my attention through their website, so I recommend it highly…

And now, let’s lighten the mood somewhat, shall we?  I know, let’s check in with everybody’s favorite homicidal red robot!…

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Oh, Rick Stevens, what hath thou wrought?…

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And now, let us once again careen back toward the world of current events…

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I am – as always – immensely grateful to Rick Stevens, whose art regularly appears here with his permission. “Diesel Sweeties” is, IMHO, the “Peanuts” of its generation and Stevens is their Charles Schulz.

And I?

Why, I am Voltaire! (Assuming you are willing to overlook the nagging details of culture, creativity, language and that whole typing-with-one-finger thing…)

On the other hand I DO tend to do a lot of my writing reclining in bed…

Do you suppose I could be Marcel Proust?

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Trumpic of Cancer

I’m playing around with the idea of inventing a new word.

It’s meant to be inspired by the new American President.

Here it is:

Trumpid

Please note that it is an adjective, it is entirely my own invention and it is a registered trademark.

Here’s the noun:

Trumpidity™

Say, did I mention that all varieties of MY new word are also copyrighted (©)?  Well, I sure have now!

What do you think I am, trumpid?

And what is the adverb, boys and girls? That’s right, everybody!:

Trumpily™©®

So Jay, (you may ask me) what is the defining characteristic of a trumpid™©® person? Why, my young padawan, (I may reply to you) it is nothing other than thinking in such a way that you get invited to a golden building in a golden city and then to a whitened building in a whitened city!

And if I’m feeling especially whimsical I may even add, “Silly padawan, trumps™©® are for kids!”

Unfortunately for all the kids in the world, the vast majority of trumpid™©® people are old enough to vote.

Of course, the young people, one of whom I used to be, will quickly fall into their own youthful slang.  I’m rooting for the varietal epithet…

Trumpidiot™©®

After all, a writer can surely dream, even at the risk of appearing to be… Well, you know…