Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pictures Don't Lie

Pictures don't lie is the old saying, but of course it's not true. Pictures lie all the time. Look at the picture above. My granddaughter, Bella, has either grown a third hand, or her little sister, Gabby, is somewhere in the shadow, just out of sight. I'm glad, too, because I thought maybe my gag about the alien abduction in the last blog might really be true.

Do dinosaurs stomp through parking lots? Apparently they do, if you believe this picture.My friend Eddie claims to be invisible. Maybe this is Eddie at a birthday party when he was a kid. Is this kid turning invisible? He is if you look at this picture.
Finally, is Scarlett Johanssen perfect? Is her body absolute perfection, her lips and face a work of art? Well, considering the art of artifice, the foundation garments, makeup, hair styling, collagen treatments for her lips and even a little Photoshopping after the photographer finished his work…despite all that I'd have to say, yeah, she's perfect.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Aliens in the house

I don't want to scare anybody--especially me--but I think we have a UFO mystery at my house!

A couple of weeks ago our granddaughter, Bella, came for an overnight visit. Bella, who isn't quite three years old, has a list of things she likes to do with her grandma, including drawing. She did this drawing which I thought was very unusual.It reminds me of common pictures of UFO aliens and even a couple of flying saucers in the background.

Then on Thanksgiving Bella posed for some pictures and I'll be go-to-hell if she didn't channel Regan from The Exorcist or exhibit otherwise unlikely behavior.Whew. This is a mystery that bears further investigation! I don't believe in flying saucers, UFOs, alien abductions, although I've written about them. Check here for my UFO week columns to commemorate 60 years of flying saucer sightings.


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. A lot of people I know took off out of town for the holiday. Here's a guy who has found a creative way of showing folks back home where he's been. I swiped, errrrr, I mean borrowed, these pictures from the blog, Damn Cool Pics.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Package delivery

This is one of those things that circulates around; I got it in a photocopied form. I counted the number of F's and came up with three. I gave it to a teacher friend and she counted six. She also patiently explained to me, "People don't look at words like 'of'." I hadn't even seen those words, and I consider myself pretty sharp. So does this mean I've got Alzheimer's, and need to be placed in the nursing home with my mom?

Arrgh. The aging process can get a guy down. This morning I woke up and headed for the medicine chest and the Advil. Amazing how arthritis can make getting out of bed difficult, when the feet hit the floor, and the floor hits back.

I was going through some old books, and came across my copy of Atlas Of Human Anatomy For The Artist by Stephen Rogers Peck. I scanned a picture of the aging process in men.I bought the book in 1970, when I was closer in age to the guy on the left. Now I'm midway between the guy in the middle and the guy on the right. The most disheartening thing is that people shrink. It's not like I can afford to give away half a head of height when I don't have that much head to begin with.

The best part is that apparently--according to the author/artist--the package in front looks pretty much the same from 18 to 80. And if you think about it, shrinking the rest will make that package look bigger! So much for those penis enlarging pills they're always trying to sell over the Internet. All I've gotta do is age another 20 years and I'll have a willie like a pornstar.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Part-time Polygamist Wife Wanted, Episode 3

My search for a part-time polygamous wife goes on. Right now my wife is pet sitting, and I've been on my own for a couple of nights. If you remember, I advertised for a woman to take care of me while my wife is out of town or with a client's pet. I tell about the earlier part of my search here, and here. I've gotten some pictures, and want to present them to you…maybe you can help me make up my mind.

Maxine Factor says she likes the way subtle touches with makeup can help a girl keep the ol' pizzazz going in a relationship. Yeah, as long as you kiss a guy without him sticking to your face.The Bangle Sisters say, "We're a team. Where one goes, we all go." I'll admit that's mighty tempting, but I only need one woman to handle my castanets.Monica Bluinsky says she is "going through a blue period." No blues…and no periods for me.Pinkie tells me, "I'm just practicing the look I'll give you on our wedding night when I see you naked!" Sorry, honey, but what you'd see would be me disappearing out the bathroom window…with my clothes on.
White-shoes Winnie says, "If you're interested, I'll send a more current photo." Winnie, I don't think I'd be interested, even if the photo was taken after World War II.Belinda the Bad writes, "I'm not really a witch. What I am rhymes with witch."Ohhhhhhhhhhh-kay. I don't think you gals are taking my request seriously enough, but keep the pictures coming. I figure one of these days I'll see something I like.

Actually, I like this. I mean, the raised pinky indicates good breeding, doesn't it? Too bad she also says, "I charge $500 a night…non-negotiable. And for you, I'd probably charge more."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's a Man's World

It's Veteran's Day today. So happy day, all you veterans, and even veterans-to-be.

Today also marks the 39th anniversary--November 11, 1968--that I was discharged from the U.S. Army after two years. I spent my time in Germany, feeling lucky to be away from where the bullets were flying in Vietnam.

Every soldier, sailor, or marine will tell you that even during wartime there are times of boredom in a serviceman's life. That's doubly true for a peacetime force. When I was in Nuremberg, we had no TV to speak of, since it was all in German. We had Armed Forces Network radio, but I don't remember it being any more than just background. During our off hours we could go downtown, get drunk, get laid, get in trouble. I was a barracks rat; I stayed behind. Getting drunk and getting laid led to that trouble, and that was what I avoided. I just stayed behind and read or wrote letters.

Wow, boring, huh? The PX was stuffed with magazines and books to read. I usually made my way there every few days, stocking up on magazines. A new issue of Playboy, especially one with a story by Jean Shepherd, was a bonus. Shepherd wrote the stories on which they based the movie A Christmas Story. I read all of those stories first in Playboy. I got comics and paperback books and usually kept myself busy with my nose buried in something.

The kinds of magazines I never bought were the types of men's-sweat magazines that were everywhere in those days. I saw them because other GI's bought them and left them laying around the barracks. What I found out about them is that beyond the covers, there usually wasn't a lot of interest. I'm sure the cover artists and the headline writers were the stars on these magazines. Who could resist a cover with a gal in a bikini helping feed a machine gun? Chicks were the main attractions on these covers. Put a babe on the cover and you've got a guy's attention.I love the headlines, "I Conquered The Headhunters of 'Blood Hostage Island,'" "I Was A 'Love-On-The-Prowl' Sin Cruise Girl!" "Showdown in the Garden Of Golden Flesh," "Rampaging Outlaw Angels and their Love-Blast 'Mamas'." What was that? Love-Blast 'Mamas'? In those days, thanks to movies like Wild Angels with Peter Fonda, Hell's Angels were really popular, even iconic, pop-culture figures.Many illustrators made their living doing covers for these magazines. Writers like Mario Puzo, of The Godfather fame, also made a living writing for these rags. A lot of guys read them. Nowadays they're considered collectible. The covers are great. They represent a time and an era when men were macho and women couldn't say 'no!' or were high-stake nymphs.Magazines like these were made-to-order for bored GI's. Like all escape literature, they were cheap and could take a guy away for a couple of hours.Thanks to my friend, David Miller, who found these magazines at an antiques fair and scanned the covers for me. Click on the pictures for full-size images.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Did anyone else notice this Sunday funny, Zits, today? Go down a couple of postings of this blog to Saturday, October 27 to read my own version of having a school superhottie, and the effect on me. Click on the picture to get the full-size image.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Objects that return

Yesterday, Jill, a secretary at one of the elementary schools on my route, pulled a Swiss Army knife out of a drawer. "Is this yours?" she asked.

Two weeks ago I'd lost that knife. It fell out of the watch pocket of my jeans. Every time I sat down it would fall out of my pocket, onto the floor. I didn't remember I'd been in the bathroom of that school, but someone had found it there and turned it in. Thank you, anonymous finder of my lost object. Thank you, Jill, for deducing it belonged to me.

I have this crackpot theory, that if something is truly ours it will come back to us. If it isn't, it won't. We've all had lots of objects disappear, never to be seen again. The ones attached to us, maybe by some invisible string, will find their way back. That's the case of the Swiss Army knife on the right, the one with the casing that keeps falling off, and the blade that's been whittled down by sharpening. My wife gave me that knife in 1987 or '88, and it's been lost several times, only to find its way home. Kind of like Lassie, only with an inanimate object.
The knife the secretary returned to me is the replacement for the older knife. I am compelled to carry two things every day, a pen and a pocketknife. Otherwise I'm naked to the world. For the half-dozenth time or so, three months ago I had lost my older knife. In every instance of loss, at some point it will return to me, but I still needed a knife, so I bought a larger knife and carried that for a while. The larger knife is actually too big for the watch pocket, hence the problem with it falling out. I've had a couple of those knives over the years, and they never come back when they're lost. I was completely surprised to get the larger knife back. See, the night before my older knife found its way back to me. I went into my downstairs studio. I have a wooden rocking chair, which used to belong to my mother-in-law, I use for watching TV or reading. My eye was caught as I walked in the room. There was my older knife in plain sight under the chair.

The thing that is most strange is that I sit in that chair every day at one point or another, even if it's only to tie my shoelaces. When I walk into the room I have a clear view of the chair, what's around it, and underneath it. For three months I didn't see the knife. Then I did. I was surprised, but pleasantly. I knew at some point it would return itself, just not when. Or how. What surprised me more was the next day I got its replacement back. So now I have two knives that return themselves to me. Since my OCD requires me to carry a pocketknife, while both of those knives were missing I had bought yet another knife, a Winchester pocket knife, which is in my watch pocket right now. The Swiss Army knives are in a box in my closet, and when I lose the Winchester I'll carry one of the Swiss Army knives again.

I first noticed the phenomenon of returning objects almost 35 years ago. My wife bought me what I requested for Christmas, a Rapidograph pen. For those of you who don't know, a Rapidograph is a technical pen with a non-flexible tip, out of which drawing ink flows in a uniform line. The tips come in various sizes. I wanted to use it for lettering my cartoons. At the time I would sit in an armchair with my drawing board in my lap. We had four cats always jumping on me, and I'd put the pen down on an end table and shoo away the cats. One day I went to use the pen and it was missing. I turned the house upside down, took every cushion off the furniture, looked everywhere, even places in the house I knew I'd never taken the pen. Finally, I gave up. But I was upset. In those days, buying a pen that cost $12 was really expensive for me, since I earned about $2.00 an hour.

One night about a month after losing the Rapidograph, I had a dream. In my dream I saw my refrigerator, and from underneath the refrigerator a signal was being emitted. It was loud in my head, a squealing sound. I woke up from my dream, went into the kitchen with a yardstick, put it under the fridge, and scooped out my Rapidograph pen. I thought then that one of the cats had batted it off its spot on the end table, played with it on the floor and it had rolled under the fridge. Simple. Except that it called out to me in a dream. You can argue it was because my mind was working on the problem of the missing pen, and solved it by coming up with the one place in the house I hadn't looked, and my logical mind would tend to agree with you. But my more romantic, non-pragmatic side would prefer to think that by some psychic bond between the pen and me, it had made its location known. I still have the pen.

The older Swiss Army knife kind of unnerves me. The way I suddenly saw it under the chair is spooky. We don't have cats currently living in our house. The thought of an inanimate object moving under its own power is too creepy to think about. But then, when something truly belongs to you, a loved one, an animal, an object, whatever, however it has to do it, it will find a way back to you.