I love Olive

Maybe posting this is going to encourage terrible comments. I hope not. I just spent too much time looking at one-star reviews on Yelp and I am not feeling great about people’s opinions right now.

Today’s cartoon shouldn’t be taken either as a rah rah endorsement nor a ha ha dismissal of Ms. Clinton. I’m just posting this because my friend Kelleypie reminded me of this cartoon earlier in the week and I haven’t been able to get this song out of my head since then. I’m With Olive Oyl!

Fire, fire

Right now something called the Sand Fire is raging up in Santa Clarita and the sky here some thirty miles away is filled with smoke and ash and the sun looks like an angry red eye. Sand Fire. Not as good a name as the recent Witch Fire and Fish Fire, but still quite dramatic. Coming up with the names for the big brush fires we have down here would be a job I would enjoy, I think. Stay safe, everyone.

Thanks for that crazy fire timelapse video, Amanda Cole!

Something funny happened on the way to the wiki

I was going to wait until the end of this six-month consulting gig to list all the new stray tidbits of information I’ve picked up while doing my work research, but the list was already getting long and weird and I couldn’t tell if any of it was interesting to anybody besides me. So to commemorate the halfway point of this gig, I present to you a relatively short list of the flotsam thus far:

  • Marie Antoinette popularized “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” after she heard a maid singing it.
  • Retta (Donna from Parks & Rec)’s aunt won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 and is the president of Liberia
  • The six-note “Charge!” you hear at many sporting events was written in the ’40s by a drum major at USC who was also the football team’s placekicker. When he was called in to kick a field goal, he would run down from the bleachers and make his kick still wearing his drum major hat.
  • In Croatia, the “nanny, nanny, boo boo, ha ha on you-hoo” taunt has different words and is translated as: “Catch me, catch me, (if you do that) I’ll buy you a newspaper. Newspapers are expensive, kiss my tushie.”
  • Andre The Giant played the Sasquatch on the Six Million Dollar Man.
  • John Wayne lost his college football scholarship after getting injured in a bodysurfing mishap.
  • Midnattsloppet is not me drunkenly eating fried chicken in bed but a 10k nighttime race held every August in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Hans J. Salter, the composer who wrote the score for classic monster films Ghost Of Frankenstein, House Of Frankenstein, and Son Of Dracula studied composition under Alban Berg of the Second Viennese School… and
  • Alban Berg died from an insect sting.
  • Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz from I Love Lucy) was godmother to the Lovin’ Spoonful‘s John Sebastian.

Impress your friends! Bore your loved ones! More tidbits to come unless I drown in this stuff.

Murmaider III: She Just Wants To Dance At The Beer Hall

I went kayaking on the LA River yesterday afternoon, and while I did not die on any rocks, I did encounter quite a few. Other than that and the fact that I went for beers afterwards, my excursion had little in common with this cartoon. No thunder, no duck soldiers, no weiner dog cars. Oh well. Maybe next time.


Seasonal interruption

I know that this cartoon starts out with “Jingle Bells,” and then it moves into Mendelssohn’s “Spring Song,” but maybe you can use something like this right about now. No crude racial humor, no homophobia, no extreme violence. Spoiler alert: the hero gets eaten at the end, but it’s somehow okay.

Word of the day for Wednesday, July 6th

Is there a foreign word for tragedy fatigue? Is there a foreign word for hoping that tonight you won’t have nightmares about rampant mayhem and your imminent torture? I either need the world to get better or I need some new foreign words that describe things succinctly. Oh, here is one. It doesn’t describe any of those things I was just talking about, but maybe we should stop thinking about those things for a while:

Glitter text

The word and its meaning (“emptiness after visitors depart”) aren’t that mindblowing, but what the Baining people in Papua New Guinea do to alleviate it is. According to Tiffany Watt Smith, a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London, in order to get rid of that lousy awumbuk feeling “the Baining fill a bowl with water and leave it overnight to absorb the festering air. The next day, the family rises very early and ceremonially flings the water into the trees, whereupon ordinary life resumes.”

Thank you, Tiffany. I have a feeling that your new book The Book Of Human Emotions is going to make the world a little better. Just knowing that there is a Centre for the History of the Emotions is making my world a little better. Now, is there a foreign word for “gratitude for finding a whole new list of great foreign words“?

The land of milk and pottery

Today’s cartoon is really just an advertisement for edam cheese and butter; I hope you don’t mind. I also skipped a bit of the live-action intro because I have no patience these days and wanted to get right into Delft Land. Enjoy, and please don’t chip the cows.

Published in: on July 2, 2016 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Shape it up, get straight

There’s a guy in my neighborhood who used to walk two Italian greyhounds around in the evening. I know they were Italian greyhounds because once or twice I or a friend may have murmured, “Ooh, whippets,” when they walked by and the owner guy always responded pretty sharply and superciliously, “They are… Italian greyhounds.” Okay, sorry and thanks for the information.

I don’t know what was up with the snooty response. According to the AKC whippets are miniature English greyhounds, so they are pretty close cousins in my book.I used to walk a Westie around town and I never got mad when somebody called him a Scottie. Is a whippet cheaper than an Italian greyhound and this owner guy was mad that I couldn’t see how much money he spent on his dog? “This isn’t a Pontiac. This is a Bentley.” Because the dogs sure didn’t care. They were having fun walking around being fast little cool guys.

Anyway, I just saw this sign in my neighborhood


and I can’t tell for sure but I think this is one of the fast little cool guys. Did he get tired of being used as a status symbol? Is he going to run and liberate his brother? Live your life, fast little cool guy. Be a Pontiac if you want.

Published in: on June 28, 2016 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Terry Toon June swoon

This is nice. No allegory, no plot. Just a pastoral poem set to pretty colors. Sometimes you need a thing that is just pretty colors. Happy day to you, friends.

Etiquette & superstition: unwanted fires around the domicile

Fancy Notioners, I must beg your forgiveness for being absent this past week and a half. I am tempted to lay the blame on this little eight-acre fire


that broke out on Sunday in the lot next door to us


(yes, that is our garden hose trickle and yes, I have titled that photo “Impotence”) and melted all wifi and cable connections to the residents of our fair hill,


said wifi connectivity only returning to us today. But the truth is that I had already been quite tardy in posting by the time that fire broke out, so I really have no excuse. Please do forgive me.

ETIQUETTE: A reader wrote in to Miss Manners some time ago inquiring about the proper attire for fleeing an unexpected trash fire in or around one’s domicile, seeing as how said reader noted that such occurrences happened with some regularity in his apartment building, and invariably required interactions with his neighbors.

Miss Manners replied that events of this sort should be considered “come as you are”-type affairs, and I must say this is a relief. I now know that the neighbor in our driveway on Sunday exhorting Benny to put on a shirt and me to get something on my feet was merely speaking out of concern for our safety and not from disgust at our loathsome conflagration outfits.

SUPERSTITION: Making sure your household electrical wiring is up to date and that all dry brush is cleared from within 200 feet of your home is all well and good, but if you really want to protect your domicile, take the proper steps: place an adders skin in the rafters, put some dry seaweed in a frame on the mantel, and hang an egg laid on Ascension Day from the roof and you should be all set.

First photo above via ABC7; second photo by Benny while he was protecting our property; third photo of the shed on the empty lot that the creepy neighbor kids can’t smoke pot in anymore by me

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