Archive for October 2010

Why I’d like to be transported back to 1957

October 30, 2010

Nobody had to worry about smoking, cholesterol or trans-fats.

Fire-crackers and cherry bombs were perfectly legal to buy.  If you blew off a finger, that was your problem.

You could bring a peanut butter sandwich to school without creating an international incident.

Peak oil?  What peak oil?    

The Middle-East didn’t hate us yet.

Coke was made with sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup.  

Cars were made of metal, not plastic.  

We allowed natural selection.  You didnt’ have to wear bike helmets or seat belts if you didnt want to.       

You could go to Vegas and see mushroom clouds from the nearby atom-bomb tests.

The only body parts that got pierced were womens’ ear lobes.

Having a degree (any degree) guaranteed a cushy well-paying Civil Service job for life.  

Children weren’t required to sit in car baby-seats till they were twelve.

Women were actually allowed to have curves.   Unlike today’s photo-shopped skeletor fashion models.  

The country actually had a surplus, not a huge debt that our great-great-great grandkids will still be paying off.

National Parks let you do fun things back then, like feeding the wildlife or fishing with explosives.  

Elvis wasn’t an Elvis impersonator, yet.

Most of the property up north hadn’t been developed yet, so anyone could afford a cottage on a lake.  

I’d wait about 20 years, then invest my life savings in small company called Microsoft.

Regarding those smug old guys who say “You shoulda seen how great the fishing was 50 years ago“.   Well, now I’d be able to enjoy that first-hand.

Céline Dion did not exist yet.  

Oprah did…but she was only two.

Playboy was around back then.  But breasts were natural, not silicone.

In a few years, I’d get to see the Beatles at their peak, before Yoko came along and ruined everything.   

No doom-and-gloom stories about Global Warming.   Just honest-to-goodness threats of thermonuclear war.

You could come home from work,  put your feet up and your wife would bring you a drink.   And then serve you a home-cooked meal she spent 3 hours making.

(Not so great for the women, I realize.  But you gotta admit, we guys had it made back then!)

Back Then…and Now.

October 28, 2010

Back Then
TV had only 5-6 channels, and all the shows were in black and white.
Satellite TV has hundreds of channels, of which maybe 5 or 6 are worth watching.  Including the old black-and-white shows on Retro TV.


Back Then
There were relatively few recording artists, and record albums were expensive.  Your entire music library might only consist of a few hundred songs, which you’d listen to over and over.
You can download 10,000 songs for free on your i-pod, 99% of which you’ll never get around to listening to, even once.


Back Then
Voicemail and cell phones didn’t exist.  If you missed a call, you missed a call.  And there was no way to get a hold of you.
Now you can be contacted anywhere, anytime, 24/7.    By nagging spouses, pesky kids, or demanding bosses.  Isn’t modern telecommunication wonderfula


Back Then
Each telephone rang with the same type of bell.
There are thousands of ring-tones for your i-Phone,  including a popular ap for an old-fashioned telephone bell.


Back Then
“Made in Japan” meant crap, and consumers preferred to buy things made in the Good Old  U.S. of A.
“Made in China” means crap.  But we have no choice but to buy it, because the  Good Old U.S. of A” doesn’t make anything any more.


Back Then
Correspondence was by snail-mail, which took days or weeks to arrive.  Letters took a lot of time and thought to write, and were mementos to be cherished and saved.
With Twitter and Facebook, you can write to your friends every minute, and share crucial milestones in your life.  Like what you just ate for lunch, or how many virtual carrots you grew on Farmville.


Back Then
While you attended meetings at work, that was considered part of your job and you did nothing else.
With “Crackberries” , attending meetings is no longer good enough.   Now you’re expected to multi-task and check your email at the same time.


Back Then
If you needed to prepare a document, you’d give it to the secretaries at the typing pool, after which you’d move on to do your other work.
You’re expected to do the word processing yourself, as well as your regular job.   Secretaries are now “Administrative Professionals” and are considered to be above such menial work.


Back Then
You might use 2 rolls of film for your whole vacation.  It took a week to get your film developed, and you’d put the 50 or so pictures into a photo album for others to look at.
You spend half your vacation taking thousand of pictures, just because you can.   Which will sit on your hard drive,  never to be seen again.


Back Then
Kids would waste too much time playing video games at the video arcade.
Kids waste too much time on video games at home.   But at least the graphics are better.


Back Then
Very few people had tattoos, except maybe sailors or firemen.  And even then, it was usually only a heart-shaped emblem on the bicep.
There are 20-year old freaks everywhere, who don’t have any un-tattooed skin left.   We make reality shows about them.


Back Then
Scientists were warning of an impending Ice Age, because the planet was cooling down.
Scientists are now warning of flooding and drought, because the planet is warming up.


Back Then
Putting a man on the Moon was often quoted as being our greatest achievement.
40 years later, putting a man on the Moon is still quoted as being our greatest achievement

Predictable Plots for Predictable Comic Strips

October 27, 2010


– Cathy is fat.
– Cathy eats too much.
– Cathy can’t fit into her bathing suit.
– Aaack!!!


The Family Circus

– One of the kids misinterprets something in a “cute” way, while  talking to a parent off-screen.
– The “Not Me” ghost visits.   Yet again.
– The “Ida Know” ghosts visit.  Yet again.
– When in doubt, make Billy trace a zig-zag path around the neighborhood.


Richie Rich

– Everything Richie touches, turns to dollar signs.
– His toy boat is bigger than an ocean liner.
– His tree house is bigger than a mansion.
– Everyone’s impressed.
– Okay, he’s rich.  We GET it.



– Gets on the bed or the couch where he’s not suposed to be.
– Destroys things.
– Jumps on people.
– Despite this, the Winslows still don’t get him fixed.



– Dagwood naps.
– Dagwood bathes.
– Dagwood is P-whipped into doing chores by Blondie, who’s smart enough to run her own business, but apparently can’t take out the garbage herself.
– Dagwood compensates by eating a big sammtich.


Mary Worth

– Nothing funny happens.   Ever.


Dennis the Menace

– Pisses off Mr. Wilson, who acts grumpy.
– Pisses off his Mom, who acts bitchy.
– Pisses off Margaret, who deserves it.
– Gets sent to the corner, regardless.


Hi and Lois

– Trixie talks to her Sunbeam.
– Repeat ad infinitum.

2010 Friar-O-Lanterns Part II

October 18, 2010

Searching the back-roads of Ontario for the last few Fall colors.

October 16, 2010

The colors have mostly peaked around here, but I’ve managed to get a few more snapshots before it all comes to an end.

These were taken two weekends ago.

This was on top of an abandoned ski hill, looking down where the chairlift used to be.

There’s a tiny dot near the road, the middle of the photo above.     That’s my car.

If you dont’ believe me, here it is blown up…


It’s not a very big ski hill.   But these are the highest “mountains” in the region, so you can get quite a good view on the top.

The hills in the far distance, behind the Bear, are about 50 km away.

As you can see, there’s not much around the area, which might have been a factor as to why the ski hill closed.


I love the old barns with hand-hewn square timbers.   These were the originals.

At least the cows were curious…

You know you’re in Small-town Ontario when you can stand in the middle of the highway without worrying about other cars.

At least that road had painted lines, though.  Unlike this next one…

And of course, I could have always gotten off the pavement, and gone off-roading in the bush…but that’s for another day.


Here’s one of my favorite trees that I like to photograph, as it was on September 22nd.

And here’s how it was on October 2nd.

ARGHH!!   From green, to half-bare in 10 days!!!

It never ceases to amaze me how fleeting the colors are!

Though you never know when exactly it will end.

These next pictures were from just a few days ago.   I found some forest  that still had some bright yellow,  so I took some quick photos after work, in the 30-40 minutes of remaining good light.


The fishermen were die-hards.  They looked cold..sitting in their winter jackets, trolling back and forth, trying to catch the elusive walleye.

Fishermen are stupid that way.

I know…because I’m one myself.

Though I was glad there were there…their  boats made the foreground more interesting.   (But I would have preferred they were spaced further apart for better composition!)



This last one will probably be a watercolor painting, one day.

Well, like I said…the colors are past their peak.     So that will probably be it for fall photos…

…until next year.

Friar-Lanterns 2010

October 15, 2010

When else do I like to draw….?

October 13, 2010

During long phone conversations….

Leaf Time Again

October 3, 2010

There’s only a 7-10 day period, when the autumn leaves are at their most gorgeous, absolute best.

Unfortunately, we’ve had grey, dark weather of much of that time.

But I did manage to get a few decent photos, on the rare times when the sun decided to make an appearance.

The Bear seemed to enjoy himself, too.

Drawing a few dozen items at a time.

October 1, 2010

Besides the random shapes my brain likes to create,  I drew Saturn.

And a doggie.  And a dragon.  And angels.   And a violin.  And a Space Invader.   And a moose.   And a bottle of wine.  And a castle.  And snow-capped mountains.  And a birdie.  And a turtle.  And clouds.  And a pine tree.  And a coffee mug.  And all four suits.   And music notes.   And a barn.  And an orca.  And a happy face.  And a total eclipse.  And another Saturn.   And a Christmas Tree.  And a DQ cone.   And a gorilla.  And a pyramid.  And someone on a swing.  And a boat.  And a lucky horse shoe.   And a snake.  And a happy face sticking out their tongue.   And a paw print.  And an F.  And a backwards 3.   And someone flipping the bird.