Archive for November 2010

Lowered Expectations of Middle Age

November 29, 2010

When I was 20
I’m going to live in a mansion at the foot of a ritzy ski resort.
Hopefully, I’ll have that starter-home paid off before I’m too old to know the difference.

When I was 20
The woman I marry will be intelligent, gorgeous, love the outdoors and have a great sense of humor
It would be nice to just get a date with someone my age who wasn’t bat-shit insane.

When I was 20
I’ll have several expensive sports cars at my disposal.
I’m thankful that my 10-year old Honda starts when I turn the key.

When I was 20
I’ll work for a company that values my training and my university education.
If I got treated with same respect as our Admin Assistant, that would be AWESOME.

When I was 20
Whatever my career will be, I will LOVE it, to that point that it won’t even feel like “work” when I come into the office.
Just so long as my job doesn’t give me anxiety-chest pains, I can take it.

When I was 20
I”m never going to let myself go.   I’m always going to keep in shape.
Just so long as I can still fit into size XL.

When I was 20
I’m going to retire in my early 50’s yet still maintain a comfortable, affluent lifestyel
Freedom 85.   With one can of cat food a day, whether I need it or not.

When I was 20
I’m going to do even better than my parents did.
I’m going to try to EQUAL what my parents did.  (By the way, Mom, can you lend me money to fix my roof?)

When I was 20
Eventually,  my wife and I will have 2.3 kids, maybe when I’m in my 30’s
Whoever I end up marrying, I just pray her kids are grown up with no criminal records, so I dont’ have pay for custody battles, college tuition or bail.

How to have an Eco-Friendly, Guilt-Free Green Christmas

November 28, 2010

First of all, DON’T refer to it as “Christmas”.   It’s preferable to use “Inter-Denominational Winter Solstice Love-Your-Neighbor Happiness Group Hug Fun Day“.

Don’t use a tree, EVER.   Plastic trees consume non-renewable petroleum resources and the real ones kill trees.   Either way, three penguins DIE.

Avoid holiday treats.  Sugar is an addictive poison, 57% worse than DDT or Dioxin.

If you must treat yourself,  allow yourself 2-3 berries a day, preferably local ones that you’ve foraged for yourself.

Gifts must be stopped.   If you’re the type of materialistic consumer who insists on giving or receiving presents,  then hang your head in SHAME…you’re worse than Hitler!

Don’t use Christmas lights.   Every electric bulb raises the earth’s temperature by 0.00125  degree Celsius.

Save a turkey, and don’t eat meat for your Holiday dinner.

In fact, don’t even use vegetarian “Tofurkey” either.  Soya beans have just as much of a right to live as you do.

Instead of eating,  why not try to photosynthesize?   We can accomplish anything, if we put our minds to it.

Turn the thermostat down.   You can safely maintain a balmy indoor temperature of 35 F without the pipes bursting.

Avoid playing Christmas carols:  DVD players or radios consume electricity which causes baby polar bears to DROWN.

On the night of the Solstice, why not form a drum-circle instead, and chant your good vibes to Mother Earth?

Go to your family doctor, and ask them to remove all your sense of fun and child-like wonder.

Wear a hair shirt, if you have one.

Spend the holidays with the lights turned off, the window blinds drawn, and contemplate how fortunate you are compared to the rest of the planet.

Splatta Cake

November 27, 2010

Some Genetically-Engineered Foods I’d Like To See

November 25, 2010

Thumbing through a Popular Mechanics magazine from 1950.

November 24, 2010

I like the manly, confident way this guy hews his logs,  but look at his  pants.

(Good Lord).  They come up to his ARMPITS!

Now I know why today’s seniors dress this way.




You gotta love this back seat playpen.   Obviously, they didn’t worry about children’s safety seats (or anything else, for that matter).

Let’s  pray Daddy never has an accident, or Little Junior will be bouncing around the inside of the car like a ping-pong ball in a bingo machine.




I don’t know WTF it is with the 1950’s and pipes.

But apparently every middle-class suburban male who read Popular Mechanics smoked one.

Here’s an entire article devote to the subject.   The guys’ smoking a pipe while in process of making ANOTHER.

(Jesus…how many pipes did people NEED back then?)




Of course, Popular Mechanics wasn’t all about manly things.

For the women, there were articles like how to wear belts and accessories,  as depicted by this (*snicker*) “glamorous” model here.



Oh, look.  Another guy smoking a pipe.

With a hat, no less.

(Now I also know why today’s seniors wear hats.)




Wow….a whole desk-set made in…PLASTIC!!!!

But to be fair, plastic just got invented back then.  At the time, it was considered more valuable than platinum.

Another thing I noticed:  there was only one type of Mommy back then:

In the kitchen, with an apron, and high-heels.

Where she belonged.




Finally, check out this beautiful ash-tray you could make.

Oooh, I WANT one.



Viking Nursery Rhymes Updated

November 20, 2010

Earlier this year, I posted my Viking Nursery Rhymes.  But those were just quick sketches.

Now I’m in the process of redrawing and improving them, to eventually put into a book.

Here are the latest.

It’s getting there…

“Doc” Peters Saves The Day.

November 19, 2010

I love these cheesy old ads from the 50’s.

This one’s from “Boys Life”  from 1955,  a magazine that appears to be targeted towards 10-15 year olds.

So let me get this straight.

A bobcat is minding it’s own business, trying to feed itself.

So Jimmie and “Doc” Peters decide to KILL IT.

Good Lord. a

Anyway, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, because now there’s one less varmint to “plunder the woods”.

And not only that, but Jimmie has “helped conservation of wildlife”.


But which wildlife, I wonder?

Because obviously it’s not the bobcat.


Working for Electrons

November 15, 2010

People ask me what I do for a living.   

I write documents and fill out forms.    Basically,  I push paper.

But I really don’t even do that.  I sit at a computer and tap on a keyboard.  

This affects the flow of  electrons to my monitor, which changes the appearance of black and white symbols being projected on my screen.    

I do this again and again, until the symbols seem just about right.   

 Than I press “Save”,  and a spinning plastic disc inside my machine is slightly magnetized.

Or I might press “Send” and someone else’s  spinning plastic disc  gets magnetized on another computer.


This is what I do,  37.5 hours a week. 

It’s all very abstract,  when you think about it.  

After all, I don’t produce anything of any intrinsic value.   Nothing that I can hold in my hand, or barter with, or eat.  

I mean..a farmer can show bushels of produce they’ve grown.   A carpenter can look at the house they’ve built.  A steel worker can point to metal ingots, and say “I helped make  that”.

But what do I have to show at the end of my workday?

Nothing…except a spinning plastic disc inside my compute, that’s magnetized in a slightly different way than the day before.


But it’s not all bad. 

Because every two weeks,  the Big Computer at work sends a stream of electrons to the Big Computer at the bank.   And then the banks’ spinning plastic disc is magnetized.

And this magnetic fields tells  everyone that I can live in my house for another month,  and enjoy satellite TV,  electricity, central heating and  running water.

And I can change  this magnetic field with another magnetized plastic square,  in order to buy food,  gas for my car,  or even go on an airplane to a  great vacation somewhere.


So that’s basically what I do.

I divert the flow of  electrons and magnetize spinning plastic discs.

And I get paid in electrons, which magnetizes other spinning plastic discs.

And in exchange, I have a pretty comfortable lifestyle.

Funny how it works that way.


More uses for bacon.

November 10, 2010

Neys Provincial Park

November 8, 2010

On of my favorite spots on Lake Superiour is Neys Provincial Park.   It’s at the northernmost part of the lake, four hours from the Soo, near the town of Marathon.

This photo was taken last September, on Labor Day weekend.    It was quite windy…there were 4-5 foot waves, and I spent hours walking along the shore, watching them crash.

I decided to paint this scene, and just finished it tonight.


Good Lord.   This one drove me nuts.

I  didn’t use any masking fluid (it annoys me).   I prefer to paint around the white areas by hand, I get a better feel for the paper that way.

So that’s what I did with the water spray and foamy areas.   I painted around each and every splash and rivulet.   ( Talk about an obsessive-compulsive painting subject!)

The computer screen doesn’t do the painting justice…the blues are actually better in real life.   But as you can see, the shades in the painting are significantly lighter than those in the photo.   This was deliberate.  If I had tried to match the photo, the blue pigment of the paint would have overwhelmed the scene and it would have looked awful.

Notice I also chose to lighten up the darkest shadows…again, they would have otherwise overwhelmed the scene and looked like 2-dimensional blobs.

Part of me wants to work on this painting a little bit more…but that little warning voice in my head keeps going:  “Friar…put down the brush, and step AWAY from the painting!

And I’ve learned to listen to that voice, because if I know if I fiddle too much,  I can over-do it and ruin hours of work.  .

That’s the hardest part of watercolor:  knowing when to stop

So I have to learn to let this go,  and accept that this is as good as it’s gonna get.

But heck…I ain’t complaining.