Sunday, June 30, 2024

I yam what I yam


I don't know what you expect. I've had the worst cold since I got back from my trip and I'm not at the top of my game.

Wait, I sound like Biden (who I still plan to vote fore even if he really tanked that debate). 

Speaking of the debate, I was walking with my daughter on the beach this afternoon and passed this big loud guy who I assumed was talking on his cell very loudly. He was saying something like "do this for a week and remember to look in a mirror each day so you remember who you are." I muttered something about "wishing he would shut up." It wasn't loud enough for him to hear, but he seemed to start shouting out to us or anyone within earshot, "I'm voting for Trump. Biden is a retard who doesn't even remember he is president. Did you see that video?"

I assume he was talking about the debate. Someone must have told him they voted for Biden because he started harping on them. I would have flipped him off but, as I said, I was with my daughter and I didn't want him to go off on us. He was a big guy. Hell he called Biden a retard so I feel okay just saying the guy was a fat asshole. He was exactly the type of person who would be proud of voting for Trump and shouting it to the wind (or breaking it to the wind).

He is what he is and that's all that he is.


Saturday, June 29, 2024

I spam what I am, and that's all that I spam


I started going back through my design portfolio to see if there were ideas I started but didn't finish. And I wanted to see if some of my older designs would inspire new ones. Starting alphabetically I quickly ran across my Alexander Hamilton design.

That of course opened up a can of worms (or more precisely Spam). And the rest, as they say was history.

As least I'm still having pun.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Vicious circles


I have returned from my trip. I spent maybe a half hour waiting for my Lyft ride and driving to the airport. Then I spend probably two hours checking luggage, going through security and waiting to board my airplane. I spent almost 2 1/2 hours flying home and then almost 2 1/2 hours in a shuttle from the airport to my home after spending maybe 45 minutes retrieving my luggage and waiting for the shuttle. 

It was not a pleasant day. But my dog seemed very happy to have me home. Apparently she was unhappy that I wasn't around. She has grown used to me being around since the pandemic and me working from home most of the time. So I think she was confused and lonely without me in the house.

It was nice to be missed.  

Thursday, June 27, 2024

I missed the debate


Well I wouldn't say I missed it. I hate those things. But I did catch a few minutes of Biden sounding incoherent and Trump spouting BS.  It is a sad time in America. 

On the bright side, I'm done with my meeting and I'm going home tomorrow.  Was it a worthwhile meeting? 

That remains to be seen.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Seeing right through me


So I was at the first meeting of this commission I've joined. It was the orientation for new members before the full meeting tomorrow. I had met two of the people who manage the commission before. One I have worked with in person and on zoom meetings recently. Neither one of them recognized or remembered me.

After the meeting two of the other new members walked out together and one offered the other a ride back to the hotel. I was sitting there at a bench calling a Lyft. They didn't even acknowledge me.

It was supposed to be prestigious to serve on this commission. But I am still invisible. 

I don't know why I am not noticed or remembered. I walked into the meeting and introduced myself to everyone despite my introverted tendencies. Yet still I am invisible.

Granted the meeting was a waste of time and energy. 

Oh well it was a free trip. Though tomorrow I have to sit through more than eight hours of BS. So it isn't really free, is it?

The ultimate irony is that I went to dinner at the hotel and three of the staff who were at the meeting and met me were at the restaurant no more than 10 feet away from me. None of them recognized me or acknowledged me.   

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

I can fly! I just don't want to


I am traveling for work. It has been awhile since I've been at an airport or on an airplane. And OMG, it was a nightmare.  It started out okay. I had a shuttle picking me up, but they called yesterday and said they were coming at 7:40 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. Okay. 

Before they came to pick me up I got a text that my flight had been delayed by 10 minutes. Not a bid deal. The shuttle arrive on time. Traffic to the airport was heavy but not that bad. But when we got to the airport it was crazy. There was construction everywhere and it was like a war zone.

I got inside and navigated to a kiosk to check a bag and print the tag. In the meantime I got more flight delayed notices. And gate changes. Then Alaska made me pay for checking a bag although I have an Alaska Airline credit card that is supposed to give me free baggage checks. They said I wasn't eligible because I hadn't used my credit card to buy the ticket. It was purchased by the work related reason I was traveling.

I got to my gate and went to breakfast. The flight got delayed and the gate changed to another terminal. By the time I got on board the airplane it was about an hour and a half late. I got on board and found out I was seated next to a toddler and her father who was holding a four month baby (who cried most of the flight). 

The power outlet didn't work in my seat. I was in a window seat and getting up past the toddler and the man with his baby to use the restroom was a nightmare.

Bottom line. Everything they say about traveling sucking these days is true.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Sole searching


If only everyone was a Beatles fan. At least we'd understand each other on some level. The Beatles transcend generations. My 17-year old daughter loves the Beatles. My 15-year old son, not so much. But then again he has very eclectic taste in everything. I don't even know if he listens to music. 

ChatGPT thinks Rubber Soul was one of the Beatles most important and influential works. But ChatGPT believes everything it finds on the Internet. 

I still love Revolver because it was my first record album purchase. At least I could purchase an album. What do kids do now? There are no record stores. There are no albums as far as I know (except for stuff Taylor Swift cranks out). Lacking physical things does have it drawbacks even if it makes it easier to listen to music.  Hell, all I have to do is say, "Alexa, play...blah, blah, blah," and the song I want will start playing. Well, unless Alexa didn't quite hear what I said and then god knows what crap she'll play me.

Oh, but music doth sooth my sole.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Jesus on the half shell


No this isn't a t-shirt design or something I created with Art AI. This is an image of Jesus on a carved Abalone shell I found at Goodwill. It's another one of those mystery pieces I find and can't find anything on the web similar. So how do you sell something like this without having a clue what the price should be.


 This was something that I found at Goodwill a couple of months ago that I also couldn't find on the web. I didn't have a clue what it was. It had no markings on it. It was may four or five inches tall and made out of metal. I guessed it could be pewter. I ended up listing it on ebay as a mystery tower. I thought it might be a rook for a medieval chess set. I had paid maybe $2 for it but I listed it for something like $48 and I'll be damned if someone didn't buy it for that price without any bargaining or questions. That always makes me think I just sold something really valuable for a song. And maybe I did. But the guy did leave positive feedback and he called it a Gaudi Chimney. Antoni Gaudi is a Spanish architect known for his unique approach to architecture. So who knows what the thing was really worth or what it was for.

So maybe Jesus on the half shell is some long lost masterpiece worth millions and I only paid $1.99 for it. Something tells me I may have paid too much.


Saturday, June 22, 2024

Outstanding in my yard


I want to go on record that I do know the difference between Flamingo and Flamenco. I'm willing to bet that not a lot of people do (or care for that matter).

I honestly don't think I've ever owned a Pink Flamingo lawn ornament. Though during the pandemic when I would walk every day I passed one yard that had a whole parade of miniature pink flamingoes. And sometimes they wore Mardi Gras beads. I admired that.

Apparently the pink flamingo lawn ornament was created by artist and sculptor Don Featherston in 1957. Featherston worked for a Massachusetts plastics company (which showed you how great of an artist he was). The pink flamingo was a way to jazz up lawns in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Featherstone was awarded the lg Nobel Prize for At in 1996.  But before you get too impressed, the lg Nobel Prizes are a parody of the Nobel Prized and are awarded annually to celebrate unusual or trivial achievements.

So where is my leg Nobel Prize. I have been achieving the trivial (and unusual trivial) for years with my blog. 

Geez, what does a guy have to do to get a little recognition. 

Apparently invent the plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament. 

Well, I just created the Pink Flamenco lawn ornament. So there.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Diss is Dizgraceland


I don't know if people still use the term "Diss" anymore. I used the name "Dissgraceland" for awhile several years ago when I was trying to protect my blog from a trolling stalker. "Dizgraceland" kind of has that "Dissgraceland" vibe. It all would have been a lot easier if the guy who stole the "Disgraceland" name twenty-some years ago hadn't of bought the URL. I think half the reason people can't find my blog is that no one gets "Dizgraceland."

The other half of the reason is that no one is looking for it. I've given up telling people I write a blog, especially when I'd watch their eyes glaze over when they ask for the address. Asking you for your blog address is right up there with saying, "We should get together for lunch some time."

I used to think people didn't want to catch up with what I'm doing because I didn't stay in touch with them. I finally realized people just don't want to stay in touch, period. I'm not even sure it is anything personal. Life just has too much going on.

Hell, I don't even talk to my own brothers more than once or twice a year. And I can't say I feel like I'm missing anything. 

Even the phrase, "So what have you been up to?" is ridiculous. If you haven't been around some one for a few months or years, they really don't want to hear a recap of what you have been doing.

I wrote about this before, so forgive me for repeating, but before my 10th high school reunion, they asked people to write up something about what they had been up to since high school. I made the mistake of actually recapping the ten years since I'd been in high school. I was trying to be funny. But I wrote a couple of pages and most people just wrote a paragraph or two.


You would have thought I had learned a lesson before I did that PowerPoint at my staff meeting a few months ago that recapped my life at my job. That truly taught me that people don't give a shit. But it did teach me that I wasn't as interesting or well liked by my staff as I thought. 

I was at a work celebration last Tuesday. There were more people at the gathering than I'd seen at work since before the pandemic. I was standing off to the side and this young guy came up to me and asked me if I drove a train (I was wearing some company swag clothing including a dad hat with the train line name on it). I said no, I was the marketing director. He stared at me blankly for a minute and then asked, "So what do you do?" I muttered something about advertising and social media. Then I realized I should have just said, "Yes, I drive a train."

Does it really matter?

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Me and my monkey


Artie had a bit of trouble with a monkey in a trench coat flashing. So it took a few tries and some manipulation to create this design based on the Beatle's song by the same name. It is also inspired by my dog who has a pink toy monkey that squeaks and chatters if you press it's belly. Normally she guts these types of toys to pull out the noise maker and the stuffing. We have several of her "babies" lying around the house like roadkill that she likes to chew on and shake. But the pink monkey has, for some reason, gone unscathed. And when she carries it around the words, "Everybody's got something to hide except Rosey and her pink monkey" come to mind. 

Fortunately the flashing monkey in this design is not anatomically correct. I don't think Artie's algorithm allows it to depict monkey penises. I'm not sure anyone would buy a t-shirt that has a monkey penis on it anyway. 

But you never know.

On a totally unrelated topic, the rains have stopped here and we are getting some of the heat the rest of the country is experiencing. It is, after all, the first day of summer. Not that that means anything.   But when I hear someone refer to a "heat wave" I think of the song "Heat Wave" by Irving Berlin and the lyrics, "We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave." 

I believe I have mentioned before that pretty everything reminds me of some song or song lyric. I have always been a firm believer that life should have a soundtrack.

Artie apparently has no problem depicting a hand on fire waving. It gave me several nice ones. I only rejected one because the hand had five fingers and a thumb. Apparently Artie loses track of how many appendages and digits people and animals have. It is probably a good thing that Artie doesn't do penises. And by "do" penises, I mean depict them (because I know where your minds were going with that one).  If Artie was allow to include penises, god knows how many it would have given the monkey. And none of us are ready for a monkey with more than one penis.

At least I'm not ready (in the figurative sense) for a monkey with multiple penises. 

I think the heat is getting to me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Herding cats (and other assorting animals)


I actually owned a "Dogs Playing Poker" print at one time. It was back in a time when I would pick things up at thrift stores and antique malls thinking they were really cool kitsch and would make me seem cool, too. Eventually I realized it just made me seem like someone with questionable taste and borderline hoarder tendencies. I think I ended up giving the print to a friend of mine who was polite about accepting it. Funny, but he is no longer a friend. 

But I don't think it was the "Dogs Playing Poker" print that made that happen.

Anyway, I saw a t-shirt design today with a dogs playing poker on it and I thought it would be funny to ask Artie to create a cats playing poker design. And it did. But at first it looked just like the dogs playing poker print but with cats. A Google search showed that there are a shit load of those out there, too. So I asked Artie to show cats the way they would actually look if you put them around a poker table. And a few iterations later and some cutting and pasting and I found what I think is the quintessential "Cats Playing Poker" design. Because none of the cats really give a shit about the cards other than to bat them around a bit. 

Now that's really what cats playing poker would actually do.  

Then I started thinking maybe it would be cool to show what other random animals would look like playing poker. First I chose armadillos (which I know nothing about other than they are like opossums in Texas and rarely make it across a road without getting hit.  

In retrospect I should have had the Armadillos playing Texas Hold 'Em. But what I really like about this image is the cactus plants in the middle of the table.  

And since I think armadillos are like opossums, I decided to have them play poker, too.

What I like about this design is that all of the opossums are pretending to be dead (or playing opossum as the saying goes). It just seems like something opossums would do instead of bluffing if they had to play poker. They all have their poker faces on. They just look like death grimaces.

Oh well, I just thought I'd put all my cards on the table.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Mars Rocks!


I caught an article today about how excited some scientists were that one of the Mars Rovers discovered what they described as a boulder unlike any rock they have seen before on Mars. First the rock was 18" wide and 14" tall which isn't what I would think of as a boulder. I've found bigger rocks in my backyard.

They named this one Atoco Point after a landmark in the Grand Canyon. And they were really jazzed about this rock.  

It just looks like a rock to me. Sure it is on Mars. And it is a different color than the other rocks but it is still a rock.  I can only imagine what the scientists said when they went home and their family asked them what they did today and they replied, "Well we found a different colored rock on Mars and we named it Atoco Point." To which the person's significant other probably replied, "I hope you aren't planning on bringing it home. We don't need another rock. Maybe you should just take it to a shelter. You shouldn't have named it because now you'll become attached to it."

I suppose it is a bit more interesting than my normal day, but still. It is a rock. But I turned it to a rock star in my t-shirt store anyway.  Just wait until the Mars foamers find out about that. It could rock my design world.

Unless they are all stoned.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Breaking Dad


Of course, I think of this the day after Father's Day. And of course, I discover that there is a British television series called "Breaking Dad," that is about a son and his father traveling on a coming of age road trip. The title was inspired by "Breaking Bad." 

Once again I confirm there is nothing original left in the world.

But I do like this image of a broken, aged version of Heisenberg who I have called Heidelberg. The whole thing was inspired by a Goodwill find of a "Breaking Bad" beaker mug that came out in 2013.

I thought it was extremely clever. I hope someone on eBay finds it just as clever and scarce and wants to pay what it is worth. There was only one other one for sale so there is hope. Nothing is more depressing than trying to sell the same things as 50 other people are selling on eBay and there are always several assholes who sell them at ridiculously low prices that can't possibly make it worth anyone's time to bother selling, packing and shipping.

I went through my inventory on eBay and culled several things that weren't getting any traffic and had very little chance of selling. Ironically I took them back to Goodwill where some other schmuck will pick them up and trying to sell them. Good luck to you. I'm learning the key to success in flipping thrift store crap is concentrating on the stuff that has good resale value and very few others are selling 

I've also learned not to let eBay's AI write the descriptions of products. It writes like it is using Google translate to translate a Japanese description into unintelligible English. And it always urges everyone to add the item to their collection.  Because we all know that is all the encouragement we need to buy something on eBay. It would make an great addition to our collection.

So I've been trying to craft the types of item descriptions I used to write during COVID when I was liquidating several of my accumulated collections that had been languishing in plastic bins in the garage for more than a decade. Sometimes I was quite successful.  Though I never did sell this Egyptian tapestry that I described using only Carol King references to her highly successful album called Tapestry. One person messaged me that they enjoyed the description. But they didn't enjoy it enough to buy the stupid tapestry. It ended up at Goodwill where someone like me snapped it up thinking they had found a treasure to resell. 

I am still learning the ins and outs of what to buy and sell and what not to buy and try to sell. At first I went buy taking a photo and running it through Google search. Of course Google is a cruel bastard and always pops up images of the thing you took a photo of being sold for hundreds of dollars. Then when you get it home you find it is one of those items 50 others are selling and it is only going for $8.95.

Now I screen with the photo, but try to confine myself to things I know are desirable either to collectors or people without any taste. I've learned the names of things like Murano glass and other high priced but often imitated items. I've also learned to really try to remember to inspect and glass item before I buy because a chip or crack are kisses of death to collectors of glass items and figurines. 

Souvenirs from Hawaii and third world countries aren't big sellers either. Too many people bought them, brought them home and then wished they hadn't. Too often they held onto them, died and then forced their children to take them to Goodwill. 

I've mentioned in earlier posts that Disney or Harry Potter mugs are also the kiss of death unless you get something from the park early years. You have to remember that millions of people go to the Magic Kingdoms every year and buy this shit.

Don't get me started about Starbucks "You are here" mugs. Cruise ship etched crystal commemorative items are much better. Souvenirs of any kind just don't sell unless they are turn of the century. And paperweights truly suck. Who has paper anymore to need a paperweight? And I may have mentioned before don't buy anything that came from the Bradford Exchange or Publishers Clearing House.

But still I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the rush when you find something that is marketable. 

It beats trying to get people to read your random writing on the Medium. And it has been more profitable than my t-shirt sales. Though I haven't given up on that either. Business will pick up the same time that my blog is discovered and starts trending. 

And yes I am laughing, laughing, laughing...

Sunday, June 16, 2024

I won't worry about it yesterday


My daughter's orchestra played a concert today at a local arts festival. They played a short medley of Beatles songs and one of them was "Yesterday." Well, they played "Yesterday" today. I love the song regardless. It is one of those bittersweet songs that Paul McCartney is famous for, kind of like "Eleanor Rigby." Paul used to write a lot about things that were past or passing.

But I don't quite buy the "Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away." It seems sometimes like all of the troubles were yesterday. Though they do keep coming it seems. 

I'm not one of those old people who think everything in the past was so much better than it is today. It's not true. There is very little of my past that I would choose to repeat. There is much of it that I would love do overs for. 

It's not so much regret as wanting to make things right. It seems easy to look back and think this is what I should have done or said or not done or not said. But you wouldn't know that you should have done something differently unless you did it wrong in the first place. Much of it seemed like the right thing to do at the time, even for a fleeting moment.

Oh well. Father's Day is almost over. And it was for the most part nice. I don't really remember what we used to do for my father on Father's Day. It is kind of sad. And it is even sadder that I didn't really think about him today. I saw some people posting about their father's who have died and saying how much they miss them. So I feel a twinge when I just now thought about him.

It isn't that my father wasn't a good person. I do remember that he would play card games with me when I was a kid. He taught me how to play cribbage. And we'd play Chinese Checkers (which I never lose...and it would make him so made when I kept beating him). 

But my father never really talked to me about anything important. He didn't tell me how he felt or what his dreams were or what his regrets were. I suppose you don't really want to burden your kids with your regrets anyway. Mine don't seem to want to hear much about my life.

The thing is that I did want to hear about my parent's lives and childhoods. Maybe I was different. It just seemed important to me to know where they came from and why they were the way they were. But neither one of them seemed comfortable talking about yesterday.

And I've come full circle. Funny how that happens.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Never give up


There is a classic cartoon with a larger bird trying to swallow a frog but the from is holding onto the bird's throat to keep it from swallowing him. I decided to try some role reversal and give the frog the upper hand and make the bird fight for its life. Artie had trouble with the concept so this was the best I could do. It kind of makes the point.

As I search for new ideas for my designs I look at what other people are doing and try to put a twist on it. I saw one today that just had an image of a salt shaker and the word SALTY. So I decided to give pepper it's due.

I was more salty today than peppery. I woke up at about 4 a.m. to the sound of a hail storm and heavy rain. Here it is the middle of June and we have ice on the ground. It wasn't a great weather day for the Annual Arts Festival they hold nearby every Father's Day weekend. All of the artists were hunkered down in their tents looking miserable.  Though I'm not sure all of them were the actual artists. They were hawking the usual images of hummingbirds, Orcas and flowers. 

I did see a cool funky print of Elvis on a 12" x 12" wood panel. I may have to snag it for a Father's Day gift to myself tomorrow. It $80 though.  But what the hell, my kids will think I'm worth at least $80 (especially if it is my $80). You have to love the holiday. My son told me that it isn't really a holiday unless you get a day off for it.  I told him it always falls on Sunday. He said that didn't count. 

Oh well, maybe I'll feel peppery tomorrow. I should be grateful I only hawk my designs online and don't have to watch hundreds of people file past my art as they concentrate on the brick of seasoned curly fries they are eating. 

One must take solace in the small things. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Get back


As you might have guessed, I have been listening to the Beatles channel on Sirius radio a lot lately. I used to listen to the Jimmy Buffett channel all the time, but when the poor dead man's intellectual property goons came after me for using the phrase "it's five o'clock somewhere," I got a bit jade about Jimmy and how laid back he pretended to be and at the same time trademarking anything he possibly could that was related to any of his songs. It's a wonder you can say "shaker of salt" without being attacked.

I'm not sure the Beatles own the phrase "Get Back" or "JoJo." 

I did learn something new today listening to a Paul McCartney interview about how he wrote the song "Let it be." Back in the 1960s he was apparently feeling down about something. His mother had died a few years before that. And he had a dream where his mother came to him and said, "Don't worry, it will be alright. Just let it be."  Paul woke up and wrote the song. Paul's mother's name was Mary. So the line about "Mother Mary came to me" was about his mother, not about Jesus' mother. 

And to think I thought it was an oddly religious song for Paul to have written.

Get back.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Blog


You would think I would get used to the sound of crickets when I attempt to view how many people have viewed my blog posts for any given day. Even when I remind myself it doesn't matter, I'm writing or blogging or designing for myself part of me still seeks that affirmation. It would be nice to think someone appreciates the effort.

One of the things I have become acutely aware of as I age is the vast difference in which I view things. When I was young (younger), there always seemed to be the sense that, in the words of Little Orphan Annie, "The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun." But as I get steadily older there is a much stronger sense that there just might not be sun, tomorrow. Especially if you know you are eventually going where the sun don't shine.

There are a lot of realizations when you push past retirement age. You aren't going to get a better job, get better looking, win the lottery or run a marathon (not that I ever had any desire to. And you aren't really as young as you feel (unless you feel really old). 

I am not sure what any of that has to do with my blog other than it reinforces my growing belief that it never will be discovered or be trending or be acknowledged or whatever it is that makes people pay attention to what you do (in a positive way).

I don't know what I expect. I don't read anyone's blog either. I don't really read most people's social media posts if they go beyond two sentences. There is just too much out there. There is too much news and too many photographs and too many products and too many television shows and too many movies. Hell, I'm not sure what any of us will read after the election if Trump doesn't get elected. Though I imagine he won't go quietly into that dark night.

It's not like I want the pressure of having to do this on a daily basis to entertain people. I don't think I would like the scrutiny of being famous. So I must simply resolve myself to being a prolific unread blogger and designer of bad pun shirts. I own that niche.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Hair of the shark


I don't imagine this will have jaws dropping in surprise.  Sharks like to unwind, too after a hard day of eating garbage and people. 

And speaking of  "just when you thought it was safe to go back in the park, we bring you...Squirrel, too!"

Artie took exception to the phrase "Protect Your Nuts" when combined with the image of an angry looking squirrel with scissors. I finally had to leave off the "protect your nuts" part and add the text myself.  It was the first time I got a message from Ideogram that they had any community standards let alone that I might be violating them. 

They didn't seem to have a problem depicting guns and roses a couple of weeks ago, though. So I don't know if it is a violent squirrel thing or the word, "nuts." Or Artie was having a bad day. 

Meanwhile, my ebay sales have begun to take on a regular cadence and I'm clearing out a bit of the inventory I was worried I was going to have to return to Goodwill (with the off chance that I might accidently buy the items again).  It does stress me a bit, however, to have to wrap, pack, buy postage and drop off the packages at the post office. I'm starting to get an appreciation for what the people at an Amazon warehouse must feel like. 

I do have a deep appreciation for Amazon boxes, too. They have been a godsend in shipping most of this stuff. And to think I used to just recycle all of their boxes. This seems to be more environmentally friendly (and cheaper).

I'm quite the selling machine though.

Just a hobby though. It does satisfy my urge to go to thrift stores and keeps my hording potential somewhat in check. 

I think that is a win win situation. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Gums and roses


Sure enough, the Guns N' Roses intellectual property people tracked down my design for a gun shop and florist called "Guns and Roses." I posted it on June 1, and ten days later the dogs sniffed it out and had take it down. 

So I can't just let it go so I posted Gums and Roses today. Let's see if they claim it is too close to Guns and Roses and try to get it taken down too. Or I'll have offended the Periodontist profession and they'll come after me. No one seems to be able to take a joke anymore. 

I didn't really create too many designs today except for this one:

There are 20 pages of pea designs on but I'll be damned if my peas sign design didn't make the first page of them! I think I've arrived

Peas out!

Monday, June 10, 2024

Like ugly on an ape


I always wondered what apes thought about this idiom. I certainly have seen lots of humans that I would say are much uglier than an ape. But it is one of the conceits of humans to label other creatures ugly because they are different.

ChatGPT reminded me that there are other expressions like "on you like white on rice" or "all over you like a cheap suit." I suppose I will experiment at some time to see what Artie would do with those.

In the meantime this ape doesn't appear too happy and may in fact be on you like ugly on an ape (or an ape on ugly." To which I would briefly respond, "Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

I guess that probably doesn't mean that much to most of you.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Your are only coming through in waves


I imagine some of you are experiencing a wave of nausea after seeing this pun.  It was actually inspired by a Queen Elizabeth Waver I found at Goodwill.

She is supposed to do the Royal Wave when she is exposed to sunlight because there is a solar panel built into the top of her purse. I listed it on ebay after bringing it home before I realized it was supposed to be solar powered. Unfortunately her solar power doesn't seem to work (which is why she likely ended up in Goodwill) so I pulled her off ebay while I assess the situation.  I do kind of like her. She goes well with my Pope Francis Bobblehead (though she is quite a bit taller than him).

Regardless, she inspired a t-shirt design. And creating a Royal Wave t-shirt inspired this one as well.

As you can see, my puns are multiplying just like rabbits. I'm going to try to avoid creating one about splitting hares because I think it could be too gross.

I also created a design for Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders who I posted about dying the other day.

I did discover that Frank Borman didn't actually die the day before Anders. ChatGPT showed me once again that you can't always trust what it spews (much like the press these days). Borman died in November of 2023. So there went my theory that Anders ditched his plane into the Puget Sound because he was despondent about Borman dying the day before.

Regardless, I think Anders deserved a t-shirt of his very own at the very least. May he rest in peace wherever he is orbiting now.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

All my dogs aren't barking


This isn't a phrase you usually use for yourself. It is more often said with a long drawn out country drawl to the effect of, "Not alllll thatttt boyyyyy's dawgs are barkin', if you know what I mean."

But I like to toy with the idea that some people would wear this t-shirt because they are proud they are a few cards shy of a full deck or someone gave it to them as a gift and they are too stupid to realize it is pretty much an insult.

On a totally unrelated topic, I find it a weird coincidence that I posted yesterday about spacemen and astronauts and I find out today that Apollo 8 astronauts, William Anders, died on  June 7th. Anders was 90 and crashed the airplane he was piloting into the waters off from Roche Harbor in Washington's San Juan Islands. 

Apollo 8 was the first manned flight to orbit the moon and Anders took this famous image of the Earth rise on the horizon. It is one of the most famous space photos from that era.  When I heard about Anders dying after crashing his plane into the Puget Sound, my first thought was why was a 90-year old flying an airplane (former astronaut or not). I kind of wondered if he did just crash it on purpose.  

It does kind of weird me out that I created the spaceman design and wrote that post on the day Anders died. It also makes me kind of sad if Anders chose that way to go out. Of the other two Apollo 8 astronauts, Frank Borman died at age 95 in November of 223 and James Lovell, is still alive. He is 96 years old. Who knows what happened on that mission that let to all three men living into their 90s.

 But still, after having done what they did, they must have had a hard time adjusting to just living normal lives.

Guess that's the problem of a spaceman.

Friday, June 07, 2024

I wanted to be a spaceman


Hey, Mother EarthWon't ya bring me back downSafely to the sea?Around and around and around and aroundIs just a lot of lunacy

--Spaceman, Harry Nilsson 

I grew up watching the space program grow from Mercury to Gemini to Apollo. And the astronauts were my heroes. I watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. And then it all seemed to fade into "Meh."

Not necessarily for me, but once Neil walked on the moon the other missions seemed to be anticlimactic. 

There have been a few rock songs about astronauts. There was "Space Oddity" by David Bowie in 1969 around the time of Apollo 11.  "Rocket Man" by Elton John and "Spaceman" by Harry Nilsson came out in 1972. There was "Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling in 1983. And there was "Man on the Moon" by R.E.M. in 1992. But it was more about Andy Kaufman than astronauts. 

I  liked all of them. But they all had a common theme that the astronauts sacrificed a great deal to do what they did and then everyone kind of forgot about them.

It is kind of a them about life in general. No matter how famous you become, eventually you are forgotten. It just takes longer to forget a famous person than it does to forget about the millions of common people who are only famous to the immediate circle of their friends and family.

Even those who tried to cheat anonymity by building monuments to themselves became obscure. How many of you can name the Pharaohs who built the great pyramids. Ironically it was King Tutankhamen  who achieved relative eternal fame and he was basically a nobody during his time as Pharaoh. It was only discovering his tomb that made him famous.

It's funny though, how people do impact your life and become immortal in their own sense. I had a British friend who I met because he married a good friend of mine from my youth in Idaho. I went to their wedding in England in the 1990s. He was a fascinating person and very British and he taught me quite a bit about British humor (or humour as they would spell it). I remember when I first met him he shared this cartoon he found amusing that showed a walrus on an ice flow who had just eaten a seal. The caption read, "I was feeling a bit peckish." My British friend thought it was hilarious. I didn't even know what the word "peckish" meant at the time. But eventually I got the humor. And it stuck with me every since. 

I lost track of my friend and his wife (who was my original friend). I  found out several months ago that he passed on several years back. I reached out to his wife (my original friend) and we reconnected. But I do miss her husband.  So I created this design based on that cartoon he shared with me years ago and added my own twist on it. But here it is Simon, thanks for teaching me about subtle humor.


Thursday, June 06, 2024

All my dogs aren't barking


This is one of the moments of random nonsense I succumb to every now and then. I suppose I want to take some of the pressure off the cows and not being purchased because they are giving away milk. 

ChatGPT says the cow proverb suggests you don't really need to invest in something if you can get the benefits without making a commitment. It is a very outdated way of looking at relationships. It often refers to having sex when you aren't married. And it is the woman giving away something when she should be holding out for compensation. This puts it in the realm of prostitution in my book. It also presupposes that a woman gives sex and a man takes it. It is a sexist concept that I've always been a bit disgruntled about. Because why isn't a man's sex equal to a woman's sex if you are treating it like a commodity.

I also believe that people getting married because they believe it is the only way to have sex is just a recipe for disaster and divorce. Sex is complicated enough without putting the pressure of getting married on people to engage in it.

And I don't know why this post went down that path other than I needed a justification for the "Why buy the dog" design. I really posted it more because it is the only one I did today. 

Though I could also apply the "Why buy the cow or the dog" to my blog in general. I've never been able to make money off from my writing. Well, I've never made money off from my creative writing. I pretty much did okay as a copywriter. But there was one point when I listed my blog on Amazon and tried to get people to pay to subscribe and read it. The catch was that anyone who had the URL could got to it and read it for free without subscribing. So the Amazon experiment was a total bust. I never did have a single subscriber.

Now that I have expanded my horizons by adding pun inspired designs I have discovered a more profitable way to get people to pay for my skills without a long-term commitment. And even though my blog now basically revolves around my designs,  I don't feel like it prevents anyone from buying them on  Sure you could steal the designs here and get your own account and print them or even sell them, but who would bother.

Would someone shut that do up?

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Bee all that you can bee

I didn't come up with any new designs today so I dug up one from a few days ago that I didn't post here. 

Sometimes I feel like I am a split personality with my designs. At times I'm John Lennon coming up with edgy stuff that has deeper meaning. Other times I'm Paul McCartney, pandering to the pop music crowd and creating what I think will sell. 

Bees are cute and I assume there will be a certain segment of the market that will like the cuteness and order the design for a t-shirt or a sticker.

But it isn't profound.

I still struggle with the idea that I'm trying to impress the world with how clever I am. This is ironic because the world, or my blog world, seems to comprise about three to five people tops. And I only know two people who have read my blog regularly for the past few years. I am convinced that if there is any other traffic here, it it s from bots cataloging my stuff for random Google searches.

I can't quite wrap my aged brain around the concept that people don't consume media or blogs or whatever it is I'm creating, in a linear fashion. They don't start at the beginning from when I started blogging and progress through the 20 years of post to reach this one. They Google something and it may or may not hit on something I wrote about and bring them to that post. But that is usually the extent of it. 

I just don't produce content that most people feel compelled to come back on a regular basis to read. I thought maybe it was because I wasn't consistent in my posts. Then this year I've posted every day and still the same 3-5 bots drop by, scan, catalog and move on. And the two actual people I know have actually read my blog in the past three years probably drop in now and then and say, "Oh look, he came up with a new t-shirt design" and then move on.

I  have written more that 1600 posts in the past 20 years. And now I've created more than 800 too clever by half t-shirt designs. And still I feel like the Whos in "Horton Hears a Who" screaming "I am here, I am here, I am here."  And the Wickersham brothers are closer and closer to boiling my world on a dust speck in Beezle-Nut oil because no one knows I'm here.

I went through a phase thinking if people just saw how clever and funny I am they would tell others and I'd be a hot commodity. I thought if the people I work with really knew another side of me that they don't see at work or knew my history they would be fascinated. I thought if all of the people I knew in the past knew who I was now and how amazingly creative I am, they'd want to reconnect and know me again.

But I finally realized that for the most part no one really cares how clever I am or think I am. No one at work thinks I'm fascinating. No one I knew in the past really wants to reconnect with me because they realized what they've been missing by not knowing me.  

Perhaps everyone is on their own world on their own dust speck on their own strand of clover to busy crying out, "I am here, I am here, I am here," to hear anyone else crying out, "I am here, I am here, I am here." 

And somehow I still hold out hope that someone like Horton will finally step in and acknowledge me because, "A person's a person no matter how small."

What? Is that a new t-shirt design I hear calling?


Tuesday, June 04, 2024

You put the lime in the coconut


I've surpassed 800 designs now and I started thinking I should maybe update some of my earlier designs that I did without Artie's help.  Like the one above for instance.  It's simple and understated but not real compelling. So I asked Artie to give it a try.

Now that's a bit more peppy. But it did make me think about the words to Harry Nilsson's song and did it have any hidden meaning. I mean, he basically repeats the same line over and over after setting it up with "My brother bought a coconut with a dime, my sister had another and she bought a lime. She put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'm bot' up." It doesn't change much after that.

ChatGPT insists there is no deeper meaning to the song. But a Google search finally found another mean that Harry may or may not have intended. Apparently when you ask someone to put the lime in the coconut you are suggesting that you smoke pot. The coconut is the bong and the lime is the weed. 

So I asked Artie to give me a design with a parrot that looked stoned. This is what it gave me:

Okay, now we're talking t-shirt. I half expected the censors to swoop in and tell me I couldn't post an image of a parrot with a pot plant on its hat. But hell, it's legal in Washington State and who is to say it's not just an Aloe Vera plant.

I also updated my original "Walken like an Egyptian" shirt from:



Now I still like my original (I am wearing it as I write this) but the Artie versions are pretty amazing. Granted I had to add Walken's face because Artie doesn't do real well with celebrity faces (I think it is to avoid copyright and trademark issues).

It did do a pretty good Ronald Reagan the other day when I asked for a design featuring Ronnie dressed as a spaceman.

I think that is a pretty damned good likeness of the former (and now dead) President. Not that too many people know who Ronald Reagan is anymore let alone want him on a t-shirt.  I think people want more high brow stuff like:

And I'm proud to say I creative directed Artie to produce this one in one take.

Well maybe two. It got hung up on showing someone being hugged and farting. But that is why AI still needs to the human element to produce true art.