Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sloggin' through the bloggin'

I have a number of websites/blogs that I visit every day. Before I created this Fountain of Mirth I used to be frustrated that my favorite posters wouldn't blog everyday. Now I know why they don't.

 Blogging is hard! Not a lot happens daily that is interesting enough to write about, and I have to save some of my better stories so I will appear witty and urbane at cocktail parties. I don't know how Erma Bombeck did it.  I don't exactly live an exciting life, and the things I do that are worth talking about are not appropriate for a family-friendly blog like this. It's quite a challenge to come up with a topic to talk about every day.

I started this blog to show off my cartoons, and instead have let it become a forum for my "comical" rantings & ravings. 

So here's the new dilly-o at this site. Tomorrow I have nothing to do, so I will finally figure out how to post images and showcase my "art". Every once and awhile, I'll throw in some absolutely hilarious details of my life.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Random Ramblins' on a Special Day

Sorry I haven't posted in a day or 2 or 3, but this is always a busy time for my Perfect Wife (who, for simplicity's sake, I will refer to as "PW" from now on) and me. 2 birthdays and an anniversary in one week! Kids, don't try this at home!

First off, a brief review of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight". I am a big, nay, HUGE Batman fan. There's a lot to like in this movie for geeks like me, and there's also a lot of problems with the film. Basically, if you want to see this movie, nothing I write will change your mind, and if you have no interest, you won't be missing anything. I welcome your opinions of the film in the comments section.

I may return to this subject in a later post.

Now on to a more important matter: It's my PW's Birthday!

Here is a special b-day tribute to her: She is talented, beautiful, funny, smart, caring, unselfish, a good, mom, and a whole bunch of other things. If you could meet her, you would wonder, and many of my nearest and dearest do, what such a fantastic woman is doin' with the likes of me!

I have no idea. But I ain't gonna look a gift horse in the mouth. I love her VERY much!

I know this isn't the funniest post ever, but there is a beautiful woman distracting me right now. Making mirth difficult.


TOMORROW: Back to jocularity! 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Anniversary Antics!

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, but we were in the middle of our big housewarming/1st Anniversary party.

It was an outdoor picnic catered  affair, attended by many of our nearest and dearest. It was a smashing success, we assume. We were too busy running around to actually talk to anybody or enjoy ourselves. We were dealing with surly caterers, late arrivals, and an unexpected guest in the person of Rocco the Wonder Dog, whose alternative plans for the day didn't work out. He was a good boy, though, and charmed all he encountered at the party.

We stressed in our invites that we really didn't want any housewarming gifts. Our guests cheerfully ignored this, and now, if you  ever need decorative candles, just pop by. We have plenty.

Another lesson learned at this bash: If you are are a guest at a party, and everyone else has left, and your hosts are looking at their watches and mentioning how tired they are, GO HOME! This may seem like an obvious tip, but this point is missed by some.

One last thing, I just have to mention, since it was my anniversary Saturday: I have the best wife ever!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, today I am one year closer to my destiny/dirt nap. Don't let that statement lead you to believe I am one of those people who get all blue about being one year older. I love my Birthday! For one thing, I'm not a woman, and for another I still have 65 to 75% of my hair.

The biggest reason I love my Birthday: I GET PRESENTS!

If you think this makes me sound materialistic and superficial, you are correct. I love gettin' stuff!
Every year one of my loved ones presents me with a gift I either desperately wanted or didn't know I desperately wanted. (Who even knew they made Popeye lounge pants?)  

This year I have been presented with a new ipod (which is either a thoughtful gift from my Perfect Wife, or a clear sign she is tired of me using hers), and best of all, A replica of the Laser Screwdriver from TV's Doctor Who! For those of you who don't know what that is, I have no idea why you're reading this blog. You better do a Google search and see what I'm talking about. I love it.

If you haven't started shopping for me, don't despair, there's still time to get me something. If you are in a quandary about what to get me, here are some items from my wish list to help you:

• A full size replica of the B-9 Robot from "Lost in Space". This will set you back a mere $10,000 or so. If you can't find one, I'll also accept a full size Robbie the Robot from "Forbidden Planet", I'm not fussy. Either one of these would look fantastic in my living room, and I'm sure my wife would love having them  there.

• For the budget minded, how about an authentic Stormtrooper costume from "Star Wars"?This will only set you back $600 to $1,000. Yes, I need this. You don't need to know why.

• An Anything Muppet. These were made by Fisher Price™ in the early 70's. They were blank Muppets that came with all kinds of different noses, eyes, ears, etc., so you could make all kinds of different puppets. I have been searching for one of these for years in vain. If you find me one, the look of joy on my face will more than justify any price you had to pay.

• For you traditionalists, I will also accept cash.

There is plenty more I could mention, but I don't want to seem greedy.

If you are worrying you may not make the 12 o'clock deadline to get me something, rest assured I will accept gifts year 'round.

(!) I forgot to mention: One of the best gifts I got today, screwdriver aside, was a very nice tribute from my pal & supertalent, John Forcucci wrote for me at his blog: http://jfwork.blogspot.com/

John is a really great guy, and the caricature he did of me is so good it's frightening. He also wrote nice things about my work, which would make me blush if I didn't have such a huge ego.

Seriously, he is a major talent, and he has a big career in comics ahead of him, so check out his blog and get in on the ground floor of his fan base. Then you can always say at conventions, "Oh yeah, I've been a fan for years", in a really snobby voice.

Enough about other people. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ME!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Recipe Monday

First off, thanks to all of you who have responded to my posts so far. Why you are emailing me directly, instead of leaving a message in the comments section, I don't know. Still, it's gratifying to make so many new "cyber pals". It's true, "There are no strangers, just friends you haven't met (and who you don't want dropping by unannounced)".

Since I still haven't wrapped my head around the whole "post images" thing, I thought I'd start a new weekly feature to this site: A cooking column!

I love to cook. Unfortunately, when I was still living single I really didn't have a chance to spread my creative cooking wings, since any major dish I made I would end up eating as leftovers for the next 3 to 5 days, which gets old after a while.

Now that I am married with children, things have changed. I now have a family to cook for. They however, enjoy things like "rice" and "vegetables", which goes against my cheese-fat-fried-meat-salty dietary guidelines. A lot of my more inspired dishes go unappreciated.

That being said, here is my favorite recipe. Inspired by the brilliant cooking writer, Al Sicherman, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star & Tribune, whose book, "Caramel Knowledge", is out of print, but well worth tracking down. Once you try his "Glop Topped Cookies", you'll thank me.

Al  has a similar recipe to mine in his book, but I tweaked it around and made it much better (Sorry, Al). I call it:


• 1 7.25 oz. box of commercial mac & cheese, prepared according to package directions.
• Butter, melted
• Plenty of chopped up ham. (You daring souls can try chopped up chicken, or really, any kind of meat you like. I'm not here to judge.)
• A pile of cheese crackers, smashed into crumbs. (I like Cheese-Its™, but Goldfish™ are good, too.)
• Shredded Cheese, a bunch.
• ¥ellow Mustard. This is important.

Pour the prepared mac & cheese into a greased (or Pam'ed) 8x8 casserole. Stir in a couple squirts of mustard to taste (Not too much!). Combine the smashed cheese crackers and the cheese and spread over the surface of the mac & cheese. Take the melted butter and drizzle over the whole thing. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 t0 30 minutes, then run it under the broiler for a minute or two until it's a delightful golden brown. Spoon out and enjoy.

There are endless variations on this recipe. It's your choice what kind of seasonings you use, for example. I like garlic powder, myself. It is a yummy dish, though, and it tastes even better when reheated the next day in the microwave. I don't know why, it just does. So enjoy.

If you would like more recipes next week let me know. Maybe my sister will share her Cool Whip™ Strawberry Pie recipe with us.

If, on the other hand, you'd like me to shut up and start posting images, well, I've already heard from you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cheese Pleese!

As anyone who knows me can tell you, when it comes to wives, I truly won the jackpot. I will write in  future posts some possible theories about  why such a fantastic woman  would associate with the likes of me, but for now, I want to focus on one fabulous quality she possesses.

My wife makes a PERFECT Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

This might seem a  mundane matter to  you, but that is because (I assume) you have never had my wife's grilled cheese. Perfectly browned, buttery and crispy on the outside, and full of oohey goohey  cheesey goodness on the inside, she has perfected this comfort food staple.

When she adds  ham or bacon, I have to  lie down for awhile after consuming one.

The methods behind such perfection is, of course, impossible for we mere mortals to try to match, but for those of you who won't be able to  stop by for a sample, here are a few of her secrets that I have gleaned from peeking over her shoulder:

• Turn on the wrong burner first. My wife does this all the time, then says naughty words when she realizes she turned the wrong dial.

• Use thick, crusty bread. (Ironically, "Thick & Crusty" was my Dad's high school  nickname. He never explained  why.). My wife refuses  to touch the likes of Wonder Bread. 

• Butter the bread with an an inch of its' life. Even one small piece of unbuttered bread is a sacrifice to flavor, apparently.

...After this, her methods become more obscure. I know she puts the bread down one slice at a time, and she uses 2 slices of cheese, but the rest is still a mystery I'm trying to unravel.

I have posted the above tips in the hopes you, too may someday find your way to preparing the Perfect Grilled Cheese. I wish you luck, and if any of you have your own suggestions, post them in the comments section..

I just found out we're having Cheerios & milk for dinner tonight. 

Cheese Pleese!


Thanks to all of you who have sent in tips on how to post images. With any luck, in a day or so you may actually SEE some images!

I know I have said this before, but, hope burns eternal...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lessons for a Luddite

In case you haven't noticed, I have not posted any images as yet on this site. And, oh, if I could of, I would! Wouldn't it be great to see a photo of me at age 6 to illustrate my Boomtown story? Or a picture of Rocco the Wonder Dog? Or maybe even examples of my cartoons, which is why I started this spot in the first place.

So I am asking the loyal readers of this blog for help. If you will please contact me and help me get this thing set up, I will be eternally grateful. Also, if you live within 15 minutes of me, I  will come over and give you a back rub. (Provided you are an attractive woman.)

So here's what I am working with:

• A MAC OSX Ibook

• A CanoScan LIDE 25

• I also have all the usual programs (is that what they call them?) Photoshop, Illustrator, Etc.

If anyone can help, in all seriousness, I appreciate it.

Tomorrow: Back to Hilarity!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Clowns in the Old West

The recent passing of the man behind Bozo, Larry Harmon, got me to thinking about those great kids shows of my youth. You remember, the shows with some wacky live host who played games with his studio audience, sang songs, and showed cartoons. Bozo was sort of the template of this type of program, and every city had several variations of this style of show with all kinds of different host characters and "themes".

In the Boston area, we were especially blessed to not only have Bozo, but also Major Mudd (a nutty spaceman, whose catchphrase, "I'll be blasting you!" seems ominous in retrospect), Captain America (who showed those crappy Marvel cartoons) Willie Whistle (a truly disturbing character), and the best of them all, Rex Trailer's BOOMTOWN.

Boomtown was  set in the Old West, and did all the usual kid show stuff. This was my favorite show, mostly because Rex was a really nice guy and he showed the best cartoons. Yes, Mighty Hercules  WAS my favorite cartoon, but hey, I was, like 5.

Imagine the  thrill, when on my 6th birthday, my mother gave me the best gift ever: My sisters and I were going to be on Boomtown!

The dress code on Boomtown was cowboy gear, and my Super Mum spent hours making western outfits for us.  Whereas most kids on the show made do with just a cowboy hat with jeans, we had head-to-toe custom made outfits. My outfit was black & red, complete with chaps. I was convinced I was the coolest cowboy ever.

Finally the big day arrived, and bright and early the whole family headed to  the TV studio. We were going to Boomtown!

When we got to the  studio, our parents were sent off to watch the show on a monitor, and we were ushered to the set. It was, of course, much smaller looking than it appeared on TV. Rex came out and introduced himself and his politically incorrect partner, the Mexican "Pablo". Pablo was the typical stereotype of the day. Lot's of siestas at inappropriate times and the like. This depiction of minorities is frowned upon today, but back in the 60's it was the height of hilarity. He also introduced his horse, who looked like it would rather be anywhere than in a hot TV studio surrounded by screaming children.  So the show began. Then, something awful happened. Rex introduced the first guest of the day: A clown.

Now, as a child, I was terrified of clowns, and frankly I still am not exactly thrilled to be in their company. Bozo was, in fact, the only clown I never feared. Maybe because he was safely encased in my TV.

So when the clown made his entrance, everybody wondered where the high-pitched screams were coming from. They where of course, coming from me. Everything would have been fine, but the clown, in a misguided attempt to prove to he meant me no harm, approached me with his arms outstretched.

Bad move. I leapt from my seat and ran screaming out of the  studio back to my parents in the monitor room. To her credit, my mother, who had busted her hump getting tickets, making us costumes, and driving us to the studio at 5 AM, only to see me make an ass of myself on live TV one minute into the show, was pretty understanding.

Finally, the clown left the set, so I hopped off my  Mother's lap and returned to the studio. Rex was in front of the camera introducing another cartoon, when I walked up and announced, "I'm back!"

Rex  looked as if he couldn't care less if I was back, and probably less than thrilled that this was the second time I had ruined his show that day. I was quickly escorted to my seat.

The rest of the show went fine, and my sister even won a board  game.

Year's later, I saw Rex Trailer at a public appearance (Rex's appearance, not mine). I asked him if he remembered my "incident". He was very nice, but said  not only did he not remember it, but what I described to  him was nothing compared to some of the things that happened with kids on that show. He declined to elaborate, being the nice guy he is.

That made me feel better, but I still don't like clowns. Except for Bozo.

Rest in Peace, Larry.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My First Movie Review

Went to the movies last night, to see the new Will Smith film, "Hancock".

I have always admired the hi-falutin' critics who examine the themes, the cinematography, the acting and design of movies.

I can't write a review like them.

Simply put, "Hancock" is a bad movie. It sucks, don't go see it. End of review.

On a side note, my family and I went to see this in my favorite movie theatre, which I discussed in a previous post. True to form, it was virtually deserted, and the staff let us walk in with a giant shopping bag of candy, never checking to see if we  had tickets. (We did.)

Man, I love this place!

The only downside: The theatre was absolutely empty, so why did a middle-aged woman sit DIRECTLY in front of us?! Was she lonely? Did she feel her melon-sized head blocking my view would enhance my movie-going experience? The fact that she smelled like salami and laughed at inappropriate moments did nothing to improve my impression of the film.

I have gotten a bit off track, in this, my first movie review, but in a nutshell, "Hancock" stinks.
It's not Will Smith's worst movie (That honor still goes to "Wild, Wild West"), but it's pretty close. If you must go to the movies, go see "Iron Man" again.

Or wait a week for the new Batman movie.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just a Quickie!

Not enough time for a real post today, but tomorrow will be a doozy!

We are going to the new Will Smith movie sneak preview tonight, so you will be treated to my first movie review, as well as rants about my movie-going experience as seen below.

See ya tomorrow!
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