Sunday, September 28, 2008


177th post

The Jerusalem Post has a weekly comic strip called Back 2 Basics, done by a guy named Matt Zalen. Two weeks ago, he announced a contest: the winner would get their submission printed in the Post; the runners-up would get published on his website.
Seeing as how thousands of people read the Jerusalem Post but nobody in their right minds would want to visit his website, I was really hoping I would win. In fact, I drew six entries in the hopes I would make it.
I didn't.
But at least I have the consolation of finishing second to a comic strip that was both well-drawn, funny, and drawn by a professional cartoonist who has appeared in (among other places) MAD Magazine.
This was what placed runner-up:

That, by the way, was probably the least funniest of my submissions. When I showed them to other people, for instance, this was the the one that got the most yuks:

And this one was my personal favorite:

Then again, seeing the quality of the others two runners-up (Zauder and Staats) as well as the judge's, I shouldn't really be all that surprised.

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Tao of Pooh", by Benjamin Hoff ((c) 1982)

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Thursday, September 25, 2008


176th post

Poor ol' Russell Jay Kuntz (pronounced "Koonts"). Doomed to become one of the most hilariously misnamed athletes of all time--#1 according to one online poll--and the only such person in my sports card collection (several thousand baseball and nine basketball).

TODAY'S BOOK: "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle", by Avi ((c) 1990)

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"American of the cake of the meat"

The stature, much hour is one...
Immovable the case remembers to me,
in date this music I forms it given of the smile.
And I knew, if Imeant that the probability had could stimulate this person,
excess topossibly dance
and they___d during a little while where it is lucky.

But February the source to brivido
the each paper of I___d him leftit.
The messages become in the value of the initial end;
Couldn___t ofthe switch of the new emergency the phase.

Can___t remembers I, of ifgridassi,
when I age informed into the relative widowed the fiancèe,
but to something I deeply to the interior he giornalmente touched,
when music dies.

CHORUS: Therefore good bye, American of ms the black andwhite man.
With the mines chevy controlled with the ascent,
but theascent was dried above
and good the old boys of the man had drunk thewhiskey and the mountain ranges he of the song,
"this are the daywho is
"this the day of the these data of die."

Were youwritten the book of the love
and you model here in an ignited God,
ifthe visualizations of the bible you therefore?
You create the coil ofthe rock ' n',
the example of music, protect your Innersterblichs
andcan teach to me, because one you delay the danced applicable pain?

Spendthrift knows this you___re in the love with him,
since then ofwhich I they I SAW, the end to dance in the space of gymnastic to
bothgave to an effect ulteriorly its ice-slides.
Man, excavating thisrate/rhythm and blue.

A man of the new person of ___ of broncin
withrosafarbenen the eye and a small car had been located,
but it knewthat I came from the probability
the day, when music dies I.

CHORUS: I beganto sing...

Becoming fullfilled by 10 years of we___ve that in iscleaned our above of the one
and rubber of piuma of the rubberdevelops great on a rock of the source,
but that___s, not as it were.
When those had sung the bird of the diversion for the king and thequeen,
in a cover had made the examinación in the older loan of thatof James
and the voice, that came from you and me,

the ampere hour andduring the king to the surface that to have observed more loss,
thebird of the relative of the stole of the diversion the piece advancedthorny.
The public of the cut was raised;
There is declaration of theno judgment restoration nonupdated.
And during the Lennon a book ofread, exercised Marx
in octeto four of the bit in the park
and sang tothe damaged burial of music with bejammern
in the density the day.

CHORUS: Wesang...

More when skelter of that Helter in the valve of the butterflyof the summer.
The birds had flied the function excluded with aradioactive protection of the atomic fall are,
of eight miles of faceand fastly of falls outposts.
Examinación de Fêz to the scent of I hein the gram of the program.
The players had controlled touchlines in amold iron the end to see if he had a step inside next,
with the birdof the diversion for this.

He ventilates the end to become fullfilledwas force of motivatings of the substance of the odorosa of thepart-part-storm of thunders,
when the sergeants they to play an airandante.
Very they magnify to us, end to dance,
the OH -, only wenever who it did not take with the probability!
Since then that theplayers had tried to make the examinación of the zone;
The stickytape rejected andante the end to pay.
Remembered of, the one thatestêve
of the visualized day, when music is dead?

CHORUS: We began to sing...

The ampere hour and was we all in a station of the work,
productiongives destroyed in the station of the work without the hour,
orderedin the beginning immovable in the part of the left.
Thereforeadvanced: Fast cat or, Cat or digiunano!
The screw of the lightning ofCat was firm in a proprietor of the candle,
since then of which thatthe fire is the friend only of devil___s.

The ampere hour andsweeps-megabus that it has observed in the phase,
that one that wasrepaired my hands in the fists of the state of hardeness.
Any angelwas not used, that one in hell, could leave appropriate, theenchantment of Satan___s.
The flame of and had raised of, that oneduring which takes place to the night,
to Opferrite to illuminate theignited interior highly,
the laughter that considered, this Satan, ofwhich with pleasing,
that, the day, when music is inoperative man,

CHORUS: sang to him...

I came to the contact of a girl, this one sang the blueone
and requested he who the messages of a certain lucky way,
but havethe straight smile and gave distant return separated.
The payment hadcome in advance to the low point to the crowned memory,
where I___dhas the music of the felt of the years,
but the man who the game ofwouldn___t of music said here.

And in the ways: the children havescreaied,
that in griterío outside and in the one of the love thathas dreammed poèts.
But a word was not speech;
All the edge of thechurch was interrupted.
And the three men admire to majority: Thefather, the chain and santo more when backupcomputer,
had takenthrough him series to it of last for the coast
the day, when musicdies.

CHORUS (x2): And he had sung...

TODAY'S BOOK: "Lord Hornblower", by C.S. Forester ((c) 1946)


Sunday, September 21, 2008


How to get a bigger erection:

Get some more Lego blocks.

TODAY'S BOOK:"Winter Camp", by Kirkpatrick Hill ((c) 1993)

TODAY'S WEBSITE: In less than two months, Beit Shemesh will be voting for mayor, in all likeliness ousting the 15-year incompetent incumbent, Danny Vaknin. Shalom Lerner is my choice for mayor (this will be my first election participated in), and this is his site.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


Linkage again, I'm afraid

Although the Annotated Pratchett File claims to have been last updated this past February, no new annotations have been added since September '04 ... the pace at which new articles are added to Beyond Hogwarts is slower than a crawl ... in fact, the only site in the "Books" section with any appreciable momentum is, which is planning a redesign this fall ... Newsarama has undergone a redesign of its own, which is messy and unattractive ... continuing with the theme, DC Comics' site is also redesigned, with no impact on its performance one way or the other, though now it's more eyecatching ... is now an independent beta website, much bulkier and slower to load ... speaking of which, just gets more labyrinthine and useless (except, of course, for the daily strips, which are non-useless only in a technical sense) ... Being Five has inexplicably taken a biiig step backward, both in terms of site layout and art. The writing, though, continues being excellent ... Web Sudoku now has forums, and is available also in French, German and Spanish ... remind me to write sometime about the time I babelized American Pie on Lost in Translation. What a hoot ... ICHC has expanded into "Celebrity" and "Lookalikes" sections in addition to "LOLdogs" and "News & Politics" ... This is True looks a lot nicer now without sacrificing the essential details that gave it a whimsily folksy look. ... is now the movie equivalent of, so bye-bye! ... MBTN's relaunch is strictly utilitarian, and not as much fun to read ... FanIQ's become more and more cumbersome and less and less reliable, making using it a chore instead of a pleasure ... mental_floss got a redesign which I initially disliked but have since accepted

TODAY'S BOOK: "Profiles in Courage", by John F. Kennedy ((c) 1955)

TODAY'S WEBSITE: Featuring hundreds of useless trivia, it's the incredibly random fact generator, Unnecessary Knowledge! (Batteries not included.)


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


172nd post

"There was a young fellow of Stroud
Who dressed himself up in a shroud.
When they called him a freak
He replied, 'I'm unique
And don't wish to be one of the crowd.'"
--Livingston, M.C., A Lollygag of Limericks (1978), p. 11

"A meticulous person of Grange
Once declared, 'Though my friends think me strange
Teaching roosters to crow
And the weeds how to grow,
They would be most confused should I change.'"
--Ibid., p. 29


Sunday, September 14, 2008



GLBF! has an amusing little thing called Whack-a-Lantern Week going on, where particiapants get challenged to show any of DC Comics' Green Lantern superheroes getting, well, whacked. In all of Beit Shemesh I know of only one place you can locate any Green Lantern pictures: a black-and-white reprint of an old Justice League of America issue, to be found in the library I volunteer at. The story (issue unknown), "Skyjack at 22,300 Miles!" (catchy, innit?), was published in 1976, written by Martin Pasko and illustrated by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin.

TENTACLE...!, well... not rape, I'll think of something. That was Lantern Whack #1 in the story, anyway.
The basic premise: an alien with the ability to shoot a tentacle-thing out of its head has merged with the bodies of Hawkman and the Flash; they then split up into three bodies, with mismatched heads, torsos and legs, all of which are controlled by the alien. (This made a lot more sense when I was 11.) They proceed to attack the JLA in their satellite base.

Lantern Whack #2 takes place outside the satellite (in SPAAACE!). As you can see, Alien head, Flash torso, Hawkman legs.

Yes, that is Hal Jordan, getting whacked with his own ring construct. Hurrah for cartoon physics! (To be fair to Hal, there were a whole lot of Three Stooges-style beatdowns in the book, including Black Canary getting a bookcase toppled on top of her.)

TENTACLE THAPP! That's it! GL gets thapped for the second time, for Lantern Whack #3 of the issue.
I hope you had fun--I certainly did.

TODAY'S BOOK: "Hello, My Name is Scrambled Eggs", by Jamie Gilson ((c) 1985)


Friday, September 12, 2008


170th post

So, the ShiurTimes once again ran all three of my cartoons and did not include me in the list of contributors, although this time they had asked my for a short bio to run there (well before press time) before leaving another Jerenberg-sized blank in the page, which is rather like taking four steps forward and 3.9 steps back.

Thirty-odd years later, one of the most famous lines in American politics gets co-opted by Ehud Olmert, as police recommend indicting the Israeli Prime Minister.

In yet another "goodwill gesture", 198 Palestinian prisoners--some with blood on their hands--are released as part of the government's ongoing "revolving door" policy.

The two leading in-party candidates to replace Olmert, Shaul Mofaz and frontrunner Tzipi Livni, snipe at the PM and each other in a comedical media battle.

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Phantom Tollbooth", by Norton Juster ((c) 1961)


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


169th post

One hundred and sixty-nine 1969 Mets amazing outstanding upstanding respectable unimpeachable peaches peaches and cream cream cheese hard cheese and tuna sandwich lunch food feud fight war army soldiers uniforms conformity sheep farm crops crop circle aliens outer space stars celebrities fame and fortune Dame Fortune luck dice roll "Let's Roll" heroism sacrifice animal sacrifice worship gods Olympus the Olympics medals gold digging for gold prospecting staking a claim clam oysters pearls necklace jewelry ostentatious gaudy gauzy bandages wounds blood blood donations bank money cash cashews nuts crazy bonkers Bonkers Bagels Jerusalem holy city religion Judaism anti-Semitism Nazis World War II Normandy France poodle dog wolf werewolf horror zombies the undead the dead ghosts Spirit Bryan Adams Summer of '69 one hundred and sixty-nine.

TODAY'S BOOK: "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", by J.K. Rowling ((c) 1998)

TODAY'S WEBSITE: Strangely addictive. I found myself unwilling to exit it even though it was, technically, annoying.


Monday, September 08, 2008


They want to shave you bald and spray paint your head for just $19.95!

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Teheran Contract", by Gayle Rivers and James Hudson ((c) 1981)


Saturday, September 06, 2008


Randomly reprinted post (VI)

"As a matter of preference, we really must all stand on our heads, else our weight shall decrease the Earth's gravity.
Zingies Power!
Royal soccer players must use the entrance to the left unless they are on a boat, in which case naturally the proper course of action would be to either come out of the floor or, failing, that, to use the widdershins entrance.
Best enjoy life while you still can, because nothing impregnable lasts forever and the Titanic was sunk by a giant ice cube.
I think I may be going crazy. I saw a tree in my neighborhood where I have never noticed one before? Am I going mad? Is this to be the end for my precious sanity?
Boingy boingy boingy boingy!
Taters rule. Passamaquoddy beavers even more so.

TODAY'S BOOK: 'Thundering Sneakers', by Prudence Mackintosh ((c) 1974)

TODAY'S MOVIE: 'Toy Story 2', from Disney/Pixar (1999)

WWWW2?: Benjamin Franklin.

TODAY'S WEBSITE: Possibly the best place on the Web to visit for information on DC Comics' Teen Titans, the site also has a Blogspot blog, a section for the animated TV version that I love, and tons of original artwork commissioned from the pros themselves. Also included is a detailed list of the all-time roster of heroes, foes, and acquaintances who have appeared in the classic long-lasting series."
--34th post, 2/8/07


Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Story time - Part 8

"Terry Harkness awoke from his slumber when he heard a slight sktch from the direction of the hotel room's closet. The former CIA operative with hair-trigger senses waited, as was his habit in these matters, a full five seconds; then he heard the slight noise again. Triangulating it with his keen ears, he deduced that it was being made by a shoe on the linoleum. Amateur, Harkness thought instinctively, you should've worn tennis sneakers. Automatically lunging for the gun he always kept nearby, a habit he'd acquired during his undercover days, Harkness spun and shot at the intruder while still trying to shake the cobwebs of slumber from his eyes.
"Unfortunately, the other man--he could see it was a man in the pale moonlight that filtered through the Venetian blinds of the window--was not as complete an amateur as he'd have preferred, and had begun moving evasively as soon as he'd realized that he'd blown his cover. Nonetheless, the bullet grazed his arm; but held in his other arm, Harkness beheld a rather nasty-looking handgun.
"'Who are you?' Harkness demanded.
"The reply consisted of a short, sustained burst of hot lead; catlike, Harkness avoided the bullets and, with one powerful somersault, came within five feet of the assailant. Unlike him, he would not miss from this range.
"'Drop the gun!' he commanded. The man--"
I am so sick of this!
Huh? What are you doing popping up here? I haven't finished recopying the chapter so far.
That's right! Copying and recopying and bloody recopying! It's boring!
Shut up and let me finish.
"The man complied.
"Harkness's mind was racing. 'Who are you?' he repeated. The man remained silent.
"'Who sent you?' he pressed. 'Talk now, scumbag, or I'll shoot!'"
Shut up.
"His would-be killer grinned, revealing ugly, uneven teeth in a mouth exposed beneath the black stocking that covered the upper half of his face. 'You vun't dare kill me,' he said with a trace of a Hispanic accent. 'You vant answers? Drop your gun, too.'
"'Now, who said anything about killing you?' Harkness asked innocently."
Shut up.
"Then he shot the assailant in the kneecap.
"The man would have screamed with agony had Harkness not immediately leapt upon him and clamped his hands around his mouth, effectively muffling the perp."
I can't take it anymore!
I thought I told you to shut up!
But you don't even want to continue the stupid thing!
T-that's a lie!
Your nose is growin'.
Of course I want to continue the stup-- the story! Why wouldn't I?
I'll tell you why. You no longer care about it. How long has it been since the last update? Five months? Six?
Nine, actually.
Nu, so let it be nine. And before that? 'Bout once every three.
Gosh, it has been a while.
Listen, man, you've moved on. You're doing bigger and better stuff. The bait 'n' switch stuff? Writing posts with your fists? Intrawebal Nobody Cares Day? That's your gig now.
I suppose you could be right.
Closest I'll ever get to a ringing commendation from you, then.
But that doesn't mean I can't complete this recopy!
"After all, he didn't want any valiant staff members barging in; this wasn't one of those cheap dives he had so often frequented--sometimes on business, sometimes not--in the old days.
"'They may be able to save your leg,' he snarled into the man's scrunched-up face. 'It depends on how fast you'll be able to get to a hospital and the quicker you answer me the faster you'll be able to reach one, comprender, amigo?' The man nodded, sweat pouring off him like a river. Harkness could smell his fear. 'And don't scream,' he ordered, letting go and backing off, gun once more levelled at the wounded man.
"'Sheet, man, you crazy!'
"'Crazy is as crazy does. Now, who sent you?'
"'I dun't know, man!' whispered the Latino. 'Just a--ay!--a voice on the tellephone. He--aack!--wouldn't say a name. Sheet, you really effed up my leg. Hurts so bed.'"
He was right, you know.
Who, Khaaan?
Yeah. No real Latino talks that way.
It's phonetic.
Ohh, phonetic. Now I see.
Sarcasm is uncalled-for, mister.
At least get rid of the Transylvanian "phonetics", then.
If it will shut you up, gladly.
"'If you're in too much pain, that can easily be remedied', the impassive ex-spy responded, shifting his gun hand meaningfully.
"His would-be assailant quivered like a tub of Jello.
"'All right, all right! I trace de call. It come from fancy-shmancy hotel uptown, de Ritz. Don' shoot, pliss, I dunno what room! Got paid half up front, half after I bump choo off.'
"Harkness went to the door an glanced up an down the hallway. Empty. Perfect. 'HELP! HELP!' he bellowed in his celebrated foghorn voice. 'There's an injured man in room 471! HELP!'
"Confused voices started up in thew other rooms immediately. He slammed the door and raced for the window. Then he paused. 'How much they pay you?'
"'Huh? Forty-four t'ousand. In halves. Why?'
"'Just checking my price tag.'
"'Where you goin'?'
"'Same way you got in, amigo. Ciao!'"
Well, there you have it, then. Recopy's finished.
All right! All right! You got me! I no longer give a darn about Terry Harkness and his mysterious mission! I don't care!
Cheer up. We can still make a mountain out of this moles***.
Hang on, I'm thinkin'... I've got it!
Spill it.
This is no longer a novel written in installments! This is... The complete first chapter of an awesomely epic 1,000-page manuscript!
...Keep talkin'.
Well, this manuscript, see, it has unfortunately been mysteriously lost forever, and thus no one will ever be able to read it.
You know, that just might work.
You said it! So, until next time (which will be never), this is MetFanMac--
And MetFanMac--
Signing off!

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Great Gilly Hopkins", by Katherine Paterson ((c) 1977)


Monday, September 01, 2008


Dedicated to all those poor innocent students who dread the First of September

Summer has come and passed,
The vacation can never last;
Wake me up when the school year ends.

Leaving behind all the fun en masse--
Seventy days have gone so fast.
Wake me up when the school year ends.

Here we go back to school again,
Trudging through the halls.
Sitting at our desks again,
Getting bored out of our skulls.

As my attention rests,
My mind goes back to what I've lost;
Wake me up when the school year ends.

Summer has come and passed,
The vacation can never last;
Wake me up when the school year ends.

Ring out the bells again,
Signalling that the end began;
Wake me up when the school year ends.

Here we go back to school again,
Trudging through the halls.
Sitting at our desks again,
Getting bored out of our skulls.

As my attention rests,
My mind goes back to what I've lost;
Wake me up when the school year ends.

Summer has come and passed,
The vacation can never last;
Wake me up when the school year ends.

Leaving behind all the fun en masse;
Nine more more moths--alack! alas!
Wake me up when the school year ends.
Wake me up when the school year ends.
Wake me up when the school year ends.

TODAY'S BOOK: "Billy Boyle", by James R. Benn ((c) 2006)

TODAY'S WEBSITE: Sure, so it's been prominently displayed on the blog practically since Day 1, but what the heck. Congratulations,, you are Today's Website. Dead useful. Seriously.


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