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The Miniature Figure Factory

On days when I feel sick, like today, I can do things like work on paintable miniature figures for D&D or HO-scale model train layouts at the little table in front of the fake fireplace.

Paints and recent projects.
The Toonerville Congregationalist Church receives a snowfall.
Weretigers and Disney Princesses and unpainted Tieflings… Oh, my!
An aerial view.

I know it isn’t much. But with body aches and sore throat, it was the best I could do.

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A Boy Named Tim

Here is an old blog that I like a lot and is definitely worth sharing again.

Catch a Falling Star

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Timothy Allen Kellogg is a fictional character who has lived in my fictional world since 1976 when he first appeared in an illustration I created at my desk in my college dorm room.

Tim is a main character in Catch a Falling Star, The Bicycle-Wheel Genius, and Magical Miss Morgan.  He will likely be written into a few more as well.

One could make a good case that he has become the fictional avatar of my eldest son.  He is the son of an English Teacher who has always been a me-character.  Lawrence “Rance” Kellogg is a character created during my college days as a crucial part of my own fictionalized life story.  But if Tim is my son in fictional form, you have to realize also that the character existed nineteen years before my son was a reality.  So there is some kind of magical evolution…

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November 14, 2019 · 3:30 pm

What Mickey Thinks

Today’s illustrations are all borrowed from the Twitter site, Comics in the Golden Age https://twitter.com/ComicsintheGA
Mickey’s thinking has always been somewhat suspect. Not only is he so overly-creative that he can’t think in straight lines, only curlicues, he is also a Texas Democrat, a retired public school teacher, a Baby Boomer, an amateur cartoonist, and a writer of YA novels. Those categories are all marginalized and suspect in modern society today. So, nobody actually takes seriously any of the things that Mickey actually thinks… if he is, indeed, capable of thinking. But let’s take a sideways look at it anyway.
Mickey often makes Lou Costello-like mistakes, but at least he knows who Lou Costello and Bud Abbot are, and is able to look them up on Google.
One thing that Mickey definitely thinks is true is that, because of the invention of the internet, there has never been a better time for finding information, evaluating facts, and doing research than now. It used to be that digging in the library was a limited source because it only provided those resources the library administrator could afford, have donated by the odd bibliophile, or whimsically thought was a good source of information worth the price. You couldn’t cross-reference things and look up cited sources and verify footnotes in the same almost-instantaneous ways you can nowadays with a simple point and click, or manipulation of your monkey-thumbs on the touch-screen.
Old Archie is a teenage doofus, and so, much more likable than any modern Riverdale version.
So, knowing that Mickey surfs the internet on a skateboard of 1960’s comic-book notions and 1940’s radio-play morality, we can now take a look at some of the doofus notions he entertains in his stupid head because of stuff found on the internet.
  1. Aliens crashed their interstellar skateboard near Roswell New Mexico in 1947. This thing Mickey thunk is based on the testimony of Major Jesse Marcel as told to UFO researcher and former physicist Stanton Friedman. And the strongest argument is why the government went to such lengths to change the story and cover something up. Weather balloons? Project Mogul? No.
  2. William Shakespeare is not the real name of the author of Shakespeare’s plays. The poor man misspelled his own name on documents in the real world, yet in the world of the theater, he was an unparalleled poet and master of the language. He knew things about Italy and life in royal courts of Europe without ever having been out of the precincts of central London. Mark Twain didn’t believe it. And his name wasn’t the real name of the author of Huckleberry Finn either.
  3. The political and social story of this country is controlled by grifters, con men, politicians, Republicans, Skull-and-Bonesmen, bankers, insurance salesmen, and other criminals who only tell lies. And Mickey thinks this because of first-hand eye-witness evidence and numerous bills and charges that reduced Mickey’s stock of valuable things to next to nothing. The best things in life are, indeed, free. But men with too much money and power will monetize that freedom.
And I do suppose that you’d have to be an idiot to think and believe what Mickey has thunk. But Mickey has reasons why he can’t just let it go. Truth is truth, even, sometimes when it can be proven false. And the truest thing is, Mickey will never stop thinking while he lives. Think about this; Walt Disney died before Christmas in 1966. Walt Disney not only produced Mickey Mouse cartoons, he provided a voice and life to the character. So, does that mean that since 1966, Mickey Mouse has been a zombie? A member of the walking/talking dead? Think about it like Mickey does.

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Mixing the Old Gray Matter with Color

Illness intervenes in my day today, so here is an old post-re-posted to fill the space I would’ve written in today to say something essentially the same.

Catch a Falling Star

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(This old picture paffooney won a blue ribbon at the Wright County Fair in 1979.)

 

I am repeatedly told by people willing to tell me all the many things I am doing totally wrong in social media marketing that I should be creating fresh new content every day for blogs and Facebook.    Ooftah!  I don’t work hard enough as a teacher and a writer already?  I have to imitate George Takei and master the internet just to make headway as a writer?  It makes me wonder why I am actually doing what I am doing.

So why am I doing what I am doing?

First of all, I am an artist.  I have always been one no matter what else was going on in my life.  Arthritis limits my drawing time.  Teacher work-time limits it more.  Still, I like to blog and I like to post Paffoonies.  Now…

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Finding Answers with the Right Questions

Here’s a blog where I find that the very last paragraph is still true. Do I expect you to read the whole thing? Who knows? I needed a post to cover the day of substitute teacher orientation.

Catch a Falling Star

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Yesterday I burbled purple paisley prose all over the page and, in trying to answer the question “Why do I Blog?”, only managed to come up with a lame sort of “I don’t know.”  but I also referenced Douglas Adams’ answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything which turned out to be 42.   You see, in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy we learn that the Earth is nothing but an alien-designed supercomputer run by highly intelligent mice to find the actual question that goes with that ultimate answer.  Unfortunately, after the planet Earth is destroyed by Vogons to make way for an interstellar bypass, the question is put on hold.  That’s really what I did yesterday.  I put the question on hold.

But today, feeling ill and a little blue, I decided to percolate the old teapot of wisdom one more time to see if I could find…

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Feel-Bad Friday

Yes, it happens a lot when you are an aging diabetic. I have moved into that time of life when my six incurable diseases are much harder to bear, and can potentially be the last act in my personal play. So, what do I do when these things move in close to take a bite of me? I appreciate my life harder.

I have lived for over six decades now. I was a child when Walt Disney was still alive, and when men first landed on the moon. I experienced a few of the things that make the story of human life on earth a corking good story, well worth the read.

In some ways the study of human history is one of the most insight-inducing things you can do with your life. There are all kinds of things that were done by stupid kings, and suffering and the buffering of suffering done by heroes, and things that were explored, and knowledge uncovered, and people who have lived and loved and laughed. There was once a Joan of Arc, a Groucho and Harpo Marx, a wizard named Isaac Newton, and a Great Clown who may have been Emmett Kelly, or may have been Red Skelton, or even, possibly, Marcel Marceau.

And, what if mankind has already chosen a course of suicide on a planetary scale? The decision was made back in the 1970’s by the fossil fuel industry that short-term profits were more important than preserving our atmosphere and environment. We are now beginning to reap the whirlwind that they sowed back then, threatening to turn this planet into a Venus-like hell of heat and acid rain. Are we all gonna die?

Human beings are highly adaptable, inventive, and fully capable of finding ways to survive. That will probably be tested, but until it is all completely over, we still have a chance.

But everybody dies… eventually. All people have an expiration date. All civilizations, people, creatures, and even planets themselves have a beginning, middle, and end. And just because something is ended, it doesn’t follow that all its existence, meaning, and importance are gone. My Grandma Beyer has been gone for nearly 20 years. And yet, she is still real. I and my children could not exist without her. And that will still be true when all of us are dead.

So, I have to say, all in all, it is worth it. No matter what happens next.

I have never been a better writer, artist, or story-teller than I am right now. This is the culmination of my life, even if it ends tomorrow. I will keep living day-by-day… living… loving… and laughing. Appreciating the opportunity to exist at all. And therein lies the value of my life

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Humor Without Insults

I have decided to use Fridays for writing about teaching and school stuff. So, to start off here is an old and pertinent post.

Catch a Falling Star

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I am not one who can stand to watch Republican debates.  I know the clown car is full to busting, but I can’s stand the idea that one of those narrow-minded, fact-free, duplicitous Bozos could end up being the next president.  (Or fascist dictator, when you consider what “fascist” actually means, and what former President Carter has said about the U.S. not being a democracy any more.)  If one of those clowns wins it, the true power will once again reside with the unseen ring master, like it was with the rodeo-clown George W. Bush and his secret puppet-master, Dick Cheney.  And I pay enough attention to know that Donald Trump was so insulting to women during the debate, that Democrats can pick Beelzebub to run as their candidate and women still won’t vote Republican.

I watched the final Jon Stewart Daily Show instead.  Stewart is more liberal than I…

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