Tag Archives: Paffoonies

Return of the Train Man

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I was an aficionado of HO model trains as a kid.  I continued that horrendous fixation with 1/78th scale worlds long into my extended juvenile immaturity (I was an unmarried teacher of middle school students until 1995.)    Even after I was married, my wife allowed me, to a very limited degree, to continue to be a train man.

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I spent a good deal of time over the years building building plastic model kits of buildings, painting and repainting plaster model buildings, and collecting engines, rolling stock, and trackside details.  Painting little 1/78th scale people is definitely an exercise for steady hands and a zen-like, highly focused mind.

But that all reached an impasse when we moved to the Dallas area.  I had to tear down my train layout, box up my trains, and put everything on hold until I had another place to build and create my HO model-train world.  So, while it was all boxed up and transported to first, a house that we rented from my brother-in-law, and then a house that we bought, it got shifted around and stacked inappropriately, and grandma put some really heavy items on top to crush and mangle my treasures.  It also spent a night outside in the rain when my brother-in-law’s water heater had to be replaced in the garage where everything was stored.  I was not a happy camper for a while.

Now, a decade later, I am still taking the tiny items and trying to glue the pieces back together.  I have basically given up trying to get the trains to run again.  But I can use the bits and pieces of Toonerville to make pictures like these.  It makes the art-parts of my psyche and soul a little happier.

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Old number 99 had to have the front part where the headlamp is located reattached and restored.  It gave me something to do this weekend while I was down with a bad back and breathing difficulties.  It would be neat to put the train table back together and get things set up once again, but there is no space, and no unlimited funds, and less and less time.  So for now, the train man comes back to me to rebuild in photographs and in my imagination.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, photo paffoonies, Trains

Whoo I Are?

One way to define myself is through the pictures I draw.  So today… less words… more draw.

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I am certainly not the greatest artist who ever lived.  But when you draw a lot… and do it for 60 years… man, you have a lot of drawings stuffed away in drawers and closets!

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Filed under artwork, cartoons, colored pencil, goofiness, humor, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Crazy Head-Bashing List-Making

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Sometimes I have to stop and think where ideas for posts come from.  Yes, and that is usually the point at which my head is empty and I am out of ideas.  I spent years teaching the writing process and I advocated many different pre-writing idea-generating strategies.  I should be able to come up with something to write about without resorting to bashing my right temple with a hand-held blunt object.  After all, those ideas come out kinda wobbly and full of strangely-colored stars.  So, let me find a broom in the upstairs broom closet in the empty hallways of my mind and sweep together all the possible ideas I have in one pile to look at, grimace, and compare.

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There is a letter with a Martian stamp on it.  Inside it proposes I hold an aliens-only poetry writing contest and put the worst possible results into a post.  That could be worth a few chuckles, and possible a gazorpingwallow or two.  At least, that’s what the letter suggests.  It is from some Ixcanixian from the spinward edge of the Sagittarius Spiral Arm of the Milky Way.  20160508_113700

 

I have several ongoing cartoon projects.  I could be adding another page to the Hidden Kingdom graphic novel I have been working on for thirty years.  I could also do more action-figure comics to rationalize all the time I spend playing with dolls.  And I like to do novel illustrations to go along with the many bizarre and mentally warped novels I have created.

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Of course we have recently received the kind of political Christmas gift that most of us would like to track Santa down to his lair for and return back inside the reindeer butt that it came out of.  Insulting the new orangutan king is an easy source of insult-based humor that I don’t have to work too hard at or feel too guilty about.  But too much of that is like getting drunk on cough syrup.  You intended to cure the problem, but you have only managed to add new problems and a hangover headache to top it all off.blue-and-mike-in-color

I still have to fix the cracked and leaky swimming pool before next spring, so that should yield some cementing-your-feet-into-the-pool-wall stories later on.  And there are the numerous frustrations of living life with six incurable diseases to write about.  I can probably make the flaking off of all the skin on the back of my neck from psoriasis sound pretty funny if I try hard enough.  The family dog is still producing dog poop at Guiness-Book-of-World-Records rates… and, oh, yeah, I am still a long way from being done telling you about the bad jokes from more than a quarter of a century of classroom cut-ups.

You know, I think the way to deal with the problem is to simply make a list of ideas.  I can throw darts at the list if I still can’s decide.

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Filed under artwork, blog posting, humor, Paffooney, writing, writing humor, writing teacher

The Use of Magic Words

Eli Tragedy

Okay, Mickey, you have said you have confidence in science to the point of not believing in God… at least not the Christian imaginary sky-friend with the white beard and bad temper.  But your use of magic words then makes you a hypocrite.

What?  Magic words, you say?

You heard me.  You use words that give you special powers.  And you believe in them like some kind of anti-science religious zealot.

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                                                                                                  Thank you, Bruce Rydberg, for giving me this useful meme.

Okay, you caught me.  There are certain words that do have super powers.  I know because I have used them.  (And Science is not the opposite of faith.   Just ask Heisenberg.)

I first suspected that magic words really existed back in college.  I read the book Dune by Frank Herbert.  (Followed by every other book he wrote.  I became a Dune-dream believer.)  Remember the part where Paul uses the Bene Gesserit fear chant to get through the psychological test given to him by the Bene Gesserit witch?  You don’t?  You haven’t read it?  I sometimes forget other people aren’t hopeless Trekkies and Sci-fi nerds too.  I do know, at least in my head, that most people have real lives outside of their own heads.  But I did develop a magic word to deal with times of stress and fear.

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Really, Mickey?  You chant this out loud when you’re nervous?

I say it in my head over and over to focus my spirit on what is truly important.  Never out loud.  I used this word to get through my wedding day in 1995 when a blizzard in Iowa prevented all of my non-Texas family at the time from attending.  I used it the day my first son was born when the delivery had to be accomplished by c-section due to heartbeat irregularities.  I used it the day an irate student came down the hallway towards me with metal ninja throwing stars, saying he was going to kill a specific student that was hiding in the History teacher’s classroom.  Yes, it helped me think and act appropriately during some rather intense times.  Sometimes a bit of nonsense injected into the middle of a tense situation makes all the difference in the world.

But that isn’t the only magic word that you made up, is it?

No, there’s the word “Paffooney” which you may have seen before in this blog.  It stands for a picture of my own design put together with words I have actually written myself.  Remember this?

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It still works.  I tested it myself this morning.  It gives you a look at my artwork posted on this blog without risking the danger of going back through all my old posts and accidentally reading something that makes your head melt.

But, really, are your magic words only words you made up yourself?

No.  I think the word “Truth” is a magic word.  It can be used or misused for both good and evil.

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This is very likely the magic word we need to defeat the orange-faced monkey we elected president.  There are lots of words that have immense power.  And all you have to do is believe in it a little bit… and use it intelligently.

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Filed under autobiography, foolishness, goofiness, goofy thoughts, humor, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life, word games, wordplay

Stardusters… Canto 18

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Canto Eighteen – On an Over-Large Fireball Falling Out of Orbit

The orbital station was really no longer able to be classified as orbital.  Flames licked up all around the perimeter of the vehicle, and looking out any porthole or window let you see instantly that they were all minutes away from burning up.

“What is the next step, Sizzahl?” asked Davalon with a hint of panic in his voice.

“You have the two coils in place?  One inside the other?”

“Yes.”

“Turn it on.  The coils should then spiral in opposite directions.  That is what will provide the antigravity field, the inner and outer coils pulsing with opposing electro-magnetic energies.  It should begin almost immediately to interact with the planet’s magnetic field and slow you to a stop.”

Davalon nodded to George Jetson, and the somewhat cocky Telleron boy instantly flipped the power switch.  The light show that started made a prickly sensation run up and down the spines of everyone on board.

“It’s working.  I think you have saved us, Sizzahl.”

“To be honest, I didn’t do it to save you.  I really needed the plants on board that station.  And I was really lucky that you had Earthers on your ship when you crashed.  I need some of their genes, too.”

“You didn’t mean to save us?” asked Davalon.  “So… are you going to eat us after all?”

“I would if I were anyone else from Galtorr Prime.  We are a carnivorous race, you know.  But you lucked out.  I am probably the only vegetarian Galtorrian in existence… even before the wars wiped out ninety per cent of the population.”

“Are there other Galtorrians with you?” asked George Jetson nervously.

“No, I… I’m all alone here.  I have been since the armies of Senator Tedhkruhz overran our facility and… and… killed my parents.”

“Sizzahl?” said Davalon.  “Are you crying?”

“Yeah… I mean, no!” she sniffed loudly.  “What makes you think that?  Galtorrians are too mean to cry.”

“I know our intelligence reports on your planet suggest Galtorrians are much less sentimental than Tellerons, and Tellerons are so bad that they ate their own children until recently… when the Earthers taught us to love each other.”

“Tellerons are just too stupid to know better.  Every intelligent species tries to preserve themselves, especially through family units.”

George and Davalon were the only tadpoles hearing this from Sizzahl.  Davalon made a promise to himself that he would discuss it with Alden and Gracie Morrell later.  Perhaps Galtorrians could become better people in the same way that Tellerons had through exposure to Earth humans.

“How did you get this technology?” asked George Jetson while studying the spiraling coils.  This is tech level twelve at least.  We thought Galtorr Prime was just like Earth, only at tech level nine.”

“Ha!  That shows how uninformed you superior-minded idiots really are.  Alien races from advanced worlds have been visiting and living on both Galtorr Prime and Earth for millennia.  Probably even longer.”

“Alien races?” said Davalon, “like who?”

“You know about the Utopians, right?” said Sizzahl.

“The who?”

“The Utopians from the Zeta Reticuli systems.  The Earthers call them the Grays.”

“That’s creepy,” said Davalon.  “That double-star system is well within the borders of the Telleron Empire.  How is it that we don’t know about what they are up to?”

“Are they a part of your so-called empire?”

“No.” admitted Davalon.  “We have never really conquered any star-faring races who tried to resist us.”

“Yeah,” said George Jetson, “we are better at conquering little fuzzy critters and bug-people.”

“Are you referring to Kriitians?”

“Um, yeah.  Why?” asked George.

“We have some of them here on Galtorr as well.  I’ll bet the Utopians took a few of them to Earth as well.  Much the same way that Galtorrians were established in underground bases on Earth.”

“How can all of this happen without Telleron knowledge of it?” asked Davalon.

“Simple.  You guys are really pretty stupid.”

Sizzahl’s lack of respect and constant insults were beginning to grind at Davalon’s gizzard.  Of course, Tellerons didn’t have gizzards… hopefully.  That was just an Earth expression from some old western movies Davalon had seen.  But it fit.  His gizzard, whatever that truly was, was feeling very, very ground down.

*****

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Filed under aliens, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, science fiction, Uncategorized

FrightFest in the West

One of the results of the loss of the patriarch of my wife’s family is that all the sisters in this country got together to mourn, and all bought season passes for their families to Six Flags Over Texas, the poor man’s Disney World.  I, being of sound mind and decrepit body, didn’t get a vote, as I wasn’t there when they bought tickets on this extended-family plan.  In fact, marching around a theme park on my arthritic legs and cane trying to breathe Texas air full of all the pollen and pollutants that have been killing me, didn’t seem like such a good thing.  Yesterday I finally got talked into going and activating my already-purchased season pass.

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My wife and daughter at the burger restaurant

“We will just go to use our food pass,” my wife said.  “We can have dinner there at the park and get some use out of all that money I paid.”

That seemed almost reasonable.

“And if we can’t help but get on a ride or two, you can sit on a bench and watch all the weird and stupid people go by.”

Well, that sold it.  So we went.  We did notice, however, that the line for food was long and getting longer.  Some of the people waiting seemed to have been waiting a very long time.

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We finally got to the front of the line and got to pick gourmet cheeseburgers and chili fries because I don’t already have enough heart-clogging cholesterol in my system and needed a lot of greasy saturated fat for a high price.  Ah, the joys of eating at a theme park.  Long lines, rude people, bad food, and everybody’s patient and happy for the most part because they paid big bucks to get there.

And then, after we had our meal, we soon discovered why the theme park was full of skeletons and being pumped full of noxious chemical artificial fog.

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Yes, the Snickers Bars were bigger and scarier than ever.

Now, FrightFest and other celebrations of Halloween probably aren’t the best thing for people who have been associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses for twenty years, but it definitely provided a ton of stuff to see as we fled through the Old West section of the park to avoid zombie jump scares and other holiday nonsense.

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Giant spiders were everywhere, just like skeletons.

The toxic artificial smog with spooky lighting made it difficult to get a picture of the giant spiders who seemed to be hanging from every tree and possibly explaining the multitude of skeletons.  I didn’t get any pictures of zombies who were actually very young-looking employees in red and gray greasepaint.  We were too busy avoiding getting a “gotcha!” which seemed to be the sole purpose of the zombies.

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But it was still a theme park.  We wound our way through the crowd and made our way out.  It was a terrible mistake.  But we had fun.

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Filed under autobiography, family, horror movie, humor, photo paffoonies

The Gallery of Goofiness

Looking for stuff to organize into a post today led me to realize that I currently exist swimming in a tidal wave of goofy images that I myself have created.

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So, lazy and goofy old me will now show you some of these things.

I don’t even remember why I drew some of these things.

Some of it, is obviously because I was a teacher.

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But some of it is merely wacky.

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Though some might be considered inspirational.

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While some of it is just meant to be appealing.

But all of it provides me with an easy post that you can read fast, but still get plenty to think about from.  It is even good for a re-post if I add something newer.

 

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Filed under artwork, blog posting, colored pencil, goofiness, humor, illustrations, imagination, insight, old art, Paffooney