Friday, October 26, 2012

Doodle Day, November 11, 2012

I will be participating in "Doodles for Dollars" (aka "Doodle Day") at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA on November 11, 2012. It's a part of the Museum's tenth anniversary "Book Signing Bash", and will feature the man himself, Eric Carle, acclaimed illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, and me doing quick sketches -- doodles -- to help raise money for the museum. I intend to do as many black and white TMNT head sketches as I can in the time allotted (I think it will go on for about an hour or so). Here's what it says on the Museum's website:

"10th Anniversary Book Signing Bash
November 11, 2012
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Free with Museum Admission

The 10th Anniversary celebration continues with book signings from Iconic Images artists, special concert by the South Hadley Children’s Chorus, and “Doodles for Dollars” featuring Eric Carle, Tony DiTerlizzi, and Peter Laird ($10 per doodle.) Check back for more information about the specific schedule."

Should be fun! -- PL

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Yet another entry in the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Dept.

It just never seems to stop, does it?

Today we are graced with a quote from one Richard Mourdock, candidate for the US Senate from Indiana. It should come as no great surprise to most people that this fool is (a) a Republican, (b) supported by Mitt Romney and his campaign, and (c) backed by the Tea Party. Here is his wisdom:

"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

So in one fell swoop, Mourdock not only reveals his own loathsomeness, but manages to drag the God in which he professes to believe down into the same fetid swamp of stinking ignorance. I mean, think about it: What kind of God would want -- would INTEND, in fact, which pretty much means that that God is MAKING it happen, given the alleged omnipotent and omniscient powers of that God -- that a woman who undergoes the pain and indignity and trauma of rape must not only suffer all of that, but become pregnant from the heinous crime, to boot?

I'm not a "believer", but if I were, that would NOT be a God I would want to pledge myself to.

After revealing himself as a sufferer from "foot in mouth disease", Mourdock tried to defend himself with the following statement:

"For those who want to kind of twist the comments and use them for partisan, political gain, I think that's what's wrong with Washington these days. I spoke from my heart; I spoke with my principle; I spoke from my faith. And if others want to somehow turn those words and use them against me, again, that's what's wrong with Washington today."

We get it, Mr. Mourdock, even if you don't -- we can see exactly what your "faith" and "heart" and "principles", such as they are, have led you to believe. And your attempt to deflect attention from your abysmal stupidity with a pathetic whine about  "what's wrong with Washington today" won't fool anyone with half a brain. -- PL

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The last debate

I watched the last "debate" last night. Jeannine tried to, but only made it through about fifteen minutes before -- I think -- just getting completely bored.

Part of that may have been because, like the other "debates", this wasn't so much a debate as a recitation of campaign "talking points"... but it might also have been down to this curious phenomenon -- it seemed that almost every time President Obama spoke, Romney would follow up by essentially repeating (with slight, inconsequential changes) what Obama had said. It was actually pretty weird.

There were a few times when I thought I could see by Obama's facial expressions that HE thought it was quite odd, too. It wasn't exactly a meltdown for Romney, but I think it showed that if he REALLY had any "new ideas", he must have left them in his other suit.

Anyway, like many people in this great land of ours, I am happy to see this particular circus drawing to a close.

Remember -- get out and vote on November 6! (Or earlier, if you can, legally.) -- PL

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How the mighty have fallen...

My wife and I have been drinking various Celestial Seasonings® teas for a long time, and have always found them to be excellent, flavorful blends. There is also a sense that the company's philosophy -- natural ingredients, healthy teas, sustainability, etc. -- gives consumers confidence that  consuming Celestial Seasonings® products will always be a satisfying and wholesome experience.

That's how we felt… until today.

A few days ago, I bought a new type of Celestial Seasonings® tea -- "Sweet Harvest Pumpkin" -- which I'd seen on display at the local Big Y supermarket. Knowing my wife has a liking for things pumpkin, I bought some. (I don't drink caffeinated tea anymore, so I wasn't going to try it.)

Today my wife told me about the odd taste left in her mouth after she'd had a cup of the tea -- she said her mouth felt "puckery" after drinking it, and there was an unpleasant aftertaste which lingered even after she brushed her teeth. This experience prompted her to look at the list of ingredients on the box of tea… and to her surprise and dismay, she saw that one of the ingredients was "stevia extract".

Stevia is a so-called "natural sweetener" derived from the Stevia plant. Here's what Wikipedia had to say about that plant:

"The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations."

I've tried a couple of drinks sweetened with Stevia… and I think they're vile. Worse than stuff sweetened with Saccharin or Aspartame, in my opinion... and they're pretty bad. That Celestial Seasonings® could think it was a good idea to put this wretched crap into their tea… well, it just boggles the mind. Not only that, they don't warn you that this junk is in the tea -- you have to read the fine print, and that's something I never expected to have to do with the products of this once-excellent company.

As someone who gave up adding sweetener of any kind to his tea many years ago, I find it extremely offensive that Celestial Seasonings® has taken it upon themselves to sweeten their teas for us, especially with something as loathsome as Stevia. Really… do we need this? I don't think so. -- PL

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pledge! Pledge! Pledge!

I just finished watching the second Presidential "debate", and -- admitting up front that I am somewhat biased (I voted for Obama in 2008 and I will be voting for him again next month) -- I think Romney got his butt kicked. His lack of specifics and tedious repetition of his "talking points" made him appear as ill-suited for the Oval Office as I truly believe he is and always has been.

Obama wasn't perfect -- there were a few times when he either dodged a question entirely, or just barely answered it and instead used it as a springboard to talk about something else -- but Romney did that at least as often.

However, there was one question I wish someone in the audience had asked -- maybe somebody had such a question ready, but didn't get chosen to ask it -- having to do with a common (to the point of tedium) theme in Romney's criticisms of Obama. Romney repeated a number of times that Obama had made promises leading up to his election and taking office that he would do x, y, or z during his first year… and had then failed to do so.

Now, anyone with half a brain -- and you would hope that someone hoping to be PotUS would have at least half a brain -- MUST understand that, as the old saying goes, "There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip"… that things are quite different when you are running for office versus when you actually get elected and into that office. It's a rude awakening in a number of ways, I would imagine, to find yourself suddenly plunged into a daily routine of dealing with more issues and problems than you can shake the proverbial stick at… and you also have to deal with people who will oppose and obstruct whatever you are trying to accomplish, not because those things are necessarily BAD things, but because YOU want them to happen and you're not of the right party. And things can change rapidly in this world of ours, so that solutions which seemed practical and workable one year might suddenly prove to not be so the following year.

Given that, I hoped someone would ask Romney if -- God help us -- he gets elected, and he doesn't accomplish things that he now promises to do in his first year, second year, or whatever, he will right now pledge and promise to the American people that he will not seek re-election four years from now. I mean, if Romney REALLY believes that these failures to deliver on campaign promises are indicative that a President has proven himself unworthy of holding that office, then it seems to stand to reason that if he is elected and he fails in those ways, he should acknowledge himself as a failure and not seek re-election. 

Come on, Willard -- make the pledge! -- PL

Monday, October 15, 2012

Paint and Pixel Festival #2!

It's only five more days until the second annual "Paint and Pixel Festival" in Northampton, and this year I will be there as an invited guest (thanks, Peggy and Sean!). It's happening this Saturday, October 20,  from 11AM to 6PM, in Northampton, MA on the third floor of the Northampton Center for the Arts at 17 New South Street (across from the Academy of Music).

I probably won't be bringing any TMNT stuff with me, though I will be happy to autograph TMNT things, and may do some Turtle head sketches as well. I will be selling a portfolio of five 11 by 17 black and white prints, titled "Treefaces: Five Prints of Drawings of Trees With Faces". Here's a detail from one of them:

Check out the "Paint and Pixel Festival" website to learn more about this cool event! -- PL

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another entry in the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Dept.

From the Huffington Post Science page:
Congressman Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said last week that evolution and the big bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of Hell."
"God's word is true. I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell," said Broun, who is an MD. "It's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."
And this idiot is "a high-ranking member of the House Science Committee". Brrrr... -- PL
See the whole story here: