Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Screening Room | 1984
Crimes of Passion (d. Ken Russell)

It's the RED VERSION you REALLY want to watch...

B. Kliban

The Easter Parade
B. Kliban

©Bernard "Hap" Kliban (January 1, 1935 – August 12, 1990) was a well-known and popular cartoonist born in New York.

He studied at the Pratt Institute, but left without graduating, and spent time painting and traveling in Europe before moving to California, where he lived in the North Beach section of San Francisco with his first wife Mary Kathleen and his daughter Kalia. (Mary Kathleen was a talented artist who later also became a noted cartoonist in her own right as M.K. Brown, and chose many of the cartoons that appeared in his publications.) It was while living in North Beach that "Hap" Kliban began to draw cartoons for Playboymagazine. The income from Playboy provided financial security that allowed him to move his family to an old house in the town of Fairfax in Marin County.


In 1962, Kliban became a Playboy cartoonist, contributing cartoons until his death. He is best-known for the book Cat, a collection of cartoons about cats drawn in Kliban's distinctive style. The cat cartoons were discovered by a Playboy editor and the 1975 book Cat was born. This led to several other books of cartoons ending with Advanced Cartooning in 1993. Since Cat, his cartoons have adorned many products including stickerscalendarsmugs, and t-shirts. According to Art Spiegelman, Kliban invented the form of cartoon, popularized by Gary Larson and others, of a single panel with a third-person caption describing the action.

The books that followed Cat consisted mostly of extremely bizarre cartoons that find their humor in their utter strangeness and unlikeliness. Many of these are cartoons that Kliban drew for Playboy. They often contained dysmorphic drawings of nude figures in extremely unlikely environments, as if to spoof Playboy's own subject matter. Another frequent subject of satire were the type of wordless, step-by-step visual instruction manuals typically found with such things as office furniture. Kliban also had a recurring series of drawings called "Sheer Poetry", in which the page would be split into six panels, containing images of objects whose names, when spoken in the order presented, would form a rhyming, nonsensical verse.

Bernard Kliban died at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center aged 55 of a pulmonary embolism; he had undergone heart surgery there two weeks previously.[1] He was survived by his second wife Judith Kamman Kliban (who later married actor Bill Bixby shortly before Bixby's death in 1993) and two daughters: Kalia from his first marriage, and Sarah from another relationship.

Going nowhere, fast!

The Easter Bunny
$4.99 per pound

Thomas Kinkade, 54
Painter of Light Dies

Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed “Painter of Light,” whose artwork hangs in an estimated 1 of every 20 homes in the U.S. died Friday at his home in Los Gatos, Calif.
He was 54.
Family spokesman Dave Satterfield told ABC News Radio that it appears the painter died of natural causes.

Can't say I was ever a fan of his work, but the sheer statistics of his artwork hanging in 1 of every 200 homes is quite the feat!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Brutus Maximus v Comcast Van
Brutus Wins!

Today, Brutus Maximus was hit by a Comcast truck.

It was my fault. Entirely my fault.


Because there is a LEASH LAW in my town. And he wasn't on a leash.

Brutus Maximus, my constant and faithful companion, is a greyhound, and has the distinction of being the largest greyhound in the state of Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Greyhound Association, the organization which rescues greyhounds and finds them homes. 

I adopted Brutus Maximus on August 8, 2007, and the photo above is the day we met. The photo below, taken by photographer extraordinaire Shamus Ian Fatzinger of Washington DC, was taken in a warehouse soon afterwards.

Folks, I cannot blame the fellow driving the truck. I can only blame myself. There is a leash law in my town, and despite my six-months of near-military training, and Brutus' response, he still gets excited when he sees our neighbor friends, Kevin and Lucille. After our usual morning ritual of me with my Cuban coffee and Brutus peeing across the street, he saw me speaking with Kevin and bolted across the the exact moment a Comcast truck was speeding by (headed down a dead-end street, I might add). Despite the fact that I was practically in the middle of the street waving for him (the driver) to stop, it was the perfect storm of dog and vehicle. Brutus bolted across the street to see Kevin just as the driver was about to cross his path...but the driver looked at me and didn't stop...

And he hit Brutus.

Brutus bounced off the front bumper of the Comcast vehicle and bounced into my car (which was parked right at that spot) and the Brutus bounced and rolled up on all fours, shaking, nervous, and somewhat shaken. He ended up running behind Kevin's house and Kevin went down the driveway and I went down the other side of his house. I immediately palpated Brutus' entire body, and he didn't even whimper. There were some cuts and abrasions, but nothing "major."

We went to the VCA Emergency Hospital in Shelton CT, and they were absolutely wonderful. The doctor who attended Brutus did an ultrasound, and there was no internal bleeding, which was my biggest fear. After we discussed Brutus' possible needs, we settled on an x-ray to ensure there were no "air pockets" (piercings of the lungs which could cause air to collect in the ribcage area of the dog, leading to possible expansion and pressure which could cause the internal organs to move and possibly cause a heart attack). The x-ray was clear, and the doctor noted that I was a bit knowledgable about the care of animals (I did work for a few years at The Humane Society of Greater Miami) so rather than keep the dog overnight (ca-CHING!), she felt confident that I could take Brutus home and keep an eye on him myself.

Since then, we've been ON THE LEASH and out for several walks. I made sure he saw Kevin because Kevin was subjected to seeing something no one should see: a dog being hit by a vehicle. Then I made sure he later visited Lucille, who is terribly fond of Brutus, and is another one of the people he bolts across the street to see. So Brutus has eaten plenty, and he's on his pain meds and antibiotics and he's resting on the bed.

Folks, let my lesson be your lesson. 


It's called "an accident" because that's what it is: an accident. 

But "trust" is the #1 killer of dogs, simply because you "trust" your dog off the leash. Turn your back for a moment, and you never know what will happen, even on a dead end street.

So, again, thanks to the doctors at the VCA in Shelton, and Maria at the FCU for understanding, and I personally thank God for sparing Brutus from my ego-driven moment. Special mention to St. Francis of Assisi and his sister St. Clare.

I don't know what I would have done had the outcome not been as positive as it was today. 

But, as I said to Brutus Maximus in the SUV on the way to the vet:

"Brutus: Daddy was hit by a car when he was seven, and is still here. Now you have been hit by a car at the age of seven, and you're going to make it as well."

A very humbling experience, to say the leash.

Got a dog?


The No. 1 Killer of Every Dog is...


Obama Gothic


But no cigar.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Born this day in 1979 | Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger
photographed by
Annie Leibovitz

Monday, April 02, 2012

This Day in Art History | Born in 1891
Max Ernst

Why I don't believe in DISability...

Created by: Online PhD

Monday in the Studio
David Vance | Miami

David Boals as photographed by David Vance

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David Vance's blog
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David Vance's books
David Vance's prints

American History | 1991
A "Dying" Wage | 2012
Part 2

U.S. minimum wage goes

from $3.80 to $4.25 per hour

$3.80 x 40 = $152.00 per week*
$152.00 x 52 = $7,904 per annum*

$4.25 x 40 = $170.00 per week*
$170.00 x 52 = $8,804 per annum*

This rate was increased by 25 cents to $8.25 on January 1, 2010. Tipped employees earn $5.69 per hour, which is a tipped rate that is 69% of the state minimum wage. The wage is set to increase .75 cents to $9.00 beginning July 2012, and again the following year to $9.75.

$8.25 x 40 = $330.00 per week*
$330.00 x $17,160 per annum*

* before taxes and Social Security

Sunday, April 01, 2012

American History | 1991
A "Dying" Wage | 2012

U.S. minimum wage goes

from $3.80 to $4.25 per hour

$3.80 x 40 = $152.00 per week*

$4.25 x 40 = $170.00 per week*

* before taxes and Social Security


This rate was increased by 25 cents to $8.25 on January 1, 2010. Tipped employees earn $5.69 per hour, which is a tipped rate that is 69% of the state minimum wage. The wage is set to increase .75 cents to $9.00 beginning July 2012, and again the following year to $9.75.

$8.25 x 40 = $330.00 per week*

The Screaming Room
The Bang Bang Club | 2011

Sometimes you get too close.

The Screaming Room
The Changeling | 1980

Happy Birthday to The Court Jester!

This Day in History | 1748
The Ruins of Pompeii Discovered

Required Viewing | Palm Sunday 2012
Jesus Christ Superstar