On Laughter And Gift Design by Rick London

I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, but since I don’t know how to do that, I write humor instead; and it is often debatable whether or not I do that.  But let’s just say I do. 

What started as a fun hobby when I was about 10 (trying to make people laugh one way or another) is now a bigger hobby, and just like when I was much younger, it’s still hit or miss. 

The difference is that now, I’m okay with that  While I would rather them all be hits rather than misses, the misses teach me how to create better, write better, blueprint better (describe what is going on in the cartoon to the illustrator).   And I continue to learn a bit more every day. And as an old dog, I enjoy learning new tricks.

One of the most fun parts of the project (aside from working with my team of amazing illustrators) is designing gifts featuring the cartoons we create. 

I design basic items such as T-shirts, mugs, and the like, but as the years have passed, I’m learning to make more home and office gift items.   My extremely talented wife Lee Hiller-London has been making those type gift ideas in her shops for a number of years.  She creates the most unique gifts and cards I can ever remember seeing.

Being what is called a “Gift Design Engineer” is kind of an important project for me other than just getting to see our designs on products.  The title doesn’t mean much. I’ve always loved giving (and receiving) gifts.  I particularly enjoy matching the gift with the person receiving it.  I would consider myself a thoughtful gift-giver. 

I make a real effort to think of all the positive things I know about the recipient and find a comic-themed cartoon gift that matches those characteristics of that person.  Over the past decade or so, as times have gotten even more stressful, I have noticed that gift recipients appreciate and keep their gifts when they get a good laugh from them.  If it’s a tee, they wear it often and enjoy making others laugh.  If it’s a mug, it sometimes becomes “their favorite mug” (or so they tell me) and they use it “most of the time”.  I love hearing that. 

On March 19th, 2022, LTCartoons & Gifts will be 25 years old. 

Well, I’ve spent enough time waxing nostalgic and patting myself on the back. 

Lee and I wish everyone happy and safe holidays.  Thank you so much for your continued support.  May you thrive and be happy in 2022.  

I have several shops that feature offbeat comic gifts which is Rick London Gifts at Zazzle and the other is Rick London Cartoons at Zazzle. Both shops are good places year-round to pick up quality funny gift, usually for under $20.

Opinion: Deciding To Get Vaccinated & Wear A Mask Was Not An Easy One. Here’s Why I Did Anyway by Rick London

I’d like to discuss something important.

I’ve been putting it off a very long time as I tend to (try to be) a live and let live type in my later years.

Most who know me personally, know I have butted heads with Big Pharma from time to time.  Sometimes I turned out to be right, and sometimes not. 

My personal preference in medicine tends to be naturopathic medicine from herbs, flowers and plants.  In many cases these work beautifully. In other cases they are just hype.   The same is so for allopathic pharmaceuticals. 

To say my emotions are mixed would be an understatement.

Lee, my beloved wife will tell you, I’ve spent a good deal over the past few years perusing peer-reviewed research regarding viruses (particularly in the Corona family) i.e. Covid-19 being one. 

I’d like to ask all my friends who enjoy and appreciate life and consider it a gift to consider being vaccinated.   The new Delta variant is much deadlier than the first wave. 

I’ve heard all the misinformation, conspiracy theories, evil doings behind the scenes, etc.

I can only ask that you believe me when I tell you they are not true.

But I’ll tell you something more important than that. 

When founding father Benjamin Franklin was not certain about a tough decision, he drew a “T”.  On the left side he named “Positives” and the right side was named “Negatives”. 

He listed all the positives and negatives on either side of the horizontal line in this “T” letter.   I did the same thing.   I named mine “risks” and “rewards”.   While studying (mostly peer-reviewed studies), I learned the rewards of being vaccinated far outweigh the risks of not getting it.

Even if one does not think the vaccination is a positive thing, think of it like you would any other important decision.  I am a relatively healthy person (even though I have heart disease and other health issues) that I developed years ago when my lifestyle was not so healthy.  At the risk of sounding overly-dramatic, I have come close to death on more than one occasion.

And what about masks?  I hate wearing a mask in public (I don’t wear one in my car or at home).  But I do in public.  Are they as effective as a hazmat suit?  Of course not.  The right mask worn properly, combined with being vaccinated provide a safety net that you’ll get nowhere else.

I have nothing to gain from this.  I own no stock in any vaccine manufacturer, mask maker, etc.  I only want my friends to be healthy.

This is an excerpt from Columbia Law School’s Newsletter…..

“As Tom Cruise famously exclaimed in A Few Good Men, “It’s not what I believe but what I can prove!” Though anti-maskers believe the Constitution supports their argument, they can’t prove it. Using the Constitution to support an argument against wearing masks is insincere and would turn that document into a suicide pact. The Supreme Court has never interpreted the Constitution as anti-maskers insist, and decades ago, neither did people of similar ideology.

Anti-maskers offer no textual support for their position because none exists. If anti-maskers can put aside the politics that infect this discussion, maybe they will understand that the call for mask-wearing isn’t a step toward governmental tyranny but, rather, a constitutionally-based step toward preserving humankind.”

The whole spirit of the Constitution is written to protect the well-being of Americans.  Sometimes that takes an effort on our part.  This time it certainly does.

General George Washington knew quite a bit about the Constitution.  I can only imagine that is why he commanded his entire military to be vaccinated against smallpox (which saved a great many lives).

If George can do it, so can we.  Thank you for your consideration.