Twas The Hike Before Christmas by Rick London

Hot Springs Mountain (Click To Enlarge)

Twas our hike before Chrismas, I was out with my spouse

All the creatures had burrowed, except one lazy mouse,
In hibernation were our miniature bears,
You could’ve opened a jar of honey, they wouldn’t have cared.

Rick London c2011

Click To Enlarge

On the trails our hiking boots left their tread marks in the dirt of the path,
The squirrels high in their oak trees, which they called their beds,
Where Goat Rock Trail ended there was a deep gap,
If you fall just pray your bunjee chord doesn’t snap.

When out on the trail there was one bloody splatter
Lee turned around to see what was the matter.
Onto the trail there was such a crash,
It was me on the ground, my knee had been smashed.

My left knee looked like the ear of Vincent Van Gogh,
I looked at the cliff several thousand feet below.
It was close to the last place we’d seen some beautiful deer,
Maybe my mojo was gone, I’d quite drinking ginger beer.

Wounded Knee (Click To Enlarge)

Rick London c2011

Click To Enlarge

I told Lee it was nothing than just a small nick,

But my knee was torn up by a sharp white quartz brick.
Hiking vertically home was my previous aim,

Now if I could only stand up was the name of the game.

Lee had just snapped a thrasher or wren,
My commune with nature had ended its Zen,
From perfect utopia to the pain of the fall,

It was like Forrest Gump hitting “the wall”.

I looked toward the Universe and asked “Why, why, why?”
I had to get home to make my vegan stir fry.
To pull the skin on my knee back together I’d need Super Glue
But Lee assured me Hydrogen Peroxide “would work for you, fool”.

Rick London c2011

Click To Enlarge

I pulled up my pants to my knees, Lee snapped a shot of this goof,
I told her I was fine. I can be so aloof.
I spoke of natural healing, I can be so profound,
Told her “I’d be fine” while she was thinking “MAN DOWN”.

Now that my tendons and ligaments have all gone kaput,
It started with my ankle and traveled to my foot.
All I could think was “Where’s my ice pack?”
But I wouldn’t find it until I got back.

I weigh a bit much for Lee to have carried,

We both have GPS cell phones…could have called St. Joe’s,

But that’s a big hospital and continues to grow.

Rick London c2011

Click To Enlarge

I was far from deceased & my living will states who’s bequeathed.
But like I said earlier it was just torn skin on my knee.
I looked down the mountain and felt kind of silly.
The terrain was quite steep, more than just hilly.

I looked up at Lee and thought to myself,
I could fall again, I’m taller than an elf,
With 1/2 a spirulina bar I had to be fed,

I’d be so embarrassed found on North Mountain of a Wounded Knee dead,
Have tumbled so often I feel like a jerk,

I’m now 58,  no longer a young turk.

As I complete these words I attempt to compose
I hope that when finished interpreted as prose.

I looked in the sky not a bird or it’s whistle,
Just a few jet chemtrails resembling a missile.
A few miles later I saw such a sight,

Soon home and bathroom, hydrogen peroxide wins the fight.

Rick London c2011

Click To Enlarge


I’m a goofy (uncoordinated) vegan mountain man who enjoys nature and hiking with my wife,nature photographer Lee Hiller=London.  I love animals, kids, nature and such. I founded Londons TimesOffbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts in 1997 which has been Google’s #1 on the Internet and now Bing as well.  I like to design shoes, gifts and clothing in such stores as my Rick London Designs (and I have a few others) and I also founded the 1st (and still only) offbeat cartoon shop that is dedicated to all 100% organic cotton tees (using soy non-toxic dyes) called Rick London Organics.

Some Wednesday 12/15/2011 Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons For You!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Londons Times, founded in 1997 by Rick London has been Google & Bing’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts since 2005.  Enjoy!

Some Tuesday Funnies From Londons Times Cartoons


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts have been Google’s #1 ranked on the Internet since January 2005.  Thank you for your generous support!  Enjoy!



Important: Why America Must Never Legalize Mandated Child Labor…EVER AGAIN!

Everyone knows I’m not a political animal.  A good part of my adult life was covering politics in Washington and am fully aware what a silly circus it is. I often watch and hear political ideas and actions (from Demos and Repubs) that sound horrid, and I ignore them. It is only when I see a trend (that is obviously history repeating itself) that I speak up (especially regarding children, animals, the elderly, or anyone who is vulnerable and perhaps not aware of his her rights). 

Click To Enlarge

A part of American History we try to forget is our history of child labor.  It was not even taught at my high school, and only glossed over in college textbooks. 

We know now that people who we look up to as icons can be nothing more than pedophiles.  Opening up a boss/employee situation with children as subservient is not asking “if”, it is asking “when and how often”.    It’s a nightmare just to imagine how it would be managed; because it couldn’t.

And recently I saw several ol’ boy politicians with the “great creative idea” of bringing it back to America.  It was bad enough before we knew of the pandemic of pedophilia (which most likely existed when child labor was prevalent in America).   Now we know it is more common than we thought, and Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump think it is a “great idea” as it would teach poor children to work.

About a year ago, my wife Lee Hiller-London found an interesting historical account (complete with photos) of America (before the strict laws forbidding child labor existed).  It was heartbreaking. I can’t remember if this is the same page, but it is similar

How could I not think of those photos and stories etched deeply into my psyche with children laboring until they could barely move.  They looked like prisoners (and of course they probably were more so than we even knew, very much like the children who came to Sandusky’s Second Chance “for a better life”.

Click To Enlarge

Lee and I talked about it and agreed that the work would be as indignant as one could imagine.  Add to that the ridicule, abuse, and bullying by school peers and you’ve created an at-risk child where suicide would seem the only way out; and of course many would act upon it.  A fool could figure that out.   Again, how sick and out of touch is this man, Gingrich.  And of course I expected “The Donald” to echo “I thought it was a great idea”.  I bet he did. I feel sure Jerry Sandusky would give it a thumbs up as well.

Lee and I also remember growing up in middle class to upper middle class homes and though we were not made to work, we did. We wanted our own independence, but the jobs often offered a semblance of dignity.  Many of our peers either did not work, some had summer jobs; and others did not until they were eighteen or even twenty one.  Most of them, like us, were middle to upper middle class. If my memory serves me well, it was the very poor kids who worked the hardest (at McDonald’s, etc) feeding us.  It was WE who had rarely, if ever, cleaned a bathroom, not the poor kids.  Often their moms were maids.  They knew full well the value of hard work (and how to clean a john). 

Don’t get me wrong, rich kids should have the same protection and never be made to work in jobs as a sense of punishment.  Shame on Newt Gingrich for offering such a “Fix For America”.   You may have some creative ideas, but trust me this is not one of them.  In fact, ask Herbert Hoover. It helped lead to the Great Depression; and it was only because the Depression that such laws were passed forbidding this sinful behavior.  Thank you.

Click To Enlarge


Just Say No To Life Coaches & Just Do It & Other Roads To Happiness by Rick London

Another year has just about ended, and I feel good, even though I feel bad too (I will explain that in a moment).

Lee and I were watching a Netflix Pixar animated film the other night and I ran straight to bed and didn’t get up until the next day. That was 6 days ago and I’m just starting to feel better. I won’t go into the torrid details, but let’s just say they were mostly “toilet details”. Not so great.

Click To Enlarge

The weather has been cold and damp. And then there’s the tummy ache (not too long after recovering from tooth surgery). I’ve not been able to hike (or even do Tai Chi).

So its during times like this that I slow way down and be grateful. So how do you be grateful? This is not a one size fits all “be grateful” world, I have found. I may be grateful about one thing, that would make someone else bored, and vice versa.

Not long ago, I learned from men and women much wiser than me, that a lot of being grateful is taking action doing what I love doing. For many, I know, that is easier said than done. Many my age, or older, or younger, have never “done” what they love to do, and have acquiesced to the fact that it “ain’t gonna happen”. Either a well-meaning parent forced them to major in business when they were more cut out for creative writing, Maybe they set up their own obstacles. Maybe they looked at peers who were “already legends” and said to themselves “no way”. There are a million excuses and I bet I’ve used 999,999,999 of them. What’s my excuse for not using a million? I couldn’t think of the last one. 🙂

But doing what one loves to do does not necessarily mean “your career”, though of course its nice(r) if that be the case. Kafka was an insurance clerk while he authored his books. In other words if one starts where they are, rather than trying to conquer the world the first week, month or even year (though it could happen), and stop worrying about what others think of “their new hobby” or whatever one wants to call what he/she is learning, then one is well on the right path.

If there is not enough information on the Internet on how to launch and run whatever venture in mind, there are always Internet classes (or local college classes); I took Internet classes at a real accredited four-year college and was very pleased with how pragmatic the education was. That was not the case in my earlier years of college at state universities. It was not all their fault. I was a late-bloomer; after years of being a blooming idiot.

Can’t afford college? There are plenty of grants, scholarships and loans for adults returning. That’s how I did it. But academia is not for everyone. There’s mentorships. A lot of well-trained professionals will take you on if your story is convincing and you only ask for a little of their time.

Most books in libraries are now online, and there are plenty of used books for pennies on the dollar at Amazon and other online bookstores.

Click To Enlarge

Our generation was flooded with clichés’ which meant well, but didn’t tell the whole story. “Just say no” and “Just do it” were but a few. Both were easy to repeat, but for many they were not so many upon which to take action.

I think they should have been written more like, “Just say no to drugs, alcohol and/or promiscuous sex. It will not always be easy. There will almost always be peer pressure and the need to fit in. This is only a temporary situation. In the long run, if you say “No” to these powerful negative forces which can impact your life forever, you will be forever grateful and happy that you “Just Said No”. I think kids and even adults could much more have easily understood those steps.

I would have written Nike’s “Just Do It” to “Just Do It A Step At A Time. Don’t jump into anything without knowing what it is. If you are planning to run, don’t run a marathon the first day. Learn how to train for a marathon first. If you are starting a business, learn a bit about it. Don’t worry about the results. In fact don’t worry about anything. Just do what you have learned and if that doesn’t work, learn another way to do it. The information is out there. And now with the Internet, it is out there at the click of a mouse. If you “Just Do It”, you’ll be happy doing it. But if you’re always focused on the finished line, you’ll forever be sad”. Of course Nike would never be able to fit that into an ad, nor would the ad be feasible.

Click To Enlarge

I ran two marathons in the late 1970’s. On the 1st one, I was focused on the finish line. I barely finished. It took 4.5 hours and over 2 months to fully recover. The next year I trained the same way, focused on the scenery and other runners and had fun, finished in a little less than four hours, and less than a week to recover.

I find the same is true of anything in life. And if you can do whatever it is you want to do with a friend, its that much more fun. I am fortunate that my wife Lee Hiller is my best friend and I love her dearly. Though are businesses are not identical, much of the way we create our products and market them are the same. We are both nature/wildlife lovers so we both have yet more fun while she’s working in the forest (with her camera) and I’m running around like a kid chasing animals. We teach and learn from each other on a lot of topics.

Today there’s a new breed of snake-oil salespersons known as “life coaches”.  They charge anywhere from several hundred to thousands for their videos, audios and ebooks, claiming to have “the answer to life”. Trust me.  They don’t.   They generally steal, edit, and regurgitate great quotes from the early literary and philosophical masters and take credit.  Some are so brazen, they don’t even edit and still take credit. In any case Wordsworth negated everything they do before they even existed with his famous quote, “To begin, begin”.  It’s really no more complicated than that, and don’t let anyone tell you it is. It’s simply NOT.

If “doing what you love” at mid-life can happen to us at mid-life, it can and will happen to you. Simply start where you are and “Just do it…but remember….first you…etc etc then you etc etc” 🙂 and enjoy! The best is yet to come.

Click To Enlarge


I’m a goofy vegan mountain man trying to do the right thing and occasionally I hit the mark; more often I don’t.  I love my wife nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller London who  creates the blog Hike Our Planet.  I enjoy cartoons, and founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts which have been Google’s #1 ranked on the Internet since 2005. I like to design clothing and shoes and do so at Wisdom Shop which has gifts with famous wisdom quotes and Shoes That Amuse, which has shoes and gifts with famous love quotes.  Oh, and I recently opened a shop with a lot of famous caricature cartoon gifts and clothes called The Rick London Fame Shop.  If you shop with me, happy shopping.  Every one of our 1/4 million items are vegan-friendly and come with a 100% 30 day money back guarantee.

Friday Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons Gallery & Slide Show

This slideshow requires JavaScript.