What’s So Funny? by Rick London

This March 19th, Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and funny gifts will be eighteen years old.  From the start, people asked, “What’s so funny?” or “The world is a mess” etc.

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I agree with them, actually, and admittedly as the world gets crazier (or maybe it was always this crazy but social media helps us see it more microscopically), we need to laugh.

Laughter, I read long ago is important for our health.  And it’s not just fringe alternative medical studies that show this to be so.  By 2014, nearly every major medical research center, including Mayo Clinic, have conclusive studies showing laughter improves everything from the way the immune system operates to reducing pain.

Did I think I was going to “save the world” back in 1997, when I launched Londons Times in that abandoned warehouse in Ms.?  Probably so, but I was as naïve and stoked as the next entrepreneur with a unique idea or different vision.  Needless to say, I didn’t save the world, and  not even sure I made it any better, but I did make a contribution.

I made my share of mistakes, but I suppose if I hadn’t, I would never have been able to build it to the scope that it has been built. I was able to recruit some of the best illustrators in the world who understood (and understand) my blueprinted concepts and render them.

I have been able to design tens of thousands of products by learning digital design through tutorials and learned to market them for sale by returning to college at age 50.

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As I look up and read what I wrote, I can easily see it as a “bragging right essay” and perhaps it is.  I am proud of Londons Times and I make no apologies about that.  The work often was 24/7 and sometimes that was nonstop.   Ironically the time since its launching in 1997 is all a blur, as if it has been at high speed velocity. And yet I can still look back at old letters and emails and smile at “that bump in the road” or that “bit of my own ignorance” and wonder what I did, if I did, do, to overcome and learn by it.

Several months ago, as I’ve described in recent blogs, I did some real damage to my upper right shoulder, arm and hand.  I am in physical therapy now and have elastic braces on part of my arm and waist.

I just did a photo-shoot of Lee (using her camera) in her new Oarttee (one of our new associates) “all over print” tee, one of her designs that was beautifully printed and shipped to her.  That was a challenge as I had to hold the camera up high to get a full shot.  (She ended up taking a great many shots using the timer and tripod also) so chances are one of those shots will end up on the Internet.  It’s a gorgeous design created from one of her photos of a bright red/pink camellia (one of my favorite flowers).

Though “partly-brag”, part of my message is to “stay the course”.  I am aware a good many young people follow my cartoons and read my blog, but also middle-age and older people (who may think it is too late to try something they’ve always wanted to do).

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Though I say “Be pragmatic”, I also say “TRY”.  It really is never to late to give it a shot.  Don’t worry about mistakes or the learning curve.  One can be rest assured there will be plenty of that.   And whether (in your mind) if you succeeded or not, you can surely say you tried.

Several decades ago when I was visiting my maternal grandmother Ruth London in the nursing home, I often chatted with some of the other residents, and many had much to share.

I decided to learn something for myself so I asked many of them if they could live their lives over, is there anything they would have done differently.

The common thread was, “I would have done some of the things I always wanted to do but was too frightened or was told it was not sensible”.  I know without a doubt that was the impetus for my trying Londons Times Cartoons; the elderly and geriatric residents of Hattiesburg Nursing Home on Bay St. in Hattiesburg.  They taught me not to regret a chance to try something “later in life”.  I was forty-four when I launched the cartoon.

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What will be your next contribution?

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Rick London is a writer, cartoonist, designer and musician who is active with green and animal causes.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons And Funny Gifts. 

This Blog Hurts

Last Friday Lee looked at the weather channel webpage and saw that snow and sleet was about to rear its ugly head in south-central Arkansas (that’s where we are).

nov 777 bear pooh3drose

For her, that meant a short solo hike yesterday in search of exotic birds that seem to land and stay awhile whenever we have one of these storms (and she got a beauty of a closeup video of cedar waxwings). If you’ve not seen it, please do yourself a favor. http://hikeourplanet.com.

For me, it meant changing my physical therapy appointment (for arm and back injury) from Monday to another day, which I did (on Friday).

So yesterday I got a call from the physical therapy office. The voice on my voicemail said, “We’re going to have to postpone your appointment due to weather conditions”.

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I thought to myself, “I  wish when I worked in corporate America we could have had such a laissezfaire attitude towards our work (in other words, not do it but get paid).  Alas those were the days of responsibility and duty.  Today are the days of “I’ll get to it when/if I can”.

So I called back in a huff letting them know I’d already called on Friday, aware of the upcoming bad weather, and already changed my appointment which obviously was not recorded. I’ve not heard back.

So what is my point?  Well my injury, and rest-assured, I don’t do things half-baked….this is a full-blown killer pain starting at my fingers and moving its way back and forth to my upper and lower back.  I’ve had some interesting injuries in the past, but this one by far is the worse.

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So again, what’s my point?  I wondered how in the hell I’d be able to type a blog…..and there ya have it…..a blog!

By the way, Lee is helping me with my exercises, and I go to physical therapy tomorrow…that is if they remembered to post the appointment.

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Rick London is an author, cartoonist, designer and musician.  He is best known for his 18 year old Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts