Blog: 20th Anniversary Of Londons Times Cartoons. How Did That Happen?

 

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Today is the 20th anniversary of the launch of Londons Times Cartoons and the time has zoomed by most of the time, and felt like walking through thick molasses at other times.  It almost seems like a dream, sometimes mostly entertaining and at other times a vivid nightmare.  In many ways it seemed like yesterday that I was back on my hometown in Ms, broke, without a job and no government assistance. My only resources were my wits and they were running dry.

I had been helping my mom in her final days of  cancer and selling television ads for a small television station whose employees reminded me of the characters in the sitcom WKRP Cincinnati. I’m not sure which one I was but definitely one too.

A friend owned a tin shed on the outskirts oftown; sort of like a small warehouse full of rotting cans of vegetables on makeshift wooden shelves he’d built on the wall in sort of a rural spot between two counties.

A can would explode every once in a while due to its contents fermenting and it being way past its expiration date.  My friend had also installed electricity, plumbing (but no bath or shower) and a phone line.   I bathed in the cold-water only sink.  I washed my stray dog Thor in it as well. Within months Thor found a friendly calico kitten meowing from a low branch outside who I also adopted. Somehow we managed.

Friends would come by and bring me meals or take me out to eat.  Those were exciting, fun, and frightening times.  I was but a tin wall from the outside elements.  For most that time I had no car. I slept on a concrete floor in a sleeping bag.  I bought and way overspent for an IBM Clone PC from a guy near Hot Coffee, Ms who bought old computers and fixed them.

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His garage was full of computers, parts, and tools.  He was asking $800. We settled on $600. I know now it was worth about $150, but for back then it was a bit of a workhorse and I was so naive about technology I hadn’t a clue that he probably would have taken much less for it.

The tin shed had a fenced-in acre and a half yard that overlooked I-59, the main road to New Orleans or in the other direction about 20 miles from The Free State Of Jones.

It was March 19, 1997, and I was a very late bloomer due to a number of issues and events, but the main one being a lifetime of un-diagnosed Autism and punished for it, mainly by family but also by community.  The family press release was very much like Joe Kennedy’s of Rosemary “Severe issues,  she needs to be locked away.”  As we learned much later, she was probably Autistic with mild depression.  She was extremely bright as her brothers.

The big question was,  “Could I ever get past those demons?  Could I ever get past being unwanted and put away in an attic bedroom with each of my friendships parentally controlled” and my being unwanted? Could I get past the pTSD and low self-esteem it caused?  Who was I to think I could be at the helm of a cartoon project (or any project for that matter)?

They say time flies when you’re having a good time. I can remember most of those times not being so fun for me.  In fact I was not sure if I would make it. By then my heart was giving out but I didn’t know it.

I also had vanus (a severe form of flat feet) but had been a long-distance runner and even completed two marathons from Lafayette to Crowley, La. in 1978 and 1979. When finally diagnosed at age 60, the doctors said I had been running (and walking) on “a bag of bones”.  I was fitted for orthotics which I wear daily. Vanus is inherited at birth.  My dad had it, but I was never checked for it until age 60. Lee noticed it first and saw it on a doctor’s site poster when I was getting a brace for tendinitis. The orthotic inserts have allowed me to walk without hurting for the first time, and even do high-mountain hikes with Lee. I’ve learned to love nature and wildlife.

Dial-up Internet was slow.  There was no Google, no Twitter or facebook, nor was there any social media.  There were forums and Yahoo!  Since I was a novice at the Internet, I didn’t know.  I bartered my way through the whole thing.

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I contacted cartoonists who had paved the way long before me.  While I could draw, I couldn’t draw to the level of which I wanted to to project in this project.  I wanted it  to be a “Dali meets The Far Side”,  a cartoon which could be appreciated as art. Sometimes that worked, sometimes not.

I can remember the most generous people with their time were Charles “Sparky” Schulz,  Leigh Rubin (Rubes) and also helpful were Dave Coverly “Speed Bump”, Jon McPherson “Close To  Home”  and several others.   It seemed the bigger they were, the most generous with their help.

So as per Sparky’s suggestion, I wrote the concepts and dialogue, and assigned them to my illustrative partner who rendered them.   He only did black and white for a long time but within a year I talked him into color.  That year a California tee company paid us $10,000 for the rights to 12 color images. We thought we’d arrived.

Though I made a number of barters, I don’t think we made another sale for another 4 or so years so we just kept creating cartoons. I continued to write them and tweak several I’d written years before.  I had a shoebox full from early college days.  My parents talked me out of doing anything with them so I kept them hidden away and finally used them.

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We made a few sales to academic publishers which never paid much but every little bit helped.

I was living out of my suitcase, which was a good thing since every now and again I was evicted. Friend’s couches or extra bedrooms became “my best friend”.  I always had to pay something but never much. I never needed a lot of space; just enough to type and talk on the phone.  God bless those who gave me a chance.

By the year 2000, we had close to 3000 cartoons (mostly color), but the unpredictable and dangerous lifestyle was taking its toll.   I had my first major heart attack in 2001, and another one in 2010 with three surgeries.  In between that time I had a vagus nerve stimulator implant installed to assist my vagus nerve to work properly.

In 2008 I met my later-to-be amazing wife Lee Hiller. She was (and is) a constant support.  She was with me during the 2010 surgeries which were touch and go. All the while she has been developing her own line of designer gifts LeeHillerDesigns.com and taking incredible nature photos (many on gifts) in our National Park in her blog titled HikeOurPlanet.com.  She’s an incredible person and talent.

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Londons Times Cartoons had been the Google  #1 ranked offbeat cartoon for 3 years. It has now been for the past 12+ years (since Jan 2005).  It is usually Bing’s #1 ranked too (though it tends to fluctuate there down to #4 or so). I’m happy with that given that on both engines there’s about a half million competing offbeat cartoons.

We put a counter up on my cartoon site in Jan. 2005 after Google first named it #1.  We were eight years old.  It shows we’ve now had about 8.9 million visitors worldwide.  That boggles my mind still. It is very easy to say “Look what I did all by myself” but that’s not how it  has been at all.  I have been but a cog in the wheel of amazing illustrators, managers, tekkies, vendors and Lee all of whom took the time to contribute to a project that had but a slim chance.   Alone,   I would surely have walked away from computers and try to learn something that didn’t require them.

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This year I learned I also have type-2 diabetes and she has gone right to work on helping me figure out a lifestyle diet that works. While it continues to be vegan, the portions are different as is some of the food variety.  We’ve beefed up the exercise/hiking (or we’ve  “soyed it up” as we don’t “beef” anything).

Today we sit with a gorgeous view of Hot Springs National Park from our office.  We see just about every type of flora and wildlife imaginable outside our window. Hawks and falcons fly by often. Squirrels greet us at the window along with a variety of birds and insects.

All the while we create our gift ideas using digital design on our computers.  While my cartoons are fun to put on items so are my “Famous Historical Quote Designs” which came much later.

We are going hiking later today on our favorite trail known for its deer and woodpeckers (and much more).

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Nature has been very good to  us and provided healing, not always so available in cities (where we have lived most our lives).

A well-known quote in the Autism world  is “The Internet does for Autistics what Braille has done for the blind and sign-language has done for the deaf”.   So I accidentally also found my tool for living, by being a part of the cartoon industry.  I would probably have never learned the Internet; as the Interest wasn’t there.   I developed a bit of interest when I returned to college at age 50 at WGU.EDU.  I learned a lot and Lee has taught me a great deal also.  I would have never have known it to be “my lifeline” as an Autistic.

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I was trying to sum things up and our good friend, Sally Jane Paulson in Norway did so for us with a Harper Lee quote she happened to post today.   I believe it tells the whole story. It’s  at the top of this story.

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Rick London is an author, gift designer and founder of Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times.  He is active with outdoors and environmental, animal, Autism and Veteran’s causes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The golden child and scapegoat in the Trump family.

Study of scapegoating (whether family, politics or business), but particularly family, as that was my experience. I was/am Autistic but not diagnosed until age 62. As a child, I was very different so rather than having me diagnosed, my NPD family put me in an attic bedroom physically alone and away from the family. They controlled my friends. More and more I understand why the Geneva Convention considers this kind of isolation (for POWs) banned and cruel beyond belief. It is said to make waterboarding seem like child’s play (and I do believe that). I see now, in Donald Trump’s own words that he was not very fond of Tiffany and she was abused (sexualized) as an infant. Sadly, most scholarly psychiatrists lump this type narcissistic behavior with pedophilia and other sociopathic conditions. The perpetrator loves the power and/or money too much and has zero empathy. They live to hurt others, but can seem to be the most charming person in the community (and most sane). This is a great blog, and I highly recommend reading “The Sociopath Next Door”. Thanks all. Rick ………Please keep reading Lucky Otter’s blog and do watch the important video.

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Because I am fascinated with child roles in narcissistic families, this video was interesting to me.    I’ve suspected for awhile that Tiffany (the daughter of Trump and Marla Maples, his only American-born wife) is the scapegoat among Trump’s children.  He never talks about her, seems distant from her, and doesn’t seem to idealize her the way he does his other children, particularly Ivanka, who is obviously the golden child.

This video explains more.   Trump admits himself that physical appearance is extremely important to him, and he’s disappointed in Tiffany’s appearance.   Tiffany also isn’t a successful businessperson like the rest of his adult children.  She tried to make it as a singer instead, but things didn’t go well for her and she didn’t get a recording contract.

What I find extremely disturbing is the way he sexualizes his daughters.   In this video, Trump is shown being interviewed about the infant…

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What I Know About Autism And NPD Families And You Should Too by Rick London

This blog story is not only a follow-up for those interested in the horrors of the NPD and/or malignant narcissist family and hiding away the “different” child in an attic or entire floor alone”, it is for those who want a layman’s experience with the topic. Barron Trump lives on the entire top floor of Trump Towers alone. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t you just love to have such an amazing childhood?  Please keep reading.

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To make it clear, this is not an attack of Barron, anything but.  It is a wake-up call to
bring awareness to the “NPD Family Model” and how the IP (Identified Patient) or
scapegoat is tortured (for life usually unless proper psychiatric intervention who recognizes it treats it).

I am told the majority of NPD scapegoats do not make it into adulthood and those who do, unless they get a maximum amount of very good psychotherapy, continue through life lost, alone, depressed and with PTSD or cPTSD. I know that to be true, not only from my own experience, but from others along the way who have shared their experiences.  Many did not make it for one reason or another. I was one of the lucky who did.   Proper therapy and medication helped tremendously but finding decent ones is like shopping for used cars.  Some of them work (both therapists and meds, most don’t so well).

It is very hit or miss and many professionals do not recognize anything but the depression and/or anxiety; never the underlying lifetime of cPTSD or PTSD, the mob mentality of family “fake press releases” of how their child is so misbehaved (that comes later usually towards adulthood),  the childhood “gaslighting” in an isolated area of the home (such as an attic or top floor of a building, or basement,  so the other “potential golden children” don’t have a clue what is happening (and are told the boy or girl in the attic has big untreatable issues,  I am able to recognize subtle behaviors which a fellow scapegoat, especially an Autistic one, and can pick it up in a heartbeat, sometimes even when trained professionals cannot. That is how personal it is.

As for now, nobody looks more loved or cared with great parental concern than Barron Trump.  More will be revealed however as he matures.  And we can only hope and pray that a very brave person, perhaps a social worker, psychiatrist or child counselor recognizes it and gets him the help he needs.  He does not need seclusion in a top floor of a large building (no matter how pretty the accouterments).

He does not need to be spending the rest of his life responding to press asking him how it felt to have Ivanka as a “mother/sister/whatever”.  He needs as much normalcy as is possible given the situation of which he is in, but never requested. And most of all he doesn’t need to be geographically alone away from family members. One cannot even begin to explain the depression, the sadness, the hopelessness it causes. If a child has a cognitive condition, amplify that by 10,000 (at least).

This is important information from a psychological angle; not a political one. Barron is sequestered alone on the entire top floor of Trump Towers. It’s his. Sounds like a dream come true, no?

Is this all “fake news”.  If only it was fake news.  Here is an interview that Parenting Magazine did with Melania Trump last month in which she admits to sequestering Barron alone on the top floor, but “he loves his computer and drawing on the wall so he’s just fine”.

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It is torture according to every single Geneva Convention, yes even though he’s “checked on” and has a computer.

People have asked me, “But what if one day someone finds out you’ve been writing about this?”

That is the answer to my prayers.  That if enough people know, the family will finally get help rather than “throw money at the problem”, which makes it worse 100% of the time. It goes further into denial as does the family, while the child suffers in a horrible way, and what’s worse, needlessly.

But his parents are lashing out of “hurting our son”. When I tell you there is no worse torture than being sequestered physically away from family, for now, you have to take my word.

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But more and more is evolving on NPD (and malignant narcissists) and how they create an IP (Identified Patient). I do not know if Barron is Autistic or not; but based on my own traits (the heavy blinking, the rocking, the stimming, and many more highly familiar moves, there is some kind of cognitive developmental condition.

His parents are saying they “only want the best for him” but putting a “different” or “disabled” child alone in an attic or floor or however removed from other humans, is pure torture. It leads to what is known as “soul death”.

Meantime his dad is yelling “Vaccines cause this terrible disease of Autism”.

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Nothing in medicine has been so thorougly studied and it does not. And its not a disease; but merely a different type of brain wiring, not better or worse than atypical (its known as neurodiverse thinking) and can be very handy in the workplace.

Ignoring it or denying it, and most importantly sequestering/isolating it is horrendous. Even well-trained soldiers of war are not allowed this kind of treatment. It is the same as being a prisoner of war, Autistic or not. Read the Geneva Convention if you don’t believe it.

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) embraces his son Barron Trump, as his wife Melania Trump looks on at the end of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, addresses supporters of her father’s campaign in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

Now Ivanka is moving into the 1st Lady Quarters. I have nothing to add about that except it makes me physically nauseated. I would hope it does you too.
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Rick London is an Autistic writer, gift designer and entrepreneur. He also was raised in an NPD environment as the scapegoat child.  He is best known for his founding of Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts (Ranked Google #1 since 2005).  He is active with Autistic, animal and environmental causes and has published 4 books and is currently writing his life story.

Why Has Barron Trump Been Isolated By His Parents? by Rick London c2016

Isolation Of Autistic and/Or Disabled Children: Who Will Be Elected To Live Alone On The Top Floor?

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If anyone doubts that Trump will commit war crimes, I assure you he will. Any parents who would isolate their disabled and/or Autistic child in an attic or solitary floor alone is creating a scapegoat. That will be Barron’s lifetime role. The torture it induces, neuropsychologists generally agree is similar to a captured soldier of war. Maybe this is why Trump thinks John McCain is “a loser” for being a prisoner of war. That’s a weakness, a strong message sent to Donald by his father Fred.

Being Autistic but somewhat high functioning in some areas, my social-climbing parents built an “attic bedroom” aka “isolation chamber” for me to live when I was 6 until the age of 17. I was “at war” with my family, and didn’t have a clue. Though I was never tested for Autism, they knew something was very wrong, hence the geographically odd and isolated location of my bedroom, and opposite treatment of my siblings (and me). All I remember is “being in trouble”. All I can remember in conversations from my older sister was “You’re in trouble now”. “Why do you behave this way?”, etc. She was brainwashed, it appears, before I was even born. There was never once a conversation with her.

My brother tried at times but I could tell was very uncomfortable around me all his life.

At age 11, I saved both their lives from a burning housefire risking mine in the process in the smoke-filled burning building. That story was completely deleted from our family history. Fortunately, I still have several neighbors on facebook who are still alive and remember my entire oddity (including the fire) keenly.

My cries usually went unheard or heard but ignored. The worst part was the isolation (this same isolation has been banned for grown trained military every Geneva Convention). Like Barron, I was far away from the core family unit. It was important that other family members did not see or hear what was being told to me.

The attic “bedroom” was no architectural mistake or my imagination. Three years later my parents sold the house to build a larger one just a block away.  It also had a larger attic bedroom (with more distance from my two siblings and parents who were altogether in the other end of the home. Guess who was assigned the “attic chamber”?  Yours truly, in a second home.  This was clearly premeditated.

I told a favorite aunt, still living, about it. and she said, “We did make mistakes back then and didn’t know much about Autism.”  She’s old so I didn’t argue, but hung up thinking, “A mistake is when one stumps their toe. A premeditated horrible crime that usually goes unnoticed is when you spend (back then $10k was a lot of money for a distant attic bedroom).  At sixty-two, it still gets back to me when my siblings bully me from afar with gossip and lies (that is bullying  an autistic).  That is not “a mistake”. That is not having a backbone in adulthood to put a stop to it so it doesn’t pass to another generation. Too late with my family. It already has.  But they will remember me as “the hated one” but the whistleblower of a large somewhat prominent family, who has been a “Golden Child Mill” for many generations. For the NPD, that takes a lot of scapegoating too.

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At age 6, when I cried for “an answer” as to why I couldn’t live normally with the rest of the family, the “excuse” was “I was a very smart/loved/creative child and “needed that kind of space”. My father even covered my walls with great college football pennants to enforce the “benign innocence” of his nefarious plan.

Truth is, my parents encouraged and finally demanded my own siblings to bully me as did they. It was more of a warning. If they didn’t, they could be next. Often scapegoated children are “released from the hate” by their siblings and community after the parents are deceased and the child becomes an adult due to most knowing they were actually playing into “the family politics”. I was not given that luxury. I hope Barron Trump is.

Today I learned that Barron Trump is possibly Autistic; and if not, has a similar condition. Having abstained from watching media lately, I didn’t know the story had been running worldwide. Not that the media is the final arbiter of health and cognitive disorders, but I took it upon myself to find videos and study them carefully. I’ve attached several. This was no surprise to me as I could see many common traits in friends and myself that Barron seemed to be experiencing.

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This is very similar behavior to what Melania Trump told Parenting Magazine regarding Barron alone on the top floor. “He is very creative and loves to spend a lot of time alone.”

I was an embarrassment to my birth family and inconvenience as I imagine is Barron may be to his. I was gaslighted by my parents in the “isolation chamber” as they were creating a “human garbage can” aka “Identified Patient” (a black sheep was born); Black Sheep (or scapegoats) don’t just happen contrary to popular belief, they are created by NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disordered) parents. Autistics and/or other disabled or unhappy (or odd) children are usually chosen to be the “black sheep” bad kid.

Given, I am not a neuroscientist or neuropsychologist and I cannot make an accurate prediction of Barron’s condition. But I can assure you, if you watch the video, you’ll clearly see he has many of the most common characteristics of an Autistic child. It may be something else, but it definitely hurts him badly, and rather than address it, his parents have decided to hide him away and claim vaccinations cause Autism (which has been debunked over and over by the medical profession). In any case, due to his “oddness” as Trump would find it, he’s been chosen to be scapegoated. That is a tragedy.

What is clear is that Barron has a flaw that motivated his parents to hide him in their attic which is quite lovely, the top floor of Trump Towers, but some of the most effective “prison camps” are “quite lovely”. It makes them seem so innocent.

My prediction is they will have one or two more children but they will be “golden children”, and Barron will often be compared to them and everything that goes wrong in the Trump’s life will be Barron’s fault.

A lot of press is now coming out about Barron’s plight. The very fact that he would live in the White House and leave his son is beyond cruel. It is true torture. He is a “prisoner of war” at Trump Tower.

I don’t like the word “Symptoms” as Autism is not a disease but a condition, but here is a video that shows it, and GOPs shouting at him for “misbehaving”. Running for office is probably the cruelest thing one could do to their son, moving him alone to a large floor is beyond cruel.

Trump is also a “vaxxer” believing the already debunked crap that vaccines cause Autism. Michaelangelo, Isaac Newton, Beethoven, Jefferson, Mark Twain, and many others had it (before vaccines were invented).

It makes Trump’s non-apology to the disabled reporter even that much more repulsive. He is truly a sociopath. A “father” who does not defend his disabled child from abuse is not worthy of description. A mother/apologist who agrees with “Dad” is not any better.

I post this not as a “feel sorry for me” as I’ve told my story before. I don’t feel smarter than anyone else for “recognizing it”. My wife also recognized it before I did (in Barron’s case too…I only suspected it).

This is a “get ready for a rough ride”. When NPD parents will do this to their children, what in the hell will they do to those not related to them.

Whether Barron is struggling with Autism or some other condition, clearly Melania Trump is right. This should be a wake-up call to #stopthebullying.

My sad prediction is that when Barron is old enough to understand some of this, he will no longer be what is known as “narcissistic supply” to his parents and they will most likely divorce.  Most do when they base their entire marriage on the hatred of one of their children.

You’ll never see this hate.  In public, he will look like the most loved, pampered child on the history of this planet.   Please use your brain.  If this child lived in “rougher territory” and belonged to other parents, he’d already be taken away and in “children services”.

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It is time to give disabled and/or children (and adults) with cognitive conditions the same first class citizenry we give others. Otherwise, none of us are free, and the scapegoating continues for more generations until someone with a backbone stands up to the bullies. I am standing up to the bullies.  Are you too; rather than “following the money”? It’s never too late and you’ll have little if any regrets during and at the end of your life; you’ll have nothing but regrets if you don’t (stand up to them).


 

Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer.  He is best-known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts launched in 1997.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rick London is Autistic and founder of Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts 

The Impact Of American Pop Culture On My Life by Rick London c2016

I can remember what was probably my first, or one of my first record players (turntables), and playing my favorite records all the way back to age 5, though I had it several years before that, and I remember playing it, the details are not as clear.

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It was a brown standalone on a metal table about the size of a night table with one big gold and brown speaker mounted in the front.

I continuously played Elvis’ “Return To Sender”, “Honeycomb”, “Purple People Eater” any Alvin And The Chipmunks song and several others.  I didn’t often dance around the room or get a hairbrush and sing in the mirror as so many kids did, but watched the records continuously spin (as so many with Asperger’s/Autistics tend to do.  I watched in fascination for hours.

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I spent a great deal of time listening very closely to the singers and guitarists and wondering just how they “came to be”.  Some records I played all day.  When I taught myself to play the guitar in my teens, I could play a number of those songs (and later the Beatles, Stones etc.), of course nowhere as well, but I could not read music either.  I’d played the records so many times, to keep my mind occupied.

Of course many know I had un-diagnosed autism, lived segregated from my family in an attic; so had plenty of time to listen to music and grew to love it.

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Autism is a difficult condition to describe to others not familiar with it as it is a developmental condition. It is not a disease. It is not “a bad thing”, it is simply a different type of wiring with which science and education is just evolving to understand.

I was later blessed to have and play some beautiful guitars made by Martin (D28 and D35) and a Mossman, which was dual-backed and sounded every bit as good as my Martins but it was apparently a small indie firm which went under.   I now play the beautiful Crafter my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London gave me as a gift several years back.  It’s a long but fun story how she came to choose that gift and I’ll tell it one day if you’ve not heard it.

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As I grew into an adult, (as many Asperger’s are prone to do), I found a topic I liked and stuck with it.  Asperger’s often don’t care if the topic is a pragmatic shrewd moneymaker or not, and my choice of “American Culture” was most definitely not.  I spent nothing less than a fortune buying music, celebrity, rock and roll, and you name it memorabilia.

My favorite was music, including rock and roll, especially from my various eras; mainly the 60s, but also the 70s-the 90s.

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From age seven until age twenty-one or so, I guess I lived for, or to be like, the Beatles, The Stones, The Animals, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin and a host of other (mostly British Invasion Groups).  Later of course David Bowie and Al Stewart.  Ironically, it was the British Invasion that seemed to influence America with the most impact.

Upon hearing interviews with many of them however, it was (mostly) the Mississsippi blues and rock artists such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Jerry Lee Lewis and the usual suspects that made them tremble at the knees.  Nashville’s Roy Orbison was also at the to of their list; not to mention Tupelo’s Elvis.   Life is funny that way.

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The type things I wanted to collect did not exist; that is cartoons or caricatures of the famous musicians and sometimes actors featured and engineered onto gifts and tees.

I first came up with the idea of “Panel Hollywood” and created about 200 of them (cartoons only).  I sent each one to the actual celeb, business or rock star and asked for feedback or a review. Only a very few were resistant and/or threatened to sue, but the majority were tickled pink I was “keeping their name alive”.

Some of the most appreciative were the Roy Orbison Family, Mayo Hospital, Bo Derek and several others.  It was quite a surprise.

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So I got to work on creating fun memorabilia to keep all their fans happy.  Roy O.’s widow Barbara, who sadly died several years ago, used our cartoon of his as their annual Christmas Card and it is now featured in the Roy Orbison Archives.  Mayo Clinic features two of them on their library wall.

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To see some of the gift ideas I designed, please visit my “Celebrity Shop” at CafePress and first click on “Music And Musicians” and then try “Celebrities And Other Famous People”.  Throughout the store there are well-known American icons that are enjoyable and make fun memorable gifts.  They are also considered collectibles; and since they are affordable, continue to rise in price the moment they are purchased.

At the end of the day (a term I never use), I’d decided I wanted to be a “culture collector” like Andy Warhol; so I’d be sort of like an “Andy Warhol Lite”.   I never got even close to that elevation. However I do own some authentic Campbell’s Tomato Soups in the can for guests.  Lee and I don’t touch (or illustrate them).

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist. He is best known for the launching of Google #1 ranked Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts, Londons Times.  He is married to nature/ wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London.  They are active in environmental, animal and Autistic causes.  Rick’s entire humor gift shop can be seen at Cafepress.

 

 

 

 

 

A Patient Veteran, A Beloved Wife, A Sweet Irish Setter And Now My Life by Rick London c2016

By now most know Lee’s and my love for animals.  For much of my life, that meant domestic animals such as dogs and cats, and the occasional iguana or hamster, but for the most part dogs and cats and horses.

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I had surmised by the time I was ten or so that I may be the biggest animal-lover in the world, thanks to my late friend Dickey Randolph who, though six years older than me, took the time to teach me about dog care. I got my first Irish Setter from him.   And though I will never forget Dickey’s kindness and goodwill (we stayed friends until his untimely death several years back), I know now it was dogs and cats I loved.

I mention that as, I’d never had anyone explain anything that important to me in detail, that stuck with me throughout my lifetime, and became one of the most important parts of who I am; and most likely began my quest as being a vegan as I am now too.

Part of that “memorable miracle” with Dickey was that I was a disabled, but not diagnosed child with Autism (and now of course an adult with autism).  I was quite hyper, didn’t make good eye-contact, and my attention-span was dismal.

He didn’t care, nor did  it bother him in the least when he returned from Viet Nam, a multi-decorated hero, and very good man.  His guidance led me to the curiosity of nature and animals, and Lee took me to further explorations into the forest to see it in all its glory and how animals behave.  I never get bored with that and it has a very healing nature, very similar to the dog I got from Dickey, “Rusty”.

animal collection lion sleeps mug

I didn’t hate cows, pigs, sheep and chickens, but I dined on them.  Along with overcooked veggies that was my staple until college, at which time McDonald’s took over as “the family kitchen”.  I look back and wonder how I ever lived through that, and in reality, almost didn’t.  I was still 35 years away and two major heart attacks from “seeing the cruelty” in what I was doing.

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Having owned one of the first health food stores in Ms. with a $10K loan from the now defunct (like my health food store) Bank Of Hattiesburg, with a preacher from Glendale, Ms. who was later bought out by an ex-math professor at USM, I had an early curiosity of health foods, yoga, running etc.  It never occurred to me that something as simple as animal protein (including dairy and eggs) was not only holding me back, but eventually killing me, and how I didn’t die on at least 4 occasions has stumped all my surgical specialists.  I am a blessed and grateful man.

I went full-fledged into that business.  Most of my “education” came from salespersons with high-school degrees and books written by outdated writers.  Food science was moving forward as fast as one could turn a page.  The animal sciences were not far behind.  I was dedicated to trying to eat right, take the right herbs and vitamins, run marathons, and you name it.

I have since learned that cooked vitamins might as well go in the toilet.  To my knowledge there is only one firm that makes 100% organic vegan raw vitamins and that is “Garden Of Life” which we buy in powder form from Amazon or Ebay.  It is amazing and one can tell the difference immediately from the ones we see advertised on tv often which have had all/or most of the nutrients and more importantly live enzymes cooked out of them, so they are useless.

I learned that herbal tinctures, in most cases are far better than the tablets or capsules as far as potency. I also learned that organic and wildcrafted are every bit as important.  In addition I learned that “organic” in China would not pass for edible in the U.S. (for herbs and vitamins).  There’s still much more to be learned.  Not all of it works. Some of it is nothing less than miraculous.   More learning.  It’s neverending.

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Enter Walmart, a new “box store” to the town and exit my store, an old overpriced relic.   I sadly closed my doors in 1981

So I spent some time educating myself regarding food sciences and animal science.

I was married in June 2010 to my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller of Hike Our Planet)who became a vegan one year later. I had already read the health benefits and how it helped the planet but that still wasn’t, for whatever reason enough for me. However I did go mainly vegetarian for a year before my conversion to veganism.

animal collection beaver pillow

It was impossible to watch Lee’s positive changes and not want that for myself.  I didn’t know if it could happen but I was surely willing to try.  She’d lost about 90 or so pounds and about 20 years of age.  I was astounded and still am.  But that was not her goal. It just happened.

She was very patient with me as my evolution kept going with at least some dairy or cheese and finally I said, “I’ve had it”. I thought she’d be surprised but she was not in the least.  She said, we’d both cook alternate days and eat as much raw as we could, and that is just what we did.  I had no idea I would not only actually like it, but crave it, and the thought of my old “food” never even crosses my mind.  I truly don’t think my body could absorb it.  Lee kept looking and feeling better and her mood became very kind. It was not an act.  I’ve seen lots of acts.  This was a natural evolution.  I wanted that too. (Still working on it  LOL).

The life changes are dramatic.  Forget the goodness to the planet, and though I am tickled to death that it happens, there is nothing that would take me back to my old eating lifestyle. I say that because there is no such thing, really, as a vegan diet. Veganism is more of a learning/lifestyle philosophy.

A Robin Williams Tribute Cartoons from 2003 by LTCartoons.com

A Robin Williams Tribute Cartoons from 2003 by LTCartoons.com

Well, Lee retained the good looks, common sense and brains, and I got to feel human maybe for the first time.

Because nobody gets it perfect (I was told that would happen by Ed Begley, Jr.) on Twitter….. (It’s a long story)….I’ve decided not to become a militant vegan, and that fits me well. While I would love the planet to all turn vegan, I also know as Ed told me, “It ain’t gonna happen”.  I would love to live the rest of my life on the planet not killing any animals, but again, it’s not going to happen.  Even in the making of my computer animals are killed.  Lee and I kill insects for instance on our hikes, our ride to the grocery, etc. but not on purpose of course.

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So I wish the Gandhi-wannabes good luck, and let me know how that turns out.  When curious persons are ready, they usually ask us questions. Lee has come up with the idea to have them start with a Meatless Monday which is now a worldwide movement.

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As time goes by and they are still interested, I often direct people to YouTube to watch Sir Paul McCartney’s “Glass Walls”.  Any time I’ve growled or gotten snarly, they ran they other way and ate more meat, with guilt, more meat, nevertheless.  They didn’t want to be much like me and who was I to blame them.  So I changed, and hopefully so did they.

armadillo tee

Meantime I’ve put together a collection of my favorite animal cartoon gifts and tees and I have a lot more in the store collection.  A percentage of each sale benefits various animal and/or vegan causes.

Also for yet even more entertainment, there’s plenty on my cartoon website.

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Happy laughing…and eating….and hopefully shopping!

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts from an abandoned tin warehouse in rural Ms.  He is married to his best friend and hiking buddy, his beloved bride Lee Hiller-London who owns the nature photography blog Hike Our Planet. Though of course cetaceans are animals (Dolphins, Orcas etc.) Rick keeps a separate section for his ocean mammal friends (gifts).

Tilukim, Orcas And Freedom by Rick London

What is it about whales and dolphins?  I’m sixty-one and as an aging boomer was brought up like most other aging boomers, to believe cetaceans (whales, dolphins etc.) were happy campers in tanks/pools.

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“Can’t you see them smiling, Rick?”  Why would a ten year old question the sage advice of ones parents?  If I’d known then what I know now, I’d be questioning quite a bit more.  But c’est la vie.

Fortunately my parent’s distancing and eventual abandonment of me, eventually led me to the love of domestic animals and later wildlife and nature and now all of the above.    Meeting my wife Lee reinforced that love of nature and wildlife and we explore everything together.  One couldn’t ask for more. I thank God daily.

I’ve thought about them and created cartoons about them long before they re-evolved into the news.  Seaworld’s “pride and joy” Tilikum, a bull orca, is dying.  He was their prize catch back in the early 80s. He’s weighed 12.5 thousand pounds. More than half the orcas now at Florida’s Seaworld share his genes. Imagine how much money that saved them in pursuing more.  They became a “puppy farm” so to speak, being every bit as much in the orca breeding business as in cruel entertainment.  

And though my beloved wife Lee and I live on the ledge of a National Park/Forest, it is very easy to forget when one lives inland, in the mountains as we do, that Orcas and dolphins are every bit as wild as the creatures we have grown to love in our forest.

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Cetaceans must live in the wild.  In their case it is the ocean.  That is for numerous reasons.  A few but surely not even close to all are their need to swim for miles (sometimes 30-50 per day).  Another is that they communicate via very high pitch shrill sounds.  When communicating in a tank/pool, that sound echoes off the concrete walls, driving each of them insane.  So when they kill or injure a trainer, it is not because they are vicious animals, it is because they are tortured and in terrible pain.  The type attacks do not occur in the wild. In fact, quite the opposite.

Though I’ve done my share of reading, given my Autism, I don’t always retain it. However, my patient beloved wife Lee, has a way of explaining it to where it is not slanted, but simply independently researched (and double independently researched facts).

Rick London c2011

That is one reason I have taken it on as a personal cause. Without going into detail, I experienced narcissistic torture as a child well into adulthood.  Without the help of 29 years of therapy and my wonderful wife Lee, I am not sure I could have gotten past “those dark ages”.

I hereby offer a percentage of all my orca gifts in my RickLondonGifts.com/LTCartoons.com line to benefit cetacean captivity.   And I won’t stop in my lifetime until/unless Orca/Dolphin captivity prisons such as Seaworld et al close their doors.

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Rick London is a writer, musician, designer and cartoonist, environmentalist and animal activist.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts from a metal shed in rural Ms in 1997.  He is married to Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) who is a nature photographer and designer and owner of the popular nature/wildlife blog Hike Our Planet.  To see Rick’s orca gifts whose sales benefit orca causes visit his Orca Store.

Autism Awareness Vs. Autism Awareness. Which Is Best? Can You Do It? Should You? BY Rick London

“Okay I gotcha, Rick. So your brain is neurodiverse and mine is neurotypical…What do you expect of me?”
Glad you asked.
autism suit
Acceptance, not awareness. Accept if you like me, and not if you don’t.
It’s really that easy.
Either way it’s win-win as if you like me, chances are I’m going to give it a chance to like you as well. If you show signs of prejudice or fearmongering, I’m far out of your way before you are mine. Been there done that got the tee.
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Top mental health professionals tend to agree that if a child is autistic, and purposely un-diagnosed and hidden away; that is,  created as a scapegoat, s(he) has ptsd or Cptsd and possibly a myriad of other issues.  If fortunate, he/she will seek professional help and stick with it until the answers come.  I’m here to tell you after 30 years of such professional help, the answers came and hit me like a ton of bricks. LOL.  Takes a few months to pick up the pieces.  I also get great support from Lee and consistent therapy.
I got my official Autism diagnosis at age 61 and it was a very big relief and explained so much in my life. It explained everything from remembering my “meltdowns” caused by the Cptsd of abuse at age 4 1/2, to saving my siblings life in a fire in Oct 1965 on a Thu. nite at 6:45 CST while watching the Munsters on my 11 in b/w GE TV in my attic isolation chamber aka bedroom. It had frosted tiny slit windows so nobody could see in (which wouldn’t have mattered since they faced 20 ft shrubberies).
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During that fire I came closed to perishing had I stayed another 4-5 minutes (I could easily tell by the heat and smoke bellowing down the hall) (and this information, I was told, was not to be re-told, as anything to do with the fire “made my dad nervous). I was only 11 and believed my parents. I mean why would they lie? All these things have finally evolved after 30 years of professional help. It all makes sense. “Friends and “family members”, the few with whom I speak still try to “minimize it” or pretend it never happened or that it’s my imagination (the Autism).
I have a very good response when it happens taught to me by a great therapist. (Silence…a LONG silence so they can hear themselves talk, now in middle age). How long can they carry their fantasy, when all the evidence shows, it’s just that, a fantasy, and it is they who might look within. I’ve spent three decades on my changes with phenomenal help. It’s never-ending and I plan to continue it. Lee helps me every bit as much as professionals in their field.
They say you cannot recover from what you don’t know you have. So you surely can understand how exciting it is for me to know what it is, what caused this, Cptsd is actually not a disease but a very healthy response to witnessing or being victimized in some way.
So now God is giving me a chance to recover from those tragedies caused by some extremely ill people. He also sent me my own Angel Lee Hiller-London to show me how that is done. And I love her madly and love learning (however painful some of that may be) to grow up and be me.
Kenny Rogers Cartoon

By Londons Times Cartoons C2011 http://www.LondonsTimes.us

She was the very first to show Autism Acceptance to me; and in fact prefers neurodiversity over NT (Neurotypical). I am one blessed grateful man who couldn’t have imagined this.
I thought the tragedies and pain would be omnipotent forever, when all it took was one person to “enter my world” and accept me for who I am.
It’s a wonderful world. 🙂
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Writer, designer, songwriter, and cartoonist Rick London is Autistic. He was diagnosed very late in life (age 61) and feels good about it.   He is best known for launching Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts.  He is married to nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London.  They are active in numerous causes including veganism, the environment, animals, veterans and autusm.

We Can Do Something About Isolation, Torture, And Neglect Of Disabled Children by Rick London

Beginning this past January 2016, in the UK, neglecting (willfully not getting diagnosed) an autistic or otherwise disabled child, and instead, putting him/her in unbearable living conditions such as isolated attics, basements, cages etc. (which is severe torture same as prisoners of war and banned by even the Geneva Conventions), and/or manipulating the child financially in childhood and at times into adulthood may result in a felony with 14 year federal prison sentence
For an NPD family model (Narcissist Personality Disorder) the scapegoat child being
created (they don’t “just happen”)  only need to be treated dramatically different than the other children, or if an only child, neglected, abused etc.  If the parents have the resources, it is ideal to build an attic and/or basement, with “all the accouterments”. It is the bedroom that “everyone wants”…the “cool bedroom”.  That seals the ruse. Nobody suspects a thing….except the savvy psychiatric community and many film producers now.  They “get it” the minute they see it.
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As predicted, America is quickly following suite. It is so good to see this atrocity corrected for this new generation. Two thumbs up for the UK and USA. Real civilization before our eyes…. and the culprits are falling into the fringes of society (just don’t realize it now). Always, please always, keep these, and every other case of which you hear or see alive.
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Keep a candle lit for these domestically-neglected/abused disabled. Thanks.
Report quickly if you even “have a bad feeling” from what you’ve seen; yes in your own neighborhood. NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is pandemic in our country. It doesn’t always involve an attic, basement etc with “a wayward neglected child in it) but often does. Otherwise, America could easily fall back into the dark ages.
In America, it is now considered domestic violence and severe neglect and (from what is predicted) the laws are getting much more stringent). One can only hope/pray so.
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Some with Aspergers/Autism Turn Out Fairly Successful If
Recognized And Diagnosed Young By Caring Parents (See Above). Let’s open
the gates for all the rest.
Those who are decent, please never remain silent, ever. Fighting for this new generation of children, to prevent the atrocities, is the only humane thing to do. To remain silent is to remain who you were. If you are satisfied with that, then by all means do so. If you want to help children without a voice from suffering needlessly PLEASE SPEAK UP. You’ll be okay. The Narcissist/bullies can no longer (legally) hurt you. You can fight back with huge support.
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Disabled people are now officially the largest minority in the world, and clearly I am not the only one who was neglected, isolated/tortured and lied about (so as to be a “bad child” rather than a disabled/autistic child).
I feel confident as we find out more about this monumental population of disabled and/or autistic people on our planet, millions were treated as if they didn’t exist. In fact most their families/later communities too, wished that.
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Now the communities are discovering who the real monsters were/are, thank God. It may take time for it to sink in, for the communities not to feel intimidated by the monsters (who actually it turns out are generally well-dressed and/or behaved cowards), and speak out with impunity.
From what I understand they will have to, or the rest of the 21st Century will pass them by. And that would be a shame that a few powerful narcissists can hold an entire society hostage to continue their brutalization of the disabled and Autistic. How much hate can someone have in them?
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I want to recommend a film that my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London had seen and suggested I see. Thank God I did. David O. Russell got it totally right in “Silver Linings Playbook”. The cast was perfect. The golden child was perfect, the scapegoat in the attic, and Robert DeNiro got the “distant father” perfect and his wife played the enabler as well as anyone could. The “wayward adult child/now adult in the attic”, turned out to be “the sanest one”. Please see this film. Russell doesn’t make such films unless he knows there is a huge audience, and he knows. It’s pandemic. It sold a lot of tickets for a reason.
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Rick London is a writer, designer, songwriter and cartoonist, best known for his launching of Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts.   He is married to nature photographer Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) Nature/ Wildlife Photographer and founder of HikeOurPlanet.com
#crime #torture #autism #disability #ada #americanswithdisabilitiesact #recovery #happiness #lifestyle #success #autism #aspergers #mentalhealth #mentalillness #culture #society

Why Are Some Of My Cartoons For The Birds? by Rick London

Long ago, it seems like in a different life now, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to nature.    Though I got to enjoy nature, I didn’t understand anything about respecting it and why.  That’s a whole other story, and I won’t get into it now as I’m just learning, but it has morphed into a love of wildlife and birds.

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Since my amazing wife Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) who is founder of Hike Our Planet and Lee Hiller Designs started taking me on her hikes, I’ve found an amazing new relationships with wild birds.  Many of these are birds that fly to South and Central America.  Some come back to our forest, stay for awhile and move on.  Most of them are very affectionate and talk to us from low branches.

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Rick London c2011

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They show off their snacks (usually caterpillars or insects) etc. and sing long songs for us.  Many of them follow us along our hikes singing all the way.

Mockingbirds and I have a special relationship and I’ve been known to sing with them for 30 minutes at a time within feet of each other.

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A lot of the tropical birds know Lee well and pose for her camera.  The robins often “escort” us to and from the forest. It’s really magic and quite healing.

autism duck dynasty

Someone who wants to enjoy nature need not live in the mountains or next to a National Park (though it doesn’t hurt).  They can live near a park in their town and just sit on the park bench and look around or at a table, or just take a hike around. Some live in a wooded isolated area or next to a large tract of undeveloped land. Nature is everywhere, and if you watch it with patience, you’ll  see a type of drama, comedy and every other “movie genre” that actually is not available in the media; no, not even Animal Planet or Wild Kingdom.

Before long one realizes, as Emerson and Thoreau taught us, we are a part of this wonderful thing called nature.  It changes just like we do. Watching it change makes our own human changes much easier and we look forward to it.  Though there was plenty to love about NYC, Washington DC and L.A. this is a whole new ballgame; and a healthy one.   Lee and I have the “been there got the tees” on the others, and this will do just fine, thank you.

My Bird Mentor & Beloved Wife Lee. Click To Enlarge

My Bird Mentor & Beloved Wife Lee. Click To Enlarge

You’ll may find that the birds are not as foreign to us as we’ve been brought up to believe. In fact we learned today that sparrows have the same DNA as humans.  No wonder they like us.  At least seems that way.

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You can see my funny bird gifts at RickLondonGifts.com.  I am the founder of Londons Times Offbeat cartoons and funny gifts which have been Google #1 ranked since 2005.  I am blessed to have married nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who has taught me a great deal about nature (and life).