Bullying, Politics, Herman Cain, Joe Paterno & You Name It..It’s Here by Rick London

              I just read a Twitter post about bullying written by a guy I know to be a bully.   The government of Iran wants to blow us up.  Herman Cain probably chases women, and is sort of sure who President Obama is and what Libya is.  Jerry Sandusky is very ill and a criminal.  Joe Paterno went from hero to great disappointment and possibly a criminal along with the ex President of Penn State.  Syracuse has come out with similar allegations.  Let’s not be surprise but there could be more.  Ironically I’m not that much of a news junkie and certainly not a political animal.  I love nature, hiking, and watching Netflix movies with my wife. I occasionally make people laugh with my cartoons.

        On the other hand…………………….

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      Our economy is on the skids, and politicians are circling the Presidental wagon. Rick Perry says “Whoops” in a cute way in which he does not pronounce his “W’s”, but we’re in big big trouble when Ron Paul has to give him the answer to an easy beltway trivia question.  The thirty year old Natalie Wood case is being reopened. Famous Hollywood Couples are announcing not only their divorces but “What the marriage meant to them” on Twitter.  Newt’s wife likes Tiffany’s.  Newt “did it with women” for our country.  One has to ask, did she yell “Oh Newt baby Sign me with you John Hancock” at, um…the end of the act?  Michele Bachman applauds our founding fathers for freeing the slaves.  She’s anti-socialism but got one of the largest social farm grants ever (then voted against it).  Romney passed a health care bill more socialist than Obamacare while in Ma. (but says now “that kind of bill only works in states). Oh.  LOL.  Uh, Mitt…this is the United States. 50 of them. Ok, never mind.  The whole thing, Democrat and Republican is the keystone cops we’ve come to expect

      My homestate  of Mississippi voted on a bill called Personhood. Fortunately it was unanimously voted down but had it passed something like a wet dream and one could have found oneself life in Parchman or even the chair. A miscarriage could have meant solitary confinement or something like that.  God knows what a menstrual cycle could have gotten ya.  I don’t even want to know.  Kudos for Mississippi for knowing better than insanity.  Much better.

John Huntsman is quiet….and sane; and is actually the only one of the candidates on either side who has stated publicly exactly what the job description of President is.  Can you imagine..a candidate that actually understands the job. I know, I know…he’s not exciting/charismatic enough but has cute daughters.

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     Obama is smart but not in the least when it comes to economics (excellent on snuffing out big time terrorists and my hat’s off to him for that).  Congress is dismal.  Occupy Wall Street is worldwide but can you imagine the greedy 1% suddenly begin throwing money to them out their high-rise windows in complete shame and guilt with tears running down their eyes? Ain’t gonna happen.  Life is compromise and both sides will one day learn that.  Maybe the hard way.  Hope not.       

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       I am a designer and write cartoons and blogs and am sometimes asked, “What goes through your head?” (see above paragraph).  And even when the items in the above paragraph (to borrow a phrase from Herman Cain “are twirling through my head”), there is always the chance of creative or writer’s block.

      When that happens, I have learned over the years never to mention it, at least not on social media or in public.  When I used to, I found myself surrounded by the dregs of society known as “life coaches” willing to sell it back to me (for a nominal fee starting at app. $5000), but I get a lot of their cool cd’s and workbooks).  So it’s a tough decision.  When questioned what they have done on a creative level etc.  I’m often led to their “free ebook”.  They have a similar demeanor of an Elmer Gantry or a moat of crocodiles surrounding a once creative human in a moat who could write and swim but suddenly has writers and swimmers block.  The only difference between a crocodile and a life coach is the crocodile has not learned to charge exorbitant fees for eating you alive.

         So I have these online shops you see and they sell my designs on products like tees, mugs, mouse pads, aprons, etc ., and its starting to get busy again.  I asked myself why, as I could tell many were buying gift items.  I never used to shop for Christmas or Hanukah gifts this early, but some started in the summer.  Why?  It’s simple.  Best prices and service (which still exists as I decided to keep it all the same all the way through the 2012.  But also many like to get it out of the way. Keep in mind these are usually folks who’ve not been bankrupted previously by the crafty lifecoach. 

        When (again thanks Herman) my mind begins twirling with all the things around me, I think of why I’m grateful. I have the most wonderful wife in the world.  Our home office eclipses the most beautifully mountain in the Ouchita Range (possibly the world). We hike it and others when we want to. Our quality of living is very high, cost of living very low.   We have no debt. Our cars are paid in full.  We both are published authors and have our own brand businesses. 

      Are we smarter, more talented, better than anyone else? Not in the least.  I mention that because people sometimes ask “our secret”.  Its far from being a secret.  I can only say, “Start where you are; even if its at the bottom. That is where I was.  Learn. Ask questions.  Stay persistent.  Keep working.  And when something sidetracks you (and it will); forgive yourself and go back to work.  On several occasions over the past year, Lee and I found ourselves entrapped in “helping someone else build their empires for slave labor”. We gave them every opportunity to offer some kind of compensation.  They totally ignored they were doing anything wrong….our answer?  We totally ignored them. 

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     We don’t mind helping others succeed, but help us back.  It need not be money. It can be promotion, co-branding, etc. but please, please, understand fully what that means.  It can’t be what you want it to mean, or what some life coach taught you.

     Otherwise, Lee and I design some of the most unique (we think) gift items on the planet. So its okay if we go it alone (we have a great deal of fun).

      That is the way it should be for you too, but please be advised,  chances are good it won’t happen overnight.  I’ve been at it 14 years and Lee has been at it 2 years.  There are many sleepless nights and lots of fires to extinguish and still much to learn (for us). 

And we both started at middle age.   So can you.  Now get to work but first visit our shops and buy things so you’ll know even better how its done.  J    See, I can act like a life coach too.    

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I’m just a goofy vegan mountain man who has developed a few talents (though that is a matter of opinion). I’m a freelance writer, cartoonist, and designer. I write music; and my wife Lee Hiller-London and I are active in childrens, animal, and environmental causes. I founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts in 1997 which have remained Google’s #1 ranked on the Internet since 2005.  I founded the world’s only famous love quote shoes & gifts called Shoes That Amuse (USA Today Like’s ’em), and Wisdom Quote Shoes & Unique Gifts at my Rick London Wisdom Shop. 

 

 

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How To Be Happy…Really…Just Don’t Listen To Me…Or AnyBody Else by Rick London

by Rick London c2011

I believe if someone truly had the “happiness recipe”, their financial worth would eclipse that of Bill Gates & Warren Buffet combined. They’d be so rich they could march in the 99% in torn jeans and an unshaven face in a rustic temporary cabin that he’d paid off the corrupt city administration to set up (permanently).

But of course…I digress.

I don’t have the key to happiness nor am I in the 1%.  And happiness is far from a “one size fits all business”.

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I have some friends who travel and no matter what else, they are happy.  Some other friends are more than content to go to church on Sundays or Synagogue on Friday and share their spiritual experience with others, and they are constantly smiling.  Some of my friends seem happiest when they are working and away from their families, and others feel a sigh of relief to be away from the office (or wherever and with their families).  Again, this is not a one-size fits all world when it comes to figuring out what makes one happy.

And it changes, at least in my own experience.   And I am fortunate to have a soul mate who seems to find happiness in many of the same things.

We are happiest when our health is good.  Ok, that’s a universal.  So we’ve researched and are trying everything possible to try to be as healthy as we can. We don’t smoke or drink. We commune with nature via mountain hiking or just strolling to the park and always come back with a smile (even if we headed there with a frown). Nature is a quick cure and recipe for (at least getting rid of “the grumps”).  We both feel a deep spiritual connectedness in our Ouachita Mountains.

We laugh.  But we don’t laugh for laughing sake.  There are many “feel good psychologists and life coaches” who tell us to laugh”. I believe that is a big mistake….not to laugh laugh at inappropriate times (and things); but to recognize when something is funny to us, and let go.  Again that’s not a one size fits all world. Humor is subjective.  Just because someone likes one comedian, TV show, newspaper or webcomic, does not mean you will, and vice versa.  The importance of knowing when/why to laugh is important because it helps us know more about ourselves and our own boundaries.  And knowing and conquering the “hidden demons” in our psyche is half the battle.  Good humor is one of the greatest weapons.

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Having faith seems to be universal.  But don’t get me wrong.  I am not promoting one religion over another; or any religion.  I know many atheists with plenty of faith and same with agnostics. I know many who claim to be the most religious with little or no faith.  They are generally the ones who preach the most.  I always want to tell them “Don’t Preach To Me, Show Me With Actions”.  Words mean very little to a spiritual educated adult.  We learn and “are sold” by example, not by how “religious you are”.  Jerry Sandusky was very enthusiastic about his church.  Most of us understand the value of words vs. the value of actions.  We’re not fooled and we’re not impressed (with mere words)…which are often diametrically opposed to actions).

Another point I’m (trying) to make is we can’t find happiness by trying to absorb or copy someone else’.  It truly is an “inner job”. Those looking outside oneself will most likely do so until time runs out and we don’t want that.

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Trying one’s passion is of the utmost urgency.  I don’t have to tell you that. No matter what you are doing and how much you are making, you have a dream that you’ve stuffed way back in the corner of your mind.  I don’t mean quit your day job, but give that dream the respect it deserves.  Study it on the Internet or through books.  Take lessons. Do whatever you have to do to make it a part of your life.  In my case, almost at midlife, I finally did that and I love the creative process so much, it truly feels like play, much more so than work, and people actually pay me to do it.  It almost seems unfair, but Lee reminds me that “it makes people laugh”, so I suppose it is a service, creates jobs, etc and is somewhat important in the entire scheme of things.

In any case, it gives me much greater satisfaction than numerous jobs I’ve had that paid considerably more.  And same is true with Lee and her hiking/photography/design business at Hike Our Planet.  It gives her a great sense of joy which is very contagious and we feed off each other in a fun creative manner (some call it brainstorming).  We call it “just plain fun”.

Finally, nobody’s perfect.  My words don’t always parallel my actions, but that is my goal; and I know my moral compass is in a good enough place to where I’ll never go so off-track as to the horror show at Penn State.  The name of the game, I believe, is not to be perfect (Emerson, Thoreau, Mark Twain, Picasso) and so many others have warned us many times, “Looking for perfectionism?  Look somewhere else because you’ll never

find it”.  It’s all about progress, and a healthy respect for others seeking progress, not perfection.  And for the most part,  I stay happy.

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I am just a plain nutty vegan mountain man who loves my wife, hiking, the mountains and pie (if it’s vegan).  I founded Londons Times Cartoons in 1997 which has been Google #1 ranked since 2005 (hey that’s 7 years now) for offbeat cartoons and funny gifts.  And I like to design shoes, clothes, gifts and such in such shops as Shoes That Amuse and Wisdom Shop.