The NPD Family, The Scapegoat Child, And “Flying Monkeys”. The Remedy – by Rick London#the trac

First, thank you to my wonderful, understanding wife nature and wildlife photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller London who has made 2015 “The Year Of The Rick”, that is, I am able to feel comfortable in my development and growth (that never happened) due to un-diagnosed autism, vanus, and NPD Disorder parents (and subsequent “flying monkeys”).  A thought hit me the other day.  I wonder what it looked like to neighbors who knew I was put away in the attic and my other siblings encouraged to go outside to play.  Don’t get me wrong. I had a bike and all the accoutrements to appear to have some normalcy.  But that’s all they were, like braces on my teeth at age 12.    One might ask, “But Rick, you were given expensive braces. How can you say they ignored you or scapegoated you”.  Every child with crooked teeth whose parents had the resources got braces because that can be seen by the public, plus it played into “the perfection syndrome” of the NPD. npd meme 9 Autism cannot be seen, extremely painful vanus (flat feet with shattered joints, cartilage cannot be seen by the public.  Straight shiny white teeth can; futher proof of “all the good they were doing for their ungrateful child”. So I queried a facebook friend who moved into my neighborhood when she was 5 years old with her parents who were very well known and respected in the community.  Normally, my parents did their best to ingratiate themselves to that type.  Not this couple.  Why? Upon asking questions, I asked her a bit about herself several days ago in facebook private message.  As it turns out she is now a grandmother, and has grandchildren diagnosed with autism.  Upon noticing that, she could see many of the symptoms in herself. ADHD was one of them.  That was no big surprise to her as she’d been reading about it awhile.  She is starting therapy next week to try to lessen some of the painful side effects of what appears to be autism (When I say painful I mean emotionally so) such as depression, anxiety, esteem issues, etc. She feels from reading if not full-blown autism, surely somewhere on the Asperger’s Spectrum (of which I can also identify). I have both. npd meme 1 I asked her if she remembered my attic bedroom.  I imagined 50 years later, she didn’t.  I was very wrong.  She not only remembered it, she remembered wondering what the hell was happening at our home as did her parents.  Why were my other siblings out and about, and I was at home brooding in my attic bedroom away from everyone else most of the day after school. I occasionally had friends, but my parents “ran them off” for being “a bad influence on me”.  The only ones they allowed in my life, were the ones that truly were bad influences on me. Some nearly got me killed.  They remained “just fine” in my parent’s book.

My neighbor (and I’m sure many others) knew to a certain degree something was very wrong; she simply didn’t make it that blunt as you can see in her message to me further down the page on the “facebook screen shot”.    The narcissistic parents can be so self-absorbed, they haven’t a clue others nearby are curious at worst, concerned at best. Even 5 year olds (and of course their more worldly/educated parents).  I asked her if I might block out her name and photo and post it in my upcoming book (of which I am blogging various chapters now).  She said, “Not only can you post it, there’s no need to block out my name or photo. I can see quite well what they were doing to you”.  Still I decided to block it out. Her family was very well known and respected and though she’s moved far away, she still visits occasionally.  npd 7 The shocker is that though her loving parents didn’t know she had autism (which she may not), they knew something was different and took a very different approach than my parents did.  They loved her unconditionally and being good with academia, helped her nonstop with her homework and encouraged her to try new things and face challenges. Of course mine did the opposite.  jung meme 3 Here is a screenshot of her memories of me hidden away in the attic.  This was our third home, but our second home in Hillendale, the subdivision my maternal grandfather Marcus London developed, the home that burned down and rebuilt.  The home that I made sure the fire department arrived by calling them and the home where I dragged my 5 year old frightened brother to safety next door at Richard Ward’s home and made certain my older sister got out of the  bathtub and out of the burning home that had smoke billowing through it. She has even noticed that my wife Lee is an angel, learning with me all we can, so our lives are as happy and fulfilling as we deserve. And we deserve good now.  We’ve seen what rough edges can be.

We know what “flying monkeys” can and will do. We now have the tools to stop them in their tracks, with the help of major networks and government agencies if need be, but we know our rights, and we use them accordingly if need be.  I deserve my remaining golden years to be good ones. I spent 12 years in “attic captivity” in a place where NPD tactics were used regularly to create a “scapegoat child” and later a “scapegoat adult”.  The more you read about NPD, the more nauseous one gets.  There’s no way around it. I know I will have to forgive one day, not for them but for me. Meantime, my newfound anger, energy and contacts only drives me to help other families and/or children who might find themselves in similar situations.  

That has become, other than God and my wife, the most important thing.  That story was told often in my family….for a few months.  Then suddenly it disappeared as if it had never happened. I went from “the bravest little boy ever” back to the “snotty bratty kid who could do nothing right”.  Even in adulthood, my siblings never thanked me or acknowledged that I’d saved their lives.  My parents concluded I had, the maid said I did, I’m sure it appeared to next door neighbor Richard Ward I did, at least with my 5 year old brother (as I had him tightly by the arm dropping him off there to safety from the burning home, and finally am sure it is somewhere in the record archives of the Hattiesburg Police and Fire Departments.  

But suddenly it disappeared from my family records.  Rick never saved anyone; or at least it was never brought up again, and I was discouraged from talking to others about it.  It even seemed creepy to me then. Now that I know what that was all about, it is worse than creepy. It is maniacal, yet I’d do my best to save their lives again if put in a similar situation.  They never could help being emotionally ill anymore than I could.  My parents couldn’t help that they had NPD Disorder.  However, they could have gone for help.  They didn’t (to my knowledge).  If they did, it didn’t “take”.  mandalay connie Large blocked2222222222222222222222222

Anyone who knows he/she has not done wrong, longs to clear his/her name; no matter how many years later if it has been tarnished. Often, at first, it is a total surprise as to why it even has (been tarnished). I was never told I had done anything wrong.  I was never corrected for anything above regular childrens “crimes and misdemeanors.   One knows if he has tried his best. I’d not hurt anyone, at least not purposely, and was baffled figure out why their family of birth keeps those “imaginary wrongs” in the public eye.   Though I have a good name outside of my hometown in most cases (even worldwide..and should, I treat my friends and fans as I’d want to be treated), remnants of NPD occasionally resurface.

 I was raised in an NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) home.   NPD is a dreaded emotional disorder in which parents abuse their children, all of them, but particularly the “scapegoat archetype” child, well into adulthood.   That is a necessary dynamic to the NPD (according to Jung and Satir) in order for the NPD model to work.  Make no mistake, the other children; hero, golden, and/or lost child are injured every bit as much.  They simply don’t know it as they get “some soothing” via material possessions, less mental abuse etc. NPD is so subtle, unless one is trained, studied, or looking with a microscope, it can be very difficult to be revealed. In fact it appears the opposite. It appears the victims are the parents and the perpetrator is the scapegoat child. Nothing is further than the truth. In fact it is the overly-sensitive, truthful scapegoat that is chosen for those very qualities in most cases (to be the scapegoat) to the NPD parents.  

The other NPD children, the golden child, the lost child etc. may not have been brutally criticized etc. daily, but they were carefully and artfully manipulated into their roles to help do their parents bidding, and to make certain the “scapegoat child” was hated within the family unit, and then help broadcast it into the community.  Children are not dumb.  They knew early on it was a lie but had to do what they had to do to survive in that family unit.  So they did.  It became habit and possibly even fun.  But a lie is a lie, and even as adults, especially as adults, they know exactly what it is (unless they are just too far gone) in denial.  npd 3 meme parent The narcissistic parents do not recruit friends, they recruit to what are commonly referred as “flying monkeys” named after the flying monkeys from the film “Wizard Of Oz”.  Those FMs are completely unaware, at first, why they are recruited, at least most of them.  Ironically, not only Jung and Satir (and to for the most part Freud, were aware of this entire sick family dynamic, so was Mark Twain. He warned people with his famous quote regarding “getting fooled”.  It pertained to this very issue.  So where is the closure?  Where is the justice that was a lifetime of chaos and capriciousness facilitated by parents who used their scapegoat child as a diversion (for the public) to their own mental illness? 

What is left but “flying monkeys” who, haven’t a clue they were duped, wouldn’t believe it if the best psychologist (or psychiatrist in the world told them), and why do they continue, as if chronically ill themselves to blacken your name, no matter where you live by insidiously broadcasting to local religious organizations, law enforcement, friends, students and even mutual friends of the scapegoat etc. many of whom all tell me what they are up to.  At first some of it thought it was “sort of fun”.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to me.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to them. Then they got sick of it; at least the ones with a little bit of sanity left.  The others continue to enjoy it as it is “what makes them tick”.  They will (most probably) need legal intervention to stop if it invades my space, hurts me in personal or business situations etc.  But it takes what it takes.  Lee and I have a motto in our home and it applies to everywhere we go, “Nobody wants to bully either of us. They may not know it at this time, but they really really don’t.”

Most are sick of them and, like most adults, feel that if one has unfinished business with someone, they should confront that person themselves.  Flying monkeys are cowards.  Cowards of the worst kind.  Some think they are strong and mighty (because they have brought the scapegoat to his/her knees) but quite the opposite.  It was the numbers of them, not any one of them.  It was also the element of surprise in that the scapegoat hasn’t a clue that he/she is “in a war” until way after it is too late.  The negative feedback usually begins early on (and from parents, then siblings, then community) so that’s “just how life is to the scapegoat”, a bit difficult but hey, that is life, right?  No, not even close.  

In real life a person is not purposely undermined on a daily basis by hundreds, sometimes thousands.  The good news.  There is a solution and it can be reversed, and often is.  No one of them could endure, or even come close to endure what the scapegoat has (and deep down every one of them are quite aware of that fact), hence they never confront or even mention any of the “wrongs” to the scapegoat ever. 

When word has occasionally gotten back to me by 3rd parties, I always ask, “What was my wrong?”  Of course all I get is radio silence.  I always then ask, “Do you think you could get them to take a lie detector test with me?  I’ll gladly pay for it.” Again radio silence.  That has happened so many times, it is what led me on my two decade journey to finally discover exactly what the issue was, and the issue was not me, it was a  horrid social/mental disorder of which my parents suffered called NPD. npd meme father 2 Recently, I mentioned it was discovered that I have autism. I mentioned this to several relatives, close relatives (or as close a birth relatives that I might have).  One does not “catch autism” as if it is an airborne disease, it is congenital.  One relative had nothing to say except, “Well we didn’t know much about autism back then.”  I followed up, “Why wasn’t I tested?” 

She continued, “Well if we didn’t know much about anything why would we have you tested?”  I responded, “Then why at age 6 was I hidden away in an attic far removed/isolated from my other two siblings?  (radio silence).  I knew then my parents knew there was indeed something very different about me. It turned out not to be a disease, but a gift.  But a gift of which they were ashamed, since it was so different.

When emailed from me to one blood relative of my autism he replied, “Funny, I have a bit of dyslexia and I volunteer with some local doctors and we get great results. I’m very interested in yours. Please tell me more as my wife’s niece has a mild case of it, hence we have it on both sides of the family”. (In other words, “Shut up, Rick. You’re making a big deal over nothing.  Sorry your autism was never diagnosed. Live with it.  The rest of us are doing just fine with my wife’s niece with her mild case.”)

Unless he is totally naive, which is very possible, I think he thought I’d listen to his garbage and just let it go.  He thought so very wrong.  I will one day let it go. though, but of course that’s another season. Now is not that season. Now that I am in touch with it, know what it is, and finally know what it is I am battling and learning to grow, develop, and learning to live comfortably with  it, I won’t stop, especially given the NPD/flying monkeys continued behaviors, until the world is extremely aware.  That is a promise.

If anything happens to me, there are 25 others writing with me in the autism/Asperger’s network and they are very familiar with my case and the players.  FYI, there are no “mild cases” of autism or Asperger’s. One is either on the spectrum or not.  There are different places on the spectrum of which they are, but that isn’t mild or intense, it is autism, a different way of thinking. Period. Only the most ignorant and uniformed would call autism “mild”.

 I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading in the email, and then remembered it was from a related (one of the core) “flying monkey” recruiters. I showed that to my PhD psychologist expert who simply shook her head.  She knew what I’d been up against for many many years, and how very cruel it was, and is; as are the people involved in such virulently negative behavior. 

It’s way too late for them to continue the flying monkey routine and think it is productive. If anything it is simply more “grist for the mill” for our publishing and/or productions to do anything possible to help other families avoid it, or if they are already on the narcissism spectrum, how to change the dynamics from extremely sick to healthier, and possibly to healthy (with the right professionals).  So the more they “act out”, the more information we have on various “worst-case scenarios”.  As I mentioned, some “writers” who are not quite aware they are writing the ending….are writing the ending of my story 🙂  

My wonderful wife Lee seems to have a very instinctual understanding of it all, and is very supportive.  I am very lucky for that.   I get so much more done in my personal life, my business life, and now my educational life (that is in helping others understand what is happening to them with NPD and/or un-diagnosed autism/Apserger’s; and “flying monkeys and cruel/ignorant families.  She is a brilliant writer with excellent contacts and knows how to complete my project, and will, should something happen, along with the autism network.  It will be completed, no matter what. 

My blood relative added, “In 4th grade mom and dad learned I had ADD so mom threw me a Valium, put me on my bike and sent me to school. It’s a wonder I ever made it to adulthood”.  Then he added an “LOL” at the end of that statement as if that were funny, and of course another subtle request for me to “stop making a big deal out of nothing”.  

Of course those of us who are halfway studied, understand that child abuse is anything but “nothing”.  It could only make me wonder how he has raised, and is raising his own children.  I shudder to think.  Hence the isolation and subsequent mental abuse.  Possibly a part of them felt the abuse would “change those differences”.  I had tics, I blinked my eyes incessantly, I flailed my hands and numerous other obvious movements.

Healthy parents would have at least had their child assessed by a child psychologist. Even a mediocre one in those days knew enough about autism to know it was “not something to be cured” but something to be educated in a different manner (special education) and in my case it would have simply been “the gifted program” and I would have fared quite well. Keep in mind after the parents are deceased, with nothing, of course, but unfinished business, not just with their scapegoat but with their golden child and lost child, what happens.  Long before the parents are deceased, the siblings of the scapegoat learn they can join in with the abuse, and this for the most part keeps the focus off them, and their imperfections. 

Remember, NPD is all about ambiance, (the way things look and seem to the general public) and they must seem as perfect as humanly possible; even if that means “creating a scapegoat” as “the one who is always trying to mess things up”.  That scapegoat actually is, but not because he/she wants to, because he/she has to. He/she has been programmed by the sick parents to do so, and if he/she doesn’t misbehave, he/she can and often is criticized even more severely and for longer periods of time.  This is the parent’s “alarm bell” to say to them, “See, we are perfect and we are doing the best we can, but we’ve been cursed with this demon child” who cannot do anything but wrong.   And wrong I could do. I must have responded to my programming with such preciseness, they were quite proud (while badmouthing me the whole time). npd meme 9 A recent flying monkey reared his ugly head not more than a few months ago.  He lives in Houston and contacted several local businessmen of which I have a good relationship.  They wondered why, if he had a gripe with me, he didn’t simply contact me.  He grew up in this area, but really didn’t know them or vice versa.  One spilled the beans and let me know what he was up to.  I contacted the ADA (Americans With Disability Act). When I tell you they are on your side (if you have a disability, and believe me you do whether you have autism or NPD or both).  The casting of aspersions stopped as rapidly as they started.  I called for a complete federal investigation (and would again next I hear of one). 

I now have heart disease and high blood pressure (and civil rights) and if they do anything to affect my health due to my disability (and now that is what the flying monkey business is about), they are asking for prison time.  And I am willing to help them pack their bags.  I can no longer be run over, not by them, and not by an unsuspecting third party they “recruit in innocence”. 

The healthy places I’m now going in my life, are they don’t “want to go there” places…not because they don’t want to, because they can’t. Unless they come clean (which is highly doubtful), they will remain bitter sick “flying monkeys” into the grave.  As sad as that sounds, it happens every day.   Plus they are no longer invited. I now know who they are and their sick sick game. They do not have the honor of my company, even in proxy by 3rd or even 10th party “flying monkeys”. 

They will have to create their own new fantasy life that does not include me.  Maybe new scapegoats (Though I don’t wish that on anyone, a “flying monkey must have a scapegoat” in their minds, in order simply to “be”, to “exist” if you will.  Many do not understand that yet. They will when my book and subsequent film is produced, though.  The flying monkeys are writing the ending.  They simply aren’t aware of that fact yet.  Maybe now they are aware now, or figured it out awhile back. 

They’ve been writing it for the past 1.5 years.  I hope they like what they’ve written thus far. I mention that part of the story because one cannot do enough for narcissists.  The “scapegoat role” is way much more important than anything so temporary and expected as risking ones life to save there’s.  Thankfully there are still people alive who remember that incident, and I believe the fire and police departments keep that kind of thing on record.  npd flying monkey 2 meme Never try to satisfy a narcissist. They do not look at you as human, only as a tool to further their role as victim and covert abuser. Mark Twain knew that. Jung knew that, Virginia Satir knew that, and for your own peace of mind, please learn and know that. Twain possibly knew more (by instinct, not training) than any other in contemporary history on the dysfunctional family.  Often he felt it necessary to describe it from a child’s point of view.  Huckleberry Finn is chock full of quotes regarding this type dysfunctional family as well as other dysfunctional type family dynamics.  Mark Twain Quote If you are someone’s flying monkey, do the healthy thing and distance yourself. If you find yourself unable, get professional help. They will give you the tools to do so.  To abuse a child is unforgivable. To abuse a child with autism, or any such disability is beyond unforgivable. It is the definition of abuse and sin.  Even in the best of conditions, any scapegoat child would have had a very difficult time moving forward and grow as his/her peers. To stunt that is evil (in the serial killer level of evil….the dynamics are the same; having others/minions do the “soul murder” by carrying out their dirty work, but keeping their hands clean). Didn’t someone named “Manson” use similar dynamics in the 60s?  

True, it is difficult to see the similarities…..unless you’ve been the victim of this type of crime, but it is easy to see that the dynamics were/are identical. The narcissist makes the rules of who is bad or good, and then sends out “flying monkeys “to punish them”.  It’s pretty clear.  The narcissists hands are clean and rarely if ever puts such orders in writing.  The flying monkeys get the blame if caught.

  I’ll be clear.  As sick as these people were/and current ones are, I don’t compare them to Manson and his evil crimes.  (He is a monster), only the dynamics of their crimes.  The dynamics are exactly the same.  The perpetrator’s hands are clean.  Their flying monkeys have all the blood on their hands, and like Manson’s “flying monkeys”, don’t most (not all) but most, don’t even have a clue they are being used, and their best interests are not at heart.  Often they are given “gifts” or other material things to make them forget that.  The ones who continue it are the ones who never had moral or ethics in the first place and if they’ve passed middle age, they still have a chance to get well, but that window is closing rapidly. 

Make no mistake, it is a brutal horrible inexcusable crime (that rarely goes punished); except for the inner-demons and very low self-esteem that exists in any narcissist and “flying monkey”.  That is the extent of their punishment unless legally made to stop.  And that is my goal; plus to educate others as how to do the same.   The difference is Manson’s poor victims never had a chance to get help and understanding as to what happened to them.  Soul murder is different.  A victim does get that chance, if bright enough, but it won’t be due to the flying monkeys sharing private information or handing them the key from bondage.  It will be from self-awareness, education, and very good professional people who understand “the whole game” very well. In fact they see it daily.  They are the best psychologists that profession has to offer.  

And I have several of them working with me personally, and several more in my network.  I hate writing that, and don’t want to think it, but it is true (according to textbook psychology and psychiatry).  It is a type of murder (soul murder) that lasts a long time. Sometimes a lifetime.  Sometimes the scapegoat gets lucky and with a lot of help, figures their game out, and how it can and must stop (not just for my own good, but for theirs as well).   It is even more difficult to write, given that many of the central players of the “flying monkeys” are blood relatives to me, but I don’t call them “my relatives” when mentioning their names.  It is best for healthy people to not have association with someone like that; in fact pertinent.  Pioneer NPD therapist Virginia Satir understood the dynamics of an NPD family possibly better than anyone.  Here are her “Five Freedoms”….. npd virginia Satir If you find you are the family scapegoat of an NPD family, find a way to get the information into the community.  This type family crisis is fixable, or at least treatable so that the amount of abuse and flying monkeys are minimal, and you get to lead the productive healthy life you deserve.  But first one must confront every “demon”, and stop worrying about making waves.  As Shakespeare most briefly stated, “To thine own self be true”.  jung wolf ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997. His funny gift shops are very popular as well.

Your Talent. Think You’re Too Old To Make It Blossom? Think Again. By Rick London

  I have written a variation of this blog on several occasions over the years, but as each year passes, I (hopefully) learn more and understand the essence of what I do in life to achieve more fulfillment; to feel better about self, and others.  I don’t always do it right, but I always try.

organic cows ruled world

      I have learned that we are most definitely not what we do.  What we do, say…for a living, is but a tiny part of our spirit and soul.  But it is just big enough to nourish it in a great way.  A lot of people call it “our talent” and I can go with that.  But from where does talent derive?   Some think our parents, a teacher or teachers, God, the Universe, etc., and none can prove any of it.  I would venture to say it is often a combination of all of the above, but that is not what is important.  What is important is that we do something with it.

       I have learned over the years that some of the happiest people I know do something with their talent; not the talent that “was handed to them”, not some talent or job (or career) someone coerced them into doing for their own agenda, but people who scratched their own talent that they got to know, play with, try, fall, keep trying, and finally succeeding to watch it blossom.  Likewise, some of the unhappiest people are the ones who did, and do the opposite. And of course those tend to point fingers and blame people who have actually tried and done something (whether it be a commercial success or simply a hobby the nourishes their soul), for their own failures.  People need “a demon” to blame.  We who are actually trying to do something call those people “obstacles of our past”. I hope you learn to look at them that way too.  They are the naysayers.  They are the envious.  They do not belong in your parade. 

       The good news is it is never too late to grow one’s talent.  And one can do it without “quitting the day job”.  It can be done little by little, and now, with such easy access to the Internet, it can be learned quite easily.  If one can’t find the information in research, most colleges teach courses in almost any field of interest. A lot of people don’t even give it a shot for fear of the outcome, fear of failure, fear of people asking why would I take up “this kind of hobby at my age” etc.  That’s sad. 

oct beethoven credits

      Andrea Bocelli didn’t start singing opera seriously until the age of 34. Some ‘experts’ told him it was too late to begin.  Phyliss  Diller became a comedian at the age of 37. She was told by many club owners that she was “too old” to become a success.  Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man, was 43 when he began drawing his legendary superheroes and his partner Jack Kirby was 44 when he created The Fantastic Four.  Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was almost 40 and didn’t launch her popular show until she was 50.  Elizabeth Jolley had her first novel published at the age of 56. In one year alone she received 39 rejection letters but finally had 15 novels and four short story collections published to great success.  Mary Wesley was 71 when her first novel was published. Talk about not giving up!

Ricardo Montalban had his dream house built at the age of 68. That was when he was finally financially able to do so and he went full-speed ahead with it.   Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing as a columnist in her 40s. Contrary to a belief begun by the TV series about her family, the popular Little House books weren’t written when she was a young girl at all. They were written and published when the ‘girl’ was in her 60’s!  Grandma Moses started painting in her seventies (she quit embroidering due to arthritis) but never gave up.  The list goes on and on from Thomas Edison to Albert Einstein (both of whom are thought to have had learning disabilities). 

      Fortunately, I love trying so many things that require writing and design, I am not really sure “what I am”.  So nobody can really say I’m a success or failure at anything.  To me, I am a big success simply because I had the nerve to try it. Some monetary gain has happened, but that is not even that much of a factor for me. I started when I was 43 and I am now 58.  On March 19th it will be 15 years.  And though I don’t put myself on the level with any of the aforementioned giants, I can look at nearly most of them, given what I’ve read about their lives, and think of them as “spiritual mentors”.       

Rick London c2011

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        And though I create cartoons with my Londons Times Cartoons team, I really have just as much fun designing gift products bearing those images and marketing them.  I am fascinated by things I never learned and I was terrible as a young student due to a myriad of misdiagnosed and non-diagnosed medical disabilities.  Some of them still present obstacles but that is okay.  I returned to school at age 46 after a major heart attack and studied subjects I needed to know in business and Internet and after another major heart attack at age 56, I was already halfway completed with a totally different gift line that does not involve humor or cartoons.  When I began recovering, I started right back with it.    

      I started learning social media, and by then Twitter already knew who I was (I imagine numerous of their future or current managers were colleagues of mine in school, and they verified my account upon my asking).   Please follow me: I’m @RickLondon.   Anyone who has tried to verify a Twitter account who is not a film star, tv star,  Bill Gates,  or The Hilton Hotel chain (and trust me, I’m none of those);  I’m told it’s easier pulling hen’s teeth. 

     Not to worry, a verified Twitter account gives me no credence above anyone else, nor does it make me smarter, prettier, or richer than anyone else.  I was as surprised as the next guy to have one.  But it has turned out to be a very nifty tool in running a business and luring a large loyal following.  

     So you can see there are perks in at least trying.  My wonderful wife Lee Hiller-London aka Lee Hiller who has Lee Hiller Designs and runs the popular nature/wildlife photography blog Hike Our Planet, did not start her line/brand until 2009.  I didn’t have a clue if she was going to make a name for herself or not in that business, but I was proud of her for trying.  Still am.  As it turned out (and turns out) she is a “design/and arts machine) and sometimes she is at it nonstop all day, when she’s not hiking (and another perk I get is to tag along on the hikes) plus learn to take nature photos from the master with her old Sony camera (which she calls “The Magic Box”)  Long story. 

Rick London c2011

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     3 years have passed rapidly and Lee has about 30,000+ gift products bearing her licensed images that sell everywhere from Sears to Amazon and through many associates in between.  One can’t help but feel proud.   She has a work ethic that anyone would want; and on those few occasions she makes errors, she simply researches it, improves it or fixes it, and keeps going. I like that attitude. 

    So if you’ve wanted to write a book, write one.  If you just like to write, write.  Today there are so many outlets.  Like this one.  Blogs are very popular.  Magazines and newspapers have scaled down and are often looking for freelance contributors.  I’ve written for both (and radio and tv).  You just never know who needs what you write, and you never know if you’ve got what it takes, unless you try.  And if, at first you don’t have what it takes, that’s a good sign. It means you’ve got learning and growth to do in that area, and to many (including me) the learning is the best part.  The “Ah-ha” moment is a sort of magic.    

     If you want to dance, dance.  Want to learn ballet?  Learn it. Take lessons.  Martial arts? It’s never too late? I can no longer do the Ishinru style I was trained to do in my younger days but Lee has been teaching me Tai Chi which we do about almost daily which I have grown to love. 

      There is so much you can do.  So where do you start?  Go to Bing or Google. Type in the subject.  There you have it. You are on your way. Please don’t give up if something doesn’t happen right away. You are on a “learning journey”.  Remember I’m on my 15th year and Lee on her 4th.  We love the learning as much as the doing, and we learn something new everyday. Good luck and most of all have fun! 

Shark Folk Singers by Londons Times Cartoons

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Rick London is a freelance writer, cartoonist and designer.  He founded Londons Times Cartoons in 1997 which have been Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts since 2005 and Bing’s #1 since 2008.  He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London founder of the popular nature blog Hike Our Planet and founder and creator at LeeHillerDesigns.com.  London also founded Rick London Designs which is a shop of Famous Quote Gifts including the graphics of those who penned or said them. 

 

Never Ever Be Condescending To Those On Entitlement Programs By Rick London

Am not sure why so many of the ignorant of the Top 1% (and the giant parade of 1% wannabes) gloat about “this entitlement society being so sorry”.  Poverty, the need for food stamps, disability assistance, social security and/or government assistance, is very rarely (if ever) the fault of those suffering in poverty.  Nine times out of ten, the person receiving assistance needs it to live due to physical or mental/emotional and in many cases misdiagnosed or  not-yet-diagnosed illness, or a multitude of other legitimate reasons.  Most have never gotten proper medical care. Some have gotten state care, which is often “the basics” at best.  Under The Affordable Health Care Act, they will get dignity and health, something that is deserved by every single American.  A right?  You bet it’s a right.  So is food. No child should go to bed hungry…ever.   Is the system ever abused? Of course it is.  But the percentage is so low, it does not warrant shutting off or cutting back such programs.

 

Ask any economist/scholar.  An entitlement society is a natural reaction to bad business, bad business management, bad hiring/firing, cash-hoarding businesses/entrepreneurs – resulting in money staying stagnant in one region, and a million other bad business decisions.  People don’t just wake up one day and say “I’m going to be poor and ‘get stuff’ from the government”.  More often than not, government assistance is a very last resort, and even then, the recipient has exhausted his/her ideas of how to make their lives work, when everything is gone; and promises of help or hope never arrived. 

 

They more often wake up poor because, generally, they have horrendous business leaders in their cities, and the government was forced to come in and helped.  When I say horrendous that can mean anything from insensitive to self-absorbed to lack-of-vision to not understanding that an entire community is an ecosystem, and what happens in the poorest of neighborhoods affects what happens in the wealthiest and vice versa. 

When we think entitlements we often think of welfare, food stamps etc.  And of course much entitlements go to these programs, and these programs are not bad.  A lot of families (including children and babies) do not go to bed hungry because of them. 

      Around 1930, colleges were going to make it affordable for WW1 Veterans who became homeless but under GOP Herbert Hoover’s administration to go to school.  The government promised a 10K bonus to every returning soldier. Not one got a penny.

 

 Local businesses promised to help, but didn’t.  They were going broke too, under the government of Hoover who was privatizing everything just as had run his huge business conglomerate similar to Bain Capital which Mitt Romney had run.  Colleges said they would lower their prices but couldn’t  because business leaders failed them (and they ended up living in villages of cardboard boxes and tree bark called “Hoovervilles” where most of them died before FDR was elected and founded the GI Bill enabling them to go to college). 

Many in America were against the GI Bill.  They called it “communism”.  Do you think of it that way too? I don’t. At ALL. I’m proud of to live in a country that has such a decent program for honorable men and women who served our country.  Many of them need food stamps and I salute them.  It is their right to eat too.  Anyone who would take that away from them should have to walk a mile in their boots in a war zone.  They might change their minds.

 

So if you are against entitlements, you better add the GI Bill to your list of “Evil Socialist Programs” because it is a socialist program.  Most capitalistic societies like ours have such bills. Australia, UK, Canada, Israel and other of or top allies.  We call them “socialism” in their countries…we call it “The GI Bill in ours”.  It’s socialism, and some socialism is very good.  No country, including ours is 100% capitalistic in which the government has little or no duties.  Hoover tried that and it drove us into the Great Depression within a year of his election.

 

In other words you really do think like Mitt and his 47% (even if you don’t think you) because without the government and its entitlements, all our returning soldiers would be living in boxes and never step foot on a college campus. 

 

The majority of our military’s pay is so low they have to get food stamps to live; even app. 7% of military officers.   And they are giving their all to keep us safe.  You, GOP should be a shame. I hope you’re thinking this through long and hard; that is, your alleged hate of those who “feel entitled”.  Because most of them are.

 

Without The Affordable Health Care Act millions of children would be turned away from treatment due to preconditions.  Many of their parents are disabled or ill. Many are homeless.  There are a million reasons people are in situations they are in (due to fate), and they aren’t “evil” nor is it a “punishment from God”.

 

In addition, keeping the poor down, or not giving them a hand up, creates a vicious cycle that ends up costing the wealthy much more than helping educate them or create jobs for the poor.  We are all creatures of habit.

 

 Though people of all stations in life may get into trouble with the law, drugs, alcohol etc., when the poor do, it often ends up more costly. Why?  The poor are more likely to go to jail, due to lack of proper legal counsel than a person of means who can afford a nice rehab and then back to work or training for a new job. And who pays? You do….I do…or our taxes do.

 

And the cost of housing and feeding a prisoner is about 30 times more costly than a college student.  But since you are so into punishment for “just being poor”, it must be worth it to you.  You need to look within.  That is not the way a civilized advanced society acts.  In fact the very opposite.

 

 So isn’t it in our best interest to try to help them become educated?  To make sure they have proper health care?  And if they can’t work, get enough government assistance to live with dignity? If you don’t think so, it might be time to look within, and know there are people much wealthier than you, who think the same thing about you…and me.  And what do you think of those people’s narrow minds?  Pretty dumb people, aren’t they?  If only they knew how to think things through.

 

No matter how one may feel about this past Presidential Election, or the wealthy, or the poor, or entitlements, one does not have to have a considerably high IQ to know that the GOP politicos and news talking heads who continue to carry the “It was the way the message was delivered” torch are only fools fooling themselves.  It was the message.  Many of them are finding that out. 

 

 It’s easy to blame Mitt Romney, but I don’t think of any other person who could have delivered their message more effectively. It was a rancid horrendous message that is being used in Iran and it appears now Egypt and several other Middle Eastern countries.  It is called a theocracy. 

 

  A theocracy will not work in America.  Do you think by my thinking or saying that that I am anti-religion or anti-Christianity? Anything but. In fact so pro-religion and Christianity (and any other spiritual path one might choose that works for him/her) that I write this blog.  I know that on its own, in a community, helping a community, doing what it does best, a church, synagogue or mosque can be a Godsend to many. It enhances any community.

 

  A lot of people who are not affiliated with a religious community also contribute greatly to our society. When religion becomes legislated it becomes the opposite of what it was meant to be.  For that reason, our founding fathers escaped Merry Old England by the skin of their teeth.  Did they hate Christianity?  No. They simply saw what became of it when it (or any religion) decides to run the government.  It becomes very nasty.

 

I wouldn’t want my religion running government, nor would I even think of inflicting that on anyone.  With all its faults, and it has it’s share, it doesn’t need to be muddled with a business as dirty as politics just to give it more power.   Neither does yours.  Really.   Yours is beautiful just as it is.  Don’t try to ruin it like the Tea Party came very close to doing; and…may still try again. 

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and designer living in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas with his Nature/Photographer Wife Lee Hiller-London founder of Hike Our Planet.  London launched Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts in 1997 and they’ve been Google #1 ranked since 2005 and Bing #1 ranked since 2008.  He has 3 books published on Amazon Kindle and One coffee table book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  He has created 80,000+ licensed gifts & collectibles bearing his cartoon images at LTCartoons.com.

How To Survive Depression When You Don’t Have It; & A Few Thoughts After 15 Years Of Cartooning & Design by Rick London

March 19th, 2012 will mark the 15th year of my “creative venture that couldn’t be done”.  Amazon Kindle just put up my 15th anniversary compilation book, but the 13th anniversary continues to sell better. That’s okay. It was never supposed to happen. In fact I wasn’t suposed to be able to do it.  So many said so. And that’s why I smile as I type this. 


My 15th Anniversary Book Cover (Click To Enlarge)

Walther Bagehot once said, “The greatest pleasure in life is in doing what people say you cannot do”.    

    Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Edison, Einstein, Thoreau, Emerson, Galileo, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Dali, and many other writers, artists, and, you name it, have similar themes that run through their most famous quotes that is, “There is great pleasure in doing what everyone said couldn’t be done”.

 I’ll preface the rest of this blog with, “I don’t put myself even close to a league of any of the aforementioned giants, please trust me on that..I’m not that grandiose”. I can honestly say, that most of them were “spiritual mentors” and/or were and continue to be influences.

I was born into a family in which I was expected to be “heir to the throne” of a family business; a family real estate business.

I used to joke that when I was born, the nurse put me in my mom’s arms and said, “Congratulations, Ms. London, it’s a Realtor.”

Slow Realtor (Click To Enlarge) by LTCartoons.com

That used to cause a resentment for me, but now that I see the whole picture,  and why God, the Universe or whatever caused it to happen, all I can say is “thank you, thank you, thank you.  I couldn’t have dreamed this life.  Is it perfect? No.  But it is very very good, and I really could not have imagined it.

I was no good at real estate (nor much else) as I had a rare disease that affects the vagus nerve and there was no treatment (had it all my life) in which the vagus nerve, the largest nerve in the body, does  not function, or barely functions.  It is often misdiagnosed for depression, mental illness etc.  It’s neither.

I was told I had garden variety depression for 28 years and treated for it.  I didn’t have it and no treatment was helping me improve.

About 1998, I read an article in New Yorker Magazine on clinical trials for a new implant called theVagus Nerve Stimulator or VNS made by a firm in Houston called Cyberonics.  It had been approved a decade earlier for TRE (Treatment Resistant Epilepsy) but was not yet approved for TRD (Treatment Resistant Depression) which is a misnomer as it is not depression at all, but merely mimics it.  It is estimated that about  20 million people have it who think, as do their doctors, that they have depression or schizophrenia or bipolar or “name your poison” but they don’t Most of them have never heard of VNS and very few of their doctors have either.

I had to wait another seven years to get the treatment and do a lot of pre-planning.  Some of it included contacting Cyberonics and getting a caseworker before FDA approval.  The other was let the doctors know the meds and talk therapy was not working so they would try a variation of many different ones, just to be sure it was not depression, as eventually (if it really is depression), it would improve with at least one of the variations. It never did.

On January 25th, 2005, I woke up from the surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Little Rock.  A week later, all the “depression” was gone; mainly because it had never been depression in the first place.  I am not certain which was more painful while fighting the disease before having the implant, the disease itself, or the punishment from a very superstitious culture who felt people didn’t get such diseases unless they had distanced themselves from God.  I had to live with that pnishment from so many ignorant people on top of fighting the disease which was being incorrectly diagnosed and treated as such.  

I was very lucky. Not many in the U.S. received the treatment when the FDA opened a very short window for it.  The large pharmaceuticals and even the American Psychiatric Association, and insurance giants fought it vigorously, and with that much power, the FDA made it virtually impossible to get, unless someone can shell out $50,000.  So only a few of us got it when it was covered. It is still not impossible to get it (even covered if one needs it), but they must be willing to try nearly every modicum of treatment for depression there is and have a Cyberonics caseworker monitoring his/her progress or lack thereof.

I have no resentments from that though.  Had all that not happened, I would not have been able to “do the impossible”; all the things people, including family, said “he’ll never do”.  “He shames us” was the word I often heard from mutual friends of my other blood family.  “He’s lost his way. If he’d just go to the right church and really pray”.  Some of the armchair diagnosis was so ridiculous that they were almost funny, if they’d not been so sad. It made me wonder how they treated their own family who ran into issues in which the doctors did not have answers.  Thank God I had the common sense to move close to one of the top 12 research hospitals in America, University Of Arkansas Little Rock.  St. Vincent’s is on their campus.  Had I not, and not received the VNS implant, I am positive I would have left this planet at least a decade ago.  I am a very blessed man.

 

So what were the consequences of finally getting the right diagnosis and treatment?  I returned to school and learned a great deal about business information management, digital design, and IT marketing.

I took LTCartoons to heights that no other offbeat cartoon has even come close.  Of course in any case where someone starts “looking good” like I did, there were many others behind the scene. I will elaborate later.  In just eight years LTCartoons.com became Google’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts on the Internet.  Then MS opened Bing and within a week we not only were ranked #1 there too, but own the whole first and most of their second search page.  We have remained #1 on both ever since and it is now 2012; seven years later.

 

My main site LTCartoons.com now has 5500+ mostly color cartoons and my various online stores showcase app. ¼ million licensed gifts and collectibles bearing our imagines.  I say “our” because that was what I was talking about…others making me look good.  Most cartoons we see today in the paper are teams these days.  The lone cartoonist still exists, but the teams are just as prevalent.  I am the concept guy, writer and “blueprint guy..that is the designer of the cartoons, describing details etc and assigning each to the appropriate illustrator) who I know can render it best.  Then I begin digitally designing the products.  I have our main manufacturer 3Drose to thank, Zazzle, Amazon and Printfection to thank for that.  Also who would have thought Amazon and Sears Marketplace would be my primary partners? If you’d told me that even a decade ago, I would have suggested therapy (for you).

I have a very sweet kind wife who loves me as I love her. We have a mutual respect for each other too and many similar interests.  Yes we have issues on which we disagree but the positive far outweighs the negative.  We are in similar businesses (both design) and though she’s a nature photographer and mountain hiker, I am not a photographer, but an avid hiker and nature lover so we enjoy many long mountain hikes together.

My Beautiful Wife Lee

 

We both share a love of God and a similar perception of Him.  We don’t push that philosophy and/or ideals onto others, but that adds more bond to our bonding.  We both care about life, all life, human and animal.  We’re both vegan and eat organic foods most of the time.  We started mid-life (as well as hiking) but hey, better late than never.  And for it was after 2 major heart attacks and for her after surviving cancer.  So we are proof that it is never too late to start anything new.

I have two books out now. Londons  Times Cartoons 13th and 15th anniversary and both Amazon and Barnes & Noble sell them as well as many independent book stores around the world.  Lee has a beautiful photography book out “The Nature Of Love” with similar sellers.

Around 1994, I read a very good book on the psychology of creative entrepreneurialism that I think was called “Blue Thunder” or something like that.  I read something in it that I really didn’t believe at the time. I was forty years old. It said that almost anything you’ve done in your life and career up until age fifty doesn’t even count because the mind of modern man and woman really doesn’t develop enough (for the majority of people) until age fifty, at which time we are all infants in whatever path we  are taking), so take it slow, but take it surely.

I now not only believe that, I know that to be true.  I might add, many of my friends have either retired or semi-retired at age fifty or sixty; or, slowed way down. I look at life in an opposite way.  I believe it is a time to try what you were frightened to try when you were younger. I don’t mean be careless or reckless but try something different.

If you’ve always wanted to go back to school, there’s no excuse not to now.  There are plenty of grants, low interest loans and accredited online colleges now.  Skydive. Plant a garden. Start a business.  Have no money? Start an Internet business. Don’t know how to start an Internet business with little or no money?  Go to Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble sites and type into their search engines “How to start an Internet business with little or no money”.  There are plenty good ones written on the topic.

I started mine 15 years ago this March 19th with about $300, and no home or car.  I now have a home and car and don’t have any idea how much my Internet business are worth, but I imagine a good bit. My wife and I don’t have debt because we’ve paid for everything. We use debit cards rather than credit cards and save all the interest our peers are paying out each month.  We scaled down. We live smaller but we live a lot happier.

 

 

At first these changes were very difficult. All change is difficult, even positive, especially as we get older.  But as time went by, and we started seeing the advantages, there was and is no turning back.  Life is not about keeping up with the Jones’ anymore. What a sad waste of time. Life is about service, fun, learning to love oneself, and trying to live in the most spiritual way one can, and that part I can’t explain as that is personal between oneself and his/her perception of God.  Good luck everyone.  Whatever it is, if you take it a step at a time, and are okay with some obstacles and/or rejection, you are well on your way to whatever you ever wished or dreamed.  Really.

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I am a goofy vegan mountain man who loves life, my work, my wife, and the mountains of Arkansas. I founded Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) & Funny Gifts in 1997 and it has been #1 on the Internet since 2005. I love to design. I don’t only design offbeat cartoon merchandise, but serious famous quotes gifts at my RickLondonWisdomShop.com and LoveQuoteGifts.com which contained my licensed images of famous persons with their famous quotes on gifts, tees, mugs etc.  My two cartoon books are available at Amazon.com (on both coffee table and Kindle) and Barnes & Noble.  I like dogs. I like cats. I love wildlife, nature, hiking and anything outdoors. My beautiful talented wife Lee (see above) is a talented nature photographer and has the blog HikeOurPlanet.com  I don’t have depression.  I’m very blessed Thank you G-d.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.