Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I'm rereading Sarah Susanka's book, "The Not So Big House" and it's inspired me to try a couple of home improvements. For specific ideas I need look no farther than the architectural posts on this very Theory Corner site. Maybe it's time to try some of them out instead of just writing about them all the time.

Hmmmm....well, the obvious thing to do would be to would be to replace my living room windows with big natural wood ones like kind on the book cover above. Yikes! That looks pricey! And beams...they're out for the same reason. Too bad. They look great.

Susanka's right about the appeal of small houses (above) where every inch of space gets used. 

You can do all kinds of things with the big kind of wooden kids blocks (above), and I already have a bunch of those. I once saw a fireplace bracketed with blocks in a shape like this.

I have a level change in my back yard and I'm considering changing the retaining wall so it resembles something the Mayans would have done. I could keep the existing wall and brace the new structure against it.

I picture dumping a pile of maybe four different kinds of old weathered bricks on the ground and making a pattern out of them. Maybe I could I could make a few unique bricks with plaster of Paris. Does anybody sell triangular bricks?

I stumbled on this (above) while I was searching for structural foam on the net. Hmmm...white, textured interior wall panels. That sounds promising. All the walls don't have to look like this, just one small one.

I also came across a site that sells colored glass bricks. They were popular in the 60s and 70s with people who had waterbeds and bongs, which is not exactly my thing. Even so, maybe I can think of a use for them.

When my kids were little I painted the nursery walls with pictures of animals (above). It looked so good that I was always thinking of excuses to spend time in there because I liked staring at the walls. Later on the walls were painted over but maybe I should try something like that again.

Oldtime readers of Playboy like myself imbibed Hugh Hefner's aesthetic which required a large abstract painting in the living room, so maybe I need one of those.

Maybe something along the lines of Gary Panter's "Elvis Zombie (above)."

Or a Fearless Fosdick painting.

Or a Cliff Sterett-type picture. My left sidebar is full of interesting possibilities.

I like this curtain pattern by Lucy Cousin. It's a bit girly but it's cartoony and has a good vibe. It wouldn't fit with a zombie painting, though.

I wonder if there's some way I could use those thin, quarry-cut sheets of rock bricks (above) that you see everywhere nowadays. I'd have to use them sparingly because they appear phony when you look close.

How about a pre-fab Japanese fence for the yard (above) can't beat that.

Above, Picasso-type panels on the upper floor railing. Great idea!

Maybe built-in bookshelves... if I could afford it. They sure look good. Interior French doors, too.

I like the idea of out-of-the-way shelves that are designed for irregular piles of paper that haven't been sorted yet. This would be a hard sell for my family who wouldn't understand why I saved all that paper in the first place.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Caricatures OF me by other artists, that is. Here's one by John K. He's convinced that I survive entirely on a diet of mayonnaise sandwiches and fast food. 

Uh-oh...John again. Oh, Man! Is that (above) cruel!!!!! But it can't be accurate. I know I look like Sean Connery in the James Bond movies, regardless of what my lying mirror says.

More John. He never said this (above) was me, but really.... 

Mike did this one of me reading a funny script by Henry Gilroy. Man, he totally NAILED Henry.

Ted Blackman did this one (above). It makes me look like Harold Lloyd. Ted's an amazing guy. Hes an animation producer but he could easily have been a newspaper cartoonist or a stand up comedian.

Never, ever get a cartoonist mad at you. The retaliation would be too horrible to think about. Here I am (above) with Mike Bell as drawn by the other Mike. In a comment Mike says he didn't do this...but then who did?

Haw! Bruce Timm drew this. It's embarrassing because I really did say what's attributed to me here, but I should have given more attention to how it would sound to others. Art is obviously about beauty, not ugliness. I only meant to say that comedy is about ugly people doing stupid things....beautiful ugly people doing intelligently stupid things.

Friday, April 24, 2015


A while back I did a blog about the nude pictures that used to hang in cowboy bars in the old West.  Well, I just got a request for info about currently available posters of that kind. The comment rekindled my interest and I did a little research. Here's what I found:

So far as I know(above) the most famous picture of that type, one made just for the saloon that hung it, is the one above, which is the very picture that used to hang in The Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City Kansas. The reproduction costs $50 and unfortunately isn't very big.

You wouldn't think that a dirty, Godforsaken place like a Western cowtown could support a fancy bar with paintings on the wall, but they did. I imagine that the nudes paid for themselves because satiated cowboys would have felt the need for one final drink to "toast the lady."

I don't think any Western bar ever owned a Titian but I wouldn't be surprised if some had big, tinted etchings of some of his pictures. Today you can probably get a decent sized poster of the classic reclining nude by Titian: the one called "The Venus of Urbino."

I like this picture; in fact, it's been a long-time feature in my left sidebar. It succeeds in being erotic and earthy on the one hand, and completely intelligent and thought-provoking on the other.

Giorgione did a similar picture (above). So did Goya. So did Matisse, but the Matisse pictures aren't funny. Bar nudes should be able to provoke jokes.

If the commenter has his own bar and the drinkers are male, then he'll probably want to consider a copy of Bouchet's "Reclining Girl," painted for Louis XV in 1752. I'm a fan of Bouchet but I'd never hang a poster of this picture at home. It would be too distracting and what if kids were visiting?

Then there's Beaumont's "Muse" (above) which isn't very edgy but (above) has the virtue of being family safe.

Joel Brinkerhoff reminded me of this bar painting (above) by Disney's Marc Davis. Wow! Very nice!

How about one of Picasso's reclining nudes (above)? Haw! Picasso was a cartoonist at heart.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I don't know about you but I love to listen to carnival barkers, Shamwow salesman, racetrack announcers, auctioneers, streetcorner preachers, medicine show pitchmen....anyone who can entertain with the quality of their voice alone. I just came across a forgotten file of a carnival barker's it and see what you think. The setting is a sideshow on Coney Island.

Yikes! That was kinda' hard to read, wasn't it? Like it was underwater. Sorry about that...It was an old file and I must have done a bad job of scanning it. Anyway, keep's worth the effort. 

The barker sets the stage by shooing away the kids in the audience...only there were no kids...then he resumes:

Haw! None of these pictures gel with the text but I thought you'd like to see them anyway. I love the jaded look on this barker's face (above) and the determined look on the woman's. It's hard to imagine nowadays, but a tattooed woman was once a shocking novelty. Anyway, back to the text....

Great, eh? Boy, it makes me wish I'd run away to the circus and been a barker!

Monday, April 20, 2015


Yep...again! I have a friend who has an employee's Silver Pass and when he calls, I'm always up for it. Anyway, this time we decided to concentrate on Frontierland. The land is so big that even with an entire day to spend there we had to pass up a lot.

The first thing to do in Frontierland is to take a ride on the paddle-wheel steamship. The whole boat is a work of art.

Past the heavy traffic area the river is surprisingly intimate and quiet. Surprisingly authentic, too. You'd swear you were in the backwoods of Tennessee or Missouri. The landscapers did such a good job that when you come across examples of human habitation like an Indian village they seem a little jarring and out of place.

As the ship approaches civilization again we begin to see artifacts of human habitation: Narrow gauge railroad tracks (above) and a pier. The tracks are decorative but they'd work great for a small, real-world, suburban railroad.

After the steamboat ride we headed for the canoes. This simple ride is one of the most fun things you can do in Frontierland.

Those X%&*@ two cute little girls behind me shoveled at least a gallon of water down my back.

A duck family paddled almost right up to the boat. They seemed to have had no fear of humans.

A quick peek (above) into the nearby Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Wow! Imagine how great it would be to have a local dinner theatre like this!

Next stop: the magesterial Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. If you visit Disneyland don't pass this up. In photos it looks like other theme-related small rollercoasters you've seen and you figure you can safely pass it up.  N-O-T   T-R-U-E!!!!!!! The ride is absolutely unique and is not to be missed...even if you have to stand in line with crying children for an hour to ride it.

The ride should really be in Tomorrowland. It's the urban transportation of the future, not the past. Ride it and you'll glimpse the dazzling world of 2040 when the concept of a City of the Young will hopefully have taken hold.

What the ride has to offer isn't visible in pictures, it isn't even visible to people in the park who watch it without riding it. It's the Art of Experience which may turn out to be the primary artform of this emerging century. The ride combines motion with carefully controlled 3D spatial awareness and sound. You'll have to ride it to know what I'm talking about. It incorporates advances in psychology as well as engineering. I'd like to know the name of the genius who thought of this.