Showing 1 - 10 of 323 posts found matching keyword: walter

As any good head doctor will tell you, the best treatment for depression is keeping yourself distracted by doing something creative.


Walt Builds a Family Fallout Shelter, sponsored by the National Concrete Masonry Association, 1960

Bomb shelters for everyone!

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A regular op-ed columnist in the local newspaper — a former police officer — recently decried potential firearm regulation legislation using the justification that more people die annually drowning in swimming pools (2,616) than in mass shootings (446). That's a great point.

His argument convinced me. I mean, who cares how many innocent people are shot to death when there are people drowning? Obviously, if you don't want to drown, don't get in the water. And if you don't want to get shot to death, don't go to the grocery store. Problem solved!

You know what else kills people? Falling down. According to the CDC, falling killed 39,443 people in 2019. It'd be ridiculous to outlaw gravity, right? Handrails and walls are for pussies! If I want to wear shoes made from banana peels and K-Y Jelly tubes, that's my God-given right.

The next time someone assaults someone in a massage parlor or movie theater with 10,000 gallons of chlorinated water, I promise I'll support swimming pool control legislation.

Remember, kids: It's not guns that kill people. It's swimming pools.℠

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I've been depressed all day. Maybe I didn't sleep well last night. Maybe life just sucks.

I'll reinvestigate the question after another night's sleep.

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Every time I show a picture of my lawn ornaments in the fall and winter, friend Otto teases me about the sorry condition of the yard. So this time, I'm going to give you the pic of how my latest creation looks inside the studio:

Leapin' lettuce!

That's Captain Carrot, fearless leader of the Zoo Crew!, painted just in time for Easter.

Last year's Easter painting was the chocolate rabbit. I love it so much, I'm disinclined to subject it to another round of elements. (I've never liked sharing my chocolate.) Tragically, I might love this one even more.

If the flowers come out next week, maybe you'll get a second pic of the good Captain.

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I have received my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Update March 25: side effects have been limited to a very mild case of tenderness at the injection site (comparable to a bruise) and a moderate case of general ennui (though that might be standard operating procedure these days).

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After I created my page showcasing delicious Coca-Cola movie product placement screenshots, I should updated it with notable Coke occurrences in other movies I've seen but haven't previously reviewed. Films like

Drink Coke! (The Breakfast Club)
John Hughes' classic The Breakfast Club

Drink Coke! (E.T.)
Stephen Spielberg's classic E.T.

Drink Coke! (Falling Down)
Joel Schumacher's classic Falling Down

Drink Coke! (Silent Movie)
Mel Brooks' not-quite-classic Silent Movie

And no self-respecting list of movie Coca-Cola product placement should omit

Drink Coke! (The Gods Must Be Crazy)
The Gods Must Be Crazy

I was convinced that a Coke bottle played a small role in Andy Warhol's Trash, but on review, that was a Miller Genuine Draft bottle. I first watched Trash in the late Bill Marriott's drawing class in college — he would show us uneducated students an "arthouse" movie about once a week. I loved watching movies in class, even if I didn't like most of them. I didn't like Trash then, and I don't like it now. Now that I'm sure it wasn't a Coke bottle, I hope to never watch it again.

By the way, since we're on the subject of movies I don't want to watch again, there's a Coca-Cola commercial cut into Natural Born Killers that I remember making Coca-Cola executives squeamish back in the day when the public outcry against that movie was at it's height. If I ever do watch it again, I'll be sure to take a pic. But don't expect it.

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Dictionary.com made news this week by defining "supposably" to mean "as may be assumed, imagined, or supposed." That's the same definition typically ascribed to "supposedly" ("according to what is accepted or believed"). There was a time in my life I would have been bent out of shape about this.

Where I come from, "supposably" is not a word. At least, it's not that word. According to my trusty Websters New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (2nd Edition), "supposably" should mean "in a supposable manner." However, it has been used as a mispronunciation of "supposedly" for so long that some 21st-century lexicographers have finally thrown up their hands in defeat.

I have a personal connection to this word because my father has always uses supposably when he means supposedly. In his case, I think he does it because it bothers me. Dad's a real tease that way. (See? It's not my fault. I have been trained to be argumentative by a parent who thinks its fun to fly red flags in front of bulls!)

The reason I'm not a raving basket case over this new definition is because A) I've been reading a lot lately about the bizarre and often counter-intuitive developmental history of the English language, and B) the world is in such a state that if I let myself get worked up over words these days then I'm really going to need to start drinking. The meanings of English words have been meandering for centuries and will continue to do so for so long as someone is still speaking the language. I need to remember that the important part of language is understanding one another, not clinging to arbitrary rules of pronunciation.

That said, I will continue not using "supposably" in my own writing. Even in the 21st-century, a man's got to stand for something.

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Hey! Look who's in the paper!

<em>Apprentice to Murder</em> available now at Amazon.com

Ok, fine. That's an advertisement I placed myself in this month's edition of the local Newnan advertiser, The Paper. And it seems to be working. I've already got 8 new hits at JamesWalterStephens.com. Woot!

Here's a better pic of the ad, which was put together by the same guy who designed the book art and layout (hint: it's me):

All fingers point to Prince Robin when his cousin, the heir apparent, dies under questionable circumstances. To prevent civil war, Robin abdicates his birthright for an apprenticeship under the Royal Wizard. Yet one by one, other inhabitants of Windwick Castle continue to die. As the pressure mounts, it’s up to Robin to solve the crimes and save his kingdom, not to mention his own reputation. The apprentice wizard is going to learn the hard way that even magic has its limits.
Disclaimer: I might not be a "local author" where you live.

And here's a gentle reminder that you can buy a copy the book for yourself on Amazon.com.

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I feel like the recent announcement that Hasbro is dropping the "Mr." and "Mrs." from their Potato Head toys is something that I should be blogging about. It's exactly the sort of inconsequential bit of nostalgic pop-culture bullshit for an overgrown man-child to rant sarcastically about.

However, in 2021, if I make a joke about a plastic potato no longer having a penis, that means I qualify to be a panelist on Fox News. Good grief. (Fun fact: Fox News much prefers their plastic potatoes to have vaginas as God intended.)

These days, everything is a political weapon. From which fast food you have for lunch to which comic books you read to whether you take steps to prevent the spread of disease, every goddamn thing is now a cudgel that someone will use to drive their agenda against you.

Has it always been this way? Was I just not paying attention before? When did everyone get so sensitive? Wokeness is fucking exhausting. We could use some laughter to break this tension, but someone is sure to take that personally.

Way to suck the fun out of a toy, everybody.

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I decided I needed something sweet to eat, so I made the Southern Living Chocolate Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze. It's an easy recipe, and everything went great...

Until I moved the cake from the cooling rack to the serving dish for icing...

And dropped it.

Dammit. No cake for me.

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To be continued...

 

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