Saturday, March 09, 2019

Slow Train Coming

This week, I picked up posters and t-shirts I designed for a unique annual event here in Pittsburgh called Hell With the Lid Off. It happens at Kelly's Bar & Lounge, a beloved local watering hole known for its killer jukebox, and fantastic burgers and mac & cheese. HWTLO is a barleyine festival where attendees can taste many dozens of barleywine samples while enjoying Kelly's superb bar food.

The beautiful silkscreen printing was done by CommonWealth Press, a locally-owned company who I've worked with on tons of projects over the years. The crew at CommonWealth always delivers top quality stuff.

The shirts and posters will only be available at the event, so if you're thinking of visiting Pittsburgh, March 23 would be a fine day to swing by. Just don't plan on driving home from Hell With the Lid Off

Now, let's review the week in cartoons.

Thank goodness for innovations that make it easier for local governments to take our money. That updated model does seem to be well-nourished.

When I was a youngster, some unsung genius figured out that city parking meters could be tricked with a penny and the ring from a pop-top beverage can. If these two items were inserted into the nickel and quarter slots, and the handle was turned slowly, the meter would ratchet up to its maximum time. 

I confess that I did that a few times during my school days, so when I pay via a modern parking app for a space that's probably still rented by the previous driver, I figure technology is just balancing my account.

Every year, high school seniors in my community participate in an elaborate game involving sporks. Their school mascot is a blue devil, and I apologize to my locals for making these characters the traditional red variety.

This gag is drawn in part from personal experience. Throughout my adult life, I've dealt with insomnia, in varying degrees of severity. My bouts of sleeplessness are often aggravated by racing thoughts, and anxieties about tasks that need to be done the following day.

I recently discovered a Norwegian television series called Slow TV, and have found the Train Ride from Bergen to Oslo episode to be an effective sleep aid. It's an unedited, real-time documentation of the seven-hour ride. There's no narration or music; just an occasional "ding" when the smooth-running electric train passes under a named tunnel or approaches a station. The visuals are provided by a simple camera or two mounted on the front of the engine. 

In the past, I've tried a white noise phone app, but it didn't work for me. However, hypnotic images of gliding over train tracks amidst snow-covered mountains seems to reset something in my brain, and helps me to shut down for the night. Sometimes it only takes a minute or two. If you're a fellow insomniac, I recommend giving Slow TV a try. I'm not joking.

Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known throughout the land, that John Hancock XVI has posted his Declaration of Availability. Be sure to scroll through his profile.

I apologize for resorting to a pun on Friday, but thought it was surprising enough to use. Also, the image contains a kernel of truth, as we've all seen performers milk applause by complimenting the audience. 

By the way, that's a full-size guitar in the drawing, so this really is a giant pander. 

Saturday's gag is not meant to disparage food trucks, which I appreciate and enjoy quite often. Rather, it's a comment on know-it-alls who smugly make claims like the avian character in this panel.

If you enjoyed these musings, don't miss Dan Piraro's blog, where he offers his own comments on these gags, and shows off his latest Sunday page.

Bonus Track

The birds in Saturday's gag reminded me of this weird 45 rpm single. The photo above is the actual copy that resides in my collection, but the linked audio file was posted by another music lover with strange tastes. 

I don't know who Harold Wald is, but he thanks you for listening to this tune.

1 comment:

  1. Would be nice to have an organized travel experience / excursion that focused on the local fare like the Pittsburgh one and not popular tourist (money grabbing) attractions.