AirToob Lightning

Tags  →  humor

Lockdown Blues...

From the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!


From the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!

The Bright Side

Great therapy from the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!

No kidding...

From the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!

A lot of people are relating to this right now...

Moonshadow68 has a wonderful collection of cartoons - if you haven't checked them out, I highly recommend a visit!

From the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!

Ouch. A humorous take on one of the great evils of our time, sadly not just confined to the USA.

(from moonshadow68's wonderful cartoon colleciton)


[The cancer of alt-reality and fake news]

I know the feeling...

(more great cartoons on moonshadow68's pages)

Sometimes you just gotta laugh. Otherwise you cry.


[Many Republican voters boycotted the Star Wars Rogue One movie believing fake news about its “anti-Trump scenes”]
[Trump supporters burn their Harry Potter books... and get great replies from J.K. Rowling]
[Adverse reactions to Steve Bannon's control of the President]

Yes, I have joined Twitter, to share some good things and to join the fight against “The Shadow in the West”. You can find me there - as well as here, of course.

(If you're looking at my full blog and are kind enough to want to share this, PLEASE click the date/time at the top of the post FIRST in order to get a permalink - thanks!)

Alternative Definitions (harmless fun):

The Two Ronnies - In Memoriam

Ronnie Corbett CBE (who died last year) and Ronnie Barker OBE (who died in 2005), two of Britain's national treasures, in their classic “Four Candles” sketch. If by some chance you haven't seen it, click the image to play!

(If the image link breaks, as sometimes happens, try here.)

Moonshadow68 has a wonderful collection of cartoons - if you haven't checked them out, I highly recommend a visit!

Thanks to ensemble5 for this one!

From the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!

[More cartoons by Tom Cheney]

“Do You Want to Kill Some Rebels?”

Hilarious Star Wars version of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from Frozen... thanks to my nephew Chris for this one!

From the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

[...and don't miss moonshadow68's great cartoon collection!]

This talk by Brené Brown (a link worth following) is a real treat. Imagine, if you will, Bette Midler as a scholar and research professor explaining some valuable secrets of life...

Thanks to my younger daughter for this one!

“Facebook Update” © by the wildlife photographer Marsel van Oosten, whose other work (as that of other photographers featured on the page) is well worth checking out.

Another great share from Gatorindo (David) (I really recommend clicking his tag above, as well as visiting his pages).

Moonshadow68 has a wonderful collection of cartoons - if you haven't checked them out, I highly recommend a visit!

"Bearrr" by Leticia Reinaldo, a very talented Brazilian 3D modelling and texturing artist now living in Los Angeles

(BTW: you can spend hours on the Pondly site, a treasure trove for great images... worth taking time to check it out)

If you like this...

[Lots more images by Leticia]

[...and if, like me, you have a weakness for bears, you might like these]

From the wonderful cartoon collection of moonshadow68 - don't miss the rest!

... and this one (apologies for having mislaid the source)

The budget airline South African Kulula Airways provides security announcements in its own unique manner...
(in English with French subtitles)

Thanks, Louvain95 (Lou)!

This is a wonderful, surreal animation by Cordell Barker, presented by the National Film Board of Canada. The spiky social-commentary humour reminds me a little of Sylvain Chomet's "Belleville Rendezvous" (Les Triplettes de Belleville) (I describe some of Sylvain's work here on my Movies web page, if you are interested).

I owe this gem, as so many others, to one of Gatorindo (David)'s many great shares - this one, in fact. Well worth reading!

If you liked reading The Little World of Don Camillo and its sequels, then you will love this blog by “An American Fan”. It's more or less complete now, but it stands as a wonderful work in its own right - a true work of love. You will also discover that there was much more to Giovanni Guareschi than Don Camillo.

If you haven't read the books (so much better than the entertaining screen adaptations), then may I strongly recommend them!

From the blog intro:

One of many fun illustrations by David Mottram - thanks, Yobaba!

(Yobaba's fine blog, BTW, features an entertaining view of right-wing US politics and religion that for me is somehow perfectly captured by "half-caf" and "regular"!)

If you like this...

[Sleepless nights...]

My American family is really into Anime (as well as music and computer games, see my next post). They recently introduced me to Anime Music Videos (AMVs) which are really an art form within an art form. They showed me this hilarious example. It's a lot of fun - do play it.

It's snowing here!

We hardly ever get a White Christmas in southern England (except in movies) but with all this climate change that isn't happening, who knows?

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."John Muir

A nice post that appeared in my friend Sandy's Green Eco Communities blog... and on occasions when I have eaten a bit too much, I really relate to that frog!

Some great advice on clear writing by by Frank L. Visco (click the image for more!)

April 27th...

April 26th...

It's STILL raining...

(officially, it's still a drought!)

I watched Ratatouille again recently, and was reminded of what a great (and hugely enjoyable) work of art this is - it's my personal favourite of all Pixar's productions so far.

Click the picture if you would like further ramblings on this subject!

"Morning" by Nikolay Popov (tooDee)

I am one of those rare people who are almost immune to caffeine, but after a working life of early starts I recognize the feeling!

Found on the fine pages of batchbatcharak.

As soon as I have finished this huge transfer from SU to Categorian, I'm going to be feeling like this again for quite a while... thanks to Giuliavic for this one!

"Sweet Halloween Dreams", a.k.a. "Why a child NEEDS to sleep with a teddy-bear", a wonderful fantasy by begemott

Found on MadMadamMim (Dunja)'s fine pages (and also sent to me by several friends, who obviously know my sense of humour!)

If you like this...

["The Exchange of Flowers", by the same artist]

A very nice coloured version of his drawing by begemott

(who also produced the amazingly popular Sweet Halloween Dreams, or why a child needs to sleep with a teddy bear)

A fun image by the German artist Jeremiah Morelli, whose other work is well worth checking out

Dunja, who hails from Serbia, has a really interesting, intelligent and fun blog, with a life-loving spirit about it that is all too rare. A visit to her fine pages is highly recommended, especially if you like books, music and fantasy art - but there is much else there to discover.

I am pleased to say that Dunja is now here on Categorian!

This cartoon (not from the book club) was snaffled gratefully from Johnshaven (Alison), whose pages are another great place to go if you like reading

For bookworms...

[The Guardian Book Club]
[Alison's book posts]
[Brian's Place - The Book Corner]

One of many funny and interesting things to be found on the pages of MintehFreshness - thanks, Samantha!

If you like this...

[Tigger Shot: The uninvited bouncing had gone on long enough...]

The Hoose at Pooh's Neuk
(Original post: November 18th, 2010)

It wasn't long ago that my younger daughter asked me what I would like as a Christmas present.

Thanks to a trail of friends, this hilarious translation of a well-loved children's classic (click the image for a sample) by James Robertson is the perfect answer!

If you like Pooh...

[The uninvited bouncing had gone on long enough...]

and from my web site:

[My books page]

The Italian version... there are several others on the site...

Thanks to my friend Chaotiqual - I'm still laughing!

"Friends" and "acquaintances" are not the same thing... It's nice to have both, but a true friend is worth his or her weight in gold.

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

There were many other reasons to visit SkylaRaine's beautiful pages (sadly she is departed from Cat) - but this I couldn't resist!

Yoda on a stone, telling stories to the nymphs

Snaffled gratefully from the fabulous pages of Alfred, a great stumbler with a great heart, who likes beautiful women, poetry, music, and many other things.

(When I find out where he has moved to, I'll update this!)

From, an eclectic meeting place of people interested in science and invention. It's different - trust me!

This great post by David (I'm still laughing!) will give you some idea of his sense of humour (and his thoughts on some other subjects as well). His pages are interesting as well as funny and there are many treasures to be found there. A visit is highly recommended.

(Original post: August 2nd, 2010)

I was watching an edition of BBC's Countryfile programme recently, which featured the Yorkshire town of Holmfirth, shooting location for the classic BBC series Last of the Summer Wine, and was reminded what a gem of entertainment that series was, at least in its early seasons.

The disreputable antics of Foggy, Compo and Clegg, retired but determined to enjoy it, and their battles with various disapproving womenfolk, delighted millions of people around the world for many years (it's the longest-running comedy show in the world). The cast has changed over time, but this trio (together with Nora Batty) remain in my memory as the essence and heart of the show.

The London-born Bill Owen (Yorkshire's favourite adopted son) as Compo, and Kathy Staff as her real self, both now sadly passed away

Kathy Staff as the battleaxe Nora Batty

Clegg (Peter Sallis), Compo and Foggy (Brian Wilde) being seen off by Nora Batty in typical style

The Countryfile programme played a clip of one of many encounters between the doggedly (and leg-pullingly) amorous Compo and Nora Batty. He chaffs her for driving him wild with the clothes-peg in her mouth, and she replies (please imagine a trenchant Yorkshire accent): "How come you're still interested in women at your age?", to which Compo counters: "I think it's because you're the only opposite sex we've got... and they don't come any more opposite than thee!"

In later seasons the humour still remained, but as the cast changed and expanded it became somewhat formulaic with a number of endlessly repeated running gags and situations (e.g. the ladies simultaneously raising their tea-cups after disparaging the men, Howard and Marina hiding from Howard's wife). I still love the originals. It's time to get hold of those DVDs...

Sometimes it's good to speak those unspoken words...

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

(Last posted: December 23rd, 2009)

This is the coolest and funniest Christmas video that I have ever seen. However blue you are feeling, this will cheer you up!

I posted this last year but can't resist doing it again.

The music, by the way, is sung by Clyde McPhatter (Santa) and The Drifters (reindeer). The animation is by Joshua Held.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

If music be the food of love... or maybe not!

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

From the page:

Immortalised as toothy, gauche games mistress, Gossage ("Call me Sausage") in The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950), former journalist [Joyce] Grenfell invaded over 20 often-unexceptional British films, creating moments of treasurable idiocy.

She is wonderfully exasperated with Alastair Sim's further postponement of their wedding ("I've been home three weeks and I've had a bath") in Laughter in Paradise (1951), is all fringe and jangling beads as the hotel proprietress in Genevieve (1953), was several times hilariously love-lorn Policewoman (later Sergeant) Ruby Gates in the St Trinian's series.

As a celebrated monologuist, gently caricaturing the middle classes, she showed wider emotional range than films ever explored. Appeared in many revues, as well as her own inimitable one-woman shows, which she wrote and with which she toured extensively. She was living proof that you could be a sharp satirist without - miraculously - descending to malice; she is as English as glee-singing and much more fun. She was awarded an OBE in 1946.

I recently bought the Joyce Grenfell BBC Collection DVD set, and was reminded of what a lovely person and talented lady she was. The 2-disc DVD set (click the image for links) has her wonderful broadcasts from 1964 and 1972. They include all her comic favourites (e.g. "George... don't do that!") but also some very poignant portraits of self-sacrifice and emotional suffering.

[More on Joyce Grenfell]

Snoopy... I just have to love that dog!

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

In my case, this is a cold wet nose from a small dog at 6 AM...

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

I knew that Alison would get to this one first!

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

I know someone with a very similar sense of aesthetics!

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

Sleepless nights...

I know the feeling... Wondering if I am ever going to get my StumbleUpon blog moved to Categorian in time...

"Splat the Cat", one of many delightful characters by Rob Scotton

(Original post: February 13th, 2009)

Norman Thelwell, who died in February 2004, was one of Britain's finest cartoonists. If you were a girl who loved ponies, or the parent (like me) or relative of such a girl, then you would have known every one of his books of pony cartoons intimately!

Thelwell's cartoons and landscape paintings went far beyond ponies though. He was known as the "unofficial artist of the British countryside", and with good reason. His cartoons and his paintings revealed a deep knowledge of, and affection for, the things that he loved best.

A long time ago I walked into a small second-hand bookshop in deepest Sussex, looking for one of Thelwell's cartoon books which (unbelievably) were all out of print. The owner (and complete staff) of the bookshop regretted that he didn't have one, but explained that he, and many such bookshops all over the world, did a lot of trade through a Canadian-based online organization called the Advanced Book Exchange.

When I got home I investigated this amazing site and found well over a thousand of Thelwell's books in shops all over the world. I felt like I had wandered into Terry Pratchett's L-Space, in which all libraries are connected!

Among these books I discovered a wonderful autobiography by Thelwell, "A Plank Bridge By A Pool".

A description of this book reads: "A portrait in words and pictures of a garden in rural England that has become a wild life sanctuary. It is also the story of how one man realized a boyhood dream. Norman Thelwell, whose riding cartoons are published worldwide, describes in words and pictures how he landscaped his cottage garden and attracted wildlife of all kinds."

I don't know if this painting belongs to the places described in the book, but it well might.

(Original post: January 22nd, 2009)

President Obama will definitely need some help with this one...

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

(Original post: December 22nd, 2008)

Hilarious topical version of Carol Of The Bells, sent to me by my friend Julian

(There's a "watch in high quality" option on this video)

(Original post: October 31st, 2008)

Happy Halloween, y'all!

[More selections from classic Peanuts...]

[No more classic Peanuts - but more fun stuff here]

"Corsican Cats"

My wife always insisted that she was not a cat person. The trouble is, cats don't know this.

2004 was the year she finally got busted, and it took Corsican cats to do it.

Corsica has a large population of feral cats, but there is a distinct sub-species of these that inhabits anywhere within a five mile radius of a self-catering villa (and that covers a lot of territory).

It wasn't long before our local cat found her. It ignored me. It headed straight for the person who didn't like cats.

Sigh... wasn't long before plates of cat food and other gourmet cat delicacies were mysteriously appearing outside the kitchen door, and that had nothing to do with me!

The word spread, and 3 years later when we returned to Corsica, only a few miles from our previous place, the local cat appeared within seconds...

As I say, this is a distinct sub-species of "feral"...

...and turned out to be the advance guard of a large family with ever-increasing ramifications.

The youngest members of the family weren't introduced until several days had gone by.

On the few rainy days when we were stuck indoors, we spent what seemed like hours watching this wild bunch of felines hang out on the beach towel (probably mine) that my cat-hating spouse had so kindly provided.

We have never felt the need to watch TV while staying in Corsica.

If you like this...

[My Corsica page]

For me, Ratatouille was the most enjoyable movie of 2007. Apart from the appealing story and the staggeringly good animation, there was the wry experience of being educated in the enjoyment of good food by a rat!

Like many people, I suspect, I now take great animation like this for granted. I have to keep reminding myself that thinking about the artistry in this movie (or in any good animated or special-effects movie) as "computer generated" is like crediting the artistry of Rembrandt to the hog bristles in his brushes and to the pigments in his paint!

This article gives some idea of what was actually involved in making Ratatouille. It really is a case of art concealing art (I knew the expression but never looked up its origin, hence the link!). Pixar Animation Studios can be justifiably proud of this one.

(I am glad to see that the DVD also has a copy of the hilarious Pixar short Lifted, which was shown with Ratatouille in our local cinema.)

[Japanese animation at its finest: the master-works of Hayao Miyazaki]
[My movies page]

Shel's official site for kids is an absolute joy, beautifully designed and full of brilliant animation and humour. I suspect that many adults (especially parents and teachers) will enjoy it as much as I did - and children will absolutely love it.

I haven't read Shel Silverstein for a very long time; when I went hunting for his work on the web I was reminded of what great stuff I had been missing.

I found this poem on the wonderful pages of my friend succes (Rita/Renée), now tragically passed away. Her pages are all that many Stumblers and ex-Stumblers have left of her; if you are reading this before October 24th 2011 (when SU destroys all blogs with images, colours and links) then you may want to save at least some of her pages as a keepsake (see here).

[More Shel Silverstein links]
[My books page]

This is from Joel Esler's "The Zoo of Untrue":

Click here for more great stuff by Joel Esler...

...and here for another Joel Esler cartoon in my blog!

(Original post: January 4th, 2008)

If political correctness sets your teeth on edge...

If you couldn't believe the (true) story about the school in Gloucester, England that banned the use of swimming goggles in the pool because the teacher might be distracted by helping a kid to adjust them when another kid was drowning...

If you find the relentless concentration on achievement and performance in the school education system more than a tad overdone...

If you aren't planning to send your daughter to the Cheltenham Ladies College (a real place)...

... then get some therapy for your repressed anarchic feelings and go see St Trinian's, an excellent, wonderfully non-PC remake by Ealing Studios of their original classic 1954 film "The Belles of St Trinians", inspired by the cartoons of Ronald Searle. The new version is a blast!

Read the BBC's review of the new movie here.

You will also find a good Ronald Searle Tribute page, looking forward to the new movie, here.

If you like this...

[My movies page]

Civilization comes to Washington Dulles Airport! (Original post 14 Nov 2007)

Air travel, as we know, is not meant to be enjoyable, and for many years Washington's Dulles Airport has maintained a strict policy of ensuring that it isn't.

However, in the last few years some cracks have started appearing in this policy. While some are relatively minor and could easily be overlooked, I have recently discovered a serious example of backsliding in the catering section, whose policy is best explained by one of the airport posters that advertises "Dining at Dulles Airport", illustrated by a triple cheeseburger (I think).

The backsliding in question is the arrival of one of Vino Volo's Wine Rooms, an oasis of pleasure where you can sit in deep, comfortable armchairs and enjoy glasses (or a bottle) of excellent wine, with excellent food to go with it, starting (if you like) with one of the best selections of olives I have ever encountered. You can choose food in small portions that matches the wine(s) you are drinking, and build yourself a very nice meal, or just have a light gourmet snack.

I guess you could choose any of their wines and it would be great, but if you haven't tried a rosé wine recently (in the last few years they seem to have been growing greatly in quality and popularity), I can really recommend an American one from Virginia - the Albemarle County Kluge Estate Rosé 2006, a Cabernet/Merlot blend.

The problem with this place is the feeling of unreality you will experience should you ever discover where the room is located in the airport (read on...). Inside the room is peace, comfort and the enjoyment of wine as one of life's great blessings. Just outside the room is the glare of fluorescent lights, the indescribable decor of the Dulles departure lounges, and a country where - with many exceptions, thankfully - the spectre of the liquor store and booze being smuggled home guiltily in a brown paper bag still stalks the land. It's a very unsettling contrast...

Obviously the decision to allow this strange phenomenon into the airport was the subject of fierce internal debate. A compromise must have been reached: yes, we will allow it on a strictly experimental basis, but it must be well hidden and not advertised. It must be located at the extreme end of a remote part of the airport, so that people who might be corrupted or offended by its presence will have the least chance of walking past it. Suggestions of locating it in a remote, redundant jetway having been reluctantly rejected, the next best option was chosen - at one extreme end of Concourse C, as close to gate C1 as possible.

I see from VinoVolo's web site (and numerous news items and reviews) that similar backsliding is taking place at other US airports, and from talking to one the wine bar's staff I have learnt that in another airport where she worked a similar location strategy for the wine room has been adopted.

Where will all this end?

From my web site...

["The Bright Side"]

I love this cartoon by Joel Esler... apart from being funny in its own right, it describes perfectly how I feel about Walt Disney Studios for messing with Pooh.

The real Pooh (the creation of A.A. Milne and his wonderful illustrator E.H. Shephard) lives in millions of old, well loved and somewhat battered-looking books, and in the memories and personalities of millions of people.