Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Is TMI Day

Born Loser 02-28-10
I, for one, welcome this legislation. It also helps get rid of pesky erectile dysfunction ads between 6 A.M. and 10 P.M. I don't know how those old people who watch "The Price Is Right" are supposed to remember to ask their doctor about Viagra or Levitra but that's not my problem. My penis works just fine.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

POtW: The Kitchen Is Closed

I was originally going to have this house be today's Picture of the Week but I took the picture with my phone so it's not one of my best. But this house is on land owned by the same guy that owns the Miller house nearby. I'm currently doing research into who built this house and when.

Today's main picture is of the Miller house kitchen. Which seems doomed to remain in the 1970s forever.

Insert Water Heater Title Here

Born Loser 02-27-10
"You will hire us as your plumbers or some...unfortunate things might happen to you or yours. And we wouldn't want that would we?"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Its Mate?

Born Loser 02-26-10

A missing sock joke. I haven't heard one of those since 20 Aught-7. I remember back in 1915 when the Kaiser was blamed for the missing socks. That's really what started World War I, which at the time was called the Atlantic Debacle. Some say the harshness of our punishment of Germany led to World War II, which was originally called The Second World War I, but I think the cause was really because we had started taking the German's socks.

Also, mass murders.

Seven #2.16

Seven, Cassius, Tara and Nicholas followed the trail into Eminence. Eminence was a decent sized town with a central business district surrounded by a hodge-podge of houses. The center of town boasted such businesses as a hardware store, grocery, blacksmith and hotel, among others.

The four of them entered the hotel and were amazed by the abundance of stylized wood and marble. They walked up to the front desk, got their rooms then went upstairs.

Seven laid down on a bed and put his hands behind his head. "So any idea when we're going to get to the next sign?" he asked.

"I don't know," Cassius began. "My visions about the next sign have become less and less clear. I'm seeing a tall building but its standing alone in a field. I also see flames and am hearing something to do with an elephant."

"An elephant?" Nicholas laughed. "Not going to see too many of those around here."

"But we are going the right way, right?" Seven asked.

"I know we are supposed to come to Eminence but after that things get...hard to see," Cassius explained.

"Well, I hope they become clearer because there are only two more signs until we get to Shmand and I can't wait to get there," Seven said.

Across the street from the hotel, in the town hall, Lucas Bond spoke to a roomful of angry citizens. "The title of county seat was ours up until yesterday. Ravanna only won by 32 votes, which makes this being a fair election highly unlikely. Eminence is more established, has more businesses and a larger population," Bond said. The crowd agreed. "While the state takes its time investigating voter fraud, Eminence is slowly being abandoned for Ravanna."

"What should we do?" someone in the crowd shouted.

"I say we go to Ravanna and take back what's rightfully ours!" Bond yelled. The crowd cheered and applauded.

"Eminence Vs. Ravanna, Part One"
Eminence was established several years ago along the Westward Trail and Sequoyah Trail and quickly became a powerful force in trail traffic as it was the only major town in a 50-mile radius, possibly more. Eminence was a shoo-in for county seat and a major railroad until Ravanna came in.

Ravanna, established five miles west of Eminence on the Westward Trail, immediately began usurping business from Eminence. In a show of defiance, Ravanna applied to the state for money to build a courthouse. The state approved and gave Ravanna free reign to construct a courthouse. One month and $3,000 later, a gorgeous three-story sandstone courthouse, complete with a three foot attic space and a cupola adorning the roof.

A week later, the county seat election was held and Ravanna won. The votes were recounted four times, all in Ravanna's favor. Eminence refused to turn over the court records so people from Ravanna just came in and took them. Almost a week had gone by and Eminence was ready to fight back. They appealed to the state but it could take months for someone to get out there.

The Eminence county commissioners, the town alderman and a small group of concerned businessmen and citizens met this night to decide what to do. When the moon was high in the night sky, they left the town hall and began heading toward Ravanna.

Seven's eyes slowly opened and he vaguely heard a commotion outside in the streets. He got out of bed and saw the group of people heading out of the town hall. He ran downstairs and outside and joined the group.

"What's going on?" he asked one of the men in the back of the crowd.

"We're going to Ravanna and we're going to take back what is ours," the man replied.

They reached Ravanna quicker than Seven thought they would. Ravanna was completely silent. The courthouse dominated the area as the rest of Ravanna was reminiscent of a shanty town.

The group was able to easily get into the courthouse and began busting down office doors and retrieving county records and files. Seven helped stack the boxes and was startled when some of the Ravanna townspeople suddenly appeared.

"What's going on?" one asked.

"We're taking back what's ours," Bond said, stepping up to the crowd.

"You're from Eminence," another said.

Bond nodded. Another man came up behind him and tapped Bond on the shoulder. "We got everything."

"Do it," Bond said.

Flames erupted inside the courthouse and some men from Eminence cheered. As the Ravanna citizens rushed to save their courthouse, the men from Eminence took the county files and headed back to Eminence.

Seven was in shock and lagged behind the rest of the group and he tried to watch as the townspeople of Ravanna tried to put out the fire.

When they got back to the Eminence town hall, Seven confronted Lucas Bond. "What the hell was that?" he yelled. "You already had the county papers. Why'd you set fire to their courthouse?" Seven demanded.

"To make sure their chance at regaining the county seat are destroyed. To guarantee Eminence's survival we had to burn down the Great White Elephant," Bond said.

"Someone could've gotten hurt," Seven said.

"But no one did. I made sure of it."

Seven angrily turned and walked out of the town hall and headed back across the street to the hotel. "Stop!" someone spoke. Seven stopped and looked where the voice came from. A boy, just slightly younger than Seven stood in the street, pointing a gun at Seven. "Any last words?"

Part Two

Thursday, February 25, 2010

#210: Save Our Schools

Like a lot of the country lately, Kansas has been hit pretty hard by a budget crunch. So much so that our state government is unable to pay school districts the money required to keep running so a lot of belt-tightening has to be done. The Lawrence School District is having to somehow come up with $5.5 million in order to keep things going. The problem? We don't have that money. At least, they say they don't have the money. So things have been cut, schools are going without but there's still roughly $4 million that needs to be found so an idea was brought up that results in closing schools.

Originally, those schools were to be New York Elementary and Cordley, currently the two oldest schools being used in Lawrence. I don't condone closing any school because I feel that's more of a drastic measure than a viable solution but I definitely against closing New York because it's Lawrence's oldest school and it's very unique. It features a white cupola which is something the other school lack. It has character and it serves a good portion of East Lawrence. I was willing to accept Cordley's closure because Cordley, built in 1911, has outlived its usefulness. There is no room for Cordley to grow and in order to keep Cordley open in 2003, the district had to close a perfectly viable school with plenty of room to grow just a few blocks away.

Now things have changed. Apparently the parents of New York and Cordley have spoke up and school closings have moved to other schools, namely Sunset Hill and Wakarusa Valley. Sunset Hill is the school my son goes to so, of course, I am against them closing it. But, again, I'm against closing any school. Wakarusa Valley is located out in the country and so has a lot of rural students that would now have to be bussed several miles into Lawrence to go to school at possibly Sunflower or Broken Arrow which are the closest schools to that area. I don't exactly see how busing those children and wasting that gas would be feasible. Not to mention the wear and tear on the buses because of the gravel roads.

The main reason for me is my son's stability. Before the age of 5, he had lived in no fewer than 19 different places along the Kansas-Missouri border because his mom was unable to keep a place for a long-term period. When she finally got settled in Lawrence and was able to stay he went to Kindergarten at Sunflower but then I got custody of him so his school changed to Sunset Hill. When I moved in with my wife, I specifically wanted a house in the Sunset Hill neighborhood so he wouldn't have to change schools. I know it may sound stupid but that is my reason.

So while closing Sunset Hill was the suggestion of one board member (who I won't be voting for in the next election) and nothing is final, I plan on getting more involved and helping out where I can so I can make sure that no schools are closed down.

Until next time, I remain...

Just Over 140 Characters

Born Loser 02-25-10
Uh-oh. Chip is slightly aware of Twitter. Luckily he doesn't seem to care. This strip got the highest vote of any Born Loser strip in recent memory and I have to admit that I did chuckle pretty good at it.

P.S. Here's where you can follow me on Twitter just in case you miss the link at the top of the page.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brutus Clashes With That Chair

Born Loser 02-24-10
See? Brutus reads. He has to read subtitles, he has to read the scrolls at the bottom of the news channels and ESPN, he has to head the program guide. Brutus reads plenty.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's This Comic About?

I guess The Born Loser takes place in a dystopian future where McDonald's and Walmart run everything so they put "Mc" and "Wal" in front of everything so we now have "McJCPenny's", "Wal-lywood Theaters", "McHoliday Inn" and "Wal and Nobles". This joke doesn't really work as McDonald's doesn't call it a McHappy Meal, it's just Happy Meal.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Harter Union: Part Two, Chapter 4

I was asleep with my head on my desk when Maggie and Alyson came in and woke me up. “Jeff? Wendy wants to know if you’re still going to help move my things into her apartment,” Alyson said.

“Yeah, I can still help,” I rubbed my eyes and ran my hand through my hair.

“Jeez, Jeff, you look terrible. What happened last night?” asked Maggie.

“I had some sort of horrible nightmare-dream thing last night so I didn’t get very good sleep,” I yawned and crossed my arms.

“What was it about?” Maggie inquired.

“I honestly have no idea. It was so weird, I can’t even explain it to you,” I stood up and moaned loudly. “When are we moving again?”

“We’re meeting at my parent’s house right after work. With Nathan’s Explorer and your Jimmy, we should be able to get done pretty fast. Also, Kathryn wants you to hurry up and get those new applicants hired so they can be trained and ready for Vespers coming up.” Alyson cleared her throat and continued. “Also, she’s hired a new apprentice to help her out. She starts next week.”

“This is the first I’ve heard about it. She went over my head?”

“Technically, Kathryn is director of special events while Darrell is director of food service so she is her own boss. She can hire whoever she wants to work under her, she just hasn’t until now,” Maggie explained.

“Well, can I at least get the apprentice’s name?” I asked, leaving the office.

“Melissa Girard, I think,” Maggie answered.

“Really? Wow, that’s incredible,” I said, quietly.

“Why?” asked Alyson.

“Melissa Girard is just my ex-fiancée is all,” I picked up my pace and went into the cafeteria while Maggie and Alyson stopped and looked at each other in shock.

I loaded a couple boxes into the back of my Jimmy and brushed my hands together. “Jeff, come upstairs and help Nathan carry my bed down,” Alyson shouted from her open bedroom window.

“I’ll be right up,” I ran inside the house and bounded up the stairs. I reached the top of the stairs and leaped from the fourth step down to the top and slammed my head on the door jamb, went down on my knees and, for a couple seconds, went blind. “Ow! Damn it!”

“Are you okay?” asked Nathan who, along with Alyson, were smiling.

“Just a concussion, I’m sure I’ll be fine,” I slowly staggered to my feet and rubbed my head to check for blood.

“Good because my bed isn’t going to move itself,” Alyson said.

I grabbed one end of the mattress and Nathan grabbed the other end. We carefully maneuvered the mattress around the corner and down the stairs and loaded the bed into Nathan’s Explorer. We did the same with the box springs and Alyson pulled apart the bed frame and put it in my Jimmy. Alyson went upstairs to turn off her bedroom light, came back down and got into Nathan’s SUV. I got in mine and we drove a block and a half to an apartment building where both Maggie and Wendy lived. We backed into a couple of parking spaces and prepared ourselves for carrying the bed pieces up another flight of stairs. Alyson put the bed frame back together and Nathan and I unloaded the box springs and carried it up the stairs into Wendy’s apartment. Wendy, Maggie and Alyson carried up the remaining four boxes.

Although it was almost midnight when we got Alyson all moved in, it was mainly because of goofing around. Nathan went home and Wendy and Alyson headed to bed. Maggie invited me over for tea and to talk. I obliged. Maggie made the tea just right to drink and it was perfectly sweetened.

“Jeff, you have tomorrow off right?” Maggie asked, sitting down next to me on the couch.

“I have to come in and formally hire those new applicants but I’m not coming in until about three so the morning and early afternoon is all mine,” I took a sip of the tea, which was still warm despite the presence of ice.

“Could you drive me to the health department in Lawrence?”

“Sure. Is something wrong?”

“I think I’m pregnant,” Maggie smiled nervously and I stared at her in awe and amazement. “You have amazing green eyes, Jeff…”

“How…how far along are you?” I asked, ignoring her comment on my eyes.

“If I’m pregnant, about three weeks.”

“Do you know who the father is?” I asked her.

“Um…I know who it’s not,” she chuckled nervously. “Look, the reason I asked you is because I thought you wouldn’t give me a guilt trip like the other workers or my family. Also, I trust you to keep this quiet until I’m ready to tell everybody.”

“Okay, I’m sorry. Of course I’ll take you tomorrow.”

“Thank you, Jeff. I’m so scared that I didn’t want to go alone and I definitely don’t want to raise this child by myself…” Maggie began crying so I scooted over to her and held her, resting her head on my shoulder.

“Ssh. It’s okay. You wouldn’t be raising him alone. You have friends and family…”

“My family wouldn’t help out and you truly learn who your friends are after you become pregnant,” Maggie sobbed.

“You always have me…” I whispered in her ear and hugged her tighter. “I promise…”

Jeff and Maggie go to a doctor and learn whether or not she's pregnant; Darrell and Kathryn confront the staff about being friends with Jeff and Jay, Emily and Heather start working at Baker.

Repeating Fourth Grade

Born Loser 02-22-10
Yet more proof that our educational system needs a huge overhaul. But since this is The Born Loser I am blaming Hattie and Wilberforce's stupidity on genetics or Cleveland's drinking water.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thornapples In the Future

Born Loser 02-21-10
What's with the disembodied head of Wilberforce doing just floating there?

I love new technology but webcams are the one thing that I feel is an invasion of my privacy and try to avoid them whenever I can. I do love at how the Thornapple's computer looks like my old Tandy computer that I bought in 1994. It had Windows 3.1.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stull #1.1

The Rock Creek Historical Society was located in the former Stull Library. The old library was a Carneigie library and was used for 82 until 1994 when a new, bigger library was built near the intersection of County Road 460 and Stull Cemetery Road.

Frank York, the founder and curator of the Society put out everything he could find pertaining to Stull and Rock Creek Township including pictures, farm utensils, books and anything else he deemed important enough. Frank opened the Society to record the history in and around Stull but also to investigate the so-called "Stull curse".

Frank possibly knew more about Stull and the surrounding area than anybody else and people came in all the time to ask questions about their family and the town but no one ever asked about the curse.

Judith Lawrence had lived in Stull the last 65 of her 72 years. She walked up the stairs to the old library and entered its massive entryway. She went to the left and stopped in the doorway of Frank's open office.

"Mr. York?"

Frank looked up. "Please, Frank. How can I help you?" he asked.

"My name is Judith Lawrence. I hear you know a lot about Stull," she said.

"I do. Let me just pull up my spreadsheet and I'll find everything you want on the Lawrence name," Frank wheeled himself over to a desktop computer.

"No, I want you to investigate the death of my husband and son back in 1962."

Frank stood up. "Why? If you don't mind me asking?" Frank asked.

"Because, like you, I also believe in the Stull curse."

"The First Case"
Frank, Matt and Katie drove to Lake Marshall located in the next township and began retracing Judith's husband's route back. "So he crashed into a pond?" Matt asked.

"That's what the police said. He lost control of the car and wound up in a pond," Frank explained. "Both he and his son drowned."

They stopped at a stop sign at a T-intersection next to a small cemetery. Frank turned and parked the car on the side of the road. They all got out, Frank carried a yellow legal pad.

"Quick, Frank! What cemetery is this?" Katie laughed.

"Dodder. Named for the abundance of Dodders buried here," Frank replied. "This is the intersection where they died. They were coming from this way..." Frank pointed toward the way they themselves had come, "...but continued going straight."

Dodder Cemetery sloped up so Frank walked up to see if he could see over the small trees that hid the pond. The pond was still there. The three of them walked to the ditch between the road and the pond and stood next to the sign indicating that you could only go either left or right.

"It's not a straight-shot," Matt noticed.

"What?" Frank inquired.

"Now I realize that is happened more than 30 years ago but these roads don't change very often. And if everything is still the same as it was then, then they would've had to have been going pretty fast to ramp up over this ditch and into the pond," Matt explained.

"I see your point," Katie began. "The ditch is deep enough to stop anything from winding up up there."

"So you two don't buy the 'car-in-ditch' story?" Frank asked. Both shook their head. "We should probably inquire with the landowners for permission to view the pond."

"Do you have an address?" Matt asked.

"Of course."

Frank, Matt and Katie drove back to Stull. "So what's the plan now?" Matt asked.

"Well, since those people so rudely informed us that they didn't want us wandering around in an area they didn't even know they owned then we're just going to have to look over the sheriff's report," Frank said.

"So we're going to Tontzville?" Katie asked.

"Two of us are. I want someone to go back to the office and look through the old topo maps of the county. I have them all dating back to 1959. I want you to photocopy that intersection every year since 1961. I want to look over them when I get back," Frank explained.

It took nearly thirty minutes to get to the sheriff's office in Tontzville. Frank and Matt walked up to the lady sitting at the front desk. "I need to look at the report for an accident that happened in 1962."

"1962?" the woman was taken aback. "That's quite a long time ago. Those records are not on computer but they should be in the archive in the basement. Go down in the elevator and when you get out, go right and the follow the hall around and the last door on the left are the archives. Across from there is the office of Saundra Colfax, she'll unlock the door and help you if you need it."

For half an hour, Frank and Matt thumbed through all of the police reports from the early sixties. "I need to come here and copy these reports. It's really interesting. I never realized Irving was such a troublesome town back then," Frank said. "Now Irving is, like, half the size of Stull."

"I think I found it," Matt pulled a report out and read it aloud. "'Date: March 15, 1962. Location of incident: North 4100 and Dodder Road. Victim one: Edgar Lawrence. Victim two: Jack Lawrence.'"

Frank took the report from Matt and looked at it. "This is it. 'Speeding, ran stop sign, failed to turn.' There's nothing here that's different from what Mrs. Lawrence told us," Frank complained.

"So what do we tell her?" Matt asked.

Frank thought for a second while continuing to read the report. "I'm going to still look over a couple more things but we're going to tell her the truth."

"Negligence," Frank said to Judith as Matt and Katie stood behind him. "I have looked over the sheriff's report, maps of the area both past and present and have reason to believe that nothing was wrong with the car. We have determined that it was just an accident. Your husband was driving too fast and failed to stop at the sign and turn. I'm sorry Mrs. Lawrence," Frank said.

"Don't apologize. I figured you wouldn't find anything," she said.

"Then why did you hire us?" questioned Frank.

"To see if you were any good. Like I said, I believe in the Stull curse and I want you to investigate if. All of it."

Frank looked at Matt and Katie in surprise. "Well, that is very kind of you..."

"I plan on paying you, of course. And I am sure you will be getting more customers because it's all becoming too big to ignore," Judith stood up. "Thank you, Frank. And to your assistants. I'm sure we will see each other very soon."

Judith left Frank's office. Frank sat very still and clasped his hands. "Very soon, indeed," he said.

Matt rolled his eyes. "No more detective movies for you."

The team investigates a mysterious ghost near the former Stanton County Poor Farm.

POtW: Indianapolis School

Indianapolis School
The Indianapolis School located at the intersection of John Brown Highway and Indianapolis Road about three miles west of Osawatomie.

Friday, February 19, 2010

No. 9: A History of Stull, Ohio

Stanton County, Ohio, located in the far western expanses of the state along the Indiana border, was not a remarkable county. No Civil War battles took place there, no one famous had grown up there and Stanton's requests for an Interstate highway had continually fallen through.

Stanton County was established in 1817 after being detached from Miami County. The county seat was established in Greenville until 1833 when Tontzville, who had just surpassed Greenville's population, won the county seat in a hotly contested election. By 1900, Greenville would no longer exist.

Tontzville was founded in 1808 as was Frontenac, a city just two miles southeast of Tontzville. Frontenac was the third biggest city in Stanton County and was unfortunately sometimes included in Tontzville's population statistics. The other city in Stanton County was Delia, located near the Stanton-Mercer County line. Delia was the second largest city but only by a couple hundred people.

Stanton County was divided into 19 townships. The bottom tier consists of Harrison, Calhoun, Houk and Black Jack Townships and includes the villages of Irving and Ferguson and the unincorporated communities of Hollansburg, Veteran City, Rich City, Boicourt, Greever and Minneola. The next tier consists of Liberty, Neave, Frontenac and Palmyra Townships; the city of Frontenac; the village of Liberty and the unincorporated community of Buck Creek. The next tier consists of Washington, Worden, Greenville and Brooklyn Townships; the city of Tontzville, the village of Brooklyn and the unincorporated communities of Darke, Globe, Richland and Gettysburg. The next tier consists of Union, Grant, York and Versailles Townships and includes the unincorporated communities of Union, Hesper, Boston, Wayne City and Frenchtown. The top and last tier consists of Rock Creek, Sarcoxie and Pacific Townships; the city of Delia, the villages of Stull, Imes and Rock Creek and the unincorporated communities of Twin Mound, Marion, Marshall, Sarcoxie, Wabash and Pacific City. Each of these towns and locations have their own stories and beginnings but for now we'll turn our attention to Rock Creek Township.

Located in northwest Stanton County, Rock Creek Township is named for a creek that branches off from the Greenville River and runs through Marion, Stull, Twin Mound and ends near Rock Creek. The now-unincorporated community of Rock Creek was once a bustling community with businesses and stores and banks but after the Civil War, the town dwindled down to nearly nothing and Rock Creek wound up with more abandoned buildings than people. A few downtown buildings remain--the shell of the Rock Creek Bank, the old city hall and an old store--taunting the residents of a once-prosperous town.

The dominant town in Rock Creek Township was Stull which was settled in 1828. A church was built in 1834 and still stands in ruins near the intersection of the county roads. Stull is home to the junior high and high school for the Rock Creek Unified School District and to two beautiful churches. In 1909, when the Old Stull Church got too small, a wood frame church was constructed across the street. That one grew too small in 1947 so another bigger church was built with marble spire reaching toward the heavens. An amazing limestone Catholic church was built in 1889 and these were the two churches that welcomed visitors since their spires and roofs rose above the trees.

The downtown area was located between Sixth and Ninth along Ohio Street and boasted not only the Farmer's Bank of Stull and buildings for the village government, but also a pizza place, a hardware store, a video rental and arcade, a sandwich shop, a small grocery store, a post office that serviced an area made up of parts from Rock Creek, Union, Grant and Sarcoxie Townships, a small bookstore, a doctor's office that also included a dentist, chiropractor and gynocologist who drove to Stull once a week from Tontzville or Delia, a volunteer fire department and a salon.

Stull also had its share of abandoned buildings--mostly houses--dotting the town. Most were on the east side of County Road 460. In 1872, a railroad was built along the eastern edge of town. More people moved closer to the tracks and the north-south numbered streets were renamed with First Street closest to the tracks and ending with Twelfth Street. When the tracks became abandoned after World War I, people began to move away.

In an effort to save both Stull and Rock Creek, in 1973, the three school districts in Rock Creek Township were merged into the Rock Creek Unified School District. Rock Creek got the elementary school while Stull got the junior high and high school. The village of Imes was unfortunately left out despite having a bigger population than Rock Creek.

Sometime in the mid-1980s, the Tontzville Gazette reported that the Devil visited Stull Cemetery every year. Stull officials vehemently denied this but the legends grew and grew and while Stull's history was researched, some strange things did stick out including an odd situation with the town founders. The history of Stull focused a lot on religion which probably helped fuel the flames of urban legends.

There were people in and around Stull who did believe that there was a curse on the town and this included lifelong residents, newcomers, young, old, men and women. And one of these people was Frank York.

Frank York was certain there was a curse not only on Stull but on all of Rock Creek Township. When Frank was six, his older sister, Madeline woke up at about three in the morning and entered their parent's bedroom. She stabbed each of them 28 times then left their bedroom to do the same thing to her brother.

Frank heard his parent's screams and was able to run away to a neighbor's house where the police were called and Madeline arrested and sent to a mental health facility in Cincinnati. Frank moved in with his mom's sister and her husband who also lived in Stull. He hasn't seen his sister since.

Everything went well for Frank until he was fifteen and his uncle committed suicide. It was just him and his aunt until recently when his aunt, who never smoked or stayed near people who did smoke, developed lung cancer and died a few months later.

The curse, if there was one, was not limited to Frank. His best friends had also suffered curious deaths in their families. Matthew Stull, whose family Stull got its name, has never had a male in his family live past the age of 40 after his family moved there and Katie Anderson, who moved to Stull in the sixth grade, came home from school to discover her mom hanging in the kitchen only a couple months after moving there.

After college, Frank did some reporting for the Tontzville Gazette but after his aunt died he decided to open an agency devoted to learning about Stull's history and investigating the odd occurrences in and around the town. He went back to school for paranormal and criminal investigating and opened the Rock Creek Township Historical Society. He hired Matt and Katie to help him with the Society and with the investigations.

While people supported Frank recording their area's history, people were reluctant to hire them to do research into "the curse". Frank's agency was open for almost a year when Judith Lawrence walked into their office.

To be continued in Stull #1, beginning on Feb. 20th.

Brutus Doesn't Care

It is apparently "Make-Up-Words" Week at The Born Loser as evidenced by Wednesday's "endarkened" and today's "flold".

Born Loser 02-19-10
Looks like someone didn't get his H1N1 vaccine. Of course I suspect it's because Brutus and Gladys believe the H1N1 vaccine is Obama's way of controlling people and just step one of his eight step plan to indoctrinate the American people into his socialist ways.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Blogging Is Endarkening

I've been negligent this month on getting stuff posted. There hasn't been a POB in almost a month, "Liberty" is trying to become monthly if I have stuff to post in it, the Editorial Comics Review has ended, Story Series are sporadic at best but I am trying to get the Picture of the Week back to a weekly feature. Another victim of me having too much stuff to do in real life is the Random Wikipedia Article which has been on hiatus for the better part of the month and comes back on March 1st only to come to an end once more. Unfortunately, posts will probably not become more common but rarer as I start a job on the 22nd. But we'll see. You never know what could happen.

Born Loser 02-17-10
As much as I don't like Veeblefester I have to respect him because he is very active in his company. He doesn't delegate training to idiots who have no business being a supervisor or manager which is how every other corporation in the entire world does it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Harter Union: Part Two, Chapter 3

I was lying on the red tile floor with my face in a mop bucket full of water. The staff circled around me and stared in awe.

“What a waste…” Phil said solemnly. The staff nodded in agreement, “…of perfectly good mop water.” The staff looked at Phil in disbelief. “Too soon?” he shrugged.

It was the beginning of a new week and I had just finished my Night Court reunion TV-movie script and was anxious to send it off. Night Court was that television show on NBC during the eighties. I loved that show and when Night Court came on, you had better shut up or get out. I sent copies to NBC, Reinhold Weege, the creator, and to stars Harry Anderson and John Larroquette.

It was a straightforward script but had a lot of heart from a die-hard fan and I honestly didn’t expect a response from anybody so after I mailed it, I spent the next month doing what I normally did: working at Baker, and returning home to my shack at night but what awoke me one morning would be the greatest thing in my life.

The knocking on my door was loud and seeing how it was seven in the morning, I automatically figured it was someone from work. I answered the door and saw a man standing there with light brown hair, glasses, in a colorful shirt and blue jeans. I recognized him immediately.

“Harry Anderson?” I asked in awe and trying to get my eyes to adjust.

“The one and only. Not to be confused with that baseball player. Are you Jefferson Franklin?” he asked, holding up the envelope that once held my script.

“Uh…yeah. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Anderson,” I nervously opened the door wider and moved aside. “Won’t you please come in?” I invited.

Harry took a quick glance into my apartment and sneered. “I would expect a Night Court fan to live in a place like this…maybe some other time. Anyway, I read your script but I, honestly, don’t think it would work as a TV special but I do think, after a couple minor tweaks, it would work on Broadway!”

“Broadway? Would the original cast be in it?” I asked.

“Oh, hell, no! We’ll get a nice mix of fresh faces and washed up actors to be in it but I was able to get everybody on board as producers.”

“Really?” I was getting incredibly excited.

“They’re flying out right now so we can put on a show right here in Billings.”



“Why do you want to put on a show here?” I asked, skeptical of what was going on.

“Midwesterners are open-minded and performing amidst the cornfields and barley and whatever else Kansas has would be a good springboard to actually get on Broadway. I’m going back to my hotel and work out some of the kinks in script but I’ll be back this weekend and we’ll do a dress rehearsal to see how it’ll look. Just pick some friends or family and we’ll see how it looks before we actually hire actors. I’ll see you this weekend, Jack,” Harry turned and headed to his limo.


“Jermaine!” Harry got in the limo and shut the door. The limo then sped off.

When the weekend arrived, I was elated and spent plenty of time helping who I chose go over lines and setting up the cafeteria for the rehearsal. Alyson, Phil, Nathan, Aaron and Wendy were the people I chose for the cast.

“Jeff, this is stupid,” Alyson complained. “Why are you making us do this?”

“I want to impress Mr. Anderson and get out of this stink hole berg and, and this is very important to me and besides that, I’m your boss.”

The staff groaned.

“Okay, Ricky, we’re here,” Harry said, coming into the cafeteria from the double doors. “I’m sure you recognize Markie Post, John Larroquette, Richard Moll, Charlie Robinson, and Marsha Warfield.”

“Of course, and it’s a pleasure to meet each and every one of you,” I said. “Well, this is the cast I have picked out: Alyson Cambridge will play Christine…”

“Her breasts aren’t big enough!” interrupted Markie.

“Her breasts are perfectly fine, Miss Post. Anyway, Phil Bazine will play Dan.”

“Where’s the premature gray hair?” asked John Larroquette.

“He’s only 24, Mr. Larroquette! Nathan Yates will be playing Mac and Wendy Halstead will be Roz. Aaron McPherson will be Bull.”

“They’re not black!” exclaimed Marsha.

“I’m aware of that, Miss Warfield but…” I began.

“I’m not going to have a skinny white girl play Roz.”

“Nuh-uh! Me neither, we’ll play the characters ourselves,” Mr. Robinson said.

Richard Moll stood in front of Aaron and looked down on him. “I guess he does lumbar a bit…” Richard said and stomped away.

“Here’s that water you asked for, Jeff,” said Jason, wheeling the mop bucket into the cafeteria.

“Thank you, Jason. Let’s get this rolling people!” I shouted. We began the rehearsal with Harry, Markie, John and Richard watching on. It wasn’t even my script anymore. Harry had just turned it into an average episode. A bad average episode. It was just a bunch of cases and my only line as Judge Harold T. Stone was “fifty dollar fine and time served.” When it was all over, I pulled Harry off to the side to talk to him about it. “Harry, I have to talk to you…”

“It’s brilliant isn’t it?”

“Well, no. This isn’t even my script anymore. It’s just a bunch of amalgamated, rehashed series episodes and…”

“You have just made a big mistake, Clark. Richard, get over here!” Harry called.

Richard lumbered over. “Yo.”

“Take care of Mr. Franklin for me. We’re through here.”

The cast of Night Court walked out as Richard pushed me down and I landed face-first in the mop bucket. The staff circled around me and stared in awe.

“What a waste…” said Phil solemnly. The staff nodded in agreement, “…of perfectly good mop water.” The staff looked at Phil in disbelief. “Too soon?” he shrugged.

Jeff's ex-fiancee comes to Baldwin; Alyson moves out and Maggie thinks she's pregnant.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I've got nothing. It's Valentine's Day and I am pleased by Brutus and Gladys' love in this panel. It's so nice to see them actually in love. It's nice to see just about anybody in love. Except Pamela Anderson. My eyes still have hepatitis. There will be a DCR post up from me later with actual comic commentary. Here's is the link to today's full strip.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mammie's Little Baby...

"No. And that's why Wilberforce looks like the mailman. Or Wastrel P. Gravesite. I forget which one, it's been so long."

POtW: Abandoned Building in Topeka

Abandoned building in Topeka
An abandoned building in Topeka, Kansas near the Kansas Avenue Bridge over the Kansas River. I don't know what used to be here or why it has been allowed to deteriorate but I think it's a cool looking building.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Seven #2.15

It was a warm day and for the first time since starting on their journey, they were sweating--due to the extra weight of their packs and everyone was becoming uncomfortable.

"Can we stop and get some water? My canteen is empty," Seven asked.

"We'll be coming to Cave Springs in a couple miles. We can rest and get water there," Cassius said.

"You can have some of my water," Nicholas said.

"Thanks, Nicholas."

"Give me a nickel first," he said.


"Give me a nickel."

"A nickel? You've got to be kidding me!"

"We're in the middle of nowhere, Seven. Just give him a nickel," Tara said.

Seven fished a nickel out of his pocket and handed it to Nicholas who gave Seven his canteen. "This better be the best water ever," he said before he took a drink. He handed the canteen back to Nicholas. "Thank you. That sun is a killer."

"I have a couple of hats I got in Indianola that will help keep the sun off of you," Nicholas said.

"Wow, that's great!" Seven replied.

"Give me a quarter first."

"What is wrong with you?"

"We're in the middle of nowhere, Seven. Just give him a quarter," Tara said.

The four left Cave Springs refreshed and ready to go. The sun had disappeared into some clouds that had gathered and the air cooled off immensely.

"Feels like we could get into a storm," Cassius said. "Back when my Grandaddy was a slave, he attacked and killed his master in a storm."

"What for?" Tara asked.

"Oh, his master was a mean one. Beat you even if you were the best slave in history. My Grandaddy attacked him in the storm because it was dark and he wouldn't be seen. All the other slaves knew who killed their master but no one told," Cassius said.

"What happened to your Grandaddy?" Nicholas asked.

"He was set free. Moved down to the Delta and started a small farm. Died a couple years ago, aged 102," Cassius said in a proud voice.

The trail suddenly went into some woods which were very dark with the lack of sunlight. The slight wind rustled the leaves. Suddenly, a wooden thud echoed through the trees, startling Tara.

"It's okay. It's just a couple of tree branches hitting each other," Seven reassured. He felt a rain drop on his nose. "It's starting to rain. Should we stop and see if it gets worse or keep going?" he asked.

"We should keep going. We'll be coming to Eminence this evening if we keep walking. They have a hotel we can stay in," Cassius said.

Another wooden thud.

"That one was louder," Tara said.

"It's just branches. Come on, I want to get to a hotel so I can sleep in a real bed," Seven mused.

Nicholas slowed down and walked beside Tara, smiling at her. As the four came to the edge of the woods, the rain picked up even more. They paused and looked at each other. Some rain was getting through the trees but they weren't soaked.

"Do we wait it out?" Nicholas asked.

"It could be hours," Seven said. "I say we just deal with the rain."

"Okay but I'm not helping take care of you if you get sick," Nicholas said.

Another wooden thud.

Then another.

All four of them turned to where the noise came from but Seven spoke. "That didn't sound like a tree branch."

"If it's not a tree branch, what is it?" Nicholas asked.

"I'm going to check," Seven said and stepped off the trail into the woods. The forest was nearly pitch dark the further he went in. The rain hitting the canopy of leaves echoed through the silence. Suddenly, beyond a group of trees, he saw a bright light--glowing a bright blue. Seven gasped and impulsively fought his way toward it. The light remained until Seven got to a small clearing where it vanished.

The clearing wasn't exactly clear as vines and other flora had sprung up and taken over but Seven did notice a gravestone. He walked over to it, vines cracking and snapping under his weight and grabbing hold of his feet, and looked at it. It was barely legible except for 'Kerr' inscribed on it. He could also barely make out a death year: '1848'.

Since the year was before people were even allowed to settle in this area, Seven figured it was a trail traveler although he thought it was odd that this person would have a stone.

As he turned, he noticed another gravestone leaning against a tree. As he walked over to that one, another loud wooden thud echoed near him. He stopped and listened. It was somewhere close.

Seven ran back the way he had come and back through the forest. When he got back to the other three he had stopped running and casually returned to the trail.

"Did you find anything?" Tara asked.

Seven swallowed and shook his head. "No," he said. "But we should probably get going."

The four set off again into the rain, leaving the woods behind. Several hours later, the clouds remained but it night time and slightly chilly. They crested a hill and found that they were less than a mile from Eminence. They all breathed a sigh of relief and descended the hill into town.

The four get settled at the hotel while a city plans.

Editorial Comic Review (2/12/10)

So the big thing happening right now in Lawrence is the possibility of closing schools because the district cannot afford to keep them open. The schools on the chopping block are Cordley and New York Elementary. Back in 2003, the district closed three other schools in an effort to save money: Centennial, East Heights and Riverside. I went to school at Centennial and I could never understand why they closed Centennial, it was a newer school (built in 1954), near the high school and had plenty of space to expand if needed. Turns out it's because one of the guys on the school board went to Cordley and fought to keep it open. Apparently no one pointed out to him that Cordley has outlived it's usefulness. Cordley was built in 1911 and is wedged between two streets and has no room to grow. What hurt was the closeness of Centennial to Cordley, being separated by only about five blocks or so. But now that Cordley is closing, no matter what, the same guy that fought for Centennial's closing is now saying that closing schools isn't the answer. While I agree, he is not apologizing for closing those three schools in 2003 or giving any other reason why it isn't the answer. I, personally, cannot wait until Cordley closes.

In other Lawrence news, plans for a hotel at 2nd & McDonald Dr. is in the works. Look at this map to see why that's probably a bad idea. The planned hotel is in blue, existing hotels in red.

by Robert Ariail 2/12/10

What does Iran have to gain if they nuke us? Aside from bragging rights, the most they would accomplish is helping us stop fighting in Iraq by moving our soldiers to the east into Iran. If Iran does develop nuclear weapons it will be to threaten smaller countries they don't like in hopes that America will attack them first which will justify them possibly using their weapons.

by Robert Ariail 2/11/10

Sarah Palin using notes she wrote on her hand is comical because it's like she's back in junior high when you would write notes on your hands for a test or write a phone number on your hand. I've never understood why using a teleprompter is bad. It allows people to continue to stare ahead at their audience and not have to look down at papers or notes. I'm not a fan of the teleprompter and would rather write stuff down so, in mid-speech, I could change things I deem not-suitable. Oh, and for all you Obama-bashers who hate that he's using a teleprompter, here is a picture of George W. Bush during the 2007 State of the Union Address using teleprompters:

by Jerry Holbert 2/10/10
So Marvel Comics has to apologize to tea baggers for calling them "nut jobs" and racist" but Jerry Holbert here can draw the tea baggers as the insane population of Wonderland and nothing happens? Whatever.

by Bill Day 2/10/10

I haven't been paying attention to China's economy but hear it's doing better than ours. Probably because 75% of everything in America is made in China. I think the point of this cartoon is that Americans like seeing other countries fail especially when we are failing too.

And now, more news. This will be the last Editorial Comic Review. While I will still review editorial cartoons as I see them and have something to talk about, the ECR will no longer be a recurring part of WTS. If the ECR remains popular it may return in the summer but due to some upcoming circumstances, I will have to retire the ECR for now.

Going to See Percy Jackson

Born Loser 02-12-10
How much money do you think Brutus gave Wilberforce? I say $10 but it could be $5 depending on how crappy the movie theater is.

In other movie news, I'm going to go see Valentine's Day this evening. It has a lot of stars in it (if you can call George Lopez and two doctors from Grey's Anatomy stars). I also looked to see what the movie was actually about and got nothing. I'm sure it'll be good.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crisis In Ohio

Born Loser 02-11-10
I'm so glad that Brutus isn't panicking since he is trying to out-drive the encroaching void that is eating both time and space behind him.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

You Could Do It Too

Born Loser 02-09-10
So the Thornapples keep their Christmas tree up from Thanksgiving until Valentines Day? That seems kind of weird, I don't care how lazy you are.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Harter Union: Part Two, Chapter 2

When I arrived at work the next morning, I decided to look and see how well the staff did last night. The Dish Room was cleaned and mopped, so was the kitchen. And the Line was spotless. I smiled as I walked into the cafeteria where only Jason and Chrissy were sitting. “Anything interesting happen last night?” I asked.

“No, not really,” Jason began. “I did stab Nathan in the head with a knife though.”

I nodded my head. “Oh,” I licked my lips. “Is he okay?”

“Oh, yeah, just a small wound. No blood loss.”

“Well, that’s good. Where is everybody?”

“Downstairs in the Grill,” Jason took a bite of the manicotti which was for lunch. I turned around and started to walk away. “Oh, and you’re gonna have to get an electrician or someone down here after the fire last night.”

I stopped and looked at Jason and Chrissy but decided not to say anything. I left the cafeteria through the double doors and went downstairs to the Grill. Alyson, Wendy, Nathan, Maggie and Phil were sitting around a round table. I waved to everyone and went to the counter with Jenna and Karla. “Couple of cheeseburgers, please.”

“Coming up, Jeff,” Jenna said. Both girls began grilling the pre-made hamburger patties.

Karla kept looking at me and finally asked me what was on her mind. “Jeff? Have you seen my tattoo?”

“No, I don’t believe I have had the pleasure,” I smiled.

“Before you head upstairs, remind me to show you.”

“Can do,” Jenna passed me a small basket with my cheeseburgers in it and I went down to sit with everybody. “What’s going on everybody?”

“Talking about Maggie’s boy troubles so really nothing new,” Alyson joked.

“Oh, okay, uh, guys, I have a question. What’s this about a fire here last night?” I asked, and then took a bite out of one of my burgers.

“Jason told you?” Phil asked. I nodded.

“It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. One of the outlets in the Dish Room just kind of, sort of…” Nathan was apparently searching for the right words.

“Spontaneously combusted,” Phil blurted out.

“How does an electrical outlet just spontaneously combust?” I probed.

“It’s actually pretty easy when you use bleach and comet and…what else did he use?” Phil listed.

“That liquid soap stuff,” Maggie revealed.

“Mm. And how’s your head wound, Nathan?” I asked.

“Huh? Oh, it’s fine. Barely left a mark,” Nathan said rubbing his head.

“Well, despite the obvious, I’m glad I went ahead and trusted you all enough to handle a night alone by yourselves. Come on, let’s get upstairs, I want you to show me how Jason ended up stabbed you in the head, Nathan.” I stood up and everybody followed. I laid the basket in the trash can and went through the hallway to the old staircase near the elevator.

“Wait, Jeff!” Karla came around the corner. I turned toward her and she lifted up her shirt and revealed her naked breasts and on her left breast was a blue butterfly.

“Nice. This day is just going up and down isn’t it?” I said, biting into my second burger.

I was wearing a red apron over my usual jacket and tie. I was also holding an empty cup rack and watching Aaron change the pop syrup under the Beverage area. He was changing the big Pibb box. He pulled the empty box out, disconnected the hose and lifted the new box into the shelf and reconnected the hose to it. He stood and picked up the empty box. “And then we throw it away.”

Aaron walked past me and I rolled my eyes. “Gaah! Why does Darrell want me to learn this stupid job? Any monkey could do it!” I complained.

“Thank you for trivializing my job,” Aaron said.

“Well, I’m sorry but this job seems a little too easy for an entire evening of training,” I explained.

“You should work it on a night where a milk runs out, a juice runs out and not one but two pops go out! That is a night in hell,” Aaron said, tossing the empty box into the Dumpster.

“Nah, hell is being trapped alone with your friends. That’s why I don’t have any. Sooner or later they’d get into a fight and I’d have to calm them down and I’m not very good at that so I’d just gun them down and then I’d fry in the electric chair.” We went back inside the kitchen and went into the Dish Room. I placed the cup rack on the shelf above the belt and helped Aaron carry out some dishes by taking a small stack of little plates.

We put the dishes in their proper places behind the Line. Alyson and Maggie came up to us and tried to hide their laughter by covering their mouths and clearing their throats. “Jeff? Maggie and I have a bet and we need you to settle it.”

“I’ll be glad to help,” I obliged.

“Okay, well, I say you haven’t had sex since you arrived in Baldwin but Maggie says you have. Who’s right?” Alyson asked.

“That’s an odd bet and I don’t really appreciate you making odds on my life but you, Alyson, would be right. I haven’t had sex since the day before my fiancée left me.”

“Why?” asked Maggie. “Have you noticed some of the looks these college girls give you? You could probably bag any of them.”

“Well, I don’t want to bag any of them.”

“Why not? You are freakin’ hot!” Maggie shouted.

“I have my reasons. First of all, the girls here are between the ages of 18 and 21 and I am 27. I feel like an old man. Secondly, a lot of baggage comes with sleeping with someone: you undress in front of them and they see you completely naked and you’re vulnerable and they see every flaw. Sex, to me, has to be special and I have to know and respect the girl.”

“And we thought all gentlemen were dead,” Alyson said, coyly.

“I have my moments,” I smiled. “Aaron, I’m going to my office. Call me when you start clean-up or if you need any help.” I pushed past Maggie and Alyson and went into the kitchen.

Later that night, everyone had gone home, or so I thought. Maggie walked into my office and sat down. “I thought you went home. Don’t you have a date?” I asked.

“I did. When he came to pick me up, I told him I wasn’t feeling good and asked him to leave.”

“Did you answer the door dressed like that?” I asked referring to the low-cut spaghetti strap red dress she was wearing.

“Yes, actually, but that’s beside the point. Look, I have been with a lot of guys and none of them have been half as nice or as charming as you and I was just wondering if you wanted to…spend the night…with me,”

My eyebrows raised but I kept my composure. “Well, that…that’s quite an offer but no, I don’t. You are a beautiful girl and I’m sure that if I was anybody else I would in a heartbeat but I don’t want to ruin our friendship or our working relationship, all right?” I wheeled over to Maggie and took her hands in mine. They were so soft and wonderful that they made me think twice about what I said.

“I understand…but what you said earlier about knowing and respecting the girl…?” she wondered.

“I do respect you and that’s why I don’t want to rush into anything and that’s because I respect you too much and would want to take things slow.”

Maggie pulled her hands away and stood up, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she took one last look at me through her sparkling, tear-filled eyes and left out the back door.

Wendy was waiting outside in her car. Maggie got in and rolled down the window. “So what’d he say?” asked Wendy.

“Maggie sniffled as Wendy pulled away. “He said ‘no’, he didn’t want to sleep with me.”

Wendy looked shocked as she turned north onto Sixth Street from Dearborn. “And how does that make you feel?”

Maggie opened the glove compartment, took out a napkin and blew her nose and wiped away a tear. “Like a lady…”

Jeff meets the cast of "Night Court".

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Loser Bowl Sunday

Born Loser 02-07-10
Well this is just sad. What's next? Is Number 5 there going to pull the football away while Wilberforce is running up to kick it? If they are playing a real game against another team, now is not the time for idiotic and petty jokes.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

POtW: Not Street Legal

This picture is of a couple abandoned things left at the Miller house near Baldwin City, Kansas. The house has been abandoned since the early 1970s so I am kind of amazing that this motorcycle hasn't been stolen (although I don't know what you would do with it). This stuff is located in the barn. Interesting story, when I went to view the property back in 2001 through a Realtor, the Realtor praised this modern barn which was built probably in the '70s. A couple years later, during a windstorm, half of the barn collapsed.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Editorial Comics Review (2/5/10)

So the Kansas legislation is working harder than they ever have before. I can't remember them working this hard before. So what are they working on? Well, in an effort to help the Kansas citizens, who are being inundated with growing unemployment, lack of new jobs and school districts not being able to get paid, the legislation have taken up the daring tack of banning K2, a legal smoking herb that supposedly mimics the effect of marijuana, and creating a state-wide smoking ban that basically overrides any local smoking ban already in place.

So instead of dealing with the big problems the Kansas legislation is wasting time banning a legal substance, screwing over cities with an already effective smoking ban in place and avoiding the problems that are actually hurting our state. I've made my voting decisions for state offices for 2010 and 2012 and it's not going to be the people in power right now. Anyhoo, now onto the comics.

by Rob Rogers 1/31/10

I have still not donated money. What more can we do? We have stuff over here we need to focus on. It's horrible what's going on down there but there is only so much we can do--we can donate money until the buffalo poops but it's up to Haiti to use that money to fix their country.

by Jerry Holbert 2/4/10

Have you noticed that whenever Republicans find a new "golden boy" they immediately consider running him for president? Bobby Jindal was looking pretty good until that exorcism thing and looking like a bellboy in a fancy hotel during the Republican response to Obama's address to Congress. So did Sarah Palin until people realized that she's an airhead and causes more embarrassment for the party. Scott Brown's looking good right now because he was elected to fill a Kennedy's seathole. Who will be the next "golden boy"? I'm sure we'll find out in November 2010 when several Senatorial and gubernatorial elections take place.

by Jerry Holbert 2/2/10

Gee, who knew that it cost money to run a country that is ass-deep in war, having to pay into proven failed systems such as Social Security and Medicare, have to spend money on both commerce and the economy because those are where we're hurting pretty hard but just the normal amount of money we spend just to actually run the country.

For you idiots out there who are complaining about how the country is being run, if you feel that you can run it better or reduce spending then I am sure they would love to hear from you.

by Henry Payne 2/3/10

Henry Payne sure loves to draw cars. I think that if this happened to an American car, we would not be hearing about it as much but the fact that it's a foreign car so soon after the cash for clunkers thing, of course the jerks that are our news media are going to grab this story and run with it.

Cars are recalled all the time for many reasons and if a car is recalled then you can get the problem fixed at no cost to you. I'm sure people are more upset that the recall was for something that could potentially kill people just like the Ford/Firestone tire recall. Toyota is fixing the problem and I'm sure it won't happen again. Can we just move on?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Delaware Affections #1.9

The detective walked Rodney through the station and took him into a small room with a table and three chairs. "Please have a seat. Are you thirsty?"

"No. Thank you," Rodney answered as he sat down.

The detective sat down across from him, got out a yellow legal pad and a pen and cleared his throat. "What were you doing last night between the hours of nine and ten?" the detective asked.

"Last night? I was doing a research paper with a classmate--Cassandra Jurgens. She came over about six and left just before eleven," Rodney answered.

"So you were with someone last night?" the detective seemed surprised. "And Miss Jurgens can back up your answer?"

"She should be able to. I even got a phone call from my girlfriend, Cat, last night around eight," Rodney said. "It's on my cell phone, if you want to see."

"Sure," the detective said. Rodney pulled out his cell phone and opened the call records. He slid the phone over and the detective looked at it. He gave the phone back. "The reason I'm asking is that a woman said she was raped and she said it was you."

Rodney's heart fell into his stomach and he became slightly pale. "I...I have never done anything like that..." Rodney stammered.

"We're still investigating but we're thinking she is mistaken. We will get a hold of Miss Jurgens and your girlfriend to verify your whereabouts but you are still a suspect so don't go far," the detective said.

Rodney got back into the commons area of the police station where Mitch and Holly were waiting. "Rodney, son, are you okay? What's going on?"

"Nothing. A girl just accused me of rape."

"Quite a weekend, huh?" asked Cassandra, catching up with Rodney in the hallways at school.

"I've had better," Rodney shrugged. "The charges were dropped. They didn't elaborate but I am no longer a suspect."

"That's good. I am so glad I could help," Cassandra took hold of Rodney's hand but pulled away as soon as she realized what she was doing. "Sorry," she giggled nervously.

"That's okay," Rodney looked down at Cassandra. "I liked it," and he leaned in and kissed her on the lips. He kissed her longer than he did over the weekend.

At that time, Cat came around the corner and saw Rodney and Cassandra kissing. "What the hell?" she yelled.

Rodney and Cassandra looked at Cat. Rodney looked back at Cassandra. "I'll see you in class," he said.

"All right, see you later."

Rodney walked up to Cat. "I'm sorry, Cat."

"Is that all you have to stay?"

"Kind of. I don't know what else to say. We obviously are not going to work out and the only thing we've been doing since that double date is fight. I've really liked being your boyfriend but we're just too different," Rodney explained.

Cat had teared up but held back her tears. "I guess you're right. I just wish you would've told me this before you started sucking face with her," Cat said.

"Yeah, that I didn't plan," Rodney hesitated. "I hope we can still be friends."

"Maybe," she said. "I'll see you later."

"Becky! What the hell?" Holly screamed as she walked up to Becky. "You accused my brother of rape?"

Becky immediately got defensive. "Whoa! I did no such thing. And even if I did, how could you find out?"

"It's my brother and it's a small town, Becky. Word gets around. Also, Ali told me that her father wanted her to accuse Rodney of rape but she said 'no'," Holly revealed.

"You don't have any proof that I accused Rodney or made a deal with Principal Kenstroke," Becky said.

"Everyone knows it was you. It's a small town and the grapevine is very short," Holly said. "Take back what you said and turn in Principal Kenstroke. You can't let him get away with this. If this all blows up then you are the one who gets in trouble unless you tell the police that you are lying and that Principal Kenstroke put you up to it."

Becky was silent for a couple of seconds. "I will think about it. I'm not promising anything."

Holly eyed Beck and exhaled sharply then walked past her, knocking her out of the way with her shoulder. Becky went off to class.

After school, Becky went to the police station. "I want to take back what I said," she began. "Rodney Barton didn't rape me. No one did."

"What?" the detective asked.

"I lied. Someone put me up to it and I regret my decision. I know I've wasted precious resources and time and I'm willing to be punished for it."

"Someone put you up to it? Who? They need to held accountable," the detective said.

Becky closed her eyes and inhaled deep. "Principal Alan Kenstroke."

"The high school principal?"

"Yes," Becky nodded.

"Thanks for walking home with me," Laurie said.

"No problem. I'm in no rush to get home," Ralph said as they stood on her porch.

Laurie unlocked the front door and turned to Ralph. "Do you want to come in for a bit?"

Ralph shrugged. "Sure, I guess," he followed Laurie in and looked around the house. "It's been awhile since I've been in here."

"It has. I don't have very many visitors. We all usually hang out at Cat's or the Replay," Laurie said. "Come on upstairs," Laurie smiled big and took a hold of Ralph's arm.

Ralph relented and followed her upstairs and into her bedroom. "Looks about the same."

Ralph sat down on her bed while Laurie messed with some things on her dresser. "I never properly thanked you for dragging me away from that party."

"No thanks necessary. Any friend would've done it," Ralph said.

"That's the thing. Lately, you've been more than just a friend to me and I think I want to take this relationship to the next level."

"What are you talking about?"

"This," Laurie walked to Ralph and removed her shirt. She bent down and kissed Ralph ultimately pushing him down on the bed. She sat on his lap and began undoing his jeans.

"Laurie!" Ralph was slightly panicked. "What about your dad?"

"He's a lawyer for the state so he's up in Dover and may not be back until tomorrow," she said, pulling up his shirt.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Ralph said. "You don't have to thank me this way."

"But I want to. You have been so amazing the past couple of months. I want to be in a relationship with you," Laurie said. "Don't you want to do this?"

"I would love to be in a relationship with you but I don't know if we should rush into sleeping together," Ralph said.

"I know I'm ready and I I want my first time to be with you," Laurie looked down at Ralph. "But if you really don't want to, we won't."

Ralph looked up at Laurie and reached up and tenderly touched her cheek and smiled. An hour later, they cuddled next to each other in her bed wrapped in each other's arms. They smiled when they looked at each other and were so happy to be with one another.

"I should probably get home," Ralph said.

"Yeah," Laurie agreed reluctantly.

"But the relationship offer is still on the table right?" Ralph asked.

"Of course."

"Then I'll take it," Ralph said and kissed Laurie, who rolled on to her back and pulled Ralph on top of her.

Delaware Affections returns in May with the last three issues of the season.

Welcoming Paresthesia

Born Loser 02-04-10
As we've seen in previous strips here, here, here, here and here (among others) Brutus is perfectly capable of lying down on that couch which makes me think that Brutus is now suffering from an undetected brain tumor that is pressing against his skull causing him to make unnatural decisions.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Are You Standing There Waiting for Me?

Born Loser 02-03-10
Is Veeblefester just standing there waiting for Brutus to come in late? I know Veeblefester is in charge of the company but if I had a boss who waited by the door for me to be late, I would be complaining to his superior so fast.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Seven #2.14

Seven, Cassius, Nicholas and Tara barely spoke to each other as they made their way away from Indianola. They went almost twenty miles before someone made any attempt at a conversation.

"Can we stop and eat?" Tara asked. "We've been walking all day and have barely stopped."

Cassius stopped. "We can go ahead and stop for the night. It's been a long day."

The sun was starting to set as the four began to set up camp in the expansive area of the rolling hills. Seven got a small fire going while Cassius and Tara began getting out stuff for dinner.

"Any chance you know how soon we'll be getting to the castle?" Nicholas asked.

"I think sometime tomorrow, it should be just another twenty miles or so," Cassius said. "I'm glad we're stopping because we need to talk about what's going on between us. Ever since we left Indianola you three have hardly spoken to each other. What's going on?"

"Seven and I kind of had a fight," Tara said.

"What about?" Cassius asked.

"I got a little upset when I found out Tara and Nicholas may be returning to Indianola for good. I thought we'd all go back to Cassoday together when we were finished with Shmand. I apparently am wrong," Seven said in a slight sarcastic tone.

"We were happy in Indianola," Nicholas said. "We'd go back to Cassoday but we want to stay in Indianola."

"What's with this 'we'?" asked Cassius. "I think it's great that you two want to go out on your own. No matter what you really think, if you are their friend, you will support them, Seven."

Seven sighed angrily. "Are you two dating each other now or what?"

"That's kind of personal, Seven," Tara began. "But no, Nicholas and I are not dating. And if we were, you should support us on that, too."

Seven was quiet for a good minute before he spoke again. "This just isn't turning out the way I thought it would.

"Castle Hill"
The castle they were looking for was an abandoned watchtower built by the Natives a hundred years ago on top of a hill. The watchtower was built of sandstone and clay and was used as a trail marker for travelers. The area was called Castle Hill and the bottom of the hill was used as a resting place for weary travelers while the watchtower, which resembled a castle, was left alone.

Cassius, Seven, Nicholas and Tara arrived at Castle Hill in the late afternoon and set up camp next to a family with two older kids.

Seven noticed the daughter and smiled when he saw her eyes meet his. He walked over to her and cleared his throat to get her attention. "Hi. My name is Seven Kazachov and I'm with that group there," Seven pointed to his friends.

"I'm Lily. Lily Aldridge," Lily brushed some of her blond hair behind her ear and turned to her family. "This is my family, my parents Jedidiah and Helen and my little brother David. Did you say your name was Seven?"

"It is. Long story," Seven motioned to his friends. "These are my friends Cassius Traveler, Tara Goebbels and Nicholas Christ. We're from Cassoday and we're heading to... We're gonna go help out some family."

"The four of you are just friends?" Lily asked.

"Yeah. Just friends," Seven said softly. "So where are you from?"

"Jerseyville," Lily answered. "We're going to Albuquerque to start a ranch," she laughed. "It's a dream of my father's to get out of the city and become a farmer."

"That's actually interesting. I would love to just walk around the countryside and take in my surroundings. I love old buildings and houses and cemeteries," Seven said.

"Cemeteries? I hate cemeteries. They creep me out," Lily shuddered.

Seven looked up at the watchtower and raised an eyebrow. "Do you think you can sneak away after everyone goes to sleep?" he asked in a low voice.

"What for?" Lily blushed.

"I want you to go exploring with me," he said.

"Where?" Lily was still confused but intrigued. Seven looked up at the watchtower. Lily followed his eyes and shook her head. "No. We can't."

"Why not? It'll be fun. I promise."

Seven stayed awake and crawled out from under his blanket and began walking over to the Aldridge's camp. Tara watched as Seven walked away and met up with Lily. The two went off toward the base of the hill. Seven and Lily began walking up the hill with Seven eagerly helping Lily up. Tara sighed deeply and closed her eyes.

It took about fifteen minutes for Seven and Lily to reach the summit of Castle Hill. The watchtower was a lot bigger up close and Seven was marveled by it's construction.

"This is amazing," he breathed.

"What do you think it was?" Lily asked, running her hand along the sandstone.

"I don't know. Maybe a house..."

"It's not big enough to be a house. Maybe it's some kind of fortress," Lily peered inside the watchtower and stepped inside. "It has stairs going up to the top."

Seven followed her and took her hand. "And you didn't want to come exploring with me." Seven led Lily over to the rocks that jutted out from the wall. The rocks wound their way up the wall, coming to an end near the top. A couple of rocks were broken away from the wall but didn't hinder their way up. When they reached the top, both of them gasped excitedly at the view.

"You can see forever..." she whispered.

"Maybe this was some kind of fortress," Seven chuckled. "You can definitely see someone coming from up here."

Seven and Lily stood at the top for several minutes. Seven wrapped his arms around Lily and pulled her close to him. She smiled then turned and kissed Seven.

They remained for another half hour until heading back down the steps and leaving the watchtower. Seven grabbed Lily and kissed her again, they hugged and put their fingers into each others hair.

Lily pushed away. "We should probably get back down to camp," she said.

"Soon," Seven said and kissed Lily again. He easily lowered her to the ground and pulled up her dress.

"What are you doing?" Lily asked as Seven removed his shirt.

"Do you want me to stop?"

Lily placed her hands on Seven's chest. "No," she smiled.

The journey continues.

At the Dirt Mall

Like most Americans right now, the Thornapples are living paycheck to paycheck unsure about whether the tea cozy industry is healthy or in need of a bail out but it's good to know that Brutus has enough money to waste on a fortune teller. If you're going to waste money on a fortune teller you could at least be a topless fortune teller with three nipples.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Harter Union: Part Two, Chapter 1

“About time you people did your job,” I said to the Facilities worker in my office who was putting up my shelf on the wall. “I only asked you to do this five months ago.”

“Well, we do everything by importance and priority and installing a shelf and hanging a picture of New York City isn’t really that important,” said the guy, stepping off the ladder and putting his drill into a holster on his belt.

“So you couldn’t get one of your Facilities cronies down here for five minutes any time during the last five months?”

“There are a lot more places on campus more important than the university kitchen,” the man pushed past me and left out the back door.

I looked at the shelf and the picture and placed the armadillo, Green Lantern, and Buddy Christ on the shelf and stared at everything. I turned off the light and left the office, shutting and locking the door. I went to the cafeteria and took a yellow cup from the cup rack. I filled it with Pibb and went over to the table where the staff was sitting. “Well, guys, I’m heading out. I have this evening off and since I got my Jimmy fixed, I’m heading to Lawrence for some shopping.”

“Glad you got your car fixed. Are you doing anything else special besides shopping?” asked Alyson.

“Nope, I have a few CDs I want to pick up and I’ll probably eat at McDonald’s since I haven’t for the last six months and then I’m coming home and going to bed,” I explained. “Darrell will be here for another half hour or so and then you’re on your own so I expect you all to be on your best behavior. I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” I got up and started heading toward the kitchen but Darrell caught me between the Lines.

“Jeff, before you leave I want you to be trained on Beverage.”

“What, now?” I groaned.

“No, no, tomorrow I’m gonna have Aaron train you,” Aaron was over at the soft serve machine trying to fix it and quickly looked over when he heard his name.

“Why do I have to be trained on Beverage?” I asked, whining.

“Because Aaron is currently our only Beverage person and we need to be prepared in case he’s ever off or sick.”

“Aaron doesn’t get sick…” I tried to explain.

“And I also want you to be able to do every job in this place. All right, Jeff?” I made a weird movement with my head that soon turned into a nod. “Great, I’ll see you tomorrow, Jeff,” Darrell left and went back to his office.

I shrugged, sighed, and waved good-bye to the staff and went outside. I got in my car and started her up. It felt good to be back inside her. I shifted gears and pulled out of the parking lot. It felt good to be driving again and I drove around Baldwin for a while before heading into Lawrence.

Back at Baker, Darrell had just left and everything was running smoothly. Nathan, Jason, Chrissy, and Phil were in the Dish Room and Alyson and Maggie on Line. In the Dish Room, Jason was working Pots & Pans while Nathan was working both belt and sprayer. Jason quickly sprayed off a knife and turned toward the Belt/Sprayer area. “Hey, Nathan heads up!” Jason tossed the knife over toward Nathan who heard his brother’s warning but didn’t know what it pertained to. The knife sailed through the air and landed point first, in Nathan’s skull. Nathan quickly smacked the knife away from his head.

“Aah! What the hell are you doing?” he screamed.

“I said ‘head’s up’” Jason exclaimed.

“Well, I didn’t know you hurled a knife at me!”

“Not at you, I threw it at the sprayer, you just happened to get in the way,” Jason explained.

“Yeah, I feel so much better…” Nathan said. “In the future, just hand the dishes to me. It saves a lot of trouble on the blood shed.”

Out on Line, Maggie and Alyson had just finished serving a long line of people. They began talking and invited Aaron in on their conversation. “He’s been here for six months which is now the longest-staying supervisor since Johnny. I don’t know about you but it feels weird not purposely trying to get a supervisor to quit or get fired,” Alyson said.

“I really like Jeff because for once, a supervisor trusts us. When’s the last time a supervisor left us alone to supervise ourselves?” Aaron asked.

“I like him, too. He’s funny and smart and, honestly, not bad to look at,” Maggie giggled.

“Do I smell you hooking up with another supervisor, Mags?” asked Alyson.

“Oh God, no, I learned my lesson after dating Kelly but I do think it would be different if I dated Jeff,” Maggie said. “Besides, I think he kind of likes Wendy.”

“What about me?” asked Wendy coming around the corner from the kitchen.

“We were talking about Jeff and how he kind of shows an interest in you,” Alyson revealed.

“What? No he doesn’t!” Wendy defended.

“Come on, Wendy, all of us have noticed how you two stay late in his office and talk…” Alyson began.

“And Lord only knows what you two do when you leave this place,” Maggie insinuated.

“Nothing happens. We go home to our separate apartments. Our relationship is purely work-related,” Wendy argued. “Why am I even discussing this with you? Whatever would happen between me and Jeff is our business and no one else’s.”

“So if Jeff asked you out, what would you say?” Alyson asked sincerely.

“I don’t think that really matters since he’s not going to ask me out,” Wendy said and turned back around and went back into the kitchen.

Alyson and Maggie looked at each other in confusion. “Watch the Line for me, I’ll be right back.” Alyson followed Wendy into the kitchen where she was sitting on a stool at the counter in front of the grill. “What’s wrong? What do you mean he’s never going to ask you out? You two seemed to be hitting it off.”

“Can you keep this quiet?”

“Of course, I’m your best friend.”

“I do like Jeff but he likes me in a strictly friendly-co-worker way. I’m cool with that but who Jeff really likes is Maggie.”

“Maggie? Then why hasn’t he asked her out? I’m sure she would go,” Alyson inquired.

“He wants to but ever since his fiancee left him, he has a hard time trusting any girl and he now has a fear of falling in love,” Wendy started explaining. “I’ve told him Maggie wouldn’t do that and that he should take a chance but he doesn’t because he doesn’t want to get hurt, he doesn’t want to hurt her and he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship if the relationship goes south.”

“It makes sense, I guess.” Alyson looked at Wendy who was continuously circling a freckle on her arm with her thumb. “You want to date him, don’t you?”

“Let’s just say that if the opportunity came up, I definitely would not say ‘no.’” Wendy smiled.

“You’re so cute, Wendy. Come on, I gotta get back to the Line,” Alyson softly rubbed Wendy’s wrist and both got up and went back out to the front.

Dinner was over and Jason was washing the remaining dishes in the Pots & Pans area. Every so often some water would get on the nearby electrical outlet that had one of the fans plugged into it. Jason worked quietly until he noticed some smoke. He looked up at the outlet and noticed it smoking. “Oh, my God!” Jason shouted and pulled the fan plug out of the outlet and backed away. Nathan, Phil and Chrissy all looked toward Jason as the outlet burst into flames then slowly extinguished itself.

“What the hell happened?” Nathan asked.

“I don’t know. I was just washing dishes and the outlet spontaneously combusted,” Jason explained.

“Well, did you do anything different?” Phil went over to the outlet and looked at it, like he knew what he was doing.

“No, I treated the outlet like I always have. When I get bored over here I pour soap on it or maybe some Comet and tonight I splashed some bleach on it but I sprayed it all off almost immediately after.” Nathan, Chrissy and Phil all looked at Jason. “What?”

“The bleach probably corroded the wires inside the outlet. Be careful with these electrical things, we are all standing on a wet floor you know,” Nathan complained.

“I didn’t take this job to die, Jason,” Phil stated.

“Come on, let’s get back to work. We’ll tell Jeff tomorrow so he can have someone come out here to fix this,” Nathan shook off the excitement and everyone went back to work.

Jeff has to deal with the aftermath of the night before and learns how to do beverage. Also, Maggie approaches Jeff.