Saturday, January 31, 2015

1127: Everything In Moderation

I do believe nutrition should be something talked about in school from an early age. Allow kids to make smart choices then maybe they will be able to have their cake and eat it too. I'm not sure what Brutus is trying to say with his comment. Do stuff in moderation in moderation or was he trying to reiterate the advice and failed miserably?

Friday, January 30, 2015

1126: Can't Even Spell His Name Right, I Bet

All hail the return of the picture of himself on Veeblefester's desk!!

Ol' Rancid has a point. What's the point of learning from them if you continue to make mistakes? I also think you shouldn't tell your boss how often you make mistakes. Seems like a bad career move.

The Seals of Kansas

The Seal of the Territory of Kansas
The seal of the Territory of Kansas features a pioneer holding a rifle standing with Ceres, the Goddess of Agriculture, with a sheaf of grain, and a shield with a plow in the top part and a hunter and a buffalo in the bottom part. At the feet of the pioneer and Ceres is a tree and the ax that felled it.

Above the image is, in Latin, POPULI VOCENATA, which means "Born by the voice of the people."

The original draft of the seal of the State of Kansas was much more simple than the one eventually chosen. The seal shows a farmer and a businessman holding a book over a shield that features and image of a Native American hunting a buffalo. Above the men features the state motto "Ad Astra Per Aspera" and 34 stars.

The seal we all know and love that is used on the state flag. The rising sun represents the east, commerce is represented by the river and steamboat, agriculture and future prosperity of the state is represented by the settler's cabin and the man plowing the field. The train of oxen represents heading west while in the background, a herd of buffalo are pursued by two Native Americans.

Above the scene is the state motto and 34 stars.

Photos courtesy:
Kansas State Historical Society

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1125: That Waitress Is So Dead Inside

Wouldn't "non-decaffeinated" be caffeinated?

I remember several years, I finally got curious about what Sanka was. I heard it all the time on older TV shows where someone would ask for coffee and someone else would respond with "Is Sanka okay?" and just always assumed it was some kind of decaffeinated coffee. So I looked it up and learned that non-caffeinated coffee was invented in Germany where it was called Kaffee HAG (Handels-Aktien-Gesellschafft). It got the name Sanka when introduced in France. Sanka is short for "sans caffeine."

One of the major selling points Sanka used was that it was a coffee you could drink at night. Probably because you'd drink it, realize that it's not the same as coffee with caffeine and then crawl into bed sad and depressed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1124: I Have Bright Yellow Work Gloves

I just realized what my biggest online regret is. Why didn't I name this blog "The Blog Loser"? I figured that out about a week ago and immediately lamented the lost opportunity. And after seven years, it's kind of odd to change the name now, right?

Gladys is so high right now. "Isn't it strange that gloves are both a part of us and yet not?"

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1123: Juxtaposition

How can I forget the smell of burning flesh that constantly filled the air? Or the heartbreak of children torn from their mothers? Those shouts of terror will ring in my ears until I am laid to rest.”
-Roman Kent, chairman of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, speaking at the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation.

"At Auschwitz-Birkenau, Holocaust Survivors, Ever Dwindling in Number, Gather to Remember."

"Haven't given it much thought"? It's this weekend! I don't know who I'm rooting for. I guess the Seahawks because Patriot fans have been real tools during this deflate-gate debacle. Why does the team get to touch and use game balls in the first place?

Monday, January 26, 2015

1122: What an Oddly Worded Second Panel

I don't care how many strips we get telling us that Brutus needs glasses, we are never going to see Brutus in glasses other than reading glasses.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

1121: Is Uncle Ted Brutus' Last Surviving Relative?

Why are you ruining your rum with diet cola? Also, is Uncle Ted actually drinking a rum and cola while Brutus is drinking coffee or tea? Maybe it's a hot toddy.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1120: I Love Sitting At Home On Saturdays Watching TV

I always figured that Brutus and Gladys were the same age and they probably are but Brutus is lamenting the fact that Gladys married someone her own age 20-some years ago instead of someone 10 years younger because nothing says love like a 25-year-old marrying a 15-year-old.

I'm probably on some sort of list now for writing that.

Friday, January 23, 2015

1119: She Did It So He Suffocates

Maybe it's not a hairball. Maybe Kewpie ate too much food or drank too much water, or too much grass or not enough grass, or ate a leaf or got into something in the trash or re-ate her puke or ate her poop. Basically, if your dog is hacking something up, just assumed it ate the wrong thing.

As noted in the first strip--and in every other strip he wears that red sweater in, Brutus does wear only V-neck sweaters. But considering both the Thornapples and the Gargle seem to have big noses in the family, you would think Mother Gargle would've thought of that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

1118: I Would Love To See Some Strips With Gladys Working At a Candy Factory

I don't understand why families who barely live paycheck-to-paycheck continue to keep their wives at home. I get it if you have 17 children but Brutus and Gladys only have one.

Frankly, I would much rather take care of the home than have a real job. I think I'd make a good wife.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1117: Sports Week, I Guess

Or Brutus has very early-onset dementia and you're just laughing at him, ignoring the cries and screams for help in his brain. Selfish Gladys.

Monday, January 19, 2015

1116: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists." -excerpt from "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)

I'm not a sports person. Honestly, I didn't know who Stuart Scott was when I saw he passed away. He looked familiar but I couldn't tell you where from. But what I saw was that what Scott did transcended sports. I saw people who, like me, don't really care for sports, praising Scott and everything he did and the battle he fought against cancer. Brutus must really have loved Stuart Scott to risk life and limb on the slippery snow and ice atop an unprotected cliff. Seriously, put a guard rail or something.
Stuart Scott, 1965-2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

1115: I Didn't Realize the Definition Was So Work Specific

It's one thing if Brutus has taken your advice and attempted to make a change but just can't seem to break the habit of doing it wrong. It's another thing if you keep telling him to do it differently but not tell him how you would like the report. Last I knew, humans could not read minds so unless Veeblefester has told Brutus "This is how I want it done", Brutus isn't going to do it that way. Brutus also needs to learn the fine art of corporate delegating. When Veeblefester wants you to do something, get Jimmy the Intern to do it then when Veeblefester hates it, you can throw Jimmy under the bus and not have to pull that tired old "born loser" line out of your butt one more time.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

1114: He Yis What He Yam

The comic strip character Popeye celebrates his 86th birthday today. Popeye debuted in the January 17, 1929 edition of E.C. Segar's Thimble Theatre. Originally Thimble Theatre focused on Olive Oyl and her boyfriend Harold Hamgravy (later just named Ham Gravy). The strip then evolved into a comedy-adventure strip featuring Ham and Olive's brother Castor.

Popeye was hired by Ham and Castor to sail them to Dice Island so that they could take advantage of a casino using a magical hen. On the trip back, Popeye was shot by Jack Snork but survived by rubbing the feathers of the hen. Popeye was never intended to be seen again but due to popular demand, Popeye was soon brought back and within a couple years completely squeezed out Ham and Castor.

Popeye would better be known for his many, many, many theatrical shorts produced by Fleischer Studios and Paramount that lasted between 1933 and 1957.

Who is Brutus side-eyeing? It also doesn't appear that Brutus threw the pancake up that high but what do I know about aerodynamics?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1113: Placing Blame

Yes, immediately after I revamped this thing, I take a two day break. Makes sense, right? I've been trying to get some writing done on my novel and a short story but instead I've been goofing around with Dracula In London, one of my favorite DOS-based games from the '90s. I've also been run ragged with work and when I get home, I just want to veg. I'm hoping I can get stuff written soon and get some additional material posted here. I have several short stories to outline and write but also a novel I'm trying to get rewritten and finished. Because I am trying to focus on my writing, I am ending The Point of Beginning this Sunday but I am ending it on something I've written titled "Supercat" but I'll talk more about that when the story publishes.

The thing is, you can put those frozen TV dinners in the microwave for four hours and the center of everything will still be frozen. The tray it's in will be charred to a crisp but the damn mashed potatoes will be hard as a rock in the center.

"Come on, Mom, it's not like I've had my fist up my butt all day. It's not Sunday."

How dare Brutus be sick for more than one day. How dare he be sick at all!! Why can't Brutus have the immune system of a Veeblefester?

 Do any of you watch the CBS show "2 Broke Girls"? If not, check it some Monday and listen really close to the laugh track. It's the same track every time. Same laughs, same length, same volume. When you realize this, it actually ruins the show because the laugh track is so repetitive.

Monday, January 12, 2015

1112: At Least There's More Beef Than Flies This Time

Welcome to the new Losers Are Made, Not Born! While not much is changing, I thought I would combine the four separate volumes of LAMNB into the one so when you combine 1,021 plus 47, plus 8, plus 36, you seem to get 1,112 which is the number of this post. The giant number one on the side is supposed to signify a kind of new focus. Thank you to those who have read and kept reading this despite all of my bipolar idiosyncrasies and I hope you continue reading and tell your friends about this blog.

I always thought that this was a decent diner that Brutus ate at all the time. If it's isn't good then why does Brutus eat at it so much? It doesn't even seem like he read the menu. Maybe he just orders beef stew wherever he is. "Welcome to Starbucks. May I take your order?" "Beef stew." "We don't have beef stew, sir." "Beef stew!!"

Sunday, January 11, 2015

1021: I Can't Figure Out What Movie They Saw

It's assumed that Brutus stayed and watched the movie with Wilberforce but there is a chance Brutus snuck out to try to catch the more raunchy parts of "Wild", or, as my book club derisively called it, "Trail Slut."

Saturday, January 10, 2015

1020: Even God Rested for One Day

It's a Saturday. Brutus spends five days a week trying to sell tea cozies or whatever! He, as do all of us, deserves at least one day off from the tedious awfulness of life.

Friday, January 09, 2015

1019: Maybe Next December You Should Be "No, No, No"

I don't understand why we throw ourselves into debt for Christmas. The amount that I love you doesn't equal the amount I spend on you. Let's face it, the former is probably more than the latter anyway.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

1018: Still Confused About If Gladys Is a Bad Cook or Not

Heh. Gladys' anger is as hot as the oven.

I don't know how long a roast is supposed to cook. The only roast I've cooked goes in the crock pot and I don't have to worry about it. But I don't think Brutus' statement implies Gladys is a bad cook. Maybe Brutus should've asked how much longer it'll take to cook or how long has it been in? Then Gladys could've answered with "About thirty more minutes in the oven and then thirty minutes in your ass if you don't get out of my kitchen."

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

1017: They Don't Even Order That Size of Pizza for Their Own Dinner

I don't really care how you treat or raise your dog, (actually, I do but it's not something that comes up very often since I often stay away from people with dogs) but giving them an entire extra sausage pizza for their birthday seems really irresponsible.

Oh, God! Is Brutus one of those douchebags that uses the speakerphone when he's on his cell phone all the time? Those people annoy me so much. Why are you using your speakerphone when you are in public? You are bothering everybody within 50 feet of you!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

1016: At Least Actual Money Is Being Discussed, Not Just Sketchy Numbers

As some of you may know, I find credit scores a form of discrimination. A credit score doesn't reveal a person's ability to pay bills or debt. You would think that as long as your income is greater than the sum of your debts, that would be enough but nooooo. "We're always there for you." Ha! I'll make a scene!!

Monday, January 05, 2015

1015: Is Brutus Incompetent or Not?

"Also, I'm going to sign over the company to you. The SEC is stopping by later to ask about payroll fraud and stock market manipulation or something so you might miss lunch."

Sunday, January 04, 2015

1014: Look At That Stupid Face In the Last Panel

The snow we were supposed to get last night was wimpy and not worth the hype. We went from 4 inches of snow to a dusting within three days. It was very disappointing--all of the freezing cold wind and weather, none of the snow.

I'm sad that Chip didn't draw the little snot drip he usually draws when someone comes in from the cold.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

1013: No Longer In That Prime Demographic

I've always figured that Brutus is hovering around the age of 50 because I read a biography that said he was in his fifties but over the last several years I also thought he was supposed to be younger--early 40s or so because what kind of 50-year-old man has a 9-year-old son?

What was I talking about? Oh, yes! Neither kids nor old people understand those in-between years where it's assumed that creating this... a good idea.

Friday, January 02, 2015


Over the last few months I've been writing a young adult story. A story I'm rather proud about. I wanted to buck the trend of the rather depressing and generic young adult stories that are so prevalent right now. The main difference that I added was the creation of a transgender teen. What I hoped to accomplish was a universal story anyone can relate to but featuring a character who just happens to be transgender. But I also put trials in her life that show what transgender teens go through in their life. I show a parent who isn't quite on board, students discriminating, a sister who feels betrayed and everyone coming to terms with everything in their own way. For those of you wondering if it was difficult writing a transgender character, it wasn't because I just created a dynamic, well-rounded character who just happened to be transgender.
But I know the character still needs work and that's what I'm going to be spending most of my editing time doing. Fleshing out the character and making sure that her experiences are believable is important to the story as I want everyone to be able to put themselves in her shoes because people need to know that trans people are just that. People.

In the early morning hours of December 28th, Leelah Alcorn was hit by a tractor-trailer while walking along a stretch of Interstate 71 near Kings Mills, Ohio. The death was ruled a suicide after a post appeared posthumously on her Tumblr blog. It was a suicide note but more than that, it was a plea. A plea that her death matter. The note revealed that while Leelah (legal name, Josh) came out to her parents at age 14, their reaction was less than comforting. The Alcorns took their child to therapists but only therapists who extrapolated Christian values, when Leelah came out at school, her parents took her out of school and took away access to the outside world. You can read the full suicide note here. Leelah's plea for a more educated and tolerable society shouldn't fall on deaf ears.

We've told lesbian, bi, gay and trans people for the last few years that it gets better--that everything they had to fight for when they were younger stops when they hit adulthood and that people become more accepting and maybe for Leelah it would've become better but without support from her parents, it would've been a lot more difficult. Years of parental disappointment and loneliness is hard to come back from and enough was enough.
Leelah's mother, Carla, posted on Facebook the day of that her beloved son was hit by a truck while out on an early morning walk and to keep her family in your prayers. Since Leelah's death, her mother has been routinely erasing her daughter's gender by only referring to her as her son. She also refuses to even acknowledge that she had a role in her daughter's death.To a point, I get it. What parent wants to admit that they are the reason for their child's death? The erasure that Carla is doing to Leelah happens to teens of the LBGTQ+ community regularly and while it's nice that Carla has repeatedly said that she loved her son, but she said that she couldn't support Leelah based on religious grounds.

Based on news outlets that I have read, as with any story, there are two sides. Carla said that Leelah only came to her a few times about being transgender, never heard her use the name 'Leelah' and that while she denied Leelah from starting transitioning it was because it was too expensive. We may never know how often Leelah's parents told her "I love you" after she came out at age 14 but if you have a child, it is your responsibility to love them unconditionally and from Leelah's suicide note and a CNN interview with Carla, Leelah's parents did not love her unconditionally. Their love came with a condition--that Leelah be a good Christian boy. It's great that she loved her son, but she allowed her supposedly loving and caring religion from loving her daughter.

In her suicide note, Leelah said that she wanted her death to mean something. I hope we don't let her down.

Leelah Alcorn

The Trevor Project operates a 24/7 confidential hotline for LGBTQ+ youth. If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal, please call 1-866-488-7386, chat with them online here, or text them here.

Until next time, I remain...

1012: Too Belittle, Too Belate

"Rush promptly"? It's January 2nd. If you haven't wished someone happy new year by now then what's the point? Once again this is just Hattie piling onto Brutus and kicking him when he's up, trying to knock him down.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

1011: First Echo Joke of 2015

It's a brand new year and have some big plans for this site in the coming months and for the year but we'll see if anything actually changes. A new Whiz Bang will post tomorrow and a new 16th & Mass next week. I'm hoping to have some stories to post in February at the latest plus there will continue to be regular updates over at The Point of Beginning.

I've never thought a new year was really any different than the old year. I've never been one to claim everything is going to change just by going from December from January. What I'm getting at is that I am the echo in today's strip.