Unlucky Pirate


   I've been thinking about doing an original comic strip ever since I started doing this TGIF newsletter but I was always pressed for time. The last strip I made was way back in High School --- a comic book depicting my classmates and teachers as super heroes. What started as an experiment turned into a labor of love. My classmates would pass the book around. and I would come up with a new page a day and staple it on to the other earlier pages. One day the book never returned to me. Subsequently, since I still remembered the panels in my head, I made a second version of the book. But Parazo, a kid from another class borrowed the book which he pretended he didn't have. That was frustrating and depressing. Those two selfish acts ruined the dream for me. I never made another comic book after that.
   A few weeks ago, I accompanied my wife to a company retreat and I decided to work on a cominc strip while I waited for her in the hotel room. The pieces --- the plot, the characters, the theme --- were floating in my head for years so it was just a matter of gathering them all together.
    Today I present the first issue of that comic strip which I call END TIMES. I'm sure it will evolve in journalistic and visual style but for now, it is what it is. You, as a subscriber, will be among the first to view this artistic attempt. I hope I find the time to churn up something new each Friday.
   If it wasn't for those 2 thieves who stole my works of art, I probably would have made many more cartoon strips. Good or bad, that bump in the road was a game changer in my life. At least today I'm making an attempt to return those lost years.
   What about YOUR bump in the road? Have you revisited it? Follow me. Let's overcome it together.

Wisdom from Mike of New York
Words of Wisdom

The best teachers are
those who show you
where to look,
but don’t tell you
what to see.
Alexandra K.Trenfor

Thanks to this week's winners:
Rodney of Manitoba; Mike and Charlie of New York; Tom and Art of Pasadena; Janette of Hong Kong; Wally of Moreno Valley; Jackie of Whittier.

You can view this email
and send me
feedback online at

A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
--- Proverbs 17: 22

Accidental Pirate
Contributed by Charlie of New York

A pirate walked into a bar, and the bartender said, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while.
What happened?
You look terrible."

"What do you mean?" said the pirate, "I feel fine."

"What about the wooden leg? You didn't have that before."

"Well," said the pirate, "We were in a battle, and I got hit with a cannon ball, but I'm fine now."

The bartender replied, "Well, OK, but what about that hook? What happened to your hand?"

The pirate explained, "We were in another battle. I boarded a ship and got into a sword fight. My hand was cut off. I got fitted with a hook but I'm fine, really."

"What about that eye patch?"

"Oh," said the pirate, "One day we were at sea, and a flock of birds flew over. I looked up, and one of them pooped in my eye."

"You're kidding," said the bartender. "You couldn't lose an eye just from bird poop?!?!?!"

"It was my first day with the hook."

Click on the comic strip to view an enlargement of END TIMES.

Videos of the week:

Gamarjobat - Japanese Comedy Magic
Contributed by Wally of Moreno Valley, CA

Japanese Comedy Magic

Crazy. Funny. Creative.

These guys are a riot!

Carmen (the opera) in Masada, Israel
Contributed by Mike of Ne York

Carmen at Masada

Like opera? How about opera in a historically significant desert?

Masada was an infamous final stronghold of the revolting Jews against the Romans in 73 A.D. where the Jews eventually committed mass suicide rather than be captured by the Romans.
It's a bit long --- 22 minutes.

Asia's Got Talent: 2015 Winner -- El Gamma
Contributed by Janette of Hong Kong and Art of Pasadena, CA


To combine entertainment and a message --- that's true genius. These Filipinos deserve to win.

The Ford Model T - A brief history

Contributed by Rodney of Manitiba, B.C.
Ford Model T 100 years later

Car lovers should watch this. When I went to visit an old friend in Michigan last year, we toured the Ford museum and I saw the early Ford models driven around the tour grounds. Beautiful machines.
You've come a long way baby!

The App Driven Car is Here

Contributed by Tom of Pasadena, CA

Audi piloted driving

Someone borrowed my car last weekend. The next morning I got a text that he had scratched the car while parking beside a pillar. Where was this app when I needed it?

Behind the Scenes of Omaha Beach, D Day
Contributed by Charlie of New York
Omaha Beach D Day

This is s pretty long video but I was rivetted by it. I forgot how generals play the game of war using every invention and deception at their disposal. I also forgot how many "pawns" lost their lives in this deadly exercise. Oh, the cruelty of war. And to think that the lessons have yet to be learned by many to this day.

Reaction of Young Couple Made to Look Old

Contributed by Jackie of Whittier, CA

Young couple aged 70 years with makeup

These two lovebirds understand that it's only makeup but still, this exercise turns into an emotional reality check. Quite moving.

TGIF people! See you next week!


Excited about the comic strip. Good beginning. In suspense where it is going. Best of luck!


Yeah. I'm kinda excited myself. The vision is in my head but putting it down in paper is another thing.

Great Gobs of talent and energy. You possess a talent that just oozes skill and good judgement. I applaud your new comic strip and the artistic endeavor is perfect.

Congratulations and Best Wishes for a great success in the field.

Tom of Pasadena

Thanks a lot Tom. Very flattering. I appreciate it a lot.

A career in this field is not really a goal but it is more of an outlet. Let's see where this goes.


--- Raoul

You are such a talented individual. WOW ! You are really really gifted. Have a blessed Friday.

Jen of Glendale, CA

Thanks Jeanett, you make me blush.

I'm glad you are having fun.


--- Raoul

I remember Parazo, too from elementary, Raoul. [He is indeed problematic]. Live and learn, I guess. Good luck on your new adventure! I, too wanted to write a comic strip. I had all these zingers and one-liners in my head. Problem was (and still is), I couldn't even draw stick figures properly. Happy Friday, classmate!


Hey, neat!

Some day I'll be able to say I knew Raoul before he learned how to draw! Or, maybe I know the real reason you want to be a cartoonist:

Anyway, I'll be keeping my copies of all your End Times efforts. Maybe some day you'll be putting out a 20-year anthology.

For my birthday in 2008, one of the chilluns bought me the Scott Adams' 20 Years of Dilbert anthology. It came with a DVD of his cartoons, going back to originals long before he was syndicated. Some good reads there.

Keep on truckin', and someday we'll have half the world following you.

Russ of Monrovia, CA

Thanks Rus,

Good to hear from you. I liked that Far Side comic. Looks just like me.

A Dilbert fan, huh? Yeah! he’s good too.

I don’t know about being a “real” cartoonist. For now, it’s just for fun.


Cannot wait until next weeks episode of Jocelyn & Zoe !!

Debbie of Moreno Valley, CA

I can't wait myself. I've got the idea in my head but I still need to execute it.

Wait and see.

--- Raoul

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