Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our Top Comic Strips from Sunday, Dec. 21st edition of "Herald-Journal" in Spartanburg, SC

Greetings to our blog readers around the world, especially those of you in Norway where it must be verrrry cold!

Some two weeks ago, we passed through South Carolina and we picked up a copy of "The Herald-Journal" is Spartanburg, SC, one of the largest cities in the state.

As a lark, we are posting images from three comic strips in the Sunday edition of that paper which did not make the top ten; The images are of 1) the Northside Vikings football logo, Northside High School is nicknamed The Vikings and they are in Roanoke, Va.;  for "Hagar the Horrible" 2) American soldiers for "Beetle Bailey" and 3) "KizilMaske" or "RedMask" (in Turkish comic books) who is known in America as "The Phantom."

*-Comics which appear in "The Washington Post," which we survey a lot

#- Comics which appear in "The Roanoke Times," which we also survey a lot

Here is our top ten:

1. Bizarro

2. Closer to Home 

 3. Get Fuzzy #

4.  Doonesbury #*

5. Dilbert *#

6. Dustin *

7. Barney Google and Snuffy Smith (the strip's cartoonist John Rose is an acquittance of mine)

8. Garfield *#

9. Gasoline Alley

10. Family Circus *#

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Top Ten Comics from Sunday, Dec. 14th Washington Post: Bill Cosby Had a VERY Bad Year

Greetings to our blog readers in Costa Rica, Sweden and Australia......

Today, we focus on our ten favorite comic strips from "The Washington Post"(Sunday, Dec. 14th edition). For those of you in Kazakhstan who may have never been to America, Sunday is the day when color comic strips are posted in newspapers and web sites, such as

"The Washington Post" has substantially more comics than small-town newspapers like "The Register and Bee" in Danville, Va. And, there are comic strips for virtually every demographic, including "Reply All" (young women), "Baldo" (Hispanics), "Mark Trail" (children) and "Beetle Bailey" (Republican senior citizens men with hearing airs...........our apologies to Mort Walker).

Darrin Bell's "Candorville" is our top comic strip of the week for the first time in the survey (there are over 30 comic strips in the Sunday Post) when the title character, an African-American man presumably in his late twenties, overhears two school children talking about why their parents don't want them to watch "The Cosby Show." For those of you in Uzbekistan, there are some serious criminal allegations aimed at Bill Cosby (pictured top), a former stand-up comic and sitcom star.

"Candorville" is followed closely by "Pearls Before Swine" in which Rat declares that he wants to be president of the United States so he can aim drones to spy on every living person on earth. Of course, if he were running as a Republican for Congress in South Carolina, he could say something that outlandish and get elected as Congs. Joe Wilson and Mark Sanford, two of the most dubious members of Congress, did on Election Day (forgive the political commentary).

We used "Three Little Pigs" as our image for "Pearls" because Pig is one of the three major characters in the strip (Goat is the third).

Third place went to "Speed Bump," which depicts a medieval jousting the age of social media.

And, in fourth place, there was a hilarious look at Star Wars fanatics in Keith Kinght's "Knight Life," in which guys dressed like Storm Troopers are camping out for tickets to the next Star Wars film, which is due out next year.

Here is our top ten:

1. Candorville

2. Pearls Before Swine

3. Speed Bump

4. Knight Life

5. Lio


7. The Argyle Sweater

8. Dustin

9. Prickly City

10. Doonesbury

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top Ten Things We Should Blog About More in 2015 (our 10th year of blogging) Bird-watching and Girl-watching

Greetings to our blog-readers in Ireland, Mexico and Ethiopia (does our blog reach Ethiopia? Yeah, I guess it does) as well as those of you in Rize, Turkey, an area known for its vast tea resources.......and its small city soccer team which always loses 6-1 to Istanbul powerhouses.......sadeee saka ediyorum, Risedeki dostlarim/just kidding to those of you in Rize..........

We were trying to think about what we should blog more about in 2015, and we decided, well, what the hell, go with the, here is our list:

1) Bird-watching in West Virginia

2) Temple Owls mens basketball (top image)

3) Hot blonde woman spottings (image number two: Uma Thurman)

4) The Baltimore Orioles (bottom image of Cal Ripken Jr.)

5) The Pittsburgh Penguins

6) Opus the Penguin

7) Chilly Willy

8) Woody the Woodpecker

9) Jeb Bush's changes of becoming president (editorial comment: $#%&@#$!!!!!!!!!!!)

10) Angry Birds, Big Bird from "Sesame Street" and Bronx Obama* (tie)

*- Bronx Obama is a New York man who impersonates our president..........

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Last Ten Films I've Seen: "Ordinary People" is a Christmas Movie? kidding.........

For those unfamiliar with our blog, when we do these lists, we usually go with something that is referred to in the film rather than an image from the film or whatever our list is about.

Hence, the reason for the image of a burrito for "Eating," a photo of Jackie Kennedy for "The House of Yes," in which Parker Posey plays a young woman who thinks she is the former first lady, and the Harvard sweatshirt is for "The Paper Chase," a film which takes place on that Ivy League school's campus. That film won a Best Supporting Oscar for John Houseman.

Seven years later, that same award would go to Timothy Hutton, then only 20 years old for "Ordinary People," the 1980 Best Picture Oscar winner which is perhaps the most depressing Oscar winner ever (ok, so there is also"One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Schindler's List")........

"Mental Floss" featured an online article about how "Ordinary People" is actually a 'Christmas movie' as it indeed takes place in December, but, yeah, it's probably better to watch "A Christmas Story" as a family unit......

Here are the last ten films I've seen; this idea came from the great cinema magazine "Film Comment" (please don't sue us for $2.6 million).........

1) Intimate Lighting (fmr Czechoslavakia. 1965. dir: Ivan Passer)

2) Eating (1990. dir: Henry Jaglom)

3) The House of Yes. (1997. dir: Mark Waters)

4) Starstruck (Australia. 1982. dir: Gillian Armstrong)

5) Amour (Austria. 2012. dir: Michael Haneke)

6) The Theory of Everything. (2014. dir: James Marsh)

7) Elysium. (2013. dir: Neill Blomkamp)

8) Ordinary People (1980. dir: Robert Redford)

9) An Unmarried Woman (1978. dir: Paul Mazursky w/Jill Clayburgh)

10) The Paper Chase (1973. dir: James Bridges)

Top Ten European Cities We'd Like Visit: No When in Rome Cliches, please..........

Since Zappa the Family Cat is running loose like a runaway tiger from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. (not that there is a runaway tiger from the National Zoo or anywhere right now, perhaps, maybe the Phoenix Zoo......just kidding!), we will get right to our list:

1) Rome, Italy (Top image is of A.S. Roma, one of Italy's top soccer teams)

2) Stockholm, Sweden (the home country of Peter, Bjorn and John; Swedish flag pictured middle)

3) Barcelona, Spain (pictured bottom)

4) Berlin, Germany

5) Bergen, Norway

6) Lisbon, Portugal

7) Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

8) Athens, Greece

9) Rotterdam, Netherlands

10)  Riga, Latvia

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last Ten Songs We Heard on Simon-FM in Greensboro, NC

On Monday afternoon, between the hours of 4:00-5:00, perhaps when we should have been to "All Things Considered" on WFDD (88.5-FM, Winston-Salem, NC),
a local NPR affiliate, we were listening to 98.7-FM (Greensboro, NC)
and we have a list of ten songs in a row that were played on air during that hour.

The image of the jet plane from Bahrain is in reference to the band Jet, the poster for the 1987 film "Fatal Attraction" with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close is our image for the stalker anthem "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, and Cinderella is for the '80s pop metal band Cinderella.

Here are the ten songs:

1. All Right Now. Free. 1970

2. She Drives Me Crazy. Fine Young Cannibals. 1989.

3. Don't Know What You Got ('Til It's Gone). Cinderella. 1988.

4. Every Breath You Take. The Police. 1983.

5. Green-Eyed Lady. Sugarloaf. 1970.

6. Be Near Me. ABC. 1985.

7. Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Jet. 2003.

8. The Dock of the Bay. Otis Redding. 1968

9. 867-5309/Jenny. Tommy Tutone. 1981.

10. Black Water. The Doobie Brothers. 1974.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our Top Sunday Comic Strips from the Roanoke Times for the Week of December 7th

Greetings to our blog readers in Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil!

This week, "Doonesbury," which had an exceptional gag with scenes from the comic strip's six main characters and their unique story lines in six different panels. Since the comic strip reminded us of a soap opera, we decided to use an image with the cast of "Young and the Restless" to go with this Sunday's "Doonesbury," but we somehow doubt that Garry Trudeau watches soap operas?!

"Pearls Before Swine" featured a satire of a job interview in which Rat, who has even fewer people skills than Dilbert (for those of you in Slovakia Dilbert is in the comic strip "Dilbert;" we're not making fun as you are our favorite former Yugoslav republic**) tries to be candid and honest to his futility.Oh btw, the snazzy Mexican men's dress shoes are used as our image for "Pearls."

Lastly, "Get Fuzzy," which usually revolves around squabbling between a cat and a third comes in third place as the house pets have it out over a broccoli casserole, or something like that!

Here is our top ten from the Sunday Dec. 7th "Roanoke Times," which does not carry "Rhymes Before Orange," WUMO," Brewster Rockit: Space Guy," "Sherman's Lagoon," "Dustin," "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee"........................but, hey still have "Hi and Lois"!

1) Doonesbury

2) Pearls Before Swine

3) Get Fuzzy

4) Dilbert

5) Jump Start (highest rating ever for this comic on our survey)

6) Garfield

7) Speed Bump

8) Zits

9) Agnes

10) Pickles

**_ This is a joke! Unlike quite a few Americans, I know that Slovenia is the country that was once part of Yugoslavia.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Top 10 Cities We Want to See in the World: When in Rome....

Greetings to our blog readers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, alas none of your cities made it into the top ten, but one city in Asia got through.

The reason why Rome (top image) and Miami (middle image, Miami Dolphins cheerleaders) rank so high is because I've been to the airports in both cities, but I've never had a chance to visit either of them directly.

Vancouver, Canada (bottom image), was a place I had planned to visit in 1994, but I ended up going to Toronto and Montreal instead.

This is a companion entry to our Daily Vampire entry (see link)

Here is our top ten:

1. Rome, Italy

2. Miami, Fla. USA

3. Vancouver, BC, Canada

4. Marrakesh, Morocco

5. Buenos Aires, Argentina

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

7. Stockholm, Sweden

8. Barcelona, Spain

9. Berlin, Germany

10. Kuala Lampur, Malaysia

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Washington Post Comics Survey: Brewster Rocket Rules....

Greetings to our beloved blog readers in Panama, Cuba and Serbia.

This week, we look at our ten favorite comic strips from the Sunday, Nov. 30th "Washington Post." For a look at the "Roanoke Times" survey, go to our sister blog "The Daily Vampire"

"Brewster Rockit" which poked fun of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday came in first, hence the reason why we have an image of "Aliens" (top image) as the comic strip takes place in outer space; perhaps Brewster and George Jetson run into each other on their work commute.

Second place goes to the Danish import "WUMO" which shows a family dog getting a lot of perhaps slightly unwanted attention as he or she swallowed the remote control (center image). Third place goes to "Pearls Before Swine," which has a brilliant line that makes of Southwest Airlines (bottom image) which most assuredly can't be as awful as American Airlines (we didn't just say that!).....

Here are our top ten strips:

1) Brewster Rockit


3) Pearls Before Swine

4) Foxtrot

5) Knight Life

6) Lio

7) The Argyle Sweater

8) Reply All

9) Prickly City

10) Big Nate

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Last Ten CDs We've Listened To.....before the last ten cds we've listened to......Debuts from Talking Heads, The Cars and Blur

Greetings to our blog readers in Canada, Poland and Sweden.

Since the cds we mention here include a recording by Turkish instrumentalist Mercan Dede called "Su," the Turkish word for water, we have an image of the Manavgat Waterfalls near Antalya, Turkey.

Also, our good friend Bruce Piephoff from Greensboro, NC, ha a catchy song about another Tar Heel town called "I Remember Asheville" on his record "Sogni d'Oro," so we have an image of the Biltmore House, which is located in Asheville, NC.

Lastly, indy folk singer Michelle Shocked had a song about Anchorage, Alaska, simply called "Anchorage" on of her early albums which is among the last ten before the last ten.......

Here is the list:

1) Bruce Piephoff. Sogni d'Oro. 2007. Folk

2) Mercan Dede. Su/Water. 2004. World.

3) Billy Bragg. Tooth and Nail. 2013. Folk

4) Michelle Shocked. Short, Sharp, Shocked. 1988. Indy/folk

5) Talking Heads. Talking Heads:77. 1977 (Featuring "Psycho Killer," band's first record)

6) Psychedlic Furs. Mirror Mirror. 1984.

7) Simple Minds. Street Fighting Years. 1989.

8) Blue. Leisure. 1991 (band's first record)

9) The Cars.The Cars. 1978. (band's first record)

10) The Replacements. Let It Be. 1984.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The DC List (3 of 3): Republican Membersof Congress...... and when they turn 103.....

Greetings to our beloved blog readers around the world in Germany, Serbia and Turkey.

This is the last installment in our look at when just re-elected Republican members of Congress will turn 103; the joke is that these will also be the years when their seats are competitive again, because Republicans have drawn up perfect politic maps to suit their interests across the nation.

It should be pointed out that Cong. Morgan Griffith (R-Va., pict. top) is a man I respect and admire despite personal political differences. It should also be  pointed that I think Cong. Mark Sanford (R-SC, pict, bottom) is a scoundrel and a hypocrite for having an affair on his wife with a woman from Argentina while he was governor of South Carolina. Amazingly enough, voters in that state sent him up to Washington, DC.

There were also some good Democrats who won last Tuesday, including Cong. David Price (D-NC) and Cong. Jared Polis (D-Colo).

Here are the years when these ten members of Congress will turn 103:

1. Cong. Morgan Griffith (R-Va) 2061

2. Cong. Mark Meadows (R-NC, pict center) 2062

3. Cong. Mark Sanford (R-SC) 2063

4. Cong. Steve Womack (R-Ark) 2060

5. Cong. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) 2081

6. Cong. Kevin Brady (R-Tex) 2058

7. Cong. Lee Terry (R-Neb) 2065

8. Cong. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) 2062

9. Cong. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) 2055

10. Cong. Tom Petri (R-Wisc.) 2043 (Folks we disagree with) (Link to columns from my fellow liberal Turkish-American Cenk Uygur) (for more GOP members and when they turn 103)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Meet Your Republican Congressman (2 of 3).........and guess when he will turn 103.......

Greetings to our blog readers in Slovenia, France and Mexico..........

Here are 10 members of Congress (the House of Representatives) the year they will turn 103....oh, btw, all of them are Republican, which probably means they aren't well-versed in The Urban Dictionary:

1) Cong. Scott Rigell (R-Va, pict. top) 2063

2) Cong. Walter Jones (R-NC, pict. center, man responsible for term 'freedom fries') 2046

3) Cong. Billy Long (R-Mo) 2058

4) Cong. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) 2067

5) Cong. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla) 2047

6) Cong. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) Deputy Majority Whip. 2052.

7) Cong. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) 2054

8) Cng. Tom Price (R-Ga) 2057

9) Cong. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala) 2058

10) Cong. Trent Franks (R-Az, pict. bottom) 2060 (for more GOP reps and the years they turn 103)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Meet Your DC Republican Congressional Rep (1 of 3)............and, guess when they will turn 103...........

Greetings to our blog readers around the world in The Bahamas, India, Kenya and Cyprus......all countries that were once ruled by our unapologetic imperialist friends in England......but, in all seriousness, welcome to each of you, or hosgeldiniz as they say in Turkish!

We must admit that each time we make fun of House of Representatives members, we feel a slight bit of guilt as we know they are working long, hard hours, but then I recall when Cong. Joe Wilson (R-SC, pictured bottom) called Pres. Barack Obama a liar during a State of the Union address, and we realize, what we do is perfectly ok!

Since Republicans have perfectly gerrymandered their seats in Congress to, in some cases, ensure their people will be in Congress for an extended period of time, we thought we'd late you know when your Republican Congressional member is turning 103; so here we go:

1) Cong. Robert Hurt (R-Va, pict. top) 2072

2) Cong. Renee Elmers (R-NC, pict center) 2067

3) Cong. Joe Wilson (R-SC, pict bottom) 2050

4) Cong. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) 2051

5) Cong. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) 2071

6) Cong. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) 2076

7) Cong. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) 2051

8) Cong. Andy Barr (R-Ky) 2076

9) Cong. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) 2064

10) Cong. Gregg Harper (R-Ms.) (also) 2064 (yes, he spells his name with two g's!) (yeah, we don't agree with them) (we don't agree with them, either) (we do agree with them) (we might agree with them too) (for more GOP Congressional members who turn 103)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Last Ten Films I Saw Before the Last Ten Films I've Seen: Reexaming Freddy Krueger

Greetings to our blog readers from New Zealand, Poland and Egypt.

The images above are of: 1) Freddy Krueger from 'The Nightmare on Elm Street' film series, he is now a Republican congressman from Alabama, 2) Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who will soon be starring in a reality tv show about narcissists. The film "The Fifth Estate" is about him and 3) well, it's just a human skeleton (we are using it for the movie "The Skeleton Twins," which stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig).

1) "Mean Streets." 1973. dir: Martin Scorsese

2) "Nightmare on Elm Street." 1984. dir: Wes Craven

3) "Yeelen." Mali. 1987. dir: Souelymane Cisse

4) "Rush." 2013. dir: Ron Howard.

5) "The Fifth Estate." 2013. dir: Bill Condon.

6) "Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One" (documentary/experimental film). 1968. dir: William Greaves (alas the director died this year)

7) "Don's Party." Australia (in English). 1976. dir: Bruce Beresford.

8) "Labor Day" 2013. dir: Jason Reitman (with Kate Winslet)

9) "The Skeleton Twins."2014  dir: Craig Johnson.

10) "Frank." Ireland (in English) 2014. dir: Lenny Abrahamson

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Tweets: Mach Ado About Silly String

Greetings to our lovely blog-readers in Wales, Slovakia and Jordan.

Tonight, we focus on tweets from Halloween night.

1) David Corn (liberal reporter): "Since when did most kids come to feel entitled to two pieces of candy, not one, when they trick and treat?"

2) Brent Watts (Channel 7 Roanoke, Va., weather reporter): "Reports of thundersnow in North Carolina as this system vamps up"

3) Bill Amend (cartoonist of "Foxtrot"): "For Halloween, I've dressed up as a bored middle-aged guy surfing the web while imagining everyone he knows having fun."

4) Mother Jones (liberal magazine): "Silly string is illegal here_but only on Halloween."

5) CNN: "A game company wants to help creator of 'Operator' with his operation costs."

6) Scott Simon (NPR reporter): "Man on streets dressed as what daughters call 'wee wee' for Halloween. Does he think women will this debonair"?

7) Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ): "A year ago today, I was sworn in Vice President Biden as a Senator from the great state of New Jersey."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Best of Sunday Washington Post Comics (Oct. 12th edition)

Greetings to our blog readers in Slovenia, Netherlands and Italy, we recognize that all three countries had club team defeats today in UEFA Champions League play today, but if you are from Slovenia and you root for Maribor, just go ahead and enjoy London and forget about the penalty kick from Didier Drogba of Chelsea and the other four or five goals that followed. Yeah, I guess that is easier said than done as we say here in America.

Our personal favorite comic strip from the Sunday Washington Post (Oct. 12th edition) was "Lio," in which the title character sees an alien who looks exactly like one in the Alien films with Sigourney Weaver, clips off a tab from a poster to learn how to dress for Halloween.

The silver medal went to American gymnast Nastia Liukin (just seeing if you were doodling) or rather "Sherman's Lagoon" in which Sherman the shark and his family try to get holiday photos at a Walgreen's in Dayton, Ohio (or some place like that).

A moving tribute to Robin Williams as Mork (center image) in "Mork and Mindy" was our third-place pick, and "Mark Trail," which featured an amazing illustration of a rock python strangling a crocodile (bottom image is of the beloved children's lit character Gena the Crocodile).....yeah, we have a bit of an off-beat sense of humor here.

Here is the top 10:

1) Lio

2) Sherman's Lagoon

3) Brewster Rockit

4) Mark Trail

5) Zits

6) Candorville

7) Knight Life

8) Doonesbury

9) Frazz

10) Judge Parker

Monday, October 20, 2014

Our Favorite Comic Strips from the Sunday Roanoke Times (Oct. 12th edition)

Greetings to our blog readers in New Zealand, Kenya and Argentina as well as our domestic friends in Alaska, Hawaii and Kansas.

We are taking a H.G. Wells time machine back to last Sunday as we did not get around to posting our favorite comic strips from a week ago Sunday, but we have them for your consumption right here; for the latest survey go to our sister blog "The Daily Vampire" at:

There is a major surprise in this survey as we rank "Zits," a comic strip about a teenage boy who hasn't aged since Bruce Springsteen's 1984 album "Born in the USA" came out and that was well, first when I was a teenager! (Actually, we just researched and "Zits" actually debuted in 1997). In the Oct. 12th issue, Jeremy, the kid who never gets passed the wonder years is seen loading textbooks on a conveyor belt as he takes them out of a '70s VW van (top image). This is perhaps the funniest "Zits" strip we have seen in ages.

The silver medal goes to American swimmer Michael Phelps (we were just trying to see if you were paying attention). It actually goes to "Doonesbury," right-wing comic talk show host Dennis Miller's favorite comic strip (yeah, I somehow doubt that since "Doonesbury" is brilliant progressive satire). which makes fun of how our government makes back room deal with Middle Eastern dictators. Since the dictator in the strip is a fictional character who looks like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, we went with an image of sheep for the comic strip (center image; these are actually sheep in Turkey).

In this place, we have the always funny Stefan Pastis comic strip "Pearls Before Swine," which features Pig offending two blue birds which leaves his frenemy Rat to come to his comfort.

Here is our top ten:

1) Zits

2) Doonesbury

3) Pearls Before Swine

4) Dilbert

5) Get Fuzzy

6) Speed Bump

7) Garfield

8) Non-Sequitir

9) Agnes

10) Jump Start (web site for Michael Moore, we try to abide by the 'equal time' rule)

PS: Dennis Miller will be performing live in Colorado Springs, Colo., a right-wing evangelical enclave that's also home to the Air Force Academy; I imagine he will have a large crowd there.