Blonde Customer Service

For the holidays, I finally broke down and got my wife the iPhone 5 after telling her to wait forever while using the old 3GS version. Of course she loves it, but then it took us almost two hours to set it up because there was a conflict with her Apple ID which of course meant…calling customer service!

To be fair, Apple customer service is above average, but generally speaking, calling customer service is like playing the odds at an online casino. A site like where you can play the slots is what I’m thinking  of. The odds can often be in your favor but sometimes when you call in you get (cue the da-da-doom music) “Blonde Customer Service.” No offense meant to blondes everywhere, it’s more of a category for any ditz of any race, gender or hair color. And I don’t mind using the term playfully because I have a blonde friend at work who is always saying, “Oh, I’m having a blonde moment” whenever she screws up.

I have some experience in taking customer service calls in the past so when it comes to calling in I know what to do to increase your odds:

1. Be patient and polite. If you stress out the representative most likely they will want to rush you off  phone and not fix the issue. Also, don’t tell them your life story. They’re paid to be empathetic but customer service people can only take so much. One guy told me about his hernia and I was making faces he couldn’t see (bleah!).

2. If you get a “blonde representative” try to work with them. Just because they’re blonde doesn’t mean they’re not nice–so let them put you on hold to go get help. In fact, I would encourage it. It’s a time investment so you may want to watch TV or read your email while this is happening.

3. If you get rude “blonde” service, then hang up and try again. This is what I mean by playing the slots. Pull that imaginary slot arm and try your luck for a good rep.

We did win with Apple customer service as we got a hold of a very knowledgeable web guru who walked us through clearing up the conflict with the Apple ID user name–and yes, she was female (could have been blonde) but smart and sincere.

…Of course, after resolving the Apple ID conflict, the iPhone activation process didn’t go through (most likely because everybody was activating at the same time on Christmas Day) and so I had to call our wireless provider to get it switched over. I guess I’m pretty lucky I have so much patience. Technology can break you if you let it.


Elvira is Contagious

I’m a BIG Elvira fan and I’m disappointed that her new show launch for Elvira’s Movie Macabre back in 2010 has disappeared, at least in my region. I looked at her official website and didn’t see any TV schedule unless it’s buried in there so maybe the series was short-lived. I’m sure it’s a hard gig to get going again since some viewers don’t even get the idea of a horror host for old, quirky movies.

Meanwhile, I’ll have to be satisfied with Svengoolie. He’s not as attractive but he definitely has the same cornball jokes (though, not really what I would call sexy jokes). He’s on ME TV where I’m at and plays Universal Studios selections. I’m guessing, but I think he’s been more successful with getting his show aired in this current environment because it’s considered “family friendly,” which is ironic since all the movies he plays were once  too horrific for small children or, with the Abbott & Costello movies, too racy (have you seen Abbott & Costello Go To Mars? Lots of retro-babes and even some retro-musclebound men).

Dog Talent Show Off Cartoon

I’m turning another year older in the coming month and I have to say life is like a dog show talent contest. Seriously, kids coming up now into the job market are tech savvy show offs whereas when I grew up I was lucky to be able to use a DOS based word processor with a dot matrix printer. Any computer games that were available were stuff like Police Quest or this great game about The Three Stooges which may never see the light of day again (it was simple but it was fun and the graphics were pretty good considering the limitations of what a monitor could show at the time). We had landline phones, no iPhones, no Kindle Fires or digital tablets or other devices to communicate with unless you count Walkie-Talkies.

For cartoons, I drew them all out by hand and if I wanted color I used gouache paint or colored pencils. Then I had to make xerox copies to submit them. What a long process that was, and with little reward compared to what I do now with a scanner, Photoshop and Email.

So I think I’m doing pretty good for my generation in that I’ve had to literally figure out every new piece of software on my own, as well as setting up websites and blogs. I’m certainly not what I consider a professional when it comes to websites as I really only want to do cartooning and illustration work, but I’m no slouch either.

SIDENOTE: I still hand draw and ink my cartoons because I enjoy it. I know some other cartoonist digitally ink in Adobe Illustrator or Flash (which I’m not opposed to). I also do my own lettering  unless it is an extended comic strip or book. My lettering style has been trashed by a couple of critics but at this stage I don’t think I care anymore what they think. My hand drawn touch makes the cartoons more sincere and often a little more funny due to the imperfections.

SIDENOTE: I’m really not THAT old. It seems like just when I was graduating the Internet was born and I was stuck between the old world of doing everything by hand and the new digital world. This is one reason why I have had to learn everything on my own. Even in Art School I wasn’t properly trained on programs like Photoshop, only introduced to their existence and then we had to do hand-cut/hand-drawn mock-ups for print layouts. It’s a wonder I’ve survived so long turning out funnies and illustrations and even prepped my own books in Adobe Design–I was literally trained in old school print design techniques which I have never had a use for.

Who are the Bingo Players in Your Neighborhood?

There are many people who play bingo, and each has their own reasons why they love the game.  And, if you wonder who they are, take a closer look and find where you belong or what best represents you.

Mid-life Women

They are the common face in a bingo crowd and most of the time, the friendly lady next door. Because there are no more kids to take care of, as the children have all grown-up, and there’s so much time left after house chores, they play bingo to pass time and to have some fun. It’s the bingo-clean fun that attracts most of these mid-life women–setting aside jackpots and bonuses. Bingo is part of their daily routine and a win or two is enough to make them call it a day.

The Updated Players

These are the people on the go and whose lives are dependent so much on their gadgets. And since bingo can be accessed through any smartphone or tablet, you’ll see them taking a break from their fast-paced life playing bingo while sitting in cafes, restaurants, train stations and even at the bus station. The freedom of mobility they get from their smartphones and gadgets gives them the liberty to sneak out, stop and play some bingo games. The reason of course is to kick out stress.

Big Bingo Fan

This player loves the game so much that they take the game very seriously. He looks at bingo as his expertise, knows every rule and component– knows them by heart. Ask him about online bingo and he can tell everything you want to know. He sticks to the game no matter what and will never pass any chance to play good bingo game. Most of the time, he’s the king of the bingo chat room as co-players wait and listen  to what he has to say about the game. He never misses a chance to try new bingo sites and not one escapes his list.

“I Always Win” Player

This player is proud of her bingo achievements. She talks nonstop about stories of her winning the big jackpot of this and that bingo site. She’s so lucky at playing bingo that she can’t remember losing in any of her past bingo games. She can even tell you one or two tips on how to win and boosts her ego as being born with good luck  to acquire the fortune she has raked in by just playing bingo. This type of player can easily pass as bingo promo girl.

No matter which player you are, you can visit and find for yourself a bingo site that you will love.


Rogaine Error, The Cynic Comic Strip

I was going through my The Cynic comic strip collection to start organizing it for E-books and found this storyline from 2006 done after New Year’s. A bit juvenile, yes, but it put a smile on my face after all this time.

Update note: I’m working on the Ebooks now into 2013. It’s a big project to rescue all these old strips.


Newborn on Halloween Cartoon Plus Halloween Funnies for your Kindle

I just finished collecting 60 pages of  Halloween cartoons for Kindle and the Kindle App for cellphones. About 95 percent of the cartoons have never been seen before–new material for my favorite holiday! Look for it through Amazon by typing in Halloween Funnies when you’re using your Kindle, Tablet, iPad or Smartphone or current direct link for computer users of the Kindle App is: Halloween Funnies at Cost is relatively cheap for $1.99 which is how low Amazon will let me go. I allowed for the lending option too, though, I admit I haven’t tried that option through Kindle yet.

I know there hasn’t been too many choices for funnies reading on cellphones which is one of the reasons I kept bored people in mind (stuck at the airport, stuck at the auto repair shop, stuck in a boring school lecture, etc.). It’s a quick download to pass the time. The humor ranges from funny to dark and morbid to twisted.

One of the trickiest parts of making cartoons to read both on a iPad, Kindle and iPhone or other smartphones is the sizing. I noticed many of the comics I’ve downloaded on my iPhone are too small to read. You can use your fingers to enlarge each page but that’s not very convenient. I decided to make my Ebook read horizontally to allow for more room because I have a mixture of box-sized cartoons, wide cartoons and short comic strips which I divided into sets of two panels per page. It’s still not ideal reading comics on a cellphone but overall the sizing is pretty good and the lettering is easy to read since I still hand letter my work.