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November 2009 Archive for Rubes Cartoons - Tales from a Twisted Mind

RSS By: Leigh Rubin,

A cartoonish look at life...

An exercise in frustration

Nov 30, 2009

There, sitting on my front porch last week was one very large, heavy box. In the aforementioned box was a piece of exercise equipment...a treadmill. My wife and I have wanted to get a treadmill for the last couple of years but just kept putting it off until we saw one available through a big “club store” which shall remain nameless but begins with the letter “C”.

I was going to surprise my wife and have it all assembled when she got home this afternoon, but imagine my dismay when after I had just begun to assemble the behemoth, having attached just one part, I noticed that the matching “hole”  on the opposite side of the base was missing. This is an important hole as the entire machine rests upon what attaches to the hole. I called one of my sons in to see if it the hole was actually missing or if it was just me. He confirmed the hole was indeed not drilled where it should be. Not wanting to void any warranty on the beast I must now wait until Monday to call the manufacturer’s customer support line.

As I have already stated, this thing weighs a ton and the thought of dragging/lifting it down the hallway into the car and schlepping it to the big club store that begins with the letter “C” (and ends with “ostco”) during the busiest shopping time of the year has very little appeal. So, not wanting to void any warranty by drilling holes in the beast I must now wait until Monday to call the manufacturer’s customer support line. Included with the assembly instructions was a small piece of paper that has a picture of a stop sign at the top and says,” If you have any questions, or parts are damaged or missing. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN THIS PRODUCT TO THE STORE.” This is followed by a toll free customer care number.

So, until such time as I can get this thing up and running at least I’m getting a good workout. It’s called an exercise in frustration.

 Exercise your right to a New Year of laughter!..The new Rubes 2010 Daily desk calendar is here at: ! (It’s also available at all of your favorite online and neighborhood bookstores!)

Why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday By Leigh Rubin

Nov 26, 2009

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I get to spend time with my family (even if they’d rather be somewhere else) and because we all get to eat lots of turkey and mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce (which I am a fanatic about. If there isn’t cranberry sauce it isn’t really Thanksgiving!) and for my wife’s unbelievably fresh mixed salad (are your listening, Honey?) and for the all the other side dishes (excluding the green bean casserole) and for the apple pie and especially for the pumpkin pie (YUM!!!!) and for all the laughter. I am especially thankful that we will be having Thanksgiving at my brother in law's house which means there will be no dishes to clean. Thanks for listening and Happy Thanksgiving!



 I’d be really thankful if you’d take a peek at the new Rubes 2010 Daily desk calendar at: ! (It’s also available at all of your favorite online and neighborhood bookstores!)

%&*$! Gophers!!! (Part two)

Nov 25, 2009

I now possessed the knowledge and training to successfully rid my yard from gophers once and for all (%&*$! Gophers!!! )... (Well, if not forever at least for enough time for my lawn to recuperate.) I purchased the necessary hardware (very little software is needed when trapping’s a low tech activity) and waited for the next fresh gopher mound to appear, which it did in short order. I followed my neighbor’s instructions exactly as she taught me using a crow bar to probe for the tunnel then carefully digging into the lawn in order to expose the tunnel. Then I carefully lowered spring loaded instruments of death in place and gently covered them up so as to prevent light from exposing the wicked little devices to my intended prey. Then I waited, but I didn’t have to wait long. About a day later I saw the telltale sign of an ant trail leading to the hole. It seems ants have a taste for gophers, but only when they can catch them which is usually when they are deceased, much like the one in my trap. That gopher was the first of many which now occupy a little gopher graveyard in a far corner or my backyard. They rest in peace and I have a little piece of mind...and a lawn without mounds...for the time being.

 You’ll really dig the new Rubes 2010 Daily desk calendar! Go-pher it at: ! (It’s also available at all of your favorite online and neighborhood bookstores!)

%&*$! Gophers!!!

Nov 23, 2009


As you might surmise from the title of today’s blog I have some pretty strong feeling regarding gophers. It all started ten years ago when I moved to my new home. I hadn’t been troubled by gophers when I lived in the desert, but like me, it seems they also prefer coastal living. As you may know I try my best not to kill living things unnecessarily (flies and ants are not welcome in my home). Unfortunately, the town where I reside is built, for all intents and purposes, on a giant ant hill and gopher mound. I quickly learned that the more money you put into landscaping the more gophers will be attracted to your property. Within no time the situation was out of hand and I needed help. One of my neighbors was a real pro (hundreds trapped!) and showed me the proper way to trap (impale) the little varmints. My first attempt did not go according to plan. Oh, I caught something alright...a hungry gopher snake who wandered down the same hole where I had placed the trap. Fortunately I was able to free the snake and I never saw something slither away so fast. Guess I really can’t blame him. I stopped trying after that and used other methods (flooding the hole, poison pellets, smoke bombs, etc.) but none successfully. Years went by and I put up with an unsightly lawn and multiple mounds of dirt until I could take it no more. I was not alone. One of my other neighbors (a devout vegetarian) had also had enough and she quickly racked up ten kills. (I am guessing she is not a member of PETA).  She shared with me the step by step procedure which had proven so successful and I was eager to put my new knowledge to use... (To be continued...)

Hey, the new Rubes 2010 Daily desk calendar is here! You can go-pher it at: ! (It’s also available at all of your favorite online and neighborhood bookstores!)



Pet Peeve

Nov 18, 2009


So last week when I was flying back from Oregon on an airline, which shall remain nameless, (United) there were a number of empty seats on the plane, both in front and in back of me. The door had closed and no other passengers were allowed on the plane. My buddy and I inquired about moving to another seat as there were three of us in our row and a little extra space would have been most welcome. The flight attendant said we could move to the seats behind us, (which wouldn’t have improved our situation at all because there was a least one person in every row) but we couldn’t move forward because those seats were in the “Economy Plus” section. For those of you who are unfamiliar with “Economy Plus” it’s where you pay more for a few more inches of legroom. Now I am but a lowly consumer, but don’t you think that is a bit silly? It would have cost the airline, which shall remain nameless, (United) absolutely nothing to let us switch our seats and it would have been a nice little public relations move on their part. There, I feel better now. Thanks for listening. Sometimes it’s the little things that driving me barking mad...



Kick back and’s always a First Class experience at: 

Happy cows make happier bulls

Nov 17, 2009

They say that happy cows come from California. What they don’t say is what makes them so happy. And what about the bulls who reside in the Golden State...are they just as full of good cheer?  In the interest of bovine gender equality I’ll assume that the bulls in California are equally as happy as the cows. As for why the females are in such good humor is anyone’s guess but when it comes to the bulls I have a pretty good idea of why they’d be smiling...


 There’s always plenty of udder silliness at 

We are not in Kansas anymore...

Nov 14, 2009

2009 marks the seventieth anniversary of the Hollywood classic, The Wizard of Oz, one of the most popular movies ever made. The lovable, (and not so lovable characters) of Oz have become American icons around world and their lines have become part of the American lexicon. Now, thanks to a similarly named British rock star and some savvy marketing there is another Oz (or Ozzfest) which also enjoys a huge amount of popularity. Though it is quite different from the original Oz, the characters which perform at the yearly Ozzfest are probably no less colorful. I say, why not join the two, sort of like a corporate merger. I don’t think the idea is so farfetched. After all, when it comes to heavy metal, who could possibly play it better than the original Tin Man?



 Click your heels together and say three times,
 “There’s no place like .There's no place like .There’s no place like ..."

Adventures in Pottyland

Nov 12, 2009

Having done my fair share of traveling I consider myself somewhat of an expert on which airports have the cleanest and most innovative restrooms. There are some that are, how shall I put this delicately...really stinky and then there are some that appear to have been just cleaned by my mother (who always makes sure the potty is spotless!). Just last week, I think it was in San Francisco, I tried out a hand dryer where you have to insert your hands in awkwardly from the top. Oh, it worked really well (awesome blowing power!)  but the angle was pretty uncomfortable. It reminded me of the kid’s board game “Operation” where you mustn’t touch the sides of the game with your pretend surgical tool or an electric buzzer goes off.  I just wonder how guys with big hands fit them in there. Another cool innovation I experienced a couple years ago was the self changing toilet seat cover. It sure beat having to pull one of the old fashioned “tissue” kind out of the wall dispenser, placing it carefully on the toilet seat only to have the whole thing get “sucked” into the pot when the little flap in the middle (which I always thought was some kind of “anchor” to hold the “butt gasket “in place) quickly absorbed too much water before I had the chance to sit down. Now that, my friends, is what I consider a real pain in the a**!

C’mon, sit down and take a load off at: !

I have seen the light!

Nov 11, 2009

I would like to thank an anonymous commenter for correcting me on my post of 11-4-09 (Sunny side up). Apparently I had it all backwards. Daylight Savings Time just ended, which makes sense as there’s less daylight now than there was before.  Still, I really do prefer longer days, but then again I only have to wait until the winter solstice until the days start getting longer again. For the next several weeks the pooch and I will roam by the light of the moon (when there is one). So thanks again for letting me know. I suppose it’s fair to say that for all these years I’ve the dark.

See the light at: !


Nov 10, 2009

Some people escape into books, others into a good movie. I too like to get away from it all. It’s healthy to take a break from the normal routine and experience a change of pace even if it’s just for a couple of hours. While I do a fair share of reading and movie watching nothing beats really getting away from it all, so several times a year I find myself up in Oregon’s spectacular Hood River Valley. Nothing beats just hanging out, with a couple of good friends. Of course we don’t just lie around all day. Usually we manage to get up (drag ourselves out of bed) at a reasonable hour, (reasonable depending on how late we stayed up the evening before), enjoy a tasty breakfast prepared by my pal Steve, and then, weather permitting, (and it usually does) Rick, Steve and I hit the trail for a few hours. One of our favorite shorter hikes (if we didn’t get to bed at a reasonable time) is a little gem of a trail through the Hood River National Forest by the east fork of the Hood River that ends at Tamanawas Falls. ( Oregon Wild Hikes: Tamanawas Falls — Oregon Wild) The moist, fresh air, the smell of the lush forest and all those stunning the fall colors, oh, and a surprise snow shower! But I can’t escape forever. I just returned last night (again!) and now it’s back to the old routine. Of course, without the “same old routine” how would any us appreciate getting away from it all? I’m not sure...but I wouldn’t mind giving it a try... 


(Steve and Leigh at the Tamanawas Falls Photo courtesy of Rick Rittenburg)


Get away from it all at: !

Sunny side up

Nov 04, 2009

Now that Daylight Saving Time has rolled in for another year I am forced to walk my dog earlier and earlier each evening. I really don’t mind walking in the dark (we have no streetlights) but I prefer to walk after dinner to at least pretend I’m working off some calories, but now it’s gets dark before I even get hungry. These days most all of the clocks we have (cell phone, computer, cable box) reset themselves so I don’t have the pleasure of springing ahead and especially falling back. Heck, being self-employed means I can’t even call my boss and say I’m going to be late because I forgot to reset my clock! If I sound like I’m whining it’s because I am. I like long summer days....the longer the better. At least in recent years Daylight Saving Times has been shortened. As far as I’m concerned they can do away with Daylight Saving Time altogether, but until they do I’ll just try to try to look on the sunny side....even though there’s less of it.


      Start your day on the funny side at:

The End is Near(er)

Nov 02, 2009

The world is going to come to an end; some people say, in 2012, this according to the famous Mayan calendar. Over the centuries the world has been predicted to come to an end countless times so forgive me if I’m not exactly quaking in my boots (or sneakers as the case may be).

But what if the Mayan calendar is off by a day? Just think, on the day the world was supposed to end, but didn’t, there would be a huge sigh of relief. Everybody would party and go to bed feeling all secure and the next day, “Surprise!” That would be the ultimate “Gotcha!” wouldn’t it? Everybody would laugh at the irony of it all except nobody would be around to appreciate the joke. Oh well. What are you going to do? It wouldn’t be the end of the...oh, never mind...


  There’s a world of silliness just waiting for you at:


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