Rain Maker

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Comic strips such as the A&J Sunday that appeared in newspapers August 2 always are problematic. The cartoonist knows that while the August drought may have set in where he lives, there are places somewhere that still are getting more than enough “free water.” When the living room furniture is afloat, readers easily can lose their sense of humor. That’s just the way it is. However, that is not why I’m showing you the last panel from what was an admittedly weak joke. Actually, I was playing around with Photoshop, trying to simulate a driving rain. This was the result. I still think it looks OK on a monitor screen, but I noticed in the newspaper version that it was not quite as effective. At least I didn’t think so.

115 responses to “Rain Maker”

  1. Weak joke???? Eastern Massachusetts had less than an inch of rain in July. We have a brand new garden than requires thrice-weekly watering of 8 specimen trees, 50 shrubs, and 200 perennials. The process takes two hours to do by hand and consumes roughly 200 gallons of water. My wife saw that strip and burst out laughing. It has been cut out and given a place of honor on our refrigerator. To us, it wasn’t a ‘weak joke’. It was the most spot-on, topical cartoon of the year!

  2. In our family, we refer to rain as “Money in the Bank.”

    Cartoon rain, like cartoon blushing, is very tricky to render well. Charles Schulz had a knack for such things, and was especially adept at facial expressions. Of course, that is like saying that Michael Jordan could dunk a basketball; that was what made Schulz so good.

    In the current instance, Our Humble Author used some graphic innovation, much the same way Jack Kirby did for Marvel Comics in the ’60s, using photo collages as backgrounds for huge illustrations. The effect was striking, although some were not pleased. I view it as equivalent to any other illustration: if it got the point across and was not displeasing to look at, the. 90% success right there. If the illustration sings, as Schulz and OHA so often have happen, that is a bonus. OHA sweats such detail, much as he does composition and pacing. And like Michael Jordan, the shots usually drop and it looks so easy.

  3. NealinBawstun, find yourself one of those traveling sprinklers. They look like a little tractor. All you have to do is lay out the hose where you want it to go, put the sprinkler on the hose and turn it on. The water pressure provides the motive force to drive the tractor around your yard and water as it goes. They water very thoroughly too. The front wheel is grooved to fit on the hose so it follows it and the rear wheels have mild spikes to provide traction.

  4. I didn’t think it was a weak joke at all… one of your better ones. The best ones always have some insight into human nature. I think almost all people can identify with the sentiment expressed in the joke.

  5. Jimmy, bring back “When they say just dig me a hole, watch out”. That would be a perfect companion piece to this one. Not just free water, but you don’t have to drag a hose to water everything, as NealinBawstun is doing. I got a huge laugh out of this strip when it ran recently.

  6. Today is the one year anniversary of a huge flood that hit Royal Oak. We will long remember the date as a lot of homes were flooded that never had seen water before. It was very wet in the Midwest and many are just starting to dry out. But, yes, we usually have little rain in late July/early August.

  7. Here in SE Ohio (and parts of WV & KY), it seems that we have had more than our fair share of rain. Last night, the apt. parking lot was flooded again. But… if I don’t have to worry about flash flooding, I love the the rain. Now, if I could sit under a tin roof and listen to rain, I would be ecstatic! LOL

  8. emb: I could open the link posted this morning, but I do have Chrome. Don’t if that has anything to do with it. Too, I usually get that message if the Internet connection is going out.

  9. hey Villagers – hope it is cooler in your neck of the woods than it is here. For the last week the temps have broken 100, with heat index of from 108 to 116. Too blasted hot!

    The tractor sprinkler works great as long as your lawn is relatively flat. We had one that would get stuck if it hit a rut or a hole or a mole track. Here in Conroe we are on water restrictions most of the summer (whenever you really need a sprinkler) that prohibit using a sprinkler of any kind during the daylight hours. Hand watering is okay unless we go on to stage 3. Watering at night with a sprinkler means if the contraption misbehaves you don’t know about it, and promotes fungus growth. We try to set our sprinkler to turn on about an hour before sunrise.

    Rain is very welcome! Both to save $$ and to break the heat even for just a little while.

  10. I’ve slapped my head and remembered that I have to water the foundation, my late wife always did that stuff. I’ve heard horror stories of massive repairs from house slabs shifting.

  11. Neal, your garden is nice! Lots of thought and work has gone into it. John, what do you mean with “water the foundation”? Is that just a Texas thing or something I should have learned about ages ago?

    Jimmy- 🙂 Thanks

  12. A recent email from my cousin in Tucson adds insult to injury…apparently it’s been a more pleasant summer in southern Arizona than in the Deep South.

  13. Nice garden, Neal. I like the mulch ground cover. Good luck finding a redbud tree. My grandmother had one at her house as I was growing up. I love to see them bloom in the spring. When I lived in Tennessee, the house I was renting had two in the front yard which had red leaves, so even after the blooms fell, we had color till leaf fall.

  14. Neal: neat. Some lots in Bemidji have xeric yards: good stewardship / gasoline, air pollution, and time.

    We usually have rain enough here. Some houses have flowers in pots on patios, or in the ground on enlarged patios and front walks. Most colorful trees are flowering crabs, which are gorgeous for 1-10 days or so, depending on the wind. There may be some red-leaved ornamentals among our 37[?] dwellings, but I’ve not counted. Also, there are lots of blue spruces, and a few white birch clumps. Redbuds and lots of other colorful trees cannot stand out winters.

    Peace, emb

  15. Debbe 😉 I should have known I couldn’t sneak a music question from that era by you, shouldn’t I? “The Big Chill” it is. What you win is my undying love and affection. (You already had that, but don’t tell anyone.) 🙂

    And yes, I can pretend you didn’t get it in one, and we can keep playing that game for a while. As you said, there were some good tunes in that flick. And in some other films, too.

    Clue #2


  16. No one wants to be in Oklahoma in August, especially me! It has been hovering around 102 to 109 actual temps according to my Honda van which is pretty accurate. I have been entertaining myself with seeing medical personnel and shopping for summer clearance bargains inside air conditioned shopping venues. Not to say my house isn’t cool, it is, but I had to be out anyway.

    Discovered I have moved downsized a little more, but I like to wear loose clothes except jeans which I like skinny and with stretch fabric so they move sizes easily.

    That eight foot privacy fence out in back yard looks like I am putting in a drive-in theater, if anyone remembers those. I went and bought what I hope is the last lumber to finish it off at rhymes with woes today. I should have decided to buy jewelry instead of cedar fencing! I have decided I will get someone out to do an estimate on a swimming pool since I think few kids can scale this monster fence, especially if I run some electricity along the top cap rail!

    Sat out in van and finished listening to a Dire Straits album. You guys hooked me big time. By the way, anyone here like Dr. Hook? I did and do. Oldies and moldies, I suspect.

    More oldies stuff, I see that lettuce wedges with bleu cheese, bacon and pecans have made a comeback in restaurants, saw this trending more than a year ago but they have come into the chain sit down milleau and I like bleu cheese on anything. So I had one for dinner along with salmon and sauteed spinach, new potatoes and a tiny mini dessert. Treating myself well?

    Love, Jackie

    Love, Jackie

  17. Boy, do I ever remember drive-in theaters!

    Jackie, I once used melted bleu cheese and butter as a pasta topping. Once. And survived it. So far.

  18. Debbe 😉 Remember the Runaways, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, et al? I remember an article about them in Rolling Stone, that included a picture of Lita, I believe wearing the same cut-off jeans and black boots as below, taken with her in her shoulders-back-pelvis-forward-guitar-riff pose that showed…well, let’s just say they were red. Racy stuff for back them. 😉


  19. The meal was healthy except that dang bleu cheese lettuce wedge. The other stuff came in at 570 calories total! No more bleu cheese salads, although I did have some really good (what the heck, spellcheck doesn’t know what I am typing!) blue cheese veined camembert type cheese up in almost Canada.

    Boy, the hair was excessive back in the 1980’s wasn’t it? Not women, men! I actually was listening to Dr. Hook but had never seen what they looked like.

    Off to bed, I am almost asleep anyway! Love, Jackie

  20. Galliglo in Ohio

    I have a tin roof you can sit under.

    I too have never liked shorts. I just like to have the skin protected – but then I also wear steel toe
    8″ high boots –

    Be careful of Bar-B-Q sauce – almost all of them the first ingredient is HFcorn syrup.
    Jack Daniels #7 lists tomato as #1 ingredient, but I can’t find it around here any more – whenever you find something good or works it goes off the market.

  21. If you’re going to quote that, Old Bear, you should get the line right: “The corn is as high as a elephant’s eye…” And, for that matter, there’s another song in that musical about a girl who cain’t say no.

  22. Good morning Villagers…

    Got a solid night’s sleep…..no ranting this morning (aren’t you all lucky(

    ya’ll have a blessed day

    Neal…nice yard and house.

  23. I did a jubilation dance this morning when we got lake (Ontario) effect rain – only .07″- it’s been dry here in July and August after 10 inches of rain in June. another vote for a “good cartoon”

  24. Again, I’ve not read the new posts, but here’s a modified email I just sent my b.c. music / literary group.

    Today’s The Writer’s Almanac has it all: Our garden back on Calihan Ave., Dick and Jane, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson [who get into my columns and other conversations], Echo 1, which wife and I watched fly over after sunset during a Danforth Associates’ meeting at a camp [Miniwanka?] on the east shore of L. Michigan, Edith Hamilton’s The Greek way, which I read ages ago. Busy, but

    Peace, emb

  25. Here’s their site:


    Not surprised to find that Wm. Danforth was one of AYF’s founders [and funders], and that AYF was specifically Christian but now embraces all faiths and other diversity. Seems to be neither an evangelical outfit nor a commie front: therefore suspicious. The NSA probably has a file on them.

    Peace, emb

  26. While at the Danforth Associates mtg. at Minicanca, we learned Dona Nobis Pacem as a round. Those are the words; not sure I can remember the 4[?] part tune. emb

  27. Despite fact I slept in such a gown with two plain spaghetti straps last night, what is wrong with total lack of one? Despite fact I also slept with the ten pound dog as sole companion last night.

    Looked at the one Ghost posted photo of and it looks identical to the one Jimmy drew! So, I conclude Jimmy saw one and Ghost has total recall?

    I have bad habit of getting up in night sometimes and walking around! Or working on computer.

    Y’all make me laugh, which is good. Love, Jackie

  28. I always thought Charles Schulz rendered (drew?) excellent rain. It seems like there were many baseball game strip where ol’ Chuck was out on the mound in a monsoon. I like yours though Jimmy. It looks like you used white strokes instead of black ones.

  29. Jackie, nothing is wrong with a “total lack of either one”. Millionaire Widow Lady always came to bed wearing a gown, and she had some mighty interesting ones and looked fine in them. Bat-Guano Crazy Lady never wore anything to bed and looked fine that way. (I always pointed out to her, “Hey, all your clothes fell off.”) As is said about some word usages, “Either is correct.”

    Your house is probably legendary among the local Peeping Toms. 😉


  30. Nancy, the movie version of Oklahoma! (The exclamation mark is part of the musical’s name.) may have been filmed in Arizona, but it took place in the north-eastern part of Oklahoma Territory about a year before statehood.

  31. For those who aren’t sick of the subject (free water), 6/10 of an inch of rain fell on most parts of eastern Massachusetts. We have four – count ’em, four – 55 gallon rain barrels set up to capture the rain from the roof on the back side of our new house. Those barrels are now full.

    But Mark is wrong about how we water: no hoses. When you have four inches of mulch instead of grass and paths in the mulch, a hose becomes a weapon of mass destruction for those paths. So, we use jugs — 3-gallon cat-litter jugs repurposed to carry water. That way, we get exactly as much water as we need on each plant and the paths remain intact.

    But having a rain barrel is a statement about being serious on the subject of water conservation. Economically, it’s off-the-charts stupid. Even purchased at a steep discount, our four rain barrels cost a total of nearly $200 (at retail, the price would be twice that), plus diverters and other cosmetic things. Water from a tap costs 1/4 cent per gallon, so our four rain barrels collectively hold 50 cents worth of water. As Emeritus Prof will tell you, that’s 400 fillings before you begin to see the curves cross, which is a time measured in decades (you don’t water from late October to April and the rain never syncs exactly to your watering needs.

    Class dismissed.

  32. Trucker, I was thinking in terms of “The few the straps, the easier to get the gowns unoccupied.” 😉

    But if you’re referring to the gowns in the photo link, absolutely!

  33. Ghost, I have been sitting here thinking about what to say. You finally floored me with your comments on the two nightgown/not gowned women in your life. Have you kept a diary or at the least a journal of some kind other than that incredible memory of yours?

    Love, Jackie

  34. sandcastler™: “Thirty-four years ago today IBM introduced their PC.” That is hard to believe! And I thought I was “liv’n in high cotton” when I got a word processor to help me with my college courses. Now… laptops, tablets, Google watches… wonder what the next thirty-four years will bring?

  35. No, Jackie; my memory is more vivid than any journal could ever be. 🙂

    One of the treadmills at the gym is “hard bent” and has been for almost a week, awaiting a PC board to arrive from the Ye Olde Treadmill Works. This has at times led to a wait for a locomote-in-place unit, and how does one kill time at a gym doing besides pumping iron? At least I’m getting extra-muscley, I suppose.

    [::In my best Sam Elliott voice::] “Regular exercise…it does a body good.”

  36. emb, you’re welcome. Thank you for giving me enough information to find it. With the combination of the four words and knowing it was a round it was much easier to find the right version. Enjoy. I listened to a short bit before posting it and thought it sounded very good.

  37. Sand
    Need an edit button – at that time no energy to correct – could have taken out “an”
    so plural elephants. Elephant’s is better.

    But I misspoke – Curly was in Oklahoma – Gordon Macrae was in Iowa (I read that long ago-
    before the internet so it must be true.

  38. Just saw a chart (on line) that purportedly supported a theory – except the change was
    mandatory which means those that were NOT doing it were breaking the law – so it was all
    flower growing material.

    Also a news article that was couched in inflammatory language. So much for unbiased reporting.

    Other week woman on radio said “numbers don’t lie”. It has been my experience that people that use that statement are manipulating the numbers or presenting them to further an agenda.

    Mark Twain said ” there are lies, D4mn lies, and statistics”

    A certain brand (maybe most) of softener salt that says its pellets are 99% clean and the solar
    salt is 98% clean – 1% difference OR one is twice as dirty as the other. Same #s stated differently.

    G in O – I could build a little house so you could listen to the rain and contemplate. I would even put a hole in the seat for you 🙂

  39. Good morning Villagers….

    It’s a pleasant 61 degrees here, windows open, fired up Miss Dell here…..then it hit me….dang skunk…cant’s stand that smell; so i closed the windows. I enjoy listening to the sounds of a new day dawning.

    The Boss came by yesterday and looked at the steel rod conveyor. He took a wire brush to all 160 feet to it, and says we should do that also every morning…auurrggghhhh. But, the eggs do look better. Oh, well, more time on the clock I say.

    Indy Mindy, saw the headlines on weather.com. Very sad. And yes, I do get my news from the weather report….(quick, name that tune the lyric is in GR 😉 )

    Going to have to upgrade my cell phone…it died. Husband says I may as well get him one too. We’re both due for a free upgrade. Nothing fancy, shamsy…just easy peasy. (Hadn’t heard easy peasy in a long time.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day

  40. I’m concerned about Denise….she’s not posted for several days now.

    ….and you too Jerry!

    Old Bear, would you also draw the moon’s quarter on the door for Gal?

  41. But what would you use for paper, since the big retailers stopped printing catalogs? One more way life changed due to everything going electronic!

  42. Re Janis’s nightgown today: It’s black, strappy, presumably silky, low-cut in back*, and shows a hint of both pokie and side boob…Arlo’s comment pretty well says it all. And yes, it does look like that number came straight from “The Ghost Collection”, were there actually such a thing.

    * IMO, the erotic appeal of female attire that is low-cut in back is very much underrated.

    Debbe 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujm8IV9ZQPQ

  43. The mystery of spellchex managed to erase that comment which may be good, it involved the migration of my silky nightgown south even with me sleeping alone! What I was trying to say was even if the house caught on fire, I would have to make sure it was in right location before running out of house with my dog in my arms.

    Still, Jimmy, the strip is proving funny and that you know us. How many psychology courses did you fit in with the journalism?

    Love, Jackie

  44. Well, that was a given, Ghost! I knew your criteria.

    On a more Janis related similarity, I just placed a couple of big seed orders to replant the luxury garden out in back yard and the side kitchen garden out of house. A friend suggested that digging in a lot of dirt always cheered him up and I agree, nothing like weeding, pulling out the burnt up plants and starting over. Johnnys Seeds benefited from my need for pole green bean seeds, along with a few sale items, while Parks Seeds got most of my sale purchases for fall.

    Both excellent companies I have bought from for years and years. Anyone else out there going to attempt fall gardening? Of course, I have to either get up earlier or something and figure out how to germinate those seeds when temps are astronomically high. Last year I fooled them by soaking seeds and using innoculate, along with some shade covering as I recall.

    Those trellised green beans look so beautiful, I can’t resist. Got yellows, purples, greens and some whites, I mix all together and they cover those beautiful overhead trellis, shading the stuff below.

    Luxury garden comes from fact I could buy vegetable futures on the stock exchange cheaper than my gardening expenses. But then I would miss the dirt!

    Love, Jackie

  45. Jimmy:

    On another note about the free water, do you recall the old line that says that all water is free, we just have to pay for the plumbing?

  46. Oh, wow, Ruth Ann…thanks! As mentioned, I often bake Pain de Bière, and what could be more perfect on it than beer jelly? I think I’ll order some Dark and Beery Jelly from the link, as I’ve always been partial to boch beers.

  47. Mark

    You use the paper that wraps peaches naturally. (Wife did)


    Moon for women
    Sun for men

    I was going to say From back when there was less literacy – but now we have
    skirts and pants. Back then they may not have been able to read writing but they were far from illiterate.

  48. If anyone is interested… It looks like my second career might be coming together. They want me to start work at the end of the month… but I have not seen the offering package yet… we will see…

    Also – my sister who had the broken hip is healing quite nicely. Unfortunately, her husband has had a heart “episode”. But he is now stented and home. Thankfully my niece is right next door and is keeping things under control. Thank God!

  49. All this Temptations music was too much, it brought back memories of the Supremes who I am surprised Ghost didn’t link, not the Temptations. But it is hard to think of one without the other and I wondered if I was the only one here old enough to have seen them perform live? I remember the Supremes performing at our university in concert and all the guys packed around the stage salivating. Well, it was actually a dance and not a sit down concert.

    So here is the best link I could find of the two groups together from the 1960’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbWDOHQXmAE

    Another interesting thing was that the Supremes were the first black act to perform at our university openly and approved by the university, although it had always been a fact that all the unauthorized fraternity dances used black bands and entertainers, just not approved. Nor condoned! Since I am officially out now as a long time liberal and rights activist, I will say that I thought it was about time the hypocrisy ended and remember covering the event for the college newspaper from more than a social aspect!

    Love, Jackie

  50. Back at you Ghost with a version I would have thought you’d love, particularly the dress and the introduction, Tina Turner doing same song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhkIh4x4mmM

    And how in heaven’s name did those girls do those dance moves in those short skirts and not moon the audience?

    About jelly, I used to make a wide variety of wine based jellies, they are easy to do but never did a beer one.

    Love, Jackie

  51. Just watched Tina do Proud Mary with Ike back in the day when I saw them live together. I am motivated to go do my leg lifts and arm exercises. If I had kept them up I might not look like her legs but I sure would look better! That woman has legs that won’t stop.

  52. Good morning Villagers…..

    Great tunes to awaken to….like Gal, full of smiles….also in that same song “The Only Living Boy in New York” is the lyric “I’ve go nothing to do today but smile…..” 🙂 Spot on GR 😉

    Emb…shocked, I say shocked….I don’t even want to know what it could possibly taste like…but don’t they already make wheat beers?

    Went to the doctor yesterday (she also was my Mom’s doctor until we moved her to the nursing home). We hugged, she consoled, and then she wants my thyroid tested….stress does cause one to loose weight, but she wants to rule out the thyroid. So in the next few weeks, I’ve GOT to focus on gaining…..

    gotta go….

    ya’ll have a blessed day….

    Oh Jean???????

  53. Debbe, Velcro is on the pockets of men’s shorts, probably not on women’s. We watched “Unbreakable” last night and didn’t know until this morning that it is the anniversary of the end of WWII, although Patton would argue that it is still going on, or is it the war that began in 1915? My wife found the movie hard to watch, but the truth is it was unrealistically mild. No offense meant to the Japanese, but I live in the south where we started a war that we couldn’t win. Some people think that if we hadn’t fired the first shots the north would have let the south secede.

  54. Debbe:
    If it were possible, I would be more than happy to give you 10-15 lbs….I don’t need them.

    I went to the wake for a gentleman that I coach baseball and basketball with when our kids were young. I had a great talk with his son and he told me that he still remembers some of the advice that I gave him. There were pictures everywhere including one with pictures of his coaching days. One of them was a picture of the coach and my son. It really made me feel happy/sad.

  55. Oh yes, the deer that showed up in June when my Sister-in-law died, showed up again this morning. Funny thing is that I was looking for it and saw it the second time that I looked. Going to be praying for all of my loved ones in case God has something in store for us. Maybe it was there because of my friend?

  56. From Anu Garg’s A.Word.A.Day, this morning:

    “By the age of six the average child will have completed the basic American education. … From television, the child will have learned how to pick a lock, commit a fairly elaborate bank holdup, prevent wetness all day long, get the laundry twice as white, and kill people with a variety of sophisticated armaments.” Russell Baker, columnist and author (b. 14 Aug 1925).

    Peace[?], emb

  57. Debbe:

    Thanks for the oranges.

    Also, “Emb…shocked, I say shocked….I don’t even want to know what it could possibly taste like…but don’t they already make wheat beers?”

    Yeah, they do. General Mills isn’t doing anything new, just lending [hah!] its name to a brewery that wants to market its version of Weizen. To me, it’s pretty blah, little or no hops.

    Peace, emb

  58. Debbe 😉 I should send you a list of all the foods I used to eat but no longer do…you’d likely top 150 by the end of the year if you ate those.

    Yep, Jackie; if you looked up “leggy” in the dictionary, there’d probably be a picture of Tina next to it.

  59. I had wondered about the lower half of “The Nightgown”, hoping it would be on the short side…which it was…and have a side slit…which it did…once more proving that Jimmy know his audience…or this segment of it, anyway. Or perhaps he just draws what he knows…and likes. 😉

  60. What Ghost said. I am eating something that resembles a quesadilla that married a taco or a tostado, grilled chicken, spinach, fresh salsa, a little cheese and a 100 calories of good fat in a pure avocado spread on top. I decided why limit myself to what people think is breakfast? Eat what I like, as long as it matches up with my eating plan and is healthy? Novel idea.

    Next I try pizza, small individual size ones about as big as a saucer. Thinking of doing a fresh fruit one with peaches except I forgot the cheese for that one, go back to store and get it and I will make that. Actually, cooking for one is challenging because it is hard to do and be of any interest.

    Now I will go read the rest of the comments! Good day to all. Love, Jackie

  61. Headline from the internet-Judge orders 6 murdered children returned to parents. Were they alive at the time that they were returned? What do you think?

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