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Seeing Red

November 21, 2014

I’m seeing red!

I need your help seeing objectively, and want your opinion about what I should do about a personal situation.

I recently received a Red Light Violation Notice in the mail.  You know, one of those notices generated by the Photo Enforcement Program.  The notice including information about my vehicle and the time and photos of the alleged violation.  It had happened about 3 weeks prior to my receiving the notice.  It also provided information about where I could go on the internet to see video of the alleged violation.

Today I went there and saw the following video footage.

Do you think this was a violation?

Watch the video, then vote below to give me some feedback about what you think I should do about this.


The violation notice said there was a violation of Ordinance Number 07-0-1893 described as “Disobeying Traffic Control Signal”.   I won’t say which town it was.  And I don’t have any information on what Ordinance Number 07-0-1893 is or how it reads.

The traffic control signal was not disobeyed, was it?  There was clearly a stop, wasn’t there?  It’s not like the red light was run.  There was reasonably good driving judgment used here, right?  The car was slowed at the intersection, inched up to see cross traffic, and proceeded to turn right when clear to do so.  What else was there to do?

Should I pay a $100 fine for this?  Or should I fight it?  Has Big Brother government and technology gone too far?

Vote your opinion in this poll.


In addition to voting, you can register comments below to give me more information about why you voted the way you voted.

Thank you!


Zephyrgarten Christmas Radio

November 19, 2014

Are you ready for Christmas music yet?

Well, when you are ready, you can’t do any better than my Zephyrgarten Christmas radio on Pandora.

Pandora allows you to create your own radio stations that refine to your own musical tastes and then listen to them streaming via internet on your computer or smartphone.

I created my Zephyrgarten Christmas radio station on Pandora many years ago when my family lived at Zephyrgarten.  I’ve improved the station each year by giving the songs and artists played my own personal “thumb up” or “thumb down” based on whether I liked the song or the artist or not.  The Christmas music selections the station plays are wonderful.

Here are just some of the artists that are featured on Zephyrgarten Christmas radio: Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Perry Como,  Elvis Presley,  Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, The Carpenters, and Vince Guaraldi Trio (for those of you who love Charlie Brown/Peanuts Christmas songs like I do).

Just click on the link, register or log in to your own Pandora account, and enjoy the same Christmas music that I’m listening to this holiday season.

Click here for Zephyrgarten Christmas radio on Pandora.

Happy a happy holiday season, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Remembering Grandma

November 16, 2014

Yesterday, November 15th, marked the 20th anniversary of the death of my grandma, Frances (nee Brady) Novick.



The day came and passed without much attention.  But I remembered and observed it.  I went to morning mass and thought of and prayed for her there.  My mom was there too.

But this morning I had more thoughts about her, so felt moved to tell more of her story and my relationship with her.

My grandmother had seven children.  My dad was the middle child.

My grandmother lived with us for many of her later years as I was growing up.  But though I did, I did not know her very well.  She was a private person and didn’t talk about herself or her life much.

What I do know is very sad, so I don’t think of her too often.  Though I find myself sleeping in the same room and space she slept in, in the back bedroom of my parent’s house, where sometimes memories of her haunt my thoughts as if she still haunted the room I sleep in.

I don’t know, but imagine her life was pretty normal up until the day my grandfather died.  They had seven children and my grandfather, a good man and hardworking businessman by many accounts I’ve heard, died in a tragic diving incident.  My father was about 8 years old at the time.


Frances with husband, Lester and one of their children



As I understand the story of the death, my dad’s family would spend summers up at Long Lake in northern Illinois. On the date of his death, the family was enjoying a typical summer day in the water on the lake.  According to memories of my dad’s account, he was taunting my grandfather about getting off the dock and getting into the water where the kids were playing.  My grandfather went in head first into the shallow waters, breaking his neck upon hitting the bottom, then floating there for a period of time while some thought he may have been playing around, only to have the realization of the trauma sink in slowly like the dark waters of the lake.  My dad’s aunt Lorraine, my grandmother’s sister-in-law, made the discovery of the injury and drowning and pulled my grandfather’s lifeless body from the water while other’s looked on nearby in disbelief of the tragic loss of the day.

In the days, months and years ahead, my grandmother still had to raise seven children … and do so with a broken heart.  The older boys had to become men quickly to help earn money for the family.  My grandmother still had young children to raise.  I imagine life was hard.

By the time I knew her when I was a young child, she was a bit of a closed off shell of a person.  She had beautiful blue eyes, and a beautiful smile, when she occasionally displayed it.  But most days she sat in her easy chair watching TV and smoking her cigarettes.  Even on Christmas Eve, when the entire family was here at the house, she would separate from the crowd and go to her room early, and close the door for the night.

I remember on more than a few occasions growing up, my grandmother crying or calling out for relief of suffering in the night.  It was a sad and heartbreaking sound to hear when the cries rang out.

On one occasion in later years, I remember her crying and asking God to take her life from her as she didn’t want to live any more.

I share these sparse memories of my grandmother mostly to share what I learned from her by witnessing her life.

My other grandmother, my mom’s mom, Gladys, was a stark contrast to my grandmother Novick.  She lived so fully with joy, charisma and love that I’ve already written about her in The Family Treasure and In Loving Memory of Gladys.  So I have always found it sad to think about the contrast of my grandma Novick’s life.

But as I mentioned, I still learned things from my grandma that influence who I am and the choices I make.

I can only imagine the trauma of what she must have experienced when my grandfather died….how that loss must have changed her.

But I do know the trauma of a spousal loss, since my divorce, and how devastating and depressing the loss can be.

But I learned from my grandmother, that the only thing you control about the loss, is how you respond to it…what you do after it. I could close off to the goodness and joy of life and become a shell of my former self, pining away the days in sorrow.  I know what that feels like, and fight it every day.  And, that is not acceptable to me.  I don’t want my kids to see me the way I saw my grandmother live her life and final days out…with a broken heart…longing for an end to the pain and suffering of life.

I choose to live a full life…to live with joy…to love fully, richly, and deeply….to have my children see resilience in adversity and deep love poured out of my life and on them like my grandma, Gladys, did.  That is how they will best learn to live good and happy lives themselves in whatever challenges life throws their way.

My grandma Novick was a loving and kind grandmother too.  She just showed it differently.  She probably did the best she could with what love she still had left in her broken heart.

She did pray, so I sensed her faith was a rock she stood on, even in her suffering. I learned that too.

And as one of her final acts of love for me, she did attend my wedding in 1994, in April of the year that she later passed away.


Me and Grandma flashing her beautiful smile at my wedding, 4/9/94



My dad was there when my grandfather died, many years before.  He cared for my grandmother, giving her a room and a home in his own house as she aged.  He then later was the one who found her dead in her easy chair in front of her TV in the senior living apartment she lived in her final days.  I imagine that was a hard trauma for my dad to experience the loss of his parents in such ways as he did, and he shared the stories with me before he died.  And, I think he too learned the lesson from my grandmother that I did, and chose to still go on and live a rich life of love and joy afterward for many years to come.

Rest in peace, Grandma.   I love you.  I know your life was hard, sad and lonely.  I’m sorry.  And I’m sorry I didn’t know how to be there for you better in your sadness and get to know you better when I had the chance.  Thank you for coming to my wedding – it was a sign of your love for me.   I’m determined to get out of your room some day, and live a full life of love and joy.  I owe it to those who love me, to my children, to my grandchildren (if I should have any), and to God.  If you have any influence up in heaven, please pull some strings up there and help to get me what I need to do that…because I also owe it to myself.





Ed Novick Comics and Me Photos

November 13, 2014

If you love Ed Novick Comics as much as I love making them, then you may have bonded with some of the lovable characters in them.

Maybe you’d love to have a photo of some of them with you.  If so, then here is some great news for you.

You can now get a photo of yourself with one or more of the Ed Novick Comics characters.

Here are some photos of me with Ed (Blessed Endings), Jesus (The Lord and Me) and Private Parts (Private Parts), as a few examples.


Ed and Ed


Jesus and Ed


Private Parts and Ed



To get a photo like one of these with you or one of your loved one, send a portrait photo of yourself (or a loved one – kids will love this!) posing against a solid color background like the one of me above, and $25, to, and be sure to specify which character you want your photo with.  Photos will be emailed back to you promptly for sharing or printing.

They make great Christmas gifts, especially the ones with Jesus, so order now to get yours in time for Christmas.

Ed Novick Comics …. get in on the fun(nies)!


(Temporary offer only – while supplies last)





November 11, 2014

Today we salute veterans on Veteran’s Day.

I previously wrote about one of my favorite veterans, Phil Campbell, in The Second Half. I mentioned that Phil once gave me a graduation card that I never forgot because  it contained the Rudyard Kipling poem “If” – an inspired work describing the spirit of what it means to be a man.

As I once again salute “The Lieutenant” on Veteran’s Day, I wanted to share the text of that poem with you, as everyone should read and know this inspired work.  It will ever remind me of Phil, and inspire me about the work of life that I must undertake as a man.



by Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!


Today Phil attended the Veteran’s Day event at my son, Canyon’s, school.  No doubt Phil took the opportunity to guide Canyon, and his classmates and teachers, about the virtues and principles of life and service to one’s country.  He has such a wealth of experience and wisdom to share, and I imagine they will be richer in wisdom for having met Phil. At very least, as a father, I’m so glad to have Phil as an influence in my son’s life.



May God bless Phil, and all veterans, for their service to our country.  And may we ever remember and honor them for being the men and women of honor they are.


To read more of Rudyard Kipling’s work, go to


Nappetizers and Novelties

November 6, 2014

Have you ever had an appetizer?  You know, one of these yummy precursors to a meal?

Have you ever taken a nap?  You know, one of those yummy brief periods of sleep in the middle of the day?

Well, I’ve invented a new word – “nappetizer”.

A “nappetizer” (noun) is a very brief period of sleep during the day when one dozes off unexpectedly and uncontrollably waking to realize a nap is needed..



A nap could be a 10 to 90 minute time in the middle of the day when you sleep.

A nappetizer is a 10 second to 10 minute period of time when your brain shuts down unexpectedly for some desperately needed sleep, and you wake to realize you really do need a nap and then lay down to get a real nap.

I invented the word nappetizer.  OK, maybe I wasn’t the first to think of it as I did find other examples of the word on the internet like I did for the word Choctober.  But I thought it up on my own before I ever found other examples of it so it is my own original thought.  Whenever I heard someone asking if I wanted “an appetizer”, my slow and tired brain often heard it as “a nappetizer” – which sounded delicious to me.

There seems to be so many new words lately.  The Oxford dictionary added numerous new words last year including “selfie”, “twerk”, and “jorts” (denim shorts).  They add new words every year.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary on the web has a New Words & Slang section. It has such novel and nifty words as “slampaign” ( a political campaign that involves attacking an opponent), “unimpressment” (the state or condition of being unimpressed) and “askhole” (a person who asks for advise but does not follow it).  Some people have created some very creative and amusing words.

So I’m offering “nappetizer” as my contribution to the English language, and to mankind, and will be thinking of more new words to take credit for every chance I get.

Do you have a new word that you’ve invented and want to claim credit for?  If so, add it with its definition in the Comments section below.  Then you might want to add it to the Open Dictionary of New Words & Slang at so you can get credit for your new words too.  I added “nappetizer”, so don’t bother trying to get credit for that one - that’s mine.

You don’t get many chances to create something of value to mankind very often.  Wait…scratch that…reverse that…you get a chance to create something novel of value to mankind every single day you’re given.  So use that brain God gave you for something useful.  Invent a new word or do something else novel today. You’ll feel good about your contribution and yourself.



Tricks or Treats

October 30, 2014

For me, Halloween has always been about the costumes and the candy. The trick-or-treating itself was just a necessary means to the candy.

One of my earliest memories of Halloween was when I was about 3 years old and my mom and dad dressed up in costumes for a costume party. My mom went as Zorro and my dad went as Harpo Marx.   Dad looked funny and kept on honking his horn.  Mom looked mysterious in her black costume, mask and mustache.  The costuming was confusing to me as a young child, but I learned that dressing up in costumes could be fun.



That same year (1969?), I was a tiger and my brother, Michael, was a Chicago Cub baseball player.  (Yes, Michael has been a Chicago Cub fan since he was a toddler.) The tiger costume was one of the few store bought costumes I ever had.  Ever since then, the expectation has been that we had to get creative with our costumes making them out of whatever we had around the house.



The following year, I dressed up in a homemade Batman costume, and my brother, Michael, wore the same tiger costume I had worn the prior year.



In later years, I was a circus strong man one year, a Mexican bandito wearing a sombrero and drawn on mustache in another year, and a robot wearing a cardboard box with aluminum foil and knobs and switches drawn on it in yet another year.

Each Halloween we would get in our costumes after school, meet up with our friends, then trick-or-treat house to house in our neighborhood picking up candy, or sometimes money, along the way.  When we got home with our haul, we would go through our candy with my mom, and then have lots of candy to eat for weeks.

One of the more creative costumes I wore in the late 1970′s was when I dressed up as a martian.  My mom had a funny looking coat that she crocheted out of yard.  It was intended to be a women’s coat, but was so funny looking I don’t think she ever wore it. I added some aluminum foil antennae to a crocheted hat that she had made and went as a martian.  My brother Michael went as Snoopy.


Michael as Snoopy and me as a martian


My most embarrassing costume ever was the year (1979?) that I dressed up in drag as a woman (actually I think it was a prostitute).  I wore a blond wig, makeup, jewelry, a dress, a shawl, panty hose and high heels.  It was awkward, but memorable.  I haven’t done anything like it since, and don’t intend to again.  It did give me great empathy for what you ladies do to dress up. Walking around in high heels is not an easy task.



My brother, Michael, as Dracula; my cousin, John, as a zombie, and me in drag


Over the years, I still occasionally dress up for Halloween. Last year I dressed up as The Lone Ranger. And this year I dressed up as Clark Kent for a Halloween party I went to last weekend.


Tonto and The Lone Ranger in vintage effect photo



At my age, Halloween isn’t so much about the candy anymore.

But it can still be fun to dress up in a costume and pretend you’re someone or something else for the day.

What was your most embarrassing or memorable Halloween costume?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Have a Happy Halloween!

And for goodness sake, have some fun dressing up in a fun and festive costume for the day, take some pictures, and make some memories (and photos) to cherish for a lifetime.







Ed Novick Comics

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My blog is a satire for all with stories, adventures, and opinions based on facts with minimal evidence and maximum wit. In short, a chronicle of my life. I hope you enjoy perusing my random banter, hilarious adventures, short stories with imaginative characters and hidden meanings, my unique wit, interests in pop culture and oddball opinions.

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