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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The FOOBiverse!'s LiveJournal:

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Friday, December 9th, 2016
8:37 am
Making gift bows: a video tutioral.
The latest news item on the home page has Lynn teach us how she makes gift bows. Anyone with the eye for body language I lack should find this instructive.

Lynn’s parents, Mervyn and Ursula, owned a jewelry store in Vancouver when Lynn was a kid. Lynn’s mom used to do gift-wrapping in the back of the shop, and she would make her own custom gift bows from scratch, using ribbons.

Lynn’s friends and family appreciate her carrying on the family tradition — you can tell when a present is something Lynn (or her daughter, Katie) have wrapped. Katie’s special talent is gift baskets, but Lynn is the queen of the pom-pom bow. Watch this video tutorial to see how she does it!

Saturday, December 10th, 2016
1:25 am
Sunday, 11 December 2016
Today's strip is less a narrative and more of a series of pleasant little vignettes about the Pattersons decorating the house for the Holidays.

(Strip Number 6164, Original Publication Date, 13 December 1987)

Panel 1: We find ourselves in the garage on a pleasant December Sunday; as a smiling Lizzie retrieves the wreath, Elly smiles as she picks up a box of ornaments.

Panel 2: As Mike and Elly take ornaments out of the box, we see John in the background unkinking a string of lights.

Panel 3: John and Michael hang up the lights.

Panel 4: Lizzie strings up a JOYEUX NOEL banner.

Panel 5: Elly decorates the mantelpiece.

Panel 6: Mike puts holly on top of a picture frame.

Panel 7: Lizzie watches as Elly puts the wreath on the front door.

Panel 8: Now that they've decorated most of the house, Lizzie stands on the front porch and says "Okay, Christmas....We're READY!!"

Summary: We're starting to get to the strips that I sort of liked when I liked the strip. No one is yelling, no one is insulting someone, there are no hurt feelings and it's kind of nice in a cozy, tidy little way.
Thursday, December 8th, 2016
11:18 pm
CBC of Lynn Johnston in Whitehorse
Lynn was in Whitehorse doing book signing, 2 workshops and a school visit. CBC managed to do a report on it, which implies that Lynn's visit might have been set up long enough in advance for CBC to send a reporter to one of the workshops. This is the news report which has text and a video.


As usual, I will quote the text and then comment on it after the cut.

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Friday, December 9th, 2016
1:26 am
Saturday, 10 December 2016
We end the arc with Elly having a stupid and impractical (and punitive) solution to the problem created by the stupid and impractical purchase John made.

(Strip Number 1384, Original Publication Date, 12 December 1987)

Panel 1: As John and Elly look on, Lizzie hugs the evil car while Mike is excited that the thing is theirs.

Panel 2: When John tries to get her to forgive him for not making the sensible purchase, Elly doesn't mind.

Panel 3: He tries to figure out why she's not mad at him and doesn't mind that he traded in his boring-ass sedan for a zippy little number like the yellow one.

Panel 4: Clarity ensues when she says that he's got to drive just that car all winter.

Summary: This is the closest we're going to get to Lynn being a jerk about Rod opening that clinic of his. Just as John is supposed to ride what Lynn thinks would have to be an icebox all winter, Rod is supposed to suffer through snow days because she can't deal with defeat.
Thursday, December 8th, 2016
1:24 am
Friday, 9 December 2016
Despite Elly's belief otherwise, Connie is on to something when she says that men like John are always anxious to prove how virile they are.

(Strip Number 4902, Original Publication Date, 11 December 1987)

Panel 1: We find ourselves in the kitchen watching Connie watch Elly moaning in despair because John bought the evil car of actually enjoying himself for a god-damned change.

Panel 2: She asks her why a rational man like John would make a stupid and wrong decision like buying an evil car that makes him feel alive when good men buy station wagons of soullessly marching to the grave without a murmur of dissent like she would. Connie says it's rather simple.

Panel 3: She says that for reasons that are evil and built to ruin the lives of busy women, men have the evil urge to prove their virility. Elly tells her to stop being ridiculous.

Panel 4: Elly is the ridiculous one when John asks her to see the new baby.

Summary: Well, howtheduck was right about that, right? Lynn hates the idea of men still wanting to feel like men.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
1:29 pm
Lynn Johnston’s Write Smarter, Not Harder (series) of books
While looking over Mac's Fireweed Books in Whitehorse to see what books Lynn had there to sign I discovered there were two books that Lynn (actually a different Lynn Johnston) had published at the end of October, 2016 you could get and there was yet another one published back in October, 2014 which you no longer can get. They all used CreateSpace Publishing (a self-publishing house)


For the last two Lynn actually hired someone else to do the covers for them. The woman is called Nada Orlic and according to her website she specializes in creating book covers that will sell your book.


I will discuss Lynn’s books further after the cut.

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
1:22 am
Thursday, 8 December 2016
The used car salesman uses gender profiling to convince a willing John that Elly's objection to his stupid decision to buy the Penismobile is invalid because 'everyone' knows that women just piss money away on treats too.

(Strip Number 1383, Original Publication Date, 10 December 1987)

Panel 1: At the car lot, the salesman congratulates John on buying the evil car of overcompensating much and tells him he won't regret it.

Panel 2: Since John remembers that Elly doesn't approve of virility, he tells the man that his wife will kill him. The salesman tells him he has the wrong attitude.

Panel 3: Lynn reminds us that she hates men almost as much as she hates women and children when the salesman says something a lot like "After all, the little woman is probably in the habit of buying herself a little present when she needs a little pick-me-up, right? You know how woman are, right?"

Panel 4: John leers in a truly unsettling manner when our boy tells him to tell her that's what HE did: he bought himself a little present.

Summary: Not only is Rod's decision to do what he loved seen as macho insecurity, we also get gender profiling to tell us that he's even more of an extra-bad person than he looks.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
4:49 am
Lynn went to Whitehorse.
It would seem that Lynn IS willing to travel around to follow after Paul Lucas after all. This is because the latest travelogue is all about her chasing after him to Whitehorse in the Yukon.

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- Lynn is still as easily amazed and as ignorant as ever.
- Lynn is perhaps the oldest groupie ever.
- Lynn loves independent bookstores because they don't have the evil tablet things scaring her.
- Lynn needs help with her grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage.
1:19 am
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
John might think that dressing the part of a sports-car owner is a good thing right now, he'll be paying for it for years to come every time someone wants him to crack open his wallet to pay for stuff he doesn't use.

(Strip Number 1382, Original Publication Date, 9 December 1987)

Panel 1: We find John at a men's wear store as the clerk confirms that yes, sir, she can sell him driving gloves.

Panel 2: When she asks him if he would also like a tweed cap, John says "I think so."

Panel 3: He also wants a red cashmere scarf to go with the rest of the "ridiculous" get-up.

Panel 4: John is blissfully unaware that the clerk is laughing at him behind his back when he says that he's not just buying a car, he's buying a lifestyle.

Summary: What he's really buying is a stick Elly can beat him over the head with any time she wants him to pry open his wallet. What Rod was buying when he wanted to open up a new clinic is years of derision from a nasty baggage who isn't nearly as nice or smart as she thinks she is.
Monday, December 5th, 2016
1:17 am
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
John is too preoccupied with an artificial dilemma forced on him by a creator who gets confused by big numbers to watch what he's doing.

(Strip Number 1381, Original Publication Date, 8 December 1987)

Panel 1: We find John at the clinic patting himself down trying to find something as he tries to talk himself out of talking to the bank about buying the evil yellow car.

Panel 2: As he roots through his pockets, he tells himself that if he trades in his sedan, he won't need a great big loan.

Panel 3: His plotting to ruin Elly's life buying the sports car and thus disgrace her in front of her mother and the neighbours is interrupted when Jean asks him what he's thinking because he seems preoccupied. He mutters "Oh?" so as to ask why she said that.

Panel 4: Why she said that is that he left his pen in the autoclave.

Summary: This, I should think, is meant to castigate Rod for pointlessly complicating his life opening up that dental practice when the simple thing would be to keep on serving Lynn without question.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
1:15 am
Monday, 5 December 2016
Despite John's statement that the yellow car is too impractical for a family man, the salesman knows that he'll buy it because he kissed it more fondly than he ever did Elly.

(Strip Number 1380, Original Publication Date, 7 December 1987)

Panel 1: We find ourselves back at the car lot watching the salesman ask John if they've got a deal on the little beauty.

Panel 2: John makes a sheepish comment about the yellow car is nice but too impractical for a family man like himself. The salesman oozes sympathy.

Panel 3: As they watch John drive off the other salesman asks our boy if they're just gonna let John wriggle off the hook like that. The one we're familiar with says he'll be back.

Panel 4: After all, he did leave lip prints on the hood.

Summary: We're probably going to get notes that have Lynn declare her jealous rage because Rod never came close to feeling that way about her, kissing it in public and all.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
1:11 am
Sunday, 4 December 2016
Elly starts to lecture Michael about the need to present a positive public image only to rush out in her nightgown to catch the garbage truck because she's an idiot on top of being a hypocrite.

(Strip Number 6712, Original Publication Date, 6 December 1987)

Panel 1: We start off at seven in the morning on a typical week-day. As always, John and Elly are comatose when the clock radio comes on and the disk jockey wishes his listeners a happy good morning.

Panel 2: Since Elly has never associated the adjectives good or happy with the noun morning, she angrily slaps the snooze button.

Panel 3: Elly saunters down the hallway scratching herself as she gets ready to start another day of comic misadventures and social indignation.

Panel 4: Michael touches off the conflict by starting to open the curtains. As he does so, a freaked-out Elly tells him not to do.

Panel 5: She asks him why he wants to destroy her by making the neighbours see her in her nightgown.

Panel 6: She then lectures him about how a family needs privacy and how the neighbours don't need to see them at their worst.

Panel 7: Having noticed a sound that isn't pious chatter coming from someone who doesn't understand that it's too late to worry about being seen at their worst, Mike tells her that the garbage truck has just passed by. This alarms her.

Panel 8: Reason: if she misses the truck, this would be the second time this week.

Panel 9: In order to prevent John from rooting around dumpsters and losing things, we see Elly rushing down the street in her housecoat to make sure she doesn't miss the garbageman.

Summary: While Elly will probably turn around and blame Michael for her own damned negligence again, it's sort of obvious to me that Elly's worries about what the neighbours will think are pretty much her barring the gate after the horse bolted.
Friday, December 2nd, 2016
1:44 am
Saturday, 3 November 2016
Elly's pious refusal to get into the Evil Car Of Scaring Her With Its Evil Power gets t-boned by Mike pointing out something that would have been obvious to her had she been endowed with a brain.

(Strip Number 1379, Original Publication Date, 5 December 1987)

Panel 1: As the kids look on, Angry Idiot Elly refuses John's invitation to hop in for his drive back to the dealership in the Evil Car Of Being Impractical because that means that she wants to be replaced and rejected and forgotten and not listened to and so on and so forth.

Panel 2: She doesn't even want to sit in it when invited because of the whole moral indignation thing josephusrex talked up once.

Panel 3: Mike does what Mike does and points out something obvious when he tells John that if he drove this downtown, he'd attract a LOT of attention from pretty girls. Since the obvious always eludes Elly when she's angry or upset, this leaves her gobsmacked.

Panel 4: Since she doesn't want a real other woman, we see Elly in the car going around the block.

Summary: This is one of the problems I have with Elly. When she stands on principle, her common sense takes a hike.
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
7:42 am
Friday, 2 December 2016
Elly might suffer from terminal dowdiness and congenital stupidity but even she can see the competition when it's staring her in the face.

(Strip Number 4901, Original Publication Date, 4 December 1987)

Panel 1: As he tries to talk her into liking the car, John tells Elly to do something she can't and look at things from another person's perspective: the perspective of a man crowding forty who needs more excitement in his life than a bitter, angry fishwife who throws coffee cups and wails about imaginary ten pounds can provide him. She does not sympathize with this step because of the fear of speed I keep harping on.

Panel 2: He says that's she's got LUXURY, POWER and STYLE before imploring her to look at her lines and admire how powerful, fast and loaded she is.

Panel 3: He then says that she's everything he ever dreamed of.

Panel 4: Elly points out the obvious when she says that the car is 'the other woman'.

Summary: What John never quite manages to get is that Elly is terrified of one thing most of all: being cast adrift for a more appealing model.
Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
1:39 am
Thursday, 1 December 2016
Since Elly's as smart as she is pleasant to be around, it surprises and terrifies her that John might actually like to feel more manly than he does now and would actually like to buy a car that isn't designed to ferry kids and groceries and win the approval of The Quality Women.

(Strip Number 4900, Original Publication Date, 3 December 1987)

Panel 1: Now that he's home, John apologizes to Elly for being late but insists that he has something to show her.

Panel 2: Said something is the sports car. He says that he's test-driving her before asking her opinion.

Panel 3: Since Elly has let what little sense of youthful adventure she might have had erode away to please her brain-dead shrew of a mother, she doesn't like it. It's only a two-seater and she can't ferry kids and groceries in it so she can't for the dry, empty life of her see who'd want a ridiculous and impractical car like that.

Panel 4: She looks up and is horrified by the big smile on John's face because it dawns on the muttonhead that HE DOES.

Summary: Elly's need to be 'practical' (by which most people mean short-sighted, narrow-minded and scared of everything outside of her cozy little bunker) tends to blind her to the obvious most of the time. About the only thing that actually registers on her consciousness these days are disrespect and competition.
Tuesday, November 29th, 2016
1:37 am
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
The guy trying to sell John the car realizes that he's got himself a ripe sucker.

(Strip Number 4899, Original Publication Date, 2 December 1987)

Panel 1: The salesman points John to a vehicle called an Afterburner 600XZ. Since Lynn doesn't understand car terminology very well, gibberish about how she's fuel-injected with Turbo V6 and Flammbutz front strut suspension will have to substitute for something that tells us how the thing performs.

Panel 2: He then talks up the luxury interior, the five speed overdrive manual transmission and the lockable T-bar roof.

Panel 3: John chuckles weakly about how he's just looking when the salesman tells him to take it for a test drive.

Panel 4: He tells another salesman that he loves it when they say 'no' while actually meaning 'yes.'

Summary: Car salesmen don't get to be decent, honest people until John bankrolls Gordon....who ends up selling John and Elly all of their other cars.
Monday, November 28th, 2016
1:33 am
Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Since Lynn isn't what you'd call a car person, she depicts a used car lot as being more or less a sleazy place that tempts weak-minded men with the evil possibility of owning an evil car that can't ferry kids and groceries and cause Elly's mother to materialize out of the aether and call her a disgrace to the family.

(Strip Number 1378, Original Publication Date, 1 December 1987)

Panel 1: As he continues to drive, John says to himself that he wants to go home but some evil biological urge is pulling him in another direction.

Panel 2: Elly will never forgive him but here he is, in the one place he's tried to avoid for years.

Panel 3: Said evil place of evil is an evil place of irresistible temptation.

Panel 4: It's an evil car lot where an evil man evilly tries to sell John an evil late-model sports car of evil and having Marian show up and tell Elly that she's an embarrassment who should never have been born.

Summary: As we'll see later on, Elly is a stick-in-the-mud about the whole deal because the blasted things scare her shitless. Not only do their power and style intimidate her, she fears what her mother will say about this.
Sunday, November 27th, 2016
1:30 am
Monday, 28 November 2016
As I said last year during the camping trip, John's satisfaction with all the good things he's already got doesn't last very long. He wants something to fill the void NOW!!! and it shows.

(Strip Number 1229, Original Publication Date, 30 November 1987)

Panel 1: As he drives home, John wonders what could be happening to him. He's healthy, he's got a good job...

Panel 2: ....he's got a wonderful home, two great kids and a loving wife. Who could want more?

Panel 3: He thinks about this for a second.

Panel 4: He yells that HE wants more.

Summary: The interesting thing about John is that his mid-life crisis ends pretty much when his second childhood begins. I blame his and Elly's irritating habit of never outgrowing the childhood habit of assuming that someone who's forty has one and one half feet in the grave.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016
1:26 am
Sunday, 27 November 2016
Today's strip is a mildly pleasant vignette in which Mike and Liz share what he calls a future good old day.

(Strip Number 6663, Original Publication Date, 29 November 1987)

Panel 1: As Mike and Liz play outside near what would later be called Farley's tree, they're surprised by a rumble of thunder.

Panel 2: They cover their heads as the rain starts to pour down.

Panel 3: They rush towards the house.

Panel 4: As they shiver from their drenching, Elly removes their wet jackets and does not screech about the inconvenience for once.

Panel 5: Elly covers them with a blanket so they can warm up.

Panel 6: She then hands them both a mug each of hot chocolate.

Panel 7: As they sit by the fire, Mike does something that sitcom writers falsely believe children do when he tells Lizzie that years from now when they're grown up....

Panel 8: ...THIS will be one of the good ol'days.

Summary: This is what Lynn can do when she actually tries to show a normal, happy family. Too bad that she thinks that screaming and hurt feelings and animosity is more appealing to watch. All it took was having Mike say something that it would be highly unlikely for him to say.
Friday, November 25th, 2016
1:50 am
Saturday, 26 November 2016
Ted doesn't realize it but his mocking comparison of John to his old beater puts the idea of buying a succession of sporty vehicles in his head.

(Strip Number 4898, Original Publication Date, 28 November 1987)

Panel 1: As we walks to his car, John tells Ted he's gonna take a rain check on dinner. Ted condescendingly states that he understands.

Panel 2: He gets all smug when he dares pity John for going back to the old routine.

Panel 3: He puts an idea in John's head when he says that after a while, a man starts to resemble the car he drives.

Panel 4: When he laughs and says that both car and driver are a few years out of date and have no juice in the battery, John is gobsmacked.

Summary: While it's fun to laugh AT Ted because we know that he's not nearly as smart or cool as he thinks he is, it should be noted that he unintentionally gave John permission to buy that sports car he always wanted. If John has a cool car, Ted will just have to shut up, right?
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