Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Technophobe's Illustrated #19

Christopher P. Toler, 12/29/2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holly and/or Jolly...

Christmas Wishes!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Home-Made Christmas Cards

Yet another post for the HBDC Christmas Carnival...

If you have never before visited my blog, ("The Attic",) then WELCOME!!! But if you have been here before, you have probably gleaned the fact that I really dig my Photoshop Program...
A LOT!!!

This has always been the case, by the way, long before The Attic was started. And Christmas time presents me with an opportunity to share some of my Photoshopping with friends and relatives, (and the obligatory peripherals,) through the use of Christmas Cards.

Oh yeah, I've been making my own for a few years now. And No! It's not because I am a stingy bastard who refuses to buy cards, but because I actually enjoy making them. Here is a small collection of cards from years past and future featuring me and the missus...

"Angels" - Christmas 2007

"Kringles" - Christmas 2008

"South Park" - Christmas 2009

Some aborted and unfinished runner-ups for this year's card, (and maybe in the running for next year!):
"Misfits" - Aborted prior to caption or color smoothing.

"Misers" - Aborted due to clutter and difficulty in finding a really snappy caption!

So, pick a card, any card. Consider it mine to you and have a Merry Christmas!

And a special "Thank You" to Lunki and Sika for turning me on to the South Park Character generator! God Jull, Guys!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Irresponsible Christmas Lyrics

Another posting for the HBDC Christmas Carnival...

So, I was down the pub last weekend, and I heard that God-awful “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” song. I always found it annoying, but it made me think of another Christmas song, one from my childhood, and prompted me to pen a concern...

When I first heard “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” I was too young to get the irony and hidden subtext; I took the thing at face value. And it was this, this, “child’s perspective” that presented a problem for me.

You see, my dad was a cop. He was an old-school hard-ass and carried a gun and a nightstick with him to and from work. So when the line the goes, “What a laugh it would have been, if Daddy had only seen Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night,” I did not relate. In fact, I was pretty sure that if my father saw my mother sucking face with Saint Nick, the old man would have drawn his revolver and blown the jolly one to Kingdom Come, (or, at very least, done a dance on bearded face with his baton!)

What’s the connection? GLAD YOU ASKED!!! I think it is time for Christmas songs to be a bit more responsible, lyrics-wise! I always harbored an image of Santa as a home-wrecking playboy slipping into houses and helping himself to other men’s “cookies and milk,” so to speak. When I heard the newer Christmas song, even though when it came out I was old enough to know it was a tongue-in-cheek tune, I realized that there might be some child who heard it and thinks Father Christmas pulled a hit and run fatality!

It is time that we stop the flagrant abuse of lyrical content in Christmas Songs! We are scarring our children's images of Saint Nick. This is our damned legacy, for pity’s sake!!!

Thank you. Soap box is closed.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another Misfit Elf

A little something for the HBDC Christmas Carnival...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

'Letter to Santa' Saturday

My ongoing campaign to vacate my perennial seat on Santa's "Naughty List" found me last year attempting to soften Santa's heart once again. But there may have been just a little too much of a strong-arm leaning to it...

December 2008

Dear Santa,

Once again I find myself appealing to your fabled sense of justice. That moral compass said to guide you through the trials of right vs. wrong ascribed to you in the various accounts of your past, (i.e. the battle of wills against the Burgermeister, your defeat and subjugation of the Winter Warlock, your circumnavigation of the Miser Brothers, and your victory over the Martians in 1964, to list but a few,) seems to be all too silent, (or wholeheartedly ignored,) in this case of an undeservedly repudiated gift recipient, AKA, me.

This year, as you have continued to ignore my pleads for compensation for your past neglects and wrongdoings, (specifically, my continued ill-founded and wrongful presence on your arbitrary and biased punitive grudge sheet known as “the naughty list,”) it seems plain to me that you are no longer fit to serve as an objective and fair holiday icon. Therefore, I am forced to pursue an action open to me: The petition to have you replaced.

My proposal is a simple one: A new mythical holiday icon installed to represent the forthcoming gift giving season.

This new icon need not be reputed as the actual dispenser of gifts, (and therefore not perpetuate some lie to our children that only serves to chisel away the ever eroding trust that our growing kids have towards their parents,) but rather one that simply INSPIRES others with the desire to give more plentiful and elaborate gifts in the latter half of, oh, I don’t know, let’s say December. In this fashion, this new personification of generosity could be embraced for showing appreciation towards adult gift recipients as well as the young ones.

Continuing along the lines of universal acceptance, the new champion of the season may exist outside of religious affiliations and be therefore welcomed in and on school and government property during celebrations, (unlike the Christo-centric “Nativity settings” or Judea-centric menorahs!) This could be assisted further by utilizing color combinations that are as-of-yet unassociated with current holidays, like perhaps Orange and Teal, or grey and heliotrope.

As titles have been proven vehicles of recognition, (Captain Kangaroo, Burger King, Doctor Who,) our future seasonal embodiment may benefit from some form of rank to expedite your succession, but without relation to military, religion, or foreign governmental infrastructure: some ideas include Professor, Chief, Coach, Comptroller, Ranger, or Uncle.

Consideration has been given to the selection of a name, too, preferably one without blatant ethnicity, (as in “Abraham de Lacey Giuseppe Casey Thomas O'Malley!”), yet rhymes easily for future song writers and caroling. “Professor Lee,” “Ranger Ray,” “Coach Lou,” or “Uncle Roy” all show promise in this area.

At this point, Santa, I need to mention that I have been a fervent proponent of Christmas and the whole holiday season-thing all of my life. It pains me to instigate such action, especially as I know that such a thorough and well though-out plan would gain rapid and wide acceptance and snowball into your complete and utter removal from the holiday vernacular. So, in the spirit of the season, I am willing to temporarily keep this petition from further development and subsequent circulation as a display of my lack of “naughtiness.” It is my hope that this action will prove my intentions and move you to perhaps sparing me the coal this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and may Uncle Roy speak highly of you,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Real Life #10

Originally published, (By ME!) in the Salem State Log, December 3, 1992!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Music Playlists

Are you coming to my Christmas Eve party but not sure what will be playing on the ol' Toler family Wurlitzer this year?

Then, for you, here is my guide for some of the music you WILL and WILL NOT be subjected to...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Letter to Santa' Saturday

The following is "Part 2" of a campaign that I had waged to correct a long-standing injustice; namely, the removal of my name from Santa Clause's "Naughty List," put there years before, obviously due to some clerical error, and not through any fault of my own. This communiqué attempted to address Mr. Clause as an equal, to appeal to his fabled sense of right and wrong. As one can plainly see from the provided document, even the law supports me on this...

December 3, 2007

Dear Santa,

Last year, (and many years prior to that,) I, and countless others, wrote to you with a list of preferred items for Christmas. As always, you seem to ignore the list of items and gave out whatever you chose to dispense, presumably the overstocked items in your Elvin sweatshop, er, workshop. One can only imagine the number of children, and/or gift recipients that awoke on the 25th, hoping and expecting the items they requested, only instead to find your alternative gift ideas.

As this is the age of litigation, and you seem unable to change your irresponsible ways, I am forced to pursue legal action in order to correct this path of public indifference that you have displayed for so long. The following is a copy of the unspoken, understood agreement as prepared by my legal counsel.


Between the party of the first part, Christopher Toler, Swampscott, Massachusetts, USA, (the “Service Provider”)

And the party of the second part, Santa Claus, Santa’s Workshop, North Pole, Arctic Circle, (the “Service Contractor”)

1. DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES. The Service Provider, Mr.

Toler, agrees to provide the Service Contractor with services

consisting of:

a. An observable pattern of “good” behavior, as evidenced

by a lack of legal infringements, practicing of proper and

considerate manners, assistance provided to others on a

regular basis, respectful mannerisms towards others, and

completion of all assigned chores/work, both household

and within the workforce, to include bedroom cleanliness,

taking out of the trash, lawn maintenance, (if applicable,)

and general non-messiness.

b. A list of desired presents provided within a timeframe

appropriate for preparation and fulfillment of same.

c. Fresh cookies and cold milk upon completion of


2. PAYMENT FOR SERVICES. The Service Contractor, Mr.

Claus, agrees to reward the Service Provider with specific

preferred items requested in writing at the end of the term of


3. TERM. The service agreement begins on 12:01 AM, December 26, and is concluded at 12:00 AM,

December 24 of the following year.

As you can plainly see, as described in the agreement, you are clearly delinquent in fulfilling your end of this contract.

However, I have been advised to allow you to make reparations outside of the courts, as this flagrant neglect of responsibility could have serious negative ramifications for your livelihood, your reputation and the holiday you represent, Christmas.

To avoid a class action suit between you and me, as well as every unwanted-gift recipient in all of Christendom, you must retroactively honor your end of our agreement and get me ALL of the gifts that I have requested in the past, but did not receive, including the Bob Long Intimidator paintball gun, a 1974 Huffy 3-Speed Cruiser Bicycle, (with sissy-bar banana seat and flame decals,) an ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’ lunchbox with matching thermos, a pair of ‘Six-Iron’ cap guns with a hundred roll of caps, and the gyro-powered Evel Knievel Daredevil Stunt Cycle.

Full list to be sent certified mail in 3-4 business days.

Yours truly in hoping to find a resolution,

Christopher Toler

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Twelve Things for Christmas

The first thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

Anything “As Seen On T.V.

The second thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

The sleeved-blanket called a “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.

The third thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

The Sham-WOW super towel,

A backwards bathrobe called a “Snuggie,”

And anything described “As Seen On T.V.”

The fourth thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

Anything from Chia,

The Sham-WOW ultra rag,

That wizard’s Johnny called a “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The fifth thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:


Anything from Chia,

The "German-made" Sham-WOW,

That cult uniform-looking “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The sixth thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

A “Magic Bullet” mini blender,


Please nothing from Chia!

I don't spill enough to need a SHAM-WOW,

“When blankets are too complicated, choose a Snuggie,

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The seventh thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

A Suzanne Somers’ Thigh Master,

A “Magic Bullet” mini blender,

GIRLS... GONE... WILD!!! (Although those commercials are hot!)

A Chia anything!

The Beavis-sold SHAM-WOW,

The SpEd-Jedi wardrobe, “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The eighth thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

Any garden Weasel

That Suzanne Somers’-thing Thigh Master

A “Magic Bullet” mini blender,

GIRLS... GONE... WILD!!! (sigh.)

Chia -pet, -tree, -head, or -Scooby,

You need a headset to sell a Sham-WOW,

Not even a Sham-WOW material “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The ninth thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

Another frigging Clapper,

"Ninja weapon" Garden Weasel

Suzanne Somers did have great thighs!

A “Magic Bullet:” A blender, but small,

GIRLS... GONE... WILD!!! (Hubba-hubba!)


Sham-WOW, (it's a wash cloth!)

Don't sit next to a stranger in a “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The tenth thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

A Topsy Tail, (given sarcastically,)

Seriously? A Clapper?

Garden Weasels scare me!

I used to have the hots for Suzanne Somers!

A “Magic Bullet” blending blender,

GIRLS... GONE... WILD!!! (Unless you can find it in 3-D!),

a Chia petri Dish!

Sham-WOWs make great diapers,

The Kris Kross dressing gown, “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The eleventh thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

Any K-Tel collection,

A Topsy Tail, (I get it, I’m bald,)

Who is lazy enough to need a Clapper?

A Garden Weasel killed my brother!

Suzanne Somers did have great thighs!

A “Magic Bullet” Margarita Maker!,

GIRLS... GONE... WILD!!! (*insert perverted laugh here!)

I should NOT have smoked that Chia!

I could use the Sham-WOW with those videos!

...Hiding under a “Snuggie,”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

The twelfth thing for Christmas, please don’t give to me:

Any Oxi Clean, (R.I.P. Billy Mays!)

A K-Tel crap-fest of any kind,

A Topsy Tail, (I swear, I’ll hit you!,)

No! You friggin’ “Clap Off!,”

Garden Weasels should be outlawed!

I'd watch Suzanne Somers’ "Go Wild!"

Make me a drink with my Magic Bullet Boat Drink Maker,

GIRLS... GONE... WILD!!! (unless you got it cheap!)

HOLY SHIT! A Chia Obama?!?

Sham-WOW; for the slob on your Christmas list,

Seriously. Does anyone OWN a “Snuggie?”

And anything “As Seen On T.V.”

BUT WAIT! You can also keep your Bedazzler, Ginsu Knives, Pasta-Pal, Ab-Roller, or anything from RonCo, Franklin Mint, or Tony Little.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

'Letter to Santa' Saturday

Four years ago I began a campaign to right a long-overdue wrong. A victim for doings outside of my control, I petitioned for forgiveness, acceptance and understanding. Apparently my pleadings fell upon deaf ears. I submit now for perusal, (and sympathy,) the single-sided correspondence that haunts and taunts me this time of of year. But remember, you need not judge me in order to sympathize.

And if, in any way, this letter touches your heart, please feel free to mention my name in your own letter to St. Nick.

Thank you,

Your humble author, Chris

December, 2006

Dear Santa Claus,

By this time, I am sure you have made your list, and maybe even checked it twice. My name, no doubt, is filed under the “Naughty” heading, yet again this year.

Since you are known to be a reasonable man, I appeal to your sense of righteousness. I’m the victim here. I am not naughty by choice, I was made naughty by society!

In my impressionable youth, peer pressure to fit in made me behave a certain way that may have jeopardized my good standing on your list but earned me some “street-cred” in my neighborhood. Popularity had a strong appeal. After all, realistically, what good are gifts with no friends to share them with?

Then along came girls. The media had created the “rough-and-tumble rogue”, the play-by-his-own-rules rascal with a heart of gold. Han Solo, Fonzie, Vinnie Barbarino, Starsky and Hutch! Bucking convention with their own tough-guy style, but yet possessing a strong moral compass to guide their way.

Would you give Han Solo a lump of coal?!?!

Then came the rock bands. Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy. The bad-boy image was the only way to get into the really hot-chicks pa..., uh, hearts.

These were not my rules, I only obeyed them. Society is to blame. The media should get this year’s lump of coal! I should be rewarded for my ability to adapt to such a demanding lifestyle! I should be compensated for my years of empty stockings for no other reason than following the examples put before me!

You are a reasonable man, so I know you will see it my way. To assist you in making amends, I have provided you with a list this year.

For Christmas this year, I would like:

- A new paintball gun with 4000 rounds of ammo,

- 200 plastic spiders,

- a black ski-mask,

- a new keg-erator, fully stocked if possible,

- a foreign passport, preferably to a non-extradition country like Argentina,

- a skateboard and 50 foot tow-rope,

- 8 cans of black spray-paint,

- fireworks,

- 12 cases of shaving cream,

- and one of those little lasers that you shine on movie screens or people’s privates.

Thank you, Santa, and Merry Christmas


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