Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #533

Here is my latest entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #533 for August 22, 2016. The drawing is by Joe Dator.

"I call this Fred's of Paris because Subway is already taken."

Note:  Last week, cartoonist Danny Shanahan reminded us that no man is an island. I decided to prove John Donne wrong and not submit a caption. Break out of your self-imposed solitude and check out the results of Contest #532.

Cartoonist Joe Dator has been spotted about town as well as on this blog. In other words, he isn't always underground.

Why can't we bungle in the jungle with Joe? Songs You're Sick Of, Joe Dator's indispensable classic rock podcast, has yet to feature any Jethro Tull, my number one band from back in the day.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Clontarf Castle, Dublin

We returned to Dublin for the final leg of our Irish journey. The new hotel was once again a converted castle.

Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin

The modern hotel lobby entrance is on the right.

The lobby area is set against exterior walls of the old castle.

Clontarf Castle as it once appeared

Doorbells and a warning to potential bad actors.

Shining armor

Floor tiles

Ivy covers the old and the new.

My last Guinness in Ireland

Pan roasted Wicklow lamb rump with black garlic puree and deconstructed ratatouille, Fahrenheit Restaurant. Excellent.

Straighten up and...

Note:  I no longer reside in a castle.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Donegal Town

Our travels took us to Donegal Town around nightfall on July 12. The town is situated on the River Eske in County Donegal, Ireland.

Clar Church or St. Agatha's Church (Roman Catholic)
River Eske

Low tide

A helpful reminder for American tourists at the Diamond, the town center

My nightly dose of clarity served up in the Market House Restaurant

Church of Ireland, Donegal Parish

The Olde Castle Bar and Restaurant

Donegal Castle

Donegal Castle

Donegal Castle

Donegal Castle

The Olde Castle Bar and Red Hugh's Restaurant, right next to Donegal Castle

The Diamond with obelisk commemorating the Four Masters

The pharmacy is gone but the mosaic remains.

The River Eske, later

Say, that boat looks familiar...

Rising tide

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lough Eske Castle

Windmills spanned the countryside on our ride up to Donegal Town in Ireland last month. Just off the N15 was our hotel, Lough Eske Castle. The original castle facade is impressive indeed, while guest rooms are located in a large modern addition that extends to the back and side. The grounds are generously covered with figurative sculpture in bronze, most notably of a nude in the garden and a fanciful dragon on the front lawn. One of the hotel clerks had some questions for me, an American abroad, regarding Donald Trump which I fielded as best I could.


Lough Eske Castle from the garden. The guest rooms are in the modern addition on the right and in other wings.

A female nude

Sculpture at the pool

Owl sculpture






Note:  Throwing tomatoes down onto the peasants is not permitted.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Entry in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #532—Almost

I was quite busy this past week and couldn't manage a single blog post about last month's trip to Ireland. Furthermore, despite having one week more than usual to devise a caption for the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest #532, I didn't submit anything at all. If I had, the caption for the August 8 contest might have been something like this one. Or maybe not. The drawing is by Danny Shanahan.
"For a beached whale, I'm totally crushing it!"

August 22, 2016 Update:  The Finalists

August 26, 2016 Update:  The Rankings

In the ongoing pursuit of caption contest transparency, the New Yorker's cartoon editor Bob Mankoff has released the rankings to all the captions submitted in Contest #532 based on the online voting here. No one submitted my exact caption—including me—so it is impossible to tell where it might have ranked. Here are some similar to mine with rankings all over the place:

So much for that. More interestingly, the first of the three finalists ranked 79th in the voting. This shows that the voting is being used by the editors to stratify the submissions, but they are still actively making the final selections. Here are all the captions beginning with "I got your...":

The second caption finalist ranked somewhat higher at 7. Here are the captions beginning with "We should...":

The third caption actually ranked third. Here are the captions beginning with "Yeah, well...":

So what were the top captions based exclusively on the online voting? I'm glad you asked. Here are the top three. For some reason, the algorithm produced a caption ranked 0, and it certainly seems good enough to merit the top ranking.

Here are a few other random very highly-ranked captions: 

And a few from near the bottom of the rankings:

And, if you really must know, here is the caption with the absolute lowest ranking of all:

I couldn't have said it better. Or could I?

Note:  I may not have added anything to the blog this week, but I still garnished a mention Friday on Ink Spill. Read the post here.

Last time around in the caption contest, cartoonist Will McPhail really stuck his neck out. My caption just didn't measure up. See the long and the short of Contest #531.

Review this blog's archives to see why Danny Shanahan is the Herman Melville of cartoonists.

Check out the Attempted Bloggery's index to see why I am the Bartleby of bloggers.