Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Radio

Sometimes I go through the day oblivious of my peril. I'd be willing to bet you do too. I cavalierly walk on frozen sidewalks, sleep in a basement without first checking the radon level, and eat from garbage cans. Earlier, I got in my car - dangerous - and turned on the radio - safe. Wrong. Not safe. The few words I heard on the radio were..."the doner's face. The transplant..." It was at that point in the narrative that I turned the radio off. It turns out listening to the radio can be dangerous. Face transplants are things I do not want to hear about, see, or even know about. If I ever need a face replacement please kill me. That is, only if I need a new face.
If you are equally squeamish about face transplants, then you can add Cabin to the list of dangerous things.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Not Drinking

It's hard to be a non-drinker in Germany. Even though I don't drink, my friendly hosts (by hosts I mean everyone in Germany) expected me to have a full drink of something, anything, in my hand. It can be water, coke, milk, but if I put it down someone will immediately bring me another or ask, "where is your drink?" I can understand why those who drink alcohol want to drink one after another but why would anyone want to drink 6 cokes in a row? Or even six glasses of water? We went to a party early last week and I was offered three beers in less than a minute so I picked up an empty to appear liquidly occupied. It worked like a charm.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Bear Week

Luke and I are in Cologne for Thanksgiving, an art opening and Bear Week. Luke was here last year at the same time and it was also Bear Week and Thanksgiving. What is it with Luke and Thanksgiving? Yesterday we were in a café when six bears walked in (they were not anything like the bears that messed up my cabin two years in a row) and I suddenly became very aware of my beard. My big beard. My big bushy beard. Not for the first time, I was glad I was not wearing my sleeveless, denim jacket. Come to think of it, where is my sleeveless denim jacket?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This morning I caught this little animal looking in my window - twice.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Over the years I have developed flight anxiety. It does not happen every time I fly and it is eased by simply sitting in the front row, preferably in an aisle seat. I am in a plane now and I am so far from my preferred seat that I am surprised that I am still in the plane. 34F in this plane means back row window.

The woman to my left (excuse me if you are reading over my shoulder) smells like cigarettes and a beauty salon. She smells exactly like my poor dead grandmother used to smell on Tuesdays with tobacco mixed in. Tuesdays were the days Nonnie (that’s what we called her) had her hair set.

I do not know why it is that sometimes I feel like freaking out on a plane and other times I do not. But I realized that if I am seated next to someone more helpless than I, I do not feel anxiety. It rarely happens that I am seated next to someone more helpless than I, but recently I was seated next to a newly hatched bird and I think situations like that bring out the protective father in me, if there is one in there. One tends to be a less effective protector when one is freaking out.

Different subject:

Now, I don’t believe that I have the most sensitive nose in the world or even in this airplane, but I can tell when someone has had an unfortunate movement at an unfortunate moment in a small space – an airplane lavatory. At least I hope it was in the lavatory. When the odor hit my nose I made a face to indicate that I was aware of the smell and then attempted to make a face that said, “Wasn’t me.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bed Time in Chicago

Sometimes I think there is nothing left to write about and then something like this happens.

The cat threw up on my bed. My bed in Chicago is in a room without a light switch so I went to bed in complete darkness and therefore did not notice the throw up until I had already stepped, sat and knelt in it. And then I wiped some of it of my heel and smelled my finger. "Not poop," I thought to myself with some relief. And then I went to sleep.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Don't Blame Me I Live in a Red State

The reddest state in the world.
I've been wondering; will we ever have another white president?

Monday, November 03, 2008


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Political Fun Fact

I thought it interesting that Joe Biden's Grandfather's name was O'biden when he came over from Ireland. Oh, yea. Totally true. It's on the Internet (or at will be in a second).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Do you believe in animal magnetism? Well, I disagree with you. Unless you answered yes. My cabin is a bear magnet. When I told Steve G about the third and final (I hope) bear break-in he asked, "Do you rub peanut butter on your door and sprinkle dog food around the cabin?" I said that I used lard instead of peanut butter but that I thought it should work just as well. But of course that was just the facetious banter of a couple of old veterans laughing in the face of tragedy. I don't put food of any variety on the cabin door and I suspect Steve knew it before he posed the question. The bear destroyed almost every food thing in the cabin. He spilled margarita mix and then dipped his paws in it. Then he walked outside and let the dirt cover his sticky paws and re-entered the cabin, climbed onto the sink and stove and inside the refrigerator. The bear did not eat everything, he merely spilled, spoiled and mutilated everything. Somehow he managed to poke a hole in a bottle of mustard without knocking it over (either that or he put back the bottle, upright, on its shelf after poking the hole and knocking it over).

The food items that I will miss the most include a can of Hood River Peaches, Ibarra Mexican chocolate, a couple pounds of sugar and a container of Armor brand lard (for a flaky pie crust). I will not miss the Peter Pan peanut butter. Laurie was upset when she heard of the demise of all but the Folgers coffee. Thanks to Kim and William for bringing sugar (for the delicious cobbler Laurie made) and coffee.

A couple of other things:
The bear left a gift of his excrement behind the cabin. I say "gift" because it was outside the cabin and not inside. Diego the chihuahua did his part to prevent further visits by peeing on the black pile of poo and also peeing all around the area where the bear took the food out to eat at his leisure. We watched from the kitchen window as Diego would sniff, pee, vigorously scratch the ground with his back feet, move a foot or so and repeat. Good dog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Luke talking about the work while Nate thinks he's leaning out of the picture.


Another fan. I call this one "Kate."

Really important interview.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


On the way to Chicago I had a stop over in Salt Lake City where the people entering the plane looked like characters in a movie about christian conservatives. The women dressed in clothes that would only look feminine if worn by men. Young couples walked in surrounded by hundreds of kids all under the age of 5 and with names like Hezekiah, Esther and Chastity. Neatly trimmed mustaches boarded the plane followed closely by pale white men. 
And now we are all in Chicago.

If you happen to be in Chicago October 17th, stop by Rhona Hoffman Gallery for our (New Catalogue) opening.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Night Fox

I saw this fox again a couple days ago at 9:30 in the morning walking down a sidewalk in Boise (5th and Bannock). I am pretty sure it is the same fox because this little vixen is pretty big for a fox - about the size of a small coyote. She also has that hunched over, tucked-tail look evident in the above photograph.

For a Free Copy of Your

sticker please send me $15.00 plus shipping and handling.
If he loses I'll change it to say, "I Voted for the Black Guy," or, "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for the Black Guy."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

New Coke with Salt

A fellow with a bigger and older beard than mine ( my beard is 1 this week!) is sitting at the counter of a café salting his coke a cola.

And thus my great American novel begins. But where do I go from here? Maybe the above is the beginning of my mediocre American short story.

The first sentence of this post is mostly true and maybe entirely so. I am not sure if his caramel colored drink was actually Coke. His salt and pepper (mostly salt) beard was huge. The teenage waitress, upon seeing him salt his soda, said, "You sure like your salt. I do too, but maybe not as much as you."

One more thing: I was planning a beard day party in honor of my hairy face but as you know, the road to hell is paved with party plans. In other words, just uttering, "Beard Day Party," was enough to satisfy that desire.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I am writing this so we wont have to look at the home canned tuna. Not that it doesn't look delicious because it does and last night I ate some for the first time. I am fairly confident that this morning's diarrhea had nothing to do with last nights tuna.

It was really good.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I've gotten heavily into canning. So far I have canned almost a pound of tuna. That makes three small jars. I know what you're thinking: Yum. I hope you're right. The tuna I chose was the cheap (15.95lb) albacore variety. I wanted the yellow fin but that was 26.95 per lb. So, this is not a money saving proposition. I suspect it would even be less so if I caught the fish myself - license, fishing gear, charter boat, etc - unless I caught one of those famed million dollar blue fin.

Friday, September 12, 2008


How can I tell if my potato is ready? This one is soft. Really soft. And it has purple antlers.

Monday, September 08, 2008

You notice something fishy about these herefords? Ok, maybe not fishy but elky?

Here he is standing next to his friends. Someone told me that he moved in with the steers a couple months ago.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Did anybody else happen to catch the chicken staring contest at the fair this year?

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Did you hear Sarah Palin's comment about hockey moms and pit bulls? She said, "I love hockey moms. 'You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." A gross generalization if you ask me. Not all pit bulls wear lipstick. I had one and she never wore lipstick.
On a related note, if lipstick is one word why is pit bull two words? Or, why are pit bull two words?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


You can't beat it. I know what you're thinking. Where are the helmets? If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times. Helmet laws suck.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Did you hear that Obama actually considered Nader as a possible running mate? Yeah, it's true, but the Obama-Nader (say it out loud) t-shirts and bumper stickers did poorly with test groups.

Thank you. I'm here all week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

You successfully sent 386 invites.

I don't know how but I just sent 386 people invites to Good Reads. I'm a little embarrassed because I must have sent them to friends and friends of friends. I know what you're thinking. "Why did I not get an invite?" I'm not sure why that is. Sorry.
I am pretty sure I do not know 386 people. I am sure I don't like that many people (unless celebrities count). But I do like you. To be honest, which is not always a good idea, it's not your personality, it's your looks.

This is also embarrassing because I've only read about 7 or 8 books.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another Bear or the Bear Again

A few nights after my bear visit, Diego, the chihuahua, woke me up barking (or crowing like a rooster). I turned on a flashlight and watched while a bear tip-toed into the lake, waded out into deeper water and swam away. Then I went back to sleep.

The photo is by Ryan McGinley

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who Shot Thomas?

My sister's dog Thomas was shot by an unknown assailant, most likely a player-hater or a republican. I suggest the latter because republicans have guns. Thomas was shot in the shoulder, which is a popular target when shooting deer, so the perp was likely a hunter, which does not rule out his/her being a republican. Thomas may loose his leg. Thomas, by the way, is one of the most benevolent beings I have come across so it is unlikely he did something that warranted being shot like barking or something like that.

For you republicans, I am also a republican so don't take the above as an attack.

For those of you who are not republicans, neither am I.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bears and Beards

My sister’s dog Thomas likes to sleep in the most centrally located spot of a given house so he can check on everyone in the most expeditious manor. I sleep out on the front deck so Thomas has to come outside to smell me and look at me periodically. A few nights ago, I heard someone get up and shut all the doors so I was on my own. Diego was in my sleeping bag but no more Thomas checking on us. But a while after the doors closed I was checked on again. When I opened my eyes I was greeted by a mid-sized (late model) black bear – or a silhouette thereof. His silhouetted face was getting closer to my face when I said, “Hey dude.” As you might imagine, that scared him away. He ran around the cabin and stopped on the other side of my bed. I shined a flashlight at him and he ran away, maybe toward your cabin.

In other news, I have been reintroducing myself to people that I have known all my life. The beard is a pretty effective disguise. It also works if I do not feel like talking to someone. Some people, Carl for example, are very free with their opinions about the beard saying things like, “Get rid of that beard,” or “get rid of that gross beard.” I usually tell them give it time. It’ll grow on you. It did on me.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Mother Son Roadtrip

I have been Internetless while driving to California.
I picked up my mom in Golden Colorado and from there we drove to Steamboat Springs to visit my cousin. I wont go on too much about that but I will throw out a few talking points (because that's what my cousin did). I'll start with the non controversial and progress to the more controversial: He lives near a lovely river. We fly-fished. He feeds raccoons dog food. Caribou like oil fields for the warmth so if we really want to help them we will create more oil fields in the arctic. Polar bears are doing better than ever because of climate change - it turns out that, like Caribou, Polar bears like it warmer too. There was also something about the poles freezing over again this year - bad news for the wildlife that evolved there I guess.

After two nights in Steamboat we headed for home, keeping our eyes out for Pronghorn and any other wildlife. Mom was disappointed with the lack of wildlife so far so I pulled up to a small herd of male antelope to shut her up. We also saw a roadkill moose. Mom pointed out a lot of birds that turned out to be bird-shaped spots in front of her eyes.

The trip went well until I foolishly attempted to parallel park in front of mom's house. In my mother's eyes only the women in our family can parallel park. The actual foolish act was when, after she criticized my parking, I pointed out that I have never parallel parked in front of the house (with her in the car) without criticism. That ruined the entire trip for her.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Leaving Chicago

My summer in Chicago is over. Tomorrow I head toward Denver where I will pick up my mom who will be my co-pilot the rest of the way to California.

I saw this boat on the side of the road in northern Wisconsin. It was in front of a store that was full of stuffed dead animals (deer, bear, porcupines, muskrat, etc), old outboard motors, anti Abraham Lincoln books and much much more.
If you go there please buy this boat for me for a house warming present. And then buy me a house to warm. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Clean Ears

This was taken with time lapse over a period of about 6 hours. Or maybe less.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008


The canvas for our new art piece has arrived. It's a big motorcycle.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More Turtles

This one is on Luke's handlebars.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good, clean, love

You might want to turn down the volume before you push play.

I saw this book at a bookstore in Boulder and I said to myself, “Cool, it’s about time there was some scholarly investigation of the beard – particularly the American Beard because that’s the kind I have.” But then I realized it said “Bard.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Berry Pie

A couple motels with cabin themes. It would be great to stay in a motel that is made up of log cabins but as you can see only the lobby of the Log Cabin Motel, Chadron Nebraska, is log cabinish. The other motel is somewhere east, maybe even Iowa.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Semi Regular Cabin Review

This "log cabin" in western Idaho looks like it was made with Lincoln Logs. To be honest, which I am not opposed to being from time to time, I would not classify this structure as a cabin but it references a cabin aesthetic and is worthy of inclusion.
I am not a big fan of rating things as in "four stars," or "thumbs up." I will rate this as to whether I would live in a house like this or not. Yes, I would.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Diego's Path of Distruction

I have had this dog for less than a year - so I suppose one chewed down tree and one burned up camper van is not that bad. He only does this when no one is looking so I cannot say for sure that he was responsible for these acts of destruction but the evidence is overwhelming.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Lottery

While I drive I often daydream, “If I won the lottery I would…” and then I go into a reverie of fantasy that usually includes buying cars and houses for friends and family, paying off student loans, mine and yours, and fixing up the cabin. Then I snap out of it and am left with a feeling that, not only did not will millions, but that I lost millions of dollars. Then I do it again.
So, if I won the lottery, in the hundreds of millions, I would buy log cabins from towns all over the country. Many towns have them including: Milwaukee, WI, Davis, CA, Boise Idaho, and various small towns in Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa. Those are the cabins I have seen recently but I am sure there are many more. The towns would sell them to me because of all the wonderful things they could do for their community with all that money – I would pay millions for these little cabins. After I have secured enough cabins I would ship them to a beautiful location and build a mansion out of them. Please see artist representation below.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008



I seemed to have chosen a highway with no campgrounds or rest stops so I decided to stay in a motel. Diego and I demanded the best room in the house and we were given the Coca-Cola suite. Nice.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Wrong Turn

Someone told me this was the road to Girl Town, or Ladiesburg or Foxopolis - I forget which but it was not Manville.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Western Tanager

I have been seeing quite a few of these birds this spring. In fact I was just talking to some friends about it - they have been seeing them too - over breakfast before I found this one dead on the sidewalk on Main Street in Boise.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Still snowing every day.

A friend offered me a new (very old) refrigerator. I called Matt, my personal chiropractor, to help me get the refrigerator which was perched on a dock directly across the lake from the cabin. Second to its beauty, the most distinguishing characteristic of this refrigerator is its extreme weight. It must weigh 100 pounds more than the one we already own. The water is still low which means that the inside of the boat is farther away from the surface of the dock than usual. We circled the beast a few times while we thought about how to get it from the dock and down into the boat. Eventually we got the thing on the dolly and started to lower it, with me in the boat to help ease it’s decent. Fortunately I realized it was too heavy and got out of the boat. We pondered what would happen if we let the wheels of the dolly hang over the edge of the dock. Pondering got us nowhere, so we simply let the wheels of the dolly hang over the edge of the dock. The refrigerator dropped, freely into the boat. For a brief moment I thought it was a successful drop - a happy accident if you will. Then it toppled over and landed on the outboard motor. At that moment I thought that perhaps I had just ruin both the refrigerator and the motor. We both got into the boat and water poured over the transom. We both got out of the boat. We gingerly got back in the boat and tried to move the giant appliance. If we moved it a few inches one direction it would have slipped and broken the handle (the throttle) off the motor. After many failed attempts, the chiropractor put boards under the monster fridge and we were able to slide it onto the front and middle seats of the 14 foot Gregor aluminum boat that leaks, without damaging the 15 horse power Evinrude, four stroke, outboard motor. We made it safely back to the cabin and even managed to get Moby Fridge (it’s white) out of the boat and into the cabin. This was very difficult but much easier with the help of the artist Alice Shaw. I hooked it to the gas (yes, a gas refrigerator) and it lit! But it did not draw which means it would not chill. I would have asked, "why can't you just chill?" if I didn't already know. I spent a few hours this fine, cold day cleaning out the flue, replacing the burner, and replacing the orifice – the tiny hole that allows just the right amount of gas to the burner. The good news (also the bad news): it works as well as it did before I "fixed" it. Not well. The other bad news is I ripped my thumbnail halfway off, from the side, and it hurt quite a bit. In spite of the unworky condition of the refrigerator, I put the fridge in place between the wall and stove with the help of Chicago based photographer Greg Stimac. It fit! But the door would not open. And so on…

You might want to take a break before part 2. I’ll wait.

The same night as the fridge delivery, Dr. Matt and I had also scheduled stove disposal. The stove seemed like a piece of cake (a huge piece of cast iron cake) after moving the leviathan. It went so smoothly in fact that I decided to throw in a last minute challenge. When we got to the end of the lake where Matt’s truck was waiting, I neglected to tie the bowline. When we lifted the stove and pushed it against the dock, naturally the boat drifted away. Eventually the gap was too big and the stove fell into the lake. Laughter ensued. Stove parts spilled into the lake. An oil slick emanated from the derelict appliance. Matt heroically entered the recently thawed lake and put the stove on the dolly. Fortunately for the (sort of) doc, we had (sort of) docked in a shallow location.

I think that’s enough for now.

The fridge below looks like Moby Fridge but Moby Fridge is cleaner and much bigger. I borrowed the photo from the Internet.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Snow in the Sierra

I missed my normal Nampa exit on my way to California from Boise so I decided to take the second Nampa exit. Three hours later I was right on track. Three hours is normally 1/3 of the way to my California destination. In fairness I did stop to look for birds and to escort a rattlesnake across the road. I was very happy that I had a camera when I saw the snake and as you can see I took some pictures.

I need a new camera.
Another highlight – besides getting lost and seeing a rattler – was knocking my bicycle of the roof of my car while entering a drive-thru. Miraculously, it was not hurt and neither was my rack or car. The woman on the intercom kept asking if I was ok though. Happily, I was not on the roof when it happened so I was fine.
Now I am in an undisclosed location in the Sierra Nevada. I drove to town to get some plumbing parts and check my Email.
It has been snowing all day and much of yesterday.
I am covered in mud from crawling under the cabin.
The water lines are under snow so I have no running water at this point.
I disconnected the gas in an attempt to get to the bottom of a nagging propane leak so I have no gas for cooking, but I should soon.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Racist Haircut

The problem with going to an 8 dollar barber is you end up getting an 8 dollar haircut.
Would that that were the only problem with the 8 dollar barber who just cut my hair. A student told me that he is known as, “the drunk barber,” but now that I’ve met him I call him “Vince the Racist Barber.”
First, the hair cut: I asked him to cut it short and with space between my fingers I indicated how much I wanted left on my head. Vince in turn showed me a length between his thumb and forefinger and asked, “this much?” “Yes,” I said, and then he picked a different length and again asked, “this much?” This went on for quite a while. I said yes to every option. When I was finally asked to sit he simply said, while running his fingers through my hair, “cut it off?” “Yes.” Then he asked if I was from Boise. “No, I moved from Chicago,” I said. “Too many blacks,” he said disapprovingly - as you might expect from a racist barber. He seemed to want a response, so I said, “there are a lot of them.” “50%,” said Vince the racist barber. He told me that Boise is a good place to grow a family. He also told me that Chicago has too many nationalities. “Chicago has too many Mexicans and Chinese and Mexicans” (he said Mexicans twice). Vince the Racist Barber is from Spain. “…not so many Mexicans in Boise but Nampa – lots. They’re bad. They’re thiefs!” With my short hair and long beard, I am starting to look rather Muslimish. As I listened to the sound of his straight razor sharpening on the leather strop, I hoped Muslims weren’t another group Vince had a problem with.

I am writing this in an open and affirming cafe with two homosexuals at my table. One of them told me that he likes Vince but he doesn’t think that Vince cleans his hair cutting equipment. That would explain why Vince the Racist (and xenophobic) Foreign Barber was covered with hair at 8:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Chair

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yesterday in Washington County Idaho with Bill

Bill and I watched Greater Sage Grouse display yesterday. There were four males and no hens that we could see. The video was filmed near Susanville, California, which is the home town of two of my closest friends - although I should perhaps reevaluate our relationships since they never told me how rich in grouse they were.

List of birds we saw yesterday, in order of importance:
Greater Sage Grouse
Horned Lark
Savanna Sparrow
Swainson’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
White-crowned Sparrow
Western Meadowlark
Grey Partridge
California Quail
American Kestrel
Bald Eagle
White Pelican
Western Grebe
Lesser Scaup
Cinnamon Teal
Lewis’s Woodpecker
Trumpeter Swan
Western Kingbird
Ring-billed gull
Ring-necked Pheasant
Robin, American
Double-crested Cormorant
American Pipit
Northern Flicker
Northern Harrier
Black-billed Magpie
There were more but I can't remember (they must not be very important or I wouldn't have forgot).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Jonathan Sadler: Artist/Adventurer (October, 21, 1965 - )
Captured by the enemy during the war, Jonathan made two attempts to escape before a third and successful attempt led him into the hands of loving but over-protective gypsies. After two somewhat difficult years living with the gypsies, Jonathan made his way to New York. Coincidentally, his arrival in the great American city was the same night of the opening of what was meant to be a memorial exhibition of his work…

It's a start.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New York Times

This video home tour (Arnold Lehman, Director Brooklyn Museum) includes work by New Catalogue (Luke Batten and Jonathan Sadler). Courtesy of the New York Times.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stuff I learned from TV

One thing I learned from television is that if someone threatens to shoot me, I should yell, "You don't have the guts!"

Monday, April 07, 2008

Behind every distracted woman is a man - usually just a few feet behind the distracted woman, and he usually has a square jaw.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Must be vinyl. I am making a parabolic microphone.

More Bird Books

Monday, March 17, 2008

Art on Paper

Have I mentioned this magazine yet? There is an article about us (New Catalogue: me and Luke) in it and the cover photo is by us. The article is by Karen Ervine, an insightful curator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.