Monday, December 20, 2010

Spock on Photography

Mr. Spock's opinion on some stolen 20th century photography (they had gone back in time, remember that one?).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I never did understand what the commercial purpose of this was - wait - I think it stored phone numbers tonally so one could hold the dialer to a phone receiver and push one button to call a friend. Or colleague if you have one. It saved having to touch up to ten pay phone buttons that were probably contaminated with LSD or PCP or maybe cyanide anyway.

What I used it for was to simulate the tones made when coins entered a pay phone so I could call friends for free. A recorded voice would say, "Please deposit $3.75 for the next three minutes." Then three minutes later a recorded voice would interrupt - usually my girlfriend and me, to say, "Please deposit $3.75 for the next three minutes." My girlfriend would say, "You don't have to put all that money in the phone, I'll call you back." I could never say, "Don't worry baby, I have a dialer," because Ma Bell was always eavesdropping; I could almost hear her breathing. So I had to let girlfriend believe I was generous with my coins.
Long before cell phones replaced pay phones the phone companies got better and better at preventing the use of the device. But I have kept it. Now, if not technically an antique, it serves the same purpose. It usually sits in my china hutch between Abe Lincoln's beard (or some such wad of hair) and my stuffed passenger pigeon, or carrier pigeon rather.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Giver's remorse

Last night a man who was almost as wide as he was tall, 5'4" perhaps, followed a wisp of a woman into my house. This wisp was not the elegant willowy type of wisp but the clumsy awkward type. She had no teeth, or if she did, she didn't keep them in her mouth. She had difficulty standing straight. In fact, and this is an observation for descriptions sake, she walked like Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein. As she crossed the threshold she yelled in the voice of a ten year old girl, "Where are they?" No hello or introduction. She wanted my finches. Earlier in the day I had advertised my finches "free to a good home" on craigslist. I should have realized that "a good home" is subjective. Probably most people think they can provide a good home for a pair of finches when they decide they want a pair of finches. I am pretty sure last night's visitors thought so. But, as "a good home" is subjective, my opinion is that they did not have a good home for the finches. I also doubt they could provide a good home for a dog, a cat or a person. Perhaps I am prejudice. Perhaps I am just a worried former finch owner. Maybe both. But if I ever have to give animals away again I am going to figure out a way to assess the quality of the animal's new home. Before they left the man said, "What kinda birds are these again?" I said, "This one is a spice finch and this one is a society finch." The woman said, "Oh, finches. That's right! I keep thinking they're quakers." I wished the finches new care-takers were Quakers. I shouted care instructions to them as they hot-footed it to their car. They did not seem interested.
Anybody want a pair of cockatiels?

Peter Hujar

This dog looks a lot like Diego the dog except for the muzzle. The photograph is by Peter Hujar.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Good free music

Y'all should get the new EP from Woom. It is free. Besides, Eben and Sara could use the money. Oh, but it is free.

New Painting

I came home yesterday, after a hard day of doing productive stuff, and found this beautiful painting on my doorstep. Thank you Bill.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Movie Review

Last night I went to the Movies to see Inception. I did not know what Inception was, in fact I thought I was still watching previews for the first 40 minutes. But before the movie I was talking to fellow Boise Artist, Bill L. about movie violence and specifically the films of Quentin Tarantino. The gentleman seated in front of us turned to talk to us: “I don’t like R rated movies and my roommate Charles was watching Inglorious Bastards ON A SUNDAY! I tried to stay in my room until it was over but, to my lasting regret, I ventured out to get a glass of diet cream soda. As I walked through the living room there was a fellow on the TV bashing in the head of a Nazi with a baseball bat while his friends cheered him on. I was like, ‘seriously Charles? On Sunday?!?!’”

Friday, December 03, 2010

Sometimes it Takes a Bad Thing to Make Things Worse

I am pretty sure that is not the expression. But I am equally sure it is truer than whatever the expression is.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Plant Jail and Chair

Enzo Mari Chair

Monday, November 15, 2010


More fashionable bearded people.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another important bearded man

Hamden Eldorado Cagwin, the Hermit of Echo Lake


Saturday, November 13, 2010

It still ain't weird, it's still just a beard

This picture reminded me the John Muir injured his right eye in a machining accident

There are many different kinds of beards but I am not talking about the Goatee, Van dyke, Flapwings, Claus-esque, Chin-muffler, Queen's brigade, Wilted cigar, Soup strainer, Jaw-brisstle, Wispy wiggins, Wandering Jim, Meat-grinder or Dangle swaggles. What I am referring to are the two major types: Real beards and hipster beards. I usually try not to mention hipsters here but today I am moved to do so.

I do not think Whitman's beard qualifies him for bear status

What I am referring to are the two major types of beards:Real and Hipster. I do not usually mention hipsters on this blog but I am today I am moved to do so. The above are famous men with real beards, sometimes called "mentor beards."

Bear beards are real beards.

This is an example of a hipster beard, a nice hipster beard.

I make no qualitative judgement on which beard, the real or the hipster, is the better beard.

But I thought I might clarify the issue when it comes to the beard that I had and the whiskers that I have. Having not shaved for the past couple weeks seems to have invited opinion on whether I should grow a beard or not. Those in favor tend to be less fervent in their opinions. They tend toward variations on, "Oh, are you growing your beard back? I liked your beard but do what you want." Those against tend to have stronger anti feelings such as, "No! Do not grow your beard back!" I tell them I have not made up my mind but I promise not to grow my beard back. If I do grow a beard it will be a new one.

Last night a woman gave here beard opinion that went something like this, "If you have a big beard you are basically saying I am a bad-ass and I have this bad-ass beard." She said the other possibility was that you simply did not have a beard.

A gentleman present said, "I just thought your beard was a sign of depression."
When I do get the urge to stop shaving it is more often influenced by an old man with a gray beard - known as a Graybeard - rather than a 20 something dude in a rock band. It could be because I can relate to the lifestyle of a graybeard - driving around in a truck or sitting in a lawn chair - than that of a rock star. But to some, the fact that I even wrote a blog post about beards sets my beard in hipster stone.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Rhymes with Dancer

What if the biggest thing in one’s life is really none of your business? And by “none of your business,” I mean your business, not mine. I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks crying, throwing up, listening to other people cry and throw up, feeding people, being fed (given food), helping others sleep, trying to help myself sleep, trying to distract myself and my friends, laughing at the absurdity of it. What is it? Cancer. I do not have it, knock on wood. But it recently snuck up on some friends. That seems to be cancer’s MO. First you don’t have it then you do. Sneaky bastard. Cancer is also like that car you recently bought; it is everywhere you look, every grocery store parking lot, every coffee shop, every curriculum committee meeting. Everyone either has it or a close friend or relative has it. I may have never actually said “cancer happens to other people,” but I am pretty sure I felt it. But this time cancer did not happen to other people. This time it happened to specific people, my people. One might argue that it happened to one person (especially if I weren’t being so vague) but I am a witness that cancer happened to many people a couple of weeks ago.

The question at the top is my way of figuring out how to write about what’s on my mind when what’s on my mind is other people’s personal tragedy. Trying to turn the personal into a more universal, and perhaps philosophical question.

This experience has brought home to me something that I long suspected. I love these (secret) people.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I was preparing to photograph a cat approaching my front door but when I clicked the shutter this is what I got. The cat was not Sebastian and not harmed.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Pallet Chair

Step 1: dismantle a pallet

Step 2: Cut into Pieces

Step 3: Assemble chair

Step 4: Finish chair

This chair was made from a pallet I found behind a dumpster and a headboard that belonged to Brian Taylor, of Brian Taylor & Son Contractors. Brian is in Chile so he wont notice that his headboard has been turned into a chair until January. The design was based on pictures I found on the Internet. I picked the one that looked the easiest to make. It is surprisingly comfortable to sit in. And it looks good on my lawn. Shut up.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sebastian continued

In the kitchen

Hanging out in my kitchen window

Pretending to be dead because I made him leave after harassing the birds.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


This is my neighbor's cat. He loves birds. He loves sneaking into my house. He weighs 20 pounds.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fishing Trip

Bill, it turns out, comes from a fishing family. Or a fish family rather. His brother Steve owns a fish farm in Alabama. That could explain Bill's expectation that we would get to the lake and the fish would be happily waiting for us to pluck them out of the water like apples from a tree.

Dante, left, is what people in the medical business call a malingerer. If you are like me you are looking at this poor afflicted toy poodle asking yourself what happened to his neck. Whiplash? That was my assumption. But his otherwise active, chipper and general healthy countenance belied that assumption. I started to notice the little guy turning his head when Kirstin would point out this Western Grebe on the left or that White Pelican on the right. Eventually I could not longer take the farce so I yelled out, "Dante!" As suspected, Dante turned his head almost 180 degrees like an owl and looked at me with expectation. I said, "aha!"
In your face little toy poodle lier. Then Kirstin said, "it's a life jacket, not a neck brace."

So then I noticed Diego with his head in traction. Before I made a fool of myself I decided that he was simply looking for support for his ungainly head while he napped.

One of the first things we did after launching the boat was set crawdad traps. Above was the climactic moment as we awaited a cage teaming with little lobsters.

Nothing but two delicious strips of bacon. None of us knew the regulations on bacon so we set them free.

Be fruitful and multiply gross, wet, fatty strips of bacon!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lucky Peak The Movie

Lucky Peak

Diego and I took the motor boat for a cruise at Lucky Peak Lake. This lake is more like a river with a damn at each end. But it is not that simple, for Lucky Peak has three ends.