Monday, June 30, 2008

It's here!

Ah, yes, now it's a proper cold. Thank you, harbinger-vertigo and crummy lung-cough, for laying the groundwork at a time when you knew host-body was not able to get enough rest and food to stave off attacks to its immune system.

In honor of all that, let's gaze upon some lovely beef on the hoof.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

E-mail is like debt

You hack away at it, piece by piece, but the output of money or replies is always less than the expenditures or inquiries.

A week or so ago, I was proud to have fewer than 90 e-mails in the workplace-related In-Box; today, they number over 200, and that was with my "concerted effort" to answer and/or erase/file everything.

I think the piece above is a joke; at any rate, in another literal meaning, it is true that it is meant as such here. I had a fine day; I am still tired as can be, but that has nothing to do with art.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

$1.50 Mistake

You try to save a buck, and then you end up with merely something barely droll to disseminate via blog. Those who know me in "real life" know I rarely shop at stores.

When I had money, I surfed such lovely sites as Patagonia, Athleta, Title Nine, J.Crew, J.Jill, et. al., giving UPS and the USPS plently of business back and forth. There is something about seeing a model in action hanging off a cliff that motivates shy people to purchase clothes — shy people who hate driving, and communicating with sales people or being in a room with shopping strangers and seeing the gross quantity of all the sizes of a single thing hanging on a rack, one of many racks all across the country. It's one of those obvious self-deceptions, yes!

My co-worker is charmed by people like that, me and a friend of hers, who are "wasteful" about sending a truck to a single destination with but a few goods, who inevitably end up paying $20 or so to return items whose fabric in person is just not right or that happen to hang poorly on the particular body type in question.

Well, yes, it was silly, but apparently it used to spur the ecnomony, which is practically patriotism these days (remember September 15th or so, 2001, when the president told us all to go shopping?), and when I read once that most of those clothing companies were targetting people called "educated, middle- to upper-class women," whose income was, well, let's say, not really mine, I decided that my education should filter into my common sense and stop the madness. It helped that we had a goal, a house for which to save, that made it "important" to zero-out the credit card and sit back and say, "yes, two pairs of running-type walking shoes is enough."

The former I was quite the thrift store queen; however, those places require driving, too — and it's even less of a guarantee that anything will come of the trip. This was a concern before gas in the U.S. was $4/gal., since travel time is and always has been money, too. Also, my bureau-drawers and closet still bear witness to the fact that a number of those cheaper buys didn't work out either. As with a store of new things, one ends up buying stuff simply because it's presented, not because it was anything on the mental list. Most second-hand items are mere approximations of what I really (think that I) want.

Where we stay in Salina is next-door to a Goodwill, though, it's always a fun part of the psuedo-vacation to drop in and see what they have. This year, I paid $9 for a rolling table to enhance my in-house bird-cage management, and imagine my delight when I found something to make my work-day go by nicely — and for only $1.49.

Once again, I am thwarted. I should have read the back more carefully, as, of course, you knew it, I knew it, these little dealies, while distributed by the Rite Aid Corp. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, are made in China:

Handling the coated electrical wires of this product exposes you to lead, a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm. Wash hands after use.

I like how they don't mention ear-washing — or that other states have any thoughts on the matter of self-poisoning.

Needless to say, they are still in the package.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mardi blah

I welcome the rain that will water the tomato plant without my effort; I'm reminded that we still need a ladder, that the starling nest in the gutter probably is the cause of those newer tan cracks in the second-floor ceiling.

I wish the soothing sounds of soft thunder and all the swishing and drops would have started three hours ago, when I woke up and when it was still dark. Then maybe I could have slept.

I'm happy that my friends sold their house, loss-taking as they have to be having to move for a better job opportunity after only living there about a year, but this is "that one economy" and one is supposed to take heart in the cycle.

I think I will try for an hour …

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Give a monkey

… an LED light, a sunset and window, add camera, and see what happens …

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Artists in Salina

Cue Snoopy's imagination and "here's Kansas City's art magazine editor not being able to figure out Flickr and Wordpress simultaneously and after two days of slogging around in the sun," ergo some more photos from the Smoky Hill River Festival, in case anyone is watching and wants to spend Father's Day out in mid-Kansas.

David Exline, Aliso Viejo, California Reinventing the Wheel kinetic sculpture
on Kenwood Bridge
Smoky Hill River Festival at Smoky River: Juniper "TJ" Tangpuz, Kansas City, Missouri, Oh No…Fish Traffic installation in river; David Exline, Aliso Viejo, California, Reinventing the Wheel on Kenwood Bridge
Juniper "TJ" Tangpuz, Kansas City, Missouri, Oh No…Fish Traffic installation in Smoky Hill River, Coroplast, zip-ties, LED lights, dimensions variable and all fun
More Oh No … Fish Traffic
TJ adjusting storm-felled branches to serve for "construction" that diverts catfish cars
GEAR, Kansas City, Missouri, Beaks and Wings, one of four, 8'x8' aerosol paint on panel, in progress
Finished …

Matthew Dehaemers, Kansas City, Missouri, Attack of the Creative Crawlers: The Fab Five IN-Spiders, one of five sculptures
Kat Corrigan (background), Minneapolis, Minnesota, working on Cars as Canvas (for OCCK of Salina, Kansas), with Jan Elftmann's circle car in foreground
Roof detail from Jan Elftmann, Minneapolis, Minnesota, "dino fuel" car

Matthew Burke, Lawrence, Kansas, Salina Art Center artist-in-residence working on The Massasauga Project sculpture, approximately 40' long
Festival participants working on The Massasauga Project
The head of the massasauga river snake sculpture, after more weaving

Friday, June 13, 2008

A-mid Kansas

The town of Salina, Kansas, experienced a tornado Wednesday night, but that was before we arrived. We have learned (it is not new knowledge) that females respond to bird-art. Got three hours of gasoline in your car and a desire to pay the same price ($3.8999/gallon) as in Kansas City, Mo.? Come to the Smoky Hill River Festival, eat fun things, buy crafts, see art, hear music, and watch some of the nicest-seeming folks go by and chat with you (I swear you can literally see family values with your eyes, and, yes, there is diversity here that is surprising); then see us.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Telling the difference

Is it easy to know who is lying to you? Can you see in their eyes that there is a gun under the seat? Or, is it about catching the least-prepared, those who leave it all in plain view … it's in plain view, and it's been going on longer than any single presidency. The third branch approved it, the ACLU echews it, and I'd like to see stats on efficacy, please. The Washington Post does give it lots of virtual ink, but I feel some key facts are lacking. Juxtaposing the number of homicides year for year does not explain anything.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Reverse outsourcing

The McClatchy-run daily in town outsourced Internet ad sales (I believe, something related to — you look it up for once; I have limited time and so far have proven to be fairly reliable, tee hee) to India within the last month, but in England, Fujitsu (yes, a Japanese company on British soil, par for modern business Earth) employees are ready to strike over their jobs' being shipped westward across the Atlantic.

I guess we forget that Indian labor may be cheaper, but U.S. workers are cheap, too.

Our gain is their loss. My loss is your gain.

Anchors aweigh on the HMS Beagle, circa 2008.

Beco dog

It was windy, and, yes, there was rockfest in the air, but this dog on Baltimore really could have used some water. Touring galleries on Saturday means you will have no one in your way; of course, it also means certain places (Third Eye, Hilliard) are not open, which is frustrating. Color me not-paying-attention, but when did the Cube gallery move out of the flower shop?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Autre cauchemar

And another reason not to leave the house. Two days in a row. It's not the tree's fault it's a cool place to catch speeders. No one has driven down the street forever today. Darn the pesky neighbor who thinks things are too fast. The quickest thing going is the stupid ambulance and copter traffic.

Le sigh.

Can't even cut the grass. Hate audience!

Now, Really

How can you bear to stay in tonight,
when there are such wondrous things to eat and see?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Or, an abreviation of sorts. Ampersand for "and" for &.

New blog I found celebrates the minute finer things. Do you ever wonder who decided it would go above the 7 on the keyboard?

Anyway, they are quaint, I think, with some elements of Skull A Day, but at least they are not worshipping figures found in snack foods and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Personally, I would like to read the full copy of the master's thesis (and see the grade; of course, I'm like that).

My worst nightmare

Hyperbole* aside, I am still reeling from recently learned

(by me; I was in denial, by that one desert and pyramids, though not affiliating myself with any kind of anti-American activity, I assure you)

information about off-season tomatoes the U.S. imports from southern neighbors, tomatoes that have been grown the "old-fashioned" DDT, etc. way and thus kill birds (not to mention reek of hypocrisy),

and now they tell me that my favorite food — indeed, something I hardly can live a week without (lycopene* junkie) — is all full of chicken-and-egg bacteria (though not necessarily from chickens; it could be anyone's fecal contamination.) They say those who became ill in a number of states ate restaurant or store tomatoes raw. I have one tomato plant, but it's only six inches tall. It seems hardy, but one never knows. The trees have that splotchy condition, again. Cilantro faring well. Oh, and there's this monstrosity of a "zucchini?"

It grew all winter long, compact but green and seemingly never frozen. I don't think I should eat the fruit of whatever this is. It seems out of hand. I can't find the bugs that are eating the holes in it, except for these little long-nosed beetles. It is almost five feet tall — won't the squashes bend the plant in all directions and break it? When I say I fear eating it, I mean that there are so many flowers or pods or whatevers forming that I'll be sick of eating what they become for sure. I tell you, the plant is obsessed or possessed or something. The same soil that rejected basil seeds, tomato seedlings, sunflowers, and a variety of peppers (but grows morbid pale broccoli sprouts in the horfrost compost holes I dug — sprouts that wither in the light like vampire plants) is nourishing this crazy thing.

The soil is only six inches deep, mind you. The base is a concrete foundation from a former garage, perhaps. A tree's roots run through it as well — two, actually; there's this walnut stump that is quite persistent with its musty sprouts, despite seasonal hacking.

Speaking of bedrock, our lawn is practically an aquifer during these storms. I went out during a hail and gale hiatus since it was light enough to see, to try to determine why the ceiling of the offshooting section of dining room(ish space) has cracks and odd dry rust-colored seepage. Darn it if we're in some silly cursed place. Are starlings good luck? A screechy family of them lives in the gutter between the sleeping chamber windows; their nest seems not to be actually in the gutters. They are not clogged but in fact all gush out into a swamp, as I said, along the south and west side of the house; the back yard has virtually no grade and is 70 percent concrete. I need one hell of a rain garden. I think we should put it in the basement and keep alligators or at least frogs and turtles under glowlights. I have had nightmares as such, 20 years ago.

Good news! I'm saved from having to excavate the back yard by the fact that the former owner laid one-inch green plastic mesh under all the miss-matched grass patches and sod. I can hardly dig out weeds. I become terribly frustrated and start to dislike dog owners all over again.

When I went to pick up the magazine today, some stupid pit bull jumped on me. After I had transacted with a rather indoors-ish-looking skinny fellow with long hair, I walked at my usual quick pace and upset the stupid dog again; s/he chased after me. "Don't run," man said. "Yeah, it means I stole something," I quipped lightheartedly. I even had pet the stupid dog and let it smell me. I hate dogs right now. Why do businesses in the Crossroads feel the need to have dogs? I would say that the one at Digital Labrador is a good dog. Complacent enough to be tolerable. I never like it when they dogs are at my place, though I used to want a certain newsdog to come to work sometimes. It never happened. The best we had were a couple of kittens in incubator status one week, a baby opossum, and a few dead rats.

Read all about salmonella tomatoes. (This refers to the title. : )

This writing strikes me as pretentious. Let's end with a nice untouched / non-shopped shot of "Never Rub Another Man's Rhubarb (Seed Stalk):"

*I don't have this book.
*What's a hyperbole for? To put your bionic vegetables in, silly!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Pen strikes again

(RIP: 12-30-1938 — 6-2-2008)

Never saw him play, mostly know Bo Diddley as a reference in Dylan's "From a Buick 6," but you have to hand it to a guy who came up with this rendition of Woody Guthrie's "Some men will rob you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen" line:

"I am owed. I've never got paid. A dude with a pencil is worse than a cat with a machine gun."

Daisy, a new cultural hero for you and the UFU.