Friday, June 29, 2007

Quick sketch

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Sometimes doncha jus wanna....

...climb inside a painting. You know, just to thoroughly check it out.

Crows - 10 minutes

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shelley Yates - Fire the Grid

A dear friend of mine just mentioned a name... Shelley Yates .... and that she (my friend) was going to be paying attention to July 17th. That was the extent of it. A name and a date. I had never heard of Shelley Yates. But isn't that why God made google? To help us find what we are searching for?

Shelley tells of her personal life-saving miracle and what happened to her following it. There are 8 parts to her (youtube) presentation and explanation. I'm going to post the first one here, you know, just to pique your curiousity and if you want more, just go there and put "Shelley Yates" in the search box. (You will also notice her project web site, if you're paying attention. The web site can be viewed using several different languages. If you need a different language go to

So... Its Thursday. Again.

I haven't been doing anything for a couple of days. And I'm always a little amazed at how quickly a day can fly by when I'm doing nothing.

But... the question of the day. Is Paris sincere when she announced that her 23 day stint in the slammer has made her a better person and she now wants to do good... you know, for humanity sake.
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Its Almost Grass

I see some grass in my future.

Its almost grass. I was expecting them to lay sod down, but they are doing it the old fashion way. The one guy is rolling a large netted cylinar that bumps the grass seed out.

Yes, I'm a city slicker. Its all new to me!
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That Siren Sounded Close!!

Close enough.

I heard the siren and it was close, but thats not unusual. I'm just off a 'main drag' and police and ambulances are always going by with lights and siren. I just figured it was passing by again.... but nooooo. When I went outside there the two emergency vehicles were sitting in front of the apartments. They went upstairs. The only folks up there are two twenty something young women (each in their own apts.) One is pregnant and the other one is a mouse (very quiet and rarely seen.)

I didn't see them when they left, so I don't know if they left alone or carried someone out. Another one of life's little mysteries.
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Monday's Show-and-Tell


This week's show-and-tell is a small, hand-held, magnifying mirror. Its one my mother had and when we were cleaning out her home I grabbed it. "Oh.... I need a magnifying mirror. Lords knows I need all the help I can get in seeing my huge pores and minor zits!!"


Face Up. (sounds like a military order or something.)


I stuck the keys in there to give you a better perspective as to size of mirror.


I can't tell what the back of the mirror is... where the little flowers are... feels like some kind of plastic.

This is a working mirror, not one for show-and-tell. ah... wait a minute. Thats just a figure of speech. You know what I mean. Its not fancy and its not here to collect dust. It works. Almost every day. To check for excessive growth. You know.... "ohmygawd! How long has that dark curly hair been growing on my face!!! AAAUGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!"

Here's Sandy's Show-and-Tell for this week. Check out the comments to find the links to others' who are participating. (I'll also hot link them here as they are added.)
Traveling Goddess
BJs Blunders
Wanda's Brush Strokes from the Heart
MissP's Two Cents

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Splash of Color

A friend called yesterday and invited me over for a visit. We usually get together at her place once a month... maybe two months.

She had a splash of brilliant red on her porch... a crazily blooming cactus and a healthy geraniam (see below). (I'll have to check that spelling.) My friend mentioned the name of the cactus four or five times. Even I once asked to again be reminded of the name of it. I'll need that information when I blog about the plant. Yeah, well.... good intentions and all. I think I failed to 'hook' the information in my memory file. A connecting factor, if you will. So now I cannot locate the information. sigh.


We got caught up on personal stuff. "I talked to Fred the other day....." "Did you see the Trader Joe's recall?"
Then we played Upwards as she prepared dinner in between turns. I was pulling better letters than my friend and I won handily. (cheesy grin.)

For dinner we had marinated salmon and spinach. A basic dinner that tasted yummy. As I was feeling all healthy and rightous, smacking my lips, my friend packed a small plastic bag of chocolate candy for me to take home. I'm claiming that it balances each other out... healthy dinner and junky desert. I can balance that seesaw.

Once dinner was done, I picked up the signal that it was time to go. "Here's your hat, what's your hurry?" It was a very pleasant afternoon and much appreciated as a break in the routine.
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Watering the dirt

Normally I would probably have something sarcastic to say about the wasted water it takes to keep this plot of dirt wet. But I'm grateful for it. And I'm grateful for the automated sprinkler system that comes on twice a day in an orderly fashion. Thats because without this watering system, this corner of the block would resemble the dust bowl in The Grapes of Wrath. The plot has had top soil brought in and it was, of course, loose and prone to flight without the weight of moisture. Thank you.

Can you see what looks like a dusting of pepper in the photograph? Its not dirt. Its a flock of birds who decided to take a break on the top of the water tower. It looked kewl in person. It kinda loses its impact when you can't see the birds.
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Where Would You Be, If....

Where would you be:

If – You had all the money your heart desires?
If – You had no worries?
If – You came home and the finest meal is awaiting you?
If – Your bathwater had been run?
If – You had the perfect kids?
If – Your partner was awaiting you with open arms and kisses?

So, where would you be?


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Word A Day

This week's theme: toponyms coined after places in Ireland.

shillelagh also shillalah (shuh-LAY-lee, shuh-LAY-luh) noun

A cudgel, traditionally made of blackthorn or oak.

[After Shillelagh, a village in County Wicklow, Ireland, famous for its oaks.]

-Anu Garg (words at

"Ultimately, Ballymore is Finnegan's dramatic shillelagh that prods us to wonder how we'll feel about our own hometowns years hence when they become cold and empty."

Peter Rusland; Reel Nice Effort by Merc Crew; News Leader and Pictorial
(Duncan, Canada); Jun 2, 2007.
First of all.... what the hell is a cudgel? Sigh. Hold on... I'll go look up 'cudgel'.
Pronunciation: \ˈkə-jəl\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English kuggel, from Old English cycgel; perhaps akin to Middle High German kugele ball
Date: before 12th century
: a short heavy club

Thank goodness for "a short heavy club!" I'm still not sure what a shillalah is... isn't it a musical instrument?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Think I'm Envious. News Person of the Week



We had a very mellow sunrise this morning. I liked the color.
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Bulldog Painting


This is a painting I did from a photograph three or four years ago. I got tired of it and really didn't finish the bottom of the dog.

I didn't like the green background so I changed it and also finished the bottom... a little more.


The painting fell off the wall when one of the grandsons was jumping on the couch next to it and fell. It was nicked on the edge.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

The Power of Art - Vincent

What follows is personal opinion, of course. And what I'm going to opine on is Simon Schama's Power of Art and his presentation on van Gogh. (Part of a series of programs presented on public television.)

Edited later: I decided to remove my arrogant critique of this TV program. Its been bothering me all day. I shall simply say that I loved the visual presentation. The narrative seemed to not sit quite right with me and I'm not sure why.

I look forward to seeing the rest of the series and I hope they are shown soon.

Warning: Rant about Taxes and Illogical Funding

This rant is about a proposed new (additional) cigarette tax. To be honest I must tell you that, yes, I am a smoker, so I have a personal interest in this.

Let me set the stage. Cigarettes have always been taxed. I do not know where or how the 'original taxes' are spent. I can only hope they are spent appropriately. The newest tax that has already been applied to cigarettes was presented to the public as a way to deter smoking, which is bad for a person's health. 'The more expensive the cigarettes, the more likely people will be willing to drop the habit' was the logic used. Kind of like a do-gooder's exhortion. "Its for their own good." And to sweeten the pot, it was also stated that the increased revenue would be used to provide health care for low-income families. Can you say "awwww." Look.... a tax that will do good. (You'll notice, no one is investigating why health insurance and health care is so expensive in the first place. This is why small businesses can not afford to cover employees.)

Over the last few years, the Oregon Health Plan has had to eliminate coverage for some things and reduce the 'children' who are covered because the needed budget was not met by the revenue source. Why? Because less people were smoking. So, success on one hand (reduce smokers) and failure on another (less tax revenue).

(I know some people started getting black market cigarettes, but I don't know how many it was, so I cannot determine how much of an impact it was on revenue. But these people are getting busted and my guess would be its not that high in comparison to the overall cigarette consumer count.)

Over half of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is for taxes already. Now they want to add another $.85 to each pack in additional taxes. So perhaps it will be 2/3 of the cost will be for taxes.

My rant is that THIS IS NOT A STABLE FUNDING SOURCE. What are they going to do as more and more people quit either by choice or because they can't afford it. And doesn't this smack a little of discrimination? The revenue was under budget last year and its going to continue to be under budget in the future. What are they going to do.... add additional kids to the plan and then disqualify them later? End up only covering blood pressure checks and asprin? Where is the logic in this? Its a yo-yo now. Now you're covered, now you're now. Now we cover this procedure, now we don't.

And my biggest complaint... the majority of people paying this tax do not qualify for the health plan. Isn't that something like taxation without representation? There is something not right about it. This is not a fair tax. The last time they tried to add additional taxes to alcohol, I felt it was unfair. And I don't drink. (I don't think the new tax passed on the alchol. I remember being surprised. Too many drinkers in government??)

If government needs to raise more taxes, then legalize marijuanha/weed (I never could remember how to spell that word), and keep all production and distribution under state control. Not only would there be increased revenue from taxes AND sales, there would be additional jobs created. These people, in turn, would be paying income taxes, etc. It also takes a product out of the hands of drug dealers.

If alcohol is a legal drug, then why not weed, which is less physically harmful. Cigarettes are a legal product. We're told it causes cancer and its so bad even second-hand smoke causes cancer. (Lets not talk about the bad gasoline we're stuck with that causes cancer... you know, because everyone knows ALL cancer comes from cigarettes. And they're still a legal product.) Legalizing weed would also eliminate the quacks who run medical-mari...-card mills for pure profit. That would just be a side benefit.

Bottom line, an additional cigarette tax is not a dependable source of revenue.

Monday's Show-and-Tell Part 1




My choice for show and tell today is a garden statue that I keep in the bathroom. I keep it there, first, because I don't have a garden and, second, because I am a little concerned about how well it would hold up out in the elements. Its heavy, maybe 10 to 15 pounds, but it doesn't feel weather-strong. At least not the wet weather we have around here.

See all the crevices? Can you say 'dust magnetic'? I have to use a small toothbrush to get in there and sweep the dust out. I suppose it doesn't help that the first time I dusted it was this morning before taking the pictures.... after about three years. (Gee... Good can come from Show-and-Tell Mondays. How 'bout that!)

It could hold a little bird seed in her skirt.

I included the picture with the toilet paper to give you an idea of size.

(detail shots of her feet and the bird are below in a separate post. Picasa seems to only allow three photos at a time.)

If you want to see all the other participants in Monday's Show-and-Tell group, go here to see Sandy's entry (aka Dusty Duck) and then check out the comments for the links to others. (You'll need to copy and paste; comments don't do "hot links".)
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Monday's Show-and-Tell Part 2




Close ups of feet and bird. Notice the "feathers" on the bird... very detailed.
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Teenage Affluenza

I Can't Think of Anything to Say... Go Figure.



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I feel a little dirty

Any time I plan on checking my bank balance online I do a complete scan for spyware and viruses (virui?) before doing it. Last night the spyware check came up with Trojan MalwareWipe. EUUUU Its like picking up a used condom thinking its a balloon. (And in case you were wondering, no... I have never done that. What? You think I was born yesterday?)

I googled the term (after removing it) and found out that its one of those programs that jump onto your pc and then pops up false system alert notices telling you your pc is in danger if you don't buy their spyware/cleanup software. Its like a liar telling you in all sincerity that they don't lie.

I'm bring this up to remind you to run those spyware and virus checks if you don't have it on a routine automated schedule.

I've recently began using SUPERAntiSpyware (they have a free version, God bless 'em). You have a choice of doing a quick scan (checks all the 'usual' places spyware is put) or a complete scan (checks every nook and cranny). I do a complete scan fairly often, but if I'm in a hurry, a quick scan is available.

The time it takes to do a complete scan varies depending upon how many files you have on your machine. Mine takes almost 3 hours.... so I generally start it in the evening and its done by the time I'm ready to go to bed. Same with the anti virus program, although I don't think it takes as long.

You can check out SUPERAntiSpyware dot com and/or Grisoft's AVG antivirus 'stuff'.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sing Like Its a Lovely Day!

I'm not sure why, but I felt like I connected with this video. The credits at the end are cute too... thats where I noticed Yo Yo Ma played cello for this video. Go figure.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Recently I signed up to get a weekly newsletter from our public broadcasting station. It includes upcoming programming highlights for both TV and radio. When I get it, I make a note of what programs I want to watch or listen to... (she holds up a scrap of paper... an atm receipt with writing on the back to be exact.) Then I try to keep the note in front of me so I will, hopefully, remember when its going to be on. I keep it at my pc. Its the place you are most likely to find me. (yes... I live a simple life and my ass is spreading as I key this.)

Tonight there was a radio program on that I wanted to listen to... "Radio Lab: Mortality". Since this is a Friday and I'm hard pressed to find anything worth watching on network TV I did remember to listen and I'm so glad I did!

What a great program! It was very informative and amazingly entertaining. (I laughed so hard it was difficult to get up off the floor. I kid you not. I might be exaggerating to make a point, but the laughter was real and it was OUT LOUD.) It delved into cell life and current research, and had a taste of how dealing with the elderly impacts society. And it was presented with humor. (I never laughed so hard at the Grim Reaper before this.)

Why am I blogging this? Its to say "hey... you might want to check out your local programs. They can be quite entertaining... oh, and if you've a mind to, how about contributing some bucks next time they have a fund raiser."

I don't know about your local station, but this coming Monday there's a TV program coming on called "Power of Art" at 9pm. I saw a 'teaser' for it and it looks like its going to be very very good. (she tucks her receipt-note half under the mouse pad for safe keeping. Monday morning she will put it up on the keyboard so its in her face. I guess this is where she could set an appointment alarm on her Blackberry if she had one, but she's a simple old fart and doesn't have a Blackberry. You know how old people are with technology. "What do ya mean 'push the button'???")

Well.... at least I like the hat.




Dogged determination. I see thats what its gonna take. That and practice practice practice.... and then practice some more.

I adore the reference photograph... and I like the initial sketch (2nd attempt). And I can say I like how the hat turned out in the painting... but it all went down hill from there. Call me psychic cause I see lots and lots of attempts to get what's in my head down on watercolor paper in my future.

We won't be keeping track of the temper tantrums, though.
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

"I dehort you.... "

No, you have not just been knighted into the circle of royal degenerates. If successful, you have just been dissuaded from going into the public bath house. Or something like that.

Dehort: v. t. 1. To urge to abstain or refrain; to dissuade.

To discourage from doing something.

[From Latin dehortari (to dissuade), from de- + hortari (to urge).]

This well-meaning word has gone out of circulation while its antithesis "exhort" continues to prosper.

"To those of his Friends that dehort him from Poetry."
Thomas Randolph (1605-1635)

From the daily newsletter of wordsmith dot org.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wiggley Squiggley

In an attempt to get something to show on the blog I did a couple of what I call 'wiggley squiggley' sketches using photos in a magazine. 1-2 minute squigglings. (I'm not even going to tell you who the people were in the photographs, because I don't want to embarrass myself. Sort of like taking the 5th when on the witness stand.)

And speaking of wiggley squiggley... do you remember Piggley Wiggley? I do. What a name for a grocery store, but everyone was always "goin' down to the Piggley Wiggley. Be right back." I think the last time I thought about Piggley Wiggley was when I was watching the movie Driving Miss Daisy. She went to Piggley Wiggley, too. What a great movie that caught the flavor of the 50s.... for their social-economical status. (I remembered each of the cars she had too. And the church bombing, MLK, Jr., and all the other news that was commented about in the movie.)
(a google search indicates Piggley Wiggley is still in operation in parts of the country. I did not know that.)

On to other things that have been on my mind....

If you are considering getting a Walmart prepaid visa car.... please THINK AGAIN!! I caught some commentary about how many fees Walmart will be charging people. There were between 7 - 10 different fees. One for opening an account, one for using the card, even one for them holding your money and at $4.95 I don't consider that to be a "low fee". There's even a fee for reloading the card. Don't go there, k?

The other evening I was listening to public radio... a presentation from Alternative News (or is it Alternative Radio. Can't remember for sure.) The presenter was talking about what his research showed regarding the war, Haliburton, and the Blackwater mercentaries. ohmygawd.... legalized murderers.

The government has contracted Blackwater to come help fight their war in Iraq. When you hear about contract workers getting injured or killed, you typically think its support personnel or construction folks. Not necessarily so. Could be Blackwater personnel. Each Blackwater "security" person gets paid something like $350 a day.... and the company charges the government $950 a day. And thats for each individual over there. Wonder what they pay the soldiers? Its not $350 a day, thats for sure!

The presenter also shared one of the 'tricks' Blackwater people have used to kill civilians. Using loudspeakers, they would drive slowly thru a residential section hurling insults to muslims. When the Iraqis' came out with their rifles and began shooting them in the air, they were killed by the Blackwater people. There is no one overseeing their activities and they cannot be charged or held accountable for any of their actions. Now how scarey is that!

I'm thinking our government is no better than Saddam's was... Saddam just didn't cloak his activities like our government does. Oh yeah... and there are, or were, Blackwater personnel in New Orleans, too.

If you're interested, Blackwater does have a web site... I'm just not going to put a link to it here. Its easy enough to find using google. Here's a link to Alternative Radio and it looks like you can still hear or read about the presentation. At least for now.

And regarding how senators voted for the war.... each senator got a 90 page intelligence report ten days before the vote. Most of the senators apparently did not bother to read it, because it stated that the intelligence was suspect. Based on some things Clinton said on the senate floor, she didn't do her homework.

oh lordy... enough of this political stuff. I mention it only in case it might cause one person to perhaps give a little more thought to what might be really going on and not necessarily swallow all the propaganda we are fed.

I think I should take a news break for a while.
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