Archive for Personal Shit

Five tons

5 tons of stoneFive tons of stone…

It doesn’t look like much. I expected a much larger pile when the truck left, and was worried that there would not be enough to cover the yard. Read more


new stone 2Five tons of stone. Five hours of manual labor. But it is almost done, at least this phase.

The truck came at 9AM this morning, just as I was falling asleep after working the night shift. Well, I couldn’t leave five tons of gravel in the driveway, so I began shoveling into the wheelbarrow and covering the yard.

I had planned on working on it for a few hours today, then catching some sleep before work tonight. As I was about to call it a day, Bob, my neighbor from across the street ambles over with a shovel and begins to lend a hand. Well, then we had a mission, complete the yard.

All is for the better, as tomorrow I need to put a finish coat of white paint on the abstract pieces for the mural project, and also work on displays for the exhibition at the Farmer’s Market this Saturday. I need a sturdy but lightweight wall to hang my wall clocks and paintings.

Hopefully next week I will have some free time to just relax…


A relaxing Saturday

amazing glass and ceramic sculpture  Like the Kinks song, I’m living on a low budget… There are trade-offs – you can live for the corporate master or you can live for yourself.  Years ago Liz and I decided to make that trade-off. Instead of a mansion on the hillside that we would never see because we are working to pay off mortgages and debts – well, I am still living to pay off debts… we opted for a simpler lifestyle, a small raqncher style house in the East Valley of the Sonoran Desert.

That'll teach 'em...The Apache Junction Library is a great source of freebies – such as free passes (first-come, first serve) to the Heard Museum of the American Indian in Phoenix. Liz picked up the last pass.  I used my $15 discount to Sun Up Brewery to help pay for lunch afterward.

The Heard Museum is located on beautiful grounds in downtown Phoenix, a few blocks past the Phoenix Art Museum.  The complex includes educational buildings, a restaurant, and several galleries of American Indian art both ancient and modern. Close to the main entrance is an amazing sculpture of glass and ceramic invoking desert plants such as cholla.

freeing artThere is an ongoing exhibition on the Indian Schools – one of which was located in Phoenix. The purpose of the schools was to educate the Indians, and “civilize” them. Their identity was stripped as they were inducted into the schools – but it was not long before they introduced their culture into the schools as they retained their dignity.

American Indian ledger artAn exhibition that was slated to come down, but given a reprieve is the Ledger Art show.  After the buffalo populations were decimated, and as tribes were relocated from the pueblos and mountains to reservations, the canvas for tribal art was lost. Most tribal art was a form of historical record of events – some events of import, and some more mundane.

Lacking the traditional canvas of hides and rock faces, a new generation used old ledgers as a canvas. Battles between tribes, and battles between Indians and US cavalry were recorded.  Fortunately these survived, and a current generation of American Indian artists have revived the media. This exhibition showcases ledger art, old and new.

Red IPA from Sun Up BreweryAfter the museum, we hit the Sun Up Brewing Company for lunch. Tucked in the heart of Phoenix, on Camelback Road, youhave to know where this gem is located, but it is worth the search.

Owing to my fairly recent sensitivity to factory farmed beef (I go into anaphylactic shock if I eat mass produced beef due to the crap that mega-agri-farms inject into the cattle throughout their life) I crave good hamburgers. Since by law, bison and buffalo cannot be injected with hormones and antibiotics and other garbage, I can eat it. I ordered a buffalo burger with cheddar cheese and mushrooms, and enjoyed their IPA.

The IPA was so good, I ordered a growler to go – next weekend I will crack that after we are home from the Earth Heart Park farmer’s and art market. I will have a tent this time, showcasing my Desert Detritus clocks and some paintings.


Desert Spring Colors

Desert Globemallow It is spring time in the Sonoran Desert. It is a balmy 80° F (35°C) with a soft breeze.  Plants are beginning to bloom, with the hardy Desert Globemallow pushing its way up through the crusty arid soil. It is amazing that these delicate looking plants can survive a mostly waterless winter.

white Oleander

The Oleander is in full blossom – we have a white and a red in the back yard along the wall. And the Palo Verde tree is now bright yellow-green – a burst of color against a brown landscape.

The Cow-Tongue cacti are just beginning to show buds which will soon be flowers. Read more

Renaissance Fair

The Renaissance FairThe Arizona Renaissance Fair is winding down – it ends with the end of the month. We hit it last Saturday for Celtic Day.

The fair is less than a fifteen minute drive from home, which makes it a convenient way to waste money! But the $20 ticket is a fair price – no pun intended – as you get more than your money’s worth.

One day is not enough to see all of the events and sideshows. The fair is a permanent medieval city, many of the acts are local residents. Beside the local crafts such as handmade instruments, attire and sundries, there are informative and educational booths, lots of live music, and comedy troupes. Read more


Honeybee swarm

Yesterday bees swarmed our yard.

Last week a woman in Mesa, Arizona was attacked by Africanized bees – stung over a thousand times. It is that time of year when the “killer bees” swarm, and they are truly dangerous as they are very aggressive.

It turns out a child had disturbed the hive, and Africanized bees, a hybrid of African honey bees and American honey bees, attacked and the results were not pretty. Fortunately she survived the attack. Read more


Th eIrish Rose and Jack the Evil Bartender

N’awleans – the Irish Rose, and Jack, the evil bartender

And finally, since I am on a roll this week, reminiscing, I offer you a tour of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

This was my first and only trip to the city that is the birthplace of Jazz. I was there a total of three nights, and I am certain that my liver would not have survived a fourth.

As with my two previous posts, clicking on the image will take you to the original entry. Not a few paintings were born from this trip, and all of them have long since sold, if I am not mistaken.

Another Blast

The Southernmost Point

Since I am in an introspective/retrospective mood, I figured I would share my first trip to Key West.

Liz and I made the trek with Stacy and Harry, taking turns driving pretty much straight through from New Jersey to Florida, where we stayed at Stacy’s sister’s house before continuing down Rt 1 the next day.

We rented a small two bedroom accommodation at Courtney’s Place, the only place we will stay when we visit.  Even though I had lived in Florida in the 1980′s, I had never made to down to the Keys. It was an experience to visit from Christmas through New Years – and certainly not an experience for the faint of heart.

Anyway, the picture links to the original unedited post.

A Blast from the Past

Margarita Bash 2005

Margarita Bash 2005

I was going through my directories on the web server, re-discovering long forgotten posts from the former iteration of my personal blog.

Last year I was forced to move the site from one very lousy web-hosting company to the current location. In the process I lost years of posts, and had to start afresh. I kept the new version less cluttered, which meant removing hundreds of links to sticky posts such as my annual Margarita Bash updates. Fortunately the web pages and pictures survived the move. (Hint: click the image to see the picture gallery) Read more

Mixed Bag

Lost Dutchman DaysMixed Bag of Updates
I suppose some updates are past due. It has actually been a very busy week, if not very productive.

I have been busy with website updates for several of my clients.  the nice thing about working nights is that I have afternoons to sit on the patio and work on these projects.

I already hate Windows 8.1
I got sick and tired of the Windows nag messages to update from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. I figured that any small upgrade could not be that bad, and finally fell into Microsloth‘s trap! Read more