Thursday, September 29, 2016

ACL Isn't Real

ACL (Austin City Limit) starts this weekend.  Unfortunately for us long-time Austin residents, the weather is projected to be absolutely great - cool evenings and only moderately hot days, with no rain.  Unlike the day shown above, where we were sure a spaceship would come out of that rain cloud.  Nope, within 5 minutes of that cloud forming we had the rain pouring in:  
These views are from our balcony.  That shiny stuff in the bottom right corner?  Well, Susan thought there was an ugly scratch on the railing so .... aluminum sticky tape like the air conditioner repair people use.  She thought about spelling out in morse code something really tacky but just randomly wrapped strips around instead.  Sometimes we have incredible sunrises:
Why do we care what the weather is this weekend?  We want it to be horribly bad so that all the people coming in to Austin for ACL will not say "Wow.  What a great city with terrific weather.  Let's move here!"  No, No, No.  Don't come.  We are full.  No Vacancy.  10th worst traffic in the nation for medium-size cities.  Stay where you are!

But if you decide to come, here are some bands you'll be able to hear:

Band of Horses (do they know Foals?)
Jazzy Ash & The Leaping Lizards 
Frightened Rabbit
St Paul and the Broken Bones
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

I have no idea what any of those sound like because I listen to Oldies from the 50's and 60's on Pandora.  But cool names!  I need to get more creative when naming my ceramic pieces, instead of calling these pieces "Bird 1" and "Bird 2".

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Finally my Blog Wrangler notices that Google will remove the slideshow option from this blog at the end of the month. That's the little pictures that flip around at the top right where it says "Some Of My Art".  Thanks a lot, Google. First you take away Picasa Web and now this.  Just another example of:

Bend Over, Here It Comes Again

And I have no reason why my name is in this urinal but it seems to go nicely with this blog's topic.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What's On Your Bulletin Board?

It's a little different from what I displayed back in February.  If you can't read what the top note is, this is what it says:
Unlike math, art has no wrong answers

I like to pick up stuff I spot on the ground when I'm walking or biking.  I've had little nut-like pods on my shelf for a while and Susan decided one of them needed to go with a little Sweater Child.

The Sweater Children also become Train Children and travel to .... somewhere. They latch onto the trains via a strong magnet glued to their backs so I hope they stay in place at least long enough for someone to spot them.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Shuttlecocks and a Train

A fellow artist told me she liked reading about places we traveled to because she didn't get to travel that much.  So that's why I'm backing up to show you more of stuff we've encountered on our recent trips.  Actually Susan does hours of research to determine the bestest and mostest good stuff to see, so much research that by the time we get ready to go she complains she doesn't need to go.

A 17-foot high shuttlecock on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.  The good thing about this sculpture is that the bird poop doesn't show up. 
The sculptures were very controversial when first proposed, but, as usual, loud protests probably came from people who didn't bother to read the artist statement, here. 

Why were we in Kansas City? To see art, of course.  The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art had a special exhibit of 6 ceramic artists and the Nelson-Atkins had an exhibit of 24 different ceramic artists.  I saw so much inspiring stuff my head exploded. Both museums were within walking distance of each other and that made it nice.  Also nice was good weather so we got to enjoy the outdoor sculptures in a well-designed space.

At first it looked like a tree painted silver, but then we got closer to it.  Somebody did a lot of shopping at Home Depot.

We really liked Kansas City, easy to get around and the grounds at the Nelson-Atkins were a nice break from the heat..  A second reason to go to Kansas City was to see the World War I museum.  We'd been there once before when it just opened but only saw a small portion of the exhibits - we go slow and read all the signs. Hey, it's History!  This time around we still didn't see everything so we'll have an excuse to go back again. 
Watch the trains in your area.  There may not be many more carrying hitchhikers like this because they've quit stopping near where I live probably because of the nearby MoPac-olypse construction (2 years late, zillions over budget.) I'm under strict orders to avoid trying to put anything on a moving train

Sunday, September 11, 2016

We Remember, September 11

Pop, we remember.  Rest in peace. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016


The Blog Wrangler speaks:
Life is never simple.  I loved Picasa Web. It was simple. It was easy. It went away.  I hated that.  I finally had to suck it up and throw these pictures into some other Google thing I have to figure out.  I hate that IE, which I've used for a zillion years is cranky so I have to use Chrome just to read the daily newspaper.  And Twitter?  Won't let me log in via IE so I have to go to Chrome.  Don't you nerdy people dare tell me other browsers are great, I hate having load one more program onto my desktop.  (But I love the Hanx Writer app on my phone.)
Pop-up ads?  EVERYWHERE.  No, I don't want your coupon, I just want to look at your website.  No, I don't want to evaluate my "experience" on your website - If you want my opinion, pay me for it!
You can tell I'm really cranky about all this.  Yep, and not only am I  cranky, for months now I quit looking at stuff, lots of stuff, lots of blogs, lots of websites.  Okay, I'm getting over it.  But I'm not making any promises. 
What about Don?  Not ONCE did he ever ask me when I was going to update his blog.  He is a wise man and preferred to keep his head (and his junk) attached.
Enough about me. Don has been making lots of little guys.  And birds. He gets his head into a Zen Zone and makes lots of dots on things. 

What have we been doing for the past spring/summer months, besides, on my cranky part, whining a lot? We took a 4,500 mile road trip to the east coast and over to Ohio.  We took another trip to Kansas City, which we liked - lots of art to see there.  We are in the process of redesigning my studio area which is a little hard to do in a small apartment.  I say its like redecorating inside a submarine because no matter what you do there won't be anymore square footage. We went to Phoenix last month for ArtUnraveled and right now Don is at AdornMe in Houston.

This post took me about a hour to do.  I had to figure out the picture deal, then had find the Blogger password and then figure out what the heck I used to do to get anything going.  I need a nap now.

Late edit:  A title! Dang-it, I knew I'd forgotten something.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering, Memorial Day, 2016

I'm going home
Without the sorrow
Going home
Sometime tomorrow
Going home
To where it’s better
Than before

Going home
Without my burden
Going home
Behind the curtain
Going home
Without this costume
That I wore
Leonard Cohen, from Going Home
Remember Barry Lynn Brown ....

Killed in Action, Vietnam, 1968
Remember James Clifford McKittrick....

Missing in Action, Vietnam, June 1967

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

See Something Say Something? Ignored.

We are sad for Belgium.  Sad because no one should have to walk outside their home and worry about being attacked. Sad because this is the new "Normal".

Our government tells us we can be safe because of the "See Something, Say Something" policy, which assumes we are all alert and authorities will take appropriate action.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Below is a picture of a coat left on a seat.  Is something under it? Was it forgotten or left deliberately? When asked (Susan, loudly), no one around it said it was theirs.  That's me sitting, two seats away from it.  On the other side of it, a sack.  Is it empty?

Let's add some detail.  This was November 26, 2015 -- 13 days after the Paris attacks, when our government PR spinners kept insisting that "See Something, Say Something" was the best plan for our safety.  More detail? This was in the Washington, DC, Reagan airport.  An airport.  In Washington, DC, our nation's capital.  More detail?  The area where this coat was left was deserted, except for us. It was Southwest's gate waiting areas and we had gone to that particular gate section because it was an empty, quiet and calm area where we could wait for our flight call. But there was that coat.  What was under it? Anything? Nothing?  Nobody around but us.  Susan took a picture.

Finally, after calling out for someone to claim it, she walked over to the nearest check-in counter (Southwest Airlines) and pointed it out to the two attendants working there. She told them no one seemed to claim it and, based on the "See Something, Say Something" suggestion, she thought maybe security could come take a look at it.

We moved to a different gate section of the waiting area.  Twenty minutes later our flight was called and we boarded the plane.  During those twenty minutes no one ever came over and checked out the coat.  So much for security in your nation's airports.

First two images: Daniel Berehulak, NYT

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Going Green and Giving Green Away

St. Patrick's Day means wearing green and fortunately these birdies got the message.  Whatever.  We don't really care because we are very busy right now trying to do this paperwork:

It has put my Blog Wrangler in a very bad turbo-taxed mood.  Her mood about the computer and the Internet has been very bad lately and she's started a list of the nasty changes developers have made in programs she uses a lot.  (I'm just thankful she hasn't watched any of the political debates or she'd probably have throw the TV out the window.)  Right now she's considering putting all my pictures up on Tumblr or Instagram or somewhere else and giving up on this blog since Blogger/Google is dropping Picasa Web support.  We'll see.

In the meantime, since both Goodwill and Salvation Army are big, major (as in well-known) players in the U.S. business/economy, why does the government need their street address when we claim a donation to them? Like they are going to go there and look for the skillet we donated? Think back to 1994 when the Clintons revealed their tax documents and it showed they had claimed a $2 donation for underwear they donated.  Gotta love our government. Sort of.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women's Day

Here's to all the women who never cease to amaze me. And I'm always amazed at the people who fail to see them as powerful. Or try to keep them from using their power.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Nobody Is Super

Arnie thinks Super Tuesday is just another day but then Arnie is suffering from terminal cuteness.

Check the trains going by your area for the latest travelers:

I'd like to put all those yapping political nightmares on a train to nowhere permanently.  Yes, all of them.  But others have said it better than I can:

Mark Twain:  There is no distinctly Native American criminal class, save Congress.

Edward Langley (Artist, 1928-1995):  What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.

Aesop:  We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Guys

Recognize us?  It's me and Seth Apter!  The famous Seth of The Altered Page.  We had coffee together last week and we were  happy to see each other because, after all, we are twins that were separated at birth.  Except that I think I have more hair than he does.  Not that there is much of that anyway.

We were in New York City last week, right after the big icy snowstorm and just before the crazy weather this week.  The timing was perfect because there wasn't even any snow on the ground while we were there.

The Guys above were at the Peter Fischli/David Weiss exhibit at the Guggenheim.  This is my opinion about the art in that exhibit:

Just because a cat has kittens 
in the oven 
 doesn't make them biscuits

We also went to the MOMA and saw this great mask by Joan Miro:

And the MOMA has an exhibit by Marcel Broodthaers.  This is my opinion about the art in that exhibit:

Just because a cat has kittens 
in the oven 
 doesn't make them biscuits

My Blog Wrangler just told me to get over it, there were plenty of other things we saw that were just fine.  And we got to have lunch with another New York friend who has great stuff here. She thinks it's very amusing that one of the highlights of our visit was a First -- seeing a rat in the subway!  He was more frightened of all of the passengers getting off the subway than we were of him.  Most people were checking him out to see if he had pizza. What are we talking about?  Go here to see.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Joyce Pensato

In January we went to Fort Worth to see the Gustave Caillebotte show at the Kimbell Museum.  It was a an interesting show with good notes/signage for each painting.  But it was very crowded and it's hard to see learn about the art when there are clusters of people, all holding up the museum's audio device to their ear, standing numbly in front of the art while they listen to the signage being read to them.

What do you do?  Slide in front of them so you can read the signage? Nope, we've figured out the trick.  Most museums will have a large-print brochure near the entrance of the special exhibit.  The brochure will duplicate the small print signage next to the art and will be set up in the order the art is arranged in the exhibit.  So, take the large print brochure, stand behind the numb-nuts listening to what the art is about, read the brochure and look at the art, without having to shuffle in and out of their frozen clusters. Sometimes the audio will have enhanced features but there is a point when you just have to look at the art and think about it for yourself.

The image above wasn't part of the Caillebotte show but was at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which is right across the street from the Kimbell.  It's called Texas Batman, by Joyce Pensato.  We'd never hear of her before but she's become more interesting to us because she makes big funky black and white painting and she's 70 years old.  And she has a messy studio (her own image):

Sometimes you find art just a block away, across the street from where you live.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sad Rabbit

This little rabbit is named "Fear No Beauty" by Kari Rives.  He's sad about the Rabbit Hash General Store that burned down this week.

Yes, we've been to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, and we've seen the store (but we didn't go in).  How do you get there? You drive south from Cincinnati, Ohio, and pass through Sugartit, Kentucky.  Keep driving until you get to Beaverlick.  It's very famous for having all its signs stolen.  Turn to the west and make a rest stop at Big Bone Lick State Park.  Then back on Beaver Road toward Lower River Road where you'll eventually find Rabbit Hash.

No, I'm not making any of that up.

Going in a different direction (I'm sure you're thankful for that), here is another give-away.

I've used this glaze before and each time it is slightly different.

My Blog Wrangler is busy cursing just one more change in her life -- Picasa Web Albums are going to be closed out.  Every single picture in this blog is from Picasa Web Album on our desktop computer. Will Google find a way to preserve the pictures? Will Google find a way to make it simple for her to post pictures in the future?  We'll see.