Friday, July 3, 2020

The New Normal, again.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The New Normal

OK, what day do we want it to be?

Oh yeah, the New Normal.

I'm still out riding my bike and was able to finally see a stopped train so I could add this painted ceramic lizard to it. He's not wearing a mask - Bad boy!

Stay safe! 😷

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Remembering, Memorial Day, 2020: Barry Lynn Brown and James Clifford McKittrick

I first posted the information on Barry Lynn Brown and James Clifford McKittrick in 2009 (link below). This is a later Memorial Day post from 2011.  It hurts to know now that we use the number of Vietnam deaths (58,220+) as a reference to the increasing number of Americans (97,196+) who have died from Covid-19.

Arlington National Cemetery

Heart weeps.
Head tries to help heart.
Head tells heart how it is, again:
You will lose the ones you love.
They will all go.
But even the earth will go, someday.
Heart feels better, then.
But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.
Heart is so new to this.
I want them back, says heart.
Head is all heart has.
Help, head. Help heart.
__________

Head, Heart, by Lydia Davis
_______________________________________________________

Memorial Day is a Federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May to honor U.S. soldiers who died while in military service. On this long Memorial Day weekend enjoy your picnic, your barbecue, your family gathering and maybe a long break from work.

But before you do, please go back here to see why it is so important for me that you take a few moments to remember two men who gave their lives defending our country and the freedoms we have.

 Captain Barry Lynn Brown, Killed In Action, Vietnam, 1968

Major James Clifford McKittrick, Missing In Action, Vietnam, 1967

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day, February 14, 2020


Susan hates fruit. So I try to trick her into eating it for breakfast. Usually works!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year, 2020

My old-man's bike and my contribution to making your commute a little better.


The flowers come from a nearby cemetery. No, I don't take them off the grave sites! People will replace the older fake flowers they put there before with new, fresh fake flowers. They throw the old in the trash. I rescue the old flowers from the trash. The telephone poles have lots of staples on them from when people put up posters.  I can just slide the flower stem in the staple already there.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Happy Holidays to everyone. 
7 days left in 2019 to make art!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Remembering, Veterans Day, November 11, 2019



Nurses, Vietnam, 1969

Don Madden, Vietnam, 1969
Tens of thousands of American troops remain deployed all over the world, some in war zones such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and — even still — Syria. And the United States maintains even more troops overseas in large legacy missions far from the wars following the Sept. 11 attacks, in such allied lands as Germany, South Korea and Japan.


Although deployment numbers fluctuate daily, based on the needs of commanders, shifting missions and the military’s ability to shift large numbers of personnel by transport planes and warships, a rough estimate is that 200,000 troops are deployed overseas today.



Monday, September 2, 2019

Take the Day Off



Celebrate! We were at Ikea and Susan saw an ice cube tray in the kitchen section. Search Ikea for "plastis ice cube tray", and no, that's not a typo. There are other shapes available also, like hearts, on eBay. Use plaster of paris or push in clay, let it dry and there you are, ready for painting. I'm having a lot of fun doing different patterns. Some people say you can melt crayons in them and it makes swirl patterns. You try it, I'm not that energetic.  I've glued magnets on the back of some these.

Susan wants me to tell you that she insisted I buy the ice cube tray even though I said "Why would I want that?"Then it took her about a month of asking me to try it before I did. This picture is just a small sample of all the ones I've painted so far. Listen carefully, she's saying "I told you so."

someeecards.com

Monday, July 1, 2019

I Do Other Useless Things

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
I paint snails. My friends, Ernie and Shirley, take walks and find them for me. Nope, nobody living in these shells, which are all less than an inch long.


I also mark up bananas. Big deal, right? But these are bananas that are put out in our dining room, stacked up on a tray. I sneak mine into the middle of the pile. The amusing part (for me, anyway) is when someone finds it, looks puzzled, then puts it back and takes a plain one. Some people have absolutely no appreciation for fine art.


Friday, June 14, 2019

What Am I Doing????? Acccckkkk!


Susan made me a card that included this. Except that it didn't have any color, was just black and white.  Then she gave me some colored pencils.  So I colored it. Now she's threatening to get me a coloring book. Nooooooooooo!


Monday, May 27, 2019

Remembering, Memorial Day, 2019


Memorial Day is a Federal holiday, observed the last Monday in May, to honor the U.S. soldiers who died while in military service.  The son of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan put it this way:

His life was not taken: It was given, to his country.

I served in DaNang, Vietnam, from February 1969 to February 1970 and then I came home. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the mall in Washington DC has etched on its black surface the 58,318 names of Americans who died during the war there. They came home draped in an American flag.  It includes these two names:

Barry Lynn Brown, Killed in Action, Vietnam, 1968.

James Clifford McKittrick, Missing in Action, Vietnam, 1967.

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency refers to Maj. McKittrick as "Status: Unaccounted For."

Why are these two men so significant to me? Go here and I'll tell you.

Enjoy your long holiday weekend with family and friends.  And the next time you step into a voting booth think carefully about your choice.


Monday, December 31, 2018

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

Open Wide


Me: "I have a toothache that's really bad and it's not going away."
Dental appointment not available for 3 days but dentist prescribes antibiotic, which alleviates some pain.

Next day's dermatology appointment for suspicious leg spot whacking (initial basal cell carcinoma, final report = all clear):  Dermatologist: "It took a little longer because you needed 12 stitches."
(WTF? The spot was the size of a pea!)
"Here's the antibiotic to take."
Susan: "That's different than the one the dentist has him taking."
Dermatologist: "My prescription outranks the dentist's."

2 days later, dentist says tooth is bad, doesn't think a 3rd root canal will solve anything, extraction scheduled with oral surgeon.  Extraction done painlessly, thanks to paying $750 out-of-pocket for IV anesthesia ("Your insurance covers it only if you have 2 teeth removed. Is there another tooth you'd like to have removed?")
Oral surgeon: "This is the antibiotic you need to take."
Susan: "That's different than the one the dermatologist has him taking for that hole now in his leg."
Oral Surgeon: "My prescription outranks the dermatologist's."

Oh boy.
When two MDs conflict, Susan consults the appropriate authority, The Pharmacist: "One prescription is for oral germs, one is for skin germs. Take both and take PeptoBismal with them."
Problem solved.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

We Swim

You've met Esther Williams before. Here she is with her new friends, Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

I Couldn't Make This Up If I Tried

News from a Weird World, compliments of the Austin American-Statesman.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Remembering, D-Day, June 6, 1944

Robert Capa, photographer, Normandy Beach , June 6, 1944
 "The move to the ships and craft took place the 3rd of June and we started loading up the night of June 5 but waited twenty-four hours. ... June 6 ... eating a quick breakfast at about 2:00 a.m., climbing over the side on a cargo net at about 3:30 a.m. into a wildly pitching LCM, bouncing on board while the craft joined a rendezvous circle and waited for the last of our wave to join.  We were afloat and sailed out with barrage balloons to prevent bomb attack.  Training and planning had ended and D-Day had started for the 54 occupants of LCM 1098.  Finally, we ceased circling and started the straight run to the beach, still in the dark.

While we travelled the 12 miles to the shore line, the dawn came up... Everyone soon was experiencing the pangs of seasickness, wanting to get off that pitching and rolling boat no matter what might come next. You couldn't stick your head over the side, so everyone was vomiting in the boat.  I positioned myself right at the front as I believed it was essential that the members of the command be first on the beach...

In our craft we could feel the bottom scrub some sand and jar to a grounded halt. Obviously the boat had struck a sand bar.  I plunged forward, jumped into the dark water, feet first, and was surprised to find I was in eight-foot deep water. My lifebelt brought me back to the surface, already swimming.  Soon my feet touched bottom and I was able to begin splashing and running out of the water.  Winded, I paused to kneel in the shelter of a steel hedgehog, then lunged ahead and dove into a depression filled with water.  Suddenly, my ankle felt as if hit by a baseball bat. I was afraid to stand up for fear of being shot and I was afraid to stay where I was for fear I'd be drowned.  Eventually I decided I had to move, and I'd try running and if I could run OK then my leg must not be broken.  I hobbled the remaining 50 yards to the shoreline and lay down against the stony rubble. .. There was no one in front of me, beside me, nor behind me that I could see or hear."


Being interviewed, Normandy, June 6, 1994
Susan's step-father's account of June 6, 1944. That day he was shot in the ankle but went on with the 121st Engineers Combat Battalion, 29th Division, to St. Lo, Brest and on to Paris. He continued to serve in the army in France and later in Okinawa and in Viet Nam, where there was, to his immense pride, a $2,000 price on his head.

Pops, we miss you.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Remembering, Memorial Day 2018

Memorial Day is a Federal holiday, observed the last Monday in May, to honor the U.S. soldiers who died while in military service.  The son of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan put it this way:
His life was not taken: It was given, to his country.

I served in DaNang, Vietnam, from February 1969 to February 1970 and then I came home. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the mall in Washington DC has etched on its black surface the 58,318 names of Americans who died during the war there. They came home draped in an American flag.  It includes these two names:  
Barry Lynn Brown, Killed in Action, Vietnam, 1968.
James Clifford McKittrick, Missing in Action, Vietnam, 1967.

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency refers to Maj. McKittrick as "Status: Unaccounted For."

Why are these two men so significant to me? Go here and I'll tell you.

Enjoy your long holiday weekend with family and friends.  And the next time you step into a voting booth think carefully about your choice.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Crystal Neubauer

Most of the time when we take classes we just throw our art into a drawer.  Crystal Neubauer is an artist we've both taken classes from and Crystal makes sure you see examples of ways to display your art.  These are small collages done on 4" squares of mat board that she provides in class, along with lots of ephemera and papers.  Susan finally painted the edges of some 4" canvas squares (on sale from either Michaels or JoAnns) and glued seven of the collages on.  There are still about 8 more to be done but we are out of canvas squares for the time being.

The magic tip from Crystal on that idea was to use a 25-pound bag of rice from a Chinese grocery store to smush them down while the glue dried, as the soft bag molds itself over the surface. But living in a small apartment doesn't quite lend itself to having a 25-pound bag just hanging out with you.  Susan improvised with a baby pillowcase filled with about 5 pounds of rice, not so big that it can't be stored in a large ziploc, and did them one at a time. The collages hang over the open area between her workroom and our living room.  Which, by the way, is so small we don't have a couch. Yet.  And probably never will.
By the way, Crystal is a waaaaay cool artist and one of the calmest, nicest, most helpful instructors we've ever had.  And her work is special.  Check out her website, blog and facebook.

As for the collages, neither of us remembers which of the collages we did.  Great minds think alike?

Trivia for the day:  Article headline from May 26, 2017:
FDA Chief Aims to Curb High Drug Prices
I have to laugh over this because I just paid for a medication that is 1) generic and 2) has been on the market as generic for 10 years.  For 9 years I paid the over-the-counter price of $10.40 for a refill. Now, magically, the price has gone up to $17.  I'd like to say WTF but it is beyond that. I'm just thankful there I'm not talking about $17,000, although I wouldn't put it beyond the drug company to do that...

Monday, June 5, 2017

Chirp, Chirp

Or is it Peep, Peep?  Anyway, this birdie has the metal loop in his back because he's going to be suspended from a tree branch somewhere in our neighborhood.  His wing area is textured but I'm not sure I'm going to do that again.  But I like the way his beak turned out.

From the Smithsonian Craft Show, an interesting ceramic artist, Paula Shalan.  I'm always attracted to ceramic artists who focus on hand building their work.

Recently our Netflix choice was Alpha House. about 4 Republican senators who shared a house in Washington DC.
We laughed out loud at some of it and shook our heads at parts that accurately depict some of the political dysfunction we see today, even though it was filmed in 2013.  We'd like to have seen Season 2 but Amazon, in all its wisdom, won't let Netflix have it and won't let you stream it unless you sign up for Amazon Prime.  If I was an actor in that show I'd be a little ticked off about that.

Anyway, there is no Season 3 and I'm guessing it's because the show hits a little too close to home for those politicians who don't have a sense of humor and have no idea about the concept of satire. If you do watch it, look for bad-boy Anthony Weiner in a 3-second cameo appearance in the last episode. He wasn't listed in the credits but there he was.  Actually, there are a lot of cameo appearances in this show.