My Diary
My Diary

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April 6, 2000     (Thursday)

Well, it's been a few days. My computer developed serious power/cooling/overheating problems. I now have a new computer. The old one is in the other room, still functioning, but barely. It has a fan taped to the back of it with duct tape and the case is off with a window fan blowing air directly on the circuit boards and drives. I don't know how long that will last.

Today and probably tomorrow will be sparce as far as entries and art here. I'll have things moved around and start working on the new format soon as I get all my software reloaded and have my working environment back to where I can function well again.


April 7, 2000     (Friday)

Well, today's been fun. I thought my computer troubles were over. Not so. They've just metamorphosed into a new form. First, my graphics tablet didn't want to work with anything. It took me most of last night and part of today to figure that out. Then my ISP is still having major bandwidth/throughput problems. I can use my new ISP I got free with the computer and it runs fine, but I can't get my regular mail with it up, so I have to log onto the old network that's still in place even after the transition to Bell Atlantic's new, "improved" system. Yeah, right.

Anyway, connection problems aside, my Zip Drive in the new computer went on the fritz. I spent over an hour on the phone, including opening the case and reseating cables before determining that the drive needs replaced. Next week.

Next SNAFU is the wheel on my mouse doesn't work the same as it did on the other machine. Maybe I need to install the Microsoft software. Rosanne Rosannadanna (Rest in Peace, Gilda), I empathize -- "It's always somethin'."

All this aside, I'm quite happy with the new machine. Damn! it's fast!


I've been playing around with something I did a few years ago. It's just drawing long, continuous swirling lines in different colors, letting the texture build up. Computers lend themselves to such things. Before I had to use markers and the solvent invariably gave me headaches. Here's one. Click on it to see a larger, more detailed version. It's an 800 X 600 picture, suitable for wallpaper, if you're that crazy.

just a rambling line or 200. . .

April 8, 2000     (Saturday)

No Entry Today


April 9, 2000     (Sunday)

What is it with me and round objects.  Compulsion?  Obsession?

April 10, 2000     (Monday)

It's been a strange day -- Monday I guess.

I bought a CD-RW drive and managed to get it installed. I copied an audio CD and it reads CD's just great, but I keep getting buffer underruns when I try to write data. That normally means something in the system is slow. I don't think so. Not this machine. It must be something else.


April 11, 2000     (Tuesday)

Some days I just don't feel like writing much. This is one of those days.


April 12, 2000     (Wednesday)

I got my old scanner sort of working on my sort of working old computer. I really miss having a reliable scanner. The old UMAX just don't do it anymore. The element is apparently damaged on both sides so I have about a 4 inch by 11 inch area I can scan. The color never was right on that thing either. Anyone have any recommendations for a new one? I want a USB model, under $150. I'm sure there are some good ones out there. Is there someone who reviews such things a là Consumer Reports?


April 13, 2000     (Thursday)

The weather is up and down like a yo-yo. Last week was so wonderful, sunny, warm with light breezes. This morning it was in the 30's again. And the wind! Man, it's rough.

Gotta love her. . .
"The Gold Standard"

April 14, 2000     (Friday)

No Entry Today


JApril 15, 2000     (Saturday)

Spring's back. Somehow my enthusiasm doesn't seem to have come with it.

My wit is hanging out with my enthusiasm.  If anyone sees them, tell them to come home.  I miss them.
"Nude Torso 2K"

April 16, 2000     (Sunday)

Here's an oldie but a goodie. This is cut textured art paper. It was made from a sample swatch booklet.

Hey y'all!  Swatch this!
"Coastal Mountains, Sunset, Sea"

April 17, 2000     (Monday)

April is doing it's April thing. Thunderstorms and pink lightning. The world is emerald. The fresh innocent green of spring. The yellows are fading, giving way to brighter reds, oranges, and lilacs. My neighbor's lilac bush is bent over from the weight of the blossoms. This is an abundant spring. The bugs should arrive any time now.

Here's one I did today.

Must be from my doctor. . .
"Asemic Postcard"

April 18, 2000     (Tuesday)

I have become infatuated with line. No matter what I start out to do, it ends up an exercise in line and stroke. Of course, texture, volume and composition work themselves into what I'm doing, too. It's a journey of discovery.

Some days I pick the colors, some days the colors pick  me. . . Oh, all right, colours for all you British and Australian viewers.
"The Internal Bureaucratic Organisation of Clouds"

April 19, 2000     (Wednesday)

No Entry Today


April 20, 2000     (Thursday)

No Entry Today


April 21, 2000     (Friday)

No Entry Today


April 22, 2000     (Saturday)

I've not been feeling well the past couple days. Couple that with several visitors and the hockey playoffs, and you see why there have been no entries here.

I was thinking about food a while ago. I might be mistaken, but it seems to me that a lot of haute cuisine is the attempt to put the maximum number of calories into the smallest possible portion. Low fat food is the attempt to put as little flavor as possible in as large a portion as they can. Southern cooking is the attempt to make beef, pork, and many vegetables taste as much like chicken as possible.

Speaking of Southern cooking, what's up with grits? I have friends who love them. They eat them at every given opportunity. Personally, I don't see their appeal. They're this little white porridge-like misshapen mass of flavorless . . . stuff! And I wonder who it was who came up with the idea that grits go with eggs? Another thing about grits I don't understand -- how did they come up with them? I mean hominy is made by soaking corn in a lye solution. Who came up with the idea of doing that? And once they figured out that works, why in heaven's name did they grind them to a meal, dry them out, reconstitute it by boiling it in water, and serve it with eggs. I don't get it.


A lot of the time when I'm painting or drawing, I create things, not how I want to do them, on the scale I'd like, but on the size paper or board or canvas that I have on hand. This leads to some odd sized pieces sometimes. I'm finding now that I do the same thing with my computer created works. I tend to make things that will fit into the format of this page more and more. I'm not really sure this is a good thing.

Here's lookin' at you. . .  kid?
"It watches"

April 23, 2000     (Sunday)

Easter was appropriated by the Christians in accordance with their policy of converting local, Pagan holidays into Christian holy days, and local gods and goddesses into Saints. Eostur was the original name of the holiday, and it was devoted to the Teutonic goddess of spring, Eostre. The egg was originally a gift symbolizing rebirth. Christianity took Eostur and made it Easter,the holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ. I guess we humans need a holiday in the middle of this, the cruelest month. April is national poetry month, too.


April 24, 2000     (Monday)

Michael's (soon-to-be) World Famous
Bean with Ham Soup

  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb. Ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    (may substitute nice-sized ham hock)
  • 2 lb. dried Great Northern or Navy beans, rinsed, sorted and soaked according to package directions
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 stick (2 oz.) butter or margarine
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. sage leaves, rubbed
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley or 4 tsp fresh parsley
    (cilantro may be substituted)
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered cumin (optional)

Cover beans with water in large soup pot. Add remaining ingredients, except for butter or margarine. Cook over medium heat until beans, celery, and carrots are very tender, adding water to keep liquid at same level. Add butter or margarine. Simmer until soup thickens moderately. There should be about a gallon when done. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with some hot buttery yellow meal cornbread, a thick slice of sharp cheddar, and a tall glass of iced tea.

revised 10 December 2004

April 25, 2000     (Tuesday)

I should post a poem here in honor of National Poetry Month. But then, I should vacuum, too. And update my bio, resume, and the rest of the web page, but that seems an inordinate amount of work to little effect.

I wish it would stop raining. I'd like to mow the grass, trim the hedge, and pull the weeds out of the ivy. Seems like every good day we have I've got other obligations and the grass grows on. Pretty soon, you won't be able to see my pink flamingos. . .


April 26, 2000     (Wednesday)

I seem to be going in circles. Well, at least my drawing-painting-doodling is. . . specifically, eyes. . . I don't know why, but every now and then I go through this. I keep drawing eyes. Real looking eyes, fantasy eyes, animal eyes. Here's the latest.

Okay, I see what I did wrong here now.  Wanna guess?
"Stained glass window to the soul"

April 27, 2000     (Thursday)

Lots of fun today. Most of the yard work got done. Still need to trim the hedges. I made my Bean Soup for dinner (see recipe above). In the process, I managed to slice off a bit of my left thumb. Boy! I bleed good.

This looks more like tomato soup than bean soup.

April 28, 2000     (Friday)

Another month is winding to an end, and I still haven't done anything about the web page redesign I've been talking about. Part of the reason is that I've been rebuilding a computer system since the old one gave up the spirit. It's since been resurrected. I think I'll christen it "Lazurus."


Time to get really personal. . . LOL

My favorite underware is BVD knit boxers. They're made from the same knit fabric as t-shirts, terribly comfy. I've been wearing them for about four years now. The latest batch I bought suffers from a serious design flaw. The tag, instead of being stitched into the seam on the back of the waistband, is stitched into the seam that goes right up the middle of the back part of the garment. I mean, like, who's brilliant idea was this? The tag is NOT soft knit fabric. It's stiff, scratchy stuff. On the waistband it laid flat and you never noticed it. In it's new position, it sticks straight out and with just a little movement, it insinuates itself right in the cr. . . well, I'm sure you know where. Downright irritating to say the least.


I have a larger version of this if anyone's interested in seeing it. I did the left side of this as a separate piece, which I don't think I've put up here yet. Anyway, I was looking at a print of Vincent's "Stary Night." and felt some affinity between the two pieces, so I put them together.

Vincent cut his ear, I cut my thumb. . .
"Vincent & Me"

"If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then by all means paint, boy, and that voice will be silenced. . . One must undertake [work] with confidence, with a certain assurance that one is doing a reasonable thing, like the farmer who drives his plow, or like our friend in the scratch below, who is harrowing, and even drags the harrow himself. If one hasn't a horse, one is one's own horse."
     -- Vincent van Gogh

Sketch included in a letter to Vincent van Gogh's brother Theo.

April 29, 2000     (Saturday)

My shoulders ache. I trimmed the hedges out front with a pair of the old manual hedge shears. That's harder work than it looks like. I didn't quite finish. I still have about 1/6 of them left to do. I'll finish it up tomorrow.


April 30, 2000     (Sunday)

Another beautiful day today. I finished up the hedges, unless you expect me to rake the trimmings up. Oh, okay, I'll do that in the morning.

The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me. (no examples, just a statement)


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