My Diary
My Diary

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November 1, 2000     (Wednesday)

Well, here it is, November. How about that? Two more months and it's all over. One more week, and (if Bush gets elected) it's all over but the crying!

I went out last night and attempted a couple nighttime shots of the capitol building, all lit with flood lights. I used my 80A blue filter, heavy tripod, and cable release. That ought to do it. I'm still hell-bent to take the definitive photograph of the Capitol.

Anyone got a used Winnebago or other quality RV in good condition they'd like to donate to further my artistic and wayfaring career? There's probably nothing I'd love more than driving around all over the country, drawing, painting, taking photographs, and meeting people - a month here, a week there, a couple days somewhere else. I guess it would take a little better than average income from an other-than-wages source to do that. ::sigh:: Another dream I'll likely never fulfill.


The proprietors of Seneca Caverns call this formation 'The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
"Tower of Babel"

November 2, 2000     (Thursday)

I'll bet you're wondering, either A.) now why did he scan THAT? or B.) What the hell IS that?
"For Whom the Bell Tolls"

November 3, 2000     (Friday)

Soon this web page will be moving. Most likely the new address will be www.idea.net/. I'll keep everyone posted.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned my series of 3 x 5 art cards. I still haven't decided how to display them. Here's one just to whet your appetites! LOL

Torn paper collage, glued on 140 lb. Not w/c paper, sewn with mercerized cotton thread.
"Suspension Bridge"


November 4, 2000     (Saturday)

It's been one of those days where nothing goes right. After a while, I just stop wanting to try anymore. Days where everything goes sour wear me out a lot quicker even than the ones where only a few things go right.

I tried my hand at making Tofu chili. I think there must be a trick to it that I'm not aware of. The burritos with the Lightlife faux hamburger worked better.


Digging back into the vaults. . . This is a pastel painting I did twenty years ago. It's been damaged a couple different ways a couple different times, but it's still a favorite of mine.

Pastel on Strathmore 500 charcoal paper
"Nude Torso"

November 5, 2000     (Sunday)

I don't have to worry about dying prematurely. I'm so far behind, I'll have to live forever just to catch up.

A slice of polyurethane foam, scanned and objectified with a paint program. . .
"Under the Urethane Moon"


November 6, 2000     (Monday)

No Entry Today


November 7, 2000     (Tuesday)

No Entry Today


November 8, 2000     (Wednesday)

Okay, I've begun the process of getting my own web domain set up. I'll start transferring my pages there probably within the week. Once I get it all set up, I will discontinue any updates to the pages at this location. The new location will be (once I pay for it) www.ide-a.net/.

I'd like to thank everyone who's been signing my guestbook lately (the COMMENTS buttons at the end of each entry). I really do appreciate it.


Here's a dada poem, taken from the large-type edition of Readers Digest:

A true dada poem is a newspaper article, the text cut up into individual words and drawn from a bag at random and pasted on the page.  This piece adheres to the spirit of dada if not the letter of the definition, which is very dadaistic in its own rite.

November 9, 2000     (Thursday)

The election that wouldn't die keeps going and going and going. It needs to be pink and carry a bass drum.

Seriously, though, if the situation in Palm Beach County is not rectified, then this election will be stolen by the moron from Texas. I don't know if the election in Florida was intentionally hijacked or not, but with one candidate's brother in the statehouse and so many different irregularities and the vote so close, one has to worry. If Bush prevails, he will be the Grinch who stole the Presidency.

I'm also impressed with the arrogance of Bush and his cronies going right ahead like their victory is a foregone conclusion. I still can't believe that many people bought all the character assassination of Gore, and voted for a man who's obviously cruised through life on luck and his daddy's name. I'd rather trust Donald Trump or Don Johnson with the office.


Okay, my new website is in place. I'm moving files and making corrections. For a few days things will be a little broken and out of sync, but if you want to go there instead of hanging out here, feel free. You can even help me by reporting broken things to me in e-mail: (Mr. Fixit)


Let me revise that. The transition didn't take as much time and wasn't as painful as I expected. I've already made the switch, as you've seen if you tried to access my page through the old home page. Be sure to change your favorites, or bookmarks.


November 10, 2000     (Friday)

The United States continues to suffer from Electile Dysfunction (thanks, Jay Leno). This proves to me how little fundamental difference there is between the two candidates. Unfortunately, the majority of the voters in this country would never vote for anyone further to the left than Gore, and he's even slightly to the right of center. What a shame.


A downed tree I found in the 'illegal' area of the Hawk's Nest State Park Overlook
"Insect Calligraphy"


November 11, 2000     (Saturday)

The end of World War I was eighty-three years ago today. I've been immersing myself in historical movies and documentaries this weekend. War is always dismal, evil, and tedious, no matter how the movie makers try to romanticize it. Any veteran who survives any war deserves our respect if not our admiration. What we need to do is strive for a time when such a thing as Veteran's day is but a cold, distant memory.


November 12, 2000     (Sunday)

Blew my diet today, but not too bad. Had a leisurely day overall. I don't think I accomplished a single positive thing, unless you count eating and taking a shower. Even I deserve a lazy Sunday occasionally.


More a picture of light and shadow than of a blank cinderblock wall on the back of the Boll Medical building
"White"

November 13, 2000     (Monday)

My pink flamingos are gone!
Dirty bastards took my plastic birds.

I don't know if it was a belated Halloween prank, just plain meanness, or because I had a sign in my window:

Are we there yet?

I've had flamingos in my yard for six or seven years now, and this is the first time anyone has done anything to them. I've had this pair for two or three years. I got them after my original one got broken during a storm. I thought the storm the other night might have blown them away, but I can't even find a trace of them anywhere. Whoever took them left one wire leg. I feel more sad than angry. Sad that anyone would do something like this. I'm sure it's not because whoever took them wanted them for his/her own lawn, but probably only to deprive me of my enjoyment of them. I don't want to live here anymore. Would it be any different anywhere else, though?


November 14, 2000     (Tuesday)

"Here it is Tuesday, ain't had no news. I got them gone but not forgotten blues." -- Hank Williams ("Long Gone Lonesome Blues")

A friend I never met has died. Her name was Judith Lowe, but I knew her as ERTHANGEL, or more truthfully, ERF. I always called her that. I don't remember how it started, but I used to go into chat rooms and see her there, and I'd say, "ERF************" sending her bunches of kisses. I always liked her. She was a sweet and gentle soul and when I was down she always seemed to sense it and offer to help. The only thing I regret is that I didn't get to know her better. We had lost touch over the past year, but I still talked to people who were close to her, so she was still there in my peripheral vision, so to speak. Now ERF is a REAL angel. I'll miss you.


November 15, 2000     (Wednesday)

I've become an unwilling vegetarian because of the results of my heart tests. I need to lose weight and lower my cholesterol, and I figured the best way to do that would be to go the vegan route. Since confining my dining to the vegetable kingdom, I've made some observations.

Foremost in my thoughts about food is the fact that everyone seems to dislike certain vegetables intensely. One person can't stand carrots, another any variety of dried beans, yet another peas. Still others only dislike kidney beans or brown beans. Quite a few people seem to express a dislike for limas. My niece doesn't like beets. Her mother (my sister) and her sister, however, love them. A dear friend of mine won't touch a pea, fresh, canned or frozen. A large number of people dislike most things in the cabbage family. My son won't eat cabbage in any form, or brussels sprouts or any other member of the cabbage family, except broccoli, and that he smothers in cheese sauce.

I suspect these veggie prejudices are the result of some childhood trauma. Personally, about the only vegetable I don't care for is canned peas. They seem too insubstantial and mushy for my tastes. Adding to this dislike, too, is probably the fact that when I was about 11 years old, I opened a can of peas for my mother and found about 40% of a frog in among the green spheroids. Frozen peas and fresh peas, I like fine. In fact, I have a particular fondness for chinese pea pods, and white peas.

Other choices for vegetable rejection are asparagus, turnips, eggplant, green beans, and onions. Fruits don't seem to suffer the same rejection rate as vegetables, nor do meats. In the fruit category, I don't care for watermelon and rhubarb. That's it. In the meat department, you'd never find me buying liver or other internal organs, unless it was in the form of liverwurst, liver cheese, pate, or braunshweiger. Actually, right now you won't even find me in the meat department. There are a lot of people who don't like various meats, too, but not on the order of veggie haters.

There are quite a number of people who don't like or eat any vegetable except potatoes. I have a theory about this. They have a genetic inability to tolerate more than one strong flavor at a time. Something like asparagus would compete with their steak too much, whereas potatoes are fairly tasteless in comparison, and since butter and sour cream are complimentary flavors to beef, baked potatoes with butter and/or sour cream are the ideal accompaniment to a half-raw slab of dead animal flesh. Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a fan of a medium rare filet mignon as the next guy. But since I'm living the vegan life, I figured I might as well toss in some of the lingo as well. ::wink::


November 16, 2000     (Thursday)

Last week I went out on a clear dark night and added to my collection of photographs of the West Virginia State Capitol. The statue in the foreground is "Lincoln Walks At Midnight," by Bernie Weipper. Bernie is primarily a portrait painter and local "character."

9:30 pm, Kodak Gold ISO 200 film, Canon EOS Rebel-X Camera, on heavy duty tripod, cable release switch, 80mm lens f/8.0, 4 second exposure, 80A filter

November 17, 2000     (Friday)

Not too many pictures on my latest roll of film that I consider "shareable." The one I put up yesterday of the capitol is okay, and maybe a couple others. Eleven of the twenty-four frames were of the accident two days ago where the kid in the Mustang ran into another car and a house. I don't think those are proper things to put in my diary. Maybe, though. . .

I'm having problems scanning in photographs. I keep getting this reflective thingie from the glossy coating. It doesn't matter how I position the photo on the glass, I still get it, and most of the time in the exact same place on the picture. I suppose I need to either have them printed on matte paper or get double prints and use a dulling spray. I hate to do either, because both methods tend to dull the details somewhat. Maybe I just need a professional grade scanner. Yeah, that's it, more expense for zero return! Well, not exactly zero return. The fellow whose house got hit paid me twenty bucks for prints of the eleven pictures I took of the accident. That's $1.82 per, labor and expenses. Jeeze, I'm cheap!


November 18, 2000     (Saturday)

No Entry Today


November 19, 2000     (Sunday)

I looked at photographer's vests. They want nearly a hundred bucks for one. I found a fishing vest with 12 pockets, three d-rings and a ruck in the back for $23 at Big K-Mart. I took the lamb's wool patch for flies off the front and I'm looking for a patch to put over the Bass America Outdoor embroidry logo on the left breast pocket. I wonder where I can find patches these days? Especially something I'd like?

Well, I didn't win the $78,000,000 Powerball lottery. Guess I can't buy my airstream and SUV yet. I'll have to wait until Wednesday.

Some sort of hole in the rock beside the road east of Elkins, WV -- I've no idea what it is, but it looks man made.  Some guy from Newark stopped to take pictures the same time as I did.
"Geology happens"

November 20, 2000     (Monday)

Okay, the process has begun. I'm converting (perverting?) everything on my web page to reflect my new online ide.ntity (clever, huh? LOL). Eventually I'll move everything up a level, I think, maybe two. For right now I've got it set up so that http://www.ide-a.net will redirect the viewer to my usual homepage in seven seconds. It's probably best to change your bookmark/favorite to point to that page, as it will always get you to where you want to go.

Additionally, I've changed the banner graphic on my homepage (as you've seen if you got here that route). I'm not sure that will be the final version, but at least the changes are beginning to be reflected. Let me know what you think. If you like it, great! but if you don't, that's great too. I'd just like to know.


November 21, 2000     (Tuesday)

Well, my cardiologist seems to think I need a blood thinner (I'm allergic to asprin). He mentioned a cholesterol-lowering drug, too. That will make seven prescriptions I have to take on an ongoing basis. Out of the seven, only one is generic. That means that every one of them has a $20 co-payment. That's $120 a month for medicine. That doesn't count my garlic tablets, vitamins, or anything else that's over the counter or on a sometime basis. If I didn't have the crappy HMO, it would be over a thousand dollars a month. I'd just have to die.


You know that 'Mill Stream' you hear about in songs?  Well, this is it.
"Babylon"

November 22, 2000     (Wednesday)

Quote of the day:

"People who don't want to follow all of the rules are not often welcomed by corporations, or even by schools. That notion of having to "go along" to get ahead stifles creativity in all of us, and just plain kills it in some people." -- Matthew Lesko in Free Money to Change Your Life.


November 23, 2000     (Thursday)

Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2000     (Friday)

My Thanksgiving was pretty good. Sadly, the day after was not as good. A long time friend, one of the few from the neighborhood where I used to live with who I stayed in touch, died the day before Thanksgiving. Susan worked for the local public health clinic. She was a bass player and singer and was a member of several roots music groups over the years. Susan was always happy to see me, and she didn't have expectations of how I should behave or what I should believe. She was a sweetheart. I'll miss her a lot.

The picture most people online see of me was cropped from a larger picture. At my right in the original was Susan.

Susan, you will be missed so much.

Someone took this picture at one of the last Annual Arlington Court picnics I attended. She thought Susan and I looked good together in our hats. I think so, too. This is how I'll always remember Susan. The last time I saw her, she gave me a big hug and we talked for just a few minutes. She had the same pretty smile as in this picutre. That was a little over a month ago. People who live close to her told me she was in the hospital with cancer and that she had come home and would be up to visitors Monday. She didn't make it. Today is a sad, sad day.


November 25, 2000     (Saturday)

The leaves are nearly off the trees. The winter rains have set in. The world is cold, wet, and gray. The sweet smell of wet, rotting leaves permeates the air as I walk along the riverbank. The wet, slick sidewalks make me go slower and look down instead skyward as I usually do. It doesn't matter much, though, as the sky is pretty much a uniform ten percent cool gray. It looks painted with a wide soft brush.

The wind is blowing at a pretty good rate, but there's nothing dry enough for it to pick up and carry along. The litter -- Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Subway, KFC, McDonald's, and all the rest -- is doing its best to biodegrade, and much of it is succeeding, save for the Styrofoam cups and foil. The foil will eventually crumble and return to the earth. The Styrofoam will just blow around until it gets weighed down with enough dirt and soot and other rotting detrius until it is stationary enough for the earth to close around it. But it will never return to the earth. It will only become something like the vermiculite you get in potting soil, not ever part of what surrounds it.

I'm a lot like Styrofoam.


November 26, 2000     (Sunday)

I almost let it slide today, put up a "No Entry Today" and walked away, but at nearly the last possible moment I decided to go ahead and say a little something. I was on the west side of town today. I don't go over that way much, but lately I've been going to a couple of different grocery stores over there because of my diet changes. I'm going to have to start packing my camera gear when I go. There are many great shots just waiting to be picked up and tucked into a roll of Fuji film or Kodak Gold.

What I really want to do is find some gorgeous young women who want to get naked in front of me and be made uncomfortable for a couple hours at little or no pay so I can start working on figure photography. Wait! What's that? Must be the nude models beating down my door. . .


The current version has George W. Bush as our president for the next four years. I reflect on what Guy de Maupassant said, "I prefer the wicked to the merely foolish, for the wicked sometimes rest." Let us pray he's evil and not a stupid as he seems.


November 27, 2000     (Monday)

It was a nice day today. The high was in the mid-fifties. I was out back raking leaves in my shirt sleeves and was completely comfortable. It's hard to believe it's almost December.

The city holds a competition along Kanawha Boulevard every year for the best Christmas lights. A couple places already are in full holiday glow. I'll probably go over and shoot a roll of film at night sometime this week.

I have no idea what this plant is.  This is a direct scan of the seed pod inside a glass jar.  A pair of these jars sit on the mantel in my livingroom.
"Genetic Material"

November 28, 2000     (Tuesday)

No Entry Today


November 29, 2000     (Wednesday)

No Entry Today


November 30, 2000     (Thursday)

Exactly when was it that people started thinking that they could ignore traffic laws, common courtesy, decency and common sense when driving? I was out in rush hour traffic this evening. There was an accident ahead, narrowing the traffic to a single lane. The traffic was stopped. The car in front of me was at the far edge of the intersection. I pulled up to the stop bar, and stopped. Imagine! For one thing, the law stipulates that you do not stop in an intersection. Secondly, it's only courteous to not pull into the intersection and impede traffic the other direction if the light changes before you can move ahead. Then there's common sense. It makes no sense to block traffic.

Well, the traffic started to move. I waited until the car ahead of me had moved far enough for me to pull ahead out of the intersection. I started to pull up. Some asshole behind me, in a terrible hurry, zipped around me and cut directly in front of me. What a fool! Well, he/she is now fully aware that my brakes, horn, and both middle fingers are in full working order.


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