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Thursday, May 4, 2006     Mean People Suck
(9:11 pm)

Why do some people have to be such dicks? I really don't get it. They're oblivious to anyone else's needs or desires other than their own, and if they're reminded that they are not the only people in the world, they get all bent out of shape and make life miserable for anyone else in range. I know people like this, and I really want to kill them. Why does it have to be illegal?


Quote of the Day: "Most Americans do not yet realize that a war is being waged - not against Iraq but against each of us. It is not the Republican Party that is charge in this administration but a small cadre who seized executive branch power and converted it to their own uses. Most Republicans are experiencing a deer-in-the-headlights moment right now. Their Party has been hijacked, their president has been hijacked, and they do not know what to do. I remain a registered Republican working for an effective coalition."
 
-- Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

We're moved, and the last of the deliveries should take place tomorrow. We bought a new couch and chair. The old dual-recliner loveseat that we'd used as a couch for the past five years disintegrated past the point of usefulness. It was killing my back to sit in it. At the moment, we have two bistro café patio chairs in the living room. The cable guy should be here tomorrow to fix the problems with the remote and HD channels that aren't coming in. He's supposed to be bringing a DVR box too. Our HDTV got here yesterday. I'm in love!

I tried to install the Radio Shack wired intercom I bought at the flea market. After having several different problems with it, I finally got everything in shape and ready to install, then I dropped the master unit and broke it. Nuts. Guess I need to go to Radio Shack. . .

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Friday, May 5, 2006     Cinco de Mayo
(9:44 pm)

The fifth of May is important in the history of Mexico. For a nice summary of the importance of it, see: Cinco de Mayo. Maybe we should all learn more of the history of Mexico, since soon enough, most of Mexico will be living in this country.


Quote of the Day: "When you affirm your own rightness in the universe, then you co-operate with others easily and automatically as part of your own nature. You, being yourself, helps others be themselves. Because you recognize your own uniqueness you will not need to dominate others, nor cringe before them."
 
-- Jane Roberts

Our new living room suite arrived today. It has problems. The couch and chair both have bits of foam rubber all over them, threads not trimmed or tied off, and the couch has two small holes. They're coming Tuesday to check it and take remedial action. Why can't something go right? The hot water hose on the washer just popped, too. Fortunately we have another. Unfortunately there's water all over the place in the basement.

Once we get the couch and chair taken care of, and I decide exactly what to do with the shelves on the right side of the television and the top of both sets of shelves and the mantel, the living room will be in pretty good shape. I'm not sure there's room for a coffee table, but it would be nice to have one since there's only room at one end of the couch for a table. Upstairs is the nightmare. The library is coming along and the bedroom isn't too far from being in shape. It's my studio that needs the most help, and it's the place I have the least idea what to do with. It'll all work out. Please!

Digital Camera Image [2006_0428Image0016 (Post processed, cropped)] [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 1600, Program AE, 1/1000, f/20, Exposure Compensation -2, Canon 17-85mm IS lens @ 85mm]
"A Burst of Glory"
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006     Settling In
(9:46 am)

The problems with the living room suite have been satisfactorily resolved. Now if we can just get the rest of the books unpacked and out of the upstairs hallway so I can pile things from the studio there until I figure out where they're to live in the studio. . . Ann keeps insisting that we're going to have fish. I don't mean for dinner, either. She wants to put them at the top of the stair. I suppose that would be okay, but I'm not sure about the fish thing. They can get expensive and are sometimes difficult to manage. If she wants to take a stab at though, that's fine with me. It'll just have to wait a month or so to get started.


Quote of the Day: "Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."
 
-- Oscar Wilde

The one thing I dislike most about my laptop is the lack of two control keys and two ALT keys. I couldn't care less whether the arrow keys are in a 'T' or a diamond configuration, or whether the delete, insert, and other keys are arranged differently, but the ALT and control keys are essential to the way I use a keyboard. Instead of using the mouse to do a lot of operations, I use ALT, control, and Windows key combinations. For example, I use control-c, control-x, and control-v to copy, cut, and paste text. I use control plus the arrow keys and the shift keys to move around on the page of texts and to highlight sections I want to do things to. I use the ALT key plus letter keys to access menus. I use ALT-tab to switch between programs. I even have a background program that lets me assign other key combinations to different tasks. So, you can see, the laptop with one ALT and one control key does present a speed bump to the way I use a computer. I started using a computer this way all the way back with WordStar. When the mouse first come into use, I was enamored and used it to the point of carpel tunnel surgery. After I healed, I reverted back to my former modus operandi and haven't had any trouble with carpals or tunnels since.

As I was driving back from Wal-Mart yesterday I noticed how beautiful the world is. I thought how nice it would be if I could somehow capture or represent this beauty in my art. I realized that this is a vainglorious ambition. The best I can do is to somehow take the feeling and present it in such a way that others can relate to it and thereby experience the reality of the world, or the Maya in the way that I do. The world is illusion, oh but what a Grand Illusion!

Digital Camera Image [2006_0413Image0001] [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 100, Aperture priority AE, 1/320, f/8, Tamron 28-30mm lens @ 122mm]
"Gas prices are so high that the sign couldn't take it."
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Friday, May 12, 2006     Yearning
(2:32 pm)

I want so badly to create art. My studio is in such chaos at the moment. I keep trying to get it straight, but things are in such disarray that after half an hour or an hour or two I get discouraged and come back downstairs and sit and watch television or play my guitar or just brood about not being young and able to work hard at long stretches; about not being able to do the things I need to do in order to achieve my intentions; about not having the strength and stamina that would allow me to do what I so strongly long to do; about being indecisive and weak of mind; about sitting and brooding. I yearn for youth and strength and ability and stamina and talent and health. I just yearn for the sake of yearning sometimes.


Quote of the Day: "Perfection itself is imperfection."
 
-- Vladimir Horowitz, American virtuoso pianist (1903-1989)

I'm watching a movie called "Yes". It's rather Shakespearean. It deals with the deeper aspects of human nature. It's artfully done, and the entire dialogue is in verse. It even has a narrator of sorts in the person of a cleaning maid. If you can do so, I recommend seeing it. It's one of those films I'll probably see several times. It's the creation of Sally Potter. She wrote and directed it. There are a number of films that I watch over and over. One of those is "I Heart Huckabees." What a great film! If I could find copies, I'd watch both "The Magic Christian" and "The Ruling Class" at least once a week. Other films I enjoy repeatedly are "Pollack," "Surviving Picasso," "Greaser's Palace," and "Straight to Hell." If I thought about it some, I'm sure I could come up with a rather long list of films I've already seen multiple times, or that I'd like to see more than once.

Digital Camera Image [2006_0428Image0011, post processed (Photoshop Elements 3.0)] [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 1600, Program AE, 1/400, f/18, Exposure Compensation -2,  Canon 17-85mm IS lens @ 35mm]
"Capitol Street Clock"

What a generally dreary day. The sun has been out periodically for a few minutes at a time, but not frequently enough or intensely enough to get the temperature past 60 degrees. Spring! Wherefore art thou gone? Comin' back soon?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006     Slow Progress
(12:45 pm)

I've had my lunch and now I'm ready for a nap. I think it has something to do with my blood sugar (BS) rising. Even so, I've always felt nappish after lunch. Maybe I should have been a Mexican -- you know, siesta!


Quote of the Day: "The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy."
 
-- Eudora Welty

I worked on the studio all morning. It's starting to look more like a studio and less like a junk heap. Heapity still holds sway, but it's beginning to look defeatable. I really could use some help with it. Certain things, like crawling around on the floor and making multiple trips back and forth wear me down quickly. Everyone is too busy with their own lives to assist me. I'm not resentful of that fact. I realize that people have to do their own thing. I just wish that part of that thing would involve me. Oh well.

The living room is pretty much in the shape it needs to be. The only things left in there are drapes (the ones we have up are pitiful) and getting the shelves and mantel in proper order. The rug could use a good shampooing too. It has a few stains from years ago. I wasn't cleaned before it went into storage after we moved from Jackson Street. Maybe I can take care of that this weekend.

Digital Camera Image [2006_0404Image0016]  [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 200, Shutter Priority AE, 1/80. f/4, Exposure Compensation +2/3, Tamron 28-300mm lens @ 28mm]]
"Look What Washed Up"
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Sunday, May 21, 2006     MIA
(1:09 pm)

I know, I've been remiss in my entries here. I think I'm a little on the depressed side. This is probably due to the move, shitty neighbors, and pain. It's also partly due to the lack of apparent progress in getting things the way I'd like them. I went to the orthodoc on Thursday. He prescribed an ankle brace, hoping that will help stabilize the ankle. Surgery looms. I have to file an appeal with our HMO to get the work done on my sinus/face/mouth. It's all such a hassle.


Quote of the Day: "If you don't make mistakes, you aren't really trying."
 
-- Coleman Hawkings (American jazz musician, 1904-1969)

I actually picked up a sketch book and some pens last night while I was watching Batman Begins. I only did one disjointed page, but at least it's something. The movie was pretty good. I think it's the best of the series, and Christian Bale is my favorite Batman. Michael Caine makes a great Alfred, too.

I downloaded and installed Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2. It broke some things, including the program that lets me set the function of the extra keys on my keyboard. At least that's what I think did it. It may be something entirely different and just coincidental with the installation of the program. I have no idea how to correct it other than rolling back the system to a point past where I installed it. My volume control and weather button are gone too, along with the "safely remove hardware" icon. My whole system tray is gone save for the icon for my editor when it's running and my anti-virus icon. It may have something to do with my having removed i_Tunes. I really wish these damn software writers weren't so arrogant as to assume they know better what's best for me and my computer than I do. I suppose they don't want to play nice because Microsoft takes advantage of all those who do.


(11:06 pm)

Okay, my system tray icons are back. I'm not exactly sure what I did to retreive them, but I'm now convinced that it's probably due to this Microsoft Power Toy I installed that allows you to use multiple virtual desktops. No idea for sure, really, though. I know that settings keep resetting and that my tab under the Control Panel to manage the extra keys on my keyboard isn't there anymore still. Ain't life grand?

I made chili this afternoon. In the process of chopping onions to put in it, I sliced off the tip of my middle finger of my left hand. I really use that part of my anatomy a lot. It hurt too. And bled and bled. I'm not exactly happy about this turn of events. I'll not be able to play my guitars for a few weeks at least. I just hope it doesn't get infected or anything. Damn.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006     My Week Off
(9:36 pm)

I really didn't intend to take a week off. It just worked out that way, what with trying to whip my studio into shape, getting the front porch the way I want it (other than a new coat of paint, that is), and my injuries, infirmities, and other distractions and sidetracktions. The studio is coming along nicely, thank you very much. Sean should be by to help me run wires tomorrow. Maybe I'll even get the phone line situation straightened away. One more phone would be nice. I'd like to have two up and two down, maybe even one in the basement. Of course I could put a corded phone there.


Quote of the Day: "Liberation is only being rid of the idea that there is anyone who needs liberation."
 
-- Ramesh Balsekar

I've been thinking more along spiritual lines of late. I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps it's because I've given up having an appreciable influence on the physical plane and refuse to just roll over and play dead. I really want to get back into my art in a big way. I don't know what to do with my output, however. I have stacks of paintings, collàges, and other works wrapped up and boxed up in the basement and in closets for lack of something to do with them. I've given tons away. I'm not of a bent to market my art, or much of anything else. I can't seem to shill, even for myself. There's something repugnant about the competitive, capitalist nature of every endeavor in this society. Corporations rule the roost, and I'm outside that pale, and forever will be. It's like when someone asked Pissaro about the art in England and he responded that there is no art in England -- everything is business. I feel that way about the entire world. I can't tell you how many times someone has asked me, "How's the art business?"

Well, time to go. Maybe I'll have more to say tomorrow, or a photo or two to share. It's going to be in the 90's the next few days. Maybe I'll just stay inside and work on the wiring or something. . .

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Monday, May 29, 2006     My Two Favorite Country Bands
(9:23 pm)

Anyone who knows me at all is aware that I have no taste whatsoever for country music. This is not quite carved in stone as it once was. For example, I really like the new Dixie Chicks CD. I may have to go out and buy this one. I'm also an admirer of Lyle Lovett. I don't own any of his music, but I do like the odd song of his. However, my two favorite country groups are The Rolling Stones and The Gin Blossoms. Truth is, I like any music as long as it's good -- as long as it has good dynamics, good production values, engaging lyrics, and a high level of musicianship. Another country artist I admire is Brad Paisley. That boy can play.


Quote of the Day: "Reality can destroy the dream; why shouldn't the dream destroy reality?"
 
-- George Moore (1873-1958) (English Philosopher -- one of the fathers of the analytic philosophy)

I finally found a keyboard that uses a USB connection so I can use a regular keyboard with my laptop. The only problem with it is that it's a wireless desktop set, including a mouse. There's nothing inherently wrong with that other than the fact I had to pay $34.00 for it instead of about seven to ten dollars for a straight up USB keyboard. I already have a USB mouse. It's not so bad though. Everything works fine and I'm a lot more comfortable with it than with the laptop keyboard. I have an old CRT monitor hooked up to the laptop too, so I can run a dual monitor setup like I have downstairs on my desktop machine. The monitor is pretty ugly. How's that for an oxymoron? I'm thinking seriously about disconnecting it and sticking with just the laptop display until I can afford to get another LCD monitor to use. I got a rolling tool chest with six drawers, a power tool compartment, and a top bin. I managed to get all the tools from four toolboxes and my drills and some power cords in it with a little room left for augmentation. The addition of it to my studio made things a tad crowded, but I can live with that since the chest has casters and I can roll it out in the hallway or down the hall into the library if I need the additional space. Actually though, with it where I have it at the moment, the only thing it might get in the way of would be the chair for the drawing table -- that is, when I get a chair for that. That's just about the last thing on my list for the studio. I'm still shuffling things in the studio. Not everything has told me exactly where it wants to live yet.

I did have my acrylic paints in a toolbox. Since I emptied out several others, I took the most colorful one and moved the paint tubes into it. I put the two-ounce and four-ounce jars of acrylics into two tins with handles that I wasn't using for anyting else. My storage closet is more accessible now, too. Nice. Maybe I can actually get some painting done this week. Wow, would that be nice!

I ran into three old friends today. John lives on Arlington Court where we lived up until 10 years ago. Judy works at the restaurant where we had brunch. I see her there a lot. Katonya is a dear friend. I'd lost track of where she was working so I was a little surprised to see her behind the pharmacy counter at CVS when we went in there to pick up some Aquafina at a really good price. Sean and Trish came by and helped me get the A/V equipment in the studio hooked up, so now I have TV, DVD & VCR capability, and stereo. That makes it nice. Ann put up shades all 'round on the front porch, except for the north end of the porch. All the shades are a little off, so they'll need to be adjusted at some point, but even off kelter they're servicable as is. Yeah, I'm sure you're interested in all this. I just have the urge to write and nothing really to write about in anywhere near finished form. I do have some things on my mind and in process and I will be presenting them here, for better or worse, in the near future. Later, folks.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006     The Foundations of Power
(4:42 pm)

Behind all authority and power lies one thing: fear derived from violence or the threat of violence. Some authority may derive from respect and/or love, but underneath that respect and love lies the fear of it being withdrawn. I suppose this is a rather Aldlerian outlook on things, but from my personal observations, this seems exactly and universally to be the case. Having read the book and seen both the film starring Frank Sinatra and the one featuring Denzel Washington, The Manchurian Candidate emphasized this point in my mind. I suppose my thesis statement is a little generalized, but I still can't really think of the exception that makes the rule. If anyone else can present a counter to this, let me know. I'll be thinking on it and maybe come up with more than an aphoristic presentation in the near future.


Quote of the Day: ". . . the right angle (according to Kandinsky) is the most objective, the coldest, and bespeaks self-control; the acute angle is the tensest, warmest and also sharp and highly active; the obscure [obtuse] angle has a certain clumsiness to it, and is weak, expressing passivity. Kandinsky felt that these three types corresponded to the process of the artistic creation: the vision is sharp and active, the actual work is cool and controlled, and once the work is finished comes the sense of weakness."
 
-- Reinhard Steiner, Schiele, Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH, Köln 2000, p. 26, ref.: W. Kandinsky, Punkt und Linie zu Fläche, Berne-Bümpliz 1955, p. 75

It's above 90 degrees for the third day running. To be honest, the heat and sun feel pretty good for short periods of time. Mostly though, I hide out in the air-conditioning ripping songs from my CD's so I can listen to whatever I want while working on the computer without having to go upstairs or out to the car to retrieve what I want to hear. It's a good thing I have a large external hard drive!

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