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Tuesday, May 1, 2007     M'aidez
(10:35 pm)

Quote of the Day: "A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though awakens your own expectations."

-- Patricia Neal

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

Misery loves company


Thursday, May 3, 2007     The Elephant in the Room
(10:11 am)

People just don't notice the obvious. No, I'm not referring to anything specific, just making a general statement. Of course, general statements have exceptions which, generally speaking, rear their ugly heads immediately on the statement of a generality. But, I digress (as I am wont to do). The best place to hide something is in plain sight. The optimal hiding place for a needle is not a haystack, but a pile of similar needles. The best way to conceal something isn't to obscure it, but make it look like it's always been there in a place that people routinely take for granted and don't really look at. The best place to hide dust is under the bed.

Quote of the Day: "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it. "

-- Ellen Goodman

I woke this morning thinking of things that don't make a lot of sense. Before I came downstairs I had a brain full of things to write about. Now that I'm sitting in front of the computer, most of it has evaporated, lifted like the fog along the river as the sun hits it, becoming instead clouds to drift away in the distance. It's this way with my novel, too. I've not worked on it in months. I can't figure out where to go with it. It singularly lacks a core. People tell me what I've already written is good and they're anxious to see what happens. Well, guess what? So am I!

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

Make me a star!

I've no energy this week. Plenty of pain. Lots of ennui. A ton of inertia. No oomph, however. I really wish I could walk at a decent clip without the pain overwhelming me. I used to love to walk along the Boulevard and the Carriage Trail. I'd do upwards of 10 miles a day most days. I used to get up and leave the house by 5:30 and get back around eight. Then I'd do 1000 or so ab-crunches then have breakfast and a shower. I suppose those days are gone. Took my energy with them.


Thursday, May 10, 2007     Fixed Attenuators
(9:29 am)

I've been looking for some plugs to stick in my insert jacks on my mixing board to cut the signal strength for sources that run too hot. I wouldn't mind having one for my guitar amp as well, since the Les Paul and my Godin run hotter than any of my other instruments. Some of the top-of-the-line mixing boards, such as the Allen & Heath have a 6 or 10 dB pad switch built in to each channel. I've found XLR plugs to go directly in the line, but I'd prefer to have a 1/4-inch TRS plug with the resistor network inside the cowl that I could plug in after I discover the signal needs attenuation, instead of having to unplug the source line, plug the attenuator into the board and then plug the source line into the attenuator.

Nothing is ever as simple as it should be. F'r'instance -- I ordered a keyboard stand and some cables from Musician's Friend last Thursday. Well, they're supposed to be here today. Late. The order was delayed for gawd-knows-what reason and didn't ship until Monday. The packages were in South Charleston at the UPS facility yesterday morning just before nine. So, what do they do? They send them to Roanoke, VA!!! That's 182 miles from here, a little further from South Charleston. It's a 370-mile round trip for no reason. UPS needs fixing.

Quote of the Day: "If you can act with complete assurance that what you are doing is right, then you have limited yourself to an extent that precludes intelligent analysis or courage. To act with confidence even in the face of doubt requires intelligence or moral courage, or both."

-- J. Michael Mollohan

I don't know whether I've noted the above anywhere before other than in a notebook, but I thought it was about time I quoted myself. At least there's less of a chance of my being misquoted if I do it myself.

Digital Camera Image [2007_0504Image0005] [Canon EOS 20D, Program AE, ISO 200, 1/320, f/7.1, Exposure Compensation +1/3, Tamron 38-300 mm lens @ 300 mm]
"Bee, this is Rhododendron, you are cleared for final approach."

The only bees I see anymore seem to be bumble bees and carpenter bees. I seldom see honey bees. I've seen on television and read in different places that the bees are disappearing. If this trend continues, human beings are in big trouble. Maybe it's like Douglas Adams's scenario in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where all the porpoises leave the planet because they were aware of the impending destruction of the Earth to make way for a galactic bypass. Or perhaps it's the Earth's way of killing enough of us off so that she can regain her health. There are too many people for such a small blue planet. We have to limit our numbers before the planet does it for us, and not in a pleasant or even mildly-inconvenient manner. Famine, pestilence, and natural disaster is Gaia's final resort in dealing with the plague that is humanity, and she doesn't employ them lightly or unadvisedly. Until we are able to overcome our tribal nature and see ourselves as one family of man (pardon my use of the masculine nominative) then we will keep increasing in numbers so as to not be "outnumbered" by that other bunch over there. You think that will ever happen? My money's on famine, pestilence, and disaster.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007     Impending Chinese
(10:00 am)

As you may have noticed, I'm out of fortune cookie wisdom once again. Soon. Soon.

Quote of the Day: "All heiresses are beautiful."

-- John Dryden

I guess that explains Paris Hilton's appeal. . .

Digital Camera Image [2007_0514Image0004] [Canon EOS 20D, ISO ]200, Aperture priority AE, 1/400, f/7.1, exposure compensation -1/3, Tamron 28-300 mm lens @ 300 mm]
"I don't know what they are, but they're pink."

I guess you've heard -- Jerry Falwell is dead! I wonder if a house fell on him? There's much jubilation in the poetic circles and the gay community. There's also ongoing debate whether it's appropriate for us to be celebrating the death of Rev. Dipstick. I think it's entirely appropriate. After all, he celebrated and encouraged every mishap, bane, and disaster that happened to anyone he disagreed with. I have no doubt that he would have en masse murdered a great many of us had he thought he could have gotten away with it. He was evil, quite the opposite of how he saw himself. I wonder though, can anyone who's that wrong-headed really think themselves to be of sterling character when the corruption and corrosion is falling off of them contaminating not only their immediate vicinity but the entire extent of their influence? And when do the reasonable, tolerant people of the world get their champion?

And, speaking of reasonable, tolerant people, my friend Cubert Smith was elected to the Charleston City Council yesterday. I'm happy for him and I'm happy for our ward (The 9th, ironically enough) and the City of Charleston.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007     Hiatus
(10:22 am)

Yeah, it's been a week. Sometimes I just don't have a lot to say. It wasn't a planned hiatus -- it just happened. Funny, though, the weeklong pause was the same period of time between Falwell's demise and his interrment. Call it my period of mourning, if you will. NOT!

I have new fortune cookie fortunes, but I've not scanned them yet. They will resume shortly. A couple weeks ago (Mother's Day to be precise), Ann & I took the grandgirls to the flea market. They made out like bandits. I got a notebook. It's a Happy Bunny product. The front cover has a picture of the Happy Hopper with the following caption: "I have a dream. And in it something eats you." No wonder Happy Bunny is so cheery -- he's a sociopath!

Quote of the Day: "Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out."

-- Francis Bacon

Somewhere I bought a package of Velcro™ or other similar hook and loop closure cable tie strips. I don't remember where I got them and on return trips to the likely spots I've not been able to find any more. They were cheap, just a couple dollars and there were two rolls, one black and one gray. They've come in so handy, but now I have more cables than ties and I'd really like to find another package or two. Radio Shack has a package of 10 larger ones for six dollars. That's ridiculous. The package I bought for a couple bucks probably had fifty or more. If anyone runs across any of the cheaper ones, let me know where they can be obtained. I'm at a loss.


Monday, May 28, 2007     Memorial Day
(2:58 pm)

Memorial Day is the one day of the year when nearly everyone remembers those who gave their lives in defense of this nation. I'm conflicted this year, as I have been for the past few. There are young (and not-so-young) men and women dying in Iraq (and to a lesser extent, Afghanistan) every day. The thing about it that conflicts me is that they aren't dying in defense of this country. They're dying to no good purpose. This war is the war of a lunatic president and an evil cabal of neo-con Svengalis. The death of every one of those tree-thousand plus American service members stabs me in the heart and wrenches my mind. It's so wrong, brave hearts sent to die by a duplicitous coward. Something wrong here.

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

Life is a series of Kodak moments.

Quote of the Day: "The more light you carry, the more you will see that which is sorrowful on Earth. Only the masters can "see" these things as reasonable within the scheme of why you're here. It is important that the Lighthouses are not distracted by the storms as they shine their lights. Otherwise, they become useless. "

-- Kryon Channelling (Where is Aunt Martha)

Today's fortune is courtesy of Emily G. Thanks, sweetie.

I'm not making many entries this month, am I? I'm trying to teach myself a crash course in piano/keyboard with no instruction material. I think I need to get some.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007     EADGBE
(11:41 am)

My son called yesterday. He said he saw a red Mustang GT with North Carolina tags whose license read, EADGBE. That's the tag I had on my Plymouth Voyager. Right now it's taped to the closet door in my studio. I might like to get that one again next renewal. Vanity tags are great, but I think they shouldn't charge extra for them after the first year. Shouldn't the fee be to cover the cost of making the plate special? Once its made, the sticker should cost the same as any other.

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

Surf's up!

I'm thinking of taking my studio down. I've not done much art in some time now. Most of what I have could go into storage. I would probably keep enough at hand to do most of what I want to do, but right now it's taking up too much space. I might move the bedroom into the studio and the studio into the bedroom. I'd still have plenty of room for a drawing table, most of the shelves and cabinets and maybe one work table. Ann's computer could migrate to the bedroom and I could leave the television that's in the studio where it is. I just need some help. Any volunteers?

Quote of the Day: "All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places."

-- Jack London, opening sentence of The Star Rover 1914

I understand Jack London's feeling. All my life I have had the same sense of elsewhere and otherwhen. It's almost like I don't quite belong where and when I am. I'm not sure whether I should be north, south, east, or west, in the past or the future, but as things stand of this moment in this place, the world don't fit.

My niece, Angel, and my nephew, Joshua, graduated from South Charleston High School on Friday. On the way back from the ceremony I saw the moon in the sky above the Macy's building. I envisioned the sun and added it to the photograph later, along with the simulated lens flare.

Digital Camera Image [2007_0525Image0162] [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 3200, 1/200, f/8, Tamron 28-300 mm lens @ 39 mm]
"Sun, Moon, Star"
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