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Friday, November 1, 2002
(8:07 am)

Last night's trick or treat was fun, with all the kids coming to the door, one of our neighbors dressing like Wishmaster and sitting on his front steps, scaring the bejeebies out of the little kids, my son and his girlfriend, my daughter and her husband and my darling granddaughter, and my sister-in-law and my niece Michelle. It was an enjoyable time all around. Ann sat on the porch with faux cobwebs draped across her, like she'd been sitting there for decades. It was great. I carved another pumpkin and we lit them both with candles. The kitten was romping, chasing after the trick-or-treaters, having a grand old time.

The remnants are almost gone. The jack o'lanterns are extinguished, but they're still on the step for at least part of today. The witch flag is still flying. I'll leave it up for Samhain today. The wire webs are still hanging. It's a melancholy thing, outmoded holiday decorations, something like a used up husk, tossed aside, once filled with incipient delight, now meaningless and dispensible. I feel like that sometimes.


Saturday, November 2, 2002
(8:47 pm)

My team won today (West Virginia). They beat Temple 46-20. That makes them bowl eligible. There are three games remaining on the schedule. Next week it's Boston College. Today, BC beat Notre Dame. It should be a tight contest next week. The week after they go to Blackburg to play Virginia Tech. Another tough game. The final week WVU plays Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. That's always an unpredictable game. They could finish up with anything from a 6 and 6 record to a 9 and 3 tally. I rather expect it will be 8 and 4 or 7 and 5. The fewer losses, the better the bowl prospects.

Someone called into the paper's Reader's Hotline. They said that Halloween in Charleston this year was scarier than usual -- it had an extra W in it. . .


Monday, November 4, 2002
(2:07 pm)

My gold bowling ball that disappeared earlier this year was returned at the same time the cracked one my son-in-law gave me was stolen. Whoever took the gold one had scrawled some incipid message on it and drew a face. I tossed it in the back yard and left it there until I decided what to do with it. Last month I brought it inside and cleaned it as best I could. I then gave it several coats of gesso and wet-sanded it. I'm now working on the final treatment.

Anyway, yesterday morning, Ann went out on the front porch to have a smoke and read the paper. She came in and told me, "You gotta see this!" I went out and she told me to take a look in the yard. Someone (I wonder who?) had put a large green reflective gazing ball on the pedestal! If you're missing one, drop me an e-mail. If you can verify a detail about it, it's all yours.


Tuesday, November 5, 2002
(9:25 pm)

Tomorrow I get to be drugged unconscious and have the two long screws that are currently holding my Tibia and Fibula together removed. I'm actually looking forward to it. I really want to be able to walk normally again, and I think this will go a long way toward that end.

I'll be entubated, so I'll have a sore throat. I'll be groggy most if not all the rest of the day, so I expect the earliest I'll make another entry here will be Thursday. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, November 6, 2002
(6:45 pm)

I made it through another surgery. Another 20 IQ points shaved off the total. . .

I'm still a little under the effects of the anesthetic, but I'm feeling pretty good. The doctor took the two screws out, and my leg and ankle feel more flexible already. Sore, but more flexible. And now, folks, without further ado, here they are -- the screws!

Surgical stainless steel screws.  The shorter one is 2-1/8 inches, the longer one 2-3/8 inches.

The doctor said one of them had already started to back itself out. That could account for a lot of the pain I'd been experiencing. I'm just glad they're out and my leg is beginning to feel something like normal again.


Thursday, November 7, 2002
(11:18 pm)

Quote of the Day: "If all the young ladies who attended the Yale promenade dance were laid end to end, no one would be the least surprised." -- Dorothy Parker


Fractal Design Painter 5
"Cracking It Wide Open"

Friday, November 8, 2002
(11:05 pm)

Quote of the Day: "People only see what they are prepared to see." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Saturday, November 9, 2002
(10:09 am)

I wonder how much of the bullshit that drips so easily from W. Bush's lips he actually believes. I'm not sure whether I'd prefer to see him as that cynical or that stupid. I fear that he may be both.

Better buckle up folks. Unless you have a six figure income, you're in for a rough ride as long as the Republicans have the White House and both houses of Congress. The courts are going to be packed with right-wing judges. Civil Service will disappear, as will as many unions as Bush can get to take him on. Our choices will dwindle, as will the purchasing power of our money. We're in for it. Better hang on.

The tax haters in Kanawha and Putnam counties rejected the school bond levies this election. It may be that they rejected the Kanawha County bus and ambulance levies as well. This is how to foment revolution. Don't these morons realize that some taxes are necessary to keep the promises that democracy makes to its citizens. The right wing in this country wants a return to feudalism, with the rich merchants and landowners educated and in possession of all the material comforts they desire, while the rest of us remain illiterate, poor, and under their thumbs. We're headed toward a monolithic society where everyone believes the same and lives the same or they are kept down and not allowed to prosper in any alternate way. I'm really sad and angry.


Monday, November 11, 2002
(5:40 pm)

My first shower since my surgery. I found some large Bandaid™ Water Block bandages. They covered my four new staples and the wound they're holding shut quite nicely and worked as advertised. It felt really good to have the hot water pouring over me. I feel so much better when I'm clean. I even managed to help Sean and Ann with the yard work a little and I ran the vacuum and swept a little. I so look forward to feeling normal again. I'd love to start walking again, to get a little exercise.


Quote of the Day: "It has been said that writing comes more easily if you have something to say." -- Sholem Asch, U. S. Novelist


My nasturtium, the remaining plant in the pepper bed out back has a solitary blossom. On November 11, it's blooming. It'll taste nice in my salad.


Tuesday, November 12, 2002
(11:42 pm)

The day's almost gone. My leg bothered me all day. IT seems like I'm alternating -- good day, bad day. Tomorrow should be good if that holds true.


Quote of the Day: "Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works." -- John Keats


It's time for me to go to bed. Tomorrow should be cooler than today. I like this time of year, mainly for the cold pillows at bedtime. One of these days soon, I'll have something to say. Honest.


Friday, November 15, 2002
(9:07 am)

Dear Santa,

It's been a difficult year for me, what with the move in the spring and breaking my leg and the long, difficult recovery from that, but nonetheless, I think I've been a good boy and I'd like to present you with this Christmas list:

I'd ask for some gorgeous young sexy actress or singer or the most beautiful woman in the world, but I'm pretty sure my wife wouldn't take that too well, besides where would I keep her? So, instead, I'd like to have either the new Jaguar XK-R or the BMW Z4 (or one of each, if you're feeling especially generous). Now, I've asked for nice cars before and you seem to have always overlooked this request, so do you think perhaps you could make it up to me this year? I just thought. . . maybe a Hummer? Black.

I'd like to have a nice house in a good neighborhood. Do you do real estate? I know houses and property won't fit in your bag, but I'm sure free and clear deeds would.

Could you bring me one of the Canon EOS 1D digital cameras? If you don't feel like you can go top of the line, I'd be willing to accept a D60 or even a D30. In the area of photography, I'd also like to have a plain old film camera, you know, the EOS 1 and a nice Strobe bar and flash to go with it. Lenses always make good stocking stuffers. So does Fuji NPS and NPH film.

I've always wanted a Mesa Boogie guitar amplifier stack. Do you think this could be the year? I'd also like to have a couple more guitars. I'd like to have a good 6-string acoustic/electric, maybe an Ovation or a Martin. A Les Paul would be nice, too. Anything in the professional audio line would be greatly appreciated, as would a large plasma HDTV monitor and a new, fast PC.

Some things for the kitchen would be nice, too. I'd particularly like to have an espresso/capuccino maker. A new set of the quasi-crystal coated T-Fal cookware would be a real treat, too, as would a good set of knives.

That Windsor-Newton radial easel I saw at Pro-Art would make a nice gift, too. In the way of things artistic, I really need the whole range of M. Graham acrylic paints. I'd appreciate some large canvases, too, especially the new ones with heavy duty stretchers. Mat board is always useful. If you could rummage around in your "Christmas Past" warehouse and possibly come up with a Grumbacher Hyplar flat brush -- a No. 16 or larger, that would be a blessing. See, mine's about had it, after only 30 years, and I really like that brush. Gift Certificates to Pro- Art and maybe some of the Mail Order and online art supply places fit nicely in the stockings, too.

I'd love to have a pair of pants like the ones they cut off of me when I broke my leg. I really liked those pants, and they hadn't even been washed when they got destroyed. Some nice causal shirts I could wear when Hawaiian shirts seem silly, New chuka boots (I think some call them desert boots, although I always thought desert boots were the kind like Johnny Carson wore), a winter coat, and a nice quality fedora are the clothing items that interest me.

Oh yeah, I need some socks.

Your friend,
Michael


Sunday, November 17, 2002
(12:33 pm)

Another rainy Sunday. Gray is NOT my favorite color. Cookie, coffee, and chili for breakfast. Coffee maker is on its last legs. That's okay. In the 20 years since our son was born we've had exactly two coffee makers, both of them the same Robert Krups model. In the two years prior to getting our first Krups machine we went through a couple Mr. Coffee's, a Black & Decker and another one or two. That's at least two a year. At a discounted $15.00 per, that's $30.00 a year. With the Krups, it works out to about $7.00 a year. "I'd call that a bargain, the best I ever had." (The Who)


Quote of the Day: "If you believe, then you hang on. If you believe, it means you've got imagination, you don't need stuff thrown out on a blueprint, and don't face facts-what can stop you? If I don't make it today, I'll come in tomorrow." -- Ruth Gordon


Now, if Santa brings me that Robert Krups Espresso/Cappucino/Coffee machine I want, that would take care of needing a new coffee maker. The only problem is that Christmas is over a month away. You think maybe it's best to not rely on Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or the Lottery to get thingS you want and need? On the other hand, working for a living or freelancing doesn't seem to get it either. I must not have the right club card.


Monday, November 18, 2002
(10:10 pm)

I get my staples out in the morning. I'll sure be glad to have done with that. I'm hoping I see steady improvement from here out. This really sucks.


Tuesday, November 19, 2002
(12:15 pm)

My staples are out. I can resume walking longer distances. I'm hoping doing so will stretch and strengthen. It will feel so nice to be back to normal. According to my doctor, the swelling should subside now as my wound heals and the leg regains its strength. He says we may want to remove the plate and remaining screws in about a year.


Quote of the Day: "Some people think only intellect counts -- knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion and empathy." -- Dean Koontz


The leaves are all off the two silver maple trees in our back yard. As soon as things dry out enough, I'll rake them up and put them in the compost. I'm using composted maple leaves to build up the soil around the rhododendrons in front. The small one seems to be dying. If it dies off, I'll have the soil tested and correct its deficiencies. Then I'll plant a snowy white rhododendron to go with the magenta one already there. That should look really nice in late spring.

More scantography. This is a crop of a scan of a poison ivy leaf.

Poison ivy-e-a-e-a.

This is a trio of the original scan. I forget what the background is from.

You will need an ocean.Of Calamine lotion.Poison ivy only make you itch.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002
(11:07 pm)

West Virginia University 21 -- Virginia Tech 18

West Virginia was ranked 28. They should break the top 25 now. Virginia Tech was ranked 12th. That will make either four or five Big East teams in the top rankings.

I'm tickled silly!


Friday, November 22, 2002
(3:05 am)

At one time I ate New England style clam chowder as an excuse, as a vehicle for the consumption of hot sauce. As time went by, I started to actually like the taste of the potatoes, onions, celery, clams, clam juice and thickeners.

When I got old and my cholesterol became more a concern than what food tasted like I found out that clam chowder was a stealth assassin's weapon, double digit grams of fat.

As I cheated on every diet with the happy stew I experimented with appearance, presentation: a dollop or two of red hot sauce, Pollock's own condiment on a pure white canvas with potatoes a patch of fresh ground black pepper to offset and balance, a sprig of parsley like my signature almost too pretty to eat.                     almost

The white background like pristine snow, the red, the green, how Christmas like.

Clams are incidental to clam chowder. It's the clam juice that makes it.

Now that low fat chowder is available and in a form that tastes like clam chowder and not potato soup with bits of latex rubber, I pay attention to the presentation, but once more to the taste, to the enjoyment of the meal.

Cambpell's Select has a low fat clam chowder that, I swear, tastes as good as the regular with 13 grams of fat and only has 1-1/2 grams. Granted, the clams are a bit rubbery, but I just treat them as clam flavored bubble gum and spit them out after a while.


Saturday, November 23, 2002
(1:52 pm)

I love watching college football. One thing that really irritates me, though is some teams' refusal to put the players' names on their jerseys. In theory this is to de-emphasize the individual, emphasize the fact that they're a team. If this is the case, then why keep individual statistics? Why a Heisman trophy? (Are the players without names ineligible?) Why retire numbers for exceptional players? Let the players wear their names. It makes it simpler for those of us who watch the occasional Notre Dame, Penn State, or other game of the nameless players. It's a lot easier to read the name on the jersey than it is to try to connect a number with a player. I suppose die-hard fans of those teams have no trouble remembering this, but for those of us who only watch Notre Dame two or three times a year and only watch when Penn State plays WVU, it's a pain in the ass. I also think it's hypocritical and disingenuous, not to mention misguided. Give it up. Let us know who we're watching.


Sunday, November 24, 2002
(6:04 pm)

Today unfolded like one of those free Department of Transportation highway maps. When it came time to fold it back up, I couldn't manage to get it right. I didn't know whether to fold horizontally first or vertically, whether the whole was divided into thirds one way and fourths the other, or thirds both ways or fourths or what. It was a confounding thing, something not to be done while trying to


Monday, November 25, 2002
(11:14 pm)

Quote of the Day: "Everybody wants to get on the Van Gogh boat. There's no trip so horrible that someone won't take it. The idea of the unrecognized genius slaving away in a garret is a deliciously foolish one. We must credit the life of Vincent Van Gogh for really sending this myth into orbit. How many pictures did he sell? One? He couldn't give them away. We are so ashamed of his life that the rest of art history will be retribution for Van Gogh's neglect. No one wants to be part of a generation that ignores another Van Gogh. " -- Julian Schnabel (from his screenplay, "Basquiat"


Thursday, November 28, 2002
(9:27 am)

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for mind-altering chemicals. I give special thanks to espresso and narcotic pain relievers, both of which I will rely upon heavily to make it through this day.


Quote of the Day: "A man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry." -- Ecclesiastes 8:15


Or as it was put in Isaiah 22: 13: 'let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die'. . . probably from clogged arteries due to cholesterol, or scelerosis of the liver. . .

Anyway, have a good one. I'll see you when I can get my pants on again without using a shoe spoon.


Saturday, November 30, 2002
(10:27 pm)

West Virginia 24, Pitt 17

West Virginia 9-3 on the season, 6-1 in the Big East.

Looks like the Gator bowl on New Year's Day against North Carolina State.


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