Watch this space. . .

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Tuesday, October 1, 2002
(9:01 am)

I wonder if the current administration has put any thought into what will happen in the Middle East if they "depose" (how's that for a euphemism?) Saddam Hussein? The Ba'ath party and Saddam are Sunni Muslims. The majority of the population in Iraq are Shi'a. A democratically elected government would almost of necessity be Shi'a. This does not bode well. The fundamentalist Shi'a are the people in power in Iran. This would make Iran the single biggest influence in Middle Eastern politics. And if you think they will be any more amenable to the West than Saddam, you'd better think again.

Tom Clancy has the theory that this is the reason that Bush, Sr. did not go into Baghdad and remove Saddam in 1991. It would have been simpler to go into Baghdad and let the troops in the field wither on the vine.

I don't think that Bush, Jr. and Puppetmaster Dick have thought this through very well. Oh well, it's only an election strategy anyway. . .

Wednesday, October 2, 2002
(7:47 pm)

Here's the latest photo of my granddaughter, Hannah. She had just had her first haircut moments before.

Such a great face!

Friday, October 4, 2002
(10:34 am)

I was planning on going to the WVU game on Saturday, but once I started thinking about what was involved and assessing the conditon of my leg, I decided to pass. Going to Morgantown is at least a 2-1/2 hour trip. If I sit too long in one position, my leg gets stiff and painful. After the trip, there would be at least a mile walk from where we usually park to the stadium grounds. Then there's the trip up the hill to the gate. My brother-in-law wanted to go early so he could check out the tailgating and the tents. That would mean at least another hour on my feet. Then there's the climb up the stadium steps to the nosebleed section. Anyone who's been to a large stadium knows that the incline is steep and the steps are not spaced well, even for people with two good legs. Three to 3-1/2 hours on a stadium seat, then the climb down (for me, the hardest part), the walk down the hill, back to the car, and the trip back. I'm normally worn out at the end of gamedays, but this one, with my current condition, would have been too much. I'm disappointed, but I think I did the right thing by not going.

Maybe a later home game. . . The only three left after this weekend are Syracuse, Miami, and Boston College. None of them sound too promising this year. But, you never know. WVU does lead the nation in offense.

I have that tension ache in my neck and shoulder muscles. Why am I tense?

Saturday, October 5, 2002
(1:03 pm)

I got no response whatsoever from my query on September 27 concerning green tomatoes. Let me ask again: Does anyone in the Charleston area have any green tomatoes they won't be able to harvest or use before the frost? I'd like to have about a bushel. My tomato crop was pretty dismal this year, quite unlike my pepper production. I want to make some chow chow (A/K/A "end of harvest") relish. As stated before, I'd be more than willing to trade finished product for raw material. If anyone is willing to part with onions, cabbage, and cauliflower either as a donation or trade, let me know too, okay?

The bulk of my ripe habanero peppers will go into the hot sauce. I also want to try to replicate my hot pepper relish from four years ago. It will be mainly green habaneros and the little red fellows from the flower bed out front.

I need to procure some jars and bottles, too. I went to Wal-Mart this week to get some, but they were sold out of nearly all canning supplies. Can you believe that!? I've been incapacitated and unable to think about shopping since the last days of July, and now I find the most probable source for jars and lids doesn't have any. Now I'll have to scour the countryside to find what I need, and pay twice as much for them. The way retail works really pisses me off. I first noticed and got pissed off several years back when I lost a glove in February. I could only find one store in town that had any gloves and they were the expensive $45 a pair and up ones. Retailers sell winter goods before winter, summer goods go out in early spring. What kind of sense does that make? I guess it works for the upper middle class who have the greatest disposable income, but for people who don't have the luxury of enough purchasing power to plan whole seasons ahead, it leaves us high and dry and thinking of retribution.

Monday, October 7, 2002
(10:55 am)

It's a good thing I didn't go to the ballgame Saturday. My team lost 48-17. I got upset enough watching the game on ESPN. Had I been at the stadium, worn out from the physical exertion, I'd have been comatose by the time we got home.

Quote of the Day: "There are some things so serious you have to laugh at them." -- Niels Bohr

In the doctor's waiting room today, there was a fellow, probably in his mid-30's running off at the mouth, like his voice was the most melodious sound he'd ever heard. I don't think he shut up for more than 30 seconds at a time the whole half hour I sat there. He kept spewing this right-wing, Bush-supporter, hard-ass, gun-rights, anti-abortion, pro-death penalty, redneck bullshit line the whole time. I was on the verge of puking. I guess people latch onto this kind of rhetoric because it requires no thinking, is easy to remember, and most people agree with major portions of it. It's simple to toe the line and espouse the majority opinion. In this current political atmosphere, it would be real simple to get beat up simply by expressing an opinion that varies from the right margin more than a few characters.

Yesterday I got some canning jars. I found one case of pints at Big Lots. I got two half pint cases as well. I have maybe half a case of wide-mouth quarts and matching lids and rings from previous years. What I need now are bottles and caps that will seal to put the hot sauce in. A couple of the Tabasco® bottles I've saved might work, but then with used lids you can never tell. I wonder where one would acquire new lids for such bottles?

I'm still on the quest for green tomatoes. The local weather people say there's a possibility of frost one night this week. That means I'll have to get the tomatoes and harvest all my peppers before that occurs. I'm in a pinch now. Can anybody help me with the tomatoes? the bottles & lids?

Tuesday, October 8, 2002
(11:12 am)

The viruses just keep on rolling in. Norton Anti-Virus (NAV) catches most of them. This morning I got my first e-mail with the Bugabear worm attached. NAV caught that. What it didn't catch were the multiple instances of the Klez worm that have come in over the past several days, at least half a dozen of them. I think the reason the e-mail filtering doesn't recognize the Klez attachment is because there's a .JPG attached as well. I submitted this to Symantec. They said they're already aware of the Klez worm. What I was trying to report was a new wrinkle in the delivery method. I tried to report it via the online submission method, but because I have a two-year-old version of NAV, they say they don't support it anymore and refer me to the FAQ and knowledge base. How asinine! I'm trying to help THEM and because I don't think I have to buy the absolute latest version of everything the second it's released, I'm not allowed to participate in a dialog that would possibly be useful to the company and their clients who use newer versions of the software.

One more reason to be fed up with it all.

Quote of the Day: ""Contrariwise", continued Tweedledee, "If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."" -- Lews Carroll (Funny, I would have sworn it was George W. Bush. . .)

Wednesday, October 9, 2002
(1:02 pm)

I have bottles (24), jars (24 8 oz., 12 16 oz, 6 32 oz.), lids, caps, green tomatoes (I can still use more. Anyone?), peppers, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, vinegar, canning salt, spices, herbs, large pots, a gas grill and rubber gloves. Anybody want to play?

Quote of the Day: "'Martyrdom' is the only way a person can become famous without ability"" -- George Bernard Shaw

My leg is doing fine. Thanks for asking.

I've been painting. I'm not real happy with the result so far. I'm trying hard to get into it again. I need it like cornfields need rain, like dogs need smelly things to wallow in.

Thursday, October 10, 2002
(4:24 pm)

I'm starting a new feature of this daily online journal of the mundane and occasionally provocative: Contributor's art and letters. The first is from a contributor in Scotland. The photo was taken in San Francisco. I'm sure the street is still there. Unless, maybe the earthquake of '89 got it.

Contributor of the Day
San Francisco, California.  Copyright  © 1988 D. Watt
"A Sign of the Times -- dwatt"

If anyone has comments for dwatt, send them to me and I'll forward them to him. Tomorrow, a poem.

Friday, October 11, 2002
(8:30 am)

More rain. I ache. I sure hope all this precipitation clears up by the weekend so I can do my pepper thing.

Today's contributor of the day brings us a neat little poem, a poem that she didn't consider a poem until I asked to use it as today's contribution. To be quite honest, I even picked the title, which was a partial title from a list of potentials. I think this poem resonates with a great many people.

Contributor of the Day

Self Defense

in the snack machine near the catwalk is a GIANT Honeybun.
not your average bun
but, instead, a Giant Honeybun
there's only one left
it's staring at me
i'll probably have to eat it to put an end to this.
Copyright © 2002 E. Garnett

If anyone has comments for E. Garnett, send them to me and I'll forward them to her.

I am now actively seeking submissions for this feature. Eventually, I may accept more than one per day and move this feature to a separate magazine type page. If you have anything you'd like to see as Contribution of the Day, send it to

In honor of her birthday, today's quote is from a former First Lady of the United States.

Quote of the Day: "You always admire what you really don't understand." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Having posted this quote, I must take exception to it. To be quite honest, I think that most people FEAR what they don't really understand. While some may be in awe of the inexplicable, and some curious minds such as Mrs. Roosevelt may indeed admire the inscrutable, for the most part the emotion elicited by the unknown is, quite simply, fear.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002
(9:12 pm)

I finished all the relish, hot sauce, and pickled pepper making this morning. Saturday, Sean and I cut down all the pepper plants and harvested the rest of the peppers. Sunday, Margaret came over and she and Ann (and a little help from Sean) helped me prepare and bottle the hot sauce, India Relish, and Chow Chow (one batch of hot, one sweet). Monday I finished up with the green habanero and red chili relish. I put the remaining green chilis in a brine bath and finished up hot packing them this morning. Now I have to wait until January for them to be ready!

Quote of the Day: "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." -- Frederick Nietzsche

I'm still working on a painting. I'm not satisfied with it, but it is coming along. Maybe once I get enough layers of paint on it, I'll be happier with it.

I can't believe the fascist leanings in this country these days. It's a mystery to me. How can people not see what's going on? Or is it that this is the way most people really want it? I can't get over the impatience, rudeness, and downright mean spiritedness of people either. Today I saw a whole string of traffic go through a traffic light, each on the previous car's bumper, refusing to stop and let a school bus make a left turn. Twice over the weekend, I saw people get impatient at stop lights and run them since there was nothing coming. People have no respect for the laws or for other people, yet they're sublimely willing to fall into goosestep behind an idiot savant warmonger who wants to start Armageddon. Maybe I'm crazy. . .

Thursday, October 17, 2002
(1:12 pm)

Contributor of the Day

Michelle West
Stealing Hearts and Burning Highway
   Remember when I stole
   your heart
   and drove from Houston
   to Dallas
   with it bobbing
   from my antennae
   like one of those smiling
   faces that scare me.
   Truck drivers honked
   and ladies stared
   not understanding
   how badly I needed
   to close the distances
   between my love 
   and yours.

Copyright © 2002

If you have any comments for Michelle West, send them to me and I'll be more than happy to forward them to her.

The local Urban Renewal authority and other powers-that-be are considering offering an upscale department store unheard of incentives to occupy the empty space in Town Center Mall that was vacated by Montgomery Ward. They want to get a loan, which the taxpayers will ultimately repay, from a program that is supposed to benefit low and moderate income people. This song to the tune of several million. Additionally, they plan to offer the lease at a rate of $1.00 per year. Come on! How in hell is this right? To create a couple hundred low income and maybe a dozen management type jobs? Trickle down? Hasn't that been amply shown to be bullshit?

How is something like this fair to Sears, Kaufman's, J. C. Penny's and the other stores who had to pay their own way and either own the portion of the mall they occupy or are paying full rent. This will not create any new wealth, but merely redistribute it to an entity that has not, in anyone's estimation, paid the dues to get such a privileged treatment. This is wrong!

Saturday, October 19, 2002
(10:56 pm)

I missed my poetry group meeting today. I wasn't feeling well, so I took a pain pill and put my feet up. Next thing you know, it was to late to make the group. I watched the WVU-Syracuse game in between power naps. WVU won 34-7. That makes their record 5-2. One more win and they will be bowl eligible. That next win may be problematic. Next week they play Miami, who is currently ranked number one in the country. The following week is the real possibility of the sixth win: Temple. Temple has been surprising some people this year though. For instance, last week they beat Syracuse. The rest of the schedule is Boston College, Virginia Tech and Pitt. It's a murderers' row. The team showed me something today. I hope it wasn't just adrenaline pumped up from Syracuse's screw-ups. We shall see. Let's Go, Mountaineers!

Quote of the Day: "The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." -- Joseph M. Goebbels

I thought it appropos to include some of the better right-wing thinkers in my quote, in honor of the right-wing climate in current day America. Heaven help us.

Sunday, October 20, 2002
(8:52 pm)

Remember the song in "The Sound of Music?" The one the nuns sang about Maria? I thought of paraphrasing it à la Weird Al: "How do solve a problem like North Korea?"

My contributor of the day feature is fizzling. I've gotten zero contributions that I haven't actively gone out and sought. I suppose the idea of turning the 23 page into a magazine is pretty much kaput without contributors. How do the other e-zines solicit material? Anyone have any ideas?

My horroscope today said that I would realize a dream I'd given up on. So far, I've not noticed anything. I didn't win the lottery lst night. No one has come knocking on my door offering me great piles of cash or valuables. I've not noticed any gorgeous twins or supermodels in the neighborhood. Oh well, I've still got three hours to go.

I finished a painting today. It looks somewhat similar to this piece I did a couple years ago with Photoshop:

In Memoriam:  Jack the Dripper

I call it, "Jackson Pollock Was Right." Acrylic on canvas - 28" X 34"

(11:23 pm)

Earlier this week I carved a couple of jack o'lanterns. I may have mentioned it. Perhaps not. Anyway, I did a close recreation of my puke o'lantern from last year, and another alien, this time carved out of a Hubbard squash, because it's gray and the shape is perfect when turned upside down. Last year I took pictures: Click here for last years pictures.

Anyway, this year's jack o's are becoming an attraction. I've walked out at least three times to discover people showing them to their kids, then getting in cars and driving off. I wonder if I can put a bucket out for donations, or maybe a sign with a web address. This is a hoot!

Monday, October 21, 2002
(5:04 pm)

In the execution of my most recent painting (see yesterday's entry), I first made extensive use of an acrylic paint made by M. Graham. If you can find it in a store near you, throw away all your other acrylic paints and stock up on M. Graham. This is absolutely, by far the best acrylic paint I've ever used, both in tubes and pots. I got two pots from a friend for Christmas a couple years ago and picked up a large tube of white locally. I'll be lobbying my friend at the art supply store to stock in more of it. M. Graham is a small company, dedicated to quality. I appreciate such dedication and will do everything I can to support their efforts. I ask that you, if you use acrylics, watercolor, or oils, to do the same. I think you'll be pleased.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
(11:00 pm)

I have another canvas on my cheap rickety easel. I'll probably move it to the table and work like I did on the last painting. I'd really love to have one of the Winsor&Newton radial easels. They're awesome.

When I finished the last painting, I wasn't really happy with it, but now that I've hung it on the wall and lived with it for a couple days, I'm starting to really like it a lot. This kind of painting is a meditation. It's much more a process than a product. I experience the layers as they build up, watch the texture appear out of nothingness, feel the passion of the art come through stronger and stronger. I then have to somehow force myself to stop at a point where it looks good enough to suggest some of what of me went into it. It's a hard thing to do. I feel as if something is being wrenched from me. I feel like I don't want it to end, but it has to. It would be easy to overshoot the thing, to work past the point where it has any value to anyone but me. The discipline, indeed the art of it comes in realizing when to put down the paint and declare it done. Sometimes I miss. This time, I didn't.

While I'm doing this kind of art, I enter a different consciousness. My vision sharpens and clarifies to the point that I feel a raised awareness on all levels and all senses. I can feel the texture that only exists in the visual cortex. I can feel this even when I'm "painting" on the computer. When I finish a computer piece like this, more often than not after the work "cools" I'm not nearly as satisfied with it as when I decide to quit on it. With actual paint, the opposite seems to hold sway.

Here's the computer piece I did immediately after finishing the acrylic on canvas one. This is reduced to fit the format of this page. The original is 800 X 600 pixels.

Photoshop LE 5.5

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
(10:42 pm)

Playing with rocks and metal today. I put this together with copper wire and a piece of tumbled quartz.

Quartz & copper.   Jewelry incubation
"Heart of Light"

Quote of the Day: "Divine fires do not blaze each day, but an artist functions in their afterglow hoping for their recurrence." -- Ned Rorem, American Composer

I started working on a new canvas today. It was already primed with black gesso. I took my squeeze bottle filled with thinned M. Graham titanium white and made maybe 10 strokes. I think it's done! The hard part will be filling the holes in the black and varnishing it to a uniform finish.

Friday, October 25, 2002
(9:00 am)

Well, my new painting is pretty much shot. I didn't have the quantity of good black paint I needed so I tried to depend on black gesso, then on Liquitex medium viscosity ivory black. Big mistake. I may have to paint over and start again. No, I will have to paint over. . .

Quote of the Day: "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
-- Carl Gustav Jung

Saturday, October 26, 2002
(10:42 pm)

Painting again. Lots of angst in this one. I seem to be reevaluating everything as I go. I've had friends have terrible problems lately. Bush is still president. Elections coming up. I feel so discouraged. I continue to paint, though.

Quote of the Day: "Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun." -- Pablo Picasso

Sometimes it's hard to write here. This is one of those times.

Number 3 in my series of 3 X 5 cards.  Collage on  140 lb. Whatman W/C paper

Sunday, October 27, 2002
(10:52 pm)

My new painting is finished, I do believe. I'm in the midst of gessoing my bowling ball. I'm going to do something different with it and put it back out front so someone can steal it again.

My jack o'lanterns are starting to sag. The insides are getting all black and smutty looking. I guess I put them out too soon. The weather might have something to do with it. This weekend has been warm. I could still stand to see a little more sun.

I'm still waiting for submissions for the contributor of the day feature. Pass the word around. I guess if all else fails, I can dig back into my mail art archives.

This is an electonic recreation of my latest acrylic painting. The original is
24 X 30.

Question:  What's black and white and red all over?
"Answer: A Newspaper"

Tuesday, October 29, 2002
(8:34 am)

I was so busy and pissed off at the world in general that I forgot to make an entry here yesterday. My leg was bothering me quite a lot. I kept butting heads with ignorance and arrogance all day long. By bedtime, I had to have a nice Amaretto cappucino with a shot of Kahlua in it. If you haven't tired this particular combination, please allow me to recommend it highly. Actually, it was more like a latte than a cappucino. I made it with a Land of Lakes mix. I'm going to go to my favorite coffee bar and try it that way too. You think they might have a bottle of Kahlua behind there?

They finally had the Michael Moore segment on Donahue last night. Michael is right. Everyone should listen to this man. As long as the economic inequalities exist in this country, indeed, in any country, as long as the rich get richer by taking advantage of the poor, by causing them more travail, then violence will reign. The Clinton/Republican Congress "Welfare reform" has done more to up the ante on violence and has created more disinfranchisement than anything since Ronald Reagan's deregulation frenzy in the 80's. Go to Michael's website. Buy his book Stupid White Men, see his movie, "Bowling for Columbine." Vote!

Let me start a rumor. . . The plane crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone: caused by some nefarious Republican entity? Think of who could have been on the plane -- Ted Kennedy. He avoided another one. He's harder to kill than his brothers. . . That should get the conspiracy buffs running at full throttle.

Thursday, October 31, 2002
(9:00 am)


It's halloween. George W. Bush is coming to town. How perfect is that?

Quote of the Day: "You know you've achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away." -- Antoine de Saint Exupery

My jack o'lantern died. The alien gourd is barely hanging in there. We bought another pumpkin for seventy-five cents at Wal-Mart last night. It's a bit misshapen, but I think that can work to my advantage if I carve it right. That's on the agenda for this afternoon.

I know, given the opportunity, that the Republicans would do the same thing, but turning Paul Wellstone's memorial service into a political rally, regardless of how much Senator Wellstone himself would have approved, was wrong. Had it been only a gathering for the Democratic faithful, I see nothing wrong with it, but Governor Ventura is an Independent and Trent Lott is certainly not a liberal Democrat. I could see in the faces of those who weren't party member how uncomfortable they were in that situation. Governor Ventura walked out, as I'm sure others did as well. It was an insensitive, despicable thing to do. Apologies should be forthcoming.

I can't belive they did that! Then again, I can't believe Jesse Ventura is the governor of Minnesota. . .

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