Monday, March 28, 2022

Late Post on a Rainy Day

 Late Post on a Rainy Day

The first task of my morning is feeding the cats. Buddy, and The Skinamalink want their tuna, and Ol' Buddy is howlin' and meowlin' like a police car going code three. Once the catfish mafia has been appeased I get to work on the coffee. Then I sit in the dark in the living room waiting for the brew. Did I metion that waking up is a long process? Some days are foggier than others. Like this morning. Ten minutes after turning on the coffee maker I was hearing the wrong sound. I went in and looked at the pot, and it had barely an inch of coffee in it. The lid to the carafe was lying there on the counter. The clever little valve that lets you sneak out the pot, and pour a cup while the machine is still brewing did its job. The whole machine was clogged up with a hot flooded slurry of coffee grounds. You can't dump that in the sink.
 So five o'clock in the morning found me barefoot in my pajamas, hosing out the coffee machine onto the backyard lawn. Then I had to clean up the mess in the kitchen, and start brewing a new pot. I've had better mornings.
But anyway.
It's been a quiet week...
But this isn't Lake Woebegone.  Or maybe it is. If I click through the various bookmarks on the desktop I come away pretty darn depressed over the state of things. World, hell, handbasket, all that stuff. The insanity is just breathtaking, this hell bent desire for the un-making of the world. 
And I have no idea at all what kind of nonsense is being vomited, and shat of the television. 
But here at the house things have been peaceful. Daily life for Mary and me is good.  We have much to be grateful for. By the time I finished this morning's coffee the rain had begun to fall. Rain is always welcome here in So Cal.

 Work on the stone is coming along slowly. I have several ideas competing with one another right now, so the rock stays put until one plan prevails. The rain is supposed to be over by tomorrow. Maybe by next week I'll make a hole in the stone. We'll see.


Monday, March 21, 2022

Another Shot at Fortune and Fame

 Another Shot at Fortune and Fame

Mon. 3/21
It is Spring, although it doesn't feel like it yet. Last night I finally got around to re-setting the clocks. It occurred to me that this may well be the last time I have to do it, and that thought brought me a tiny moment of elation: liberated from some mandated nonsense that no one asked for, no one wanted, and no one liked. 
It takes most people about two weeks to get adjusted to the time change. Think about it. That's two weeks twice a year, or just about one month per year. Eight per cent of our lives are spent being unsure of what time it is. By the time you're sixty years old, you've spent five years of your life like this. That's gotta take a toll. Maybe after a year of no clock stress the world will heal and sanity will become popular again.
Friday, 3/18/22 
The week has been less than eventful here at the Suburban Hermitage, and that's a good thing.  We had a modest turnout for the ten year anniversary of the So Cal RatRod Ride. Even so, it was a good ride and a good day. Our friends Lee and Cory came down from Simi Valley. A new couple from Fontana came out for their first cruise, and they enjoyed the heck out of it. There is good to be found if we look to see it.
And work on the new stone is underway. The material is softer than I'd like, but the form that seems to be thus far emerging is not going to demand thin cuts, or elaborate open work. We'll see. 


I closed last week's post with some grumbling about not having my work accepted for the art show in Brea. Of course, I was goofing about the indignation and outrage. Stuff happens. Truth to tell, though,  it did deflate my enthusiasm for a couple days.
But, (just like in the title of this post) I have another opportunity, another show in another municipality, this one, Santa Fe Springs. And the first thing I saw this morning was the note saying I'm accepted into the show. Nothing happens until the end of April, but it's still a good way to start out a morning.  So, it's on to the task, now with renewed enthusiasm. Fame and fortune await.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Back to Work


 Today started at two O'clock in the morning. I made the bad decision to say screw it, and got up out of bed, and made coffee. I sat in the dark in the living room until I heard the pot slurping and gurgling out the last few drops, took a w&b, poured a cup, and curled up on the futon back in the den. Still, way too early.
It's Monday night after a day of getting nothing done.
I'm sitting here, Monday, the 7th of March, the same day that I put up last week's post. but I'm writing a post that will go up a week from today, on Monday the 14th which will be today for the reader. But if I mention something that happened Sunday, it won't be yesterday, but rather Sunday the 6th, a week ago from yesterday. Time is confusing.

 I got last week's post posted. and made the tour through the bookmarks, and read the usual reads. It's all pretty damn depressing. Just like the last three years, now. The world is breaking. There is nothing I can do to stop it. We make what modest preparations we can.

Ironically enough, I suppose it's also time to grab what worldly pleasures remain, and enjoy them while we are able. Eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow... 

Or yesterday.

Enough goofing around. Here's a cool link that I found on the origins of these five pieces of stone:

Anza Borrego Stone  


Wednesday 3/9

The base is flat; the center of gravity is right where it ought to be, and the surface has most of the natural curves and contours, but all shaved and sanded smooth like a chalkboard. A blank canvas- A day spent drawing and erasing. 


I mentioned getting myself hung up in rules that I just make up. Sometimes it's odd notions that don't make any sense other than that they somehow just seemed to be there.

One of the "rules" is drawing out a sketch, and then a plan on paper before beginning work on the stone.

I'm terrible at this. I don't draw, or sketch well. It's hard enough to translate an irregular three-dimensional object into a two dimensional drawing. Trying to draw what I think I can make out of that odd three-D object is just outside my skill set. I need to see, touch, feel, and do the sketching right on the contours of the  stone. Another weird case of having to give myself permission to do what I want to do.

Thursday. 3/10

I spend the first hour or so of every morning in the dark, curled up  in the corner of the futon in the den. I have the old brown comforter over my lap, shielding my hands from the heat of a sixteen ounce mug of strong, black brew. The coffee catches me just at the edge of dozing, and holds me from falling asleep. I achieve consciousness slowly; from many years of habit become ritual, the first stirring begins, "Our Father who art in Heaven..."

There's more to the morning meditation than the Lord's Prayer. All in all it takes over an hour before nature calls, or I've left the quiet space in my head for thoughts that address, "What shall I do with this day?"

That means a refill, and a move from the futon to the desk. As much as I despise facebarf, it's one of the first few stops I make in the morning. This to see if there is a note from my brother in Thailand, or any of the gang in the bicycle club.Weather, then mail, then facebarf...

Remember the peyote flower from last week? I got those plants, and some mushrooms, and some LSD from an acquaintance who went by the nic-name,"Termite". Termeezy  was one of those latter day hippie gypsies. He lived out of his van, doing sound at underground festivals, and just enough trade in psychedelics to keep gas in the tank, and food in his belly. He used to come to a lot of the biking events around the beach cities.

 About a year ago, he disappeared. There were rumors that he died, but we heard from a relative that he was in a convalescent after being very ill. 

Thursday morning when I clicked on facebarf, there was one of those prompts. "Memories from three years ago". 

It was a note from Termeezy:

 "You awake?" 

was all he had written. 

So I clicked over to his page. There was a post from his aunt. "Nick" (his real name) had died from the covid just the day before. Odd. He had been critically ill for nine months before it took him.


Next stop of the morning was email. I heard back from the city of Brea. They did not accept any of the three stones into the "Made in California" show. So there was sixty bucks down the toilet for nothing. 

Rejection. Look, I'm a grownup, and all that. I can accept the rejection, as graciously as I can receive an award.

That's bullshit.

I don't need to make snarky comments about  the cretinous, lowlife scumfuck gutter trash shit for brains assholes they had on the selection committee. I'll just assume they had a different theme in mind for the show. Or something.

(buncha' assholes)

So that's out of the way. Back to work. Spring is almost here.




Wednesday 3/2/22

The peyote is in bloom. These photos were taken about an hour apart. There's some new growth  showing on the plants.

Many posts ago I brought up the subject of amateur artists. I noted that there are two different definitions for "amateur". The word can be dismissive, as in: "That's a really amateur (poorly done) effort". Or it can be admiring, as in: "It's the amateur mechanics (those who work for the love of working)  who restore these beautiful old machines." 

One of the problems of being a self-taught amateur, is that it's very hard to know how good your work is. It's impossible to take a disinterested look at something you've invested serious amounts of effort in creating. Your loved ones will always give you kudos. Your friends will never say, "Dude, that thing blows chunks."

The only way to find out is to put your work out to the public.  When I began doing this in the 1990's, that meant finding juried shows, and entering them, or approaching galleries. Approaching galleries took a portfolio of 4x6 photographs that you could carry with you should you get the attention of a gallery owner. I bought myself a nice Minolta SLR film camera just in time for film cameras to become obsolete.

Now we have the internet. People who can speak freely will speak honestly. This is from GAB AI (name redacted)



So here we go again. This oddly shaped chunk of California desert weighed in at 79 pounds.  


Yesterday I hauled the rock into the middle of the yard, plugged in the angle grinder, and spit stone dust all over the place. It didn't take long to get the surface shaved clean. I levered the stone up onto the table, turned it every angle, and way until I had it where I wanted. I got it propped upright, and scribed a pencil line around the bottom. The rock was ready for the base cut. 


I've had the devil's own time getting this part of the job right. Whatever knack I had for it seems to have vanished. The rock was firmly wedged up, and strapped down on the table. The base line was  plumb vertical. I put the bow saw to the line, and slowly began the cut. This chunk is softer than I'd like, but it doesn't seem mushy like the white stone from  a couple of projects back. 

 Who you callin' mushy?

 The cut started clean and straight, but one half of the material is harder than the other. The harder stone  pushed the blade to one side, and the cut came out with a big ditch in the middle. This happened with the red stone as well, and it was a pain to correct. So that's the first job of the day today: getting the bottom flat...

Like this. It took two days to get it right, but it's right.

Now comes the part where nothing happens. Stare, sketch, stare, sketch, stare...

 I got ideas. Several of them.