Monday, July 30, 2007

The Web

Found after the rain.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol.103

Welcome back.

his week we'll be taking a one week diversion. We'll be looking a two of our recent works, previously seen as unadorned pieces, now fully framed.

The first is our most recent work, finished last week. When last seen, it appeared as it did in the photo directly below.

Here is how it now appears in its modestly priced photo frame. (This piece is 5x7.)

I thought that the grooves continued the lines in the building. It works fairly well and saved the cost of an expensive frame.

Next up is the work immediatel prior, the Arizona used car lot. When last seen, it appeared as it does in the photo directly below.

I've added a frame that I finished myself. It was bare poplar, I believe. I've finished it by adding acrylic red and metallic gold to some paste wax. Then I rubbed the mixture onto the frame, rubbing it to a sheen after allowing for some drying time. The photo does not capture the metallic sheen but it is there. It is seen directly below.

Of course, framing is an art in itself. My efforts here are just illustrations of possible solutions, but I have no great knowledge of framing.

That's it for now, see you next week with a new piece.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I just couldn't let this go by without comment. In a time when Bushco blunders dominate the news (along with Lindsay Lohan's latest exploits), every once in a while something amazing rears its beautiful head. In this instance, a utility is actually destroying its power-generating dam. And the removal is expected to raise the numbers of the declining salmon.


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The largest dam removal in the Pacific Northwest in 40 years began on Tuesday with blasts of 4,000 pounds of explosives, the dam's owner, Portland General Electric, said.

Eight feet of the 47-foot-tall Marmot Dam was removed by Tuesday afternoon and over the next two months there will be five more blasts, along with jackhammers working daily, company spokesman Mark Fryburg said. ...

When the dams were built, they ruined a natural fish run that biologists say the fish will rediscover and repopulate once the dams are removed, Fryburg said.

The river is home to winter steelhead, spring Chinook and coho salmon, all listed on the federal Endangered Species Act, Portland General Electric said.

"Steelhead and salmon need free-flowing rivers to survive," said Mike Myrick, a member of the Sandy River Chapter of Northwest Steelheaders. "Removal of Marmot Dam is a historic moment in salmon recovery taking place in the backyard of metropolitan Portland." ...

This is a truly notable event. I would hope that it becomes a model for other similar facilities. We can't continue down our current path.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Bounty of Tomatoes

The photo above shows my 2 tomato vines filled with ripe grape tomatoes. They are growing in a large planter on my porch. We've already picked a good number. I've never had ripe tomatoes this early but the number is also unusually large. Global warming? My compost? Maybe it's all that rain. Maybe it's all of these things. Meanwhile I'll sit back and enjoy a good tomato.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol.102

Welcome back.

This week we'll be continuing with our 5x7 painting of the new Gehry building in New York City. It is seen in the photo directly below.

When last we were together, the painting appeared as it does in the photo directly below.

Since that time I have continued working on the painting.

I have added the two remaining trees, to the right of the first. They have been
painted in the same manner, simple shapes with lit and shadowed areas in the same colors as the building behind them. They provide an interesting contrast to the many straight parallel lines of the structure. And that's about it. I'm done with this one.

The photo of the current state of the painting is seen in the photo directly below.

That's it for now, see you next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Say It With Clay

The other day, the 8 year old boran2 boy and I used that bake-in-the-oven clay. We each made one item. He made a dragon, a favorite subject of his drawings. I made a circa late 1930s automobile. The clay worked out great and a good time was had by all.

Can you tell which is which?

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I scratched my poison ivy blotches for the 700th time that day before looking through my windshield to see him. He stood just beside the post office door. Despite the 80 degree temperature he wore a winter coat.

Sometimes slow to grasp the incredibly obvious, it was only after a long moment that I realized he was panhandling. It's not often that one sees such an individual in my mostly middle class neighborhood.

I walked the few steps from the car to the post office door carrying my package. Walking by him across the pavement, I turned to look. He turned my way and looked back defiantly. But my gaze was not intended to convey contempt. Instead, I was wondering exactly what series of events brought this individual to his current circumstances.

Passing through the door, I resolved to hand him a few dollars on my way out. Walking in, I made my way immediately to the clerk who was thankfully unoccupied. After taking care of my business with the clerk, I grabbed a few priority envelopes and made my way back to the door.

Emerging back into the bright sunlight, I looked over to the spot where he had stood. To my great surprise, he was gone. In the brief time that I was in the building he had disappeared. This was confirmed by a quick visual survey of the area. Where had he gone?

I felt bad that I hadn't taken a moment earlier to hand him some cash.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol.101

Welcome back.

This week we'll be continuing with our 5x7 painting of the new Gehry building in New York City. It is seen in the photo directly below.

When last we were together, the painting appeared as it does in the photo directly below.

Since that time I have continued to work on the painting.

I've sharpened the window bands a bit. I've also painted over the road and added a few faint highlighted areas. The curb has been lightened to add more contrast.

To the far left, I added the first of the 3 trees. Painting it over the building took a little courage because I wasn't sure that it would look right. I'm now ready to do the other 2, which I should have for you next week.

The current state of the painting is seen in the photo directly below.

That's about it for now, see you next week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fruit Of The Vine

No, not that kind of vine, the fruit our tomato vines. I picked the first ripe grape tomatoes today, at least a month earlier than normal. Was it the compost or perhaps global warming? I'll never know for sure. But they were some of the sweetest that I've ever had. (Next bunch I'll share with Madame boran.)

On another front, the great poison ivy debacle of 2007 rages on. One step forward, two steps back. And so it goes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lowering The Bar

NYT link

Senator Vitter, he of DC Madame list "fame", is now generally seen for the hypocrite that he truly is. Against abortion and gay marriage, it was his aim to maintain a "proper" societal morality. For everyone. Except himself.

And yet some still can't see the forest for the trees. Lowering the bar for expectations of those who would impose "high" standards on the rest of us is this individual:

In New Orleans, meanwhile, the madam of a high-priced brothel that was shut down by federal authorities in 2002 told a local television station, WDSU, that Mr. Vitter was one of her clients in the 1990s. The woman, Jeanette Maier, called him “one of the nicest and most honorable men I’ve ever met.” Mr. Vitter’s office did not immediately return a call for comment Tuesday night.

Apparently the term honor means little to his enablers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Plant Stuff

We're about to pick our first grape tomatoes (very early for this neck of the woods) and other things are humming rght along. I've already used some of our scallions (or green onions) to add to cream cheese rather than paying for the fancy pre-scallioned Philly stuff. Quite tasty and highly recommended. And scallions are easy to grow. I do nothing to ours, they just come back every year. They survive all the dry times with no additional care.

And then I've got all these young plants that may be melons or squash or last year's pumpkins reseeded. I'll post a photo later on.

Ah, if I could just get over my fear of the poison ivy which is rampant, and still evident in the blotches on my feet and arms. Hmmm.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Your Assistance Please

Poison ivy has run rampant in my neck of the woods. It is now the second consecutive summer where I've suffered its effects, and I've lived in this house for 13 years with no prior similar experience. And suffer is the word.

Anybody got an old family recipe for a sav or cream? I've got one of those expensive new-fangled scrubs and it has helped somewhat but I feel as though my body has been sandpapered. Your comments are appreciated.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol.100 Blogiversary!!!

Welcome back.

At the outset, I like to thank all those that have stopped by to read any of these many posts. In blog time, 100 anything is a real milestone and I couldn't have continued doing this for 2 years without your support. Thank you. On to the next 100.

This week we'll be continuing with our 5x7 painting of the new Gehry building in New York City. It is seen in the photo directly below.

When last we were together, the painting appeared as it does in the photo directly below.

Since that time, I have continued working on the painting.

I've lightened the lit surfaces (rightward facing) on the bands of windows. I've also darkened the shadowed areas of the bands a bit.

The sky has been painted over in a shade similar to the lit areas of the building but somewhat brighter. It now seems consistent with the lighting as well as the colors of other elements of the painting.

The areas below the building have been painted in. The street is a bit too dark and uniform and will change slightly in subsequent installments. The pavement/sidewalk area has also received paint in a color similar to the lit areas of the building. Yet too be addressed are the trees and a few other details.

The current state of the painting is seen in the photo directly below.

That's about it for now, see you next week for volume 101.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Please ReLease Me

In the quest for new and more environmentally acceptable energy sources, the Bush administration does the only thing one could reasonably expect:  pursuing a course that rewards the oil industry with additional oil/gas drilling leases.  (This, despite the federal government's spotty history of collecting payments due upon prior leases.)

This has given rise to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity directed at the legality of such policy.

ENS link

WASHINGTON, DC, July 5, 2007 (ENS) - A court challenge to the Bush administration's nationwide plan governing the sale of all offshore oil and gas leases in federal waters over the next five years is facing a legal challenge from the Center for Biological Diversity.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, raises claims under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

The relevant federal agency, the Minerals Management Service, approved the lease plan only last week.  Some 21 lease sales are currently scheduled.

The lawsuit alleges that even though the leasing program will result in more greenhouse gas emissions than virtually any other single federal approval, the administration did not study the environmental consequences of emissions from the program.

"This plan is the culmination of the Cheney energy policy," said Kassie Siegel, climate program director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "It will further our national addiction to fossil fuels, contribute to global warming, and at the same time directly despoil the habitat of polar bears and other imperiled wildlife."

Interestingly enough, the MMS posting about the comment period for the draft impact statement on leasing policy in the Gulf of New Mexico does not click through to a place where one might actually leave comments.  Instead, after clicking, one is taken to a section setting forth details about the agency's hurricane policies.  Surely this wasn't deliberate.  (cough, cough.)  Instead, one must slog through sections of the Federal Register.

Best quote:

"Short of sending Dick Cheney to Alaska to personally club polar bear cubs to death, the administration could not have come up with a more environmentally destructive plan for endangered marine mammals," said Brendan Cummings, ocean program director of the Center. "Yet the administration did not even analyze, much less attempt to avoid, the impacts of oil development on endangered wildlife."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Another Photo Experiment

Here's another photo experiment that I did when I had perhaps too much time on my hands. It is a closeup of my jeans or dungarees as we used to call them back in the day. (The day being some 25 years ago.) The weave is interesting.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 4th!

The entire SLB staff wishes a happy (and safe) 4th of July to all.

Hopefully, at a time not too far off in the future, we can actually begin to restore this nation with appropriate policies, both foreign and domestic. And hopefully there will be something left worth restoring.

Our best wishes to all.