25 November 2005

Bored on Black Friday

It is a sunny, beautiful, albeit only 26° and windy, day.

Looking around at some art blogs I discovered this. Desperate for some inspiration I jumped in and took the quiz. This was what it said about me (and after all, it is all about me, no?):

You are a Rose:

You are creative, sensual, passionate, and bold. You pour your heart into everything that you do. Alluring and gifted with strong sex appeal, you very easily draw people in with your animal magnetism.

Symbolsim: The rose has always been a flower heavily loaded with symbolism. In general it symbolizes desire, passion, beauty, and enchantment.

Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

20 November 2005

Tag, you’re it.

My psoas muscle is really acting up (see entry P&P). So, I decided to make small stuff that only keeps me sitting for brief periods of time. Then I get up and pace the house or walk out to the woods. Or I stretch out on the couch and nap.

Here, then, are 3 of the 7 tags I made today.

“Creamed,” “Ordinary Woman,” and “5B”

The first one I made was “5B”. Then I made “Creamed.” And then “Ordinary Woman.” Each tag is 4 and 3/4" long x 2 and 3/8" wide.

The photo is of Barbara Armonas, who by the way, was far from ordinary. Unless you consider surviving 8 years in Gulag in Siberia ordinary. “I am a very ordinary woman from an ordinary family.” are the opening words of a piece she wrote for a 1961 article in LIFE magazine.

Music of the day: Rapoon. “The Kirghiz Light” and “What do You Suppose?” All art was created while this stuff was playing. You can get several Rapoon albums yourself, free, at Free Albums Galore.

19 November 2005

Who is doing this?

I don’t think I have this consistently done creative stuff every day for this long. (What a sentence!) It’s probably not true. However, I feel like a feather on the wind. Just floating effortlessly, doing this stuff. Having a good time. Not watching television.

I painted the color blocks last night before I went to bed. Waiting long enough for the paint to dry is something I have rarely been able to do. My Aries nature kicks in and I get impatient. I want to see “it” done and I muck it up in the process. This time I am in the process and the process includes waiting to allow something to dry.

Veddy interestink.

Here, then , in my journal entry for today...

BTW: Click on any image to see a larger version.

Materials used: Cheap-o (not a brand, just cheap, crap) craft paints. Graphite pencil. 2 rubber stamps: “shadow” or block stamp and feather stamp. Lettuce Adirondack ink and Sea Grass Sea Shells ink by Ranger. A text snip from a magazine. Brown Sharpie marker. On black journal paper.

18 November 2005

Channeling Lisa Vollrath

Am I channeling Lisa Vollrath or is she channeling me?

This morning, at 10:14 to be exact, I began a 10 minute “morning pages” entry in my journal.

I didn’t really have a clue about how to begin. I looked around my desk space (I don’t have a studio, I live in a one room house. OK. One and a half.) and noticed the new, unused rubber stamps I had recently purchased. The Celtic knot circle appealed to me so, I grabbed it, inked it up, and smacked the pages with it, 3 times.

I stared at those 3 circles and white pages, then I glanced out my window to watch the Evening Grosbeaks (Hesperiphona vespertina: from my 1980 edition of A Field Guide to the Birds of North America or Coccothraustes vespertinus: from the American Ornithologist’s Union 1998) at my bird feeder. I picked up yellow ink which I daubed into the center of the circles. And so began...

The whole piece is a 10 minute sketch (I’m even a bit reluctant to post it because it is a sketch and not a finished piece); a quick free-flow without thinking or re-working, based on Natalie Goldberg’s/Julia Cameron’s “morning pages” idea for writers.

At 12:34 my email client received Lisa’s email.

This week's “Art Attack” prompt: Circles.


13 November 2005

Plutonium-239 & Quaaludes

November 13, 1974 US anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood was killed in a car crash many suspect was deliberately caused by the Kerr-McGee nuclear company.

This site seems to have the most information about Karen. It also has many links to other sources of information about her and the Kerr-McGee plant. None of the info is very current as the investigation was closed and the litigation ended. So, the mysteries remain.

But where, oh, where are the files she was bringing to her
meeting with New York Times reporter David Burnham?

12 November 2005

Number 9

I made this last night. I was going over to check the fire before heading off to la-la-land. I spotted through the glass doors a hunk of something shining. Then I remembered I had tossed a soymilk container in the stove.

Why? You ask. To see what would happen. What happened was the container burned away leaving a thin layer of metal. Must line the “TetraPak®”. I have no idea what it’s made from. I can't believe a company that makes soymilk would line a container with aluminium.


I fished it out and sort of “leafed” the blue cardstock card with it. The rest of the card was made by stenciling (numbers and dots) and pouncing with inks. Then I glued on a bit of old negative I found on the street. I finished it by using a large postal collage stamp.

Number 9, is an OCDish phrase that runs through my brain quite often. Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9...

It’s from the opening to Revolution 9. A collage of sounds by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. For those of you who may not know: John was born on October 9, 1940. Number 9.

I'm listening to Global Communication "9 39" from: 76 14

11 November 2005


...I’m learning to love it.

I'm home this evening making cards. I hadn’t thought of using orange but it seems my desk was littered with it. I made cards from the litter. After I made several I realized it was the prompt word/color for this week’s Art Attack from Lisa Vollrath.


This card was made with ivory cardstock I got from somewhere, paint chips from my local hardware store, a stamp from Hero Arts for the background and a stamp from Magenta for the flower. Several inks from Ranger’s Distress Ink line were used: peeled paint; mustard seed; and tea dye. The flower stamp was trimmed and stuck on with a bit of foam tape I got to stick my external hard drive’s transformer to the wall. Seemed like a good idea to use it on the card. I don’t remember what color ink I used on the flower. I just grabbed one and was using it to test some new stamps I bought. Rust, I think, from Adirondack.

While writing this my neighbor PS called to say he was hearing coyotes howling up behind his house.

We had three around last year and hadn’t heard nor seen them all spring, summer or autumn, until now.

I'm listening to Leo Kottke "Orange Room" from: Burnt Lips

Veteran’s Day

Veteran: From Latin vetus, meaning “old.”

If this species (Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo) isn’t “vetus” I don't know what is.

A real gift for me. I have seen them in the area for several years and have wanted them to come down into my fields. Well, this week they did. Or, more correctly, this week I noticed. They may have been coming here longer.

Three of them. Like the three wise men. I keep finding piles of frankincense and myrrh. No gold yet. Lots of bronze, all over their gorgeous feathers.

These pictures were not easy to get. These birds are skittish in the extreme. I took these photos through a glass door and a screen using hand-held binoculars (Zeiss 7x42 B) up to the camera (Nikon CoolPix 800) lens for a telephoto lens. Jeesh!

Also of note: I have easily 50+- Juncos feeding on the ground. I don’t recall ever seeing so many here.

Woke up again around 3:00 AM. Went out to see if I could catch any meteors. I saw about 8 in an hour. Then I tried to just curl up and sleep outside. It was quiet and cold. My crappy sleeping bag kept me from sleeping. Crappy because I have to struggle with it all the time to get comfortable.

I thought it was a good idea when I bought it a few years ago. It’s a 2-in-1 job. I spend more time wrestling with it than anything else.

As I was writing this I stopped and took the sucker apart. I will only use the heavier bag from now on and test to see if it will be warm enough. If not, I’ ll sell it and get a new bag. I need a rectangular bag as wearing the hood of the mummy bag drives me batty. I need to hear well when I’m out. The hood on my quilted, lined sweatshirt works very well for warmth and doesn’t rustle every time I move. I can hear well with it on.

Turkeys don’t have to consider all this when they sleep out.

I'm listening to Dory Previn "The Veteran’s Big Parade" from: On My Way To Where

10 November 2005

P & P

(Long ago, in Boston, while riding the Red Line past a large sign, a friend said to me: If there were no Ps in the alphabet that sign would say “Ublic Arking.” How true.)

Definitions of Precipitation (from: USA Today):
  • Rain: Falling drops of water larger than 0.02 inch in diameter. In forecasts, “rain” usually implies that the rain will fall steadily over a period of time. (See “showers” below).
  • Light rain: Falls at the rate of 0.10 inch or less an hour.
  • Moderate rain: Falls at the rate of 0.11 to 0.30 inch an hour.
  • Heavy rain: Falls at the rate of 0.30 inch an hour or more.
  • Drizzle: Falling drops of water smaller than 0.02 inch in diameter. They appear to float in air currents, but unlike fog, do fall to the ground.
  • Light drizzle: Drizzle with visibility of more than 5/8 of a mile.
  • Moderate drizzle: Drizzle with visibility from 5/16 to 5/8 of a mile.
  • Heavy drizzle: Drizzle with visibility of less than 5/16 of a mile.
  • Showers: Rain that falls intermittently over a small area. The rain from an individual shower can be heavy or light, but doesn't cover a large area or last more than an hour or so.
  • Snow: Falling ice composed of crystals in complex hexagonal forms. Snow forms mainly when water vapor turns directly to ice without going through the liquid stage, a process called sublimation.
  • Snowflakes: Aggregations of snow crystals.
  • Snow flurries: Light showers of snow that do not cover large areas and do not fall steadily for long periods of time.
  • Snow grains: Very small snow crystals. The ice equivalent of drizzle.
  • Snow pellets: White, opaque ice particles that form as ice crystals fall through cloud droplets that are below freezing but still liquid (supercooled). The cloud droplets freeze to the crystals forming a lumpy mass. Scientists call snow pellets “graupel.” Such pellets falling from thunderstorms are often called “soft hail.”
  • Sleet: Drops of rain or drizzle that freeze into ice as they fall. They are usually smaller than 0.30 inch in diameter. Official weather observations list sleet as “ice pellets.” In some parts of the country “sleet” refers to a mixture of ice pellets and freezing rain.
  • Freezing rain or drizzle: Falling rain or drizzle that cools below 32°F, but does not turn to ice in the air. The water is “supercooled.” When the drops hit anything they instantly turn into ice.
  • Ice storm: A storm with large amounts of freezing rain that coats trees, power lines and roadways with ice. Often the ice is heavy enough to pull down trees and power lines.
  • Hail: Falling ice in roughly round shapes at least 0.20 inch in diameter. Hail comes from thunderstorms and is larger than sleet. Hailstones form when upward moving air -- updrafts -- in a thunderstorm keep pieces of graupel from falling. Drops of supercooled water hit and freeze to the graupel, causing it to grow. When the balls of ice become too heavy for the updrafts to continue supporting them, they fall as hailstones. Sleet, in contrast, consists of raindrops that freeze on the way down.
  • Thunderstorm: A rain or snow shower in which there is lightning. Thunder is always caused by lightning. In general, the upward and downward winds, updrafts and downdrafts, in thunderstorms are more violent than those in ordinary showers.
  • Thundersnow: A thunderstorm with snow instead of rain falling on the ground.
  • Severe thunderstorm: A thunderstorm with winds of 57 mph or faster or hail more than 3/4 inch in diameter reaching the ground. Severe thunderstorms can also produce tornadoes.
I’d call what we’ve got going: moderate rain...since about 9:00 PM last night and still raining at 5:49 AM.

As for the back thing I alluded to in an earlier post: Psoas muscle. Actually, a pretty cool hunk of fibers.

According to Trail Guide to the Body: “The iliacus and psoas major, together called the iliopsoas, are major hip flexors. The long, slender psoas major is located deep to the abdominal contents and stretches from the lumbar vertebrae to the lesser trochanter. The stocky iliacus is located deep to the abdomen in the iliac fossa.”

I love the image of the long and slender and the stocky: It’s like Mutt and Jeff in perfect hamony.

Bottom line: I sit too much.

Mutt and Jeff in “Dog Gone” (1926)

I'm listening to Annette Funicello “Muscle Beach Party” from: Muscle Beach Party

08 November 2005

Still Rainin'

Only this times it is rainin' meteors!

5:04 am: I'm just in from being bundled in my sleeping bag, flat on my back, on my chaise longue. I am the only one on the road who only sets one up in autumn and leaves it out all winter. I use it, of course, for star gazing, not sunbathing. Though around here sunbathing would turn rapidly into bloodletting, for all the blood sucking insects we have (blackflies and mosquitos most notably.)


Back to the stars. It is time for the Taurids. This shower occurs each year, when the Earth passes through the Taurid Meteor Complex, which is a huge stream of stuff orbiting in interplanetary space. There’s a theory out there of a ‘resonant meteoroid swarm’ (say that 10 times fast!) within the Taurid Complex. The theory essentially predicts that in certain years, the Earth is hit by a greater number (than in average years) of meteoroids capable of producing Taurid fireballs. 2005 is such a year. Oh, my.

This morning I woke up at 3:40 having a hot flash, (they are good for something!) and saw stars out my skylight. Clear! Being roasting hot, I seized the opportunity to get out of bed in the cold house (the fire had long since burned out), grab my sleeping bag, don a coat, lined jeans, and a hat. I took my red-lensed flashlight and headed out.

I counted a total of 24 meteors from about 4:00 'til 5:00. One was a major fireball. I called out involuntarily and to no one but the heavens above: “Wow! Holy Jeez!” It was a three stager. Long, wide tail, then a large burst and then two more bursts, with the second being the real head whumper! No exaggeration. I'd guess nearly as bright as a full moon.

The wind picked up while I was out. I only came in because my legs were going numb (from a chronic back problem with which I am wrestling) and the clouds were rolling in obscuring my view.

All in all, a great slow-paced show with a well timed climax. Better than any fireworks display! Well, not better maybe, but a real thrill in a cosmic, who-am-I-what-am-I-doing-here sort of way.

I'm listening to Jonn Serrie "The Stars, Like Dust" from: The Stargazer’s Journey