Monday, August 29, 2005

Monday Monday

-Wondering how my nephew in Biloxi has faired.
-Did the ever-dreaded back-to-school supply shopping today.
-Updated the DulciNET jam tune for this week.
-Got a poop-load of portraits that people want "adjusted" in PS.
One mom wanted all record of her sons blemishes erased. Honestly, I don't see any, but...I think she is "like that" anyway. Poor kid!

I go to pick up Blake from Camp tomorrow. He will be home for good now that camp shuts down. They finished clean up on Saturday and then all went down to Tillamook (Famous Cheese factory town) for a staff retreat. Then I will have mountains of crusty, skanky, post-camp laundry to do before the first day of school on Thursday.

School Rant
Now it wouldn't be August without Michelle going off on a rant regarding the state of public education, so sit down, shut up and buckle up, cuz here we go:

The new (NEW!!!!) super intendent of our school district decided at the beginning of the summer that the schools should start here a week early. The businesses in town were pissed, because this is a huge revenue week for them before the advent of winter, and this removes half of their labour force during that crucial week. This super intendent has alot ot learn. He is the kind of administrator that believes parents are all idiots, and they should just shut up and do what they are told, because the school employs "Proper Trained Educators" who know better than a parent, what their child should be taught and learn and believe.

He is an excellent reminder to me, of why I chose to keep my kids out of the public system.
The Proper Educators:

-Who else gets a job where they are guaranteed employement despite their work ethic?
(Called "Tenure")

-Who else gets 3 months paid off per year during the summer?

I am a firm believer that tenure should be abolished straight away. Then we would see some serious changes in the school system. Teachers who don't teach and who don't give a rip, would be in dire straights - and well they should be.

And here is an interesting factoid:
Private school expensive? (Without vouchers, yes it is.
I would like to have my tax $$ back to pay for it thank you very much.)

Just see how much it would cost you to send your kid out of district to a different public school without the blessing of the current district they are in? Then compare the cost of the public schools flat tuition to that of your average private school.

- It's cheaper to attend a private school than it is to attend a public school.
And, the private school generally offers a better education - provided the teachers are all state certified and the private school is accredited.

If vouchers for education were permitted, you would also see severe panic and subsequent change in the public school systems. For the better!

I do not believe more money is needed for our schools.
I believe accountability is needed.
These people owe us an explanation and an account for what they are using our tax dollars for in the name of our children.

The NEA sucks, and is a pack of self serving lying Bast......uhm, buggers!
They hit us where our hearts lie: the benefit of our children - when really that is very often not what is their true underlying concern.

There are few jewels in the educational system crown.
They are the few, individual teachers, sprnkled though out each district, who actually care about students, and are willing to work with the parents to achieve the best possible outcomes for the kids.

That is my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sorry for lack of content: busy week

I got sidetracked with a last minute art project, (shown to the left) which is currently unfinished and is clocking in at a total of 486 layers. Still, it is a fun project. I got ths really cool tutorial at (thank you Lehsa!) on doing digital knotwork. I haven't used it yet, but this project was DANG HARD! and I am now certain there must be an easier way to do knotwork than the way I did this! I can see this going on for ever and I am having a hard time knowing when to stop. I am working on the Fish now, and turning him into a knotwork pattern, but with en eye toward retaining the Pacific Northwest Native Art style.

Other than that, I have been busy re-processing how I want to share the News According To Scotland, aka Scotsman Journal Snippets. Granted most of the links are worthless unless one is a registered member of the but still, it is interesting to read their perspective in the headlines, and see how the rest of the world processes the same kinds of things that we in America do.

The world grows smaller everyday.
At least from where I sit. (Maybe I should go on a diet?)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Amusing Movie Quote

Fiddler on the Roof.

Golde: "Ennhhh! You could DIE from such a man!"

Tevye:" If riches are a curse, then may the Good Lord smite me, and my I never recover!"

Sunday, August 21, 2005

New Jam Tune to Learn

DulciNet has a new tune to learn for this week complete with audio file, PDF and ABC files.
This weeks tune is: THE ROSE TREE.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Updated : Word From Cannon Beach

Had this "Beauty" Shot lined up right?
Early morning mist and all?
As I am totally focused on framing the thing, at the last minute there is a cameo appearance by America's favorite over-bred, under-brained canine: The Lab.

In the end, I decided it would make the perfect post-card:

Any way, Yesterday Blake and Andrew wanted to earn some $$ so that they could buy some more firewood to build another fire on the beach at dusk. Blake has one of those fishermens rain hats, like the Gortons Of Gloucester Fishermen wear, and Andrew has a Skipper/Captn hat.
Blake takes myIrish whistle and Andrew take a small, rusty metal bucket and they go down outside of the Mariner Market. They stand in front of the covered porch and where there are 3 benches for people to sit and rest.
The benches are labeled:
DEMOCRATS (This is the one nearest the front door of the store)
REPUBLICANS (this is the one Nearest the Street and Furthest from the door,)
and in the middle of the benches is an unmarked Green Bench.

ANYWAY, so Blake (Who can NOT play theIrish whistle) begins to toot and repeat some nebulous melodic (almost) pattern over and over and over and over and over and over again while Andrew dances and clanks the "Primer Change" in the bottom of the metal bucket in tune to the "music."
After what seemed an eternity, people began to throw money in the bucket, (more to get them to STOP I am sure.)
Anyway, the girls and I eventually ambled along and pretended we did not know them (for good reason) and we sat and "listened" for a while.
Then I loudly declared, "You Suck!" and attempted to rip the bucket out of Andrew's hands.
A wrestling match for the bucket ensued, much to the astonishment of the onlookers.
They were bad.
Yes, horrible even, but they WERE just kids.
Who was this dreadful woman verbally abusing them?

Well I ended the mock-battle by saying "fine!" and I grabbed a couple of coins from the bottom of the bucket before beating a hasty retreat.
Blake followed and said loudly, "Uh, excuse me Maam, but we would like our nickle back please!"
"Fine!" I replied.

Ah with the tourist trade in a small beach town.

See y'all when I get back.

Friday, August 12, 2005

All I want for Christmas...

Are some platform Biker boots!

Ok well, anyway, my friend Amber shared these links with me and I swear! I a gonna get some of these boots. Not the pointy toe stiletto ones, but the raucus big ol' lug sole 12 buckled steel toe
'ecrasses merdes'!

Boots by Pennangalan

9 Buckle Calf Comando Boots

Bucket Muskateer Boots

Libby 8 Strap Wedge Boots

Storm L5 Wedge Boots

Storm Elevator Boots

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Sometimes the weirdest stuff comes out of your kids mouths.
It's just too bizarre.

So, here are two examples taken from the last 24 hours in our home.

“Hey Mom! I just farted eggs in pots, and flowers grew,
and dead people said, "THaaaaaNK YOU!”
– Said while playing Banjo Kazooie.

“Mom, I can’t tell the difference between you and me.”

-This comment was made while watching a slideshow of recent photos taken in Eastern Washington State.
(This quote should be unnerving to her on SO MANY levels but she does not yet seem to be appropriately alarmed. She has not yet learned to cry out, "NOOO! I have become my mother!"
On the other hand, I feel pretty darned good!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

SOUNDS Update and Celtic, Folk and Olde Time Musicians Untie!

...uh, ehrm... I mean UNITE!

There is a new feature over at DulciNet which is designed to encourage Hammered Dulcimer Players. Many of theses tunes are traditional old standards, but any Celtic/Folk/Olde Time musician can benefit from a new-old tune here or there, eh?
The tunes at DulciNet are all in midi format, and played slowly and without much ornamentation for ease of learning. It also makes for a good opportunity to brush up ones ear training. For those who prefer sheet music, there are also PDF's and ABC files available.

Anyway, so the link is

And the SOUNDS Link has been updated courtesy of the crew down at Cartoon Planet, so for now you can listen to a "Nugget of Joy From Zorak."

There it is.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Incidental Photos From Washington State

I had forgotten all about these.
I grabbed them really quick while in Leavenworth, Washington.
I remember thinking about a conversation I had with Chucker at last years MysteriGON and I am SURE that he would have loved visiting THIS place.
Perhaps someday he'll get his chance.

This is also a place where Blue Max might find solace from the modern/normal world.
So for my sausage-eating and beer-swilling friends, I give you :

Leavenworth, Washington

Friday, August 5, 2005

Quotable Quote

Well My friend Pete B and I were discussing the heat.
90 in Philomath and all of its lovely humidity, and 107 on my butte sans lovely humidity.

He emails me and asks" is it hot enough for ya?"

"No" I reply, "please can you get some one to turn up the sun?"

As a reply, he shares a quote from some one he knows:

"You think THIS is hot?"


Thursday, August 4, 2005

This one is really starting to grow on me now...

While looking for an abstract texture in the dead centre of this one, I managed to accidentally compose an entire shot I liked.
Yay for accidents!
Can't wait to play with this one.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Whirlwind Road Trip Rolls to a Stop

As far as the road trip was concerned, it was a good trip.
So this is pretty much what the car looked like for the entire trip:
Coffee and Cheez-Its are as crucial as petrol to any successful road trip,
and what I looked like after a two days on the road, no shower and still perky.
I got a lot of stock images shot.
I will slap up a few of them here, but bear in mind these are pretty much un-processed, meaning, I haven't finished "working them over" yet. Some are just fodder for future abstract paintings, some may be a conglomeration of photo and abstract paint.
Who knows.
Got some fun pictures at Stonehenge.
Not the real one obviously, but there is a replica built in the early 1900's by a really crazy "patron of the arts" kind of guy. He turned his house into a fine arts museum, with a lot of work by French impressionists and Rodin sculptures and what not. He entertained Romanian Royalty frequently as well, all out in the absolute desolate, middle of NO WHERE! It's histerical. So anyway, out on this rocky outcropping, over looking the Columbia River is this mock-Stonghenge.
Its pretty cool.
This particular Stonehenge is a WWI memorial and at one point, an older gentleman insisted he take our pic together, much to my daughters embarrassment.
Not a picture with her mother!
She much prefers the company of a good sword as opposed to that of dear old mum.
Had a good time at Hammered Dulcimer fest.
Handed off some Rich Mullin's music to Pete B and kept copies for myself.
I got to learn a new tune in 3 different time signatures, which Mick wrote for the workshop, entitled "Chatter Creek-Waltz-Jig-Polka" and catch a quick jam before bugging out early to get home.
Karri, Kris and I showed up early to snag some campsites, each of us witha daughter in tow. So for those fortunate enough to get there, there was Girl Camp, where:
-Scout reads her book while KiKi plays a tune in the background.
-Bri perseveres in her quest to build a legal fire in the High Cascades.
-Karri demonstrates the true meaning of "Fight Like A Girl," while Bri assists and KiKi and Erica watch from a safe distance.

Had a nice visit with some friends in Washington.
Learned a bit about "detailed work", and so I won't be harshing on myself for taking so long to complete projects - especially in PS.
(Yet another moment to look at myself and say,
"wow, I'm not looney after all!" Either that, or I am in good company.)
I also had my travel plans redirected, because my way was stupid and convoluted, and theirs was a more obvious straight route to my next destination.
I am so glad they did though, because there were a multitude of photo opp's that I never would have found, and even then, Scout got fed up with me stopping every 10 minutes to shoot this or that, so I had to pass up some stuff. I am already planning another Highway 2 trip, to pick up the stuff I missed.

I think this was taken just outside of Reardan (sp?)
I am not sure why I ended up liking this one, because none of the elements are all that compelling, but hey, it's what it is.
Not sure what I will do with it yet.

This kitchy sign I found just outside of Coulee City.

I wish I had been more observant when it started to happen but, I wasn't: There seems to be a strange fetish in Eastern Washington Small Towns. The front yards of private individuals often sport lifesize (if not life like) replica's of animals and people. Giant deer and horses, and manequins even. By the time Scout and I realised there was "something to this" it was too late and we were passing out of the Eastern side of the State and into the High Cascades. And this bizarre phenomenon seemed to halt before the foothills. Ah well, I will have to shoot these things next time around.

Note To Ry:
Remember we were talking about wheat, more wheat, and almost Endless Blue Skies on the Horizon? I have SO MANY of these! It was at this point I drove Scout crazy.
She was all, "Mom! Enough with the wheat already!"
Lots of fodder for abstracts here!

Had a great time at the Ramada Inn!
6:45am, and I am awakened by a hideous piercing beeeeeeeep!
Now, if I were at HOME, I would think the fire alarm was going off.
It usually does when we make toast or boil water.
(Stupid thing!)
So I sit bolt upright, from a sound sleep, with my hands clamped over my ears, looking stupidly around the room thinking,
"Stop! I'm not boiling any water!" and looking for something to fan the air away from the ceiling alarm with.
(And yes I realise I just ended that last sentence with a presposition. Get over it.)
It suddenly dawns on me that I am not at home and this may actually be a fire drill.
All of the guests were already out in the parking lot by the time I figured this out.
Good thing there was no actual fire.

I got a call from Stu who was called to work another gig Sunday, meaning I had to get home Saturday night so as not to leave MacKenzie all alone, so my trip ended up being cut short with my loosing a day at the Music festival. :o( Still, it was a good trip. And I am glad to be home. I can't wait to unpack my picture card reader, though I have no clue as to where I threw it in the car after I used it at the Ramada. Talking with Pete was great. His view of Celtic culture and Christianity is really unique and one I've never heard before, but it was one of those "duh!" moments when you hear something that you should have recognized long ago, but didn't, and now suddenly ideas come into much sharper focus and suddenly fit together and make greater/deeper sense.
Pete is so cool!
What a knucklehead!
Anyway, time to do laundry.
Time to sort clean junk up.