Saturday, December 30, 2006

Less than nothing

It is true.
Saddam Hussein is dead.
Personally, I don't believe he warrants much more of a mention than that.
He was less than human in life, and he is less than dirt now.
Let us move on and do not honour him with another thought.

That is my take on it.
My daughters is different however.
She considers it sad that any man, no matter how vile, end up eternally separated from Hell.

I guess that is the black and white of it.

Even so, he had his opportunities to make a U-turn in his life.
We all do.
We do not need to be knowledgeable with Saddam's life to know this.
We need to be knowledgeable about the Creator, who is always desiring that even the most vile can be redeemed.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Pacific Northwest According To Jeff Foxworthy

The sad thing about it is, the following statements might actually seem like jokes to some, but in reality...uh...this is indeed how things work here.

If you are from the Pacific Northwest:

1. You know the state flower (Mildew).

2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.

3. Use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.

4. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.

5. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.

6. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.

7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk"

8. You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is
not a real mountain.

9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and

10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye Salmon.

11. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Yakima,
and Willamette.

12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.

13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.

14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark-while
only working eight-hour days.

15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.

16. You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain," and
"Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."

17. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.

18. You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.

19. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through
the cloud cover.

20. You notice, "The mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can
actually see it.

21. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still
wear your hiking boots and parka.

22. You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks

23. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

24. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

25. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones
after such a long time.

26. You measure distance in hours.

27. You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day.

28. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.

29. You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still
Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer & Elk Season (Fall).

30. You actually understood these jokes.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

MaKenzies First Book Covers...

MacKenzie did her first shoot for a book cover late last summer and apparently the publisher (and hopefully the author) selected her for the entire 3 book set. The first is nearly ready for release, "The Trouble with Max," (Kenz portrays title character.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Tune Cavalcade

I cannot compete with Tim Coulter.
Therefore I humbly bow and give you this link to Tim's
Christmas Tune Advent Cavalcade

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Simple Quiz

Can you answer the following trivia questions?

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get catgut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate
the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific is
named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI's first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box
in a commercial airplane?

The Answers are here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Potpourri December 6 2006

Well so many things today:

First there was the discovery of the body of James Kim. For those who are unfamiliar with him, he was the Senior Editor of CNet. (See previous post.)

Very Sad.
Every one in our state (Oregon) has been watching this drama unfold and it is desperately sad. Our prayers go out to Katie and their daughters.

we rented Narnia again tonight.
I forgot how hopeless I am.
Because I cannot (NOT~) watch this movie without becoming tearful. These books had such an ENORMOUS impact on me as a highschool freshman, when I read them all. Despite the fact that Disney produced this recent incarnation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, it still managed to come out with the majority of its original sentiments and deep impact.
No small task.
Anyway, there was I this evening:
Watching Edmond make the same fatal mistakes we all make on any given day, and watching the Lion save him and all the is too perfect a story.
Too true on a deep level.
I cannot watch this movie without blubbering.
I keep forgetting.
Then I rent it, and am reminded.

I suffered a freak injury today that has become my bane.
Dang it!
I have things TO DO!
I cannot be sitting around here with my leg on ice all the bloody live-long day! These crutches are in my way too! Screw them! How did this happen anyway? What offense did I commit? Was it merely the act of walking?
And Lo, there in my calf/lower leg regions there did occur a cramp of muscle pull which I can defineth not. But yea verily does it pull and ache and all of the Ibuprofen which walks the face of the earth is unable to quench its grip.
Yea though
I partake of the banana and, the vitamin B, and even though I imbibe the nectar of Gatorade, still this cramp/muscle pull deminisheth not!

Anyway, it hurts like 12 yards of you-know-where!

The final blessing?
Today with my kids, while debriefing in the car after school about their school day, I recieved enlightenment; "Now that my kids are all witty/funny, and can hold their own (humour-wise) in the world at large, well my job here on earth is likely done."
It was with great pleasure (and much mirth) that I recieved this revelation.

So...there is the news (that is not news) for today.

Merry Christmas to you all!

James Kim

It was during a very tearful sheriff's report today that the public was notified that the body of James Kim was located at 12:03pm, today, December 6th, 2006.

Details will be updating at the following site: KATU Television

It is undergoing updates almost minute by minute.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Reality Check for the Day

Sometimes it's refreshing to remember.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A chapter in life passes

Well, it had to come to pass eventually.
When we take inventory of our lives and our priorities, it is inevitable that somethings must take a backseat to others.
And so it has come to pass with my time serving in an administrative capacity at

With the passing of my stepmom and my dad's plans to move out here with us, as well as the fact that all my kids are now entering teen-dom, well...retaining ones focus is always key to remaining successful.
One cannot spread ones attentions too far and wide and maintain high standards.

The current admins are more than capable of "running the show" there.

I feel VERY good about this decision.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Two new Blogroll Additions

First I would like to introduce you to a new blog which I have been graciously invited to participate in called "Eating Plebian." This is basically a food blog dedicated to simple, homespun fare that one need not be wealthy of a seasoned gourmet to enjoy.
Simple Fare for simple folk.
Old ways are best.

The second link I would direct you to is a gallery dedicated to my late Step Mother.
She collected Salt and Pepper shakers most of her long life and ammassed a sizable collection, a fragment of which can be viewed at "Salty Towers." Currently there is only about half of the collection uploaded. I am still working on it, but enough is there to enjoy already.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Stu appears in PSA

hey I almpst forgot - and was reminded because I just saw it air on the local ABS affiliate -
Stu was in a Red Cross blood drive commercial.

Our two rival football teams have had a "civil war" for the last 10 years, on the day after thanksgiving.
The Oregon Ducks( U of O) -vs- the Oregon State Beavers (OSU).
Stu is the entirely ( completely!!!!!!!!!!!) bald guy in the orange shirt, and he also has the final line, "Are you ready for some football?" at the close of the PSA.

You can access the commercial here.
Scroll down and click on the link for "Civil War Blood Drive Public Service Announcement."

Tuff Day

I have two best friends.
Today marks the 46th birthday of one of them.

It is a tuff day becasue this friend passed away in January and he is still VERY much misses by all who had the honour of calling him "friend."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ok so Eleri found this, and shared it with the Millers Wohba site.

Yay Eleri!

This is crazy!
And Top Men's commentary on it is fairly amusing as well.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Missing friends

Oh the tyranny of duty!
Oh the demands of a busy life!
They foist themselves upon me.
They foist themselves upon you.

I do miss my friends.
Whether as a result of my own "Tyranny of the Urgent", or theirs.
I miss Barb, and James.
I miss Judy, Ran and Blue.
I miss Laurie and Sheryl and Carla Calhoun.
There are too many...FAR too many to name.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Waiting for paint to dry.

So today I am painting and while I am waiting for the paint to dry I ended up playing with elements of it in PS.

The fish were salt shakers, and the Background is for something else entirely.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Well, for starters

Yes I am back from New England.
What a wacky place.
Rhode Island.
Land of more political mudslinging on a minute-by-minute basis than you are likely to imagine possible - unless you are Bryan - in which case its all old news.
Case in point?
The current Poo Tossing fest between Lincoln Chaffee and Sheldon Whitehouse.
Good Lord!
I had to laff and laff.
These men appear to be of mature ages and yet their infantile bickering over the TV is more indicative of Jr High sensibilities.
And people wonder what is wrong in the government.
Just look at the men who are "approving their ads."
The answer is in the question.

As far as the view of the "other side" goes:

Some day, when I leave this world, I will want my passing to be just like that of my step-mom:
Knowing God, knowing beyond doubt the Home you are bound for, and with each new morning ,cursing the fact that you woke up in this same old frikkin body again! To spend your last day in a pain free mixture of slumber, and waking to the faces of smiling loved ones. To depart in the prayerful, loving arms of your daughter, who understands where you are right now, and where you are going, and she vocalizes your freedom to go and that the day's partings are only temporary.
And you select your last 2 breaths, and then you stand in awe before Him who loved you before you even knew who He was. Surrounded by friends and family who have arrived in advance to
welcome you to His magnificent feast.
They came to visit you before you left.
They met that hospital room to remind you that they were waiting for you, and a mighty feast was prepared...they were waiting for you though.
You speak these things to your family in the corporeal world but they think you are dreaming - but you know who is standing in the room with you - angels encircle you all
about. You point them out to those in the hospital room.
"Ma, who are they, what do they look like?"
"I don't know, " you answer. "Everytime I try to see their faces they turn around with their backs to me."

But you know they are there.
And you know where you will eventually wake up, and you are now earnestly desiring to awaken there.
And sleep.
Fervently, and with a mighty will and drive you force yourself in to sleep, hoping that when you awaken, you will have finally Arrived.
And now you have.

Happy birthday on Saturday Ma.
It is your true and final birthday!

Would that I could make my Crossing in such a fashion.

And now, in an effort to soften the intensity of my emotion right now, I will share with you all a song which I have been listening to. A song which has nothing to do with such somber or glorious thots.
A silly song.
A song entitled, "These are not my Pants".
Beware. It is 6MBs

Thursday, November 2, 2006

My Boarding Passes are printed and I'm ready to go!

Got my passes printed just now and by this time tomorrow I will be airborne and on my way for my connecting in Cincy, and onward to Portland!Yay! Only 30 minutes to get the the next flight, but hey...shouldn't be too bad? Can't wait to get home! There are some new images at the mettle works Gallery, here and here. Ok that's it for now.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

UPDATED (AGAIN): Recipe of the Wee... Er, Month

OK, It's been far too long since I did one, so I beg your forgiveness and submit for your approval something that will make your teenagers visibly blanche, but my Teutonic heritage simply loves.

Braised Cabbage

Yes, yes, I know, it's not not a main dish, particularly, but we're on a health kick here at the Mettleworks Ohio branch office. Very often we'll get into a rut with vegetables and side dishes as we do with the main courses, so shake things up a bit. An even better advantage is this dish tastes wholly different from what you'd expect: it in no way resembles "steamed cabbage", which is a tribute to institutional blandness. It's really tasty, sporting a sweet & sour quality, and it's almost bulletproof to prepare.

One-quarter head of red/purple cabbage, thinly sliced (I use the purple ones- I also find it economical that grocery stores now are selling partial heads of cabbage lately, so waste is at a minimum)
One medium white or spanish onion, cut into thin rings
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tblsp brown sugar
1/2 cup good red wine
4-6 strips of cooked bacon, chopped (if it's raw, you can saute the bacon with the onion. On weekends I'll make more bacon than we need for breakfast and store the rest in a ziplock baggie in the fridge for recipes)
Freshly ground Pepper
Kosher salt to taste

Start off with a large skillet or deep pot and saute the onions with the olive oil until translucent (you can saute the bacon up with the onion if you don't already have some cooked. If this is the case, you can eliminate the olive oil as the bacon will have plenty of grease on it's own). Deglaze the pot by adding the balsamic vinegar, the pepper, chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil and add the brown sugar.

After the sugar has dissolved, add the cabbage and cover tightly for 25 minutes on a medium-heat simmer, stirring occasionally.

Drink a glass of the wine.

After the cabbage is tender, drain any excess liquid from the pot and return to the stove for a few minutes under medium-high heat so the bottom layer of cabbage and onions carmelize nicely. Salt to taste.

That's it!

I really like this with pork chops, knockwurst with brown mustard or kielbasa. I recommend a Pinot Noir (Trinity Oaks PN is a really nice wine- and laughably cheap! Use it for the recipe, too) or a fruity Cabernet and a marinated green bean & beet salad (recipe for this provided upon request).

Mih Writes:
Well this sounds like a winner! Especially now that our Indian Summer is finally giving way to Autumn's chill. Can you send me the salad recipe too, when you get a minute - or post it here - which ever is easiest!
And while we are speaking of culinary things, I can say that I have experienced my first ever oven fire, last night. I dunno what my dad cooked in there before, or how long ago, but I about wet myself when I saw flames inside the oven.
How exciting. :o/

UPDATE from Bryan: Okay the marinated green bean & beet salad. Quite possible the easiest marinated salad on the face of the earth.

Marinated Green Bean & Beet Salad

Two cans cut green beans, drained
One can sliced beets, drained
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced.
OPTIONAL: one 8-ounce can mushrooms, drained
3/4 cup "Zesty" or "Bold" style Italian dressing (Seven Seas, Kraft, Wishbone, whatever)

Combine in a large tupperware container with a lid, shake it all around to mix it, and leave it in the fridge for several hours or overnight. It's that simple.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gallery update

The Gallery has been updated with photos of the Old Warren Cemetary.

These are for you Scoutie.

Friday, October 20, 2006

New to the Sidebar

A new link is available today in the sidebar:
News You Won't Believe

And I also added the link to my MySpace.
I have a very obvious moniker there.
It declares all of my intentions - miraculously and to their credit, my kids even acknowledged my existence by adding me to their friend list.

Anyway...there that is.

Now I am prepared to board my plane and if it crashes (which I am always sure that it will) then so be it.

I hate to fly.
Pray for me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Did Someone Say There Weren't Going to Be Posts Here For Awhile?

Heh, I think there'll be a comment or two here and there in the interim...

-Blue (Ground Control)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Gone for a while

I will be making another trip to Rhode Island this Saturday. My step mom is passing away and I will be leaving at the end of this week. I am hoping to visit my step mom again while she can recieve visitors, and I would like to be a help to Judy (my step sister) and to my dad.

Even so, it is with a dreadfully heavy heart that I leave my kids behind for so long a time. Its not like Stu can't handle it, he can, I mean he is a dad and what not, of course he's got it 'dialed-in.'

It's just that...well he isn't "The Mom."

Will he really worry about who gets what lunch on what day, and that it will have the main food groups represented in it? (protein? starch? vegetable/fruit groups?) Will he actually make/cook proper food - no matter how simple - or will he blow the nest-egg on chinese take-out and pizza and donuts?

I don't know. The answers to these and other puzzling questions elude me and therefore unnerve me.

I am going to miss each of my kids desperately. Horribly. I haven't even left yet, and I am already missing them.

Fortunately God is here, and He is in Rhode Island too. He watches over us all.

That is my only comfort.

So all things cyber such as blogposts, art uploads etc will be delayed until after I return, however, email will still remain a reliable way to contact me during this time.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Well I was preparing to dismantle my studio today and I came across some post cards of images that I had collected last summer. Postcards that I had been given by an artist who's work I encountered and which stole the breath out of my lungs the minute I saw it hanging on a back wall in a small gallery. The artists name was Peter H Peterson. You can find his work here at the Uffelman Gallery, and if you click ENTER, and then click the link to his name and select the "Lyrical" gallery, it will give you a basic feel for his style. Anyway, as luck would have it, during the course of the week, I ended up meeting the Mr Peterson as he was finishing a piece in the back of the gallery.
His energy has fueled a full year of my work. Though there is no comparison at all between what he does and what I do, still, I remember him often and his dedication and vibrant works are a guiding light to me to pursue and persevere.
Another fabulous artist I have found at DeviantART (of all places, I know!) The first of which is known as:

Numb-Synapse please please take just a few moments and surf through her gallery. It is WELL worth it!

The other is my new favorite, a sculptor from southern France named Remy Tassou.
Please, check out his galleries, both at DevART as well as his own personal site.
I think his work belongs in Seattle first, and for obvious reasons.
There is not trash in this "Cyber-Trash" Gallery!

Anyway, that is what I am feeding on these days.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wedding Announcement:

Ok so this is NOT an image of my devising.
It was sent to me by my good friend Bill Harris (Computer Sherpa/Horizon's Dad) and he got it from some one else.

If the artist be known, then let him stand and declare himself.

In the mean time I say, lets all enjoy his handiwork!

Sorry for the non posts for the last month and a half.

Extra work has come my way...that and my step mom has taken a turn for the worse.

Kids come first and work.

And when I do get a block of time, I will be busy querrying Mr. Max about the next steps to be taken in the Lysts upgrades.

He and Walt, Peter and Lehsa have been stalwart "fort-holder-downers."

So there that is.

That and I have been working on my kids computer since it has something and apparently the Norton cacked on it. Fine! Screw Norton anyway, it was starting to suck. So I am putting PC-cillin on theirs and Zone Alarm on my own. Sorry Symantec. Your were the king for many years.
What the heck happened.

And Blue, Studio Ghibli - - - I did not forget your question. Lehsa or Og can answer.
In the mean time, Myasaki is the "King of Anime." His studio is called Studio Ghibli. Produced Spirited Away, Howlings Castle, Kiki's Delivery service, Castle in the Sky etc. At first, I thot it was not all that special and couldn't figure out the fascination, but MacKenzie kept wanting to watch mor eof them and as I became familiar with his work, his art really began to impress me.

Anyway, there that is.

See yall later. Gotta run.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Well the trip was originally planned for a number of reasons:

1-so that the girls could see their grandparents who are in their late 70's.

2-I was hoping to do a little more research into early French history in the area for a historical fiction project.

3-Shoot alot of photos to process this winter.

About a week before leaving, I rec'd a phone call here at home stating that my step mom had gone into the hospital. She has been on dialysis for 9+ years and was having a few serious issues suddenly. It was good that we were able to go at this time as it gave the girls a chance to visit gramm in the hospital and see my dad, plus it gave me a chance to "survey the elder parent scene" and it really is not a pretty site.
Pride is a huge hinderance in all walks of life.
Pride is not a thing to boast about.
People (espeially older ones) will say, "Well I've got my pride you know!"
Well that is more of an ugly confession than something to be admired. gets in the way of acomplishing important goals.

This is a place I have been before in life: Parent Care.
When my mother contracted Altzheimers Disease in her 50's I moved back home and my dad and I were her primary care givers until incontinence set in with a vengeance,at which time we sent her to fostercare set up to deal with Altzheimers specifically.

So a large part of this trip was spent cleaning my dads house.
They refuse to hire a housekeeper even once or twice a month.
They are both nearly blind, and so cannot see the dirt. (filth is a better word)
So after the girls went to bed each night, and dad settled in front of the TV, I went quietly into the kitchen/bathroom/laundry room and committed janitorial acts upon each room until about 2am.

"I'll run out to Coggeshall Farm with the girls tomorrow and take a bunch of photos" I would tell myself.

"Maybe we'll take a run up the Cape and see my cousin Janet tomorrow afternoon?"

These things never happened.

So the trip that was, wasn't - - - BUT - - - More importantly, familial things DID get done.
There will be years to take photos elsewhere, but not many more when I can serve gramma or grandpa despite themselves.


The Poops!

So it was a good trip.
It was just altered to meet the needs of the day.

We did get to go to Mystic Conn. (No we did not eat pizza.) And we did the obligatory trip to Plymouth.

Many of these photos are up now and can be seen at this Gallery.

Monday, September 18, 2006

From East to West

Well we JUST got home tonight and it was a crazy trip.
Updates to follow.
Of course the foto above, graphically illustrates the gaping hole that exists on the west coast:
We no longer have ANY Dunkin' Donuts stores in Oregon.
We made a point of going to Dunkin Donuts every day we were in RI, Mass and Conn.

More to come...

Monday, September 11, 2006


Well the connection is back up but I am still hitting the road. To see my dad and to shoot some images for projects this fall.

We watched Totoro this weekend, and SPirited away, again. (Howlings CAstle was still on the New Release shelf so we skipped it.)

What can one say about the Masters at Studio Ghibli? (spelling?)

Breathtaking work.
Gotta love it.
Kenz seems to have foudn her niche.
She has married her love of drawing and her love of Anime.
She wants to be an animator when she grows up.
these kids better get screamin' grades so that they can get kickin' scholarships.
Or they are gonna bury me.

Friday, September 8, 2006

No Internet and On the Road

We have no internet access and I am checking from the library today.
May not be back online till early next week, and then I go back on the road from the 12th through the 19th of September.
See ya in a few weeks!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

People in the General Sense...

Some peoples only goal is to stir up strife and contention.
To create a sense of drama and urgent matters where non exist.

I don't know what is going on.
What might God be trying to show me?

Back story:

I do not answer the phone.
I screen all calls.
Pain comes via the phone. Why? Because it brings people.

I have become a bit lax in my phone answering lately.
I have even been caught answering the phone before the machine picks up.
I opted to do this two days ago.
Bad. baaaaaaaad choice.
The neighbor lady, (we will call her debbie) who does not live here but this is her vacation home and she lives 3 hours north, has become flustered that my next door neighbors (we'll call her Suzie) her pine trees are dying. Debbie called me to express her concern and divulge the results of the *research,* concluding that I (yes me) needed to approach Suzie, and convince her to take samples of her tree tree branches/needles in to the extension office to make sure they were not a product of beetle infestation. "Heaven forbid we should have to cut our trees all down and lose our pine trees!"

I pointed out to Debbie that the death of the trees in question more more likely to the septic system being dug up and replaced, including the drain field in the vicinity of said trees. I also pointed out that there has been a lack of water recently and that like New Mexico - home to acres of Pinion Pines once-upon-a-time has lost most of their trees due to developement and careless waste of water. I pointed out that this was very similar to what is occurring in our nneigborhood. Debbie took this opportunity to launch. I had inadvertantly given her another ill-percieved cause to chase after. She became very excited, stating that there was going to be aneighborhood meeting to decide how to handle our water provider. ( a family that inherited th land and now runs the Community well.)
"They need to be given the ol ' what-for!" was Debbies opinion.
Selfish, brutish, citi-fied nitwit! Have you never done without water, woman?

Back story:
we have frequent water outages. sometimes aounting to once a month for 24 hours.
it is a drop in the bucket. Where I used to live, the power woudl go out and we woudl be without pwer and water for a week at a time in the dead of winters ice storms. You get used to it.
Anyway, we have had water outages here. small ones. mostly due to vandalism on the well pumps. The water providers put up a fence and that took care of it. Well, our neighborhood has increased developement. 8-12 houses have gone up within a 1/4 mile this summer. Contractors (with no bonds) have been breaking the lines with heavy equipment.

So there is flaw #1 in the neighbors attack onthe water provider : it is the developers fault partly. And the home owners who are hiring the builders with no bond required.

Flaw #2: The local electric company has been payed in excess of $230,000.00 to complete power updates to the system, allowing the providers sufficient power to pump the water that they already have. The power company has not done the upgrades.

So what we have here is a self-centered batch of well-to-do americans who think they are entitled to certain luxury's (as though they were a given!) and get bent out of shape when their desires are not met.

I am frustrated with humanity.
I guess the old Christian addage really applies to what I think:

"Does each one of us, by the fact of our imperfection, deserve death and Hell?
Does each one of us, through nothing we have done to merit it, have better?
Yes, almost to a man, globally speaking.
The shut up and be happy with what you do have!
Have you got a shirt and pants?
Did you eat this week?
More than once?
Do you have something to get in under, to avoid being rained or snowed on?
Then you are already richer than the majority of the world.
So shut your stupid, gloating, efete face American Majority!

Shut your face, Sisters Oregon.

They are the reason I no longer want to answer the phone.
They are the reason I would like to be able to shut my doors and lock then and never lay eyes on the majority of them.
With a few exceptions.

- - - - Conversely - - -

God says in His own words, that He Loves all people, and that He has made all of them in His own image.
God says "Love your neighbor as your self." ( Oh please got, not Debbie!)
God says " Love your enemies.) (Wha....? What? Crap! I'm screwed now!)

Never the less, God IS God.
So where does that leave me?
My only hope is to trust that He will educate me as time goes on about such things.
Fortunately, He is reliable to do that, as long as I force my heart to hear Him and not the world around me.

Even so...
I am NOT answering the phone.
Ever again.
If you get my message machine, its not because I don't love you, its because I will call you back.

No more 'cold-calls' taken by me.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Your Face? - - Evening Update Updated

Remember that beautifully done animation from the late 80's by Bill Plympton called "Your Face?"


Blake is coming home from camp a week early.
He's had some sort of accident.
He has 5 stitches beneath his nose and his face is pretty bashed up and swollen, from what I hear.
I don't really know for sure, since I only got the phone call from the camp yesterday, and Stu is up there right now, gathering his belongings to bring him back home now.

I don't know if I will be confronted with his normal, pretty boy face which is a bit scratched up or if it is still very bruised and swollen and I will be facing "My Son, The Elephant Man."

Apparently the hospital did not send him home with any pain meds, because neither parent was on hand, but it was the camp staff with the medical release that brought him in.
(Stupid Mt Hood Medical Center! That place has been nit-wit-haven since the early 80's)

Anyway, the camp called and asked me if they could give him a Vicoden and I said, "Good heavens yes!"

Poor kid.

My first thought was, "Dear God, thank you that he didn't lose an eye!"

In retrospect I suppose I can say, "What Teen-Boy's summer would be complete without a trip to the E.R. for some stitches?"


Well the lad is home now.
The Results are in and they are not pretty:

He tells me that, after he got his stitches, they went to Shari's to get a milok shake. He said that the people who walked past his table would look at him with these really freaked out looks on their faces. He said that he finally just stood up and in a very loud voice, addressed the patrons by saying, "I am not an animal, I am a human being!"

And then there is always this.

That is my son:
He suffers major facial trauma, and within 24 hours what does he do?
He turns it into a Photo Shoot.
This is a great poster for some slasher movie.
I am proud of you take your medicine!

He is begging me to take him back out to this location (remember the film "The Postman" with Kevin Costner? Yeah. They shot part of it here. Same location) so that he can shoot some more images with his face all beat up and a rifle clenched between his fists.
He begs me, that he must do it before his face heals too much.
Strangely...I understand that logic.
I will probably take him there and help him shoot both stills and video.
Am I a bad mother?


Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Fire Yo-Yo

George Lake Fire at Sunset, Monday Aug 13, 2006

Thursday Aug 17th 2006 The Column is Back!

So this morning, (10am) I am driving into town and the sky is bright blue and there is only a hint of smoke in the air.
Breathe deep.
Out, nestled among the Mt. Washington foothills is a low lying trail of smoke.
This looks good.
It looks like "our boys" are getting the upper hand on this recent fire.

Two hours later, I drive up the hill and look in my rear view mirror.
The column is back.
The winds must have picked up or shifted.

A fire fighter friend of ours says that the greater the column rising up into the atmosphere, then the hotter the fire burning at the base. (Bliss Girl or her dad can probably elaborate.) With the previous fire (Black Crater, a HUGE column arose one morning and the bull dozers 1/4 mile away had to back up even further because the paint on the bull dozers whas beginning to melt and peel, and even the garb of the firefighters was not going to hold up long in that kind of heat.

Well, so the column was back by midday.

Monday, August 14, 2006

UPDATED: Photos I took last night of the blaze

This would be the "NEW" blaze we have come to know as the George Lake Fire.
There is also another photo here.

Sunset as seen through the column rising from the George Lake Fire in the Mt Washington Wilderness of Oregon State.
At last check it has grown to 5000 acres, although we had intense winds yesterday so it may be larger now.
It is about 6 miles outside of town at this time.

Boy does MY face hurt!

Yes and please feel free to commence with the typical "Face Hurting" jokes.

Now that we have that out of our systems, man! We are all coughing, sneezing, wheezing around here, with a side order of the occasional bloody nose.
So the Lake George fire has now grown to about 2,000 acres.
Lessee, Blakc Crater was aout 9,000 acres by the time they got it under control.
Still the wind is blowing the smoke from Lake George stright into town today and it is nasty stuff.
Although they say that , as far as smoke inhalation / 2nd hand smoke notions are concerened, the Fire Fighter standard is this : "Wood SMoke is good Smoke." I guess as far as smoke inhalation goes. And even then, I see these guys comin' off thelines with bleary-red/black eyes. Wanting Saline and and Visine. So smoke in a fair quantity, even "Good Wood Smoke" still equates to being bad smoke.

ANyway, the winds are picking up and starting to blow more to the East so it may push the fire closer toward Balck Butte Ranch again - dang - it for yourself.
Silly me!

Anyway, there it is.

For those who have been following along via the, you can also get a nfty updated image from Google Earth showing the recent fire activity around here.

You can cruise over to the Western Edge of the United States

The nearest town is Sisters, Oregon.

The locations where the fires are buring nearby are:

-Mt Washington
-Black Crater Butte
-George Lake (this is the big fire going right now.)

Have fun googling.

(did I ever mention how much I hate Google?)



Thursday, August 10, 2006

Life is like Wild fire

The fire at Black Crater began early on a Monday morn.

The wind was blowing away from us.

We took note of the fire, but it appeared small, and the smoke column looked alright, so we turned our heads back to our own lives and ways, and went about our business.

The winds blew.

The fire grew.

As long as the wind was blowing the other direction, it “looked” ok to us and that was all that mattered to us.

It was only when the wind changed, and began to blow in our direction, that we saw the conflagration it had truly become.

By that time, we were unable to take sufficient action on our own behalf.

Isn’t it funny that we approach every day life and relationships in a similar manner?

No matter what our background, or what faith, we all keep our eyes focused on ourselves, and what we “want” to deal with at the time.

We ignore and justify, until the wind finally blows our direction and we are shocked and amazed and “cry foul.”

Even though our lack of diligence is what brought about the final debacle.

We can say this about many things.

We can say this about private areas of our own personal lives.

We can say this about the political messes we blame on our governments.

We can say this about our neighbors.

We can say this about the state of our youth in this town.

We can say, “Oh sure we have good schools, so therefore we have good kids.”

Yeah, wait till the wind changes, to reveal what is truly smouldering underneath.

Another new Fire

It started at about 2pm today, details here.
I was at a baby shower and we had a few nice sprinkles from the clouds o'er head, and then some one saw a flash.
We all said, "no no, it was Carla's camera. Open the next gift."
Well, lo and behold, it was lightning in the distance.

So right now there is a pretty fair column.
When the fire smoke rises straight up in a great column, it means that the fire is burning hot at the base - not a good thing - and the smoke rises up and up until it gets caught in the air currents higher up and carried what-ever-direction is is going to go.

If the smoke is at ground level, fouling every ones eyesight and lungs, then it means the fire is not necessarily burning so hot and that is a good thing - unless you are a pair of lungs or eyeballs. Then it is somewhat annoying.
Many people in town are now suffereing from what the Fire Crews are : "Camp Crud." It is a virus that comes along behind immune systems which have been over taxed by smoke inhalation and close quarters among humans. Scout came down with it this morning. I hope she is well enough by Satruday so that she can go to the High Desert Highland Games on Saturday.
Gotta keep our priorities straight, after all.

So onward to the next fire.

Our church hosted a Community event on Monday night to thank all of the firefighters.
There was pie and ice cream and gifts and hearty thank yous for all fire fighters in attendance, served by community members.

It was a good night.

I have a feeling there will be many more before the season is through.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Hold Everything!!!

Weekend has been offically comandeered!
Where will I be this coming weekend?


Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Favorite Author

Stephen R Lawhead is my favorite author.
I just love his style.
Whether he is writing fantasy, Celtic Mythology, historical fiction or Sci-Fi.
He has this amazing ability to draw me into the story from the first paragraph.

I stumbled upon a book of his that I was previously unaware was written back in the 80's entitled Dream Thief.

I thought I had read everything he had ever written and as I opened to the first page, that old spark of enjoyment was rekindled in me.

Dang! Dude writes well!!!

ANyway, I got sucked right in to Dream Thief and cannot wait for a free minute when I can pick it back up again.

Ah....the joys of reading "new" Lawhead works.

It is like peeling away ten years of my life.

I got a flat tire today after visiting the library - so what better thing to do while waiting, than to read my newly found treasure.

Anyway, it was a good day!

OLD Lawhead work:

The Empyrion Saga-
Search for Fiera
Seige of Dome
Dream Thief

The Dragon King Trilogy-
In The Hall of The Dragon King
Warlords of Nin
The Sword and The Flame

With each series his writing style evolved.

Celtic Lore:
The Pendragon Cycle-

*****The Song of Albion-
The Paradise Wars
The Silver Hand
The Endless Knot

*****If you are going to start with any Lawhead, I would suggest you start with the Song of Albion series.

Historical Fiction:
Celtic Crusades-
The Iron Lance
The Black Rood
The Mystic Rose

Childrens Lit:

Riverbank Stories-
The Tale of Jeremy Vole
The Tale of Anna Hedgehog
The Tale of Timothy Mallard

My own personal favorite reading list, in order?

The Song of Albion Series
The Pendragon Cycle
Celtice Crusades Trilogy

And then I would finish up with Early Lawhead:

The Empyrion Saga
Dream Thief
The Dragon King Trilogy
and the childrens stories.

Monday, August 7, 2006

have you given of yourself?

Now I will be the first to say, I am NOT a saint!
Imperfect Moron is my middle name,
Self centered and recalcitrant are my maiden names.
Even so...
I must exalt in the joys that come from saying to ones own self, "screw you, self!" and opting instead to choose to do somethign that benefits another human being.

What if?...
what if, instead of "looking out for #1" we all just put the needs of others before our own. This is not to say totally neglect our own needs either. I God would say in the bible, "do not look merely (merely being the operative word) to your own needs but also to the needs of others."
What if I looked out for your needs before my own, and what if you looked out for my needs before your own? Would that not be some sort of joyous reciprocal thing?
And what if you did such for your neighbor, who did it for me, and I did it for his neighbor, and you as well, knowing that you both were also concerned for my best...well...isn't that a humanly physical representaion of what God might want of us, in the name of His only son, the Messiah, Jesus Christ?

I think that the phrases:
"I deserve it," or "I deserve better" are counter to this concept and yet they are both are a part of contemporary American/Western Cultural thot.
The idea that "I cannot love another, unless I first love myslf" is so prevalent and yet, from God's perspective is utter crap.
He says "love others,"
He says "Deny Self."
When we diss our governments as being war-mongers and yet we will not reach out to our neighbor and count our own safety and needs as less, well then, we are selfish and sin centered and are vile, and have no ground to accuse our governments.

A man once said to me (and I like his perspective)
"I am 3rd."

He went on to elaborate:

-God is first.
-then the needs of every one else around me.
-finally afterwards, come my own needs. I do not deny them. They just come last.

I think this is a very good perspective and I think it is what is wrong with our modern Western Culture.

If you disagree, well fine.
It will not change my stance.
But every opinion is valuable.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Black Crater is Contained.

Well after a full week, the Black Crater Fire is now officially fully contained.
I saw the sky clear a bit yesterday and there was a large portion of the day that was smole free!
It was back this morning, but not as strong as it was the day before.
For now it appears that we can all breathe a collecive sigh of relief and take a moment to be thankful.

Wildland fire fighters come in all sizes and ages and from all walks of life.
There are retirees, there are immigrants from Mexico, and in some extreme cases there are low security prison inmates that come out on a seperate bus and with their onw officers.

No matter who they are, or where they have come from, they are alwasy held in high esteem in our town, for every year there is threat of forest fire. Every year the Highschool and Middle school campuses become a tent city, housing wildland firefighters.

We honour them, and respect them.
The moms and kids bake them cookies.
The kids draw picures and make thank you cards.
Families take their kids to the tent city when the buses roll in with firefighters straight from the lines, so that the children can hand each firefighter a popsicle when he or she gets off the bus.
Sometimes the lady with her portable massage chair shows up to give them a free 10 minute massage and many gladly skip a meal to line up and sit in her chair for 10 rare and glorious minutes.
Towns people bring boxers and visine and socks and toothbrushes and bandanas to the donation table for the fire fighters to recieve new gear.
Wildland fighters walk through town to visit the grocery store, and people honk and wave and applaud them in the grocery aisles.

We love firefighters.
Whether they be structural or wildland fighters.
We hold you all in the highest esteem.
And it is right.

And on a side note:

Blue Max asked the question:
"Sheesh Gal, whaddya do, leave the iron on before leaving for Spokane?"

Good heavens!
Who "irons" any more!
No, it was all of those illegal fireworks we had left over from July 4th that we shot off at the big bonfire we had here the night before leaving for Spokane. After the fireworks we all went to bed. I wonder if anybody ever got round to throwing water on the fire?
Hmmmm,,, oh well.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Fire Updates: - - - 9:30AM Sunday

Fire updates from me are here
and the Nugget News Paper Updates are here.

Early Mysterium Photos

Well I only got a few from Thursday, so it was just me and Leh And Ran.
Ran has more fotos uploaded here.
We managed to amuse ourselves by goofing around in dowtown Spokane at the usual spot where I was introduced to Tropical Sno.


My personal Favorite:

Now there is a story here:
Lehsa is amazing.
I had forgotten.
When Lehsa is out and about walking, for some reason she watches where she is going.
(Novel idea? Maybe I should try it!) ;o)
So she tends to alwasy find things on the ground that other people over look.
In Toronto she was alwasy finding the most random and interesting things on the ground almost every place we went.
So of course, she finds a Tiara inscribed with the wearer's title.
Ran being the uninhibited lad that he is, dons the crown immediately.

And I love this picture which is one that Ran took, because, when we first walked in I really loved the colours on the walls and the mattes The green is a very rich, buttery kind of green and the copper frames really made the colours pop. It was cool.

Add about this picture? Hey! What the heck happened here? I look like a hobbit! I am not that short! If I look like this then I am getting platform shoes and going on a diet! This looks like the old movies where you had to put the scope on the projector at the cinema - excpet that you forgot to put on the scope. Everybody was ...welll...gah! Do I REALLY look this squat?

And I appreciate Ran taking this photo.
I only regret that I won't get to share Disks with Zadok at the edge course on Sunday. :o(

The Mysterium that was not : Updated

Well, Mysterium ended up being a 24 hour event for me.
The Forest Fire that cropped up on Monday in my home town, spread wildly on Wednesday putting the neighborhood of Crossroads on Evacuation Alert. (2-3 miles from downtown Sisters)

Before : Three Sisters Mountains and Llama Ranch accross from the school.
After: See here, and here.

Ealier in the week the local Fire Chief requested additional crews and tankers, but only recieved one tanker and half the crew he requested. Fires rage all over the west, and resources are taxed.
As of Friday at 4:30 I spoke to the local sherrif's dept monitoring the fire and evacuation information, and when asked how many tankers were on hand at that time, the answer was still "one tanker." (!!!!! Hellloooooo??!!)
However, as you can see by this photo, there are at least 2 in the air over the llama ranch. Rumours are in abundance and even the media can't seem to get a grasp on the facts. Even our local Bend television station doesn't have the most up to date info.
Par example:
I met a man on the way back from Spokane, at a gas station.
He was from Bend.
He told me that the City of Sisters and two other surrounding communities had been evacuated. I knew he was bogus because I had been watching the feeds from the Newpaper located in the heart of town, and they are updating straight from the fire lines, but it shows how much inaccurate information is out there.

Thursday Crossroads was evacuated, as was the adjacent Edgington area.
Now Tollgate, City of Sisters, and my neighborhood on the East side are ready to evacuate.
We have everything we can fit in the suburban, staged in the garage and ready to be loaded.

For this reason Mysterium was, for me, a one day event.


I was teamed up with Deg and his Dad and Lehsa on the photo scavenger hunt, which was delivered to the Hotel Lobby by the Mysterious F'li, some time late Thursday night or Friday AM.

We had stopped for lunch at Chili's when my histerical daughter phoned me, saying that we were evacuating and she was home alone.
Did my blood pressure just go through the roof?

I spent the remainder of the afternoon in my hotel room watching for updates at our local newspaper's website. ( they were updating every hour or so, as info trickled in from the fire management stations. When the winds picked up, and the Black Crater Fire was upgraded to Priority Status, that is when I made the call to get on the road.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get packed up and transferred from the hotel room to the car. (They say it takes "a Village to Raise a Child?" Well it apparently also takes one to get a blabbering nitwit from her hotel room to her car!) ;O)

Thanks to Sr388 and Brandy, Alahm and Oscy for the Power Foods and Jolt Gum, and to Ran for the giNORMOUS Energy drink. I drank half of it, and then got really shakey and twitchy going through Ritzville - but it worked!
Alas, but only for so long.

(DISCLAIMER: The following is a maniacal recounting of my bizarre antics on the drive on the way home. Many activities were concocted by me, as tools to help me remain awake and alert, and under the influence of Energy Drinks and Jolt Gum - none of which I have EVER tried.)

Once again I missed my turn off at Ritzville, and wasted about an hour and a half of drive time. (!) This put me home about 3:30 am.

Despite the "energy" coursing through my veins at what might be considered toxic levels for some one of my stature, there were moments of extreme drowsiness.

You know the kind....
when you suddenly look around you and think,
"Hmmm, I am HERE already?
How did I get here? I don't remember driving here."

At such times I would turn on the radio and amuse myself by singing loudly and wrong words to many songs on the oldie station.
It occurred to me to try to immitate Fred, of B-52's fame.
Fred has this amazingly bizarre style of talking instead of singing.
If you have ever heard the B-52's then you know his odd style.
Anyway, Karen and Richard Carpenter's "We've Only Just Begun" came on about that time so I amused my self for a mile or two by backing them up, as only "me-being-Fred" could do.
That went on for quite a few songs.
I tried doing it with a country station but failed miserably and gave up.

Instead I turned on some goofy talk radio station and hurled insults at everyone.

I got out and ran around the car at a few rest stops to wake myself up.

I ran around between the aisles at a convenience store/gas station and slipped on some standing water and fell down. That managed to keep me awake for a good long while.

Around 2am, and coming down the home stretch, I became bleary eyed and rolled down all the windows and yelled at other drivers (usually truckers) going the opposite direction and yelled to the songs on the radio.

I laffed at my own jokes - which at this point were unrecognizable as jokes, or any other form of intelligent communication I am sure - but the end result was that these freakish attempts at mania succeeded in keeping me awake (along with Jolt Gum and BooKoo Energy Drink).

About 3 miles from home, the stars began to disappear and the air became "foggy."
Ash fell like snow in some places.

I left everything locked in the car.
Went into the house.
Kissed my daughter on her head and went promptly to bed.

I will go through my 16 hours worth of photos and upload the meager few that I have.
I will dream of my friends as they enjoy each other's company, and I can square with that because if I had stayed, I would have remained a basket case, worrying about home and hearth.

Have fun you guys!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Heat, Indeed

Seems that things are getting a tad warmish around Mih's end of the Continne Grand. Can't say that I'm totally surprised, actually. For someone who spent most of his life in Columbia, SC (Motto: "We're Not Just a Southern City Built On a Swap Anymore!") I could never take heat, less with the addition of humidity that only the southeast and, conversely, the Pacific Northwest can provide in copious quantity.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

can I have a popsicle?

2:45 and the temp is still rising...

Mysterium Arrival Departure Charts

I turned an excel doc into jpeg’s for easier viewing/printing.
It depicts some of the arrival and departure times for those who have mentioned such things on the Lysts.
If you want your time(s) listed, then click on the COMMENT option at the end of this post to contact me, and I will plug those figures in.
This will enable any who want to, the opportunity to meet up
at the airport and ride the shuttle, share a taxi, walk, or steal a car together.
(actually these last 2 are not sanctioned by The Lyst Admin’s and are both poor choices of transportation.)


(Click the image to see the full, readable view.)



Queue has kindly provided the link to the Spokane Airport Map/Directions.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Excavation : UpDated

I have processed the first of the fotos of the dig site the girls and I were at last week.
They foudn something on this trip, but we are not yet sure what we have.
It did generate some interest from the Team Leaders though, which was cool.

We get to progress to the research stage now.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Todays Politically Inflammatory T-Shirt Design:

Comes to us from the creative Genius we call "Babs."

Ash Grey T-shirt is here

White fitted T-shirt is here

Baby Doll Style T-shirt is here

And womens white T-shirt is here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Newly fixed Camera records amazing wildlife

In an unprecedented act of rebellion,
Rover tells #2 to piss off and then leaves
the confines of "The Village" in search of a
bucolic alpine-meadow lifestyle,
seen here, here and here.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wonderful, Glorious Joy of Joys!

The latch inside the battery compartment of my camera broke off, and I have since learned that this is typical for this particular model. (Getting a new battery cover/lid will not help since the piece in question is a molded part of the inner compartment.)
I had purchased this camera from a friend, and had only had it for 3 months when it broke.
I was heart broken.

Today, I made a startling discovery which will help any other owners of the Nikon Coolpix 990, overcome the frustrating battery latch issue.
My amazing solution is too incredibly, studpidly simple.
It is called : (drum roll if you please, Maestro...)

" Tripod Plate. "

It screws into the bottom of the camera so that one can go with or with out a tripod. On the Coolpixx 990, when the plate is screwed into the bottom of the camera a significant portion of it covers the battery door - holding it down firmly.
To change batteries, all one must do is simply unscrew the plate.


It is SOOOOO elementary!

But I am SOOOOOO happy!


Local Excavation

So the girls and I are on our way out to participate in a regional archaeological excavation.
Its kinda cool, you show up in your grubbies and work a small area down to about 6 to 10 inches in depth.

Kinda cool.

So anyway, I am out for today with that, tomorrow I fill in for a local retailer and then Wednesday I have an "abstract wilderness" shoot back up at the Tam MacArthur Rim location.

It is shaping up to be a busy week already.

So my availablility will be sporadic.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

two new Cafe Press Items

Well, I ahev two new items at Cafe Press.
A black t-shirt and a girls capped sleeve jersey.
I only did the two garment styles becasu that is what wa requested but I will be adding other shrit styles in the next day or so.

The black shirt is in Beta

And the Nessie shirt I designed expressly for Scout and her friends.
(You will need to click the larger view option for the nessie shirt.)


Monday, July 10, 2006

Well slap me hard...

...and call me stupid but,
I went and did a job and the client has bogued out. ( I think)
So this artisam comes to me and says I need to you slap together this 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 black and white ad for this quilters magazine for me. The deadline is Monday July 10th. SO I send him the proofs, he makes the corrections. I make the changes and *poof!* where is he? Its like he evaporated. Does this person even exist?

Boy oh boy...
have I got an invoice waiting for HIM!



Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Oh Lehsa,Lehsa, Lehsa!!!

You slay me!

Lehsa shares with us the pitfalls of not knowing English.

Thanks Leh!

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Sound File is updated

This is my Voice Mail recording for the rest of this week.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Update on Northwest Hammered Dulcimer event

For those who aren't on the NWHDS list, the next event is Aug 4-6 2006.

Not only do we get to have Mick Doherty and Rick Fogel,
we also are priviledged to welcome back Carolyn Cruso.

A downloadable registration form and further info can be found here.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Biggest Obstacle/Challenge

Do you remember a wonderful animated short entitled, "Getting Started" by Richard Condie? (He also did The Big Snit) They were produced under the umbrella of the Film Board Nat'l Du Canada?
Anyway, if you have never seen it,
find it.
And see it.
Your library may even have the full DVD version of this.
(If you can find the collection, you must also watch "The Sweater." My dad grew up in this same era, and honestly, if you are Canadian or of French Canadian decent, you surely must love this!)


Anyway, Richard Condie's Getting Started, illustrates perfectly my ongoing obstacles when it comes to working from home.

(*Looks at pile of dishes, vacuum-craving carpets, laundry etc....*)

Must...focus!...MUST... go...into studio

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Local Hammered Dulcimer Teacher Makes Good!

My hammered Dulcimer teacher, Mick Doherty, (Far Left) went on a trip for Mercy Corps to Korea, with some other band mates (Eddie Parente, Marv and Rindy Ross of the Trail Band) and Public Broadcasting has aired a piece about it.
There are sound files and articles to download at (Oregon Public Broadcasting) documenting this cross- cultural musical outreach.
Click here for further information about Mercy Corps, and here for more information regarding their work in North Korea.

Prepping to bury a hero

The family of PFC Tucker has announced the date and location of the public memorial service for their son, who arrived home yesterday.

Most of my own personal processing of this has occurred at Blue Max's Sanctuary Blog.

Madras is a small farming town north of Bend by about 30 minutes. Like most small towns, it is a close-knit community, and when "it hits the fan" the people bind together.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Impromptu Pik Nik

Just south of Town, beneath Tam MacArthur Rim which is adjacent to the Sisters Mountains, (out of the shot on the right).
At 6500 Ft above sea level, I can tell you we are alot cooler than my kids at camp up near Portland. Just beyond the trees at the far end of the meadows, is Three Creeks Lake, but the lake was still snowed in so we couldn't swim. :o(

What you can't see in the photo above, is the lovely little creek that meanders all across these meadows. In July, Aug and September there are clots of fly fisherman all over the meadow and they do pull enough trout out of here to make this lake and its Alpine Meadow Creeks a destination. Another thing you can't see in these photos is how deep these creeks are -even in the narrow spots some are almost 5 feet deep.

Here is Kenz trying to get me to put down the Krappy-Cam (which is the only camera I had handy on this day) and open up her sub sandwich for her.

Bonne appetit!

(That was directed at the Mosquitos. We got eaten ALIVE! As I am sure you can imagine. June + Alpine Lake = mosquitos)

(And that is about all the math I can handle today.)

Trout Creek Bible Camp

So I took all the girls to camp 3 hours north yesterday (Monday) and Today there are camp fotos.
From the Left:
Kelly, Elle, Katherine and Scout, and the CIT and counselor.
(I think "Relay" is one of the counselors)

And of course
this is a better
camp-foto of
Katherine and Scout.
(Katherine was actually the model for my photo-manip entitled Hooded Mermaid)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mindless Hate

People say many things.
They say this war is about oil.
They say this is a war concocted by a glory hungry man on a religious bent, who currently sits in the White House.

I can point to a grieving Tucker family in Madras and their friends.
I can point to the Mindless Hate that drove his killers in this obscene act of retaliation.
It is not my President, nor my oil sucking neighbors and self that have created this war.
It is a Mindless Hate declaring that all who live must submit (in this case to Allah) or die.
There is global intent, and we can't bury our heads in the sand.

There is nothing new under the sun.

This is the same Mindless Hate, that tried (is still trying unsuccessfully?)to exterminate all of the Jews.
The same Mindless Hate that drives pedophiles to seek their prey at My Space and similar venues. This Mindless Hate blows up strangers in foreign countries and Mindless Hate murders its own people. The same MIndless Hate that would devour the globe is not housed solely in AMerica or the Middle East, but it also thrives in Africa, in Uganda, Sudan, South Africa and China and Korea. It lives everywhere, and every generation strives with some form of it.
Who are you (we, me?) to think we can sleep snug in our beds? War is the Evil Norm and not the occasional catastrophe. War is the Human Spirit and Human Nature. War is the vehicle of Purest Evil to complete its goal : erase humanity. Erase all life.
This Mindless Hate kills for the sake of killing.
That is what we are fighting against.
That is what this war is about.

This Mindless Hate is always worth fighting.
No matter what the odds are.
Sometimes, it is not the outcome, but the battle that counts.

As an example, I might point to the epic story found in Lord of the Rings.
Impossible odds. Almost certain death, and yet holding fast and fighting on, to whatever end.
Evil is always worth battling, no matter what "fear of the outcome" that Evil might want to attempt to instill in our hearts in order to disuade us from participating in the battle to subdue it.

So instead of blaming Bush for this war, I point to the Mindless Hate living in the hearts of the Extremists who give in to it, and who succumb to the Will of Mindless Hate, aka Pure Evil.

Whether this war is won or lost, I don't know.
But we are fighting pure evil and not some oil war.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bardic Traditions

I have known for a long time that, in my dad's side of the family, each generation has one or two individuals who seem to be the "Story Keepers", remembering and recounting ancestral data and stories and having the internal desire to instill such knowledge in younger generations. My great grandfather was such a man, then his daughter, and then her son (my father) some how my brother was disinterested, but my heart was kindled with the old stories of our family and ancestors. I see it has now happened to my middle daughter. She actually laid a title to it today. We were speaking about who had been passing down the family stories and traditions, since the leaving of France to the coming to America. She suddenly stopped speaking, turned her head and said "Then I am the next Bard in our family." Wow. She identified the bardic tradition, the story keeper tradition, with what has occurred in our family. It was a deep and meaningful moment that I am sure, many people would say, "huh?" or "so what?"
To me, tradition and metaphorical meaning are the stuff of life.
One might also say,"So what. It is important to you and so you have managed to transmit that to your child."
Except that I have 3 children to whom I would dearly have loved to transmit my passion, but who do not share it - except the one.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Playing End of Ages

How depressing.
Being forced to give up on the "Revelation" due to technical differences, I proceed along the path to The End of Ages.

The Game proves that I am far too stupid to complete it.
It is in such moments that I am tempted to give up and give in.
But my heart longs to conquer these beautiful lands...
and yet it seems as though I am made of lesser stuff.


The never ending war between hope and lack of hope.


Am I too stupid, am I not?
Surely time will tell, for though I am tempted to give up, I can not. Ever.
So hard headed am I.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Remember When...

...Scout put this song on in the car the yesterday and gave me a major flashback!
I was suddenly transported back to 15 years old, sitting on the roof at about 11pm on a hot summer night listening to the radio...

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Yummy Dummy - Mexican Casserole

hey this had very few ingredients and was REALLY good!
For an emergency, trot this one out at a potluck for rave revues at little cost(time and monetary) to you.


1 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 c. onions, chopped
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1/4 tsp. cumin (if you have it ok if not, it doesn't matter)
12 flour tortillas, cut into bite size
3 c. cooked chicken, cubed
2 (4 oz.) cans green chilies
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I just added extra cheddar and skipped the M Jack)

Put butter and onions in small bowl; microwave on high until tender.
In large bowl, mix soup, sour cream, diced chilies, spice, and cooked onions.
Set aside. Layer half of cut up tortillas, chicken pieces, soup mixture, and cheeses in a 2 quart dish.
Repeat layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Cover with heavy duty plastic wrap and microwave on high for 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with hot French bread, green salad, etc.

Thursday, June 1, 2006


Previous tenant of this blogspace left old fudgesickle wrappers piled in the corner...

Gonna have to help clean up and organize- I don't know; a few rugs and a throw pillow or two...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

As of today everything has moved here to this new home, where I might hope to live peacefully alongside the Mettle Works Gallery.

I am really excited to begin work on the Inspiration Gallery, which is a seperate page dedicated to the art work of my friends at DevArt, who's work I really admire!

I hope you will find that your own creative energies are enhanced as you watch these guys progress in their art.


As of today everyting is moving to a new home, where I might hope to live peacefully alongside the Mettle Works Gallery.

I am testing out the gallery options that James (Aquila) set me up with oh-so-long-ago which I completely forgot about until a few days ago when I was monkeying around with the site.

"Whaddya know? Lookee what we got here, " says I to myself.

So maybe I can say goodbye to the deviousness of DeviantART - though I love my friends there I utterly detest the pornography being presented as "artistic nudes."
I am sorry, but a "Fetish Gallery" is not fine art.

So I am happy to find a cheap way to move the bulk of my gallery out of there - although I will keep my old submissions and continue to chekc in on my friends art - I must say that they are most inspiring lot and I will be building a "favorites" list that will link to the amazing works of my friends still at DevART.

So if you have links to the Blog Biscuit, you can get around to changing them to:
mettleworks.blogspot at your convenience.

While house warming gifts are unnecessary, House Warming Comments and Visits are always welcome.

See you there soon!

Adios Amoebas!

Well today starts off a new blog space.
A space where my Gallery and I can live together in some sort of harmony.
I hope.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Photo Links

I totally forgot that James set the members of the Lyst website up with Galleries/Photo Albums! So I uploaded some new images there.

Cones and Converse

Post No Bills

Shadow Puppets


Abstract with Acrylics and Marshmallow Creme

Clouds O'er Fields of May (Lo Res)

Spring Mountain

Trading Spaces - Sisters Edition

The eating dilemma that never ceases

Heheh, this almost starts out like an R. Pratt blog post, being about lunch and food, but in the end I think it turns sour and any resemblance fades quickly.

So I am walking around the kitchen, looking for something to have for lunch.
I open the cupboard...cup -o- soup?
No the kids like those for after school, I better not.

I open the fridge...Cheese quesadilla?
No the kids like those too much too.

No, should save it for Scout, its her favorite.


Chips and salsa?
No Stu likes those for a snack.

No,I could use it in a sandwich for the kids tomorrow.

My eyes light on a brand new tube of Goat cheese.
Mmmmm, yummmm, I can have that on a piece of bagette!
I don't want to open a brand new package just for myself, when I could save it and share it with my friend Amber.

And then I had to stop...

What the heck is wrong with you girl?!
Don't you matter?
Open the frikkin cheese and have some.
That's what its there for, and nobody else in the house likes it except you.
(And Amber when she visits.)
And what? Like I can't have any of the food unless its something that nobody else likes or will eat? What is up with that? What is in yer head woman??!!)

So pushing guilt aside, (And what guilt? Guilt for existing? Guilt for not being everything to everybody at every time they think they need it? I don't know - what is that? Approval Addiction? ) I did indeed delve into the brand new package of cheese.
O thou sinful creature!
How dare you take food that could be eaten by some one else.

Man! How I can be too dang fat and not eat is a mystery to me!

Eating and its psycological relationship to being valuable.
To being a viable life form.
What is up with that?
(Millions of people on this planet, and millions of perspectives on that question right there.)

To eat is to acknowledge that I exist?
And to exist is ...what? Bad?
I haven't quite figured out what within me finds something bad about that.
That I might interfere with some one elses plans just by my mere presence?
Could be.
(Hmmm, there went an internal lightbulb.)

Where the heck did that thought come from, anyway?

Hmmmm...maybe there is food for thought there.
Maybe not.

Maybe there is a terrible banquet set, that the rest of you can easily view with disgust, that I can barely make out as though looking into a smeared and dirty mirror.
I still can't see it all yet.
But I think there might be something there.

The fathomable yet unattainable flip-side to all of this, is that I know that if there be any sin,
it is in that I know that I am a creation of God Almighty, and yet I harbor this odd mindset that denies the value of His Workmanship. (Namely, me and my existence.)

I am sure there must be some form of arrogance there, on my part.
Not sure yet how that works in, though.

Pieces to puzzles.
Floating all around and yet when I reach for them they disappear like quicksilver from my hand, and I awaken from the fleeting thought as from a dream.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Emergency Chowder

Not being such a blue-blooded gourmet as our Blue Max or a naturally gifted Texan like Lehsa where the art of succulent food prep is concerened (never met a Texan who couldn't cook!) you will find words in my recipes such as:

-"Throw in a pot"
-"Dump in a bowl"
-"Just throw some in, it doesn't matter how much."
-"who cares"

So, for todays recipe, here is what you will need:

-1 can of chowder. (Condensed or Heat and Serve - it doesn't matter.)
-1 can of Cream of Something Else soup. (cream of mushroom, cream of broccoli, cream of chicken - it doen'st matter.)
-1 can of tuna or salmon or both.
-half packet (or whole, depending upon how much tuna/salmon you have on hand) of crab, or imitation crab.
-1 onion
-some butter or margarine or cooking oil or Pam. (who cares)
-Wine is good in here too - preferably white.
-some milk
-some garlic or garlic powder.
-1 pinch of dried dill (if you have it on hand, if not, it doesn't matter.)
-1 or 2 stalks of chopped celery
-maybe a cup of corn?

Here is what you do with this stuff:

-open the chowder and dump in a pan.
-open the cream of something and dump in a pan.
-using one of the empty soup cans, add 1 can water and 1 can milk.
-dump in the wine - not too much!
-fry chopped onion in butter/margarine/Pam/oil until soft.
-dump the onion in with the soup mixture.
-add cans of Tuna, Salmon and packet of imitation crab.
-Add celery (and corn if you decide to go that route.)

-Heat it on low or medium - but DO NOT let it boil. Ever.
-Cook for a long time on low heat, preferably at least 30 minutes, checking and stirring often.
-You could probably do this in the microwave if you had to.

Serve with some crusty bread.
Before serving, sprinkle maybe some grated cheese or sesame seeds or something and pepper.

Do not add salt.
It is already going to be salty enough to make you want to suck down an entire 6-pack by yourself in order to slake your thirst.

Heck you could even add half a beer to this recipe instead of the wine and I bet it would be good too.

There it is.
Its Friday.
Eat fish on Friday.
Beats me.
That's what we do, cuz that's what we do.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

High School Film Festival awards

Well the local highschool held its annual film festival this evening. I was SO proud of Blake and Andrew . They had nominations in many categories including best animated short film(Pizza Rocket), best documentary(Ben Freeland's Unicycle sponsor vid) and best feature film (S.W.A.T) and best screenplay.(S.W.A.T)

Blake and Andrews "Pizza Rocket" won for best animated short film!

While S.W.A.T was nominated for 2 sewperate categories, it didn't win either, but the audience was chanting the name of the film and was bummed when it didn't win. The winner was actually VERY worthy and took a lot of awards. It was a dark film based upon a murderous ghost named "Bloody Mary." Despite the dark nature of it, it was WELL written, and the editing was fabulous, and two actresses were nominated for best actress and one of them won.

I think SWAT had a following because of one of the cast members who passed away on last Memorial Day, one year ago. If you have been hanging aroudn the Blog Biscuit for over a year, you might remember a post I did about the passing of a young man I called "David." He was at lake Shasta and he fell from the upper deck of a houseboat, hit his head and drowned. Well "David" was none other than our own dear Joel Meyer. I dared not share his real name at the time out fo respect for his family. But as time goes on we are able to more joyously celebrate the amazing person that Joel was. Anyway, When Joel passed, it rocked our town. He was a goofball freindly kid who loved and gave his all to anyone and everyone. He treated every one with love and every one who met him loved him. Joel had the gift of creating team spirit. Of creating comaraderie and the spirit of equality in every group he was apart of. he inspired and encouraged. He instructed in his own secretly charming way,. those younger than him and they looked up to him. He never lorded it over them. Anyway...Joel had ahuge part in S.W.A.T. I thank my God in heaven, that all theboys got to do that project with him. They will have it, and what they learned form him, forever intheir hearts.

It is for this reason that I think the entire audience wanted SWAT to win - because it was Joel was in it - and every body loved him. Joel's family was there tonight. Joels little brother is one of my sons best friends since 5th grade. his parents are dear freinds of ours. It was good to see them there. Joel was instrumental in conducting the Film Festival before he graduated and went off to college. It was good to see them there and especially so close to the one year mark.

As for our judges, they were utterly impartial, having very little to do with our student body community (which was a good thing) but being professionals in the industry, they graciously donated their time to sit through 5 hours worth of clips, judging each one on its own merits.

So SWAT did not win out over "BLoody Mary" but it did the community good to see Joel again and remember him a year after his passing.

I think it was a healthy thing.