Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Good happenings on not the greatest day

In order:

1. A true, loyal, strong, and infinitely patient friend doesn’t check out on me in frustration, even though I’ve given them dozens of reasons over time why they should. You inspire me to do as well, and I am grateful beyond words. I wish everyone to be so fortunate.
2. The grinding of the UPS truck coming up the mountain, with a delivery of internet purchased organic free trade shade grown Italian roast espresso. Nectar of the sunrise gods. I can’t wait for morning.
3. Getting the fire going in the wood stove and having it perfectly burning when I come in from a long freezing walk. Fire: stored solar power like a July day.
4. Earmuffs on a cold windy day.
5. And hand-knit mittens.
6. A pot of hot green tea near the fire after the freezing walk.
7. Being able to take a freezing walk.
8. New iPod playlists with new music
9. Simple and quick garlicky supper and a glass of what turns out to be really good cheap red Spanish wine. Good red wine: Liquid summer.
10. Postponing chores and making it an early to bed night.
11. No wind blowing, and a good read

On the balance, maybe the day was pretty good after all.

Have a wonder-full evening.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Night Work

Working on several art projects tonight. That seems to be more productive at the moment than chasing squirrels...

Finished some documentation on source info and concept for the clay installation. Click here if you're interested (pdf).

Going down to paint a bit, and if I can manage to stay awake for a while, test a video idea.

Hope everyone is having a great evening!

Another Chance

The sun came up this morning. So here's another chance to get things right, and do some good stuff.

Time for me to get started.

I wish everyone some warm light wherever you are. Hope your day treats you well and brings you a smile or two.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A little fog lifting...

There was a bit of light late today...

and I took my dark self out for a walk.

Later, I made up a smoking hot gumbo and rice, to feed the beast. And now the evening winds down, some reading and planning and soon to bed.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. This week, we'll search for a sunnier edition of Small Ponderings.

Have a great evening!

At the edge of the fog

Wondering if it will envelope me, or if the sky will suddenly clear?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Art of the Mundane

In spite of the morning post I managed to get myself into some kind of gear and get a few things done. I mean the sun was up and out, its wasn't stupid cold, and the wind, she did not blow today. So on the balance things were ok.

I spent a good bit of time in the clay studio, making parts for yet more unsellable sculpture. My goal: to have the biggest collection of Mark Boyd sculpture in the world. You'll be pleased to know I'm well on my way. After that some testing of my little sound rig, which I am quite pleased with- O/C research seems to have paid off, even though the amount of time I spent on it is embarrassing. Sound stuff wrapped up, I did some video tests, which I'll work on tonight to see how that came together. Assuming I'm making some degree of headway, I plan to spend some time soon at Mountain Gardens doing preliminary interviews and some filming in the greenhouse as Joe plants seedlings for transplant in the early spring.

Somewhere amid all that was laundry, and tonight it was nice enough to cook out on the deck, a slow roasted chicken with tons of garlic, and black beans with tortillas. The food of my people. If I only knew how to play a concertina, or gypsy guitar; then I'd have something.

So now in the evening, I'm trying against all odds to educate myself on small video production. It's fun and I enjoy it, maybe I can get lost in it and a answer or a piece of one to all the questions floating in the background will flutter down on me.

Have a great evening!


Up with the sun, and continuing to chase rabbits (that is what I call the round and round in my head). Working on last night's posting and no closer to getting my arms around the essence of the thing, so I'll set it aside and just toss off a few lines.

I'm worried that my default position of late is dissatisfaction. This is uncomfortable and unlike me (or at least unlike how I perceive myself; maybe I need to go back in front of the mirror and take more lumps?). I like to think I'm fairly optimistic and have a positive outlook, but lately I have little proof of that perception.

Also, I feel guilty when I'm dissastisfied, because after all, what do I have to complain about? What justification is there? I"m not starving, I have a roof over my head, I'm in no imminent danger that I know of, and I'm reasonably healthy. Millions of people would trade places with me in an instant. And yet...

So I feel ungrateful. Which I"m not.

I don't know what spurs all this questioning. Well, maybe I do a little bit. I think I'm always on the hunt for clarity of purpose and meaningful existence, and I rarely feel like I manage the whole enchilada. Bits and pieces and moments, yes, but not the calm and fluid continuity and peace of mind that I think everyone deserves. I have no desire for perfection in life, but some steady balance might be a good thing.

What strikes me is that this doesn't seem to be an isolated feeling. Think about it, how many people do you know in your own life that display and radiate a solid sense of grounded contentment? I can think of 3 out of a whole big mess of people. And you can bet I'm talking to them. Not looking for a secret, not wanting a shortcut, but trying to understand how they can have this sweet balance when they're dealing with at least as much as the rest of us and in some cases more.

Maybe its a matter of attitude, and mine needs some adjustment. Or maybe it's recognizing there's a lot more to life than going through the motions and being in a safe and comfortable rut, and not taking some chances that can be the difference between living wide open or existing in a reasonably safe and comfortable torpor.

One of my favorite sayings is "a well lived life is a messy business." I made that up some years ago.

Think of how you might eat peaches: You can go to the store, pick out a perfectly formed round just right colored peach, take it home, wash it, peel it carefully, slice it onto a nice plate, sit down at the table and eat it with a fork, napkin handy. Or, you can walk out to the orchard barefoot at the end of a hot summer day, reach up into the branches, thru the limbs and bees buzzing, locate that one perfectly ripe soft and warm peach, snap it down, sit under the tree in the twilight with fireflies dancing, peel it right there with your fingers and eat it with your hands, the warm sweet peach-y juice running down your hand, your arm, all sticky, peach juice on your face and ants crawling across your toes and you have the whole messy world right there in just that instant.

Both ways enable you to eat the peach. One way lets you EXPERIENCE the peach. I'd choose sitting under the tree every time. It's a matter of style. Except recently I seem to be reaching for too many napkins. And this is what troubles me.

Ah well. There is no end to this, so I'll have to enforce a mandatory pause right here. I'm going down to work on some clay, maybe some insight will come to me. If it does I'll be sure to share it! Otherwise, I leave you with my wishes for a great day, and this tune, the soundtrack of the morning.

Have a great Satuday!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Edition

Hello campers, its Friday night here at Small Ponderings world headquarters, and I just wanted to let you know I'm working on another big ol' mess of a post. Yup, it's late but I'm hacking away at the keyboard trying to make some sense out of a rambling discourse on another Very Big Question that I've been churning on. It's not dressed up and ready to take out yet, but soon, I hope. I thought I'd pop in here and put up something funny and entertaining for you to pass the time but I really don't have anything. Unless maybe you want to check out woostercollective.com, they have some interesting video pieces up.

So that's enough question avoidance for this hour. Stay tuned for more Small Ponderings of what has recently been Big Questions. I'm looking forward to the day when I can slip back into talking about the Screech Owls that were partying last night at 3 am....

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Who is that person in the mirror?

Do any of you ever ask yourself that question when faced with your own reflection? And how do you answer? I'll tell you mine: At times, I have little idea. All I'm certain of is there is always more than meets the eye, and no matter how much I think I know about myself or how much understanding I think I have, I find out that in reality, I don't know jack.

For those of you that know yourselves well, click away now cause you'll be bored. For the rest of you (if there are any of you) know this: uncertainty is a shared feeling.

There is a line of thinking that says the Universe is a teacher. It will keep coming at you until you get the lesson. Every failure to learn leads to the repeat of the lesson, in a less subtle manner. Someone like me, a little slow off the draw, well, you can imagine the universe can loose patience. The Universe, while possessed of infinite wisdom, has little tolerance for fools. Thus, the need for the occasional Universal Ass Kicking.

The Universe doesn't ultimately allow you to get away with much. I can stand in front of that mirror, thinking I've got it all figured out, strengths and weaknesses, oh yes I KNOW myself and my capabilities and limits, walk out the door and WHAM! find out quickly how wrong or ignorant I am about myself.

Now, I get these sorts of messages all the time. They come up in my artwork, my day job, personal stuff, finances, life issues, just everywhere. Like I said I'm a slow learner. I'll finally learn something, feel all good about it, then get reminded there's a lot more to be done. So then I look in the mirror and say, "I just don't know, but I"m trying." Then the Universe says, Yoda-like "there is no try, only do, or do not". Or something like that.

Funny thing about mirrors: the best ones, the ones you REALLY can see parts of yourself in, they're not freestanding. Oh no. They are generally held up by someone. Someone strong and patient. The Universe only has so much time for these things, and often enlists someone to help. Holding up a mirror, I think this is not easy work. In fact, I think it can be exhausting and thankless. I can imagine the Universe or the enlisted mirror holder, hearing me say for the hundredth time "I'm trying"or worse yet witnessing a total lack of clear vision and understanding, completely losing faith and patience and smashing it over my head. As well they should. An attention getter that, with the added life educational experience of cleaning up the wreckage.

It would be so much easier if we really knew ourselves inside and out, what drives us, how we're wired, what we're capable of and what we should guard against. People are complicated, there's a lot of layers and in some of us (myself for example) a good many of them aren't all that great. I don't know if it's possible to get rid of the bad layers, or even if we should. I have some idea they are part of a whole cloth, ragged stray threads here and there, maybe even a rough patchy spot or two or three. I believe that we shoudn't define our selves by these bad parts; somehow we should figure out how to see the whole of ourselves and others, and on balance hope that the good far outnumbers the bad.

So that's what's on my mind. If you'll excuse me, my ass hurts from being rightly kicked, and I need to put a bandaid or three on my hard head. And I have some glass to clean up. It's probably gonna take me a while. But that's what needs done. Learn, clean up, move forward.

Oh yeah, one more thing: we all know who our mirror-holders are, the people that allow us to see ourselves. Make sure the ones that hold yours know that you love them and appreciate them. They often deserve much better than they get. Do yourself and them a favor and see yourself clearly. It's a whole lot easier than cleaning up broken glass.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tues night dog blogging

High winds howling, like a thousand banshees outside. Cold and dark.

So here's the thing: I wrote a long and arduous post tonight, complete with a well composed photo to visually support the text. I even posted the thing. It said what I wanted to say, it was strong, emotive, sensitive. I felt good about it.

For about 5 minutes. It was too......much.

Upon the 3rd or 4th re-reading, I decided it was too raw and personal. I'm not quite sure what to do with it, but didn't think I could leave it up for public consumption. Not that I have that much of a public but still.

So anyways, again, I got nuthin'. I'm discouraged: I'm turning into one of those blogs I just click right on by...I'm not fearless enough to put everything out there on public display. I apparently am a Wimpy Blogger. (this would have fit into the theme of the earlier post perfectly...it was a long and rambling discourse on how we see and perceive ourselves vs. the reality of who we are etc etc...for example I like to perceive myself as a brave and wide open book kind of blogger, but here we are...)

Ah, well. I do have a couple of postable ideas in the works, so maybe I'll focus on them and get one up soon. Right now, I have a headache, and I'm just waiting for another tree to crash down. So I need to check out for the night.

Be well, stay safe and warm, and tell the folks you love just how much you do. Have a great evening.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Today's work

I was gonna write a long and profound entry tonight, something that had some thoughtful content, a pondering to ponder. But instead I'll just show you the results of todays assembly, which now that I'm looking at them I don't like so much because of the markings...I'll go down and rework them tomorrow. But tonight I'm feeling a little gnarly, so need to call it an early day and see if I can rest myself to feeling better. I don't have the time, energy or inclination to come down with something.

I'll try to work up a good pondering soon (it's been fermenting and sure to bubble up to fruition any day now). For now I'll wish everyone a good evening, and a great beginning to the week.

Those markings are gonna haunt me till i resolve them...what the heck was I thinking about???

Saturday, January 21, 2006

In progress

Hoping these

become something like this

I need to edit the photos I've been collecting as inspirational source material and write an explanation of where I'm going with this so that anyone who wants to can play along. But there's only so many hours in a day, I have a small mind, and right now I need a nap!

Have a great afternoon!

Slow start on a rainy Saturday

Up long before dawn for some reason, but not a lot to show for it here. Not for lack of pondering though.

It's Saturday, a clay day. Soon as I post this I'm going down and make some of these forms. I'm a little tired, so will probably work smaller than larger. The sketch is the general idea, as they go together I'm thinking maybe to make them a little more extreme and distorted. Some days I feel like that. I'll make parts today, and put them together tomorrow. Maybe photos if there's anything interesting.

So some studio work, then maybe squeeze in a quick nap to offset the early morning. Then tonight we're going to be social butterflies and flit over to another mountain for dinner with some friends. Unusual for me to go out, so I'm trying to work myself into a social mood.

Whatever you're doing, have a great day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A digression on the mundane details of this evening

I like tools that work well. If I had the money, I could be a gadget head. But as it is, I have to be really picky on where the pennies go. This requires me to do a lot of research, suffer a lot of anxiety, and hope for the best.

So, in the happy mail today comes a little widget that I need to work on my video project. Oh joy! Ready to open it with excitement, ready to test and play and learn to use it. Except it is packaged in the dreaded blister pak.

Which I have to say, is apparently made of teflon, and is bulletproof. You could protect the space shuttle with this thing, or use it to armor plate vehicles. So, grab the scissors...

Except, whats the deal with these scissors? Cheap pieces of crap! How hard is it to make decent scissors for a reasonable price? And where does one find them? And then how does one keep from losing them, or having them disappear into the scissor ether?

I hope there is a special place in hell for packaging designers where they are dispatched to open their own designs with nothing but lame scissors to assist for all eternity.

This concludes my digression. Back to my project....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tues post-tree report.

I was gonna blog the big cut and repair, but decided just to give highlights. Then a note of great importance.

The tree is completely off the shed, and all aerial work done. I fixed the roof, it's battered but serviceable, has kind of a rumpled character. The best news is that it doesn't look like I'll have to tear down and rebuild the chimney; when I got the load off of it, it pulled back into place (more or less) thanks to the steel re-enforcing (that was my first big welding job a few years ago, so i'm tickled it held!) It's got a bit of a twist from the torque of the hit, but overall looks sound. A few minor patches to some broken brick here and there, and we'll be good to go.

I figure theres 2-3 years of firewood to be had from the fallen tree. It's just a matter of time and energy to saw, split and stack.

So, not so bad. Of course I'm sore as all get out from the climbing, roping, sawing and manhandling of pieces. But that build character, right?

It's really raining hard and cold now, snow following. Ugliest winter in years.

I want to leave everyone with these thoughts: The people in your life that love you the best will put up with your worst and give you reason to be a better person. They won't fix you, but they'll tell you the truth, and they'll shine a light into your darkness so you can stumble around and find your way. They'll remind you to be responsible for yourself and your actions.
They don't let you get away with any BS. And when you get yourself together, they'll be the first ones to celebrate with you. It's not easy on these people to do this for us; in fact they probably have the worst end of the deal. But they do it anyway because they care. These people can be friends, family, parents, lovers, spouses; I don't think it's limited or dictated to any one relationship. But I do know this: all of us should find these people in our lives, and tell them we know what they do for us, and we are grateful. And we should do it right now: turn, call, write, email, fax, put it on a billboard in an obvious place, just do it. They deserve nothing less than what they give.

I'm off to make sure someone knows I'm grateful. Have a wonderful evening, be safe and warm.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Monday morning

A boy, big trees in a horizontal plane, ladders, ropes, chainsaws, winches. Gas and oil and smoke and loud noise. Fine art at it's best.

This morning, the tree comes off the shed, one way or another. Stay tuned as the story unfolds...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's all part of the art...

That's what I keep telling myself. It's a little discouraging, but "it could'a been worse", "thank goodness it's not on the house", "I know someone in NOLA would gladly have something this small to worry about", and finally "I won't have to worry about firewood next winter..."

It is what it is:

One huge tree, and 3 others about 30" across and 75' long, down. Glancing blow to the kiln shed. One corner pretty much took the hit. The chimney damaged, and I'll have to rebuild it. The main part of the kiln seems intact. It could'a been worse, 3 ft more to the left and i'd be a 2d artist. So this is a little setback.

Tomorrow I'll get a friend up to help me get the section that's on the shed and chimney off. You can't tell from the pics, but its about 30' long and under a lot of tension, I'll have to go slow with it. I have ladders, chainsaws, winches; this is the type of thing I'd normally do alone (not playing well with others) but I looked at it and know it's too dangerous to go solo. The part running from the ground up to the top of the chimney is as big around as me, and that's saying something. So safety wins out over my fierce independence. I'm willing to suffer for my art, but not die for it.

There's a kiln in there somewhere

Next winters firewood on the hoof.....

The chimney is supposed to be STRAIGHT!

This is small potatoes in the big picture of life. A few hours to get the section off the roof and chimney, 3 days to pull down and rebuild the chimney and i'm back on track. The rest of the cleanup can be done whenever, sawing, cutting and splitting.

So I hope wherever you are you have calm and gentle breezes. Be warm and cozy, go slow (or fast if you're inclined) thru the day, and have fun.

The Wind

It blows.

Literally. And hard, without stopping apparently...

Pictures at 11.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Small Pondering Decompression Site

Well call me what you will, and say what you want, but it's not a bad way to end the day:

The Muppets kept me up past bedtime.

End o' the week

Friday night and waiting for the snow to fall, wild weather here on the mountain.

Spendt some time researching the clay installation project, gathering source images to help me figure out a feeling for sizing and placement. I'll edit these down and link to them so you can see where my ideas come from, if not why. Input along the way is welcome. Hope to have a statement roughed out by the end of the weekend, sooner if it snows a lot and I'm inside. Of course I will be, having planned an all day trip tomorrow to the nearest city for chores and food; it will most certainly snow.

An observation: there are few things in this world more useless than a leaky raincoat. The one I wore tonight during my walk would be more accurately described as a "walk around in the rain and get wet" coat. It has been sent to raincoat heaven.

So, a little food, a little drink, a little reading and the day will be done. I hope wherever you read this you are safe, warm and healthy. Have a great evening!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The current status of the small ponder-er:

Move along, move along...nothing worth seeing here- go grab someone you love, get outside, enjoy the moon and have a great evening!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Small details

I see by the calendar it's Tuesday, and realize I haven't posted since..Saturday??? Wow.

I have these streaks of time when the daily details of the parts of my life and living that I'd share here seem pretty repetitive, rountine, mundane. You know how it is, work, weather, some little thing that happend...for those of us that make stuff some in-process notes. I mean, kinda dry reading you know? Not like Billy Collins poetry, or the News From Lake Woebegone, or even This American Life (which I've recently become pretty interested in having heard Ira Glass's interview a week or so ago on the occasion of their tenth year show. I'm slow to catch on.) So I skip a day here and there.

Just in case anyones keeping score, I made pots this weekend, the first step towards the installation i mentioned earlier. And I did some work on the documentary, tested some microphones and a little recording widget. I wrote a bit (if you can call it that, just notes for how to make this doc) studied a lot, ate a little. The weather has been warm almost like spring, so there's been more walks than usual, this to make up and assuming we wil pay the piper later. Then there's day job, life maintenance stuff, etc.

See, mundane. Routine. Not so interesting, eh?

Life: there's more to it than meets the eye. Thank goodness!

Have a great evening!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I decided this morning I needed to be organized if I'm going to effectively juggle my two big projects this year. So, breaking with my traditional creative approach, I made a list.

Normally, I just start fiddling around and see where things take me; not really efficient but it seems to be the way I get the best results. Having a clear vision of a finished project in my head is new to me in my studio. But I like the feeling of the first steps I took today.

I tend to view things with a "whole systems" eye. On my good days, I can see the thing or idea, and intuit how the parts need to come together to make it work. I guess I'm a de-constructionist by nature. Anyways, having a vision of this installation at completion is going to allow me to get my arms around the pieces and processes. Today was clean up the studio, ready the work surfaces, and start making the little pieces to get into the rhythm of working with clay. That all went well, not any fits and starts and restarts. I put on some latin music and got to it. At the end of the day, 15 small pieces, which will be trimmed tomorrow. I don't know what the soundtrack will be.

As I was working I quickly fell into my personal method of working in series. I never do just one thing. I always have several pieces or groups going at one time. I most often work in 3's, or groupings of 3's. Now this unusual, as most folks work in 4's, or multiples of 4's. That's how I was taught to work; being the type of student I am, you see how it took.

I like the idea of Three. There's a certain stability there, but not so square as 4. If it can't be round, then triangles please my eye more than squares or rectangles, I don't know why. Groups of people? 3 is a perfect number for me. Coffee? 3 coffees a day is just about right (unless it's 6, which is a whole 'nuther story). Options? 3 is plenty, enough to have the freedom of choice, but not too many which then creates an atmosphere of indecision. Menu items? 3 is good (pass the hot sauce please). Bowling? 3 games are perfect, 4 can be inconclusive, and 5 will be too much the next day when you wake up with a sore shoulder. And how about if we could divide the day into thirds instead of into hourly increments? A third of a day is a good chunk 'o time: I could actually accomplish something! I could go on but you get the idea. 3 is right for me.

So what's your number, and why? And does anyone besides me ever ponder these things?

So that's it for me tonight. I'm in pursuit of some serious sleep, more than 3 hours. A multiple would be nice, say 9?

Have a great evening!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Brief end of week pondering

My attention is occupied by other (incredibly wonderful!) activities tonight. But I wanted to toss this out to the cosmos and whatever readers might happen by to stew on a bit:

"What if my default answer in Life was "Yes!"?

I read this (or something similar but to that effect) in some other blog sometime before the holidays, and it's stuck in my head. I wish I had written it down exactly so I could credit it properly. But like any good question, it's sparked many more. This is a good one for self-observation. So I'll be pondering on it a bit, and get back to you.

That's it for now, be well and have a great evening and weekend!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Awake and Reasonably Alert

Hey, look at this! I can type sentences without falling face down into my keyboard...

Ah, the early evening blog. Though there are many more important things that should be getting my attention right about now.

It is cold, windy and snow-flurrying here on small ponderings mountain tonight, simply delightful weather. The woodstove is humming, sweaters are on, cats in place, and the dogs curled up. Bring it on. A good night to read and write.

In lieu of New Year's resolutions, I decided that for the first time I'd set some artistic goals. After all, I'm not getting any younger. Now to many this might not seem like big news but for the few that know me its huge. If you follow this blog at all, you know I'm wide ranging and scattered about media; I write, paint, draw, make mixed media pieces, dabble in sound and video, and of course work with clay. This thrashing about is more a product of interest instead of inattention. But the truth of it is that I am the type of person that can't be proficient at anything unless I do it every day. And we've established there just isn't time and/or energy to do EVERYTHING, much less do it well. So, this year, I will focus.

I will work on two specific projects this year.

The first will be predominently clay, but with a small ponderings twist. For several years I've been making variations of 2 specific forms in various sizes. I don't know why, I just like to do them. After my last firing I realized I am getting quite a few of them..I might be up to 20-25 pieces. These rarely sell, but I really like them. I only this winter realized the origin and why. I also finally understood what I need to do with them: I need to make more, I need to make them bigger and I need to show them all together. So that's what I'll do.

I"ll make a bunch more, with some varigation but maintaining the same idea. The total display will contain pieces ranging in size from about 10" to approximately 6'. Yes, 6 FEET. I will make and fire life sized forms. I've never worked on that scale, so it should be interesting. Now comes the twist: I'll build pedestals so everything gets shown between heart and eye level. The pedestals will be not be museum-like- they'll be made from found materials, preferrably quite weathered and worn: barn siding, rusted metal, old pallets, wire. This will require carpentry and welding/metal fabrication both of which I can and have done. The pieces will be shown on the pedestals in a space to be determined; I'm hoping to find an abandoned industrial space of some age, like an old mill, warehouse, barn, granary, storefront or whatever. I'll design and build active lighting (not like a gallery, but something that creates an effect of light and shadow) and will create a soundtrack which I'll install as a sonic sculpture in the space, all invisible. Finally, there will be some kind of invisible kinetic element that will help to bring the space alive. In short, I want to create a total environment that people can walk into and immerse themselves in.

All this will require a huge amount of work and I'll do all if it myself. I'm sure I won't make a dime, and will probably end up spending every spare nickle to get it together. I'd love to be able to put this show on around this time next year, but if it takes longer to pull it off, thats ok, as long as I am making forward progress. I'd rather do the showing somewhere out of my immediate vicinity- an urban setting might go over better. But of course time and money will dictate that. If its got to be at the old cotton mill down in the village, then that's where it will be. I hope to photo and video all along the line and keep you posted on the progress. And of course I'll invite any one of you that want to come for the grand opening.

But wait, theres more!

The second project (because the first one isn't near difficult or expensive enough) is the first Small Ponderings Documentary Production. You know all my silly little movies and sound pieces I've put up? Well, ultimately there was a point, I was learning how to use my meager equipment in hopes to put together a for-real documentary. Last night I got the call, and it is going to happen. I will be doing a documentary piece on Joe Hollis and his Mountain Gardens, where he works and applies his philosophy of Paradise Gardening. This is Joe's life work, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to let me be a part of it for the next year. I plan to film the gardens and working processes for each season, as well as do in depth interviews with Joe on his philosophy and the evolution of the project over the past 25+ years. My goal is to have the production finished, edited, and compiled as a dvd movie by this time next year. If it doesn't suck too bad (assuming I don't fail completely) Joe will have copies to sell on his website, and will show it as part of his lecture series in his travels around the country. I might try to enter it in some small local film festivals. I've already started on this project so I can get all 4 seasons in this year. Again, I'll do everything myself, writing, video, sound, editing, and dvd production (don't you just LOVE digital freedom???) If time and energy allow, I'll put shorts on the web for viewing.

Either of these projects could easily take up all my waking hours to do well. So, just for the challenge, I'll be working on these and keeping to my day job. So if anyone has any idea of how to squeeze more hours into a day, let me know.

Now, if you're still reading and not bored to death I want to thank you. But I also want to solicit your help. These are demanding tasks I've set before myself. There's times when I'll want to bag it. But I think talking about these projects here gets them out of my head and out into the world. It's the first step to their realization. So feel free to ask about their progress, question my effort, or when I put up samples of work in progress, comment on the results. It'll keep me honest, and keep me focused. A little encouragement goes a long way in stuff like this.

So that's all the news that isn't from here on the hill. The rest of the evening will be spent reading tech docs to determine if you can in fact go from recorded mini disk straight to mac via usb, or if you have to record the MD live time via output.

This is my life: random acts of seemingly pointless activity.

Have a great evening, laugh as much as possible, and believe in the power of love.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mid week late evening ponderings...


I'm giving up on where the time goes, I can never figure that out. So this year, I'm going to ponder why I run out of gas about this time of day. Maybe what I need is an after supper espresso.

It has been a pretty good pondering day. Lots of fun had in the gaps found in the workday. Decent chili supper provided as payment for one of yesterday's support visits. Freakishly great weather (warm and sunny?) though going crooked over the next few days. Some musical tom-foolery this evening, followed by a great deal of research on a project that is underway. More on that later.

So what you, my loyal reader, get tonight is yet another weak blog effort. Not for lack of material, au contraire! But from tiredness and the inability to connect the dots or be very coherent. Plus, I'm on my Mac and I've already increased the text view size a couple of times, and still find my eyes too strained to continue on. So I'll bag it with promises to do better tomorrow.

Have a great evening and stay tuned for the newest small ponderings project unveiling!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Time does fly...

...when you're having fun, or working feverishly.

I did some of both this evening, but now its late, and I'm not blog-worthy...

To summarize: up before light, work all day, make a support stop on the way home that turned into a 2 hour update and upgrade project, home to wolf down dinner, up to small ponderings world headquarters to spontaneously produce a piece of mix media performance art (GREAT FUN! ), then a while on a second support call, then a while on a third support question, then about 1/2 hr studying for a sound/video project, and now here. Which I would love to stay with a while but I need my beauty sleep.

Have a great evening! Laugh before sleeping. See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Its cool, misty, and gray here on small ponderings mountain. A contemplative, bloggy sort of day, in contrast with the sunny warm and outside-y day yesterday. I do love variety.

Cleaning out the woodstove before building the morning fire I am reminded of how much I like that thing. And then what other stuff do I have that I'm really attached to? I'm not so much a materialist, don't have a lot of accessories, but there are things that make life pretty darn enjoyable. So I'm going to attempt a blog listing (my first ever?) of stuff I really like (not all inclusive).

wood stove- low tech, no nonsense, no moving parts and it does its job well, withou complaint

laptop- a window to the world, and mailbox extraordinaire. how else could we make friends all over the world from the top of this hill?

dsl- i'm addicted, couldn't live without it. it makes your computer a usuable living vehicle, instead of a lump of frustrating plastic

my 1947 Ford 8N tractor- simple straightforward, no frills workhorse. Battered and beaten, it runs like a dream. I can fix it, and it makes my life so much easier. I couldn't live up here without it.

iPod- i agonized over getting this a couple of years ago. I love music, but it seemed so extravagant. It was worth every penny. Now I never listen to the radio much, am a big fan of the podcast (no commercials and you listen when you want, not when something happens to be on) and, I figured out that i can use it to record stuff. It puts media in the hands of the people.

Schrade Multi-tool- they don't make mine anymore, i'd cry if something happened to it. A little toolbox on your belt, it saves me 1000's of steps a day. Best multi-tool ever, it doesn't pinch your hands. Like my Grandaddy used to say: "someone with some sense figgered that thing out.."

home entertainment system- we got our first and only one a couple of years ago. Another extravagance, but worth it. I haven't gone to a theatre in 2 years. Entertainment options are limited here on the mountain, and I refuse satellite tv (57 channels ain't nuthin' on) and its a LONG way to town. Plus expense and all that. Netflix, anyone?

coffee maker- i have this little melitta espresso maker that cost maybe $25 five years ago. I think its build of cast iron- I use it daily, 2 or three times a day, and it makes a damn fine cappuccino, espresso, or latte. I shall cry when it dies. I get my coffee (Italian roast espresso, fair trade, organic, shade grown)from an internet vendor and roll my own drinks daily. For years when living in the city, I was a frequent Starbucks customer (basic coffee drinks). My little melitta saved me from withdrawl when I moved to the mountain.

So that's a decent list. I think I'll go fire up the melitta, stoke the stove, and treat myself to surfing the web for some new music (haven't gotten any in a year) and add to my iPod playlists.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Empty with Possibility

New Year's Day; me, I got nuthin'. Well, I mean I haven't got much to say that you haven't heard before. Just pondering, mulling...

I've fallen into a puddle of brevity. Whoulda thunk? I don't normally do resolutions, and when I do, hold them pretty close and only share selectively. But truthfully, this year, nada. And I'm not able to pull anything out of thin air at the moment.


So, here's the soundtrack for the day.

It's sunny and weirdly warm, I'm going outside and see if i can collect some for the cold and rainy days sure to come.

Be well, have fun, and laugh as often as possible.

New Beginnings

Good morning and Happy New Year everyone! I hope your day starts off great and sets the tone for your year.

I'm working on a thoughtful and reflective New Year's posting and should have something in a while. Or not. I'm pretty quiet on New Year's eve, just sort of watch the world go by. I didn't really have any entertaining or provocative commentary for yesterday, mostly because I'm so laid back I can't rise to the occasion of big public celebrations. The bigger they are, the more likely I am to drift off to the sidelines. Also, I'm not so great at living by a calendar- so sometimes I don't hit the mark on the officially agreed upon holiday.

It's sunny and warmish, I'm going for a walk, and will be back in a while. For now, have your orange, coffee or whatever, reach out to your loved ones, trade hugs and kisses and revel in the excitement of great possibilities for the coming year.

"every day I wake up is a good day!" - heard from an 80+ year old friend.