Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Turtle has just one plan

at a time, and every cell

buys into it.

- Harrison and Kooser, Braided Creek

5:30 am
stirring embers in the stove
coaxing a fire
making coffee
responding to the freight train wind
and single digit temperature awaiting us
for the morning walk
pets smart enough to stay snuggled burrowed
nestled in warm spots
people dumb enough to answer the demands
of the glowing clock face
making words of my own
before writing notes to loved ones
and reading harrison and kooser
little pleasures soften and warm
sharp cold dark mornings.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Radio Wisdom

"they were willing to be lucky..."

Garrison Keillor, the news from Lake Woebegone, Prairie Home Companion, 1/27/07

So there it is, we should all be willing to be lucky. Not bad advice.

Have a great evening!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Appropriate technology

There is something quite comforting to me about these facts:

I'm sitting near my woodstove (fueled by Demon Tree wood) writing on my laptop, warm and cozy

the wind is howling and the snow flying and it's 24 degrees outside.

a pot of ham and beans and a second one of rice are simmering on the stove top

tortillas are warming in the oven.


Life is good at the moment.

Where does the time go?

in a bottle somehwere?


does it flow endlessly like a river?


get spent in little bits here and there, making

odd little things?

Who knows?

Hope your time this weekend is pleasant and restoring!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Poem of the day

Heard this while listening to Weekend America:

"Mother Night" by Jim Harrison from Saving Daylight.

When you wake at three AM you don't think
of your age or sex and rarely your name
or the plot of your life which has never
broken itself down into logical pieces.
At three AM you have the gift of incomprehension
wherein the galaxies make more sense
than your job or the government. Jesus at the well
with Mary Magdalene is much more vivid
than your car. You can clearly see the bear
climb to heaven on a golden rope in the children's
story no one ever wrote. Your childhood horse
named June still stomps the ground for an apple.
What is morning and what if it doesn't arrive?
One morning Mother dropped an egg and asked
me if God was the same species as we are?
Smear of light at five AM. Sound of Webber's
sheep flock and sandhill cranes across the road,
burble of irrigation ditch beneath my window.
She said, "Only lunatics save newspapers
and magazines," fried me two eggs, then said,
"If you want to understand mortality look at birds."
Blue moon, two full moons this month,
which I conclude are two full moons. In what
direction do the dead fly off the earth?
Rising sun. A thousand blackbirds pronounce day.

(reading available from the site podcast)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Make your own music

We had a good fellow up in the woodshop with us for most of January. He builds and plays instruments from just about anything. Quite exciting. The few pics and sound pieces I got gave me a good reason to monkey around with media posting. Click the image to play, or this link. Feedback on how it shows/plays welcomed.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why our stories are equally valid

"I'm nobody, who are you?
Are you nobody too?
Then there's a pair of us, don't tell;
They'd banish us, you know... "
- Emily Dickinson

In my last audio post I mentioned my interest in new media, making your own media, and what I've found to be the two lines of think regarding our stories. Since I believe we should tell our stories, I figured I should be clear as to why. And this is what I come up with:

We are all more alike than we might imagine. And we have a lot in common. Knowing that could have some huge benefits. Additionally, everyone can learn something from someone else, if both parties are willing to communicate fearlessly and listen to each other.

I've been lucky enough to have traveled a lot when I was younger, thanks in part to Uncle Sam's Navy, and then some post service disposable income and the benefit of some time. I've been to a good many places in Asia, Australia, all over the US, and made extended visits to Canada, France, Spain and Germany. I got along really well everywhere, and I mean I traveled close to the ground. Mostly I would be by myself, and I always avoided other Americans and folks that spoke English as their first language, preferring to take my chances with little money and the local populace, and wherever I was, I tried to melt into the local flow of things. I could fumble around good enough in the Euro languages to get around, and in Asia I just threw myself on the mercy of the people. I never had any problems, please and thank you would get you a long way. And this is what I learned:

The average person everywhere I've been pretty much wants the same things: enough to eat, a roof over their head, and nobody hassling them. They want to have a little fun, are willing to do a little work, and are generous and helpful. I suspect that's true worldwide.

I also learned that EVERYONE has a story! And they're mostly willing to share them. I've come to the conclusion that while not maybe the most interesting, dramatic, entertaining or educational, they are incredibly important. Because our stories, what we think, how we see, what we see, our hopes and dreams and disappointments and challenges, what we like and dislike, our tastes and inclinations and perceptions, THAT is our humanity. And that is the one thing we each have in equal abundance. Our stories are a great equalizer.

So I think we should share them, however we can. We should be proud of our stories (and thus, ourselves). Realizing we have them, that they are valid, and sharing them breaks the stranglehold on truth that advertising, politicians, governments and corporations maintain in order to control us, make us afraid, create a feeling of lack or uselessness or sell us something. Realizing that our stories are valuable and matter, that WE matter, is very empowering. If we begin to believe in ourselves and each other, then we're less dependent on all those other sources who are running an often obscure and insidious agenda.

So my story may not be spectacular, but it's mine, and it's who I am (so far), as is yours. I'm all for you speaking up and out, I can choose whether or not to invest the time and energy into listening and following it (and vice versa). I don't need to agree with you, or even like you, but in knowing something about you, I realize there's another human being doing their thing the best way they know how, and not some abstract entity that is out to take away from or hurt me, or something/someone that can be discounted and ignored.

Stories matter. Between making stuff and telling stories, this world might have a chance. It's worth a try, and has the potential of being a lot of fun to boot.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


New widget...I'm trying out an optimized version of Firefox that allows for easier posting on the mac. (the blogger interface with Safari is a little lacking...) So we'll see this works for a day or two, and I'll report back.

The wisdom of animals

I've been a bit under the weather lately, but find it nearly impossible to slow down, physically or metaphyscially. To be driven, by whatever force, can be a curse. But I reached the point today that I realized my dogs and cats are somewhat smarter than me. So I followed their example, found a sunny spot of my own, and curled up.

I don't think they worry about too much, and they have relaxing down to a fine art. That, and stretching.

Knowledge from unexpected sources.

Have a great evening!

Audio Ponderings #2

Gabcast! Audio Ponderings #2

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

If we're not related, then we should be...

Amazing how it is that you can be sitting there drinking your coffee, innocently surfing the web for real news, information and inspiration, and stumble across what has to be if not a long lost brother than at least another member of your tribe...

The Nonist

I urge you to refill your cup, browse the site, read the writings, and enter your day with a new sense of purpose and being.

Me, I'm off to work. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Art in the Mail

from Marc Snyder, (FIMP).

These little jewels contain original and found text, pics and drawings, all compiled in a manner that will delight, amuse and provoke a little bit of skewed thought. These prompted my thinking about 'zines, referenced in the previous entry. I'm thinking I'll do a little "how to make a 'zine" bit and post it soon. Great fun for the whole family, and give-away-able too.

(go to the FIMP site and see what else Marc is doing...)

Now, what will the day bring? Right now, I need to go stoke the stove.

Hope everyone is having a good day!

From the inside of my noisy head

Things that I'm thinking about (or why I'm not DOING anything...)

kinetic sculpture, soundscapes, altered spaces, wind painting machines, pen and ink drawings, vlogs, toys, musical instruments made from junk, beat poetry, collages, 3 minute movies, making books that are more than books, writing, color, developing a new language with new words and new definitions, making bowls, the Wandering Cirkus of Absurd Art and Performance, a road trip, communication, networking, hi tech art, lo fi art, projection pieces, how to make everything portable, the 'zine as the perfect format for distribution of fast and easy down dirty 2d work, the theater of the mind, visual composition, how to be quiet, how to let go, how to be still, how to pull it all together and make some sense or some THING out of it, recovering a sense of idealistic optimism, live and let live, repairing humor, building community, planting the seeds and cultivating laughter and ease, how to get there from here...

among other things. I do believe I am experiencing the inertia of an excess of ideas. Does that every happen to you?

Now, where to start?

Hope everyone out there is doing well. I'm gonna do something with all of this, eventually.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Winter Morning

Cold, sleet and snow outside. Still dark, probably no sun today. Us and pretty much the rest of the US. Not complaining, just observing. We have power, internet, and the woodstove is cheerily warming the house and pets. And I'll probably get off to work in a bit.

On a completely unrelated note, if I were a piece of furniture, I think I'd look something like this:

I love the surface, color and joinery here, no nonsense, functional as all get out.

Have a great morning, keep warm, and watch out for the ice!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


First, I want to thank you guys for your kind and encouraging comments on my last post. I write stuff here, I never know if it will resonate or if it has any value to anyone (besides myself for the act of doing it) and it makes me feel good to know I'm contributing in some little way to other people, whether it be information, entertainment, diversion, and stirring up some thinking that you might find useful one way or another.

Secondly, to my surprise Blogger informed me that this is my 500th post on this site. I don't quite know what to think about that. I guess I've had a lot to say. I don't know how much of it mattered, but i guess it needed said. Thank you for reading and not cancelling your internet access.

I was talking with a friend of mine about stuff in general, and how I think most of what I say, write or do is trivial, that significant things are few and far between. But being a person that has a view of life as web-like (not in the internet sense but in the Natural sense) it occurred to me that there probably is equal need for the trivial as well as the significant; I don't know that you can have one without the other, and certainly they inform each other. Also, the point was made that I probably worry too much about such things, especially since I'm driven to seek clarity, experience directly and am not fond of labels, classical definitions, limits, boundaries, rules, etc. And then theres that little (big?) need I have for an editor, either self or external.

Once someone told me makers could be generally be placed in one of 2 catagories: adders, and taker-awayers. The adders start from scratch, and out of thin air make something, stopping when it's done and the vision or message is realized. The taker-awayers start from something, strip it down, alter it, recombine, rethink, redo until they get to the vision/message, or until the vision/message becomes clear to them. I think I'm a hybrid: I like to start from scratch, but rarely know where I'm going or when to stop, and keep coming back to strip things back down, alter, redo, not till i get to the point but until the point FINDS me. I realize this is very inefficient, but the older i get the more comfortable I am with it, and the more I enjoy it.

This post a good example, I think I blew past the point some time ago, and now I need to retrace and look for it.

In the meantime, I hope everyone is safe, warm and happy, and has a lovely day. The light is just peeking over the ridge, Lucy is patiently waiting for her walk, the stove needs another log, and the day is started.

Take care and have fun.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Before sunup

The time of day
hinging between dark and light
when I wonder
"is today the day?"

when I'll do something

when I'll see
and think

when I create
give and receive
freely, equally
without hesitation?

when i find my place
and peace of mind?

I love this time of day,
before the world awakes
and the possibilities
are endless.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday morning

Cloudy, humid, warm. Unnatural for mid January, but I'm content to let the woodpile lay mostly unused.

Waiting for it to get light enough to walk, having coffee, easing into the day. This is how I like to start, not being hurtled into it by alarm clocks, or shouting tv/radio boxes. Work awaits, I'll be there in a while, but I enjoy being able to enter into the week with a little bit of balance, or as Goldsworthy says "in sympathy with..."

Hope everyone has a good beginning to the week. Coming soon, actual content!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Not like flying south (who needs to, it's sunny and mid sixties before noon, A-MAZING!), but as in old Blogger to New and Improved Blogger. I hold my breath. Change is good, if it's good.

Lots of stuff going on, haven't found my rhythm yet since the holidays, every day I say oh this will be the one, then I get busy, distracted, work, unplanned entertaining, the wheel goes round. That's why not so many entries of late, but today is my attempt to get back on the BlogTrain, my ticket punched, unlimited pass.

I guess the first thing I'll do is answer the requests for how to do filmstrip images in windows. So let me go figure that out right now.

I'll be back.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Internet, where learning is fun!

Who says surfing is a waste of time? I learned how to do this (photobooth images)last night, imagine the possibilities for fun! This is the sunrise this morning, captured at great personal discomfort (snow covered porch, 20 degrees, windy) just to share with you. (It's Mac-easy, but could be done cutting/pasting with windows apps, and the effect is cool especially with portrait snaps.)

Hope the sun shines on you today!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Small Ponderings Public Service Dept

Good morning. Hope everyone is off to a good start. Fire is stoked, double espresso made (no milk, 1 sugar), dogs are fed, cats are waiting, and snow clouds looming over the west ridge. Waiting for enough light to walk.

Most times I read much better than I write. To that end:

David Byrne's Journal. Read the last few entries, he is thoughtful and articulate and presents ideas and concepts in a quiet and congenial manner. I learn a lot from reading his pieces.

and this:

The Future of Learning Manifesto. I stumbled onto this last night, it knocked me out. There was a little too much "gimme, gimme" in it for my tastes (lacking any sense of entitlement) but the thrust and point was good. I hope the guy does start a wiki, I'd like to see what others have to say about the subject.

I can look thru my window now and see a dim glowing over the east ridge, so I guess I can bundle and stumble for our morning walk to clear out the cobwebs and get the joints loosened up. It's dry at the moment, we'd better enjoy it while it lasts. I'll put another log in the stove, and away I go...

Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Routines: #1 in a series

I guess that supposes there'll be a #2...

Routines are not bad things as long as they don't dominate action and eliminate choices. I view my odd (or mundane) routines as points of departure. I wander and meander a lot, both physically and metaphysically, so a routine gives me a starting point and somewhere to return to if i get too far off track. So I thought I'd share a couple of mine with you, and invite you to join the party and share yours in comments.

Episode 1: A decent beginning to a day

wake up
let dogs out
make coffee
let dogs in
feed dogs
sit with coffee
check email
write email
blog a bit
read a poem or two
look at a couple of line drawings
walk lucy, rain or shine, cold or warm
come back
get ready for work

There's a lot of latitude in there for other things to happen or not.

Hope everyone has a great start to their day. Now it's just light enough, and I'm heading out for a walk (in the rain.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Easily distracted by shiny objects...

It was sunny outside yesterday (unlike the cold rain and fog of today) and I was out in my shop working on my chainsaw, full of good and productive intentions. On my workbench was some scrap metal, one thing led to another, and finally this:

Needless to say, no wood got sawed, but I had some pointless fun.

Playing: working without intention.

Hope you all got to play some this weekend.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I haven't fallen off the ridge or been blown down the hill, time just flew by this week. Travel, connectivity problems, houseguests, work and life stuff in general has limited time and access. But I think today will allow me to get back on track.

I haven't been making much stuff since the holiday, but plan to spend time in the basement and shop this weekend and stir some things up. One thing for certain is I need to corral and organize all the random pieces, parts, and ideas I have and focus down on something(s). Since I like the number 3, I'm thinking of getting 3 specific projects going (while dissimilar, they can be complimentary). Lately I'm really interested in video and sound, as well as painting/drawing and taking detail pictures. But then I feel like building something, so I'm gonna figure out a way to incorporate all that into a sustained rhythm of making.

Lofty goals. The other possibility is that I sit and watch MASH reruns, generously taped for me by someone who has cable and was hip to the fact there was a MASH marathon on during the holiday season...

All that to say the year is off to a good start, I'm feeling optimistic if a bit scattered (but not too worried about it) and hopeful for a good year. I think my response to all the crazy sad stuff in the world these days will be to try to maintain some sense of crazy happiness and contentment, being grateful and expressing gratitude, and focus on the positive instead of the negative. I believe there's actually more good than bad in the world, it's just the bad gets more press. So I figure I'll give good a chance and test my theory.

Right now, it's time for some coffee, and to begin gathering up all my notebooks and scraps of paper and stuff and start making sense of it...there is an order, however random and chaotic it might be. And if not, that's ok too. I found this quote last night, and I think there's some truth to it:

"If it doesn't make sense, it doesn't make sense. We don't have to waste our time making sense of it."

Better to waste my time making stuff instead of sense.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

From the far side of the New Year

Happy New Year folks! Back on the job after a quick road trip to the parental units cozy little farm in the outback. Lots of road time, quick visits and updates and renewal of family ties. A good way to start the new year.

Ponderings back in full force as soon as I catch my breath. Hope all of you are well and off to a good start.

Make stuff and play to you soon!