Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Sometimes magnetic poetry is sort of like an Ouija Board…
(Not that I spend a lot of time playing with Ouija Boards.  Even though they are supposed to be a harmless parlor game I was warned by my adolescent friends that they were a tool of Satan and I’m not big on tempting demonic possession since the movies I saw about it scared me.  No, I learned about Ouija Boards by watching a forgettable movie called “Only You” wherein Marisa Tomei spends half her life looking for her soul mate because of a Ouija Board rigged by her brother—but I digress).

Anyway my magnetic poetry occasionally seems to pull thoughts out of thin air and not necessarily my own.


How softly did the young passions,
The brilliant desires sweet as life
Smear into roiled liquid;
Decay into soiled puddles
To become absurd questions
And surreal dreams already gone.

The above is not my present view of life.  It may HAVE been at that point where I realized I was turning forty and I would probably never climb the Matterhorn or become a wing walker. 

No, my view of life is a lot less depressing.  In fact at the present I have a pretty positive outlook.  I’ve made it to grandma status, my arms and legs still work and I don’t miss at all the parts of my brain that have gone missing or into overload.  And since I can’t depend on my brain--and I don’t care--I will share with you some other peoples’ philosophies about being a senior in the final years of the school of life.

“Learn the things you love doing.   If you really want to do them; you’d better do them.  Have it now.  Have it often so when you’re on your death bed there will be less regrets.”  Nora Ephron 1941-2012
For 21 more great Nora Ephron quotes on life go here.

“When we recognize that we don’t have all the time in the world, we see our priorities more clearly--

Live in the moment
Know what’s important
Invest in sure things
Deepen relationships
Savor life” Laura Carsten

“If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through space.”  Joe Rogan

Monday, July 16, 2012


This month the Virtual Paintout is located in Thailand. The basic idea is:  On the first day of each month the blog master and very talented artist, Bill Guffey, announces on the Virtual Paintout Blog the featured country.  Artists are invited to use Google Maps and Google Street View as the reference for their painting or drawing.  Google Street view seems to have been created by people in a large vehicle driving ALL OVER the WORLD taking 360 degree photos of the places they pass.  These places can then be virtually explored using a computer with internet connection.

You can tell where the Google video truck as been by dragging the little yellow peg man from his station on the left side of the Google Maps screen.  Any place the camera has been is highlighted in blue.  Put your peg man down where you want to explore and use the arrow keys to travel.  But you already knew that.

I really wanted a rural scene of Thailand to work on but it seems most of the street views of the country were  taken in Bangkok.  I did a LOT of "exploring" down narrow streets and scary neighborhoods before I found the Flower Market on Empire Street near the Chao Phraya river.

I picked out a flower stall and did this painting.

I loved the pattern of the baskets and the bright colors of the flowers.  I have no idea what a lot of the products displayed there are, but I feel like I do know a little more about Bangkok from virtually sitting across the street from this place.  Artists are allowed to submit three paintings a month for the Virtual Paintout.  I have at least one more location I hope to sketch and send in for July.

Mr. Guffy has put up my painting.  If you check it out here in the next few days you may be able to see it along with a bunch of other superb submissions.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Our local July 4th rodeo was an excellent place to take action photos. 
There was something happening all the time.

One of the events was team roping which features two mounted riders and a steer. 

The first roper is called the “header” and typically ropes the front of the steer usually around the horns.

Note the protective gear put around the steer's head to keep it from getting hurt by the rope.
I'm guessing Put the Gear On the Steer would be a pretty entertaing event in itself.

The second roper is the “heeler” who ropes the steer by its hind feet.
  The team that does it the best and the fastest wins.  
A lot of credit goes to the skill of the horses as well as the riders.

Steer wrestling also involves two riders, their horses and more hapless steers.
One rider is the "hazer" and he keeps the steer running straight.

 So the “bulldogger” can literally grab the bull by the horns while it is running flat out.

The steer wrestler is yanked off his horse.  
He plants his heels, reaches down, and grabs the nose of the steer pulling it off balance.

They both are thrown to the ground.  
Once all four of the steer’s legs are off the ground an official waves a flag marking the time.

The steer is released.

And he trots off wondering what the heck just happened.

There are all kinds of rules and penalties involved 
like there is in any competition but you get the idea.  I just enjoy the show.