Who are we? We are our stories.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Growlery "Art" and Benches

The red bird is tin. Made in China, $10. The rocks that it's wired to, free.

The flamingo was originally sticking out of a dumpster at the city landfill. I drove past, but it was screaming my name and I went back to save it from the smasher. It was a really offensive pink plastic - not the classic pepto bismol flamingo pink, but a harsh bright pink. Bad enough that it was destined from day one for the trash. I painted it rust brown, but Lorna grumbled about that. I pulled the steel legs off and stuck it on a bamboo stake. When I repainted the little cafe table and chairs in the third photo I had paint left over. So, I have a pale green flamingo. Which my garden art critic still doesn't like.

(Note new yard light)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cjell Bike

Someone asked for some photo's of Cjell's bike. He was over yesterday evening and I shot it before we got down to the business of the day, wabi-sabi and how it applies to bicycle design and maintenance.  ;-)  The horse looks a little battle worn right now. He's planning on blasting it, finishing it a little and getting a coat of paint on it - or maybe clearcoating it. I know nothing about MTB technology. If you have any questions, post them and I'll have Cjell answer them. And special thanks to Lorna for the grilled chicken and potatoes catered down to the Growlery. And to Cjell for the Bitter Neighbor Black IPA.

Be well, be joyful

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Elmore Leonard died at age 87.  A hellofa writer. His 10 rules for writing. I particularly like number 10. It gave me an excuse to quit writing. And we are all better for that decision.

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
  6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
 My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: 
          "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."
Also Jack Germond died at age 85. He was a an overweight, cranky old curmudgeon who could cut through the political bullshit faster and cleaner than anyone I've seen or read.
"He loved to eat well, drink hard and play the ponies."

People don't "play the ponies" anymore do they?

A continued good life to you all,

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Last Man Standing

Ain't no money in poetry
That's what sets the poet free

I really love well-chosen words. I love words laid down in carefully crafted combinations. A good sentence is fine, three or more in a row is better. A poem is great. Even better are when these combinations of words can be sung. Do you want to hear someone read someone else's poems? Me either. And I would much prefer to hear a songwriter sing his own songs, because only the writer can hear the song in his head. 

One of the downsides of aging is that people die. Friends die, brothers die, the wise people that anchor our lives die. And heroes die. Maybe "heroes" is too strong. but I have a trinity of songwriters I have listened to for years. They have written my soundtrack. Two of them, Mickey Newbury and Townes Van Zandt, are gone. I fear the other, Guy Clark, may not be permanent either.

Guy and Susanna Clark

Guy Clark has a terminal disease that he has chosen not to have treated. Last year Susanna, his muse of 40 years died and I suspect the loss took a lot of the wind from his sails. Clark is a luthier, a painter and a poet. He said that sometimes he works on a song for some time and starts thinking it's pretty good, but when he sings it out loud it fails completely. Those get filed under "Poems".

Okay, his voice isn't strong anymore and his picking is a little tentative, but damn, this is still good stuff.

Be well,

Back Alleys and Church Hill Cottage Update

It is all down hill from here.
Sunday evening walk from Church Hill down to Riverside On the Root for a beer and burgers.

And then the trudge up the hill back to the cottage. By actual GPS measurement the walking distance up the hill is 3.7 times the distance than the downhill stroll.

Numbers don't lie.

Shoulder to shoulder houses typical of the old village hillside.

Riverside On the Root.

Charlie, dancers and Ms Lorna between bites.
Back uphill.

Barn Swallows
Top of Church Hill.
The Cottage from the back.

Front entry hats.

Split cane rods.
McLean and leather.

Bud's corner.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cjell and Lorna

The Z-Man is in town for a while. We spent the afternoon and evening drinking a little beer, talking smart and catching up on our lives. We bounced thoughts and ideas of business models, bicycle design, the Tour Divide, old trucks and family dynamics.

We toured his bike, detail by detail, as he checked off what worked, which componets functioned, what sucked. I had only had a long lens so I really couldn't shoot close ups. Maybe when he rolls again I'll put on a shorter lens and get some more detailed pictures.