Monthly Archives: October 2018


My Handiwork is the hand I work. And sometimes some of the work goes down the drain, seemingly. Notice beneath the sketchbook there is an earlier version of today’s offering. I overworked that page, and the unforgiving medium of Ink marked my sins.

But, Friends, It’s been my experience over many years that second attempts at a drawing or painting are almost always superior to the first. So it is with this one.

hand i work

here’s your digits on a plow

arduous in keeping Tao

nor will mishaps oft occur

darting flashlights in the murk

An alternate third line is “nor will mishaps not occur.” If ever I am commissioned to do a third version of this page for a wealthy and discriminating collector of rarities, I will use the alternate third line. 🙂


I have been seriously pursuing excellence in acrostic poetry for more than eleven years. The most excellent, the Holy Grail, of acrostic poetry is an array of words with a flawless meter and rhyme scheme, with something important to say, well said, in the content of the poetry, and with the acrostic words providing the ideally meaningful title of the poem.

This may seem like an odd pursuit to be throwing over a decade’s effort toward its furtherance. But if you want to be not merely a poet, nor even a Capital-P Poet, but the absolute best P*O*E*T it is in you to be, writing acrostic poetry makes sense. You are challenged to find words to fit the array, and the words you find may be new to you. They then become part of your arsenal. And it is even possible, as has happened today on my page, that you are compelled to bring into being words that did not yet exist. That may seem like cheating, but did you know that the name Wendy did not exist until J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, invented it?

Notice, though, how few words there are in the dual array above. How there are always three letters between acrostic elements. This is as minimal as I can possibly get with double and triple acrostic.  Let us unfold and enhance the array:

Photon Refractor

1: Photon


2: Refractor


A photon is an infinitesimal thing that may or may not be visible light, depending on its frequency. PHO is something to eat. TON is a measure of heaviness. A photon has a rest mass of zero.

Prest? It’s a variant of Pressed, just as Blest is a variant of Blessed. Helio? Relates to the Sun, to mythology, and to the flower Heliotrope. Onion? It may remind people of getting to the truth, as a typical onion has many peelable layers.

A refractor is something that alters the path of a…particle? wave? Wavicle. REF is short for Referee. RAC is a versatile acronym. Here is a partial list, courtesy of The Free Dictionary:

RAC Recovery Audit Contractors (CMS, Medicare program)
RAC Religious Action Center
RAC Rent-A-Center
RAC Real Application Cluster
RAC Royal Automobile Club (UK)
RAC Railway Association of Canada
RAC Rural Assistance Center
RAC Royal Agricultural College (Cirencester, UK)
RAC Rent-A-Coder (freelancer matching service)
RAC Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
RAC Regional Advisory Council (Canada)
RAC Recombinant-DNA Advisory Committee
RAC Rotaract
RAC Research Advisory Committee
RAC Ratchet and Clank (gaming)
RAC Recent Average Credit (distributive computing)
RAC Royal Armoured Corps
RAC Room Air Conditioner
RAC Retirement Annuity Contract (UK)
RAC Reliability Analysis Center
RAC Rubber Association of Canada

It also may be pronounced “rack” which may be defined as an organizational substrate for an array of things. Above this paragraph is a RAC rack.

It is also “car” backwards.

As for Tor, it is “a hill or rocky peak” according to any number of sources. It is also a paperback book publisher specialing in the otherworldly.

Resurrection is coming back to life. Ecstatico is kind-of Spanglish for “being in a joyously energized place.” Felicitor has Happiness as its root and “one who brings about” as a suffix.

When you get this minimal, some of the heavy meaning-lift will be done by the reader. An analogous creation that comes to my mind is “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” a painting by Pablo Picasso. The first time I saw the painting I was repelled. It seemed ugly. Ugly colors, variably attentive anatomy, weird color and composition choices. But it has historical significance, and has been called “the first truly Cubist painting.” And the more you live with it visually, the more a word emerges from the mist: Extraordinary.


Some men who are either insecure or haven’t got much of a life obsess and fiddle with their looks and their grooming. But in extreme cases, their grooming obsesses right back. Such is the case with my moustache. It has declared its wish to die by my hand.

I have not shaved it off yet. Time will tell.

suicidal mustache

some facial hair portends a doom

u never learn until u groom. u

inch the scissors toward the mess

could be a trim would suit it best.

it SPEAKS. “why, you condensate flea

don’t TRIM me–SHAVE me. A B C

And DO ME IN.” that plaintive screech

leaves Mary weeping in her niche.


I was an Art Major in the mid-70s. Then I was graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona. Then I became an Engineering student, in a special program for non-tech undergrads. It was fun at first, and I got all Bs in my three semesters of Calculus, and an odd A here and there, but my horrible study habits caught up with me and the fall semester of 1977 saw me taking Incompletes and Withdrawals from my classes. I wrote a letter to Dear Abby, an internationally-acclaimed advice columnist, about my misery, signing myself “Round Peg in a Chi-Square Hole.” I doubt if she got the Prob&Stat reference; she may not even have gotten the letter, since she never answered it publicly or privately, though I think I included a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Then I went rogue, sort of. I entered a drawing I made on an Etch-A-Sketch and signed “Johnny Incredible” in the 1977 U of A Winter Show of Student Art. (My Etch-A-Sketch tied for third place among more than 80 entries.) And for the Spring 1978 semester I took advantage of a loophole in matriculation to take, not engineering classes, but Poetry, Special Problems in Drawing, and Lithography. Somewhere in there I got a letter from then-Dean Robert Svob telling me that Professor Ferrell (Russ Ferrell, smart, great guy, taught ergonomics, published in the IEEE Transactions with his “Models of Man-Computer Interaction”) had expressed concern about me. I answered cryptically and included a five-minute line drawing of a plump man falling off a tightrope at the circus.

Long story short: Got A in Poetry, A in Lithography, and B in SpecProbDrwg. Decided to take a semester off from the stress of the U of A. That “semester off” is now 41 years, 5 months, 13 days, and counting.

Today’s images are an atypical diptych. The title might be “Art and Engineering.”


Today I sent an e-mail to the managers of SSP America to the effect that I was not coming to work today. (I just love sentences that begin and end with the same word; don’t you?) Muscle problems have plagued me for days. First it was back spasms, then a pulled groin muscle which interfered with my sleep two nights running. So I am “resting comfortably.” I got a good slug of sleep during working hours and do feel better.

But I wasn’t up to the mental gymnastics required for acrostic-building, nor the focus required for portraiture. Today’s Inktober page relies on the faithful standby, the Triangle, with a sprinkling of circle to spice up the lineage. I’m mostly happy with the result. I think the contrasting darks give the drawing a good muscularity, and the composition during creation had a good way of righting its own wrongs. But I do wish that the thickness rheostat on my two-headed Sharpie wasn’t so un-nuanced. Grade: A minus. 🙂

I thought it would be fun to put the page in an environment, so the book it came in on stands on two nice books just acquired, one from the library and one from Goodwill. I like the resulting continuum. Hope you do too, Friends.


Yesterday on Central Avenue about a half-dozen enthusiastic young people were holding signs promoting Proposition 127 and solar power, and denouncing State Attorney General Brnovich, who they claim is in the pocket of Big Power, also known as Arizona Public Service, or APS.

APS has been running a scare ad saying that when California enacted a similar law it COST, not SAVED, consumers money on utilities. But Arizona is not California. And the cost is for compliance, which A PS would bear, and they don’t want to. For decades they’ve been gouging their customers, applying for rate hikes as if they were going broke, then using some of their ungodly profits for various investments, some only peripherally linked to providing consumers with safe, affordable electricity. A great deal of their petty cash goes to putting people like Brnovich in office to rubber-stamp their policies. And the number bandied about for what they’ve spent fighting Prop 127 is $29 million.

So the beck with their corporate greed. Go Solar!!

YES 127

YAY to solar. Get ‘er dun! 1

Energy for me and you. 2

Sunshine from Heaven! 7

NO Brnovich

Nix the corporate boob. Nada the darkmoney goober.  Negative the bought Baboon. Never more to this zoo.

Omit from our TV odd toadies who say sĂ­ sĂ­, outing palm for Big Electric. O for a corp-creep dispelling Heimlich!



So tempted to use SIKH as the right acrostic bookend, but went for Simple, because me. Perhaps another time. These things–for every one I end up with, I leave a few variants undone. This one is its own variant: it can be either “Find and ye shall seek” or “Find and Yes Hall seek.” I kind of like the notion of Yes Hall.

Find & Ye Shall Seek

Folk are tanned with sunshine’s rays

Inventory then appraise

Needle haystacks lift and poke

Days pass and befuddle folk

PS: This page was inspired by an increasingly panicky search for my mother’s vehicle registration renewal form. I excavated a megapile of paper where it wasn’t, then looked to the left of the card table and saw a corner of it peeking out from where it had no business being. Relief! But a second later I realized I didn’t know where emissions testing was being done lately. Another search must ensue. Find and ye shall seek.