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Exactly ten years ago today I launched “One with Clay, Image and Text,” the blog for which this is the latest entry. I had thought of doing a Greatest Hits Compilation but thought better of it and am going with Where Are They Now. I did a new double acrostic. one short on illustrative luster but long on reminiscence. I started in December of 2012 running, got knocked on my sit-upon in 2015, picked myself up, got knocked down big time in the Plague Year of 2020, picked myself up again, and now hope for another ten years of blog posts that will include the best things I’ve ever done. Hop-to-it springs eternal.

Splay’d Decade

So full of SELF thought word & screed
Perhaps a plague might intercede
Let’s watch Dame Dench on BBC
And crack that walnut split that pea
You’ve got a riff for every mood
‘D do you well to chill now dude

Whoever you are reading this–THANKS for being here. You have just read my mind, and now we have shared.

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Here’s a tale of Whoa. (Thanks for reading my latest Bad Pun.) On October 12 of this year I went to some lengths to upgrade my driver’s license to a State ID, which will sometime in 2023 be required for anyone who wants to travel. I brought with me the right kind of the copy of my birth certificate (has a seal from Vital Records), establishing that I was indeed born in the United States of America, and a lease agreement, establishing that I did indeed live where I said I lived. The lady at the booth scanned my documents, I signed a scanner for the signature line, they gave me an eye test and took my picture, and they told me I’d get my card “in about a week.”

A month and a half went by. No card.

Today I called the Motor Vehicle Department and asked the lady who answered if it was unusual for cards to take this long. She said it was, but since she was Level I, General Information, she’d need to transfer me to Level II. A few minutes later another nice lady checked my driver’s license number and said Aha, your photo was not acceptable to the Face Recognition software, we can’t see both of your earlobes, you’ll have to come in and take another pic. “Whoa,” said I. “But OK.”

So today I rented a car, because public transportation would have taken hours, and I had till 4:45pm, and what the heck, I like driving every so often. I arrived timely, took a number, and was directed to Booth 19. The nice lady at Booth 19 took my license and the temp ID and printed out my info for me to review and sign. “Hey,” said I, “My apartment number’s missing.” “Aha,” she answered, “that must be the real reason we put a hold on your card.” “Did you send me an e-mail?” Headshake. “Call me?” “No, we don’t do that in such cases,” says she. “We tell you before you leave when you can expect the card, and expect you to call if you don’t get it when we say.” Grrrr.

But there’s an upside. The first pic made me look like a serial killer. This one makes me look like innocent, harmless Grandpa. Heh heh. If they only knew. 🙂

Here We Glow

Here we shed unworking things
Shed some tears and spread some wings
Plan and alter text and edit
Disabuse ourselves of credit

Here we puzzle out our troubles
Stumble to complexity
Swerve around the traps and bubbles
Vex the next convexity.

Hear ye, spirits, if else then,
Pending auth or patent pending,
With all time/space to attend
Wonldst thou Lend or Send or…Mend?

****

Friends, the image is of my newest acquisition, whixh I am using at this very moment to create this hypermessage in a nonbottle. It’s a Hewlett-Packard laptop purchased at the thrilling price of $249.99 US plus applicalbe tax and extras in the form of the newest professional version of Windows Office, which they are calling 365 and not Office anymore, both one-year subscriptions. My grand total purchase was south of 500 bucks, and so far, I’m super-happy: such a bargain! It’s disconcerting and breathtaking how quickly things evolve.

My way of celebrating this landmark purchase is doing this blog post. with a stupid but maybe not poem and a brief memorialization of the moment. Life is good, here in my modest abode, this quiet Monday morning.

This morning I had a fine meal at Matt’s Big Breakfast, but before I really dug in I arranged cutlery, condiments and cuisine to make what I thought was a solid composition, and took a picture. When I posted the image on Facebook I expressed my intention to use the photo as basis of a work of art to be submitted to an art show whose call for entries is close to the end of the year. A nice friend of mine posted an encouraging comment, and I answered that I’d give her first look at the first thing I created. As soon as I’d done the above sketch I texted her and attached the sketch image, which is strictly a learning exercise, full of drawing mistakes and slapdash execution. I’m hopeful that Part 2 and beyond will reveal an evolution of the handling of the image, and that the last post in this series will include a photo of the final stage of the piece. Please stay tuned!

Since Life is unfair, and many of my fellow Arizona voters are delusional and/or stupid, the dedicated Katie Hobbs may well lose the Arizona Governor’s race to the predatory, vicious Kari Lake. That would be a crying shame. Ms. Hobbs is too much a shrinking violet to fight Kari Lake’s firebrand, slash&burn fight. But I appeal to every Arizonan voting in this election to consider helping Ms. Hobbs, who has worked from the ground up in state politics since 2011, become victorious and win the office she so more richly deserves than the insidious Kari Lake. The choice is clear: Decency or Indecency. Please vote responsibly, Friends!!

Katie Hobbs

Kate, she’s great, I Ah and OoH
And I V O T E D for her toO
Taking on that Witch that SloB
It has been an uphill joB
Ever low key never fusS

Ever decent–one of us

I was walking on a sidewalk in the heart of Phoenix, southbound on the west side of Third Street, South of McDowell but north of Portland, when I looked up and saw that both a work of art and a construction crane were in the field of view. And off to the right was Grace Lutheran Church, whose marquee invited virtual visitation via www dot graceinthecity dot com — an admirable choice of domain name.

With every footstep my perceived reality changed. Curiosity compelled an approach to the artwork.

It was not possible to get much closer due to the area being fenced off. But even a few footsteps change the perceived reality to include power lines over the image, and though they do not interfere much with the artwork, they enhance in an urban/infrastructure sort of way.

Continuing southbound brought the distant crane closer and closer. This necessitated more and more neck-tilting, which definitely alters the perceived reality of an arthritic 68-year-old man not currently taking pain medication.

On the left end the name DUNN is lit up. Because of my propensity for bad puns, I thought it might be better to leave the name unlit until the construction was finished.

What IS Reality, Friends? Wherever you are, you’ve just had a limited tour of a small section of sidewalk in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, USA, Earth, Sol system, non-lethal sector of the Galaxy we call the Milky Way, a name both extraordinarily inapt and spot-on. The images you have seen were altered with photoediting software to be less drab, but they also have improved detail, so the word Fakery both does and does not apply. What a wonderful time we live in, viewed from the aspect of the new superpower almost all of us have of being able to grab and shape Reality through the use of a pocket device.

My last thought for you takes us back to the beginning, a simple stroll down a city sidewalk, and the simple truth that the #1 factor of perceived reality is Proximity. Friends, a better reality awaits those who have the courage to approach it.

This is my two thousandth published Blog Post, Friends, and I want to make it count. So I am using it for advocacy. I wish to urge Arizona voters not to vote for gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. Ms. Lake took the Republican primary via her glib and charismatic stage presence, her endorsement from Donald Trump, and her remarkable ability to turn into a barracuda every time a journalist asked her a question she didn’t like. And now she is attackiing and lying her way to the Governor’s office, and if Arizonans fall for her attractive lies, she may well win.

But don’t take my word for it. As a subscriber to azcentral dot com, the online component of the media entity that also publishes the Arizona Republic, I get newspaper headlines like these on my feed. If I call Lake a glib liar, I’m not being the Lone Ranger here.

In the primary Lake put up a kajillion posters of herself side by side with Donald Trump, proudly proclaiming “TRUMP ENDORSED.” Now that she’s won the primary,and Trump is in all kinds of legal trouble, her photoless posters say “POLICE ENDORSED.” Her many years as a newscaster have empowered her to turn on a dime as far as emphasis goes. She can pull viewers one way with an earthquake megadeath or serial-killer story and one minute later switch to the “lighter side” with something that makes people laugh and sigh happily. And this is what makes her dangerous, Friends. If only she were a Force For Good, that would be a valuable superpower. But she is a force for the same evil that got us a million dead in the ongoing pandemic. Because though she dropped Trump from her posters, she is still 100% in favor of his policies. And her style of attacking journalists and telling pants-on-fire lies is identical to his.

So please: do not vote for Kari Lake.

Kari Lake

Kidnap Truth and send to HelL
Anthony Fauci–HE’s to blame. A
Rigged Vote played like Lawrence WelK
Invests a gal who plays Trump’s gamE

I have drawn Ms. Lake saying “ARREST Dr. Fauci!” She has said that. “SEE 2000 Mules!” She has urged people to view this election-fraud propaganda product of Trump catspaw Dinesh D’Souza, a film that even William Barr dismisses as “bullshit.” “Vote for ME!” may not be a direct quote, but every candidate says that simply by running for office. But I take a bit of satiric/symbolic liberty with her last word balloon, which says “PUT Arizona in the hand that held Trump.” Infer from that what you will.

1) Guy walking with armload of books, papers, packages says “Heavy!” 2) A paper slips out and drifts to ground. Guy: “Whoops” 3) Guy reaches down with one hand for the paper. As he says “Nngh” with exertion, the unstable stack starts to topple. 4) Guy topples too and says “Ah Jeez” 5) Guy starts to pick himself up and turns and sees a large vehicle barreling toward him. Uh-Oh!!!

This is the soul of slapstick: a chain of ever-worsening events leading to exciting disaster. My drawing style, barely coherent, is slapstickily chaotic as well. So this text serves as libretto (Italian. Literally “little book” but “cheat sheet” is a more apt translation) to the scribbly operetta above.