a story from my childhood: a most deadly riff that you never, ever want to hear – especially like this

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This is a story from my childhood and one that I remember well.  This is a picture of me near my house in Florida which isn’t in the picture and one of my many beloved hand-me-down adult bikes that would have been taken within a few years of the time of the story I’m about to tell but unlike the story which happened at night this photo was taken in the day time.  As you may surmise from the photo, I grew up in a very rural area.   I spent a lot of time working on a farm and even though I went to school like every other kid there were many nights that I didn’t get home from the farm until late into the night.  The road I took in this story was less maintained than the one in the photo.  So let’s start shall we…

a story from my childhood: a farm kid, a bicycle and a pitch black night.

I was on a dark dirt road on this particular night when I was probably around 10 years old, part of the farm from where I had been working was to my back and had some dim lights which barely broke the firm grasp of the darkness.  Me and my bike were in a dark area pointing towards what looked like a dark swamp and to the untrained one wouldn’t have recognized it as a road.  Slightly to my left was the main road which was a wide well maintained dirt road but still pitch black except in the distance you could see dim lights of another part of the farm.  It’s the road I normally take home at night when I’m on my bike and forgot to bring a flashlight like on this night.  It would have been easy to take the main road even in pitch black darkness but it was a mile and a half home that way.  I was alone and it was late on a school night and I was exhausted and just wanted to get home to my warm comfy bed.  Through the dark swampy trail, it would have been around a 3/4 mile trek though much more challenging to navigate in the complete darkness with no stars or moonlight to speak of.

Decisions, decisions.  Standing in the dark on the road with my oversized bike, I contemplated the choice in front of me and I remember not being scared of anything as I made the careful necessary calculation.  Taking the swamp trail would be very challenging; I would have to rely purely off memory from where I took the trail countless times in the daytime but never at night.  It would be like taking the trail blindfolded or with my eyes closed but in the mind of my young 10 year-old self, “no problemo!”  It all boiled down to the time savings so off on my little journey into the darkness I went.

I had to build up speed and hit the ditch between me and the trail head.  The deep ditch was full of water and was muddy which could easily stop a bike and throw it’s rider right over the handle bars.  I had learned this the hard way one unsuspecting day.   But this night there were no magnificent handle bar acrobatics and bad physics experiments in store for me.  However, my bike hit the deep ditch full of water hard and bounced violently before I made it across to the other side.  I got soaked with water and mud but it was too dark to inventory the damage so I continued on having walk my bike up a steep embankment.  I knew the path ahead of me which I could not see in the total darkness was straight for about a quarter mile and made a hard right turn.  I knew there were always deep holes almost big enough and deep enough to swallow me and my bike about the distance of 20 bike lengths.  I couldnt see those either so I decided to push my bike until I passed those hazards.  The road, well if one could call it that, maybe a goat trail is a better name for it, was mostly grass and only about the width of an automobile tire or slightly wider was the dirt part of the trail.  It was easy to walk in the dark and feel the dirt under my old worn out shoes.  When I started venturing off the road which happened a couple of times, I could feel the rough grass and weeds under my shoes.  Each time I quickly corrected my direction to get back on the road.  Eventually, I stepped right into one of the deep holes and knew I was there.  Oddly the holes didn’t hold water long after storms so they were dry.  There were large hogs in this area so I always wondered if that was their little watering holes and they drank them dry.

Now, I knew I had a straight shot in the darkness until the road curved sharply to the right.  I knew the field past the curve would often get muddy with something I can only best describe as quicksand though rarely went deeper than waste deep and also tended to harbor a great briar patch which could slice up ones skin with all it’s barbs.  I surely need to avoid running into that field I thought to myself as  I got on my bike and began to pedal.  I ran off the road a few times but quickly corrected by just feeling the narrow but smooth road under my tires.  I picked up speed and tried to remember how far it was to the curve.  While I was pedaling, I noticed an eerie quietness in the cool night air.  Nights can sometimes be loud due to the magnificent orchestra of frogs and crickets and who knows what else in the wooded areas like this one.  But not on this night.  I made a mental note of it an continued onwards since by now I had gotten a little better at navigating the road and correcting course when needed to stay on the smooth dirt.

Then just as I got comfortable with my blind bike riding adventure, I ran through the curve into the field full of weeds.  My feet instinctively landed onto the soft muddy ground and kept me from falling and I paused a moment waiting for the strong sting of briars but it never came.  Wow, I thought I’m lucky these waste high weeds aren’t briars or I’d be shredded. I stood for a moment to see if I sank into the potential quicksand.  But tonight was my lucky night – no razor blade weeds and no quick sand.  Things are looking up for me so I by using nothing but the feel of the ground beneath my feet,  found the curved wannabe road that I had failed to recognize earlier on my bike and climbed back onto my bike.

I tried to make sure I was oriented in the right direction and not go back in the direction from which I had came and get well positioned on the road before I started pedaling.  This entire area was surrounded by thick forests so I couldn’t use any lights from the farm or from my house to help guide me.  I took another moment to calculate the distance of this leg of the obstacle course.  I knew the path ahead of me was straight for a little over a quarter mile and then veered left into a very swampy and wet area of the road that was usually under water.  I dreaded the thought of having to navigate that area as I’d likely have to travel through water on my bike.  I figured I’d wind up wading water on foot which didn’t sound at all pleasant to me.  I was still wet from the ditch encounter earlier.

I then paused and once again briefly noted how strange it was that it was so quiet on this night.  I don’t recall that ever happening before so it kind of creeped me out.  Other than that creepy feeling I remember not being scared of anything.  I got on my bike and continued on and by now I was pretty good at navigating this road in the darkness.  The road felt smooth under my tires and by now I rarely even ventured off the road into the grass.  So for a while I felt at ease in the quiet total darkness on my bike feeling the cool damp night air pass across my face.  With more speed I could hear the air passing by my ears slightly breaking the silence and the quiet pitter patter of mud from the tires hitting me in the back of the head and back of my shirt from where I ran into the muddy field and none of the adult bikes I inherited as a child had fenders to block the dirt and mud.  I continued on without many cares or concerns of what may or may not go wrong.  Little kid minds like mine at the time just don’t think of those things in great detail it’s more like as a kid we live minute by minute or second by second and don’t really ponder how a bad quick decision could go wrong and potentially affect you for the rest of your life.  A quick bad decision like I made on this particular pitch black night to take a narrow trail without a flashlight through a swampy area.  Anyway things were about to go very bad for me and I don’t remember what came first whether it was running over something big in the road or the sound, the piercing sound that I knew so, so well.  It was a natural riff played by one of the most deadly creatures in an arsenal of bad creatures also known as venomous snakes.  I could see nothing and all I had to go on was feeling something very evil under the tires of my bike and the piercing sound that now echoed against all the big trees that I couldn’t see.  And obviously by now a whole lot of adrenaline for a little kids body.  I heard this sound often in the daytime for which I never had a healthy enough dose of fear from it but in the day time I always knew where it was.  But tonight as I heard the loud dire warning, I had no idea where its lethal head was and for once in my little invincible kid mind, I was scared.  I think anyone can recognize the fear inducing sound of a very large rattlesnake, it’s almost like the fear response is coded into our very DNA.

Anyway, in the split second from the time I ran over the large creature and the instant warning sound, I instinctually pulled up on the handle bars to keep the bike from stalling out the forward speed and falling directly on top of or at least near whatever the offending object was.  Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, however you look at it, I had well rehearsed this response after some very nasty accidents in the past including some that irreparably damaged some earlier bikes.  I learned physics at an early age I suppose. So back to our story where at this moment the snake would have  been between my front and back tires and well within striking distance of my little legs and feet.  I pedaled hard knowing I had to make sure the back tire of the bike made it over the large lethal venomous snake that  I could not see but I could hear and sense quite well.  Imagining back I’m surprised I didn’t pedal with enough force to throw the snake backwards at least a 100 feet.  But I felt every bit of the creature under the back wheel and I was never happier to feel the bounce of the bike and continued forward motion.  I don’t remember taking inventory of my legs to see if I felt any large puncture wounds but for the 2nd half of the trail including the part of the road that was under water took no time at all to finish up.  I got home and as usual no one was waiting on me and no one would have missed me at least until the next day probably if I hadn’t have made it through the field that night.  I had a strange childhood with almost no rules, no curfew, and no supervision.  But I made it home that night without getting bit or breaking any limbs and without a flash light.  I don’t think I ever took that short-cut again in the dark without a flashlight and I’ve never forgot that night even though it was so many years ago.  I don’t know how I survived my childhood because this is only one of many stories just as bad as this one.  But I did survive it and I’m glad I’m able to write about it and laugh about it now.

 

 

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confessions of an ocd neophyte artist and some new experiments in simple upcycling

 

confessions of an ocd neophyte artist and some new experiments in simple upcycling

Lately I’ve been getting more into art again so I thought to myself that I should get more serious about it this time and get more organized (and maybe a bit ocd) in the process.  So I bought some paint and brush organizers.  LOL.  The spinner paint organizer I got from Michael’s and works pretty good so far and was amazingly cheap.  I was thinking I paid 8 or 10 bucks for it so I may have got it on sale but $13 is still not a bad deal.  To the right of it is the plastic shelf organizer and I got it from amazon.  And the brush stand was a little cheaper and also came from amazon.  I’ve hyperlinked them so you can click on them if it’s something you are interested in.  The picture is kind of dark but in front of the paint shelf organizer is a little stamp pad and box of rubber stamps.  I got those from amazon in a lightening sale so I think I got a little cheaper than it’s current listed and I’m not sure if the ink pad still comes with it but here is that link.  If you do a lot of arts and crafts, they are pretty handy to have for projects.

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I keep finding uses for the stamp set for custom birthday cards and such but here is a picture of where I used it recently.  I’ve been doing the rock hiding game a little where you find painted rocks in parks and leave rocks that you painted and I’m in a facebook group called 850 Rocks! – 850 being the area code I live in.  I’m not that good at painting and sketching but I’m even less good at painting on uneven rocks.  LOL.  But the stamp set seemed to work good on the rock.  Before I paint the picture on a rock I normally sketch it with paper and pencil first and I included that below the rock painting.  I was toying around with having ms pacman and pacman together with a ghost sneaking up behind them with it arms out but I dropped that idea and decided to go with just a plain pacman.  I had some extra paint poured out so I painted the balloons and heart too.  It didn’t turn out as well as I wanted it to – I had to redo the balloon strings twice and they still aren’t great.  I posted a picture of the shark in an earlier post and it turned out a little better – I used metallic acrylic paint with it.

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The following pics are a couple related to upcycling.   While upcycling which is reusing glass jars and such to keep them out of landfills isn’t for everyone, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to increase my recycling potential and lower my carbon footprint.  Another side of upcycling is called found art which is creating art from used items.    I plan on doing a blog post about that topic at some point.  But anyway here is the first image:

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They say a picture is worth a 1000 words and while I’ve never though about it much this one may be.  LOL.  You can see where I got my circular saw to the desk the tablet/hybrid is sitting on because it wouldn’t fit into the corner with the dresser.  By it’s rough edge you can see I chose the wrong blade also.  LOL  Since I’ve gone and went tangential (or as I heard someone erroneously say one time – tangenital), I’ll go ahead and say I finally took the time to solve my Rubik’s cubes and the little black case above the mouse is my mugig harmonica which I’m attempting to learn. I’ve never heard of the brand so I took a chance with it but it sounds pretty good compared to a hohner brand harmonica I have.  Ok back to my topic – the former pickle, olive, and tomato containers. LOL.  I used to remove the labels but now I’ve just started washing the used containers real well before I repurpose them.  I figured the labels themselves are a kind of art after all and if they aren’t now they will be someday.  Tostito’s glass salsa jars are also great for reusing when you run out of salsa.  Just make sure you wash the containers really well.  The first picture in this post has one of those jars full of marbles to the left of the paint shelf organizer.  In the last picture, I’ve used one jar for glass rocks and another for rubber bands.  I didn’t have enough rubber bands to fill the jar so I put a couple of unused golf balls in the bottom of the jar.  In the empty and washed tomato can I have pencils, pens, scissors, and such.  I put unused swishy cups (small paper bathroom cups) inside it to keep everything from just falling wherever – I cut the bottom out of the 3 paper cups and turned them upside down and put them in the tomato can.

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The picture above is same angle from further away.  It shows my old tired iPod touch that’s on it’s last leg and an old android tablet I still use.  I’m getting more into digital art or maybe mixed media art is a better description and the reason I showed those 3 devices are they represent apple, android and windows (the hybrid, a laptop looking device is a windows 10 Samsung that I got for roughly half price since it was a prior year model) and I’ve been experimenting with apps in each ecosystem for doing digital art and hopefully animation and music.  I plan on writing some blog posts soon about what I find using free or cheap applications and hardware.  I have 4 wireless headphones because I buy them on amazon’s lightening sales when I can get them for 8 to 15 bucks each.  I also have another even older device not shown that is a 7″ android tab and I use Bluetooth headphones on all of them and I don’t like having to relink them between devices.  And since I got all 4 of those for less than what a single pair of Bluetooth headphones at some other discount retailers would be, I figured why not.  LOL.  You do take a slight risk with sound quality and connection issues and such but every one of them worked out for me.  I listen to a lot of audiobooks and audio blogs in addition to music so I haven’t had any issues although there are slight variations in quality when listening to music.

Ok.  To wrap up this blog entry, I was just going to mention one other thing about the last photo.  While not necessarily an example of reusing potential garbage like the jars, I was experimenting with decorating with odd items such as comics books.  Those three frames to the right of the large starwars poster are normal comics books in a frame designed for standard comic books sizes – you don’t have to damage the comic to put it in the frame.  You can use any standard comic book size you like to decorate with if you pick up or build some frames for comics.  The darth vader and others image to the top left of the large starwars poster is a book bag my daughter got when she was in elementary school some years ago – I just flattened it and used push pins to hang it to the wall.  The little unopened terraria figurine below the large poster is one I got on clearance and sometimes I decorate with opened or unopened toys such as that.  I would have rather have gotten a normal terraria figurine because I’ve never even used that one in the game terraria but I guess that’s why it was on clearance. LOL.

Well that’s all for now.

 

halo gingerly world! simple doodling with plumbago and paint 3d

I just upgraded my pc to windows 10 creators update which has Microsoft Paint 3d.  I didn’t have a lot of time to spend with it so I just did a simple doodle to test it out along with another free app called plumbago which is a notebook writing sketching app.  The first image below I did with plumbago and a stylus.

I then saved it as a png and loaded paint 3d and created a simple blue 3d sphere.   The eyes, mouth, and north pole err I mean hair are called stickers and you can place them on the 3d objects.  Finally, I loaded the first image as a custom sticker and stretched it over the sphere.  It also supports 3d text which is what I did the date in.  Lastly, I used a yellow light source on the first and red light source on the second and exported them to standard jpg format.

My main problem with plumbago is I couldn’t figure out how to lasso some of the image and enlarge or shrink it.  I figure it must be possible but with the ruled lines maybe it disallows it.  All in all both programs are pretty neat.  I’m sure I’ll try them out again when I have more time so I can gingerly doodle more and hopefully better images.  🙂

 

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straight out of the uh and into the frying pan – YAOR for teh internets

Wow – what a coincidence.  I had planned on writing a post about my chickens and an omelet I made with their eggs this morning and the word of the day is egg.  I also figured I’d take a moment to mention some of my kitchen hacks and recipe variations for omelets which I’m sure is not all that original.  I mean there are only so many ways to crack an egg huh.  So here goes for this episode of Yet Another Omelet Recipe for teh internets.

First for some pictures:

 

I used the 3 eggs on the cutting board to make the omelet – those are small to medium eggs (unlike that one giant egg in the corner of the egg carton photo).  This size omelet is really two servings so I cut it in half and only had half of for breakfast.  It actually keeps ok in the fridge so I had the other half for dinner with some grits.  As you may infer from multicolored eggs, my chickens are also multicolored.  I have some Rhode Island Reds, California Whites, and some Australorps which are black.  I’ll post some pictures of them another day – maybe when the word of the day is chicken.  🙂

Eggs used to be considered unhealthy but due to the healthy fats organic eggs have, I think expert opinion is shifting as long one doesn’t overdo it.  An omelet with salsa is fairly low carb for diabetics such as myself but they do have fat and calories.  I’ve been able to lose weight and keep my blood sugar down if I usually just eat one egg for breakfast.

So how do you cook an omelet?  Here are the steps I use and some tricks I’ve learned:

  1. Before I turn the stove on, I prepare part of the veggies.  They are the ones in the small cup on the back of the cutting board in the photos.  One thing that I’ve found is I don’t use green or red peppers fast enough to leave them in the fridge but if you go ahead wash, de-seed and slice them right after you buy them, you can put them in a zip-lock bag or if you want a smaller carbon footprint and less waste then use a re-usable freezer container.  They wont be as crunchy and fresh out of the freezer but they are tasty in stir-fry and aren’t too soggy – just don’t cook them too long.
  2. So I take only as much out of the freezer as I need of the sliced red or green pepper and chop it frozen – it’s easier to do than you’d think.  I normally keep vidalia or sweet onion chopped up in the fridge – I use it more often than red or green pepper and it keeps pretty well in the fridge.  So I add the chopped onion to the pepper at about a 3 to 1 ratio since i like onion and it’s more mild than pepper.
  3. This is optional but to that small plastic cup of onion and pepper I take about 3 jalapeno slices out of a small jar i keep in the fridge.  I chop the 3 small rings of jalapeno up into small bits and add it the cup of onions and peppers.  It doesn’t seem to add too much heat for me.
  4. Another thing i keep in the fridge is green onions.  If I’m making one omelet, I’ll take one green onion stalk out and wash it and chop it up.  If it has that hairy root stem on the very end just cut that small piece off and throw it away but I’m sure you already knew to do that.  I add the chopped up green onion to the cup with the sweet onions, peppers and jalapenos.
  5. Now the veggies are sitting pretty in the plastic cup and raring to go, but I sit them aside for now.
  6. I use a separate small pan for cooking the filling and i add a teaspoon or two of olive oil and heat the pan on medium.  Once the oil heats up I add a teaspoon or two of minced garlic – I get the kind that is in the small jar you put in the fridge and is already minced. This flavors the oil with garlic but it’s not real strong.  If you don’t like garlic you can leave it out.
  7. If i have uncooked sausage I usually chop it up and add it to the frying pan at this point.  I don’t normally use the same cutting board for meat that I use for veggies.  I use the wooden cutting board in the picture mostly for veggies.  You can use precooked breakfast meat, or you can chop up sandwich meat such as ham or turkey.  If you have left over grilled pork chop you can also chop it up and add it.  Occasionally, I buy a slice of ready to serve ham steak and keep in the freezer and it can also be used in this step.  Oh and the precooked real bacon bits in the bag in the photo are also a convenient choice.
  8. While that is cooking I wash the fresh mushrooms and slice them and set them aside.  If the meat is mostly done (no longer pink), I go ahead and add the mushrooms and stir occasionally.  If you’re not using raw meat and you’ve chopped up already cooked meat or sandwich meat you can add the mushrooms immediately.
  9.   Once the mushrooms have cooked a little bit but aren’t cooked all the way, I add the cup of fresh veggies.  These will only need to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium until the sweet onions look a little shiny.  Once that is ready go ahead and remove it from the hot eye but you can leave it in the pan until you’re ready for it.
  10. if you notice the picture with the bacon bits bag, there is a large pancake spatula in it.  One challenge some people have with omelets is flipping the half cooked egg so that large spatula makes it easier to do without the egg falling apart.  I add about two teaspoons of olive oil to a medium sized fryer (it’s bigger than the one i cook the filling in) or you can use butter or spray oil.  Just crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork or wire whisk and add a dash of salt and pepper if desired.  You’ll want to cook the egg pretty slow on medium heat so it doesn’t brown too much.  If the egg cooks too fast just pick up the frying pan and shake it a little to move the egg around and turn the heat down some.  This part will take some practice but just cook it until there is just a thin layer of liquid on top.  Then use the large spatula to flip it over.  Now this only needs to cook for about one to two minutes usually.  I go ahead and add the filling from the other frying pan to the top of the cooking egg mixture in a line in the middle of the egg.  Then I add a pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese and about 3 pinches of shredded cheddar cheese – you could use american cheese also.  By now the other half of the egg will probably be done enough you can fold the omelet – i use a smaller spatula for this.  You probably won’t have to flip the folded omelet at this point as it’ll likely be cooked soon.  You can hold the skillet up and slide the omelet into the serving plate and eat by itself or with some salsa.
  11.  One thing to note is the bag of precooked bacon bits which i get from Sam’s club comes in handy for a lot of dishes.  I use it in egg scramble dishes, grits, and i use it when cooking a variety of veggies such as green beans, lima beans, turnips, collards, and black eyed peas, etc.  It works in canned, frozen, or dried beans etc.

Well good luck.  Cooking for yourself isn’t as bad as you may think if you’re not already doing it.  And you can better control what goes into your food – how much fat, salt, etc.  If you trying to eat healthier and don’t want to add meat just remove it from the recipe.  I use the veggie part of this recipe for several dishes including some Chinese dishes and some homemade soups.    The great thing about doing your own cooking is you are in control.

zeitgeist, loyalty feigned and real, and a talking blond wig named womp

zeitgeist, loyalty feigned and real, and a talking blond wig named womp

Stream of consciousness can be a funny thing if you just sit back and let it.  If I can ever be disciplined and loyal enough to write in the mornings (morning pages), I think I would write better blog posts but here I am at 10 PM tired from a long day and a 2.5 hours commute time and trying to rely on SoC to help me write a decent post before another restless night of what some people call sleep.

I was listening to a new podcast tonight, sitting in the back yard swing after dark enjoying the cooler night air when the podcast, called It Makes a Sound, used the word zeitgeist which I haven’t heard in a long time; okay and they used it in a particularly entertaining way – at least to my silly sense of humor.  I thought to myself now there is a word to go in the title of a tired sleep blog entry so here we are.  LOL.  Not that we shouldn’t worry about the implications of that word…

And then there is loyalty or lack thereof.  In politics and the rat race everyone expects it even though it almost never exists in the wild.  I was going to look up some recent research on the topic which suggests people are almost always looking out for themselves but I’ll save it for later.  Also somewhat related, I was listening to a podcast of 60 minutes (Episode of ~10/8/2017) on the way home after work this evening and they ended it with a quote from Nixon about six years before he resigned, I know they are real subtle right? And it went something like this from the original 60 minutes interview by Mike Wallace

“When style and charisma connotes the idea of contriving of public relations, I don’t buy it at all…” Nixon told Wallace. “Some public men are destined to be loved and other public men are destined to be disliked, but the most important thing about a public man is not whether he’s loved or disliked, but whether he’s respected. And I hope to restore respect to the presidency at all levels by my conduct.”

The 60 minutes episode, however, did have a good report on how Trump’s team leveraged facebook with a dedicated team of facebook republican employees (wow such a thing exists?), and a sad report on the vegas shooting, and an interesting report on shake shack.

And last and maybe I dare say least to some people that is we have a talking blond wig.  OK my goal so far with the blog is to mostly avoid politics so I’m not going to go too far out on this shaky limb but I listen and read quite a bit of news and everywhere you look is well, you know.  I remember a few years ago talking to my mom about an encounter she had with a family member and I asked her what she thought of him (the family member) and she responded she thought he was the loch ness monster.  Now I actually like the vulgar South Park cartoon series sometimes but I knew my mom who is old fashioned had never watched it so she had obviously just single handedly created out of thin air one of the funniest parts of South Park but I couldn’t bring myself to ask her how in the world she came up with that or if my cousin err umm the loch ness monster asked her for about tree fiddy.  So today I decided to think of how my mom might describe our current prez and I came up with talking blond wig.  Naming the blond wig womp just seemed natural and when I read the definition of womp, I figured putting a blond wig on the old rabbit ears tv antenna we used to have would surely improve the signal quality – ok I know I’m grasping at straws or fake wig hairs here but it’s late and I’m tired so that’s all for now.  🙂

the hurdy gurdy, an exceptional folk music instrument

 

the hurdy gurdy, an exceptional folk music instrument

Not sure how many of you are familiar with this instrument but it’s pretty interesting.  Thought I would share some of the cool videos I found related to this unique instrument.

 

I always like including links to TED whenever possible so here is one specifically for the instrument:

 

Are you a gadget geek?  Kickstarter which is a site for people to try to raise money for ideas and products, etc.  even has a gurdy kit you can build yourself and also some very cool wooden trains.

 

Though not technically a gurdy i suppose but cool nonetheless, the marble machine.  Kind of like a rube goldberg music machine…

 

Still not buying it all this ruckus about HG.  You may have heard the words hurdy-gurdy in the past and just forgotten. 🙂  Catchy song from the old days.

 

Want to know more check out Patty’s link and peruse her vids.

 

 

 

“All creatures are capable of darkness, but not all choose to succumb to it.” ― Sara Humphreys

“All creatures are capable of darkness, but not all choose to succumb to it.”
Sara Humphreys

Sometimes I find a quote that I like that doesn’t necessarily match the topic that I wanted to talk about.  Of course the quote is usually based on the daily prompt word of the day which today is succumb.  I’m also not against borrowing quotes from Romance Book authors either so if that is a genre that interests you the quote is from this book, vampire troubles.  I’ve never read anything in the genre yet which with their liberal use of book covers with pecs reminds me of college Anatomy books.  I mean how many different ways can you illustrate books with close-up massive pecs pics – TBD.

What I really wanted to briefly talk about today was the good reads 2017 challenge for which i pledged to read 48 books this year.  And umm I’m only at 15 books :S

Therefore, I’ve decided to cheat.  Kind of.  I’ve decided to read shorter books like comics to try to catch back up.  I guess if i reached far enough I could connect three of the recent comic titles to darkness in the quote i used for this post.  And not that readers who would be interested in romance novels would likely be interested in comics but here goes:

Batman

Halloween Comic Fest 2014 - Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Special Edition (2014-) #1

And Batman’s sidekick Robin’s new gig:

Nightwing

Nightwing 201 Booklet

and Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo Team-Up Vol. 1

And if you’re like me and like free, all of these comics just happen to be free on google play books:  Batman, Nightwing 201, and Scooby-Do Team-Up and all yes, just coincidentally are related to Halloween (I think) – this month’s holiday for some in the big wild world.  I hyperlinked those in case you use google play books and wanted to check them out and no I don’t get a percentage of your “free” purchase price if you go through with it.  🙂

 

the constant struggle, athletics vs creativity

the constant struggle, athletics vs creativity

Well, I finally painted my first rock this evening which because of the rock’s shape i decided to do a great white shark.  I traced the rock outline with a pencil and sketched out a design in pencil first which turned out great because I could have never came up with that on the rock first due to how difficult it is to paint on an uneven rock.  I used metallic acrylic paint which turned out better than I expected.

However, as the 2nd photo indicates, my creative project came at the expense of my fitbit goal of 10,000 steps or roughly 5 miles.  The neon circle should go all the way around but stops at just past the 3/4 mark.  😦  An unfortunate reminder of how difficult it is sometimes to juggle those little creative tasks with meeting daily exercise goals.

The 3rd photo bottom right is the shark rock before image.  I was thinking of making the little white rock in the bottom middle a rattle snake head.  The egg shaped rock I may make into a little dino egg with a t-rex head sticking out.

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The Harder the Conflict, the More Glorious the Triumph

The Harder the Conflict, the More Glorious the Triumph

-Thomas Paine.

Wow.  It’s been two months since I’ve posted on my blog.  I’ve got to get back into my routine.  lately I’ve been making another attempt to learn some new musical instruments – if I ever learn them then it will have been quite the triumph.  With this recent attempt, I’ve learned more about the guitar and keyboard than ever.  I’ve got a long way to go but so far so good.  I’m using a combination of an app called yousician, youtube vids, and books.  I also have a harmonica and ukelele within reach so I may just learn them all.  🙂

I’ve also been reading on music theory.  I just finished a book called The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten and gave it five stars on goodreads.com.  Here is the review i posted there about the book:

Well I had planned on giving the book 4 stars but after reading the ending and some careful thought, I decided what the heck, 5 stars it is. First off, my thought process is mostly driven by logic and scientific thinking so books like this that utilize mysticism and such initially don’t interest me much. However, I gave the book a chance and was astonished at how well it’s story came together. I suspect most people who think like I normally do can’t open their mind to such a story. That doesn’t mean I believe every ounce of the story or even most of it. I think the author himself alludes to some of the playful exaggerations he’s uses to get his point across. To me the story shouldn’t be taken too literally and you shouldn’t try to verify and audit each point for scientific accuracy. The idea that if you spend your time and energy helping others learn and achieve greatness that you’ll draw from hidden connected arcane energy and forces is a powerful idea not because of magic but simply because you’ve helped others achieve something they may have not have done without you. The story paints a picture of a town filled with students who learned from the teacher. Students some of whom may have had difficult situations like the author and couldn’t have afforded to pay the teacher but yet didn’t have to because his lessons were free other than what it cost them in time and simply giving his ideas a chance.

our tethered life

our tethered life

What is it about the moon and the stars that captivate us?  Is it because we are tethered here and it makes us think about being there where ever there is?  Maybe we’re kind of like the fish in the fish bowl peering out possibly wanting to be somewhere else.

I snapped this picture of the moon and Venus and Mercury (I think).  The sky was actually dark when I took this.

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Earlier today I was walking around a park in Bristol, FL and walked up on this.  When I found myself tonight trying (not succeeding) to get a good picture of the moon I thought of this picture and the related theme.  LOL.

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I was just glad i didn’t run into this guy.  LOL.  I’ve been watching original Twilight Zone episodes lately and getting a good laugh.

This was my view earlier this evening from my new wooden swing that I recently bought.  I thought the patterns of the clouds overlapping the moon was kind of interesting so naturally i had to go grab my camera.

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For now the moon wins.  I guess I’ll have to invest in a tripod and finally read some of the advanced photography books I’ve had forever if I want to ever get a good picture of the moon. 🙂

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