Friday, November 30, 2007

"Fried Fridays: When In Rome, Do As..."

Gosh, so many screwy stories from our screwy world, and so little time to present them all...

Loved the Chilean prostitute who legally just sold 27 hours of sex to raise a $4,000 charity donation to help needy children...the one-liners were too numerous and too potentially job-ending for me, so I had to let that one lie...

Rather, I chose to go with a pair of unrelated stories that are related in that they were dispensed by the Rome (Italy) news bureaus.

First up...on a simple little jumper flight from Milan to Rome via Ryanair, there arose a rather tense exchange when a passenger repeatedly refused to obey the instructions from a flight attendant before take-off. The passenger was booted off the flight, long story short. 36-inches long, to be exact. The plush alligator, that is...and all because the passenger refused to store the cuddly reptilian replica as all carry-on needed to be stored: overhead or fully under the seat.

No, the person above is not the bootee, but she is holding a 36-inch alligator for scale...

Personally, I think the whole thing is a croc.

From "any croc will do" to "cockle-doodle-do"...there's something to crow about in the Italian province of Bolzano, not too far south of the border with Liechtenstein. Well, it's actually something they shouldn't crow about, I suppose. Last time I checked, roosters let loose sometime approximate to sunrise or shortly before it...they're kinda sorta wired that way.

Unfortunately, one farmer was fined almost $300 for his rooster's vocalizations that neighbors complained woke them up too early. (They obviously don't do weather for News 14...) He'll have to fight it in court with the help of the local farmer's organization on the grounds that he needs at least one rooster to breed with his chickens. Last time I checked, they're kinda sorta wired that way.

And that's the latest news of our society going to the dogs...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Travelogue: Lead, S.D. 1994"

Well, I've basically exhausted my good travel photo files, and of late haven't been taking many shots...scraping the proverbial bottom of the barrel. At least for this Thursday's post I thought you'd like to see a little bit of snow from the Black Hills of South of those "you'd better be careful what you wish for!" kinds of things. Part of a record setting year for snow, I might add...

These are not my photos...a viewer whose name I have long since forgotten had brought the photos by the station for me to scan and use.

To set the stage, Lead (long 'e' as in leader) rubs elbows with the more famous Deadwood in the northern reaches of South Dakota's Black Hills. Very colorful history, Deadwood, made even more infamous with the so-named HBO series. They are known for notoriously monster snows, and these pics came from one of those dumpings back in 1994.

In fact, the 1993-1994 winter was the snowiest on record in Lead, totalling 364.7". They annually average close to 193" as it is. That's a lot of snow to be living in.

Think Snow! Heck, Think Precipitation! This is no time to be picky!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Bad Holiday Gift Ideas"

Originally I was going to post a Top-10 list, but there are too many choices and too hard to order them appropriately. So I thought I'd pass along 10 items I thought of or ran across that really aren't the best choices to let someone know you 'care' during the big holiday season upon us...

10. Fruitcake. I know someone out there must like it since it sells, but a brick makes a much better doorstop.

9. The Christmas Card letter - not just any letter, mind's one thing to catch up quickly on news, but it's another ball of wax to write a two-pager that describes in noisome detail how many awards and accolades Jenny got, and all about the scholarship Timmy has in the bag from his record-setting golfing...the promotions that Bruce has had (2 in 4 months!!! Way to go, honey!) and all about that 7,000 square foot house that they just had 'a time over' moving into it, full of trials and tribulations...and squeezing all that activity in while still taking the family on a late winter trip to Patagonia, a June whirl to the Bungle Bungles in Australia, and that September hiking expedition via hostels through the Italian Dolomites. And now all the pre-debutante galas and madness starting up...Gosh, where does the time go? Merry Christmas, Y'all!

8. Speaking of ball of wax...ball of ear wax, that is...her
e is a device that you can actually stick a fiber optic camera into your ear and see it all for yourself, and/or clean it out, too...made in Japan, hence the weirdly translated name...

7. Kid's drum set, this one from Drum Bum...unless you are deaf or have a sound-proof chamber somewhere, I'm thinking that a set like this for anyone that is still a single digit in age is a bit of a very short-sighted idea gone horribly wrong. It's saving grace? The ad says "It's just li
ke dad's drum set!".

6. Large inflatable flamingos for your holiday inflatable wonderland. The plastic ones on sticks are bad enough...and now you have to scare children. Just watch out for their flamingoo...

5. "GIANT Microbes" plush toy set: just HAD to cop
y the ad wording so you can feel the uniqueness of this gift...
We make stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes—only a million times actual size! Now available: The Common Cold, The Flu, Sore Throat, Stomach Ache, Cough, Ear Ache, Bad Breath, Kissing Disease, Athlete's Foot, Ulcer, Martian Life, Beer & Bread, Black Death, Ebola, Flesh Eating, Sleeping Sickness, Dust Mite, Bed Bug, and Bookworm (and in our Professional line: H.I.V. and Hepatitis). Each 5-to-7 inch doll is accompanied by an image of the real microbe it represents, as well as information about the microbe. They make great learning tools for parents and educators, as well as amusing gifts for anyone with a sense of humor!"

List of available diseases/critters

The MRSA flesh-eating one is equally as cute...note the little knife and fork embroidered on to it's body...

4. Be the first on your block to have the kid's portable tattoo parlor! That's right, Spin Master's I-Tattoo! Get Inked, little dudes and dudettes!

Watch their ad here

3. "Christmas In The Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album". That's right, you can smile warmly and tap your feet to that soon-to-be-classic-hit, "What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)". Truth be told, I've not heard it...but I've read reports on it, and if you ever need to get rid of unwanted or over-staying company, playing this album is guaranteed to do the job at the fraction of a cost of renting a jaguar.

2. We have a tie for #2...they're kind of in the same category. What better way to bring smiles and giggles of laughter to your children as they unwrap these presents, the excitement overflowing as they get their VERY OWN play vacuum cleaner and Silly Sam talking broom and dust pan set! HOURS of endless fun! HOURS of bonding family time with mom (since dad usually doesn't know how to operate the big one). A 'pet' broom you can carry on a conversation with! Cleaning has NEVER been SO MUCH FUN!

Actual ad selling points:
a. encourages role playing

b. makes cleaning fun

c.offers encouraging phrases, giggles, and more

1. A Barry Bonds ornament to proudly hang on your tree.
(Steroids not included).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let the racing begin! No matter what your stance is in life, we all get caught up in this holiday whirlwind one way or the other, be it with traffic, endless decorations, omnipresent music, family traveling and gatherings, not to mention other faith-based holidays concurrent to Christmas. It's just a flat-out busy time for many.

Been wanting to put on some flute-related information of some new critters coming out, and new design explanations, but between the busy Thanksgiving holiday and weather-related issues, I haven't been able to get to the myriad things I want to...hopefully I can, starting today. The mild and sunny afternoon ahead should be conducive to working outdoors, which is what I have to do.

Once in a while something is sent to me that makes me chuckle, in this case more because it's true so much of the time! A former teaching colleague at Woodberry Forest passed this one along, which we more 'seasoned' 2-leggeds can all relate!.....


1. You accidentally enter your PIN code on the microwave.

2. You haven't played Solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you, or your next door neighbor.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing in agreement.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't#9 on this list


I am thankful for laughter,
except when milk comes
out of my nose.
~Woody Allen

Monday, November 26, 2007

"I think I'll pass..."

...or the link below to see an incredible play...

Whould a thunk it...

More delayed today, Monday...thought you'd enjoy this video a friend sent!

stay tuned...

Friday, November 23, 2007

"Fried Fridays: One Person's Trash..." another's million dollars.

Well, not exactly, but the gist is spot-on.

Driving to work Thanksgiving morning, I was listening to the BBC radio on NPR and heard a phone interview with Elizabeth Gibson, who pulled this long-lost masterpiece from a neighborhood trash can only 20 minutes before the garbage truck would have hauled it away to the dump for all of posterity. It's been a story in the making for about 4 years...

"Tres Personajes"
Rufino Tamayo, ca.1970

In 2003. Ms. Gibson was strolling near her upper West Side home in The Big Apple when she spied the above painting in the trash. Not being knowledgable about fine or modern art, she felt drawn to the piece nonetheless, and just had to pick it up to look into it further.

The doorman at her building said the trash had been out only 20 minutes or so before she walked by, and that the trash truck came not too long after she talked with him. I have to admit, when I see people's trash at the street, I look it over...of course, I'm looking for anything with wood that might make a neat flute. Reckon I'd better start boning up on paintings, too...

She couldn't let the sleeping dog lie, either. For four years Ms. Gibson researched to find the 'source' of this particular painting, and her work finally paid watching an episode of "Antiques Roadshow", where in this painting just happened to have been featured and labeled as stolen/missing since 1989. "Eureka!" was most likely shouted after she surely picked her jaw up off the floor at that weird confluence of timing and events.

Last Tuesday night Sotheby's Auction House held a Latin American Art sale, and "Tres Personajes" fetched a cool $1,049,000.00 by the closing gavel strike. Not bad for picking out some trash, eh?

In the phone interview, the findee lamented that her 'finder's reward' was a paltry $15,000...she didn't elaborate too much more, except to say that she and everyone else in the art world was appalled by the cheapness of the owner's token pittance. Sotheby's was so disgusted they offered her an undisclosed percentage of their auction commission as a good faith gesture.

Imagine that, someone in the Corporate World does have a kind and caring heart.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Give Thanks Every Day"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hopefully a more 'regular' post will return tomorrow...had a technical meltdown with internet connectivity earlier this morning, hence just a friendly cyber-wave in hopes that you have a blessed day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CAUTION: Fowl language ahead



Big chickens.

Canada Geese.


Been a while since I posted, of course...had a few days off and, well, got out of my daily rhythm of 'stuff' and took a few days off from writing. I actually spend a good bit of time on my you can tell so far, that's not the case today!

Dusting off the cobwebs getting back into the swing of work and forecasts and big changes ahead in the short-run. Already there's 'talk' of some sporadic sleet or freezing rain late Saturday up in the mountains of NW NC and SW VA....which could include a small part of Surry County. Sunday may be our first 'cold wedge' or CAD event (cold-air-damming) as moisture from the west overspreads a cold pool off the eastern flanks of the Blue Ridge. Cold showers for the Triad proper and nothing more...but tell-tale of the season ahead.

From highs in the 70s today to just the 40s for Friday, there's gonna be a whole lot of wardrobe swappin' goin' on. I'll definitely have to add a long-sleeve shirt and maybe even wool socks with my shorts by Friday...

Made a LOT of sawdust the past few days, and will share some of the 'stories' that came to pass around particular my first ultra-high A-flat that is a quite playable 6-hole (heretofore they've been only 5-holers), and a "phoenix" of a flute that was successfully renewed, even if I do say so myself. That's all coming up in later posts.

So tomorrow is the big Turkey Day, where 99.99% have no idea what really went on back in 1621...or should I say most have ideas that are erroneous. Regardless, family and friends will gather for good times (hopefully!), and it looks like at least some rain will fall and add to the "thanks" list.

I also mulled that Thanksgiving Day seemed a little early this year, and did a little scratching for info I guess I knew but had like...

1. Which President suggested a day of Thanksgiving be observed annually, nation-wide?

2. Which day did the above president suggest it be on?

3. Which day is it now celebrated on?

4. Which President made the change to the present Thanksgiving Day calendar and made it a 'fixed' national holiday?

5. Which president in which year held Thanksgiving twice?

5b. Why?

A1. Abraham Lincoln

A2. The last Thursday of November

A3. The 4th Thursday of November

A4. Franklin D. Roosevelt

5. James Madison, in 1815.

5b. I have no idea.

What prompted the above info was my realizing there are 5 Thursdays this month, with tomorrow, the 22nd, being the earliest possible Thanksgiving date (the November 1 was on a Thursday). I trust you will now be able to more soundly sleep at night.

Thought I'd be writing a bit more, but this will do it for today's entry. Safe travelin' to all y'all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Fried Fridays: Ho, Ho, NO!!!"

Just when you think you've heard it all...

Westaff, A U.S.-based recruitment firm, has created a most unpleasant buzz in the Land of Down-Under. Santas hired in Sydney, Australia have been 'urged' not to say "Ho, Ho, Ho!" anymore because of the offensive nature of the word in American culture. I can't even make this stuff up...

"Ha, Ha, Ha!" just doesn't hack it, but that is what Westaff recruiters have urged Sydney Santas to say as an alternative. It's bad enough that so many downright stupid things have come about so that people or things can be 'politically correct'...but now we're crossing the line. You don't mess with Superman's cape, and you surely don't mess around with bearded guy in the bright red suit.

The only paraphrased quote I've seen from Westaff states "it was "misleading" to say the company had banned Santa's traditional greeting and it was being left up to the discretion of the individual Santa himself." (AFP wires)

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Scrooge.

And a screwed up one, at that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Travelogue: Crazy Horse Memorial, Black Hills, SD"

Apologies for this temporary format - swamped by weather work and other technical difficulties, as well as a flute performance later, so not sure when I can spend the time to write my normal discourse for blog posting....

These are my pics from the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota, a well-known destination for tourists and locals, alike. When completed, the 'sculpture' will dwarf Mt. Rushmore only a few miles away.

Because I don't have the writing time, I've got a few links for you if you want to read more:

Crazy Horse Memorial

(Tuh-SHOON-kah WIT-ko)
"Crazy Horse"

I don't even know where to begin on how to impress upon you the importance of this warrior to the Lakota Nation...the purpose of the sculpture, direction of his pointing, etc. is tied into the quote below. Too, not everyone, including Lakota, thinks this is such a worthwhile endeavor. You have to wonder if Crazy himself would even approve of it. Personally, I do not favor such alterations of nature, no matter the 'message'. I simply don't care for the Stone Mountains and Mount Rushmores of this world. I do like their 'vision' of a college to be built there, however, and the museum displays are absolutely wonderful.

Video Postcard link

Lots of neat sculptures and excellent art/museum displays abound throughout the modern buildings at the Memorial...

Where Crazy Horse is buried no one knows...though I have a strong feeling that a rare few elders in a secret Lakota group may have a good idea. In itself that's not imporant. Another giant among the Lakota was Black Elk, Hehaka Sapa...his quote below a worthy one...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"And a good time was had by all..."

Reading to the second graders was a lot of just about anything I do I put my heart and soul into it, and it's worth every effort. Speaking of putting heart and soul into something, the children's costumes were adorable and downright creative. To refresh your memory from yesterday, it was "National Young Author's Day" during which students picked a word from a list and dressed up to represent that word. They had an early morning parade, and other adults came and read to classes...just a good, wholesome day all around the board.

I would have loved to post more students in their costume, but I had no way of getting parental permission to put their child's pictures in here. However, I did have three that were 'covered' up that I thought you'd like to see.....






The book that I read had a good lesson...there was a little boy who, like many today, was hooked on his TV, video games, and electrical when a storm blew in and the power went out, he freaked...all his back-up batteries were dead....saw his little sister happily playing with a battery operated doll, stole the batteries which then opened a whole 'nuther can of worms... anyhow, long story short, he learned to have creative fun with his little sister and realized he didn't need all those electrical whatchamadoodles to bring him happiness.

And it was good to see all the students having put so much effort into their creative costumes, too. Plenty of children today could benefit from more of such creative exercises, eh? And just maybe my deep winter pac boots will bring us good luck with lots of snow this winter. Water for us. Snow-days for the kids. Something to talk about in the weather...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Reading To The Kidlets, Today..."

Today is "National Young Author's Day" at a local elementary school, and I was asked to come read a book after is the type of effort that is worth every ounce and then some, especially when you see the smiling faces light up. In this case, these are second graders, and I'd previously talked to all of them about weather as well as my flutes. What do you think they remembered most about my hour-long discourse that fall day? Why of course, the fact that I played one of my little flutes with my nose...!

The book I'm reading is "When Charlie McButton Lost Power", by Suzanne Collins and Mike Lester:

As well, for today, the kids were to choose a word from a pre-designed list and dress up for school in a way that is in the spirit of their chosen word...all to help them expand their vocabulary as they interact with others. With my coming to read, I, too, chose a word that I could represent well....and so I will dress up and wear my 2-piece sign, with the cover flap reading:

Keep in mind I'm no small petunia at 6' 4" and decidedly way beyond 200 pounds. In moving east from Rapid City, South Dakota, I still had my deep winter boots that failed to sell at various yard sales, and I figured they were worth hanging on to, just in case some historical winter storm beset me back east. The picture below does not do justice to the expanse of these boots, even though I put a Splenda packet in for scale. OK, ya got me, I'll have to admit...yes, I am a veritable fashion plate in these boots, shorts and a big coat. Guilty as charged. The kids and faculty will simply have to deal with it today.

Oh, lest I forget...the word I am embodying is.....

Personally, I think it's rather appropriate. So if you think I'm all about weather forecasts and Native American style flutes, think again. When I say I have a lot of irons in the fire, take my word for it. As the old saying goes, "Anything worth doing is worth doing well."


Monday, November 12, 2007

"Building The Winter Reserves..."

Short-term apologies to James, Christa, Ken, Rick, and Mike...your flute projects are on the top of my list (no, really!), but for the past couple of weeks I felt led to build up my stockpile of "flubies", or flutes-to-be. I will say that the tremendous amount of time to fully shape, sand, and finish a flute is time-consuming, but it has the distinct advantage that the tools involved are rather simple and more flexible in their use. I can pick up one flute and sand pretty quickly.

What takes longer stretches of uninterrupted time is the very beginning of it all...the selection of wood, preparation of the blanks, proper cutting and planing before routing, after careful measurements and markings...and those steps require the bigger, heavier equipment and lots of focused attention. It's the type of staging that you rarely go through for just one flute if you are busy, which I've been of I decided to do one of my big batches to use time and machines more efficiently.

These pictures are only about 80% of the ones at this stage, with another 10-12 in the glue-up assembly line. (FYI, From this hexagonal stage I next create the sound hole mechanism and then drop the finger holes in place - and, no, it's not that simple!) Pictured below are two hybrid Half-Pipes in the mid F to G range under the clamps...and not that you can tell, but left is Sassafras and right is some beautiful golden Mahogany. I wish I could capture the smell of Sassafras when you cut or sand it...intoxicatingly sweet, it is.

This batch of ~55 'flubies' will potentially have keys ranging from my rare specialty ultra-high A Half-Pipes down a hair over two octaves to bass G. There's a good mix of round-bore and half-pipe designs to meet various budgets, though the half-pipe design is limited to nothing lower than mid F, maybe mid E. Part of the purposeful design of batching flutes this way is it give the wood time to 'cure' into its new form, allowing the grain to settle, which is helpful for tuning purposes.

Will all of these make it to Flutedom? No. There will always be a few (very few) of those flutes that just won't play right or well no matter what you do...and though noisome to me, I understand they can teach me something new if I spend enough time with them. The rarest of the rare trouble-makers visit the fireplace.

For the sake of testing my memory, the woods scattered in the pictures are Ambrosia Maple, Aspen, Poplar, Black Limba, Cocobolo, Purpleheart, Bloodwood, Sapele, Western Cedar, Eastern Cedar, Ipe, Massarunduba, Papua New Guinea Walnut, American Cherry, Brazilian Cherry, Mahogany, Sassafras, Wenge, Curly Maple, Pecan, and old-growth Great Fir. The pink ones in the upper left corner are two ultra high A plastic flutes made from pink and black #17 Bates knitting needles from a craft great,too! Once I get caught up orders and get a few more stock up, I have a heap more other woods I want to bring to life. Ah, so many flutes to dream about making, and so many weather forecasts to get in the way of it...

Warmer weather kicking in this week...let the machines buzz and whir this afternoon!
Carpe diem, y'all!

Friday, November 09, 2007

"Fried Fridays: Fencing An Issue..."

Not my easy, clear-cut week for "Fried Fridays" candidates. Sure, there is the $25,000 desert in NYC that has gotten waaaay too much press and attention for something so stupidly frivolous when we are beset with overwhelming social ills...and the Fat Cat payment system/component of the U.S. Farm Bill (up for renewal this week) which would take a week of blogs to get you up to speed and explain, a Farm Bill that does just about everything except what it originally was supposed to do: help the struggling farmer.

So I turned my eyes locally and watched another event unfold wherein we in media dropped yet another gigantic medicine ball by taking the easy way out.

Meet Tom Knotts, head coach of Charlotte's Independence High School, a team who won 114 consecutive games against NC schools until Butler beat them last week (first loss to a NC team in 8 years) of multiple consecutive state championships. A legendary powerhouse that would not have made it with anything less than solid coaching. Not that the whole program there smells like a bed of roses, mind you, but in terms of 'getting the job done' he wrote a sequel, if not the book on it.

And so it is varsity coaches often coach JV teams as well, and it was last Thursday that Butler JVs handed Knott's JVs a tough loss. On TV and in the print media, we get the Cliff Notes story that a heckling parent was at the fence yelling unsavory things, Knotts, surrounded by his young players, yelled at him to only got more rebellious, Knotts walked over to chain link fence, told him to quit again (to no avail) and Knotts grabbed the fence and quickly pushed it into the man's face, bloodying his nose.

You'd a thought a holy hell broke loose when it hit the airwaves. Famous coach loses cool, assaults parent, makes victim's nose bleed. Bad role model, hints at need for anger management, famous coach in the spotlight making waves. Suspended with pay while under investigation, not allowed to coach varsity game the next night with Butler, with Butler winning in an historic squeaker 21-20.

Update: no charges will be filed and Knotts can return to team next week, but not tonight for their playoff game at Greensboro Page.

Sadly, this is what media does best: going with the easy headline and splashing it ad nauseum with inappropriate follow-through. Focus on the splashiest icon. Take the quick hike and run with the ball. Make sure you add in footage of the Independence dynasty in action, tell all the records, and then contrast it with the giant tree falling in a moment of uncontrolled anger. What a crock of poop.

What concerns me most about all of this is our society's inability to get to core issues...instead, we embrace the fluffiest media bunny we can quickly grab and go "lookee here, y'all!". Through the pervasive dumbing of America, there are an uncomfortable number of people who take news stories and make it their "truth" without thinking through it for themselves.

In a millisecond of hearing the story I wanted someone to investigate Isaac Avant, Jr. the heckler. Father to one of the JV players, his home address was listed in Pennsylvania, so I read. And he wasn't heckling...he was cussing, swearing, and yelling expletives at the top of his voice at this family-friendly event, yet no security or other parents stepped up to speak up or diffuse the situation. His actions were inflammatory, abominable, and 100% inexcusable. Did he have a history of such horrid behavior? History of abusive behavior? Alcohol and or drug issues? Any arrest records that would have been pertinent?

We're not talking a civil rights issue, folks...we're talking blatantly stupid parental behavior at their children's family sporting events, and it's becoming more common.

Here was the perfect opportunity for media outlets to show and teach the public about personal responsibility, how it's NOT okay to behave certain ways and do certain things, and it's NOT acceptable, and it should NOT be tolerated. Put Mr. Avant under the same interrogation lamp and you'll come up with the real story that needed to be told. And it wasn't.

There seems to be a growing number of citizens who feel entitled to say anything and behave any way they want in public...and we used to stand up to it. Now it seems like many are too scared to stand up for what's right and proper, fearing legal and/or physical repercussions. Gee, I wonder where that sense of fear came from...

I'm not excusing Coach Knotts for his actions...but I can tell you that anyone who has been in that exact same situation can instantaneously understand why he did what he did. Time to move forwward. TGIF!

(photo credit: WSOC TV)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Travelogue: Road to Nowhere"

Apologies, Saddle entry for today as I've been bzzzzzzy as one of these yesterday and today, too...

Almost too many irons in the fire, especially thanks to a home-based holiday craft show I have to get some of my art to this afternoon. Thanks for your least you'll have learned something new (below):

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"A Patriarch's Passing..."

George Osmond passed away yesterday in Provo, Utah at the ripe age of 90 years old. His wife Olive preceded him in 2004. The couple's offspring were born with worlds of talent in each of their fingertips. The Osmonds. Donny. Marie. Jimmy. Et al.

You may not be aware that he and his wife formed the Osmond Foundation...which later became an organization I think we have all heard of, going strong today: The Children's Miracle Network, a non-profit fundraising group for children's hospitals.

In good Mormon fashion, he left behind 9 children, 55 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren.

Can't say I was ever a big fan of the Osmonds...just not my cup of tea growing up, but I certainly can appreciate their talents. In scrounging around I found some vintage footage I thought you might enjoy...four of the young boys in a barbershop quartet...little Marie...fashions from an appearance on the Cher show that, well, you'll be glad to see fell out of style....

Young Osmonds in barbershop quartet

Sing karaoke with little Jimmy

Young Osmonds in Swedish special
(with appearance by a little Marie)

Osmonds as "Fashion Plates" with Cher

Bonus time! In scrounging around, I came across a group I'd never heard of singing a fun a capella number I actually had heard of, "A Flat Tire"....sung by The Dallas Boys in 1963. Enjoy!

The Dallas Boys - "Flat Tire"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"A Stroke Of Genius..."

Bev Doolittle. A lot of you may already be familiar with her style of painting pictures within pictures...some embedded images are readily visible, and others you have to just sit and look at for them to come to life and arise from the shadows.

I realize the holidays are right around the corner and I could have put it on my wish list, but I couldn't help buying a 2008 Bev Doolittle calendar while passing through a store last Saturday (darn those point-of-purchase displays!) Got me to thinkin' I might share some of her work here in case you've never seen it...

No doubt she is famous for her snow scenes, especially involving Paints and Pintos...there are some especially neat scenes of them running through a thick snow covered birch forest with other hidden animals, but I couldn't find good enough images of them on-line.

For obvious flute-related reasons, I am the proud owner of one discontinued Doolittle print entitled "Music in the Wind", seen below:

Remember to click on pics to enlarge...most of these will show a lot more detail, like the starlit sky below, as well as myriad animals like a moose, badger, bear, bobcat, Bighorn ram, and more in the rocks and vegetation details:

How many times have you walked in the woods and thought someone was watching you? Maybe they WERE, certainly if Bev Doolittle had anything to do with it:

Couldn't bear not to show you this one...make sure you 'paws' and look for the grizzly details. In her prints, there is always something 'bruin'...

Interesting self-portrait, the pictures within the pictures within the picture...

If nothing else, next time you're in the bookstore, look for her books or calendars and enjoy the much better quality images. Great way to pass time on a rainy day...oh, I forgot, we don't have those...