Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Warrenton - 2015 September

If it was $100 I would have bought it, but it was over $300.  Really cool.

Frog Pole Dancers; Mexican welded steel art hits a new high in tackiness
More Spooky
Very Spooky
Someone bought this in the past and someone will buy this in the future, taste optional
This new building looks solid, but there is only one floor, it is a huge void inside and the walls are only one board thick. You can see daylight through the knot holes in the cedar planks.

Find the skeleton walking his dogs.

 Just a picture
Just a picture

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Room One - Insulated and walls completed

The room is now insulated with new wooden walls, and new electric outlets, one left to update. Time to fill the holes and cracks and paint.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mosaic Panel 14 almost installed

It was a hot steamy evening and my neighbor was available to help me move panel 14 from the garage to the garden, and muscle it into position. It is not aligned yet, but the hardest part is done. This one seemed extra heavy, must be the weight of the stardust.

How steamy was it? From the photo details it was September 21 @ 8:14 pm, and from the the temperature gauge on panel 13, 91 degrees F (33 C).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Doctor Zhivago (1965 Movie)

I recently saw Doctor Zhivago for the second or third time.  I love this movie. It has its flaws but covers a wide range of emotions, in a time and place so different to where I am now.

Plan in advance, the book by Boris Pasternak is 600 pages, and the movie more than three hours.

The book was banned in the USSR; the original Russian version was published by the CIA. The movie was not shown in Russia until 1994.

Zhiv mean alive in Russian, and it is a story of grim survival against the system in a hostile climate.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Paranoia and the Police

People that are paranoid suffer. They believe people are spying on them, sneaking onto their property at night, cheating them. Logically if they feel threatened, are being robbed during the night, they call the police. The police come, walk around the property, look for evidence of break-ins, but know it is a medical issue. They have been here before. The person who is paranoid says the police are unresponsive and take to long to get to the house. There are no real solution. 

The police conferring at the end of the street

Friday, September 18, 2015

We are a single species, on a single planet......

"We are a single species, on a single planet, trying to build a viable global civilization, and there are a 1000 ways to screw it up and not so many ways to build paradise on earth."  Sam Harris

For the complete video of interview, see Link

Earth as seen from Saturn (Nasa photo)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Never to early to shop for Halloween

Wonderfully creepy life-size ghouls that move. $80 plus batteries. Some assembly required.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Asking for money

I was filling the car with gas at the nearby Raceway gas station.  A middle-aged guy came up to me, and said, "Buddy, can you spare me some money for gas?" I said, "Sorry, no." It was an inner brain decision; I had looked at his demeanor, his clothes, his car, the few words he said, and made an instant decision that I could not logically justify. He turned around and approached the next person and asked the same question.

15 minutes later I was back to fill the truck, and surprise surprise, he immediately approaches me with the same request. "The answer is still no," I said. His car was now on the other side of the court. He then approached other people until one guy gave him some cash. He walked to the building presumably to pay, and when he came out, he asked the women who were entering for more money. They declined.

So what was going on, did he really need money for gas?  Or was it a better place to ask for money as people were, in essence, a captive audience, standing outside by their vehicles, waiting for the tank to fill?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Strange Moment in History - 1984 - Shanghai Railway Station

Is was the winter of 1984/85 in the Peoples Republic of China. China International Travel Service (CITS) had an office in the Beijing hotel I was visiting, and I booked my travel, a train to Wuxi, Suzhou, and on to Shanghai.

At that time travel was ridiculously cheap. I had come to realize they knew how to handle groups, but not single travelers. I had booked a person to meet me at train station in Shanghai and take me to the Peace Hotel on the Bund.

When the train pulled into Shanghai railway station I walked to the train door, and it was opened from the outside, CITS knew exactly which door of the train I would exit from, and there was a car and driver, on the platform. I got in and the car weaved through all the other walking passengers, to the end of the platform and exited into the streets and dropped me off at the hotel.

Curiously CITS and InTourist (the Russian equivalent) are still in business.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Problems Solved

The mysterious nest high in a pecan tree, became three nests. Then one day a group of Turkey Vultures appeared and lived in the tree for a few days, and then were gone. Ugly creatures, but essential to the local road-kill food chain,

And Zone 10 after many exploratory holes to find the general area, and much prodding with a multi-pronged pitchfork, I found Zone 11 and then Zone 10 valves.

They have resurfaced from their subterranean existence. Now I need patience and allow time for the grass to grow.

Photographed, never to be lost again. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hapsburg Empire 1526 - 1918

Artifacts from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Vienna Court Carousel Sleigh, 1740 - 1750. The horse is decked out in bells that jingle at different frequencies.
Uniforms from Austria-Hungary in 1916, two years before its dissolution. The left one looks Eastern European, the right one more Asian
Jane Seymour Queen of England from 1536 to 1537 as the third wife of Henry_VIII, oil on wood, by Hans Holbein the Younger.

This picture is not in the National Portrait Gallery in London, but on tour from Vienna.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Karen Knorr - Belgravia - The pink bits

A moment in time and space

One of a series of black and white compositions.  See the set of 10 at Belgravia and more subject matter at Photography

From her web site:

"Karen Knorr produced Belgravia (1979-1981) a series of black and white photographs with ironic and humorous texts that highlighted aspirations, lifestyle and the British class system under the neo liberalist Thatcher era in the late 70’s and early 80’s. "

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Friendly Help at the Car Parts Store

The front headlights were both out on my vehicle. I checked one bulb and the filament was broken, so it was a coincidence they were both out at the same time and not a wiring problem. I tried to put the bulb back, but the clip that held it in place was tight and finicky. I taped it in as it just had to get me to the store. I bought replacement bulbs, and asked if there was someone who could install them as I had trouble clipping the bulb back in.

The guy who served me said he could do it, and there was no charge. He saw my surprise, hesitated and said, "you can leave a tip if you wish." He came out and struggled with the clip, as I had done, and after 30 minutes I said, "I can take it to a garage tomorrow."

 "We don't need a garage," he said.

Finally he disconnected and moved the battery to one side to allow extra room. He got both bulbs in, and they worked. I gave him $20 for good service and tenacity.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Room One update

The only room in this circa 1890 house that did not have internal wood walls. The 1970s wood paneling, and the 1930s sheetrock, have been demolished, and new wood added. Still a work in progress.

The old sheetrock was thinner, heavier and harder than modern sheetrock.

The 1930s was the time of the Great Depression in the US and many other places in the world. The three upstairs rooms were labeled 1, 2 and 3; I expect they were rented out as rooms to earn money during this time.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The best underground tunnel in Houston

This tunnel connects the two buildings of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The color shifts over time through red, blue, and magenta. The raised walkway allows you to float from one end to the other. A magical space.

By James Turrell, 1990

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mosaic Progress

 Panels 12 and 13 completed

 Panel 14 almost ready to grout

Panel 15 components sliced and diced