Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Drive

Today we went on a 56 mile ATV ride over the course for next weekend's local fundraising bike ride. We were shooting GPS coordinates at different spots to locate helicopter landing zones in case anyone needs to be rescued along the route.

56 miles.

On an ATV.

Tonight I'm hearing from parts of my body which are normally quiet.


It was fun though. Here are some of the sights.

If you're out for a walk and see this ...

Bear Poop

... keep walking.

And the answer to the eternal question: does a bear poop in the woods?

Yes, and on the road too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Social Sharing

Last year I read that blogging was like, so over. Read that on a blog. Go figure.

Janet over at Fond of Snape posted some links and an observation about blogging. Commenting on her post started me thinking about blogging and Facebook.

I wanted to be the last person not on fb in that hip cuz it's not hip way. But, I ended up on fb for an online class, then Art Camp had a fb group and the next thing you know -- I have fb friends.

Last time I was actually hip was in the 60s and only briefly then.

I've blogged for seven years. I've been reading blogs a little longer than that. Blogging is an invitation into another person's life -- please have a seat and let me share.

fb is like a toddler with a trumpet.













BTW, people on fb, sending me a Bible verse every day, just makes me want to kill you.

I've met people who have hundreds of friends on fb. I think that would be exhausting. But if we're counting our accomplishments by ethereal statistic, well then, go for it.

I hate when someone I like to read gives up blogging. I've read Janet's blog for years, springing from mutual interests of poppets and photography. Through her site, tumbled to her cousin and kept reading due to mutual interest in weiner dogs.

Bloggers we favor are like company we never have to clean up after. Fun but tidy.

Social Networking is the wave of the future. We're all connected in that connected but not really way. Life one step removed. Vision through a LCD. Safe sex.

Not that we all shouldn't be having safe sex. It is the new millenium afterall. My point is that real life sometimes gets messy. And sometimes, the mess is the point.

Having hundreds of fb friends who only come over when the computer is on is not unlike blogging in that company we never have to clean up after way.

Blogging is sharing a story. fb is looking at the same stuff.

Like the long-term husband who thinks watching television in the same room is sharing an evening's activity.

NOTE TO LONG TERM HUSBANDS and fb people: looking at the same thing is not sharing an activity.

I like to look at stuff. I'd rather hear a story.

You've been warned.

Group sharing.

Share the road.

Share the view.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


So, I'm flashing back to the 60s for a project I'm writing and I came across this again. It still cracks me up.

Of all the choices for President, who is perfect?


Who lowered taxes?


Who lowered gas prices?


Who brought peace to our time?


Who balanced the budget?


Who loves you when you're down and out?


Who bakes apple pie better than Mom?


Nobody for President.

Brought to you, of course, by Nobody's Fool, Wavy Gravy.

  Rock On.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spy Cam, 00 Nought

We went to the local Farmer's Market Saturday. My current writing project includes references to a Farmer's Market, so I thought some photo surveilance was in order to help as I write.

Now, I've tried this before -- because I didn't want to offend and/or 'cuz I'm shy, and/or 'cuz I really don't want to talk to anybody. Again and again. I am such a sneak.

However, my spy cam skills don't seem to be improving.

OTOH, I'm not that shy around veggies and flowers.

Smile for the camera.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Green Thumb, Not

Here is the FIRST of our tomatoes this year. Yeah, I know it's August.
This is Montana.

But, surprise, I grew an artichoke.

One artichoke. Two marble-size tomatoes. It may be a hard winter.

Smoke Detectors

A citizen sees what they think is a forest fire and the fire department turns out to chase smoke.

I'm driving the third vehicle, the medical QRU for rehab in case our firefighters do find a fire.

And I'm playing with my camera, because there wasn't any fire.

Turns out it was an odd cloud formation, but everyone is on edge here. There's a 15,000+ acre fire burning in Montana right now and we're all breathing smoke whether we want to or not.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Adventures in Art

This summer I went to camp. Art Camp.

I wanted to do something different with my photography and I wanted to paint. I found a medium that lets a person combine those two. All I needed to do was learn.

Encaustic painting is painting with hot wax and pigment.  A medium both old and innovative. Power tools are involved. And lots and lots of really hot stuff.

I spent four days learning different techniques. It was fun.

There was one sweaty afternoon though, I was visited by the ghost of Vacation Bible School, but I sent the beast with his lace up leather wallet packing back into the ether. Enough is enough, after all.

Home again, we set up a studio space where I could continue the project. Bought various hot elements, new and second hand, and away I went.

Mostly, encaustic is painted on wood. One technique to get nice patterns is to add some color to clear shellac, sponge the shellac on the board, light the shellac with a propane torch and watch it burn lovely patterns for an under painting.

Power tool, baby. This is the one I wanted to try first.

Here's where I should mention how wonderful it is to have family who support my artistic endeavors.

I applied the wax, tinted the clear shellac with alcohol ink, dripped in on the panel, and whoosh, lit the propane torch and touched it to the puddle.

What I didn't realize at the time was the lovely table with fire bricks that Dearest (husband and btw local Fire Chief) had provided was not level so the burning shellac bubbled while it slid off the panel, off the bricks and set the table on fire.

My artwork looked like this.

Hardly a lovely under painting.

When the fire was out, Dearest said, "What's it supposed to do?"


Then he leveled the table.

I scrapped most of the mess off and slapped something else on top of it. Which, I understand, is perfectly acceptable encaustic technique, although a person should probably skip the unintended fire part.

So, I fiddled, scraped, painted, fused -- heat is applied to the painting to fuse all layers via heat gun which is like a super-powered hair dryer, or propane torch -- scraped and finally ended up with this.

I stopped because a heart-shaped texture appeared and it was so sweet, I couldn't bear to accidentally destroy it, hence, I declared this painting is finished.


The heart-shaped depression doesn't show in this picture, but some of what is very nice about encaustic does.

The 3D illusion.

Careful waxing creates a window into the painting that is just amazing to me.

Not that I've mastered careful waxing yet. I'm more of a splash, oops, oh-look-at-that painter right now. But I have the inclination to continue.

Power tools, baby.