Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Research Paper November 2011

Symbolic and Emotional Meanings of Green  
by Noel C. Thomas ART323

Introduction
The color green is probably the most easily recognizable color to the human eye. It has a very wide hue range compared to other colors and is seen the most in our natural world1, second only to the blue of the voluminous skies and oceans. Colors play essential roles in how our emotional responses are influenced and triggered. While some colors such as red might cause agitation or hunger, other colors may cause one to feel more relaxed and calm.
Osiris
Green is such a color, and studies have found that it is a close second to blue for being the most favored of all colors to look upon. The ancient Egyptians considered green to be a color of prosperity and renewal. The Egyptian god Osiris was often depicted with green skin. The pigments for green were originally made from malachite, a copper ore, and from a paste mixed from iron and copper oxides, calcium and silica2. From the earliest depictions of art, green has been an essential pigment. Here we will look at the meanings of green through symbolism, cultural differences, and emotional reaction, as well as popular phrases and iconic characters associated with the color green.

Emotional Values
Green is the most valuable color of the spectrum for peace of mind and tranquility. It is because we are surrounded by green in our natural environment, that we feel peaceful on a subliminal but very powerful subconscious level. Places where there are commonly high levels of anxiety such as hospitals and jails, will intentionally paint their walls with a light muted green3. It is common for performers to wait in a “green room” before taking stage in front of a large audience.
It is because of green‘s natural tone that we react positively to it. Green is widely accepted as the color of “Yes” or of being correct. It is the color of health and vegetation. When we see how healthy trees and grasses become, turning a deeper shade of green after a good rain, we connect that to our own sense of well-being. Generally speaking, green is the color that most reflects happiness and positivity, while alleviating depression and anxiety4.
Green has even been associated with academic progress. Studies have found that students reading through transparent green vellum had improved understanding of the material and faster reading  speeds5. This is thought to be due to the ease of the retina for adjusting to green rather than white. Optical scientists have found that the lens of the human eye focuses green light exactly on the retina6. You could say that green is the easiest color to see.

Symbols and Cultures
Green is a color with diverse elements. For the most part it is largely known as a color representing things that are good. It is associated with good luck and fortune, which themselves are associated with money and wealth, also being synonymous with health and growth. Green is the OSHA standard color indicating a safe area7, or a ‘Green Zone’. Green does take on other meanings in other cultures, so it isn’t necessarily true that green is met with approval from everyone. Most often green is widely accepted as the color of good and right.
In Japan, green represents youthfulness and eternal life. In Egypt it symbolizes hope and rebirth8. More importantly to an entire culture, green represents the Irish9, similar to their flowing and richly green hillsides. To the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, and the color green are all intertwined, along with the four leaf clover which is believed to bring good luck. Perhaps the culture which embraces the color green the most of all is the religion of Islam. Green is thought to be the Prophet Mohammed’s favorite color, and many Muslims will keep the Quran wrapped in green. Mohammed’s Apostle was believed to have had his face covered with a Hibra Burd after he died, which is a squared green garment. Supposedly Mohammed wrote about the color green and described paradise as a place where people wore green silky clothes10.
Green is not loved by all cultures however. In Indonesia it is a flat out forbidden color and unacceptable to wear. In some parts of South America it is considered bad form to wear clothing that  blends into the dense foliage of the jungles, so green and camouflage is frowned upon and considered the color of death. In North Africa green is seen as the color of corruption and the drug lifestyle11.
The most noteworthy opposition to green comes from China. There it is the color of infidelity, particularly when referencing a man wearing a green hat. In China, a man who wears a green hat is saying to the world, “My wife is cheating on me!” This stigma stems from a legend in which a businessman traveled a lot. While he was away his wife would entertain other men. When he would  return he would profess his love to her and she would make him wear a green hat. He thought the hat meant she loved him, but the color green was actually a sign of being lower class and all his neighbors would scoff at him, knowing what she was up to12. A green hat meant the man was a dupe.
Some green colors eliciting negative reactions tend to be yellowish greens which promote the thoughts of vomit and bile. Mustard-like yellows and khakis also evoke thoughts of military and war. Still, green is generally a pleasant color.


The Green Man


Icons
Symbols
The language of green is spoken through charms and stones. Most recognizable is the Shamrock, or four leaf clover. This is a good luck charm and rare as it may be, some lucky people do find them. Dollar signs are always portrayed in green. Emeralds are green, as is Jade, a stone of great symbolic value in China. To the Chinese, Jade is a gem of royalty, and the deeper the green, the more precious the stone13.
Green is the color representing the heart chakra, called the Anahata14. A chakra, according to Hindu and Buddhist texts is a revolving wheel of energy embedded within each living being. People are said to have seven chakras, and the fourth is the heart chakra. This is believed to be the source for a person’s empathy, and compassion. It is connected fundamentally to the respiratory and circulatory system. It is believed to be the chakra that bridges the spiritual and physical worlds.

Symbol of The Heart Chakra



Phrases
The mention of green is found in many texts and slang phrases. We hear that if a young person is a little green, then that implies that he is inexperienced, likened to fruit that is not yet ripe. He’s a lean, green, mean machine would describe an athlete in top shape. ‘Moving on to greener pastures’ has been used as way to say that a person has changed direction in pursuit of something better, such as a higher paying job or different baseball team.
Heard most of all is the term, ‘Green with envy’. This means that someone is very jealous of what another person either has or is experiencing. This is a negative connotation for the color green and it is not entirely clear where the saying originated. Mark Twain wrote the term in his book ‘A Connecticut Yankee’ as: “It turned Brer Merlin green with envy and spite, which was a great satisfaction to me.”15 Edgar Rice Burroughs also used the phrase in his book ‘The People That Time Forgot’: “The trophies that these Kro-lu left to the meat eaters would have turned an English big-game hunter green with envy.”16 It is not certain how this term came about, but I would figure that it has to do with the color of someone who is sickened by something. In this case, it would be something unseen. The Greenback is also slang for money. This is traced back to the currency that Abraham Lincoln issued during the Civil war, called Greenbacks. Someone with a green thumb has a
talent for getting plants to grow. The terminology goes on—green as grass, green around the gills, and green energy. ‘Go Green’, means to pursue habits and buy products that are environmentally friendly.
Characters
There are many characters which are known for being green, or associated with the color. Kermit the Frog of Sesame Street was green, and he would sometimes sing about how it wasn’t “easy being green”. The Incredible Hulk is another character who is green from head to toe. Perhaps he would have been less angry and more calm had he just looked at himself in a mirror. The Green Giant is found on cans of green beans, and he looks like a man with leaves growing all over him. Osiris from Egypt was always colored in green and was called ‘The Great Green’17. Other green heroes are The Green Lantern, Peter Pan, and Robin Hood18. The Celtic legend of the Green Man becomes a recurring theme in literature, and his face is depicted in churches around the globe with a beard of leaves. Green is often attached to characters of valor and generosity.
Songs
Green also has been the subject of songs. Besides Kermit the Frog’s melancholy hit, there is ‘A Certain Shade of Green’ by Incubus. We have ‘Forty Shades of Green’ by Johnny Cash. There is also ‘Ballad of the Green Berets" by Barry Sadler. The list is longer but why name them all. The rock band, Green Day is named after the color, and we can’t forget the television show Green Acres with its catchy opening tune. The culture of green is found everywhere, especially in art, music, and literature.

Conclusion
It is apparent that green is an important hue, if not the most versatile. Green surrounds us every day, and we connect to it in ways that are profound and unique. No other color is found so often in our earthly surroundings. It is indicative of a healthy environment that fosters growth. Whether it is for better emotional health or positive affirmation, green is the color of progress. Perhaps the Green Party is on to something. If anything, they chose an excellent color to represent themselves with. Who can argue with green?




Bibliography

1) Smith, Kate. "All About the Color Green." Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. Amazon, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
http://www.squidoo.com/allaboutgreen
2) "Ancient Egypt: the Mythology - Colors." Ancient Egypt: the Mythology and Egyptian Myths. 1997. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
http://www.egyptianmyths.net/colors.htm
3) Edge, Kortney Jo. "WALL COLOR OF PATIENT’S ROOM: EFFECTS ON RECOVERY." University of Florida
Masters Thesis (2003). Print.
4) Smith, Kate. "All About the Color Green." Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. Amazon, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
http://www.squidoo.com/allaboutgreen
5) Cherry, Kendra. "Color Psychology - Green." Psychology - Complete Guide to Psychology for Students, Educators &
Enthusiasts. The New York Times, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
http://psychology.about.com/od/sensationandperception/a/color_green.htm
6) Morton, Jill. "The Symbolism of Green." A Guide to Color Symbolism. Vol. 1. COLORCOM, 1997. Print. Color
Voodoo
7) Same as 6
8) "Cultural Color." Color Psychology Will Empower Your Life. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. http://www.empower-yourself-withcolor-
psychology.com/cultural-color.html
9) "Color Symbolism Chart by Culture." Web Design - HTML XML - Web Development - Web Site Design. 30 Apr.
2010. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. http://webdesign.about.com/od/color/a/bl_colorculture.htm
10) Beam, Christopher. "Islamic Greenwashing." Slate. The Washington Post Company. Web.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2009/06/islamic_greenwashing.html
11) "Cultural Color." Color Psychology Will Empower Your Life. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. http://www.empower-yourself-withcolor-
psychology.com/cultural-color.html
12) Wong, Wendy. "Green Hats and Adultery." Language Trainers Blog. Language Trainers UK, 3 Feb. 2009. Web.
http://www.languagetrainers.co.uk/blog/2009/02/03/green-hats-and-adultery/
13) Hughes, Richard W. "The Myth of Jade." All About Gems. International Colored Gemstones Assoiciation, 2011. Web.
22 Nov. 2011. http://gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content
14) Smith, Kate. "All About the Color Green." Squidoo : Welcome to Squidoo. Amazon, 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.
http://www.squidoo.com/allaboutgreen
15) Twain, Mark, and Trina Schart Hyman. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. New York: of Wonder, 1988.
Print.
16) Burroughs, Edgar Rice. The People That Time Forgot. London: Tandem, 1975. Print.
17) Encyclopedia of Ancient Myths and Cultures. London: Quantum, 2003. Print.
18) Icke, David. "Chapter 8/Same Face, Different Mask." The Biggest Secret. Scottsdale, AZ: Bridge of Love Publications
USA, 1999. 156-82. Print.

Mother Paint

It was a densely foggy morning today. I opened the store and had a very busy half shift before ducking out to the art store  for some more acrylics. It is getting near the very end of my color theory class and I was in sudden need of more paint. We are doing our final assignment on process colors which is another word for CMYK, the  equivalent of print colors. I needed to pick up some alternative hues for my pallet. I gained a lot of insight watching my instructor mix these brilliant yellows and hot pinks with tiny dabs of black to get just about any color we could ask for. Until now I had approached color from a primary red, blue, yellow and white angle. Now I've seen how process colors work and I can't help but notice how much cleaner the violets and greens are turning out with these new elements. We are even incorporating something called "Mother Paint" into this assignment. Mother paint is a sludge of different colors mixed together to create a hazy gray non-color which can then be used to dull or mute the colors of an entire piece in a uniform manner, almost like a photo filter. This is a technique that enables the painter to control the chromatic value of an entire work of art in a very consistent manner. All the Mother Paint is stored in a small jar where it stays wet until ready for use. Beyond that I have almost finished my Power Point presentation which is looking fantastic. How can you go wrong when everything is green? I really like the way no one in my group wanted to get together outside of class to work on this project. That's the spirit. Still, it makes things easier for me. I can do a PP and filibuster to the class for five minutes to finish my AA. No problem.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Psychoactiv @ The Halftime - Carmichael CA May 16th, 1990

 Time again for another Pyschoactiv gig. I don't particularly remember this night but I was pleased to see a long set with a few goodies. The quality of the recording is actually much better than some of the others. Must have been the size of the room. You can hear a pin drop in between songs. I'm pretty sure we were playing to an empty bar. Still, Solar Child and Mad Rover are a lot of fun.

Snakes and Pipes

We slept in late this morning. That is unusual around here because the dogs normally will demand attention by seven. Today we made it to nine o'clock. I am on day four of a five day hiatus from work but things haven't been as dull as I expected. Yesterday's dinner was very good, although it ran late and I felt like there was a rock in my gut all night. Today we ventured up to FoodsCo to get the groceries for the next two weeks. It's a short month for both of us, so we were very strategic about what to buy. The best deal was six pounds of pork butt strips for slow cooking at only eleven dollars. Tonight we will be whipping up some of the home favorite Cowboy Soup. Till then we tidied over with some turkey sandwiches from last night's feed, complete with home made cranberry sauce.
Things took a dramatic turn when Erika was doing the dishes. We had been puzzled for the last month as to where the leak under the sink is coming from. The sink was filling with water so Erika threw the switch on the garbage disposal. Immediately there was a blast of water underneath the sink. To our dismay, the leak is coming from inside the disposal its self. This is a bad thing because I was hoping it would be a simple connection link which can be fixed with Flexx Tape. Now instead we have to replace the entire disposal.
To make matters worse, the sink stopped up on both sides. I tried unsuccessfully to plunge the clog, but it only seemed to get worse, as black sludge and sediment began to creep up from the depths of the drain. I went to the shed for my least favorite of all tools, the manual snake. It was coiled in the corner, covered in dust and webs. I unraveled it, pulled the end into the kitchen and found in a short minute that the anatomy of the disposal would make it impossible to snake from that end. I went back outside and found the clean-out under the kitchen window. I had never used it before, and it took a long time to loosen it up enough to twist off. I inserted the snake and pushed it around in circles until it found its way upward toward the sink. The smell was atrocious and the walls of the  clean-out appeared to be a slimy black. The snake seemed to stop for a moment as it met something solid. I gave it a good twist and a push, and then the sound of free flowing water came forward. I was very happy to bypass the need of a plumber which would definitely break the bank.
The painting project is on hold until I can get a gallon of primer. That faux finish is not going to cover and I don't see it getting finished tomorrow. Better luck next week. There are still many days off ahead.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Paint, Thanksgiving, and Illustrator



Today is Thanksgiving, and so far my appetite is strong. We are going to Uncle Jason's pad for dinner around four. The kids will all be there, but Trudy and Kevin couldn't make it down from Mariposa due to the crappy weather.
Yesterday I began to paint the master bedroom walls with our HGTV product, but I only finished two of them. There was a lot to prepare; some patchwork and caulking had to be done as well. By the time I was painting it was getting dark in the room and our lamps don't make good light to paint by. Doing any kind of work today is out of the question unless it involves chewing and digesting. So tomorrow I will pick up where I left off. Shifting the furniture around in such a tight space makes it very challenging and slow moving.
On the bright side, I have managed to attach my arse to couch for over nineteen hours. You have to admit, that takes talent. I stopped painting at six o'clock yesterday, couched myself in the living room, and I haven't moved but to use the restroom. The bedroom was too rearranged to sleep in. If we weren't going to Thanksgiving dinner in a couple of hours I would go for the full twenty-four just to have something to brag about. You have to love having too much time on your hands. No really, you have to.
I was able to get something done during that time. I revisited Adobe Illustrator for the first time in over three years. It all came back to me and I remembered how much I like to create digital art. I rotoscoped a picture taken of me wearing my Elvis sunglasses in Las Vegas almost ten years ago. Behold! Above is my first illustration in years. I call it Clayvis.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Squelched

I will avoid using extreme terminology such as fascist, or police state, or fascist-police state, because I know such words are a turn off to the common free thinker. These words smack of tired, paranoid delusions which seek to ramp up fear in the gullible, and they are cause for dismissal most of the time. So for now I will avoid calling a spade a spade, and offer my comment pertaining to the civil discourse in our country.
Currently income disparity is at its most grotesque level since ever, which we all know. Credit is locked, causing a shortage of exchange, making it impossible for economic activity to prosper. For the most part, this dark blanket of stagnation has locked us all down for more than four years. Many people have experienced the worst grief and loss second only to the death of a loved one. Those who haven't are scared to death that their own house of cards may fall at any time. Not only has this caused a prolonged state of fear in the national mood, but it has fatigued the minds of otherwise sharp individuals.
Most people find themselves in dire situations through no fault of their own. Many had decent jobs, and most had no reason to suspect it all would suddenly end. Today there are people with Masters degrees who cannot find work. I do not have anything near a Masters degree, but I did have a good paying job for eighteen years. That job enabled me to build an excellent credit rating and take on a mortgage for a humble home. People will say the crash was in the fall of 2008, but I know the economy was tanking for years before that, and finally the glass bottom fell out. I noticed in 2005 that I was being laid off occasionally, a Monday here, a Saturday there. Later it was common to only work three days in a week. Making $200 a day made it possible to stay alive on a three day week, but it was apparent that our best days were behind. Eventually it was bad enough that I had to push for a career change. I settled for a part-time job, having no idea that there would be zero growth over the next four years. Over the course of this period I nearly lost my home, I've had liens placed on my house by the city and county, which is worth half of what I owe for it. My credit card accounts have been removed and collections agencies call me and my wife morning, noon, and night. I wait daily to see where it goes from here, knowing that there isn't really anything I can do about it. If a judgement is placed against me I don't worry about it, because the burden is on them to get their money, and this wallet is empty. The irony is, leaving my old job was still the best thing I could have done. There is no old job to go back to, because that small company is still floundering from a shattered housing market.
So there is no argument against the anger and frustration of those participating in or supporting the 'Occupy' movement. I know a great deal of people who understand that there are fundamental problems in the current econo-political system, but they loathe the occupiers and dismiss them as douche-bags and hippies. They say the movement will fail because sooner or later someone must take charge and then corruption will ensue, thus repeating history and so on.
Cities are complaining that the movement is costing them millions in extra security, when most are over vamping their forces, and going overboard with their batons and tear gas. I heard someone say once, "If you want to know who started a riot, just look at who came dressed for one." This holds true today, and the reason I am saying all this is that first, I have noticed an awful lot of police in riot gear on the television these days, and my own fatigued mind is getting used to it; even starting to except it. Much the same way I learned to except that we are always at war abroad. Secondly, whether you are behind the Occupy movement, or if you just wish it would go away, some part of you must be uneasy about the irrefutable truth. That if the people of this nation do stand up to power because their votes don't cut it, they will be met with brute force from law enforcement, and silence from those who should have their backs. This concerted effort between 18 cities across the country to forcefully evict the occupations is a boot on the face of the disenfranchised. You cannot turn away from it because it is real, and it is happening here, there, and even far way in places like Japan, Egypt, and Australia. The people are awake now, whether the occupations last or not. They will not be silenced with mace and clubs.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spent

So today went by too quickly for me. Somehow I was unable to finish everything I set out to do. I was distracted for a while by trivial nuisances, but in the long run things evened out. What was most important to accomplish I did, but my secondary goals were neglected, not for lack of trying. This always happens. The day is young, but out of the blue situations arise which call for my immediate attention. Before long, substantial chunks of time have passed, and catching up  is the new game. Like a creeping insect sneaks the dark, while the hour runs late and it's time to put down the pen and hammer.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Isabella's Birthday


Today is my niece's ninth birthday. She loves to go to Mimi's cafe whenever she can, so tonight she will indulge. Her favorite dish is the corn chowder, while I am a fan of the French Onion soup. Later we will pass on the HP Netbook that Erika has been using. She recently acquired a Sony Vaio laptop through the contest she won at work, so between that and the Galaxy Tablets, we have more internet access than we know what to do with. Bella will be thrilled to get the netbook and she is already technically savvy enough to use it. I know I never got anything as cool as a netbook computer when I was her age. I remember getting excited about the Rubik's cube, and the first Atari video game was in the near future. On top of this she is getting a cool digital video camera which she will love. This I know because whenever she comes to our house she runs around with ours for hours. The last time after she stayed over night, I found nearly thirty short clips of her goofing around. Now she will be able to make all the movies she wants until she either becomes famous, or gets bored.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Never Going Back Again

Two days ago I had the most bizarre customer service experience on my way to work. Even more strangely, I was the customer. I had pulled into the local small gas station on Northgate Blvd. on my way to the store, around 7:00 a.m. I usually will patron this small, teal colored station, which will remain nameless, because it is closest to my house and is less crowded than the Chevron closer to the freeway. I swiped my card in the machine as always, pushed the octane button of my choice, and squeezed the trigger in anticipation of sweet gas. But no gas came. I looked at the meter and saw seven cents was charged. I continued to squeeze the handle, press the octane button a few times, and then figured that the machine had never cleared when I swiped my card. I put the handle back on the hook, re-swiped the card, waited for authorization, and returned the nozzle to my gas tank. As I began to pump the gas a short lady of Asian origin in  her fifties or so, came running out of the station, flailing her arms and telling me sternly that is was  not necessary to run my Visa twice.
"You don't slide card twice!" she exclaimed. "They charge me money! You cost me money when you slide card twice!"
I was laughing in shear disbelief. I told her in my most polite, I'll respect you but you're fucking crazy tone that the machine had not cleared and it would not dispense the gas.
"No, it was pumping!" she began to yell at me. "You didn't wait! I saw it pumping from the computer!" I was completely blown away. "Visa charges me money for each time you swipe card!"
"Well, next time I will drive up the street to the Chevron where the machines work properly," I offered. She was actually very keen to that.
"Nothing wrong with the machine. You don't pump right!"
I flashed for a moment into an alternate reality. (I have many, and I find myself hiding in them more frequently these days.) Here I saw myself in my own situation where I serve many customers daily, but this time I was hollering at them for not putting the brushes back on the hook with the labels facing outward, and scolding them for leaving sugar sprinkles by the coffee machine. Wouldn't that be fun for a day? But certainly it would be bad for business.
I assured her that this would be the last time she would see me at her gas station, and she nodded in agreement, more than happy to see a regular customer go somewhere else because he put a few cents on her Visa bill. I think about how often we let customers cost our business money by changing their minds about sheen, or not picking up orders they call in for. But we always give a smile and a helping hand to them regardless, even the ones who owe thousands in bad debt. All because we understand the value of future business, and leaving bridges unburned.
I kindly informed her that she was the rudest lady I had met in a long time, and that never had I been treated so poorly by an establishment. I actually had, years ago been reamed by a manager at a Subway shop for crumbing dried texture on his floor, but that is another story. Lastly I said, "Goodbye. I have customers of my own that I need to take care of." She waved me off, saying, "Yes. Go." So we kindly agreed to part ways, and now I know where not to go the next time I need a fill. I only wish I could have caught it on video. It was pure comedy, and I laughed to myself all the way to work.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Is it Even Possible to End the Fed?

For some time now I have been reading a lot about the Federal Reserve and its misunderstood identity. I have seen many signs at protests, Occupy rallies and Tea Parties alike. They all demand an end to 'The Fed', or at least a complimentary audit. There are many ways of looking at the Federal Reserve, and I do not claim to be an expert. What I do understand is that the Fed was put into place to regulate monetary policy, interest, control inflation, and to mitigate unemployment. What I have also come to understand is that the Fed is not a government agency, simply meaning there is nothing 'Federal' about it. While it's Board of Governor's members are selected by the President, the President has no real control of the policies which ensue from his decision. In fact, there is no true Federal Reserve oversight possible except through the empty legislation of Congress, which is a non-starter. I have also come to understand that money as we know it, is actually just a receipt from the Fed, which must be paid back to the Fed, with interest, through taxation. So if the Federal Reserve is really just a club of private banks, and they make the money, and loan it to the government that has no true control or oversight of the Reserve's policies, then of course neither the President, Congress, nor the Court have the ability to end the Fed. No one has the ability to end the Federal Reserve system now that it is the life support of our economy, for better or worse. We are seeing today what unchecked power leads to, especially when this power's sole reason for existence revolves around money, the true root of all evil. People right and left are calling for an end to the Federal Reserve, but are we too dependent upon it? Do we know another way? Is it even doing it's job anymore, and can it be replaced with a better institution? John F. Kennedy sought to circumvent the debt based, interest laden Reserve Note system with silver backed U.S. currency, in a one man effort to reverse the gears of a machine that he knew was undermining the true purpose of the United States, and selling short the lives of future generations. We saw how well that worked out for him, and we learned who really is in charge here, much the way we saw who was in charge of the B.P. oil disaster. It is  clear that president's will  come and go, but the banks are forever.

I always say, "Sometimes it takes a cartoon to illustrate the point." This one gives us a little history about money, how it was created, how it is created, and who really calls the shots.


Also, let's not forget that JFK was fully aware of secret society networks, and was not afraid of going public with his whacked out conspiracy theories. Odd how he became the center of the mother of all conspiracies.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zombies and Occupational Hazards




Tonight Erika and I pulled it together and rolled down to Cesar Chavez park for a good old fashioned zombie walk. It was an Occupy Sacramento gathering with a Halloween flavor. We did not have make-up to wear but I thought my beautiful mug matched with my normal limp would be enough to pass me off as a zombie.
I had expected to see more people there considering the fair temperature and the growing enthusiasm of the movement. I came down to the park two days ago but it was quiet and I was in between gatherings. My mother had called me two weeks ago and told me that her and her friend had gone down twice to Occupy Los Angeles and that they were going to New York the following week for the real thing in Zucotti Park. She is doing considerably well financially and she is no spring-chicken as far as her age goes, so I knew I had no excuse for not getting down to the local park. I knew I couldn't support this movement just by writing and tweeting about it.



We, the zombies of Occupy Sac, gathered in the middle of the park and made our way toward the K Street mall and on to Old Sacramento. Along the way there were organizers and cheerleaders helping to keep everyone on the same page. We chanted limericks and hooted for honking traffic. Erika kept up the pace better than me so I was impressed by that. Overall the crowd was in good spirits and aside from some loud chanting, we weren't intimidating or disrespectful to anyone, or to our surroundings. We managed to stop at all crossings, not block intersections, leave trash, or damage any property. After reaching Old Sacramento we turned back. My bad leg was going numb and my zombie stagger was becoming a little too convincing. We made our way back over to I street and only two blocks from the car I tripped on uneven pavement and fell completely on my bad leg, into a tree. I know how comical it is to see someone fall, so I too am laughing, except for the actual pain. Erika helped me over to some nearby steps where I was able to sit. My leg was almost totally rubberized and I could barely feel my foot. Finally we got back to the car and I let Erika drive home. Four pills of Ibuprofin have taken some of the edge off, but how it feels tomorrow will be the true tale. Though I took a hard knock on harder concrete, it was worth the experience. Whether or not Occupy Name Your City creates lasting change or not, it has raised the social consciousness and awareness a notch, made a few all-too-cozy types a little uneasy, and brought international solidarity to the middle-class wherever it still exists.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pass

Today was excellent for a man who thought he would have to spend hundreds on smog repairs. I took my Chevy Venture in to a test-only station just around the corner from my house. I didn't want to bring it to a smog and repair shop, because every time I do the vehicle fails and I get soaked for repairs. I found on the web a test-only station just across the road from Smythe Elementary. Not for a minute did I think my van would pass, but after a brief wait I was given the good news with a green check of approval. I was not prepared to spend a dime on smog repairs, and with only a week and a half left in October, I was feeling the pressure. Now my van will be much easier to sell when I am ready, and I can focus on more important issues, such as what to wear on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Posting from the Galaxy

This is my first blog post from my new Galaxy tablet. It is Erika's gift to me from her 'Million Points' contest winnings. I absolutely love it. Something tells me that in no way do I deserve to have something this cool, but I am going to run with it. It is very strange typing on a virtual keyboard in a touch-screen, but I think I can get used to it. It is the way we will all type soon enough.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Videus Posivus

The last couple of days were no fun at all. Erika did not take kindly to being without the tele. I must give her credit for surviving the ordeal. Watching movies on the computer was cold comfort, and she was obviously agitated. Thankfully the new receiver arrived today and now it is up and running. The whole thing was just a minor bump in the road.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Videus Negivus

Tonight should be unique for a married couple that spends most evenings on the couch, absorbing television with our outer senses and cyberspace with our inner senses. What makes tonight different from most is that our satellite box is on  the fritz. For the first time in our entire married existence we are unable to watch the tube. We have YouTube and Hulu access if we get desperate, but I'm not too worried about it. In fact I'm really liking it so far.
I'm not so sure that Erika will handle it as well. She has a lot of shows that she likes to watch and quite a few recorded that I'm afraid will be lost when we trade in the old box. This is the first of probably a few nights without the babysitter so who knows what this may lead too. She is already trying to fix it again and she just got home. She hasn't even gone five minutes without it and I can tell she's tripping. I will be reporting events as they transpire.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Erika Dominates

Today Erika got the results from the contest her company, Cosmoprof held for all employees to participate in. She is not the manager, nor the assistant manager of her store. She's more of a third key position; but that did not stop her from outselling both of them for two months straight. Of course, being in the store full-time helped make it possible for her to achieve her full potential, to the point of outshining her own supervisors. This is fantastic in two ways because now they have to step up their efforts and she has gained notoriety in the company, past her district manager and on up to the VP. I couldn't be more proud of her.
It's all due to her company's insightful idea to offer an ongoing incentive program available to all employees. The more product an employee sells the more points they rack up on a special account. These points are then redeemed on the company's website for commodities. Since she started her job three years ago she has earned multiple dog beds, a stereo, a 40 gigabyte iPod Touch, a microwave, an HP net-book, and a Samsung tablet. Today Erika received the results for a super-selling contest that was two months long. She needed to be in the top five of all employees in the Western territory to win. She came in fourth in the entire west and made the top ten nationally. For this she is awarded one-million points which is equivalent to hitting the jackpot. The 32 inch flat screen LCD that she has her eye on is less than 200,000 points, which gives context to what a million points can by. The greatest perk for me is the Samsung Galaxy tablet she said I could have.
Erika's day has been filled with congratulations and accolades. Managers from other stores were calling her all day, as well as a personal phone call from Joe, the vice president in Texas. She is now a rock star in her district, and deserves to be. I was given permission to post a photo of the email her district manager sent to the VP. It reads: "Good morning Joe,
When I arrived at store #9930 this morning, there was a great celebration. Erika just kept saying how she won and received the call from you. She was so happy. Not only did she win, but the store sold the most in my district. Our calculations were 523. I told my district that the store that sold the most, I would give them $500. So they also won the cash.
Store #9330 Rocks.....
I am very proud of this store. They have had an awesome year.
Thanks again,
Sherry" DM
As a follow up, her district manager hand wrote, "Erika, You are a 'Star' performer. Congratulations, Sherry" on the end of the letter, before she faxed it as a memo to every store.

Cosmoprof, in my opinion, is a company that understands the value of employee participation and incentives. Happy employees are more productive and supportive of their organizations.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NYPD Brutality - The Whole World is Watching

The amount of individual incidents of NYPD hard arrests has skyrocketed over the last several days. The ignorance of the "white shirts" instigating most of the violence is unbelievable. So many cameras everywhere. Do they not realize that this modern day movement has created its own media network overnight? Within minutes each incident is recorded to a phone and then uploaded to the web for the world to see. Make no mistake, NYPD, the whole country is watching you. The protesters are admittedly obnoxious and unruly, but what can you expect from a pissed off mob? They are there to show their anger and frustration. They are there to expose the schism that has been created in American society by the greed and lawlessness of a few, as Tom Wolfe called them in Bonfire of the Vanities, 'Masters of the Universe.' I have seen nothing in any clip so far that warrants a physical beating or pepper-spray.  What I have seen are concussions, neck stomping, and lots of pushing and shoving.

To take a verse from the song Hosannah in Jesus Christ Superstar:
"Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd? Nothing can be done to stop the shouting. If every tongue were still the noise would still continue. The rocks and stones themselves would start to sing."

Here are a few clips of some police spiritedly interacting with the mob.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street with Michael Moore



Michael Moore had it right yesterday when he contrasted the absurdity, and I paraphrase here, "What kind of country are we when peaceful protesters are pepper-sprayed and arrested, and no one on Wall Street that's responsible for the crisis has been jailed?" This was also a point made by Charles Ferguson while accepting the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, 'Inside Job' in February 2011, that not one single person who had a hand in the heist of the century had been jailed.
The smart-phone video of four women, one of which was deaf, kneeling on the sidewalk and screaming after being pepper-sprayed, with a red gate being wrapped around them is chilling and repulsive. The jamming of the Twitter #occupywallstreet hashtag was an instant cause for suspicion, as well as Yahoo's blockage of all emails containing those words. It is no surprise that all corporate owned giant media monoliths such as Fox and CNN wouldn't cover the happenings, but Keith Olbermann who is flying under the flag of an independent network called Current has been covering the occupation of Wall Street for two weeks.
Here is Michael Moore firing up the crowd and articulating the message.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Full Circle Deja Vu


Mr. Derderian, my Sophomore high school history teacher used to scare the crap out of us with his stories about the Great Depression. He was an old guy then and I'd be surprised if he were still alive today. He liked to tell us about the causes of the depression and the desperation that people lived with. He would describe the condition of the unemployed with their inability to find work and the scarceness of food. Families had to group together for communal survival, creating a situation that instead of spawning creative competition, spurned fatalistic outlooks and defeated spirits. But I think more than anything, Mr. Derderian liked to illustrate to those of us listening, how history repeats its self and how society is too disjointed to adapt to crises it has already experienced in the past.
This was during the late nineteen-eighties, and though Reagan had eviscerated many social programs that we didn't miss at the time, I was well insulated from money shortages. I had a job at the Taco Bell and was also working summers with my uncle in the texture business. My parents had bought their first home which was a new tract house in Rosemont, California. Everything seemed to be on the up and up, and the idea of anyone going broke around us, much less an entire nation, was a far fetched idea. Mr Derderian's depressing scenario seemed like a far away, ambiguous nightmare. It touched some of us for sure; the idea that it would all collapse and people would literally starve and die on the street. I remember my friend Chris, a stoned rocker dude who I would give an occasional ride home to, expressed his uneasiness one day from the back seat of my Dart.
"Mr. Derderian's scaring us, telling us there's gonna be a depression and shit," he had said. He was right to be worried. Our history teacher was very clear and to the point. He always had this gleam in his smile, as if he knew it was going to happen and he was somehow age-exempt from having to experience it. He had this grin and look in his eye like, "I won't be there, but you all will be."
I don't know if Mr. Derderian is around today to see how close to right he was, but I hope he is. And though we haven't had an official depression, all the broken systems are still in place and we're just one whacked out Republican president away from total ruin. As a younger man I always would scoff at my old-man friends with their conspiracy theories, who always went on and on about how the world was fucked, and my generation was fucked, and how the end is extremely nigh. Now I'm that guy, with the graying hair and depressing stories for the kiddies. I spent years of my life ignoring and denying the elephants in the living room, but now I have learned to follow the proverb-- 'Be the change you want to see'. The only way to stop history from repeating its self is to call it out ahead of time when we see it  brewing. It is also imperative to know and understand the past, using primary sources.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This Kid Rocks

I haven't mentioned in a while that my niece, Isabella rocks, and yes it was Erika and I who taught her how. Make no mistake. The devil horns? Us. The guitar bite head banging? Us. The Gene Simmons tongue action? Us! Somehow she survived the Hannah Montana phase and came full circle back to Rock 'n' Roll which is what she cut her teeth on. This clip is priceless; her at three singing KISS's Rock'n'Roll All Night.
And here she is just two weeks ago giving us some Queen. Born to rock she was.


 
WE WILL ROCK YOU 
  
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Mariposa in September

We took to the road yesterday and drove for three hours to Trudy and Kevin Bowman's to deliver a tile that Kiny McCarrick had painted and given to Erika to pass on to her mother. It was a clear day, but the air was dry and hot. We were at last able to lounge in the living room extension that Kevin had built over the last two years. I admire his entire approach to building a home completely out of scraps and recycled materials. Most of the extensions walls are made from a composition called paper-crete. This is a mix of shredded paper and concrete powder which mixes into a wet, gooey blob that can then be poured into brick forms (scraps of course). This material is firm as concrete but sounds hollow and feels like cardboard. It self-insulates due to the presence of air pockets throughout the paper. The temperature inside of the extensions was easily 10 degrees cooler than the original main family room. Paper-crete is a green, and sustainable material that should be brought into the mainstream. Then again, we should have figured out by now that domes are less likely to blow away during hurricanes and tornadoes.




On the topic of sustainability, Kevin began, as he normally will, to tell me about the world situation as he sees it. I always find his insights fascinating, especially when he gets to talking about peak oil, resource depletion, overt expansionism, and forbidden archaeology. Every time I talk with him I end up wishing I had caught the conversation on tape. He was the first to tell me about the Annunaki, Nibiru, and the Sumerian Tablets which I found so far out at the time that I couldn't grasp it. Now my mind is much more open to what is possible, and his perfect account of the story according to the tablets is amazing. So my next meeting with Kevin is going to involve a real, sit down style interview in the interest of getting him on the record.





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Talented Derelict

I took the usual 12:40 train to the Sac City College today. I sometimes like to stand in the elbow of the car instead of taking a seat, which is where I was today. The ride started off fairly light with passengers, but as usual it became very full. After a short ways past the Downtown Plaza the car was tightly packed with standing and sitting passengers. The 'Elevator Effect' was in full array; the social trait of strangers staring away from each other or to the floors and windows while confined to tiny spaces.
A senior black man in a shabby suit had gotten on the train earlier and was sitting quietly in a seat near me. He stood out as an oddball because he had a stethoscope draped over his shoulder. He had stated out loud to someone who did not ask, that he was a doctor. Everyone knew this was not true. He wasn't even a quack. We rolled along uneventfully when he began to sing openly to three young girls sitting across the aisle from him. He was making up the words as he went. He was attempting to flatter them with words like-- She has real hair; real hair on her head. She has a real face; she don't need no foundation; leave your makeup at home...
This should have been a very creepy experience, but what made it worth noting was that his voice was smooth and musical. This guy should have been on a singing competition. Everyone on the train was laughing because he was so good and his words were hilarious. He had the attention of everyone on the train. Some were taking video clips with their phones, hands stretched out over shoulders. I've seen people sing on a train and it is usually obnoxious. This time it was amusing. We all were just a little uncomfortable too, but not as much as the girls he was singing to. They were fortunate enough to come to their stop and they exited the train. From there on he was silent but the rest of us were still chuckling from his performance. This guy had missed his calling, but perhaps he really is a doctor. Who am I to say?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Acoustic Removal at Marchane's House

Today was the day to shave the acoustic ceiling in Marchane's family room. He lives in Woodland, off of I-5, and the drive over the causeway is a sea of green fields this time of year. I met his family and they all are very friendly and kind. His kids were all excited to meet me and I could hear them outside the front door asking eagerly, "Where is Clay?" It was as if I were a make-believe character in the home that would finally become real. I was flattered by all of the hooplah so I introduced myself, and they asked me some questions. Then they moved on to the neighbor kid's birthday party across the street, complete with a bouncy jump house.
Marchane helped me to wrap the room which was vacant, making the whole task much easier. The whole project moved much faster with help. Before long Marchane suggested we hit up a local burger shop called Judy's, which was akin to a Food Channel mom and pop joint with giant burgers and thick shakes. We both had Double Texas burgers with fries, zucchinis, and peanut butter cup shakes. This racked up a good thirty-five dollar lunch bill. I was impressed and stuffed.
We returned and removed the ceiling which was like butter. There was not much to repair and after the job we had plenty of left over materials, as well as a fine texture job in the main family room. When all was done and said, Marchane hooked me up with a couple of Benny's and we were all happy with it. He couldn't wait to paint it, and I suspect he has already begun.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting Ready for Fall

I woke up freezing this morning. The window was open as usual, but a powerful draft was flapping the curtains, and the first chill of autumn presented it's self. Even this evening the winds are kicking up and it is noticeably cooler than yesterday. This reminds me that I am without a coat and will be needing one soon. I went last winter without a coat, relying solely on my Sherwin-Williams sweatshirt. I recall myself wanting something heavier and vowing to take care of it during the warm season. I guess it is technically still the warm season, because I wore shorts today. I also turned a blind eye to the neglected front lawn, pushing off the mow to a cooler day. Harvest time is coming soon, with good food, good beer, good buds, and good buddies.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lightrail Phone-Booth

Today I did the 'park and ride' from the Arden/Del Paso Light Rail station to Sac City College. It was a fine ride and I love to save gas money so the extra half hour is worth it. Especially considering that parking during the early part of the semester is challenging. I don't need a challenge. Class went quickly, with just a short lecture which culminated into a magazine cutting glue-stick project.
The trip home was entirely different. The train heading to Meadowview, opposite of my direction, came and went while I stood in the punishing sun with other waiting students. Time moved slowly, and with the trains running every fifteen minutes we all knew it couldn't be long before ours would arrive. After some grumbling from a few younger kids another train making its way to Meadowview came and went. Now there was some minor outrage reverberating from various corners. The temperature seemed to have gotten cumulatively hotter and the visibility of arm pit moisture was evident on many. Nearly an eternity later our train finally did arrive, but with only three cars. This is at four o'clock in the afternoon.
Inside it was standing room only, and there must have been fifty of us at least boarding from the college. This reminded me of public transit in San Francisco, when sometimes you have no choice but to acquaint yourself with the intimate anatomy of strangers. Two stops later we came to Broadway and some people exited the car. I continued to stand with others in the aisle even though there was some available seats sugared throughout. Then we came to 16th street, the heart of downtown. Now I have seen clips of buses in countries like India or Thailand, where there is no space at all and people are hanging on to the sides. This was the closest I have ever seen to that in Sacramento transit. Today's Light Rail experience was nothing short of a phone-booth cram and jam record breaker. Thanks to the lady who looked like she was going to get sick, for not doing so. And that guy who cut the cheese, don't think we didn't notice.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Art Supplies as High as the Sky

Today I had the opportunity to fill my art materials list at the Utrecht on Howe Avenue. Our instructor warned us that the materials would rack up a large bill even when buying cheap. She wasn't kidding, because I broke a hundred dollars without getting everything on the syllabus. Fortunately I had some leftover supplies from my Typography class two years ago, which also cost a fortune. But in lieu of a text-book I guess I can live with the price. Now I have paint!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Color Theory Revelation

So I’m sitting here waiting for my Color Theory class to begin and it hits me that I’m almost finished with my first official degree of knowledge. What a long time it was in the making. I first dipped my toes into the college waters in January of 2006. I took just one class with no particular major in mind, just to see if I could do it. Before that I had taken my merry sweet time about finishing my high school diploma, after fourteen years of being a total drop out. I fully understand I am getting a seriously late start, but at least I am doing it. Perhaps one day I will complete my B.A., but for now I am looking forward to a good break.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Summer is almost over and school will start in just few days. I am starting to get restless as usual just before a new semester. This is the last one and then my AA will be sewn up. I am so glad it is almost over after five years. I am taking a college textbook reading course and a color theory class. Both are mandatory for my degree. I hope this goes by really fast. I am on trek to complete before Christmas. Full steam ahead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Candlerock Lounge - Jan 19, 1990

This is the Candlerock show. We had a good time as far as I remember. It was a heavy metal bomb inside a small bowling alley bar on Watt Avenue. The Candlerock is still there, after everyone else has come and gone. Here are some pictures from that night. Erika likes to remind me that she took these pictures. Hey, who's that handsome guy with the bass?






Monday, August 15, 2011

Elk's Lodge - Dec 8th, 1990

Here is my first installment for the lost Psychoactiv gigs. This one is from the Elk's Lodge, recorded December 8th, 1990. I was not even old enough to drink, yet there I was slamming the bass in a Veterans hall on Jefferson Boulevard in West Sacramento. I clearly remember Gordon had gotten stressed out and hung up the phone on me earlier that night. Roger was also having issues of his own, as is evident by his broken strings and guitar drop outs. At one point you can here him telling the crowd to back off of his equipment. Stress levels were high, but in the end it turned out to be one of my favorite gigs. The audio quality is poor, as it was recorded on a boom box cassette tape, but it immortalizes Roger's crazy guitar playing. We had our moments of genius mixed with utter incompetence. Roger's slide guitar on Irresistible Mistress still stands my hair on end.

Psychoactiv


I have recently unearthed a compact disc with a handful of live Pyschoactiv gigs from 1990 which I had converted to MP3 almost ten years ago. It all sounds pretty trashy being recorded on a cassette boom box via the built in mic. But these gigs do capture the moment, and now that Roger Speir is no longer with us it is good to hear his live playing caught on tape. I am going to post these gigs soon and make them available to anyone who can tolerate them. Rock on.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cubelets

Here is a cool video of an engineering feat called the "Cubelet" which just may be the future of robotics. The distance sensor I found fun to watch.

Cubelets Engineering Prototypes from eric schweikardt on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Enui

Today is Saturday. I am blogging early because I haven't had the energy the last few evenings. I am especially upbeat today because I am actually able to dry my laundry from home again. Erika paid Anthony, the electrician who got our A/C going again, to replace the breaker to our dryer and now we are up and running. I have posted to this blog several times in the past from the public laundromat, but this post will signify the first home laundry session. The thing that was the hardest about public drying, besides waiting for clothes to finish tumbling, was having to gather up all the household's dirty skivvies and do them in one mass batch. It was always a major event. No more 'Laundry Day' around here.
I am also going to work on selling off some more junk to continue saving up for a car. Some Beatles figures and a re-post of my acoustic Ibanez. Perhaps later on I will take up a bike ride. The day is still young.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Texture Before Meatloaf

During the sale over the weekend I met a lady who needed a couple of walls re-textured in her guest bedroom. She and her husband removed some wallpaper from these two walls several days before. The walls were fairly smooth and I only needed to mix up three pans of hot mud to level out the tears and gouges. This was also enough mud to patch a light box hole over the master bathroom mirror. I completed the entire project, including knockdown texture and cleanup, in under three and a half hours.
I meant to take some before and after pictures but I forgot until I came home. This is why I never have enough photographs of my work. I always jump right in and start working without thinking about preservation of the moment. In all the jobs I have done in three years, I have only documented four projects. From now on I will take more pictures as a rule.
Now it is time for meatloaf. The room smells of Erika's home cooking, and the dogs are getting all lathered up. Time to go, as dinner is calling.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Isabella and the Macarena



I had to take a couple of days off from the blog because the real world was beginning to creep into my cyber-realm and I had no choice but to deal with it. There was a small affair on Friday which involved texturing a wall in Stan and Gina's home. This evolved into a trip down to the 420 Evaluation clinic which was something I had been nudging Stan to do for two years. We got that taken care of and then moseyed on down to the Reserve, a fine cannabis dispensing establishment on Fulton Avenue across from the Target.
I was glad to have had a good time that night because the next two days were Super Sale madness at the SW. I have learned not to stress too much about the Super Sales. Rarely do any managers from any of the stores schedule themselves in to work on those days because they know it is madness; so I figure why should I worry about it if they don't. If the stores are only staffed with two people when they know they won't have the capacity to help everyone, then it's not my concern if people leave pissed off because they have to wait an hour for help. It doesn't affect my bottom line.
On another note, I really enjoyed hanging with my niece, Isabella, on Saturday night. We had a sleep over and she stayed up till 3 a.m. Hey, even I can come into work on no sleep if I want to. It's not just for college kids anymore. She really wanted to play with my phone's camera and clown around. I told her I would post this clip on You Tube for her to watch from home.


Friday, July 22, 2011

A/C is Fixed

Erika found a guy who does electrical work on the side with his buddy. He is the son of the lady who runs the rescue where we picked up Rudy. Today his partner drove up from Stockton and popped out the old breaker and replaced it with one is more up to date. It worked and now the A/C is blowing cool freon. I just hope it doesn't send the SMUD out of control.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beef Enchiladas Verde

I slow cooked a beef pot roast in the crock all day. About three hours in I bought some fresh peppers of all sorts to dice in, from the local La Superior market on Northgate Blvd. I got a great deal on some Oaxaca cheese which must have been expired or something because it was about 99 cents a brick. Cheese is always best a few days past it's prime. The stinkier the better too. I don't mean for this to become a food blog, but right now that is where my thrills lie so I must see it through.
Anyway, I wrapped the beef into little enchi-blankies (flour tortillas), after braising it into a pan to evaporate some moisture out of the beef while infusing the flavor of the peppers. Then I smothered them in green Las Palmas enchilada sauce and expired Mexican cheese. Bake for forty minutes at 350 and boom. The best enchiladas so far according to Erika.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

That's Not Cioppino, it's Linguini de Mare!

Erika's birthday continues. We have just returned from Anthony's and now we are feeling euphoric. I still think I can squeeze down  some chocolate ice cream, but maybe it would be a better idea to save it for tomorrow.

I do feel rather sheepish after making a huge to do about the Cioppino at Anthony's. Cioppino is an Italian medley of sea foods all souped together with a rich and intoxicating blend of unique textures and flavors. But this time, after glancing at the menu I refrained from the reflexive action of going with the tried and true dish, in lieu of the Linguini de Mare. This was a pasta dish with a scattering of clams, calamari, shrimp, and other delicious bits of the sea, all enveloped in a mild but tangy tomato sauce.


Erika did go with the tried and true, but being that it is her birthday who's to say what she should have. She is in love with their Veal Parmesan. They throw two large slabs on the plate so she always ends up having left overs for lunch. Tomorrow will be no different. Now look at this plate of cheesy bliss.

It's Erika's Birthday

Today is Erika's birthday and we are planning on going out to dinner. I won't tell you how old she is, suffice to say that she still isn't younger than me. We will probably be going to Anthony's which is a quaint little diner by Bel Air on West El Camino. It's about the size of  a walk-in  closet, but the food is very good and on the cheap side. They have one waitress who isn't all that attentive, and the guy cooking in the kitchen is named Anthony, just like the the sign says. Try the Cioppino if you ever have the chance.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Holographic Universe

Today did not seem to be very eventful at the store, yet when it was all done and said there was over nine hundred in sales with fourteen transactions. For a normal day that would be piss-poor pathetic, but as far as Sundays go that is a good day. Beth had called in sick that morning so I rolled through the whole day flying solo.
After work it was some frozen lasagna and chocolate ice cream. Most of the night was spent reading a great book that Kellie gave me for my birthday. It is called 'The Holographic Universe' by Michael Talbot, and it dips into some very heavy concepts about the constructs of reality and how we decode it. It builds upon the works of psychologists and neurophysiscists to postulate that perhaps the entire universe and our own consciousness is interconnected as a whole, and that the world we see is only a collective holographic projection of reality that we have the power change. That doesn't sound too far out for me to grab onto when I consider that everything is ultimately made up of atoms, and atoms themselves are over 99% empty space with the remainder being high frequency energy routes. This book goes so far as to suggest that consciousness is actually held within the atom and that everything has a level of consciousness attached to it, whether low frequency or high.
Well, there is much farther to go so I will check out. It's going to be a crazy day at work tomorrow since there will only be two of us in the store, as usual. I'm sure I will probably be driving around all day gathering product while my poor boss will be doing all the work herself.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Trails End

So this is what you see if you ride far enough north past Del Paso rd. It doesn't look bike friendly. Time to turn back.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rudy Gets Medieval on a Blanket

It's always fun to get Rudy riled up. He's very tightly wound most of the time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Day After That

It is the day after, 'the day after', and it's hot again. Probably another night of short bursts of sleep mixed with sweats. On the brighter side, I chatted with Bella today via Facebook and she wants me to play Farmville with her. Normally I ignore such requests but I decided for her I would do it. You see, she's really cute and I am virtually powerless against her. It's outdated, but this picture sums it up.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Day After Boom Boom Boom

It is the fifth day of July in 2011, and we are all doing our very best to keep the house cool and dark. The dogs are wiped out from all of last nights explosive drama. I feel as though I too may be hearing less sharply than day before yesterday.The heat is on, and it is more difficult than ever to rise from the couch. But what the hell should I feel guilty for? I worked on the holiday. While others were quein' and drinking, I was shaking and serving, so what? Not that there is anything wrong with that. I am simply justifying my malaise, and my lack of motivation for finding the remedy.
I have so far today watched a couple of internet movies and eaten through a few left overs from the fridge. We let entirely too much food go to waste in my opinion;  but it is difficult to always keep current on remainder food. I got a call from my boss today and we talked for a short while about things that are going on in  the company, and about me coming back to Rocklin. This Sunday is business as usual and then Monday I will be officially back. I feel that the large weight of uncertainty has been lifted, and soon there will be a better sense of normalcy. Once we re-solidify we will be a more competitive store in the district. Arden we are not, but we can tackle the rest if we try.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July

I don't mean to be unpatriotic or a killjoy, but the Fourth of July really doesn't do much for me. It seems with each passing year I find it more annoying and unsettling. My dogs definitely don't care for it. This is actually the third night in a row since people in our neighborhood like to get started early. Most of the fireworks they don't mind, but when one is close enough or thunderous enough the dogs will light up with a flurry of barks. Phoebe's bark is intense and Rudy's is nerve racking. On top of all the racket is the heat which seems to always be the worst during the first week of July. I admit, I am no fan of summer.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Post Wallpaper Post

Yesterday I fixed up some walls for the same couple in Carmichael who I had worked for two weeks ago. This time the lady had removed wallpaper from the master bedroom which I had removed the acoustic ceiling in before. The walls were in bad shape but were nowhere near the worst I have seen. I sanded them down first to get rid of any loose bits of left over wallpaper  backing. I then rolled on a coat of Gardz which is a wonder product made by Zinsser. This stuff goes on clear and cures to a hard and slightly tacky low-sheen surface that bonds anything you put over the top of it, while at the same time it seals out any paste residue. It also glues down any loose, bubbly pieces of paper that might normally buckle under the weight of fresh texture and waterborne topcoats.





You can see from the picture that there was hard to peel backing over previous texture. No problem as long is Gardz is rolled over it first.

These walls actually were in pretty good shape compared to some problem wallpaper projects.

The walls are beginning to look better after the Gardz has dried and a skim coat of drywall compound has been pulled over the scarred areas. The long crack under the window has also been taped with fiberglass mesh.
Brand new knockdown texture, ready to prime and paint. After it dries of course.