Saturday, April 30, 2011


I've looked at the website. All the pretty labels. I am very familiar with several, but I will be looking for those that I have not tasted. I hope to find something approaching a good English bitter.

Only one thing that I find a bit distressing: Given the three food providers listed, I am uncertain if there will be brats or polish sausage on buns with mustard and grilled onions. There better be.

Sure, beer goes well with many other foods. Pizza, pizza, hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Ribs. And, of course, the accompanying french fries.

There will be pictures.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Of a Necessity

This could explain a lot: The Daily Beast's 20 Most Useless Degrees. Well, it might, if accompanying the list was some sort of explanation, perhaps the statistics given put into context, or first person accounts of how early career choices pan frustration, failure and new strategies.

Of course, I am not surprised to see two of mine made the list, and knew they would be before looking at the link, yet I wonder why Philosophy didn't make the cut. Wonder, not surprised, under the radar and the given that it serves no practical purpose when something else than Analytic. Regardless, who wants to be told there are flaws in his logic?

A bit too defensive?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sneak Peak

There are some days that I 
simply cannot concentrate to read.
And still others when thoughts resist the pen.
(A fourth line will fill out the thoughts and space, but until then...)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


What happens when one is distracted exiting a room with a glass front wall.
Upper left smudge-cloud is forehead. Lower right, nose. Thankfully, no stars, cause I was on my way to the potty.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Home on the Range

Five handed, blinds were 100/200. The Cut-Off min-raised, and I should have popped it up, what with being the Button and having KQh, but I didn't. I figured I should see the flop and then act in what became a family pot. My bad. With 1K in the middle, I turned over Qd9d8h, and it checked to me, so I jammed with my remaining 2300 and had everyone covered. The SB and UTG called. SB turned over T4c, and UTG said, "I have top pair," and showed JcQd. Drum roll please. Blank; Jack.

I'll spare you the SB's rationale. With only 200 left in my stack, I blinded out and declined a rebuy.

DW: But did you have a good time? 

I did. I told jokes, bought drinks, tipped big. yet, when the UTG said, "You should rebuy. I said you were rich, and that means you'll win tonight" I still declined.

There was a term, before poker's 'donk' and such...

I suppose I could have read into her presence on the farm the last few days. But then I would have taken the rebuy.

To the Well

When I get my cash-out from Stars, I'll have enough to buy into a game at the nearby casino. When all is said and done, not too shabby quadrupling my initial deposit. Of course, the untold hours playing micros most likely garnered Stars that much, if not more, in rake. GG, Stars. A bientot, meaning I am unsure if the cash-out means my account has been deleted, or will it remain in their data base should the day come when the company is allowed to have US-based customers. Imagine the software updates by then!

I believe I'll hit the pub tourney tonight.

In other news, our guests have departed. Three days of cleaning (DW with the greater load of it) for a sixteen-hour visit. The dungeon looks pretty good, as does the rest of the house. I give the dog two days to cover everything in hair again.

I made a new friend today. Check the blogroll for "I Will Not Return Your Records." The woman has a musical taste that reflects my CD collection. You may want to check out her podcast when it is broadcast on Radio 23.

In other news, my ears are buzzing. And that's just fine. Spin away. Someone will eventually say STFU.

Ah, drama. I understand it can be erotic for some folks. Poker too. Music is better. Choose wisely.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I have not yet determined if I truly miss playing online for cash; but then again, I didn't do too much of it. Maybe a couple times a week, at most, and that was low stakes 8 Game, often with my pal, Stan. some folks I know are working around the hole that was left in their poker lives, and although invited, I have declined, even though I monitor, should I get the bug again.

Others, having found or feel nothing else is worthy to note, no doubt, will disappear from the face of this virtual world in search of a more meaningful relationship than with the gerbil on the wheel in the age next to the computer's station. Too harsh?  Too soon?

Still others have found renewed purpose and advocacy, so it's not all doom and gloom. Perhaps more of a way to titre off.

I find myself wondering what December's blogger gathering in LV will hold, who will still be wearing black, and who will be shagging like old flames from high school days. Myself, and in a perfect world, I prefer wonder over closure. (Just thought I should clarify, for there is talk of going.)

The dungeon received its semi-annual once-over yesterday. More needs to be done but the scraps of paper and post-its have been triaged, and actual paperwork piled for processing tomorrow. Or the next day.

The new/old sculpture is 3/5 finished. My laptop screen is cluttered. Books call. Correspondence is neglected. And that's not the half of it.

And I'll certainly have the time, what with the wind and the rain. That's what I tell myself, as I find a empty spot to nap in the rabbit hole.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It was a day of doing, the drone of the tractor against the hum of the PTO and the shredding of the bush hog. The folks who keep their mules here in the dry months will bring them back next week, and bartered paddock mowing for a cord of seasoned oak and maple.

Tomorrow the rains return.

Despite the forecast, I'm hoping for at least a peak at the sun. It's an Easter thing, proving, perhaps there's a bit of the pagan in me, or maybe just the lingerings of a poem, and maybe before that, deep in the blood-brain ancestor, a dream of the Pentecost to come.

Company arrives Monday.

We have fresh compost ready to spread. DW and I have talked, and there will be a garden this year. I started to prepare the raised beds for herb transplants. The potatoes are ready for the ground but will keep until the dirt is ready for them. I will buy seeds Tuesday.

We put down the old cat last night.

Friday, April 22, 2011

New review

More like a thesis development, stress on 'development'.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I have to make this quick. Short, but in a different manner than what I may have been on the phone just now.

He had his wife call, I know it. Her question was bad enough, indicating a cluelessness that leads me to think they might be on some sort of suicide mission. But surely he knew I would ask if the soil under those new hoop houses had sufficiently dried so I could come over with my tractor and tiller and prep the ground. You know, my tractor with the crawl gear required for a deep till. You know, a deep till that allows for better root growth penetration. You know, penetration that in turn leads to better production.

But no, his big ass 3-speed with that monstrous thing behind it was good enough for a third year of folly.

I told her he was a stubborn SOB and it didn't phase her. I told her about the root issue and she ignored it.

I wonder who they will in turn give the supplies we have given them, for I'm afraid they don't have a prayer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Best advice to-date after a late night of rewrites

I'd have to go upstairs to find out who said/wrote this: Write like you're already dead.  Go ahead and google the phrase. The results are absolutely hilarious.

It does seem at times that what matters most is who is the last person standing. No? Then what has changed?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Six artists walk into a bar

Over the course of an afternoon and evening of conversations, the subject returned to an earlier story of a run-in with a very young artist with an attitude that overshadowed his readily apparent promise. The chat had been quick and overlapping, and heavily lubricated with cocktails, making brevity and hyperbole choice tools for impact. Not surprising, then, when that all but forgotten tale was recalled with a query: “Why so harsh? so angry?” There had been no space prior to insert that the moment had contained some attempt at helpful reading suggestions and the like, for that would require a rapt audience, something not so easily found in such a group; in fact, when elucidation was attempted over the din of the bar, it was interrupted by the questioner: “That woman sitting over there is so ugly! Like a horse!”

It is a complex world of complicated creatures, and a call to higher standards cannot arrest all of our admitted imperfections. Sometimes, the best we can hope for is that no blood is spilled; yet it is best to remember that even those who are thought to have eyes only for beauty and light can not only be disagreeable but petty little things as well — all of us — and this leveling is a reminder that populist notions within the art world have some merit, as does humility in general, and criticism should thereby be measured and considered with equanimity.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Will work

It confused me for a minute: "hope of sense" instead of 'sense of hope'.  Not that I don't still maintain the latter on some level. I've just found it to be less reliable, rather like sitting on the porch watching traffic when there are dishes in the sink.

Rocking chairs are more fun than relaxing.

Maybe ten days ago we had a couple dry days, the battery was dead on the mower, and that was enough reason to move on to something else. What exactly, I don't remember... Oh, now I do... stacking what was left of the firewood, so it wasn't all that bad. And then the rain until today. A couple more weeks and I'll be able to bale. (Ah, now there's an interesting word choice: bale.) They're calling for 20 or 30 percent until next Friday, which often means that 70 or 80 percent of the day will have moisture in the air. But they make it sound better this time of year because otherwise people start lining up on bridges.

Just in case you have a more active mind than me, not me. Those dishes...

Something else about yesterday's post: I may have been a bit too presumptuous. I don't mean to interfere. And I neglected to mention that I empathize and concur with those who make a living from transcribing and adding color to events that are on the face of it, extremely tedious affairs for all but the participants.

That'll do it for now.

Not quite.

I should get something to eat.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

As we know it

Well, there's that: the win I posted on what might be the last night I played online for real bucks. And there's still Poker Academy, what's left of it. Maybe some alum will return now that the lights have been turned out elswhere for us Yanks. (The French are having a chuckle, no doubt. Silly American politics. Yeah, I know. And the reason I know is because my mirror is two-way. Nationalism requires a significant amount of denial.)

Then there's those who depend on their nightlies for any number of reasons. I used to post hand histories. Remember? Then changed the title for this thing here. But it's not about me. I feel for you, brothers and sisters. A lot will fade away.

Pub tourneys? Not for everyone, but not to be so readily dismissed if snarking is your thing.

Funny. Yanks and Muslim countries.

Not to get too reductive.

Speaking of retrenching, after a couple days this last week immersed in the art scene, I have returned home to sort it out into coherent paragraphs. At least the parts that have a hope of sense. The art produced is immeasurably easier than the producers. I am reminded of the bitterness felt before making our way to a new life here in the sticks, down in the dungeon. Speaking of snarking.

Not that I had forgotten. More the pain had eased. Very little directed at me, mind you; not this time. But seeing how others are treated, that judgment put upon all others outside of a small circle that grows smaller, more petty, shriveled. The inhumanity of those who want no such thing. To deal with them, I imagine them at a poker table.

And for that aspect of the game, I am most grateful.

Now, if I can get serious for a moment: there might be someone who you have neglected, even if just a little bit.

Yeah, changes.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I played a freeroll at PA last night. Came back from short stack, then as 4:1 chip dog and took the sucka down.

Then I went to Stars to play 8 Game for a while. Doubled up.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

What you don't know

Not every day has a Eureka moment as the one I had when last I posted. Yet, discovery is possible any day, no? If lucky, answers had; luckier still, questions with promise. Today I will settle for re-venting the dryer.

I was surprised when my cell rang out in the middle of the desert, no town nearby. But in retrospect, the Air Force is also the color of sand (I have neglected to tell you about the drone practice.), so I would imagine my gratitude should go to them, for DW was in some distress.

Our washer ceased spinning shortly before leaving home for my five day stint in Vegas. Of course a repair could not be had that day, and would have to wait until the next week. Of course. During the conversation with Customer Service, an add-on service was offered: Would we like our dryer serviced at the same time? Cleaned and check-pointed for a round sum? Sure, why not?

The service guy had just left. The washer repaired, the dryer cleaned of a sizable wad of lint and yellow dog hair from under the drum, some of it somewhat tanner by its proximity to the heating element. We missed that bullet, and would not have known it was coming. Who knew dutiful removal of lint from the trap after each dry was inadequate? Not I. Never, ever, anywhere. So, we learned something, and it wasn't the hard way. Grateful.

Still, the service guy suggested the vent should be checked as well, and although he did not do that work himself, knew of professionals that did. So alerted, I told DW that I imagined I was proficient enough to do the job once I had a good look at what would be required. It is, after  all, just a length of aluminum hose, and the shop vac has a sufficient length of hose itself to worm through.

Now, we come to a point in the story where a description of the task might be time better spent napping, and were I to write it out, you could return for the conclusion well-rested with an imprint of your keyboard on your cheek. Suffice it to say that much more lint was removed.

Reasonably convinced that the pathway was clear, the dryer was given a test drive. Drying time was reduced by at least one-third and we were duly impressed/relieved.

And despite the smell of dryer moisture, we convinced ourselves that all was well, until one particularly chilly day condensation began to form on the basement walls. The hidden portion of the vent hose was composed of a thin plastic with wire for flexibility and support of a diameter. Plastic that had grown fragile, it seems, for I did not see it behind the build-out. So, this is my day.

I'm off to the hardware store, and a haircut and oil change. I realized yesterday that I had too much of one and not enough (viscosity) of the other.

I have a friend in town I haven't seen in 12 years (well, actually in 36 hours, but aside from the photo below, that is a tale that will stay untold; but rest assured, I learned many things), and she has a exhibition opening tomorrow, so I might remain scarce for a couple more days.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Update on my brother's killer

After serving 292 days in jail and pleading guilty to two felony counts, for his DUI and driving with a revoked license last year, Stephen Rexroad was sentenced to time served, 30 months probation, admission to a treatment facility, and fined $1,000 plus court costs. The DA argued for a six year prison sentence.

My brother, Michael, has been dead for over seven years now. Rexroad served three years of a ten year sentence for that crime. It took less than four years for him to be caught driving drunk, I believe his second DUI. (Mike's death was a hit and run with lots of time to sober up.) Mike's birthday is in two weeks. My mother will put new flowers on his grave before then, just as she has done several times a year since his death.

I do hope Rexroad straightens his life around. I really do. If not for his own sake but also so he doesn't devastate yet another family other than his own.

Addendum: It occurs to me that since I am getting several hits from Josie and company's link to me, I should provide some further context. I wrote extensively and over three days about Mike here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seeing this band tonight

My fishin' buddy's son heads up the group. They are going to be BIG.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Been hangin' with some locals the last couple days. Them and that new farming couple I've written about. We put plastic on a couple 20' x 140' hoop house frames. The first one took us three hours, the second a little over an hour. Both with less than an inch off flush the whole length. Job well done.

In that I was the only one who had done such, although five or six years ago, I acted as the consultant, even though experienced farmers have little problem visualizing and completing such a project just by visualizing and applying various experiences that should run similar. In fact, the elder and father of the young local helped plumb the frame, so all credit rests there.

Had I been asked before the get-go, one frame would have sufficed, for the time being. Without prompting, DW offered the same when she asked me the number. So, there's that.

Now, I did pull the couple aside and those who know better knew to leave to get on with their day. And we talked plants and schedules, for I saw other things that promised ill for what little planning had been made to-date: things in pots that needed more dirt, and an absence of other plants that could be in those new structures in two week's time. While mentioning the former, not wanting to over-burden them, waited until the beginning of this paragraph to leave a message with suggestions for the latter.

More frost and rain is surely in their future, but now they have an edge. They must adjust their thinking accordingly.

There is a slight incline in the field where the two structures are. In a week or so, or so I have offered, I will return with my tractor and tiller. I say 'offered' over the man's insistence that I need not bother, he with similar equipment but of a greater size and faster speed that, in my opinion, leaves him ill-equipped. Cursory versus thorough.

Meanwhile, lest one, me in particular, begin to think I am high and mighty, there is much that needs addressing in my own yard.  A very long list that promises to make for some exceptionally boring blog posts over the next several months. With pictures.

Speaking of which, in route to help yesterday, I came across this small herd of elk just up the road from the young farmers.
At least the young farmers do not go hungry.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

As I said...

... Vegas is fading.

I read an interesting quote this morning on Blake Andrews' blog:

"I’m very sparing with photographing people. Once you insert a person into the work, he or she becomes the protagonist."
John Gossage

When I returned home from the Best Little Hell on Earth, I told DW about the fellow in the blue shirt and white shorts. He was standing in close proximity to the woman in the visor for a reason. She was hawking and he was gawking and talking. He was out to impress her with his drunken wit, or that was the impression I had as I approached. He was loud and incessant, calling out to passers by, perhaps thinking he was helping the woman garner clients for the casino she was working for (O'Shea's?).

He saw me coming with my camera, but not before I clicked, and as I passed, he called out to me, "Hey, pedophile! Child molester!"

DW was incredulous. "What did you do?"

"I kept walking. He was drunk."

"You didn't say anything? I would have told him off."

"For a brief moment I wanted to turn around and clock him."

"No, no, no. Then you would have ended up in jail."

"Like I said, he was drunk. It wasn't worth it."

Just words. But still, when I went back o my room, I looked in the full length mirror. What was it that made me look like a perv? My hat? My paunch? My shoes? The whole package, including my camera?

More likely, a memory. Poor guy.

The world is a full-length mirror. Whether we like it or not. But what we do in front of that mirror is equally a reflection. Call it the pocket mirror, if you will, a compact we carry with us.

I've heard that if you ask a person if you can take their picture, more often than not they'll consent. I wonder what would have happened had I asked that fellow. But that's not my way. Maybe I should get over myself but I don't feel completely comfortable around people. If you've met me, you can tell. I'm a nice enough guy, but there are little hints. For the same reason, I shoot my street photos from the hip.  Consequently, I have begun to rely on the artifice of Photoshop to tell a story, for better or worse, like the passing moment that it is.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let me explain...

Vegas is fading, which is a bit of a shame, for I had intended to write about the trip, especially the poker. But the highlights have already been put out there and the weaknesses seen in my game perhaps better kept to myself for further analysis and contemplation. However, let me say this: AA and KK  UTG are fine to C-bet and fold to a raise when there are five callers. And for those of you who followed along to the point of reading Grump's account of the night of 24 versus crubs,  I would like to share one little tidbit.

I had gotten up from the table for a spell, perhaps to pee, or maybe check in with DW, I can't remember which. Grump was to my immediate left, and when I returned he was in the middle of a big hand. I sat and although the upper part of his body was still, his right leg was bashing against my left. One look at the board told me: two fours had come on the flop. It was cute. But I suppose you'd have to know Grump to get the full flavor.

I wanted to write about poker in Vegas before last night's pub tourney. Too late. So, now I have to move on to complain about a young man at the table last night. A nice kid. A farmer, I think. Blows snot rockets, which is OK by me but I've been told it makes him a difficult date. Baby-faced in a family of men and women who are not. He's been playing poker for a few months, and, bless his heart, managed to take down one of these tourneys early on. Bless his heart.

So now he has taken to doing table commentary. BHH.

Three times the big blind was too much of a raise was last night's theme. It may have had something to do with me on his right.

When initially opined, my response was simply, "What makes you think I wanted you to call?"

No response except to continue the line until the final table. He made the final table. BHH. After I knocked his grandmother out of the tourney, the boy's father sat down to watch. Dad can play. Quick and aggressive in an unassuming way.

I raise it up. The kid folds, and with Pops at his side, he starts in again. I suggest he consider a matter of the odds a min-raise gives any two cards. I refrain from offering book titles to begin his education.

Oh, it's complicated, perhaps even half-imagined, the response to my table image. I heard "anti-social" last night from the guy who called a 6xBB jam with his Q4c and hit a 4 on the river. I keep quiet, which to my mind is cordial when he starts his usual peeny-waggin' thing, consistently confusing luck with skill.

There's more, but not now. I have yard work to do and it's sleeting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New review

I have some fun using naughty words for some nasty paintings.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Swamp Lantern

Otherwise known as Western Skunk Cabbage.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Almost the end

It cannot be denied that Las Vegas has character, and as most places with such, it has it because of the people who inhabit and visit it. And, it is built for that audience, from those employed or subsisting to those who have come there for excitement, romance and/or the possibility of lucky riches. This character is the only reason for it to exist.

As I did last year, I spent a portion of my last day out on the streets with my camera, accompanied by Vegas' premiere chronicler, Wolinski. She wanted to give me a tour of the Cosmopolitan and Aria.

Anyone who knows Wolinski, or has read her blog, knows that she is not only a person of incisive wit but an excellent photographer. Two examples, one of each:

Inside Aria there is a high-end shopping mall. Name the top labels and they are there. Yet the stores are largely empty. Says W, "These are not stores; they are billboard advertisements." We discussed how long the opulence would last. She thought my guess of six years too optimistic. "I am here to document the demise." And with her next breath: "There's a good photo."

This is my second attempt at shooting the suggested scene. My first was short-sighted, focusing on the buildings in the background. This shot is after she took my camera and snapped off something very similar to the above, a marked improvement. "It's all about the gleam." The illusion to hide the underbelly.

The visit was short, and I may not have been the best of company...

... for I was already thinking about home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rhyolite & Goldwell

 No Green

Rhyolite is a ghost town and a BLM park. There were several rundown and demolished buildings left from some time in the past when there were mines in the area. Even a casino. I took a lot more pictures, including the ones I posted a couple days ago. I don't know why the ruins didn't have more appeal than they did, but looking over the photos, rundown buildings, trucks and such just don't cut it for me. Maybe because they seem to be there only so photographs can be taken.

 Nice enough fellow, this volunteer at Goldwell, who was well aware of he fact that he looked like he was straight out of central casting. Pointing to his hat, he said, "I must get my photo taken 200 times a day."

 The only halfway decent art at Goldwell was the ghosts (by A. Szukalski). 
And the other sculptures knew it.

 For TM, because I do like me some diagonals.

 More diagonals.

 Trio from "The Last Supper."


 For I have sinned.

On the way back to Vegas, another type of ruins.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Road