30 March 2008

"Hey! Don't MESS with the KING!"

.

Display by ---Michael---

"The Mind of Mary 1245"


Mary Taitt sent me a sketch of a "Zen Rooster" she did, and I pictured her mind at work doing it for this posting. Again, just a way of having fun with the Paint program. And OpenOffice, and Picasa, and a few other tricks those of us lacking Photoshop play with.

Lovely bachelor buttons!

I love these Bachelor Buttons, which you can find here on line.

Local Earth Hour Report

At our home in Detroit, Michigan, at 7:45 PM last night, there was a mad scramble to get the computers down and the lights off and locate candles, oil lamps and matches. I was afraid we wouldn't make it, but we did! YAY! We could see three other houses from our front windows that were dark, so we decided to walk around the block and count dark and light houses. On our immediate block, there were 111 electrically lit houses and only 17 that were dark, and some of those were abandoned (empty, for sale) and I am sure on a Saturday night, some people were just out partying. There was a row of six houses all dark on the next block over, but we had agreed only to count our block. BB thinks maybe 5% of the people complied. He thinks most people didn't even know about it. I was really disappointed.

PB complained bitterly the whole time and kept wanting to turn the light on and if I used the indiglo on my watch to let him know how long he had to wait, he called me a hypocrite. He refused to do anything but sit there and complain for a full hour. BB told PB we were "doing it for Mama." Not for the earth or the environment, but for me. In other words, they wouldn't have bothered if I hadn't insisted. Very sad. I am sad, hope your report is better.

29 March 2008

EARTH HOUR TONIGHT!

REMEMBER!  Turn off your lights tonight from 8-9, and all unessential power users.  Computer.  TV.  Help save the earth and raise awareness.

Read what BerryBird has to say here and here.  Visit the official site!  AND TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS!  8-9 PM.

Heads or Tails? Ashamed or hungry?


(photo credit: National Geographic)
(contributor: Gail Slaughter)

You can participate! Click: Heads or Tails

"Andree's Visitor"


This is a small "test" version of a larger posting Andree in Vermont is presently working on. It's a picture of a hairy woodpecker at her birdfeeder. Sometimes I do such things just to "try out" a given layout or composition, and see what's what. The poetry is by ME!

28 March 2008

"Rainbow Easter Dream 1115"


(Derived from computer art by Mary Stebbins Taitt)

"Make a Wish" meme




This is what it's all about:
1. Think about what you want more than anything.
2. Right click and SAVE the "Wish Picture" above.
3. Post the saved "Wish Picture" and add YOUR wish.
4. Come back and let us know where to find it.

So, what is my wish?

I wish that somehow, someway, sometime when it's LEAST expected, good fortune comes into your life. "Share the wealth" is fine, but there has to be some to share!

...that's my WISH!~

27 March 2008

"Springtime in Eureka"


Two wonderful photos just taken by Gail in California. Eureka has a Rhododendron Parade in April, and Gail says she caught the Daffodils near her home. It is great to know that Spring has Sprung somewhere! Here in Michigan we are still getting snowed on!

"That Face 1115"



Computer rendering in Picassa and Paint, by Michael Serafin, from a sketch by Mary Stebbins Taitt

25 March 2008

"Starting a New Hobby"

(1998---Ellsbeth speaks)

On the day my father is scheduled to die, my mother drives him to the hospital.

I wait at home, in the basement. Geraldine, from Shangri-La, down the road, lets herself in. She surveys my mess, picks up scattered bows and wrapping paper, tape, scissors,wrenches, hammers, puts them in piles.

I stop her, saying, "You can’t do this without supervision! You don’t know where things go!"

Geraldine shakes her hands in helpless agitation.

"We can’t clean now," I say, "my mother is due home from my father’s death."

Geraldine stands at the dryer folding laundry, as if it were any other day. But aching inertia puddles in my bones, making my hands, feet, belly and heart too heavy to budge.

A blue car turns into the driveway. "Here's my mother now," I say, and coming unstuck, I walk out through racks of photo-developing equipment. Geraldine follows. My father, on the night before his death, must have stayed up late preparing these. "These are for me," I tell Geraldine smugly. She looks puzzled. Worried.

I hurry to meet my mother, who comes in through the basement. My father comes in behind her. I inhale sharply, surprised. I study his profile and his flared nostrils, recognize him from the way he would look in his casket: dark, pockmarked, emaciated.

He frowns at Geraldine, hisses in the cracked voice of my estranged husband, she’s smelly, obese, retarded. Because I thought my father and his judgements would be gone by now, I don’t make Geraldine leave. But I'm afraid to defend her, he looks so fierce.

The photo equipment is not for me, but for my father, who is starting a new hobby. He packs his supplies and accessories. I accompany him, swarthy and silent, to catch a bus headed for the city. The bus is made of couches on wheels tied together, each jammed with people. I climb onto a trundle seat that comes out from under my father's seat to the side like a motorcycle sidecar.

Geraldine waves and waves as we drive off, still waving until she's a speck on the far horizon. A huge emptiness swallows her up. When we get to the city, my father gets off, walks away, and doesn't look back. I try to take his seat, but my hips are too wide to fit between the passengers.
They scowl, grumble and shove over to make room for me.

(Mary Stebbins Taitt---------- 080301)

24 March 2008

"Been there, done that..."

Spam Francisco
Silicone Valley
YouReeka
Lost Aimlessness
Nude Whoreleans
Last Stages
Myammer
Punksa-Ptomaine
Potsburned, Panstillmaimya
No'm, Alaska
Tooraunch, Oh Canada
BlondeDumb, Minglin
Toorich, Switchedherplan

"Belinda's Price"

Her chosen grave before him, Paddy brought his shovel down
And pierced the breast of Ireland to prise it from the ground.
He lift his eyes to heaven and he cried out sad and clear:
"Oh Lourd, why take Belinda and her Spirit from us here?"

"Ah, Lourd," prayed sturdy Paddy, "ye have giv'n us this Earth
And all which grows upon it and beneath, for what it's worth,
But why did ye see fit to give us poor Belinda May
If only as a flower seven years and snatched away?

"What did she in her little life not holy in your Sight?
What sin had she committed? None! so what gave you the right
To take her back untimely? Well, for taking her away,
I take this stand...I'll be god-damned if I won't make You pay!

"Belinda's Price from You, oh Lourd, is lasting Peace on Earth;
My price for her removal is redemption from our curse!
You may not wish to pay this price, but I say all the same...
My name is Paddy Donnell, and by God I make the claim!"

The blessed Moon, in crescent, like a silver scimitar
Slid sideways through a smoky sky and left behind a scar.
A Star shone through that rifted cloud of midnight in the mist
And took a fair position over Paddy's outflung fist.

And Lo! a Voice, a Rumble, like a thousand raining stones
In tumble down a mountainside in mashing, crashing moans
As if from many miles away, yet to one ears are borne
Such came the Voice of God to Paddy, answering his scorn:

"I hear ye, brother Paddy, oh ye simple, foolish man...
I hear ye as ye bellow badly, questioning my Plan
Such arrogance as you display deserves no recompense
But as I am a gracious God, to PEACE I will consent..."

And from that moment all the people, land to burning land,
Cast off from war and fighting, and instead began again
To take this World and make it in the Image of Above,
And drown all hate in charity, in hope, and faith, and love.

And children gathered flowers, woven in a grateful garland,
And in Belinda's memory they danced the fields of Ireland.
And Irish mothers smiled on them, and knew, forevermore
Their sons would be no sacrifice to foolishness of war.

By Paddy's sons' and brothers' toil a monument was raised:
A "Statue of Belinda", carved and placed above her grave.
And every morn about it were a thousand petals flung!
And everywhere those blossoms fell, a thousand seedlings sprung.

But what of Paddy, father, left to ponder what God wrought?
Well, after many months had passed, with Peace at long last bought,
He pined for poor Belinda, and her blessed presence lost,
And in the end he muttered, "Lourd, it wasn't worth the cost."

The Rancher and the Dude

A Rancher was a-leanin' on a fence when a big ol' Lexus roared up in a cloud o' dust an' stopped. Out jumped a guy in a suit with a "lectronical sumpthin" in his han'. This Dude came up ta th' Rancher an' pointed out over th' field:

"Sir," he said, "I've got a proposition for you."

The Rancher chewed and spat. "Oh?" he said.

"Yessiree," the young man replied. "I'll make a bet with you."

The Rancher squinted. "Bet?" he said.

"Yessir!" said the tenderfoot. "I have in my hand the latest technology. Something every farmer and rancher in this valley wants and needs!"

The Rancher chewed and spat again. "Oh?" he said.

"YES!" exclaimed the eager hotshot. "It's a technological marvel, and if it doesn't do what I claim, I'll give you a thousand dollars in cash. But if it does, you'll just owe me one gallon of milk from one of your cows out there. Does that sound like a good bet to you?"

The Rancher looked the feller in the eye. "Sure," he said.

"I'll bet you I can count all the cows in your field and give you an exact number in less than ten seconds, without moving from the spot we're standing. OK?"

The Rancher scratched his head. "Sure," he finally agreed. "It's a bet."

With that the young whippersnapper whipped out his cell phone, uplinked through a mainserver, interrogated the latest satellite data, downloaded the result, pressed a button to perform an onboard calculation, and saw a figure appear on his cell phone screen.

"You sir," smiled the young salesman, "have exactly 373 cows!"

The Rancher chewed and frowned and scratched and spat.

"Son," he drawled, "at first I thought you was with the Gover-ment. You barged in here with somethin' I don't need, uninvited-like, put out money like it was water tryin' to prove you was on my side, took a foolish gamble, weren't able to do squat without yer damn fool technology, tried to tell me somethin' I already knew, and winded up gettin' screwed on the whole proposition."

The young man groaned. "But wasn't I right?"

The Rancher shook his head. "No, son," he said. "Them's my sheep."

23 March 2008

"Easter Ode to a Cupola"

"In my walking I have seen you, standing steady, proudly ringing. Gather all your children, Steeple! Far and widely scattered are they: busy working, tired of learning, tired of being classroom-seated, tired of writing poems on paper, tired of doing sums and reading, tired of what you have to offer. Bring them back with hearty pealing! Make them eager for your learning. Make them into men and women. Make them wise and make them loving.

"All of us depend on YOU!"




















(photo credit: Andree in Vermont... "Fiske School")

21 March 2008

Skywatch Friday "Rocks at Stone Lagoon":


This wonderful picture was taken by Gail Slaughter on "her" beach in northern California, and I couldn't resist the blues expressed... sky, sea, surf and beach.

Skywatch Friday: "Anitique Vermont Barn"

When the "spring" snow stops and you have trouble distinguishing sky from ground, you just may be a Vermonter. Andree sent me this arresting shot awhile ago but from what she tells me today, as I'm posting it, the snow is still unrelenting.

18 March 2008

"Three Muskrateers"


So far as I know this is the first time I've managed to get us together:
Michael, Mary and Gail---the three persons responsible for EinP.
No, I'm not grinning... Gail has always said I never learned to smile.
(I tell her it's what's inside that counts.)









"Trinidad Beach 1058"

Original photo: Gail Slaughter
Framing and effects: yours truly

17 March 2008

"Yearling Frolic" by Mary Stebbins Taitt


"An Irish Rainbow"


The top picture is by Mary Stebbins Taitt (a detail of a larger work). Below is my St. Patrick's day greeting which was created from Mary's painstaking work. Incidentally, Mary tells me her Leprechaun was originally a picture of a Slovenian statue. Weird people over there!

16 March 2008

Circles...


Haiku takes many forms:
this is "free" Haiku, which does not require
adherence to the number of sylables employed
-------------------------------------------------
Round and rounded ------------------- I do not wear rings
Cycling in circles------------------------------ Rings go nowhere
Back to new beginnings------------------ Hearts are linear hunters
------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you come round--------------------------------Gather round the flag
And accept my pointlessness-----------Boys, we'll gather once again
My argument is circular----------------- Shouting cries of freedom
------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
May the Circle be as---------------------Three Rings, no Master
Circles must be: unbroken;----------Shouting peanut crowd
Unspoken trust passed on------- The circus world of life
---------------------------------------------------
--Whatever shall be, we shall make --
Ever after, give or take
Burma-Shave

"In Circles Veritas"


"A Piece of Pi...".

(by J. Harnsforth Pumbley)

"Oh, Give me, let me taste the fruit
Which renders into Pi:
No number of the flavors there
Which so deceive the eye...
You cannot separate the truth
From what is plain to see;
All reasoning is circular
Between sweet Pi and me."


14 March 2008

"Skyking Project" in Picasa




The effects shot shown at the top of the post lacked something when it was taken as a crop from a larger work. What to do, what to do. Finally I rotated the image and then applied various color schemes. The extraneous detail was lost by oversaturating, and then the image was sharpened and tinted several ways. The result was a nice bunch of backgrounds for something else later!


"Basket with One Egg"

A Basket with One Egg, by Mary Stebbins Taitt.

"Eggs for Easter"

Eggs for Easter, by Mary Stebbins Taitt.

"Robin's Breakfast" by Mary Stebbins Taitt


"Winter Hunting Ground"




"We snowshoed in to Nashua Creek yesterday where we saw a bluejay that had been eaten, perhaps by the fox whose tracks skirted the edge of the ice."
(Originally posted to Silk Creek Portal by Mary Stebbins Taitt)

12 March 2008

March 17th at Ted's Firehouse Pub


The Orangeman's Lament


I'd like to be part of St. Paddy's Day action

But my own Irish blood makes a very small fraction.
And that bit of blood may be viewed as a blotch,
For my great-great grandpa was an Orangeman (Scotch).
And did I say Scotch? Well, I never drink,
Which wipes out all claims to be Irish, I think.
Still, I'll wear my green jeans with my green sweater over,
Play my cassettes of the Chieftains and Rovers,
Eat some corned beef on a slice of green bread,
Stop saying "Wow," say "Begorra" instead.
There are folks who may say that me shamrock's a sham
But for one day a year, it 'tis Irish I am.

ERIN GO BRAUGH
Erin go braugh!
Never go braless
Unless you're an Erin whose figure is flawless!


(Material composed by Gail Slaughter)
(Illustration work by Michael Serafin)
(Special thanks to Mary Stebbins Taitt)

Witless Wednesday: Snow Swimming!


11 March 2008

"Of Two Opinions"

Which is "real" and which false? (Silly questions around HERE!)









The top version, if you look closely, has more "water" in it than the lower one. It was added in the Paint program using color matching and the Pencil function. With that much more water, for better balance it needed a reflection of the sun in the water, and then I wanted to recrop it. To do this, the whole right edge of the shot had to be "painted out" wider to match the original colors. (Which, if truth be known, aren't in the "original", either!)

08 March 2008

07 March 2008

Verifuni Dafinations


Gail Slaughter sent these in:

INTAXICATION: Tax refund euphoria (until you realize it was your money to start with).
REINTARNATION: When you die and come back as a hillbilly.
BOZONE: The substance around idiots which prevents the penetration of bright ideas.
FOREPLOY: Strategy for picking up a partner in a bar.
CASHTRATION: Buying a house and being rendered financially impotent. Indefinitely.
GIRAFFITI: Vandalism, spray-painted very, very high.
SARCHASM: The gulf between sarcastic wit and the goof who just doesn't get it.
INOCULATTE: To take coffee intravenously.
HIPATITIS: Being terminally cool.
OSTEOPORNOSIS: A degenerate's disease. (Think about it awhile: you'll get it)
KARMAGEDDON: It's like, you know, like all these dudes are sending out all these negative vibes, man, right? And then like the earth explodes!
DECAFALON: Getting through the day without that afternoon coffee break.
GLIBIDO: All talk, no action.
DOPELER EFFECT: Stupid ideas seeming smarter if they come at you fast enough.
ARACHNOLEPTIC FIT: What you throw when you catch a spider web in the face.
BEELZEBUG: That satanic mosquito that gets in your tent and won't be cast out.
CATERPALLOR: The color you turn when you find HALF a worm in your apple.
IGNORANUS: A person both stupid and a real pain in your rear!

(source: Washington Post, Mensa Invitational)

Can you pick the winner that year?
Give your best guessed guest guess in a comment!

06 March 2008

Meet Our California Correspondent

This lovely lady is Gail Slaughter, our western scout and photographer based in Eureka, California. Gail likes snapping pictures (you'll see her work often in EinP) but the thing she probably "digs" the most are her goldmines of jokes. (Click on her name in the Labels anywhere in the blog for a history of her stuff).

If you click on the word "California" in the title above you can read more about Gail and things she sends in. "Kitty", as she is also known, has bran-new twin granddaughters, and two cats, Elphaba and Hybrow. She goes by the handle "Leaflady". (But I'll just call her "Squiggy.")

04 March 2008

"How Uncle Jake was First to Fly the Transatlantic"

(Driving Aldy and Geraldine to the Pediatrician, 1969)

This buggy can fly! England, you say? France? Where's that doctor at, Gerry? Aldy? Do you know?

Look at her purr through the clouds--- mushrooms and magic separate the skyway into shimmering layers, dancing through each other---kelp in the tide, ribbons in a breeze, living
strands of DNA unwinding across itself---sticky---

The shining keeps slipping. Here, hold the wheel for me, Geradine!

Simultaneously I want to be more me and more "not-me." If more me is more not-me, why, when I try to speak clearly, do these words and not-words disintegrate into such gibberish?

"You don't understand me? Come along. Watch the "me"'-selves and the "not-me"'-selves split and crawl along their various skyways. The Not-me's chant---"Don't go so slowly! Someone might notice! We'll fly!" Burn up the sky, Geraldine! Don't worry sweetie---

WHUMP! Whazzat? Out here in the ether, I watch the body police attempting to reassemble
the Not-me's back into something they recognize. Some of the me's-or-not-me keel over, laughing.

"Pretty funny, isn't it Gerry? Even Aldy agrees. Listen to him chortle! Just not that big. The rest of us Me's notice the texture of the bark on this tree that holds this cumpled car, the dark
spaces inhabiting the light, the gaps between the policeman's teeth. We flow through his clenched fist like honey--sweet, sweet on some laughing, layered tongue. That's one rough runway, crew!"

--------------------(a story newly penned by Mary Taitt)

03 March 2008

"Tennielle Revisited"



Sir John Tenniell(e) was the illustrator who closely cooperated with Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) in creating "Alice's Adventures Underground" and "Through the Looking Glass", otherwise known as "Alice in Wonderland".

(original, enhanced)

"Fiske School Project"


This is not an original photograph or a painting...not exactly, anyway. It is really BOTH. Andree in Vermont took a photo of Fiske School. I cropped the photo and adjusted it in Picasa. I then exported the result to Paint, where I retouched it to hide a TV antenna in the shot.

"Fiske S'cool Cupola"

(Original photo: Andree in Vermont----Picasa work: Michael in Michigan)

02 March 2008

"F" is for FAG (the sort you smoke)

Yes, I smoke. I am a pariah. Everyone hates me. I must go outdoors in the cold. My landlord forbids it. No employer will have me smoking on their property. My cat stares at me in disgust. My friends fear for my life. My Doctor wants to disown me.
It is a filthy, filthy, filthy habit, they all tell me. I point to legends such as Yul Brenner, John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn, Roger Miller, David Niven, on and on, and they yell
"SEE! the Weed got ALL of them!"

I sigh, and roll one more smoke.

(Thanks be to Gail Slaughter for this old ad!)