28 August 2009

Goings-on These Days

Scientists of space say they have noticed a planet out there that is DOOMED!! Doomed to spiral down and CRASH into its star, with probably pretty nasty burn-up sort of effects, as one could imagine. Or can we? Imagine such a thing? Well, yes, sci-fi writers have imagined such things for fifty years and more. Look up "The Big Eye," a book from the sixties (I believe) which goes into what sorts of changes men and women go thru when a scientist informs them their world is going to end with a bang when a wayward big red planet comes closer and closer and...

Well, you'll have to get the book and read what happens at the end...

Perhaps yet another sign of endtimes.. but women as beautiful as Ms. Gosselin not only populate TV but also our own humdrum lives. There is, for one example, a 30-year-old girl who visits the pool at my apartment complex (whose name is Sarah, by the way) who is fully as beauteous as Kate and is much more proximate to my situation than any TV screen. She suns herself in a barely legal bikini and enjoys intense male attention.

Sarah tells me she had a guy living with her for several months until she determined that he was already married to another woman.. a woman who began a stalking campaign to get her man back. Apparently this was a success, for he went back home to her, but Sarah shrugged the whole thing off.

"I don't go in for dating these days," says sexy Sarah. "I met him at a bar, and bar things never seem to work out."

Being 58 and 28 years beyond Sarah in life experience I'm a bit too old to pursue any sort of relationship with her, but take my word, SOMEBODY will.. it's a simple matter of time and who she picks next.

Women are the gatekeepers and are the ones to say when (and thus have no restrictions) but men have to self-govern themselves to maintain their integrity when faced with a "come-hither" from dangerous beauties. I'm not assigning blame or anything, but facts are facts and if a man does not take responsibility for himself, look out.

26 August 2009

A Tribute


For Labor Day weekend (hopefully the Sunday thereof) I've invited family and friends over to the apartment complex where I have taken up residence, Canterbury House Apartments.

Canterbury has over two hundred (!) units in it, organized into Buildings, each with a number, and one-, two-, and three-bedroom townhouse-style units in each, with letters running from A to S.

Got all that? Well, I'm in Building 339, Apartment Q, and this is near the end of the building, with a porch letting out into a resident parking lot.

A few steps away, off the back of the complex property, is a woods. There is a place I can dig for earthworms to go fishing with, and a clear area where, if the weather cooperates, I will set up a luau-style party outside for my guests. Planned: pork loins (catered by a local downtown bistro famous for them--Darryl's Downtown in Jackson), fresh sliced pineapple, rice and sweet potato casseroles (individual ones--classy and freezeable), and, of all goes well, a special French-bread spicy garlic bread of my own invention. Cool, huh? And not as expensive as all that sounds since Darryl's promised to help out with the thing a bit for the advertising, as it were. You know, where did THIS come from? And you tell everybody if they like it where to get more.

Anyhow, the regional office of the company which owns Canterbury was consulted and they said, "WHOA! absolutely NO open pit fires or bonfires!!" Consequently I had to come up with an alternative to the traditional luau format.

For $2.50 (closeout at CVS Pharmacy) I picked up a bamboo hawaian torch, and then I designed a barbecue setup (pictured above) to be made from found materials. My brother Bob supplied the empty oil drum (he's had two of them dating back to the eighties when we had an oil company) and I found an electric sheet metal cutter for $10 at a garage sale, and I plan on making my grill in time for the party.

Back in the '70's we threw a Labor Day yard party for the staff of Portage Lake State Park where I worked as a Park Ranger, and then we took an empty drum and sliced it in half length-wise to make two grills. This is different, but the new design should work as well and be transportable back to the complex garage area by dolly, so there you go!

Today's Fractal

Oh-oh, bad me, I can't resist playing.

(See more--much more--computer art by Mary and myself in Nerd Shots, another blog. Click HERE to go see.)

How Quickly We Forget

Ok, ok, what POSSIBLE link could there be between a somewhat faded Pop star and the onset of dementia?? It's a teaser. Actually it doesn't matter WHO the celebrity face you choose to use but if you want to test for Alzheimer's condition, researches suggest that the ability to recognize famous faces tells you a lot.

Are you good with names and faces? Hmmm? Well, here's the slight difficulty I have with this new theory about testing for dementia using this method. I remember conversations really well, almost like a tape recorder, but I have trouble remembering the full lyrics to songs, even ones I write myself. I can remember faces from YEARS ago, but screw up the names associated with those faces. I can remember all sorts of historical trivia and I have a good brain for quotations BUT knowing WHO said what.. and when? Ring the gong, I'm toast.

Dates are an especially irrelevant thing with me. Just not important. I don't TRY to capture that info and hold it so I never can feed it back. When did I eat last? who knows. What year was the Magna Carta signed? go ask somebody who cares. In what year was I born? AHH! I can answer that. (Exceptions to every rule, kiddies.. people DEMAND that info from me so I'm FORCED to spew it back.)

I like it when people remember my date of birth and wish me well but if it wasn't for intensive interrogation over the years I probably wouldn't give a darn about THAT date either.

Memory, according to Einstein, is finite, and he disregarded a lot of things for fear of clogging up his mind with things that weren't relevant to more important things. But I kind of disagree with that. Memory is one thing but I look on TIME as the most finite thing there is, and that it is a tragedy to waste ANY of it..

..like the time wasted trying to remember where I put my keys.......

25 August 2009

Farm by Moonlight

by Mary Stebbins Tait, digital smudge painting, new today.

Ghosts in the Wave

My lovely Leaflady snapped this shot of a big breaking wave and said to me, "Do you see a ghost?"
Actually, blown up..? Several!

Word is, out there in the Great Beyond, there has been a wayward planet sighted. This sucker revolves BACKWARDS around its star, the reverse of the direction of every other known planet. On such a world there may be unknown effects, but we can speculate:
  1. Elvis is not dead.. he's running for President of the American Medical Association following his discovery of a blanket cure for heart disease.. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  2. George W. Bush has just been appointed Prime Minister of Lithuania.
  3. Madonna Cicone has received the Pope's blessing and proceedings are underway to nominate her for sainthood. (And she IS a virgin, but doesn't feel like one.)
  4. Pete Rose is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  5. Alice Cooper is Mayor of Detroit, his home town, following a landside vote that enjoyed the full support of the Archbishop of Detroit, the head curator of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and St. Madonna Cicone.
  6. Superman has athlete's foot.
  7. Batman is portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the latest installment of the movie series, opposed by Joker, portrayed by Rachel Ray, who wields poisoned pumpkin pies.
  8. There is, and always has been, Peace on Earth.

22 August 2009

A Beauty Treated Beastily

"We'll let Paris' cherry-adorned dress slide, but her cheesy plastic earrings and overly bronzed skin are unforgivable."

Well, I'm sorry, but this here dude disagrees. Ms. Hilton may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but she knows style. Anybody saying otherwise is just attempting to draw attention to their own snarkiness. (Meow! Hiss! Spat! Splat!) Photo by Campos/X17 Online
Graphic work: M.Serafin

20 August 2009

Company Logo Work

Two versions of Logo work need to be made to check gray scale effect. You would LIKE to have any logo you do show up well on television, and to do that, you need to pay attention to the black & white values along the gray scale. How well do different colors contrast, is the question. Some colors are different tints but fall in the same contrast range and therefore aren't as legible.

Color is so great, ain't it? It somewhat irks me that logos stick to old-fashioned drab one, two or three-color effects simply to save printing costs. With today's computer printers and digital work there's no reason to do that anymore.
(The version above has EIGHT different hues in it, and each one is there for a good reason.)

Current Work in Progress

I may not be the best graphic artist to come down the pike but I have fun creating stuff, almost always using
the "Paint" program, which as far as I am concerned is good for most anything
(These are a few samples of stuff I've done recently.)

17 August 2009

Letters from Family

Hi Mike.

Good to hear from you. What is up with the eyesight? I hope this something that can be corrected.

The music gig sounds like fun. Let us know when and where you are playing and maybe we can make one of the performances. Around here (Lansing) several of the popular open mike nights and places that featured local talent have closed apparently due to the poor economy.

I trust all is well with Cousin Ron and Vickie. The last we saw them they did not know what was in the future with Chrysler and employment. Retirement was the back-up plan. I know they had an interest in moving back in to Jackson. I don't know why. I don't see Ron as ever retiring.

Take care.......................Cousin John

Dear John and Karen:

Cousin Ron moved to one of the houses he owns near the hospital.. a lot more convenient, tho I am sure that downsizing and leaving his luxury digs on the lake was a somewhat bitter pill to have to swallow. He is "looking for work", but I don't think that right now is a good time to be over 60 and wanting to be hired in ANY field of manufacturing in the US. Maybe in the energy, health care, security or construction design areas as a contractor/instructor/administrator, but NOT as a general programmer. Ron's background is strong and long-term but proly pretty specific to a specific system, and to be "portable" his skills may need to modernize, broaden, etc, so MY thought is he should just go back for training and get upgraded.

I think that you MUST take whatever opportunities that arise and aggressively pursue creative alternatives, and Ron has never been known for that. He will have to switch to tactics he's never had to use before.

Talked to Bob last nite and we think that a get-together on September 5th (Sunday) would be cool. He said he's been trying to engineer a way to get Joe up from Tecumseh for bike-hiking on the Falling Waters railtrail and we would ALL like to eat, drink and be merry playing cards and music.

If I act fast to reserve it, the clubhouse where I live, Canterbury is available.

The greatroom holds about forty people and is equipped with a full kitchen and would be ideal for a party. I think we should take advantage while we can. I definitely want to have a Christmas Eve dinner party here since that was Dad's birthday and we ALWAYS had a party for him that day in the past. But in the meantime, all I can do is offer that alternative.

Do me a favor and call Bob and get the lowdown from him on this whole thing and let me know what you guys decide is best to do.

I see Cousin Timmy twice or three times a week because we are in a group called "Twist of Dylan" and are doing rehearsals quite a bit.

Another incarnation of the same four guys plays christian folk-rock called "The Holy Jean Band" . We are willing to go play anywhere that will cover our expenses, because it is a ministry thing.

The leader of the group, Harvey Zook, writes our songs, researches the Dylan material, and gives the group(s) their identity. Timmy and I are the experienced "old hands" who supply the backing.

We will let you know when we are coming up your way but in the meantime we could use your help promoting our act to friends, enemies, and the powers that be up there. WE DO GOOD WORK CHEAP. (yuk yuk)

Your cuz


13 August 2009

I never knew much about this particular issue until I went in the National Guard back in 1983, but there is such a thing as "SIGN DISCIPLINE" in the matrix of the military (along with all the OTHER sorts of discipline--- etc etc etc til you're SURE that there has GOT to be a God because only God could create "LATRINE LIGHT and SOUND and LITTER DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES for use in UNFRIENDLY TERRITORY."

Anywho, in the bowels of Army discipline procedure manuals there is not only one but many manuals telling you how to do what, signage-wise. One manual I looked up dealt with acceptable colors for use on night convoy work, and one combination was black with, and I'm trying to be accurate here of THOSE was

Beachrock Bingo

Photowork by: Mary Stebbins Taitt
Location: Trinidad
Graphics by : M.Serafin

08 August 2009

Grandmother and Child Reunion

Leaflady (Gail, my love in California) sends this bulletin:

Nico got home from the hospital in San Francisco last night. So far all is going well. He was checked by local pediatrican this morning. She said he seems to be doing fine, but warned them that any sort of respiratory ailment during the first month might send him back to the hospital! So they plan to have few visitors, avoid taking him to public places, etc.

The twins are doing fine with him SO FAR ........

Again thanks to everyone for your support during the scary time we went through. And I promise to start paying more attention to what's going on in YOUR lives, instead of deluging you with what's going on in mine!


Announcing: music festival preparations!

The Second Annual CROSSROADS "Concert in the Park" will "erupt" on Sunday, September 20th at Cascades Park in Jackson (Michigan), with five contemporary Christian acts sponsored by Joint Heirs Music Ministry, New Moon Entertainment (that's ME, folks!), 20/20 Light & Sound, and several local churches and charities. BIG DEAL? YES!!!

One of the bands that will appear is the Holy Jean ensemble, consisting of Harvey Zook, Peter Rogers, and Mike and Ted Serafin... I'm playing bass, Harvey plays acoustic guitar, Pete plays harmonicas, and Ted (Timmy to the family) plays drums and assorted other stuff like the recorder, xylophone, pots and pans, tambourine, congas, blocks, bells & whistles.

We have fun. We just designed a "covered wagon" to haul our stuff, and when it isn't stuffed with our stuff it's going to be used to haul recyling loads hither and yon. (Mostly yon.)

Whether and when on the Bandwagon is, as most such things, a Matter of Moola. Scratch. Dinero. Long Green. Payola. Lettuce. Monetary Considerations.

When we go around the world with our little trailer we aim to attract the sort of people for an audience that, had they been born about eighty years earlier, would have followed the circus (which is Latin for "traveling show", by the way) to the field outside town and gone under the BigTop to see the Greatest Show on Earth.

True, we would have been in the "FreakShow" area, not center ring, but so what!!!