Archive for December 2010

Christmas Angels

December 20, 2010

From my archives…(back in 1994).

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Even six MORE uses for Christmas fruitcake

December 17, 2010

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Friar’s Art Stories

December 14, 2010

I’ve lost count of all the paintings I’ve done, but each one has a story behind it,

And if I jog my memory, I can remember most of them.

Here are a few.

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“BuckWheat”

This was a study I did in art class.  My teacher wanted me to learn to paint texture, hence the elephant’s wrinkly skin.

I spent so much time on this damned pachyderm,  I started to become on a first-name basis with him.

So for my own amusement (and to annoy the serious old biddies in the class) I proudly announced that I would call this painting  “BUCKWHEAT”.

One of these ladies asked me:  “WHAT…in GOD’s name is a “Buckwheat?”

“Why…THAT ELEPHANT, OF COURSE!”, I replied.

Needless to say, she didn’t appreciate my answer.

(Did  I mention I liked to annoy the serious old biddies in my class?)

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My Favorite Rocks

I did this the day I got a shitty pay raise at my old job.

I was so depressed and so demoralized, I wanted to cry.

Instead, I sat down for four straight hours and painted this.   It turned out to be the best thing I had ever done at the time.

I guess they’re right, when they say artists must suffer.

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Acadia Rocks

I was going aways for the weekend and it was a 3 hour drive to my friend’s house.

Just before I left, I decided to paint a quickie.

I pulled this one off in an hour.

Sometimes, it works that way.

The stars line up, everything falls into place, and you end up with a keeper.

And you’ll never be able to duplicate it quite the same way again, no matter how hard you try.

This was one of those special paintings.

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House from Hell

Dammit, I worked SO hard on this.

It was an old brick house on the West Island of Montreal, and I was trying to paint it in art class.

This other student sitting next to me (a stupid witch I couldn’t stand) kept telling me I was doing it wrong.

Of course, she couldn’t draw or paint jack-shit herself.   But she was more than eager to point out all MY errors.

And she would NOT shut the #@$% up about it.

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I kept trying to ignore her, but the painting wasn’t going well.  I just couldn’t’ get the perspective quite right.

Half way through the class, my teacher shook her head, and told me the painting was beyond fixing, and I had to reluctantly agree.

Of course, the Witch chimed in:  “See?  I TOLD HIM!   I TOLD HIM he was doing it wrong, I TOLD HIM!”

I got so fed up,  I set fire to my house.

I figured if I ruined the painting, then at least I might as well get some amusement out of it.

Heh heh.

It worked.

10 years later, the burning house still makes me laugh.

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Depot Lake Road

Getting back to the Painting Witch.

By this time, I was quite pissed off at her, and was on the verge of tearing her a new one.

Instead, I took out a photo, and used my anger to start a new painting, right in front of her.

I splashed my paint willy-nilly, and finished this  9″ x 12″ before the class was over.

Just to prove that I could.

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…I can still see her mouth dropping open in amazement.

(And THAT…was far more satisfying than any screaming or yelling I could have done to her!)

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Lighting Lamps in Lah-Lah Land.

December 12, 2010

Imagine if you wanted to install something in  your house.  It could be anything.   Let’s say, for argument’s sake, a lamp on your ceiling.

How would you go about doing it?

You’d probably go to the hardware store and buy a lamp.

You’d use a stud-finder, drill the holes, attach it the lamp with the screws.

Then you’d connect the electrical wires, and voila…in less than one afternoon, you’d have a new lamp.

That’s what you’d do in the REAL WORLD.

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Now, imagine that you lived in some kind of Fantasy Lah-Lah Land.

Where there were special rules, like you wouldn’t be allowed to buy the lamp yourself.

How would you go about doing it?

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First, you’d have to go through “Purchasing”, fill in 2-3 pages of paperwork.   If you were lucky, your lamp would arrive in 4-6 weeks.

You’d fill in a Written Technical Form (WTF) to get your Landlords’ approval signature, for the day you wanted to install it.

But make sure you knew which day, because the Landlord would want a week’s notice, and some days he wouldn’t let you do the work.

And which days you couldn’t work, you might not know until the very last minute.

And if you had to reschedule, you’d need to fill in a new WTF and start all over again.

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And God Forbid, dont’ think you could just do the work yourself.

No, it would have to be done by Certified Lamp Installation Technicians who you’d have to hire before-hand.

You’d also have to first get a Ceiling Registry Under-Drilling (CRUD)  permit.

Which would involve having two different DRS (Drilling and Reaming Specialists) come to your house the day before.

And they’d scan the ceiling to check for any hidden electrical wires or water pipes, before giving you the okay to drill.

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And once the holes were drilled and you were ready to attach the screws…you couldn’t just use ANY screws.

No…it would have to be screws that were specified in the Approved Screw Specification Sheet (ASSS).

And if the screws you had were different from what the ASSS said, you’d have to stop work immediately

And file a Non-Conformance Report.

And wait for approval from the Landlord to start again.

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If you’d gotten as far as drilling the holes and mounting the lamp, then it would be time to tighten the screws.

But WAIT….!!!   You couldnt’ just tighten them ANY old way.

No…you’d have to cross-reference to the SHIT sheet (Screw Handling Identification Table) to tell you what torque to use.

And you’d have to check that the torque wrench has been calibrated.

And you’d have to document the calibration date.

And #1 Lamp Technician would tighten the screws and have to initial that they did so.

And #2 Lamp Technician would have to initial that they verified what #1 Lamp Technician did.

And FINALLY,  the the certified Lamp Installer Foreman will get to plug everything in and turn on the switch…

And voila….you’d have a lamp.

3 months later.

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Now, that’s just for one lamp, in one room.

Imagine that you had to install HUNDREDS of lamps, throughout a huge building.

With different ceilings and different screws and different torque values.

And EVERYTHING had to be repeated…all the permits and signatures and documents….with each and EVERY lamp.

Oboy.

What FUN.

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Welcome to Lah-Lah Land.

(*Sigh*)

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Ooh, look! I can be inspirational, too!

December 9, 2010

I wrote some inspirational quotes off the top of my head.

And believe me, it was not as easy as you think.

I mean, it must have taken me several MINUTES to come up with these.

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Now, for any Whale-Hugging Moon Children out there,  please feel free to cut-and-paste these onto your Facebook wall any time you want.

Then you can  appear wise and all-knowing, and you and your friends can comment,  while you weep with joy together on your new-found sense of self-awareness.

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For the rest of you…just take these for what they’re worth.

(*Pfft….snicker!*) 😀

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Friendship is like a flower garden.   Some friends are perennials: dependent and reliable, that keep coming back.   Others are annuals: brilliant and dazzling, but short-lived,  while some are noxious weeds that need to be culled out before they do any further damage.

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There is no silence louder than that of unspoiled, isolated wilderness.

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Any day you catch a fish, regardless of what else happens, is a GOOD day.

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Telling some one “Well done, good job”  costs you nothing.   Telling someone “You’re no good, you screwed up” costs you a lot.

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Life is like an artists’ palette. We’re all given the same essential colors with which to create the painting of our life.    But it’s up to us how we use our paints, to either create a bad piece of artwork, or a brilliant masterpiece.

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Material possessions are the anchors that weigh down our soul.

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The Sun, Moon and Stars do not care if you succeed or fail.   Only you can have this power.

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Dream big, or stay home.

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I shall build a Tower of Hope.  The foundation shall be Knowledge.   The bricks and mortar shall be  Fairness and Compassion.   When I am done, I will climb to the top and shout gleefully, inviting others to join me in building their own Towers.

Three More Nursery Rhymes

December 4, 2010

Eight More Uses For Fruitcake.

December 2, 2010