Tag Archives: art

The Gallery’s Moved

A long time ago having one’s own photo gallery running on the web was a thing, it’s not so important today. Mine was on the old Gallery3 platform but that hasn’t been supported for several years now.
I finally got around to moving it to Coppermine, software that’s still supported.

On the way I purged a bunch of albums. [shrug] The remaining stuff is mostly nostalgia and inertia. You can have a look if you want.

I can only think of one good reason to maintain a personal gallery these days. It’s for those times when you need a permanent URL to an image for one reason or another, and want to manage those images efficiently. It seems likely that I’ll move most of mine somewhere else eventually. But you know how that word – “eventually” – tends to work.

Skull Rings

I picked up this skull ring in a New Hope, PA shop in August 2005 and I’ve worn it daily ever since. It’s an attention-getter with mass and warmth that only solid chunk of silver can deliver.

Skull ring on my gnarly meathook. It stares at me. I’ve worn this for almost twelve years now, the little dings give it character. Click to enlarge in a new window or tab.

This sucker weighs a ton. I’ve got take care for my desktop is glass and yes, I’ve already chipped the glass.

The ring originated in Hamburg, Germany. I’m told that it’s identical to the ring Keith Richards has been famously wearing pretty much forever. Here are a couple of shots – decide for yourself.

Looks pretty darned close to me, but I’m not makin’ any claims!

I have another skull ring that’s been with me even longer. (If you know me at all then you know that if something works I tend to stick with it.) I can’t remember exactly how long I’ve had the ring. But I do clearly remember the motorcycle I was riding at the time and that dates it solidly from the summer of 1980.

My oldest skull ring, acquired in 1980. It was definitely not new when I found it at the famous Englishtown (NJ) flea market. I’ve never, ever seen another like it. Click to enlarge the image in a new window or tab.

The ring was already old when I bought it. Didn’t matter, it was solid silver and fit perfectly.

In the 37 years I’ve worn this one I’ve never seen another like it. The nearest I’ve come to any kind of story is through a nurse that worked at a gym I joined in 1986. She commented that the ring looked exactly like one worn by her father when she was a little girl in California.

Go ahead, click the image for a much-enlarged look. Have you seen another ring like it? If so, I’d love to hear from you.


Do you know what a ‘cinematic scientist’ is? Or what they do? I’ll confess, until just a few short minutes ago I didn’t either.

Apparently one cinematic scientist has hit upon a way to fit an entire movie into one image? Howzat? It works something like this.

Take a frame and stretch it vertically while compressing it horizontally. Take the next frame and do it again. And the next and the next until you’ve processed the whole movie. Stand back and look at your work.


(How the hell can I get a job like that?)


Data Freaks

I’ve been a bit of a data freak for many years. I ran across this video-filled article and found it fascinating.

Top 10 Favorite Art Pieces Made from Data

Corporate reporting was never like this!


Just a sec - I've got to take this call.
August 1958 studio shot.

Orange County Choppers T-shirt

Looks like there might be a Frank Zappa fan over at Orange County Choppers. Seen their new t-shirt?

Youth Paul Senior Mustache Tee
Youth Paul Senior Mustache Tee

I’d argue that the iconic Zappa mustache logo is far more famous and certainly has been around a lot longer.

Tour-De-Frank Concert Tee
Tour-De-Frank Concert Tee

Now that’s a famous mustache! What’s more, it’s been copyrighted by the Zappa Family Trust. Hey, Paul, better be careful. Y’know, Gail Zappa‘s got quite the reputation for defending all things Zappa. Wasn’t that long ago Gail sued a… Zappa fan club, of all things… over their use of the mustache in promoting their annual “Zappanale” festival. (Okay, ZFT lost that one largely, as far as I can tell, on technicalities.) Your pockets are deeper, I’m bettin’, and you’re right here in the good ‘ol USofA rather than Germany.

I don’t know what to make of this oldie-but-goodie – Toyota.

Toyota Trucks & Zappa's Mustache
Toyota Trucks & Zappa's Mustache


Somewhere - Asbury Park, NJ 2006

A Year Ago Today

It’s all over the news. Today’s the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was in Wildwood, NJ, enjoying some downtime with the family. Wildwood has a seriously long boardwalk, a couple of miles, and we like to walk it when we’re in town.

We were walking the boardwalk when the news hit. Before we reached the end you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone hawking t-shirts featuring the news.

Marketing. It’s an amazing beast.

And all you heard about for an unbelievably long time was Michael Jackson. Could have been a nuclear war and you wouldn’t have heard about that, the way everyone went on and on about the dead pop star. Shit, I think they’re still arguing about whatever’s left of his assets.

I take you back to January 1985. Volume 1, Number 1, Issue 1 of NutWorks, “The Inter-Net Virtual Magazine for Those Who Teeter on the Precipice of Insanity”.

Boot It

You’re processing some words when your keyboard goes dead,
Ten pages in the buffer, should have gone to bed,
The system just crashed, but don’t lose your head,
Just BOOT IT, just BOOT IT.

Better think fast, better do what you can,
Read the manual or call your system man,
Don’t want to fall behind in the race with Japan,

Get the system manager to
Even though you’d rather shoot it.
Don’t be upset, it’s only some glitch.
All that you do is flip a little switch.
Get right down and restitute it.
Don’t get excited, all is not lost.
Just BOOT IT, boot it, boot it, boot it…

You gotta have your printout for the meeting at two,
The system says your jobs at the head of the queue,
Right then the thing dies but you know what to do,

You always get so worried when the system runs slow,
And when it finally crashes, man you feel so low,
But computers make mistakes (they’re only human you know)

Call the local guru to
Go ahead re-institute it.
If you’re not lucky, get the book off the shelf,
But if you are, it’ll do it itself.
Then go find the guy who screwed it!
Operating systems are built to bounce back,
Whether it’s a Cray or a Radio Shack.


So, okay, maybe it ain’t the best song parody you’ve ever seen. But NutWorks – and other virtual publications of the day – are certainly the early Internet ancestors that gave rise to the countless time-sucks you find on the Web today.

Like this blog. Now get back to work.

One-Car Garage

  • two Harley-Davidson motorcycles
  • one Jeep Wrangler
  • three adult-sized bicycles
  • two unicycles (24-inch and 36-inch wheels)
  • two floor-to-ceiling sets of shelves (spanning entire back wall, packed full)
  • one hydraulic motorcycle/ATV jack
  • one bolt-to-the-floor tire changer/bead breaker
  • two air compressors on carts (one a 2-cylinder commercial unit)
  • one eye-height tool chest (wheeled, full)
  • one vacuum cleaner
  • two 35-gallon recycling containers
  • lumber (approximately 120 cubic feet)
  • one folding workbench (yep, folded)
  • one set of two medium-duty automotive service ramps
  • three aluminum ladders (16-foot extension; 24-foot extension; 16-foot folding scaffold)
  • one 10-ton hydraulic log splitter
  • one 65-gallon trash can
  • assorted yard tools (shovels, rakes, hoes, brooms, and so on.)
  • and more small stuff (too various and numerous to mention)

The garage is packed kinda tight tonight.

There’s a storm coming that could dump a foot of snow – the largest snowfall here in about two years. I’ve got space outside to park the pickup, but I want the Jeep off the street.

It’s positively astounding what you can fit into a tiny space with just a little bit of planning!

Zappa Plays Zappa

I’ve been a Frank Zappa fan since I encountered the Freak Out album back in the late sixties, and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him live many, many times. Last Thursday night I saw the Zappa Plays Zappa show at the Blender Theater in New York. [ed. In 2009 the Blender Theater was renamed the Gramercy Theater.] You can read more about the ZPZ tours here.

You Can't Fit On Stage Anymore
YCFOSA card front

This was my first visit to the Blender. It’s small and intimate, capacity of maybe a few hundred, tops. The stage was tiny, too; Dweezil and the band really had to squeeze themselves in and there wasn’t a whole lot of space to move around. This tour was all about smaller venues, and that’s where the tour name came from: You Can’t Fit On Stage Anymore.

YCFOSA card back

Dweezil’s playing has really matured in recent years. His blistering guitar work was spot on. It’s reported that he’s put an incredible amount of effort into these concerts and it certainly shows. I was very pleased to see Ray White (of You Are What You Is, among other favorites) in the lineup. And Sheila Gonzalez, who I first saw on the earlier ZPZ DVDs, was nothing short of excellent. One song after another, they pumped out hit after hit nearly non-stop for almost three hours. The set list was a fantastic mix of stuff both ranging from Frank’s early work to the more recent. I was blown away by their rendition of Billy The Mountain – something that I’d never heard live before. The time just flew by!

Dweezil Zappa
Dweezil Zappa after the show, hangin’ on stage talking with fans

After a generous three-song encore Dweezil hung by the stage talking with fans and signing stuff, smiling all the while. I joined the group and thanked him for his work, for bringing Frank’s music to us, and collected his autograph on the back of the card.

This show came with a couple of extras, too. About two-thirds through the show they drew a number and gave away a Hagstrom Super Swede guitar! The winner was pulled onto the stage to collect his prize. Dweezil asked, “do you play the guitar?” “No, but I’m gonna learn!” “Well here, let me help you get started with your first lesson.” They plugged him in, cranked it up, showed him where to put his fingers and he banged around with the band for a minute or so. Oh, man, do I ever wish that I won that! I play a little, so it would have been a real treat – um, for me, definitely, but probably not for the audience. The other ‘extra’, which I haven’t downloaded yet, is a fully-mixed mp3 of the show. Can’t wait!

All in all, an excellent night of fantastic music. If you get the chance to attend one of the concerts of this tour I absolutely, positively recommend it.

Crying, While Eating

Every so often you run across a site that simply makes you go “whuh”. Crying, While Eating is one of those. The design is simple – a long list of images linked to Quicktime videos, each accompanied by a three informational items (name, what they’re eating, why they’re crying).

I had no idea that so many people cried while they ate, much less had video of themselves doing it. Personally, I don’t cry a lot. And the last time I cried – which wasn’t all that long ago, BTW – I certainly wasn’t eating, and nobody was capturing video.

As I sampled a few of the videos I found them… puzzling. I tried to imagine what it would be like to know the subject, to talk to them, to understand them a little better. I actually felt a little creeped out, kif of like like I was watching something I really shouldn’t be seeing. A David Byrne tune called Social Studies sprung into my head, it seemed to be an appropriate soundtrack for some reason.

Go see for yourself!

Unconventional Candidate Photos Speak Volumes

A friend and I were talking writing scenarios of doom ‘n gloom, and he pointed me to this. Interesting indeed. One can say so much with a photo! Go check it out, you’ll be glad you did no matter which side of the fence you’re on.


Wildwood Rules

We spent some time in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey this summer. It was soon apparent that the sheer number of rules and signs and warnings would make for some fun images.

The effort began in our suite and widened from there. The final image presents an opportunity to learn something about conservation, erosion, and the New Jersey shoreline.

Images are here. Have fun!

Piss Hat

I was in Atlantic City, NJ with my family recently. Beautiful city, full of contrast. As we stood on the boardwalk across from the world-famous Steel Pier taking in the sights, Damian looked over the rail into the garbage-strewn alley below and mused, “so what’s that, a piss hat?”

"Piss Hat" - Atlantic City, NJ - 12-July-2008
"Piss Hat" - Atlantic City, NJ - 12-July-2008