Sunday, July 31, 2005

pics from the art show

went to the Sawdust Festival today. had fun talking to the artists, learned a little about materials, technique and marketing. almost bought a glycee (explained to me as French for "bullshit") for $450 - not bad for a framed oil beauty. the artist took the original, scanned and inkjetted it onto canvas, (which I think is the typical meaning of glycee) then painted over it -- kind of a fancy paint-by-numbers. a lot of the painters are doing glycee now; it's an easy way to make high quality reproductions. of course I really prefer looking at originals. btw, I'm working on a painting now myself; that's the real value of talking w/other artists (do you like how I throw myself into with that group now :-)

Friday, July 29, 2005

space(time), the final frontier...

forget the space shuttle for a moment. I watched "Planet of the Apes" last night w/the boys. as I explained to them, "it is a classic, meaning old but good". thought it was funny how it starts out w/Charlton Heston smoking a cigar and philosophizing in his little spaceship. really, what kind of scrubbing/filtering technology would be required to maintain breathable air on a spacecraft so that smoking would be no problem? hey, maybe thats why the air leak in Stewarts chamber caused her to age prematurely :) ...I then expounded on the possibility of time travel via near light speeds - Einsteins relativity theory in a nutshell. "no, nobody has ever done that yet" I claimed, "and it may not be possible anyway". the problem, as I recall, is the decceleration from near light speed - that is where you would lose all the big jump forward you made. but what do I know? the really laughable part of the movie was the idea that in 2000 years from now anyone (much less apes) would still be speaking and writing 20th century English. I'll stop there; I realize it's science fiction which requires a suspension of belief. it's just that good science fiction doesn't require you to suspend too much...

Monday, July 25, 2005

"Dead Man Walking", by Sister Helen Prejean

good quote from a good book (better than the movie) I'm reading :

"...In sorting out my feelings and beliefs, there is, however, one piece of moral ground of which I am absolutely certain: if I were to be murdered I would not want my murderer executed. I would not want my death avenged. Especially by government -- which can't be trusted to control its own bureaucrats or collect taxes equitably or fill a pothole, much less decide which of its citizens to kill.

Albert Camus' "Reflections on the Guillotine" is for me a moral compass on the issue of capital punishment. He wrote this essay in 1957 when the stench of Auschwitz was still in the air, and one of his cardinal points is that no government is ever innocent enough or wise enough or just enough to lay claim to so absolute a power as death.

Society proceeds sovereignly to eliminate the evil ones from her midst as if she were virtue itself. Like an honorable man killing his wayward son and remarking: "Really, I didn't know what to do with him"... To assert, in any case, that a man must be absolutely cut off from society because he is absolutely evil amounts to saying society is absolutely good, and no one in his right mind will believe this today.

Camus addresses the moral contradiction inherent in a policy which imitates the violence it claims to abhor, a violence, he says, made more grievous by premeditation:
Many laws consider a premeditated crime more serious than a crime of pure violence.... For there to be equivalence, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death upon him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life."

...something to consider when you are trying to make up your own mind about the death penalty.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Bobby Martin, comedian

Bobby Martin is an imaginary comedian invented by my seven year old son. Bobby Martin has became famous for his incredibly bad jokes. Only Bobby Martin could ever get away with telling these jokes and boy did he. He filled the clubs and as Zach says, "the audience went 'HA HA HA' all the way home". The jokes are so bad, it's funny -- it's like the joke is on you for falling for his routine; but the audience always does; the laughter is so infectious that you can't help but be taken in by it yourself. A little alcohol consumption doesn't hurt neither. Like William Hung before him, Bobby Martin is a modern urban legend in the making. I've already heard someone say "sounds like a Bobby Martin joke" or a "B.M. joke" for short. Only Bobby Martin can tell jokes that stupid and get away with it. Where did Bobby Martin come from and how did he become so popular? Is it just a fluke, an alignment of the stars, his 15 minutes of fame? I conjectured maybe he's related to Steve Martin, or maybe Dean Martin? Or both? Dunno, but someone told me they thought Bobby Martin was black. Could be, why not? I know, you want hear a Bobby Martin joke, right? Maybe I'll share later, OK? Surely you've got some Bobby Martin jokes of your own or rumors about Bobby you'd like to spill? Please add a comment below and help spread the Bobby Martin legend!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

vacation pics...

just got back yesterday from a great trip to Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. saw a lot of sights and had fun at a great wedding in Driggs/Grand Targhee. see the slide show (link above) for some highlights; I'll try to get motivated and write more about it latah...