Archive for the ‘True Stories’ Category


Thursday, 26 November 2015


In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

There were several observations of Thanksgiving. Those who observed them thanked Providence that they survived the previous year and reaped a bounty crop large enough to hold them through the coming Winter – with some to share.

May we remember and revere the true purpose and intent of Thanksgiving.

[Image and quote from here.]

Saturday Matinee – Harrier Lands Sans Nose Gear, El Mariachi Manchester & Bad Manners

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Harriers are awesome… and scary as hell if you happen to be the enemy. You hear its death whistle before you see it.

El Mariachi Manchester covers The Smiths‘ “Girl in a Coma” with a poco mariachi, poco ska style. (The trumpet player is using a Harmon mute and Bunkessa said the singer looks like me).

Since I’m in a ska mood, let’s wrap it up with this.

Bad Manners first hooked me with their cover of Millie Small‘s 1964 hit “My Boy Lollipop” which was a cover of a song written by Robert Spencer of The Cadillacs and recorded by Bobbie Gaye in 1956 (according to Wiki).  Bad Manners also recorded one of the prettiest reggae love songs ever in my opinion: “Samson and Delilah.”

So let’s wrap up this babozo with a full dose of British Ska.

Have a great weekend, folks, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow whether you like it or not.

819 Yonge (SE corner of Church)

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

dead raccoon 1dead raccoon 2dead raccoon 3dead raccoon 4dead raccoon 5dead raccoon 6

[Found here, and the Twitter hashtag‘s still up.]

Trilobite Fossil Face Up

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

trilobite fossil

We found a lot of these little fossilized buggers along shale creek beds in Ohio, and fossil shops sold them for a quarter to fifty cents. I’d never seen the underside.

[Found here, with more links than you can imagine.]

On The Border.

Thursday, 12 November 2015


A section of the controversial US-Mexico border fence expansion project crosses previously pristine desert sands at sunrise on March 14, 2009, between Yuma, Arizona and Calexico, California. The barrier stands 15 feet tall and sits on top of the sand so it can lifted by a machine and repositioned whenever the migrating desert dunes begin to bury it. The almost seven miles of floating fence cost about $6 million per mile to build.

[Image found in here. Caption from here.]

[soapbox ap enabled]

I love the choices of phrase: “controversial… fence” and “previously pristine desert,” and the words “almost” and “about.” There’s nothing controversial about a sovereign nation protecting her borders with a fence or otherwise, and the desert is so pristine that it’s relatively devoid of flora and fauna. It’s pure pristine desolation.

Reports vary as to the the border fence height (15-20 feet), the length and the cost; however, local law enforcement says that it works, and that arrests of drug smugglers and “coyotes” along the Yuma border have dropped from 800 per day down to only 15 – a reduction of over 98 per cent in illegal traffic since 2005.

It also translates to a huge reduction in the related costs of apprehending illegals, detaining and housing them, conducting legal hearings and deportations, and it cripples the Mexican drug cartels as a bonus.

Border fences through accessible regions makes simple economical sense, especially in the long term. How do we pay for it? Reduce the annual budget for the NSA by only 1.5 percent each year for the next 10 years.

Then, if a low skilled workforce is still needed, we revive the successful Bracero Program and ensure that the workers don’t get chumped.

[soapbox ap deactivated]

I like the photo. It looks like the work of Christo, only more functional.


Thursday, 5 November 2015

“Master Dali, The Principal will see you now.”

[Image found in here.]

There’s nothing wrong with that student’s sketch, because it has little to do with artwork. Duplicating individual squares of a grid is a geometric exercise in hand-eye coordination and nothing more.

On the other hand, the sketch is awesome. Ignore the grid and mock the assignment. Realism is what cameras are for.


The key to drawing is to sketch what you see, not what you think you see. Forget what it is you’re trying to draw, squint your eyes and sketch out the dark spots, then add the medium spots. The white spots will figure it out on their own.

Look at a tree. It’s not a flat lollipop, and when you draw it, make sure there are holes in it for the birds to fly through.

Grampa Strutts gave me that advice a long time ago. Then he showed me this book. Download a copy before it’s gone and study it. It’s Beyond the Valley of Awesome.

[Related post here.]

Saturday Matinee – Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve & Halloween: Bobby Pickett, Ted Cassidy & Tom Waits

Saturday, 31 October 2015

The history of Samhain (aka All Hallow’s Eve, aka Halloween) is interesting, and despite what some claim (that it’s “The Devil’s Holiday”) it’s actually the opposite. Check this out.

But that’s not what we’re here for, and we’re not here to post Bobby Pickett‘s “Monster Mash” either even though Leon Russell played on that recording according to Wiki.

Nice try, Bobby, but that sucked donkeys. Ted Cassidy did it right.

So how do we wrap up this Halloween vid post? How ’bout some Tom Waits?

Yeah, when the kids were tads, we’d do up the front stoop right, with spiderwebs, pumpkins that made little kids cry and dogs bark, and blast Tom Waits and Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum cassettes on a boom box that could be heard for blocks. Fun times.

Have a safe Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, and Halloween, folks. Be back tomorrow for El Día de los Muertes.


Autumn in Røros

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Autumn in Norway

Looks like about 3PM in Røros, Norway, time for the evening commute.

[Found here.]

Emilio Arechaederra 1936-2015

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Emilio Arechaederra Sr. charcoal

Emilio was born in Havana, Cuba. After the Cuban Revolution, Emilio fled to Spain and arrived in the U.S. in 1960. He succumbed to cancer this past week.

R.I.P. Emilio. You were one of the nicest guys I ever met.

Bicycles, Cars, Dogs & White People Not Allowed

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

No White People Withers

Photo by Ernest Withers, Overpark Zoo, Memphis, Tennessee, 1950’s.

I don’t recall having seen that particular image, but once I tracked down the source, it blew me away. Withers was not only a prolific photographer of the 50’s and 60’s, he captured some of the most iconic images of of his time. Check it out.

[Cropped image received via email, original posted above.
Hat tip AlanU.]


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