Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thanks All!

The Phosgene Kid immortalized in code! Check out "P-HOS a Clone" on /t.'s page, CODEPO(). Aside from hearing from you all, the biggest honors for me have been /t. creating a piece for me and Gnat gifting me with that beautiful "Blue Gnat". Don't get any better then that!!! As I have said before there is a lot of talent out there and even better - you all are sharing it with the rest of us. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Well, I can always dream...

Gone Fishin’ … I wish.

Had a pleasant visit with a couple Mrs. Phos and I met in Deutschland. Mrs. Phos knew her through work and I met the two of them later. The dude has retired from the AF and has gone on what I like to refer to as a “Gone Fishin’ Retirement” In other words isn’t working. Mrs. Phos figures I would be bored silly sitting at home, but I would sure like to give it a try. The discussion is purely academic at any rate as things being as they are I won’t be able to quit working until the day they nail the lid on the box.

If I could do a “Go Fishin’ Retirement, I do believe I might actually go fishin’. Some of my fondest memories revolved around a boat, a six-pack (or more), and a small Wisconsin lake. My brother and I spent a lot of time on Lake Five, a small lake not far from Milwaukee. There weren’t a lot of speedboats or jet skis so it was very peaceful. You could see a lot of activity on the lake, coots, herons, fishing hitting the surface (vice my lure, damn it all), and it was especially beautiful when robed in Fall colors. What we were fishing for depended on what we had on the stringer, sometimes nothing at all forcing us into a sudden death pan-fish derby. In fact Mrs. Phos is sure we never actually caught anything, despite the rather nice pike I brought home once. She figured we were just after bottle bass or bikini fish.

Despite her misgivings we were after fish. In fact we were kind of diehard about the whole thing. Whether it was dodging giant waves coming up over the breakwater on Lake Michigan, occasionally stopping after a cast to scrape the ice off the reel in early Spring, or casting into the fog and listening for the splash to figure out where the lure went, praying it didn’t stuck in the pads, we would be out fishing somewhere. I generally don’t go in for “bumper sticker philosophy”, but I saw one long ago which sums it up nicely – “the worst day of fishing is better than the best day of work.”

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day

Never Forget


Friday, May 25, 2007


A couple of Husky pictures...

Yukon being Yukon

The princess doesn't want her picture taken

Yukon reminding me it is time for dinner

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


The 2008 presidential race is already looking grim, between Mad Dog McCain and an arrogant ass who seeks to launch protests on the very day set aside to honor those who have given their lives for their country, the pickin’s are slim. It all boils down to more of the same – wealthy Washington clowns spouting the same tired dogma. It is high time for a real change in the way our government works, and definitely time for a change in the cast of characters.

We’ve hit a cool period, despite global warming – the temps have only been I the high 90’s. That is supposed to end this weekend, however. But even with the heat, a three day weekend is really welcome.

Emptying the Phone

One thing about my phone - it's a phone. As an afterthought someone added a 1/2 micro-pixel camera. If I am standing right on top of something and the light is just right I can get recognizable shapes... As I have said in the past, devices that profess ot have many functions rarely do any of them well...

Here's a couple my son sent me, much nicer subjects anyway...

And a grandpuppy that isn't too happy with the dinner situation...


Monday, May 21, 2007

The Odd Thomas Series

Forever Odd

By Dean Koontz

Forever Odd is the second installment in Dean Koontz’s Odd series. The series weaves a tale that is combination mystery, horror, and fantasy. The main character, Odd Thomas, isn’t your normal young man – he pals around with Elvis’s ghost and an obese mystery author who has Odd write all his experiences down, hence the stories. Spirits contact him with their problems, he eases their passage and sometimes helps solve the crime that led to their demise. The Sherriff of Pico Mundo is happy to have Odd’s help – most times.

One need not read the series in order, as Koontz recaps Odd’s life in each book. As could be expected by the company Odd keeps, the book has a lot of twists and thrills. In “Forever Odd” Odd Thomas had to use his uncanny talent to defeat a psychotic spiritualist who wanted to see ghosts and her henchmen to save a crippled friend. The book was suspenseful, intriguing, and tough to put down. The entire series would make excellent summer reading.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fisheye Fun

This is how my day would have looked if I were a fish.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Can't Understand What This is Doing Here...

Mrs. Phos and I were in one of the "Crap for Less" stores that tout designer clothes and decorative items. It is kind of the the Island of misfit crap.

I found this statuette and several questions came to mind:

Who would make the thing in the first place?
Who would buy it?
Why did it wind up here instead of going straight to the dumpster?

I am sure every decorator in the world would love to have Chef B.J. Reacharound incorporated in their latest room.

The picture isn't very good, I used my phone and being that it is a phone amazing in that you can take pictures with it at all.

Just thought I would share...


Friday, May 18, 2007

Rockn' Out

Just a few pictures from the Deer valley Rock Art Center - here's a clue for you, it has nothing to do with music. Woody Whacker the Gnome went with us and showed little respect for the dignity of the area, but that's a tale for another day.

Yukon carries water for him and Austrella; he makes a great pack animal.

Roadrunner in the rocks. If you look carefully at the boulders to the bird's right you'll notice squiggly lines etched into the rock. This is the art in rock art. The lines were carved into the rock by Native Americans who have long since moved on.

Woody Whacker illustrates the reason why you never put your lips on the drinking fountain.

Guess who got a fisheye lens for his camera?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Belated Tag

I had been tagged by Eternally Curious and am just now getting around to responding. No excuse for my slothfulness...

Five Places I like to eat:

1. Chez Phos

Jewels had a similar answer. I like eating at home because I can control how the food is cooked, I know what has gone into the food, and there is little chance of any teen spit/hair/free range body jewelry in the food. I like loogie free food.

2. Rio El Mirage

Best Mexican food in the valley. They are opening a new restaurant in another town not far from here and it will be interesting to see if they maintain the quality.

3. Portofino's

Can't be beat for Italian food. It is a small family run restaurant so you don't get any of the usual chain crap fake Italian food.

4. Line Thai

As the name implies, excellent Thai food. The Pad Thai is most excellent

4. Thee Pits Again

Great BBQ. Ribs fall off the bone, zesty sauce - you can tell the pit master put a lot of effort into his BBQ.

5. Chen Wok

Excellent Chinese food and glory hallelujah they deliver!!

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mom's Special Day

Mother’s Day is come and gone. If you forgot your wife or mother, you are now sleeping on the couch or are out of the will, as the case may be. If you are from Arkansas, it is possible you are facing both scenarios.

Mother’s day was nice here. Kids came to visit, reuniting our pack of dingoes. Having a pack of scavengers in the house does have its advantages. Grilled a beer can chicken, made some fried rice, and steamed some broccoli. Even had one of Mrs. Phos’s Mousse cakes to commemorate the upcoming birthday of number one offspring. It is safe to say this weekend was not one marked by any weight loss. But it was fun.

Hope you all had a great Mother’s Day weekend at any rate. I get to sleep in the bed because I remembered my wife – I said it with luggage, the gift that keeps on giving…

Happy Mom’s Day to all you wives and mothers out there!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Good Morning!

Sometimes Art Just Happens…

An old adage in the Dishwashing biz, of which I was once a proud member, is that you can’t get clean dishes out of a dirty sink. What do dirty dishes have to do with art, well nothing, but the tenet in that old saw works for the fine arts as well. You can’t create a masterpiece with cheap tools and low quality media. For instance, I used to do a lot of work with watercolor. My paintings sucked. It wasn’t until I took a course and found out that if the artist uses sable brushes, 400Lbs cold pressed paper, and watercolor paint that doesn’t bear the name “Crayola”, he or she can produce some credible work. The other main factor is talent, which eludes me to this day.

The exception to this rule is Lomography, where a cheesy camera is an essential tool. Lomography is based on the Lomo, a Russian made camera with a cheap plastic lens. The point and shoot camera has to be wielded with a shoot from the hip, in your face attitude to get the proper Lomographic effect. You can use Photoshop to create some of the effects, but the spontaneity and element of chance are missing.

For some edgy photography in the Lomographic vein, check out DerMuränenBlog. Below are a couple photos I vandalized with Photoshop…

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What’s a Tree?

I had the rare opportunity to impart some of my vast tree lore upon an unsuspecting neighbor this afternoon. It was a rare opportunity because there aren’t a lot of trees in these parts. That’s why our friend the cactus wren had to make its nest in the boughs of a saguaro. Actually, it is a great place for a nest because there aren’t many predators willing to deal with the saguaro’s spines. Also, note that the bird went to a lot of trouble to recycle that plastic bag…

The winter frosts were worse than usual and left their mark on the entire neighborhood. There were very few who didn’t lose a tree or some plants to the frost. My neighbor was trying to ascertain the amount of damage to his tree and I was able to help him find the parts that had survived, despite the lack of any outward signs of life. My time spent with a friend who was working on becoming a biologist and a short stint with the forestry department in Wisconsin – another story, another time.

Cactus have to some extent filled the niche left by the dearth of trees. Our Mexican Pipe organ (Cereus v. monstrose) is one example and as a bonus, it is flowering again. I threw in the moon picture because it looked so lovely this morning. I used a Canon S3 to take the pictures.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cackleberries for Breakfast, Whistleberries for Lunch

I am making some chili for dinner. Every time I make this a song from my childhood comes back to haunt me, a song dedicated to the lowly whistle berry, or bean, as you might call it.

Beans, beans, the musical fruit,

The more you eat, the more you toot

The more you toot the better you feel

So have some beans with every meal.

Just thought I would share…

On a serious note, head over to Maydens. You may want to give the joke video a pass, but do check out the post on Candace - a baby that needs a lot of help. You can't help everyone, but you can do what you can.


Short Delay of Game

Little trouble with Blogger, apparently the Galactic Google Empire's filter sniffed a comment I was trying to make on my Blog out and determine in its infinite wisdom that the comment was SPAM. So to protect all of Googledom it put the kibosh on my site for a time. Damn Republicans.

I can't kick because what'd you want for free - rubber biscuit??


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Happy Cinco De Mayo from the United States of Mexico

Happy Cinco De Mayo, Gringo. It is indeed a gringo holiday. Actual Mexican Independence day is 16 de Septiembre. Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, where the Mexicans gave the French the boot. So pop the top on your Corona and enjoy, gringo!


Not Cleaning

Another day at Tiny House and cleaning to be done, however, I am not cleaning. I am sitting here Blogging which is an addiction to be sure.

Bush accused us of being addicted to oil, and he may have appoint, however he failed to mention how this came to pass. He and men of his ilk are oil pushers and have become so bloated on oil profits they haven’t bothered to seek any alternatives. It is the typical “make your money and get out” scenario. His statement is also a prime example of political blame passing. Unfortunately, change will come slowly. The oil industry is loath to kill the golden goose and there will be resistance from Johnny NASCAR , his wife Doretta, and their twelve children.

The neighborhood is rapidly falling into disrepair, despite the random acts of vigilantism by the HOA. I am becoming increasingly frustrated and uncomfortable living here. This comes at a bad time as normally orders come out for military folk about now. I still find myself becoming anxious around this time, ready to move on to something new. Perhaps no better than what I have, but new. This place has become stale and the promise long since worn off. One thing I have feared most has come to pass – I am stuck in one place.

On the bright side Mrs Phos gets a discount at the book store. She always has an educator discount but is limited to books for her grade level, which happens to be pre-school. Now as much as I love picture books, and I do, I do need something more challenging from time to time – say a chapter book here and there, maybe one with fewer illustrations. Anyway, this week her discount extends to any book, even the crap I read!! Katy bar the door!!

Speaking of reading, if you are looking for an interesting series, try Dean Koontz’s “Odd Thomas” series. Odd Thomas is the first in the series, then “Forever Odd” followed by “Brother Odd”. They combine mystery, horror, and science fiction. Very entertaining. I will probably do a review of them soon. As my reviews don’t seem to have a big following I will post them on a weekend when all of you, who apparently have lives, are out doing something other than staring at their monitors.



Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blogs'll be Blogs...

A Steak for Mayden

First a very belated thanks to /t. for the work he did on “Arizona” for me. It is a nice graphic and well worth a look. In fact, you’ll want to check out his entire site "codepo()". There’s a whole lot of art going on there. It never ceases to amaze me at the number of extraordinarily talented folks out there. Gnat of Glass is another one and I suspect the Purloined Plum is up and coming. For writing, my vote is for Cursed Tongue. There isn’t a link on the side I don’t consider a path to a wonderful and interesting person doing extraordinary things every day, and taking the time to share it with all of us. Click links, make new friends - doesn’t get any easier than that!

Second, my thanks to Jin. I don’t do ads on my site, but if you need a special gift for someone she is the one to turn to. I don’t have to eat any of the bakery or treats she makes – you can tell by the amount of detail that she has obviously put a lot of time and love into her work and that it will be great.

Didn’t mean to turn this into a love fest. I just enjoy dropping by the different Blogs and see what folks are up to in their lives, their art, and their loves. Ok, I am nosy, you caught me out. But where else would I be able to commune with folks down under, the arctic, Canada, Florida, Switzerland and parts unknown with a click of a mouse button? If you fear globalization, bad news – it is already at your doorstep.

Another phenomena for me is becoming attached to folks I don’t really know. FairScape is one of these people and I am here to tell you that I really miss her. If you get a chance head on over to her site and wish her well. Maybe we can drown out “Alex”.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Playing With the Camera