Thursday, December 29, 2011

Image for December 28, 2011 - AKAN!!!!

I'm trying to finish off a little sketchbook that I've been carrying around for way too long. It's filled with mini-portraits of surrealist artists and African masks. Recently while catching up on the ever-growing pile of New Yorker magazines on the bed stand, I read a wonderfully enthusiastic review by Peter Schjeldahl of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of African masks. One of the mask images accompanying the article caught my eye and I had to add him to my sketchbook. This drawing is rough three inches high. I included an extra enlarged image because I love looking at the texture of the pen marks.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Image for December 26, 2011 - 700 Miles and Counting...

This photo is actually from yesterday, but no matter, I'll be hiking again today too. I took this just at the moment when I completed my seven hundredth mile for 2011 thus accomplishing my hiking goal. I pulled a seven mile walk yesterday that left my total at seven hundred and three miles and will add a bit more to it before this year is done. I am pondering now whether to increase my goal from seven hundred to say, seven fifty, but we will see.

This has been a good year of hiking. I had the opportunity to hike in several different states including Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Wisconsin and Florida, not to mention one overseas excursion to Scotland. I've had the chance to walk with a lot of my friends, some of whom aren't regular hikers, but I'm always trying to convert folks to the walking life so I'll always have companions for the trail. No point taking a journey if you don't have a friend or two to share it with.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas 2011

Our Christmas card for 2011. Merry Christmas to all! I wish you health and peace and love.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Image for December 23, 2011

Click image for larger size
...and so, two days before Xmas and I'm posting a sketch I did of Edgar Allen Poe, go figure. I did this as a warm up for the Monster Drawing Rally event at 1708 gallery in Richmond, Va a couple of weeks back. I had some fun with this portrait, pushing the asymmetrical quality of Poe's face and exaggerated the size and shape of his head. I think I'll be doing another drawing or two of Poe, something more detailed as I just like his face. He also has a haunted, slightly crazy look in his eye that I find compelling. Kinda how I feel about the Holiday Season about now. Merry Ho-Ho!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Monster Drawing Rally - December 10, 2011

Ralf and I throw down
Today was a great day because it was Monster Drawing Rally day at the 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA. The premise is simple, invite a bunch of artists to draw in one hour shifts and donate their efforts to the gallery, which in turn sells the art at $65 a pop as a fund-raiser for this most excellent non-profit creative space. I did the event for the first time and was a bit nervous drawing in front of people and under a time limit to boot, but actually found the boundaries actually had a freeing affect. This year, I couldn't wait for the big day, which was originally back in August, but Hurricane Irene ruined that, so it was moved to today. An old friend from way back in the underground comix days, Ralf Schulze (of Zombie Vomit and Dinky-Doo fame, check out his blog) joined me this year. That is he and I in the top photo, Ralf is on the right. My first big drawing was called "Edgar Allen Poe VS. The Brain Eating Microbe" and some one from the Poe Museum in Richmond stopped by to look at it. I'll post a clearer image of the drawing in a later post. Several Richmond friends came out in support and it was wonderful to see so many old friends that I haven't seen in so long. Mark your calendars and come on out next year!


PS- My friend Casey Gwinn took the photos. Check out his photo-blog COGfoto!

Me and my drawing "Edgar Allen Poe VS. The Brain Eating Microbe

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Image for December 7, 2011 - Hello Rudolph!

I got out for a quick two mile walk after work tonight. The air was full of wild energy because a storm front was moving in. The winds were whipping the trees around. Many of the houses in the neighborhood are well decorated with Xmas lights. There seem to be more then last year, which I take as a good sign that things are getting better. One yard had a lovely herd of reindeer lights with Rudolph in the lead. Guide us through the gloom Rudolph!


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Image for December 6, 2011 - Xmas Card Blast From the Past!

Way back in 1994, before the internets (well, before the net was available to "normal" people) and Facebook and all this new fangled crap that makes our lives so extra special these days, I would send out post cards to invite folks to art shows or, in this case, to celebrate a holiday. I made this card exactly seventeen years ago today. Made it by hand, no Photoshop kids, just me and an X-acto knife and a glue stick. That's not a photo of me, but an image that I found somewhere and added my style of facial hair. Funny thing is, re-reading this card all these years later, I'm still not ready for Xmas... OK HW

Note- click images to enlarge.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Image for December 3, 2011 - How These Things Get Done...

I have mentioned on here from time-to-time about a project I am working on to collect my old underground comic from the late 1980s called "Reluctant Sadist". Considering the glacial pace that I have been moving on this project, I should just call it "RELUCTANT" and turn it into a performance art piece. I was going great guns gathering materials and scanning all the art work and contacting folks from the past securing permissions to use their words and images and then I came to the hard part of the project; ACTUALLY WRITING THE DAMN THING. Through the years, I have grown lazy in my creative work habits and throw on top of that distractions like the internets and the sad result is not much to show. Part of my problem too is I haven't been able sustain the effort. Sure, I have been able to achieve little victories here and there, but then I'll have a gap of months with no work and I lose the flavor of the thing. Today, I decided to commit to half an hour a day to the project, even if it's just research or reading, I need to keep my ass in the chair with the materials in front of me for that thirty minutes. Now, that doesn't sound like a lot of time, but you'd be surprised at how much can be accomplished in those thirty minutes. I also find that I often work well beyond that period, as I did today, because the hardest part for me is often just getting started. Here's my work table, I need to spread out. I also have three different notebooks open for other notes because I usually get ideas for other projects; short movies, comix stories, this year's Xmas card, etc; and I make sure to capture them all.  I also took this photo to document how I work, as I enjoy seeing other people's work and studio spaces. What's your workspace look like?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Image for November 27, 2011 - The Wagoma-Babuye

The day started with a little quiet drawing time. I've always been attracted to African masks. They are mysterious and powerful objects. I am ignorant of African tribal history, so I make my choices purely on gut-reaction. I picked this one because I thought it was funny (no disrespect to the Wagoma-Babuye of Zaire). Woooooooo-wooooooo-wooo...


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Image for November 26, 2011 - The Santa Menace

Here he comes, are you ready? That Ho-Ho happy man that will make you empty your wallet, maybe even go into debt. He'll make you eat too much and drink too much and surf up long-lusted for childhood toys on ebay. His massive, unavoidable form will obliterate everything else and even though you have the best intentions to do things different this year, ultimately, it never works, so you find yourself shellshocked and whimpering into your eggnog while watching It's a Wonderful Life [Blu-ray] for the hundredth time. It's OK really, because I'm right there with you. I have a love-hate relation with the bearded one and the season. My favorite part is decorating the tree. I still feel that glow of happiness as we transform our living room into a mini-shrine of Xmas joy. Still do the stockings. Still hang-up the Xmas cards. Once all the gifts are bought, wrapped and shipped, I can settle down and enjoy the madness.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Image for November 23, 2011 - I Love Fall

I got out for a seven mile hike today. It rained in the early morning and stayed gray and a little gloomy even after the rains moved out. That was fine by me because I love fall. I love the gloomy weather, the leaves turning color and falling, blowing in the wind. Sometime I even love the shorter days. The long nights are good for curling up and reading or watching old movies. Fall always makes me nostalgic, and memories of old friends, some now gone from this world, play through my mind and remind me that our time here is short. I came across this leaf on the walking path and nearly passed it by as the heart-shape is over done, but then I turned around and snapped this shot. I did it because I needed a sign, something positive and hopeful. Another reminder that there is always love in the world, I just have to see it.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Image for 11-17-11 - OZZY!

Quick, pop quiz, what four-letter word would you choose to immortalize in concrete? Whatever it is, I'd be surprised if it was "OZZY". This bit of sidewalk graffiti is on a driveway along one of my regular walking routes. I always look at it and wonder how old it is and who did it. My guess is it was a teen-aged male, probably a loner who wore glasses and didn't get along with his Dad. Oh yeah, and he was a virgin, which is telegraphed by the bold underlining. I'm curious if whom ever scrawled that tribute is still around and visits their handy work. Do they still listen to Ozzy? Are they are the "Crazy Train"?


Monday, November 07, 2011

A Good Weekend It Was...

I have gotten out of the groove with posting. Plenty going on, I have just been lazy about getting anything on here. Let's catch up.

November 4, 2011

Friday was a blustery day with heavy winds coming right out of the north. It was almost like a Nor-easter, but no rain. The Chesapeake Bay was heaving with six foot waves that crashed right up to the seawall of the homes on the beach.

November 5, 2011

The winds were still blowing when I got up Saturday morning. The day started out good with a solid seven mile hike, but when I got home and took a shower, the water stopped going down the drain. Drag. I tried a few things to clear the line, but no joy, so I had to call in the big guns. We went with Roto-rooter and they sent a friendly guy named Robert out who worked hard to clear the drain and succeed after wrestling with getting that snake down the clean-out pipe. That wasn't how I meant to spend my day, but it had to be done. The joys of being a homeowner.

November 6, 2011

Today began with an extra hour courtesy of daylight savings. Newspaper in bed, then a big breakfast. With my hiking goal looming (I have 101 miles left on 700 miles by year's end), I laced up the boots and hit my usual seven mile route. The sun was shining and the winds had died down from the last couple of days. The trees around here are in full autumn blaze. I love me some fall.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Image for October 21, 2011 - Early Morning Beach Hike

I got up early today and got a quick two mile hike in on the beach. Now that the warm weather is done, the beach has been abandoned to the joggers and dog owners and wanders. I had Peter Gabriel's soundtrack from "The Last Temptation  of Christ" (The Passion) on the iPod and it was the perfect way to start this weekend. I am off today, taking a long weekend.

I also came across this huge jellyfish washed up on the beach. The low morning sun made it's transparent shape looked like some alien being, at least to my mind.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Friend of a Monkey is a Friend of Mine...

I am an animal lover. I particularly love primates of all kinds. Monkeys, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, big, small, tail, no-tail, doesn't matter, I feel a special connection to our hairy little siblings. A couple of years ago, I stumbled across an article about the good folks at the Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Florida. Their mission is to,
"...provide permanent, high-quality sanctuary care for abused or unwanted New World primates from around the United States who have been cast-off from the pet trade, retired from research, or confiscated by authorities."
Monkey's are highly intelligent and social beings, so it breaks my heart to read on the web site some of the sad, cruel experiences that they experienced before they found their way to the sanctuary. This year I decided to sponsor a monkey, Miki-Moo and have added Jungle Friends to my list of worthy causes. If you have read this far, then you know what's coming, I know times are tight, but consider throwing these folks a few bucks. They do good work and deserve the support.

I'll leave you with a little monkey video from the Jungle Friends web site and a quote from the comedian Steven Wright:
"If you had a million Shakespeares, could they write like a monkey?"

Friday, October 14, 2011

Double Rainbow!

This evening an intense storm rolled through the area setting off the severe weather robots on the radio and creating some groovy patterns on the Doppler radar. At one point the angry clouds parted and the sky took on a weird peachy hue. I looked out the front window and was greeted by the sight of a rainbow, so clear and vibrant that I pulled my shoes, grabbed the camera and ran outside. It was a full rainbow, with well-defined ends going to the horizon on both sides. Then I noticed the faint ghost of a second arc on the outside of the main rainbow. SCORE! DOUBLE RAINBOW!
I quickly took some pictures and then flipped the camera into video mode because I couldn't get the entire rainbow in one shot. My camera work leaves a little to be desired, but I think the video captures the moment much better then the still does. A few minutes after I shot this, the rainbow was completely gone, leaving only a small lesson behind. The magic doesn't last forever, so grab it when you can,


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Monstrous Weekend

Little Eddie Commands!
Last Saturday I stopped in to MONSTER FEST, a one day monster movie gathering in Chesapeake, Va. It is a sweet, old-school event that is more interested in Frankenstein and Godzilla and Wolfman, then the latest torture porn crap that serves as a horror film these days. They have a costume contest for the kids, young and old and do an all-night movie marathon and of course panel discussions on everything from how to write a horror novel to documentaries on horror show hosts like Dr. Madblood and The Bowman Body. It always takes me back to my childhood of staying up late to watch the old Universal horror films and rainy afternoons pouring over Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

 One of my favorite things this year was getting to see a replica of the Munsters Koach! This full-size, street legal beauty was built by Rucker Posey out of Richmond, Va and he's also built the other Munster rides. Check out his web site for more info. Rob Floyd and the other folks who organize MONSTER FEST did a great job this year. It's a great way to kick-off October and the Halloween season.


Munsters Koach

Monday, September 26, 2011

Image for September 26, 2011 - A Long, Soggy Hike

The Osprey Trail, First Landing State Park
I got out over the weekend for an extra long hike of twelve miles. It's been too long since I've challenged myself on the trail. All the two and five and seven mile hikes are fine, but the longer hikes are another game all together. Different pains can develop, this time the ankles are still sore. Mentally, twelve miles or more can be much more difficult as doubts creep in and can sap your energy. My strategy for handling long distances is to look at the map and break the trail into parts and create smaller, digestible chunks. There's an old saying, "When you eat an elephant, start with the tail." I like to design-in a series of little victories that I can swing from and build upon if the hike is more difficult then I expect.

Saturday's hike was a familiar one, though I had never done it from the Virginia Beach Ocean Front to home, always left from the house and headed east. It was a rainy, super humid day and I had the rain gear deployed for what good it did. I have yet to find rain gear that will keep the weather off of me, but will breath enough so that I'm not stewing in my own sweat ten minutes into the hike. One thing I've learned about hiking in the rain, is you can only get but so wet. No need to bitch about it, just pull up and the hood and start swinging your boots. The first part of the hike took me through First Landing State Park, or as we locals call it Seashore State Park. I took the Long Creek trail into the woods, then branched off for a bit on the Osprey trail to enjoy the shore line and to take in the biggest hill climb in the park, before rejoining the Long Creek Trail. One benefit of hiking in the rain is having the trail to myself and that was true except for one lone jogger and a couple of kayakers to break the solitude. Coming out of the park, I picked up the Cape Henry Bike Path and felt like a caveman shocked at the rush of traffic on Great Neck Rd. One aspect of this hike that I enjoy is the variety of environments that are traversed; from forest to suburbs and the option of a beach hike at the end. This time the rain and wind kept me off the beach, so when I came over the Lessner Bridge, I stayed along the road and picked up an extra mile or so detouring through Bayville Park. In a little over three hours, I had made it home. Soggier for my efforts, but with a renewed spirit and confidence that the next time I'm off for a hiking adventure in Scotland or wherever that I'll have what it takes to go the distance.

Happy Trails!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Belated Birthday BILL MURRAY!

It was Bill Murray's sixty-first birthday yesterday! His humor has meant a lot to me through the years and he's still one of my favorite actor/comedians. I grew up watching Saturday Night Live, started watching it live from the first episode. Bill Murray started as a writer on the show and made the cast in the third season when Chevy Chase left. Here's a clip of Bill doing his Nick The Lounge Singer schtick. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Image for September 21, 2011 - Public Service Announcement

I was behind this truck while driving home and had to grab a photo of this gentlemen's message to the world that he has carefully spelled out in little metallic mailbox letters. The message reads:


Now, I am puzzled. Is he "The Best" and if so, wouldn't he have a nicer truck if he were? Perhaps he's a minion for "The Best" and is required to communicate his master's philosophy to us all?

I occasionally see these kind of homespun mini-billboards on the backs of vehicles, usually very old, poorly maintained vans or trucks. The message topics generally are religious, but a few are of the macho variety like this one. They are always on men's vehicles, I have never seen a woman riding around with some odd quip sloppy applied to their ride, so a point for women.


Monday, September 19, 2011

500 miles

It was a lovely gray, fall-like day today and I hiked six miles. Those six miles brought me to five hundred miles total so far for the year. My goal is seven hundred miles. Just two hundred miles to go. I'm coming into my favorite season to hike, fall and I look forward to chasing down each and everyone of those miles. I am thinking ahead into the new year and it may be time to go big. There are some dreams that need to be pursued. What else is there?


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hill Billy Highway Book Cover Design

My buddy Chad Nance of Weird Load Nation fame has a book coming out soon called "Hill Billy Highway". It's a Thompsonesque (as in Hunter S.) take on the South and politics and wild living. Chad approached me a couple of months ago to come up with some cover designs for him. I was glad to give it a try, been a while since I have had a fun design project. This was not my first book cover having done one for my Uncle Gunnard a few years back for his mystery book "The North Shore". Lucky for Chad (and me), I had a wealth of great photos to work from provided by our mutual friend,  Casey Gwinn. Not only is Casey a great photographer, but he was Chad's sidekick and documented many of the adventures described in the tome. Casey also does a blog of his photos called COGfoto check it out. I believe there may also be photos from one or two other folks used in the final design you see pictured, so Casey or Chad, weigh-in with a comment and give credit where it is due. Now, I need to get back to work on my own book...


UPDATE - Just confirmed, "Hill Billy Highway" will be released October 1, 2011!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Image for September 14, 2011 - Save the Turtles!

I've been having lots of wildlife encounters lately, maybe it's the time of year or maybe it's because I'm always on the lookout. In this case, I came across this tiny, baby snapping turtle in the middle of a sidewalk, nowhere near water or the woods. He was a sweet little guy, didn't move much. I couldn't tell if he was playing dead or was really not feeling well. I do know that I wasn't going to leave him on the sidewalk where he'd likely get stepped on, so I mounted a rescue effort and drove him to a nearby marsh and put him by the water. I tried to give him a fighting chance at life.

Now, let me tell you the story about the time I found a baby snake in my kitchen...


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Image for September 12, 2011 - Bigfoot's on the Loose!

Was out the other day and came across this suspicious footprint. Just for reference, that is my foot for comparison and I wear a size eleven. My god, whatever left that track must be HUGE!


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Image for September 6, 2011 - The Last Picture Show

Tonight I was out doing a little shopping and went by Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach and saw a demolition crew working hard on the back corner of the complex taking down the former Regal Cinema Eight movie theaters. There is another Regal cinema right across the street that gets all the first run films and blockbusters. The old Pembroke theaters would get the big movies after they had been out for a month and the crap horror movies and "urban" comedies and weird stuff that might play one week before disappearing.  I have no sentimental attachment to that particular movie house, it was just another charmless, corporate box, but I did see a lot of movies there. The most memorable was probably "28 Days Later", not so much because of the film itself (though it is a great film), but because some moron in the audience took a cell phone call in the middle of the movie and answered in a normal, full voiced volume that instantly drew the ire of the crowd, myself included. The clueless person kept talking, now defiant and the crowd piled on, with yells of "SHUT UP!" and "TAKE IT OUTSIDE!". The lady (I use the term loosely) finally finished her call and shouted back, "Y'all need to be shutting up!", prompting one more round of verbal abuse from the mob, before everyone quieted down and we all settled back into Danny Boyle's savage zombie epoch.

Here's an incomplete list of movies I saw at the now gone Regal Pembroke Eight:

  • 28 Days Later
  • Solaris
  • Predators
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • The Mist
There were many more, but that's all that comes to mind right now.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Image for August 31, 2011 - Don't Tread on Me

While securing the yard before the hurricane, I found this snake coiled up underneath one of the clay pots. It was small, about as big around as my little finger. It was so still when I first noticed it, that I thought it might be dead. Then I noticed what I thought were eggs around it and considered that maybe it was a momma sitting in her nest. With Irene approaching, I decided I couldn't leave this serpent to the elements, so I put another clay pot back over her, making sure to leave a little escape tunnel. Now that I'm looking at the photo and can study this snake in more detail, I got to wonder, is this a rattler? The end of the tale is there was nothing under the pot when I checked later.  No snake, no eggs only new knowledge that I need to be careful where I poke around in my yard.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Image for August 29, 2011 - The Aftermath

So the sun did come up Sunday morning as the last dregs of Irene drained from the sky to our north. We woke-up to no power (expected) and a yard carpeted in small branches and leaves. I set the grill up so we could make some coffee and breakfast, then we set to the task to return our life back to normal. The air was clean and bright like an Edward Hopper painting and my gal and I were glad to be alive. All things considered, we got damn lucky. We finished our chores and got out on the beach for a long walk. It was the perfect day to walk along the shore. Irene left the beach, packed, flat and wide and it seemed everyone was out enjoying the calm. Came across this pelican dead on the sand. Can only guess that the storm was too much for the old boy and the wind dropped him here. A sad reminder that lives were lost in this storm, five in our area alone. No one I knew took any serious hit, in fact most didn't even lose power (we are still without power as of this morning, but a minor hassle). I'm grateful to be done with last week, a week that brought us an earthquake and hurricane. Here's hoping that September is more peaceful.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene - Noon Report from the Front Line!

Here's the second video. I ventured out and across the street. A little lull right now, but lots more weather to come!


Hurricane Irene - First video update

Here is my first video posting on the storm.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Image for 8-26-2011 - Hello Irene...

 Here's the current Weather Underground WunderMap of the approaching Hurricane, Irene. It's been a few years since we've had to ride out a storm threat like this. The last couple of big hits have been Nor-easters that can be every bit as bad as a hurricane. We are staying in our beach house across the street from the Chesapeake Bay. If the storm were a strong three or higher, we would be hightailing it to the mountains. As it is, we'll ride this one out; have all the supplies and are ready for whatever Irene can throw at us. I took a couple of "before the storm" photos of the beach and the houses across the street that will take the full fury of the storm. I'll get the "after" photos Sunday and post'em. We are all hoping for a few down branches to clean up on Sunday and a brief power outage, but know that it'll probably be worse then that. To any of my friends in the path of this monster, be safe, no surfing, stay away from the windows and keep that supply of SPAM and liquor handy (same plan as the zombie apocalypse). I'll check-in after the storm has moved on.

All the best!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Bukowski

Hank would have been 91 today. It's amazing he lasted as long as he did considering how hard he tried to end sooner. I stumbled on Bukowski through a great article about him in Film Comment magazine when "Barfly" was coming out and it made me curious enough to get one of his books, "Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame" and it branded my vision. The older I get, the more I understand what he laid down. There is a directness and truth to his writing that never fails to pierce my soul and help burn the bullshit away. Here's a little taste of Hank reading "dinosauria, we". Reminds me of Leonard Cohen's "The Future". Get a good jar of the red, close your eyes and listen to this:


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Images for August 15, 2011 - Bring Out the Gimp

Here's another sculpture I did many years ago. He was one of a series of little busts that I sketched up in Sculpey, a polymer clay. I usually painted them with acrylic paints, but this one was never painted. I recently was surfing up what other artist are doing with Sculpey and found a whole group doing some fantastic sci-fi and fantasy genre stuff. One of my favorites are The Shiflett Brothers. Their work continues the same epic sense of adventure and power that painters like Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo are so well-known for. Looking at their work and going back and reexamining my own from back-in-the-day, is making me a little itchy to push some clay around again...


Monday, August 15, 2011

Images for August 14, 2011 - African Mask Drawing

Got a little drawing done today. I have to get my skills sharpen in anticipation for the Monster Drawing Rally in Richmond at the 1708 Gallery later this month.

This is a "Gabun, Bakota figure" that I drew from an old book titled, "Primitive Art: It's Traditions and Styles". I like this piece because it is so abstract and alien. After finishing the drawing I noticed how asymmetrical the main form is of my version  compared to the original and I'm OK with that. The aim of the exercise was not to perfectly replicate the photograph; I may have well just scanned the photo and posted that, instead I wanted to filter it through my hand, brain and heart and see what happened.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Images for August 10, 2011 - The Amazing Hypno-Man

Stare deep into my eyes...Deeper, DEEPER. Yes, that is better. Your eye lids are growing heavy, heavier, really dang heavy. BAM yo ass should be asleep.

Beware the Amazing Hypno-Man! You never know when he'll strike next!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Images for August 9, 2011 - The Cement Pond

Today at work I got to participate in a little piece of NASA history. The "Hydro Impact Basin" or HIB the new big pool that's being used for Orion testing, was officially declared open. It was an unpleasantly hot and humid day, but that only encouraged the many visiting dignitaries to keep their speeches brief.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the official NASA Langley article on the event. If you watch the video, you can catch a glimpse of me in the crowd shot right after the ribbon cutting at :35 (I'm kneeling, taking a photo, a little off to the left and wearing a plaid shirt).

Here are a few of my shots from the event:

My pal Rob video-taping the event.
That's the HIB or "cement pond" behind him.

Lining up for the cut are Lesa Roe (LaRC Center Director)
and some politicians including Bobby Scott.

And that's a wrap!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Billy Price Band

Another Saturday night and more live music at The Jewish Mother's new location in the Hilltop area of Virginia Beach. Some friends called and invited us to go with them to see "The Billy Price Band" yesterday. I wasn't familiar with Mr. Price's sound, but I trust my friend's fine taste in good music, plus it was Saturday night, so what the hell. The risk was greatly rewarded by a show that rocked my soul and made me an instant fan. Billy Price's heart-felt blues and R&B grooves were just what I needed after a long week of weirdness and worry at work and in the world. Judging from how the crowd danced and partied through song-after-song, I don't think I was the only one needing their spiritual batteries recharged and Billy Price and his fantastic band definitely carried that load. The Jewish Mother's new Hilltop location (formerly Steppin' Out) has quickly become my favorite place to catch live music because of the fabulous and clear sound quality, the comfortable sitting and great food. Watching Billy Price work the stage and crowd with his old-time preacher-like gestures that were polished yet sincere, made me feel like I had slipped through a time tunnel back to an era of nightclubs and entertainers and new good times, not some snarky, post-modern grasp at authenticity. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera with me to grab my image-of-the-day, so here is a bit of video pulled from YouTube of "Nickel and a Nail", my favorite song from the show last night, though I must say, it was a hard to choose. Enjoy and if you see that "The Billy Price Band" is coming to your part of the world, do yourself a favor and get on down there for some heart-healing blues...


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Image for July 30, 2011 - The Kill Circuit

This is my friend EJ and he's in a great rock band called "The Kill Circuit". They played at the new Jewish Mother in Virginia Beach tonight and they blew the joint right on up. This is the fourth or fifth time that I've seen them and this was their best show by far. The sound was great, the lads were tight and swinging it hard. They get better with every show. Check'em out sometime.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Image for July 29, 2011 - Little Gifts

Sometimes the universe gives us little gifts. Today's gift for me was having a rather large dragonfly land on a fence, two feet from me. He (I always think of dragonflies as "He's") hung out for a few minutes and let me snap some photos with my phone camera. I got to commune with him and study his beautiful coloring and intricate, exquisite head. Fly on brother dragonfly!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Image for July 27, 2011 - Ekpo Mask Drawing

Been too long since I spilled some ink in the little sketchbook. This was drawn out of a book of African Masks. This mask was too crazy to ignore; reminded me of Bootsy Collins. It is a tiny drawing, less then two inches high. It felt good to make some art, no matter how small.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Image for July 26, 2011 - Pink Cadillac

I actually took this Sunday, not today, but it's too good not to share. I spent part of that day rolling around in fine retro style in the back of this limping pimp wagon on a tour of Virginia's wine country. It was all to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday (who's name will remain a secret in case he wants to pass younger). There were six of us crammed into the well-worn cabin of this relic from a Barry White fever dream. There was a bar and phone and even a cassette deck in the back there! All was great until the brake light came on and the tour company thought better then to risk a limo full of paying customers on the mountain roads, and sent out a replacement mini-van. It was fun while it lasted.


Thai-Mex in the Mountains of Virginia

I shot this weird little shrine in a Thai-Mex Restaurant in the mountains of Virginia off 151. Was just in for a quick beer while waiting for some carry-out pizza. The menu in this place was intriguing with smells from the kitchen to match. Next time...


Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Can't Wait for October 16th

I really enjoyed the first season of "Walking Dead" last year. Today, thanks' to the San Diego Comic-Con, AMC released the first trailer for season two. Looks fantastic and nothing like the comic book it was based on. Enjoy, OK HW

Friday, July 22, 2011

Image for July 21, 2011 - Orion Splash Down!

Today I got to exercise one of the very cool fringe benefits of my job. I got to witness first hand a splash test of the next generation space vehicle, the Orion. It looks very similar to the Apollo capsule and would have a water landing, so today they were testing that aspect of the design. It was stupid hot out by the Gantry where they drop stuff to see what happens and the test was a bit late, but well worth the wait. I missed the moment of impact, so have included a shot that the Langley Office of Public Affairs posted on Twitter of the splash. Here's my shots.

The 22,000 lb. Orion/MPCV test article does make a big splash... on Twitpic
Courtesy of NASA Langley OPA