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Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Life is about using the whole box of crayons.
~ Ru Paul
- - - - -

When I was in kindergarten, I was coloring a picture. Somehow I think it was a picture of a rocking chair. That seems like a weird picture for kindergarteners to color, but what do I know? My degree isn't in curriculum and instruction.

Anyway, I liked bold colors. I used to push down really hard so the colors were bolder and brighter. 

One time - I think this rocking chair time - my kindergarten teacher came by and picked up my picture and said, "Look class," I thought she was going to tell everyone what a good job I did. She continued, "This is NOT the way you should be coloring. You'll break your crayons."

I said, "Look class," and pointed at my kindergarten teacher. "This is NOT the way you should teach kindergarteners. You'll break their spirit."


I didn't really say that last part. But I do blame that teacher for my failure to be a famous artist. And also for developing my resilience. 

And guess who doesn't get to boss me around about my coloring now? That's right - Miss Sassaman. I guess I showed her.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Friends are like the sunshine of life.
~ John Hay
- - - - -

Nemeses are like the sandstorms of life. 

Sandstorms of sand burrs. 


Sheesh. I hope that isn't a real kind of weather.

Monday, May 29, 2017


Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
~ George Washington
- - - - -

George - it's surprising how true those words are today - just as if not more true than when you said them. But then, you never could tell a lie.


Sunday, May 28, 2017


I think dystopian futures are also a reflection of current fears.
~ Lauren Oliver
- - - - -

Know what else is a reflection of current fears, Lauren Oliver? Not just dystopian futures, but also dystopian presents.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Style is a magic wand, and it turns to gold everything it touches.
~ Logan Pearsall Smith
- - - - -

I don't care what someone is wearing or what they look like. If they have a magic wand, give them some space. Because it could be for good things, but it could also be a black magic wand. Like the Santana song. Be careful.

Friday, May 26, 2017


Just get a bag and drop a dream in it and you'll be surprised what happens.
~ Charles Nelson Reilly
- - - - -

Other things that will surprise you if you drop them in a bag:

Water Balloon
Sleeping Bat
Awake Bat
Half-Asleep Bat

Thursday, May 25, 2017


A throne is only a bench covered in velvet.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte
- - - - -

Once upon a time there was a king who wanted the trappings of royalty without the responsibility of leading. Each day he would take something from the castle and hide it in a secret place beyond the castle walls. His plan was to eventually stockpile enough of the beautiful things that he could enjoy them in peace and leave his kingdom for someone else to rule.

He had collected nearly every item he wanted. The last thing he wanted to take was his throne. He wrapped his throne in a large beach towel and was about to cross the drawbridge when he was stopped. The knights standing guard had seen him acting suspiciously over the past few days, and when they saw him struggling with a large object, they made him halt and they searched him. They found out he was stealing from the castle, the kingdom, and - by extension - the people. 

When confronted, the king admitted what he had wrapped up in his bundle and he hung his head in shame. He tried to explain he didn't want to be king, but he wanted some of the royal items, but it was of no use. He was immediately arrested and thrown in the dungeon. 

The next day the headline in the newspaper read: 

"King: Throne in the Towel!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
- - - - -

Spring is a time when you plant and prepare for the summer ahead and then the fall.

In the case of this slightly blurry photo you can plant the seeds of nausea.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

When Marty and Carol were here we went to the Granite Museum. Except it was only open from 2-5.

"Open 2-5?!" we said in surprise to ourselves. 

The someone said, "Next time we better call ahead in case Wilbur has a dentist appointment." 

We assumed the person who ran this museum was named Wilbur. 

You could say we "took it for granite" that the museum would be open when we were there.

But don't say that. It sounds ridiculous.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand.
~ Hayley Williams
- - - - -

I'm no ecologist, but I am pretty sure I could have figured this out without the label.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


"Freshmen were assigned to upperclassmen to serve as orderlies throughout their first year.  This daily service included cleaning rooms, making beds, and running errands of all kinds.  Inadequate attention to these duties resulted in discipline - usually, as here, administered with a broom or paddle. Occasionally all the "rats" on a company hall would undergo mass discipline - events called "pep meetings" - by upperclassmen armed with paddles, coat hangers and those dreaded long-handled brooms."

Discomfort is very much part of my master plan.
~ Jonathan Lethem
- - - - -

I think a good name for a band would be "Discomfort." Except I would spell it "DISCOmfort." 

Saturday, May 20, 2017


I saw a subliminal advertising executive today, but just for a second.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

The word executive comes from the Medieval Latin exsequi which means "to carry out." That's interesting to me because I don't think in a lot of cases the executives do much carrying out. I think that's the regular people doing that.

But what do I know? I'm no executive.

But the really bad and rotten executives. The ones who go to jail (or SHOULD go to jail), we should call them something different. "Ex-executives" sounds stupid. Instead, I suggest that since those people are cons - conning people and communities out of the little that they have - because of that they are...

They are consecutives.

That's what I think.

Friday, May 19, 2017


Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
~ Albert Einstein
- - - - -

I do not remember taking this photo of this sign. And this sign seems like something that would be hard to forget. 

Other than "Jersey Boys" you don't see a ginormous plaid sign very often. Well, "Foam & Fabric," "Jersey Boys," and "Kiltmart."

Thursday, May 18, 2017


How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.
~ Anais Nin
- - - - -

"It's not until you can drive nails straight each time you swing your hammer that you will be ready to build a house," the old carpenter told the boy. The boy nodded solemnly because he was a solemn kind of boy and it was olden times when kids listened to old people.

The boy practiced and practiced and practiced. He was not good at first, but he got better. It took time - months, years even. He practiced. 

Once he would get good at driving nails in a certain way, the old carpenter would have him connect boards at different angles. Slowly but surely, the boy got better and better and better.

Then one day, the boy looked up and realized he had indeed built a house. He was so excited and happy. He ran to the old carpenter to thank him. 

"I see what you did, old carpenter! You had me build a house. You had me build a house for myself to teach myself that I could do it. To show me the value of hard work and continued effort. And now I have a house. Thank you, old carpenter. Thank you."

The old carpenter smiled at him and said, "Yes, you have built a fine house." Then the old carpenter grew serious, "But this house is for me. It is payment for all I have taught you. I get to have this house."

The boy was sad, but understood and realized that this was yet another lesson the old carpenter had taught him.

"And one more thing," the old carpenter said. The boy turned - anxious for any additional bit of wisdom the old carpenter might share.

"Don't call me old. It's rude."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Do not look too far for you will see nothing.
~ Dejan Stojakovic
- - - - -

So Aurora and I FaceTimed. With Aurora that means that I looked at the ceiling while she ran from room to room. Occasionally we did stop so she could show me some rocks. Of course she didn't really hold the rocks where I could see them, so we came up with words that rhyme with rocks. Those words consist of rocks and box and then fox and sox (to which she said "I have that book!"). But when I tried "blocks" she said that didn't rhyme, but she did have some blocks she wanted to show me. I can only assume she showed them to me because she didn't hold them where I could see it.

The moral of this story is that it doesn't matter so much where you look. It matter what you pay attention to - that's what you really see.

Also, I think that FaceTime is why they call it a ceiling (see-ling). Yep. I bet that's why. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I find that the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty.
~ Clark Kerr
- - - - -

Roger parked his bike in the same spot every day. He parked there because Gwen parked her car there whenever the spot was available. It took several weeks, but finally Roger got to his bike at the same time Gwen got to her car. He introduced himself. She introduced herself.

There was no chemistry and they didn't ever have another conversation.

But from that day on he referred to that parking place as his "parking meet her."

Roger didn't have many friends.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Within you is the light of a thousand suns.
~ Robert Adams
- - - - -

I like these medallions things. They are on light poles. They are history and cool looking and each individual in its own way. 

I would really, really like to collect them. I don't know - I just would like to collect them.

I won't, though. I don't know where I'd keep all those light poles.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
~ Ranier Maria Rilke
- - - - -

What is so terrible that could have happened to a towel?


Never mind. Towels could potentially have been through some pretty terrible stuff. 

Like the ringer.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out as good for nothing.
~ Samuel Johnson
- - - - -

I like to find quotes that go with photos that go with stories. 

Sometimes I don't have a photo to match the story or the quote.

This is one of those times. Here is the story:

I was typing to my friend and she said her daughter is full of "piss and vinegar" and she thinks her daughter gets it from her grandmother.

I said, "I heard piss and vinegar skips a generation."

Now that I am typing it here, I realized that if it was my friend's grandmother, then it would actually have had to have skipped TWO generations. That makes my funny point slightly less funny. Or somewhat more pathetically funny. 


The response I got was, "I do have a sister who is ornery."

I went to write, "Maybe she is half full of piss OR vinegar." 

I then accidentally started to type "pus and vinegar."

Now I feel yucky.

Friday, May 12, 2017


There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.
~ J. R. R. Tolkein
- - - - -

If you look up you can see the clouds and the sky. You can see the upper part of buildings. You can see people taller than you are - well, the top parts of them. I guess you can see the lower parts of them if you look down.

If you live in the upstairs part of this building you can see a lot of things, too. Like the ground. You can also see people who are below your window. You can also see - wait. You shouldn't look down on people. Not even if you live in that sweet upstairs apartment.

Why are you so snotty?

Thursday, May 11, 2017


I am sorry; I cannot help you. I am only a cookie.
~ Fortune Cookie
- - - - -

They should be called "Bakies."

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
~ Edward Abbey
- - - - -

Recently Leslie and I visited the Blue Mountains. This was our view (until it got cloudy. Or dark. It was harder to see this view in the dark). I spent part of the day we were there writing. I realized that a view while working is a good thing. 

"Why?" you ask. I find you ask me that a lot.

Anyway, for me it gives me a chance to look up and see something beautiful. If I am struggling with writing or getting ready for class or some other project, I can look out and see that I am small (thus my problems are smaller). It is a moment to relax and breathe and appreciate the world around me.

Plus I think, "If I can just finish this work I can go out and play!!"

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit.
~ John Milton
- - - - -

The other day Leslie and I were talking about Clemson. I don't remember the subject but she said something about "your school" to me. I said, "It's you're school, too!  You're the one who is going to have a degree from there. A degree and purple regalia."

She said, "I don't like the word 'regalia'. It sounds like 'genitalia'."

I said, "Yes. And it's just as precious."

I said that because it is true.  

Monday, May 8, 2017


There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
~ Bernard Williams
- - - - -

I like the night and the moon and the sky. One time we were out of town and the first night it was beautiful and the sky was clear. It was a full moon. You could see a lot of stars.

The next night it was cloudy. The wind was blowing and moving the clouds. At first I was disappointed that I couldn't see the moon and all the stars, but then wind blew the clouds and you could see some stars and you could see the moon sometimes. It was beautiful.

What I learned was that it's okay to not get what you think you want because sometimes what you get instead is better. Appreciate what you get.

Unless you order sweet and sour chicken and instead you get a lasagna. 

Also, what restaurant are you eating in?

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
~ Henry David Thoreau
- - - - -

Leslie does NOT "understand it aright."

She didn't like this moose in our cabin from a few weekends ago. I will grant her that the taxidermy job was lacking and it was sad to have killed such a small moose, but still. Leslie should have appreciated it anyway. But she didn't.

But the quote is about better alive than dead. Perhaps it is me who understands it awrong.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


The discontented man finds no easy chair.
~ Ben Franklin
- - - - -

I think this is Leslie's favorite chair. It is a good chair. It sat on the porch at her mom's house for a long time. Now it sits inside on our sun porch. It is the chair where she reads the New York Times on Sundays (when it's warm on the sun porch). It is the chair where she studies and writes sometimes.

I like this photo because of the light. The sun is shining and creating bold shadows. I like that.

You might think, "Are you going to name this photo 'Sunny and Chair'?"

No. Because that is stupid.

Friday, May 5, 2017


Is it possible, or could I have just imagined? 
Have my children by any chance 
been climbing trees today?
~ Captain Von Trapp 
- - - - -

You don't see kids climbing trees as much anymore. And you don't see them wearing curtains much anymore, either. I think it's because so many of us have blinds instead of curtains. I would think that I would definitely notice if I saw children wearing old blinds and climbing trees. I'd probably call someone about that.

After I took a few pictures.

The children in these trees aren't wearing blinds or curtains. They're wearing sheers. That's why you can't see them very well.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Of all possessions, a friend is most precious.
~ Homer
- - - - -

I don't know that I like this quote. It sort of makes it sound like you OWN your friends. You don't.

Plus, you know what is more precious than a friend? A friend made out of solid gold. Who can dance. A solid gold dancer friend.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


No one needs to tell me about the importance of the free press in a democratic society or about the essential role a newspaper can play in its community.
~ Robert F. Kennedy
- - - - -

Someone needs to tell some people about that. And by "tell" I mean TELL because they sure aren't going to go and read it.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.
~ Paul Theroux
- - - - -

When people go to new places and ask for suggestions about things to see or do, I always ask if there is an Applebee's where they're going. It accomplished two things:

1. It reminds them to go on an adventure of their own and not just rely on what random people suggest.
2. It reminds them - mmmmm. Applebee's.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
Jean-Paul Sartre
- - - - -

On a recent (eavesdropping) trip - by the way ALL of my trips are (eavesdropping) trips.  Anyway, on a recent (eavesdropping) trip I overheard a random guy say, "I smell like urgency."

I did not smell him. In fact, a good trip is one where I don't smell anyone.  Somehow, though... I can't imagine that urgency smells good. 

Also, it is possible my hearing is not all that great.