Friday, June 15, 2018

Eastbound for the Ruby Mtns SE of Elko. She, who remains incognito but dresses for the five-o'clock martini, has a mind to go lookin' tuh see iffen there're any Lohonton trout still out there. I get to tag along.

So, I 'cided tuh swing by an' pay a call tuh that ole pirate, Kenn Louie. He's the one who fixed my stick after it got broke when i wuz practicin' muh bo moves on a dead tree.

I made it just past Murphys into the Stanislaus Forest.

It's hell leavin' a woman.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Eye Eval

I was sitting in the eye clinic in Albuquerque the other day when the woman next to me launched into a scathing critique. She'd just blown in from China where, she said, "Yes, you're sitting in a waiting room with a hundred people including screaming children, but once in the presence of the doctor, unlike the physicians here, they didn't act as if they expected to be treated like gods. In contrast, she said they were quite gracious and gave their full attention and time. She added they also had state-of-the-art equipment.

I'm no judge of equipment, but the Doc barely muttered an introduction and set to. He asked a couple of questions, examined my eyes, typed FURIOUSLY at the computer, asserted that yes, I AM a candidate for a cornea transplant, answered my few questions with hardly more than monosyllabic responses, turned....and left. It was when they indicated I should follow them to the front to sign a release in order for them to obtain my Albuquerque records that I realized we were done.

An overflowing bowl of stinking peppermints graced the front encourage your diabetes.

The other conditions make it a no-brainer. I've gotta look at him like  a mechanic. He's qualified and who gives a damn if he's as personable as a rock? I'm being GIVEN a place to stay, replete with beautiful art, and post-op care courtesy of her in red on the chaise.

We had to go back in to find out about the cataract. His notes indicated it was too mild to bother with. At least he'd noticed.

Factory medicine. Like filleting salmon; gotta MOVE those color TVs.

Monday, June 11, 2018

HUUURRRAAAYY, cried the children

The title of this post is a phrase frequently encountered in Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series.
I like it so much I use it whenever occasion arises. It happened this way....

Many years ago, when I realized the gallery wasn't gonna be able to support us, I began a campaign to entice Ms. Cook (Double El) into doing childrens book illustration. To foster enthusiasm, I resurrected a childhood pleasure: story time.

We'd load up on library books and trade off reading to each other. I'd read one; then she'd read one. We'd usually go through four or five a night. In addition to the pure pleasure of the activity, we enjoyed the variety of techniques of illustration, all the while making careful note of the layouts, numbers of pages, their sizes, etc.

At some point Michelle discovered Dav's books. She immediately recognized and related to his experience. And his perspective brought much light and hilarity to a period that had been, to say the least, difficult.

Images can't be downloaded, but here's a link to the original on Amazon...

The link below is to a presentation he gave to teachers titled: My Favorite Teacher. Although it doesn't include his iconic phrase, it conveys something priceless about creativity,.

Interestingly, another of Cook's observations was about a Russian immigrant who said the only two English phrases essential to know are: "Thank you!  and  "I'm Sorry."  Dav must've known that guy too.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Al's Amazing Repair!

Although it SOUNDED as if it was around the left front, I wasn't sure.

It'd started a few weeks ago.

Trini thought he'd found it when he put in the new catalytic converter...a loose sleeve off the manifold. But there it was AGAIN as I trundled out from the forest north of Williams. It's a rocky area and even going sllooooowwwly it was noticeable.

Several days later, having crossed the Mojave, scrutinizing the brake pads through the wheel, I saw that one was loose. That HAD to be the noise! Figuring I'd get to it in the next few days, I ignored the LOUD voice in my head telling me to stop in Needles for new pads.

Then, while rolling backwards to a more level spot in front of the monolith in Jawbone Canyon, I heard something hit the ground.  Simultaneously, the brake pedal went past it's usual point. That pad had sought freedom and, as I soon discovered, was lying there, on the sand, basking.

Grateful it hadn't happened in traffic, I spent the evening putting it back together. But there was the nagging sense of something not quite right.

Lo and behold! The California City Autozone had the pads in stock! I made it across the highway, but at the stop sign on Roger's Road the pad bailed again. We made it to Autozone without mishap, using just the emergency brake. It takes longer to jack the car up than replace the pads.

But Al did an AMAZING job of diagnosing (and FIXING!!) KC's problem the other day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Chair Bag

Each "trip" has its own Marker.  Last summer it was a pair of sunglasses that had multicolored pixie dust embedded in 'em. They, like many before them, disappeared into the ether, but for a while I enjoyed the reactions from the Bud Light boyz.

This year is distinguished by a custom-made chairbag. Melissa McDonald, the young woman who put the gussets in my pant's legs, picked out the fabric -- something, I requested, that wouldn't get lost -- and put it together.

Check out the button closure....

 Awesome, eh?!!

The envy of Overlanders the world over!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Veranda

In the '90s, the Gallery Years, it hosted groups that included artists from all the disciplines.

Croquet, cheating encouraged, was part of the entertainment; the lumpy crabgrass lending an additional surreality ala Alice-in-Wonderland.

Evenings, the light of tiki torches threw shadows; all further enhanced with wine, pot and/or mushrooms.

Now, with only the glow of the kitchen light and an iconic Distasio (they're ALL iconic!) painting to remind of those times, we sat together, basking in each other's company.

Photo by M. Cook

I hope to leave tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Enjoying the remembrances....(see prev post), here are a few of the things that inspired the love of his family and friends...

From a letter of condolence:

One of the many qualities I enjoy about your brother was unafraid he was to be open with his feelings.  Peter recalled the time when he visited your mom in the hospital many years ago, I only wished he taken her advice.  He said she told him, "Take care of yourself Peter."  I only wish he heeded her words, we all could have had so many more good laughs together.  This is the one thing I will truly miss about your brother, laughter brought about by trading funny stories with each other till 4 a.m. in the morning .  Mistaking super glue for eye drops?  I still don't think I will ever beat that one.

Your brother was a very smart, caring and fun person to be around, he had a good heart so I never minded trying to help him out.  He truly had a gift of gab and could make friends with a telephone pole if I left him alone outside for 5 minutes.  Mind you, we've had our moments but the vast majority of good times are something I can always reflect back upon with a  wide smile.

From his "Favorites"...

Favorite songs...(Interesting, isn't it, what a diff just a couple of years makes in what we like(d)?)

Jay & the Americans

The Newbeats .....

This piece will accompany him as he's lowered into the ground.

East...toward a new day; beyond the sun.