Dave's Journal, Feb2012

jpg February was named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old lunar Roman calendar. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, since the Romans originally considered winter a monthless period. They were added by Numa Pompilius about 713 BC. February remained the last month of the calendar year until the time of the decemvirs (c. 450 BC), when it became the second month.

Aquarius Personality: January 20 - February 18

Aquarius is the eleventh sign of the astrological year and is known by its astrological symbol, the Water Bearer. Aquarius individuals are intelligent, progressive and independent. With Uranus as the ruling planet, people born under this sign are free-thinking and unconventional. They will fight avidly for the rights of others.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

I am in a poetic mind at the moment, and Hemingway's book is right here at the top of my pile now, so I dredged up the original John Donne lines for this classic piece of writing . . .

. . . . Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, ask not to know for whom the bell tolls . . . . it tolls for thee.

RV'ing with Dave, Deb, Mike & Chris

jpg(Feb.05) Sunday breakfast (brunch?) at the Cafe Luna with M&C and then off to the Boston RV show for our annual fantasy about buying an RV, selling the house and living the rest of life on the road.

The price of RV's has dropped enormously in the last few years, due to rising gasoline prices and the general economy. I mean like 30% - 40% drop in prices of new RV's.

(I am writing the final chapter of this fantasy . . . . coming soon. )


Doing Business with CafePhotos

A new coffee house is having a grand opening in March, and coincidentally I am the "featured artist" for that month, and they want me to put price tags on my pictures. Well . . . one thing led to another and here I am adding a "gift shop" page to my CafePhotos website. I tried a few approaches (how to get paid is a big issue to deal with). Adding "buy me now" buttons to every image made the pages look disgusting.

I settled on adding a "Gift Shop" page that separates the viewing galleries from the purchasing event. I will add a link on the main CafePhotos page when I am acually ready to open the gift shop doors.

The cafephotos gift shop page is here: Buying Cafe Photos

Any feedback (about how that page reads and feels) from the readers of my journal pages here would be most welcomed.

Struggling . . . . struggling . . .

I never planned to sell my pictures to anyone; the CafePhotos website was a personal indulgence, as was lending out the pictures to coffee houses. I thought only, "well, maybe I could just give them to family and friends who wanted them", and I was happy about that. Now this idea . . . "What if someone wants to buy your pictures? What do I tell them?" . . . comes along.

Life is an endless sequence of conflicts. I ran the numbers years ago and you just can't make any money in the arts (but you can sure go broke feeding your photography addiction ! ), so whatever effort you put into it you just call it your contribution to a nicer, kinder world and that's that.

But . . . "What if someone wants to buy your pictures? What do I tell them?"

So . . . as I am now expecting (large, unruly) crowds of wide-eyed youths pleading "O please, please Mr. Leo, I ever so much must have copies of your inspiring images" . . . I am struggling to clean up my image file names and where in God's name did I put that batch of pictures and what did I call them, and sh#t I hope I burned CD's of that set, or were they on the old computer I tossed at the dump ? . . .

My Political Commentary of the Day . . .

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
. . . . A. Lincoln, June.16.1858


"We still don't get it."
. . . . Dave Leo, Feb.08.2012


Did some gourmet food shopping rolleyes at Wegmans (portobelas, wine, Italian olive medley, fish fillets, rosemary-thyme bread). On the way home, feeling that I needed to touch base again with the neighborhood locals (you know, the common folk), I ate lunch at Elvis's. I went for the chili cheese dog (grilled) with extra onions that I ate there with a root beer, and a Boston bean dog with extra ketchup to take out.

Actually they were outstanding, not the junk that gets served at your typical hot dog joint, and I will definitely go back for more, as I am now thinking these are "goumet dogs" worthy of us Brooklyn expatriots.


Turns out that Elvis in this case was (is ?) really a dog ! (that's his picture on the logo) and your own dog gets a free grilled Elvis dog (no onions, no chili) while he / she waits for you outside.

jpg When cleaning up my mess of bad file names, I remembered a egg picture I was never really happy with, so I spent some time and added some magic to it and posted it in Gallery#1.

My Brother, Bob

Ever elusive . . . is he a myth?, a shadow? The Keyser Soze' of this decade? . . . I haven't seen him in years now . . . come to find out that no one has actually personally seen him in years . . . where is he ? . . . what's he up to ? . . . does he still travel on his SriLanka passport? . . . so I typed "Bob Leo" into Google Images, and here's what came up on the screen . . .


We can only imagine the stories that lie behind his international identities.

Took out some time today to give a few speeches here and there for my Presidential Campaign.

From the CSM cartoon of the day . . .


Dave's commentary: Hey, we good citizens made this happen. We bought the cheap overseas items from Walmart and Kmart and Target and we drove US based manufacturing out of business because we wanted "cheap" . Well, kids, the cute little dragon with the sweet puffy wet eyes that we bought at the pet shop is all grown up now, and you and me are dragon-breath toast.

My favorite George Carlin quote : ". . . . I think the human race has squandered its gift, and I think this country has squandered its promise. I think people in America sold out very cheaply, for sneakers and cheeseburgers. And I don't think it's fixable."

Postscript: it not the year of the dragon . . . it's the century of the dragon. If you think I am wrong . . . ask yourself . . . how long will it take "American" businesses (I laugh) to come around again and rebuild their factories on US soil ?

Wake Up Kids ! . . It's 1912 . . . . . . . (again)

Well . . . a day later, I am going to backpedal just a bit on that topic . . . The Washington Post did a very nice interview with the CEO's of 3 major US companies, and their statements do show that this is a complex issue and snarky davesjournal barbs aren't going to solve any real problems.

Well worth 5 minutes of your time: WashPost Interview

Between my little house chores today, I photographed one of my very favorite subjects, Smeagol, for my "weird stuff" Gallery #2 . . .
Portrait of Smeagol.

Now and then I get enthralled with somebody's pictures and today was that kinda day, and here is her website:
Karen Gillis Taylor

Feb.17: I faced down a panic attack last night. Hadn't had one in about a year. Gets triggered by breathing, actually not breathing, in my sleep, wakes me up and then it spins out of control. Happily I understand it better than I used to and it wasn't so bad. Weird. Fear.

Santorum's Taxes: He's definitely not my man, but he'a a well-to-do guy who pays his fair share of taxes (28%). My opinion is that rich folks who pay a tax rate below the middle class guy - they are the real leech people in this country. Looks like he pays his way at least.

The Birdhouse

A lot of retired engineers have a tough time finding meaningful chores during the day . . . not me . . . I make Twightlight motif birdhouses . . .


(that is actually my first attempt at "decopauge" craftwork)

Feb.21 . . . the number of candles shown here is approximate




Most people don't appreciate the weight of all the wisdom that I carry around with me. Every day. Day in . . . day out . . . the sad lot of my life is to instantly know absolutely everything about any topic that pops into my head.

Like (my thoughts at the moment) TV programs.

In the category of drama, there are two categories of programs.

Category 1 Examples

These all have fairly simple plots based on the everyday life of people in those times and places. In fact, lots of the episodes don't actually have "plots" . . . they just tell the story of what's going on around town. (As someone recently said "Not much actually happens.")

Category 2 Examples

All the TV sh#t that involves doctors, lawyers and cops.

These all have fabulous graphics and cinemaphotography and complex, convoluted, overlayed, sexy/violent plots and of course everyone is beautiful.

Why do I love the Category 1 stuff? . . . Because I can imagine me being in the story. It's possible ! I could live there, I could be that store clerk, that butler, that gardener.

Could I ever be that (Category 2) sexy cop strutting on the beach wearing only a snear and a 44 magnum snugged under my speedo ? . . . well . . . probably not.

Could I ever be that doctor? . . . having sex with those 3 hot nurses (simultaneously), while I am still wearing my blood soaked apron after 36 hours in emergency surgery saving the lives of 56 out of 57 international diplomats wounded in a terrorist bombing during their lunch break at Burger King? . . . . okay . . . give me a minute on that one . . .

Actually, I do have a point to make here . . .

Some TV programs make life nicer because they tell simple stories very beautifully, and it is easy to get immersed and become part of the cast, and you want to (and you could) be there in that place and time, even though (most often) not very much is going on.

Can Labels as Art

Andy Warhol brought it to our attention about 50 years ago. Last night, while mixing up a garbanzo bean salad (thank you, Chris), I took note of how pretty the can label was.


Iran's Nuclear Weapons

Stop worrying about Iran's nuclear threat to your future well-being.

Here's your worst enemy . . .


Presidents Day Harris Poll

Best president since WW2:
* Ronald Reagan, 25 percent
* Franklin Roosevelt, 19 percent
* John Kennedy, 15 percent
* Bill Clinton, 12 percent

Worst president since WW2:
* George W. Bush, 27 percent
* Barack Obama, 22 percent
* Richard Nixon, 12 percent

From the NYTimes . . . . "After Recent Speeches, Dave's Popularity Soars"


jpgCafe' Picture

I really need one good photo in my cafe' gallery of a coffee cup on a table. I've done several concepts of this before, and they all came out pleasant but conventional. This latest one is the best of the lot (I will only show one of them).

I painted the background and the table top (acrylic on plywood), and the shadows are created by flower in a clear glass vase (which are off-camera to the left). That's my espresso cup and favorite fountain pen, and the note is a scene from Po Teeko's Cave.

Political Statistics

Play my little game for a moment and fill in the blank word.

In the last 100 years, 80% of the presidential candidates who won the popular vote were the ___________ of the two candidates.

(a) most conservative
(b) most liberal
(c) tallest
(d) shortest
(e) thinnest
(f) heaviest
(g) more religious
(h) better educated
(i) wealthiest
(j) Republican
(k) Democrat

Page written by Dave Leo