Dave's Journal, June 2014


There she is in heaven ... washing and waxing the crown jewel. She loves doing this - I don't get it, but I never stand in her way.

I myself have been working on a movie (as I noted last month). It's fun but it's a lot of tedious work, and you scrap many many test shots to get a few good ones. Anyway, production is speeding along, and I uploaded what I have so far to youtube:

The Coney Island Zombie Riot

From the New Yorker


==> And a few more .......

Messing with the OpenShot video editor this morning (learning how to cut and splice clips together) and this guy here barges into the kitchen and starts talkin all ganster like. (So I took his picture.)


The video is here: "Talk to me" .

Cousin Pete started my day off with a laugh .....


Who knew that my life would come to this .....

Dave's Youtube Channel !


I owe Mike another breakfast - I took his 50mm to the butterfly atrium this morning and got that shot over there.

And this afternoon I dropped off my two submissions for the summer exhibit at the art museum. The schedule says they will make their decisions within a week, and I am hopeful. Last year they got over 600 items and selected 100 to exhibit.

I went with two pictures from my FineArtAmerica gallery : (1) the butterfly, egg & spoon and (2) "Never Let Me Go". The butterfly one is printed on acrylic, the other one is a framed paper print.

I have decided that (don't laugh) I am going to shoot a 3 minute movie. Probably no dialog, but background music, off-screen narrative, text (dialog) slides and background sounds. Probably a sci-fi or paranormal (ghost) storyline.

Am scanning my movie pile for concepts.

Postscript: I wasted two hard hours this morning, shooting and editing a 60s scene and it sucked. It was a good idea (I'll do it again someday) but badly executed. Everything seems easy, until you actually try to do it !!


Picked up supplies for my next batch of red wine (Sangiovese / Merlot), and got and education in the bargain. This guy knew his stuff and no one else was there and we talked and talked, about aerating wine before drinking it; the more complex wines need this and get better after being opened to air. This is the big reason that people use wine carafes, and let the wine sit for an hour or two before drinking it. He said that pouring it back and forth between two pitchers can accelerate the aeration. I like carafe idea a lot. The bad news is that once it aerates, you must finish it !!. (Is that bad ???)

I'm going to start this batch on Wednesday. Two weeks down the road, I'm starting a Cabernet, and two weeks after that, we're doing Chianti again. That'll get me to 90 bottles + the 25 or so I still have of Montepulciano D'Abruzzo from last year. I need a bigger basement !

Eggs Florentine vs Eggs Irish

Two poached eggs on top of spinach leafs and tomatoes on top of toast or English muffin. (A side of home fries helps Americanize the deal.)

Two poached eggs on top of diner-made Irish corned beef hash. (A side of home fries helps Americanize the deal.)

You could go f$#@^ing crazy choosing between these two.

This morning, I went for the eggs Florentine because the waitress was tapping her foot staring in my face "well ..... well .... what is it? " and I had to make a fast decision.

Fantasies (true story)

I got all desirous of wealthy yacht people on the TV who dropped $10M on a boat, and they went on and on about this and that. "You see that, Deb? That's what I want to be doing" is what I said. "That's the life that I missed out on."

Hours later, I watched a travel video of this guy who trek'd across the poorer forgotten (now free) states of the former Russian empire. Poor poor towns and villages, trying desperately to emerge from under a century of crushing totalitarian rule.... simple life, not easy, honest, hard, back-to-Earth living. Not a f#$@ing yacht within a 10,000 miles.

Don't get me wrong.... I'd enjoy doing soft sweet fun enchanting things (like floating around the world on a $10M yacht). But .....

Tuesday in Boston with Rita and Billy



Rejected ! !

Sad to say that the art museum did not select either of the two pictures that I submitted for the exhibit. Oh well. I am disappointed. I'll get over it.

The happy news is that I have a batch of new wine started in the fermenter today !


Kind of boring here. Beautiful day, however. Moved some yard plants around, that's about it. Just made a 6oz shot of espresso (in the Bialetti). Wicked wicked good, and I'm finishing it, but will the caffeine kill me? The numbers say that, ounce for ounce, espresso has 4X the caffeine of drip coffee. "So I basically just drank (4) 6-oz cups of coffee", he said in a screechy voice, his face shivering, his eyes twitching.

Debbie's guest list for her birthday hit 128 yesterday (up from 60, the day before). I'm dusting off my Italian passport and citizenship papers and jump starting my next life.

This is funny enough to hurt: Dinner Out

I uploaded (to YouTube) a slide show of our Europe 2012 vacation: Europe 2012 Slide Show

jpg I saw about 50 of these little guys attached to the house foundation wall in the back yard. They're about 1/4" (very small) but ugly. So ugly (and on my house !) I sprayed and killed them.

Back in the house, a little bell goes off in my head. I type "labybug larvae" into a Google search, and sure enough, I had killed 50 ladybugs. Ladybugs are the gardner's best friend - they have a voracious appetite for bad garden bugs.

Well, being an organic, earth-friendly, tree-hugging, whale-saving kind of guy, I had only one conscience-cleaning option to take.

I bought 2500 ladybugs from these guys: PlanetNatural

But....but.... although my guardian angel is now ever so proud of me, the little devil angel on my other shoulder is asking.... "Dave, seriously, what kind of moron buys bugs?" (He has a good point there.)

I talked to Bobby today (called his hospital room - he answered). He sounded great, with his usual kick-life-in-the-ass attitude. He was sitting in his recliner and I was sitting in mine ! He said "Don't call me after 11PM at night - they make me turn off my cell phone then." I said "That's no problem, I go to bed at 9PM."

This Tuesday is the day that the pathologist tell us exactly what it is we are up against. I am strangely calm.

At the Fitchburg Art Museum Show Today

( Some stuff was wonderful, some stuff was WTF ??? )

These 3 were taken with the Fuji and a Tiffen soft #2 filter on the lens and the right combination of the camera's processing options. I finally got that warm-cozy-smooth look right out of the camera with zero computer postprocessing. Very happy about this. The "look" is great for people & party pictures.




I need to escape reality tonight. I don't do drugs (too bad, huh) and wine makes me sleepy. I think I'll embed myself in the recliner and wach The Lord of the Rings and see how much popcorn I can eat.

Here is a special YouTube video, giving a special award to a very special person:

My 37th Favorite Person Award

Bag o' Bugs

The bag was FILLED with 2500 ladybugs.
These are the last stragglers to crawl out.


The first group (300-400 ??) jumped out of the bag and all over me, as soon as I opened it.

Beautiful day today, and I trek'd into Boston.

First stop was Downtown Crossing, to the CharlieCardStore to get my Senior Citizen MBTA CharlieCard, that gets me on Boston public transportation for $1. The bad news is that I sat in the waiting room 30 minutes, rubbing elbows with people I normally would not rub against (good to have my anti-bacteria spray with me). The guy next to me on the bench was spaced out on something, as he kept falling against me or the guy on the other side of him ...."Oh, sorry, sorry blur spit blur spit"." He was a decent sort, really. Every older lady walked by he'd jump up and offer his seat very insistently and very incoherently. A few .... (let's call them) "transient" type people stopped by and said hello to him, so he must be a popular local (or maybe they were shooting a movie?). Nobody stopped to say "hello" to me, so, in a way, he won the moment, you know.

After that, I walked through the Boston Common and then the Public Garden, down Newbury St. and Commonwealth Ave, rubbing against the kind of rich, snobby, upscale people that I deserve to be rubbing against (but, I did notice some of them using their anti-bacteria spray after I went by)

Then over to the Charles River and walked back to the Charles St. station for the train. Super, super day. Really.

Tour guide on the Boston Common

Surrealism on Newbury Street

Another day in Paradise ....

jpg Well, there he is over there, with Ramona in the background. We "skyped" for a while and I snapped this screenshot. The poor guy will never live this picture down.

As ever, the Man is upbeat and "attacking the hill" .

It is ironic that most of his symptoms are due to physical intrusion of the exploratory operation, and not due to the medical problem !

Treatment starts in a week or so, and he says he's going home in a few weeks. I am hoping to fly down there and cook up his breakfast grits and watch Alabama TV soap operas ! I am already working on my accent. How's this ..... "I be fixin t' cook up dem grits, not jus fo ma own self but fo da Man too". (Please, no hate mail, it's a joke !)

Here's a couple of dudes for you, this Sunday morning. The cute kid with the glasses is Jack (playing for the Diamonbacks). The big ugly guy is Andrew (playing for Northwood University).


Next Life for me: 27 for 42 years

For no good reason, I have been pondering what I wish for my next life (we get 9 lives, you know). In my current life, I have been ages 1 through 69, one year at a time. Next life, I want something different. I like the 69 number (though I am hoping it stretches out to 99, but that's not my call, you know), so let's (for discussion purposes) keep that as a total number of life years for me.

After much thought ..... I want to enter my next life at 27 years old, and keep that age (and youthful mind and body!) for my entire life. Keeping the 69 total, that means that I would be 27 for (69-27=) 42 years. That is, I would leave this world after being a young, healthy 27 for 42 years. So, I'd skip the confusions and anxieties of childhood and the aches and ailments and indignities of old age.

I also want to be rich and famous, but I'm not going to push my luck here.

Hot hot day - no outside work for me. Instead, I siphoned the Chianti from the primary fementer bucket into the glass "carboys" where they will sit for another month.


I also got a Merlot "kit" which I will start next day or so. I've decided that I need to keep the batches flowing, because once people start drinking it it disappears much much much faster than the time it takes to make it !!!

What God Said / What Debbie Said

A while back I had this anxiety over something (I forgot what - maybe it was the $200 cost of a replacement car key ? ). Something was not good and I was having a bad time dealing with it. The engineer in me wanted to fix this thing and it was out of my control. I was not the solution to this problem, and it was killing me.

Debbie said...."It is what it is."

That was a pivot point in how I accept the world. How I learned to live in an imperfect world. "It is what it is."

But .....

I still struggled with being imperfect . . . me, not the rest of the world. As I recall my life, I was never allowed to be imperfect. That's a hard standard to live up to, and there's a train of anxiety that goes along with that. Hard to deal with, personally.

I look in the mirror. I'm getting old..... actually I already got old, now I'm just getting older. I creak. I am "out of the loop" in this achievement-oriented society. I don't heal fast anymore. On a bad day I look like total sh#t. I'm deaf. I can't work 8 hours out in the yard anymore. My reflexes happen in super-slow motion. It goes on and on.

But a few weeks back, for some reason, I'm looking in the morning mirror and I think about something God said to Moses. Moses asks God, "Who are You? Who do I tell the people You are?"

And God says something incredibly profound. God says to Moses, "Tell them that I am what I am."

And so . . . . dear friends . . . . let me tell you ......
I am what I am. . . . Any problems with that? - take it up with God.