Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reading: The Runes of Earth

As a much younger man I read and loved Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books, Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War, and the Power that Preserves. Even though I detested the main character, The Land that he found himself in was so full of wonderful characters and magic that I read those books over and over. (That is the classic D.K. Sweet cover to Lord Foul's Bane above.)

Later Donaldson wrote more books in the series, introducing Linden Avery. I found those books frustratingly dark but they eventually ended well and put Thomas Covenant to rest for ever. At least I thought so.

Now Donaldson has started a new series of Thomas Covenant books. He promises on the cover that it is the "Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant". I haven't finished the first of the "last" books yet, but I have a feeling it will not end well. Damn, you Donaldson and your darkness. I know you usually redeem your characters in the end, but you sure love to drag them and us through the crap in the mean time.

I am finding The Runes of Earth to be a hard read emotionally. So much pain and despair, and the characters aren't very likeable. But there are many pages to go yet, so I still have hope. I just hope there is still a recognizable Land left to hope for.

Catching My Breath

Whew! I don't usually like to log long hours at work, but sometimes you find yourself agreeing that it just might be worth it. My team at work spent a hectic week customizing software for a demo. Now we have to get on a plane, fly to Florida and see if the board of directors of this big company wants to buy it. It is a big deal, millions of dollars in hardware and over half a million in software. Can't give out details yet.

So I am catching my breath and catching up around the house before heading to the airport in a couple of days. Mowed the lawn, balanced the check book, paid the bills--all that stuff. Got my car worked on (100,000 mile check up). And most importantly, got new Fishing Licenses for myself and the wife. Most Washington Lakes open up the last Saturday in April. When I get back we will have to dust off the boat, put some new line on the reels and go wet a line.

Wish me luck. I don't really like airports or hotels or sales meetings. But I do think our software can make life much better for this company. And the sales team believes they need me there to answer technical questions. So I will spend two days flying coast-to-coast so that I can sit in a conference room for several hours.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cheap Excuses

Just a brief note to prove that I am still alive.
Just a cheap excuse to explain why I am not online.
I am working the biggest software deal I have ever worked before.
I my team has some impossible deadlines.
I hope to have my life back in a week or two.
Hugs to everybody.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

God Bless You Mr. Vonnegut

Seduced at last by
The Sirens of Titan
Kurt has left this Earth
Left utterly un-embraced
By God the Utterly Indifferent
As he told us during a practice run
“The child of a suicide will naturally think of death,
the big one, as a logical solution to any problem”
His Mother really is the Night
And this planet which may be dying fast
Has one less lonesome, skinny, fairly old white man
He left us his many books
Which weave a web of
Autobiographical quirks and smirks
But look deeper and you will see
No Cat – No Cradle
And So It Goes…

Kurt Vonnegut is one of my most favorite authors. He lived a long life and knew he was not long for this earth. In his last book he wrote his own Requiem.
Thanks for sharing with us Kurt, and so long.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Requiem

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.

--- Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

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Mobile Nirvan, Acrylic & Ink on Art Board

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Immortality Projects

Easter is here again
Time to review those projects
I use to deflect the raw horror
The black fear of death
My death—not yours
Your death is abstract
And easy to swallow
But my death looms large
Empty and hollow

So what can I do?
What monument can I leave?
My children will live after me
But within a few generations
I will be just a name on a list
Kept by descendants I don’t know
My art will endure
My ideas
My work
My great society
My scriptures
My churches and temples
These might remain as timeless
Testament that I was really here
Should I sacrifice my life
To building these?

There is no guarantee
That any of these will endure
Nor will I escape my end
Perhaps I should choose carefully
Projects that bring joy and peace
To my here and my now
For this timeless moment
Seems to be my only eternity

All those things I try to leave behind
No matter how solid
No matter how grand
Can not protect
You or me from death
They are just immortality projects

Happy Easter, time to be reborn
Resurrect your spirit
And inhabit the eternal
Just Now
Like a chocolate rabbit
Waiting to be discovered
And hungrily devoured
By a laughing child

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Can’t Make Up My Mind

Truth is stranger than fiction
I’m not making this shit up
Shit just happens
It was on fire when I stepped in it
Guess I should get out of the kitchen
I’m strong enough for a man
But women like me too
I’m definitely of two minds about this
And two will get you three
Twenty three even
I can’t make up my mind
But that monkey he does chatter
As if he knows what’s going on

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Buddha of the Canyon

But never alone
These rocks
This tree
This shimmering atmosphere
Are witness
To the slow erosion
That reveals
My true heart
The one I share
With you

Buddha of the Canyon, 14”x18” Acrylic, Ink & Paper on Canvas

Super Secret Process Pt 2

I got a chance to get back to my new painting this weekend.
I took the paper cutouts off and put more paint on by hand to accentuate the geological designs created by the plastic. And then I added some starbursts to increase the focus on the Buddha’s head.

Then I glued the paper pieces down with clear acrylic medium. This is always the nerve racking part, because as the acrylic infuses the paper all sorts of bad things can happen to the ink printed on them. Also there is always the possibility that air bubbles will get trapped under the paper and keep it from bonding to the canvas.

After the glue has dried, I put another layer of clear acrylic over the top of the paper to fully encase the paper in plastic. This layer acts like varnish and protects the paper and the ink printed on it from the ravages of time.

I then added more ink and paint to outline the Buddha and to add some dynamic contrast to it. I am very please with the pattern behind the Buddha—It looks like a cross between a tree and canyon walls. I have seen some desert sunsets like that. A pretty trippy effect overall, even if I do say so myself.

So there it is, a new painting from start to finish. Behold The Buddha of the Canyon. Hope you like it.