"It might bore the life out of you. Falling off mountains may be what you need to make you happy." Lance Mannion
The best way to free your mind is to not enslave it in the first place -- Me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Machine Shed

Growing up on the farm, we had a large machine shop.  Roughly 120' x 100' with large sliding doors on 2 sides, stuffed full of machinery.  It's the largest silver square to the right of the marker in this satellite shot, opposite the aptly-name Williams Lake (since we built the 55-acre puddle):

I spent a lot of time at the "machine shed", rooting around in the rusty piles of retired equipment behind it, seeing what caught my eye, then welding things up.  I was interested in knights and armor at the time, so various combine sprockets and shafts got transformed into spiky blunt weapons that could have easily held their own against the real medieval weapons I saw during our frequent trips to the St. Louis Art Museum.

I bring this up is because I've recently found the work of kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson (http://www.arthurganson.com/).  His work has set off in me a creative itch that I haven't felt in a long time.  For an overview, here he is giving a lecture in 2004 :

Here's an example of his work, "Machine With Wishbone":

And probably the most erotic sculpture ever made, "Machine With Grease" (Maybe only to us men.):

I'm lucky right now that I have access to a well-equipped machine shop here at CPB, now it is time to put it to use.  I've got a couple of simple ideas, I'll post what I work out.

(And how amazing is it that I can link to a detailed satellite photo of the "hills and hollers" where I played as a boy? It felt like the most isolated place on the planet as a child, now it's a 5 minute Google Maps search.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Proto-blog classic: "How the Yinch Stole Christmas"

I'm putting this piece, written by the great Heather Havrilesky, here for safekeeping, because I don't trust  how long the defunct suck.com will be around.

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun" 
for 20 December 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Every Moo down in Mooville like Christmas a lot...
But the Yinch who lived just north of Mooville, did NOT!

The Yinch hated Christmas! The whole shopping season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his dad, who withheld his emotions,
or his mom's addiction to prescription potions.
It could be his sister, so bossy and mean,
It could be his brother, who was a big queen!

Or the whole family's dysfunctional dealings!
They gripe and they grumble, but hold in their feelings!
Self-conscious and passive aggressive — so prickly!
No therapy for them! They'd rather stay sickly!

The Yinch, in a pinch, was a bitter young shrew
His family was typical. What can you do?
No one grows up in blissful harmony,
And blaming your family is sooo '93!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The most dangerous activity on the planet.

For the first motorcycle content, the 2009 Isle of Man Senior TT winner, Steve Plater.  Fascinating and terrifying at the same time, it shows the joy of twisting a throttle on a quick bike, especially when he hits 190 around the 2:15 mark.

For the uninitiated, The Isle of Man TT has been held since 1904, making it one of the oldest motorcycle races in the world.  It's held on a tiny tax haven island in the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland.  The 37-mile race course is all public roads, winding through towns and tiny hamlets, over the 1,300 meter-high, wide-open "Mountain Course" (190mph part of the vid), then back down to sea level.  It took Plater 1 hour and 46 minutes do do the 6 laps (236 miles) at the pace in the video, a new race record.

Trees, fences, pubs, and stone walls are right up against the road.  Counting racers, spectators, and race officials The Mountain Course has claimed 241 lives.

Alexa Meade


That's a photo.  Alexa Meade paints on the skin of her models.  Stunning.

Here's "Jaimie":

Alexa working on Jaimie:

Too cool.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Title of This Blog Is...

from a post by the great Lance Mannion.  Due to lack of time, I've never been a regular reader of his.  Lance's poetic rumination on the subjectiveness of happiness is an answer to a stale theory put forth by conservative NY Times columnist David Brooks that Sandra Bullock would be happier with a stable marriage over her recently-won Oscar.

Brooks is just stealth-rehashing the old conservative war against women working.  Yawn.  He can't seem to realize that like men, women are capable of compartmentalizing their careers separately from their love life.  Mannion thinks that Bullock is probably glad to the whole thing over, I'm not so sure.  Bullock knew what she was getting into.  James was married to porn star last, after all.

Maybe Sandy's got a side that we don't know about.  One with darker tastes than her America's sweetheart rep lets on.  I hope so.  We need more mystery in life.  Hopefully Bullock has a leather fetish with a taste for whips and she's making Jesse pay and pay some more.

I once dated the grand niece of a sci-fi legend, gorgeous, blonde, a body that would stop clocks, unbelievability smart.  Despite her angelic looks, he had a taste for "rough play" in bed.  Not my thing in the end, and I tried, but that shows that the demure little thing that gives you the eye in the elevator every morning might be daydreaming about strapping one on and giving it to you in the ass.  You never know.  (Unless you ask.)

But I digress.  The nut of the argument is that we all find happiness in our own way.