Thursday, March 27, 2008

JB's Art Displayed at Union Station in April '08

"Arts Alive", the gallery in Union Station in Burlington (at 1 Main Street, on the Waterfront and Battery Street) is hosting a exhibition in April of art from Franklin County artists, organized by St. Albans' own Stina Plant.

Emily and I will both have pieces on display -- Em's "Glue Bottles" painting makes its second public gallery appearance and my "Yorick" photograph moves from the private Cobblestone Gallery to Union Station for the month. Great fun ...

On Friday, April 4th, there will be a public reception for the artists at Arts Alive in Union Station from 7pm to 9pm. Emmer, unfortunately, will be out-of-state at a conference and the rest of the family is scattered, so I'll be there attempting to survive as an antisocial hobbit in a faaaar too public setting. Fortunately, refreshments will be served ... C'mon by and say hi - save me ...

In addition to the reception, the Arts Alive Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 8PM and Saturday from 9AM to 4PM. There's a lot of talent in northwestern Vermont - stop by and enjoy a sampling of it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Ode to My Toes

Had you forgotten that I have poetic tendencies when left unsupervised? Well, it happened again - back in February of 2001 ... and an ode to my toes was born -- best when read aloud loudly and quickly with a slightly aristocratic British accent ...

Evolution's Golden Child
A Poem by JB of Donutrun

I look in the mirror and what do I see?
A hairy little man staring back at me ...
The distant descendent of a chimpanzee!

Am I evolution's golden child --
With prehensile toes and manners mild:
The optimal blend of tame and wild?

From dust did God a man create.
That belief I assert without debate,
And yet I ponder my fellow primate.

The monkey and man, a missing link --
If you'd seen my feet, you'd stop and think,
And kindly give a knowing wink.

And so to my destiny I cheerily traipse,
Munching bannanas and seedless grapes,
Eagerly awaiting The Planet of The Apes!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Things I Cannot Have ...

In every man's life there are things he cannot have. For most, it is but an unspoken inner understanding. For me, however, there's an actual list -- and assembly is in progress by the namby-pamby unimaginative kill-joy who is the love of my life ...

Mostly, mention of any of them prompts a quick "You're not getting that ... so don't even think about it." Heck, I get in trouble if I even appear to be trying to weasel my way into any of the following:

  • A chainsaw. It's a shame. Think of the things I could cut. Like the car in half. Ooops.
  • A Snickers Bar and Mt. Dew for Breakfast. One can never be toooo perky in the morning in my opinion, but alas ...
  • A shaved head. I think she fears I would be tooo handsome for my own good. True.
  • Picture in picture TV. I could tooo watch two baseball games, court tv, bowling, and a kung-fu movie all at once.
  • My own checkbook. Hey, I'll remember to write down the *&^%$ details this time...
  • A tatoo. Not the little dwarf guy on Fantasy Island. The permanent mark thing. Too bad, too, because correctly placed, "This End Up" would come in handy on occassion.
  • Grappling hooks. How else am I gonna get up on the neighbor's roof? That's her point, I guess.
  • A nailgun. So I asked the Home Depot guy about the range on one of them bad boys. Doesn't prove anything.
  • Tatoo. The little dwarf guy on Fantasy Island. He'd be perfect when I lose the remote, but it seems there's an indentured servant law to be considered when procuring a midget.
  • My own spaceship. Something about having to go through NASA for any attempt to return to my home planet.
  • A flamethrower. I just want it to perk up the campfire a bit. Some people should relax.
  • A pet monkey. It might offend the cat. I hardly think so.
  • All four ESPN channels. I would too get off the couch. I'd have to -- I'd run out of snacks, eventually.
  • A motorcycle. This is the mother of all no no's, the inspiration of the list. I'll get the spaceship first, I think ...
  • And the catch all for a list in progress ... Anything to which I attach the question, "Now how could that be a bad idea?" ... Bummer.

And yet, I love her dearly.

But to be fair ... Lest folks think oppression is a one way street, I offer the list of things that SHE cannot have, authorized by firm and imperial decree of the husband:

  • A clothesline. Just don't be ridiculous. We have a dryer. Hanging clean wet clothes out in the midst of the neighbors and the backyard wiffleball field is just begging for trouble. Use the dryer.
  • A humus pile. (A compost heap for the politically correct, I suppose) I grew up with a pile of rotting remains in the sink waiting for me to schlep the bannana peels and other delicacies down behind the barn so they could rot and attract flies. Never again. Never again.

Reciprocatively, it's not too much to ask.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Medium Concerns (I'd like fries with that)

Here's a classic rant from the early days:

This one kills me.

I walk into a fast food store and order a hamburger, soda, and small fries. Okay, so I usually get an apple pie too. And a toy, too, if the truth be known. Anyway ...

The brainquest champion at the register sighs, gestures to the menu board, and tiredly explains, "We don't have SMALL fries. All we have is medium, large, and super size. Which would you like?" ARRRRGH!! I always want to throttle them when they say that (but that might be a sign of pent up aggression or a problem with authority wearing polyester, so we won't pursue that conversation).

If you have three things of some category and they are each varied in size, then -- maybe just for that particular collection -- the littlest one is the SMALL!! You can't start with medium! Without both a small and a large, there is no medium. None. Zip. Nada. If you only have two things of different size, one is small, one is large. That's it. Tell your advertising guys to shut up already. (another grumpy end to a paragraph!)

Let's put it to the test. 8 ounce soda. 16 ounce soda. 32 ounc soda. Which one is the "medium"? The 16. It doesn't matter if you consider that a lot of soda. It's the medium. What if you got rid of the 8 and had a 16, a 32, and a bladder busting 48? Well, the 16 is still plenty of soda, but now it is the small -- and the 32 becomes the medium!!! (If you've simply run out of 8 ounce cups, then it's okay to say we don't have smalls right now and still have a medium -- because you still have the small to compare it to ... just don't discontinue your small and expect to keep calling the other a medium.)

Or, a sports analogy. If three offensive linemen are hanging around the locker room ... a 334-pounder, a 326-pounder, and a 312 pounder ... and the coach says the small one has to go get fries for everybody -- he's going to have them running stairs all day if they try to duck the assignment by claiming they're all "large" so there isn't a "small" around. Yeah, the 312-pounder is a big boy, but in this trio, he's the small. Trade the 312-er for a 350-pounder and it's the 326-er who has to get the fries.

What all this ranting and raving boils (or fries) down to, is that "medium" is a comparitive measure. It requries an understanding of "small" and "large" to roughly define itself. Organizations that try to make their smalls look bigger by calling them mediums are deluding themselves and abusing our minds. I'm steamed (or fried) so I, for one, will continue to order SMALL fries when that's what I feel like -- regardless of what they're calling it that week. Just give me the littlest one you've got. That one's the small.

Trust me. It is.

Okay, in the grand scope of things, this is a small thing. Which is fine. It can be a small thing. Or, if you feel more strongly about it, it could be a large thing. Or a "super size" thing. It simply can't be a medium thing unless there are small things and large things to compare it to!!!

Anybody else ever get the feeling the folks at McDonalds are happy when they see your car pull into Burger King across the street?

Welcome to The Donutrun Soapbox

Back in the early days of the 'Net, when we wrote our own HTML code, there was an online oasis of optimism known as "Donutrun: Where Quixote Goes For Breakfast -- a Cyber Donutshop For the Mind" ...

The handcrafted webpage had a tribute to Man of LaMancha that was repeatedly sited in academic work ... It had one of the first Pittsburgh Steelers sites which earned a nickle-per-click from CBS Sports ... It had many eclectic flavors of cyber donuts, the relevant one here being "The Soapbox" ... which was a blog before blogs existed, saying:

This site begins to fulfill my life long desire for a newspaper column or a radio talk show. It is my forum to speak.

The following ventings are all considered "works in progress" ... They vary in length, subject seriousness, conclusion firmness, and general relevancy. I may or may not pester with the mundane conventions of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. As they each evolve, their logic will solidify, the writing will elevate, and the pesuasiveness will expand (maybe).

You need not agree with what I post. I say these things to hear them said. An exercise in ego? Undoubtedly. A chance to deepen understanding? Perhaps.

Remember, I did not ask you to listen. I chose to speak ... you chose to listen ...

The voices in my head have grown tired of talking to one another and since it seems I am still the only one who hears them, I grant them this forum for their foolishness. A continued exercise in ego and self-entertainment? Certainly. An intellectual electrontic treasure-trove of inspiration, edification, and enlightment? Possibly, perhaps, but certainly less likely.

Remember, I chose to speak ... you chose to listen. With that in mind, welcome to The Soapbox.