Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seen at the Beach

We usually head to Nags Head, NC, but we had an opportunity to go to Ocean City, MD last week.  The two venues are quite different from one another.

I took this shot along the boardwalk:


The flying pig in the background--a huge kite--is quite appropriate juxtaposed with the sign.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cats in Art: Morning (Tuxford)


From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I am using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.  

I have a loved one who lives in Eureka, CA, and works at the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art.  So...I perused the on-line images held by the Morris Graves Museum of Art and came up with 3 works containing cats (this is post 3 of 3).


Here's what the museum website says about their mission:

Museum art collections represent the nation’s patrimony and heritage, and the Humboldt Arts Council is conscious that we are entrusted with a resource that essentially belongs to the whole community— it’s yours to enjoy!

Collecting works of art is one of the most basic undertakings of an art museum. Moreover, what the museum collects strongly determines its overall character and influence in the art community at large. As a consequence, the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art is founded upon the principles of ethical art collecting and stewardship. The Museum recognizes that it holds for posterity a significant portion of our cultural wealth.  The Morris Graves Museum of Art is dedicated to the arts and artists of the Pacific Northwest with the highest priority given to the works of our patron artist, Morris Graves. Emphasis is placed on collecting art which builds on the evolving strengths of the collection and which also have a significant potential for long-term usefulness. 

With that intro, here's a very intriguing image:


Image credit Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Brenda Tuxford, Morning, etching, 1995, size unspecified


I used the word "intriguing" because the cat does not appear on the table, yet its shadow does on the wall.  Maybe you could argue that the cat is really just out of the picture on the left, but why?  Seems to me that the whole intent is to draw the viewer in with this optical anomaly.

The kitty is relaxed and evidently pausing in the act of washing, as evidenced by the back feet in the air and the sense that the cat is looking at something.

In this one small etching of a silhouetted cat, Ms. Tuxford manages to capture so well the essence of catness.  



Friday, July 24, 2015

J. Geils Band Grammar Fail

Since my recent rant about no trespassing signs that read "Posted" (link here), I may as well dump on a rock band's butchering of the English language as well.

I'm talking about the J. Geils Band and their classic rock tune, Must of Got Lost.  My Sirius XM Radio was conveniently playing this the other day for my listening pleasure:




If the embedded video playeth not, here's the link.

Of course, the grammatical error is that it should read Must Have Got Lost.  Or if you really want to go full grammar police, Must Have Gotten Lost.

But then if I had the band's money I could burn mine, so what do I know.

Ed Note: I should point out that later iterations of the lyrics found on the web use the word Musta or Must've, which are perfectly OK, but the earlier versions of the title and lyrics use the word of.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Where I Run: Harshman Road and its Chicory Display

I've probably used that title before, as that 5 mile road loop is my absolute favorite run.  It's comfortable as an old shoe (great analogy, don't you think?), mostly traffic-free, and just plain pretty as the route winds past various farms.

And did I mention the roadside wildflowers?


[image credit Gary]

This is chicory, a lovely blue flower that seems quite content to grow well in crappy roadside areas.  It'll reach near waist high, and bears numerous 2" wide flowers close to the stalks, all summer long.

The pretty blue flowers do not seem to like being used for cut flowers, as they quickly wilt, despite being placed in water.  So the place to enjoy chicory is out along the roads, where it often is in association with Queen Anne's Lace, creating a lovely blue and white pageant.  


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More Saint Stuff...and Ultrarunning

From a different Catholic web site I've examined another list of patron saints and patronages.  You may recall my post of a couple weeks ago on this topic, here, which identified St. Sebastian as the Patron Saint of Athletes.

The web site linked above specifically expands St. Sebastian's reach to be the Patron Saint of Running:


"...as he was a centurion he was extremely fit and able to withstand long physical endurance."

And his feast day is 20 January.  Sounds like a great reason for a midwinter party or ultra run to commemorate the day and the person.

An Ultrarunner!  Yay!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What to Do About the Middle East

This is some months old but every bit as timely as when it aired.  Thanks to Digby for the link:


Soon-to-be-ex–Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently interviewed Egyptian comedian and satirist Bassem Youssef about America and the Middle East. I found this surprisingly entertaining as well as nuanced; a smart piece. Their opening exchange:


Stewart: Tell me, Bassem. With the Middle East spiraling out of control, what should America do about this?

Youssef: (winning smile) Well, how about ... nothing.


Sounds like a plan to me.  There are nearly 200 nations on the planet.  The U.S. has troops in approximately 150 of them.  And a tough-to-pin-down number of permanent overseas bases, totaling some 800-900 (go ahead and Google for the number...your head will quickly spin).

Maybe it's time we un-assumed the role of the world's policeman? 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cat and Owl

In my reading I came across this link to a site called Bored Panda, where we find out that there are such things as "Owl Cafes."  And surprising animal friendships.












This cafe is in Japan, where we see a couple of fast friends:
Fuku the owlet and Marimo the kitten are an adorable pair of best friends that love to hang out, play together and nap at their home in Hukulou coffee shop in Osaka, Japan. The cafe occasionally gets other owl visitors as well, and it also sells fun owl-themed crafts and good, but it looks like these two are the stars of the show.
Owl cafes are becoming more and more popular in Japan and around the world – we’ve written about other cafes and bars in Tokyo and London as well. If you go to an owl cafe, please be sure that they’ve done everything they can to ensure the owls’ comfort and safety before giving them your business!

Naturally I was inspired to document a similar phenomenon right here on my own front porch:

[image credit Gary]

Well, if it's not a real owl, at least an owl statue!  And Tizzy the calico kitty is certainly real.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cats in Art: Madi & Vessantara (Buddhist Story Cloth)


From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I am using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.  

I have a loved one who lives in Eureka, CA, and works at the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art.  So...I perused the on-line images held by the Morris Graves Museum of Art and came up with 3 works containing cats (this is post 2 of 3).


Here's what the museum website says about their mission:


Museum art collections represent the nation’s patrimony and heritage, and the Humboldt Arts Council is conscious that we are entrusted with a resource that essentially belongs to the whole community— it’s yours to enjoy!

Collecting works of art is one of the most basic undertakings of an art museum. Moreover, what the museum collects strongly determines its overall character and influence in the art community at large. As a consequence, the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art is founded upon the principles of ethical art collecting and stewardship. The Museum recognizes that it holds for posterity a significant portion of our cultural wealth.  The Morris Graves Museum of Art is dedicated to the arts and artists of the Pacific Northwest with the highest priority given to the works of our patron artist, Morris Graves. Emphasis is placed on collecting art which builds on the evolving strengths of the collection and which also have a significant potential for long-term usefulness. 

With that intro, here's an image from the recent past:



Image credit Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Madi & Vessantara (Buddhist Story Cloth), artist unknown, 1900, on loan from Jeanne Nash.

And a close up of the kitties on the left:



As I have seen repeatedly over the past few years as I have explored the topic of Cats in Art every Sunday, many ancient images feature big, wild cats such as lions, tigers, and leopards as we see here.

Since this theme of depicting dangerous wild kitties is recurring across numerous cultures and times, it's fair to conclude that people have had an enduring fascination with cats of all sorts.  Maybe that's why we domesticated the smaller, less dangerous version and keep them until this day.