brucine (broo'-seen), 1) n. Pharm., Chem. a bitter, poisonous alkaloid, C23H26N2O4, obtained from the nux vomica tree; 2) n. Bruce Bortin's 'low-impact' weblog

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Before the SF Girls Chorus

Watch the video

Go Kitania!  Good job.  Y'all made an exquisite sound, which my crappy cellphone videocam just butchered. But you were great!


[Part of the before project] 

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Detail of Vessel

Detail of Vessel, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Blue Vessel

Blue Vessel, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

I got a chance to blow a piece the other day.

Dan & Grant

Dan & Grant, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Final day of glassblowing for the year. I love these guys.

Shruggy the Sock Monkey

Shruggy the Sock Monkey, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

From Cathy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

West Oakland Ginkos

West Oakland Ginkos, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

West Oakland is planted in ginkos, honeysuckles, royal palms. Over the weekend, the stormy weather brought a lot of the ginko leaves down. Here they are, on the ground by my bicycle, layered & generally fucked with videoly.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Before Mary Shows Up

Watch the video

I ambushed Mary on her way home from the Parkway last evening.  She saw Goodnight and Good Luck; said it was good.  I had stayed at home to cut video, natch, but I thought I'd go meet her as she walked home.

Another piece from the before project

Saturday, December 17, 2005

At Amnesia

At Amnesia, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Skull/spine/elephant thing. I like it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Before the Shut-Ins

Watch the video
The Shut-Ins held their release party for "A Very Shut-Ins Christmas" at Amnesia last night. Here they are, right before they played their first number. Part of the "Before" project.

Before the Exam

Watch the video

I'm doing a series of short pieces about what happens in the time surrounding the event.  Temporal equivalent of negative space kind of thing.

Here's the orchestra, they're going to play a lot of Beethoven or whatever, but before that, they'll play the "An Orchestra Tunes Up" song.  I love that song. 

Here's Glen Moriwaki's Art-103 class at CCSF, right before the final exam began.

Monday, December 12, 2005

T-10 Video Festival

Watch the video
21 Grand, a downtown Oakland gallery, held their T-10 Video Festival last weekend. Open call, all pieces must be under 10 minutes long. Here's a short pan of the crowd right before the festival started last night.

Ego Candy Dog Toy

Ego Candy Dog Toy, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

From the Department of Baffling Commercial Utterances/Asian Branch

Raffi & Tree

Raffi & Tree, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Saturday, Mary & I biked up to Dented Foods to pick up our xmas tree.

Later, Cathy, Lynne-Rachel & Raffi all came over to help Mary trim the tree.

Raffi did a great job trimming the xmas tree. Especially as she's a total rookie. Way to go, Raffi!

Raffi ties a bow

Raffi ties a bow, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

It involved bunny ears

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

57|ckrD00d [Sticker Dude]

57|ckrD00d, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

On our flight home from the East coast on Sunday, Mary & I had aisles across like we always do. In the seat in front of Mary (my seat's surf-seat) was a postmodernage cyber-warrior guy with the rectangular glasses, a laptop running XP with three different browser icons on the desktop and the mousse-tousled hairdo.

During the half-hour wait in the runway before taking off, when we weren't allowed to use electronics, this guy was writing careful notes in one of those Moleskine notebooks. The cover had been decorated, completely covered with stickers. Didn't seem to be much more to the design concept than must have adhesive backing.

So I'm reading a magazine or something; next time I glance over at this guy, he's using a single-edged razorblade to pry up a sticker and reposition it just so, right where it belongs. So I guess there was more to the sticker composition than I was aware of....

That task completed, he put the blade into a little plastic wallet and put it away. I'm looking around the plane..did anybody else see this? No, just me. Hmmm.

It's been a long day of travel after a very difficult trip, and I really don't want to queer this flight, so I guess I'll just keep my mouth shut. Guy seems harmless; once we're airborne he powers up his laptop and starts browsing this morning's boingboing, so he's probably a kindred soul at some level, although first time he gets up for a stroll, it makes me a little nervous. But then he comes back to his seat with an Airline biscotti. If I was going to blow up a plane, I don't think I'd be chowing down on grade 'D' gourmet snackies right beforehand.

So what's the story with this guy? He was very nonchalant about bringing a razorblade aboard the airplane and using it in front of God and His Flight Atterndants and everybody. How did THAT get past the metal detectors, while (I've been led to believe) the eyelets in my sneakers would send the TSA into CODE RED URAL BASILISK/DEFCON 5 ALERT? Why would he want to risk the consequences of getting caught, for the sake of repositioning a sticker, right now, can't wait until we're off the plane? Or the risk of somebody seeing him on the plane like I did, but snitching and having the ensuing onboard freakout screw up a planeload of peoples' lives for the next day or so?

In the aisle next to his seat, I notice the cardboard packaging from the razor blade. I pick it up on my way back from the head, and write him a little note on it, then paste it onto the back of one of my cards. The note says, Dude, WTF?

I figure he might be able to explain a few things to me. My card has my email on it, so he'd be able to respond. Thing is, I don't want to give it to him in flight and freak him out. I was hoping to catch up with him once we were safely on the ground, at baggage, but he wasn't there.

So StickrDude, if you happen to see this, please get in touch. A comment at this blog would be appreciated. WTF?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Last Wednesday, I travelled into NY to meet Tomas & Mary at monkeytown

for the SloMo Video Festival.

OH JEEZ. I can't work this terminal thru this interface. Ramona just came into the room and said "I won't bother you."

Brucine out

Monday, November 28, 2005

Just the Hi-lites

Just the Hi-lites, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Howdy, Steb!

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Sure looks like cake to me.

Dagmar's Birthday Cake

Dagmar's Birthday Cake, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Jointy effort--Mostly Mary's work, with the occasional assist from Cathy & Brucine

Hotel Tip

Hotel Tip, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Monte Rio Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Armstrong Woods

Armstrong Woods, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

poo fungus

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Richmond Bridge

This is an unwitting collaboration with my friend Lynne-Rachel. She shot this video, all I did was to fuck it up.

A Night at the Opera

A Night at the Opera, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

San Francisco Opera Atom Bomb Vignette

--from the gift shop--

Thursday, November 17, 2005


brucine strongly recommends that you check out

The Apparat Programme

broadcast at ninety-six kilobits per second in broadband

It's kickass INdependent (and I do mean independent) music that you've never heard before. =>

"Apparat #6:
there should be explosions and crying
and drunks at the end"

Quoting Camper Van Beethoven:

I've got some funny ideas
About what sounds good,
What sounds good....


Chandilear, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Did you say "put it in the cullet barrel" or "put it in the politburo"?

Saturday, November 12, 2005 Internet Chat Session

Last night, while I was uploading the peace march video to, I noticed that they've added a live chat thingie to their website where people who are logged in can enjoy a lively exchange of ideas in realtime.

I'm "dumbeast>" in the following transcript.

!! reynolds128 is around.
!! tagami is around.
!! matchbookfilms is around.
!! hotfire808 just posted a new file titled Funky Boi.
!! pdstayton is around.
!! davidyeo just posted a new file titled talk by GBM innerlight .
!! davidyeo just posted a new file titled David Yang Comm for Saturday .
!! dumbeast just posted a new file titled Anti-War March -- Oakland CA "Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace".
!! neodragoon is around.
!! scottspan is around.
!! Michael Verdi is around.
!! kattmandu is around.
!! insurgent is around.
!! tagami is around.
!! AtomicGandhi is around.
!! Vanderhuge is around.
!! dinarebecca is around.
!! skyrunner is around.
!! escorial is around.
!! nathanialfreitas is around.
!! p0ps is around.
!! escorial just posted a new file titled Night lights.
!! scottspan is around.
!! dorothy is around.
dumbeast> Any cowboys out there?
!! joshleo is around.
!! tagami is around.
!! matchbookfilms is around.
dumbeast> You don't have to be a *real* cowboy, you know. Pretend cowboys are alright, too.
dumbeast> Horsie horsie...
dumbeast> ...just hanging out waiting for this video to upload, see...
dumbeast> Oh, heck. I don't even *like* cowboys.
!! stark23x is around.
dumbeast> I don't *dislike* them, understand. Just, you know, not much emotional charge there, one way or the other. In general, I like to take things on a cowboy-by-cowboy basis.
dumbeast> [performs a clumsy rope trick]
dumbeast> "8 min 23 sec (23.7 MB of 41.6 MB uploaded)" *sigh*
!! havilah is around.
dumbeast> If I could be any cowboy in the history of all cowboys, I think I'd want to be Patton Oswalt-Earp

Job-Hunting Sky

Job-Hunting Sky, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

From BART on the way to apply for work at East Bay Media Center

Friday, November 11, 2005

Anti-War March -- Oakland CA
"Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace"

Every Sunday, "LMNOP" holds a march around Lake Merritt in Oakland to articulate their stance against the war. Here's some footage from November 2, 2005. Marcher/Organizers Daniel Borgstrom and Pat Maginnis are featured.


DOH!, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Court is in Session

Court is in Session, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Dias de los Muertos Altar

Dias de los Muertos Altar, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

La Borinqueña Mexicatessen, Oakland

Nate Dawg & Co.

Nate Dawg & Co., originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Alice Street, Oakland

Thursday, November 03, 2005


C-Note, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Courtney works at Taylor's Sausages. Good man. Seems like he's been there forever. He's convinced that I'm somebody else, named Keith.

Now let's all have a few links!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bruce Sketch

Bruce Sketch, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Every once in a while, I actually draw a picture.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Adam & Buddha

Adam & Buddha, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

I visited Adam at school yesterday. He was just unpacking the pieces he'd sandcast the night befored; a series of tiles with a relief of the buddha on them.

Incidentally, Adam, thanks for the photoshop/custom brush tutorial.

Dork Accessory

Dork Accessory, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

I just got one of those rearview bike mirrors that clips onto your glasses.

I'm over half a century old, people. Isn't it amazing that I can keep on coming up with new ways to look like a dork?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Happy Birthday, Cathy!

Video Birthday Card

Monday, October 24, 2005

Irresistibly Fudgy

Irresistibly Fudgy, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Adam models some product, shortly before the conversation turned to what a bother it is to actually bake things, and maybe it'd be better to just snort the brownie mix, thus producing, yes, nostril fudge!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Herb Butter

Herb Butter, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Let's go, girls!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sutures Out

Sutures Out, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

I saw Dr Williams yesterday to get my stitches removed. I've got to say, I really like him. Really decent fellow, good touch with the knife & needle, comforting manner, very dry sense of humor. And my massive head wound is healing nicely.

I wonder what life without my hideous deformity is going to be like. I think that, in general, I'll be glad not to have the wierd protruberance. Always made me self-conscious, especially after haircuts. I have a hard enough time getting people to take me seriously in the first place. I don't think that their having to stare at a big cranial anomaly while in conversation with me was helping matters any.

It'll be interesting to see how my young nieces & nephew react. They were always fascinated by uncle Bruce's head lump.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A guy on BART was doing this trancy dance movement thing,
looked a little bit like tai chi. I videoed him doing it. Another guy
sitting behind me wanted to know if I thought it was right to do that
without my subject's permission.
I assured him that I'd talk to the guy.
We both got off at Berkeley, and I handed him my card.
  Business Card
On the escalator, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him
what that movement thing he was doing was. He told me that it
was an invasion to touch another person in public. I apologized,
asked him if he had been doing tai chi.
He told me that he practiced the art of silence..  
So no video today...
 ...or that's what I was thinking yesterday when I wrote the above,
right after the incident. I mean, hell, the guy should be able to
silently practice his movement without some fool showing up with
an inquisitive nature and a camera, shouldn't he?
Yeah.  Maybe.  On the other hand, maybe going into your act on
public transport isn't the best way to practice silence. Maybe having
a stranger initiate a conversation with you doesn't have to be taken
as an invasion.
So, fuck that shit.  Somebody does dance.  Great.

I do video.
Here's a video of a guy doing a movement thing that I found interesting on BART. Enjoy!

Federal Court Jury Assembly Room

If it had been an airplane, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Me & 55 fellow citizens sat in this room from 7:30am until 12:30pm yesterday. Then we were told to leave. Civic duty.

If it had been an airplane we'd all be in New York by now.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Stitches, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Here's how my head looked yesterday. Seems to be mending nicely. But, eeew.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

See the Video

Long as I can remember, I'm having this lump on the side of me head. Yesterday, I am get rid of it. Dem coming at me cabeza with the knives yes.

Now me sore but happy. Me head flat now, very modern. I & I think that they maybe might take out me English Using Module. Not me care one bit, no.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Purple Ribbons and SUVs

IMG_2407, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Just about every vertical post in New Canaan right now has a purple satin ribbon wrapped around it, and an SUV parked in front of it. I have no idea what the purple ribbons signify.

Whoa, Nellie. Just looked it up. Here's the scoop. Apparently, the ribbons are for domestic violence awareness, there's 98 of them for the number of calls the New Canaan Domestic Violence Partnership received this past year. Do you suppose they chose purple because of its association with the color of bruised flesh?

The SUVs speak for themselves.

...und so weiter. You can see the entire photoset at my flickr account. Here's a handy click-here.

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