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

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

This is what I saw once I turned over on my back. Catching my breath for a while, you understand. Eventually, I got up, assessed the damage. The bike's front wheel had a ding, the rear derailleur was a little screwed up (2nd gear was 1st, 1st was between the big cog and the spokes) and the handlebars were about 10 degrees out of plumb. The bike had been knocked cockeyed.

Me too! Pretty thoroughly bruised, but still. I was glad to be able to walk, and eventually ride away from there.

I finished my errands, got a haircut, and took my bike to Bay Area Bikes. They'll fix it up nice, $100. Could have been worse all around.

Today, two days out, I'm still looking forward to my next ibuprophen, but I'm able to get around. Capable of pretty much everything, except (as Mary pointed out) housework.

Bricks at City Center Plaza

Bricks at City Center Plaza, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Just as I was forming the thought:

"Gee, that bag is swinging pretty close to the front wheel; I'd hate for it to get hung..."
...the bag got hung up in the front wheel, jamming it. The bike stopped, I went over the handlebars and hit the paving bricks.

These are not soft bricks. Knocked the wind out of me for a bit.

The GAP, Oakland City Center

The GAP, Oakland City Center, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

On Thursday after Christmas, I went to the Gap to redeem my gift card. Thanks, Ramona & Jack! Got some groovy jeans and six pair of socks. They came in a green bag with a GAP logo & drawstrings. I took the bag and hung it from my handlebars and rode off.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ceci n'est pas un pâté en croûte de noix de pécan

Ceci n'est pas un pecan pie, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

It's a chess pie. Obviously.

Apple cranberry crisp

Apple cranberry crisp, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

...from the bottom. Mary & Cathy baked up a storm here on Xmas Eve.


Star, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

cardboard & acryllic. State #1

Tom's casette player control labels

Tom's an engineer. So he doesn't understand that the reason he can't read the labels on his casette player is that they were designed by an engineer. I made him these labels so that he can see what the buttons do.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Night of the Tree

Night of the Tree, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Social Security Administration Oakland

Social Security Administration Oakland

Social Security Administration Oakland

Social Security Administration Oakland

Social Security Administration Oakland

Social Security Administration Oakland

AC Transit Driver

AC Transit Driver, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

On the rockin' 88 line.

I was pointing my camera, setting my white balance for a series of photos of the Social Security Administration building on 11th St in Oakland when this guy pulls up in his bus and poses for me.

Is that a punim?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yawning Cat

Yawning Cat, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Ray's intelligent look.

Bottled Curry Powder

Bottled Curry Powder, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

29 bottles. I was shooting for 30. Pretty good stuff!

Curry Prep

Curry Prep, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Heated spices in pan; turmeric & ground corriander in bowl.

Curry Powder in Pan (heated portion)

Curry Powder in Pan, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Cumin, cardamom, rai seed, white peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, powdered chiles, star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, red lentils

Excessive Packaging

Excessive Packaging, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

For a couple laptop computers.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cathy's Fastpass

Cathy's Fastpass, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Thanks! I'm going to town right now! Hope things are going moderately well in Bismarck (the Riviera of the Northern Steppes)


Shelved, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Masterfile Central, where the recons wait. Maybe they'd let me go in there, see if I could get a few of those cases off the shelf. I mean, how high could that shelf be? I could bring a step ladder, if that would help.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Pixie-Bean, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Dagmar & Silka's new stray. What a cutie!


Roonie, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

That leash isn't fooling him. We're not gonna leave for at least 45 minutes, and he knows it.

Cats in 'T' Formation

Cats in 'T' Formation, originally uploaded by dumbeast.
Now it's off to Silka's for the football game. Hi, Cathy

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Before the Xmas parade

Watch the video
Some of the most professional and affectless parade costumes I have ever laid eyes on.

His License Plate

His License Plate, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

This is his license plate.

Oakland Cop

Oakland Cop, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

This is the car of the Oakland cop who followed my bike up onto the sidewalk today. Assault, but not battery. There was a big dumb parade happening on Broadway, everybody was a little bit on edge. Legba's been pissed all day long.

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Chainguard

New Chainguard, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Made of a discarded plastic pet-watering system; 3 pop-rivets.

The old one was becoming problematic.


Jot, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At the International Cafe Hootenanny Night, Nov 11, 2006. We were there to hear Gayle's group, Gayle Lynne & the Hired Hands.

Check Jot out here.


Paul, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At the International Cafe Hootenanny Night, Nov 11, 2006. We were there to hear (Paul's sister's) Gayle's group, Gayle Lynne & the Hired Hands.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mary & Bruce

Mary & Bruce, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Old-style metal type from a letterpress. Don't be scale-fooled by tiny corn. Type is ~60pt.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sourdough Toast

Sourdough Toast, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Bread baked by Bob Ness. It's stand-right-up-and-slap-your-momma good.

General Douglas "Dugout Doug" MacArthur rose from the grave to declaim:

"Somebody give His Holy Modal Bobness one of them Genius Grants, already!"

Monday, October 30, 2006

Cal Benefits Training

Cal Benefits Training, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

I laughed, I cried, I took a lot of notes.


Altar, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

R.I.P. Miriam

Sunday, October 29, 2006


cupcakes, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Cathy brought these to our pre-theater party last night. Delicious.
Tara & Dave came too.


Grafitti, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Market & Fell Street, San Francisco.
Somebody obviously went to a lot of trouble -- get over the fence, rig up some kind of spraycan-on-a-stick apparatus, avoid detection -- to write "HCM". I guess that means something to somebody. Oh well.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"What happened to peace on earth?"

Watch the video

Medea Benjamin (of CODEPINK) interviews Willie Nelson on the war in Iraq, and voting the bastards out.

Give Peace a Vote!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

HAP's Talent--review copy

Watch the video
HAPs Talent is providing direct client services to San Francisco's neediest.? And squashing cockroaches.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

RiffRiders at McGrath's, Oct 14, 2006. "St. Thomas"

Watch the video

Some cowboy jazzgrass at an intimate wateringhole in Alameda, CA.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Ray-ray, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Look into his eyes. Look at them!
You can not look away.

Autumn Sky

Autumn Sky, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Looking West from 17th & Harrison.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Q2 go pop!

Q2 go pop!, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Oh, crap. I'll never get this circuit right.

Squiggle 'Roonie

Squiggle 'Roonie, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At Silka's yesterday

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Ray, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At his tub


Pearl, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Under her lamp

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ted's Dance (with endtitles)

Watch the video
This is a very early fragment from the HAP talent video that we're building. I just want people to see the tone of what's beiong done. Cast your eyes upon Ted's BRILLIANT interperetative cockroach dance. If two or more people want to turn in like-minded performances, it'll help to round out the sequence.

We're Busy at HAP

Watch the video
Here's an early cut of the opening sequence of the 'busy" portion of the talent video. More HAPsters will be added as I collect more footage over the next week or so. Anybody who wants to be included in this can be, and anybody who wants to opt out is free to do so, too.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Before the Library Opens

Watch the video
From the "before" series.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mickyhead copy

Mickyhead copy, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Now More Ferocious

Muni Face

Muni Face

Muni Face, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Inscribed into a seat, somehow.

Trimmed Hibiscus

Trimmed Hibiscus, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

||| Giant White-Fly Free |||

I heard back from Jack Schwegman at UCCE and Ronnie at the Alameda County Department of Agriculture. Both of them left me long involved voicemails, and Ronnie sent me an envelope stuffed with printouts of web pages about the giant white-fly and what can be done to control it.

Meanwhile, back at the apartment complex, Joanna and Eddis have been right on top of things, and today cut back the hibiscus bushes to eradicate the pest. Way to go, guys. Way to go, government scientists. Mostly, way to go Jim for being right there with the biological ID. From 5000 miles away, yet.

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