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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Spiritual Machine sketch

When I revamped the prayerwheel with prayer flags the other day, it was a big hit. It's like it's wearing a skirt with lots and lots of petticoats. Marilyn Monroe gets alluded to. When you spin the wheel fast, the flags all fly out horizontal and flappy.
Mary thought it was good, but standing up, walking out to the deck and giving the damn thing a spin every time we want to attain some merit was a bit much. Why can't we rig it up to spin even if we're, say, seated on the couch with a remote in our hand?

Spiritual Machine sketch, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Tentative Etayo Seal of Approval on design specs. Probably not actually solar-powered in this iteration.

I found an appropriate wall-wart power supply for the relay out behind the apartment building last night, 8vDC, 55mA. And the motor on our small oscillating fan is rated at around 0.6A, 120vAC, which the relay is designed to accomodate. And I think that the knob on the fan that holds the blades can be modified into a workable drive wheel. I'm just thinking out loud here.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ofilia's Taqueria

Ofilia's Taqueria, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Right off the middle exit in Tracy. Good Pozole.

Twin Oaks

Twin Oaks, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

I'll never tire of these trees

The Girls

The Girls, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

So pretty. So good hearted. Not so b-r-i-g-h-t.

Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Some of the most slovenly taxidermy I've ever set eyes on. At the Jack Douglass Saloon. Columbia.

Mike Roper

Mike Roper, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Affecting the persona of Mr. Cary Grant. Or is it vice-versa?


Tom, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

In a cavalcade of summer prints!


Cathy, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At the ranch. Sunset.

The House

The House, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Taken from the lower lawn, where we always end up looking for the stuff that we dropped there the night before.

Bienvenidos a Javi's

Bienvenidos a Javi's, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Oakdale. Try the enchiladas verde. Or if you dare, scallops dibalos.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Spiritual Machine

Spiritual Machine, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Our old prayerwheel, which had become a haven for wasps, newly outfitted with prayer flags from Nepal.

Coffee Cans

Coffee Cans, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

No longer housing wasps. Or sending merit to Heaven.


Wasp, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Our prayerwheel, made of six coffee cans arrayed around a horizontal bicycle wheel anemometer-fashion had to change. The coffee cans were a perfect environment for the local wasp population to colonize and set up housekeeping. It was becoming too popular.

Only one of the nests was active. Today I bagged the can it was built into, removed it from the wheel, and set it in the freezer to cool off the pair of wasps that tended the nest. I'm afraid that the cooling was more permanent that I had hoped. This guy's out for the big sleep.

Wasp Nests

Wasp Nests, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Lovely, delicate, hopefully no longer active.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Park Blvd Minarets

Park Blvd Minarets, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Next door to Silka's house


Building, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Alameda County Administration Building
Corner of 11th & Oak

Protecto Inverted

Protecto Inverted, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

From the Anthropomorphic Security Series

McMillan Drop-in Center

Macmillan Drop-in Center, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Free showers & TV, nearly 24-hours a day.

39 Fell St. About a block away.


Neckface?, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

9th St between Market & Mission, San Francisco. Looks like Neckface to me. Anybody?

tanimalxone says: thats no neckface.

Junction Box

Junction Box 01, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

In the stairwell. From the Anthropomorphic Security Series

Monday, August 14, 2006

God of Plumbing, Monte Rio, CA 04

This guy stands in the bed of a pickup truck outside River Plumbing in Monte Rio, California. He holds a trident and a perpetually leaking toilet (the bowl is made out of a collander). Great ad-hoc sculpture/fountain.

He cracks me up.

Playa Azul Restaurant, Petaluma, CA

Excellent decor. Better Caldo de Pescados.


Bark, originally uploaded by dumbeast.



Bark, originally uploaded by dumbeast.



Ducks, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Ducks, yas, yas.

Baby Duck

Baby Duck, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Siu Mai guy

Siu Mai guy, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Here's what was looking back at me when I opened my lunch today.

The King of the Sea Monkeys

The King of the Sea Monkeys, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

New string of outdoor lights, courtesy of Tom & Katherine Barich

Ray's Back

Ray's Back, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Love that kitty.

My Desk

My Desk, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Here's my desk at HAP. Has possibilities.

On Tuesdays, people come and hang out at the reception window. It's like my little domain becomes a clubhouse for lawyers & SSI workers. I gotta work on making it hospitable.

  1. Disco ball?
  2. Troll dolls on every surface?
  3. A huge carniverous plant?
  4. CNN on the monitor?
What might these earth people like?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Impeach Bush Cheney

Impeach Bush Cheney, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Frank Parish outside of Lake Merritt Park today trying to cut through the apathy. Look at the disasterous situation that we've made in Iraq. Guantanamo, torture, our weapons being used by Israel to kill all those Lebanese kids, a trampled constitution.

Oh, poo. Frank works for Check them out.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Joyduckin' Punks

Watch the video
Around dusk at the Russian River, roving bands of teenaged ducks were doing this group joyriding behavior--half swimming, half flying along the surface of the water. There was a hatch on, and small fish were surfacing to feed. I don't know what the ducklettes were getting out of all this, but they certainly were intent on skittering here and there.

Pearl on the New Rug

Pearl on the New Rug, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Cats like this rug.

Ray on the New Rug

Ray on the New Rug, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

31" x 55.5"
Belouch tribe from Afghanistan

Mary & Bruce

Mary & Bruce, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Birthday Lunch at the fabulous Sandpiper Restaurant. Photo by Michael McCoy

Driftwood Sculpture

Driftwood Sculpture, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At the fabulous Sandpiper Restaurant. Very nice form, well edited & presented. All the decor there was first-cabin. And the food! OH, MY GOD! The food was Heavenly! Well, it was good. Lovely view of the bay. And our waiter, Michael was very charming. Look, up above; he took a picture of us.

The fabulous Sandpiper Restaurant

Bodega Bay, CA
August 2, 2006

Big Pile of Presents

Big Pile of Presents, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Rio Villa Inn, Monte Rio, CA
August 2, 2006
6:13 in the fucking a.m.

Horse Trough

Horse Trough, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

On the Gilliam Creek Trail above Armstrong Woods. I liked the gelid algae in the water.

Later that day, all of Nature turned against me.

Lichens on Redwood

Lichens on Redwood, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

On the Gilliam Creek Trail above Armstrong Woods

Armstrong Woods hike. Conjecture: Buddha as high-functioning Asperger type.

Kingsford Charcoal Guy

Kingsford Charcoal Guy, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

So earnest. So eager to please.

Burgers, Corn, Toast

Burgers, Corn, Toast, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Rio Villa Inn, Monte Rio, CA


Burgers, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Here's why they're called patties.


Grill, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

We cooked out every night.

View over the Russian River

View over the Russian River, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Rio Villa Inn, Monte Rio, CA

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No Photo Here

Just words, I'm afraid. Here's what we did on August 1.

Burke's Canoe trip! We saw a huge white carp like a torpedo barrelling upstream, a turtle sunning itself on a tree trunk in the river, many blunted dragonflies, [break for fab picnic lunch]......floating chunks of brown foam, a silver-blue eagle that flew out of a tree and caught a catfish in his talon (soon joined by another eagle who gave him a lecture about sharing), a family of ducks, a vulture, a guy from Korbel riding a tractor, and finally the bus to bring us back to the car.

Drinks & Gin Rummy at the golf course alongside the faded remains of Runaround Sue, who waits blearily for Vernon or Richard or whoever she's currently married to to finish chasing that crazy white ball around.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Flowers, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

We went up to the Russian River to celebrate Mary's birthday. Here's some of what we saw & did.

Rio Villa Inn, Monte Rio, CA
Hummingbirds love these.

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