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, May 31, 2006

The Workers Will Rise Again

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Documentary of a clandestine installation marking the closing of the Mother's Cookies factory in Oakland, California.

Installation by Alison Ulman, assisted by Lee Anne Phillips & Bruce Bortin.

Finished, or pritnear. Runtime 6:55

Monday, May 29, 2006


Baytril, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

1.2 ml, once daily. Thank God for antibiotics. Oh, and thankyou Dr. Flemming for stumbling upon them. Saved my life more than once, and now they're working for Pearl

Home from the Vet

Home from the Vet, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Not altogether pleased.

Cheshire Cat Clinic

Cheshire Cat Clinic, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Twice this weekend. Because Pearl has booboo on gee-gee. And she refuses to swallow a pill. So now I know how to give a cat a subcutaneous injection. You might feel a little mild discomfort....

Mother's Cookies Installation

Watch the video

Documentary of a clandestine installation marking the closing of the Mother's Cookies factory in Oakland, California.

Installation by Alison Ulman, assisted by Lee Anne Phillips & Bruce Bortin.

This is not a final version of the flick. I've put it up for review purposes only.


Pogo Cat Humps a Leopard Muff

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Dagmar's cat Pogo is having a hard time keeping it in his pants. Last night after a lovely barbecue, we caught him, on video, going at it. With a piece of leopard-skin fake fur fabric.

You go, Pogo.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Alison and Lee Anne

Alison and Lee Anne, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Across the street from Mother's Cookies, Oakland, California

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Vloggercon Promo

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Vloggercon 2006 will be held June 10 & 11 at the Swedish American Hall, 2174 Market Street, San Francisco CA 94114.

VLOGGERCON 2006 is the intersection between media-makers and technology. A space for dialog and interaction. Of creation and collaboration. A media village born on the internet, and making camp for one weekend in San Francisco.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

International Mothers

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The Mother's Cookies plant in East Oakland is closing after 92 years baking cookies and employing workers. My friend Alison is working on an installation for the workers during their last week at the plant. I slapped together this short documentary of her preparations.

Music: The International by the New Singers

Size More

Size More, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Too many products, and what's more, too many product names. Here's what I think: Everything that's sold gets renamed, and it's always the same name.

All products will be called "Gits-U-Laid®". Although for status' sake, you can also get "Gits-U-Laid® Premium" where "Premium" = "With the Partner of Your Choice".

Sunday, May 21, 2006

FBI warning screen

FBI warning screen, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Haha, ironic, don't you know!

Ryan Junell (right)

Ryan Junell (right), originally uploaded by dumbeast.

...and somebody else, at the SloMo Video Festival, Lobot Gallery, West Oakland, last night.

Before the SloMo Video Festival

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Featuring Ryan Junell and DJ Ray Liotta plus a bunch of hepcats of Eastbay & beyond.

We had to cab there and back again, because, 18th & Campbell on a Saturday night. Good crowd there. Ryan really got his hustle on promoting this showing.

I was easily the oldest person in the room. Which gave me the opportunity, during the 'Take an Oreo and pass them along' portion of the pre-screening festivities to say:

"Excuse me, ma'am, would you like a cookie?"

to the mid-twenties super-coolie to my left.


From the "Before" series.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Orange Tulips

Orange Tulips2, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Slightly montaged

Paule Anglim & Steven Lopez

Paule Anglim & Steven Lopez, originally uploaded by dumbeast. Gallery Paule Anglim. They couldn't have been nicer. Paule just up and introduced herself and Steve to me. A highlight of Bruce's Big Day of Art.

Sculpture in the background by Deborah Buttterfield.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

SloMo Festival written up at

...and they included a still from my entry. Thanks, Ryan!

ooh, and we just got boingboinged!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A. Shows His Playful Side

A. Shows His Playful Side, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Lunch on the 23rd. Sure!

Tiny Hats for Tiny Hoovers

Tiny Hats for Tiny Hoovers, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Crochet hats for the twins. I hope the yarn that I used will be alright for them.

Although there's eight hats pictured, I actually only made four of them. This picture is an example of what, in simpler times, would have been called 'trick photography'. It's really a double exposure of the hats, once lined up side by side, and once as nesting baskets.

New Lamp from Mary's Seat

New Lamp from Mary's Seat, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Here's how the new lampshade looks from where Mary sits. It might need a little tweaking, but I think it could work.

New Lamp Installed

New Lamp Installed, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

It's actually a new shade for an old lamp that I inherited from my parents. The old shade was a heat-trap, and would fry the wiring after a few months' use. Then the lamp would flicker and eventually cease to work.

I made this new shade out of 4" heating duct, and left it open at the top to allow the heat to escape.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

SloMo Video Festival Poster

SloMo Video Festival Poster, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Dagmar & I went to Kinko's & printed up a bunch of posters for the SloMo Video Festival today. Here's one in the window of Taqueria del Sol. Details below, with the following caveat:

I just stopped by the Lobot Gallery space at 18th & Campbell in West Oakland. It's just a couple blocks from my old studio. The neighborhood's, eeeeh, a little bit gritty. Like, don't ride you bike there. Like, lock you car, set the alarm and post an armed guard. Like, if you're a woman and you're alone, don't. Just don't.

That said, please come for the show. I'll be there (onscreen, anyway), breaking glass in slow motion.

May 20th -film festival
Lobot Gallery
1800 Campbell St
$5 - doors @ 8
at loooonnngggg llllaaaassssttttt....

Premiere and Slowdance Party!!!
Sizzurupy slow JAmz by OonceOonce (tigerbeat) and DJ Ray Liotta (sneakmove)

SLOMO Video is a unique compilation of 100 one minute slow motion videosby 85 video artists and filmmakers from the bay area and beyond. This festival will stretch you through a molasses-tinged warp of catastrophic visual and audio beauty. See what your mind usually misses!

featuring notable slowness from artists such as:
LoVid // Matmos // Bec Stupak // Mudboy // Pea Hicks
Scott Arford // Lew Baldwin // Wiley Wiggins // Yoshi Sodeoka Keith Fullerton Whitman // and many dozens more!

Curated by Ryan Junell

FREE BEER // B.Y.O.Robutissin

Doors at 8pm // Screening at 9pm // Slowdance Party til Late!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Gee, Bruce, what do you look at every day as you're peeing?

This is the view outside my bathroom window.

Tactile Paint

Tactile Paint, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Closeup detail of one of Al Green's recent canvases.

Welcome Mat

Welcome Mat, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Now repeat after me:

  • "I'm not going to say anything. I'd like to see a lawyer." and
  • "I don't consent to this search."

This photograph is dedicated to Katya Komisaruk

Friday, May 12, 2006

"Would You be Free from the Burden of Sin?"

The Shut-Ins recorded live from Judy's Place, San Francisco, on Derby Day, May 6, 2006

Words and Music: Lewis E. Jones

Camera and Editing: Paul Schmitt

Post Production: Bruce Bortin

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Farewell to No-No Land

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"The International" was performed by the New Singers

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Carpeting, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Outside the office of an insufferable putz.

Civilization and Its Discontents

Kim Hung Jewelry, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Replace watch battery. Five dollars.

This was after the place two doors to the left sold me a battery that didn't work. Well, it worked part of the time. It just didn't always work.

After some dealing, they agreed to buy the bad battery back. No, not for two dollars. No, even though it's no longer in the package. I bought it for five dollars, and I'm selling it back to you for five dollars.

Thank you.

After the A's Game 2

After the A's Game 2, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

The score was a set of two integers. Something to something. They were both positive integers.

After the A's Game 1

After the A's Game 1, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Well, after a number of innings. The number was an integer.

--From the Coliseum BART platform

Pearl Admires My Handiwork...

Pearl Admires My Handiwork..., originally uploaded by dumbeast.

... on a tiny crochet hat. But she's not going to go all overboard about it or anything.... Nope, that is one cat who is able to control her enthusiasm. Neither willy nor nilly, that one. Unless there's a problem with her water glass. Or the closet door is closed, and she can't go in for an inspection tour. Or her brother looks too comfortable or something.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Ray Hoisted

Ray Hoisted, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Photo by Mary Jane Foran, who would like it to be made clear that Ray enjoys this game. He's not being abused. Honest.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Watch the video
The back of my neck always knots up, first week of the month. This most boring flip movie you'll ever see doesn't begin to explain why.

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