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, April 28, 2010


"I will try also I can call Angelita to glag his dose and give him a message." (emphasis added)
Cathy said...

Still don't understand the definition of "glag" , please enlighten.
Bruce Bortin said...

Yeah, I didn't either. I checked, but they didn't help:

"GLAG: Group of Loud Annoying Girls

I shouldn't have offered them shots, now this GLAG won't leave my room."

I was stymied until I looked at the keyboard, and saw that the "g" is right next to the "f". I think she meant to say "flag": I'll flag his dose. Makes more sense, right?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hammerhead Shark Puppet

Hammerhead Shark Puppet, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

For Gayle. Ray seems unimpressed. More photos here.

Balloon Conspiracy

Balloon Conspiracy, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

...they seem to be following me...

Dinner Order

Dinner Order, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Dal tharka
Aloo gobi
Tandoori mix grill
Kismiri naan

Hooray, Indian Delivery! Hooray, Raj of India!

Before the Banksy Movie

Before the Banksy Movie, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At the dollar store, down the block from the methadone clinic.

Pink Feet

Pink Feet, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

You naughty bird!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuan Explains Share of Cost

Tuan Explains Share of Cost, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Tom Mary Bruce Richard

Tom Mary Bruce Richard, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Photo by Cathy Mosbrucker

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tree Silhouette

Tree Silhouette, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Mary Katie Bruce Tom

Mary Katie Bruce Tom, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Photo by Richard Hurlburt

Katie, Richard

Katie, Richard, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Bleedin' Lupins

Bleedin' Lupins, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

As featured in the Monty Python's Flying Circus TV Show - Episode 37

Dennis Moore:
... Lupins!

Male Peasant:
(exploding) Oh Christ!

Dennis Moore:
(astonished) I thought you liked them.

Male Peasant:
I'm sick to bloody death of them.

Female Peasant:
So am I.

Male Peasant:
She's bloody dying and all you bring us is lupins. All we've eaten mate for the last four bleeding weeks is lupin soup, roast lupin, steamed lupin, braised lupin in lupin sauce, lupin in the basket with sauted lupins, lupin meringue pie, lupin sorbet... we sit on lupins, we sleep in lupins, we feed the cat on lupins, we burn lupins, we even wear the bloody things!

Dennis Moore:
Looks very smart.


Wildflowers, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Wildflowers, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Apricots, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Tom, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Columbia, CA

Columbia, CA, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

In Columbia CA. Playing "Castmember or Tourist?" Then met Mike@ Jack Douglass Saloon, and amended that to "Castmember, Tourist or Citizen?" There's bound to be some crossover.

Shiveley's at Night

Shiveley's at Night, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Fried catfish with a side of personality disorder

CA 120 at Night

CA 120 at Night, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Clouds, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Bucket Day!

Bucket Day!, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

The happiest day of the...whatever. Cats don't have much sense of time.

Tired Cthulhu & King G Overpainted


US Mail

US Mail, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Relay Mail

Crow Doll

Crow Doll, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

End of the marine Band

End of the marine Band, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Before the A's game with Megan.


POISON!, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Easter Bun

Easter Bun, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

At the somewhat creepy crepe place on College Avenue.
What? It's still April ,innit?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

"The legs of both sexes are yellowish for most of the year but, like yours, will turn pink during the breeding season." Misquoted from here.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Found Object

Found Object, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

I found this in an old mini legal pad

A List of Over-the-Top Aesthetic Gestures*

  • Geisha-fan gesture
  • Obvi double-take
  • KISS
  • Flacon de Venice de Maroni
  • Sandra Bullock
  • The Biggest Loser
  • E! Entertainment Network
  • Free Market Capitalism
*A culture that has too much time on its hands

No idea what was going through my mind when I wrote this.

Monday, April 05, 2010


Originally uploaded by dumbeast
Sculpture by Dave Meeker
Video by Bruce Bortin

Saturday, April 03, 2010


Asparagus, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Asparagus, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Asparagus, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I think of myself as a Cultural-Ethno SSI Advocate Sans Frontier.

Tangerines, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Somebody needed to know about my process for a grant proposal she was working on.

My process. When I get a referral from a client’s counselor at the methadone clinic, I look over the intake paperwork & evaluate it for merit—is the client in treatment? When was her last clean UA? Is her doctor supportive of a disability claim? What does her counselor think? Then I arrange to meet with the client face to face.

Every time I meet with a client at a methadone clinic, they get a nice piece fruit. A tangerine, if they’re in season. Otherwise, have an apple, a pear, a nice grape, or perhaps a nectarine? While I don’t have any scientific studies to back up this outlandish notion, it’s my feeling that opiates knock out any spare vitamins that your body might have floating around in there, and since all my clients have just dosed when I see them, and none of them can afford to eat properly, yeah, have some fruit. Generally, this simple act of giving food makes people feel like they’re dealing with a real person, who sees them as a real person. Hopefully, this will make them want to come back and see me next week, which can be a big hurdle in the methadone population.

If a client seems like a good candidate for SSI advocacy, and I have capacity, I sign them on. This involves a brief explanation of the process of applying for SSI: “It’ll take a while, it might take a few tries, it’ll depend on you developing a treatment history and seeing me every week. We’ll be dealing with a big dumb government bureaucracy that makes important decisions about peoples’ lives capriciously and randomly. We’ll give it our best shot, but I can’t promise you anything, as it’s really up to them. Are you with me? Great, let’s get started.“ Then we sign:

  1. An advocacy agreement in which they promise to meet with me every week, and to meet with their counselor every two weeks. (Everybody blithely lies to me at this juncture.)
  2. An SSA “Form 1696/Appointment of Representative” which allows me to advocate on their behalf with SSA. I always explain that I’m not going to collect a fee, and I won’t try to collect a direct payment from Social Security once they’re in pay. I sign those boxes on the form in front of them.
  3. A rash of forms that SFDPH requires us to sign, in exchange for their funding of our SSI advocacy program.
  4. A medical release which will allow me to talk to their doctors and request medical records.

From there on in, it’s a weekly ritual of checking in, filling out & submitting various forms for the application, collecting medical records, making sure that the client has access to Dr Shrink or other MH Tx. “I want you to take this Adult Disability Report form with you, fill out the parts that you can. But first, look, I’m crossing out this part at the top, where it asks for your name and your social. Because, you’re living on the street, this might get lost, and you don’t want that information to get into the wrong hands, right? Like, identity theft? But try to fill out what you can of the rest of this thing. Some of it will be easy—like this one: Are you right or left-handed? See, we already did one. Answer the easy ones. It’s also gonna ask you a bunch of stupid-ass questions that you’ve got no idea what they’re driving at. Don’t worry about it. Leave those blank, and when you come back to see me next Thursday, we’ll finish it together, okay? Just do the parts that you know. Don’t worry about not getting all the answers. Really. Whatever you can’t do, bring it back, we’ll work on it together. I’ve done a lot of these. It doesn’t have to be neat—I’m going to have to transcribe all of this into the computer eventually. Here--have a tangerine. Come see me next week, okay?”

Aside from that, I provide lots of other small services for my clients. A lot of them rarely talk to anybody from day to day. I listen to them. I try to get them to get into treatment if they’re not. I update their GA workers to keep them from getting kicked off GA-SSIP. If they have legal problems, I try to deal with them directly, or refer them to where they can get help. If they’re having problems with their methadone counselor or their SRO or their HOT worker, I try to address that.

Temple Tattoo

Temple Tatoo, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Misisipi Rider
Honey Tone Dreamers
Gayle Lynne and the Hired Hands
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Sunday April 25th 2010
Let's go, people!

Cropped Copper Crochet Texture

Cropped Copper Crochet Texture, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Cropped Copper Crochet

Cropped Copper Crochet, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


Cropped Copper Crochet Texture

Cropped Copper Crochet Texture, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Copper Crochet Blowmold

Copper Crochet Blowmold, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Chickenwire Blowmold 2

Chickenwire Blowmold 2, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Chickewire Blowmold 1

Chickewire Blowmold 1, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Macro & magnifying lens experiments 01

more nearby in flickr stream

If Vlad the Impaler Was a Fruit-Bat

Other versions:

Conspiracy Palimpsest Contoured

Conspiracy Palimpsest Contoured, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Four Rivets embossed

Four Rivets embossed, originally uploaded by dumbeast.


1940 03

1940 03, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

mailbox near my house

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