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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Gin Lane" by William Hogarth

I was looking around the waiting room at the methadone clinic the other day, and I thought it reminded me of something...

William Hogarth, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

This poem by reverend James Townley accompanied the original print

Gin, cursed Fiend, with Fury fraught,
Makes human Race a Prey.
It enters by a deadly Draught
And steals our Life away.

Virtue and Truth, driv'n to Despair
Its Rage compells to fly,
But cherishes with hellish Care
Theft, Murder, Perjury.

Damned Cup! that on the Vitals preys
That liquid Fire contains,
Which Madness to the heart conveys,
And rolls it thro' the Veins.


Sorry Seroquel

Sorry Seroquel, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Michael's Zip

Michael's Zip, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

That's a ragged line between disability and substance abuse.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cake Soundcheck at Art & Soul

Cake Soundcheck at Art & Soul
Originally uploaded by dumbeast
Mary went to Pilates this morning, even though the dreaded Oakland Art & Soul festival was going on.  She figured out how to circumvent the madness & get to her gym, and off she went.

15 minutes after she left, she called home. "I think Cake is playing right now. You might want to get down here. Listen!"  She held her phone up to some low-fi noise.

I couldn't hear what the hell she was talking about, but I was pretty sure that Cake (co-headlining with MC Hammer) wouldn't be playing at 10:45 on Saturday morning.  Hah!  That's a laugh. I hope it's something really embarrassing.  A kid playing the Jonas Brothers on a boombox.  Polysonic Spree. An ironic Austrian Cake cover band named Pfannkuchen.  Whatevs.   I got on my bike and headed down there.  This should be good.

It was Cake, doing a sound check, and they were good.  A few other early birds and I got a free private miniconcert, just off stage left. Thanks for the heads-up, Babe. Sorry I thought of you as "Old Tin-Ear."

"Look, Why Don't we Change our Clothes and Play Badminton?"

From Woody Allen's "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy". Jose Ferrer delivers this immortal line.

New Fave TV Show

New Fave TV Show
Originally uploaded by dumbeast
I don't know what it's called, but I think of it as "People Who, if You Saw them Coming, You'd Gladly Cross a Busy Street in the Middle of the Block to Avoid, Get Their Hair Done"

Friday, August 20, 2010

News Item: DSM-V Will be Available in Rap Format

DSM-V code 301.56 Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
    Subtype Jewish

"Ain't no narcissist
like a Jew narcissist,
cuz a Jew narcissist
don't quit, whut whaat?"

You, too Could Enjoy the Glamourous Lifestyle of the Minor Functionary in a Public Services Non-Profit...

...just like me!
[sent from a dead woman's office in a methadone clinic.]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Man Sack

Man Sack, originally uploaded by dumbeast.
I completed my new carrying bag yesterday.

The last one was showing signs of wear, and it was bright yellow. Not really me.
New ManSack Components

So I made this new one out of cord from LL Bean that's made for stringing decoys together. It's camo green and appears to be really tough, braided nylon cord. Cutting down on all that chroma is certainly a relief. And this one is unencumbered by innertube rubber, as well.

Structural Insert for ManSack

I harvested this bit of endoskeleton from a discarded shampoo bottle. It's sewn in, and gives the center section just enough structure that it doesn't collapse when you put the camera into its slot.

Man Sack

Here's a detail of the finished(?) piece.

Sharks Vs Wolverine

Sharks Vs Wolverine, originally uploaded by dumbeast.
In a conflict such as this, who would win? I'll tell you. Nobody wins! Why oh why can't sharks and wolverines sit down, discuss their differences, and come to a reasonable agreement that takes both viewpoints into consideration? Otherwise, the inevitable carnage and devastation will result in such a senseless waste. [sob]

Gluing Up Mouthparts
This shot is called "Gluing Up Mouthparts".


Pre-Op, originally uploaded by dumbeast.
Right before I got the titanium screw in my upper jaw. I've got photos of the impressions that they made of my mouth the day before, but I found myself reluctant to put them up on the web for strange, paranoid, identity-theft reasons. Like they're always identifying the body through dental records?

The procedure involved general anesthesia (hence the surgical wardrobe). I don't remember a thing. Mary's concerned that this was excessive -- she had a similar operation a few years ago, and was just fine with a local. She's got a point -- general anesthesia has added risks and expense associated with it. On the other hand, it's done, I'm fine, it's healing well, and I don't remember a thing.

Asian Jello Dessert
I'm on a soft-food diet for the next few days. I got this Asian Jello Dessert from
Delicieuse Princesse Bakery. Very pretty. I've been seeing these things in their cooler for years now. The flavors are Leaf, Coconut and Purple. I thought if I was ever going to try this, it should be this week. I found it texturally unsettling. Yuk.

Dumbeast at BAART

Dumbeast at BAART, originally uploaded by dumbeast.
First decoration for my new office.  And here's a plant that a client brought me.  I don't know how I'll keep it healthy, what with the no natural light and four hours of fluorescent tube-light per week.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Met Mary, Cathy, Richard & Ahn-Thu at Harvey's in Castro. Dinner with all but Cathy at Sausage Factory, then see new premier of Fruit Fly.  Mary, Ahn-thu & I all got up on stage after fruity post-film q&a.  Pictured Left to Right: Interviewer Guy,  Female lead L.A. Renigen,  Writer/director actor H.P. Mendoza, Cinematographer Richard Wong, and some chap whose name I didn't catch.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Green Prayerwheel Project 2010

This prayerwheel that I made for Al Green is moving to Andrew & BA's new house. These photos are from before the move. The piece comes apart into two pieces, as shown. It looks to me like moving this won't be too much of a problem.  We'll need a moving blanket to wrap the post, and another one for the wheel.  The wheel could use a good greasing, but it still turns just fine.

The video is of a prayerwheel at my house, festooned with Tibetan prayer flags, a treatment that I'd like Andrew & BA to consider for their wheel. I assume that prayer flags are still readily available in Berkeley.  They weather nicely, and add motion.

Making Shark Teeth

I make the teeth for my crocheted hammerhead shark puppet/potholders out of white silicone sealant. Here's how it's done. The yellow thing that I'm squeezing the silicone onto is a polyethylene pallet that's made for mixing Bondo on. I got it at an auto-paint supply shop.

I'm going to let this row of teeth set up for a little while and then, after the surface has skinned over a bit, I'll do another row of teeth, Because sharks have a LOT of teeth.

Once the silicone has cured, it can be carefully peeled off the palette, and glued in place with more silicone.

 Here's two sets of teeth and two sets of eyeballs.

Happy Birthday, Tim!

Happy Birthday, Tim!, originally uploaded by dumbeast.

Tim Kingston's birthday at Lafayette Resevoir

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Tim & the Piñata

Lafayette Reservoir, Saturday August 7th, 2010

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Bridge Sounds and Tree Motions

Some of my favorite things in Monte Rio

August 3

August 3
Originally uploaded by dumbeast
Big hatch over the river this morning. I love the collective motion of the swarming bugs in the air. I wonder how much biomass that represented. I wonder what sense(s) the bugs use to coordinate the swarming motion. I wonder why there weren't a bunch of bug-eating birds feasting on them. That seemed like an oversight in the Mother Nature's Big Interconnected Web of Life department.

Underneath this action, Mary was feeding a pair of ducks at the shore. She didn't play favorites. Each duck got as much hamburger bun as the other. I shouted encouragement.
  • "Look out, you guys! She's thinking a l'Orange!"
  • "She wants to show you her gingerbread house!"
  • "She's gonna take you home, sew you together and try to make you into a cat!"
All ducks look a little bit (exactly) like Pearl.

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