Tag: doing it ourselves

String Fling – Music Fest in Central New York

Hello all you Music and Art fans, just wanted to let you know that I’ve been accepted as one of the visual artists at this year’s String Fling in Sterling, NY. (StringFling on MySpace) I’ll be creating two or three large canvases while the music happens, at the end of the event the pieces will be given away to people in the audience.

What’s a String Fling?  3 Days of Music, Art, Camping and Drum Camp!  The gates open this Thursday at noon, day passes are available for Friday and Saturday too, so if you are in the area stop on by, support local musicians and make some new friends.

An Artist is not an Artist if s/he is not creating.  The time away from the canvas was needed and now I feel like there is something ready to emerge.  I’ll try to get some photos of the pieces in various stages for those who might be interested in seeing them.  For now it is back to packing and sorting through Art supplies.

On the homefront:

I stopped by the local farmer’s house today, the one that will be haying my fields.  Him and his son had just finished up 50 acres and looked like they could go do another 50 before lunch.  Hard workers, nice people, good neighbors.

The yard has been mowed and trimmed, a new small access path is in place so I don’t have to disturb the horses in order to access the back acreage, strawberries are done for the season, apples are getting bigger, Jasper got loose yesterday but came home exhausted and smelling like the swamp and a few dead animals he must have encountered a few hours later.  A quick bath took care of that…thankfully.

Happy Birthday America.

30 Minutes to Kill

Nope this isn’t some cleverly worded title about the latest situation in Iraq, just another update from the farm:

I am pretending I have 30 spare minutes but in reality I do not.  Reality can wait.  It is still snowing…hasn’t stopped in 36 hours. The weatherman just said there is a total of 12 1/2 inches.  The tractor got a real good workout yesterday but it really isn’t meant to be a snow plow.  I’ll be getting a larger truck soon and putting a plow on it.

I found 3 possible spots for the new house, they all have southern exposure and are pretty high up on the property.  I found out that this property is the watershed for two small brooks, one leading West and one leading South.  Another cat has shown up in the barn and the bravest of the barn cats is now upstairs in the house munching out and hanging out with Dancer.

Busy Day Today

I made another trip to the old house today and grabbed most of my power tools. shop vac, a small table and some other odds and ends.  There was a table down in the basement that needed some attention, I cleaned it up and tightened the legs, now it is in the living room with a small bankers lamp and a backgammon set on it.  The cats like it because now they can stare at teh bird feederz and the apple trees.  The two cats from the other house made it up  yesterday, they seem to like the place so far.  So now the total is 3 barn cats, 2 inside/outside cats,  2 horses, and one dog soon to be 2 dogs.

I ran through the electrical panels and verified the labeling was correct.  Found one live wire buried in the wall, fixed an outlet in the front hall that was never properly installed.  Installed a new phone as the one I had was old and kept breaking up.  The new one seems fine. There is a small leak in the shower unit but I have the tools to fix that tomorrow.  Started laying out ideas for vegetable garden locations, perennial beds, natural wetland areas etc.  There is a spot on the South side of the property that is perfect for the first garden area, I’ll just need to create a gate in the fence to access it and add a small composting area.

The horses were very active in the warm weather today, Rio seems to be the more inquisitive of the two.  They got a good brush down yesterday and are starting to respond to my voice.  They got fresh bedding today and rolled around in it right away.  

The most immediate neighbor stopped by last night, she filled me in on other artists living in the neighborhood.  She’s a professional writer and built her own active solar home for $75,000 about 5 years ago, she’s still working on the final touches.  She is very active politically and is trying to get some things done regarding pesticides and toxic wastes.  She has great energy and it is nice to know a like-mind is nearby.


Update from the Farm

Let’s see since I last updated I:

1. Fixed two broken lights in the barn, they were in the area originally intended for the horses but the previous owner found it easier to put them in another spot.  Now they’ll have the option of two places if I need to do work in one of the areas.

2. Took the ATV out to the farthest point of the property and tested the hand held radios.  The Cobras worked great but the Audiovox radios weren’t as strong.  It’s good to have the radios in case something happens and I need help.  The stories are many about men who were working on their tractors on the back 40 and had to lose a leg or an arm for lack of a communication device.

3. The birds are enjoying their sewet cake and feed, so far I’ve seen chickadees, winches, blue jays, wrens and there are some pigeons in the barn(note to self must fix cupola on barn), and an owl has decided to make the woods around here his/her home.


It was a good day today.  Late last night when I went to check on the horses they were both laying down on the fresh bedding.  The previous owner said that Rio never laid down as he was too skiddish.  I read some advice columns that said it is a sign that the horse is comfortable in their surroundings.

The horses and dog spent some quality time together while I tried out the new snow scoop, like a shovel but you just push, no lifting required.  I figured out what was wrong with one exterior light and one interior light.  Unpacked the first load of tools into the basement.

Ran out to the local hardware store where I was greeted by some friendly local faces and they filled me in on the best music venues in the area.  Picked up some bird feed and sewet cakes, extra gloves and a new hat.

Pictures Pictures Pictures!

I apologize for the delay in uploading pics.  I’m not used to the laptop yet and had to install some software to get it to work.  So without further ado:

Meet Rio!

And Laser!

He was being a little camera shy this morning.

Then There’s Jasper!

Kossaks helped me name him.

The House!

The Barn!

More pics of the land to come later in the week.

Be good and do it yourself!



r a d i o h e a d

Well, I tried writing something about the above video but I am sure you’ll all understand what I was trying to write just by watching.  Something about Doing it Ourselves and the joy that that brings. And the attraction of the studio where the artist can be left alone to invent and discover then release items for public consumption when the time is right and not a moment sooner.  Add on to that the inclusion of the mystic and absurd so that we steer clear of idle sincerity.  Intermingled with a desire to yell, scream and cry all in tune and without dropping a beat. No this isn’t important but it is, like your last exam before summer vacation.  Would you prefer a more refined video with fire and ladies dancing?  Be honest.  Would you prefer to see filled glasses of alcohol and some severe rump shakin’?  Or is the experience of creating something new what a music video could and should be about?


Your Thoughts on Veterans and Troops Needed

TominMaine and others are working on a new project but they’d like to include everyone’s thoughts in this process.  Below is a list of  questions, answering them will help them a great deal and provide a better foundation for their efforts.

A main goal is to bring the Netroots together with the Military and Veterans Groups.  Right now there is a divide that could be overcome with a simple project or two like this one.  So, below the fold are the questions:

Zen and the Art of Online Activism

Way back when you all first stumbled onto a political blog or message board you may have felt overwhelmed with what you didn’t know.  You may have felt it an almost impossible task to get up to date on important topics being discussed so that you too could have something of value to add.  I know I did.  I also felt frustrated because by the time I got up to date, everyone else had moved along to another topic.  The frustration quickly left however when I realized that there were other people in the same situation and that we all needed help.  So I made it my task to ask simple basic questions of the top posters so that the rest of us could understand the material as well.

When others were looking to emulate Wonk in all it’s glory, I saw that as elitist and adverse to the cause of including more voices.

Once comfortable in the community(ies), the facts and information begin to flow quicker, until you feel you are at the same wavelength as the information you are receiving and it is processed in real time.

Occasionally a spark will happen that will galvanize the community.

A mother of a dead soldier stands in a ditch waiting for a President to open his door.

A massive Hurricane strikes and your friends are on the ground there and need help.

Photos of flag draped coffins are deemed unpatriotic.

This is when it is possible to advance to another level.  You go from responder, to actor in the world stage.  People are looking around and wondering what to do, you step up to bat, you realize you must perform to the best of your ability.  Everything you learned about communication skills come into play.  All of your contacts become utilized and turned into resources.  In one hour you can change the world.  Why?