Tag: community discussion

Café Discovery: Into the mind of the artist

I should have spent yesterday afternoon grading Java programs, or perhaps preparing some files to show my Tuesday night class how to better use the animation capabilities of Director 11.  But it was only Saturday and procrastination is what it is, so I decided to put that off until today.  So I created a graphic.  As I am wont to do, I saved often along the way, so I actually created a whole series of graphics.

Which one is best is in the eye of the beholder.

Today, in order to continue the procrastination process, I decided to provide a glimpse, perhaps, at how the artistic part of my brain functions.

Café Discovery: History of a Song

I was messing around with music by The Weavers this morning.  One thing lead to another (first to Hudie Ledbetter, then Woody Guthrie) and there I was with the story of a song.  It was much more complicated than I thought.

There once was a British racehorse, born in 1741, named Skewball (or Squball or Skuball).  He won a lot of races, including a famous one on the plains of Kildare, Ireland.  The race was so renowned, songs were written.

Of such beginnings, legends are born.

Café Discovery: The Unfather (Revised)

It’s Father’s Day, a day which tends to distress me greatly.  


O.E. fæder, from P.Gmc. *fader (cf. O.N. faðir, Ger. vater), from PIE *p@ter (cf. Sanskit pitar−, Gk. pater, L. pater, O.Pers. pita, O.Ir. athir “father”), presumably from baby-speak sound like pa. The classic example of Grimm’s Law, where PIE “p−” becomes Gmc. “f−.”  Spelling with −th− (16c.) reflects widespread phonetic shift in M.E. that turned −der to −ther in many words; spelling caught up to pronunciation in 1500s (cf. burden, murder).  Fatherland (1623) is a loan-translation of Ger. Vaterland, itself a loan-translation of L. patria (terra), lit. “father’s land.”  Father’s Day dates back to 1910 in Spokane, Wash., but was not widespread until 1943, in imitation of Mother’s Day.

Online Etymology Dictionary

I mostly want to go hide somewhere, so I’ll probably try to get lost in something.  Maybe create some graphics.  Or watch some food shows on the telly.

Café Discovery: Writer’s Block

I believe that the so-called ‘writing block’ is a product of some kind of disproportion between your standards and your performance … one should lower his standards until there is no felt threshold to go over in writing. It’s easy to write. You just shouldn’t have standards that inhibit you from writing … I can imagine a person beginning to feel he’s not able to write up to that standard he imagines the world has set for him. But to me that’s surrealistic. The only standard I can rationally have is the standard I’m meeting right now … You should be more willing to forgive yourself. It doesn’t make any difference if you are good or bad today. The assessment of the product is something that happens after you’ve done it.

–William Stafford

(Warning:  Graphics inside)

Café Discovery: Context, 1964

I was a sophomore at Lake Oswego High School for the first half of 1964 and a junior at at the end of it.  

Like 1963, the music ranged from the Beatles at the beginning of the year…to the Beatles at the end of the year.  The meaningful music, as far as I was concerned, was in between.

I pulled the news from 1964 out of wiki, every fifth story or so.  I’ve added some content and some memories and followed a few threads forward.

I found it an interesting study.  I hope you do, too.

Café Discovery: Dreamcatcher

I took some time today to assemble the smaller pieces of a larger thought.  “Putting it all in one place” is something I have sometimes had trouble achieving.  With it all together, I may find it needs a tweak hear and there.

In order to not use as much html as would otherwise be required, the graphics are sized to the poem they go with.  Clicking on any of them will open a larger version in a new tab.  

Café Discovery: Flowers and Weeds

I have not many of my own words today.

Perhaps I am tired.  Perhaps I am simply lazy.

Perhaps it is simply that it is Spring.

So I have few words of my own.  But I do have a few graphics.  Clicking them will open larger versions.

I added just enough words, from Etymology Online and Wikipedia, to allow arrangement of the graphics…and perhaps allow a little bit of learning.

Café Discovery: selfishness v. egocentrism

I had…or am having (it’s hard to tell sometimes)…a disagreement with someone which turned out to center mostly on our disagreement about the meanings of the words “selfish” and “egocentric.”

I believe that words come with denotations and connotations and that if our sets of either of these differ, we will have different interpretations of the words.  Because of this, all human communication is, in part, a negotiation.

The person with whom I was (or am) conversing believed that the dictionary rules.  I’ve never cared for that view because I don’t believe the language is dead, that words change meaning over time and even the best dictionaries are therefore mostly out of date.

Besides, I’m a mathematician at heart.  When we define words, they mean what we say they mean, no more and no less.  Of course, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was a mathematician:

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’

Café Discovery: Meditative Exercise

Part of the teaching experience unfortunately consists of the grading experiences.  I have a veritable shitload of it to do.  And I will spend most of the day pursuing that craft.

During the past week, as I struggled through a schedule of 8 overly spaced out classes which required my presence at school 12 hours a day for 4 days, with gaps filled with two programs I presented on transsexualism, a lecture on the Birth of Science and a faculty meeting, at the end of each day I took a little bit of time for some meditative time, working on a series of graphics.

They are shared inside.  Clicking on one of them will open a larger version.

Feel free to add anything in the way of music, words or graphics.

Café Discovery: Learning my part

There are Sundays when I don’t have much in the way of words.  At least not much in the way of my words.

This is apparently one of them.

I mean, I had a story just before I fell asleep last night and it migrated into a dream, I’m pretty sure, but as these things happen, when I woke up, it was gone.  I have a little suspicion of what it was about, but if I try to force it, I know I will be displeased with the result, that it wouldn’t end up being what it wanted to be.

So I’m going to leave that up to my subconscious to play and do with what it will.  Maybe the story will reappear and maybe it won’t.

Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be learning some lines from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.  We have rehearsals Monday and Tuesday nights and it’s show time on Wednesday and Thursday.

Specifically, my part comes from They beat the girl out of my boy…or so they tried.

But I’ve spent most of the day with my art program instead.

Café Discovery: Holiday Train Show – infrastructure

Back on January 8, Debbie and I took a trip to the New York Botanical Garden.  I brought along my new camera and took a lot of photos.

Previous sub-collections are available here:

Haupt Conservatory included some of the plant exhibits, including the desert succulents.

statuary displayed photos of three public art installations.

public spaces was the first part of the Holiday Train Show exhibition.

Today’s collection is part two of three of the latter.  Still to come will be (roughly) wealth, skyscrapers, and entertainment.

Clicking upon the photos should open larger versions in a new tab.

Café Discovery: Holiday Train Show – public spaces

Earlier this month Debbie and I trekked to the Bronx on a very cold day, to the New York Botanical Garden, in order to see the Holiday Train Show.

I’ve got to say up front that we went because Debbie is a train fan and has a small collection of models.  We were extremely disappointed in the train portion of the train show.  But the buildings were magnificent!

Mostly, if not all organic, the historical models of New York’s architectural past were well worth the visit.

Up today are some of the public spaces.  Coming in the future will be the private dwellings, commercial enterprises, bridges, trains, and churches included in the exhibit of more than 140 models.

Clicking on the graphics will often reward you with a larger view.  

Load more