Welcome to my blog. I am a young, self-taught artist from the Gulf Coast, who wants to provide pyrographic artwork that sends a clear strong message. Please take time to look through my pages and posts. I appreciate comments, love making new friends, and covet faithful followers. Shout hello if you know me, or are just passing through.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Sun Came up Today...Aren't you Glad?

I must be on a roll here.  This is the third streak of inspiration in three days.  I haven't had time to woodburn, now that I am "officially" employed, but surprisingly, while work has stifled my artistic creativity, it isn't squashing my mental creativity. 

I realized today just how little people notice the very essense of life, and how much they take for granted.  Citizen #0000590 from Sunshineville, Anystate, USA wakes up and turns on his TV.  He eats his breakfast, he surfs the news on his fifth generation Iphone.  Has the fifth generation come out yet?  Anyway, as the clock draws nigh the top of the hour he rushes out the front door to head to work.  His head is down.  He is grumbling, likely cursing everything and everybody.  I would say Citizen #0000590 is in a bad mood.  This is normal.  Citizen #0000590 has just Facebooked his plight for his 862 friends to see.  This has made him feel only a little better.  But Citizen #0000590 is about to have to Facebook more curses as his car hesitates to start.  He will be late for work...again.  While he is busily facebooking the new turn of events....the lights, suddenly go out.  He is left in a bone-chilling, lead-dense blackness cut only the light from his fifth generation ipod illuminating his face and the surrounding surfaces of the interior of his "Blankety-blankety car". 

The sun just went out.  Science is warning us that one day the star we call the sun will fail us, and there are blips of concern from the general public when people mention "the end of the world" or the "sky falling".  But really, would Citizen #0000590 really care that someone turned off the sun, or would he just facebook it? 

As I lay on my couch at break, taking a power nap to recharge my batteries after the two waves of maddness at my workplace, I contemplated this.  Not the sun refusing to shine...but the essense of life.  My every breath.  The peace, and quiet.  The vibrations of sound waves from the strings of my sister's violin in the next room hitting my eardrums, teasing the musical areas of my brain...  My beating heart, my pulsing arteries... again, the unconscious contracting of my diaphram that keeps me breathing when I am too busy to think about breathing.  It is something we all take for granted.  Our own lives. 

We must admitt we are fighters, but only when we have to be.  People suffer vehicle and sporting accidents and cling to life with all their might as complete strangers struggle to keep them alive and transport them to a hospital.  Those victims may or may not have much appreciated their life while they had it.  They are at the moment fighting to keep it with all their might...but very few have appreciated what they had when they had it. 

I write this simply because I have been taking the time to appreciate these things over the past few days.  The busier I become, the more time I try to make to remember that my exsistence is blessed.  As I stepped out my door today, my mind was on getting in my car, getting safely to work, and on time.  My mind was on what might happen today at work, and what might happen tommorrow.  At the same time, another area of my cerebellum was contemplating yesterday's happenings, and how it all effected today.  Then, halfway to the car,...I just stopped.  I felt something warm all over my body.  It was pleasant.  I hadn't noticed it much before.  It felt good.  It made my heart leap, brought a little smile to my face.  I closed my eyes and lifted my face up to it.  I have never been able to look straight at it and most of the time I ignore it and forget that it there.  That bright star, the sun, was making my day.  So far, it has never failed.  Scientists say it can cause skin cancer and do all kinds of harm to the eyes if I don't wear sun lotion and expensive sunglasses and all kinds of junk like that....it might.  All I know is, I like that star right where it is.  Not too far from earth, not too close.  It warms me, it feeds me, it makes me smile, it tickles my heart (emitts energy and radiation essential for life), it is there.  And I like it.  

Nobody seems to take the time to facebook it because it is always there, doing the same ol' boring thing it always does.  Shining.  It never does anything else.  So maybe that is why people forget about it.  The only time they really remember it is when it is "too hot" outside.  When I look up at the night sky, I don't think much of those far away stars as being like the earth's sun.  

But then, I don't think much about the fact that I'm breathing.  Even when we think of death, we don't much about the fact that if we were dead, we wouldn't be breathing.  To us, breathing is comparisant to exsistance.  Each breath I draw...is a blessed one.   I enjoy my life....every breath of it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Legally Speed?!

This seems a little out of the norm for me.  But since I'm a driving teen I believe all you other driving teens out there can relate.  Again, another non-art topic, but I'd say it's the art of speeding. 

Speeding tickets, a source of income for the city, a pain in the wallet, a motivator to slow down and be safe!!! 

Every time I think of speed limit signs and speeding tickets I think of a particular cousin of mine who first counseled me on the art of legally speeding.  He is a teen driver and he has not gotten a ticket yet.  But still, we cannot look to him as an absolute in this matter. 

For most of us, the speed limit sign is a speed suggestion.  And then once we've received our first ticket we take it a little more seriously.  Some of us...never learn.  Especially those Type A personalities...you know who you are. 

I'm a laid back person, but now that I am employed there is an ever present need to make sure I get to work on time.  I've never been late to appointments and I didn't speed to make it on time. 

The reason I write this article is because I am the one wishing I had the blue lights on top of my vehicle.  There's not a day I go driving that I don't see someone blowing through a stop-sign, doing a u-turn, or speeding at least fifteen to twenty over the limit.  No cops, no stops, we say.  Yes, I'll admit, I've been in a few situations where the yellow line did not allow me to go the way I wanted, and since there was nobody to see my error...I did it my way. 

You must understand, city driving is a lot more dangerous and different that country driving.  You think country rednecks are rogues, you wait until you have the mad texter who is weaving his or her way to work at an insane speed.  City driving is insane.
Digressing aside, we realize even our law enforcers have broken the law and we often catch them doing it.  But what can we say.  I will say...that even though I have seen a few break the laws they fine us for... I have also seen a few uphold those laws themselves.  And so this paragraph I pause to commend them.    ..................................


Back to speeding.  We all seem to know that if we're go just five miles over the limit, we wont get caught.  Give us an inch, we take a mile.  Oh, the psychology.  So then, the moment we see 40 MPH our brains go, "ok. 45 here I come."  No mathematical calculations are needed, the brain seems to instantly make room for an extra five miles an hour and soon enough we can't seem to remember if the limit is 40 or 45.  So...if it's 45...can I go...50 on this road? 

My cousin's theory is that when driving on the highway you can get between two speeders and the speeder behind or before you will be pulled over and you will escape.  I don't have enough money to donate to the county to prove or disprove this theory.  But he hasn't got a ticket yet. 

When I first began driving,  I used to quake and hit the brakes every time I saw a policeman.  I didn't speed then, in fact, I was usually five miles under the limit.  Now, I don't even alter my speed.  For one thing, cop cars don't bother me.  I like having them around.  First, I can see them coming from way off.  I'm a Ford fan.  Even in the dark, the headlights of a town car strike me right away.  Secondly, I can tell when a policeman is out to catch speeders and when he's cruising home or going for lunch. 

But what has provoked me to right this is the temptation that has welled up in me for some time.  Have you ever been on a completely empty...five lane road?  With no one for one mile in either direction....and the Mr. Wheeler begins to come out in you.  You could do ninety...just to feel what it feels like... or you do circles in the road.  It's all yours.  Trees on either side for several miles...empty five-lane road...you can see for about a mile and a half down either stretch of the road freedom.  Like wilderness America.  ...again, the rogue I didn't know lived inside of me.  And the speed limit on this road...is 45 MPH.  I'm sorry, did I say limit.  I meant, suggestion. 

Well, when there are other vehicles present on that road, I do take that as a limit.  Which means, 50 MPH.  45+5=50.  But here's the part where the legal speeding comes in.  As I merrily do my 45-50 MPH range I find other vehicles blowing by me at 60 and 65 MPH.  What then? 

You know from being around elderly, overly-cautious, touristic, or terribly inattentive and slow drivers that slow driving can indeed be a hazard.  So you don't want to be a hazard, but then again, you don't want a big speeding ticket.  Legally speed.

Again, let me state that legally speeding is a safe method of speeding.  Realize that speed limits have their purpose.  That bend in the road- yeah, you better take it at the number they tell you to, sometimes less.  Ever notice how the 10 MPH over that speed bump still leaves you with a bent frame.  Just because the speed bump sign says 10 MPH DOESN"T MEAN 10 MPH is a safe speed to cross that bump.  They ought to just say CREEP.  Or tiptoe one wheel over at a time.  You cross a speed bump at 10 MPH and you'll be leaving parts in the road.  So legally speeding needs it's grains of salt.

You judge the speed of the car about to pass you or preceding you, and match it.  Read on your speedometer the speed you have reached.  Then...ease off the gas, until you are slowly and gradually falling behind them.  You will then be travelling at a speed that will not be a hazard to other speeders, you will probably not be going too fast to get caught, and you will not be going at an "insane" speed.  Remember, everyone else is going faster than you are.  

Also, if you find a policeman who is speeding, you can ride behind him- at a good distance- they will get you for following too closely, and go a little slower than him.  I do not recommend passing because then...you will be speeding. 

When it comes to in-town, I do not recommend speeding at all.  When it comes to highways filled with big trucks, I do not recommend speeding.  But if find yourself in a situation that calls for some more notches on the speedometer,  my cousin's method, or mine may help. 

Oh, and if you get caught, don't tell the officer about legally speeding.  There is no such thing.  Dude...just admitt it, You were speeding.

Happy Trails,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Country Field Mouse or City Sewer Rat?

Now there's an interesting twist on things.  I don't normally blog interesting articles.  But when provoked, or the inspiration hits, get outta the way.  Here I come!!  Mostly...I've got a point to prove.

I've lived in the same house I was born and raised in.  Well, of course I was born in a Hospital, Providence- I wasn't born in a barn.  Though I don't think it would have made much difference.  Jesus Christ was born in a barn after all.  My property seemed an expansive 300 acres when I was little but now that I'm grown, I realize it's only 3.  I've got a mild case of Claustrophobia I feel...or at least, something about my city caused it.  Throughout my 19 years of life I've watched two lane country roads turned into five lane main-stretches, neighborhoods and houses erased from the map and a new road put in, properties squashed to fit more roads in, and apartments, pharmacies, and banks rising all in between so more people could use those nice roads they were paving.  Or...the other way around maybe?  It all happened so fast I couldn't figure it out. 

They call it a booming economy, but that sounds like circular reasoning because the more they build the worse the economy gets. 
I was born with a disease.  The doctors thought I was jaundice, but that's just my olive complection.  I was almost premature, weighed around six pounds, ...but apparently the doctors dismissed me from the hospital as a healthy baby.  What nobody knew was that I had a disease with no name.  Even my mother didn't notice my disease  until almost a decade later.  All my life I dreamed of hundred acre pastures filled with horses and cows and goats.  Expansion, exploration, freedom... it courses through my veins.  ....(and ...I just donated blood this past month...sorry.) 

So my point is, in my elementary years, my town was still a pretty unmapped city.  Now it has a bigger label than the state capitol.  My disease was always there, but just like allergens cause allergies, my disease didn't surface until the city became...an irritant to my condition.  

So, I've decided that as soon as I get my break, I'm headed for the big country.  But, certain people keep trying to crush my dream.  They act like I shouldn't even try.  And then I wonder, Why do city people run to the country and country people run to the city?  Well, some do but I wouldn't say everybody does.  I've been told TOO many stories of kids who were raised on a farm and HATED their parents and RAN to the city where they lived happily ever after and then died at a young age.   Well, I'm assuming they died early since I have my thoughts on the city.  Never have I heard a story yet where a kid was raised in a rapidly expanding metropolis and ran to the country.  But you're about to hear one. 

The purpose of my article is to weigh the pros and cons of city life and country living.  It would seem, country living is no longer a part of American life.  Our television shows, our radio talk, our novels, our news- everything is about the city.  America's agriculture and livestock is only covered in "exclusive" National Geographic articles.  Fewer and fewer Americans are self-sufficient.  And I believe the reason there was a shift was because the government made it hard on farmers and made the city seem more profitable.  In fact, at one time the city was profitable.  So greedy, money-hungry people flocked to the cities.  Then, nobody wanted to work the land, so machines took over, and now, America is being fed by a very large ratio.  I believe one farm feeds approximately 1000 Americans. 

But let's talk benefits.  This is all about opinion.  But I'm going to make it fact.  And we're not just talking country but self-sufficiency.  And we're not just talking suburban, we're talking Mega-apartment-rise city.  Let's start with the city:

DisAdvantages of City Life:
  1. Putrid air
  2. Increased chance of automobile accident
  3. Spread of disease
  4. Stress
  5. Radiation
  6. Noise
  7. Crime
  8. Regulations
  9. High Taxes
  10. More services - BUT MORE BILLS
  11. Grouchy, stressed strangers
  12. Competition for services
  13. No trust, kinship, good customer service (Sam Walton would turn over in his grave if he only knew)
  14. More likely to be mugged, have your identity stolen, etc.
  15. You look out your front window to see your neighbor's window.... (sigh) the blinds are ALWAYS closed...but then,...there was that one time they were left open...and you saw your neighbor walking around his house in his underwear.
  16. Noisy neighborhood dogs.
  17. Neighbors.... the good, the bad, and the unbearable.
  18. Treated water.  That's right.  It's treated. Treated.
  19. Spread of contamination and effects of chemical spills
  20. Pathetic architecture.  Prefab homes.  Cookie Cutter houses...built right on that old landfill.  (I'm an individual...just like everyone else.  See that little window way up there?...with that little porch in front of the door...that's my pad. Yeah, no, over to the right four porches, yeah, there...that one with the door and shutters and the window...with the little porch, over there.)
  21. Power lines and billboards...fantastic view isn't it?  Thanks Lamar.  But I came outdoors to...never mind. 
  22. Haters.  Where are your friends when you need them. 
  23. Cost of living.  Everybody wants your money.  That's why you came to the city, right? 
  24. Disaster?  Everybody will share and play nice....right?
  25. The need for a psychiatrist
  26. Can't see the stars
  27. When it rains, you spend money.
  28. If it doesn't match, you're toast.

Advantages of City Life:

  1. Good health care (usually)
  2. Accessibility to Businesses and Work and airports
  3. FancyShmanshy office and corporation jobs that pay way too much for
  4. Safety in numbers (or do you believe in Terrorism?)
  5. Ability to lie, cheat, steal, or trick someone and never run into them a second time
  6. Ability to have fame: perform in an orchestra or sports coliseum, meet a star (depending on where you live and if you care)
  7. Have nobody remember your pathetic name and face.
  8. People notice what you wear.  Glamour matters.
  9. Good services.  If power goes out, it will be restored quicker.
  10. Cultural diversity... with a grain of salt.

Disadvantages of the Country Life:
  1. Distance.  It's a drive to town for the bare necessities.
  2. If you get hurt, the hospital might be a ways.
  3. No opportunity for fame and fortune.
  4. Nobody cares what you're wearing.  Just please, wear something. 
  5. If it breaks, you fix it.  If you can't find it, you build it.  But then, for most of us who dare, that's not a problem.
  6. They invented Duct tape.
  7. If you cheat, lie, steal, or double-cross, we will remember you.  And everybody will know. 
  8. Quick cash is harder to come by.  You have to work for it. 

Advantages of the Country Life:
  1. Disease doesn't spread.
  2. Low pollution
  3. Low radiation
  4. No noise
  5. No crowds
  6. No crime
  7. Low taxes
  8. Quality products, goods, and services
  9. Barter, trade, or buy for an honest price.  If they like you, they might just give it to you.
  10. You know names and faces and may even have a few close friends who never let you down
  11. Friendly neighbors and strangers, if you ever meet a stranger.  Strangers all seem to prefer the city.  Never seen on in the country yet.
  12. Self-sufficiency
  13. Band together in disaster
  14. Animal companionship
  15. No smog, clean air,
  16. Clean water
  17. Fewer bills
  18. Easier schedule, less stress, more peace
  19. Lesser chance of death by crime or automobile accident
  20. Simple life.
  21. Beautiful pristine scenery.  (you are after all on vacation every day.)
  22. Sporting game opportunities
  23. Fewer restrictions, fences, regulations, laws, and ordinances (unless you're on a state wildlife reserve)
  24. You learn first by experience first and then read up in books, while all those city kids spends years learning from a book, only to learn from experience years later. 
  25. Pride of ownership
  26. Personal touch in EVERYTHING
  27. Individuality
  28. No need for psychiatrist.
  29. You can see the stars
  30. When it rains, you dance.
  31. If it doesn't match, it doesn't matter.

So there we have it.  Plain and Simply.  Country life wins again!!  Naturally, not everyone is suited for the country life.  But for those of you wondering why city people run to the country and country people run to the city.  Know this, the country-fleers are greedy, sticky-fingered, dumb-fools who got thrown out of the country community by a bad reputation.................and the city-fleers are the wised-up who couldn't help they weren't born in a barn and want to get away from the greedy, sticky-fingered fools.  Oh...and the Metropolis pyschiatrists can't help them.  Their disease is far more spiritual than mental.  The country woos the spirit.  The city woos the eyes.