Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Prize

Mystery bag from Fletch


The card: Dinosaurs, planes...


and bugs.


He certainly knows what I like.

Also, it appears I've won an award.


I'm glad I have the chance to spend the day with the best kids in the world.


Blythe was squinting a bit.


Just as I thought. She needed glasses too. So instead of four, she now looks fourteen.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Glorious, Glorious Day!

I missed this story when it broke on Wednesday, but thought I'd pass it along.

Many of you know my absolute hatred of Thomas Kinkade and the schlock he calls art. I'm not exactly sure if I feel sorry for the gallery owners in this case. They were, after all, complicit in fleecing customers out of money for what were essentially posters of bad art. But to see how he manipulated the market against his own dealers in order to buy out his own publicly traded company just proves he truly is Beelzebub.

In its February 2006 decision, the arbitration panel said Kinkade and other company officials used terms like "partner," "trust," "Christian" and "God" to create "a certain religious environment designed to instill a special relationship of trust" with the couple.

What the company didn't tell them, said their attorney, was that they would have to sell Kinkade's works at minimum retail prices while the artist undercut them with discount sales, some of which he made himself on cable television.It was part of a plan, they claimed, to lower the value of the publicly traded company before Kinkade bought it in 2004, at steep losses to many investors. Hazlewood and Spinello put their $122,000 savings into galleries in Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, Va., that opened in 1999 and 2000 and closed in 2003.

An arbitration panel voted unanimously to uphold an earlier finding of fraudulent activity on the part of Kinkade and restored an award of $2.1 million to two gallery owners put out of business.

So, fewer Kinkade galleries and he owes $2.1 million. That's a win-win situation, right?

San Francisco Chronicle

Treasure Hunting

My dad was, for the most part, a sane and rational man. Actually, I use "sane" rather loosely, but he was not one to dwell on intangible things. He did not go to movies or read fiction. He was a pragmatist.

So his one real departure is rather ironic. He believed unflinchingly in hidden treasures.

Florida is full of treasure, or so one is lead to believe. Growing up I was spoonfed stories of people finding Spanish pieces of eight on the beach after a hurricane. John Dillinger supposedly buried money from a bank robbery in the yard of a house where a huge beachside condo now stands. Plantation owners buried literal pots of gold before the Seminoles came through and burned their sugar mills to the ground. It was this Florida that my father grew up in and he spent a lot of time with a metal detector and entrenching tool in his hands.

We once bought a house in New Smyrna all based on a second hand story told to him by a patient who had worked on the house. The story was that the man's father had been the cook for a bunch of outlaws in North Carolina, I think. They all got killed or thrown in jail and he took off with all the gold. They buried it in North Carolina somewhere and the man's son eventually moved to Florida in the 1920's, bringing the remaining loot. My dad's patient had been hired to put bars on the windows of the house.

For me, two questions would have immediately popped up:

First of all, why would someone who is putting bars on his windows be dumb enough to tell someone the story?

Secondly, why would someone who had that much money choose to settle in a ratty little house in the middle of nowhere?

But those particular red flags were never raised in my dad's head. We bought the house and began using the metal detector as inconspicuously as possible around the yard.

Inconspicuously, I said. A middle aged white dude and his son digging holes in the yard of a house in the middle of the poor, black section of town. There were these two ancient guys across the street that would just sit out on their porch and watch us.

When we'd gone over the entire yard several times, we figured it was time to start on the house. Over the course of a hot Florida summer, we proceeded to completely demolish that house by hand and cart it away, a dump truck load at a time. The two guys across the street just watched us and shook their heads at the things crazy white people do.

We never did find anything of value. I can't
say I was all that surprised. But my dad never seemed disappointed.

And looking back, I guess he gave me a little nugget to carry with me.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


In the past two days I've had two instances of people questioning the appropriateness of something about which I've written. One was here... the second, today, caused me to shut down my other blog, The Skinny Reeve.

It was with great disgust that I chose to delete a story about something that happened 14 years ago. Something that, from my perspective, was fairly innocuous. But because it caused a friend grief from a family member, unjustified as it was, I compromised my integrity and removed it. It was a hard decision, especially since it was precipitated by a chickenshit lurker... like a schoolgirl tattling on boys for smoking behind the gym.

With that deletion and closing down of my blog came the resolve that I would never do another collaborative writing project, not that it ever really ever got off the ground. I refuse to be put in the position again where my judgment about what I write is questioned and I cave for someone else.

As for the first... it also appears to have been outed in a rather dubious way, and was expressed to me through an uninvolved third party. Perhaps the hope was that I would take it down of my own volition without being directly prompted.

Let me be absolutely clear. This blog is mine... all mine. And the things that I write here will stay.

Because my words are all that I have.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

All That Matters


my darling girl
my darling girl
you’re all that matters
in this wicked world
all that matters
all that matters

Secret Agent

my darling boy
my darling boy
all of my sunshine
and all of my joy
you’re all that matters
all that matters


well, i can’t stop the pain
when it calls
i’m a man
and i can’t stop the rain
when it falls, my darling
who can?


my darling girl
my darling girl
you’re all that matters
in this wicked world
all that matters
all that matters


my darling friend
my darling friend
all we’ve got going
is love in the end
it’s all that matters
all that matters

Mark Knopfler

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Identity Project


My portrait from Leonard Nimoy's The Identity Project that I posed for and helped shoot for the documentary.

I'm not letting on about my "secret self"... suffice it to say, I don't dress like this often.