Spectral Orb

This Man Can’t Get The Shelves Installed in His Ikea Bookshelves

What does Sussex County, Spectral Orb and Ikea have in common? That’s right, nothing.

Today I did upholster “ol’ Chrome Domes” high back chair and also finished the two bookshelves.

His Chromium Dome
Reflects the moonlight
Like a Spectral Orb
In the middle of the night

A ghastly site
His hairless head
Scares many a child
You'd think he was Dead

He's not a clown
But something far worse
His old beat up car
Is a dusty old Hearse

He offers the children
A one way ride
To the cemetery
Where they can't hide

Its only a nightmare
Puppets aren't real
Except politicians
Who grift, lie and steal

Stay tuned for this weekends fourth installment of the 666 Halloween series.

Haunted Harvest Moon

Happy Autumn!

Well, today is the first day of my favorite season. Last year was a total disaster and write off. Autumn was all but ruined by both the smoke from the fires, Covid, and the biggest asshole I’ve ever experienced – Dirtbag Trump. That year of politics running up to and even past the election was a total dumpster fire.

This year we were spared all of last years woe, and its been replaced by great weather, nice fall colors (already) and fun with my art and photography. My new job is better than the last .

Besides having big Halloween fun, I’ll be sure to celebrate Thanksgiving big time. I guess there is one thing about bad times, things can only get better, and man, what a difference a year makes.

Go look at that big Harvest Moon. Its beautiful.

The (spineless) Protagonist

Our Protagonist Needs a Chair (and a spine)

Today was great for a Monday. I was lamenting the end of the weekend late yesterday (my weekends are as close to perfect as you can get). But work was great today. Crazy how I still like work after 40 years in I.T. Guess I chose the right career!

Set Design for This Weekends Photo Shoot

OK, ol’ “Floppy Disk” needs a spine so he can sit in this chair (well, start of what will become a chair).

He will be the star of the next installment of the 666 Series. Stay in tune, er tubed, er tuned…..

Halloween 666 Series: Part 3 – The Death of Radio

When I thought about The Raven and quite a few poems and stories that Poe wrote where he suffers the loss of his young wife, I asked myself if I have lamented anything like that in my life. The answer is luckily, no. My relatives who passed lived a good life and a full life – so while sad, it felt natural and normal. I know from experience – when a young persons life is cut short that that is a much different story.

On a much lesser scale, there are era’s in my life that are over – which caused a wee bit of mourning on my part. The Era of Radio is one of them. Sure, it’s only a thing, and only technology I suppose – but it’s kind of interesting how important radio was in my life. It had serious social component that some young people have never or will ever experience. So – I guess I am lucky I got to experience radio as I did.

Today’s Imaginary Puppet Theater show highlights the death of radio coupled with Raoul Hausmanns 1918 Dada work, “The Spirit of Our Age”. He lamented post WWI technology and that senseless war. He lamented how the killing machines (tanks and mustard gas) plus war sparked by greedy capitalism seemed to dehumanize making people just a number.

The Full Cast

I’d argue that Social Media is our eras “Soft Killing Machine”. It didn’t cause the Idiocracy we are experiencing in the US, but it sure enabled losers to have a voice and make a continued concerted effort to ruin the (arguably) greatest democracy the earth has seen.

Our Focus Today is on the Ghostorola Radio . . .
Tuner Head with Implied Tubes
Our Favorite Witch Emcee Introduces Our Singer
Singin’ The Blues
Our Sound Man is Pleased With What He Hears
The Raven Himself
There’s Room for Everyone and Everything!
Your Usher for Tonight’s Show
Radio: Gone, But Not Forgotten


The Ghostess in the Machine

Tomorrow will be an exciting day in the Imaginary Puppet Theatre. Photo shoot number three in the 666 series will go down. Be There or be square.

Ghostorola (shown above) will be a central character in the “show”. She’s a real beauty.

The theme will be The Death of Radio. I’ve recently come around to the thought that like a human, things also have a planned obsolescence. While my love of radio surpasses almost any thing (emphasis on thing), there are some parallels to changes I’ve made in my hobbies. With a surprise!

While I got out of Ham Radio for good over a year ago, I got back into music, and have been loving my lap steel. Full circle happened – the Lap Steel and pickups were invented by a Ham Radio Operator. The Lap Steel was the predecessor to the electric guitar. One of many interesting characters was Alvino Rey. Google him. There are several others. Electro magnetic experimenters.

Commercial Radio was proceeded by Hams goofing around on the air, some playing music. KDKA in Pittsburgh was supposedly the first commercial radio station, and it fired up in 1922, the year my father was born.

I’m feeling the connections between the Dada artists in 1918 – post WWI and their pandemic and ours. My grandparents immigrated from Stuttgart to Newark, NJ in 1926. Radio started in 1922, and the Dada sentiment that the mechanization led to a depersonalization of the community. In our time, we mirror that with Reality TV (The Apprentice) who spawned the worst president ever. Virtual Communities. Now how bizarre is that? Fake news – even worse “Fake Reality”. Irony nested in layers like a Russian Doll.

But Social Media is our Age of Mechanization in a way. That and Drones killing civilians and geez, its a LOT more like 100 Years Ago than I had expected. Social Media seems like the death of human interaction in the flesh.

Twitter and Facebook are Mustard Gas.


Homage a Raoul Hausmann

This Beauty Will Be Adorned Hausmann Style Soon

This balsa wood beauty arrived today and while it was kind of cool, it didn’t have enough contour and the painted on eyes and eyebrows were lackluster. My enhanced photo above makes it way more interesting than reality.

So, out came the Dremel tool, and 10 minutes later:

Much Better: She is Now a He

On the heels of my last photo shoot, (which featured Lenore, my Assemblage paying homage to Edgar Allan Poe and The Raven), I enjoyed it so much, I want to do another similar one.

Lenore of Nevermore

You’ll see the colors and textures of my favorite Dada art pieces …

Fruit of a Long Experience by Max Ernst – 1919

The color and texture of these assemblages really speak to me. Also, the time they were done was right after WWI, and in or around the pandemic. My grandparents, aunt, uncle and father would immigrate from Stuttgart to the US just a few years later.

Mechanical Head: The Spirit of Our Time by Raoul Hausmann

Electricity in every home was new, radio was new, even automobiles were new. Tanks and chemical weapons were used during WWI, and the world was changing in ways that truly set the stage for rapid industrialization of the modern era.

Raoul Hausmann, Spirit of the Age: Mechanical Head

Right after the 1918 pandemic, the world rebounded with an age of prosperity. The Roaring 20’s must have been something.

Ok, a little stain in just the right few spots, and my new wooden head guy will be ready for adornment. I have a few items on the way, but a happy accident happened when I grabbed the gold frame, headsets and Morse Code Telegraph Key. It feels like a nice homage and I do have a title in mind and concept that is a reflection of Hausmann, 100 years later and one pandemic later.

I’ll write about it when this Assemblage is done.

Death Whistle Express

Aztec Monkey Death Whistle

I came across a video explaining and blowing an Aztec Death Whistle. If you want a Halloween Fright, there it is. It’s amazing. Search for it on YouTube.

Today’s song was written with the three trees I planted a few years back in my mind’s eye – and this year they have the best fall colors yet. Gorgeous.

I’m a sucker for fall colors – so much so, I subscribe to the Maine Foliage Report, which is sent via email starting September 15th and goes through part or all of October.

Fall colors are super in New England, but they only last 6 weeks max. Here we don’t have the overwhelming color, but what we do have lasts until Christmas. If you like pockets of awesome stretched out for months, Lamorinda is a great place.

The temperature was only 70 today. Just a perfect day. I see up in far Northern California and Oregon they expect an early Fall storm with (hopefully) a good soaking.

I can’t wait for the rain.

Toasted Oak

Todays song is a real experiment – where I tried several different ways to play the Lap Steel. Its not my best song – but I did learn how the Lap Steel is way more than (my old wrong opinion) that it was just an accompaniment instrument. The Lap Steel can be played as a zither or harp as well as guitar and slide guitar. Its WAY more versatile than I ever thought, and I was mesmerized at how you can try all kinds of crazy things on it. Some ideas don’t work, but there’s a lot of room to stumble on “happy accidents”.

In a word, its FUN.


Lenore on KAW Radio

Todays Imaginary Puppet Theatre’s (IPT) Show is an adaptation of Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Raven” – but it concentrates on his wife who died at age 24 of tuberculosis – (which is what his Mother also died of when he was only 2 years old). He references his wife using many different names throughout his work. It seems to have been a factor in driving him mad – leading to a very sad ending to his life. Its amazing he even lasted until he was 40. Many famous Rock stars seem to have made it only to age 27 . . . .

The song is a funeral dirge – since Poe wrote many stories and stories about the loss of his young wife.

Chet Up in the Nosebleed Seats
The Raven, Himself
Lenore’s Accompanist, Sabrina, with Friend
Lenore, The Love of His Life
The Face That Launched a Thousand Chips
Singing That Torch Song
The Sultry Lenore
The Daily Double – Homage to Edgar Alan Poe and Man Ray
Happy accidents happened this weekend – I am Quite Pleased with this Assemblage piece

You might now have figured out that my “Modus Operandi” is that the puppet theatre and everything in it is an Assemblage. And that then is a still life for my photography. Music just happens – sometimes they mesh, but to have a sound track seems to be a good thing, regardless of whether they mesh or not.

Until Next Imaginary Puppet Theatre Show – We Bid You Adieu and Bonne Chance

This is the Second in the 666 series – the second photo shoot and second song in 6 weeks . . .


A Very Loose Interpretation of The Raven

I’ve been doing my usual annual reading of Edgar Allan Poe this (almost) Autumn, and I can see clearly that I identify much more with his poetry than his short stories. I love his poetry – its just so much easier to read and flows in a way where I can stay with it.

His short stories are awesome, but it requires that I double down and concentrate on / understand each sentence.

He did write using a device he called “Unity of Effect” – so that is what throws me – his “economy of words” almost ends up being encoded in a dialect of English I’m unfamiliar with. Of course, Reading Makes Perfect….. I think these short stories are so [eloquent, efficient, dense] that they end up cutting too close to the bone – where I feel I’m reading the ravings of a mad man. Therein lies the rub.

His poetry hits the mark for me because there is breathing room – you know the guy is mad (crazy?) but for some reason it never crosses that lunatic fringe line that I feel his stories do. I will re-read his short stories and see if I can better understand his approach.

He had a very sad life, but did create great works including (to my great surprise) scientific writing, including his take on The Big Bang Theory at a time when others were also just starting to write about it.

Anyway, Tomorrows (second) installment will be (loosely) based on Nevermore. I might even do two versions paying homage to The Raven.

Stay tuned.