Friday, August 29, 2014

Justifying The "B" Word

Yes, I admit it; in a moment of weakness I looked my son’s godmother in the face and called her the “B” word. Horrible I know, but don’t condemn me until you know the facts. Read about it (here).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Appendix Couch

During the summer break before my sophomore year of high school I woke one night with a terrible pain in my side. I should have figured it was my appendix since the Hayes appendix isn’t worth a damn and all male members of my family have had theirs out, my brother when he was only two, but for some reason my appendix wasn’t suspected of being the problem. Read about it (here). 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Process of Elimination

Everything associated with babies is usually considered cute and adorable, including the elimination of body waste. Call it what you will: potty, or doody, boom boom or poopy, but at some point in life the cozy euphemisms no longer apply. When is that all-important moment when snuggly slang metastasizes into a clinical word like stool? Read about it (here).

Friday, August 22, 2014

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Have you ever wondered about the biggest bell in the world? Most people would say it’s in Moscow, weighing in at 445,166 pounds. The Tsar Bell was commissioned by the niece of Peter the Great. It broke during casting and has never been rung. But it’s possible the Tsar Bell will soon lose it’s ranking as the world’s largest. The new contender for the title might be resting under twenty-five feet of mud at the bottom of a river. Read about it (here).  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Picture of the Week #4

Artists often set aside paintings in progress for a variety of reasons. Perhaps other commissions got in the way, the subject of a portrait might have died, or the artist didn’t have the technical skill to finish it. I was heavily under the influence of Rembrandt when I began this painting of fantasy characters in 1985. I recently found it in my garage and decided the time had come for me to finish it. Check out the final painting (here).

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Cement Boat

As a kid, I always hoped I'd catch a marlin when we fished off the old Cement Boat near Santa Cruz, California. I never did, but one day I caught more than I bargained for. Read about it (here).

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Waltzing Bandit

“The Waltzing Bandit? That’s a stupid name for a crook. Did he really steal gold or did he dance for it?”

My best friend Ricky Delgado had a point. It was a stupid name. My mother, the history buff, had been the one to tell me about this Waltzing Bandit.
“She just made it up to send us on a wild goose chase,” Ricky replied, “to get us out of her hair.”

Is that what my mother had done, or was she telling us the truth? Read about it (here).


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Bomb Shelter Game

 Back in 1967 when I was a junior in high school, Mr. Farrington, our social studies teacher, came up with an interesting idea that made us all stop thinking about our raging hormones to focus on something nearly as important—survival. Read about it (here).


Monday, August 11, 2014

Perfectly Clear

One day my fifth grade teacher walked up to my desk and asked me why I squinted when I looked at the blackboard. Until then I had no idea I was a squinter. It must have been a rhetorical question because she must have known why I squinted. Read about it (here).


Friday, August 8, 2014

Madame X

The painter Sargent had no idea his portrait of Madame Pierre Gautreau, known for her artful appearance, would become the talk of Paris at the Salon of 1884. Sargent hoped to enhance his reputation by painting her portrait, but instead of praise critics dished out nothing but ridicule.Read about it (here).


Wednesday, August 6, 2014



 The last time I felt this much shame I was thirteen and busily abusing myself after finding a discarded copy of Playboy in a trashcan on my walk to school. That was a long time ago and I’d assumed I was beyond debasing myself, but I was wrong. I blame Mrs. Chatterbox for what happened; she’s the one who brought it to my attention. Of course I knew about it, but I’d resisted temptation. Until now. Read about it (here). 


Monday, August 4, 2014


Yesterday while painting I reached for the small mirror on the taboret beside my easel. It slipped through my fingers and hit the concrete of our garage floor, shattering into many pieces. Looking down at the glinting shards, my first thought was, “Uh-oh, seven years of bad luck.” Read about it (here).


Friday, August 1, 2014

Not So Great Expectations

     Today in Portland it’s in the nineties, but summers aren’t always warm, or even dry. When our son CJ was small we wanted to abandon dreary Portland for a few days. We decided to head east to Sun River in central Oregon. I made a few calls to secure lodging and discovered we weren’t the only ones trying to flee the bad weather. Sun River was completely booked…except for one condo.There was a reason no one wanted this unit. Read about it (here).