Saturday, August 30, 2008

Louisville Zombie Attack, part...what am I up to now? VIII?

There was ghastliness in every direction.
And there were occasional zombie melees. Here, a zombie woman has run down a man; after a valiant struggle, the man got the upper hand, perhaps with the help of his beer.
I would estimate that there were about 200 zombies, and a maybe a thousand people (both alive and undead) that turned out for the event.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Louisville Zombie Attack, part VI

Here's an interesting duo, center back: a zombie Jolly Green Giant, and a zombie Michael Phelps. I regret that I didn't get a better photo. Michael Phelps had lots of gold medals around his neck. (He was also wearing speedos. I do not regret not getting a better picture of that. I saw it, and I really wish I could unsee it.)
The Zombie Express.

Louisville Zombie Attack, part V

These zombies were kind enough to pose for a moment.
A zombie interviewer in the background is interviewing a zombie mother and child in this photo. In the foreground is a zombie bride. There were lots of zombie brides. As a matter of fact, I seem to remember lots of undead brides trick-or-treating last Halloween. I'm sure there is some socio-psychological significance to that.

Louisville Zombie Attack, part IV

In this photo, you can see my friends Paul and Ryan, above Daphne's right and left shoulders, respectively. And here is my dad in the background, taking a picture of a zombie Chick-Fil-A cow guy. Did I mention that many costumes had a, um, randomness to them?

Louisville Zombie Attack, part III

There were zombie children...
...and I suppose this could be their mummy, playing in traffic.

Louisville Zombie Attack, part II

The zombies attacked down both sides of the street. Here is a zombie nun... ...and a zombie Freddie and Daphne.
There was also a zombie Scooby, who was finely grotesque, but I couldn't manage a clear shot.

Louisville Zombie Attack, part I

At Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway, the crowd gathered as the sun set.

And here the zombies begin to march.
Note the zombie Silent Bob, right background.

Halloween comes early some years.

Hey, I just found out that there is going to be a mass zombie attack on Bardstown Road this evening at around 8:30. I think I'll go witness the carnage and, I hope, escape alive with some photographs.
Just in case anyone else wants to go with me...


various updates

A couple who live in the Highlands saw my drawing of a co-worker's home ( and have asked me to do a drawing of their house, also in the Highlands. They also want me to work on two other houses as gifts for relatives.
Their house is another nice old home, but it's going to be a little tough figuring the layout. The view from which they'd like it drawn is about 60% obscured by foliage, which means I've had to sketch and photograph it from other angles, figure out the proportions, and then mentally rotate the view to get the angle I need. I spent a couple of hours sort of "gridding out" sizes for windows and doors to make it easier. The actual drawing should commence this weekend; I need to photograph my thumbnail sketches and email them to the couple so that they have a general idea of what the composition will be, just in case they have any objections.
I've been out metal detecting during a couple of lunch breaks this week. First I went to Hounz Lane Park; I found a couple of coins and some junk. Then I went to the children's home and detected in a field near and old drive and shuffleboard court. Nothing there but cans, broken glass, and some twisted hunks of aluminum the origins of which I haven't a clue. There is a lot of stuff there to dig, but there are so many buried aluminum cans, pieces of chain link fence, and bottle caps, I get tired of it pretty quickly. There might be good stuff in that spot, but I'd have to wade through a lot of junk.
In all of my hunting at the children's home, I've only found one coin. The site has, however, yielded my favorite finds so far: the Joe E. Brown (I think) baseball pin, an old key with a lion on it, the 1998 girls high school track medal, and a few other little bits of junk that obviously were lost by kids 40-60 years ago.
I'm eager for the chance to spend a larger block of time (three hours or more) detecting, because then I could go to someplace farther away, someplace I think will hold some good stuff. All the advice I find on the Internet points to private property as the best place to hunt: around older homes, specifically. I also have some schools I'd like to check out on a weekend or holiday when classes will be out. It would be great to get another chance to go out with Brian. The last time we sent was in February, when the ground was frozen and we were still learning how to use our detectors.
There are three vegetables in production in my back yard right now. The tomatoes are doing very well, and have in fact got ahead of me. The vines are pulling over the stakes to which they are tied, and there are lots of ripe cherry tomatoes that are going unpicked because I haven't had time to get them. My kitchen counter is crowded with the Mr. Stripey tomatoes, which are largish yellow tomatoes striped with red. They are actually quite delicious, with a mild sweet flavor, firm flesh, and few seeds. I'll have to look for that variety again next year.
There are also carrots, which are green and bushy but I don't think will produce much to eat. I think it's been to hot and dry, and the roots are going to be scrawny and tough. If I still have some seeds, I might try planting some more for the autumn.
The sweet potatoes appear to be doing quite well. The vines cover the ground all around the tomatoes, and are so bushy and dense that they discourage Erin and Jill from getting in close to pick the tomatoes. I think that in a few weeks we'll have some good sweet potatoes to dig and eat. Unfortunately, I've never been a big fan of sweet potatoes. I like them baked in a pan with brown sugar and marshmallows, the traditional Thanksgiving dish. But I never get excited about baking them like regular potatoes, or making sweet potato fries. I usually get tired of that after a few bites.
Something- a squirrel or a bird- has been eating some of the seeds from the sunflowers. I could probably get a bunch of them to roast and eat, and the girls might enjoy that.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

1956 Sudanese 1 millim

I think this is an attractive little coin. It's actually one of my uncle's. I've very slowly been cataloging his coins for him, and I'm at the tough end of it. It's tough because I've saved all the hard ones for last--hard ones like this. They are ones I can't read and don't have a very accurate guess on attribution, so I just have to root around in my books or online until I figure out what it is. There are also some that I can identify, but I'm afraid to hazard a guess on the grade, or I have a question about, and want to research a little more.

Not a new painting

I haven't any new drawings or paintings to post, so I thought I'd put up an old one that I don't think I've put up before. Maybe I have. This is one of my most worked-over subjects, in the traditional studio sense, ever. I did some sketches of this area on-the-spot at Twin Mountain in the Vedauwoo are near Laramie, Wyoming. Then I turned the sketches into a painting. The painting was a disappointment, but there were some really good parts of it. I knew I could do it better. So after I moved back to Louisville, I used it as the basis for this one. This one turned out much better. The thing I miss most about Wyoming is being able to just drive out to spots like this and walk around.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I ain't talkin' 'bout the linens

Here's a song that Erin has been singing, learned from vacation Bible school a few weeks ago, as she understands the lyrics: "Jesus, Princess Pea is glory! Aya yoo yah!"

Dave Barry quote

Dave Barry wrote a column about his colonoscopy (, and I found this bit about preparing for it pretty funny:
"The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a
great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose watery
bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you
jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

"MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here,
but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much
the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And
then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink
another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your
bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you
have not even eaten yet."
And drinking it, in my opinion, is the worst part of it.


Monday, August 18, 2008

from the mint, part 4 (end)

These two I'm not at all sure about. I think the top one might be some sort of potter wasp, named for building nests for their eggs out of balls of clay. The bottom one might be some kind of sweat bee? It's not a good picture. Maybe both of these pictures are the same wasp. I took about twenty photos and deleted most of them because they came out so poorly.


from the mint, part 3

A Virginia ctenucha moth and an ailanthus webworm moth. I frequently see the latter around our porchlamp in he evenings.


from the mint, part 2

The top is a grass-carrier wasp. I think the bottom one is a paper wasp, although he was much darker than the ones I usually see, and he looked really really big.


Something else from the mint!

I took these photos last evening. The mint that is flowering in our back yard is a real magnet for insects. It's a small patch of mint, but there were hundreds of little bees, wasps, hornets, moths, and flies enjoying it. There was quite a variety of wildlife. I took some photos of the larger insects, but there were lots of very small ones that were too tiny and fast for me to get a clear shot of. I especially wanted some photos of these little metallic gold-colored bees, but I couldn't manage it. My camera always wanted to focus someplace that the bee wasn't, and when I got too close the critters would scatter. Also, I'm a pretty sting-able guy, and I didn't want any of these folks getting upset with me.
Here are two pictures of a baldface hornet.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lunch break sketch, continued

I shaded it in.

Forbidden fruit

Riffing on Kevin's theme of forbidden fruit, today somebody brought a chocolate nut pie into the break room. They put a Post-it note warning on it: "VERY SWEET." I am not to touch it. Ah, cruelty.


Here's an idea for an Olympic event, and you can't tell me this wouldn't be fun to watch, at least for five or ten minutes: backwards running races!
Also, in the soda change box at work yesterday I found another silver dime (1964). That makes two in two weeks, which is as much as I usually find in a year. It makes me wonder if there is someone here with a few more in his pocket.



Kevin raised some questions on his blog about stealing some poor little old lady's tomatoes. In my opinion, Kevin, one would have to read clues into the setting. Could the gardener have situated the plant farther away from a public walkway, but chose not to? That could be a clue that she was offering you some. Is there a chance that the plant was a volunteer that just grew there randomly? I have a couple of those in my garden. Might the tomatoes have been laced with a powerful toxin or hallucinogen? Because some people are crazy psychos who might be watching and waiting behind the blinds at their smudged window panes. You never know. You never know until you try one.
Or you could just have some of mine. They are starting to pour in. I picked a small bucketful yesterday.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Grandpa helping out with the brand-new big girl bike.

Lunchbreak sketch

I started this one over at Bellevoir; this time I came prepared with a lawn chair. Man, that's much more comfortable than sitting on the ground. I also had far fewer ants crawling across me and my drawing. I was using some new drawing tools, Marvy and Pigma Micron I just bought a couple of weeks ago. I neglected to get some really fine points, so my shading is very heavy-handed. It doesn't look terrible, though. I've worked on this drawing a few times since this picture was taken, and I won't work on it any more; it looks OK and I'll take another photo of it to post soon.

worked-over lunchbreak sketch

I spent some time shading in that sketch I did on my lunch break.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

metal detecting

Detecting totals:
Lincoln cents: 118
Nickels: 7
Dimes: 25
Quarters: 19
Total coins: 169
Saying that I found 169 coins feels more impressive than saying I found $8.78. I'm sure as heck a long way from making minimum wage.
I spent some time last night detecting in Anchorage. Anchorage strikes me as a weird place. The first place I went, months ago, was around an old rail station. I found nothing but trash; bits of cans and bottle caps, buried 6-7 inches down. It was the same along the sidewalk in front of the post office there, last night, although I didn't do a thorough search.
All the soil I find in that area seems very rich. It's dark and crumbly, perfect for gardening. I don't hit any clay.
I get the impression that the whole town had the top foot of soil scraped away a few years ago and replace with potting soil.
I've actually had decent success at the Anchorage School. There is a huge grassy lawn in front of the school which I have crisscrossed with the metal detector. I haven't searched it exhaustively, but I've been over quite a bit of it. I've hardly found anything there, despite the fact that it seems like a great place for school picnics and similar affairs.
The ball field right next to the school building, however, has been more productive. I've found about a dollar in change around there, and I have a lot more to search.
Lots of times when I hunt a spot that seems like a good spot but which produces nothing, I wonder if it has been searched before. In the case of the train station, that seems likely. It's a very obvious and historical site, a place that everyone in the area would know about. In the past three decades it may have been combed over a dozen times. It's the same with the lawn in front of the school. The ball field is more productive because it is used more heavily, and I'm finding change that's been dropped over the past five years or so. There is almost bound to be old coins or other artifacts in all those places, just harder to find.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Exciting news!

Apparently, after being taken off the Web from its limited run, Dr. Horrible is back for free viewing, thanks (I think) to commercial sponsorship from Best Buy.

So, if you missed your chance before, you can see it now! Still (or again) Free!

Thanks to Kevin for mentioning it.

And a special thanks to Loraine for showing it to me in the first place.

Monday, August 04, 2008


We finished all of our corn. There wasn't as much there as I'd thought and hoped, because a few of the ears weren't in good shape. They hadn't developed well. We did manage to get several meals' worth of corn-on-the-cob, and was was delicious.
My giant sunflower has opened up; it might be 13 feet tall.


disturbing dream

Last night I dreamed that I was one of hundreds of people being held hostage in a gymnasium by Mel Gibson. We were all seated in rows of chairs, and Gibson was walking behind each row, going from person to person with a revolver, holding the gun to the back of each person's head. He had only one bullet in the gun; it was a Russian roulette game in which he'd pull the trigger, then spin the barrel again and move on to the next person. I can only remember the dream after he had already passed me and was moving farther down the row. He stopped to intimidate and insult one cowering guy, then resumed, and I thought to myself, "When he gets to the people directly behind me, I'm going to leave to use the restroom, because I don't want to get splattered if the gun goes off." However, when I woke up, I just thought, "We would have torn Mel Gibson limb from limb."


Friday, August 01, 2008

Coins and notes of Iceland

I just found this--it still amazes me what can be found on the Internet, and the resources just keep expanding:
It's as much fun to try to read the Icelandic as it is to look at the coins.
I'm a little bit of a fan of the coins of Iceland; the modern ones have some very pretty animal pictures, similar in design to the coins of Ireland before the switch to Euros. (Ireland, Iceland...the difference is a consonant.) I think that the coins of Iceland deserve more attention from me.