Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fish Sauce

I've been wanting to make pad thai, and all the recipes I find call for fish sauce. I've never bought or used fish sauce, so I Googled to find recommended brands.

Then I went to Choi's Asian Market. I saw three brands. Two of them were poorly reviewed in an article I read, so I ended up buying the third.

However, the third brand-- Dynasty Premium Fish Sauce -- has virtually no reviews that can find, anywhere. No one mentions it anywhere, at least in English.

Since I have no experience with fish sauce, I have nothing to compare it to, so I won't really be able to review it myself. Not with any bases for comparison, anyway.

I feel like a pioneer. It's kind of scary.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Going painting

I am about to head out for some plein air painting today, and I am thinking about how that feels. I feel excited and nervous (just a little bit of each, but it's there.) I never ever really feel like I completely know what I am doing, which I guess is something most artists feel, regardless the medium. I feel like I spread myself too thin and that I lack focus. I feel like I never accomplish a plein air painting that is as good as a huge percentage of other artists I pay attention to on Instagram or find via Google, but that is probably a common feeling, and it's definitely a trap that people fall into -- that feeling of inferiority. But also, those other artists I see are very inspiring. I think, "I want to paint like that! I am learning just by looking at them. Really good paintings are within my grasp." So many of my paintings are failures. But not all of them, certainly, and I learn with each one. You just have to keep going back to what inspires you, and then keep acting on that inspiration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grey Tree Frog

There was a tree frog on the side of our house when we got home from a soccer game last night. I have been hearing them in our neighborhood for years, but this is the first one I have actually seen. It made me very happy.

I tried to catch him to get a better look, but he was pretty fast, and slippery. He disappeared into the Japanese yews by our front door.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Clue: The Great Museum Caper

We played a game of this tonight, with my younger daughter as the art thief. She nabbed three paintings and bolted before my other daughter and I even caught a glimpse of her. Good game.

Bumble bee on anise hyssop

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Pen-and-Ink House Portrait

house portrait in pen and ink

This is about 8 1/2 x 10 inches, and was done with a combination of disposable technical pens and dip pen with sumi ink.  It was a lovely house to draw, and I particularly enjoyed the shadows of the trees.

Monday, July 24, 2017


I love 'em.

Memoir '44

My daughter humored me and played a game she really had no interest in (she had given me a coupon for a free game of Memoir '44 about a year ago, and I had to bide my time till she didn't seem too bothered by the idea of sitting down to play it.)

Things seemed up in the air, but she (playing the British in the Pegasus Bridge scenario) pushed to victory; I would have had to work very hard to hold off her attack and win. I really enjoyed it, but it's not really the sort of thing that interests her. She threw herself into it, though, and picked up the rules quickly.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Last night's dinner

 I'm pretty proud of the dinner I fixed last night. My family enjoyed it and expressed appreciation, but by golly, that's not good enough. I need to record it for posterity and put it in public. No pictures, unfortunately.

I baked and broiled chicken breasts with barbecue sauce, and the sauce clung nicely to it in the oven. It ended up having a very good flavor, but was just a bit too tough.

I sautéed red onion and chard stem; then sautéed salted summer squash with soy sauce; then combined all that with sliced chard leave in the skillet with a bit more soy sauce. That was to go with the white rice I cooked.

I some variety of long, mild sweet pepper that my fiend Gregg grew, split them open, seeded them, and boiled them. I stuffed them with a mix of left over taco filling, cream cheese, salsa, and sautéed diced pepper, then baked, topped with shredded cheddar.

It all went together quite well and looked very pretty.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What do you call it if you throw King Crimson out a window?

The defenestration of prog rock. 

It completely amazes me that when I Google "defenestration of prog rock," I got zero results. 

What the hell is wrong with you people?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wings of Glory, last Friday night

My friend Aaron and his son came over, and I got to play Wings of Glory for the first time since last Veteran's Day. I had a great time. I was in charge of a Breguet 2 - seater flying a reconnaissance mission; the ten-year - old was in charge of the SPAD XIII and So with Camel escorting me. We were attacked by Aaron ' s squad of 4 German planes. Luck was on our side (and Aaron had a LOT of planes to manage, which is a huge liability). We returned with only moderate damage. The four Germans were not so fortunate.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Drum at the Falls

Lots of these guys around.

Last Friday Morning at the Falls

I went fishing for about 2 1/2 hours, caught five or six drums. It was a beautiful day. The water looked dangerous but was surprisingly clear. About a half hour after I left, a guy who had waded in was swept away and drowned.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Grill meets pizza

Grilled three pizzas yesterday. Burned the bottoms of each one, but they were still goid. Might have to try it again. Not sure what to do about the burning, though.


This in a small bronze sculpture from the City Museum in St. Louis, which is one of the coolest places I've ever seen.  As we were getting ready to leave last Saturday night, we were waiting in the lobby, and I had a few minutes to kill, so I snapped this pic.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lunchbreak fishing

Yesterday, lunch break. Office park pond near work. 40 minutes. Are there even any fish??  Yes, there are even any fish. Tiny sunfish (longears) hiding in the rocks by the bank. They attacked my beetle spinner. Question : are there any bigger fish in this pond? Seems like there would be. Remains to be seen.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Floyds Fork

Fished a little today before the heavy rains set in. Mostly caught little longear sunfish, but also a few green sunfish and a smallish smallmouth bass. I used a beetle spinner at first, the switched to live bait. This morning in the compost pile I found some beetle larvae of some kind, and they were excellent bait--just the right size for size-12 circle hooks, and stayed on the hook marvellously. Probably never find more again, but if I do, I will grab them.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Pen and Ink House Portrait, Old Louisville

8 x 10 inches, finished a couple of weeks ago.

I would very much like to do some oil paintings of Old Louisville architecture.  The sunlight and shadows on the brickwork and roofs was very inspiring.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Coffee lightfastness test

coffee lightfastness test

Here is the result of a light exposure test for drawing or painting with coffee. This ran from March 19 to May 8.  I was surprised that there was so little fading (the bottom half of this paper pictures was on my dashboard the whole time, and the top half was tucked inside my sketchbook).  I will keep it on my dashboard longer to see how much it changes.  But right now, I would consider coffee to be relatively lightfast...but I might have to revise that if it all just disappears, which I guess could still happen.

I am doing this because, for some reason, I just don't see anyone else testing this, even though I know some people use coffee for artwork.