Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Art: American Prayer Flags

Copyright April McDonald

Oakland artist April McDonald has kindly allowed this blog to post a virtual exhibit of her found art. It's not everybody who can turn out something so beautiful, political, powerful, and communicative with bits and pieces rescued from those who don't possess the wherewithal to see art in everyday things.

Copyright April McDonald

So much for Gertrude Stein's message about Oakland. There is a there there.

Copyright April McDonald

Armed with the everyday household implements of glue, stamps, scissors, thread, needle, and a few other materials, including rolls of felt of different colours, Ms. McDonald has found a way to create powerful images with a message:

Copyright April McDonald

Is there a gallery out there that will host these prayer flags?

Copyright April McDonald

Some of the messages are downright subversive:

Copyright April McDonald

If you know of a gallery that is looking for local artists' exhibits of their work, please let us know.

We will be posting more from this artist soon:

Copyright April McDonald

All images in this post are the property of April and Ian McDonald. Please respect their copyright, and do not reproduce these images without the express permission of the artists. Photos by Ian McDonald. Copyright April and Ian McDonald.

Parks: The Beauty and Bounty of Nature

Tree in Henry W. Coe State Park, copyright Cynthia Leeder

If you didn't already know, PBS is running Ken Burns' documentary on the National Parks system in the USA this week, titled The National Parks: America's Best Idea. You can see video clips from the documentary right here.

Wildflowers along the road, Henry W. Coe State Park, copyright Cynthia Leeder

Fellow-blogger FoTPC, who often writes a particularly good post or the other over at our sisterblog, ThePoliticalCat, has managed to persuade her good friend, photographer Cynthia Leeder, to contribute two beautiful photographs of one of her favourite parks, Henry W. Coe State Park, for our use. Please note that these photographs are copyrighted, and the copyright is owned by Ms. Leeder. Please respect her copyright and do not reuse these photographs without Ms. Leeder's express permission. Thank you.

We at this blog have plans to hike Henry Coe as soon as our knees are up to it. For those of you who don't already know, both ThePoliticalCat and Ms. Manitoba, your hosts at this blog, have recently had a knee replacement. We're assured that we can soon hike longer distances and rougher terrain. Both of which constitute some of Henry Coe's finer features.

If you haven't visited Henry W. Coe State Park, we encourage you to get off your duffs and go there! California Governor is trying to shut down much of the state's beautiful park system. What a shame! California has an abundance of State and Federal parks, and for those of us not wealthy enough to own sufficient land to showcase the beauties of nature, the park system, State and Federal, is one of the few places where one may go and enjoy nature in all her beauty. A good hike is a fine way to get much-needed exercise, and the view is hella better than the one from your treadmill if you're not one of those who is rich enough to own a home that has access to this beauty.

Many thanks to the lovely Ms. Leeder for sharing her photographs with us. As representatives of the hoi polloi, may we just say that these incredibly beautiful photographes give us a much-needed frisson of delight, a break from contemplating the daily pain-in-the-ass that politics and the news inflict on us.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

L'Shanah Tova!

(c) 2009 K. Smokey Cormier

Ms. Manitoba wishes all of you a good and sweet year!!! May we all have more peace in our lives.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Music: The Amazing Blondel

You might say the denizens of La Casa de Los Gatos are mightily fond of the delicate plucking of stringed instruments. Lutes, sarod, pi-pa, shamisen. We love them all. Combined with the delicate breathing of some dulcet wind instrument, say, a flute, and bringing life to a creation of Renaissance/prog rock, one achieves The Amazing Blondel.

Here in part, Fantasia Lindum:

Swifts and Swains, Leafy Lanes and God Must Doubt. It makes us long to visit Lincolnshire, the land to which this album is an homage. Lindum is the Latin name of the town of Lincoln, set in verdant Lincolnshire, as the video clip shows.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Canning Season

(c) 2007 K. Smokey Cormier

Taken at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, Ca.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fresh Air: All Week It's Animals!

ANIMAL LOVERS ... Fresh Air is a public radio -- radio program hosted by the fabulous Terry Gross. This week Terry is interviewing people about animals -- all week.
To get to the Fresh Air website so that you can listen to the shows on your computer, go here.