the skinny

Thought I'd kill a little time while waiting for the latest episode of "Life" (my favorite cop drama) to download.
I attended a great wedding this past weekend - the pic is of the cathedral entrance. I had a ton of fun, those Italians can throw a wedding!
I've also been finding new (for me) music - of Montreal, The Black Keys, a new Los Lobos and a new Beck album...probably more I'm forgetting.
It snowed on me today while driving. Or we had some fluffy rain, as my nifty RR passenger, Broncko, preferred me to say ... snow being a four-letter word.


The Red Mug

A while ago, I finally made it to this coffee shop in Superior, WI, where my brother sells his pottery. It was great - hope I get the chance to go back often!



While these are pretty nifty, the best ones still elude me.

Train art

Captured this a.m.

Down time

I've been up driving all night, and now I actually scored a run with enough wait time to grab a bite at Perkins.
Sadly, I'm alone in the pre-dawn, thin crowd of sobering couples and cab drivers. I had paperwork to catch up on, so at least I could bury my nose in something while trying to avoid the glances of regulars.


Excellent timing!

Between calls, sittin' at home and what do I find on the tube??
Planet of the Apes!!

Graffiti Art

Blogging from a mobile phone is cool, but I do miss my spellcheck.
Anyhow, working around trains, I am constantly seeing absolutely stunning examples of graffiti on the sides of the rail cars. Sadly, it seems the best ones are too hard for me to get a good picture, for various reasons. But occasionally I can, and this was taken early this morning while I was waiting for a Union Pacific conductor to pull some switches.
It was much better in person, and I'm not adept at the cameraphone yet - but you get the idea.
Hopefully, I can catch more in the future as I find them very interesting.


A Great New Hang-Out

Having been a patron of many all-day-breakfast food joints, I was overjoyed to find this little gem in Superior, WI. The prices are great (2 eggs, hashbrowns, bacon and toast for $3.65!), the food is yummy and the atmosphere is totally chummy. Seniors playing cards, everyone seems to at least be acquintances, and even a counter with stools! It's my new favorite eatery. But, come with cash, no credit taken. I wish it was open all night, too, as that seems to be the time I'm sitting with time between train runs. I still like it enough to share by taking a quick pic of the counter/kitchen area.


The Skinny

After a loooong break, I'm finally getting around to my internet presence again. Here's the skinny on what's new with me:

I now live in Duluth, MN! The Northland!
Nice town - although I'm a little fearful of the coming winter. Lots to do for outdoor enthusiasts, that's for sure.

I am back in the workforce. I drive as a railroad crew transporter. These conductor/engineer crews have to get taken by automobile from/to their yard offices to outlying areas where they can jump on their trains. So, I get a big ol' Suburban to keep with me, being on call pretty much all the time (round the clock), and I run around within a 500 mile radius to drive train crews to wherever they need to go.

It SO beats working in an office. Lots of alone time, interesting stories exchanged, etc. I have my Zune (mp3 player) which now gets oodles of use, a nifty AT&T Palm Centro mobile phone with internet/cameraphone/MMS that keeps me in contact with my family (teens love to text, even if it's just to Mum). I'm hoping to get the whole update the blog via the phone thing working, but I'm still painfully new at it all.

I hope to be taking some photos of the neat things I get to see, perhaps share some stories of this new adventure. Lots of ideas - but often I have big dreams when the reality is less kind. We'll see.

Sadly, this means I have about zero time for stained glass. I still have an inventory of finished pieces that I can relist on Etsy. But I've hardly any space in the box-filled garage (with no electricity) to actually work on the glass itself. BUMMER!

But, I am totally capable of continuing with my 2D artwork, and plan to get that going soon. My poor Etsy shops have been sitting desolate for months now. I've had to quit my Etsy Glass Group, which sucks. But, things are what they are.

So, now that I've lost ANY readership I may of gained ... back to square one.


Podcasts: Pick of the Week #2

The podcast I'd like to bring attention to this week is an absolute MUST to download, featuring stories by regular folks, told to a live audience, and collected for your listening pleasure by a not-for-profit group. The stories range from the poignant to the hilarious, and while they aren't polished or perfect - which is part of the charm, in my opinion - they reach that common denominator in us all. Laughing at ourselves, empathizing with others and FEEL in a way that is amazing without being over-the-top with Big Money bells and whistles.

If you don't have an iPod or mp3 player, I still urge you to give it a listen via your computer. I can't gush enough about these storytellers or their stories. The only downside I have found so far is there aren't enough of them to greedily hoard - you have to be patient for the weekly additions after your first download. I don't regret listening to any of them, nor have I skipped even a part of one. They are all worthwhile, and some are truly gems. My favorite so far is "Richard Price: Fishing Hole on Delancey", but even by picking a favorite, I feel as though I'm doing all of them an injustice.

Go to the website (via the linked image above) and you can find out how to subscribe to the podcast and tons of other information - it's a whole Moth world.


LOLspeak: OMG teh fun timez 2 be havin wit dis ting

Tehre is beesin a nu langwajez in webtahn. Its be calling lolspeak. As a lovah of teh langwajez, I has 2 say dis shood buggin mez (I tewtully doan evun like it wan people cannutt speel oot "you") but, OMGROFL, sewmezthin bowt it tikklez mah funnehbone. I doan likey dem kewtzy pikturz of kittis, much lessins dem silly blurbs sewmez peepul be unjoyun pastin on tehm, but dis is where lolspeak wuz be startin at in teh first place. If youz takes a lookinz aroun teh internet, youz will find all sewrts of deez places dat talk bowt dis nu phenomeznon. Kthxbai!

more cat pictures


Goodbye, Rabbit

Out of the blue, with little to no earnest promotion by me - I sold two ACEOs in my Explexia shop today. One of a moon and bird - and the other was the 5th in the 2nd series of my rabbit.

I haven't been doing much with the art shop lately, due to my increased productivity with my stained glass. It's nice to see that people are still looking though - and even purchasing.

The other problem I'd been having with the art is that my stained glass mentor, a suberb artist in a few mediums, had mentioned that perhaps I should make artwork larger than the standard ACEO - she loves the art, but the size is just too small for her tastes. Which is something I had been considering myself. Perhaps I lack the confidence to use a bigger size, or perhaps I like the idea of art cards and feel comfortable with them. Regardless - I'm seriously considering expanding my repertoire to include larger pieces. It certainly wouldn't hurt, and if they don't sell - it's no worse/better than an ACEO selling or not, eh? Hrmmm.


Podcasts - Pick of the Week

Recently, I became the happy owner of a red 80GB Zune (don't snark at me that it's not an iPod, I had my reasons). After spending quite a bit of time packing it with as much music as I had to lay my hands on - I decided to play with the podcasts directory.

Knowing what podcasts were, and never being terribly interested, I decided to delve a bit deeper. And Holy Mother-of-Audio-Bliss, was I surprised and elated to find a whole world out there of great podcasts. I tend to like stories and commentary, and don't really care to hear the news, or how-to's, world music, interviews, etc.

I grew up in the 70's listening to people read me stories aloud, great radio programs - like NPR's "The Spider's Web" and "A Prairie Home Companion", and I also had a kick-arse collection of records, "Free to Be You and Me" with a ton of folks like Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda, and my prize collection of 12 (read 24 stories) "Let's Pretend" records, which I still own. The latter had stories and fairy tales like "Rumpelstiltskin", "The 12 Dancing Princesses", and "Faithful John". When I discovered that story-time was alive and well in podcasts - a new universe was opened through my Zune. One of cozy moments snuggled up listening to stories - as an ADULT! Okay, a lot of them so far have been cozied up to my glass workbench, but who can be choosey?

I've decided to share my joy by selecting my Podcast Pick-of-the-Week. This week, it's an old favorite:

Garrison Keillor's monologues - News from Lake Wobegon
(from radio show "A Prairie Home Companion)
Approx. 15 minutes each, and just like I remember them.
This seems too easy, but these monologues were just what I needed to start myself out. His perfect low radio voice, his amusing small town anecdotes that wander from here to there and back with perfect synchronicity ... Not to mention, there is some nostalgia in it for me. I didn't listen to PHC for the folksy music when I was a kid - it was to hear about Lake Wobegon.
Podcast training wheels, so to speak! Give it a try.


A little flowing champagne pink

When searching for more "affordable" and less time-consuming projects for my own designs - I opted for a lovely minipanel. At $20, it's certainly affordable and the colors are just beautiful. I often cringe at cutting up a piece of glass that is so pretty in it's entirety. Why not just go with the flow?
(Yes. That "flow" pun was intended. I'm a sucker for puns.)


Posting with Word

I recently got Microsoft Word 2007, and it has this nifty feature where you can publish from it to your blog.

So… this is a small test post.

It worked! (I'm editing/adding to it now in Blogger itself.) I also have a Wacom tablet to use with my nifty new pen tablet PC software. So, I can handwrite my posts - maybe I'll post more often.

Yes, I've been very lax in the whole posting bit. It's been a long, hard winter.

Not that I think I have any readers anymore - but if anyone does this remote posting thing with Blogger - how'd you set it up for pictures?? That part is troublesome.



I finally opened my art shop at explexia.etsy.com to house my ACEOs and other art. I still consider my stained glass my primary work - but in the winter it is SO hard to convince myself to go freeze in my workshop, that I don't get much done.

My art cards used to sell quite well, specifically my signature rabbit (see here), so it was kind of interesting to see if they would continue to do well. I also have included my other art ACEOs, such as watercolor and other subjects in various mediums.

Surprisingly, the first rabbit I put up sold within hours and so did the next. Lots of views for the others, but no sales as of yet.

It's gratifying, yet somehow intimidating. We'll see how it goes!