Looking for something unique to buy this winter holiday season? There are two places where you can shop for my products—both online and in real life.

I currently have this image in my Red Bubble store that’s a digitized version of my watercolor depicting the infamous Christmas demon Krampus stealing the Christ child from the nativity scene while Mary and Joseph are expressing outrage available on a variety of products ranging from t-shirts to smartphone cases to coffee mugs to prints.

You can order online right here.

As for real life, you can find one of my art pieces at this show, which is currently being held at Trinacria Ristorante & Bar through January 8, 2018. Here is the address:

Trinacria Ristorante & Bar
111 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
(443) 759-4082
Trinacria’s Facebook page

Trinacria is located just a block from the Centre Street light rail stop.



So I spent the day after Thanksgiving engaging in alternatives to the usual Black Friday shopping madness. First I went to Community Forklift, which was having its Green Friday event. Then I went to Riverdale Park and checked out a couple of local stores there. The last thing I did on Black Friday was head on to Hyattsville, where a few of the locally owned businesses were having their own alternatives to Black Friday. All of the businesses were located within walking distance of each other so all I had to do was just park my car then spend the rest of the time walking everywhere.

I initially went to Studio SoHy, which had this really cool table made from a log in the restroom.

Studio SoHy had this skateboarding-themed exhibition featuring photographs of skateboarders and skateboards that were painted with some really cool designs.

Next I went on to the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. I encountered these items with labels that reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.

They basically offered pecan pie and apple pie.

They had a 10 x 10 show where people can purchase 10 inch x 10 inch prints that were made there.

Then I went on to Tanglewood Works, where I took these pictures.

I ended my Black Friday wanderings by stopping briefly inside the Three Little Birds Sewing Co.


Instead of spending Black Friday in some mall or big box retailer where I wake up at 3 a.m. and fight hordes of people for some cheap electronic item that will break three months from now, I decided to check out some of the local festivities from locally owned businesses, starting with Community Forklift, which I wrote about in my last post.

After I left Community Forklift I headed over to Riverdale Park. I stopped by Robert Harper Books, which is a bookstore specializing in used books. Unfortunately that store will be closing by the end of the month because the owner has had a hard time of keeping a brick and mortar shop open. (He mentioned on his Facebook page that he has done better online than through his shop.) It’s a shame in a way. Here are a few photos I took inside of that store.

Located near Robert Harper Books is Town Center Market, which sells all kinds of beer and wine along with snacks.

Finally I checked out the windows in the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation building.

After my visit to Riverdale Park, I ended my Black Friday with going to Hyattsville, which I’ll write about in my next post.


Instead of crowding into some suburban shopping mall on Black Friday, I decided to check out some local alternative festivities that were going on with some locally owned businesses. I took so many photos that day that I decided to divide them into separate entries with each entry representing a different town or business that I went to.

I began Black Friday with a trip to Community Forklift, a warehouse store that specializes in used/upcycled/recycled items like appliances and hardware, which was having an alternative Green Friday celebration.

When I first arrived I noticed a few signs indicating that they welcome everyone no matter who they are. More and more locally owned businesses have been putting up such signs in their shops since Donald Trump moved into the White House.

Santa Claus was there that day.

One of the Community Forklift employees offered to take my picture with Santa so I allowed it.

There were all kinds of Santas that were available for sale at Community Forklift that day.

I really liked this cast-iron vintage oven and stovetop that was on sale. If I lived in a bigger house, I might consider buying it. But I have a small kitchen so I really don’t have the space. This oven would be an asset to anyone who is looking for vintage items.

There was a craft show at Community Forklift as well where local artisans were selling ornaments, jewelry, locally made honey, and other items.

Local musicians provided live music.

They had face painting for kids.

They had a couple of free make and take demonstrations. One was on making wreaths using natural materials.

The other was making coasters from recycled tiles. I’ve made such coasters in the past but this one had a technique I’ve never used before where you decoupaged backing paper on the tile first.

Then you selected a photo that you decoupaged on top of both the backing paper and the tile.

Afterwards you place a piece of cork on the table and add Modge Podge on the top.

Then you placed the tile on top of the cork and let everything dry for a few minutes.

I now have a new coaster with a blue-patterned background and a photo of the U.S.S. Constellation (which is docked at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore) on top.

After I went to Community Forklift, I headed to similar celebrations that were going on in Riverdale Park and Hyattsville but I’m going to write about them in separate posts.


I’ve been writing a few articles for TopBuzz.com, which I’m doing on a trial basis. (I earn money based on how many eyeballs I get for my articles. So far I have made 20 cents. That’s right 20 cents. I haven’t even broken a dollar yet.) I don’t know how long I’ll stick with it, especially if I fail to crack the one dollar mark after a certain period of time.

Since my future career as a freelance writer for TopBuzz is pretty iffy at the moment, I’m definitely not going to neglect this blog. In fact I have a backlog of Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa related posts that I’m going to try to upload on a daily basis (including both Saturday and Sunday) between today and either January 5 or until I run out of posts (whichever comes first). Now that my birthday has passed yesterday, I feel a bit freer to really plaster this blog with winter holiday posts through the rest of 2017. There will be very little politics or snark. Unless President Trump does something extremely outrageous, which is very likely since he’s such a volatile person. (Here’s one example of the effect this guy has had on both the U.S. and the world: The town of Nazareth in the Palestinian territory has decided to cancel its annual Christmas festivities because of Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.) Just posts full of photos that have a minimum of one photo that is relevant to either Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. The first of these posts will go live in about a half an hour from now so watch this blog. 🙂

Why economists are warning that the Trump tax plan will be an epic disaster.

Here’s a look at some rude and offensive Christmas cards that are definitely NSFW.

After 18 years, About.com is changing its name and shutting down its website—its CEO reveals how it all went down.

If you don’t think Al Franken should step down, you can’t complain about Roy Moore…or Trump.

How the gig economy chews up and spits out millennials.

How free image websites exploit photographers.

Teenagers in Maryland create a pop-up museum to explain their lives and struggles.

A message to Democrats who still support Hillary Clinton.

Silicon Valley’s homeless: Everyday workers in the shadow of tech influencers.

Gig workers are easy prey for bullies and gangmasters.

Twitter, stop making excuses and delete Trump’s account for good.

Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee responds to the threat to end net neutrality in the United States.

Mother of four found dead in her freezing home after her welfare was cut off.

Paradise Papers leak reveal secrets of the world elite’s hidden wealth.

An oral history of the Bauhaus featuring rare interviews in English with Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and others.

How the fashion world glamorizes rape, abuse, and murder.

The safe word is “Barbie”: kinky doll-sized BDSM furniture and accessories from Russia.

An animated introduction to the world’s most mysterious book, the 15th-century Voynich Manuscript.

Donald Trump is the worst thing to happen to the Republican Party.

Birthday Cake

Okay I’ll admit that the it may sound strange to buy your own birthday presents. But I’m divorced with no children, I’m currently not in any kind of romantic relationships, I don’t have any siblings, my father is dead, and my mother is too sick and busy battling multiple sclerosis to do any kind of shopping (either online or in real life) so what else can I do? I purchased a couple of things for myself last night, starting with this cute snowman cake that I found at Giant for only $6.

I also found this unusual looking nutcracker on sale at Target for only $9.99. He not only looks pretty in pink but he’s fully covered in glitter. He looks more like he’s ready to dance to Madonna or Britney Spears than to Tchaikovsky’s more traditional “Nutcracker Suite.” Here’s the front of the nutcracker.

Here’s a closeup of the baseplate, which has the year 2017 etched on it.

Here’s the back of the nutcracker.

And, finally, here’s a closeup of the nutcracker where you can really get a good view of how much glitter he’s covered in.

I have to admit that it’s not everyday where you see a male nutcracker wearing a pink glitter outfit. The one thing about having a birthday that’s only 10 days before Christmas is that I used to frequently get Christmas-related stuff, such as the time I got a wooden Christmas ornament kit for my birthday as a child. The ornaments were in plywood but were perforated so you could simply punch them out. Then you had to take the included sandpaper and sand the edges down. After that you used the included paints to paint on the ornaments.

Well, anyway, I carried on that lifelong tradition of getting Christmas stuff for my birthday by buying that nutcracker. I’ll probably go out somewhere and live it up today, weather permitting. (It has not only been below freezing for the past few days but there are currently weather forecasts of possible snow showers on top of the below freezing temperatures. Yeah, it sucks since I’m really not used to weather this extremely cold.) Happy birthday to me!

Birthday Cake

Benjamin Franklin

The Bell calls others to Church, but itself never minds the Sermon.

It’s bad enough that the FCC has voted to eliminate net neutrality in the United States. But then there is this awful video starring FCC Chairman Ajit Pai where he attempts to explain why repealing net neutrality is a good thing but ends up failing. The entire Internet has gone “WTF?!?” with this video.

I’ve seen commercials from local car dealerships with better production values and more finesse than that. I would find it funny if it weren’t for the fact that the FCC has just setback Internet access in the U.S. by at least 50 years and that 83% of Americans had supported net neutrality.

The only good thing that has come of this is that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to sue the FCC over this. I only hope he doesn’t end up with a pro-Trump judge.

UPDATE (December 15, 2017): A DJ known as Bauer is pursuing legal action against Ajit Pai for using his song “Harlem Shake” in that video without permission. Bauer said that he favors net neutrality and he’s aghast that his song is being used to promote the idea of getting rid of net neutrality.

UPDATE (December 17, 2017): Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies, have weighed in on Ajit Pai’s craptastic video, especially the scene where the FCC chairman tries to imitate a Jedi by wielding a lightsaber.

But that wasn’t all, folks. Senator Ted Cruz decides to take Mark Hamill on as well, only to get his ass handed back to him.

Here’s the moral of this story—Don’t mess with Luke Skywalker! 😀

Meanwhile Mackenzie Astin, the son of the late actress Patty Duke, has publicly wondered how his mother was able to post three comments on the FCC’s website urging the FCC to repeal net neutrality in 2017 despite the fact that she has been dead since March, 2016.

I recently went to a Royal Farms Store in Glen Burnie where I had take-out fried chicken with wedge fries. It was really excellent There’s a reason why Food & Wine Magazine had named it “…best fast-food chicken…” (Okay, I don’t read that magazine but the store had the sign with that quote.)

Royal Farms Store, Glen Burnie, Maryland

I also saw some Bic lighters in that store featuring Run-DMC, Eminem, and Outkast.

Royal Farms Store, Glen Burnie, Maryland

I saw a couple of dinosaur-related stuff at Target. One was a jigsaw puzzle.

Dinosaur Stuff at Target

The other was a virtual reality set that’s a tie-in with the upcoming Jurassic World movie.

Dinosaur Stuff at Target

Click here to learn more.

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