I currently have a piece on display at an art show that’s currently being held at my church. The theme of this art show is based on the Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles. This show is scheduled to run until October. The best times to see this art show is during the coffee hour following the end of Sunday service (which is usually between 11:15-11:30 a.m.) and anytime that the church is opened to the public for some event. For other times you can contact the church office at (301) 937-3666 for to make special arrangements to view the art show. Here’s the venue where you can see my recent work:

Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church
3215 Powder Mill Road
Adelphi, Maryland 20783-1097
Phone: (301) 937-3666
Email: churchadmin@pbuuc.org
Website: pbuuc.org


This is my blog about my arts, crafts, and photography along with the occasional rant. If you prefer to view a portfolio of my work, check out this blog’s sister site on NeoCities. (Link will open in a new window.) And while you’re there, try your hand at playing a video game that I originally designed. 😉

Benjamin Franklin

Success has ruin’d many a Man.

I currently have a work of art on display at the latest artist exhibition that’s currently going on at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Maryland. Here’s is my piece.

Here is my piece as it is currently displayed inside of the church.

To learn more about how I created this piece, you can see the blog post I wrote on September 12, 2018.

After service last Sunday there was a reception for this exhibit where they basically served light food like baba ganoush with crackers along with fruit and vegetables. Here are a couple photos I took of the reception.

The art show is continuing through sometime next month. (I’m not sure of the date but I’ll definitely post it here when I get more information.) For more information about this exhibit, see the official website.

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I participated in two events that were held as part of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland and I was mentioned in two different articles that were published in last week’s issue of The Greenbelt News Review.

One was about the mixed-media piece that I entered into the Labor Day Art Show that won a second place ribbon in the Mixed-Media category. That article can be found on the top left side of the .pdf version of the newspaper on page 7.

I also showed up in person on Labor Day to take part in the award ceremony. A photographer took pictures of all of us after we picked up our awards. That photograph has been published on the same page of that same issue in the middle column. (I’m the one wearing that Mickey Mouse standing in front of the American flag t-shirt in the middle photograph.)

I also took part in the Retro Town Fair where I submitted two of my crochet amigurumi creatures and I won a third place ribbon in the Needlework category for both of them. The article about the Retro Town Fair where my name is mentioned is published on the same page in the same issue as the other article and photograph. (The Retro Town Fair story can be found on the top right side of page 7.)

This U Street bar in Washington, DC shuts down every August so its owner can build schools around the world.

Government costs rise when the local newspaper dies.

Meet the real-life woman behind many of Gustav Klimt’s paintings.

What happens when a bad-tempered, distractible doofus runs an empire?

Take a virtual tour of ancient Rome circa 320 C.E.

In 1912 this Georgia county drove out every black resident.

IKEA asked people to bully a plant for 30 days to see what happens. The results are eye-opening.

The “Real” America: 21.5% unemployment, 10% inflation, and negative economic growth.

How Donald Trump’s grandfather originally made his fortune.

This British gent lives life like it’s the 1940s.

A new study finds that IQ scores are falling and they have been for decades.

This political theorist predicted the rise of Trumpism. His name was Hunter S. Thompson.

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Benjamin Franklin

Children and Princes will quarrel for Trifles.

I did a digital art piece that’s now hanging in my church as part of the Seven UU Principals art show. Here’s the art.

I did the piece entirely in Adobe Photoshop. It’s the image of the flaming chalice being surrounded by a circle, which is a symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith. I decided to try using words to create a picture instead of just doing a regular drawing. The flame is the only part where I did a regular digital drawing instead of using words (although I drew a red heart in the center of the flame).

As for the color scheme I used the traditional yellow and red for the flame. For everywhere else I used a rainbow color scheme to symbolize both the UU and Poor People’s Campaign acceptance of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity), class, age, physical health, mental health, and other categories that people in power like to categorize people in.

As for the words I used lyrics from two songs that are among the official songs of the Poor People’s Campaign. The circle uses lyrics from this song, “Everybody’s Got a Right to Live.”

The chalice itself has the words from “A New Unsettling Force.”

With this art I attempted to do a Unitarian Universalist variation on the Poor People’s Campaign and I think I succeeded.

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American Flag

Today is yet another anniversary about those horrible senseless terrorist attacks that struck New York, DC, and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. While I’m keeping the lives of those who were lost in my thoughts, I’m going to write about something completely different today.

Last year I participated in Inktober for the very first time. As the official website explains it, Inktober is a thing where, starting October 1, you draw one new ink drawing per day until October 31 (Halloween).

I managed to create one new ink drawing per day last October and I dutifully uploaded each new drawing to this blog and my various social media accounts but it came with a price. I was initially eager to do it when I first began but then I started to burn out big time. I was only able to keep up because I had to keep on telling myself that it was only for one month. When October 31 came I was so glad that this was finished.

I later learned that participants were allowed to plan out their drawings days and even weeks in advance as long as the drawings were initially only done in pencil. The participants were generally asked to wait until the drawing’s designated day before inking over the pencil drawings. I also learned that the official Inktober prompt list was posted online weeks before October 1 in order to make it easy for participants to plan their drawings in pencil.

I found out that this year’s official Inktober prompt list was posted online for the first time last week. I decided that I would participate again but I would do things differently. Last year I only used the official Inktober prompt list if I was stumped on what to draw for that day but, otherwise, I drew whatever I wanted. This year I decided to completely stick with the official Inktober prompt list. I felt that it would be more of a challenge if I did this. As I’m working on the prototype pencil drawings, I find that some prompts were easier to do than others. But I really like the idea of pushing myself to see what I’m capable of producing based on someone else’s criteria.

I managed to get three-quarters of the rough pencil sketches done. I decided to look up Inktober on Instagram to see if there were anything else I needed to know by searching on the hashtag #inktober2018. I was stunned to find that there were already contributions to that hashtag even though Inktober isn’t due to begin for another few weeks.

I investigated and found that other people had contributed their own Inktober prompt lists that are way different from the official Inktober prompt list. Here are just a few of the prompt lists I found on Instagram.




A Character a Day (such as a clown, mummy, fortune teller, witch, zombie, etc.)

A Ghoulish Halloween (All Halloween-themed prompts)


Dungeons and Dragons



Urban Legends

Musical Inktober

Botanical Witches

Kids vs. Creatures



Witches and National Animals

Character Design


Street Fighters

Dystopian Future

And these just scratch the surface of the various prompts that are out there. There’s an Instagram account known as Inktober Prompts that has even more prompts that you can peruse.

As for me, I’m going to just stick with the official Inktober prompt list mainly because I was already three-quarters of the way done with the pencil drawings when I first learned about the existence of so many other prompt lists and I really want to finish the rest using the same list. In addition, I find that the existence of so many unofficial Inktober prompts lists to be so overwhelming because all of the choices that are out there. If I manage to finish this year’s Inktober, I might consider doing it again next year where I take one item from each of 31 different prompt lists that I choose to focus on.

In the meantime, for those of you who are considering taking part in Inktober for the first time, you may be interested in reading this post last year about what insights I gained from my first year doing this along with some advice about doing Inktober in general.

Previous in This Series

A Shot of a Ferris Wheel on the Day Before the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, August 30, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 1, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 2, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 3, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 3, 2018

The day after the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival ended I went to the Greenbelt Library in an effort to get back into the swing of things after the holiday weekend. (I had a project that I was currently working on for a client that needed to get done because she was in the process of planning her webinar.) Once I got to the library I couldn’t focus on the project at all. In fact I felt sleepy. I realized that all that time I spent outdoors in the high heat and high humidity throughout most of the weekend had caught up with me.

Instead of working on my current project, I decided to sort through the photos I took over the weekend since that didn’t require too much thinking on my part. I also watched a few YouTube videos. At one point I decided to walk to a nearby convenience store in Roosevelt Center so I could get a soda. Early that morning it was still hot and humid just like most of the past weekend. But when I stepped outside to go to the convenience store, I found that the weather was cloudy. While the humidity was still high, the clouds kept the heat down to around the mid-80’s instead of 90 degrees.

I walked towards Roosevelt Center and I found that the booths and rides had been taken down overnight and there was ample parking once again. (The reason why parking is so tight during the festival is that many of the spaces were taken up by the booths and the carnival midway.) I also saw that there were a few dismantled rides hitched to the back of tractor trailers waiting for their next destination.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I returned to the library where I spent some more time chilling out until it was close to dinner time. As I drove towards home, I drove past the area where the dismantled rides and the trucks were located and I saw that nearly all of them except one were gone. By the next day when I drove past the area, all of the trucks and rides were gone, which was a further reminder of the fact that the 2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival was now history.

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Previous in This Series

A Shot of a Ferris Wheel on the Day Before the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, August 30, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 1, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 2, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 3, 2018

In my last post I mentioned that I spent the morning watching the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade in the extreme heat and humidity. Afterwards I managed to take a few back roads (in order to avoid colliding to the parade, which was still winding its way to the end) to Roosevelt Center where I found ample parking because most of the people there were still focused on watching the parade.

I saw that the food vendors were open. I decided to order some handmade potato chips with cheese and Old Bay seasoning for lunch. (I know it didn’t sound substantial but with temperature hovering at 90 degrees Fahrenheit and very high humidity, I wasn’t into eating a huge amount of food.) I walked over to the tables located outside of the Greenbelt Makerspace. The place itself was closed for the Labor Day holiday so I sat outside in under the shaded awning. Despite being in the shade, it was very hot.

Nearby the Makerspace area the craft show was going on for a second day but, once again, there were few shoppers because of the heat and humidity. These photos show how devoid of shoppers that craft show was.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

It brought back memories of the only time I ever attempted to sell my own crafts at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival back in 2013 and the weather was just as hot and humid as it was that year. After my participation turned out to be a financial bust, I decided to never work that festival again because the weather is just too iffy for me with some years being cool, some years being warm and pleasant with low humidity, and some years being a literal hell on earth just like this year.

I hung around until the award ceremony began at 1:30 p.m. This year I entered this mixed-media piece, Robot in the Park in the Greenbelt Labor Day Art Show.

You can learn more about the making of this piece right here.

I was due to receive an award because my art won second place in the mixed-media category. Here’s my photo of my art with the second place ribbon.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The ceremony began with the trophies being handed out for the parade participants. It continued with the photography show awards and it finally finished with the art show awards. The ceremony went by fast because it was being held outdoors and it was very hot and humid. None of the winners gave out acceptance speeches or anything like that. Basically the winners got their prizes posed for group photos that would be published in future issues of The Greenbelt News Review then left the area as soon as they could. The next two photos show what I won.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I won a $20 bill. Sweet!

After the awards ceremony, I felt so overheated that I wanted to get inside of a place with air conditioning. I needed to kill time until 4 p.m. when I could pick up my art from the art show. (Driving home then returning later would’ve been too risky since parking can be hard to find during the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival.) So I went to the New Deal Cafe where I ordered a soda and sat down inside of an air conditioned building. I happened to bring my laptop with me and the cafe has free wi-fi so I killed some time by doing some web surfing.

When it was about a half-an-hour before I can pick up my art, I decided to make the slow walk towards the Greenbelt Community Center in the heat and humidity. I walked past the outdoor stage where the awards ceremony was held earlier. I saw an Elvis impersonator try to keep up with his performance despite the high heat and humidity. (You can literally see his shirt soaked with sweat in these photos.)

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I shot some photos of the carnival midway, which was mostly empty due to the high heat and humidity.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I decided to head over to the Bingo area to play the last few rounds of Bingo before the festival ended. The area was full of people despite the heat and humidity. The fact that the benches were placed under either a large shaded tree or under portable shaded tents helped with the attendance.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I played two rounds of Bingo before, once again, the heat bothered me too much. Here is a shot of the cards I played with during both games.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

By the time I felt overpowered by the heat, it was past 4 p.m. so I went inside of the Greenbelt Community Center, picked up my art from the art show, went over to my car, and drove home.

When I arrived home I found that I didn’t turn the air conditioning on and the home felt like a sauna. I remembered that I received a free medallion necklace from Beltway Plaza during the parade earlier this morning and the back of the medallion entitled me to a free small smoothie from the Bun Cafe in the mall.

I decided to drive to Beltway Plaza so I could spend a couple of hours inside of an air conditioned building. I got a piña colada flavored smoothie (which was alcohol-free) and I enjoyed it. I began to feel hungry so I went over to the Z Burger that had opened just a few months ago. That place had a chicken sandwich for only $4.99. Using that $20 bill I won at the awards ceremony just a few hours earlier, I purchased that chicken sandwich while using my Bun Cafe smoothie to drink with. It was a tasty dinner that I enjoyed. At least that meal made a perfect way to end a very hot and humid weekend at the 2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival.

Next in This Series

The Day After the End of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 4, 2018

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The American Revolution’s greatest leader was openly gay.

The hidden problem of homelessness on college campuses.

Ex-KKK member denounces hate groups one year after rallying in Charlottesville.

The violence Central American migrants are fleeing was stoked by the U.S.

Monica Lewinski says unexpected headlines trigger her trauma. Here is how she copes with them.

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How America treats its own children makes it an outlier.

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There’s an obscure Monopoly game rule that changes the whole game—and you probably had no clue it existed.

A Holocaust survivor says that America feels like Germany before the Nazis took over.

Sex robot can now refuse to have sex if she’s not in the mood.

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