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. 😉

You can also purchase my first book, The Cash-Strapped Person’s Guide to Thriving in the Digital Age in the following formats and places:

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Breathtaking portraits capture ballets’s finest dancing on the streets of New York.

The last surviving Basque soldier from the Spanish Civil War turns 100 and speaks about his experiences during that war.

How to fight the alt-right.

What happens when a musician plays Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy” on a $25 kids’ guitar at Walmart.

White-washing white supremacy: How the mainstream media rushed to excuse the Covington Catholic High School students.

The “feel-good” horror of late-stage capitalism.

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, the U.S. needs more tradespeople.

New study shows Silicon Valley’s elite are not as liberal as they think.

11 things you wouldn’t have without black women.

Iranian video game, Engare, explores the elegant geometry of Islamic art.

Liberals aren’t stupid. Conservatives aren’t racists. The people we disagree with are not our enemies.

The life and secrets of Melania Trump.

Between worlds: The art of Bill Traylor.

“Lean In” has been discredited for good.

When Native Americans were slaughtered in the name of “civilization.”

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Benjamin Franklin

He that is of Opinion Money will do every Thing may well be suspected of doing every Thing for Money.

Valentine's Day

Yesterday morning I stopped off at a local Giant supermarket on my way to work where I saw a huge amount of heart-shaped balloons on sale. That’s not unusual since Valentine’s Day was the following day. But I saw some balloons that said “I Sing. Tap Me to Play!” So I did just that and found that these balloons were musical balloons that played brief snippets from popular love songs. I had never seen anything like that before. To give you a general idea of what this balloon is like, I shot this short video of one of the musical balloons playing Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

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Valentine's Day

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I decided to write about two dogs whom I’ve gotten to know over the past month or so.

I’m currently working at a day job with a woman who works out of her home. She has two dogs. I recently took a photo of the two of them together.

The dog on the left is a male dog named Cue. He is the larger of the two and he has darker fur. The dog on the right is his sister, Sadie. Both dogs generally get along well together despite the fact that they seem to be polar opposites in personality. Sadie will stay outdoors in the backyard for hours while Cue prefers to be indoors. (He’ll go outside but he’s generally the first one who wants to go back in.) While Sadie likes to be petted, Cue is the one who wants the lion’s share of the attention. He frequently sports a sad face when he wants to be petted as if he’s trying to convey the message that he’s somehow attention-deprived.

I still remember the time when I was petting both dogs at once—one with each different hand. Cue saw what I was doing and he immediately pivoted his body to a position where he pushed Sadie out of the way so both of my hands would be petting Cue. Sadie seemed to take Cue’s pushiness in stride in that she didn’t seem angry or anything.

So being able to take breaks so I could pet dogs is a cool fringe benefit of my current gig, especially since owning a pet of my own is currently out of the question for financial reasons. (My last pet was Spike the Hedgehog, who passed away back in 2013.)

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Over the years I’ve written posts in this blog about Takoma Park, which is located directly on the Maryland-Washington, DC line. I’ve taken photos of all kinds of interesting landmarks on both sides of the border.

My latest day job is located on the Maryland side of Takoma Park so I have more opportunities to walk around this incredibly artsy funky town. Just when I thought I had photographed everything about that area, I always find something new to take a picture of. Here are some recent photos I took of some interesting eye candy.

Many of the houses in Takoma Park are historic and the vast majority of them were built from the time of its founding in 1893 through to around the 1950s. This house in the next two photos stood out to me to me because the left side looks like the typical historic house while the right side looks like a modern geometric building. Yet the two distinct sides seem to harmoniously co-exist side by side.

Sometimes I’ll see something that’s pretty odd and unusual in Takoma Park, such as this Buddha head that someone had placed next to a tree near the back entrance to the Takoma Metro station.

Some houses have original sculptures on the front lawns so pedestrians can enjoy them.

One of the houses had decorated one of the bare trees in the front yard with tiny Christmas balls. I thought it was a cute touch even though I took this photo in early February and Christmas has long since passed.

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The proof that Mel Blanc—the voice behind Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig—was a genius.

The godfather of fake news.

Someone says “Depression is a choice.” Andy Richter’s response is brilliant.

The 97-year-old park ranger who doesn’t have time for foolishness.

In 1972 a computer model predicted the end of the world—and we’re on track.

Getting stoned with senior citizens in Seattle.

Academic journal devotes an entire issue to Prince’s life and music. Read and download it for free.

Nearly half the kids in this teacher’s class can’t live at home anymore. Opioids took their parents.

This haunting animation maps the journeys of 15,790 slave ships in two minutes.

Research predicted this wave of right-wing domestic terrorism. Republicans tanked the report.

The evidence regarding Fred Trump’s alleged involvement with the Ku Klux Klan.

How to suck money back from private equity vampires.

Trump’s amoral Saudi statement is a pure expression of decades-old “U.S. values” and foreign policy orthodoxies.

America still loves cars but some cities are starting to ditch them.

The future American workforce will have a lot of jobs to fill, particularly in infrastructure.

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Benjamin Franklin

If thou would’st live long, live well;for folly and wickedness shorten life.

I did this zentangle on green paper during a recent visit to The Space, a makerspace located in Beltway Plaza Mall in Greenbelt, Maryland.

It’s been a long while since I worked on a zentangle and I felt pretty relaxed and tranquil working on it. I drew the string and all of the patterns based on what I found on TangledPatterns.com.

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I’m currently working a day job where I have to take government documents and make them accessible for people with various disabilities. The company is a home-based business so I have this nice window view of the backyard. As you can see in these photos that the area has had a few snow days.

The business owner has two dogs, one of whom is clearly enjoying the snow.

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Asian Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! Since this year is the Year of the Pig, I decided to take my Goodreau Dolls anthro doll Wiggles the Pig out of storage and play with her for the first time in a very long time. Here are a couple of recent photos I took of this pig doll.

Last week the weather was literally awful. Not only did new snow arrive but so did the Polar Vortex so the temperature dipped to under 20 degrees Fahrenheit. By Saturday the temperature went into the low 40’s, which was relatively warm. I managed to take a couple of quick snow pictures.

The following day I went to a buffet at a local Chinese restaurant where I took this shot of Wiggles.

Wiggles looks at the message inside of a fortune cookie at the end of the meal.

The message is pretty practical for these times. Donald Trump had closed down the federal government for a month. He agreed to re-open the government but only for three weeks. (The first week has come and gone and we are now into week 2 of an open government.) The fortune cookie message said “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

It’s really too bad that Goodreau Dolls no longer exists because they made some really nice and expressive dolls.

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