Sunday, January 31, 2010

M*o*O*n - VIDEO

click arrow to start video. run time, 4:04

a postcard from paradise

To all our friends & families
North of 24.55 degrees, Latitude
South of 83 degrees, Fahrenheit

"Greetings from Key West"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

what our live's need & our heart's desire

It seems like we're all looking for something.

I'm not talking about misplaced car keys or a tax refund check in the mail, I'm thinking about metaphysical stuff like love or happiness, inner peace or some meaning in our lives, Buddha consciousness or contact with the Creator.
So we search the world around us, reading libraries of self-help books, enrolling in on-line wellness classes or spending an hour a week in therapy, or church, just trying to get a handle on how to look and where to find what we believe our live's need and our heart's desire.

While books and classes and couches and pews can be helpful in terms of inspiring minds to pursue a particular path, at the end of the day, the one and only place in the outside world to look for love, happiness, inner peace, meaning, consciousness or contact; is in the mirror.

They are all within you and there's nothing to find, but everything to recognize.

Imagine this tree stump is your most true self. Free of ego, desire, prejudice and judgement. That's your center or soul and the place, within you, where all the love, happiness, inner peace, meaning, higher consciousness and spiritual contact are alive and well.

This is you in your deepest identity. However it appears to you, accept and embrace it. It's the perfect reflection of all you've ever been and done in this and all your lifetimes.
There is no right or wrong, good or bad about it.
It's beyond all that.

Hold your center, draw it closer to consciousness and realize that the love or happiness, inner peace or meaning in your life, Buddha consciousness or contact with the Creator you wanted, was right there the whole time.
You needed only to recognize it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

forests of the tide

"At the intersection of land and sea, mangrove forests support a wealth of life, from starfish to people, and may be more important to the health of the planet than we ever realized."
(Kennedy Warne, National Geographic)

Friday, January 22, 2010


I've been thinking about collectibles and antiques for the last couple of days, since I received and e-mail from a guy who's trying to sell his "classic collection" of Playboy magazines dating back to the '70's, for 300 bucks and, I could check it out on Craigslist.

So I did and sure enough he had 3 knee-high stacks of magazines and I had to wonder, if he cared enough about the "articles" in Playboy to keep them in "pristine condition" and safe from his wife for 40 years, what would make him want to sell them now, for such a desperately small amount of money.

Just for grins and giggles, I scrolled down the Craigslist "collectibles" page a little more and you know, the girlie magazine dude was nowhere near alone. Also for sale were collections of Haitian Bottle Art, a Pepsi Cola Phone and an Atocha coin, 50 DVD Porn movies, a Spiderman cookie jar, a Neptune Fantasy Barbie (whatever that is) and the complete season of 1969 Topps Baseball cards (including that year's world champion Mets) in "EX condition".

It didn't surprise me that there was so much stuff for sale, people are always trying to sell their stuff, but that it was all priced at desperately small amounts of money,
said something.
It was a marketplace of people parting with any and everything of intrinsic or emotional value to them for a miserably few extra bucks.

While my sentimental right brain was asking, "why would anyone sell off the treasures that define them for 30 pieces of silver?", simultaneously my practical left brain was screaming, "it's the economy, stupid!".

Sure I know as well as you do, for all but the Wall Street bankster bonus babies, cash is gettin' harder to come by, (and in my opinion, we ain't seen the half of it yet) but what does it say about us as a culture when, at the first crunch of crisis, we start selling off the things we hold most dear, the treasures that bring our hearts and minds a little pleasure, the stuff we picked up along the way, that helps us remember where we came from?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

anne mckee annual fine art auction

Approximately 90 original paintings, sculpture, photography, fiber art, ceramics and more are to be auctioned to raise money for the fund that provides project-based grants to individual artists.

The next Anne McKee Fine Art Auction will happen this coming Sat, Jan. 23, 2010 at Fort East Martello Museum, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd., Key West.
Viewing from 7 PM, Auction at 8 PM

$25 admission Includes hors d'oeuvres, champagne, open bar.

click the image to go to the auction website

You may pre-register for auction paddles by sending your name, e-mail address and phone number to

The art has been be available for pre-viewing at the museum since Tues, Jan. 12, with no admission fee.

diggin' on frances & layin' some pipe

This has been the corner of Frances Street at Southard for the past handful of days.

An easy opportunity to study the interesting geometric shape relationships that work-sites and heavy equipment always offer and, a twisted excuse to write a vaguely suggestive headline.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

artman's alphabet - Z

reef relief founders

Online Coral Reef Resource Now Available at

Reef Relief founders Craig and DeeVon Quirolo retired from the grassroots organization last July, only to begin a major project to provide an online resource on coral reefs. Their new website provides all the award-winning educational tools, grassroots strategies, project reports and images of coral reefs assembled during their work over the past 23 years in the Florida Keys and throughout the Caribbean
protecting coral reefs.
You can find it at

“We just wanted to insure that others can learn from our experiences and continue the important work of saving endangered coral reefs,” noted DeeVon. "We hope to inspire a new generation of sea fans!”

The new website features blogs on reef news, science and even offshore oil, along with over 10,000 free images of coral reefs from coral surveys in the Florida Keys and elsewhere.

So check it out, make it a favorite and add a link from your site to this new resource for saving endangered coral reefs.
For more information, email
or go to

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

maxine's dreams

On July 22nd 1951, Tsygan and Dezik went into a low Earth orbit. They were two stray dogs, trained for spaceflight by the Soviet space program.
(The Russians loved sending dogs into space)

The dogs were trained to sit in tiny compartments for better than two weeks at a time and spun around in a centrifuge.

Some of the dogs that went up actually made it back alive!
But then they'd only get sent up again.

The pup pictured here, is Laika.
Launched into space on November 3rd 1957, she died, apparently, of stress and over heating during the flight.
Laika is now remembered as a Soviet national hero.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

keys Q&A

Q: What does a stone pelican poop?
A: Marbles.

Q: Where can I reach you?
A: Call me at the branch office.

Monday, January 11, 2010

smathers beach

Have you ever visited the northernmost tip of Long Island or the southernmost tip of New Jersey late in the Fall?

Off the long beach fronts, the skies are wide and mostly cloudy and the Atlantic reflects the gray, adding it's own tinge of seaweed green.
The air is clean and crisp with the smell of the ocean. The gusting offshore breeze carries the damp spray and the temperature is somewhere between 45 and 50 degrees.

There are so few people around that, with a little imagination, you could swear you had either beach to yourself.

I enjoyed a nostalgic taste of all that yesterday on Smathers Beach.

I'd grabbed a cab out to East Martello to drop of my annual offering for this year's Anne McKee Art Auction. I guess it was just past 11 in the morning and with the "cold", a little more quiet than usual for a Sunday morning.

My original plan was to drop off the artwork and hang around the fort to shoot the long morning shadow effects behind the walls and sculptures. Obviously, that wasn't gonna fly so I did my thing at the museum, waved past the docent on my way out and he waved back wishing me a "great day".

Crossing back over South Roosevelt, to the ocean side, I was about to call cab to cruise me back home again but stopped for a minute to look out over the Atlantic. "Hmmm. . .", I thought, "Let me get a quick picture of this first. . ."

Well, one shot lead to another and then another and I was wearing my walking shoes anyway so, forget the cab and let the games begin.
(once the bug bites, I can't say no. Hell, I don't want to say no. It's what I do. . .)

It was Orient Point and Cape May in Key West!

Off the long beach front, the sky was wide and mostly cloudy and the Atlantic reflected the gray, adding it's own tinge of seaweed green.
The air was clean and crisp with the smell of the ocean. The gusting offshore breeze carried the damp spray and the temperature was somewhere between 45 and 50 degrees.

There were so few people around that, with a little imagination, I was sure I had the beach to myself.

The thing about creating artwork is getting captured by the muse and mentally moved to an alternate reality where the creative process becomes a meditation. If I'm working on an illustration or a painting, the meditation lasts, uninterrupted, for hours or days until the work is finished.

The cool thing about photography is that each act of taking each picture becomes it's own, very short but no less intense, meditation. Study the scene, become the scene and the mind of the camera, release the shutter. For those few brief seconds, subject, intention and mind become one and nothing else exists.

That's the "druggie's high" for me when I'm creating anything. Losing, completely, any sense of self and becoming the creation.

Anyway, 4 hours and 235 pictures later (you've gotta love digital photography), I was back home and happy as a clam who'd escaped the Sunny Sea Seafoo0d cannery.

So, the docent's wish came true and I had a really great day. Seems like a "win win" all around.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

better angels

I took a trip up north not long ago and I've gotta tell you! I'm not a judgmental kind of guy but it was hard not to notice that once I got off the Keys and on the mainland, most everybody was in a really bad mood. The further north I went, the crankier they got and I figured if I got as far as Jersey, the "crank-o-meter" would bust off the scale. You've got to be careful too, 'cause that cranky stuff's contagious. By the time I got the 23rd road-rage finger flipped at me for not driving fast enough, even I was muttering and growlin' under my breath.

I know, generally speaking, things really suck these days in "the land of the free". . .
. . .a lousy economy, not enough jobs, people loosing homes and healthcare, 2 never ending wars and a 3rd on the way, a 24/7 media frenzy of fear mongering and an adolescent political system that can't get out of it's own way and, has reduced "the American people" to a cliché. I can understand feeling frustrated and disenfranchised but hell, I didn't do it to you and you didn't do it to me so why are we flippin' each other the bird? I mean, face the reality, it's THEM (banksters, lawyers, lobbyists, pundits, preachers and politicians) against US (we the people).

Now, lately it looks like THEY are pretty much gonna do whatever THEY want for a while and there's not much WE can do about it. But WE can decide not to buy in to the mayhem because what WE have is EACH OTHER and, there are quite a few more of US than there are of THEM. Whatever stresses are bearing down on our respective lives, it's about time WE lived respectful lives. It's about time WE stopped flipping each other the bird and dusted off our Better Angels.

Think about it.. .
Every life that has ever lived, is alive now or will ever live, dances on the end of the same four strings pulled by the cosmic puppeteer.
Pain, Pleasure, Peace and Passing are experiences common to all our lives. (I'd include THEM in the equation but they're just in total denial)

We all know what it's like to be hurt, to feel really really good, to be comfortably content and, face it, none of us are gettin' out of this life alive. It sounds like WE have a damned lot in common, aye?
(and did I mention that WE all breath the same air)

Accepting that, as I hope you might, how can any of US not feel and express Compassion for someone's pain or passing? How can any of US not feel and express Happiness for someone's pleasure or peace?
After all, the feelings and expressions WE offer, are the feelings and expressions WE receive in return.

But too many of US are wearing a big old heavy coat to keep separate and seemingly safe from the rest of US. The pockets are stuffed with bloated ego, unfounded fears and senseless desires. It's buttoned up snug as a bug and no one else is gettin' in there. The shame of it is, no one else can see the Better Angels hidden away inside.

Those folks need to take a lesson from most of US here in the Keys where, it's just too damned hot to wear that big old heavy coat and all our Better Angels are out and about and
gettin' along.

Monday, January 4, 2010

lord, the air smells good. . .

Walking downtown to do my "Monday thing" at the newspaper office this morning, the breeze was cool and crisp; the air smelled fresh and clean. It brought a smile to my face and this short work from Rumi to my mind. . .

Lord, the air smells good today,
straight from the mysteries within the inner courts of God.

A grace like new clothes thrown across the garden,
free medicine for everybody.
The trees in their prayer, the birds in praise,
the first blue violets kneeling.

Whatever came from Being is caught up in being,
drunkenly forgetting the way back.

Friday, January 1, 2010

happy new year

". . .If they say the moon is blue,
We must believe it's true. . ."
Blue Moon
click this link to hear the song