Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Making a "Smiley" with my face.... :o)

(Cropped from a candid photo of me reading at Live @ "Sunday Four" by T. Verhaegen)

On-line dictionary's define the adjective "self-deprecation" as: conscious of your own shortcomings.

I define "self-deprecation" as the art of making fun of oneself to the enjoyment and for the benefit of others. This is an Art-form. When its done right, others see themselves in you and smile. When its done wrong others don't see themselves in you. ...they don't smile. When "self-deprecation" is done poorly, it becomes self-degrading. Self-deprecation is an Art-form which I practice with various degrees of success and failure. Lately, its been mostly the later.

Ever feel like you are the only soldier in a police action? Like you've been deployed for too long and maybe its time for your tour to be over? I'm there.

I chose my profession with purpose. I was able to devote time to my kids while they were growing up. Now I can write and create in my head while I clean at the same time. When I was creating for a paycheck I was doing other peoples creating and RE-creating.... It doesn't work that way for me. I need to create my own reality. Everyone does.

Sometimes even cleaning can get to me. Especially when I feel I'm the only one cleaning. "Mommy works here..." they say. There is no need for anyone to be conscientious. No need to worry about "Teamwork" or working together towards a common goal is how it makes me feel.

Under these circumstances I find it hard to create my own reality. I find it hard to be self-deprecating. Thats when I pray. ...and shut my mouth. OR climb a Mountain....

I need a "Mountain Top Experience"!

In years past, I would have climbed French Point Peak and disappeared with my Bible. I can't do that anymore 'cause I tarnished that place with a failed relationship a while back. My special place is no longer pristine. I tried to reconsecrate it but I found I couldn't. Too many bad memory's. It was one of those deals where you risk everything for the sake of the relationship, only to find you have given to much of yourself away to soon and when the thing fails you have nothing left. Not even the place that recharges you and makes you the "Holy Madman of Mirth" that is the real you.

Time to find a new mountain to climb. A place where I might be able to go with the right person, but only after a healthy commitment. Climbing mountains is hard. Climbing mountains isn't so hard when you do it with someone special. Sometimes, even if the trip is hard its worth it if you're holding the right hand. Then you have companionship going down the other side and the journey is more pleasurable.

In my Heart of Hearts, I am the embodiment of Christ. In real life I'm more like "Crusty the Clown", maybe even Jackie Gleason's "Poor Soul". No matter how hard I try to do the right thing, somehow things come around wrong.

Sometimes I'm just too independent. I realize now that I need to learn to compromise more in my relationships. With my kids, co-workers, friends and potential spouses. I can't compromise in my Art though. That would benifit no-one, or make them smile.



Monday, March 30, 2009


With the advent and proliferation of smaller devices with which this blog may be viewed, and in anticipation of some upcoming image heavy content on my Easter Post Card blog (yeah this is a plug...) after this week I will begin to archive on a daily basis. I have found that Phones and Internet IPODs trunkate and or take forever to load the weekly content. In defferance to the march of Technology and with a wish to increase the availability I am bowing to the masses. The search feature in the Nav Bar at the top of this blog will enable anyone to find items of interest previously posted by title. The Achive list in the Side Bar will enable searching by date of post. Thanks for being understanding.

The threat of the most recent worm will keep me from posting on April Fools Day. See you on the 2nd. Maybe....

The Pneumatic Thoughtforms Future's Project will soon close out subscriptions as the halfway mark has been reached and we anticpate the purchase of supplies and equiptment so that I can begin to produce Etched Glass Sculptured Poems! My bedroom is soon to be transformed into a Working Studio! It will be a little cramped but I think I can take it. Thank You All for your support! In the mean time you may still contribute and become a "Patron of My Arts" simple by mailing to me or dropping off said support.

YEE-HA! I am shuddering in antisipation and I can't wait to get to work!



Sunday, March 29, 2009

I went to the Doctors the other day, and I now weigh 150lbs!

...I haven't weighed this much since I lived with my Mom 30 years ago! Attribute it to 3 months without smoking and sucking on a lot of lozenges I guess.

This one was supposed to be entitled: "A story for my Grandchildren." but I just can't get over the fact that I'm a fatty. I am walking an average of 17-18,000 steps a day (even though I have been putting in some bench time watching the NCAA the past few weeks) according to my pedometer so I'm not turning into a slug... I'm just not so "Ecto" anymore, more of a healthy weighter.


When I was young I was fascinated with animation. I remember seeing these Lifebuoy Commercials:

Actually there was another one where the people in the commercial were on an invisible Train moving along a Train-track too. I loved this kind of thing. Does anyone remember that besides me?

I remember I had a copy of "Mighty Joe Young" on super 8 and I watched it in slo-mo over and over again. I read about the filming of "King Kong", and imagined myself moving him around while I read "Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine".

I was obsessed with Walt Disney for a long time and the story I heard about him scrapping "Snow White" after it was completed in Black and White, then starting over when he came up with an arrangement that involved building a series of something like 17 platforms placed under a camera mounted up near the ceiling and beginning again. Weather it was 17 or not, he then slid Snow in and out of these glass levels so that when she ran through the woods she really ran through the woods!

This was the impetus for my style of painting on layers of glass and the rest has been my history.

I remember pestering my Dad endlessly until he gave in and took me to a Used Camera Shop and we bought a "Regular 8" crank Movie Camera. (...yeah, that was the format BEFORE Super 8...) I spent many a summer day with my friends on the schoolyard, in the woods, and out in front of the house in the street filming epics of "Butt" Car Racing down streets drawn on the concrete with chalk and stop action filming it so we could run it back in the basement on an old slide projection screen that had once belonged to my Nana. It didn't get me a job in Hollywood, but it kept me from youthful mischief.

I never forgot the stop motion thing. It is still there. So last week, when bIRD showed up with his tri-pod and I had a chance to try it again. BANG! Out we went, and it was GREAT FUNN!

This is really poor quality transfer to the Youtube, but you get the idea anyway.


I posted this in my VideoPlayer last week when I did the "Peter a Ready-Made" blog but I found out from folks that the player in many peoples monitors was being cut off. It was all there on my monitor so until that info was passed along I had no idea. Sorry.

From now on (as I know I said before) I will post what I am blogging about in the blog even though it may be more labor intensive. I didn't do away with the player completely, I just moved it to the bottom of the blog. If you bother to scroll all they way down there you can view anything I have posted on my Youtube Channel.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

My first real Video Poem... er Voem?

Well not really, the first one was done on my old Mac LC in B&W. I built it in the original Macromind Director as I recall. However, that was long ago and no longer exists...

This one has my "World Wide Pants ~esque" Logo attached to the end to simplify things. The Logo is silly I'll admit, but over all I am very satisfied with this first attempt.


I have heard from some folks (more than one actually) who suffer from Small Monitor Syndrome, that the player in my side bar is cut off on their screens. I will try to post in the blog as well as on Youtube to minimize this problem in the future. Sorry, I had no idea until you mentioned it to me....


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Everything I know about "Life" I learned while cleaning the Bathroom-" ...or: "The Janitors Tao of Pooh!"

"Fountain by R. Mutt"

O.K., here is the difference between cleaning the Mens room, and the Ladies room:

Men don't care:

"I don't care if you're in there, I'm comin' in anyway..."

Women on the other hand react thusly:

"What are you doing in here?" ...or: "Why haven't you been in here lately?"

Either reaction may take place at any time, and often they happen simultaneously.

In the Tao of this Janitor's Philosophy, this can easily be applied to Love relationships as well:


"I don't care if you're in there, I'm comin' in anyway..."


"What are you doing in here?" ...or:"Why haven't you been in here lately!"

...again, either reaction may take place at any time, and they often happen simultaneously.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

We went to visit "Peter" in the Woods Today.... (previously posted on my other blog on Tuesday, March 17, 2009)

Due to some Technical Problems I am reposting this blog here. I am not sure what the problem was but this should solve it temporarily. Friends and "Techies" have been telling me that the link was bad. I don kno... It worked when I tested it... Sorry for the inconvenience! (...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!!)


It was such a beautiful day today that "Deut" and I just had to go for a walk! So we started out to do the loop around the V-ville but ran into too many other dog owners with the same idea....

"Deut" is actually VERY social but lacks manners for most encounters.

When we were passing Larry Rapant's house we noticed he was at home and we asked if we could "wanner-'roun' " his woods for a while. I brought my camera with me (just in case) so I did what any nature-loving-camera-toting-artist would do... Fired her up and started shootin'!

...Random shot of the ground 'cause I fired it up too fast...

Now "Larry's Repast" is private, so I can't give a map or define the actual location on Google for privacy reasons.

But the walk does technically reside with-in the boundaries of the Normanskill Watershed so I'm posting this as a "secret hike" for the lucky few who know it well.

Besides, now I've posted it, you've done it too....



Some time back when they were redoing the curbs in Voorheesville, after we suffered through an entire spring, summer and fall of dust, noise and traffic; when they were done, I found that they had left behind a couple of broken pieces of curb on my front lawn. As often happens, walking past them for some weeks and months, they began to call to me... They even assembled themselves in my dreams. The result was my own version of a "Ready-Made" named "Peter".

Thing was, I had nowhere for Peter to "Hole-Up" so to speak. Then Larry asked me for a sculpture for his walking path in the woods...

"Peter" in the Wood.

"Peter" is held together by gravity alone.
...and so can be posed...

...and played with...

...But "Deut" would rather play with sticks...

Sticks are boring!

I'd rather play with rocks!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

...back to My Great Aunt

The Letters and Post Cards of my Great Aunt Anne (sometimes spelled: Anna) Jane Gilmour contain a number of romances. She was the only one who never married. Some romances were tragic. Some requited. Some torrid! Some with underlining mystery and confusion between the lines...

Anne Jane Gilmour

Anyway, the following poem was originally inspired by some of them while I was simultaneously reading "Twenty Years A-Growing."

Some of you have seen this poem, some have not. It was well received so I am posting here with its connecting impetus.

The Posts Cards are in the first person so this poem is as well. This is my own imaginings of what was going on and not at all to do with what may or may not have happened.

After gathering in sheets:

I search for you

in every woman's face

It is well I remember

ever you went along

I look for you

in every woman's eye


It is a long while ago,

when you would be

set down at your ease finally

gathering yourself to rest

With another glance,

you spat into the wind


I left that day

the scent of linen behind

looking for the twitch of your eye

the henna in your hair

It was true for me then

Putting no lie on it.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I know, I know, latley I've had the "Gift of the Gab"...

Someone mentioned that I should "Twitter". But I can't go there. Thats TOO connected. No time for everything else I'm into... ;)

Someone even sent me an E-mail that said "STOP SENDING ME THIS BS! TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST!"

(done.) It was that easy... I didn't even know who they were or how they got there in the first place... :O

All you have to do is ask.

Everyone says I should put up a Myspace or Facebook page but I can't go there either. Too much like "High School" ("You be my Friend ...I'll be yours... Why can't I be your Friend? My feelings are hurt... too bad... I don't like you thats why... AHHHH! ...I'm not that person and I never will be!)


I've been taking advantage of the scheduling feature in blogger so I am actually way ahead of myself....

Believe me, the dry spot will come. Prolific is very often sporadic.

Please, bear with me.

I'll shut up soon.

Honest I will.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Embossed Saint Padriac's Day Treats! ...from my Great Aunt Anne Gilmour's Post Card Collection.

I'm sure I mentioned before that my Great Aunt Anne Gilmour had a tremendous Post Collection that I some day plan to turn into a dedicated blog.

While I was at Mom's on Sunday I was glancing through them. They run from 1904 through 1918 and are contained in 3 large binders.

Some are to her, some are not. Some are to other family members. Some are LOVE letters and some are pathetic why haven't you written thingies too....

These three are in keeping with the theme of the day! One of these was post marked on March 17th, 1910 @ 10:30am. 99 years ago to the minute!

The messages on them are short and I think easily decipherable. In context I will only add that "George" was one of her many beaux when she was working as a Telegraphist for Western Electric .

Happy Saint Padriac's Day!!!



Monday, March 16, 2009

...Ireland OP-EDucating myself...

On the Eve of Saint Padriac's Day it was with some trepidation that I read the New York Times article today about the recent shooting of a Police Officer and two Soldiers in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood of Lurgan, about 25 miles southwest of Belfast. ("the groups that claim to have carried out the killings — the Real I.R.A. in the soldiers’ case and the Continuity I.R.A. in the police officer’s —[are described as:] “small, marginalized, disenfranchised and well-infiltrated groups.)

I was however heartened by the courageous statement from Martian McGuinness (once a senior commander in the I.R.A.) and then I also read the Op-Ed article Ireland's Tough Peace.

(YEAH!) ...Are the Troubles coming back “No, no they’re not.”


I was almost ready to Jump for Joy when I read in the article "Irish Premier's U.S. Trip Has Dark Tone" that Prime Minister Brian Cowen of Ireland said he might ease naturalization by allowing Americans whose nearest Irish ancestor is a great-grandparent to qualify for citizenship.

Then I realized that the one chance I had was also one Great too many... :(

I may do the legwork and paperwork for my Mom if it ever happens though!!! ;)


Expecting Bad News, getting Good News!

Makes Padriac's Day HAPPY!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Alright, I've continued to play with this and I figure this is an opportunity.

Here is what you can do with a photograph of this sort. Trouble is, since I like all the results I am the wrong person to choose just which one is the most effective. So lets take a poll, which one do you like?

Enhanced Hues?



Oil Painting?
Enhanced Oil Painting?

I'm partial to them all dammit!


This photo makes me think of Winslow Homer....

It is mostly untouched. The color variation is from time and fading. I played with it a little in some painting programs and decided it was better "Au jus" (in its natural juices) so I posted it with the scratches removed only :

Sarah and Anne Gilmour on the Beach circa 1911


Saturday, March 14, 2009

I can no longer deny that I have spent most of my life in ignorance of my story....

When I first started this journey some years back, I began by Goggling the Townland of "Killaloo" looking for the Gilmour's based on the letters my Dad handed down to me.

The browser couldn't find anything at first, and it kept trying to redirect me to "Killaloe".

I got frustrated! I got P*ss-ed-off! I got so tired of trying to be redirected there at almost every query, I began to ignore it completely!



I have just finished reading Morgan Llywelyn's Narrative in 5 novels of Irish History. (1916, 1921, 1949, 1972 & 1999.) I enjoyed it VERY much and I even learned something in the process. It is not exhaustively and academically footnoted, but it is sufficiently footnoted to satisfy the rest of us....

...glancing at a passing footnote I noticed a description of "Killaloe".

Musha Mark! ...what were you doing!? Why didn't I notice what was right in front of my nose! It's actually embarrassing....

With a Name like mine: "O'Brien" (...meaning: "Grandson of Brian" indicating that I am a descendant of Brian Brou) I guess I should have known that Killaloe was the birthplace of Ireland's famous High King, Brian Boru. He ruled from Kincora, which is believed to have been in modern day Killaloe.


James G. O'Brien in the driveway at 7 Drew Street
circa 1937?

...still, when you stop and think, its pretty cool!!!

'cause that means that my Dad: James Gilmour O'Brien was the result of a marriage (...Literally...) of Killaloo and Killaloe!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Apparently Popeye's "Goil Oliv" was once Fashionably Sheik!

The Devil take me! What are those things on their heads?! Did they hurt?!! Was there permanent brain damage?!!!!

"Oh POPEYE!!!!!

"Oh Oliv!!!"


"Aw, shut up, you bilge rat!"

"Nellie" and "Em" take a Holiday in the Catskills.
Ellen and Emma Conklin circa 1915-16
(My Great Aunt and My Nana)

Maybe the Roaring Twenty's were roaring with laughter over the fact that they had looked so silly in whatever that doo was called... Does anyone know its name?


Sunday, March 8, 2009

When my Grandmother's were "Hotties!"

This is what I mean by:

"Will you leave / a beautiful ghost / for your grand children to find / on a summers day..."

Emma Veronica Conklin Burns (Nana)
age 15 circa 1917

My "Nana" with My Mom (Doris) circa 1926

My "Grampah" : Frederick Vincent Burns.


My Dad's Mother's family owned a place on the southern coast of Long Island. This is as close as we get to a full family portrait of the Gilmour's circa 1911 on Point Lookout Beach at "Bushwick" before they owned "Sea Breeze".

(L to R): Sarah Harvey Gilmour, James Alexander Gilmour,
Sarah Pollock Gilmour, Anne Jane Gilmour,
Robert Gilmour and Ruth Ann Gilmour.

Roberts wife Sarah died in March and I assume
that Charles Harvey Gilmour is taking the picture.

...and this is My Dad's Mother:

Sarah Pollock Gilmour ( not yet~ O'Brien) circa 1911

She was "Hotty!" too...

...and this would be My Dad's Father:

James Charles O'Brien circa 1918

I don't think if his legs are so "Hotty!"....


"...can you then paint a picture/of your heart with words for them to see/the beautiful ghost left..."

Pre- Kodachrome, but beautiful all the same!


Friday, March 6, 2009

Is it plagiarism if you absorb something to the point at which you experience it as a creative reality?

"...when the day was spent as far as you could see
and so fell silent into the sky..."

(The Sky over Co. Tyrone, Oct. 08)

Sometimes the language of something I am reading or have read, gets stuck in my minds throat and passes through me only to reappear different but the same.

Does that make sense? I really don't know how my creative filter actually works, (I suppose thats the beauty of it...) but I continue to feed it just the same. (And I do know what to feed it believe me!)

Seeing what comes out of my mix-master mind startles and perplexes me at times...

Much of the following poem is in the language of Moya Llewelyn Davies and George Thomson's English/Irish translation of Maurice O'Sullivan's "Twenty Years A-Growing."

But its not I think plagiarism, if it doesn't tell the same story, even though the language and some of the phrasing are similar.

I was in that place.


And so, as I was experiencing it these lines appeared upon the page:

On not noticing the time passing:

Reach the top of the road

walk until you reach the hill head

see the house on such a night

see your sorrow

what used you to have

speak the tears falling

as if to put from yourself

a catch on your heart on the way to truth

draw a long sigh

how would you stand such hardship now

see the stars sparkling on something

and what used you to be doing in the run of the day


when you came home with the spoils

who would not stand that hardship

isn't it a great wonder to remember it being made

you had the pick of the strand

the hunt of the hill

and the fish of the sea

I suppose you don't remember

you went among them

to hear the old people full of chatter:

Wasn't it a wild place?

It was musha! ...upon my word!

you, not a stitch of cloths on

as you were born and came ashore

when the day was spent as far as you could see

and so fell silent into the sky

as people scattered


to their white gables

and sleep.