a.k.a. “Rip Van Winkle”

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Geezus Frog! Is it 2011 already? I seem to have overslept a bit… 🙂

For those of you wondering where the heck I’ve been for the last month or so, or those who were worrying whether I had gotten too big for my britches and abandoned this blog in favor of fame and fortune in the world of commerce: I thank y’all for caring so much, for the many private e-mails, for your patience and forgiveness, and assure you that my feet are still squarely planted on the ground (or at least metaphorically as they are actually at a right angle to the ground and hiding beneath several layers of quilts and blankets).

As the subtitle of this blog declares, the theme here is “The Art of Survival”, and that is what I’ve been doing: Just trying to survive. If you’ve ever been pregnant or observed it from afar, there is an odd phenomenon where a few days before the babe makes his grand entrance, Mom2Be gets a splurge of energy and accomplishes incredible feats of creative and physical effort. It could be anything from chopping enough firewood to keep the kid warm through kindergarten, wallpapering the entire house as well as the neighbor’s, or stripping and finishing an ancient grand piano. Well, my body, for some weird reason, adopts that routine whenever I’m just about to suffer a relapse, and that’s just what happened this time after enjoying a flurry of creative activity from Sept.-Nov. I’m still having a hard time of it and really have no way to predict how often I’ll be able to post but I’m hoping to get back here at least once a week for as long as I can.

In any case, while I’ve been “away”, if I hadn’t known before, I was reminded once again of the riches I’ve been blessed with in friends. Janie, Mi’chele, Art & Enid, Steve & Sue, Barry & Sharon, and Michelle B. too, are each the jewels I shall always cherish. In goodtimes or bad, in silence or song, these are friends who linger long, whether close or far away. What I’ve done to deserve you I have no idea but pray I can live up to your example.

“But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

”There is nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends.” Hillaire Belloc

”Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.“ C. S. Lewis

”If you think that the world means nothing, think again. You might mean the world to someone else.“ Unknown (fun link but I doubt this quote was his)

“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” Euripides (408 B.C.)

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Get Neue-Melamine in One Swell Foop

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This evening’s post is a quickie just to let you know that I’ve put together all of the images I created for my “Neue-Melamine” series into one gigantic zipped-up package for your convenience in downloading. It includes all that were posted here individually along with a few extras. The only categories it does NOT include are “devices”. If any of you are interested in having a set of those as well, or desire an image in the Neue-Melamine style for some other function or application not already posted, let me know via a comment to this post.

Enjoy!

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Simply right-click (or control-click) on the link below to save a zipped file to your desktop that contains the complete “Neue-Melamine” series. Each image in the package is a 512px X 512px image in .png format and the entire zipped download is 6.63mb. Usage of these images is strictly per terms of my Creative Commons 3.0, Non-Commercial-Attribution-No Derivatives license applies (see sidebar for details)

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Draw of the Kentucky Derby

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As always on the first Saturday in May, it’s “Kentucky Derby Day” here in the ‘States. Don’t know whether it’s of any significance to anyone outside of the U.S. It’s a funny thing about this race as it seems to capture the interest and attention of many of us who pay zero attention to horse racing except for this (and then possibly the other two races which make up the so-called “Triple Crown” – but such interest lasts only if the same horse wins the first two). And you don’t even have to be a gambler to enjoy the hoopla (although I’m told it helps). I think this phenomenon is a real credit to the folks at Churchill Downs and in the State of Kentucky who have done a masterful job over the years of promoting this event to the point where it has crossed the line from “sport” to “legend”. It’s like the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix race (but US style) where one doesn’t need to know a fig about the cars, drivers, track, science of racing, or the teams to be drawn into the glamour and excitement.

I’ve never seen the race in person but have seen the track. It’s set into the hills of Kentucky which, to my taste, is one of the top five most beautiful of our 50 states.

Took a pause to watch the race. It is a mucky muddy mess out there but the horses ran bravely and magnificently. Congratulations to jockey, Calvin Borrell horse “Super Saver” (why are horse’s names so “thing” like? Guess that’s the difference between animals “owned” and used to make money vs. pets.) In my very amateur opinion, I really think that this jockey has done so well is in large part due to his complete lack of arrogance and ability to “listen” to his horse (rather than dictate to the horse). While I was favoring the filly, “Devil May Care”, it’s always inspiring to see another one of the underdog’s win.

The Kentucky Derby race lasts only 2 minutes – so I think I should keep this post suitably short to match. Onto tonight’s freebies! On the menu tonight are “Nuevo Melamine” clipping and location images. Enjoy!

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