Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seaside new years

Seaside new years
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

Mellow times await as Lucy and I soon get *up out* of the ATL and land
in ft. Walton FLA for a 2nd family new years in seaside! Thanks terry
and Edie! www.seasidefl.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gladstone Tools!?

Gladstone Tools!?
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

So there we were, Lucy and I, at the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans. And what should we see? Why, it's a a souvenir ice-smasher with the Gladstone Tools brand. What is the Gladstone Tools brand, you may ask? Why it's the house brand of Manny Shambhu and his fantastic artist son and dear friend of mine, Jim Shambhu.

Here's the whole set of photos from our visit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Moblogging returns!

Moblogging returns!
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

Finally going to get mobile Flickr posting back up and running.
Holiday yays.

Mick Jeffries mick@mickjeffries.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Doc Davis of Bog Trotters Band, with autoharp, Galax, Virginia

from the Lomax Library of public domain images. How cool.
clipped from memory.loc.gov
Image, Source: digital file from original
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LIbrary of Congress P&P Division

Do you have any idea how many archival photos are available in the public domain online? Super cool. (image: prohibition cops dump a barrel of alcohol after a raid)
clipped from lcweb2.loc.gov
Image, Source: digital file from b&w film copy neg.
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Snap, snap! Laloux at the Cat's Den

Laloux at the Cat's Den
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

last night was the 2nd performance by the coolest lex band I've seen in quite a while: Laloux. The whole photo set is here

Hair Police at the Cat's Den

Hair Police at the Cat's Den
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

super good times last night at UK's Cat's Den with some wonderful bands, including Hair Police and Laloux

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Robot Chicken Super Kate!

Super Kate!
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

Apparently everybody who visits LA gets a celebrity story, but I think mine was better than most. Thanks to the awesome SuperKate, I got to visit for a couple of hours at Robot Chicken studios and hang out with Seth Green and co., including voice-over visitor David "The Hof" Hasselhof, while Kate captured audio. What a funny memory. Luckily I have this photo as proof.

Super cool times, SuperKate. Thank you! (also thanks to Seth for hooking me up with a sweet RC tee and for being so cool with my pal Kate)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vampire Santa's Eggnog

What's that I hear? Is it the sound of Vampire Santa dragging his sorry sackful of eggnog around once again for the holiday season?

You betcha!

And as the sole purveyer of Vampire Santa's Eggnog, I have only one wish for you: That you get a bottle. But we'll see how good and/or bad you are in the next few weeks.

Big ups to Cricket Press for the art collab!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Oh no you didn't!"

"Oh no you didn't!"
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey

Lucy mugs for a funny little company contest that requested a picture of her on the phone. We went the extra mile. Alternate poses here and here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

from the archives

I'm migrating from the Palm to the iPhone world, and have needed to pull over some random notes that I just wanna keep. Here's one of them:

I'm sitting at the library eating illegal thai salad. The view from the fourth floor is just too enticing and I was simultaneously hungry, so you know — connect the dots. (bite)

I guess cops have never liked it when lawbreakers tell them "shouldn't you be out chasing people who have really done something wrong?" Anyway, it's the dead week, for adults. Or at least me. That's the week after xmas and before new years. I love dead week. It has the potential to be so — I don't know — dead. That usually is a condition intensified by a lot of snow which is semi-freakish anymore here in the bluegreass, enough so that people tend to run to grocery, buy lots of water and bread (why with the bread? I've never understood) and pretend that the end is nigh.

Not the end of the snow mind you, but The End. That's not the case today though. It's clear and beautiful. I promised myself a walk, as a kind of tribute both to dead week and the weather. A no-jacket, no-camera, no-errands walk. Okay, so i tucked my Treo and amazing folding keyboard into my pocket. What's the harm? Well, for me the harm is that I routinely try to multi-task all the time. It's become a real theme. In some ways my life has become a list; A list of ludicrous mixed magnitudes, where "buy another house" mingles freely with "get some okra." It's madness.

So the idea is that occasionally, I travel light and go for a walk. It rarely happens, but today it did. I felt better just knowing that it was warm outside. And that is why I consider moving. But in the meantime, the brisk walk. It's hard for me not to not to make lists in my head or even on this Treo. But today I'm trying not to.

Note to self: look into buddism to battle "future-itus"

See?? There I go again. How did i get this way? Why are more and more peo0ple becoming this way? I remember the first time I did business on a cell phone, walking down the street to pick up something at Kinkos. With an internal exclamation, i thought "wow, now I can get two things done at once." And it's been downhill ever since. I'm up to, like, 5 things at once. And that seems like an achievement, but I can't remember why I had to get all thesse things done. WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?

I'm taking a walk, that's what.

And maybe on the way, I'll drop a letter off at the post office, renew my Y membership, get a cup of coffee, pick up a couple of library books and and and …
late december 2007

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jackie OH!

Jackie OH!, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

Just a funny Jackie O meets Oscar mashup that I just saw one morning in Lucy's office.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Barack on Flickr

As a continiuing insight into Obama's grasp on "the new media," check out his Flickr stream, full of candid "behind the scenes" shots from election night and before..
clipped from news.yahoo.com

Behind the scenes with Obama

Obama's campaign photographer, David Katz, has uploaded thousands of behind-the-scenes photos onto Flickr, Yahoo!'s photo-sharing site. Among our favorites were these candid shots of the Obama family hanging out on election night, watching history unfold. (To see more of these photos, you can check out the Barack Obama photostream on Flickr.)

President-elect Barack Obama and family on election night. Photo by campaign photographer David Katz.
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's fixed!

It's fixed!, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

Nearly 2 hrs later, terry's got my turntable back in service! And I got to assist, even. Priceless.

Terry Layman at work

Terry Layman at work, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

Terry Layman directs his mad mad skills towards the rehabilitation of my failing JVC turntable, bought by me in 1982 and in constant service since that time.

Terry the Electric Alchemist

Photo_11.jpeg, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

Terry Leyman works his near-obsolete magic on my vintage life-long JVC turntable. I bought it in 1982 and it is just an amazing piece of technology that was merely in need of a little TLC from a latter day good shepherd of electronics.

Helping the old tech

Helping the old tech, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

The only turntable I've ever owned (a JVC L-F41 bought in 1982) is on the fritz but getting some TLC from the amazing Terry Layman, electronic repair wizard. There aren't too many left like Terry. Thank goodness I've got him.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Barack Obama

Yesterday was, finally, a day to remember for all time. And not for a sad or tragic reason — for once, in our recent history — but for the very best of reasons: Some poignant, timely, important progress for our country, and the opportunity for the US to make inroads once again as a power for good in the world and a beacon of hope. Galvanizing, it was. And being a good deconstructor, it's always fascinating to me to look at the nuts and bolds and see "how it happened." Here's a pretty interesting account of that.
clipped from www.msnbc.msn.com

Obama's near-flawless run from start to finish

Dem's journey to the presidency was marked by organization, discipline

The story of Mr. Obama’s journey to the pinnacle of American politics is the story of a campaign that was, even in the view of many rivals, almost flawless. But Mr. Obama and his aides believed from the outset that it would have to be nothing less than that if he was to overcome obstacles that sometimes in the drama of the year became easy to forget: that this was a black man with an unusual name and exotic past, someone dogged by a stubborn (and inaccurate) belief among some voters that he is a Muslim, who began plotting his presidential run less than two years after moving from the Illinois Legislature to the United States Senate. the rest of this story

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Zombie Photobooth 2008

Zombie Photobooth 2008, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

This year for Mecca's 7th Thriller, I eschewed my historic gig documenting the parade itself — there's a sea of photographers doing that now.

Instead, Zombie-master Mel had the bright idea to do a Zombie Photobooth, similar to the Belly Booth that I'd done for a Rachel Brice workshop last year.

I was curious because I wanted to test the bounds of instant print delivery a la Polaroid for the digital age. Without, y'know, the high expense of polaroid. So I set up a light kit and shot with my Canon XTi tethered to my laptop where they were slurped fairly-instantly into Adobe Lightroom. From there, I could print them immediately to this sweet little Lexmark P350 and Voila! Instant Zombie souvenir!

It was great fun. The tech was challenging and somewhat flakey, but basically workable.. The turnout was somewhat light (at the photobooth, not Thriller), but we'll work out the publicity next time. This was a great trial run!

Extra-special thanks to the Third Street Stuff barista crew for making me feel extra-welcome and also being my lighting guinea pigs!

see the whole zombie photobooth set

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thriller 2008!

Thriller 2008, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

Super fun at the 7th annual Thriller! In the Streets of Downtown Lexington, folks! If you weren't there, we're talking about over 200 dancing zombies, and thousands of onlookers. Yay to Mecca Live Studio, WRFL-FM and Lexington Parks and Recreation as well as the many many who helped out in one of the finest annual community events anywhere.

Here's the Thriller photo pool where you can see assorted people's shots and add your own! (please do!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Elephant 6

Elephant 6, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

a magical nite for music. The elephant 6 holiday jam blasts away at a delighted choir. Away from the thronging round barn, it's a sea of breezy autumnal solitude. The red mile, lex ky

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mummy Goes Mustache

Ah, the wonder of a new band. The work, the talent, the mustaches..

Ditch Mitch

Now may be the very best chance ever to get rid of McConnell. If you can help the Lunsford campaign, do it today.

SurveyUSA: Senate race tied

Democrat Bruce Lunsford has pulled even with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in a new poll conducted by SurveyUSA for WHAS-TV in Louisville.

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Goin Back

19 Oct. 08 047, originally uploaded by billandsusie.

This last weekend was a special time and with the somewhat unintended encouragement of pal Alyssum, I want to return to blogging for a bit — strict blogging, that is — which I think of as more of a journaling endeavor. And I love blogging for that, though I feel that I've been away from it for some time. The fact is, I've been much "too busy" for I-don't-know-how-long. And that kind of bothers me — my mom would say that it's a good thing, but I'm not so sure; I've seen this inspirational programmer named Philip Kerman speak several times and I think he would disagree. (and if you like that you might want to check him out some more).

Anyway — let's talk about Owensboro and the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden which isn't a radio station but does go by the web name WKGB. In Owensboro, it's called The Garden, and by many accounts it's been something of a joy for many there. For my parents, it's been that and somewhat much more, i.e., they started it, and — in their legendary relentlessness — have boosted it up and up. The toast (and toil) of their year has been the several-months residency of a series of sculptures called Big Bugs, which people have come from far and wide to see. KET even did a segment on it.

And the upshot of this — from the perspective of a self-centered blogger — is a strange collision of my past and present. For instance when KET made the trek to Owensboro to shoot The Garden, my friend Valerie was introduced to my parents; Lexington meets Owensboro, Part 1 of many.

Now, there are plenty of people who move away from their home to escape it forever, but that's never been my intentionokay — it most certainly has been my intention from time to time but not in recent memory; and I think in the intervening years since my departure (1986) I've proven to myself that I've carved enough of my own thang that I won't be conscribed to move back home, not that there's anything wrong with that — for other people. But for me, it's always been something that was important to prove to myself.

Which brings us oddly to this last weekend: Lexington really meets Owensboro, we'll call it. And vice versa. The Garden had been featuring a series of events called Wondrous Sundays, and I had engineered a couple of them on my folks' behalf, but not beyond coordinating a few handshakes — something that I love doing, by the way. And this time, I went along for a few reasons:

  1. Hadn't seen my fam in a while.
  2. Hadn't actually seen Big Bugs at all.
  3. Was privately needing to do a make-up session for a bit of bad planning that found me in Los Angeles when I had committed to be in Owensboro. And it was advertised. So I was needing to redeem my good name with my mom who was a little ticked with me.
  4. My bestest, greatest gypsy dancers, Rakadu Gypsy Dance were performing — and it's often sop for me to emcee/audioize for them.
Also, the trip was hinging on Lucy's birthday, so there was mos' def a birthday dinner occasion of some delight to be had.

So we did some carpool finagling and managed to wind up with a caravan of Farhad (the unexpected enthusiast) and Rakadu Mel in one sweet ride, and Lucy and Alyssum and I (plus Lucy's work kung fu) in the other.

After a full-of-talk-and-music fun ride straight to a basket of G.D. Ritzy's shoestring potatoes on the outskirts of Owensboro, when it began to dawn on me: I was taking my Lexington life — which I'm pretty proud of — to my Owensboro roots, showing up with a circus cast of costumes and cultures… and that made me very happy.

And I guess that's because I like to bring the carnival. And why? I don't know. I think it makes me feel special to be involved in a blissful spectacle, a wondrous show that is designed for the sole (and soul) purpose of making people's eyes sparkle. Which is something that I get to borrow every time I venture out with Rakadu Gypsy Dance, my friends and inspirations.

Add to that, that these people, I get to show around my home town, the place that in some very real way made me who I am, as odd as that seems to me as a self-proclaimed vagabond and venturer. This little somewhat-cloyingly-proud town of 50,000 people. And I didn't want to waste a second of that, so I conducted my first tour over cell phone from one car to the other, and — to my singular joy — to receptive ears.

Because for all my ambivalence, there are plenty of things I'd show somebody in Owensboro, things like Gabe's Tower, Century Christian Church, the Texas Gas building, the 8-Ball restaurant. And it was great because I had an audience of people that I knew wouldn't mind seeing all these things and would actually dig it. In fact, that I could say them: this is who I am because this is where I was.

So, to sort of move towards summing up, we rolled up — typically but not critically late — to the gig, which happened to be my parents' place also. And I just felt the great sense of pride and self — embodied in red pants, a velvet jacket and a cowboy hat — introducing my dear friends, inspiring dancers and musicians, to Owensboro.

I knew they'd be great — they're always great. I knew they'd be loved, because they're magic. The girls danced the Tarantula, kids joined in, Farhad was Farhad, my sweet Lucy was there, I did some Laptop Lounge, and was drafted into emceeing, as I often am in Lexington — but this time in Owensboro by my beloved stepdad. And that is coming home, my friends.

Afterwards, we piled into Farhad's aformentioned sweet ride — six of us — and I got to give that uexpurgated tour of My Owensboro that I've always wanted to give and too often battered Lucy with. The tour goes places, but it also brings up stories and — while I choose a fracture of things to call my career — telling stories is one of the things, maybe the main thing, that gives me undeniable, unqualified joy.

So I tried not to leave anything out, because I thought — even then — this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; and maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. But if I never have a more receptive audience, if I never get to share those stories with another group, I'll feel okay about that. Because just as we were there for The Garden's Wondrous Sundays series, I got to share Wondrous Owensboro — and the wonder that it has given me — with some people that I know appreciated it, specifically for those things that it has given me and for the person — their friend — that it has made me.

How could I not feel grateful for that?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alice in Pogo-land

This is a cool little bit of electronica shared with me by pal Alyssum. You can get to free downloads of the tracks from the youtube page. For me, it's that somewhat rare gem: pleasant, ethereal, quirky and unique without being trite or exhausting.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rakadu Gypsy at Western Kentucky Botanical Garden

19 Oct. 08 040, originally uploaded by billandsusie.

TT, Mel, and Alyssum unravel in their Dance of the Tarantula as a part of the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden's Wondrous Sundays series celebrating David Rogers' Big Bugs. Click the picture for more!


Friday, October 17, 2008

yr friday 1 minute of webzen

from my new fave, Smashing Magazine.. click the link for more..

35 Beautiful Fractal Art Pictures

Fractal Screenshot

Water Lilies
These fractal flames were created by Roger Johnston and are an “extension of the iterated function system class of fractals”.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

star trek reboots with JJ Abrams

clipped from www.cinemablend.com
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JJ Abrams' Star Trek finally peeking its head!

Finally, some nice images from the upcoming Star Trek "reboot." I've watched the payoff-less trailer quite a few times and am happy just to see some stills. Yeah, Star Trek was my favorite show as a kid. No contest. Oh-- click the link below for more production shots.
clipped from www.cinemablend.com

The floodgates have opened. After months of extreme secrecy, Paramount Pictures has at last started distributing real images from their new Star Trek movie, showing everything from the new Kirk and Spock, to exploding starships, to crew photos, to Eric Bana as the movie’s Romulan villain Nero!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Treadmill Kittens

To quote one site where I've seen this: "This is why I have the internet."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Omelets for dummies

Omelets for dummies, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

Finally! An appliance to take the guess-work out of confusing, complicated omelet-makin'! Relief is here! (from the miscellaneous aisle at Walgreens)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kiss and fly!

Kiss and fly!, originally uploaded by mrtoastey.


great message distilling for the briefest (and probably most popular) form of airport arrival/delivery. The bay area wins again. Headed back to the bluegrass now, after a careening and delightful acquaintence with my new fun friend, the state of california. I'll miss you and see you soon!

The Tonga Finale

Got to go to the legendary Tonga Room on my last night in the Bay Area.
clipped from www.fairmont.com
The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar

The Tonga Room offers a tropical and festive atmosphere with live entertainment, dancing and a rain storm.  The Tonga Room serves exceptional Pacific Rim Asian Cuisine in a tropical setting. It is the perfect escape after a busy day of meetings or shopping along Union Square. Be sure to try the Mai Tai, regularly recognized as the City's best!

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