July 29, 2014
  1. Last weekend I got tagged by another stingray. On a scale of 1 to 10, the level of pain is around 11 or 12. The cure is immediate immersion in hot sand or water, as hot as you can stand it, which neutralizes the enzyme in the poison, providing immediate relief and prevents it from spreading. I'm extremely thankful for several things about this event: first is the knowledge of stingray first aid, without it the poison spreads up the limb and lingers for hours or days; second, for Sophia, a regular at O.B. who chooses to live a gypsy life out of her van and boiled some water for me; third, the way she glowed at the chance to help, and last, that I could return the favor with just a couple canisters of propane for her camp burner.

    "There's no map, there's no master plan, there's just people."
  2. I am thankful for radio. After living in an area that had maybe three or four radio stations that almost never held up for more than a few miles, one of the things I loved when I first moved to S.D. was the abundance of clear FM radio signals. Nothing beats jumping in the car and launching your drive with one of your favorite songs. (Limelight, Rush. :-) )

    "If you turn on the radio, love is 90 percent of the music."
  3. Today I am thankful for the simple presence of cups, glasses, bowls, pots, pans, buckets (or buskets, of Suicide Kings,) and other vessels with which to transport materials from wherever they come to wherever they need to go. Imagine trying to draw enough water for a pot of tea or eat a bowl of soup with your hands. Thank you, cylindrical and hemispheric devices.

    "We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."
  4. I am thankful that I can't recall the last time I felt or whined about boredom. There's so much to do, even in the most idle moments, if I have a complaint it's that time seems to pass exponentially with each year. I just don't know how I'm going to get it all done.

    "There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for boredom, ever."
  5. I am thankful for that hickory smoke smell that permeates your clothes after a good barbeque.

    "If barbecue did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it."
  6. I am so grateful I was finally able to put my wife behind the wheel of her first new car. Trivial, materialistic, but she has deserved it for a very long time. Now my daily driver is her convertible. :-D

    "No other man-made device since the shields and lances of ancient knights fulfills a man's ego like an automobile."
  7. I am thankful for a parable adopted by many different faiths in different ways, one of the immovable laws of the universe. Though it is seldom what we think we want and rarely comes in the form we hope for, I am thankful that what we truly need comes to us, each and every one. It's often difficult to see through the veil of what we WANT. When we celebrate having everything we need, abundance seems to find it's way to our door.

    "A short cut to riches is to subtract from our desires."
  8. I am thankful for my set of misaligned, overbitten funky looking teeth. At a junior high school dance my lower left molar literally exploded from a strawberry Starburst, sending surprised shards of enamel across my tongue. What was left of it tortured me for the next twelve years, rising to a crescendo of migraine headaches and continual - not constant, 24/7 continual - agony until a dentist extracted it at the age of 25. Since then I have maintained my choppers, got a few fillings, and they have held fast, in spite of the dentist who said my gums were receding at age 35 and I'd lose them all in five years. In spite of another who wanted to pull all four wisdom teeth while extracting another molar fatality, and when I looked at the x-rays, I said no, because it looked like those wisdom teeth would move right into the spot of the molar he was going to pull (which it did.) I've had a couple gum infections cured by antibiotics, they wanted to pull them out then, too. I'm thankful I didn't listen to any of them, and still have a working set of enamels.

    "Maybe it's the hair. Maybe it's the teeth. Maybe it's the intellect. No, it's the hair."
  9. I am thankful for gum arabic. It comes from the sap of the acacia tree, is the most natural stabilizer for foods you can imagine, easily washes away with water, is used in chewing gum, photography, lithography, pyrotechnics, and studies show ingesting gum arabic can even help you lose weight! It is the binder in watercolor, but I even use it to fix the natural fish skin on the head of my ceramic tabla/doumbek. It works very well as a water based glue.

    "We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones."

  10. La Mesa Sunset
    I am thankful for our $89 pop up canopy over our patio. I was sitting under it last night night watching another glorious San Diego sundown, and thought about how many barbeques it has hosted, how it's on it's second cover and the third on the way, how it witnessed the bench portion of the Easter Sunday WV head wrenching last year and all the other puttering DIY projects it offered as a venue, how many times I've rocked the balance board in its shade, how many surfboard repairs and re-waxings it has seen, how many end of day Coronas it has welcomed, how many times I've watched the tapestries that dangle from its western side dance with the breezes, and most of all the long deep talks with my wife in the warm summer evenings beneath its folds. It's more than a cheap pop up shelter, it's a cave and a retreat, a true living room without the obnoxious presence of television. It is in places like these we truly live.

    "Those who look for beauty find it."
  11. I am thankful for my motivation and energy. We're supposed to slow down as we age, and sometimes I'm so exhausted I could go into REM if I laid my head down for two seconds, but my determination and obsession with gittin' 'er done usually powers me through every time.

    "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
  12. Today's thankful is paired with the "beautify facebook with art" post: I am thankful for something that I've always loved (but never done,) street art. Bordering the line between vandalism and art, it is the screaming declaration that artistic talent can never be caged and will always escape to express the nature of the human condition. Google has a lot of opposition these days, but I'm also thankful for their recent directive, "Dive into Street Art," in the post below.

    Dive into Street Art

    "I spray the sky fast. Eyes ahead and behind. Looking for cops. Looking for anyone I don't want to be here. Paint sails and the things that kick in my head scream from can to brick. See this, see this. See me emptied onto a wall."
  13. Today I am thankful for the Man Cave. It can be anywhere, where I live it's a spare room in our rental, stacked with toys and tools and my paintings tacked to the walls. It's a place to create and destroy, ponder and decide, or sometimes, just fart and grin about it. Because all rules are off, it's the Man Cave. It's important to be civilized, sensitive, and loving, but never lose touch with the fact that you are a man for a reason. Always be one.

    "One just principle from the depths of a cave is more powerful than an army."
  14. I am thankful for anyone or anything that has ever made me feel intimidated, stupid, or insecure. It didn't seem so at the time, but it was a constant reminder that you can't do or be anything powerful if you're not willing to take the risk of being ridiculed, and the ridicule you receive is a manifestation of insecurity.

    "People are changed, not by coercion or intimidation, but by example."
  15. Today I am thankful for the complete stranger I met yesterday who said to me, "I know you, you're the guy in that video, that was awesome!" I was completely floored, I asked how he found out about it and he mentioned some name I also didn't know. I am thankful for the ability to reach deep down where the real stuff lives, throw it on the table, and inspire.

    "Be the change you want to see in the world."
  16. I am thankful that for every moment I survive, as screwed up as the world might seem, there is one more day to make a change, push a small wave that someone might ride to a moment of joy. Let's do this.

    "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
  17. I mentioned health in #238, but am thankful I have never had cancer or other serious illnesses. I had one friend die before he was 30 of HIV, a terrible loss of a talented gift to the world, and have two friends dealing with cancer right now. It looks like they're going to beat it because they are both strong and unstoppable, and everyone who knows them is directing all their energy to a full recovery.

    "A man's illness is his private territory and, no matter how much he loves you and how close you are, you stay an outsider. You are healthy."
  18. I am thankful for remote controls, not just the ones for television. No longer do we have to leave the comfort of our sofas or lounge chairs to adjust the channel, volume, or other settings on the slime-o-vision, we can do it without burning a single calorie. The irony is in order to do so we have to spend three times as much energy to find the remote, usually slid down between the cushions where we were originally couched or by the controls on the blabbing television. When the batteries go dead we get that dreadful feeling that we have been teleported into the stone age and actually have to do something manually (or womanually,) because we know that every fitting battery in the house is dead and we will experience what seems like terminal forgetfulness for several weeks when we go out shopping; on re-entry to our home we'll declare "oh snap, I forgot the batteries again!" The remote control adds just the right amount of unnecessary frustration and challenge to our lives to hint at the fact that laughing at ourselves is the best form of humor.

    "The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair. And I don't need one other thing, except my dog." [Shithead growls] "I don't need my dog."
  19. Similar to #55, I am thankful for two people who without which I wouldn't be in San Diego, surfing, riding a convertible, working where I work, I wouldn't have this awesome life. They shall remain unnamed for privacy, but they know who they are and can see this post. They took a complete stranger into their home, gave me a place to land and a new job, which has led to so many things including my involvement in the Boys to Men Mentoring Network. It also led to a place for my daughter to land after Army and college, who now has an awesome job in Hillcrest; they have made that happen too. None of this would have happened without them, and can't thank them enough.

    "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
  20. I am thankful for the simple machines which produce what is often lumped in as the seventh of the original six simple machines, the gear. IMO gears are a compound machine of the wheel and lever, but nonetheless simple machines are everywhere, they drive us to work, fly through the skies, ratchet nuts and bolts, produce our energy sources, run our printers, switches, CD players, and have been the source of meaningless puttering and wrenching since the dawn of civilization.

    "Machines are worshiped because they are beautiful, and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous, and loathed because they impose slavery."
  21. I am thankful for the feeling that explodes from a blank sheet of paper, any paper (but usually watercolor stock,) freshly pulled from the darkness of neighboring sheets in the pad, taped and ready for me to tip myself over and pour the colors of my life into it's fibers.

    "It's so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas."
  22. I am thankful I have learned how to just show up, to be there when I say I will, do what I say I'm going to, and make no excuses when I've allowed something to get in the way.

    "Showing up every day isn't enough. There are a lot of guys who show up every day who shouldn't have showed up at all."
  23. I am thankful for windows, specifically the one to my right as I type and the one I've recently been moved to at work. Most of my working life I've been in a building, cube, closet, no sun, no sky, no view outside. Being able to look out, see the sky while I work, is just liberating. It's no "corner office" but it's awesome. Bonus: just outside the window, a balcony for full on breaks.

    "All the windows of my heart I open to the day."
  24. This one is a cheap shot, but **needs** to be on this list. :-D I am grateful for the power of thankfulness itself. As I near the close of these daily mantras I am seeing it's not just a philosophy or fantasy, or the air of a dreamer. Dedicating time every day to ponder what I am thankful for has enabled me to physically manifest in ways I never thought possible. This shit WORKS. Besides the expected effect of setting the tone for the day, seeing the good almost everywhere (and bitching a lot less about the bad) has opened doors to new things. Not more or better or different, new, things I never thought I needed. Like surfing, it's something I wish I could give to everyone I know, but it can't be done, one has to decide, choose, and paddle out themselves. :-D

    "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
  25. Today I am thankful for these balmy hot summer days. Yes it's a little uncomfortable, the air gets so thick you can almost see it, but I love it. Usually it means sooner or later water is going to be a part of the day's activities, which is even better.

    "Today's heat has me more hot and bothered than a lonely housewife reading Fifty Shades of Grey at a Magic Mike screening."
  26. Wow, last night's Def Leppard set was a well executed and awesome show! I am thankful I have seen more live music in the last 4 years than I ever had in the previous 20, from small venue local talent to big name rock icons. Now if I could just get into the Tom Petty concert . . . :-D

    "We take for granted electricity, water, even concerts. Count your blessings."
  27. I an thankful for the invention of fingernail clippers. No one is really sure exactly who invented them. Such an odd and appropriate tool that produces such gross little piles of trimmings. :-D

    "What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds."
  28. I am thankful for hot spicy foods. Extra chili and salsa on the Mexican food please, just enough curry in the Asian, Indian, or Cajun plates to get a good sweat by the time you're done, and nasal cleansing dollops of wasabe on the sushi rolls, thank you! I'll never forget the $20 bet (or was it $5) I "lost" to my daughter at a Chinese restaurant if she would take a single curry, chew it at least three times, and swallow. She was well warned but went for it. :-) Drank all the water on the table, but she did it!

    "People ask me all the time, 'What keeps you up at night?' And I say, 'Spicy Mexican food, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber attacks."
  29. People always opt out of the most important things in their lives by saying "I don't have time." One of the greatest truths I've learned is Americans have more free time than we've ever had, and we MAKE time for what is important to us. I am thankful my free time is filled with positive, active choices, either living, serving, or working, boredom (#334) and idle activities to fill the hours are no longer on my to-do list. What I could use a little more of is sleep! :-D

    "It's what you do in your free time that will set you free - or enslave you."
  30. I am thankful for trees; not just trees in general, but all the ones I have visited in life. The oak I hiked to and sat in on one of my first days in Oregon on a foggy morning, having no idea what I was going to do with my life or where it was going to take me; the towering firs and pines in campgrounds that stood over the many nights I fell asleep beneath their needles; the scrub oak tree that had the initials of a girlfriend and myself carved in it's trunk, long since shed with new bark like the love I thought would last forever; the wise old maple in the back yard of my first house that watched my daughter grow and gave me many seasons of raking and gathering from which I learned the value of recycling and composting; the small landscape tree I park by at work that gives me a little shade at lunch break. Aside from giving us life, if trees could speak, they would have endless stories to tell.

    "Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

Categories: About the Art

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