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Archive for May, 2009

$99 cuppa coffee

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

baby bird fallen from its nest – foto by Smith

While reading a time-killer semi-literate thriller, I came across a coffee mention so absurd I immediately thought it must be true – coffee selling for $600 a pound, the beans harvested from the shit of tree weasels. So I Googled it and found this on Wikipedia:

“Kopi Luwak or Civet coffee is coffee made from coffee berries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civet populations. The civets eat the berries, but the beans inside pass through their system undigested. This process takes place on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, in the Philippines and in East Timor. Local lore in Vietnam has given the name “weasel coffee” to civet coffee, in what is considered the closest recognizable translation to English.

“Civets consume the red coffee cherries, when available, containing the fruit and seed, and they tend to pick the ripest and sweetest fruit. Thus there is a natural selection for the ripest coffee beans. The inner bean of the berry is not digested, but a unique combination of enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee’s flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans are defecated, still covered in some inner layers of the berry. The beans are washed, and given only a light roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process. Light roasting is considered particularly desirable in coffees that do not exhibit bitterness, and the most pronounced characteristic of Kopi Luwak is a marked reduction in bitterness.

“Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for between $100 and $600 USD per pound, and is sold mainly in Japan and the United States by weight, and served in coffeehouses in Southeast Asia by the cup. Supplies are limited; only 1,000 pounds (450 kg) at most make it into the world market each year.

“One small cafe, the Heritage Tea Rooms, in the hills outside Townsville in Queensland, Australia, has Kopi Luwak coffee on the menu at A$50.00 (=US$33.00) per cup, selling approximately four cups a week. In April 2008, the brasserie of Peter Jones department store in London’s Sloane Square started selling a blend of Kopi Luwak peanut and Blue Mountain called Caffe Raro for £50 (=US$99.00) a cup.”


baby bird fallen from its nest – foto by Smith


meta 3

Friday, May 29th, 2009

stuff – foto by Smith

dangerous – foto by Smith

evolution – foto by Smith


empirical dada

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

inside orange traffic cone with sun shining through – foto by Smith

One of the reasons we came back to Cleveland was to return to where we began so we could compare who we are now to who we were then, see who we’ve become.

I’ve downloaded enormously strange and varied data these past 44 months living with Lady. Toss in 31 months foreign travel and it’s a massive update in need of reboot. But I can’t reboot. I can’t stop living, don’t have time, can’t turn myself off to update data then turn my new me back on.

So new data has to slowly seep into current data, sort of like a skin pop.

Don’t know much. I do find I’m a more patient, relaxed person. A few folk seem to like me more now than they did before. And there’s a hint of future art and poetry in the air.

It’s taken three months to get to this point: one to secure car and apartment, one to furnish apartment, and one to acclimate.

Now on to Phase 2, whatever it is to be. This continuous living of life is a weird business. I should get time off for good behavior.

inside orange traffic cone with sun shining through – foto by Smith


too much too

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

road tar patch – foto by Smith

The two ladies in my life are asleep: Lady K on the couch, Mandy our loaner cat against my leg here in the recliner. Muted daylight outside, cloudy sky, cool pre-rain breeze blowing. I have no schedules to keep or people to meet. Life is what it is.

Was going to make a list of what makes me feel good in this world – like a hug from Lady, or the cat looking into my eyes purring – but there’s too much to catalog. Of course if I tried to make a list of the world’s wrong, it’d be too much too. Too much do do, too much to due, too much due to.

The world’s misery brings me back to my main goal: the ageless Zen quest of how to live a happy life in an unhappy world. Because the world has always been an unhappy place and an unfair affair, and always will be as long as the strong take, the rich steal, and the endless egos escalate. We’ve devoured our planet and are now turning on each other. We’re a cannibal culture.

We watched The Year of Living Dangerously last night. The first time I watched it was a decade ago, and thought it was a good movie. This time I was even more blown away by Linda Hunt’s acting, but because of his real-life drunken Jew-hating tirade, every time I saw Mel Gibson, I saw a right-wing hard-line Catholic bigot. The same thing happens whenever I see Michael Richards now since his lynching rant: I think what a racist. Or a film with O. J. Simpson: there goes a wife-killer. Or if I see an old film starring Ronald Reagan, I think what is this mass-murdering gun-running dope-smuggling bad actor puppet-President doing in my movie? We have too many bad people playing decent folk in film when there ain’t no moral home inside.

We’ve replaced ancestor worship in the east with celebrity worship here in the west. And I tell you, there aren’t a whole lot of folk worth respecting once they have money, power, fame, and all the temptations they entail. Flesh is weak, and the spirit often hard of hearing. Sometimes I suspect it’s easier to be moral if you’re not rich, powerful, or famous.

As I typed this, the muted daylight outside became thundercloud dark. Did that dark cause this, or this that, or as usual is there absolutely no cause and effect between the two?

black hole – foto by Smith


zoo ooze

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

zoo eagle – foto by Smith

Went to the Cleveland Zoo yesterday. I haven’t been to a zoo since I spent 10.5 months in jail 39 years ago because it bothers me seeing things in cages unless they’re politicians, CEOs, priests, Halliburton’s killers, or the military.

The good news is many of the animals are in enclosed natural environments rather than cages. The bad news is the animals are sad, lethargic, unhappy, and stay as far away from the visitors as possible. I was surprised at how few animals the zoo actually had.

One of the more interesting aspects was looking through fenced enclosures and bars and seeing people and thinking “damn right, they deserve to be caged for what they’ve done to these animals and the planet.”

Still, it was an enjoyable and educational outing. Thousands of people there – never seen so many wee ones in baby strollers, nor so many over-fed adults.

The day before we went to an English professor’s house for dinner so she could give us some feedback on our book, and we saw chipmunks, blue jays, robins and a raccoon in her backyard. That was a cool day because we had a good meal, good people, and good conversation too.

I was afraid when I sent her an electronic copy of the book I’d never hear from her again because she’s a nice woman, good values, and I thought the drugs and crimes in the book would chase her away. Instead she said she’d like to have Lady and I come read and speak to her class. Cool.

You just never know.

zoo fish – foto by Smith

grizzly bear – foto by Smith

polar bear – foto by Smith

zoo goose – foto by Smith

zoo bird – foto by Smith

zoo fish – foto by Smith

tortoise – foto by Smith

giraffes – foto by Smith

our non-zoo loaner cat Mandy – foto by Smith


easy art

Monday, May 25th, 2009

color Xerox transferred onto cloth – foto by Smith

Here’s an easy, instant, trouble-free way to make fast art. Pile a bunch of items on top of a color Xerox machine and Xerox them onto transfer paper. Then use a heat press to transfer the transfer Xerox onto archival paper or (in these 3 examples) cloth. An added benefit with transfers is once they’re transferred, everything is reversed, so the words are backwards which lends an air of mystery to the finished piece.

For me, art and photography are easy – it’s poetry that’s hard. Art is play, poetry work. And of course it’s poetry that matters to me more than art and fotos.

Another color Xerox art trick – the machine makes three passes for the three different colors, so slightly move some of the pieces in between each pass and you’ll get color smears which rather make it look like a 3-D picture.

This is today’s art lesson 101 from Mr. Found Object Smith.

color Xerox transferred onto cloth – foto by Smith


interesting excerpt

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Reading the book Atonement by Ian McEwan. I am jealous of this author. He writes thoughts that I’ve had, or feel I’ve had, and I feel robbed. I haven’t written them down and he has and he’s beaten me to it:

Briony sat on the floor with her back to one of the tall built-in toy cupboards and fanned her face with the pages of her play. The silence in the house was complete–no voices or footfalls downstairs, no murmurs from the plumbing; in the space between one of the open sash windows a trapped fly had abandoned its struggle, and outside, the liquid birdsong had evaporated in the heat. She pushed her knees out straight before her and let the folds of her white muslin dress and the familiar, endearing, pucker of skin about her knees fill her view. She should have changed her dress this morning. She thought how she should take more care of her appearance, like Lola. It was childish not to. But what an effort it was. The silence hissed in her ears and her vision was faintly distorted–her hands in her lap appeared unusually large and at the same time remote, as though viewed across an immense distance. She raised one hand and flexed its fingers and wondered, as she had sometimes before, how this thing, this machine for gripping, this fleshy spider on the end of her arm, came to be hers, entirely at her command. Or did it have some little life of its own? She bent her finger and straightened it. The mystery was in the instant before it moved, the dividing moment between not moving and moving, when her intention took effect. It was like a wave breaking. If she could only find herself at the crest, she thought, she might find the secret of herself, that part of her that was really in charge. She brought her forefinger closer to her face and stared at it, urging it to move. It remained still because she was pretending, she was not entirely serious, and because willing it to move, or being about to move it, was not the same as actually moving it. And when she did crook it finally, the action seemed to start in the finger itself, not in some part of her mind. When did it know to move, when did she know to move it? There was no catching herself out. It was either-or. There was no stitching, no seam, and yet she knew that behind the smooth continuous fabric was the real self–was it her soul?–which took the decision to cease pretending, and gave the final command.

These thoughts were as familiar to her, and as comforting, as the precise configuration of her knees, their matching but competing, symmetrical and reversible, look. A second thought always followed the first, one mystery bred another: Was everyone else really as alive as she was? For example, did her sister really matter to herself, was she as valuable to herself as Briony was? Was being Cecilia just as vivid an affair as being Briony? Did her sister also have a real self concealed behind a breaking wave, and di she spend time thinking about it, with a finger held up to her face? Did everybody, including her father, Betty, Hardman? If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone’s thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone’s claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no one was. One could drown in irrelevance. But if the answer was no, then Briony was surrounded by machines, intelligent and pleasant enough on the outside, but lacking the bright and private inside feeling she had. This was sinister and lonely, as well as unlikely. For, though it offended her sense of order, she knew it was overwhelmingly probable that everyone else had thoughts like hers. She knew this, but only in a rather arid way; she didn’t really feel it.



smith spawn

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Cheeseburger by Smith- foto by Smith

Cheeseburger (detail) by Smith- foto by Smith

Lotus Blossom by Smith – foto by Smith

Smith 1990s postcard – foto by Smith

Smith 1990s postcard – foto by Smith

Smith 1990s postcard – foto by Smith

1990s postcard to my father – foto by Smith

1990s postcard to my mother – foto by Smith

War (made 1 week before Bush illegally invaded Iraq) – foto by Smith


beatnik tea

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Oaxacan Gold, Mexico – foto by Smith

A brief history of marijuana from WEEDS and Smith:

2727 B.C. – China begins using marijuana as medicine
500 B.C. – marijuana reaches Europe by way of India and Africa
1492 – Christopher Columbus brings marijuana to the new world
1619 – Jamestown Colony law: All settlers required to grow marijuana
1797 – George Washington’s primary crop at Mount Vernon is marijuana
1876 – The Sultan of Turkey gives the U.S. marijuana as a gift
1880 – Turkish smoking parlors open all over the northeast U.S.
1891 – Queen Victoria is prescribed marijuana to relieve menstrual cramps
1908 – Henry Ford’s first Model T is made with marijuana plastic and runs on marijuana ethanol
1937 – Federal law bans marijuana
1942 – the U.S. Military uses marijuana as truth serum
1965 – 1 million Americans had tried marijuana
1974 – 24 million Americans had tried marijuana
1980s – the Reagan administration begins its war on drugs
1980s – every 38 seconds someone is arrested for violating marijuana law
1996 – Proposition 215 passes in California, medical marijuana is legal
2009 – marijuana is America’s #1 cash crop at $36 billion a year
2009 – 95 million Americans have tried marijuana

Presidents of the United States who have smoked marijuana: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, John F Kennedy, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Abraham Lincoln. (You notice the only real scumbag of the lot is George W Bush).

2001 – 723,627
2000 – 734,498
1999 – 704,812
1998 – 682,885
1997 – 695,200
1996 – 641,642
1995 – 588,963
1994 – 499,122
1993 – 380,689
1992 – 342,314

data harvested from these 3 addresses, among others:

buzzed – foto by Smith


hot box

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Smith 1990s postcard – foto by Smith

Here’s a comic sexual global warning piece Lady and I collaborated on in the small Adriatic fishing village of Liznjan Croatia in December of 2006. Here’s the rewritten version.


If every woman would wear refrigerating underwear to cool down their little vaginas, it would help global warming. All these little hot vulvas are radiating heat into outer space. Plus a whole lot of pheromones, too. There’re probably aliens out there just sniffing around, trying to find out where this is coming from.

If all these women cooled down their little hot boxes, there’d be less heated men trying to procreate, so there’d be fewer babies born. Fewer babies means fewer dead beefs to feed them. Fewer dead beefs means fewer Amazon forests cut down. So you can see, warm vulvas are a major cause of global warming. Of course, that still leaves the hot air produced by politicians and TV talking heads. They should be locked into a room. Let them eat each other.

Of course, hot vulvas do make nice foot warmers on cold winter days. Other things that are going to have to go are hot wheels, a “hot time in the old town tonight”, hot jazz, people saying, “You’re getting warm,” hot prospects, baseball teams getting hot. But mainly, hot sex. I think this is a hot idea.

One thing we are going to have to keep though, which cannot be touched, is hot coffee. There are some things which are sacred.

This refrigerating underwear, wouldn’t it take fuel? No, it’d be chemical. Like those little sticks you snap to mix the chemicals and make cool green fluorescent light at concerts, or the sticks you snap to make heat for ice fishermen. It’s all chemical mixtures. So what I propose is that with the two chemicals needed to make cold, we put one on the panties that are manufactured, and then women can just paint their vaginas after showers with the other chemical. So when they put on the panties, the two chemicals will meet, and voila! We’ll have refrigerated vulvas. Kind of like Swedish Vulvas in the winter.

We also have to change our terminology. We can’t have “hot” babes anymore. We have to have “cool” babes. For women who can’t afford panties, they can insert ice cubes. Of course they’d have to have little drip pans for catching water, which can then be used of for making tea.

Or we could harness this vaginal heat. We could heat brothels with it. Get enough of these women together, you could probably heat hot water. This could, of course, always contribute to heated discussions. Just trying to cover all the angles, or in this case, curves.

We could also try spraying vaginas with liquid insulation which could also be made self-absorbing, so it could serve as a monthly menstrual pad as well. Once a month, the insulation would be cracked off, a new application applied, and the broken red pieces could be bagged and sold as candy, or assembled into modern art paintings for the museums. Artistically, this would be known as the “red” period.

– Smith and Lady

Target display case – foto by Smith


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