Every once in a while, I guess, a parent recognizes a tiny genetic fleck’s behavior being passed to the offspring. In this case it happens to be the propensity to endlessly repeat original nonsense phrases that eventually, because of the repetition, come to have meaning. Of course this doesn’t exclude other nonsense sayings that I’ve come to admire, a famous Kentucky one (or at least southern one) is “like a hair in a biscuit”, which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. When I was a freshman in college I used to say… “eh, bushida in a backhouza”, backhouza being Italian English for outhouse and bushido meaning “the way of the warrior” or something like that in Japanese. Of course when I was saying it I didn’t know that or care. In graduate school, instead of saying “shee-it” like many of the people around me, I would say shee – ite, pause and add moslems to the end. This was in the early ’80’s and the political correctness surrounding such a saying now would probably have made me reconsider but one of my bosses, Richard Musgraves (who was an erstwhile beatnik), used to laugh every time I said it and it made me feel as though I had somehow achieved a pass into the sense-of-humor-of-older-men club. There were other vulgar ones that, mostly because of search engines, I won’t elaborate here. So anyway, a couple days ago, the bug started saying “humpfph” and over the last few days she’s said it at least a couple hundred times. It seems to be a flexible expression that ranges in meaning from mild displeasure at what she’s being told to do to absolute discontent of the current situation. She’s also said it so many times that I think it has just started coming out in the place of her exhaling. We unloaded the kiln yesterday and she had almost 3 shelves full of stuff which she enjoyed unloading and examining. I had to wait till she got home from school to unload which was excruciating for me to have to wait because I had pots on the shelves below her shelves. Anyway here’s some shots of her pieces…

Here’s the bug with one of my favorites (sorry it’s a touch out of focus)…

So now that almost all the work I had is fired, the photography begins… tomorrow. Here’s a couple shots from the first kilnload…

In other news, I decided that I might have to swim during the winter because I don’t want to ride my bicycle in the cold weather and swimming seems to be one of the only activities that doesn’t hurt my heels. Anyway, I’m not a swimmer and haven’t swum in years and never laps in a pool. So I showed up this morning and gave it a try. I decided that I should swim 20 laps, having no idea how difficult that might be, how long it would take and how far the distance is. After about 18 laps (and I could tell it was gonna take its toll on my shoulders), I stopped the pacing lifeguard and asked, how many laps make a mile. To my surprise the answer was 32… wow, that would make another 14 and then that would only be one mile. So at 25 laps I figured I might as well make it an even mile. Of course I did take a short breather a couple times. Not sure if I will pursue this further because I’m the kind of person who is unable to do the laps and not keep track and it starts to become tedious after a bit and that’s exactly why I don’t want to go somewhere and ride a stationary bicycle all winter. But you never know, maybe I will grow to like it. OK, so photography starts tomorrow.


8 Responses to “Humpfph…”

  1. Robert Young Says:

    Sounds like the history of the word “quiz”. Interesting reading.
    Wow, I really like the first tumbler, with the vertical green and brown stripes. I think it’s the mostly the shape, but the color variations…. nice. Can you show the other side? (Just kidding!)

  2. Connie Says:

    You borught back a few memories from the 80’s. I can’t believe how long ago that was.

    I love the green tumbler. Great Glaze. Can’t wait for the photos.

  3. Tracey Says:

    Beautiful work! Yours and the little one’s!!! Wes says fark and shurk, trying to get me to clean up my potty mouth.

  4. Eugene Hon Says:

    As always you have such an incredible way with words – a really special quality. I can’t wait to see more of the new work. I need some inspiration in terms of innovative studio ceramics works. I have been rather busy with all sorts of admin etc.- end of the year frustrations and you certainly put a smile on my face. Thank you Jim and the bug.

  5. gary rith Says:

    nice looking pics there amigo or fantastic pottery! You are so lucky to have such a great and creative bug too 🙂 As for swimming, sounds like a good idea for you but I never cared for it other than cooling off on a not day 🙂

  6. judi tavill Says:


  7. meredith@whynot Says:

    Brett- the pots are simply divine and so is the darling bug!

  8. Patricia Griffin Says:

    Swimming laps is… well… boring. Yuck. I had a hurt back for awhile and thought I’d do the swimming thing. Ended up hurting my shoulder and neck. Torticulous, which I’m sure is spelled wrong, but essentially means you can’t turn your head. At all (without screaming, anyway)… Probably all boils down to the fact that I’m compulsive. And obsessive. And moderation is just… well… boring.

    Hope your swimming exercise goes better than mine did!

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