Born Inventor…

Well, it’s day 12 and I’m still sick and I was really pissed off about it 4 or 5 days ago… now, they don’t even have a word for what I am. Mom couldn’t take it and went to the doctor and he told her all the things it wasn’t but did concede to bronchitis which is like saying, “you’re sick and you’re coughing”… oh, the expertise. Anyway, he gave a prescription for some cough medicine which I was desperate enough to take, thinking it may even allow me to get to sleep. I took a tsp. and sat in my chair and thought, hmmm, I feel kind of comfortable and lo and behold, I did sleep… until about 4 in the morning but I’ll take what I can get. The next day, Mom told me that the cough syrup had oxycodone or hrdrocodone or cobaltcodone carbonate or something in it. I took some more and it allowed me to sleep a bit better but now I realize why Rush L1mbaugh says such idiotic things constantly. After a day and a half, I stopped taking it as I really didn’t like the world I was existing in. So, I’m clean and sober now and if I were at an oxycodone cough syrup anonymous (OCSA) meeting I guess I would have to say, somewhat sheepishly, that I haven’t had a tsp. (or as the great bluesmen would say… spoonfuh, obviously not talking about cough syrup) for 1 day and counting. Thank you jebus. OK, that’s enough of that. Here’s one of the yunomis I made for the yunomi show this year…

Sadly, after 4 consecutive years being invited to the yunomi show, I was not invited this year and this is the only year that I actually prepared way in advance. What to do? I’ve already sent this piece to the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. OK OK, that’s not my yunomi, it’s actually from Iran and it’s old and it’s not a yunomi. I found it at this great new website called G00gle Art Project. It’s really a great idea and maybe it will become something magnificent if it becomes more populated with new museums and more pieces from the museums represented. The navigation is a bit obtuse but after a short struggle, you’ll get the hang of it. The best part is that the pieces have been entered in pretty high resolution and zooming in allows to see details in a way similar to if you were there in person and walked closer to the piece. Look at this beauty from the Uffizi in Firenze…

You know, I’ve always loved this painting but after years of art history, you become inured to these famous images and unfortunately, you don’t become inured to the actual painting but the countless, not always very good, reproductions. The result of this is a phenomenon I experienced in Italy when I saw certain pieces that I was not all that interested in seeing because, hey, I’ve seen those images thousands of times… Mr. Sandro’s “Birth Of Venus” being one and Michaelangelo’s “David” another. Well, duh, there’s a reason they’re famous. This painting knocked me out, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it is and how big it is… over 9 feet wide. Mr. Sandro’s “Primavera” is very near this one in the museum and the two are really unbelievable works to see. Here’s some more beauties from the Freer…

An unrelated event occurred the other night as Mom and I were watching the stupid box. In a moment of clarity, having had enough of the tube, I picked up my NYT Sunday Crosswords and was going to switch from my “watch-TV-from-across-the-room” reading glasses to my “do-something-that-requires-reading-something-I’m-holding-in-my-hands” reading glasses. That’s when I had my Ben Franklin moment and decided this might save me some time…

I’m hear to tell you that they worked like a dream. Now Mom was entertained a bit at my expense but it’s a small price to pay. I soon got to the point where I didn’t even have to move my neck… I simply looked up a bit to see the TV and down to concentrate on my puzzle. I know, I know, these types of devices are already manufactured but as we all know, once a low-tech, completely useful idea is co-opted by the evil money changers, slight “improvements” are added at the expense of the overall experience… otherwise known as throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I actually got roped into buying a pair of those gradated lenses at no small price and couldn’t for the life of me get used to them. My set, pictured above, worked perfectly from the first second onward… now I couldn’t play basketball with them on but I wouldn’t need to either. The expensive pair I bought came with all kinds of caveats from the optician… the strongest lens on the bottom could only go to this magnification and that magnification could only be so far off from the long distance magnification and if I wanted them to do this or that the lens are had to be larger (which made them look ridiculous and my pair already has that feature). So I’m sticking with it. If people think the toothbrush needs to be electrified or the can opener or their potato peeler, have at it. What?, people don’t peel potatoes anymore?

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14 Responses to “Born Inventor…”

  1. Connie Says:

    Welcome back to the world!! I’m glad you feel well enough to post at least. The goole arts thing is pretty cool. I’ve been playing around with it too. Get well soon.

  2. Julia Says:

    Welcome back to the land of the living!

    I gave your blog an award over on my blog – check it out when you have time.

  3. ron Says:

    Hey, hope you get well soon. We’ve got a bottle of that strong cough medicine here too. Whew! Knocks me right out.

  4. Gordo Says:

    Nicely done, Jim. If you go commercial, ust keep in mind what happened to Steve Martin in The Jerk. πŸ˜‰

    Feel better, my friend.

  5. Cindy G. Says:

    We have some really bad stuff floating around the West too. The Doc told us it was “The Croop”. It’s usually just a kid thing, but this year adults are getting it too. Sore Throat, crazy congestion, sinus, low fever and a cough that will throw your back out.
    Hope you feel better soon. It took me 3 weeks and I’m still not 100%.

  6. mark yarbrough Says:

    Hey Jim, can’t keep it and ya shouldn’t share it, what are you gonna do?Hope you’re back to better then normal soon. I believe the model for Birth of Venus was related to the cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. If so, does this make Botticelli’s painting of the first Miss America?

  7. kyle Says:

    cough syrup=the new gateway drug!
    good to hear you went cold turkey…

  8. soubriquet Says:

    Amazing! Mark Yarborough’s comment is spot-on.
    Botticelli’s Venus was Simonetta Vespucci.
    She was related to Amerigo by marriage, not birth. (she grew up as Simonetta Cattaneo) In her day, she was the most acclaimed beauty of Florence. Medicis fought over her. Botticelli fell in love with her.
    But at only twenty-three years old, she took ill, and died, almost certainly of tuberculosis. Thirty years later, Botticelli was buried at her feet.
    And I know this why? Because I was reading a book by Bill Bryson, only a few days ago, in which he mentioned her, just in passing, and I was interested in the link so I had to know more. What a strange coincidence that she appears here so soon after I read of her!

    Good to hear you’re surviving, I shouldn’t worry you by telling you how long my version of the winter sickness lasted…..
    I had to visit the hospital on a different matter, and was amused to see the sign on the door that, paraphrased, said “This is a hospital. If you’re sick, please go away and wall yourself up in your own home until you’re either dead or cured. We don’t want you in here.”
    Yes, our hospitals are afraid of flu.

  9. ang Says:

    oh jimbo love the classics!! and we had the dryest history lecturer at college it was always about his trips and not nearly enough about the artist…at least you got some zzz’s..drink up and get well sooner than later..

  10. thecapricorntm Says:

    Jim my friend, be a dear and post this in http://www.instructables.com.

    Good Ideas are precious πŸ™‚

  11. Toeful Says:

    dig those Boticelli toes

  12. meredith@whynot Says:

    Oh I have done that – I use to wear my sunglasses for driving then perch my reading glasses on the tip of my noble nose so I could read a map.
    ( and you thought that texting while driving was dangerous!)
    I do this while watching TV too- we could be a pair.
    and the drugs making you even funnier- tipping my tsp. at you!
    Cheers!
    M

  13. Eugene Hon Says:

    Sad to see you are also struggling with your health and eyesight. I have four pairs of glasses – one for far (watching TV), and three for close up. One for the computer and general office work and reading and then there is the special one for drawing and decorating. Old age is taxing for us ‘creatives’. Another hurdle to cross every time we produce – to ensure every detail is truly refined and the quality is not compromised. Drawing, carving and painting demands careful observation – the strain on the eyes is not funny at all. Seeing paintings like the Sistine Chapel in the flesh is something else. I was stunned. However the monumental canvasses painted by Gustave Courbet in the Musee d’Orsay is breathtaking due to their size, considering the work at the time portrayed the workers in realistic fashion – awe-inspiring stuff. Thanks for quickening our minds on this journey.

  14. Patricia Griffin Says:

    Love the double specs!

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