Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Artist Erik Wilson ROTAtes In

PLATTSBURGH CITY - June 22, 2013

Saturday evening at ROTA Gallery featured the opening of the Erik Wilson exhibit.  Erik's paintings add a third dimension to the normal 2d format with the use of two layers to include a shadowbox area.  Even his triptychs have a three dimensional aspect with hinged side panels that can be angled to the viewer's preference.

The exhibit runs until July 8th when another exhibit rotates in at ROTA Gallery.  Located at 50 Margaret Street ROTA is usually open daily from 12 noon to 5 PM.

ABOVE: Erik Wilson gestures at one of his works while explaining its creation to an art patron.

BELOW: Works by Erik Wilson.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Don't Have A Cow

The above photo has generated a lot of positive feedback on Facebook.  Man, I'm being love-bombed!

For example, this comment:

If that is the negative spin you want to put on it. Makes sense considering the source. If anything they were the best audience... Respectful, non judge mental [sic], and they genuinely really enjoyed us playing for them. Oh, the people too!

To which I replied:  

It's only a joke! That's why I wrote "apologies to." Look at the expression on that "critic." The word balloon seemed to fit. Everyone knows you never get a bum steer at Conroy's Organics. Lighten up.

But that wasn't good enough as evinced by this second comment:

If you have to personally apologize, then why post it? You should ask for permission before you post an image of someone, especially when you water mark it. It has to be consentual [sic]. Learn respect.

Later I received this message via Facebook from another person:

I have personally asked you in the past not to take pictures of me. It is one thing if I am performing.. I understand that it is your profession, and I respect that. But under no circumstances are you allowed to make a mockery of me and /or my band, is that understood? Take the picture off of facebook, and get rid of it. And any other pictures you have of me, that do not pertain to the performing arts, get rid of them. You do not have my permission to take photos of me any longer.

Obviously someone doesn't understand the laws pertaining to photography or had heard of the Streisand Effect.  As defined by Wikipedia this effect "is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet."

What's next?  The word-ballooned bovine in my photo will sue me for misquoting him?

Sorry, I don't "cowtow" to prime beef or prima donnas.

So far twelve people on Facebook have "liked" my photo, appreciating its humor.  Apparently they did "consider the source."

Critics Are Everywhere (Even With A Captive Audience)

With apologies to Christine and the other members of Punkahontas.  Not responsible for the critic's observations.  There was a cattle call for talking bovine and I ended up with a bum steer.  I didn't expect a country moosic fan.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


To survive from hungry birds some insects need clever camouflage.  In the accompanying image the extremely rare Bogus Leaf Walker appears to be a broken twig bit sitting on the sidewalk.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Before Jeering Look At Your Own Neighborhood

I'm tired of the crap.

The Press-Republican newspaper runs a feature called "Cheers & Jeers," handing out paeans and pans regarding certain incidents and situations.

On June 10th the PR included this Jeer: "JEERS to people who don’t clean up after their dogs in Burlington’s waterfront park."

It went on how a PR editor was upset to see "decomposing canine feces that detracts greatly from the beautiful grounds and view of Lake Champlain."

Why go across the lake to complain about dogshit?  Maybe the PR should look at its own doorstep:

And you can see uncensored images of what I've been documenting for years at my "bad" blog, Dogtown 12901.  I haven't updated that blog lately but not because the problem has cleared up.  I'm tired of photographing and documenting the same old crap.

Like I say watch your step in Plattsburgh City.  The other day a father was upset that his young sandal-clad daughter stepped in some dogshit.  And as you know, such stuff is not only disease-free but even salubrious!

Take Pride, Dogtown!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Working With The System Shouldn't Mean Getting Worked Over

Debra Buell documents the mold damage to her LP collection.

Mold is OK on the surface of Limburger cheese: you can slice it off.  But there's no cutting option with mold on a vinyl record or its jacket.


The fraud investigator considered all the stuff in the apartment, a lot of belongings.

He said: "I could have had you packed up and out of here in ten minutes."

Not an observation that should have been directed at a wheelchair bound person.

According to Debra Buell the investigator from Clinton County Department of Social Services summed up her plight with those words.  The implication was that she was "malingering" in regards to moving.

Another example of the treatment Debra says she has experienced after her apartment was condemned for a mold problem.  As detailed in a previous post - "Disabled Tenant Screwed" - she had notified her landlady months ago about a some mold around her closet where the main water pipe is housed.  Debra was worried that there might be a leak.

The problem wasn't fixed and so her apartment ended up being flooded out, resulting in an outburst of unhealthy mold.

Her struggle to find a new apartment and then move has been exacerbated by the agency that is supposed to be helping her: Social Services.

I spoke with Debra today at her old apartment as she was having it cleaned.  She was thankful for her home health aide being there to help.  But while some scrubbing can clean the stove and refrigerator, the mold needs professional attention to be neutralized and removed.  The situation is so bad, Debra says, that the health inspector has stated anyone with allergies or asthma should avoid the place.  The door and window were left open to air out the apartment, alleviating the musty odor that had been fugging it up.

She's grateful to agencies like HUD – Housing and Urban Development – and ETC – Evergreen Townhouse Community – for effectively responding to her needs, filing paperwork in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, she adds, Social Services sometimes doesn't respond at all and when it does it requires a duplication of effort.

Social Services wanted copies of the HUD and ETC paperwork.  Her SS caseworker told her that it hadn't received those copies.  In the middle of moving Debra had to contact HUD and ETC only to find out that both agencies had already submitted the needed copies.  And to make sure, both agencies submitted them a second time.

Debra also criticizes SS for its ever changing story.  It would tell her that the all paperwork it required was finished, only to come back the next day with more forms to fill out.  She says that she has processed a "crapload" of paperwork.

Communication, she says, is a key area that SS needs to fix.

She was staying temporarily at a local motel, not expecting to find a new place so soon.  But on Friday, May 31, she did find one.  Instead of putting her stuff in storage she thought she could save SS some money and store her belongings in her new apartment.

With the weekend approaching Debra called SS repeatedly to find out what she should do, careful to work with the system.  After no response she went down to the SS offices to speak with her caseworker.  She was told both her caseworker and the caseworker's supervisor were in a meeting.  She waited for around ninety minutes but still no go.

Forced to make a decision Debra moved some of her stuff into the her new apartment.  But on the following Monday her SS caseworker expressed consternation (my term) when she heard what Debra had done.  Well, consternation would've been avoided if the caseworker or the supervisor responded on Friday.  More paperwork to be filled out and processed.

Debra has a long list of such experiences with Social Services, including miscommunication involving a wheelchair ramp to be installed at her new place.  Since it wasn't installed she was forced to stay an extra night at the motel.  Money wasted by SS, not her.

What could be done to alleviate some of the problems?  Debra suggests SS should have an instruction manual for both clients and caseworkers so that everyone would be on the same page.  This manual would lay out step-by-step what both the client and SS should do when dealing with someone who ends up homeless.

A close-up of a wall shows how mold is blossoming in the condemned apartment where Debra Buell used to live.

Through A Sunglass, Darkly

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 6/8/13     Sunglasses worn by percussionist Lowell Wurster reflect his guitarist partner, Kevin Sabourin, during the First Weekend festivities on Saturday afternoon in downtown Plattsburgh.   Going acoustic for the day, both musicians belong to the band Lucid.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Vehicle For Humor

(Click on image for larger view.)

Learning The Bassics


An aspiring musician learns from Catie Wurster how to play an upright bass late Saturday afternoon during First Weekend events in downtown Plattsburgh.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Art Circus Comes To Town

 If you're looking for something different in an art exhibit then step right up to ROTA Gallery at 50 Margaret Street, Plattsburgh, NY.  As you can see from these images from the opening reception There's Fun For The Whole (Manson) Family.  The Lester Circus II features a variety of works by the Lester sisters: Ashley, Amanda, & Courtney.   Also on display are creations by their friends Kate Bourgeois and Elliot Daugherty.  ROTA is open daily from 12 noon to 5 PM.  Note: no safety nets.  Stop in soon because everything packs up and hits the road next week.

Sunday, June 02, 2013


Rainbow Spinner

For someone learning how to fire dance LED poi orbs are a safe way to learn how to spin and execute various patterns.  One would think spinning a plastic ball on the end of a short rope or chain would be easy but...