Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday November 28th

Well, as so many of my friends know I am a totally gadget geek. I got a Blackberry Storm 2 years ago, the day that they were released and I have really liked it so far. Just 2 days before my birthday last month I spent about an hour doing the recommended upgrade that was to fix some of the bugs the phone had. Blackberry also finally got the interface for the DeskTop Manager for the MacBook.

The majority of the update worked like charm and I was pleased with the better speed and better battery performance. But it did create a few small "issues". I knew that fixing these "issues" was going to take some time and today it took almost 3 full hours and 4 different tech support people. I kept getting up graded to the next level of assistance because I kept asking questions that they did not know the answers to…

Well, now that my entire afternoon got shot to smithereens I decided to sit down and watch a good movie with a glass of wine. I decided to watch Forrest Gump. It is such a wonderful movie and has been one of my favorites since it first came out. Tom Hanks rocks.

My bench is beckoning and I am glad that it is finally calling me again. I have not felt like working for these last few days and I have been filling my time with all of the other tasks that I have needed to get done. I have loads of ideas that have been floating around and I am now feeling the real urge to get back to work.

I saw this video a few days ago and I have to say that I am really rather saddened by these Ohioans. I was born and raised in this state for the first 20 years of my life and I have never seen so many ill-informed individuals in one place. Can anyone offer me any reason why people refuse to grasp even the simplest notions and refuse to look beyond what they are spoon fed by Fox news?

After you watch this video please click on the following link at the Christian Science Monitor and read the article.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday November 27th

It is the fact that it is hard that makes attaining it worthy.
The easily won prize is never honored:

The following quotes by Martin Luther Kings seems to mean more today that it did in the 60's when he spoke these words.

Quote #1
"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

Our society has shifted to one of instant gratification. TV, controlled by a remote, that requires no dedication to a plot. "News" that is spoon fed to us without the requisite facts to back up the false statements on a crawler that runs 24/7/365

For a brief shining moment, we grasped the fact that is was going to take someone that was way smarter than us to help guide us towards solutions. But we are a greedy nation, we have gotten lazy again and we want our problems solved immediately and painlessly and we are unwilling to face the facts that this is gong to take some serious time to fix the mess that we are in.

Here is the answer to the problem.

Quote #2
"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

We are entering the holiday season and it is a time of year that tells us to be thankful, giving, forgiving, kind & caring.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday November 26th

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

I have been home for just 48 hours from a tiring 2 weeks away. Many classes, Many days of exhibiting and shows and many friends and way to much driving.

After my drive up to Washington I got to spend a day with Andrea Guarino-Slemmons and Whit and I finally got to meet Towanda, the coolest calico cat in all of Washington I am sure. She is a love muffin.

I got to take the Edmonds/Kingston Ferry and truly enjoyed the ride. The weather was grey and foggy but the water was calm. It was a nice and relaxing 45 minutes in the middle of lots of rain and bad driving conditions.

The Bellevue Show got under way on Friday morning for me bright and early. I had a one day Low Tech Metalsmithing class and we had a blast. Everyone did such a great job, created amazing pieces and i think learned loads. We even got to play with resin at the end of the day. Saturday nights Viking Knit class was also a success, everyone did great and totally had all of the kinks worked out by the end of the 3 hours.

The show on Saturday & Sunday was very fun. For a smear show the crowds were there and the attendance was more than we could have asked for. There were lots of familiar faces and made a few new acquaintances.

I decided not to start driving after the show. I got some much needed rest and was on the road by 6:30 am. Monday morning. Not as early as I had hoped but I did not catch any of the areas morning rush traffic.

I pulled into my driveway at 9am on Tuesday morning and had to rush to get the car back to the rental agency by 11. There was much unpacking and much sleeping all day Tuesday. The only other task I had to do was to make sure that I had food in the house. I had NO fixin's for coffee and that can border on catastrophic even on the best of mornings.

Wednesday was spent doing laundry, unpacking all of my boxes and getting the orders that came in filled and sorted out. Recuperating from such a long time away from home actually takes a few days and the desire to get back to work ebbs in slowly. My bench beacons me and the creative juices are starting to kick in. I will see what the day brings for me.

My horoscope is calling for alone time for me today and I have to say that I am in total agreement. As the end of another year starts to draw to a close I find myself reflecting on these past 12 months and all of it's adventures. If asked, would be where I am now from this time last year I would have to say no. The year has brought many surprises, twists and turns and as always, each of these give me something to ponder and consider.

I am grateful for friends and family on this day and I look around and my wish on this holiday season is for tolerance, acceptance and peace in the coming year. We are faced with so many obstacles and challenges and if we search out the goodness and kindness in ourselves then that can be passed on and built upon. We need to find common ground to fix these problems. We need to come together and face our them head on, without fear and we each need to find a way to come together.

On November 19th 1863 the following words were spoken by one of our nations most courageous Presidents. These words mean more today than they may have meant even then. Read them and let them ring true.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.  

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday November 17th

 This is a sample of the view we have of San Francisco from our hotel room.

This last week has been a whirlwind. Wednesday was an 15 hour day that was spent trying to make sure that I had everything that i needed to get out of the door and driving to Oakland by 3:30am on Thursday morning. I know that this sounds crazy but there really is method to my madness. If I do not leave that early I get caught 120 miles later in the nightmare that is the Phoenix morning commute. To say that it is painful is an understatement. So by leaving early I am up in the SF Bay Area missing the Phoenix & LA traffic insanity. It is worth it in the grand scheme of it all.

Class on Friday with Gail Crosman Moore was excellent. It was an all day extravaganza and we have a great time teaching it. We had a very full class and everyone did an excellent job creating some excellent components with Gail's brass bits and parts and some very fun cold join techniques. I had several of my "old time" bay area students that always keep me on my toes and I know that I am doing a good job when I can impress them and show them something new or solve a problem that stumps them. Whew… seems I am not a poser Cris…

The show on Saturday and Sunday was an absolute success. The crowds were steady all day long. I guess the best part of this show is seeing so many old friends and getting back to the bay area for a few days. I got to have dinner with two of the most lovely woman that I am graced to know. I have not seen my friends Ruth and Lise for over a year and we got to have a real meal and spend some real time together on Saturday night. It was wonderful to catch up and just relax and talk like no time has passed since we had last seen each other.

I was supposed to take of early Monday morning to my friend Andreas house to visit for a few days before I was to teach and exhibit up in Bellevue WA. All I could think of doing on Monday was sleeping and NOT getting into a car. I was so tired and the thought of being in a car for another 12 to 13 hours was not an option. So I did just that. I had some work to do and I napped and relaxed for the better part of the day.

It was good to spend time with Gail and Meesh, they always make me laugh and these are just the type of people that you can just be with and be totally at ease.  I was not feeling totally up to par this weekend and needed to just be quiet and listen to them be silly.

I drove off early Tuesday morning and drove till I got well into Oregon. The weather in northern California and over the Ashland summit took a toll and I stopped just out of Portland for the night. I am off in the morning to Washington and then teaching and exhibiting this weekend at the Bellevue Bead Festival.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday November 10th

I have been slamming and getting ready to depart early on Thursday morning for my 13 hour drive to Oakland. I have been making jewelry, making kits for classes, packing, printing, ordering and all of the other things that I do in order to leave town for almost 2 weeks. I am looking forward to seeing many friends in the Bay Area and getting to spend some serious time with them.

I have to admit that I am really rather tired. I always get this way at the end of a year of traveling. I usually get most of December and January off but January is booked solid for 2010 and I will be traveling for a good portion of December as well.

There have been some pretty huge things that have been happening in our world this last week. The horrors of a prolonged conflict and the cruelty of mans behavior to his fellow man has come to slap us right in the face. These things sadden me down to the very core of my soul.

We are a nation of immigrants and those in this country whose families have been here for a few generation seem to have forgotten this simple fact. Too many in this country do not tolerate and too many are unwilling to listen to a differing opinion. A majority of this nation elected a man of African American decent to be the leader of the of not only this country but of the free world and there is a portion of this nation that have taken a stand against the man solely  because of his heritage. I am astounded by the fear mongers and the conspiracy theories that continue these unfounded attacks.

It was the eloquence of his speech, the strength of his character and his desire to bring our nation back onto the world stage as a source for positive goals that gave so many of us hope. Can we please focus on these goals and remember what it is that actually makes this country of ours an ideal to attain.

The issues that confront us cannot be solved in one year and God knows if they can be solved in his first term in office. It takes so little time to cause a mess and it usually takes a great deal more time to dig oneself out of the hole.

We need to recall several other very important elections in our nations history that have caused division in our country. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a 4th term by the narrowest of margins. He beat Dewey by just over 3.5 million votes. Carter narrowly beat Ford by well under 2 million votes. Al Gore won the popular vote by 543,895 votes yet lost the electoral college number required for victory and Obama beat McCain by over 8.5 million votes. In the grand scheme of elections this was a landslide that was only seconded by Reagans defeat of Mondale. I bring up these elections to show that this narrow victory is an illusion. Most of our elections are won by margins that are slimmer.

There is a speech that is given by Michael Douglas in The American President that always resonates with me on many levels.

Realize that this is what we are as a nation..
There are few words that are more true…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday November 5th

Whew...Loads done today and loads more to do tomorrow before the weekend hits and I will be forced to stop.15 orders filled and dropped off at the post office and only a few more to get done. Paperwork getting done and articles getting written. I have to wait for some wire to get in so I can make a few kits but that's about it.

Tomorrow is Tools… Bricks…and Torch Orders as well as getting the printing all finished up.

There are 2 things that have been fun today.

1st - This week marks the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. I spent the better part of an hour on YouTube laughing at videos of Elmo and Cookie Monster and the Counting Count…Man that is good stuff..And Cookie Monster got a HUGE nod from Google today...

 2nd - Today is Guy Fawks Day in the United Kingdom. It is the celebration of the failure of the Gun Powder Plot to blow up Parliament. But what it really makes me do is watch "V for Vendetta" with Natalie Portman. I love that movie, the only reason that I ever saw it was because I got a really bad cold this summer and I could not reach the clicker so I just watched it. I know that is a really bad reason to watch a movie but I really did not feel well at all.

Now I am sorry to say that I need to express some serious stuff.

I am very dismayed and disappointed by the turn of things these last few months. Just a year ago we were so optimistic and so full of hope. The nightmare that this nation had endured for 8 years was finally over and the promise for change and cooperation seemed so very real. And now we are all just back to the same old CRAP. No one wants to REALLY do the job that needs to get done. All anyone wants to do is blame the other for not accomplishing anything. I just do not understand why they can't  stand UP for the democratic ideals that they claim to espouse...try being REAL for a change maybe it resonate with the people and we could get behind it

These morons are actually not allowing for a woman to be able to choose in the latest version of the health care bill. Can you believe this? There is no access for contraception and a woman who cannot afford to terminate an unwanted pregnancy will be forced to carry an unwanted birth to term.  They are forcing a woman to choose dangerous options and even worse all of this is going to end up costing all of us huge amounts of money when these unwanted children end up in the welfare system. These legislators are sidestepping is a right that was guaranteed to us by the Supreme Court.

But I'll be damned if a man want to get an erection he can sure get his get Viagra and any other thing necessary to make sure he can have all the sex he wants. I'd bet everything I have to anyone on this planet, any amount of money, that if it was a man that had to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term this would not even be an issue. The double standard that exists is so terribly unfair. 

Good Job Congress!
I could not be more disappointed in ALL of you.
Democrats and Republicans alike.

Wednesday November 4th

I had the best birthday week a girl could ever want to have. The week was a much needed time to recharge and to spend some quality with my gal. It was so nice to just wake up slow in the mornings, walk around and see what interesting adventures we could find. There was much art explored, sites seen and great food eaten.

The most terrifying portion of the week was when I was taken to the top of the old Sears Tower to get a view of the city from the SkyDeck Ledge. Just like the time I went into the pyramid in Egypt and I was sure that because I was in the pyramid on that day this was going to be the day that the darn thing collapsed and I knew that if I stepped out on that glass bottom ledge it was gonna fall off the side of the building. So scooting my rear out on the ledge and keeping one foot "inside" was the irrational option that I came up with…

I got home very very late last night and it took forever to unwind and fall asleep.My eyes got sleepy around 3am. UGH!

And to add insult to injury, I was up very early this morning getting right back at it. I got all of my images submitted to B&B for the catalog, I got final images submitted to the Great Lakes Bead Workers Guild, I got several samples made Then my energy level hit the Great Wall of China and could no longer think. I really find those times exceptionally frustrating. I am now in the process of getting a list made of the things that I MUST get done before I eave for Oakland and the BABE show.

Gail Crosman Moore and I are teaching a very cool Color & Patina on Metals with Metal Joining Techniques. We did a shorthanded version of this last year, Gail asked me to drop in on class and demo a few cold join techniques and this class was born right then and there. We have also had this class accepted at next years Bead & Button as well as the Bead Fest Shows.

This weekend is getting exciting as well. I am going over to hang at Margaret Zinsers home & studio on Saturday. We hare having an open house from 3pm to 7pm. It promises to be a very fun time for sure. If you are in the area stop in and take a look at some very cool beads of Margaret's and some fun metal stuff from me. The studio is located at 5322 East 19th St.

Then later on Saturday evening I am gonna go hear gHosTcOw at Vaudeville Caberet in Tucson. I am sure that it will be a blast. It is always a good time to go hear them play.