Sixteen Men (and Women) on a Dead Man’s Chest

What a crazy two weeks this has been: Brandon graduated from Brookhaven Community College  … Colin had some car trouble … Dylan turned 16 … Andrea’s CityArtCal partnered with TWO businesses – a one-night show and a gallery featuring CityArtCal artists  … we started playing racquetball again … Dylan got a job as a life guard … we played dominoes and I was reacquainted with a host of endearing euphemisms … I got an iPad mini … Andrea created a piece that became an instant sensation … AND we hosted a Pirate Murder Mystery Party for Dylan’s birthday …
Whew… where to start? Art first -then pirates, graduation, Robert Anton Wilson, and we’ll see…

CityArtCal and Become

Eye PiecesOn May 11, for the second year, Andrea partnered with Eye Pieces of Plano for an open house that featured four CityArtCal artists: Linda Bourgault, Melissa Ellis, Cindy Gray, and Julia Pappas.

Eye Pieces Downey glassesWe heard some great music from an excellent band, had some wine and cheeses and had some fun trying on some high end glasses. I took a liking to these, which “only” cost $620! A nice young sales associate said Robert Downey, Jr. wore them at the Iron Man 3 opening (he didn’t), but afterwards we saw a very late show of Iron Man 3.  Even better, there were some art sales for the artists! Great night.

Slate Venues 2On the 23rd, Slate Venues in Richardson had its Open House and debuted its new gallery of fine art and photography (for sale!) from CityArtCal artists Bereniche Aguiar, Antoaneta Hillman, Melissa Ellis, Liz London, Susan Bishop, Julia Pappas,

Slate Venues 1

Cindy Gray, Jill Nonnemacher, and Deb Kreimborg, and Andrea. It just worked out this time that it’s an all-female collection, but Slate and CityArtCal plan to rotate artists. Slate does events and weddings and wanted to add another dimension to their makeover at the II Creeks Plaza.
mini metal book 2

And Andrea had a brilliant idea right before the Slate opening and created this little gem. While she’s still working on the two large pieces in her head (the mechanics of one are challenging), this has garnered a bit of attention and pairs well with her flutter-byes, so she’ll be creating more of these, I’m sure.

A Pirate’s Tale

Dylan - Bill PistolA motley band of 10 teens and three brothers joined mad-as-a-hatstand Bill Pistol (aka Dylan) and two hosts to celebrate his 16th birthday and solve the mystery of who killed Captain Flint.

Skurvy Knave

The crews of two pirate ships: the Skurvy Knave – captained by Black Jack McCracken (Colin), with ship’s cook Quintus Swelter (Drew) and a pair of shifty characters…

Fury crew

and the Fury – captained by Saucy Nancy Martin with her first mate…

…descended on the quiet isle of Lukiyo/Santa Olorosa to try to find Flint’s treasure, but were soon trapped by a storm and embroiled in intrigue

Island crew


…as the native Taino (and crazy marooned Bill) tried to figure out what to do with…



Governor crew…the Governor of Jamaica and his daughter, the Spaniard Don Inigo (Brandon) and a whole lot of problems that were distressing the volcano god Yocahu.


Waterfall volcano


Things were relatively civilized until Yocahu started the volcano rumbling…

…and then the night got interesting!

Freeform Games created the murder mystery “A Dead Man’s Chest”, and the kids had such a good time that they want to do another, but Andrea and I agree we need a little time before we do this again! Freeform Games does an excellent job packaging up party plans for large groups and the backstories and individual goals/secrets help make the “who-dun-it” only a small part of the night. And we are very grateful to one of the parents – Paul Vizard (and his visiting father) – who took a host of photos throughout the evening, freeing Andrea and me up to play host to the party and mediate all of the side plots.

A Graduation

Brndon gradBrandon finished his work at Brookhaven Community College and graduated with an Associate of Science in Applied Sciences – Automotive Technology.

Now’s he’s got the credentials for what he does best. With little support outside his family and friends, it’s been a hard two years for him. Very proud.

Robert Anton Wilson never Really goes away

I was prayed for last week … on of all places …  by a Robert Anton Wilson fan … of all people. Yep. It was in response to my review panning Wilson’s Quantum Psychology: How Brain Software Programs You & Your World, which inconceivably to me has a 4.2 star rating on Goodreads. The ever so generous petitioner courteously added a “Hail Eris!” to help me put his offer in perspective.

Even though it was not quite two years ago, I’ve forgotten much of what I read of Wilson and the rabbit holes I went down to analyze Quantum and The New Inquisition. I recalled “Eris” from one of the side trips, so I resorted to “All Hail Google!” to help me remember. “Eris” in this context refers to the Roman goddess of discord and Robert Anton Wilson was associated with the pseudo-religion Discordianism. This Church of Discord  “is centered on the idea that both order and disorder are illusions imposed on the universe by the human nervous system, and that neither of these illusions of apparent order and disorder is any more accurate or objectively true than the other.” Yeah.

I pointed the misguided young (assumption there) man to my deconstruction of Quantum Psychology and told him he should also check out my analysis of The New Inquisition. Waxing sarcastic as I sometimes do, I also told him if “you have no reasoned counters to what I wrote, then my last, hyphenated, word in my review above stands as so appropriate.” (That last, hyphenated word was “mumbo-jumbo”.) Now, I realize it’s entirely possible that he was just joking…I mean, our adult family are all ordained Dudeist ministers…but he came back with another offer to pray for me. After that, I couldn’t resist telling him about the study that showed prayer not only doesn’t work, but actually has a negative correlation when the recipient knew of the prayers. So, in praying for me, and me knowing about it…well, I guess I’ll never “try LSD and realize that’s what real reality is, and … feel foolish for believing in science for all those years. “

I really think I’m going to have to add a new category just for Mr. Wilson. And Stephen Hawking…he keeps showing up in the search terms.

Apple renewed

A couple of weeks ago, we got another iPad mini….for Andrea. Ostensibly, it was for me, but she didn’t get the white version she wanted when they came out. So when “mine” arrived, I synced up it with her (which went surprisingly well) and moved mine from my iPad 2 to her old mini (less so). Apple never makes these things easy…curse of Steve Jobs’s ghost, I suppose. And to top it off, the mini has the micro SIM card, so I had to go through AT&T to activate my new SIM… That went well, until I asked to have my old SIM deactivated. Big oops there. The service rep deactivated Andrea’s iPad SIM instead of my iPad 2. Crisis, because she uses that thing all…the…time. It took a trip to a corporate store (and a $100 credit for the inconvenience) but I got her back on the 4G LTE the next morning in time for her co-op classes.

Though I will always love physical books, I try to read as much as I can in ebook format – I can carry more with me that way, switch easily and also have notes handy. It didn’t take long for me to get used to the mini as its smaller size is about that of a trade paperback. Now, if only iTunes would ever match their hardware…

Random shots

Ever notice that people refer to pizza and burger places as “joints”? You can go to an Italian or Mexican restaurant, but it’s usually “That’s a nice burger joint.” Hmmm.

I tried an experiment last week to see if the NSAIDs I take regularly are still effective at keeping the arthritis pain at bay. After three days of none, I can say quite certainly that they are still effective. Back on the regimen.

After not playing racquetball since around October of 2006, we started again three weeks ago. Not at young as I used to be, though I’m still quick. I was less than pleased to discover that I had not forgotten my bad ball-hitting habits, but the exercise is good and we have fun.

I dearly love my wife, but the competitive side – even after 27 years! – brings out the sailor in her. We played a game of dominoes and I know I haven’t been called those names in a long time.

And, as this piece has turned out quite long, I’ll save the books and beers for next time and leave you with something for which I have fond childhood memories:


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