Saturday, July 31, 2010

the last few minutes of the iconic movie "Being There"

I was living in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida when I saw this movie on the then-newfangled cable TV....I think I was 28 or so. As corny as it sounds, seeing it MANY times then changed my life towards a more expansive, self-accepting future as an artist/gardener. It is easily one of my top favorite half dozen movies due to the elements of positive enigma. All these years later I get goosebumps and tears when in that final moment he walks across the lake. Enjoy, John

a breathtaking video for 'Caribbean Blue'.....

I have deeply loved this song ever since it came out.....who knows the vast number of times I've played and savored it. So tonight I checked YouTube to see if there had been a video for it......BOY is there one!!!

I was enchanted, and deeply moved to tears by its beauty and eloquence, plus left brimming with admiration for those who dreamed of and then created it. To me, it has the subjective feel of a Van Gogh painting, plus the movies 'Photographing Fairies' and 'What Dreams May Come' with Robin Williams.

I hope it gives you the joy it brings me. John

a very risque video of 'Relax" I stumbled on

I like the dark, Roman Empire decadence, homoerotic feel of this over-the-top performance by the original singer and band. It seems like something that David Lynch would have been inspired by. John

'Relax" live way back when

I did not realize that this remarkable, danceable, iconic song had ever been performed in such an intimate setting. For me, this is the archetypal "dance in your underwear while altered" techno-disco cut loose kind of song. Enjoy, John

Need a few good laughs today?

One of my favorite scenes from one of my three favorite comedies....priceless!

"Hey, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

'Relax' by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, live in concert in 2004

The Incredibly Red Hall

This lies between my Gay Trailer Trash on Acid livingroom, and my Undersea Fantasy bathroom. It will take years to complete, but I have liked it a lot ever since adding the trippy Fresnel lenses I scavenged from discarded old style projector TVs, that further muffle the sound of the air handler. Enjoy, John

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yet One More Reason To Pay Your Taxes without question,ever....

The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows": making of

'Tomorrow Never Knows"

Nice job by Oasis. But to this day the original still gives me goose bumps. John


To see a lovely progression of images of a TINY TINY TINY portion of this remarkable Universe taken by the Hubble Telescope, with the wonderful The Beatles song 'Across the Universe' is, for me, sheer bliss. Enjoy,


View of our beautiful planet from orbit.....

Nice music too in this German piece. John

My Instructional Poems from the 1980s

Below are some of the instructional poems I read at the Sacred Grounds cafe open mic night last night, my first public reading of them in easily 20 years. It is a cozy, hippie-esque place up by Busch Gardens in north Tampa, nice free library, very relaxed "livingroom feel", inhabited by an eclectic mix of interesting-looking young people, some pierced and colored, or long haired, or punked out, plus us "old hippies". I was a little nervous, and noticed the paper jiggling in my hand as I read my poems into the microphone, but I got such a positive response from the audience who had been listening to excellent local musicians, that I was reminded that in the 80s and 90s people told me that I HAD to publish a book of them. They were a prime creative focus for me just before and during the early years of my self-published gardening magazine THE GARDEN DOCTOR, which I featured them in now and then. Almost 57 now, I relish looking back and, with 20/20 hindsight, realizing anew just how heady and intense my 30s were, especially after I moved to Denver.

My multi-talented Tampa friend Mary Jo is going to help me look into creating an e-book of them to get them out in the world while, hopefully, providing a new source of income I could surely use.

Enjoy, John

Instructional Poem

Water Gardener

Walk through a garden.

If there are flowers, smell but
do not pick them.

If there are vegetables, touch but
do not eat them.

If the soil is dry,
lie down between the rows and

become water.

Instructional Poem


Imagine a 747 covered in pink fun fur.

See a beautiful tan woman sunning nude
on a wing,
a radio serenading her head.

Her shiny red hair is in a bun.

Her sunglasses are electric mirror blue.

Her lipstick is bright pink.

Her pubic hair is blonde and wind blown.

(The pilot watches her from the cockpit window)

His sunglasses are electric mirror blue.

March 1985

Instructional Poem


Use your favorite knife
to cut out a foot high block of a cool wind.

Set it on your bed stand
on hot summer nights.

Instructional Poem

Exercise IX

Envision sound as a pliable, transparent substance.

Cut out a small, cube-shaped piece of each sound
you like.

Use a rolling pin to flatten each cube
into a thin sheet.

Wallpaper your bedroom with them.

Instructional Poem

Interior II

Paint an empty windowless room
with flat black enamel.....
floor, ceiling, walls.

Cover the floor with an inch of mercury.

Float a red rose on the mercury.

(photograph this room)

December 1984

Instructional Poem

Empath, Too

Think of the one person
you have loved most deeply.

Imagine them made of light,
walking beside you.

Imagine them made of snow,
trembling in your arms.

Imagine them
with you now, touching you.

Say their name to yourself
and smile.

( you will always remember this poem)

Summer 1984

Instructional Poem


Cover your bed with aluminum foil.

Lie on it wearing only yellow-lensed sunglasses.

Sip burgundy, smoke marijuana
and watch reruns of “Petticoat Junction”
until you have clearly entered
a new nameless state.

January 1985

Instructional Poem

Book Shelf

Fill your bathtub to the rim.

Use a straight razor to carve out
the middle third of the water.

Use a fresh towel to dry
this portion of the tub.

Keep your Bible here.

Instructional Poem


Wait for a sunny day.
With a large sharp knife cut out a piece of the sky
and use it as a tablecloth.

Watch clouds and Venus
pass beneath your cereal bowl each morning.

Watch the tablecloth with friends one night
with the lights out
and together see falling stars,
the glint of a full moon in each other’s eyes.

If a beloved old pet dies,
wrap the body in the sky tablecloth and
bury them together in your garden.

Plant sunflowers here.

July 1991

Forests Can Heal Us

Sunday, July 25, 2010

'Night on Earth'

'Night on Earth' is a touching, at times quasi-melancholy collage of vignettes, each set at night somewhere on Earth in a taxi. Here is the New York vignette.... vulgar but hilarious! Rosey Perez is remarkable. Enjoy, John

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'd forgotten JUST how sweeping 'Beatlemania' was! John

Two VERY cool looking future airplanes!

Scarab 4

Scarab 3

These are models of personal aircraft planned for commercial production.....I love how futuristic and alternative-looking they are! John

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Into Cars? Join

I've loved futuristic car designs since I was 10, plus as an adult have long been interested in alternative powerplants for cars, such as the turbine engine of the 1960s, and GM's soon-to-see-production 'Voltec' extended range electric cars with on-board internal combustion engines that don't drive the wheels but instead run a generator for trips longer than 40 miles that the battery pack can sustain. If you like cars too, especially GM cars, join I joined in the spring of 2006, have learned and shared a lot since then, plus feel like I've really gotten to know and like some of these guys so that if we met real world I think we'd be friends. I originally joined to see spy photos of future cars and concept cars (two long time passions of mine) but I've gotten much more than that. I never understood the notions of on-line community and friends, but through now I do. Free too, though you can pay to join some Premium level I know nothing of. I check there several times a day to look for future car news and pics, and to participate in the on-going forum.


Need a few good laughs today?

Enterprise G

I now and then enjoy taking various models of Federation starships and modifying/combining them into designs that would allow (in "real" life) the ship to at least enter a planet's atmosphere controllably, and/or fly in it like an aircraft. To me, this one I did years ago looks a little awkward, but it was a fun project. I have a few more model kits to work with, but first I will finish another one in progress I will share pics of soon.

Record Global Temps 4 Months In A Row

Since astronomers have long confirmed that the sun has been putting out LESS heat the last twenty years, and that there have been no changes in Earth's orbit or tilt that could lead to heating, I feel it is certain that the HUGE amounts of heat-retaining methane and carbon dioxide that humans have added to the Earth's atmosphere are the likely causes. John

Sunday, July 18, 2010

'My Sweet Lord'

I am so glad that I found this video of George Harrison performing 'My Sweet Lord' at the Bangladesh fundraiser he organized that led to "Farm Aid and like-minded concerts ever since. John

Re-legalize it!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

'AEROGAMI' paper airplanes

Here are some images of various AEROGAMI paper airplanes I made a few years ago. I've begun making them again for pleasure and to sell as I did in Denver in the early 1990s due to a new friend into Radio Controlled Airplanes who likes them encouraging me to revisit that life project. They ARE fun to make and fly, and I sold hundreds of them back then at The Denver Botanic Gardens festivals to help meet the house payments during those LONG winter months when I could neither landscape nor grow food. The concepts behind them evolved over about a year in a quest for paper airplanes that would be based on true aerodynamic principles of lift, airfoil curve, trailing edge camber, etc. plus to look in a way that would delight the 10 year old in me who to this day loves sleek futurism.


From The Beatles 'Love' album

I love this ingenious melding of two iconic songs....'Within You Without You' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. I am nicely altered and blogging a bit as this treasure plays...enjoy! John
Remarkable feathered dinosaur fossils continue to be found in China! This one had FOUR wings! John

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My August Classes

Planning a Productive Fall and Winter Veggie Garden.....NOW

With the steamy heat just beginning, now might seem an odd time to think about a classic Florida cool weather veggies garden. But this is a great time if you are a super busy family person with either no garden site created yet, or if your past efforts yielded crops of disappointment instead of food for the dinner table. I had my first veggie garden here in 1967 when I was in 9th grade at Madison Junior High, and have learned since then core principals and techniques that make winter food gardening in central Florida both pleasant and productive. Forget pesticides, forget wasting money on plants and seeds and crops that fail, and forget thinking that you have a brown thumb. Use the hot summer months to create a fertile garden site that will bless you with fresh pesticide-free produce for the six cooler months of the year. I am teaching this class on August 7th, from 11 AM until 1 PM. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. You will receive two free packets of winter crops seeds. I will provide a handout, but be sure to bring a notepad and pen. See you then! John Starnes813 839 0881


There is no security more reassuring than daily harvesting fresh meals from your front and back yard, just feet from the kitchen, even if just potted arugula or snow peas, or a fresh chicken egg or meat. Learn easy ways to deeply cut your water use, to insure fresh salads year round. You'll get a lesson sheet of 15 topics to be covered; please be sure to bring a notepad and pen. Feel free to shoot pics and video. You will receive two free packets of veggie seeds, one each for the hot and cool growing seasons. I am teaching this class again on August 21, from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute Question and Answer session after. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. Happy Gardening! 813 839 0881 John Starnes


Say “summer” and many homeowners and gardeners and pet lovers alike cringe and think of plant-ravaging bugs and diseases, plus swarms of fleas and roaches and mosquitos making life miserable for us and our animal companions, and poultry mites in our henhouses biting us AND the birds. This class will teach you a great many natural, non-or-least toxic methods of controlling and eliminating those scourges, including biological methods that need be purchased just once from mail order or local sources. All of these control methods are VERY inexpensive (hey, I’m a lifelong pathologically cheap tightwad!) and easy to acquire or make at home. Food self sufficiency gardeners like me CAN enjoy fresh produce all year long by defeating pests without poisoning those crops or the environment. A detailed handout, complimented by the notes you take (bring a pad and pen please) will let you begin right away winning the “battle against bugs and fungus” all year long. I am teaching this class again on August 15, (my birthday). My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. To RSVP call: 813 839 0881 or e-mail: Happy Gardening! John


Many folks these days are considering, or have followed through on, pursuing a long time desire to raise backyard chickens for fresh eggs or even meat they know the origins of. I've had chickens on and off since the mid 90s, and can share how to raise happy, healthy, antibiotic-free chickens and eggs VERY frugally. I am teaching this class again on August 8, then again on August 28, from 11 AM until 1 PM, with a 30 minute Q & A session after. My address is: 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa FL 33611, about 6 blocks south of Gandy and 1 1/2 blocks west of MacDill, jungly yard on the south side. Please park on my side of Paxton off of neighbors' lawns. The cost is $20 per student. Please bring a note pad and pen as we will cover many points. You will receive a pack of winter greens seeds to sow next fall to provide raw green plant matter VITAL to having healthy backyard chickens. 813 839 0881 or e-mail to RSVP. See you then! John Starnes


For years people have told me that my way of life and thinking is upbeat, creative, authentic and valuable, (hey, I thought I was just weird!) and that I should make an effort to share it via a class or a book or two. So here goes! I will share 20 key techniques, attitudes and exercises that can allow us to discover what we REALLY want out of life, how to shed old, restrictive habits and replace them with pleasurable, expansive ones to create a self-perpetuating positive feedback loop of habitual joy and gratitude. People say my trippy livingroom exemplifies "thinking outside of the box that the box came in" so most of the class will be held in there. I feel that happiness is a choice we can make daily, and that we can create our lives vs. them just happening to us. This class will be held on August 14th, then again on August 22nd, from 11 AM until 1 PM here at 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa, FL 33611 813 839 0881 or to RSVP. The cost is $20 per student.


Fruit in the store can be very pricey, and is often laden with pesticides. But our balmy climate can let us grace our landscapes with attractive trees, shrubs and vines that also bear tasty, nutritious, often exotic fruits. You will receive a comprehensive list of these plants, how to grow them organically and cheaply by meeting their simple basic needs, and surprisingly cheap ways to get them. You will also learn of local and mail order sources of some of them.This class will be held on August 29th from 11 AM until 1 PM here at 3212 West Paxton Avenue, Tampa, FL 33611 813 839 0881 or to RSVP. The cost is $20 per student. thanks, John Starnes. "One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself."-- Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A poem I wrote when 34 to confront my fearfulness


Live a Big Life.
Stretch the skin of each new day
then fill it with the flesh of your dreams.

Find the frozen stone of your fear
and chip it into sparks
to illumine the wonders that you can do.

Tell a Big Truth so bright
that the light of it flies out from your mouth
into the dark places
beneath every stone
behind every building
inside every mind.

Let your words and deeds be trusted things
that others can hold and treasure
as perennial measures of honor.

And every time you do the right thing
a stain will fade from the hearts of your children
their grandparents
and you.

Ask a Big Question.
Never lose the cool hunger of your youthful eyes…
learn of the mysteries
inside a lover,
a seed,
even you.

Use your Fear to taste the dark sweetness
reserved for heroes
so that when Death does come
you will have really BEEN,
you will have truly SEEN.

And as you leave that frail human shell,
it a faded chrysalis,
feel the quiver of your new, unseen wings.
John Starnes

Fuel From Plant Waste-"To Go"

This is great news! John

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ultra Rich now Even Richer

This strikes me as indicating that something is systemically wrong with our social order, that the "haves and have mores" as Bush called them, can have the power to trigger financial crises, then turn around and profit from them as their fellow citizens suffer the consequences. Just how many granite counter tops and trophy homes and cars and boats will it take to let them be "happy"? Why are they walking away from mortgages at a MUCH higher rate than the far less privileged middle class folks whose labor generates much of their wealth FOR them? Why do the CEOs of failing corporations lay off tens of thousands of workers with families, then allocate tens of millions of dollars for their annual pay? Why did Congress vote themselves a pay raise (must be nice) then freeze COLA for retirees getting Social Security? Why do so many of these folks like to refer to themselves as Christians? Hmmm.

FBI Director Says No Evidence Bin Laden did 9-11!

The head of the FBI, when asked why Bin Laden was not on their Most Wanted List, said it is because there is no credible evidence he had anything to do with 9-11 !!! Yet Bush used that charge as his excuse to invade resource-rich Afghanistan. When I first read this I did not believe Googled it.....sure enough, that's what the FBIs director said about Bin Laden. So Bush started TWO illegal wars based on lies, yet enjoys a pension, "socialized medicine" and total immunity from punishment for his breathtaking crimes that have brought death and incredible suffering to millions, bankrupting America and enriching his "have more" friends in the process! Instead, the US, under Obama, is now similarly villifying Iran to prepare us for a third "false flag". But wait.....Lindsay Lohan is going into rehab!!! John

Solar Powered Airplane makes first 24 hour flight

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Beatles singing 'Hey Jude' on David Frost

The Beatles were an amazing band, and in my opinion, catalysts for positive changes the world needed then, and that we enjoy benefits of to this day. Like many people who were young when this song came out, I love 'Hey Jude' and can even get weepy at times. This is a great video of their live performance on 'The David Frost Show' all those many years ago.

You Tube

Quieter Supersonic Airliner

My friend teaching me how to make radio-controlled planes from scratch knows I love alternative designs for aircraft and so sent me this link. Be sure to click on the pic to enlarge it and savor the very cool, very creative futuristic design, especially the tail section. John

"She Blinded Me with Science" music video

I'd forgotten just how delightfully, creatively quirky this 80s hit song was, and had never seen any videos for it....I LOVE this live performance. Enjoy, John

Two More Stunning Male Torsos

For my tastes, sheer perfection. In my next life I'd like to look like either! Enjoy, John

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cool! Solar power-created fuels for cars and trucks

Remarkable Alternative Aircraft Designs

Burnelli's planes had fuselages that themselves had an airfoil cross section so that they too, and not just the wings, generated lift. Some were VERY cool looking too! Enjoy, John

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The upcoming Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Car

Since astronomers agree that for the last 20 years the sun has been in a low output cycle, and that the Earth has not entered any of the orbital cycles that can result in natural global warming episodes as seen in the past, human-induced global warming AS A PLANETARY average (vs. "Jeepers, it was extra cold in Iowa this winter you enviro-weinies!") seems to me a very reasonable conclusion.

For almost two centuries humans have put back into the air vast amounts of carbon that was sequestered during the Carboniferous Era as coal, plus burned incredible amounts of oil (abiotic vs. biotic origin being academic) while due to agriculture (farming, cattle) have released massive amounts of methane, which is many times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. And now that permafrosts in Siberia and Alaska are thawing, they are releasing methane at a staggering rate....a classic feed back loop.

NASA just released data showing the oceans are warmer than ever since records began. Plant and animal species are spreading away from the equator and moving up elevations in mountainous areas. Loss of glacial and sea ice is increasing big time, and the pH of the oceans, as predicted, is dropping, as they absorb CO2 where dissolved in water it forms carbonic acid....which is now dissolving corals and the shells of mulloscs.

I think that we, as an invasive species very adept at soiling its own (and only) nest, are almost certainly responsible. So extended range electric cars like the Volt that ultimately would be powered by sustainable sources (solar, bio-electric, thorium reactors, bio-diesel, biobutanol, bioethanol, wind, and others) seem to me to be a very reasonable and positive step towards planetary healing.

Check out the Chevy Volt and "Voltec" powertrain links below.


"The only normal people are the ones you don't know well". unknown

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010


I have always loved this song, and so was delighted to find this old video. Relax! John

A Day in the Life

I love how this group of enthusiastic singers and musicians give wonderful live concerts of Beatles classics with such passion and authenticity and reverence. Enjoy, John

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Distant Storm over the Gulf One Summer Night in Tampa

Not a lot to see....soothing audibles. John

Basic Construction Themes of my "Stealth" AEROGAMI airplanes

Be they small or large, my "Stealth" type AEROGAMIs rely on a few basic folds and cuts they share. I hope to video soon this big one flying if I can find a tall rooftop etc. to launch it from. Way back then I used to sell these big ones for $45, and am curious what price I can ask these days. Enjoy, John

my "AEROGAMI" Paper Airplanes

This is going to be fun revisiting, making and selling my many designs of a concept I devised and was enamored with back in the early 90s when my prime creative focus was my self published newsletter 'THE GARDEN DOCTOR". It was heady time indeed, especially since I was simultaneously obsessed with the TV show 'Twin Peaks'. I feel about 10 years old when I make and fly these! Enjoy, John

VERY cool looking ship that ran on biodiesel.....

until rammed and sunk by a Japanese whaling ship....

Fluoride.... classified as a toxic pollutant if released into the air or natural bodies of water, yet is added to our drinking water!

Just Say No to Fluoridated Drinking Water