Monday, January 31, 2011


Ever since I was 10 in the UP of Michigan, in love with TV shows like Gerry Anderson's 'Fireball XL 5' and 'Supercar' plus 'The Jetsons' I've loved futuristic vehicles. A favorite spaceship of mine then was the track-launched one in 'When Worlds Collide'. Cars of the time I loved included the Dodge Dart, the first Barracuda and of course the 1959 Cadillac with those awe-inspiring fins. Here I am 57 and still "10" inside when it comes to futurism. I like to spray paint sheets of foam core, then tape to them favorite images I clip from magazines. Plus once I get a new color cartridge for my printer I'll get favorite on-line ones, like Luigi Colani's amazing shark-inspired airliner. Here are some pics of some of my collections. Enjoy, John

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fear those "crazy fundamentalist Muslims"? Blame Washington

Mubarrak has enjoyed three DECADES of unwavering US support and many billions of taxpayers dollars despite his well-known shocking suppression of his own people...even as America lectures the world about "human rights". John

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Roses in My Life and Here in Florida

I went "mental" over Old Roses in Denver in 1989 after living there for a year and a half, and until two years ago they were a primary shaping passion of my life. But I realized some months ago that for the last two years or so I'd lost easily 90% OF that passion due to six years of unrelenting long term drought and draconian watering restrictions that had steadily decimated my collection, leaving me with a few tough stalwarts like 'Mermaid', R. bracteata, "Barfield White Climber", 'Newport Fairy', "Pink Cracker Rose", Francois Juranville, and R. laevigata. As an urban farmer who grows most of his own food and who has seen the lush wet green Florida of his youth (Key West native) turn into a dessicated sandy peninsula prone to catatrosphic fires, with the Everglades at death's door, I use what little water I DO have access on my food crops vs. roses. Plus I have heartbreakingly witnessed Tampa's high chlorides/high sodium reclaimed water destroy in months wonderful collections I'd created over the years in my landscape clients' gardens. So 20/20 hindsight made me realize some months ago that SLOWLY, very slowly, I'd lost most of my love for roses as here in Tampa they are a VERY rare sight except in the landscapes of the VERY wealthy who can afford sprinkler systems that A. Let them evade the restrictions without getting busted and B. They can AFFORD the resultant water bills. But with Tampa Water now talking about QUADRUPLING the base water rate, rose growing here could be even more of a challenge. But I MIGHT be getting my roses mojo back due to something I invented a few years ago by trying to figure out why so many of my St. Pete Times readers did not like their expensive Earth Boxes for veggies growing.....

I take 5-7 gallon discarded plastic buckets, and, for roses, use a 3/4 inch paddle bit to make about 5 drainage holes on the SIDES of each bucket, about 3 inches from the bottom, add layers of soil and compost, plant the rose, then bury the bucket. This protects the plastic from the brutal UV here, but also, when the rose gets rootbound, the roots can exit those holes at that depth of 2 feet or more where the sandy soil will have at least SOME moisture present and hopefully anchor then grow deeper towards the ever-dropping water table. Prototype plantings out front seem very hopeful: Safrano, "Fairmount Proserpine", Baronne Prevost, "Pink Cracker Rose", "Natchogotches Yellow" (sp?), "Morrocan Rose" and Cramoisi Superieur seem to be thriving! So even though my income has plunged due to the loss of my Times column 2 years as they struggle to stay afloat, I just placed a big order from Chamblee's Roses (Mark just called to confirm the order) plus will order an Autumn Damask from ARE and a THIRD 'Louis XIV' and 'E. Veyrat Hermanos' from RU. All will be planted in what I call 'Water Wise Container Gardens' and buried as one last effort to grow roses RESPONSIBLY in my native Florida, in hopes I can recover all my former roses passion. The whole experience reminds me of long term married folks I've known who've shared with me that they'd realized they'd fallen OUT of love with their spouses and wanted it back. Since I am still healing from the demise of my first real romance since 1994 with a top shelf guy who turned out to be confused and in denial about his sexuality, loving roses again could perhaps aid that process too.

I must apologize to Kim and Anita for failing to mail them cuttings of "Pink Cracker Rose" for a year now plus losing my cherished plant of "Not Fortune's Yellow" to this freakin' drought before I buried its bucket as I had not yet cut down the MONSTROUS Mermaid that had consumed my front yard. "Pink Cracker Rose" is now buried out front in a buried 7 gallon Water Wise Container Garden made from a swimming pool tablets bucket and should take off in the spring. Realizing that I had failed Anita and Kim repeatedly was a wake up call that I was very close to not caring about roses.

A few other catalysts to getting the fire in my belly back was having success in early prototypes of these Water Wise Container Gardens made from tree pots and 15 gallon detergent jugs with "Fairmount Red", Louise Odier, "Jo An's Pink Perpetual" (a Fairmount Cemetery rose), Pat Austin, and "York Street Yellow" (one of Tony Tichy's Denver finds), plus being asked to speak about Probiotic Rose Gardening at a roses festival April 30th near Gainesville, plus learning recently that my article on that topic was published in the newly-released wonderful book ' The Sustainable Rose Garden' co-edited by our own Gene Waering and Pat Shanley and Peter Kukielski.

Today I made three postings at my roses blog (see link below) about the roses at Denver's Fairmount Cemetery, and my years of work with them.

So maybe I AM falling back in love with roses!! Like I told Lee Sherman, if this labor intensive approach of buried Water Wise Container Gardens DOES not work in the increasingly dry climate here, that could well trigger a final break up and divorce. In my youth I could have never imagined that a flower of all things could be so capable of moving OR stilling my heart.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Luigi Colani's astonishing commercial airliner proposal

This plane that he designed for West Germany in the 1980s to this day takes my breath away with its sleek functional futurism based on the streamlined shape of a shark. This was not just a visual design study but an airworthy proposal for a multi-deck commercial airliner! Incredible. Check out the link to see images of the VAST array of vehicles and products this eccentric genius proposed and created!  John

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

I would love to shake the hand of the person who so skillfully fashioned this exquisitely creative video as their response to this iconic musical composition. Enjoy,  John

I'd forgotten the simple elegant spiritual beauty of this song by George Harrison
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."   Ambrose Redmoon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sleek SST style design AEROGAMI

If I alter the folds by omitting one of the usual steps I end up with a longer (approx. 16 inches)  slimmer basic shape I can then work with. While this does create new design potentials, the planes are less rigid than the shorter AEROGAMI planes. But I love the sleek futuristic forms that can result. As usual they boast control flaps and inverted fuselage-as-tail trailing edge camber and fly quite well if thrown hard in a large dry outdoor area. I am asking $15 each for these, local sales only as shipping seems to be a pain. I like to use contrasting colors, in this metallic blue for the upper surface, bright red beneath.  John

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

'It's Only A Northern Song'

I have loved this relatively unknown song by The Beatles in their movie 'Yellow Submarine' ever since it came out back then. Both the song and video are deliciously trippy. Enjoy, John

Monday, January 17, 2011

I have loved this bluesy ballad since it came out. Nice to hear it all these years later on-line merged with a well-done collage of images of Yoko.

The Lonely Island: "Cool Guys Don't Look at Explosions"

I am just beginning to see that these guys have created a wealth of hilarious, irreverent, and well-executed music video parodies, like this one.  Enjoy, John

"Jizz in my Pants"

Andy's stellar performance with  Pee Wee Herman on SNL reminded me of his wonderfully danceable amd hilariously rude rock video parody. Enjoy, John

known for being a pot-smoking, America-hating, Commie and Muslim-loving Liberal........

"This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. . . . We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." - President Dwight Eisenhower The "Chance For Peace" speech April 16, 1953

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pee Wee Herman on Saturday Night Live this weekend stomach muscles ache from my laughing uncontrollaby  over and over and over at hyper-sweet Chairy's  admonition to Anderson Cooper at the very end. I cherish my 'Pee Wee's Playhouse' CD of the entire series, so this SNL piece is icing on the cake.  Enjoy, John

Friday, January 14, 2011

'Tomorrow Never Knows'

To this day this 1966 song by The Beatles moves and inspires me with its leading edge trippy creativity. I like the psychedelic video that someone crafted to accompany it. The Beatles were truly a remarkable musical group.  Enjoy, John

Solar Highways

This is just too cool....AND sensible!   John

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas 2010 at Archie and Vicki's

Great time as always, Dad enjoyed the mix of people.....AND the food!   John

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

a deliciously trippy music video by 'Single Gun Theory'

For years I've belonged to a forum for car nuts called  where more than cars gets discussed and shared. One of the members overseas from the US noticed that I:  A. Enjoy cannabis  B. Love trippy surrealism C. Love creative videos.  So he kindly privated me and sent me this link of a video he enjoyed in his stoner days. I'd never heard of the group or the song but I LOVE the nicely danceable song and the trippy video, seeing and hearing in it echoes of 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts' by Eno and Byrne, with a tiny touch of The Beatles. Visually I especially enjoy the enigmatic "quivering angels" hovering just above the ground, in part because it reminds me of my frequent flying dreams. Enjoy, John