The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Propane Torch as a Mosaic Tool? 

A ‘Spare-a-ment (experiment) with a Propane Torch!

I’ve been wanting to try this since I saw a photo in Groutline Magazine. A mosaic artist in New England (Virginia Stephens?) was using glass frit as grout. I thought it might be easy to recreate the look.

I sealed and painted a 4” flower pot. Then I used Mastik to attach stained glass tesserae. I used a sufficient amount of Mastik so that it oozed out into the “groutline” when the glass was pressed down. Then I forced glass frit into the excess Mastik in the groutline.

I let it set up about 15 minutes then I fired up a propane torch.

I was thinking to have the frit melt and create a glass groutline.

What was I thinking!?!?!

I found out that the terra cotta pot did not crack under the heat. Good thing.
I found out that Mastik looks like burned marshmallow when a Propane torch is applied.
I found out that Mastik burns before Frit melts.
Rustoleum burns.
I found out that stained glass fractures when heated.

So it’s not as easy as it looks…Duh!
My curiosity is satisfied and I can move on to more productive work.

Making Up for Lost Time 

The last 2 days in the mosaic studio have been Heaven. The weather has been warm(er) and the sun’s out. I’ve been able to focus on some projects again.

First, I got the place vacuumed and swept up. Out with the creepy dead dragonfly carcasses that have hung in the cobwebs for weeks. Out with the slivers of Bissazza on the floor. Enough with the cat hair…Zeus had taken over my work chair in my absence. I used masking tape to clean fur off the seat.

I still have a messy desk, but I cleared off enough room to get started.

The 2 wooden birdhouses got sealed with primer. I decided to take the door of the church birdhouse off before I mosaic it so as to protect the brass hinges.

I made progress on Peacock Birdbath.

Thanks to Plant Daddy who repaired the screen doors! It is Jan. 31st and one sturdy mosquito was already out and about and looking for blood today.

Get out of my chair! Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 30, 2005

This fountain was damaged by the hurricanes last fall. Today will be a good day to do the repairs. Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 29, 2005

17 Weddings and 12 Funerals 

That's my tally so far. My lifetime attendence at these ceremonies.

I went to Pete's funeral/memorial service yesterday.

There were more people in that sanctuary than usually show up for the high holidays, I'd wager. Every pew was packed and the choir stalls had been stuffed with mourners.

The ushers were awash....no idea what to do with the overflow crowd. There were 7 or 8 of us in the back hopeing for some folding chairs to be stationed about...when the priest, deacon and acolytes came pushing past to start the service. At least they could count on reserved seats.

I stepped back to let them pass and saw 5 more people heading towards the entry, so I bailed. On the way out I spyed one of the worst spectacles I've ever beheld...A woman and her teenaged daughter were hustling towards the church. The woman all dressed in black; the teenaged daughter dressed in a THS cheerleading costume.

Yes, bright red and skirt barely covering the ass. APPALLING! Totally tasteless and disgusting. I have lived too long.

Was she going to give a little cheer in the church? Rah Rah Red! Raise us from the dead! Or just distract proper morners with the flashy costume!?! God help us. Have mercy on us.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Mosaic Mom and Mosaic Cat are starting to look alike. (hair color) Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Go with the Flow 

I was going to go to Sanford today. My special order book has arrived. It's called "How I Became Stupid" by Martin Page. It's about a guy who was smart and miserable so he decided to learn to be dumb and happy. Can't wait.

However, the little virus that was living in my nose yesterday has moved up to the condo which is my ear canal. I have to hold my head at a 45 degree angle to the ground this morning or I become dizzy. Grrr. Should I try to drive like this? Heck, it's Florida...there's lots worse on the road.

I am giving the Sine-Aid a little time to see if it can reduce the pressure. In the meantime I have straightened up a little in the mosaic studio.

I cleaned up all my tools since I can stand up to do that. Putting bits of tile back in their cartons requires lowering my head below my waist since this is under the bench storage. This causes excruciating pain in my ear. So I got as far as I could today.

Grrr. Nothing to read.
Grrr. Can't breathe so can't work mosaics.
Grrr. What to do?

Correction...The Arts Festival is Feb 5th and 6th. Good. Maybe the weather will give them a break.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A Happy Bougainvilla. Posted by Hello

Mt Dora Art Show Time 

This weekend is the Arts Festival, a time when approximately 300,000 visit a town of 15,000. I think is is soooo frustrating. It is parking hell; it is potty hell; it is pay too much for funnel cakes to eat hell, oh my.

And you usually can't even see the art because it is soooo crowded.

Last year it rained. Want to guess the forecast for this weekend? Yes, rain again.

I thought I might open my studio and have a studio sale. But last year I got some stains on my pieces when it rained. The tanins dripped from the oak tree leaves and stained the white grout.

This year, I think I'll just chill out. Besides, a nasty virus has set up shop in my nostrils. I am packed more solid than compressed grout. Grrrr.

So with the weather and the crowds and the nasal drip, I think I'll just make other plans for Saturday.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Sad News 

Suzy and I spent 5 years together mosaicing 2 walls at the high school, enjoying ourselves and teaching mosaic techniques to over 600 kids.

Suzy's husband passed away suddenly over the weekend. He was a teacher and a coach at the school too.

So many people are impacted by his loss.

We miss you, Pete.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Feeding Time 

This story was sent by one of my Aunts...

An elderly man in Florida had owned a large farm for several years.
He had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe
courts, and some orange and grapefuit trees. The pond was properly shaped
and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't
been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five gallon
bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices
shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a
bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women
aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

The! old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim
naked or make you get out of the pond naked." Holding the bucket up he
said, "I'm here to feed the alligator."

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Saturday Night Lotto Fever 

Last Saturday afternoon I stood in a very multicultural line at the 7-11 to buy my Lotto ticket.
This Saturday I was at the Publix. The line was all white and I was the youngest one in it.

I liked last week's line a lot better.

And part of the reason I became Catholic was because everybody in the Episcopal Church was white, middle class women. And the message was about God's love for ALL people. But ALL people were not there.

Over at St. Mary's (Catholic parish) EVERYONE comes. And that's, to me, a more true statement about God.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Dan-G it! 

This is Dan Gunderson's sculpture at the faculty art show at Stetson. Is this not totally great!!! Love it!

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!  Posted by Hello


Yesterday I deposited 2 checks.
A little bitty one for sale of mosaics.
And a great big one for sale of puppy water stands.

(Hybrid dogs cannot dirty themselves by drinking from a bowl; they use a rabbit waterer thingy hung on the supports we build).

So as today promises to be the first warm and sunny day in a while, I'm afraid I must choose to paint dog stands rather than to mosaic birdbaths.

A freeze is predicted for Sunday night and this means a rush to pick the last of the citrus off our trees tomorrow. But eventually the weather will even out (ie, get hot) and I'll be back to regular studio hours.

Zeus checks out puppy water stands drying in the sun. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005

But Wait, There's More..... 

Aunt Terri just e-mailed me this...!!!

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6:30 AM

2. Diamonds or pearls?

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

The Cocoon on a video

4. Favorite TV show

Discovery channel

5. What did you have for breakfast?

Green Tea

6. What is your middle name?


7. Favorite cuisine?

Italian and Chinese

8. What foods do you dislike?

nothing - unfortunately

9. What is your favorite crisp flavor?


10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?


11. What kind of car do you drive?

Crysler Seabring

12. Favorite sandwich?


13. What characteristic do you despise?


14. Favorite item of clothing?


15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go?


16. What color is your bathroom?

Apartment white/ knotty pine

17. Favorite brand of clothing?

Anything petites

18. Where would you retire to?

Just where I am.
19. Favorite time of the day?

Twilight / Sunsets

20. What was your most memorable birthday?

twenty first - I went to Bermuda - my first trip away from home.

21. Where were you born?

Scranton, Pa.

22. Favorite sport to watch?

Figure Skating

23. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?

Don't know
24. Person you expect to send it back first?

Surprise !

25. What detergent do you use?


27. Are you a morning person or a night person?


28. What is your shoe size?


29. Favorite color?


30. Do you have any pets?


31. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with friends and family?

Not at this time.

32. What did you want to be when you were little?

an artist like my big sister Jo

33. What was the last book you read?

"Disappearance of the Universe" by Gary Renard

Aunt Terri Speaks.... 

Some time ago I got Aunt Terri to answer the 5 questions I posted on the blog. Then I lost the paper I had made notes on....until today.

While looking for something else, I found the quiz. So without further ado here are the secrets of our cutest Aunt....

1. Who was your first grade teacher?

I don’t remember 1st grade, but my 2nd grade teacher was Mrs. McLeister. I remember McLeister because she was hard on me in mathematics and I was not very happy in her class.

2. Have you ever had a reptile as a pet?

3. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Schwann’s Autumn Harvest. It is pumpkin with cinnamon and caramel swirls.

4. What is the farthest place you’ve ever traveled to?
England, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy

5. What is your favorite flower?
The dandelion because you can eat it and make wine out of it. It is highly nutritious in Iron content and delicious if you pick it in early Spring before it toughens up.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Credit Where Credit is Due 

Yes, I got a check today from the Arts Center for the sale of 4 Artophile pieces.

Un-Florida Like Weather 

Usually, our weather gets cold then rebounds back into the 80's right away. Now we've had a week of highs in the 50's.

I used to be hot all the time, but with the thyroid on the blitz, I find myself cold. Very very cold and unable to get warm.

What an odd experience.

I'll be ever so glad to get back to mosaics and to gardening.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


2 Cold
2 Mosaic
2 Day!

I can't even squeeze the silicon glue out the tube! It's in the 40's in the studio.

I will toodle over to the Post Office and mail off some tax forms then take some wire weld forms to Little Mind Escape over at her studio. Hope she has heat. Or we're gonna be cold 2 day.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

For the Birds! 

I see that my last several mosaic projects have been bird baths.
And my next few projects are going to be bird houses.

As you can see from the picture below however, mosaicing these bird houses is going to be a challenge.

Look at the roof line on the round one. How will I treat the peak?
Look at the hinged door on the church. Putting stained glass in the door windows isn’t too challenging. But winding up with a working hinge is. Whoo Hoo, bring it on.

Tweet Tweet! 

Bird Watching

At the feeder this afternoon were
7 Mourning Doves
2 Island Doves
1 Flicker Woodpecker
Assorted Sparrows
Pair of Cardinals
1 Blue Jay

Everybody laid low for a while when a kite or a hawk cruised the area, but it left and chow time resumed. (PS. It was not Bob the red tailed hawk)

Bird Watching at Seminole Town Plaza

I went to Penney’s to get PlantDaddy some blue jeans thanks to gift cards from Aunt Karin and Uncle Rod. That done, I cruised the mall and ran into Dan Gunderson. He had set up a table and was selling Yu-Gi-Oh Cards near the food court. Doing a great business, too. He was negotiating with some little fat kid over a Shaquille O’Neal sports card when I wandered away. 

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Whole Lotto Nothin' Goin On 

As you know, one of my 2005 resolutions is to donate $50.00 to State of Florida education by playing Lotto every Saturday this year .

So at 2:15 this afternoon I was 4th in a line of 5 up at the 7-Eleven, all of us waiting to buy Lotto tickets.

The first was a young Black guy who was heavy set.
Next was a short lady with a speech problem...maybe a stroke?...maybe learning disabled.
Third was a cool looking dude...maybe Guatemalan? Pure white hair and red skin.
Next was me.
Last was a middle age white guy I think I've seen working over at the Lust and Long farms.

We all have hope in common.

"Good Luck, Florida!"

Call the Olympic Committee! 

I'm ready for the Big Time now!

Today at the Y, I made a personal milestone. I walked the treadmill at 3.5mph flat out for 35 minutes. Whoo Hoo!

And the left knee I've been rehabilitating for a while Held Up! Double Whoo Hoo!

God knows I represent no threat to Deena Kastor (Marathon record holder) but I totally totally enjoy setting little goals and meeting them.

My ultimate goal is 3.5mph for 35 minutes at an incline of 3.5. Another year and a half and by golly, what a speed demon I'll be! Tee Hee!

Three of these have sold, but I haven't been paid yet. Not a lot of money but it makes the rumors about "missing" artwork and paperwork true.  Posted by Hello

Friday, January 14, 2005

Green Bissaza 

My friend Deb and I are going out for lunch today. On the way we will stop by at Intercoastal. I need to pick out some green Bissaza and get started on next year's Christmas tree.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

My spring geraniums Posted by Hello

Little Mind Escape Answers 5 Questions 

1. My Second grade teacher was Mrs. Smith. She dressed like Peggy Bundy. Spike heels, leopard print tops over leggings, lots of jewelry.

2. No reptiles as pets but I had a hamster named BoBo. I had a boyfriend named BoBo once,too.

3. Favorite Ice Cream is Reeses Pieces Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

4. Current Book…History of Cartoons…

5. Favorite Flower…Gladiolas.

Cousin Carol 

My Cousin Carol sent me this today. She found some questions and answered them.
She was wrong about question 24 though.I won't send email ;I'll post my own answers later tonight. Here is her list...

2. DIAMONDS OR PEARLS? Neither/Sapphires
5. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? Brownie and 3 cups of coffee.
8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHIPS? I don't do potatoes.
10. WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE? 2002 Saturn stationwagon (for now)
11. FAVORITE SANDWICH? Philly Cheese steak
13. FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING? flannel jammies
19. FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY? Sunrise, early morning.
20. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY? My 13th. Parents let me have a sleepover.
21. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Williamsport PA
22. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Steelers Football.
25. COKE OR PEPSI? Iced Tea
26. ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL? Morning when I'm not depressed.

First Book of 2005 

Just finished reading “Walls: Resisting the Third Reich” by Hilgundt Zassenhaus.

Found Zassenhaus thanks to the Blog of Death obituary notice.

Autobiography is kinda like reading a long blog. My car was in the shop and I had nothing else to do yesterday but sit and read. Very refreshing.

Zassenhaus, a native of Hamburg Germany, got a degree in Scandinavian languages and got a job with the German prison bureau censoring the mail of Scandinavian political prisoners. She had always resisted the Nazi’s and she began using her position to make prison visits as a translator for pastoral personnel and the Red Cross. She used these opportunities to smuggle food and medicine in for the prisoners.

Near the end of the war, the Nazi’s were going to systematically kill all the political prisoners, but Zassenhaus managed to alert the Swedes who negotiated the release of all the Scandinavian prisoners.

Like “Angela’s Ashes” (McCourt), with Zassenhaus you see a very rich personal life even in a background of extremely harsh conditions.

My take home message from Hilgundt was that there were really only a few really evil people that she encountered and really only a few really good, brave people. The majority of the population just wanted to keep their head in the sand and be left alone. And that’s what allowed the Third Reich to get entrenched.

Somebody said all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. That’s what Zassenhaus is saying too.

I would also like to say Hooray for Interlibrary Loans. Even though this book only came from Lake Sumter Community College, nevertheless, it came and I enjoyed it. I love Interlibrary loans.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Yellow Glass Sunflower mosaic birdbath 

Fix or Patch? 

To get photos, I created a new blog then coded the photos into this blog. It still won't take a direct uplink. Well, at least I have photo capability again.
Many thanks to Ian who taught me to be a code kitty.
I'll post more later, the driveway resurface man is here to do his own version of fix and patch this morning

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Still no pictures 

Oddly enough, Plant Daddy can upload pictures to his blog, but I cannot.

I have clicked all the buttons I can find. Then I e mailed for help. The tech support automatic message suggested more buttons to click. I clicked them all. Doomed. Nothing worked.

I just don't want to get me fixed and Plant Daddy broken. Grrrr.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Picasa/Hello is out of order 

Smoke an "L" 

The other day I blogged some of the words to a song called “Must Be the Money” by a rap group called Nelly.

The verse is…”If you want to go take a ride with me, smoke an L in the back of my Benz-y…”

And I kinda got to wondering….What is an “L” and why haven’t I ever smoked one?

It didn’t say smoke a “J”.
I have smoked that…back in college and I didn’t inhale. If Bill Clinton can say it so can I.

“L” could mean a “lid” in marijuana parlance. But a lid is a huge amount. You couldn’t smoke a whole lid and still be driving around in a car.

“L” could mean Lucky Strike cigarette, but this is unlikely in rap culture. From what I’ve seen, rap isn’t a tobacco culture as compared to Beatnik culture or Martini culture of the 1950’s.

I set about to find out what was an “L”.

My first stop…a record store. Astute readers will realize how old I am. There are no “records” at record stores any more. Hmmm what are they called now?

Anyway I went in to FYE and located 2 young men dressed in rap outfits. This is to say very low hanging blue jeans.
They knew Nelly; they liked Nelly; they immediately reached in the bin and handed me a Nelly CD.
I asked them what was an “L”. They blushed. They assured me there was nothing sinister about an “L”. But they would not tell me what it was. Grrrr.

I felt old and cut off from pop culture. But I was still determined.

I stopped at Target to buy a cute pink baby outfit for a shower. I asked the check out girl if she knew Nelly. She did and “how did I know about Nelly?”, she demanded?

Well, the record “Must Be the Money” crossed over to my geezer radio station and what is an “L”?

She didn’t know. She thought it might be drugs. She didn’t think it was a sex thing.

Today I was gassing up at the Mobile. Over at the pump to my left was a young man in a rap outfit. He had his music turned up loud as he pumped gas. It was rap music.

I walked over and asked him.

Yes, he knew Nelly. Yes, he liked Nelly. And an “L” is an El Producto cigar. They were smoking El Producto cigars in the back of the Benz-y.

I was so happy. Now I know what an “L” is and I don’t want to smoke one.

But we have a friend who just treated himself to a new Mercedes Benz at Christmas. I will buy him a box of “L”’s.

PS. I initiated a photo download through Hello at 7:12. It is now 8:08 and no luck on that. Hope to get this fixed soon.

Friday, January 07, 2005

GRRRRR Hello Photo Program 

The Hello Photo Program won't take my photo. I wanted to show the progress on the Peacock Mosaic Bird Bath. GRRRRR.

Also today I planted geraniums, washed a bunch of old tablecloths that had been stored in the closet forever, helped Plant Daddy build puppy water stands....which I also had pictures of but Hello Photo program is stinky tonight GRRRRR.

We went to Home Depot in Apopka and got new Astroturf to recover the back steps. AND I HAD PHOTOS OF THAT TOOOOOO. GRRRRR!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Must Be the Money 

Some of the kids who blog have a set up where you can click and hear their song music of the day. Pretty cool.

But I don't have DSL (High speed Internet). Infact, I am hurrying to do this entry because the weather is threatening to rain. If it rains in Altoona, my server shorts out. But it's cheap service so I'm happy...ANYWAY...

One of my favorite songs from the late '90's was "Must Be the Money"...

If you want to go and take a ride with me , Smoke an L in the back of the Benz-y...Hey must be the money...

It was about some rap guys who could only attract girls because they were rich, not cute...ANYWAY

Yesterday I stopped over at the Arts Center and 3 of my pieces have sold. Will I get a check????

Hey, must be the money...or is it show me the money?....ANYWAY

Happy Birthday, George.

My latest project...Peacock Mosaic Bird Bath Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

More of Helen and Fred's e-mail 

At about 4:00 pm we walked back to the hotel and a small open-air bar
on the road just above the hotel had the BBC on TV, but all they were
showing was damage in India and Sri Lanka.

We waited outside our room
for an hour or so until someone could let us in and open our safe. We
spent the night in our room with no electricity, but the hot water
(not cold) ran and toilets flushed.
It was hellishly hot.
The hotel brought in cold food, lots of tropical fruits they didn't normally
have like langsats and mangosteens which most people didn't take
advantage of.

Because we didn't have room keys and we had had our
safe opened, only one of us could leave the room at a time. Phones
didn't work.

When we got to Phuket airport there were long lines for standby
passengers trying to leave Phuket, but we had confirmed reservations.
Unfortunately Thai Airways refused to announce or post which gate our
flight was leaving from, and we would have missed it if I hadn't gone
checking every gate. Consequently, the flight left with lots of empty
seats while the airport was filled with people trying to leave.

After we had access to email at the Singapore airport and got home we
found out numerous people had gotten to various stages in finding us.

Interestingly, the only international organization to locate
us was the Heliconia Society International (the society is not just
for Heliconias but for all Zingiberales, including the prayer plant
family Marantaceae that Helen specializes in).

Someone asked if we have nightmares about it. No. Why would we? We
saw a beautiful hotel we liked very much ruined. We didn't see anything very horrible until we got home and watched TV. I admit I am worried about my heart, stress
at work, and not living to retirement.

I would never presume to tell
anyone how a survivor should feel. Much has been said about luck, but
that is trivial. Most of life for most people is luck. More
interesting is what is not luck. At least in Thailand the
geomorphology of beaches and bays clearly made a big difference in
the death rate; very low at Karon Noi, Karon, and Kata Beaches, very
high at Khao Lak and Pee Pee Island (also spelled Phi Phi but
pronounced the same).
Much has been made of the fact that no one had
ever seen such a thing there, but …
The greatest previous tsunami death toll was
also in Indonesia, when Krakatau erupted and collapsed August 27,
1883, killing the same or even a slightly higher proportion of the
people of Asia, and that tsunami even reached England.

Maybe such rare events aren't worth bothering about, but on an annual average
the death rate from tsunamis is higher in the Indian Ocean than the
Pacific Ocean.

We are back in Surrey now and enduring the cold here. Thanks for your concern
for us. We feel bad having lost our gear and all our records but we had a house to come back to with running water, electricity. etc.

My sympathies lie with the survivors who are facing a
very grim life ahead dealing with their losses.
Even those not directly affected, ie. no loss of friends or family
or possessions may be suddenly unemployed as so many were hotel
workers for tourist trade

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

From our friends who survived the tsunami 

On December 15 we were going to Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort for our annual vacation.

We spent our first week at Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
working on Helen's favorite family, Marantaceae. This was our third
trip to document the plants in their Hortus Botanicus for them and
for the UBC Herbarium.

The morning of Boxing Day (December 26 for you Americans) Helen got
up earlier than I and left the room just before 8:00 am to get beach
towels and claim our lounge chair on the beach in the row closest to
the sea.

Just after she left I heard a strange noise - it was all the
metal handles on the drawers and closets in the room rattling - and
realized it was an earthquake. It was very mild (I've experienced
much stronger ones in Vancouver and California) but lasted a long
time. I spent about an hour or so getting ready in the room and there
was another aftershock.

I then took Helen's and my snorkeling equipment out to the beach. I told her about the earthquake, looked at the sea and the tide was low (good for snorkeling) so we decided
to snorkel.
I looked at the sea again and the tide was way way out,
lower than I'd ever seen it. We told this French woman next to us
that this was not normal. But stupidly we went out to look at the
exposed bay bottom.

Helen went out farthest and I did go out and tell her, "You know, if this were Hawaii there would be sirens going off all over the place and they'd be telling people to get 100 meters above sea level".
But no one, not even the lifeguards, was concerned.

But we both knew there was going to be a tsunami, we just
didn't know when. We spent hours afterwards thinking how stupid we
were, we should have grabbed our stuff and gone back to the room and
we wouldn't have lost it all.

, there was about
30 seconds of video of our hotel being hit by the second wave, taken
from about where we watched it from, but probably one floor lower,
which we did get recorded.

When the first wave started coming in Helen was much farther out than
I, near some large rocks. The wave didn't look like the big waves
surfers surf down the face of, but it was very fast, rising from
ankle to chest level in about 2 seconds.

The first wave reached the top of the one meter wall but did
not exceed it, and snapped or uprooted the beach umbrellas. Northwest
of the canvas shops was a service road and ramp to the beach, where
the wave did rush up the road to the front of the hotel.

Helen was hit first and knocked over. She realized she had to get
away from the rocks and stay on top of the water, so she swam as hard
as she could angling toward the center, sandy part of
the beach.

At that point a lifeguard did notice her but she yelled
that she was all right and he should help someone else.

She tried to
rescue our stuff but beach umbrellas were falling and her foot was
catching on a lounge chair under the dirty water. She realized she
needed to save herself and watched our beachbags float upright out to
sea like boats in a surreal oceanic forest of toppling beach
We lost all our snorkeling gear, fish book and
fish-sighting records, some clothing, sandals, and a book I had
borrowed from a colleague to write lectures for a course I have to
start teaching January 5 and a manuscript Helen had to review for a
journal. She will have to tell the editor that a tsunami took the
manuscript away (there was an email when we got back asking why it
was not done yet).

The next day Helen did find my old OP shorts and
handkerchief washed up on the beach, but nothing else.

I was on a sandy part of the beach and had run straight for a
stairway next to the canvas shops and held on to a guy wire when the
wave sucked back into the sea.
Several jet skis were floating around
me and I thought they might crush my head but they were light and I
easily pushed them away with my other hand.

I then got off the beach, ran with Helen along
the pool to the elevator, which was not working as the hotel had lost
power instantly, and ran up the stairs to the sixth (top) floor where
our room was, where we couldn't get in because our keys had washed
out to sea.
We watched the second wave from the open hall between the
stairs and our wing of the building. It breached the one meter wall
at the edge of the beach, the grassy slope, and dumped sand, lounge
chairs, and beach umbrellas in the swimming pool, and flooded parts
of the first floor of the hotel.
We found a maid to let us into our
room but couldn't get into the electronic safe where all the cameras
were locked, so we have no pictures of any of it. That was hard on
Helen the Photographer.

Neither of us panicked or was scared at any point. We knew what was
happening and what we had to do, and you do it so quickly you don't
really have much memory of what actually transpired.

No one screamed
except the local ladies selling clothes, and no one was killed at our

We watched the remaining waves, which got much worse, from our
balcony. I don't remember how many more waves there were, but they destroyed the first
floor of the hotel and everything below that, which included the
kitchens and rooms where electrical equipment was. By the end there
was nothing left on the beach except the damaged wood-fired pizza

Just before noon an employee came to our room and told us we had to
evacuate the hotel, and there would be a minibus at the lobby to take
us somewhere.

It turns out the Thai Meteorological Department
had deliberately not issued a tsunami warning because they didn't
want to hurt tourism, then an hour after the tsunami was finished,
they were afraid they would be criticized for not having issued a
warning, so they then issued a tsunami warning even though there
wasn't going to be another tsunami.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A Mosaic Haiku 

There once was a mosaic artist
Who lived in a tropical forest.
Her tiles were all broken
And she was out spoken
But she mortared and grouted in earnest.


F/X got it right. That program on Smallpox was a winner.

They used the medium of television to its fullest extent. It was captivating and thought provoking.

Far from giving MM a litany of symptomology, they raised larger questions of vaccination policy, individual freedom vs. public rights, marshall law, infrastructure stability, mob mentality, discrimination. They covered history, virology, global politics.

In the words of Old Joe, “It was a gooder.”

So why aren’t we getting people vaccinated?

Yesterday afternoon I went over to Suzy's, but I guess she forgot me. No one was home but the dog. Brandi is a great dog. But anyway, I dropped off the Christmas presents and came home.

Spent the afternoon working on the Peacock bird bath. Lots of cuts to make it look like feathers. Slow progress.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hypochondriac Paradise! 

In a half hour a TV show will air all about Smallpox!

Hypochondriac dream come true.

For the next 6 months every pimple on my arse will be suspect...examined with new concern and forboding!

Whoo Hoo!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Mosaic Haiku 

Mosaic madness-
Broken bits redeemed by love
Reborn as beauty.

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