Monday, November 12, 2018

As smart as the next iOS update

I bought a new iPhone yesterday.  It does a lot of stuff I don't need it to do.  A nice man at the store went through the latest's all Greek to me.  I needed a phone that charged up and made calls when you plugged the cord in, as mine stopped doing that.  The iPhone XS charges when you plug it's a great phone.  

I dedicated part of my afternoon to understanding the more advanced nuances of my new contraption.  I was able to use a colorful virtual button to find answers to things I'd been pondering while rehearsing my finger acrobatics.  Here's what I found, according to the truth that is the Internet via smartphone:

There are over 325 million people in the United States.  Over 85 million (more than 25 percent of the population) of those folks have an iPhone like I do.  

I bet most of those folks know how to operate their iPhones better than I'll ever be able to.  And given the iPhone's ability to answer any question you may have on demand with its Apps and Siris and Locators and Face Recognizers, I have to assume all of those folks who can navigate their touchscreens better than I to be immensely more intelligent than I'll ever be.  With the iPhone becoming such a universal appendage, it's fair to say we're all getting smarter, right?  With all of the information available at a flick of the finger, and with a substantial part of our society jumping on the AI bandwagon, the collective knowledge of the human race must be reaching an unfathomable high, right?  I can feel my brain wait, that's my data wait, same thing.  

I found another factoid on my iPhone Internet that may or may not be true but will undoubtedly roll the eyes of a few of you...

There are an estimated 365 million guns in the United States.  

Don't worry, I'm not going to regurgitate a predictable point of view...I'll be creative...

I wonder what will happen when there are more iPhones in the US than people?  I mean, what will happen when there are almost as many iPhones as guns?  I bet we'll all be geniuses.  We're going to be a bunch of super smart people, thinking through our fingers and shooting stuff.  Hold your brain in one hand and protect it with the other.  Don't tread on me, trend on me...or else.

Now, I know what you're thinking—"It's a shame I can't just threaten and kill things with my smartphone."—right?  Maybe, if you're not already a selfie-taking text message-typing distracted driver, you can implore Apple to build a gun into the next iPhone?  "Think different", right?  Just imagine how cool it would be to play those first-person shooter games with a fully automatic cell phone that you could actually load an extended magazine of bullets into...for hunting, of course.  Double-tap, swipe up, safety off, shoot something, post to instatwitter.

Hey Siri, am I safe yet? 

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Now, I love to say the right thing to you every time, it is . . .
To say I love you, it is every thing, right now the time to . .  .

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Joe Donnelly and Mike Braun better stop sending me text messages.

I'm just a privileged white guy watching from the sidelines.  It's unfair, I know.  And if you're reading this, I'm willing to bet there has been a time when you've felt like I usually do—guilty and ashamed for never knowing the struggles of our fellow man and forever in debt to those who fight injustice for the rest of us.  That is, if you're anything like me, I hope you care enough to feel awful from time to time about how good you have it in comparison to those who don't.  The truth is, our players on the field will always have more at stake than the rest of us, but we can still take comfort in rooting for the home team from our comfortable stadium seats.  

Given our current situation here in the US, any "go vote" speech delivered on election day inevitably sounds like an endorsement...sorry.  I promise I'm not trying to change your mind, I'd just like for you to speak your mind.  So, go vote.  Being apolitical is convenient when you feel you have no dog in the fight, but being apolitical isn't the same as holding your tongue.  Being apolitical is always the same as voting for the asshole. 

Maybe Jeff can persuade you...he's smarter than I...

A Message from Jeff Tweedy  
This Election...

"Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of arguments against voting—like, 'it doesn’t matter' or 'both sides are the same'—and I’ve never found any of them to be very persuasive. I’ve always figured that even if they’re right, I’d still rather take some time out of my day and vote than shrug off my duty as a citizen and lose my right to bitch. Right now, however, I feel angry at the selfish and thoughtless nature of those types of excuses. If voting doesn’t matter, then I’d like someone to explain to me why some politicians work so hard to make it so difficult. What are they afraid of? If it doesn’t matter, why would they care? Well, it does matter a lot! What they’re afraid of is how radically our country would change if all the decent and fair-minded citizens who have disenfranchised themselves by convincing themselves it’s pointless to vote stopped giving their rights away willingly. Vote! If you weren’t allowed to, I’m pretty certain you’d want to real bad."

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Call Me Crazy

Maybe a Vortex
oil on canvas
24" x 30"

Because I know you're all dying to know...

I drove out to Arizona a few weeks ago and wandered through the desert with my paints and brushes.  I was invited to take part in the Sedona Plein Air Festival with twenty-some other picture painters from all sorts of other far-off places...places so far-off the picture painters from said places reacted as if little Bloomfield, Indiana was an exotic location upon reading my descriptive name tag.  The typical response was something like, "Holy Shit!  Indiana huh?"  Turns out, in the most beautiful places on earth, folks like to romanticize the notion of living somewhere exponentially more boring in comparison.  Who needs mountain air, ocean breezes, or postcard vistas when you have "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing"?  

I painted forty-three pictures during my time in Arizona...ran out of canvas before I ran out of socks.  All of the romantics chalked it up to my "Midwestern hard work ethic" and we had a good laugh with lots of winks and pats on the back.  Evidently, driving 3,500 miles to paint pictures from sunup through sundown with neglect to leisure, socializing, and personal hygiene will earn you a crazy badge.  I might be deserving.  Call me crazy, but you'd be a moron to drive 3,500 miles to paint pictures and not paint like a crazy person.  

Anyhow, it's taken me two weeks to unload the van.  Scattered through the foam coffee cups, stale potato chips, and mounds of transplanted red dirt, forty-one paintings were found.  Thankfully, upon review from the homestead, I discovered most of the paintings don't suck.  In fact, I like most of the paintings quite a bit.  But unfortunately, according to the back-patting romantics, returning to the Midwest with paintings of anything other than barns and covered bridges is just preparation for disappointment.  I've been informed, in the entire history of picture painting, not a single picture painted of red rock or desert landscape has ever been sold in the Hoosier state.

Luckily, I'm not in the business of selling pictures.  I drive around, I look at things, I paint pictures of stuff, and then I hang those pictures up on the wall so I can remember how much I enjoyed driving around looking at things...all without any hope of making a single dollar.  It's pretty complicated.

If I haven't bored you back to instatwitter, here's what I think this all means for you...

  I plan on hanging all of the paintings I've created over the past couple months while driving around looking at things on a bunch walls for you to look at...not to purchase, of course.  So, if you like driving around and looking at things like I do, but for whatever reason, have decided not to paint the stuff you liked looking at, you might enjoy remembering the stuff you might've seen while driving around in places like those I have driven through and then decided to paint pictures of.  Let's pretend my gallery is your car, my paintings are your windows, and I'm driving you across the country to look at a bunch of fantastic things solely because I have accompanying stories I desperately need to tell someone before I forget them.  It's going to be fun...for me...that's why I'm doing it...duh.

So, if any part of this roundabout, "I don't want to sell paintings" sales pitch riles you up to the point of proving me wrong, I hope to see you soon.  If you like the idea of having real conversations with real people you may or may not know about how good or bad my pictures may or may not be, I hope to see you soon.  If you like eating meatballs, cocktail wienies, and other delicious holiday fare with toothpicks from tiny plates while staring at something other than your stupid smart phone, I hope to see you soon.

You're invited!  Details on the exhibit are forthcoming, so stayed tuned...or don't...whatever...I'm doing it with or without you...duh.

The paintings will be for sale. 


Monday, October 29, 2018

High Voltage Inside

“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut”

Well said, bronze Albert Einstein.