the more things don't change

 Six years ago,  Hannah and Chris had just gotten married and were living in my apt, signing a lease for a loft. Now they own a building, a piece of land, a cat, two dogs and a kid.
    It's amazing how little has changed with me. If you check out  the blog for December 2006, you will note that I'm still with the Esposito's ham, the 12 days of Christmas rewrites, the drinking too much beer, the pleas for more comments and all the rest. There is, however, a noticeable difference in the energy of the writing (to this December's detriment). I think that may have to do with Facebook and lack of feedback. So here's my annual plea (cheaper than NPR): More Comments!




We are having a party
So bring everyone.
Because Hannah will be
(Cough, cough) thirty-one!

 It’s as casual as if
We lived off the grid
No high heels or ties
But plenty of kids

Please don't bring gifts,
Just a bottle of wine,
Come to Riverside Drive
On the 1,2,3 line

We sure hope to see you
The first day of the year,
(But not before noontime,
we'll be sleeping, we fear!)


another state heard from

Photo by Frank Martin
 SWAMP EAST, MO. Frank Martin reporting. "Knowing you like to keep up with public restroomage in Missouri,  I send this. It is not from the Ozarks. Dianne and I were on a trip to Swamp East, also sometimes called East Jesus, in the Bootheel, when I spied this in a convenience store gents'. We were there twice in three hours' time. Naturally, I looked in. The first time there were contents expected in a spittoon, and two wads of ABC gum, one pink and one blue. The second time I looked only the pink was still there. The spittoon was made from an ice cream carton and a crushed ice bag, suspended using a cell phone charging cord. Feel free to add this to your vast collection of scatology.
    "Just kidding about the missing wad of gum."
  THOMASVILLE, MO. Bear Walker reports that he now has three vehicles: his old truck which has now hit three deer, his new old truck which is too cherry to drive if hitting deer and Hannah's old Nissan, which would be totaled if it hit a deer. I don't know how many of those vehicles are parked in my yard, but I do know that Bear's Weber grill is still there. He hasn't used it since he bought it.


what's in the truck?

Well snow, for one thing. Also a new exhaust system, starter motor, new battery terminals, new belt and pulleys and tension thingy and an AC bypass. It runs Very Quietly now, as softly as new-fallen snow.


the day after

And yes there is even a dusting of snow.


twas the night before

The cat wouldn't pose. Too busy looking for that mouse.



It was pretty dark when I left for the train this morning at 7:00. And rainy. But, hey, it wasn't the end of the world!


the 12 days of cleanup

On the twelfth day
of cleanup my desk
  divulged to me

12 power sources

11 nests of wires

10 camera cards

9 ancient cellphones

8 software discs

7 speaker wires

6  dated iPods

5 vid-e- o cassettes!

4 unknown thumb drives

 3 blind mice

2 printer cables

 and a microphone
that no one



2:10 AM Wednesday December 19, 2012 - Walter Gilbert Gasner - born May 6, 1912—The Hundred Year Old Man—was sighted fishing  off Sandy Point on Block Island in a Boston Whaler along with a white haired woman and a few dogs. They disappeared into the fog and were never seen again. R.I.P.


end times

Those of you obsessed with the Mayan calendar might like to watch this hour-plus documentary about a Mayan elder, Wandering Wolf, who has indeed been wandering the world speaking about the potentials of the new age. Shift of the Ages is free for the next couple weeks if you register (assuming the world doesn't end on Friday) and one of the people who worked on it was our own Aymar Ccopacatty. Wandering Wolf speaks in Spanish, with English subtitles.
   Speaking of art, if you are an artist like Aymar and can't write your own pretentious, unintelligible artist's statement, here is a fine selection of same, free!


the new road

Let's just hope they plant those new dunes or the sand will all wash away and we'll be left with nothing but a pile of rocks between us and the deep blue sea. This time.


all i want for christmas

per Walter, 100, pictured a couple posts ago.


starry night

Note from my sister:

The Geminid Meteor Shower (also known as the "Claudia Dowling Meteor Shower") will launch at 10 pm on December 13th for the enjoyment and celebration of all. To make it more stunning, there will be no moon so now all your friends have to do is find a place with no light pollution (good luck with that) and take a bottle of champagne, a blanket or two, and their eyes (if over 50, perhaps some binoculars) and toast the Claudia Dowling falling stars which will decorate the night sky at the rate of around 100 an hour.
   One astronomer, explaining this in lay terms, said "Imagine a dump truck full of sand racing around an oval racetrack. The sand will spray off the truck around the corners in a very even way. In this way, the debris stream of the Claudia Dowling Meteor Shower is continuous and predictable."

So in case you are wondering whether anyone will remember your birthday this year, the Gods have spoken.


from the tallest to the smallest

Camilla, 2

Great Grandpa Walter, 100
Or maybe the youngest to the oldest, but certainly these Whos know how to celebrate Whoosie in Whoville, RI.


find the similarity

 So there I was, waking through the Crystal Bridges museum this fall, when I stopped abruptly in front of this sculpture by I forget who, not so much because it was arresting, but because something about it looked familiar. It reminded me strongly of Claudia's,  Block Island. See why?



everybody's on ebay

There are more people who are making their livings by selling their shit than you might imagine. I know one person, ahem, who just sold her wedding silver on eBay for like $2000 plus. Me, I've been looking at my book collection and thinking that perhaps my Robin Hood obsession is in the past. And then Hannah found this little volume in our collection. Anybody for a book signed by Maurice Sendak? Ok, it's not Where the Wild Things Are and it's well loved, but hey!


urban soldier

OK, I know many of you think I spend too much time in Missouri, as evidenced by my wardrobe. Be very afraid, I have not only the shorts and shirt but also jacket, flip-flops and even, thanks to Doro who made this picture, a camo throw! Doro also sent me the following link to The Sartorialist showing that not only am I not alone, but that I am on the cutting edge of fashion in Paris! As always. . .


everybody's got a project

Is it me, my friends or Facebook? It seems like everybody is looking for support for their artwork. I should start a Kickstarter project to support all the Kickstarter projects I'm asked to support. Most recently there was Spogga, a true talent you can see here who managed to earn his (low) goal amount. Then there's Bill Dowell, above, who is doing things the old-fashioned way—publishing his book about Chinese business with no promo whatsoever (he posed for this picture under duress). But every day brings more people with worthy work needing contributions. Is there another side, people who need works of art? Somebody just sent me this website, but I don't know. Perhaps they are just looking for free "content" like so many others—like me!


what's doing on block island

Yikes! This is the road in front of the compound at present.
I'll be back witcha after I climb out of the trenches of the Civil War. Always terrifying to realize how little I know about American history, especially since that's the name of the magazine I've been writing for. As for art—well, I know what I'm supposed to like.



It's the last day of November. Will every man observing Mo-vember (to raise awareness of testicular and prostate cancer) shave off his moustache tonight? Must check for pale upper lips tomorrow.


speaking of art

 Here are two different, beautiful views of fall. The painting is by C. Sperry Andrews III, Barrett's father, of Weir Farm National Park fame. Some 80 of his landscapes will be on exhibit at the Wilton, Ct., library beginning Sunday, December 2, with a reception from 11:30 am to 1 pm, and will run through December 28.
  The photograph below is by Frank Martin, editor and publisher of the West Plains Daily Quill. To see more of his beautiful nature photographs your best bet is to friend him on the book.


art news

Here is a portrait of the artist Mason Dowling as a young man. Remember, you heard it here first. He has done a series of self portraits, which I would have posted had my computer not failed with his pictures on the desktop. (Now using the new one.)
   Chien-Chi Chang has put up the multimedia work he made in Tanzania for Médecins Sans Frontières. It is about drug users with AIDS quite painful to watch. I copy edited such copy as there is. You can see it on Magnum's site here.
   And Jessica Rath, of apple fame got tasty reviews in  Art in America and ARTFORUM for her latest shows in New York and Los Angeles.
    Let's hear it for art—particularly that of penniless practitioners who have little hope of making a living from their work these days. Something oughta be done. All those billionaires donating millions to political races when they could be supporting the arts. Something is askew.


snow day

Looks like the inside of a snow globe outside. Speaking of which, you can see what your own house looks like in a snow globe by going to this site. Yes, it's the perfect day to do the paperwork left hanging for the hols, the Thanksgiving tablecloth laundry, scrub that nasty baking dish with brillo, try to balance the year end checkbook and vacuum under the furniture.
Or maybe a nap. . .




great american eating ceremony

Guess who's coming to dinner? A hint: Twenty people or possibly twenty-two.


thanksgiving troops

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The road is half covered with boulders. Wish there were some dunes and native grasses.

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i time

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at the gym

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new york morning

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Back in the old homestead, Hannah's baby swings where Hannah usta swing.

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Location:Riverside Dr,New York,United States


home sweet home

A good place to be when the wind is blowing like stink on Block Island.

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Location:Riverside Dr,New York,United States


bleak island

That's sea foam crossing the road, Dada writes, not snow. It was gusting to 90 on the island yesterday, higher than in the hurricane, though the tides were not as high. Here in New York, the white stuff on the ground today is snow. I am feeling bad for people with no heat.

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A great country

Back in Missouri where the property taxes are exceeding low (see below) and they vote red for pres but turned away Akin for senator, they are not feeling that hopeful. In New York, however, all was exhilaration until I realized that my computer had given up after seeing me through election night. Just saying that posts are
likely to be piss poor for a while.

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just do it

the way it is

This aerial comes from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation —or not!
That's Claudia's Surf City on the left along with the rest of the compound on La Mer Gasner. And there's what used to be Corn Neck Rd. You can see I was in residence when the picture was made (I heard the helicopters) because the storm doors are opened. For more pix, you can look at RIDOT's flickr feed or at the state site.
The good news, my National Flood Insurance is up to date at Claudia's! The bad news, the house closer to the water (Hannah's), isn't eligible. . .
However, I'm now back on high ground on Riverside Drive.