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Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 7, 2011, 8:37 PM
  • Listening to: "Otis" by Jay Z & Kanye West
  • Reading: Macworld (Customize Your Mac)
  • Watching: My Best Friend's Wedding
  • Drinking: Simply Orange
I don't know what's been going on lately, but after stopping by dA for a quick trip down memory lane, I find myself missing the "Usual Suspects". I think I will take an hour or two and check in with the old crew. Myangelofmusic, tangledweb, and getcarter ... What's poppin'?

As for the state of things in general ... what is wrong with people? I could slap the shit out of my congressman, and don't get me started on the bankers, stock brokers, and everybody else with their hand in my pocket. Maybe I should roll out with Sterling on the "Nothin' But a G Thang" vibe. By the way hometown, I was there first.  LOL

I have been in hiding for the last year or so, and have a disk array full of photos I have never even looked at or considered for submission. That's CRAZY! I guess I'm a slacker here lately, so I need to get a move on. For some reason though, I have no desire to look at the photos ... just shoot some more! Hmm ... there's probably a diagnosis for that. I'm sure it has some ridiculous name like "obsessive photophobic prostastitis". :rofl:

Well, on this 11th birthday of this fabulous place, I couldn't stay away. Happy Birthday old friend. You still look great!

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have. :nod:

Jenni: :wave: :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". I'm KILLING the penguin! :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:

Hulu, TiVo and Fantasy Football

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 25, 2009, 11:05 AM
  • Listening to: "Empire State" by Jay Z
  • Reading: Macworld (Great Setups Under $300)
  • Watching: Football (It's Sunday. SUNDAY!)
  • Drinking: Simply Grapefruit

Well, quite a bit of time has passed since my last post. I thought I would make a quick comment as to why I have been a little scarce lately. Of course, it would be easy to blame my absence on real world challenges like work, bills, or social engagements, but the truth is that I have been lazy! You know ... watching TV, laying on the couch, and cursing at the computer on weekends because of damn fantasy football!

Seriously, I don't have time to watch TV like normal people, so I have to catch up with services like Hulu. To borrow a line from Guinness - BRILLIANT!

After catching up on things I missed, I am fortunate to have TiVo on every television. This makes it so much easier to catch up on things I miss while I'm watching the stuff I didn't TiVo in the first place. I should also point out that for all you TiVo owners out there with Netflix accounts, you really should look into the instant download boxes so you can watch movies from your queue on your television instead of your laptop. $99 well spent!

And just because this seems like a calm, rant-free post, I need to say a word about fantasy football. What crazy person came up with such a concept? I must admit, I am one of the "less obsessed" fans, but this week as I was making my picks for one of the 4 leagues I am in, I missed a time deadline by SECONDS and was not allowed to submit picks at all!. SECONDS! If I'm being honest with myself, THAT was single motivation for me to move my ass to the computer, and the reason I am posting now. I am so pissed about this that I could take someone's head off!

I know, I know. Many of you are saying "Dude ... the rules are that blah, blah, blah" or some other crap! Don't quote logic to me when I am trying to make an irrational point about a seemingly insignificant exercise like fantasy sports! The bottom line is that if the feeling I am experiencing now is one that people with important decisions to make would feel when they miss a deadline, we all would have many fewer problems.

And to my fellow fantasy football lovers over at Nerd Football, I was coming for your asses this week! You can bet I won't miss the submission deadline again bitches. :furious:

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have. :nod:

Jenni: :wave: :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". I'm KILLING the penguin! :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:

Happy Eighth Birthday deviantART

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 7, 2008, 7:59 PM
  • Listening to: A Killer Thunderstorm Outside
  • Reading: Newsweek (Gotta Stay Informed)
  • Watching: American Gangster
  • Drinking: Grey Goose and Cranberry

As in the past, I wanted to stop by today and :wave: at my dear friends in this community. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't give the obligatory shout-outs to my crew: holla back tangledweb, bookdiva, onestar, snowmask, tangledweb, nrgizrbuni, cweeks, olya, hesitation, and jark.  

For those of you who tuned in thinking you were going to get a piece of :cake: and a :hug: ... I'm sorry to disappoint you. No such fuzziness this year. Instead, I want to talk about stupid people! But since I don't want to ruin an otherwise beautiful day, I think I'll wait a few days before I open a can of kick-ass on anyone. ;)

As an added bonus, I have made the decision to upload a few pieces here for the first time in 2 years. I don't know if I will be as active as I was previously, but I received a print request for one of my early pieces, and I think I'll surprise a lucky deviant with a copy of their request. I hope they like the gloss finish. If not ... it was free! Who says we can't get gifts on fella's birthday?! :giggle:

I'm also gonna do better this year about updating this journal. The last entry was LAST year on deviantArt's birthday. :no:

*Off to update my :gallery: before I fall asleep from too much :party: today*

Ok ... I'm through rambling. Enjoy the :party:! If you're new to deviantART, welcome. I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I have.

Jenni: :wave: :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". Grab your club! :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:

Happy Seventh Birthday deviantART

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 7, 2007, 9:29 AM
  • Listening to: Frank Sinatra: New York, New York
  • Reading: Countless e-mails
  • Watching: People in the hallway
  • Drinking: Champagne of course. It's a party!

I, along with many of my deviantART comrades, have been spending some quiet time surfing dA this morning just to get a feel for the atmosphere on the site this today. I am always proud of how much love many of my fellow deviants have for dA, and today, I was not disappointed.

I have looked at quite a bit of art, made a few comments, and given a "shout out" to some of the usual suspects; holla at me bookdiva, onestar, snowmask, tangledweb, nrgizrbuni, cweeks, hesitation, and jark.  But one thing that caught my attention today is the number of people in the forums and on dAmn! (2556 to be exact). I have popped in and out of a few rooms, and now I have three windows open just "listening" to the conversation. While some of it is lighthearted and silly, there are some devoted members sitting patiently, awaiting the kick off of today's birthday festivities. What a great thing to see ... strong support for the community and support of our fellow deviants. I'm all warm and fuzzy inside!

Now ... I know this isn't the usual tongue-in-cheek journal post you are accustomed to reading here, but I thought that in observance of this special day, that I would take a break from the usual tone.

In fact, I think I'll give everyone a piece of :cake: and a :hug:. Just don't get used to it. ;)

Oh, and congratulations to my buddy O-Dog ... olya on her recent engagement. Good luck pup. :heart:

*running off to think up something shocking to discuss in my next journal post*

Ok ... I'm through rambling. Enjoy the :party:! If you're new to deviantART, welcome. I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I have.

Jenni: :wave: :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". Grab your club! :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:

Obnoxious Kids and Foxes

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 1, 2007, 5:38 AM
  • Listening to: Jay-Z: 30 Something
  • Reading: Box Office Magazine
  • Watching: NBA Finals - Cavs Baby!
  • Drinking: A very nice bordeaux

I just can't let this go. I was on a United flight returning home from a business conference, and as many of you know … nothing is quite so satisfying as the flight home after a long week of sometimes-dry presentations. The day started off well with the punctual conclusion of the aforementioned conference. The ride from The Ambassador East Hotel to Chicago O'Hare was pleasant and uneventful. Curbside check-in … smooth. Even the 40-minute security line was not as bad as it could have been. But this is where my pleasant journey ends.

Upon arrival at the gate, I surveyed the crowd (as I often do) and identified the "disruptive elements" (read children) before sitting down to await the flight. Time passed quickly, and after some very pleasant phone calls, I was on my way home in no time.

After embarking, I found that I had the row to myself. I was hoping that would be the case for the whole flight, but based on the size of the crowd at the gate, it was only a matter of time before I had a companion in the row with me. As if on cue … a business traveler (Eric) indicated that he was assigned to the aisle. Eric took his seat, and he and I exchanged pleasantries. Just when it looked like we were going to get the row to ourselves, a rather tall gentleman named Bubba introduced himself and apologized (in advance) for having to take the middle seat. All in all, things could have been worse. We talked about the weather and the reasons we were all in Chicago (Eric … business for Avis; Bubba … layover on his way to see his grandchildren in Boston) and agreed to stop talking so those that wanted to rest could do so.

It was then that it happened. Just as the flight attendants notified us that the doors were closing, one last family boarded the plane. Brad, Tonya, Justin and Lucas came running down the aisle and broke off into two groups. Tonya and Justin settled on one side of the aisle, and Brad and Lucas on our side. You see where this is headed right? Lucas was given the choice of the middle seat or the window, and that little rascal took the window … right behind me. It was at this moment that I knew my plan to rab a quick nap was in danger.

Everything started just like Bill Cosby said it would in "Himself" back in the day. Remember when Bill told us about Jeffrey? Well, he had nothing on my three or four year old buddy Lucas. Lucas' father called his name repeatedly … Lucas! Don't touch that. Stop kicking the seat in front of you! Lucas! It's naptime. Stop tearing that magazine. Stop Lucas! Stop it! Sit still. Stop talking now! Don't push that button (flight attendant appeared in the aisle)! Lucas! Go sit with you mother. Don't try to drink it all at once. D'oh! Go ask for a napkin. Lucas! Lucas! Enough! I told you not to push that button (flight attendant appeared in the aisle … again). Lucas! Lucas! Go to sleep. LUCAS … WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US YOU HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM! Lucas! You stink! Oh my god! Lucas! Don't push! Lucas! If you don't stop, daddy's gonna have to spank you. Lucas, come here! Lucas … damn it!"

Now I wanted to kick Lucas' little ass ... but for the rest of the story, you should stop by my place and catch the last paragraph.

Now that we've covered the kids ... now on to the foxes. I was surfing dA this evening and came across a unique image in a Random Deviant's gallery. Fox and Hare by Tachy-on is a powerful reminder that nature is extremely aggressive when necesary. While looking at it, I began to smile and then chuckle a bit because when I saw this image, my thoughts immediately went to my buddy nrgizrbuni. She is such a cute, innocent little buni. If a fox ever tries to catch her in its mouth, someone would have a nice little fox jacket. :giggle:

*still cracking up*

Ok ... I'm through rambling. If you're new to dA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Jenni: :wave: :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". Grab your club! :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:

CSS and The 'Girl' Crush

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 24, 2007, 10:03 PM
  • Listening to: Beyonce - Upgrade U
  • Reading: GQ
  • Watching: NCAA Basketball "March Madness"
  • Drinking: Navan Cognac

Gee, I don't know where to start. It's been so long since I made an effort to update the private chalkboard that is my journal here on dA that I don't know if I can still illicit a chuckle from the faithful readers and true believers. Aw hell ... let me give it a try.

So I was sitting around the house with some beautiful young ladies while talking about various topics of the moment, and the dialogue turned to "girl crushes". After hearing the details of the concept, I must admit that I have never given any thought to making a list of people I would "hook up" with if given the opportunity … my past has always allowed me to not need a list. But I digress …

Back to the point of the conversation … while talking about the people we would "enjoy" if given the choice, I was somewhat intimidated by the free nature of the aforementioned young ladies … just throwing names out recognizing that there would be no consequences to their actions. They are incredibly beautiful in their own right mind you, and I'm sure if their "girl crushes" knew of their desire, there would be some bed posts and headboards knockin'. Heh.

After some hilarious commentary, the choices provided by the ladies in the room were Eliza Dusku (I wouldn't drag her into bed, but I wouldn't kick her out), Jennifer Garner (she was a cutie when Alias started … before getting so chiseled that she looks like she could kick my ass), Angelina Jolie (have mercy … she's come a long way since Hackers), Jessica Alba (Playboy layout or not), Catherine Zeta-Jones (that all leather outfit in Entrapment stole the show), and Halle Barry (YUM!).

It was at this point that I realized that the whole concept was discussed at length on Oprah a few months ago, and the whole "shock value" of the topic is only intriguing when it's girls talking about their girl "crushes". The topic does not have anywhere near the same intrigue when I ponder the thought of a few of the fellas sitting around talking about how "fine" Denzel Washington or Shemar Moore is. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are some good looking guys around, but that doesn't mean I want to "doink" one.

You know what ... for the rest of this story, stop by my place and read it there. I want to devote a few lines to the new look of this journal. I don't know if this is the best use of this CSS thingy, but being a Beta Tester in this fabulous community, I thought I should test the waters. Let me know if you like it. :)

Also, since I have never "shouted" on my Shoutboard, I have posted a few pieces there that caught my eye the last few times I've just surfed the site.

*making sure I haven't forgotten anything*

Oh, if you've never clicked the Random Deviant or Random Deviation link, get on it skippy. You never know, you just might find the author of the next Daily Deviation. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have. :nod:

Jenni: :wave: :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". Grab your club! :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:
  • Listening to: Jay-Z "Show Me What You Got"
  • Reading: Newsweek
  • Watching: Star Wars: Episode II
So ...

As I sat here watching some Sunday Night Football, I decided to stop by my favorite art site and see what's going on. As I skimmed my devwatch and read the countless journals that have accumulated, I discovered this survey in Myangelofmusic's journal. It isn't often that I am motivated to fill out one of these, but since "my angel" filled it out, I thought I would do the same.

DeviantART's "I'm Bored" Survey

Just answer the following questions :giggle:

Got this from Myangelofmusic :thanks:

1. What is your deviant-name and what does it mean?
simba ... from The Lion King. It means I'm the king. ;)

2. Why did you join this site?
I was surfing one day and came across photography by olya and couldn't resist commenting. Had to join to leave a comment.

3. What fandom were you obsessed with when you joined?
None really ... I just wanted to take cool photographs.

4. Were any of the fandoms you have currently brought about by this site?
Depends on the photographer. :)

5. Look into your stats. What is your:
- Most Favorited Deviation: MCA Redux
- Most Viewed Deviation: Inside Kolner Dom v2
- Most Commented Deviation: Inside Kolner Dom v2

6. How many watchers do you have at this moment?

7. First ever watcher?

8. How many pageviews do you have at this moment?

9. What is your artist's title shown beneath your "status"?
"Self Proclaimed Genius"

10. What is your most "meaningful" work?
Wow. I can't pick just one. African Plain, The Majestic", and Three Hour Tour were all taken while traveling with one of my very best friends. They mean the most to me.

11. Best COMPLETED piece you ever did?
Busy Intersection

12. Work that took the longest?
Hmm... that would be Grand Ascension. I wanted it to be perfect.

13. DA artist who has influenced you the most?
olya without a doubt. Thanks pup. :hug:

14. What is currently the funniest thing to draw?
Everything I draw would be funny. I can't. :(

15. Your first ever giftart was to:
No gifts yet.

16.First ever giftart received was from:
I got some prints from my wishlist from an anonymous deviant. Umm ... thanks whoever you were!

17.. How many clubs are you in?

18.How long have you been here?
Since Feb 14, 2002.

19. Are you on any other art sites?
Not that I know of.

20. Can you remember the old DA layout?
Indeed. ;)

21. Are you still as passionate about art/poetry/prose as when you joined this site?
Without a doubt. Can't wait for the next trip.

No insightful wisdom to share this time. I promise, I'll have something to say next time. :giggle:

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Jenni: Hang in there sweetheart. :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:
Keeping people waiting: A sure way of exasperating people and putting bad thoughts into their heads is to keep them waiting long. That makes them immoral. – Neitzsche

It has been said that conflict makes a population stronger. In every confrontation, the strong will overtake the weak. The less organized will have their position exploited by the more methodical adversary. It would seem that on this fifth anniversary of the community, the members of <a>deviantART have a front row seat for events that will surely change this community forever. Myself an executive in a corporate structure, I sincerely feel for my friend jark. I call jark my friend even though I have never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. My interaction with him has been limited to pleasantries exchanged in the vastness of the Internet. As a subscriber to this community, I have always been impressed by the unparalleled access to the founders we all have. In my early days, I remember communicating on IRC with matteo about absolutely nothing. The fact that we as members are able to just "stop by" and have meaningless conversations with such visionaries is impressive … in any community. jark has occasionally made what would seem like a simple, "run of the mill" comment on my work or comments occasionally, and although I never told him how meaningful it was to hear from him, I am confident that he isn't active just for the recognition. As the creator of this "world", jark has really put his heart and soul into his creation, and by extension, into all of us.

It is this type of devotion … this type of sacrifice which proves to me that I am spending my valuable free time in the right place.  I have faced adversaries that have behaved as spyed seems to have behaved. In my case, I did exactly what is happening here. I "rallied the troops". I gathered my evidence and made the best possible legal case to support my position. I encouraged all of my supporters to conduct themselves in a calm, professional manner. There is nothing to be gained by threatening those with different opinions or the current group of admins. They are, like us, caught up in the drama that it unfolding, and as I'm sure many of you have read in any number of documents that are floating around galleries here, they do not have a unified opinion. Now, although I am not perfectly comfortable with being referred to as a sheep, or a warmonger, or any number of other colloquialisms that were used to describe the members of this site (evidenced by the transcript of the "leaked" admin forum), I still have a great amount of respect for many of the admins … both paid and volunteer, and it is that respect that is keeping me from being much more vocal about my feelings … and my opinions of management at this time.

I appreciate that jark and spyed have some issues to work out. But here's the thing. There is no benefit to the type of political posturing that many people are engaging in. It is not helping any of the parties involved, and it is only increasing the amount of animosity that is the growing cancer in our beloved community.

I have read suggestions and evaluations of the current situation … the "jark should do this" and "spyed should do that". But let me be the first to offer to help resolve the situation. If the parties involved are truly interested in resolving their differences, then I am volunteering to be a neutral "mediator" of sorts. I will travel to any mutually acceptable location to meet with both sides and their representatives to review all relevant documentation and propose an acceptable solution. Perhaps I would be willing to provide legal counsel that will not act on behalf of either party, but someone who will truly be impartial. Someone that will review the issues at hand and make a decision based on the facts as they exist. I have no ownership interest in this community, but I have derived hours and hours of satisfaction from interacting in this community. I have been through corporate takeovers and restructuring on more than one occasion. I will gladly lend whatever knowledge I can to the smooth resolution of the current debate.

What happens if we don't find a way to resolve our differences? In this case, there are groups of people that seem determined to be heard, regardless of the price. Our community is being torn apart by "factions" of deviants; each of the opinion that their stance is the correct one. Rather than ask a neutral party … a mutually trusted party to propose a resolution, this current downward spiral the community is in will be the end of our community (as we know it) unless some of us stand up and make a difference. Not by removing artwork … not by boycotting the site … not by threatening our fellow deviants … but by proposing realistic solutions to the problems. For the record, I am willing to provide those solutions. If spyed and jark are willing to mediate their issues and put an end to the current debate, I am willing to "foot the bill" for it. I love this community that much. Contact me gentlemen and let's reach a resolution to the current problems.

Now, I would be less than honest if I didn't disclose my desire to find a way that jark and spyed can reach a mutually beneficial conclusion to this problem. I don't want to lose jark as an active participant in determining the direction this community will take in the future. I don't want to lose the talent that spyed has displayed for taking this community to new heights. But I fear that it will be a moot point if we don't agree to begin somewhere. And before anyone feels the need to flame me for proposing that management figure out a way to work together … let me caution you that I have no problem defending myself or my opinions.

My personal opinions are nowhere near this cool, calm and collected. I have very strong opinions, and after having read all the versions of [the truth], I will go so far as to say that if I were in a position to resolve this current situation that is facing the community by some enlightened legal action ... by force ... by issuing an "edict" or some other directive, that I would be the first to step up and do so. If there is concrete proof that anything illegal or immoral has occurred, then I will be the first in line to suggest that the offending party be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

I've taken the first step and made a legitimate offer to help resolve this. I will wait to see if either party takes me up on it. And for the record … I love yellow and could really give a good damn about the opinions of those people that feel they have seen too much of it. I think the support and vociferous behavior of our fellow deviants is a perfect example of why this is a great community. Having said that, those of a different opinion should certainly be free to express themselves without any fear of retaliation or humiliation from anyone.  But let's not wait too long. The community cannot afford uncertainty for too much longer. I trust the true spirit of this place will inspire all involved to act in a timely manner. Neitzsche would be so proud. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.  

Note: olya is responsible for my desire to join deviantART years ago. Her photography inspired me to get involved. On this, the 5th anniversary of <a>deviantART</a>, I just wanted to say thanks pup.:nod:

Jenni: :hug: and :smooch:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". Hang in there. :hug:
Katie: Forever and ever.  :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:

Jark: Respect. :jarkinajar:
Goal and path.  Any are obstinate with regard to the once-chosen path. Few with regard to the goal. - Neitzsche

I recently realized that it had been over a year since I shared my unique insights with all of you. What better time than now to enthrall you with my acumen. Heh. :giggle:

The concept of GOAL and PATH are the same. But different. Today, as I sat in a wonderful social setting (a barbershop in the 'hood ... you know where I'm coming from SEStevens), I was taught a lesson in determination; the total desire to achieve a goal at any cost.

While waiting for my turn in the chair, I read a magazine, read The Wall St. Journal, and watched some mindless television shows. After being totally bored I noticed a line of ants running along the wall. I watched by myself - and for those of you who have been to my barbershop ... you know you can't do anything alone for long ... until a few of the other customers came over to see what I was looking for on the floor. After seeing the ants, they too could not tear themselves away. Some followed the trail looking for the "food source" ... a piece of Twinkie ... while others felt the urge to tell stories about ants at their house (like we wanted to hear that). It was here that the activity got good.

As I watched what would be an otherwise insignificant event, a beetle (or some beetle like creature) moved in to take the "load" from one of the ants. As this happened, the line of ants just moved around the beetle and the one ant in particular. I was amazed that no other ants stopped to help their comrade. For a moment, I thought ants were like people. They saw their "fellow man" ... umm, I mean "fellow ant" ... in trouble and did nothing. I was appalled, but I couldn't stop watching this bigger creature "beating up" on the much smaller ant. :no:

Now, many of the ants were carrying something, and they were very determined to get their "haul" home as quickly as possible. At first notice, it appeared that the aggressor, the beetle had approached the ant as he was trying to carry a piece of the Twinkie along the wall.  I don't know what "conversation" took place between the two insects, but it seemed that the "discussion" was about the actual item being carried. The ant tried to go around the beetle, but apparently, the beetle wanted the bread for himself. In this particular case, the beetle stood in the way of the ant achieving his GOAL; on the PATH for lack of a better term.  I wondered what the ant would do, because again, in this case, the beetle was much bigger and seemed determined to take the golden cake (I'm still trying to figure that out ... but OK).

Just when I had almost lost interest in the "event", a few other ants came to the rescue. There was a brief pause in the activity and almost without warning, the ants attacked the beetle. I don't know how many of you have actually seen nature at its brutal best, but I wish I had a camera with a macro lens. The ants methodically disassembled the beetle. There was thrashing about, and writhing, and flailing about. It was R rated! Literally 2 minutes went by and there was very little trace of the beetle remaining. I was amazed. And not only that ... I could have sold some popcorn to the "show" because at this point, there was no hair being cut because everyone in the palce was watching this. :no:

The point of the story is that the beetle stood in the way of the ant achieving his GOAL. He blocked the PATH and the ants collectively addressed the situation so their GOAL would not be threatened. In today's socioeconomic state, how many of us would stop to help a fellow "citizen" in need. We watch the news daily and hear that crime and murder are on the rise, and in many cases, crimes take place while people simply stand by and watch. In this case, the beetle picked the wrong day to stage a robbery. And before anyone asks me why I didn't "step in" to help the BEETLE in the event he was the victim ... one of my fellow brethren at the barbershop did just that. He stepped on the ants. ;)

*sigh ... it is getting far too easy to explain Neitzche* :rofl:

OK...I'm through rambling. I can't believe I have spent 10 minutes relaying this story. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have. ;)

Jenni: NYC :glomp:
Marcy: Still my girl. :hug:
Lorri: Still "the strength". :)
Kerry: :invisible:
Emily: Six squared. :nod:
Keri: Where did you go? ;)
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
One thing a man must have; either a naturally light disposition, or a disposition lightened by art and knowledge. - Neitzsche

Let's see what trouble I can get into here.

I was on a flight home recently and overheard a few people talking about the problem with today's youth. Not being one to butt into a conversation uninvited, I tried hard to bite my tongue while I listened to them complain about the young people in thier neighborhoods. They maligned the younger generation because they have no guidance, no motivation, and no pride in themselves.

In the next "round" of enlightened conversation, they talked about thier desire that the school system in this state vote to permanently eliminate the arts from the school curriculum because the savings would be significant. It would allow lower taxes for parents, and shorter school terms for the afforementioned unmotivated, prideless young people. It was here that I could was no longer content to listen to their stupidity.

I unbuckled my seat belt and spun around in my seat to join the conversation. I asked them what possible benefits could come from eliminating the only real education that students are receiving in today's educational environment. I was looked at like I was one of the useless young people that would be affected by the change in educational content.

I had planned to be polite until they challenged me to an intellectual contest. Apparently there was a magazine in the pouch on the rear of the seat that contained an article listing the twenty five most influential poets of the last 100 years. These misinformed individuals insisted that since I seemed to be a member of the generation who would look forward to shorter school days, but was somewhat misguided in my belief that the arts were a necessary component of good education, bet me $100 that I couldn't name half the people on the list.

I almost felt bad for them. After I named 15 of the 25 on the list in 2 minutes, I took their $100 and then told them five of the ten I left out. I laughed so loudly that "Angie", the flight attendant in our section, came to my seat and asked me to turn around, sit in my seat properly, and refasten my seat belt. "Slowly I Turn"...

She wanted to know what was so amusing. Since the gentlemen behind me weren't talking, I asked if she knew the author of Beowolf (OK, so it was a trick question ... not that I expected her to know that it's an Anonymous work). She walked away shaking her head.

The plane landed and I recited one of my favorite poems, "The Road Not Taken", while following the gentlemen to baggage claim. As the bags came, I suggested that the gentlemen stop by Barnes & Noble to pick up some Yates, Wordsworth, Dunbar, or Dickenson.

They looked at me with frustration and asked if I ever stop. I told them that my tenacity was a by-product of my classical education. As I walked away, I informed them that with the 4 authors I recommended, and the author of the poem I recited (Robert Frost), thier list should be complete.

Some people are so stupid. I guess that just because I looked young means that I can't read. The fact of the matter is that I "skimmed" the article while I was bored and trying to block out their stupidity before joining the conversation. It was such a good article that I put the complementary magazine in my bag about an hour before I was "challenged". That must be the reason there was no copy there when they checked to be sure I hadn't seen it. Of course, I knew the poets before reading the article. ;-)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Marcy: Still my girl. :heart:
Lorri: Still "the strength". :hug:
Kerry: You are wise beyond your years. ;)
Keri: Miss You. :(
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
They climb mountains like animals, stupid and sweating; one has forgotten to tell them that there are beautiful views on the way up. - Nietzsche

Have you ever sat at a resort location and watched the tourists? Every now and then, it's a refreshing change to just watch the people who don't live in a particular place try to fit in and look like they belong. Many times, you can find genuine emotion on the faces of children or adults when they realize that the destination they have chosen is every bit as beautiful or rewarding as they had hoped.

But on the other side of that coin, you can see the utter disregard for a location and its surroundings by some travellers who seem more concerned with buying a particular souvenier or getting their picture taken in one specific location than actually opening their eyes and enjoying all the things the location has to offer.

Speaking as one who lives near a popular resort and the Nation's Capital, I have spent time watching the tourists run around with their heads in their asses; moving so quickly through an area that they could not possibly have seen the real beauty of the place. The real crime here is that by only visiting the "popular" and recognizable locations, you could miss the REAL beauty. For instance, there are people who take the "guided tour" of Washington, D.C. that don't realize that the city is deteriorating around them. How would they know to travel to SW or NE D.C. to see some of the real beauty of the city. The sights may not always be pleasing to the eye, but there is beauty there just the same.

How would people who visit our beaches to lay almost naked under the sun realize that just off the beach (underwater of course) lay reefs and sunken Spanish gallions that are home to some of the most beautiful water creatures around. Well. That ... and the treasure.

Note to self: Take a scuba course so I can *ahem* photograph some of those creatured in thier natural habitat.   =p

More to the point of the quote, more often than not, people who have accomplished significant climbs can rarely describe what they SAW while climbing. I would love to be in that position because you can see for miles and absorb all the beauty nature has to offer. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll get that chance. I'm not afraid of heights as one might think. It's the falling off part that is keeping my feet firmly on the ground. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Marcy: Still my girl. :heart:
Lorri: Still "the strength". :hug:
Kerry: Age is just a number. ;)
Keri: :invisible:
Katie: Forever and ever. :)
Annika: *sigh*  :heart:
Those thinkers in whom all stars move in cyclic orbits are not the most profound: whoever looks into himself as into vast space and carries galaxies in himself also knows how irregular all galaxies are; they lead into the chaos and labyrinth of existence. - Neitzsche

*trying to prepare an insightful interpretation of this one*

For the last few weeks, I have not been around as much as I would have liked because the every day routine that has become my life has been interrupted. Until recently, I have been able to spend at least a few hours a day looking through the submissions in many of the categories here. But now, as a result of my "profound" state of existence, I have had to forego the simple pleasure of supporting my fellow artists in order to get my internal "galaxies" in order.

The "irregularities" that are occurring in the "vast space" that is myself have led to a bit of chaos and created a few obstacles or "labyrinths" that have kept me from being as active in the community as I would like to be.

Business trips, presentations, meetings, conference calls, lectures ...


Now, I'm feeling good about the fact that the tie-in to making myself profound by association (or was it communication) was an easy one.

There is one other way to explain my situation. I guess the whole concept comes down to one of survival. In this economy, it's good to be employed. Work first. Play later.

Now that the work is done, I'm back. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Aaron: Hurry back man. :D
Patrick: "Classic" Journey. ;)
Tom: Dont forget my t-shirt. =p
Marcy: Still my girl. :)
Fae: *waiting for some tea* ;)
Lorri: Still "the strength". :hug:
Kerry: Sorry I missed you in STL. :(
Keri: :invisible:
Katie: Definitely strawberry. :heart:
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
Poets treat their experiences shamelessly: they exploit them.  - Neitzche

This is completely true. And by the way, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. :)

I have seen some outstanding poetry here at deviantART, and the most powerful words seem to almost always come from personal experiences. Joy, sorrow, pain, outrage, and every other emotion can sometimes be best expressed through words and pictures (ok, ok... so I added pictures in there so Neitzche's quote would apply to artists too; this IS an art site). ;)

So keep it up! Keep teeling us about the things happening to (or around) you. Keep scaring us with the descriptions of the nightmares or life altering experiences you've had. Keep making us smile, and laugh out loud by sharing poems about the funny things your kids or friends have done. And we can all appreicate heartache, so we will "feel your pain" when you share your relationship stories.

The bottom line is... KEEP WRITING. We appreciate it. ;)

Now, on a personal note, today is my 1st anniversary here at deviantART. I want to say thanks to all the terrific people here that have supported me and provided constructive criticism of my work. I admire all of you. :)

Oops... almost forgot. Happy Valentines Day. :heart:

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Aaron: :D
Patrick: How do you like the photos? :D
Marcy: Oooohhhh ... studio equipment. :)
Fae: *eating my gummibears* ;)
Lorri:   Still "the strength". :hug:
Kerry: Miss you my friend. :(
Keri: Back atcha. ;)
Katie: Gotta go with strawberry. :heart:
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
Honest with ourselves and with whatever is friend to us; courageous toward the enemy; generous toward the vanquished; polite-always that is how the four cardinal virtues want us. - Neitzche

I wonder if this applies to the current state our country is in. First, let me say that I am not insensitive enough to think that every person reading this will be American, nor do I feel that everyone should share my opinions. I do believe that the words above should dictate our actions as a Superpower.

Now, I'm not going to break down the statement because there will be those small minded people that want to argue with me about my opinion, and I would hate to have to reply in such a way that would cause a policy violation on my part. :o But I would like to hear other people's opinions of how the US could improve its position.

If you don't understand how the quote might apply, I can't help you. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Aaron: :D
Marcy: Oooohhhh ... studio equipment. :)
Fae: *eating my gummibears* ;)
Lorri:   Still "the strength". :hug:
Kerry: Miss you my friend. :(
Keri: Back atcha. ;)
Katie: Gotta go with strawberry. :heart:
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
The first opinion that occurs to us when we are suddenly asked about anything is not usually our own, but only the current opinion belonging to our caste, position, or family; our own opinions seldom float on the surface. - Neitzche

Is this true? Let me think...

If someone were to ask me about some topic... I would think about it, come up with a logical answer, and reply. I don't think that I would necessarily conform to the beliefs of others, although I can certainly see that it happens.

Todays world is so complicated... there are so many "issues" to worry about: race, religion, sexual orientation, financial position, marital status, etc.

Having said that, I stongly believe that most people are strong enough to voice their own opinions - even at the risk of alienating someone close to them. If you ever doubt that this is the case, simply turn on any CNN broadcast and watch the residents of other countries willing to die over the very issues I outlined above; Holy Wars, Civil Wars, Military "Conflicts" that are only occurring because two groups of people have different opinions and neither side was willing to allow the other to think differently.

Now that I've made this issue much more philosophical than it needs to be, I would invite any of you to share one of your opinions here in an open journal - free of rebuttal or judgement because of your particular opinion. :-)

Leave me a unique thought or point of view and I will share my thoughts while keeping an open mind. And if by chance you are not able to share your opinon openly, send me a note and I'll get back to you. :D

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Aaron: Can't wait to see those party photos! :D
Marcy: 5700 baby. :heart:
Fae: *looking for my mistletoe* ;)
Lorri:   Still "the strength". :hug:
Kerry: You're wonderful. :w00t:
Keri: Getting a snowball ready to follow onestar's lead. ;)
Katie: Miss you my friend. :heart:
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
If curiosity did not exist, very little would be done for the good of our neighbor. But curiosity creeps into the houses of the unfortunate and the needy under the name of duty or of pity. Perhaps there is a good deal of curiosity even in the much-vaunted maternal love. - Neitzche

Before I get started, I think those of us with the means to help the less fortunate should do so at every opportunity. If you are successful and are not involved in some way in giving back, get in the game as soon as possible.

I only want to isolate the last part of the quote above. As I read this, it occured to me that perhaps what I perceive as my mother trying to be involved in every aspect of my life, is really some form of curiousity.

First, let me say that I am fortunate enough to have two parents that love me dearly. Both are healthy and I love them very much.

Now having said that... DAMN!

Is anyone else under incredible pressure to pop out grand children? In my case... barring some medical marvel or scientific breakthrough ... I won't be "popping" any out personally, but you get the idea. :)

As I was thinking about this, perhaps it's not nosy parents. Maybe it's maternal love disguised as "curiosity" that causes my mother to call me 12 times a day to say absolutely nothing. It could be maternal love disguised as "curiosity" that causes my mother to stop by my house and just redecorate ... spending my money mind you ... because she felt I needed a new look in this room or that one. Her last effort resulted in me buying a pair of "gorgeous" black and antique gold table lamps. She got "a deal" and ONLY spent $1300. Hell... I don't even use that room!

The more I think about it though, the more I realize that I actually enjoy having my mother around. I guess I should be grateful that my parents care enough to be involved in my life. This country is full of people that need a little love with no one to give it. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. :)

*thinking Neitzche knew we would need a kick in the ass when we were feeling frustrated over our parents' involvement in our lives*

Now that I've typed this, I realize how important maternal love is. I'm going to call my mom now. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Aaron: Backgammon? Why not chess? :D
Marcy: Miss you buddy :(
Fae: Missed ya in Vegas. Won $300 at blackjack. :w00t:
Lorri: The weekend is almost here.  :hug:
Kerry: You're terrific. :w00t:
Keri: Have you fed those fish recently? ;)
Katie: Can I have another Gummy Bear? :heart:
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
Why one contradicts: One often contradicts an opinion when it is really only the way in which it has been presented that is unsympathetic.  -Nietzche

This is a different type of position...

Let's see. Have you ever argued with someone simply for the sake of arguing? I do it all the time now that I think about it. Many days as I sit in my office, I play "Devil's Advcate" to the countless people that may stop in with an idea or an argument. In reality, I guess I am trying to "shoot holes" in their position not because I don't believe them, but because I want to make sure that their endeavor is successful...and besides, it's fun. :)

As Nietzche said, it's not that I intentionally contradict ... but the way some people present their argument leaves them open to attack.

For instance...

I just read , and I can't help but comment on it. The topic is President Bush. The author of the post goes into detail about how inept "Dubya" is. How life would be better if someone else were in that position (I won't name any names for fear of sparking another debate here).

I guess my reply to that forum post here will demonstrate that it's not a case of agreeing or disagreeing with what was said, but exposing another point of view to the topic at hand.

If I were to take a position on the post in question, I must admit that I would not completely agree with the blanket statement that "Dubya" is an idiot. While I do not agree with every decision he makes, I can't just cast him aside as insignificant.

The bottom line here isn't that I DO agree with asheromega or that I DONT agree with asheromega. The real issue is that I must disagree with the topic based on the fact that the way the argument is presented leaves one glaring issue unaddressed.

Quite simply... He may be an idiot. He may be the worst President in history. He may be a dullard (there are people that posted in that forum that should thank zero for the definition). But there is one fact that will always be glaring by it's existence...

He was smart enough to get elected. ;)

Now... for those of you who wish to start the whole "SELECTED (by the Supreme Court) vs. ELECTED (by the voters)" debate, I will hear your arguments here. :D

asheromega ... for the record ... Bring back Big Willy Style! ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Aaron: Quit your cryin'. Change your shirt. :D
Marcy: CoolPix is ordered. :D
Fae: Bring the chess set to Vegas. ;)
Lorri: Friends are the strength indeed.  :hug:
Kerry: Happy Birthday. :w00t:
Keri: I've got the homework answers! ;)
Katie: Thanks for the Gummy Bear. :heart:
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
Whoever knows he is deep, strives for clarity; whoever would like to appear deep to the crowd, strives for obscurity. For the crowd considers anything deep if only it cannot see to the bottom: the crowd is so timid and afraid of going into the water.   - Nietzche

Let me take a stab at this one...

I think the plain English interpretation here is that those that really "get it" can contribute clear, meaningful dialogue to any topic. Those who are only pretending to be knowledgeable will hide behind something other than direct participation and meaningful dialogue on the topic at hand to be SEEN as participating and therefore perceived to be more intelligent than they are.

In an effort to apply this theory to our wonderful community, one could argue that the participants in forum discussions are recognized as DEEP by their peers based on how much insight into any given topic is provided on a regular basis.

Stop in the forums here on deviantART and you will see some insightful commentary on, well, just about anything. You will see some valuable advice given or some thoughtful sentiment shared between people that only know each other (for the most part) by the avitar that appears next to their posts in this community. The quality comments and heart-felt sentiments are what define the truly DEEP deviants... the TRUE Senior Members.

Unfortunately, you will also see rediculous comments that have nothing to do with the topic, that are made by people who are making a useless effort to APPEAR deep ... or knowledgeable on the topic. People are hiding behind name calling and baseless humor for the sake of posting something to be seen. Now, don't get me wrong... there is a time and place for humor and all-around fun, but there are some topics that are intended to be serious that end up generating more fodder for the "flame wars" that take place here.

I guess the bottom line here is that those truely DEEP deviants will be able to participate in any conversation. They will know when to apply humor and when to be serious. They have something of value to add to any discussion and either knew what to say, or were wise enough to leave without making a comment. ;)

What does all this mean? Hell... I don't know. I was just letting you know that I too can be DEEP. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Marcy: I'm thinking CoolPix 4500. :D
Fae: Oh alright. 2 out of 3. ;)
Lorri: You are wonderful. *waiting by the hillside*  :)
Kerry: Wishes granted. :D
Keri: How 'bout them Boys! :o
Katie: Can you hear me yet? :)
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
Vanity Enriches. How poor would be the human mind without vanity! Thus, however, it resembles a well-stocked and constantly replenished bazaar which attracts buyers of every kind. There they can find almost everything, obtain almost everything, provided that they bring the right sort of coin, namely admiration. - Nietzche

How many of us could go through life without knowing the pleasure of a hearfelt compliment. Without seeing the joy on someone's face because you did nothing more than notice a new outfit they were wearing, or a new hair style. In today's society, life moves too quickly. We should take a moment to "smell the roses".

When was the last time you hugged a child and told them they were special, or told a friend WHY their friendship means so much to you? Sometimes, you have to plant the seeds to reap the fruit. If you pay compliments that are genuine, you will be amazed at how many you receive. Not that we should try to feed our egos mind you. :)

As for me, I enjoy a good compliment every now and then. Besides...most of them are well deserved. :D

For the record...I, for one, have no problem with my vanity. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Marcy: I see a camera on the horizon. :D
Fae: Umm... Check Mate! :o
Lorri: Can I have mine with marshmallows? :)
Kerry: May I have this dance? :D
Keri: Are you ready for some football? ;)
Katie: Miss ya. :(
Annika: *sigh* :heart:
A strange thing, our punishment. It does not cleanse the criminal, it is no atonement; on the contrary, it pollutes worse than the crime does. - Nietzche

Having stopped for a minute to think about this, I have come to the conclusion that there is some truth to it. I am by no means "soft" on crime. In my opinion, I feel that the punishment should fit the crime. Steal from me, and I will have no problem cutting your arm off. Attack me with bodily force, I will shoot you.

I believe that the crime rate in this country is what it is because there is no REAL penalty for committing the crime. In what world should you be able to "improve your quality of life" by going to jail. The fact that our prison system is somewhat broken is a part of the problem.

Criminals should not get better food and living conditions than the "less fortunate" members of our society. I guess if I were a homeless person, the thought of robbing, raping, or shooting someone would be appealing to me because (unless the person dies), I could pretty much guarantee that I will receive a "sentance" to some place with 3 square meals a day, in a climate controlled environment...for free.

What a concept!

Now, the fact that the tax payers foot the bill for this luxurious lifestyle just aggravates me. If I am going to pay for it...let ME help rehabilitate the criminal. There will be no food or electricity; no heat or air conditioning. No beds or high quality government issued clothing. Bring back the chain gang. Farmers have it rough working their fields to make "ends meet"? Hell...ends would be meeting all over the place. Send the prisoners to work on the farm...or on the state road crews...or to work on construction sites. Anyplace where they can really repay their debt to society by improving society.

I'm sure there will be the few people that post comments that begin "Simba...some people really need help." PLEASE! The reason we have all this crime is that people have realized that they can get away with it.

My response ... Maybe they should come live with you. ;)

OK...I'm through rambling. If you are new to DA, welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay here as much as I have.

Marcy: I need a hug (and a camera). :(
Fae: Knight to King 3. :)
Kerry: HI! :D
Keri: Dallas Baby! :D
Katie: You are STILL too cool. ;)
Annika: The kitty will always love you. :heart: