Archive for the ‘Wheeling’ Category

Even Spud Was A Contributing Member

02 Apr


Gabriel Thy


So Gabriel—intrigued by Sam and Reuben's reminiscing (see gray box below)—searches his own well-organized email accounts to report the following informal chronology...

Ah yes, the founding members urged to remember. Twas a hot summer evening curtly described as 7:53 PM EDT on June 20 1996 (imagine the marbled loveliness had I subscribed a mere four days earlier), that I signed onto this now fabled list, then called simply THE SPECTACLE (truth in advertising I suppose). But I then promptly forgot about the possibilities of becoming the mountain because it wasn't until August 9, according to my then impeccable records, that somebody who thought he was having trouble signing on began and ended complaining about computer problems, and the great divide between Windows and Macs. I responded: LOVE THE ONE YOU ARE WITH...or else be forever shaded as Irish author James Joyce begins his relationship with Nora Barnacle. The date also figures into the plot for his novel Ulysses; this date is now celebrated as "Bloomsday" by Joyceans everywhere.

From: “Sam Hutcheson” Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 20:38:38 -0400

gabe’s been around as long as i have, for the record. if not longer. back in the day, spud was a contributing member, even.

as i recall i’m entering my 6th or 7th year “around”.


> Holy shit. It just crossed my mind that I’ve been subscribing to > this list
> for, like, five years or something. How sad is that? >
> Hutcheson’s been here longer though….. >
> Reuben

Another month of quiet on the nothingness backburner droned on until on September 9, when, as life would have it, another fine pilgrim popped into place noting surprise that he'd received anything from the list he'd thought clinically dead. That person was none other than Laurent Oget, responding to a seed named Heidi who claimed to be having trouble loving the one she was with in complaining about certain uncertainties of the sign-up process on a unsettling list where the writing and the riddles had yet begun to strike their mighty blows for freedom among us. But lo and behold, suddenly, in a gust of curious whispering, wistful activity was now thrust upon us! Five or six notes in about five or six days from a pool of about five or six people (excruciating details hardly matter), were swapped, followed by another lengthy spell of silent days and lonely nights. During the last few truckloads of late September another three or so notes got passed around. But I soon needed a swizzle stick to mix my fantasy sunrises as another spell of absolute, uninterrupted silence, dead air, spectacular timidity, whatever, came rolling in off the lumpy horizons of who's busy now. Records show it wasn't until the very end of October and early November, 1996 that the list finally grew into its motivational wingz when somebody finally mentioned Debord, but it wasn't Curtis Leung who actually tracked down my phone number, and gave me a call which once we warmed up to each other we extended for a couple of hours after violently disagreeing online in a crossfire of notes...

Looks like my old friend Sam made November 5, his debut as one of the "first wavers" in crackling response to one of my own rather feeble repackaged jokes about two kinds of people. But December and January were also virtual lockdowns in nothingness withdrawal technique, with February 1997 accelerating to a trickle. As for Spud contributing, I think he made a couple of announcements but didn't really contribute to the list in any sort of definite way, although I could be wrong. The pantomime finally burst into the long-awaited noise in March, as the second and third waves rushed the beach head with footprints enough for a snapshot in three-quarters time. The rest as they say, is history because if you want a shot you've got to take it when it presents itself. Don't be a pecker.

Making a list, checking it twice,

Saint Nix

“I fought with my twin, that enemy within, ’til both of us fell by the side…”Bob Dylan

A Tarot Card Reading

08 Oct


The Hierphant


You are The Hierophant

Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching. All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors. The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.

The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

Have you joined a group that makes you feel like you belong? Are you following a course of instruction that has you deeply immersed in a new way of looking at life? Have you developed a newfound interest in your cultural heritage? Has work or family recently forced you to conform to certain standards? Is a person in your life or a philosophy you are interested in pushing you to behave to a norm? Expect to see The Hierophant card in your Tarot reading if you are submitting your individuality (consciously or unconsciously) to a group, a cause or an ideal.

The Hierophant is the embodiment of political and spiritual power that can only be found in groups. Even though the Hierophant is a man, he is merely holding his office until he dies and is replaced by the next Hierophant...
A man sitting on a throne is holding up the two-fingered sign of peace with one hand while holding a gold staff with three crossbars in the other hand. He is the Hierophant. He has an ornate crown and wears a red robe with white trim. On the trim are crosses that are also embroidered onto his white shoes. These rest on a red carpet. Behind the man is a gray wall with two large gray pillars on either side of him. Around his head and shoulders, the backing of some of his throne can be seen. In the card's foreground are two men kneeling before the Hierophant. These kneeling men wear ornate robes and have prominent bald spots on the backs of their heads. In between them are two golden skeleton keys crossed in an X pattern. The keys are directly beneath the Hierophant's feet.

The Hierophant is the medieval Pope. Unlike today's Pope, in medieval times, the Hierophant had his own army and the Vatican State was a sizable area of present day Italy known as "the Papal States." The Hierophant is the embodiment of political and spiritual power that can only be found in groups. Even though the Hierophant is a man, he is merely holding his office until he dies and is replaced by the next Hierophant, but it is the maintaining of the papacy itself over two millennia from whence its power emanates. The keys illustrated here are presently on the flag for Vatican City. The bald spots on the heads of the kneeling men are traditional shavings that medieval priests and monks would make to show their submission to the authority of the Pope. As the priests submit to the authority of the Hierophant, so to does the Hierophant submit to the authority of the very office he holds.

Best Of Times, Worst Of Times

20 Jun


Wheeling Man


I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around.

-Chuck Close

Best of times, worst of times. Who can turn down the opportunity to slap those famous opening lines from the Dickens story Tale Of Two Cities into the bush leagues every once in a blue moon. Of course it's never easy to harvest or improve the sums of the differences in a social climate where the past is all make-believe and the future is sheer mortal doom. Like a whistle in the dark, life streaks through the conscious mind and even on the brightest day on the fanciest calendar, no one gets a free shot at handling the lightning without consequences. But there are certain habits one notices, certain patterns occupying the people that slowly begin to creep into the register from which the artist takes his cut, much like that quickening recognition of a muted thud wrapped with solemnity as it nails the proud cold pavement with best intentions as most of the sentinel hurry forth with no intentions at all. This muted thud I seek to hear with my own two ears involves two cities, the large scrambling feral city of Washington, DC, the national capital, the international bullseye, its inverted thin skin tokenism masquerading as the beltway bulge, home sweet home to hardcore right along side equally limp dhimmicants and republicratz with two hands wrestling for a single jellybean, spitting images, split tickets, and enough black-bellied potholes of rumor and wreckage to make Stephen Hawking, now all hooked up to a robust afternoon, cry into his—shudder—box of joys.

Then there's Wheeling, West Virginia, a five hour drive northwest of DC. Sitting plumply on the east bank flood plains of the once mighty Ohio River, kindred parts of this sprawling echo from a rare past are pitted into the gnawing Alleghany foot mountains and yesterday's mail where tremendous energies once pumped life into and out of teh long striking surgeon of steel mills, nail factories, unique spanning bridges, and the winnowed glass-blowing strength hurling the holy ghost of cobbled workers into what was once a rather picturesque little city of its own, historic and dignified, polished and craggy, a special glint in the eye of the Industrial Revolutionaries, muscular, charming, artistic and stern.

To answer with a simple pleasantry, a couple of minutes tops, while I continue to be deluged by invitations to gigs and art openings, all of which require hours of time to oblige, and can I even count the number of times I DO oblige my friendly neighborhood culture vultures in my midst, oh yes, dear friends ALL, usually with a stiff penalty at the wallet level, but not always. In fact, most of my rocker friends and foes have obliged me with copies of their great rock record over the years. Show up fresh to gaggle for the night at one of my art shows? Insert laugh track now.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark once slept in Wheeling, packing supplies in a big haul sent down the Ohio from Pittsburgh, before heading out on their own historic expedition through America, the far west, and common fates of the uncommonly famous, while the city along with the steel industry grew.

Washington is experiencing a growth spurt not felt in many decades, a growth that is manifestly transforming the old city from the sleepy southern town role quite fond and accustomed to its own harsh summers and even harsher winters which had kept the natives to a pace recognized by its own heritage as a pace best suited for quiet relaxation, the very meaning of hip for generations straight back to its marshland founding. The protocols of laws, a spell of business, and then more relaxation.

Squealing Wheeling is gripped by the devastation of an antiquated industry. Don't get the wrong impression. The citizens of the OV stand bold against a double whacking by the same old enemies of an aging infrastruction, an tired unhealthy population, and foul weather. But whatever fondness I hold for this old city, and I am there in spades, there is no escaping the realization that Wheeling is bleeding from the inside out, rusting old factories now long dormant salute the sun-soaked orange evening skies in silence, rotting buildings periodically claimed by the river's raging high waters grow more dank with each passing season a child goes to school, or a college grad begins the long hunt for a decent job and place to live in an area trapped in a downward spiral with no way to outsource nature's repeated assault, hemorraging its population, its tax base, and its future shares of the American dream. Wheeling's local economy and general charm do not lack potential, but problems persist, accrue with every passing pledge, despite heavy doses of encouragement and optimism issuing forth from the astute mouths of those straddling the ambitions and aspirations of those dreamers, dangling by both thumbs along the watchtowers—both inside and outside the northern panhandle and area code 304.

Here's the rub. Wheeling Youth is a MySpace hub. And these kids in their 20s and 30s, despite exhibiting the very same human traits and foibles when up close and personal that we do here in Washington, DC, possess a very special gift. That is the gift of reciprocity. Of good manners. And more specifically, excellent Internet etiquette. When I write to one of my Wheeling acquaintences, remembering I spent only four months among them as I painted the Wheeling Wailing Wall at Yesterday's, they respond in kind. They actually return my mail, and usually answer my question if I post one.

Not so, with this tribe of so-called Washington DC pals, most of whom I have known 10, 15, 20 years or so. Of course they are also ALL artists, rockers, painters, or heavy in mantle of some other wishbang prima donna act. Too busy? To answer with a simple pleasantry, a couple of minutes tops, while I continue to be deluged by invitations to gigs and art openings, all of which require hours of time to oblige, and can I even count the number of times I DO oblige my friendly neighborhood culture vultures in my midst, oh yes, dear friends ALL, usually with a stiff penalty at the wallet level, but not always. In fact, most of my rocker friends and foes have obliged me with copies of their great rock record over the years. Show up fresh to gaggle for the night at one of my art shows? Insert laugh track now.

Isn't this why I left the promises of DC for the reality of Wheeling in the first place? To probe for myself, one fair smile at a time, whether or not DC is as friggin' all-consuming self-important as I perceived it to be, or had the whole snatch a niche world gone completely hardwired, baked to a crude narcissistic core in the course of my own single unexemplary lifetime?

Raised root-first in a very small town myself, I guess I'm just not a big city capo when all the votes are in the bag, although had I hit my stride just a weebit earlier I just might have taken this town. Square peg, trapezoid hole. Can't find the rulebook. Couldn't read it if I did. That's fine by me. Like the poet said, "They can talk about me plenty when I'm gone."

Or not. Doesn't really make a difference, now does it? And now my health plays tricks on me. Gotta love it...


The Beginning Of My Long, Long Endgame

07 Sep


Is There A Doctor In The House?


Going, going, gone. Here's a letter I wrote a couple weeks ago to an occupational medicine MD practicing at George Washington University Hospital in Foggy Bottom. It got a response. I landed an appointment, but as with four previous doctors all I got for my energies was blank indifference. They didn't even want to hear my symptoms or look at my skin. No blood test. Nor diagnosis. Nary a molecule of relief. I DID have to shell out for a co-pay, however, FIVE TIMES, por nada.

Now I'm on my sixth doctor. A vivacious young Iranian-American woman, whose father is a noted surgeon who fled with his family including a very young daughter, the Khomeini Revolution in 1979. That daughter, now Dr. Pantea Tamjidi, my wife's dermatologist, once experienced a very similar allergic reaction, is now on the case. Finally! Moving into my fifth month of this health crisis. My life has been miserable. Can't even wear clothing. Hair follicles feel like steel wool, clothing pressing down into skin, Flesh burns like windburn. Sleep patterns horrible. My work sporadic in the meantime. Symptoms began in West Virginia, and I have since broken lease, and moved from Wheeling back to DC, but this plague continues. Feels like the beginning of a long, long endgame. Find out results of blood tests tomorrow. She suspects a thyroid problem.

Dear Dr. Guidotti,

I was referred to you by a friend working with PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility). I am not a public employee, but I seem to be suffering from toxic exposure to fiberglass insulation, lead paint, black mold disease, singularly, a combination of these, or something else entirely. Please allow me to briefly describe my situation, as neither my regular internal medicine MD, nor two epidemiologists showed any interest in hearing the roll call of my symptoms, much less any contributing details of my case.

I spent 16 weeks (March 12-July 6) in a house where a large swath of exposed dirty fiberglass insulation was discovered three or four inches from the intake filter of the ventilation system in the 15th week. I had the fiberglass covered with duct tape by the superintendent of the unit, but I had by this time developed a contact allergic reaction to any personal effect which had been exposed to sixteen weeks of dust. Very old windows with confirmed lead paint issues sprayed around the room small particles evidenced by carpet debris and collected piles of chips on the wood floors. While no evidence of black mold has been found, the locale where my contamination allegedly originated (Wheeling, WV) is home to a rather prominent black mold clean-up industry due to frequent flooding in the area.

Frankly, I exhibited no symptoms until the third or fourth week of living in this unit, nor did I suspect ANY problem with the air or my body at this time. Within a week, however, of installing a window AC unit, I began noticing first this rather minor but persistent itching from what felt like pricking, or stiff bristles digging, or being propelled into my skin and clothing. At some point on this timeline, I noticed how much crud I had begun digging out of my eyes each morning.

A reasonably intelligent person, I tried to discover the origin of these symptoms without being an alarmist, but after twelve weeks of skin irritation about the arms, legs, torso, and face, and this rather odd twitching about the face and eyes, and inconclusive guesswork as to its causes, I was forced to leave the unit. I have been away for nearly a month now, and while the symptoms have receded negligibly in a cleaner environment, the roots of my problem still exist. My skin burns and feels puffy.

Of course there are many more details which will have to wait. But while we found the exposed insulation, an initial air quality control test for fiberglass fibers was negative. I’ve had no blood test to determine lead or formaldehyde levels, but my skin is hypersensitive to all personal effects (which have now been relocated to storage) infested with dust from the building in question. A visit to the ophthalmologist just this past Friday, August 11, also proved negative with regards to fiberglass in the eyes. Instead, the doctor said all my tear ducts were clogged with goop and foreign debris. I thought I felt somewhat better for about a day after he cleaned out my eyes, but the “generalized” symptoms have returned.

Please consider my case. I am at my wit’s end trying to “return to normal” or diagnose this on my own with no help from physicians who don’t seem to want to be bothered from the everyday routines of their practice. Frequent showers, eye washes, new clothing, and self- quarantining away from said personal effects have eased but not eradicated my symptoms. Even the electronic field associated with this computer “seems” to exacerbate my symptoms by supercharging the skin irritation and twitching of my slight facial hair and the burning sensation in the hands. I need someone to take me seriously. Perhaps you have room for me in your practice. I am not indigent, nor am I considering a lawsuit against my landlord. I simply want to get diagnosed properly, and return to health, if possible.

If an appointment with your department at GW can be arranged, I would be very grateful.

Thank you,

Gabriel Thy

4707 Connecticut Ave., NW
Third Floor, Suite xxx
Washington, DC 20008

Awesome View of Ohio River, Wheeling Island, and Opportunity

28 May


Watching The River Flow


Okay friends and foes, Chuck [Fithen] has posted a few pix he snapped with his cell camera of me on my first day of sloshing paint against the new Wailing Wall running some eighty feet along the second floor of Yesterday's Draughthouse & Stage, 1054 Main. The new bandstage with its backdrop of floor to ceiling triple-threat of push out glass windows opening onto Main Street a few feet above the marquee is an immediate draw. Once the windows are pushed out to reveal the picturesque landscape below now expanding to embrace the once mighty Ohio River whirling along the edges of Wheeling Island, and even beyond the western banks of the state of Ohio, a visual and spiritual welcoming includes a gorgeous panorama at dusk, a stunning canvas of color, old architecture, and future promise of a mid-America character still the home of the brave and strength of our nation.

Chuck says he's posting only a teaser; doesn't want to spoil the first impressions of all those curious slammers and slackers who pass muster and make it past security into he and his partner Raj predicts will be a seething house of sights and sound worthy of a space where such country music greats as Johnny Cash and Wilma Lee Cooper liked to once gather for a song and a beer.

Breaking news: The following statement will run the course along the top edge above the painting on the wailing wall at Yesterday's Draught House & Stage in Wheeling:

“As a cull poet and loner among the lonesome, I am now determined to speak for myself, to speak from every speck of my ignorance, to speak from whatever’s left of my virtue in the wisdom that I must shoulder my own perspective, or else I die without individuality, landscape, or divisibility by zero (the latter a latter day expense of extinction), a mere sad crack in the sidewalk of battles beneath the cold shadows of others who knew not me in my struggles, but only themselves in theirs.”

True sneak preview. Many of Chuck's close friends have already eyeballed the wall in progress and frankly, response has been overwhelmingly positive. Are they all liars? You be the judge. If any of you out to lunch friends of mine buckle to the highway jones, why don't you swing by and check out the black palace called Yesterday's. Opening soon, very soon...

Just sign me,


Ex-patriate of WDC
(the city that NEVER
speaks the truth,
by it)

Laissez Faire

06 May


Leave Americans Alone


I recall reading sometime in the late 80s or early 90s that the Federal government actually paid good money out of the public coffers to dissuade a vast number of pre-med students from continuing their education in the medical field, or more specifically, to NOT become doctors. Not because of higher standards, or the vastly improved health status of the population, or a glut on the global or regional market of doctors. In fact, during the same time this news was revealed, there was a longstanding attitude that America needed doctors, particularly in the rural areas, and anyone who has experienced city medicine at work would have surely agreed that more choices would have been preferable to the cha ching whiz bam thank you ma'am herd-like manner in which they were now being treated.

This program was conceived and operated as a companion to the program paying a farmer NOT to plant tomatoes, or cotton, or whatever else the government sees fit to control in deference, or paradoxically, in defiance of market forces. Yee haw! So much for the so-called laissez faire capitalism still propped up as the US economy's prime directive in all the textbooks but in reality is now sliding slippery down the greased throats of self-oriented politicians of both stripes. Frankly, I was stunned to see how far the now entrenched American way of keeping the workforce thin, and the prices up, had spred.

Keep standards high. But I tend to think that if every single American had a bonafide medical background, and I don’t mean surgeons, or pharamaceutical pushers, but good old-fashioned or new-aged holistic warriors, we would be a whole lot better off than we are now, facing this pandemic or that one. First, do no harm.
In this past Thursday's Pittsburgh Post-Gassette, the headline reads: FEDS PAINT GLOOMY PANDEMIC PICTURE. This should be no surprise. In this corruptive society of the spectacle, we understand that the media plays up the monsterous, the vainglorious, the wretched, injecting fear into every situation. After all, peddling fear and one's dwindling last chance at sex both sell in the marketplace of dualing opposites. If they don't we as pampered angst-riddled consumers believe that we are getting only one side of the story, that somebody is holding out on us, that the wool has indeed been pulled over our eyes. "Why didn't they warn us?" we bellow. Thus, the media has no choice but to pander to both the addicts of dysfunction and chaos as well as to those addicts of blind happiness and self-contentment.

The article starts like this—The White House yesterday unveiled a foreboding report on the nation's lack of preparedness for a bird flu pandemic, warning that such an outbreak could kill as many as 2 million people and deal a war-like blow to the country's economic and social fabric. It urged state and local governments to make their own preparations beyond the federal efforts.

…the report said a full-blown pandemic could lead to travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, massive absenteeism, an economic slowdown, civil disturbances and breakdowns in public order. It warned that the health-care system – from doctors and nurses (another blog on that situation) to suppliers of pharmaceuticals—is inadequate to meet the country’s needs in a flu pandemic. In the event, the article continued as if to emphasize, there may be insufficient medical resources or personnel to augment local capabilities.

…critics [of the report] were quick to attack what they said was the administration’s slow reponse. Sen. Ted Kennedy, said the White House report represented the third attempt to write a flu plan, suggesting that no amount of revision can disguise the fact that other nations have been implementing their plans for years, while we are waiting to read ours for the first time today. He added, “The United States is at the back of the line in ordering essential flu medicines, and we’re at the bottom of the international league in having a coordinated national strategy.”

After decades of struggle against the basic unfairness & numerous pitfalls of the American brand of capitalism which leads to accumulation with no end in sight at the top, made possible by a battalion of laws written by the rich for the rich, who by nature of the numbers racket, traffick in warfare against the mere traces of trickle down integrity the lower classes not equipped with brilliant genius or drop dead beauty, both of which tend to open mighty doors that remain closed to the grunts and dreamers—unwilling to sell their dreams for a shekel or two in the tar pits of what's left of American industry—must make do with, and...

...after studying the frosty idealism of failed Communism and all of its sickening abuses and blind alleys, it was philosopher Friedrich A. Hayak who finally convinced me of the superiority of the Western system. The quickening point was a simple one, a mathematical one. In the absence of a omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent dictator who would give to all who asked (don't tell me God is the answer, if God's not the question), a centralized government simply can't REACT to market or intellectual forces with due diligence, in a timely fashion. But in the American system, MOST players, level field or not, have the opportunity to REACT quickly to those UNFORESEEN forces.

So why is America in the business of regulating any industries in terms of how many this, how many that we need at any given moment? Besides, what harm would a few extra doctors in this world have caused? Yes, weed out the bad ones. Keep standards high. But I tend to think that if every single American had a bonafide medical background, and I don't mean surgeons, or pharamaceutical pushers, but good old-fashioned or new-aged holistic warriors, we would be a whole lot better off than we are now, facing this pandemic or that one. First, do no harm.

Even Places Like Wheeling Can Be Turned Around (On A Dime)

03 May

Wheeling Youth

Wheeling Youth


The DIY work ethic has never been of more importance than it is now. As big business continues to whistle in the wind while storing up riches for itself and dumping on the little guy in every field, including the art industry, what better time to revisit a couple of books that helped motivate me to move to Wheeling in the first place, out of Washington DC, away from my supportive and loving wife, and into the wheeze of West Virginia decay.

In two books, artist & sculptor Eric Rudd, outlines his manifesto for artistic and financial freedom in the often corrupt and always competitive business of making and selling art, which, he adds, is also about the making and selling of oneself. Those two books,The Artist Studio/Loft Manual (For Ambitious Artists and Creators) and The Art World Dream (Alternative Strategies For Working Artists), contain fistloads of great information in constructing new strategies in open rebellion against the large city, in particular, the NY, LA, Chicago art scenes in favor of founding one's own gallery, owning the space rather tahn tossing money away on rent, plus other provocative ways to implement one's own creative scheme in fulfilling rather than enslaving one's art. It's a must read for those ambitious artists who don't see much hope in getting recognized by the fickle and manipulative art establishment.

It was to this end, that I scoped out Wheeling this spring for relatively inexpensive studio & gallery space. Its growth potential is definitely seething just beneath the surface tension of old industry decay and new life bursting at the seams to stay in their cherished Wheeling with its historic past, and phlethora of old abandoned buildings of downtown due for a new influx of capital interest, ripe for the pickings. With its central location to cities in the midwest and eastern seaboard, plus the rise of Internet, even places like Wheeling can be turned around from its decades old economic slide and rebuilt to modern specs on a dime.

Stay tuned. Today the STEEL & GRISTLE is just a glimmer in my eye, but perhaps, to lift a phrase from Jean Genet, I am indeed the soldier who is to come...

But no need for such headiness. Upon arrival I was soon put in contact with Chuck. With the much anticipated opening of Yesterday's Draughthouse & Stage here in downtown Wheeling in a few weeks, life was beginning to open up as night to a candle. After meeting Chuck, Yesterday's man-in-charge, he gave the wife & me the eyes wide shut guided tour through nook & cranny four floors thick (it's gonna be a monsterous rock venue) and offered me hanging space in the foyer behind the vintage glass-encased direct lighting tombs of glory so I'll be exposing eight to ten of my larger works to every pair of eyes that enters the bar. Less than a month in town. Now that's what I'm talking about...

Thanks Chuck! And props to you too, Justin, for the good word. Glad to be in Wheeling. Now it's time to make a difference!


Spammers Win, I Lose: Correspondent In A Petty War

23 Apr


Classic Cleavage of Cyd Charisse


After seven plus years of running my own email server from home, I am finally ready to admit defeat at the hands of the enemy. Continued crashing of my once quite reliable mail server due to continuous and unstoppable viral spam attacks (literally, a denial of service blitzkrieg) have taken their toll psychologically, so I have decided to toss the whole smarmy POP/SMTP protocol into the dustbin with other once dreamy failures I have birthed in these miscreant times. Massive cleavage. The endless expenses and long tiresome hours of attempted spamblocking are no longer worth the fleeting glories of Internet self-reliance. This Dutch boy has done lost his flavah...

As I ponder the considerations any dirty-fingernailed war correspondent must never forget, I realize I will be forced to use some other slave form of digital communication. This DIY movement is great when one can rally others less driven to pile into your own creative inertia, but of course I've never had the privilege, so otherwise it's long heavy haul. It's times like these when we can take solace in some of our more classic cleavage. Checked out Cyd Charisse, did you? (But of course, I need some form of email, now don't I?) The choices are slim. I've long despised & avoided all those junk-infested web mail offerings, and my current ISP has been problematic in the past, can you say Verizon, so I'll cling to the fog on this decision for as long as I can hold out.

Meanwhile, my web servers are back in action. That's a load off, as I nurse a nasty ear, nose, and throat infection. Spent four and a half hours at the Wheeling walk-in clinic yesterday just to get a script for antibiotics. What's left of full health is still a few days away, but I am securely in recovery mode at this writing. My sweetie's back at home, and I'm all alone again, cast into an experimental exile of my own making. This is going to be a tough year. Just like all the others.


Technology Alert! Sniff, Snatch & Scroll

18 Apr


Technology Meltdown


Sometime between 10-11 AM this morning, my web, mail, and DNS servers went poop. I suspect that the mail server I use is the culprit, and despite having technology in place to automatically restart the machine if the web server fails, the mail service I run does not utilize this technology. This mail server software has functioned brilliantly until a few months ago since 1998. I suspect a viral attack of some sort or another although I have found nothing directly linking several odd symptoms with any corrupting or corrupted file. That said, this machine currently requires manual rebooting, and alas, both my wife and I are hundreds of miles away from it as of this writing, and it won't be until sometime late Sunday, April 23 before one of us can restart the machine. standard e-mail, and no SCENEWASH PROJECT or STEEL & GRISTLE websites until then. Of course, MySpace is unaffected. I apologize to those many of you, thanks to Chuck, who have been or would be checking out my paintings in anticipation of the Grand Opening of YESTERDAY'S in a couple of weeks.

I'll post another announcement when all is well again, and I suppose I need to seriously consider new digs for my websites, or make the effort to flush out this culprit, whatever it is that freezes up a low volume mail server that has cruised for more than 7 years without EVER crashing, to now taking a dive every couple of weeks or so, and as always, at a most inopportune time.



11 Apr

With little idea of how emphatically alert
the carrion forces of irony would approach me
in this odd doohickey state of mine,
I was celebrating with moving trucks
and farewell glimpses like signals from another frontier
that I, yes, the royal roving eye
had finally escaped the nation's capital after twenty-two
hostile years of stifled scream, fish tales, and orgasm,
my formidable punk rock years frothing and frosted beneath me,
punishment enough I had hoped for choosing the prophetic muses
of blathering fifth angel guitar heaps over the deadly aims
of the finely papered greed and arrogance creeps
the city of Washington breeds, imports, and exports
across its continental colonies and beyond, far beyond,
gesture control, this leering lawmaking
jeering jawbreaking city's major industry,
and by that I mean ONLY industry...

but obviously I had miscalculated the odds—
the shady odds not even a straw hat hombre from south of the imaginary
Mendoza line as legal as lint, can beat. Flattened by repeated failure,
and by failure, I mean absolute and uncompromised failure,
I had become nothing more than an aching suburb of my former self.
I had gone west by God. In smutty nutty wisecracking Wheeling
                      West Virginia
I soon found myself smack dab in the middle
of the next pygmalion effect.

Allow me to elaborate my first full week
here on Main Street in Victorian Old Town, I saw,
and by that I mean O-L-D, the flaking, rotting, stinking carcass
of a former glory gone desperately poor, I saw myself
perched eighty feet on a bluff above the historical
but now quaint yet periodically swelling, raging,
bank-defying Ohio River down below.

First week here POTUS came to town,
a speech at the Capitol Music Hall,

Floods in Wheeling, nope, in DC.
Presidential motorcade.
punk city, nope, wheeling, massive tats & nose rings—
few hicks, lots of itching though.

[ 2006, Wheeling, WV ]


"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""