Okay, so, Hello!

below you’ll find the best of our previous blogs that have run along similar themes, with some more exuberant digressions into roadside attractions, outsider art and peculiar sculpture. those dusty old blogs can be found here and here . there’s a lot of pictures that need to be brought over as well, but being out far enough that satellite internet is our best option means we have to go into town for large uploads.

there’ll be fresh content here in a bit.

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 2:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Dr. Tinkerpaw

In the beginning, Beal says, “I had no more in mind of doing this than growing feathers.” But now, he proudly claims, “It’s the finest monstrosity this side of hell.”

By most accounts, Beal was born twenty miles up the coast from Cambria on June 26th, 1896. He was orphaned at age ten when his mother, a Klamath Indian, lost her life in the San Francisco earthquake. He never knew his father. After a series of orphanages and odd-jobs, he landed in vaudeville, performing with a one-legged bicyclist and a fearless stunt dog at the World’s Fair in Toronto during the 1920s. The climax of the act, as Beal explains it, occurred when he would feign heat prostration and fall spread-eagled on the ground, at which time the one-legged bicyclist, pedaling furiously, would aim his front tire directly between Beal’s twitching legs. Just a split-second before certain disaster, the bicyclist would execute an amazing tumble maneuver, flip the bicycle completely over Beal, and land safely on the other side. Beal says the trick never failed, although at the same time he admits he hasn’t fathered any children in his lifetime.

“If I could remember everything, I’d be a walking encyclopedia,” Beal says, whenever you broach a subject he doesn’t feel particularly interested in. Then he’ll wink one of his periwinkle blue eyes at you and say, “If only this old boar’s nest could talk….”, waving a gnarled hand about the dark and musty bedroom, “There’s so much history here.”

“Seeing is knowing,” is another phrase you’ll hear over and over again if you spend any time at all with Beal. “People see things the way they want to see them,” he bellows, shaking his crooked cane like Ahab going down with his whale, “They don’t see things in re-Al-ity.”

Beal has fought for the rights of the deer, raccoon, mountain lion, and the Monterey pine while the “Madame Rich Bitches” and “Doctors Stoopntakit” blithely go about building four-car garages and superfluous little stores upon which they insist on bestowing cutesy names like Sewtique or The Quiche Wagon.

A sign in his kitchen reads, “Every man deserves at least one good woman and one good dog in his life,” but Beal never married (“I’m a member of the Detergent Club: work fast and never leave a ring.”)

“I’m a big rebel,” Art Beal has said. “I’m the biggest revolutionist that ever put on a pair of shoes. I revolt against anything, everything, and even that. Whatever it is, I revolt against it….”

As our interview was ending, I spoke to him about the problems of bureaucracy and the generalized idiocy that has caused architect Warren Leopold to give up building houses. I noted that it would be impossible today to get away with building a structure like Nitt-Witt Ridge, even though professors of architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have studied it with awe. Art agreed, saying, “You can’t do this anymore. You got to get a license, a permit, and be a damned engineer. A licensed engineer. It’s getting so you got to have a license to fart….”

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 12:46 am  Leave a Comment  

paul springer

Springer has been collecting strange animals for 27 years, ever since he bought a 5-legged calf in Florida. Many of his animals are stuffed at “Ripley’s” locations from Wisconsin Dells to Orlando.
Springer no longer displays his odd animals at the State Fair, as he did in the 1970s and 1980s, but does buy and sell them. Farmers, animal dealers and veterinarians know of his interest, so when something strange is born, Springer gets a call.

we passed the places in the pasture where Springer has rigged hanging salt licks and fly-brushing curtains for the comfort of his cattle, we came to a place heavy with the smell of cinnamon.
“That’s candy,” he said, pointing to a 55-gallon drums filled with gummy cinnamon bears. “The cows and horses like it.”
Springer buys reject candy from a manufacturer in Milwaukee, and feeds it as treats.

Susan Lampert Smith writes about the people and places that make Wisconsin unique. Send her story ideas at ssmith@madison.com or care of the Wisconsin State Journal, Box 8058, Madison, Wis., 53708.

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 12:20 am  Leave a Comment  


Contrary to contemporary opinions, the Hodag is neither indigenous to West Virginia or to caves. The first known hodag (Bovinus spiritualis) was captured near the end of the 19th century near Rhinelander, Wisconsin by one Eugene S. Sheppard and two companions.

Evidently Sheppard, a former forester, was attracted by the hodag’s odor at the headwaters of Rice Creek in Oneida County, where he was able to trail a Black Hodag to the cave in which it lived. The cave entrance was then blocked with large blocks, leaving only a small hole through which was passed a sponge soaked in chloroform on one end of a long pole. The hodag was rendered unconscious, captured, and transported to Rhinelander, where it was subjected to public viewing for a small nominal fee.

The Black Hodag had “the head of a bull, the grinning face of a giant man, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with a spear at the end.” It lived in the dense regions of nearby swamps, feasting mostly on mud turtles, water snakes, and muskrats, although it did partake in an occasional human. The beast had the transmigrated soul of one of Paul Bunyan’s oxen and a very obnoxious odor. This odor was so rank that the residents of Oneida County burned their woods for seven years in an effort to be rid of the beast.

Mr. Sheppard was also able to catch a female hodag after noticing that hodags only slept by leaning against trees. He simply cut down the tree, capturing the hodag. The two were successfully bred, and the result was thirteen eggs, all of which hatched. Sheppard taught these hodags a number of tricks, which he hoped to show for a profit.

It should be noted that although the Rhinelander Daily News “advanced the theory that the hodag was a missing link between ‘the ichthyosaurus and the mylodoan’ of the ice age,” some disbelievers proclaimed that the hodag was simply a large dog that had been covered with a horse hide and displayed in poor lighting. These people further claimed that the word hodag was a combination of the words “horse” and “dog.” However, as any student of Latin knows, Bovinus spiritualis means drunken ox, which can certainly not be confused with any dog in a horse hide.

There are postcards of the hodag available in Rhinelander. It is the author’s belief that the hodag may have migrated to West Virginia with the extensive logging in the 1900’s and, after finding a lack of swamps, which are usually found only on flat land, the hodag had to resort to living in caves. There are no early reports of a hodag with one leg longer than the other, so this may be a recent adaptation to living underground. One can only speculate if the hodag sleeps only by leaning against a speleothem.

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 12:08 am  Leave a Comment  


wet polyurethane foam sprayed over gigantic balloons to form the frame of this low-cost, energy-efficient structure. As J. Thomas Gussel, proponent of foam construction for the layman explained, “It’s like turning over a Styrofoam cup and living in it Designed by architect Roy Mason in the early Eighties could be assembled in three days. Another thing of interest. The creator (Bob Masters)and architect (Roy Mason) published a book in 1983 called “Xanadu: The computerized house of Tomorrow and How It Can Be Yours TODAY!” I found the book used on Amazon(around $10), in great condition. Parts of the book text are a bit cheezy, but it gives a wonderful insite on how Xanadu came about and the theories behind it. There are also a few beautiful color pictures of the Xanadu that was built in the Wisconsin Dells, which has since been demolished. They were created by inflating large, walk-through balloons and spraying them with foam. After the foam hardened, doors and windows were cut out, and fireproofing and paint applied. Roy Mason an true pioneer of the integrated home controls industry was killed, murdered actually in Washington. Roy was the principal architect of one of the first integrated homes Xanadu. It was featured tourist stop near Orlando in the early 1980’s. Roy was the first Executive Director of the Home Autmation Association. He will be missed. The life and work of Washington Architect and Designer Roy Mason will be honored at a Memorial Service on Wednesday, 17 July at 6pm at the Washington Hilton (Georgetown Room) in Washington DC. The service is planned in conjunction with the annual “Future Vision” conference of the World Future Society, which Mason served as architecture editor for many years. Mason was known for his innovative freeform foam buildings such as “Xanadu – House of the Future” in Orland FL, and the “Mushroom House” in Bethesda, MD. He pioneered the concept of the “smart house” that adjusts itself to its occupants needs. Examples of Mason’s work, including blueprints, sketches, and photos will be on display in the Exhibit hall throughout the conference, which runs from 15-18 July. For more information call the World Future Society at 301-656-8274. Anyone wishing to speak at the service or loan materials for the exhibit may call M.J. Vilardi at 202-337-3340. 4800 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy Kissimmee, FL 34746-5334 Xanadu-Foam House of Tomorrow PO Box 422 , Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 608-254-6096 An air balloon is used as a mold and the layer of 20cm polyurethane form is fabricated. An air balloon extracts the air after fabrication and is correcting husks by handmade business outside polyurethane form. This form is not as outside husks and it serves also both as interior finish and thermal insulation. He wanted to try out the slide from the upstairs kid’s room

it looks like it needs to have a “brow” formed over each exterior window & door opening. The whole thing could then be re-coated with that insulating spray foam that contractors coat commercial poultry house roofs with to get that gleaming white hard coat that would cover any flaws or repair work. House of the future notwithstanding, the R-Value of this thing must be unsurpassed, and Environmentalists (the non-screwy kind) who often receive undue deference on county boards, etc. really dig R-Values, as well as the idea of keeping this thing out of the landfill. There might also be a local yokel in the general vicinity of the Xanadu who would fancy seeing the structure restored, and who also happens to own some nearby property. Maybe this is the direction to go in. Warren Thomas, Gainesville, FL

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Notes on being a bit brighter

We live in the Age of Information. In fact, some commentators are describing the youth of today as Generation i. We are all concerned about the operations of the so-called Information Superhighway, but the real Information Superhighway is the infinitely complex network of neurons and synapses within our brain. Science has identified specific herbs and the fatty acid DHA as ideal supports for the clear and proper functioning of these neuronal pathways. New Chapter’s Supercritical Neurozyme brings together a multifaceted and patent-pending formulation of these scientifically and traditionally confirmed herbal supports, which provides a safe and easy method to promote the long-term clarity of our mental functioning.*

* GINKGO Used by millions and confirmed in scientific research to promote neurotransmissions and enhance cognitive function*
* CAT’S CLAW Recent research at the Federation of Societies for Experimental Biology showed a modulating effect on beta amyloid oxidation and a significant synergy with ginkgo*
* GOTU KOLA Traditionally revered in India for memory enhancement and shown in scientific research to counter beta amyloid oxidation*
* ASHWAGANDA Traditionally regarded in India to support mental clarity, shown in recent research to increase stress tolerance and counter acetylcholinesterase.*
* CHINESE CLUB MOSS Traditionally used to treat inflammation, shown in modern research to counter acetylcholinesterase*
* BACOPA (Brahmi) Traditionally regarded for anti-anxiety and anti-fatigue effects, recent research shows “bacosides” support mental clarity and learning*
* DHA Supports brain health and neuronal membrane integrity*
* CLOVE According to USDA, nature’s richest known source of the phytonutrient called eugenol which accentuates DHA Omega 3 and is shown to inactivate free radicals like superoxide and promote nerve cell health*
* ROSEMARY The traditionally revered “memory herb” which USDA database confirms contains at least 8 phytonutrients to inhibit the neurotransmission “challenger” acetylcholinesterase*
* CHAMOMILE AND HOLY BASIL Dual extracts offer stress cortisol reduction and phytonutrients apigenin and ursolic acid to reduce COX-2 initiated inflammation*
* RED WINE A rich source of phytonutrients including specific flavonoids that are shown in epidemiological research to be associated with mental clarity and healthy mental functioning*
* MELISSA Reported historically to “renew youth” and “strengthen the brain”, recent research shows it contains multiple phytonutrients that concentrate in the hippocampus “learning center”*
* GINGER Counters a wide range of inflammatory compounds, offers many anti-aging constituents that inactivate disruptive free-radicals.*
* SAGE Recognized in Traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic traditions to promote calmness and mental clarity*
* TURMERIC Delivers curcumin and other essential anti-aging phytonutrients that inactivate free radicals and reduce inflammation*
* PAEONIA Revered in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a systemic tonic, contains phytonutrients that support healthy neuro- transmission*

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

old notes never die.

The very name Ktesibios means He who lives as a maker of things The very name Ktesibios means He who lives as a maker of things

Totally off the mark. Written in the dust of Alobar’s mantle after Kudra had dematerialized was a word written in Alobar’s now dead lanuage meaning lighten up. That word was “erleichda.”

*somewhere out there is a site on the ancient carny art of paper tearing.which i should learn. larry beener was the king of paper tearing.

*find copy of johnny patterson’s nightmare (1880 great london circus)/eqestrienne (1905 l’hippodrome b’rd declichy, manuel orazi. societe’ dimpressions d’art, paris)

also realized today that kinotropy in the difference engine looks less like the shadow puppet thatre i imagined and more like a light bright/ballpark board arrangement. i should find out if there is anyone actively working in this field. wouldn’t it be garand to program thousands of thrift store lamps into a giant screen of some sort.
i feel like not talking slows down life. allowing me to enjoy transient states and stave off the inevitable.

*look into bent fork art
* make tractor seat chair one day

>sidi- tom tom – run away slave community in louisiana. on no maps. no zip code. population supposedly prone to clairvoyence

“me and jim went all to peices with joy and began to shout whoop jamboreehoo!!” huck finn in tom sawyer abroad

things the minneapolis art museum taught me; bottle caps and poptabs make scales. they make nails with shiny white heads. and cookie tins can be pounded into form to great effect

simple milk paint recipe; mix instant nonfat dry milk w/ warm water to make thick smooth syrup add pigment as needed. grape juice make purple blue

the gerdan youth center is located on chestnut st. corydon east of square

etholouges- “painters of manners” first mime-like things

if ever i start a candle recycling initiative again, i can use new albany coffe shops and not step on the old louisville candle makers toes.

maybe some of the moldings on old louisville home could be repated as border to falls hours bills

trumpet vines attract humming birds, surve frost but are bad about runners

currants need extreme cold/ northern european conditions

when the art cart erupts after it’s prolonged dormancy there will be t- shirt that reads “ART IS DEAD!! and all i got was a chance encounter w/ two strangers using it’s corpse as a marionette”

and that takes us back to june of ’04


no mention of;
four white horses and a brass band- violet mcneil
bickerdykes curiosities of ale and beer

but found were;
Author is tuli kupferberg
Title is 1001 ways to live with out working
Sorry, can’t find the “1001 ways to live with out working” in the in print database

TITLE: The barter book
by Dyanne Asimow Simon,List Price: USD 8.95

TITLE: Go: A Novel
by John C. Holmes
ISBN: 1560254246
Publisher: Pub Group West
Publish Date: 01 October, 2002
Binding: Paperback , 344 pages
Weight: 0.8 pounds
List Price: USD 15.95

TITLE: The Cowardice of Amnesia
by Ellyn Maybe, Exene Cervenkow, Exene Cervenka,
ISBN: 1880985586
Publisher: 2.13.61 Publications
Publish Date: 01 May, 1998
Binding: Paperback
List Price: USD 10.00

TITLE: Saints Alive
by Bryan Green,
ISBN: 0880280298
Publisher: Forward Movement Publications
Publish Date: 01 January, 1977
Binding: Paperback 5.45

Author is Young, James Harvey
Title is The Toadstool Millionaires: a Social History of Patent Medicines in America Before Federal Regulation $43

in rebel hearts, fella mentions a tree that the locals nail coins to in order to have their wishes fufilled, it killed the tree though….there are also shoe trees and the grandfather tree in steinbecks to a god unknown…perhaps there will be a tree that grant’s wishes on the land i track down, but i need to figure out what to offer it without killing it, it’d also be nice to go ahead and have a roadside attraction that accepted any type of localized currency available. we could liter the door with ithica hours accepted here, falls hours accepted here, baltimore bucks accepted here…it might be worth it both in good will and in publicity. you could save up enough of each type of currency to either do some feild operative shopping ar bestow it in a grant to a worthy crafts person.
Although this fire making technique is not primitive technology, it is worth mentioning in terms of survival skills. Fire can be produce by chemical reaction using potassium permanganate mixed with antifreeze from a car radiator or glycerin. Potassium permanganate used to be found in first aid kits and was utilized as a mild antiseptic. Adding a few drops of antifreeze or glycerin to potassium permanganate will cause the mixture to instantaneously burst into flames.
CAUTION: If the chemical reaction is not successful, do not neglect the mixture because it may start to burn. Always dispose of any unsuccessful attempts by burying the mixture with sand and dirt, then pouring water on the spot. Bury any flammable materials that have been in contact with the chemicals. Also pour water on the buried materials.

Create your own fire starting tinder with petroleum jelly, cotton balls (100% cotton), and an empty film canister. Saturate the individual cotton balls in petroleum jelly. Then store the cotton balls in the film canister. That’s all there is to it. Whenever you need a reliable tinder to ignite your campfire, take out one of the cotton balls, fuzz up the edge by pulling on the loose cotton fibers, and light it with a match. The cotton ball will burn for a long time, enabling your twigs and logs to catch on fire

“peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god”
“i am always journeying back the source”…he was a source-rer
“you may refer to me as a romantic or a mystic as often as you find it helpful, but please remember those labels are your own” amanda-roadside
“….has eaten at many tables but has not been nourished”
>reference to some culture where the word “to breathe” is the same as poetry
>amanda in roadside brushes her teeth with strawberries…whitens teeth and pinkens gums
“like a riot cop charging through the tear gas of his own breath”
“road side attractions like toys on asphalt shelves”

# Plan to have your lunch at around noon local time. This is easy to overlook if you’ve been snacking at gas stops, but to find the best places you have to watch for where the locals gather and they only do so at lunch time.
# Plan to stop early each evening – no later than 5 PM. If you need to make miles, set the alarm and start your day a bit sooner. When traveling the two lanes, most of the towns you see on your map will be too small to have a motel, and those that do fill up quickly – especially if there’s a local attraction. You’ll need to start looking early to have options.
# Riding two up wears your rear tire more than riding alone. The folks where you had your bike serviced didn’t know you were planning to ride double for the next 3 thousand miles when they checked your tires. Have a look at them yourself before you go, and do a quick visual at each gas stop just to make sure you’re getting no unusual wear patterns.
# Check your oil frequently.
# Order an official state highway map from each state you plan to visit well ahead of your planned departure. On the web you’ll find the maps either at the state DOT or the state tourism web site. Don’t count on picking them up at the state rest stops because those stops are mostly found on the Interstates, and the back roads you’re traveling won’t have them.
# Obtain a list of dealerships for your brand of motorcycle for each state you plan to visit. Some manufacturers provide maps with the dealerships marked. Some can provide you with a master phone number that you can call to find the nearest dealership. Either way, make sure that no matter where you are, you have some way to reach mechanical help should the need arise.
The most space consuming items you’ll take will be your riding gear. You’ll be wearing most of this, but you’ll still need to stow at least part of it when you stop during the day. A great way to keep it from walking off is to thread a coiled cable through sleeves or buckles and padlock the cable to your bike. You can find these cables in the bicycle department of your favorite store. Also, a pair of handcuffs available on eBay work quite well for securing your helmet.
arises, is your rain gear. Frogg Toggs are my favorite as they are lightweight, comfortable and they breath so you don’t get damp and clammy when you’re stuck in your rain for an extended period of time. They aren’t perfect, but you can comfortably wear them all day long.
” there are churches all across the states though”

in everytown. sometimes on everyblock. and about as significant, in this context, as dentists’ offices. no, in the usa, people still get the call, or some of them, and they feel themselves being called to from the transcendental void,and they respond to it by building a model out of beer bottles of somewhere they have never visited, or by erecting a giantbat house in some part of the country that bats have traditionally declined to vist. roadside attractions: people feel themselve being pulled to places where, in other parts of the world they would recognize that part of themselves that is truly transcendant, and buy a hot dog and walk around, feeling satisfied on a level they cannot truly describe, and profoundly dissatisfied on a level beneath that”

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Curious notes concerning focus

take an herb such a ginko biloba, which is a vaso dialator, and also the supplement, GABA. Both of these together actually are natural ways in which to help with the concentration.

DMAE supplement capsules, or fish oil. DMAE is known to improve focus and memory. It’s found in certain fish like salmon. Also, meditation, ginkgo, and gotu kola should help.

Depending on what type of ADD you have (erm, there’s a website around somewhere that can help you find that out), supplements of DLPA and/or tyrosine can help. Tyrosine is also good for apathy/lack of motivation.

Brahmi ..?spelling?..is great for mental clarity, memory and focus.. as would be Ghinko and Ginseng.

Lots and lots of water..and little caffiene and refined sugars…ample protien…

Burning orange essential oils..or rosemary when you are studying at home..

chewing chewing gum helps memory and clarity etc by increasing oxygen flow to the brain..

alternartively some famous authors have just been known to keep a bowl of oranges or apples on their desk…you could just hang a sprig of rosemary too… 🙂

Try increasing your consumption of raw nuts, like almonds. They say nuts (and flax, apparently, but don’t quote me on that!) are brain-food.)

Yes, those omega-3 fatty acids are certainly essential. I think it’s why some call fish a “brain food” – high in those fatty acids. Flax is an excellent vegetarian source of these important nutrients.

I take an herbal blend made my New Chapter called Neurozyme. It’s main ingredient is ginkgo, but it also has a ton of other things. The bottle says “supports mental clarity”

My doctors can’t decide if I have an attention deficit, but people I know who DO for sure, tell me to stay the hell away from artificial food dye. They especially emphasize to avoid red food dye like the plague. Read your labels- the stuff is everywhere, like bloody cockroaches.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

2004 list of things to investigate… updated

*archetecture style

 *bees – get info from farm book also look into rent a hive

*bamboo- and possible living structures of bamboo

 *solar power- and edgerton’s $500 gizmo

 *hydro-electric power- effects of smal scale daming

 *kids and homeschooling

 *mushrooms- learn more about the hanging sack technique

 *permaculture- drop fifty bucks on book


*diy farm implements/ primitive tools

*tinctures *herb spirals

*water plants

 *cash crops- also crops you are paid not to grow

*grafting and splicing

*greenhouses *kilns

*wild life pest control- bats/owls/dragon flies

*humming birds

 *how to make a solar fridge

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

aug 5th notes after working on judy’s house

sky vodka bottles (cut right above label) and clearly canadin bottles make for fine bricks. only problem is they are not to wide. two vodka bottles seem to work better. aluminum foil will contain light and make for a brighter window. one idea we had was to have a small cove-ish shelf made into the wall and backlit by bottles. dyes for slip include blood root for red, oke for brown and poke berry for pinkish purple. but poke berrry may sprout. holly suggested we have a sewergrate/man hole type door to the roof

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment