What's cooking at the Blue Fox Cafe
All about the ins and outs of writing

Jan
17

This is a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silence

The silence is two-fold, here. First and foremost, there is the silence of the dead, who in their deceased state, no longer have a voice of their own.

But also, there is the age-old question does the silence of the living lead to more war. During the Vietnam, this was a popular notion, which has never really been proved or disproved.

Silence

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Jan
13

Here’s a Photoshop abstraction inspired by the shape and sound of a guitar, photo and artwork by author

Jan
11

An abstraction using the Letter A, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using letters as design elements is an idea that has been around for a while. Here, I have taken the letter A and made an abstract design from it.

Jan
10

This lonely outpost of a tree is surrounded by the weathered landscape of the southern Utah desert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weathered

If weathered means standing the passage of time, then this lone pine tree of the Southwest desert definitely passes the test.

Weathered

Jan
04

 

Pirate with a map for buried treasure, drawing by author

Jan
03

Palm trees growing tall in Las Vegas, NV, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growth

Plant growth is a fascinating thing, as seen in these palm trees that seem to be surviving quite well, despite the harsh Southwestern urban environment.

Growth

Jan
02

Happy New Year 2018

Homer Simpson toasts with a friend

Ski Country Blues

Where I live in southern Colorado, winter has sort of passed us by and temperatures are above normal. So different from the rest of the country, where many are expecting snow in places, where the white stuff is rare. All the ski resorts out here are skiing on the man-made stuff and hoping Mother Nature will send some real winter weather soon before the winter season is gone. Things are expected to change this weekend, but not dramatically.

On a Personal Note

I just had an image of fine get featured on the online cover for a new literary magazine called Riggwelter, which has something to do with sheep. At least, it has a clip art image of an upside down sheep in the lower left corner. You can check out my picture here. It’s called From the Jupiter Cave. 

This pictures marks my online debut into the world of manipulated and manufactured images. Sometime down the line I will be explaining some of these pictures in detail, including why and how I made them. I may do this in conjunction with a Patron site so stay tuned.

P.S. Here’s the official definition of riggwelter that appears on the site of the journal.

riggwelter (verb) – a dialect word from the North of England. a sheep, having fallen onto its back, being unable to right itself is said to be riggweltered (e.g. bloody thing’s riggweltered again).

There you are. Now go out and have a happy and prosperous New Year. That’s an order.

 

Dec
28

 

Despite the song, a partridge in a pear tree is not a common sight at Christmas, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

Merry belated Christmas from Ogden, Utah, where I have just wrapped up my duties as a bell ringer for the local Salvation Army here. It snowed here two days before Christmas, giving the place a magical air especially if you walked downtown to where the all the outdoor lights are.

 

Rediscovering Old Christmas Songs

Recently, while searching the YouTube site, I came across this classic, unheralded Christmas tune by The Band. The song is called Christmas Must Be Tonight and though recorded in 1975, the song did not appear until the album, Islands, was released in 1977. Listen closely to the rich tenor voices of Helm, Manual and Danko. Unfortunately, these three members of the Band have all passed away. Today, only Hudson and Robertson survive.

Dec
20

A Hunk of Gnarled Wood in the Dixie National Forest in Utah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 Favorites

This simple snapshot of a gnarled log in southern Utah is definitely one of my favorite pictures of the year. The image was doctored in the Posterize command in Photoshop, which might explain some of the splotches of solid color.

2017 Favorites

Dec
17

Tools for a quick ascent, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascend

With these easily accessible tools, this entrepreneur is ready for a quick ascent.

Ascend

Dec
06

This discarded wrapper is about to be swept away, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheeky

This is a very cheeky situation.

Cheeky

Nov
30

A foggy day in Maine can be very serene, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serene

Water is a very serene element, as is fog. Combine these two elements into one photograph and you will end up with a picture that is flooded with serenity.

Serene

Nov
24

The commercial transformation of the Mona Lisa, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transformation

No way around it, the Mona Lisa is an iconic figure in art. Thanks to a few enterprising Germans she is also a commercial asset, as seen here in this photograph.

Transformation

Nov
15

A View of Boston high rise buildings doctored in photoshop, artwork by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experimental

Thanks to an unusual viewpoint ( looking straight up) and a photoshop filter ( Solarization) this urban scene has been transformed into something quite surreal.

Experimental

Nov
08

Hopefully, this caution tape is only a temporary measure, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temporary

Though the warning tape is only present for a short while, it is best to heed the message.

Temporary

Nov
02

There must be a ghost in this house, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spooky

Just another spooky house in the woods

Nov
01

A Streetcleaner in Ljubljana, Slovenia takes a peek at all the strange figures on the exterior of the Parliament Building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peek

What goes on inside? The strangest part of this picture is that the building with all the dark figures is the National Assembly or Parliament Building of the Balkan nation of Slovenia. The sculpture is named Tobias Putrih and he is very much alive and active today.
Peek

Oct
30

Even the witches are callin’ in to see what’s on the Halloween playlist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s That Time of Year Again

No Elvis here, just an unlucky 13 songs that are not afraid to jump into a good ghost story, like only Rockabilly can do. There are a few big names here, but not many. So tune in, turn it up and enjoy, for it twis the season for ghosts, goblins, candy skulls and sassy witches.

  1. Haunted House by Johnny Fuller
  2. Rockin’ in the Graveyard  by Jackie Morningstar
  3. I’m the Wolfman by Round Robin
  4. The Cat by Rod Willis
  5. Vampira by Bobby Bare
  6. I Put a Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  7. Graveyard Rock by Taratula Ghoul and her Gravediggers
  8. Rockin’ Bones by Ronnie Dawson
  9. She’s My Witch by Kip Tyler
  10. Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus
  11. Night of the Vampires by Moontrekker
  12. The Mummy by the Naturals
  13. Welcome To My Nightmare by Alice Cooper

Every year the pumpkins get bigger and bigger…or so it seems

Oct
26

decorated sugar cubes (and skulls) are popular in Mexico during the Day of the Dead celebration in early November, photo and drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar

Sugar (cane) is not native to the New World, it was introduced by Columbus way back when. However, the agricultural grew well in the Caribbean and other places and so nowadays the sweet substance is available everywhere in many different forms. In early November, when Day of the Dead rolls around, painted sugar skulls and cubes are made and enjoyed by all, even the dead.

Oct
25

This oil storage tank is very well rounded, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rounded

Actually, the storage tank is in the shape of a cylinder. Late afternoon shadows give a strong accent to the large, three-dimensional structure.
Rounded

Oct
18

It’s that time of year again, when the eerie glow of the pumpkins can be seen all across the land, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glow

These demented pumpkins glow silently on a chilly autumn’s eve.

Glow

Oct
12

An opulent castle in the sky, artwork by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opulent

This world famous palace in India, even looks more opulent, when pictured as a palace floating in the air.

Oct
11

A worker cleaning windows appears smaller than he really is, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scale

The traffic light makes this worker, who is cleaning windows, appear much smaller than he really is.

Scale

Oct
05

Unexpectedly, Jake the skateboarder found himself in a strange new world, drawing and photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Traveler

When Jake when to the skateboarding park, just after dusk, and purely by chance discovered a wormhole that lead to a strange new world,

Oct
04

A pedestrian in a non-pedestrian place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pedestrian

Here we have a pedestrian (walker) taking a morning stroll along Lake Annecy in the Haute-Savoir province in France, where the view is anything, but pedestrian.

Pedestrian

Sep
27

This Coffee shop window is located on Central Ave. in Albuquerque, NM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windows

Windows are everywhere and on rare occasions, they act as portals to other worlds that may be sinister, magical or surreal.

Windows

Sep
22

Hillary Clinton making her concession speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Happened Today (Sept.12)

Today, the day after the 16th anniversary of 911, was also book release day for Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir, What Happened?. The big event took place in Manhattan’s Barnes and Noble bookstore in Union Square, where hundreds of die-hard fans showed up to purchase their signed copy. A few brave souls even camped out overnight to see their hero. No speeches, no choice words, just a chance to stand in line, buy a book and then get it signed by the former Secretary of State. I don’t why she didn’t give her fans a short speech or just a few words of greeting, they deserved at least that much.

What’s Coming Up

The book tour is next. Today’s signing in NYC was free unless you decided to buy a book, but most stops on the book tour will not be. Fans, who want to get close to the former First Lady, who also made it to the White House as the first woman president, will have to pay some bucks for the opportunity. Her tour begins next week with a stop in our nation’s capitol and continues into December, when Mrs. Clinton visits Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

A Case of Diminishing Return

Her first book sold well, Living History,  but her second, Hard Choices, did not do nearly as well as Living History. Just after one week of sales, Living History outperformed Hard Choices by a margin of  600,000 to 100,000. And after one month the margin was 1 million to 160,000 still about a six to one advantage for Living History. By November 2015, about the time things were just getting to roll, Hard Choices had racked up 340,000, a far cry short of Clinton’s first memoir, which sold well over 1.5 million copies.

What Happened Is Selling (a week later)

Just recently, Hillary released her seventh non-fiction effort with Simon Schuster. Though unlikely to match sales figures for Living History, it may still do well. In fact, What Happened has sold over 160,000 (hardback) in the first week, which is a big improvement from Hard Choices, but will likely not match the impressive sales figures of Living History.  Along with the hardback sales, there is also the e-book sales, which have also done quite well, pushing first week sales up to the 300,000 mark. But keep in mind here that the publishing industry tracks book sales of bestsellers through hardback copies, mot e-books.

Can Book Sales Determine Future Presidents

There is some evidence that having a best selling book or memoir is practically a pre-requisite for making it into the White House, especially in the 21st century. To make the point, all you have to do is look at our last three occupants of the White House (including the current one). All three have had popular best sellers that have outsold all competitors. This includes George W. Bush’s, Decisions Points, which sold 1.9 million, Barrack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope (540,000 in the first year) and Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal, which has sold over 1 million going all the way back to its 1987 release date. What is clear, is that for the major candidates, whoever sells the most books, will likely take the White House. With that in mind look for Al Franken to win the Dem nomination in 2020, but he may trouble beating Trump.

My Take

After the disappointing release of Hard Choices, I was surprised to see Hillary’s current release sell as well as it is doing right now. Since part of this blog was written on the day of her new book release, you can see it the writing.

However, the big story here is how important book sales may be in determining, who becomes president of the United States. The direct relationship between the two is very eerie. For Hillary, Living History, should have been good enough to put her back in the white house. But as we all know now, she was eclipsed by an even more popular writer and bookseller, Barrack Obama.

 

 

The New Yorker already had their cover ready for a 2016 Hillary Clinton victory

Sep
21

This image of a simple window, illustrates the concept of layered, photo by author taken in Old Town, Albuquerque, NM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Layered

Here, all in one picture, you have an adobe wall,  a white wood frame and some glass complete with reflection. All in all, there are many different layers here.
Layered

Sep
19

Jazz originated as a musical expression, but its ideas can be applied to other areas such as writing and visual art. design by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz

Jazz is a truly American art form that has inspired artists in many different realms besides music.

Sep
14

A recipe for disaster….too many cooks spoil the broth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe

What we have here is four of the more recognizable cooks from around the country all working on the same recipe. To me this spells disaster.

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