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

Jan
22

Botannicals are an important part of everyone’s life.

Botannicals

The plant kingdom has provided us with some extraordinary specimens.

Jan
17

This Superhero enjoys his hero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Superhero and the Hero

A hero is defined by kitchn.com in this manner: “this sandwich variation hails from New York City, and is seemingly the most versatile. It uses a range of different fillings that span beyond meat and cheese, and can be served warm or cold. “

Obviously, this NYC superhero enjoys his hero very much.

Jan
11

The Milky Way is often viewed as a symbol of soul travel

Heaven and Hell

Are we going to heaven and hell? Everybody what’s to know, but not necessarily in the first person. Maybe, that’s why there are so many different ideas and philosophies, as to what happens to someone when they die. Following is a wildly humorous and satirical account given by John Prine, who is now in his seventh decade on the planet.

 

Need More Info

If you’re desiring more second-hand info on the subject at hand, you might want to check out this deeper exploration of the subject on Spinditty.

Jan
09

Art from a Russian postage stamp depicts a couple and child traveling in space.

The Golden Age of Space Stories

Outer space has always inspired storytellers. One of the great side effects of the Space Race between the U.S.A and the Soviet Union was a great, creative output from science fiction writers. This literary bonanza even spilled over to television and cinema, when epic adventures like Star Trek and Star Wars captured the imaginations of many Americans.

A Novelty Song Becomes a Big Hit

Along with the movies and TV programs of the 60s (and later years) came the music that was related to outer space and space exploration. At first the songs acted as spoofs or satires. This is most evident in the song, entitled The One-horned, One-Eyed, Flying Purple People Eater, which was released and then performed by Sheb Wooley on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Surprisingly, the off-the-wall song hit the top of the Billboard charts for many weeks. Besides its unparalleled popularity, it may also the been the protege for many like-minded tunes to come in the years that followed. Here is the original version.

A Collection Of Sci-Fi Stories

If you want to check out some other musical Sci-Fi stories from the following decades, check out this article on Spinditty.

 

Jan
08

Ernest Hemingway with marlin. Havana Harbor, Cuba. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hemingway and Cuba

Ernest Hemingway was still married to Pauline Pfeifer, when he discovered the exquisite charm of pre-revolutionary Cuba in 1930. After achieving remarkable success as a writer, Ernest Hemingway, along with his third wife, Martha Gelhorn purchased a chic little hideaway outside of Havana in a small town called San Francisco de Paula.. Here at Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm), Ernest could retreat from the world, but it was also a place where he could sit back and write. During the fifties, Papa Doc as he was often called did just that, when he penned one of this most memorable novels, Old Man and the Sea. All total, Hemingway resided on the island nation for nearly 30 years, writing Islands in the Stream, portions of For Whom the Bells Toll and the Moveable Feast (a Paris memoir), besides the above mentioned Old Man and the Sea.

Hemingway in Music

The colorful life of Ernest Hemingway has inspired many writers and at least a few talented musicians. Beginning with the Hemingway inspired musicians, my recent article on Spinditty takes a brief look at ten musicians who have been inspired the culturally rich Caribbean isle. This brief musical sojourn ends with several musicians, who have always lived in Cuba.

Jan
03

 

Dedicated to those who play winter team sports outdoor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game On

This image is dedicated to all winter sports enthusiasts.

Dec
29

Despite the cheery seasonal facade at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. all is not well in the White House

 

Breakdown On the Potomac

To many citizens of this fair land, the current breakdown of a functional government in Washington may seem like a disaster unfolding. Unfortunately, this viewpoint may not be far off from what is going down in our nation’s capital. Things are not good right now and could possibly even get worse before they get better. Nonetheless, observers of the political scene should keep in mind that our nation and most specifically our government has been there before.

Winter in America

Back during the Watergate era, when the Vietnam War was still going strong, Gil Scott-Heron wrote this biting and inciting song about what was going down at the time (1974). The winter analogy worked well here because eventually, the war ended, Nixon did resign and things in Washington eventually returned to something resembling normal. Current observers of the political scene might do well to invoke the seasonal reference with a realization that a political Spring will arrive (sooner or later) and warmer weather will prevail (at least for a while).

Slipping Into Darkness

In many ways, our current resident of the White House seems to be slipping into darkness, much like his 1974 predecessor. However, there seems to be some things that much more disconcerting about our present situation than with happened back in 1974. Keep in mind these comments come from someone who was 22 years old when Nixon resigned, so I not completely reliant on news accounts for my perspective.

In essence what bothers me the most about our present predicament is the president’s callous disregard for any dissenting voice or argument.

 

Dec
27

Along with White Christmas’s come snowplows and travel headaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Many White Christmas’s

I presently reside in Salt Lake City, where according to the local media, this place at the edge of the Wasatch Mountains, has experienced 7 out of the last 8 Christmas’s with snow. Of all American cities, this Utah city, along with Spokane, Washington, ranks as one of the two top prospects for experiencing a White Christmas. Hooray…Hooray…Hooray everybody loves a White Christmas.

This Year’s Dilemma

On Christmas Eve 2018 (just a few days ago) the weather forecasters predicted snow for Christmas Day. Hooray!!! Another White Christmas. However, when I awoke on Christmas Day, it was drizzling not snowing. (Those weather people were wrong again). The light rain continued all day long and then after night arrived, a funny thing happened. The rain turned to snow and the snow continued all night long leaving us with a five inch snow cover for Boxing Day (December 26). Alas another White Christmas.

Is It Really a White Christmas?

My question is, can this really be considered a White Christmas, especially since the majority of the white stuff did not come down till after the midnight hour. As you can well see, this is a very important question, since Salt Lake City is running neck and neck with Spokane as the White Christmas capital of America. My guess is that since a measurable amount of snow (about one inch) did fall within the 24 hour period, it will officially be declared a White Christmas. Yet, there is still the valid argument that since only rain fell during Christmas daytime hours, this cannot considered a White Christmas.

White Christmas by the Drifters

 

Irving Berlin’s Left Out Verse

And while we’re on the topic of White Christmas, it might be fun to look out the opening verse that got left out of the most popular song ever, when Bing Crosby first recorded the sweet tune back in the 40s. Nothing earth shaking here just a nifty insight to what Mr. Berlin was thinking when he wrote the song.

The sun is shining, the grass is green,
The orange and palm trees sway.
There’s never been such a day
in Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it’s December the twenty-fourth,—
And I am longing to be up North

 

Dec
26

Since King Wenceslas lived back in the tenth century, portraits of the popular saint vary widely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Duke Not A King

In real life King Wenceslas was actually a Duke, the Duke of Bohemia to be exact. Furthermore, he went by the name of Vaclav the Good. Only after his death at the hands of his brother, was the duke honored with the title of king. This privileged name was bestowed on the Duke by the Roman Emperor to honor the success that Wenceslas had had in spreading Christianity in pagan Central Europe.

Boxing Day and the Feast of Saint Stephen

In the song, the story of King Wenceslas helping a peasant takes place on the Feast of Saint Stephen, which occurs on the day after Christmas, December 26, also known as Boxing Day. Despite the antics of the four Irish Rovers, Boxing Day is a day of giving gifts (usually in boxes).

 

Dec
25

 Merry Christmas from the Blue Fox Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Spider

In some parts of Europe, decorative spiders and spider webs can be found on the Christmas tree, as a symbol of good luck. In essence, spiders have a lot of good things going for them. Unlike fleas, mosquitoes, ticks and mites, they don’t carry diseases and the death rate from their bites is vastly overrated, as a spider bite rarely causes death. On the other, the biggest killer in the animal kingdom may be the meager, six-legged bee.

So maybe it is time to appreciate the spider, especially since their webs trap large number of insects.

In Central and Eastern Europe, ornaments like this spider and web may be found hanging from a Christmas evergreen

Dec
23

Christmas is a great time for telling ghost stories and listening to whacked out Christmas music

Christmas Is a Great Time for Self-expression

Christmas only rolls around once a year and whether you just celebrate December 25th or all 12 days of Christmastide, this Christian holiday has a way of encompassing many types of free expression. Nowhere is this more evident than with the ridiculously large number Christmas tunes that are released at the end of each calendar year. Following are a few worth noting.

Remember the Twist

I think it was Chubby Checker that broke out with the twist, but hats off to Si Cranstoun for coming up with this spicy version. Chubby rarely had it so good.

 

Father Christmas

Charles Dickens really let loose on British Society, when he wrote the Christmas Carol. Though not as widely disseminated as Dickens classic, this Kinks story put to song is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

The Season’s Upon Us

Think you have a dysfunctional family. Then maybe you should check out this video by the Dropkick Murphys and all of a sudden your loved ones will seem quite normal and well-adjusted.

Christmas Lights by Coldplay

Do you live in a place, where it seldom snows at Christmas time? Then you might enjoy this contemporary song by Coldplay.

Christmas from Outer Space

What if the angel, Gabriel, was a space traveler from afar. Sounds farfetched but Chris de Burgh makes it sound possible in this very unusual, but beautifully rendered Christmas tale. Well worth the listen.

Must Be Santa

Bob Dylan has never been one to shy away from his appreciation of Christian beliefs. Despite his enormous monetary success, Dylan has frequently released Christmas-inspired songs, as the winter season approaches. This video, titled Must Be Santa, puts one of those tunes into the visual realm.

 

Dec
20

This winter house appears to be cozy and warm.

Dec
12

One of the better known chefs around the world is this guy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef

Here is the Swedish Chef showing off one of his masterful creations.

Dec
05

Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, is selling quite well.

The Memoir

Michelle’s Obama’s memoir begins with her childhood, growing up on the gritty, south side of Chicago and as we all know, ends with her eight year residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia. The theme of the book is how her unexpected rise in position came about and also how her Cinderella-like story can inspire others to improve their own lot.

Tracking Sales

No matter how you look at it, sales figures for Michelle Obama are going through the roof. After just 15 days on the market, Becoming, the memoir of former First Lady, Michelle Obama, has sold over two million books in Canada and the U.S., thus making it the most successful non-fiction title of 2018. And just think, sales figures for this narrative have nowhere to go but up, for Christmas is just around the corner and it is safe to assume that many copies of this story will somehow find their way under the Christmas tree.

Michelle and Barack Obama meet Queen Elizabeth, wikipedia photo by Pete Souza. Reportedly, the Queen advised the American First Lady that royal protocol is all rubbish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Better Half of the Equation

When Barrack Obama became an ex-president, one of his first orders of business was to nail down a book contract. However, much to the delight of readers, all around the globe, President Obama had a co-conspirator in this post-presidential ritual. And that would be none other than his wife and former First Lady, Michelle Obama.

As negotiations between the publishers and the Obamas continued, it became clear that the major publishing companies (also known as the Big Five) were just as interested in Michelle’s story, as they were in the president’s. In fact, some sources suggest that the First Lady was the big ticket and not the President. Early book sales suggest that the publishers knew their business very well, even with a 65 million dollar price tag, attached to the two literary releases.

Nov
01

The water witch of the forest, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witch

All Saints Day is a great time to honor the water witch For not only does she find us fresh water for our homes, but she protects the rivers, streams, brooks, lakes and ponds for us to enjoy.

Oct
25

A ghost in the house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghost

The nights are getting colder and longer, perfect time for a good ghost story.

Oct
18

This magical island with a church that is only accessible by boat really does exist, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magical

This small, Eastern European island with the rather large church really does exist, It is a popular place to attend mass and get married.

Oct
11

Too Close for Comfort, a picture of a tiger in the grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat

This big cat is way too close for comfort.

Sep
29

Old Time Fiddlers in Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While researching the origin of a popular fiddle tune called “Soldier’s Joy”, I came across this beautiful little anecdote from Tennessee and how it seems that back in the “Good Ole Days”, being a talented fiddler was an advantageous skill for anyone interested in serving as Governor of the Volunteer State.

“Some thirty or forty years ago, two brothers ran for governor of Tennessee. The one on the Republican ticket, and one on the Democrat. And they went around over the state fiddling. The Democrat was the best fiddler, and he was elected. But the Republican was a very shrewd man, as they have to be in Tennessee. So, he waited until the Democrats nominated a man who couldn’t fiddle, and then he ran again and was elected, about twenty years later.

This statement was made by Fred Colby as he introduced the Albert Gore Band in 1938. Since that time the fiddle has still, on occasion played a part in Tennessee politics, especially with the career of Albert Gore Sr. (father of Al Gore Jr.). Al Gore Sr. hailed from the Appalachian region of Eastern Tennessee and was quite an accomplished fiddler, even appearing on the stages of the Grand Ole Opry.

And like any smart politician, he was not afraid to use his musical talents to further his political career. Often pulling out the small stringed instrument on the campaign trail, Al Gore Sr. went on to represent the state of Tennessee in both bodies of Congress.  Maybe his namesake should have learned to play a fiddle.

Sep
27

The orange tree is but one source of food, drawing and photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food

Depending on the consumer, food can vary widely. For example, the orange tree bears fruit that is eaten by humans.

Aug
30

This jail window offers little chance of escape, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jail

Going to jail can change a man’s (or woman’s) life.

Aug
16

Couple enjoying some rainbow pie on a sunny summer day, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow (Pie)

Soon, we’ll all be enjoying that delicious rainbow pie.

 

Aug
02

A Blue Dog stands in front of a red dog house, photo and drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog

Where’s Snoopy?  Rodrigue’s blue dog pays a friendly visit to his pal Snoopy, but there’s nobody home.

 

Jul
12

Funky abstraction, art marker illustration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funk

A funky abstraction

 

Jul
05

Lost in Space??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outer Space

This astronaut has lost his spacecraft and is just floating around outer space. Nonetheless he seems to be having a good time and enjoying himself.

Jun
06

Late afternoon sun rays present an interesting perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping the Faith

Just because the WordPress Daily Post is no longer doing weekly photo challenges, it doesn’t mean that I will not be posting anything on Wednesday. I think that in the near future I will be putting up a new photograph on Wednesdays, whenever possible. These images will come from my Instagram pages, which can be found @streetgraphix on the Instagram site.

Here is a recent picture I took with my smartphone at a local train stop in Salt Lake City in Utah. It’s late evening so the shadows are rather lengthy and pronounced. Overall, the picture has a red or rouge accent to it, due to the time of day in which the picture was taken.

May
30

So sad to be seeing the Daily Post, fade away into that yesterworld of the internet. Every week I have looked forward to Wednesday mornings to see what the current topic will be. And then I have very enjoyed the responses that come my way. To be honest this has been a large part of my internet traffic and will miss seeing all the responses and comments that have originated with this popular site.

On the other hand I can see why the Daily Post is being discontinued. Things have definitely been trending downward,especially over the last year. Nonetheless, I would like to thank very much those of you that have taken the time to respond to my pictures, even if it was just through hitting the “like” button. In the future I still plan to post a few of my fotos from time to to time and perhaps I will become more active with the drawings that I do in co-ordination with Illustration Friday.

Following is a sample of what I have been working on lately. This is my own photographic work set against a NASA image of the Pleiades star cluster. (Thank you Hubble) If you like this kind of thing stay tuned for I will be exploring this realm further.

All Time Favorite

A photographic sandwich (No, you can’t eat it) that juxtaposes a picture of the Rancos Mission in New Mexico with a NASA picture of the Pleiades star cluster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All-Time Favorites

And Now For A Something Little Extra

The butterfly nebula combined with a neon sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost in Space??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Jupiter Cave

May
26

The True Nature of the Night Sky Revealed, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Stars Go Bad: The Bill Cosby Dilemma

If Bill Cosby has any kind of consolation, while contemplating his current demise and his possible jail time somewhere in the future, it is this. He is not alone! Even the president of the United States is not immune to difficulties associated with members of the opposite sex.  And then, today came the “Big Kahuna”. Harvey Weinstein traveled to NYC, where he was booked with a variety of charges that included rape and sex abuse. The movie mogul will not serve any pre-trial time in jail like O.J. did, but instead, he will be confined to the states of NY and Conn. after posting a one million dollar bail.

Weinstein’s Heavy Footprint in Hollywood

Defenders for Harvey Weinstein have been few with perhaps Woody Allen having the most insightful comments. In no way did Allen condone what Weinstein did, but he did sound an alarm about possible witch hunts arising out of the Weinstein debacle. These comments were made back in 2017 in a BBC interview and Woody has remained rather quiet since then, especially with the public outcry that sprang up immediately following his comments.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sounds Off On Cosby

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar found himself in a similar place, concerning the allegations and accusations that were leveled against his good friend and mentor, Bill Cosby. In recent comments to the Hollywood reporter, Kareem took the situation a bit further, when he opened up about how the downfall of Cosby has been a difficult event to handle for the former NBA star. Not only was Cosby a role model for Abdul-Jabbar, but also for many other people of color throughout the US and elsewhere. In the Hollywood Reporter article, Kareem refers to the Cosby revelations as a punch in the gut and a fall from innocence.

Where Do We Go From Here

So how we do we deal with highly-creative artists, who happen to also have a scary dark side. For me personally, I did not have a lot emotion wrapped up in Bill’s TV appearances, especially the Cosby show. However, his breakout LP albums, as an upstart standout comedian, are in a completely different world. The language from those recordings were well received, hit a nerve and quickly found a way into our everyday chatter. Such lines as “How long can you tread water?” and “What’s a cubit?” would pop up time and time again in all kinds of situations. In fact, even today, many of the lines from “Why Is There Air?” and other such recordings can still be found floating around my gray matter and may be recalled at any time with only the slightest stimulation. Cosby really was that good and that influential.

In the 60s Bill Cosby converted his time as a P.E. student at Temple University into high comedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Back

In looking back at the turbulent sixties, when Bill Cosby was a funny voice that crossed many cultural lines in a hilarious way, what appears to be happening is that there are things I would like to forget about Cosby (and Weinstein), but my mind won’t let me because at the time I thought their artistic expressions and sentiments were so great. Even with all the sordid details that are emerging from the courtroom, I still retain an active memory of what went down.

May
24

This giant is very fond of playing basketball, drawing by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant

Wearing size 36 gym shoes and standing well over twenty feet tall, this giant excelled at playing basketball.

May
23

A frayed and twisted white strand of plastic plays in the wind, photo by author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twisted

This week’s photo challenge, twisted, may cause one to pause and take closer notice of the little things that often go unnoticed.

Twisted

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