© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And I call myself an editor

After a meeting today for a project I'm working on, I received an email from the client saying that documents being used to create the health tool should be stored in SharePoint -- software that allows documents to be shared and creates a history so that we always know what the latest version is.

I wrote back an email saying among other things: "I’ll put stiff there as soon as I can."

That prompted the following reply from a doctor who is also working on the project:

just remember to bag your bodies before storing them 8-).

Guess I had that coming.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another sign of the times

Saw this in the parking lot at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant:

Neighborly Reminder

Lock your car


remove your valuables.

In that order? Has anyone got a crowbar? Forget that. Has anyone got an editor?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wish I had a poem to share

But I don't. Not tonight. So instead I'll offer you some opening lines and let you do what you want with them. I only ask that you share the poem if you use them. But first, let me share some random thoughts about my day.

S and I started it at 6 this morning by going to the fitness center in Gaylord's Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. After a 40 minute workout (despite a painful Achilles tendon), we swam for 20 minutes in the indoor pool. Then because it was raining and cold outside, we spent about 20 minutes in the outdoor jacuzzi. I've felt warm and proud all day.

In regard to the Achilles tendon problem: That bum Achilles has been at my heels all day. S thought it was a little bit over the top, but I figure anytime I can get 3 puns in a single breath, I'm doing OK.

We were planning to go to the Frist Visual Arts Center in downtown Nashville and then maybe have dinner someplace like The Wild Horse Saloon and hit some of the clubs along Broadway before coming back to Opryland. If you've never done it, it feels a little like New Orleans, albeit on a much smaller scale. But there is one way Nashville tops the Bourbon Street experience.

Nashville is the Music City. (It's home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and to the Bluebird Cafe, which is a songwriter's Mecca.) And because it's the Music City, it's packed with country star wannabes, many of whom are really quite talented, but most of whom can only dream of getting a contract. But that doesn't deter them.

The clubs along Broadway and Second Avenue, let groups come in to play without pay -- they play for tips. And here is what makes it better in that one way from New Orleans. Because they're not paying the band, the clubs don't care if you walk in off the street and listen for free. There's no cover and no minimum drink requirement -- not even one. You can just walk in and listen. And there are enough good musicians and singers to make it worth your while.

The problem today was that because of my injured Achilles, I wasn't sure I wanted to stay downtown tonight and then try to make my way back to the hotel through streets I didn't know using a GPS that sometimes decides it just doesn't like me and wants me to get lost. I could tell S wasn't happy about my suggesting we start back while it was still light. It is, after all, our anniversary weekend.

But we got to the Frist early, and since it wasn't open yet, we decided to go to the other end of Broadway for lunch at the Wild Horse Saloon. Then as we walked back past the clubs on Broadway it was clear -- at 1:30 in the afternoon -- the street was coming alive. So we started going in and listening and moving on to the next club on our way back to the museum. The highlight came at Tootsies at the corner of Broadway and 5th Ave.

I remember the last time we were in Nashville and spent a late night downtown, Tootsies was the place to be. And here it was on an early Sunday afternoon every bit as alive as it was on that Saturday late night when we were there before.

We were also able to enjoy the museum, and then get back to the resort in time to have a pleasant romantic dinner at an Italian restaurant and to enjoy roaming around the shops before coming back to our room. Now we're sitting here listening to jazz and blogging and thinking about tomorrow.

On the way back to the museum, we were talking about how the product model at the Opryland resort resembled that of a cruise ship. And then we remarked on how the cheaper rooms, which were not available when we booked, didn't have balconies, just like the inside state rooms on a cruise ship don't have balconies that extend out over the ocean. And I reminded S how much we enjoyed having a state room with a balcony on a cruise we took several years ago. She said we hardly ever spent time in the room. I said, though, that I spent a lot of time on the balcony in the middle of the night. That's how I came up with these lines.

Standing on the stateroom balcony
Peering into the endless black
Of a horizonless night

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A caption for the times

Found this verse inside a greeting card in a gift shop in Nashville today. Thought I'd share it with you.

"My soul's had enough chicken soup. Give me chocolate!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Still Learning as I Go

My second painting is done, framed, and shipped to my sister-in-law for a Christmas gift. (In my family, we draw names and give a gift that we have to make to the family member whose name we get. My sister-in-law likes lighthouses, so the picture seemed appropriate.) I really meant to continue the Learning as I Go series of posts while I painted it. But given how little time I've spent on the blog over the last month or so, that proved hard to do.

That doesn't mean I didn't continue to learn. For one thing I learned how hard it is to paint daylight. The sky went through multiple paintings and over paintings.

I knew this first one wasn't right, but wasn't sure why. So I tried again.

I liked the water here, but the sky was just getting darker. After a couple of more attempts, I came up with this.

At first I was impressed with the clouds. But after a couple of days looking at it from my desk, they struck me as being unnaturally white, and the sky still wasn't any lighter. So I went back to the book I'd been reading and read again about glazing and also about working orange and yellow into the clouds to give the impression of daylight. So I painted this.

At this point, I was glad I had a career working with words and so decided not to quit my day job. But I took one more stab at it.

I really messed up the water, but, hey, the sky had light. I don't think the author of Genesis had any idea just how hard it is to let there be light. I know I didn't do it in a day.

Next, after working for several days to restore the water, came the rocks and then the light house.

The signature.

And finally the frame.

So what have I learned? I learned I really like doing this. And I think I learned something about painting daylight, which is what I had set out to do when I chose the lighthouse as my subject.
I've started a third picture. Now I'm learning how to paint foliage and grasses. If you don't mind I'll share some of that that experience with you too.
Happy New Year, everyone.