Geodes shadowbox frame

I thought he'd have the boy do something artistic. What thought went into this arrangement of stones?

They spaced out opening the package of stones over several days. I thought they'd spend ten minutes bashing open geodes, done, then that's it for the next thing, but no, they paced themselves like stoics.

Two boys with a large heavy mallet that could smash each geode to bits if the boys didn't control it and both with attitudes that they had been opening geodes all their lives.  

On one of the days, the older boy lined up the opened geodes in a splendidly interesting way. I wanted him to do something similar for the shadow box frame. Apparently it became more important to show all the stones. 

I sent them the stones. Seeing the box of geodes is more than box of stones, later I sent them the shadow box frame. I figured they could save the best. Apparently they're saving everything. 

I searched Amazon, found them, ordered them, that was it. 

Later I went back to read reviews. 

Always read worst first. They say some are duds. One says all of them were duds. Some say they are all blue. Some say all are the same uninteresting thing. 

Then the 5-star ratings. 

They love absolutely everything about them; booklet, little display stands, great variation in colors, white, red, blue, clear, green. Great fun. Girls love it. 

I researched a lot.

A video of a young woman shows her attempting to open a geode with a hammer at her dining room table. Her nails are painted bright red. You sort of see the geode behind two hands with fingers tipped in bright red. Then you see only red. The mesmerizing movement of ten red dots massaging a rock unnecessarily is calculated to draw your attention off the rock and onto her sensual hands. Her hands pause and pose with the rock repeatedly such to maximize red fingertip exposure and not to show the rock. It's boring. 

And you're sitting at home watching and thinking, "Goddamnit woman, smack the thing with the hammer already." And the whole time the constantly moving red dots get nowhere with the geode. I turned it off. I have no idea if she gets it opened or not. 

See what I mean? 

I couldn't watch it.

I don't know how it ends.

Then I saw another video of a boy with his father. Dad was watching without interfering. The boy had a better hammer than the girl but he was hopeless. He had no frame of reference, no way of knowing how hard to hit the hammer. He did okay but it took a very long while. 

The boys did much better than any of the other videos. With their daddy's guidance (my brother), they got such aplomb. 

They both know the mallet can smash the rocks to bits so the trick is controlling the impact. It's the opposite problem that the girl has. It's a series of decreasing control. My brother picked the right tool.

He is extremely involved with the boys. He watches them and he gives them a few directions. The boys treat him as another of the boys, the best one, the one that guides them and provides them. It's very Lord of the Flies. They both want his attention so badly. They both want his respect. 

I saw these, went to Amazon, bought them.

After that I realized there are a lot of other sources right there on Amazon. They don't have to be from National Geographic. Actually, there are tons of these geodes. I read the reviews for all of them. I enjoyed reading about their experiences. I learned that very many are duds. To expect that. I learned that sometimes people are not happy. I worried about the boys being disappointed. I tried to prepare them. Turns out National Geographic is a fine kit, a very good choice. The whole family loved it. As we see you get a lot of crystals. The Ukrainian wife liked reading the book and identifying the stones. She liked having the vocabulary for the rocks. Even the dog! They crack open a geode and the dog rushes in and grabs a geode and runs off with it. He doesn't know why the rock is interesting he just knows the humans think it's spectacular so he took the center of attention. 


The song is by Justin Timberlake. Jake Kodish choreographed the song and demonstrates. His free-form style has several nice touches; throwing a kiss at a point in the lyrics when a kiss is not appropriate, sudden hanging poses, showing filthy hands on his own body and so on throughout the random routine. It's nearly impossible to think of the entire spontaneous-looking thing as a routine. But it is.

Maybe Kodish made it up on the spot. Maybe he had been practicing some moves, but it looks spontaneous to me. It took the whole thing for me to realize each set that follows is copying Jake Kodish. There is a distinct move at the beginning, a rocking motion between legs, that clues they're all doing the same thing.

I really really like the young man in the center for the first set, he slathers on his own interpretation, little things within each movement, flicks off his pants, off his jacket, some movements alluring, others rejecting, and that face. He is so young! The man at the end knocks it out.

How do you even recall each move and hit it on point like this?

I could never do that. I could never do anything like line-dancing. And it's weird because I was always very good at picking up ASL signs. This is very much like sign language.

Except sign language makes sense. And this dancing does not. There are only a few points of appositeness where movement can be made to show the lyrics along with the mood of them and they really stick out.

I think, to memorize dance steps, each movement, each step, each hand configuration, each pose, each gesture and each facial expression and body positioning are linked and told as a story. Each body configuration and placement must say something in the story. The more bizarre the story, the better. Bizarre stories are much easier to remember. That is, I think each dancer has a story they are repeating, recalled in such a way to include every single detail of body positioning that strings together and is told along with the music. It's spectacular.

The song Filthy by Justin Timberlake shown in ASL by Clever Trevor.


This is my nephew's video sent to me by way of thank you. It's a Kiwico kit sent to him each month.

That's turned out to be a pleasant purchase. It gets the two boys focused on something that is not electronic and it forces them to think about me at least once a month so I stay at least a little bit relevant. They're very young boys and they totally trip on these kits.

Except for the ones their mother withholds for being too much of a mess like the spinning paint one. Can you imagine? A motor affixed inside the box that the kit comes in with a platform that spins. The kids drizzle paint onto the spinning platform to produce a spun design. Mum says, "No way, Jose." Wise Mum.

Boesemani rainbow

There are two of these in the tank, survivors from originally ten. 

I don't know what went wrong but they just kept dying. One after the other, boink, boink, boink, and then there were only two. And those two are thriving. Apparently. They play around all day.

They are just now coming into their colors. Honestly, I expected them to be a bit more rainbow-y. 

I thought they would be more like this:

Or why else would they even mention a rainbow? 

Easter box

I think it's an Easter Box.

It's from my two nephews under the guidance of my brother and his wife. I send them crap all the time so they feel an urge to respond. I think.

It's lovely.

And it took a lot of effort.

Edit: The kids said it's Valentine's Day and Easter box.

This is me smiling broadly. Bell's palsy makes it look dour.

Crowd for Trump rally in Wildwood, NJ

The rally wasn't that great. All review. Nothing stands out. The audience made it more so than the president. Here, if you care to see it. Jeff Van Drew changed parties to Republican during the Trump House impeachment and Trump asked him how he (Trump) could help. Jeff answered have a rally in his area, so this is that. Apparently. 

So much to riff on, so much to apply his style, yet the thing started late and wrapped up fairly quickly. I think. Actually, I fell asleep and stopped it, then woke up and started it again at the point that I left off and poof in just a few minutes it was gone.

I'll go read what others saw in it for the things that I might have missed.

Eh. Comments here, three pages of them. The usual rooting but not much specific to Trump at this rally. 

Ten bags of shirts to Goodwill

I have a walk-in closet with two poles. One pole is pants, plus the shelf above it, and the other side is shirts, plus the shelf above it. These shirts have been sitting there for years without ever being worn.


Every shirt that I haven't worn in 10 years is out.

Same with shoes.

Pants are next. But right now I'm experiencing a weight shift so the pants are arranged by size. Presently size 32waist are hanging and all the rest are stacked on the shelf. Except for some of the size 30waist that don't fit on the shelf. Size 30waist is the main size. But even there I see pants that I never intend to wear.

So there is still room for more to go to Goodwill.

They're all very good clothes. That's why I hung onto them for so long.

Spirit in the sky

Remarkable image of Christ-like figure is spotted in swirling clouds above Birmingham.

That is the title of an article published by

"It was really odd -- the sky was quite cloudy and there was this weird cloud formation. People have been telling me it looks like an angel or Jesus with his arms outstretched." 

She sent her picture around to relatives. They all said the same thing: angel or Jesus. 

Yeah. The rest of the sky was regularly cloudy with that thing sticking right out. In my part of the world we call that a tornado formation. 

The whole sky has an eerie feel to it. 

Until the whole thing busts loose. Or else fizzles out. 

Pareidolia: The psychological phenomenon that causes people to see patterns in a random stimulus. 

I am four years of age. 

I ask my older brother why the clouds move. It was cloudy. We are watching them. 

Here's the thing about my older brother. If he didn't have an answer, he made one up. 

Now, imagine having a younger brother who asks you a million questions a day. 

After awhile you just say something to get the kid off your back.

That's what he did.

"The clouds move because Jesus is up there pushing them around with a stick."

I looked but could not see Jesus. I looked really hard.

"He's up there. The clouds are hiding him. He is on top of the clouds." 

I spent the next several years looking for Jesus in the clouds. 

Son of a bitch!

At the time I took every answer at face value. 

It took me years to realize the guy was full of crap.

But I loved him so. He really did answer a lot of questions. And he did the best that he could. It's no wonder at all that he ditched me all the time. 

What a butt hole I was. 

I deserved flippant answers.

It's not so bad as I am making it. He really did have quite a lot of great answers. He raised me as much as our parents did. He blazed my trail. My parents provided stability, the backbone, while he did all the one-on-one tutoring. And he never signed up for that.