Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday Fictioneers… THE CHAIRS

Chairs… or lack of.

It was down to ergonomics now.  Douglas had his proven recipes, and even decided on the background music.  But to lure people in to clack away on the next Great American Novel required comfort.   And, Doug planned big.  Soon maybe the next Canterbury Tales or something for Bollywood… as he was going global with his empire.   Colors, fabrics and shapes danced in his head, as did slogans, jingles and logos.

The honking horn broke his reverie.  Doug slid open the window and put out his tip jar.  The silver mini-van pulled up with his first customer.

A beautiful photo prompt this week by Rochelle‘s friend,  Jean Hayes, who created the Ab Fab stained glass panel.  When I was in Sacramento, I lived on Fulton Ave.  I wonder what is at 708?  Maybe this coffee shop.  

Check out my friends  and see what they’ve written… 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday Fictioneers… PARTYTIME…

Debra was a bundle of nerves. Her first party.
Janet and Rich had been over for Pinochle, but that wasn’t really a party. And strip poker one night, not a party… a disaster.
The ashtrays were out and the wine punch made. Scott had cut up the Velveeta and artfully stacked it on a tray. She was finally using the cut glass crystal they had collected, two plates at a time every Saturday night.
All the ladies had arrived, and her card table displayed the featured attraction. Time to get started.
“Hello, my name is Michelann… and this is Tupperware.”
This week, our FriFicMuse Rochelle, has tempted us with a photo taken in the kitchen of  Scott Vannatter… to see other stories, maybe with Scott’s cat, check out these Fictioneers.
Debra's Party with Michelann showing her Tupperware
Debra’s Party with Michelann showing her Tupperware
Earl Tupper
Earl Tupper

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday Fictioneers… PLEASE CALL

She hasn’t been called.  What to do about that?  Fifteen times a day she should be called, have you called once today?
The hell with calling, here’s a better idea. Go see her. That’s one way to put an end to this calling B.S.  Thinking, that’s what gets one ahead.  Show some initiative.
Put in gear, the car moves slowly out to the drive.  Turn left… you are there soon.
Spooky, that’s what you think.  Not what was expected at all.  Not so sure now, the handle is turning, just a slight push.
Oh no!  Wasn’t a good idea.
This week’s challenging photo was taken by Rich Voza (if you see Rich, he looks amazingly like a famous musician), and used by noted humorist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for this week’s Friday Fictioneers Photo Prompt.  To see other’s stories…
Better Yet!!!  Write your own story… just click here.


What would you put in a 2012 time capsule?  A ‘Daily Prompt’ by WordPress 
I have no idea what I would put in my 2012 Time Capsule.  But, the prompt did make me think of a time capsule I did do, almost 60 years ago.
When I was a kid… living in Sacramento… my best friend Jim Kiedasch and I made a Time Capsule.  We placed some important items in one of those army-green ammo boxes my father had brought back from the war.  I can remember a 45 rpm record by Elvis, some photos of us, copies of the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union, and a wire recording we had made, telling the events of the day, the biggest one being… burying our Time Capsule.  We sealed the box with candle wax to keep out moisture.  Dug a hole in the flower garden in my parent’s back yard, and covered the box with rocks before filling it in with dirt.  We were very careful to replace the flowers on top.   Our only witness was my sister Nancy… and a cat.  She didn’t know what the hell we were doing, and neither did the cat, so our secret was safe.
We never dug it up.  I would like to think it is still in the back yard, under the rocks and dirt.

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You are bound and determined to leave the modern world and go back to basics on this one.  She will be impressed.
You stop cleaning the BBQ long enough to check progress in the bucket. The clay has to be the right consistency.
‘Hell, a turkey is too big.’ You decide duck over chicken. Not so much to cover, sounds more exotic.
To pluck or not to pluck… that is the question. You decide to pluck, and cover with lettuce.
She is coming over at seven to a table with candles and flowers.
You serve up a steaming clay egg.
This week, our FriFicMuse Rochelle, has tempted us with a photo taken by the Aloha Man himself… Doug MacIlroy .  After seeing this photo, I now know where the Keck Observatory obtains the fantastic photos of the distant planets in the Universe.  To read what other writers see in Doug’s garage, click here:
To see the Adventures of Doug and Ted… click here:  ABOVE THE CLOUDS  and here: KING OF THE MOUNTAIN … Hey!  This is my blog!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Friday Fictioneers… A CHRISTMAS STORY

The tinsel is hung and the lights are now lit. He is out of a job again.
He used to get to take it all down, the guy living under the Jibboom Street Bridge gets to do that now. Maybe if he moved. Such a hassle though, and he really favored the underpass near Cal Expo.
He would miss the Mall, especially the nice people working in the food court. He had hoped to catch a fast-food job,  but it was not to be.
The job had its perks though, for at camp, he’d been popular with the leftovers.
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for taking time from her 41st Wedding Anniversary Celebration, to lead the Friday Fictioneers and offer one of her own photos for our prompt. 
If you would like to contribute a story… go see Rochelle
To read some great stories based on this photo… 
Enjoy… Ted

Saturday, November 24, 2012


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On the summit of Mauna Kea, Island of Hawai’i
Douglas McIlroy… our host at the Keck Observatory, worlds largest telescopes
A fantastic behind the scenes visit to the Keck Observatory on the big island of Hawai'i... much thanks to our host and guide Doug MacIlroy. (p.s. I was wearing two jackets and a knit cap and freezing)

Friday Fictioneers… KING OF THE MOUNTAIN

“Drink water… Lots” I do. For 13,796 vertical feet. Have to pee.
“Take a flashlight. Follow me. Don’t touch anything.” I do and I don’t.
Dark, cold in here. I’m in a parka. Ironman in a tee. Hard to breathe. Mother Hen MacIlroy sticks something on my finger, checks oxygen level. “You’ll live.”
Inside the dome, faint lights illuminate a sci-fi movie.
“Don’t stand there or you’ll be crushed to death.” I move closer to him.
Giant doors rumble open, letting in the night sky with a twinkle. The massive telescope moves to view light made billions of years ago.
Thank you Doug…
To see more… check out my PhotoLog… TedBooksDailyPics
Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Flash Fiction… This week’s photo prompt is by Sean Fallon… go to see Rochelle… ADDICTED TO PURPLE … for info on how to join us.
To see other Fictioneers’ stories…  

Friday Fictioneers… MUSE

It had been years since he touched a wheel.
Nothing said ‘vacation’ like daytime drinking, and he had been on vacation a long time.  No creative spark in sight.
It bothered him, and in clear moments would go to museums, hoping a muse would find him.
Now, kneading the clay, the familiar slap on the plaster bat bringing it all back, he couldn’t wait till the first kick.  He felt this might save him, for as in times almost forgot, had no doubts it would be good.
Funny what pointed the way, another artist’s work,  a jeering face saying … “Loser.”
Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Flash Fiction… This week’s photo prompt is by Joyce Johnson… Go see Rochelle… ADDICTED TO PURPLE … for info on how to join us.
To read other Fictioneers’ stories… 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


It was early in the morning last Summer, when Sky Bergman started setting out her supplies.  In a few hours, she would be teaching people how to make books.  Sky, is one of many sharing their skills to show those attending Sweet’s Mill Music and Arts Camp,  how to tie-dye or batik, make hats, jewelry, ceramics, musical instruments and in her case... books.  My son-in-law Steve,  has brought his printing press to teach printmaking, along with Kristen's dad, Steve Wilson.  It’s a hands on deal here in the Art Area of Meditation Meadow.

Press made by Steve Gutmann

High in the Sequoia National Forrest somewhere, is a gathering of Musicians and Artists sharing music, dance  and experiences during a giant two week camp out.  There are a lot of talented people, from all around the world.  What am I doing here?  After hearing about Sweet’s Mill from my daughter, like forever, I decided to attend.  Krista and her BFF Kristen have been going since they were kids, and now my granddaughter, Ula, has been attending for all of her 11 years.  Krista is an actress and Kristen is a Belly Dancer.  I have no musical talents and marginal artistic skills, but I do like to take photos, so I decided to chronicle life at Sweet’s Mill.
I had my camera ready when Sky started her first bookmaking class.   Actually I did make a book, in fact two, but my modesty prevents me from being the subject of this story… and it is hard to make a book with a camera in one hand.  So, I was delighted when Kristen arrived and said she wanted to make a book.  A group had gathered and the class was underway…
soon the 'bookmakers were deep into cardboard, art paper and paste...
               Sky began the process with making the cover of the book and concluded after adding the pages.  The books were done, and the campers had a journal to record their experiences in…
making the binding 
attaching cover plates
sizing art paper for cover
gluing cover together

press together
adding the pages

Kristen's Book

Kristen & Sky

And, that's how you make a book!

I'm looking forward to Sweet's Mill next month... I will probably make another book, but Sky is also the head of the Photography Department at Cal Poly... and I just bought a new camera... I have lots to learn.

And, I'm not that modest... here's my book... 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

THE CRUSADER … and the Acting Student

One day, the actress took me to see Graceland Cemetery…  I was living in Chicago, and she said it was a must see.  It was a beautiful spring day, and we strolled the grounds… me snapping pics and she studying her lines for a play that was opening soon.  Never one to miss a dramatic opportunity, she began posing with the statuary… giving me her reaction to each theme.  When we came to the stone knight, she fell to the ground and played the ‘fair maiden struck down in the prime of life’.  After she got up, I asked her if he had slain her.  ”Oh no”, she replied, “he stands guard, protecting her.”
The Crusader by Lorado Taft (1931)…  Cemeteries are the perfect place for a history lesson.  I learned a lot about Chicago history at Graceland.  The place names I had seen around the city came alive with the dead.  The men and women who created Chicago, or made her interesting, making their final stop at Graceland and the other cemeteries around town.  Their gravesites were fascinating, not only for the artwork, but for how they wanted to be portrayed.  Some erected huge mausoleums, and some preferred something quieter…  like their name carved upon a rock.   Victor Lawson got a Medieval Knight.  Victor was the publisher of the Chicago Daily News, and the sculpture embodied his character.   The monument does not bear Lawson’s name, but does have an inscription which reads, “Above all things truth beareth away victory”.   At his brother’s request, Lorado Taft sculpted The Crusader out of a single block of  dark granite.
Taft’s most famous sculpture also stands sentinel at Graceland… although of a different type… it is entitled  Eternal Silence.
English: Eternal Silence, (1909), Lorado Taft....
wikipedia photo
I thought of my photo, taken in 1988, while watching Game of Thrones last night.  The knights protecting their charges… and some not with protection in mind.

Friday, June 1, 2012

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS… One Natural Disaster On It’s Way…

The top is off!!!
I told them not to screw with things… would they listen? Nooo… and now there’s no top. There one minute, gone the next!
Would it be so hard, just for once, to have something done right? What are we going to do to explain this one? A landslide won’t work here, and of course floods are out. I guess we’ll have to hurry and pull a Mount Saint Helen’s before the sun gets up to high… and the natives see it’s gone.
This is such a pain in the ass… but we can’t have another panic.
It must be Friday… time for Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers, and some 100 Word Flash Fiction!   To see all the stories or to join in and add yours, click here.
 Credit for the Photo Prompt belongs to the Aloha Man, Douglas MacIlroy on the Big Island.  He works at the Keck Observatory on top of Mauna Kea… 13,522 feet above the Hawaiian Sea.  To see another great photo taken from his office and to read a celestial account of his job ➢➢➢

Monday, May 14, 2012


Last week I saw the most amazing sight.

I had gone to the mainland to see my grandson play in a baseball tournament. Hayden graduates from high school this year, and my chances to see him play ball are dwindling. So I headed North, with Ashley and my sister Mariya,  to the utmost edge of the U.S.A. (not counting Alaska) near Blaine. Washington.

We got as far as Bellingham before a stop at a coffee shop was needed. I was actually surprised we got out of Anacortes without stopping to see Ashley's favorite barista... but that was a good thing, as she stopped in Fairhaven. Bellingham is made up with a bunch of little towns that kind of grew together. Fairhaven is the oldest, and the buildings are of the historic type. Reminded me a bit of Old Sacramento. I bought some licorice, while they got their coffee and some fab cheesecake... and took photos

We neared Baine and started looking for Pipeline Road and the baseball fields. Driving country roads is always a treat.   "Stop the car!"   We had just passed 15 ponies lying on the ground. All of them lying on the ground. And they were all Palominos. It was something to see and we went back to take a photo. When I got out and went to the edge of the road a few stood up. By the time I jumped the ditch and got to the fence they were all looking my way like dogs expecting a treat. I wished then I had some apples in my pocket rather than licorice. Those little ponies made me think of my friend Jaime, who raises miniature horses to be guide animals. They did their bit for a unique photo op. I will never forget the sight of those horses.

We find the baseball tournament, and Friday Harbor wins one and loses one. I take a bunch of pics. The usual baseball pics… Hayden at bat… Hayden in the field… Hayden running the bases… that kind of stuff. Later, I notice one shot I took with my phone… I think it's pretty cool.

Monday, April 23, 2012


The other day, Stephan Elliott of The Rumpus said this… “I’ve been reading about Bob Dylan in 1965. He was tired of music and fame and he went to upstate New York to live in a cabin and be alone. He didn’t even bring a guitar. He said he quit music. After five days he started writing what many consider the best songs of his career.”  That got me to thinking…

I saw Bob Dylan in 1965 at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento.  A girl I was interested in at the time suggested I take her, as she had no money to buy a ticket.  I had no idea who Bob Dylan was, but thought it was in my best interest to buy the tickets.

 The Auditorium seats 3,000… there were about 600 in attendance, scattered all about.  Bob came out on the stage… a skinny guy with a guitar and a folding chair.  He sat down, strummed his guitar and sang a song.  After a few songs, he told everyone to come down and sit in the chairs on the main floor.  In those days no one stood at the front of the stage and lit matches or waved Bics… and certainly not cell phones.  I thought that was a cool move on his part.

 I enjoyed the concert and my introduction into the World of Bob Dylan.  I didn’t get laid that night, but I did get a Bob Dylan record the next day.

Highway 61 Revisited was that album.

Flash Friday Fictioneers… DRIP, DROP, DRIP

Something keeps rumbling overhead.  Sounds of pushing.

I was falling.  That was the scariest part.  Of course the landing wasn’t a piece of cake… hurt like hell. Right on my back.  Oh, God it hurts my ribs to move.

How long has it been? Maybe five days now.  I can remember walking the field, then grabbing at air as I went down the pit.  So fast… like instant. 

 I can just see some light above, and the drip of water every once in a while has been a Godsend.  I think I’m past hungry.

There’s the rumbling again.  


Another 100 Word Photo Prompt from Madison Woods… and here’s where to find the stories… Madison’s blog

Saturday, April 14, 2012

100-words Flash Friday Fictioneers... THE UNDERPASS

Today's the day.  Going to pop another cherry.  Almost getting hard thinking about it, I know I will be when I get there... that's always the way it works.
Chancy, taking the risk... she may be watched.  Doesn't matter, someone else will get the honors, and I want to be first.  I have a reputation to uphold, and you don't get to be the master without a few risks.

This tunnel is the perfect place... dark and cool inside.  No one to see.
The cans rattling in my backpack empower me... Carnelian my favorite.

"STOP... POLICE!"  "I told you he'd come."

Another Friday... another photo prompt... another stab at Fiction with Madison Woods and her friends... see their stories here.