rik-rat corn pile

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This just happened!

Mudd jumped on my lap. I was paying attention to a Dick Blick catalog and didn't really notice his presense until I heard a loud burp and smelled a terrible smell. I looked at him, astonished that such a small thing could make such a large scent, and noticed he was chewing. HE BURPED UP A MOUTHFUL OF PARTIALLY DIGESTED KIBBLE AND WAS CHEWING IT ON MY LAP! But wait, it gets worse. A trio of wet kibbles fell from his mouth and onto my Ottumwa Bulldogs hoody AND THEN HE ATE THEM AGAIN!

It was horrible.

Mudd don't care.

Monday, January 28, 2013

No. Sleep. Till Brooklyn...or Peoria, Illinois (in my case).

Wow.  So it's been awhile.  Ten days to be exact.  It was a pretty gnarly weekend...gnarly in a good way so here it goes. 

1. Wake up at 7am.  I have to be in Peoria, Illinois by 1:30pm to meet my friend, Bruce.  Bruce and I are going to perfect the new website we've been working on over the past few months.

2. Hop into the car at 8:30am and drive 3 hours to Galesburg, Illinois where I spend 300 freaking dollars on art supplies.  I leave the store feeling very, very, poor.  I hit the gas, I'm still forty minutes from P-Town and I've got a schedule to keep.

3. I pull up to Bruce's house at exactly 1:30 (and I am completely astonished, I predicted this well), wipe the gunk outta my eyes and get down to the nitty-gritty.  I plug in words, numbers, organize images, and learn how to run my own website.  Bruce is a God.  I feel confidant that the new website will be beautiful...the best part?  I can update everything on my own.  I feel so empowered.

4. Its now almost 4pm and I have a date with Elizabeth.  I haven't seen her in years.  I grab some coffee for our coffee date, go to her house, meet her new cats, we wax nostalgic, and then we hug goodbye (the cool coin is a gift from Elizabeth!).  It was a short visit but a positive one.

5. Wow, it's already 5!  I hustle to the casino in East Peoria where I meet Rik. We (he) gamble for a minute before our STEAK dinner.  The casino rewarded Rik's patronage with free steak!  I ate a Filet Mignon.  That damn piece of meat cost 38 dollars.  Thanks, Rik!  Next time I see you the steak is on me!

6. Oh god!  It's already 7!  I have to drive across town to meet up with my ol' college buddies.  Juice, Steve, Shannon, Rishika, Jessi, Beth, Tony, Steven,  and I sit on the floor of his kitchen and laugh for two hours!  It was so lovely to see everyone.  I miss everyone so much.  It's all about quality time, not quantity time.

7. If it wasn't for the predicted ice storm I would have spent the night.  I left Peoria at 10pm and made it to Iowa by 1:45 where I was greeted by my fella', our dog, and a big ass pot of beef stew.

So, wow.  I can't believe I did all that in less than 24 hours, I managed to do everything on my list and do it exactly on time.  I was so pooped on Sunday that I could barely move.  But I managed to mix business with pleasure and I feel happier because of it...Also, I failed to mention all the cool things I saw while I was driving.

1. four coyotes.  two of them were perhaps courting.  They ran in front of my car and I almost hit them going 60.  Damn were they fluffy and beautiful.
2. A huge bald eagle flew above my car for 1 minute.  It was HUGE.
3. I almost hit a hawk.  The hawk was so close to my windshield I could see it's cloaca.  TMI?  Who gives a fuck?
4. A herd of 40 + whitetail deer.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fossils and Curios from Iowa.

I picked up display boxes when I went to the pawn shop the other week.  Four of them.  When we got home I spent the better part of 5 hours organizing fossils.  I'm totally normal, I swear.  Obviously, not all of these objects are fossils...there's some raccoon jawbones, a boar's tooth, an old geode bit, some native American artifacts, and a Shriner pin (like the beaver?), an old ass gnawed up deer bone, petrified wood, a wheat penny, and some fool's gold.

I think the display boxes look good and in case there are any questions about the giant glass arrowhead I might as well answer it now.  While browsing the racks at the pawn shop I came across an arrowhead that was napped out of some kind of brownish grey glass.  It was made by some guy in Ottumwa, he probably pawned it for a couple of cigarettes.  The owner of the store wanted ten bucks for the thing.  I offered him five (coz it's really pretty cool) and we had a deal.  Five dollars well spent.

It's pretty cool that I found all of these things.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I Turned 30 Yesterday.

I turned 30 yesterday and had a delightful owl themed birthday!  It was pretty fabulous and I wanted to share some of the cards with all of you wonderful people.  I love that my friends and family know me so well.
Trevor surprised me with a Rage Comic themed birthday card.  I love the Forever Alone guy.
Kyle knows I love me some cute prairie dog action and got me this adorable card.
Ali added a monkey tattoo and a coin to my ever expanding collection of coins and curios.
Geoff is quite the artist and drew me a long legged basketball playing fish hipster.  woot woot.
Chloe is turning into quite the lil' lady.  She made me this card and a whole bevvy of other incredible presents including: an owl cake, an owl centerpiece, an owl keychain, and an owl cutout!  Thanks, Pinegar Family!  You guys rock!
And Juice never disappoints with a well timed mailbox greeting.  It's to know I'm not being thanked for being an asshole.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just Another Trip to the Pawn Shop.

McKee's coins is the coolest pawn shop in the Mid West.  I'll usually try to hit it up every three months to check out their new wares.  The place is mostly filled with antlers, taxidermy, old hunting traps, books, Native American Artifacts, coins a plenty, fossils...McKee's Coins is not your normal pawn shop.  It seems to cater to the eccentrics as well as those interested in a good ol' coin auction.  We went there on Saturday to pick up some display boxes for my plethora of fossils (photos of that soon, so exciting) and I managed to haggle my way into a deal (photos of that to come as well) which was good for my ego and self esteem.  All in all, a good time.
A view of the shop from the back.  Notice all the eclectic clutter.
Yeah, that's beaver taxidermy and that's woodchuck taxidermy.  Behind?  A huge python skin (15 feet long!)
Just a cool shot of all of their front window display taxidermy.  The goose looks alive.
I've visited this shop for three, going on four years.  These fossils have never moved.  I'm gonna make a deal for these on my next visit.  I'll be the proud owner of a bucket full of Blastoiden.  I'm not sure what the next step will be.
Bear Skull!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Wonderful Work of Stacey Rozich.

"The Stakeout" Stacey Rozich, 2012.  I OWN THIS!
I'm a huge fan of Beautiful/Decay.  I heard about Amir Fallah's publication in 2009 and have been an avid follower of their blog and magazine ever since.  Along with giving their followers incredible interviews, beautiful images, and a cutting edge publication they really make you feel like you are a part of their "family."  The artists, bloggers, and staff of Beautiful/Decay are incredibly accessible.

I check their blog daily (http://beautifuldecay.com/category/painting/) and occasionally develop "art crushes."  To those that aren't familiar with the term "art crush", lemme explain...it's not complicated.  You see a piece of art and become twitterpaited, ridiculously infatuated, enamored, with the work.  This happened to me a few weeks ago when Beautiful/Decay featured Stacey Rozich's work on their blog.

Rozich's work was so aggressive, humorous, and complicated.  The paintings spoke to so many levels of storytelling...each piece reads like an epic myth.  Rozich's cast of characters are incredibly powerful but remain flawed, Greek Gods in Pacific Northwest Animal Masks.  As a human that is into animal symbolism and narrative, I had to own one of these pieces.  

So, I emailed her.  Simple as that.  Within an hour, Stacey emailed me back with a list of paintings that were available for purchase.  One piece titled, "The Stakeout," spoke to me.  A beastly creature sitting on a box of potato chips, bottle of wine in tote, shotgun on the lap, just waiting for something...the best way to describe the piece?  Extremely Badass.  So, I bought it.  Rozich and I came up with a payment plan (which was greatly appreciated) and a month later it's hanging on my wall.

I see great things happening in Stacey's world.  She is a talented illustrator, designer, painter, storyteller, and can even make a fabulously strange music video (which I completely recommend checking out http://seattlecentralcreativeacademy.com/stacey-rozich-fleet-foxes-music-video/ ).  Her work is awe inspiring, brilliant, and I look forward to owning another one of her pieces...one of these days.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Killing Some Time.

I love that I finally own a mobile device, it allows me to do some real time blogging. For instance: I just got out of work and have already walked through a muddy, disgusting creek! I've even found a few treasures.

This creek is not known for fossils or arrowheads, I go there to find antique glass. The sad part is that most of the glass is broken but the colors are so fabulous I plan on making a mosaic....eventually.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Beautiful Afternoon on the Des Moines River.

Poor Mudd-Puppy has developed a major case of cabin fever over the past two weeks. Iowa has been bitterly cold and his little dog body simply can't take the cold for longer than ten minutes at a time. I feel for the guy. It's a hard knock life and, thankfully, the weather threw him a bone today. It's over 30 degrees so he got to go on a little dog adventure.

List of things we did today in no particular order: 1. we watched eagles dive bomb the river. 2. Mudd got to ruin his Christmas sweater by rolling in a huge pile of coyote shit. 3. We saw a huge mallard migration. I think it was a rest stop on their migration. There were, literally, thousands of ducks covering the ice and open water of the Des Moines. It was pretty magnificent but hard to photograph with an awesome yet cumbersome iPad. 4. Hit some golf balls at Kyle's camp site. It's very satisfying to watch a golf ball bounce across a frozen river. 5. Made bull whips out of willow tree branches. 6. Searched, unsuccessfully, for fool's gold at the Eveland Access Boat Ramp.

All in all, it was a pretty beautiful day.

Friday, January 4, 2013

An Incredible Thrift Store Finds.

Isn't this the most amazing flask you have ever seen in your entire life.  If you answered "no" to this ridiculous question, I demand photographic proof that a better flask even exists...because I don't think one does.  Treat every day like a treasure hunt and your life will be a constant adventure.