29 May 2010

Sayin' Hello Yellow.

Quick note.
Checked out my analytics today and saw that someone up in Yellowknife had checked out ye ol blogue. Nicely done Yellowknife. Obviously there's someone up there who knows where it's at!
(It's here. As they now know.)
I'm thinking it may be my northern-most hit to date.

Side note.
I do wonder what happened to all the hits I used to get from China. I mean, they were all over the website last year. I think I scared off the sleeping giant with my brazen capitalist marketing skills.

Anyway, come back to me China and thanks for stopping by Yellowknife. If you have any questions please feel free to ask one of our customer service specialists.

27 May 2010

To 'wax poetic' is lofty and fine, but to 'grind poetic' is simply devine.

Over at the mothership there is a message board. A day or so after I left the Casa del J. to schlep back home last month I found this lovely poem writ to me by the lovely Mrs. Col. J. on that message board.

I'm deeply flattered by the piece and mildly worried that my coffee addiction is so powerful that it moves people to poetics.
Love. Death. Justice. Coffee. Truly the 4 essential themes in poetry.

Here is the piece:

Mr. Coffee's Lament
by Mrs. Col. J.

Oh where oh where is my Kreddible Trout
Oh where oh where can he be?
With his 3 cups of water and 12 scoops of grind,
Oh where oh where can he be?

For 4 weeks in a row I gave him my brew,
Because he was looking so tired.
When he left for his workshop, I thought to myself
His art is part talent and part being wired.

And now he’s gone home, and I’m stuck here with decaf,
and what oh what do I see?
Across the counter where I always sit,
The Sumatran Roast taunting me!

Thank you very much Mrs. Col. J.
... & say 'HI' to Perky The Coffee Machine for me, would you? Tell her I hope decaf is treatin' her right.

21 May 2010


"The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted
- Lorenzo, Merchant Of Venice Act 5 Scene 1. By Willy Shakes.
(one of my favorite quotes)

Now, I'm sure Ol' Willy mightn't have been referring to The MC5 when he wrote those lines, but he was never graced by the concords of sweet powerchords and Marshall stacks. I have been.

I'm going to digress a little before I even begin here. Please bear with me.

In the last few years this whole digital music thing has begun to wear hard on my soul. I'm not pining for those nostalgic pops & grooves of vinyl. (Though they do have a depth to them that can never be matched. Much like film vs. digital) Nor is it the opening beeps of a cassette I miss.
It's albums that I miss.


Be they on cassette, vinyl or even CD, an album - the collection and arrangement of songs - used to be as much a part of the art as the actual songs. They moved, they flowed, they had cadence and reason. Slap on the cover art and the album was the piece of art.
This whole MP3 thing destroys that. Having a million songs on shuffle mixed with the millisecond attention span of the children of the MTV generation has turned the once glorious feast that was a solid album to a microwaved noodle bowl downed with a Red Bull.
It's grotesque.
As a passenger in cars over the past few years I've sat in (sometimes-not-so) quiet rage while the driver skips from 'oh my god I love this song!' to 'oh this song totally rocks!' without ever listening to either one in entirety! Entire car rides go by and I hear two thirds of a dozen songs and maybe one all the way through.

CDs made it bad with the ease of skipping and the lack of 'sides', but the shuffle of MP3s is ruining music for me.

So, for the KREDDIBLE TROUT (part of the) WORLD TOUR 2010 I decided to slap a bunch of full albums on CD. No mixes. No 'mellow countryside mix'. No 'hard rockin city' mix. ALBUMS. Most of them were doubled up (you can almost fit 3 Ramones albums on a CD, Misfits too.) on one CD, and there was one or two with some mixed filler at the end (though I shudder to call Roger Miller, Devo or The Zombies 'filler') but mostly, 100% albums. A bunch of them were the actual CDs too, but I didn't bring many as car rides tend to scratch the hell out of them.

So, as another little glimpse into Trout... here's my soundtrack. They're in no order except that the first 10 or so were in heavy rotation.(If any of you are going on a roadtrip, I'd advise all of them.)

- The Rushmore Soundtrack.
- Alice Cooper - Easy Action.
- The Ramones - Rocket To Russia.
- The MC5 - High Times.
- Gord Downie - Coke Machine Glow.
- Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks.
- Jane's Addiction - Jane's Addiction.
- Van Halen - Fair Warning
- The King Kahn & BBQ Show - Invisible Girl
- The Black Keys - Thickfreakness.
- Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather.
- Mark Sultan - The Sultanic Verses.
- Bob Dylan - Desire.
- The Stooges - The Stooges.
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada
- The Ramones - Animal Boy.
- The Beatles - The White Album.
- The Ramones - Mondo Bizarro.
- The Misfits - Legacy of Brutality.
- PJ Harvey - Dry.
- Nomeansno - Sex Mad/You Kill Me.
- Richie Havens - Collection
- The Cramps - Psychedelic Jungle.
- Talking Heads - Little Creatures.
- Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny.
- Pink Floyd - Animals.
- TV On The Radio - Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes.
- The MC5 - Back In The U.S.A.
- The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Now I Got Worry.
- The Almighty Defenders - The Almighty Defenders.
- Boss Hog - Boss Hog.
- Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge.
- The Beastie Boys - The In Sound From Way Out.
- Primus - The Brown Album.
- The C.P.C. Gangbangs - Mutilation Nation. (second half of trip - thanks Tommy.)
- The Dicks - These People.
- The Ramones - The Ramones.
- Ween - Chocolate & Cheese.
- Van Halen - Women And Children First.
- The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed.
- The Tragically Hip - Phantom Power.
- fIREHOSE - Flyin The Flannel.
- Radiohead - OK Computer.
- Tom Waits - Big Time.
- The Dicks - Kill From The Heart.
- Pete Seeger & Brother Kirk Visit Sesame Street.
- Nomeansno - Mr. Right & Mr. Wrong.
- The Sonics - Boom.
- Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel The Illinoise.
- Patti Smith - Horses.
- Black Sabbath - Master of Reality.
- Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All.
- Do Make Say Think - & Yet & Yet.
- The White Stripes - The White Stripes.
- Ween - The White Pepper.
- Metallica - Master of Puppets.
- Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones

... there were probably a few that I missed but I think I got them all.

14 May 2010

Brazen New Initiatives @ kreddibletrout.com!

That's right folks there is something brand-spankin' new a-brewin' over at the ol' Mothership Kreddible Trout Connection!

Reports are sketchy at this point but it seems that the self-proclaimed 'Gurus of Gigantic Ideas Department' believe they have sunk a hole in one recently with their LARGE SCALE PHOTOGRAPHIC INSTALLATIONS idea. They're just so sure about it they convinced our team of web developers (me, sitting on my living room floor drinking too much coffee) to put some gaudy, repetitive and criminally 80s coloured links on the website to draw attention to it. They all lead to the same thing, which is annoying, but in marketing annoying works! Annoying works! Annoying works!

They think it just may be the key to unlocking the gateway to riches I promised them that night after too many virgin margaritas. (Ow. the headache still haunts me)

The nutshell is this:
- Big Walls.
- Big, custom tailored photographic art.

We're thinking:
- condos. - restaurants.
- bars. - offices.
- lobbies. - foyers.
- other places like lobbies and foyers.

Clincher #1 - It's absolutely one-of-a-kind. TIER 1 CUSTOMERS get photographs no one else will ever have. Period.

I know! Crazy! Just crazy!

The other clincher is that the first couple of art savvy consumers who hire me for this fantastically one-of-a-kind initiative are going to get a really, really sweet deal. As I need to build my portfolio for this new concept, I'll be charging just slightly above cost for the first couple of commissions. Really though, it's for a limited time only!

Are you still reading this? Would you go over and look at the thing already?!?

11 May 2010

Settled Dust - Musings on Artwalk and The Sushi Gallery Show & some stuff I learned.

Well, I just deleted an hour's worth of writing on the Artwalk/Sushi subject.

Normally I'd be cussing a heavy blue lash at the computer and using every ounce of will power to not pick it up and throw it out the window, go out to where it's landed and set fire to it, dance around the fire and put it out with an angry stream of urine.

But I deleted it intentionally.

As I'd re-read it I realized I'd just been reiterating things I've already posted and I don't like being redundant about things I've already posted after realizing I'd already posted them. I've blogged about the shop & display units & earthquakes & mad science & turning left out of the shop that one time & even Artwalk itself...

I'd written all that. So, what's left? I guess what's left is my opinions on it all. My feelings. (ew! feelings?) Yes, feelings. So, what did I take from this experience? What impressions were left? Did I like it or hate it? Was the coffee good? Important stuff like that.

So here goes.

The entire experience was fantastic. It was stressful. It was amusing. It was hard work. It was epiphany. It was frustration. It was culture-shocking. It was creation, my favorite thing.

It was fantastic.

Col J's generosity, coupled with his moderate insanity (the good kind that maintains wonderment as a driving force) gave me an experience I'll never fully be able to pay back. Financially, sure. Our dividends will settle over time and the books will be balanced, but he offered me an experience that I'd not have been able to pull off on my own. Not now anyway. It was every struggling artist's dream; to have some nutbag with a few bucks throw some of them at you and allow you to create your art full time. This nutbag was much more than just 'the money' though, The Colonel's drive (though sometimes of the out-of-control freight-train variety) was crucial in this thing going off at all. As I was working 12+ hours a day he was as well, working his regular day job and spending every other moment (save basketball time on Sunday) devoted to the project. I can't even begin to go into all the things he was up to in the same way that I can't go into all the stuff I was doing. Lists are boring & my artistic process is something I don't even understand so to explain it would be near impossible.

Suffice it to say by the end of Artwalk we both looked like we'd spent 2 months in the desert doing peyote and screaming at the stars.
... no, not like that.
pipe it down peyote man.
when you yell 'sorry' it doesn't feel like you really are.


Artwalk, as I've written, was a success in every way except in the way that people gauge success: financially. We worked our butts off all weekend and took several days to recover. I handed out over a thousand business cards and almost everyone who went through the tent had something good to say. There were some sales and I hope some commissions will come in too. It was awesome though I wish I could have gotten out to see some of the other tents.

I've not written about The Sushi Gallery yet. At the end of Artwalk (4pm Sunday) we began to tear down the entire exhibit and haul it all the way across town for a scheduled display at the Sushi Performance & Visual Arts Gallery. Mr. Patrick Stewart who runs it was wonderfully helpful and accommodating to us and our carnival/commando styled art escapade. It was really a commando mission: in & out quickly, leaving little evidence of our ever being there.
We were there for 4 hours. The show happened between 6 and 9pm. I was to be doing a few small performance vignettes but only really managed to pull of one. A sort of introductory piece & a poetic recital of Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting (reading the word 'Saturday' as many times as is said in that song can lead to serious side effects.) The night began and I was chatting up (or being chatted up my a lot of people) and before I was able to even notice, the crowd has begun to disperse so it was the only performance. I wasn't too disappointed as it meant I was doing a lot of what artists in galleries are supposed to do: talk to people. BY that point, I was running on the fumes of fumes and Col. J looked like he was about to collapse. But, as soon as the audience dwindled, it was time to slap everything back into several vehicles and schlep it across town one last time to return it to the studio. The night ended at about 11:30pm (incredibly efficient considering everything we had to accomplish) though it felt like 4am several days in the future.
Again, I think it was a success but I really don't know too much about those things. I will hopefully know more as time goes by. Like, for example, if making money at events like this is expected. Important things like that.

Six nights later I was back in Victoria with some fantastic new ideas and am in the process of taking them from exciting things that bump around in my head to green things that bump around in my bank account. This is the crux as the dust & tumbleweed that presently reside in my bank account make it difficult to make ideas of this magnitude possible. Crux, crux, crux. I will probably need to shave before going into the bank, but I think there's a business loan or something in my future. A business loan??? I have no idea where to begin with all that and it is daunting...

[camera close up of Trout's forehead. A bead of sweat appears on it. Pull out to reveal polite haircut and pleading nervous smile. Sweat builds. Pull out to fisheye view of hundreds of bankers gathered around, all pointing and laughing hysterically. Various close ups of bankers sweating with laughter, fingers pointed like spears.]

...one of the the endings of that scene has me leaping, with heroic defiance on the banker's desk and pulling out a piece of Kreddible Trout Photographic Artwork. The bankers jeers into accolades while they pelt me with flowers and hand me dark roast coffees. Birds sing. Hippies and red necks in the bank shake hands and hug. Coffee brews. The pen on the desk turns to chocolate and I eat it...

It'll all hopefully nestle somewhere snug in the middle of all that. The ball has begun to roll. Hopefully it doesn't encounter a toll bridge.


All told, my experience is what platitude will call investment. The time and lost opportunity cost for me was pretty substantial (I basically took 2 months off regular income) and Col. J set himself back a few months paying for this insanity. We'll reel back for a while in the bank accounts, but what we gained was, I think, immeasurable. I can't speak for him, but I think we both learned something from each other.

My feelings (remember, you said you'd talk about them?) on the whole thing can be summed up by saying I'm still stunned. I really didn't have much time to have any feelings about it. Positivity had to make way for the stuff that needed doing. As did negativity. And really, now I'm still stunned. I had a world of fun. It was worth every second. There was very little, if any, negativity involved at all. (Well, some in regards to driving in Southern California... but that's another blog entry.) I made some wonderful friends in The J's and spent some time in and driving though some beautiful parts of the world. I would have liked to have seen more of San Diego while I was there but I know that I'll have the chance again.

I loved the whole experience and I think that is all.

For now.

10 May 2010

ok... i lied.

two things:

first. Yay Habs. Keep it up.

second. I just invented the term 'phonetography' which refers to the silly (yet increasingly impressive) world of iphone pictures & the 'apps' that vintage-ify them. they're getting very artsy and make me wonder why I carry around all this tonnage of 40D with me.

That's right, PHONETOGRAPHY. It's mine. Anyone uses it and they owe me royalties. Or... chocolate & coffee. (I may own 'vintage-ify' too... be careful)

Artwalk/Sushi Gallery
San Diego/The Col Js
Driving in Southern California.

then we'll be back on track.

09 May 2010

additions to the family

Well folks, over at the MOTHERSHIP KREDDIBLE TROUT CONNECTION we've been doing some renovating and are considering adding a new wing to accommodate all the yummy yummy art we're stocking up on.
We've added some new bits to the Observations section but the bulk of the work has been done in the UNIQUELY MOUNTED section where we're trying to show off some of the artistic remnants of the Artwalk escapade.

Next post: Musings on Artwalk.

I promise.

03 May 2010

the trip home part 3: day 3, the final end chapter. The official END of the KREDDIBLE TROUT (part of the) WORLD TOUR 2010... sorta.

I do need to tidy some things up around here and get those posts up about San Diego, Artwalk/Sushi Gallery and Driving in Southern California, but this post marks END of the KREDDIBLE TROUT (part of the) WORLD TOUR 2010. Day three of the journey home was when I returned home.

So here goes.

Saturday. 10:45am. Car won't start.

No joke.

Turn the key and nothing. Now, the calmer of y'all might have just got a jump-start and have had done with it but let's let the shock and irony sink in a bit.

Lets let the voice of the mechanic who checked out the Troutmobile before leaving Victoria repeat in your head "the starter motor needs attention... the blardy-blardo hose is corroded like I've never seen... it may last another 50 thousand K... it may pop tomorrow... once it goes you need a new starter... the blardy-blardo hose.... the blardy-blardo hose...."
(...I know very little about cars and in my memory it was the blardy-blardo hose, ok?)

A little more irony rubbed in the wound.

Now, I'm not the 'woe is me' sort and can usually find a pretty cheery outlook on things, but when the car won't start and your ONE DAY'S DRIVE from home after being on the road for 6 WEEKS even Spock would say 'Well isn't that just my luck?!'

So... in a state of shock (hadn't had coffee yet either so... you just can't even imagine) I wandered into the motel lobby...
'um... um... do... you... do you know of... a... mechanic in the... in the area?'
'Not around here sir. here's one about a 15 minute walk away...'
'So... my car won't start and... and it's almost 11, can I leave my stuff in the room a little longer?'
'Of course, check out isn't til noon.'
'oh. that's good news. So... maybe I'll go across to the gas station... maybe they'll have an idea about a garage...'
What little money I had left felt at that point like it was lodged in the left ventricle of my heart and it would take crude surgery to get it out. But it'd have to come out and I might need to see what I could scrape up off the pit of my stomach too...
I called my support staff. Michelle's cheery voice turned very cautious as she heard the news. The caution was probably one part concern for my state and one part shock of her own. (She's the guilt riddled one... she probably started blaming herself.) I told her I was on my way to a Kia dealership up the street at the suggestion of the gas station guy. She asked if I'd tried to get a jump for it.
It honestly hadn't occurred to me. Or maybe it did. I can't remember. The way the car sounded.. it was like nothing was happening. I've heard cars try to start before... it didn't sound like it was trying. To be honest, my immediate thought was the blardy-blardo hose and the starter being shot. My immediate thought was upwards of seven hundred dollars as a complete guess.
A jump?
I decided to stop being in shock, realized I was highly under-caffinated, and began thinking slightly rationally.
'I think I should try that first. You're right. I should get a jump. No sense assuming it's the worst just because the irony is so perfect. I'll get a jump. Thank you, my love.'
'Call me as soon as you-'
'of course. as soon as I... I'll call you. I love you.'
'I love you too'
I never heard her say that with such concern before. Maybe once a couple of summers ago. But I don't think so.
So, back to the motel I went and asked around. Someone else was getting a push start. Apparently her and her husband just broke up and he found out where she was staying and messed up her car. Why he'd opt to drain the battery I have no idea. Seems a bit passive to come all that way just to turn the lights on and snicker. I guess it's better than the alternative but I think she just forgot to turn them off herself.
I ended up stopping this couple, the lady looked like she'd been working in a roadhouse for 10 years and the guy was a friendly, docile little Mexican guy who didn't speak English. She translated and I told them I could parlez francais if that would help. They laughed because it didn't.
A couple of minutes later the Troutmobile was running and I was jamming money back into my heart minus the fin I gave the guy for the jump. He told me to clean the connectors with steel wool and a lemon. Haven't done that yet.


Spun the Troutmobile round to my room, loaded it up without shutting it off and was out of there in 5 minutes. Being in Oregon I knew there would be little drive through espresso huts all over the place and within about 5 minutes I found one. Stocked up, two double americanos to go, drove through Carl's Jr to spend one of my coupons on a breakfast burrito and...

... I WAS OFF!

Boogieing up the 5 with a new lease on life and a belly fulla coffee & burrito (which was actually pretty good) I was in a happier place. (and yes, I called Michelle as soon as I got the car running)

Portland... I'll have to take a rain cheque on visiting again. I will miss you and it felt crappy to drive right past the bridge that led to the Saturday Market, but I was on a mission & didn't want to tempt fate.

I did, however, make one stop in Portland.

See, I'd been trying to get a Hooters t-shirt for my lovely fiancee for a while and hadn't had any luck in the two others I spotted along the way. They were both out of the kind I wanted. I had given up (or forgotten about it) by this point until, on my way north through Portland I was confronted with a huge Hooters sign. I took it as a sign as I'd been thinking at the very moment I saw it that I needed to stop for one of my many, coffee induced pit stops. The boobies - er, I mean the ladies who are more than just boobies but allow themselves to be objectified to sell buffalo wings look at you funny when you make more than the usual amount of eye contact and don't want to stay to eat buffalo wings. I think it's almost a personal affront to them. I got a t-shirt and asked where the bathrooms were. As I wandered through I noticed several men with their young boys with them. One of the kids was about five. I assume the kid tried to play with a doll once and that was it for him.
'Honey, I'm takin' the boy to Hooters before he goes all gay on us! I might have to get him drunk too! You just keep watchin' Martha Stewart with Sally, everything will be alright!'

So... long story short: the Hooters t-shirt fits. ahem.

And I was off!

Every largish city after Portland had traffic to contend with. I thought it couldn't be too bad in the Northwest-ist of the northwest. But even Lakewood was slow. Tacoma too. Seattle was the worst traffic I'd seen since LA. (then I realized I missed the express route! I could see others, speeding along, almost completely devoid of cars but I just could not get to them.) After Seattle I stopped in who knows where for my last Jack In The Box meal. This time it was out of necessity and frustration. Not like the many weeks before when the thought was a novel one. It didn't even occur to me at the time that I'd come full fast-food circle. I was just cranky about the lack of option.

Then, the sky began to break and the sun began to shine. Was that Canada on the horizon? Did I smell maple syrup? Indeed I was approaching the border.

I thought for sure I'd be stopped this time. Not that it's more difficult to get into Canada, but because it is a much larger border crossing where I figured they had enough staff to warrant pulling me over to inspect my car full of unsold art. I looked in the rearview mirror... my eyes were glossy from 3 days of coffee, fast food and driving. I looked stoned. Surely they'd stop the stoned-looking-guy with the back seat full of large bubble-wrapped art pieces that I'd taken to referring to as my fat artistic son, Horace. (I made a point of not answering him when we were in the line at the border though he wouldn't shut the hell up about wanting more Jack In The Box. The kid drives me nuts.)


I breezed through as easily as when I came down. Without incident and with a great amount of relief.

Surrey smelled like the ass of a cow. Welcome home, eh!

Got past that, into Tsawwassen and the tiny line up for the ferry HOME! The thought of the car not starting in the line when we were to load onto the ferry had crossed my mind but I put it out quickly. Got on the ferry and took the only picture of the day with the camera on my phone.

Damn BC Ferries... the ice cream machine was out of order!

I arrived to the eager arms of my love and, after unloading the Troutmobile, was able to finally get some rest.

And thus, ladies, gentlemen and those undecided... we've come to the end of the KREDDIBLE TROUT (part of the) WORLD TOUR 2010!

If anyone is interested in any tour merchandise we have some tid bits at marked down prices. I'll sell you the pen Hurricane Terra gave me... got lots of art... which I'll be hocking at various markets in the Victoria Area.

I'd like to thank Col J for making all this happen (even if sometimes there was too much lumber involved), Mrs. Col. J, Mrs. Trout, all our art lackeys and the tour hosts who helped me along the way. Patrick at Sushi Gallery. Thank you to all who purchased art off me. Thank you adventure and random meetings. Thank you weirdos. Thank you normal folks. Thank you Troutmobile for being the best frikken little mobile I could ask for (that little thing was 6 years old when I got it 4 years ago, has been across Canada 3 times & is still kicking! Some applause please!)
Very soon I will blog the San Diego, Artwalk, Sushi experiences before they become more fiction than fact. Until then, I have to make some dinner.

Trout Out!

madeinvic.ca - 100 Cameras Project: Camera 021

As though I didn't have enough to do, in February I did a project which involved 100 disposable cameras, one month and the question 'what does made in victoria mean to you?'. So I went out with a more succinct (i know... me? succinct? really though) preface rather than a question which was 'Victoria is...' and had people fill in the blank. Saved me a hell of a lot of work! Just had other people do it.
some time last week the project was put up online and last night I finished the story for it but here, finally is my assignment.
madeinvic.ca - 100 Cameras Project - Camera 021 - Kreddible Trout 'Takin it to the streets'

I'm very happy with how it turned out. Please take some time and have a peek. I've always thought Victoria was pretty swell, but after being away for so long I have a new found respect for it.

the trip home part deux: the second part of day deux. The Hurricane's Wake, Dusting off the Thai & A Little Brown Trout Affair.

The rest of day two was not to be outdone by the beginning and, with bullheaded persistence it left the Hurricane to munch on the Troutmobile's dust.

The boogie along the 99 was at a leisurely pace as secondary highway driving tends to be, but me & the Troutmobile relished in the scenery and ease of it all. The roadside blossomed with fresh fruit stands. A pleasant change from the skipping record repetition of malls and Crapbucks' & McDs & the plethora of other vacuous attractions along the 5. (did I mention that I don't like the 5?)
Soon enough though, I was back on it and boogieing to a much faster beat. I decided that Redding would be the place for the brunchy-type meal I needed as all's I had til now was a smoothie, several coffees and an interaction with a hurricane. Redding it was. I had been wanting to stop at Panda Express. I was quite done with burgers & PEx is pretty much the best fast food you can get. It's always pretty decent and you can order vegetables. Well, I couldn't find one. Actually, I didn't look too long as I bumped into a little Thai place early on in my Redding venture & opted for it. I brushed off the few Thai phrases I could remember from my trip to Thailand a couple of years ago and was able to garner a couple of patronizing giggles. 'Oh, that silly caucasian!' The food was pretty good and the green tea was perfect. I felt the electrolytes flicking some neglected switches in my immune system and illuminating the hell out of it. Brief as it was.

Then I went our back to look at their bird sanctuary. It seemed to be as much a sanctuary as solitary confinement would be in Alcatraz.

Then it was back into the Troutmobile and I was off! (after finding a coffee shop)

Boogie boogie boogie.

I had some interesting conversations with some cars on the highway. Some relationships were formed while doing the automobile leap frog routine with several cars over several hundred miles. Read some bumper-stickers that made me want to get home quicker. Read some bumper-stickers that made me feel a bit better about it all.
Coffee ran out and I was in the process of deciding between Dunsmuir CA & Weed CA when a sign caught my eye: The Brown Trout Cafe.
Dunsmuir it was.
Somewhere high in the California section of the Cascades Mountain Range is a fantastic looking little town called Dunsmuir. Now, I know, you're all thinking that I favor it for the name of the cafe. Well, that's partially true, but it really was a cool place. The old buildings were built over running streams (they claim it to be the best water in the world) and the cafe had a hole in the floor to see it flow by. If the coffee was any indication of the water quality, it's a pretty spot on claim. Wandered around town and took some shots.

look closely... there's a truck in there.

Then it was back in the Troutmobile and I was off!
Boogieing to see if I could hit Portland there was no more time for lallygaggin. Dinner consisted of me pulling off the highway in some military town (easily distinguished by the even greater saturation of patriotism. if that's possible.) driving in circles (as seems to be my habit) until frustration led me to a KFC/A&W. The best part of the meal happened several hours later and I'll leave it at that. No, wait, the root beer was good.
Hopped back in the Troutmobile and after a sharp salute, I was off!
As though cliche were my co-pilot, the further into the north-west I got, the cloudier it became. Soon, it was raining and dark. The conspiracy between rain and my windshield wipers turned the bug guts on the windshield from individual monuments to the fallen into a brown-gray film that told me Salem was the stop for the night. (with a 'note to self' to clean the windshield in the morning).
Hunted around once again for the cheapest digs which ended up being another Motel 6. David, the deskman, was very helpful and knew more about Bozo than me despite the fact that I was wearing the Bozo shirt. It was a sketchy motel with a surly looking bald security guard and a lot of motorcycles in the parking lot. A lot of speed bikes and not many harleys so I figured it couldn't be all that bad. David let me park the Troutmobile directly infront of the lobby where he said the night guy stares, chin in hands, elbows on desk, all night long. My anti-theft device was working pretty good up until then, but the extra security was nice. (My anti-theft device was sheets of paper with 'Dear Criminals: Not worth the effort. The car is full of art that the artist himself has a hard time selling.' written in black felt marker.)
Packed it in for the night, turned on all the fans in the room to white-noise out the rowdies outside & fell the heck asleep...

01 May 2010

the ballad of hurricane terra

Day two was day two and it started with something that needs it own post. It is called:

The Ballad of Hurricane Terra.

Woke up this morning and decided not to start my day the way it ended, with a Denny's meal, and opted instead to go into Chico proper to see what was up. What was up was Hurricane Terra.

Got a coffee, found a smoothie place to get my daily F&V fix & wandered around taking a few pics. Was about to leave when I realized my coffee was out and I should probably get another for the road. Zigged instead of zagged to take a different route to the local cafe & happened upon a woman who appeared to be orating for some reason. She had a shirt that said VOTE for someone or other. I wasn't really interested until she asked me over.
I can't remember how, but I assume she said 'hey you come and take my picture!'
I said ok.
She said 'hey, come and take a picture with me & my friends.'
'Look, I'm in a hurry.'
'Where you going?'
'Home.' ( I could have said 'applesauce' for all the difference it made) 'I just gotta get a coffee and I'll...'
'Ok, hey come with me I know the best coffee shop!'
'I thought the best one was over there'
'No no! Has Beans is the best. I only do organic brother! From the earth. From the earth.'
'I'm sold. Where is it?'

And thus I was then swept up in Hurricane Terra. I was already in it's grasp, but hadn't realized it yet. Once I began to follow, there was no getting away. We first went to her group of friends who she told 'Hey, homeless people! Watch my stuff!' She decided that she wanted a picture of her and her friends. I asked if her friends wanted that. They hummed & hawed and didn't seem to care either way. She would have had it done regardless.
'C'mon you homeless people, it's for mother fuckin high times magazine!'
(I told them that 'mother fuckin high times magazine' was a new magazine by the good people at High Times Magazine but they were all just too baked to come up with a better title. No one laughed.)

Her stuff...

After the picture she picked up her stuff which consisted of a milk crate full of things (she claimed there to be eight thousand dollars in it), a square headed garden shovel and her guitar. I got to carry the shovel. Then it was of to Has Beans.

I describe her as a hurricane because being in her prescience is exactly how I imagine it to feel to be in one. She was an absolute force of nature. (She'd make some pot reference here in relation to the word nature.) We spun into Has Beans and she whirled about interacting with everyone & everything she saw. The manic way in which she engaged everything in her path indicated to me that she might have what some folks call 'a condition'. Not good or bad in my book as we all have varying degrees of 'condition', just some of us aren't able to carry it around with such magnetic wonderment. I wouldn't call it a childlike wonderment, but it had elements of it. Everything was so vital and vivid and exciting for her. It was like showing someone the stuff in your room for the first time. "oh and there's this, and there's this! and over here I have this...'

She claimed things to be hers.

I thought the coffee shop was hers the way she spun in and demanded a coffee for me. I said I'd pay for the both of us and the cashier gave me a friendly 'yes, you're going to have to' nod. Seems Terra was a regular. She brought me over to look at her art which hung on the wall. I thought it was fantastic but soon began to realize that there were a lot of things that were 'hers'. She gave me her business card. Several times. Each time it was something different.
A guitar pick.
A pen.
An un-inflated balloon.
A pencil (with different inscription from the pen).
A safe-sex package (one of those baggies with a condom and some info about STDs that they give to teens.)
A scrap of torn paper.

Maybe there were other things, it all happened so fast.

'Take my picture! Ok, and here! Here too! Ok the-this it my art. Hows about, wait a minute. ok now! take my picture.'

We were pulled into the street. I was genuinely behind schedule and kept trying to pull myself away. Y'ever try and pull yourself away from a hurricane? Yeah. Like that. We got going back into the park with snap after snap of my buzzing hyper model posing infront of buildings her grandfather built & other historical places. True or not, the history she spun was an interesting one.
'...and here's where I got married last week! And this is where I sing. and here is...'
I was getting closer to the car.
'Hey, HEY! Terra, ok, ok, look I really have to get - ok, one more, ok... now really-'

She wanted me to photograph her with trucks & buses that were driving by. She popped into a shop & pulled out the owner for a picture. She then ran into his store. He, like a lot of people we met, had a kind of sympathetic patience with Terra. Like everyone knew that she would twirl chaos occasionally but was harmless and so positive that there was no holding it against her. Can you really get mad at nature? Can you lay blame on a tidal wave? Can you guilt thunder?
When confronted with Hurricane Terra you just have to hold onto your socks & wait to be released.
I started to edge toward the car when she went into the shop. She came running out saying 'here is my card, hey billy, trout, here is my card!'
'I got it already Terra!' I held out a pencil.
'No here.'
She handed me a poster for the upcoming art festival in town. I thought 'oh yeah.' & noticed she has scrawled her info on the back. She has a website and everything. I got in the car and assessed the damage. Wonderful, wonderful damage and time well taken.

here are some of the many pictures.

hey homeless people!

'her' art.

'ok, now this one!'

a shot together.

scars and henna

senator terra

where she got married.

'one with the bus! ok go!'

shop owner

me in the wake.

great GREAT way to start day two.

the trip home part one: HWY 5, Trout vs. Yuba City & the Chinese Cowboy at dinner

I know this blog is getting a little disjointed but please bare with me (...hehehe... 'bare') When I get home and get rested I will do the BIG SAN DIEGO/ARTWALK entry which will probably need to involve chapters. Be patient.


I was up and out of Casa del Col. J surprisingly early. (will leave the goodbyes and all the other sappy stuff for the aforementioned BIG SAN DIEGO/ARTWALK entry)
I had wanted to be out early but it is always a surprise to me when I actually am. After an oil change and a breakfast burrito I was on my way out of town on HWY 5.

Two words for HWY 5: BO RING. I still have to write my treatise on driving in SoCal, again... patience.

where was I? Oh yes! driving in a straight frikken line with thousands of other cars, that's where I was. I opted not to go through the no-mans-land route up the 395 as ARTWALK wasn't lucrative enough to warrant such wayward adventure. Couldn't be justified. I have to get home, get a haircut and get a real job.

So, up the 5 it was. There really is nothing more to say about it. There are too many people driving too many cars. Oh, and trucks. Lets not forget all the massively and unnecessarily huge pick-ups that are driving around with apparently nothing to 'pick up'. (The handbasket in which we're traveling has the words 'heavy duty' written in big, carnivorous letters on it) ... but I digress again...

There was one little side track I was going to allow myself. At some point during the planning, re-planning, re-re-planning, updating and re-updating of the planning I thought 'Yuba City' would be a good stop. Simply for it's name. Yuba City. So, on my way up the 5 I realized that it wasn't a huge sidetrack to scoot up the 99 (he shoots he scores!) & visit the city of yuba. I missed the turnoff but was able to take the next one and was thrilled by the change in scenery. It was a spectacular drive. Sun was setting. Birds were chirping. It was great. (There may be a video to follow, we'll have to see about uploading it later. but here's a tree I took just as it was getting too dark)

Then I hit Yuba City. Now, I think I may have really liked Yuba City if I wasn't frazzled to the point of rage by the time I got there. All I wanted was a dirtbag motel with wireless. Cheap-cheap. So I started driving around Yuba City. Circles and u-turns and... 'now where the hell am I?'s...

I'm really no good when I get into a town late and hungry. I'm occasionally a monster. I was a monster to Yuba City. I cussed it a blue streak like nobody's business. I'm sorry Yuba City.
At one point I had gone to a chain motel joint and wasn't fond of the price so I went to look for another and, eventually thought I might as well settle for it... then I couldn't find it again. I drove about an eight of a tank of gas in that town looking for it. I was a monster. So the decision was made: whatever I find first the motel or HWY 99 out of town. I found the highway first. I ended up in Chico. (didn't see 'the man' but was just too tired to look)

Ended the night at a Motel 6 and a meal at Denny's.


I asked the receptionist at the motel if there was anything in the area at that time that might have something even mildly healthy to eat. She said Denny's next door was the only thing around and it had salads.
I went there.
I ordered the asian chicken salad.
It was deep fried chicken strips in sweet chili sauce on a heap of iceberg lettuce with some samplings of red cabbage in it. surrounded, sort of like a crown, with 8 slices of cucumber. I thought that an asian salad coming with garlic bread was weird, but then the issue of salad dressing came up. I was seated at the counter and when she brought me my asian chicken salad she said 'oh! there's supposed to be dressing.' she turned to the kitchen and told the obviously new cook that it came with dressing. She said it was 'that ranch dressing'.
I said, 'um... excuse me?'
'are there any other dressings?'
'well it comes with the ranch.'
'um... ok. but do you have any others?'
'well, there's thousand islands and italian... but they don't go with it.'
'and ranch does?'
'Oh, don't worry' she said 'it's asian ranch.'

I turned to the imaginary person next to me and mouthed 'asian ranch?' The imaginary person next to me turned into a small asian man wearing a large cowboy hat. He tipped his hat and nodded with a hearty, cowboy assurance.

'Ok.' I said 'Bring it.'

The asian ranch is ranch with sweet chili sauce in it.

follow the bouncing ball, kids:


I then ended up wrestling with the internet connection and falling asleep to a really bad Kiefer Sutherland movie where he was mad at mirrors.

sleep was good.