Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Presidential Election - My Choice



Last year,while renewing my driver's license, I was asked by the clerk if I wanted to make any changes to my voter registration. I said "YES". I had been a registered Democrat for decades. On that day I became a registered Republican in the State of Maryland. As to why I made the change.........there are many reasons.
I would like to think that I am a moderate but I cannot register as such. When it is primary election time I would not get to vote except for in your own party. The problem with that is you only get to choose from those candidates that the respective political powers that be decide that you can choose from. I never liked that. There has been way too many elections where I could only vote for whoever I thought would be the lesser of two evils. This year is a game changer.

I am a news junkie. I stay tuned and pay attention to the news. I have observed much over the years and I have learned to take notice of what is NOT being reported. Yes, the news outlets are very much propagandists that are instructed to "report" what they "report". Just as the political machines decide which candidates you can choose from.......so too the media decides what "news" you get to hear.

Maybe I had not paid close enough attention in the past...........but this year the propaganda and shenanigans are over the top..........way out of hand. 

This is maybe the most important election of all time. I am really concerned about the future of this country.
A long desire of mine has been that somebody would step up to the plate.......a non-politician........a businessman.......a "make it happen" guy...........and finally......it has happened. Donald Trump is that guy.



Now consider the options that are presented to me.......and you. Without writing thousands of words explaining all of this, I will put it all in the simplest way that I can.


On the Democrat side........the machine wants you to vote for Hillary Clinton. Really?...........do I really need to explain why she should not be elected?


The other choice for democrats is Bernie Sanders........I think he was put in the race to make Hillary look like the better choice. But really?..........Bolshevik Bernie? Oh the young crowd is liking him and he has been making waves........but NOBODY will like the value added tax of over 20% that will "Bern" your pockets.
Bernie looks like after the election is over, somebody will put him back into the nursing home.


No longer in the race, Martin O'Malley...............They had to be kidding everybody.....right?

Those three Democrats are the cream of the crop to choose from?........seriously?


And now to the Republican choices............


John Kasich.......I don't think so........the machine wants him to win over the two other candidates that remain. He is losing in the polls so badly that the machine is resorting to rigging the convention to get the results they want. Kasich always looks like he is about to vomit.


Ted Cruz................they say that nobody in Washington likes him..........imagine that. Cruz is getting in the way of the machine and is "taking votes away from the establishment choice". Let's face it, Cruz has some good positions........but the reality is..........people won't gather up and champion a guy who looks like Grandpa Munster. Okay, okay.........that is a bit over the top.........but...........Cruz looks exactly like a young Al Lewis when he wasn't a Munster but was on "Car  54 Where Are You?".


See what I mean?  Seriously........NOBODY elects Al Lewis.

The machine..............the establishment.............all one entity.......the "party" stuff is theater. Consider what Henry Kissinger said:


Yeah......you remember Henry Kissinger, don't you?...........maybe try Googling ole Henry and refresh your memory. Here's another classic Kissinger quote:

Kissinger also happens to be involved in the Bilderberger Group..........yes.........the "powers that be".......the "machine"........the entity of the "establishment". His "influence" permeates most every candidate past and present. Doubt me? Here.........have a look:

He really gets around, doesn't he?
But wait.......there's more:
He is at it again...........this time with Cruz.

Considering what I have just shown you, what choices for President do you really have?

Bernie or Donald...........since it appears that Kissinger hasn't "met" with them...........yet.

My choice is Donald Trump.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Painted Crab Shells - Back to Work




 It has been a rough several months. The problem is health issues. I took a hiatus from painting shells back in January after a successful holiday season. I was not feeling well and was getting progressively worse. The problem this time was essentially a repeat of June of last year..........clogged arteries. After several testing procedures I went in for another catheterization/angioplasty. This time I had not reached the point of a heart attack but I knew it was coming. The end result is that I have two new stents...........which brings my total to seven. I am doing okay at this point............I resist.

 
 I have a whole lot of catching up to do. Slowly but surely I get it all done. This stuff takes a lot of time and the only physical aspect is the scrubbing and disinfecting of the crab shells........and the packing and unpacking of the large number of finished shells to be put on display at the flea market. I do occasionally have some help with that. These days I take my time.........I'm in no hurry. My life does not depend on painting and selling crab shells.........but my life does depend on me trying to keep the arteries functioning.


 After years and years of sitting there at the flea market painting the crab shells I still get asked if I really paint them. Yes........indeed I do. It's not like there is a machine that can spit this stuff out.........if there were I would use it.





 I get requests for all sorts of things put on a crab shell. Some are very challenging and some are very simple. It amazes me sometimes because I cannot see the correlation of some of the art and the crab shell. That's okay though..........if that's what the customer wants then that's what the customer will get.




Business owners love getting their logos put on a crab shell. This one was a challenge but it worked out well.





 Dogs on a crab shell are requested often. Favorite breeds, living pets and memorial images of long lost companions. 






Favorite cartoon and movie characters.





This one has a school mascot with the student's name and graduation year.





Here's another business logo on a shell. I imagine it now hangs in someone's office.





The shells in display boxes are very popular and they make great gifts. Any combination of shells. 

Now that I am back at it again, come on down to the Northpoint Plaza Flea Market in Dundalk, MD.   I am here on Saturdays from 7am until 3 pm and Sundays from 7am until 4 pm.  Even if you have no intention of making a purchase or ordering a crab shell, come visit us and have a look.........there is no other purveyor of painted crab shells that offers such a wide selection. We are the largest and best anywhere. It costs nothing to look and say hello.

Also, If you have nothing to do on a Monday, come and see me in Cecil County at Hunter's Sale Barn & Flea Market on Jacob Tome Hwy. from 3 pm until 8 pm.

Stay tuned..........




















Monday, September 28, 2015

Ouch!



Ouch!

That word pretty much sums everything up for the past few months. For those people that have been waiting
for their custom crab shell orders to be completed, rest assured that I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth.
Your orders will be completed very soon. "Fallen" may well be the second word that best describes the predicament that I have found myself in. What is that old saying?.........."the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Yep......that's it.

Actually, there has been a series of events this past summer.............beginning with the passing of my little buddy Chico. Chico, our chihuahua gave us eleven loving years of companionship. Always knowing that day would eventually come, it still hurt the family so very bad. Bad enough that I cannot write more about it at this time.


I had been gradually feeling bad for a few months and found myself struggling to keep going, I knew that something was coming upon me and yet I fought it off and kept on plugging away.....determined to get through two major events in June........my grandson's graduation from high school and my wife Supernurse completing her Doctorate for which we were to celebrate with a large party for her.  I was in bad shape and I hung in there.......barely.........I refused to mess up and spoil the festivities. It was a very big deal for our family. Well, I managed to get through it and the night of the party, I went home and proceeded to begin having another heart attack. Went to the hospital and had yet another stent implanted. As far as the heart is concerned I am okay.......so far so good.........time will tell. 

So I wasted no time getting back in the groove and painted away on crab shells. I was back on track.

Another curve was thrown my way when my uncle, who is 87 yrs old, called and informed me that he could not walk. We got him to the hospital and was found to be dehydrated and depeleted of potassium, After two days in the hospital, he was back at home feeling better but in need of more of my attention and assistance.
Well enough. No problem. Family takes care of family, right? A week later, I took him to his follow up appointment with his doctor........and to the bank, and to get a haircut. So far, so good.

When we returned to his house we could not get the front door to unlock......the key would not work.
Instead of busting the door open we decided to go around to the back of the house and try the back door.
As luck would have it, we could not get the gate to his yard to open........it was rusted. I decided to get myself over the cement block wall that surrounds the yard........so I entered the neighbor's yard.....went up onto the porch........and got onto the top of the 5 1/2 foot wall. What began as a good idea.......a solution to thr problem.......turned out to be a HUGE mistake.

I jumped down from the top of the wall and landed hard.............."CRACK!!!!!!"
I could not get up from the ground. To make a long story short........went to the hospital.............diagnosis: shattered right heel, broken coccyx and broken sacrum. In other words, a world of hurt.

The result of my good intentions is that for the past two months I have been unable to walk......cannot put any weight on my foot.........and I have been unable to be in a sitting position. All of this has made it impossible to paint crab shells not to mention a whole host of normal activities. The pain has been excruciating, At this point, I am recovering well.......I suppose. This week I have been able to sit on my butt for short periods with only discomfort. I still cannot stand up without assistance. 
I see the orthopedist again next week.......more x-rays. 

This week I have every intention of beginning to paint shells again...........albeit a little at a time. Christmas is coming and I do not want to disappoint anyone.

Bear with me folks.

P.S    one of my sons has been tending to my tables at the Northpoint Plaza flea market. Stop by and see what shells are left.........hehehe........but there's always more.......soon.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Day In The Life Of A Crab Shell Artist


It boggles my mind that I get asked the same questions over and over on a daily basis at the flea market.
Most people have been very nice and offer up some great comments and praise in regards to my efforts of painting crab shells. It is very nice to hear kind words and praise. On the other hand.......it does get a bit irritating to get the same, often silly, and ridiculous questions and comments from some people. Over the past four years I have learned to stay focused on my mission and not get too distracted. Most of the pictures of my crab shell artwork here on the blog are of the finished product along with some gratuitous selfies.......hehehe and never of me as I work.

As it happens, on a recent Monday at Hunter's Sale Barn in Cecil County, MD., a guy enters my booth with a very nice camera with an insanely huge telephoto lens. He asked if he could take some pictures of the shells.........and I was okay with that as I get asked that frequently. We talked for a while........chitter chatter....and he then asked if he could take my picture as I was painting a shell.  Now this was something I haven't been able to do myself........so I agreed to let him snap some pictures of me. The one stipulation being that he would email me some of the pictures. The photo shown above is one that he emailed me.
I really like the picture.........it speaks volumes..........what is that saying?........"a thousand words"?

I am at peace while I paint and apparently it shows. I go into a zone........where it is just me there.......and.......as shown in the picture, I make effort to address some questions via small plastic frames placed here and there on the tables in front of me. Personally, I have never seen "fake" crab shells........but for some reason the are alot of folks that ask if the shells are "real". Sadly, I can say, without a doubt, that there are people that never read any signs.........and even with these signs placed between me and the people, they still ask the questions. Go figure!

So here are some of the questions and comments I get often..........too often........and sometimes from the same people week to week!:

Are these real crab shells?
Is that real paint?
How long does it take you to paint one?
Can you do tattoos?
Did you have to eat all of them?
You paint these yourself?
"These are ashtrays"
Are you the guy in Hampden?

"Stencils?"
"Decals?"
"Stickers?
"How do you make them so shiny?
Are you an artist?
Did you have to catch all of them?
Where can I get the stickers?
"Sorry, I didn't see the price.....I have an earache."
Can you eat them?
"Sorry, I didn't see the sign.......I had to drive all night."
Where do you get them from?
"Look Harry......he's really painting the painted shells right now!"

Oh well...........there are more..........but I will save those for another day.........

To view more pictures of my work, browse through the archives of posts. The archives are in the column on the right hand side of this page.

..

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Shame on Baltimore



For many years now, there has been the repetitive mantra "that's not the real Baltimore" in regards to any reviews or discussions about the very popular HBO television series "The Wire" and "Homicide" and even "The Corner". The reality is..........it's worse than is portrayed on those shows. The powers that be.....well.....they have a way of offering up obfuscation and misdirection to keep any focus away from the reality. 

I felt the need to write about this today after recent events here in Baltimore...........rioting......"protesting"......chaos......looting........and now the National Guard being deployed. I have watched the tv reports......mostly the national news stations.......and payed attention to the tv camera shots.....the background imagery when a reporter goes live on camera.........and you will not see images like the one shown in the above photo. The photo above shows some of the Fulton Avenue neighborhood which is the very same neighborhood considered ground zero this past week. There is no pride shown here. The picture above shows what it looks like on a "normal" day. I recommend that if you truly want to see what neighborhoods such as west Baltimore looks like, get on your Google Maps application and get the street view and virtually drive through these streets. See it for yourself.....with no editing or carefully selected camera angles. This is Baltimore.

Is all of Baltimore so terrible?...........of course not. But a huge chunk of it is. And this chunk has not been decreasing over the past 30 or 40 years.........in fact, it has been spreading from the west side to the east side. That's the reality. Likewise, aside from how things look, there's the crime and safety issues along for the ride. The solutions are not simple, the solutions require tough actions. Ever hear of the phrase "suffer for good"? The kind of suffering now in Baltimore is NOT good in any way shape or form. Misdirected anger, senseless destruction of businesses and home....cars.....etc.....makes me believe that a ridiculous proportion of the population have no good sense or focus. 

I realize that most of the problems cannot be fixed by legislation or money. I am sure that both can contribute to the cause........but.......the biggest fix would be if people would stop making excuses and targeting their anger on things and people that have nothing to do with the problems in this city. So where is the blame? Who is responsible?

It makes no sense to me that this recent chaos all started simply because a man named Freddie Gray ends up dead while in the custody of the police. Nonsense. How is it that there is no outrage....no large scale protests.......no nothing about the daily murders in these neighborhoods throughout the city. Oh......its okay as long as it wasn't the police that shot someone.........yeah, right. So this is not about just that Freddie Gray died one day in Baltimore.........nobody has asked how many murders occurred that week.....no outrage.
 Its hard to wrap your head around this bullcrap.

While watching the news reports, politician after politician came before the cameras.......some that represent that very district and born and raised in that neighborhood. As if all of a sudden, out of the blue, there is a problem............some even claiming to explain their presence there to get things back to "normal"........imagine that!    "NORMAL"!!!!!!........just like the normal as shown in the photo above!

The politicians........hmmmmm........these career politicians.......elected and re-elected year after year........."representing the people from their districts" .......their communities...........seems to me that they need to own up to being part of the problem.......what good have they done? They are all players in the game.....as much as the gangs and drug dealers. The politicians need to be the enemies of the bad not the enemies of the good. Throw these bums out! What have they done for Baltimore? This?

Back to the "pride" thing. People that live is these neighborhoods would obviously have difficulty having any pride in anything. Look at the picture. There is an old saying......."I may have holes in my pants, but they are at least clean holes." That would be a good start...... a place to begin...........get these neighborhoods cleaned up. And for those that intend to dirty it up.......well........fine them heavily........make people accountable.

Shame on these politicians.....shame on the Mayor and the city council........shame on Elijah Cummings......shame on Carl Stokes........shame on the President and the senators of Maryland.
Shame on the pastors of the communities........shame on the media...........shame on the "protestors".

Can this be fixed?.........yes it can.
I could go on and on about this. I love Baltimore and I hate to see this.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Painted Crab Shell (Update)


Frozen?............Damn its cold! I just got back from a trip to Tennessee, which went very well, and returned home to an assortment of chaos, mayhem, and aggravation. All in all, things could be worse........let's hope not. Heating issues, minor health issues, ice, a dead refrigerator......of all things.......and an assortment of discombobulation..............let's put it this way..............I just need to step back, take a few breaths, and get my shit in order. I could use Spring right now.

Before I took the trip to Tennessee, getting some decent crab shells was a bit of a problem as it always has been in recent years during January and February. Couple that with a decent barrage of customers during the Christmas shopping season and I find myself with a depleted stock of painted crab shells. No.......its not like I don't have anything to sell.........it's just that I really need to get cranking and paint the more popular ones that people have come to expect that I will have. That....of course......takes time.........and crab shells.

The good news is that I just got a good bunch of shells this week and have anticipation of getting more this weekend. Ahhhhhhh.......progress. But since things are a bit awry, as described above, a wrench is thrown into any possibillity of setting up at the flea market this weekend...........oh.........and to add insult to injury, another blast of snow on Saturday. 

So, If you want to purchase or order a painted crab shell, come see me at the Northpoint Plaza Flea Market next Saturday February 28th or Sunday, March 1st.

For those who had requested some shells prior to my vacation, you can pick up your shells next weekend or thereafter. Thanks for your patience.