State of the Union Interest Level

A video by Lisa Towers

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Tear Here

By WR Jones

Blue Plate Special
Blue Plate Special     9″ x 11″
Oil on linen

I needed to add salt to the water softener the other night. We had a 25 lb bag of salt. Across one corner there was a dashed line and the words “Tear Here”. Some miserable sadistic son of Satan wrote that bullshit. I tried to pull it open with my hands. Then I tried hands and teeth. Then both feet, hands, and teeth. Finally I gave up and stalked into the house spewing rough language that Mango is sure to pick up to embarrass me when the deacon rings the bell.

I had to resort to scissors – Jesus! Who came up with that spelling? I had to walk to the neighbors to get help. I tried sizzers, the useless spell corrector gave me sizzlers. Certain it would help me, I then tried siccors, knowing it was wrong but should be close enough. Nope, I got succors for that one. I’m going to have to confine myself to writing Dick and Jane stories.

As I’m cutting the salt bag open I notice the very clever (tear at the dashed line) area has a label stating, “Patent Pending”. Are you shitting me? A patent for a dashed line that doesn’t work?

l can imagine the court challenge. Your honor, we are not infringing the patent. Our bag actually tears at the dashed line with the bare hands of a two year old. The patented version needs a backhoe to open.

This is a case where the word plethora can be used as a gross understatement – there is a plethora of idiots in the world.

The concept of infinity may have come from someone trying to count the idiots around him. A historical re-enactment:

“Earl, how many idiots do you reckon there are?” “Hmm, I counted 8 so far and that’s just your wife and kids. I could have got your other two kids if you hadn’t chopped off two of my fingers with your Hey let’s get a free Christmas tree, you hold and I’ll chop.”

“8’s all I got – let’s tip it over and use it to represent all the idiots we can think of.” “Good idea what do we call that funny looking symbol?” “How about, ‘More idiots than we can count’?”

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Watercoloring – Waterboarding

By W R Jones

I’m mostly posting on FaceBook now – you can find me there as William R Jones, I think. You may need to add UCLA to the search.  I do still like blogging but have limited time.   I know the rest of you have unlimited time or at least that 40 hours you should be working.  Trust me, once you retire that free time evaporates.

Watercolor Studies
Watercolor Studies – an excellent way to pass a day in anguish

I was on a three week trip recently and didn’t have space for oil paints. I decided to take along a small set of watercolors.

Watercoloring – Waterboarding

Both a form of torture. That damn water runs all over the place making puddles and splotches as it goes. Still, it is cheaper than oil which is a big plus.

Say, did you ever use enhanced interrogation on your spouse? Really? Well, maybe you weren’t CERTAIN she was lying. Let me explain before you get all up on your high horse.

I had a 1/4 roll of masking tape in my hand. Then after a very brief distraction – going to fetch the mail before my wife saw the latest crap I bought on Amazon – the tape was gone. There was only myself, Mango, and my wife in the house. The roll was too big for Mango to handle. He does sometimes tear off a little piece to mark the spot on the floor where he wants his water bowl placed.

I certainly didn’t misplace it. That left my wife. She denied, denied, denied having seen it.

I told her if she didn’t admit the theft I was going to waterboard her. She said I didn’t need to use any water, I bored her enough with my yakking. That was enough to make anyone sing like a canary.

Later I stumbled across the roll hanging on the handlebar of my bike. I may have stopped by the bike on the way to the mail box, don’t recall.

Well, just kiss my patootie, I’m not apologizing; a simple mistake, could happen to anybody.

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By WR Jones


Teresa    16″ x 20″  
Oil on linen


I was taking a shower a few minutes ago and the line “a memory flooding back” came to mind. But really, nothing comes “flooding back” anymore. I have memories that come squirting back or maybe trickling back. “Flooding back” would probably indicate some sort of major neural collapse where a weakened part of the brain fails and then contaminates an adjacent relatively functional area.

The memories that trickle back aren’t all that dependable either. It might go like this; hmm that face looks familiar do I know her? Oh ya that’s my wife, just saw her at breakfast. Remember, she has black hair, she has black hair, she has black hair. That should help me for awhile.


I was at the rec center pumping iron this morning. Well, sort of pumping iron. I was sitting on one of those leg exercise machines watching TV. A man was saying something about the news but I was distracted by that annoying channel logo at the corner of the screen. Whoever came up with the concept of the broadcast logo on the screen for the entire program should be exterminated. Along with all his family out to second cousins in case there is a genetic link. And the person/s responsible for the scrolling ad showing some future program that appears at the bottom of the screen should be painfully exterminated.

Sorry, I digressed. So I’m trying to catch what this news caster is saying but there is a scrolling news feed at the bottom of the screen on a completely different subject. I could catch something about a woman falling 25 feet. I dropped focus on the newscaster and tried to read what happened to the falling woman. However, over the scrolling lines of news feed there was a closed caption continuously overwriting the underneath news.

Thus the thought “we are being trained for ADD” came flooding to my mind. After thirty minutes I got off the machine. I don’t remember if I actually exercised my legs or not. Maybe that memory will come trickling back.

Prone to distraction by the slightest puff of wind, I now find I’m being trained to an ever higher level of ADD.


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By WR Jones

Laundry Day
Laundry Day 10″ x 12″
Oil on linen

Hey – I fought my way thru procrastination to actually finish a piece. The completion part of this painting stuff is so rare. I think that subconsciously I feel that once a painting is complete I will be taken out and shot.

I get distracted by a puff of wind. Once I mix a color I have to go the the frig for a drink before applying paint. Then the drinking means I have to pee after the first 6 brush strokes. I sit to pee so I can continue reading a book I have on the iPhone. Finished the book and showed at least some discipline by telling myself I would not get off the toilet until I found and downloaded a new book from Amazon.

When I left the bathroom I was surprised to see there was still daylight. What the hell, might as well continue painting. Here you have it; the first completed painting in nearly a generation.

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Weeds and Flowers

By WR Jones

Carnations and  Lace
Carnations and Lace
16″ x 20″  Oil on linen panel

These are flowers, they can’t really compete with my weeds.   I pulled at a weed so large this morning that I threw out my back.   Weed didn’t budge, had to get the tree trimmer for big branches.

So I’m thinking I should just change expectations, definitions, and desires.   I only need to call the weeds flowers, and convince myself of their beauty, problem sorted.   No more weed spray or pulling.   No more watering, no more fertilizer.  The flowers tend to die off without tender, expensive feeding and care.   Let them go, they are the new weeds.  Since they die off so readily I expect they will be known as “soft weeds”.  My “flowers” will grow like… well like weeds.

This idea is so brilliant I think I should get it copyrighted.   If I get the right sleazebag attorney, i.e. someone I can relate to, to draw up the paperwork, anyone with a formerly known “weed” in their yard will owe me royalties for growing my “flowers”.   There is a precedent with Monsanto charging all the farmers for using “Monsanto’s seed” that just sort of popped up in the farmer’s field.


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Focused  16″ x 20″  Oil on linen panel

This little fellow is focused and feeling no pain.

It is well known your pain will naturally diminish when engaged in a focused activity; that’s hypnosis. Works for painting and sculpting, not so well with housework. This is a good reason your wife should do those mundane tasks. You would, of course, love to do it but you need to ease your pain with some painting. Tell her that her doing the cooking, dishes, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, yard work, auto repairs, etc is the equivalent of giving you a nice massage. Let her know how much you appreciate it and how much it is saving on pain medications.

Oh ya, word of warning, be careful when and how you word this concept. Some unscientific women resist the idea. Probably why I’m on my knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, nursing a throbbing headache.

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