Author Archives: johndiestler

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.

Earthquake

I live in earthquake country, but I don’t have a lot of earthquake stories. Maybe that’s a good thing. Nothing gory, or heartbreaking. Just a lot of dish rattling, and a few pictures bouncing off the walls. The television always … Continue reading

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Once

She had her morning coffee on her balcony, and I walked underneath on my way to school. She had unnaturally black hair, or maybe it was just her pale face. I tried to walk without moving up and down, conscious … Continue reading

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My Parents

I was thinking about my parents recently. I was thinking about the depth of our relationships, and the trials and tribulations of growing up in their household. Make no mistake, it was their household. It wasn’t as if it was … Continue reading

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Great Grandfather

I haven’t written about my great great grandparents for a while. I would like to tell about the common stories told around their dinner table, but no one recorded them, so they ate lost to history. I know that some … Continue reading

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What Do Dead People Know?

First, as an instructor, I would always remind the class, “There are no silly questions, there are just questions.” I just watched a rented Google movie, “Emily, @ the Edge of Chaos”. It was a remarkable movie, perhaps touching at … Continue reading

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Pharoah’s Dream

According to the biblical story, Pharoah had a dream that no one could interpret for him. His chief cupbearer then remembered that Joseph had interpreted a dream for him when he was in prison two years earlier. So, Joseph was … Continue reading

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Three Times

I’m a believer in three. Two times, well that’s not quite the same as three. It you are driving down the road and you see a parked yellow Volkswagen with a flat tire, you might notice it. If another mile … Continue reading

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A little self promotion

I’ve tried organizing some of my work. I haven’t removed anything that is already here, but most of the latest stuff needed a home, so I created a new blog, with a new address. Www.Divinesarah.art.blog If you are interested in … Continue reading

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A Little Brain Surgery

I have a daughter that will soon undergo a little brain surgery. What am I saying?!? How little can brain surgery be??? I mean, she was walking by a local health care facility, so she walked in to inquire about … Continue reading

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The Brown Van

The are a few family legends, most of them about our family characters. Some of them are about our family characters that are not alive and never had been. I’m speaking of our brown Chevy van. I can’t remember the … Continue reading

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My Friend

I have a friend that I have known for 67 years. We been close, and we have drifted. In some of the most important parts of our lives we never spoke. We had families that never met, yet now we … Continue reading

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Lost…

I’ve lost a very dear friend and member of my family. I first met Joanne Townsend sometime in late 1962. I’m not sure how long it took for my brother to introduce her to the family. He had met her … Continue reading

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Refrigerator Story Update

Well, it’s Christmas Eve’s eve, and we have a refrigerator. And it came it the most unexpected way. Sherry got a call from an unknown number, and wisely ignored it. We were not expecting a call. The second time they … Continue reading

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The Refrigerator Story

It was on a whim. Buying a refrigerator on a whim is never a good thing. We went to a “big box” store to buy tile for our bathroom. We entered and found the signage helpful. From several aisles away … Continue reading

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Sarah Bernhardt

A few years ago I decided that I didn’t know enough about color. I knew the color wheel. I knew the different levels of complimentary, colors and I even had a good idea of color frequencies. Basically I knew the … Continue reading

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The Beginnings of Cancel Culture

According to one Wikipedia article, “the Concord Spirit Poles were a controversial public art project installed in the Bay Area city of Concord, California in 1989, at the direction of artist Gary Rieveschl, at a cost of approximately $100,000. They … Continue reading

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Granular

Further thoughts on time. Are thoughts granular? If so, then what is the space called between thoughts? Also, if thoughts are granular, do they have hard edges, or soft, squishy edges that are sticky? Are thoughts in three dimensional clumps? … Continue reading

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Time 3

“This glass is empty”, yet filled with air. Unless it is in space, when it is filled with… space? The edge of a cloud exists at a distance, but slowly disappears the closer you get. In fact, there is no … Continue reading

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Time 2

I have previously written about time, well… I wrote about my reaction to a summary of the current ideas of time, set out by physicists. To their credit I agreed with a number of their statements. How can I disagree … Continue reading

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BlueTeethEyes

Maybe he liked blueberries, or more likely, he had poor dental hygiene and his front teeth had died at the roots. In any case, history now knows Harald Gormsson, king of Norway in 895, as “Bluetooth”. This becomes important to … Continue reading

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You Are Not Supposed to Be Here!

So… I’m coming back from my physical therapy in Berkeley, I could take the freeway, but instead I like to take the “back way” on city streets. It’s a tangled process to climb up to the Caldecott Tunnel, two lanes … Continue reading

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Backyard History

It was probably 1960, I was about ten or eleven years old. Old enough to collect rocks, I even had a geological sample as a toy. It was a 12×6 inch piece of blue cardboard, with a couple of dozen … Continue reading

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Nest of Teeth

This topic is one of those things that just makes you wonder. Is this the best way? We have the phrase “Bite your tongue”, we say this to suggest that it might be best to stop talking. It makes sense … Continue reading

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The Cherry on Top

The ice cream sundae, a split banana, three scoops of ice cream, whipped cream topping, and a special cherry on top. It is a dessert like no other. In some way the cherry on top makes it special. Have you … Continue reading

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The Last Sentence in a Note

The note is consequential, not tremendously important, but at least relevant. The note was written for a reason, and it met all of the requirements. Except for the last sentence. I have a friend who specializes in the twist of … Continue reading

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Gunther, of the Borderlands

Gunther, King of the Burgundian, was a Frankish leader, born in approx. 385 and died in 437. He was my 31st great grandfather, The Roman Empire was now in the first stages of decline. It is said that the armies … Continue reading

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Krum, the Great Khan of Bulgaria (756-814

Otherwise known as the Fearsome Krum, or Krum the Horrible, depending upon who you were talking to. He was born in Pliska, Bulgaria, and his father was Kardam of the Bulgars. The Bulgars may have come from Central Asia and … Continue reading

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Out of Fish Sauce

This afternoon I tried to put my favorite condiment on my sandwich. No luck, none in the refrigerator, none in the pantry. I was doomed to a bland sandwich. It was my own fault. I had been purchasing the giant … Continue reading

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Who are You?

Facebook is sometimes useful because it can sometimes bring you YouTube videos that you don’t even know that you wanted to see. Okay, maybe that isn’t always useful. Today was useful, I saw a video clip of a new talk … Continue reading

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Queen Nana of Iberia

Nana was the daughter of Oligotus, which could have been a corruption of Aurelius Valerius Sogus Olympianus, a Roman governor of Theodosia. Or he could have been a younger daughter of Theothorses, a Bosporan king. Either way she seems to … Continue reading

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Words

On my birthday we played a game which included guessing what “Dad” would say. One question was “What irritates Dad?” The winning answer was, “Dad hates to be told what to do or think!” But that’s not entirely true. I … Continue reading

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Art Filtering

This is a 11 minute video on how you can use standard filters to get a custom effect. I have tried filtering everything. I have filtered great photos into different great photos. I have filtered medium to bad photos into … Continue reading

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

No, not the 1966 classic Western movie. I’m thinking about the problems of history. I am by no means an expert on how we must understand history. I do declare my love for the subject, and I have collected an … Continue reading

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Drones

No, not the mechanical flying kind. They are cool, but I’m thinking about the worker bees, or the mass of individuals in the ant hills. The drones maintain the structure of their societies. It’s imperative that the drones exist, even … Continue reading

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Time

Time happens to all of us instantaneously. Time Has Come Today Time has come today young hearts can go Their way can’t put it off another day I don’t care what others say they say we Don’t listen anyway time … Continue reading

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New Tribute Versions of Vincent

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New Tribute Versions of Albrecht

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New Tribute Versions of Egon

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The Flow

“Just go with the flow”, was a popular saying in the 1960s. I’m not sure that anyone really thought about it in depth. It just seemed a ‘chill’ statement, semi-mystical, with a slight philosophical flavor. Hopefully it meant that you … Continue reading

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Blue Ridge

A friend is currently reading about the Appalachian Mountains, one of the oldest mountain ranges on the planet. It was supposedly formed 480 million years ago, and has been in the process of weathering for quite sometime. In it’s youth … Continue reading

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The Jeep is in the Garage

It’s all in the title. Why would a Jeep be in a garage? To protect it from the weather? Well, it’s a little late by now. I’ve had garages in every home that I’ve purchased or rented. I’ve never parked … Continue reading

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Cities Beneath the Waves

I do like finding things, or actively going out to find things. I also like having things brought to me. We have been to Hawaii several times and with very enjoyable results. It was always best to find a good … Continue reading

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The Tiny Coffins of Edinburgh

Something was found in 1836 near Edinburgh that has remained a mystery for well over 250 years. Naturally, we tend to end mystery with speculation, and you can imagine where the different storylines have gone. But first the known facts. … Continue reading

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Tribute Van Gogh

Road men Heading to exhibit in SF next month.

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Doubt

I’m getting philosophical again, pondering the word “doubt”. Is this a good thing? After all, there is something absolutely the same for people who believe nothing, and people who believe everything. They do not think! Thinking requires doubt, or at … Continue reading

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I’ve Been Making Things

Everybody very sharp and beautiful!

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She Was a Dancer

She was a dancer, she was always a dancer. From the time her memories started she had already been taking dance lessons for two years. Admittedly it was mostly disorganized jumping and spinning around, but she had several costumes from … Continue reading

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Fredegund

This is a story first told by Gregory of Tours, who lived from 30 November c. 538 – 17 November 594 AD. He was a Gallo-Roman historian, and the Bishop of Tours. His position and training made him very knowledgeable … Continue reading

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Benjamin Bathurst

I came across this name in a book by Charles Fort. If you have read any of his writing you know that he doesn’t spend too much time on a subject. He may have invented “just the facts, ma’am”. Unfortunately … Continue reading

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Today I Was Naked

At my age this would not be a pretty sight. Maybe at any age. But I’m not talking about clothing, I’m talking about leaving the house without my cellphone. Now if you are a younger person, you can easily relate, … Continue reading

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Rocks of the Playa

I having been pondering about the “sailing stones of racetrack playa”. I know, what can we learn about stones that move upon their own accord, besides the fact that no one has seen them move. Is it because Racetrack Playa … Continue reading

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The Best Cat

I lost a good friend today. She wasn’t a pet, I’m not sure any cat is a pet. We might be their pets, but the nature of the relationship cannot be defined as “petness”. Megan was a Queen, and she … Continue reading

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Traffic

An article in the San Francisco Examiner, Jan 13, 1918 San Mateo Arrests 1500 Traffic Violators Redwood City- Jan 12 Since August 1, 1917, when the San Mateo officers began a rigid campaign against violators of traffic ordinances, more than … Continue reading

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Reminders

Things pop up, from time to time, and very unexpectedly. My nieces are cleaning out my eldest brothers home. He doesn’t live there, no one could. It’s possible that he invented “hoarding”. He certainly had a head start because he … Continue reading

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Know Your Father

It’s a right of passage. You are first a child, and you think like a child. Your parents are simply there, providing everything you need, or you cry louder. Later on, your parents become people, but they are so ignorant. … Continue reading

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Lost?

Being retired, I have the unique privilege of doing basic research to support my claims. I have spent many years hiking in the High Sierras, Nevada desert, Yellowstone Park, Washington North Cascades, and Oregon’s Three Sisters. Not just your normal … Continue reading

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Brain Cells

I’ve been thinking about brain cells. Obviously they are in the brain, so…the thing that I am, is safe behind a skull, which used to have a cushion of hair around it. Is male pattern baldness the first step to … Continue reading

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Heroes of History

Is it fair that some of my hero’s/heroines may not be entirely historical? I have written before about my attraction to individuals who made impacts coming from an isolated existence. Temujin is a perfect example, his tribe nearly wiped out, … Continue reading

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The Purpose of History, pt. 2

Yesterday I wrote that the biggest threat to history is the lack of truth. Will Durant, an eminent historian, once said that history is mostly guessing, and the rest is prejudice. This is similar to “History is written by the … Continue reading

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The Name Game

In Genesis, Adam spent a great deal of his first days, naming everything that he saw. This is a good thing. Asking for the “whatcha-ma-call-it” can present some amazing results. Existence can be broken down into discrete objects. It is … Continue reading

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The Purpose of History

I love history, but I don’t often question the “why” of history. In some way, I delight in knowing something that is important, but widely ignored. Is this an ego thing or is it a process of bringing attention to … Continue reading

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Common Ratios

2/1 = .5, 3/2 = 1.5, 5/3 = 1.666, 8/5 = 1.6, 13/8 = 1.62, 21/13 = 1.615, 34/21 = 1.619, 55/34 = 1.6176, 89/55 = 1.61818, 144/89 = 1.61797 Math is an exact science, carried out to infinite sequencing, … Continue reading

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Rules for HitchHiking

Two things that are odd. 1) that there should be rules for something as iconically free spirited as hitchhiking. 2) that I haven’t thumbed a ride in nearly forty years. There is a chance I’ve forgotten a few things. So … Continue reading

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Songs of the Heart

Imogene Heap- The Moment I Said It The moment I said it…The moment I opened my mouth…Letting your eyelids…Bulldoze the life out of me…I know what you’re thinking…But darling, you’re not thinking straight…Sadly, things just happen we can’t explain. It’s … Continue reading

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Trophes

I was thinking about Venusians. Venus had been an early target for space probes, but we haven’t been back there in decades. Why? Perhaps because the probes sent back all the inportant information we needed. Perhaps it was because the … Continue reading

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The End of Childhood

There can be a lot of discussion about this. It happens to every person. One day, you are a child, the next day you are not. It certainly is not a calendar thing, or a particular age. It may also … Continue reading

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Latest Art

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Tamara de Lempicka Inspired

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Reflections of Online Teaching

Susan, I am so completely with you on your reflections. There are issues that are limiting by their very nature. As a visual artist I have spent years teaching students to “look through their tool”, to see the work clearly, … Continue reading

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Testing Some Ideas

The first idea that I would like to ponder is “nature versus nuture.”. This is an idea that has gone through vast swings in popularity. Since the 1990s, with advanced studies in genetics, the importance of nature has increased. The … Continue reading

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Strange Beginings

Much of my reading history began at “Lane’s Hole in the Wall”, a store that was a collection of used items, either found or purchased. There was an auction hall right next door, so I suspect in the beginning that … Continue reading

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Cleaning up Language 2

‘At the end of the day”, or it’s even more inane second cousin “In this day and age” is clearly my number three and number four most irritating phrases. Both suffer from the position that the speaker implies, namely, that … Continue reading

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Cleaning Up Language

1st- “It was a miracle!” So overused. “NES” the normal Hebrew word for miracles. The word actually means “banner” or signal. In Ancient Hebrew it is not the same word for miracles as Biblical Hebrew. Using NES is not wrong, … Continue reading

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Yes, this is Weird

Why does this happen late at night? Because you can’t see so well, dummy. Well, I can hear twice as well at night to compensate. About thirty years ago we lived in a house that had a central hallway that … Continue reading

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We Make It So Easy!

There was a moment there, when I first heard it, that I felt that I had been asleep, or inattentive for some time. Like a Rip Van Winkel, deep asleep, while bowling is all around him. But then I woke … Continue reading

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My Connection to The Stooges

Okay, so the biggest connection is that I married my wife. Her mother was born in Pittsburgh, but her grandmother Jennie, was born in Yurburg, Lithuania. A sad story, because in 1941 the Nazis, along was some local Lithuanians, murdered … Continue reading

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Dracula

No, not the Hollywood version, the historical guy! Vlad the Impaler “Tepes”, “Dracula, Prince of Wallachia “. Yep, he was a relative, not a direct line grandfather, he was an 8th cousin, 18 times removed, not a close relative but … Continue reading

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Follow the Truth

Yes, that is a good thing. But how do we know it is the truth? So many things seem to on the basis of “a consensus of opinion”. Well, what if my opinion is different? Am I knowledgeable enough to … Continue reading

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A Wise Saying

There is an old Jewish saying, “the death of one man, is the death of a nation!” Well, no truer statement can be made as I have learned so painfully in the last few minutes. I have been known to … Continue reading

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Black Friday Thoughts

I’m trying hard to wrap my mind around the day after Thanksgiving being called Black Friday. Clearly, this isn’t a thing where “Black is bad!”, but it also isn’t “Black is beautiful”. It’s just the day after a national holiday … Continue reading

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