Author Archives: johndiestler

About johndiestler

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

Who is the Oldest?- Pando

I’m revisiting a subject that I wrote about a few months ago. The Google Search term is “longest living organisms”. I’m not sure why I find this so interesting. Part of it stems from the remarkable possibility that there may … Continue reading

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Suzanne

suzanne.m4a

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30 Songs of Leonard

Leonard Cohen was primarily known as a singer/song writer. What is not generally known is that he turned to music rather late in 1967, at the age of 33. Before that he was a writer and a poet. The following … Continue reading

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I’m Listening

I find that I’m listening more. People assume that I’m retired so they often ask what did I do? More than likely I tell them that I professed. It is easier to generalize instead of picking one aspect of my … Continue reading

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Watch Me Sleep

I’ve arranged to participate in a sleep study. This is not for research on sleep, but a scientific analysis of my particular sleep patterns. Apparently I snore, and have apnea. It is the nature of the affliction that I do … Continue reading

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Eating the Elephant

Recently, a long time friend experienced a loss of a life partner. Right away the grieving process kicks in, the endless thoughts of what was said, what was unsaid. In this case it wasn’t death, it was much more complicated. … Continue reading

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The Big Questions

I think it worthwhile to review the “big questions” in life periodically. Partly because time moves on, and wisdom may drop from an apple tree. Mostly though, it’s good to check on the “big questions” right after a significant moment … Continue reading

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Driven by Fear

We are often driven by fear. We are taught that fear determines flight instead of fight. I think I still fear the fight. In the course of a lifetime some fears are consistent and ever present. At the same time, … Continue reading

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Tribute Wall

I’ve thrown paint at six canvases. I am really happy with about three. I could throw more paint and maybe get more happier! Or, it could be mud. I’m still happy! For now I’m done. I don’t think I will … Continue reading

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In Progress…

I’ve got ten canvases, eight with some paint, maybe two that are completed. All in all, not bad output for the week! Of course, it could take a month to finish. I am so over my head that I can’t … Continue reading

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Tribute Landscape #2 Final

Is anything final? Well, final for now! I got hypnotize laying in all those strokes. Too many, surely paintings aren’t the composite addition of tedious strokes? Don’t they just pop out after awhile? I’ve been digital too long, there must … Continue reading

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Tribute Landscape #2

Got the midtones down. When dry I will hit the highlights & shadows. Starting to figure this out just a little. Well, landscapes at least. Portraits, gahhh!

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Tribute Portrait

Hmm, okay, it’s not quite right. A little haunting, a little young. What’s the chances that painting will correct things? Gahaha! None whatsoever!! Hahaha, I haven’t the slightest idea of what I’m doing!!! It’s terrifying, and wonderful!!

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The Week

It’s a quiet morning. Saturday in California, and no fire nearby, and the sky is clear. Labor Day, and I haven’t labored in at least five years, and possibly forty years before that. When was the last time I worked? … Continue reading

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Save the Date

Sept 7 A new lease on life! Well, okay, maybe it’s just a remodel. My heart has been abused, but I get to replumb at least one artery that has been plugged for years. I thought I was just getting … Continue reading

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Common Phrases

Heavy Rain (around the World) English- cats and dogs Iceland- fire and brimstone Greece- chair legs Columbia- husbands Catalonia- barrels and casks Ireland- cobblers knives Brazil- lizards and snakes Czech Republic- wheelbarrows Norway- witches Denmark- shoemaker’s apprentices Slovakia- tractors France- … Continue reading

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Connections

I’ve had a couple of recent conversations that have transcended the average level of communication. Not that I am above average. I have to try very hard to attain anything close to being average. By the very nature of “conversational” … Continue reading

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Second Tribute

90% done on this landscape, lots of brush and palette knife. Learned a lot.

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First Tribute, part 2

Closer and closer. Surprising the amount of work goes into background. It’s a big space, and there are hundreds of tones. Still avoiding the flesh tones. Coward!

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On Paint

Today I will buy acrylics and attempt a tribute painting. A tribute painting is similar to a tribute band. They play music in the style of their favorite group, listening very hard in order to play their songs with accuracy. … Continue reading

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On Marriage

Today, friends become one. Not only is this miraculous, But I’m honored to witness it. Being witness to a miracle has its ramifications. You must tell about it, “Two have become One!” You must support it, “ I, and my … Continue reading

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The Selfish Self

I’m thinking about words. I’m thinking specifically of my ability to string words together to form a sort of communication. If I wanted to express and transmit an idea or thought, I need to find the right words, the words … Continue reading

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Van Gogh

I’ve just seen something so amazing that I hardly have words to describe how I feel. I don’t know what was the first painting of Vincent’s that I saw. I suspect it was one of his portraits. Perhaps the blueish … Continue reading

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Movement

Okay, I’m having that illusion while sitting in a parked car, you know the one, where you are certain that something is moving, but you are not sure who. I have checked the parked car across the street at least … Continue reading

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First Trike Ride

First ride after heart attack. Wow, it’s hot out here. I’m in my granny gear of all grannies. I can’t be any slower, but I’m still moving forward, heart rate hovering at 95. So I’m good. I’m only a block … Continue reading

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Morris Graves

I have come to Morris Graves too late. It should have been sooner, I could have learned so much, If I had only listened to Ferlinghetti in 1965.

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Public Speaking

I’m not good at public speaking. I’ve never been good. I understand that there are classes in this, and I suppose they have been successful. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never taken one. I don’t know, I’m sure it is some … Continue reading

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The End of the World

The air is unhealthy. They are a few things that must be right, and when they are not it becomes a problem. We can’t control anything, that much has been proven. But we have learned to expect some basics. One … Continue reading

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Who Am I?

He broke into a huge grin and squeezed my shoulder. “You know what, “ Dick said with good humor, “I don’t have the slightest idea who I am!” -excerpt from “A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety” by Donald Hall … Continue reading

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I Rise

Nordham Castle Sunrise by Turner. Each morning I rise. My eyes open to reveal dim images of the room, even dimmer images of the backyard on the other side of the window, in the darkling of the morning. I rise … Continue reading

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How to Paint a Wall

In the spring of 1968 I wanted to go to college. I had spent all of the summer after high school traveling around the western states, hiking and hitchhiking. By the time I returned home I was too late to … Continue reading

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Thinking on Poetry

I’ve been victimized by my children. Again! It’s always something. Sometimes it’s family stories where things are discussed in low tones, I’m usually present, but I’m pretending to nap. Well, I am napping, but I’m also awake! I hear sighs … Continue reading

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Vagus Nerve

…Its first stop was my stomach, whose complex work is under the control of what’s sometimes called “the little brain”, a network of neurons that line your stomach and your gut. Surprisingly, there are over 100 million of these cells … Continue reading

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Between the Waiting…

Life is what happens between the waiting. My dog has developed a bad habit. He watches the door. When someone leaves, he waits for them to come back. Most of the time they have gone out for the mail, to … Continue reading

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Heart Tales #3

An update from the heart attack… The word is wait. Not enough information. Apparently there are three things to consider. 1. The heart attack can damage the muscle. It would be nice to know how much is damaged. Better to … Continue reading

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Follow the Leader

This may be the most basic of all childhood games. The rules are simple. Choose a leader, then do everything they do until a new leader is chosen. Leadership generally gets shared but creative, fun leadership sometimes trumps over boring … Continue reading

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Backpacking

I used to love backpacking. No, that’s not right, I still love backpacking, it’s just that I haven’t done it in awhile. Not only did I love backpacking, but in many ways it can be seen as my life parable. … Continue reading

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Heart Tales, No. 2

What do we know of the heart? We know it is achy/breaky at times. Sometimes it trembles. It is also strong and brave. The very word courage comes from the French root “cour”, meaning heart. Apparently the heart thinks about … Continue reading

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Heart Tales, No. 1

It’s been a day since I spoke with the doctor who placed the stent in my right artery. I wasn’t allowed to see him, but I could talk with him. It turns out that I went to the closest medical … Continue reading

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Balance

Living life effectively is all about balance. Similar to a bicycle on a narrow path, you want to steer away from the edges, you can’t just arbitrarily jerk the handlebars away from the danger, you have to have balance, in … Continue reading

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