Author Archives: johndiestler

About johndiestler

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

I Think Gestalt

I think what I love about poetry,Is the spaces it creates. Not only the scenery,With the wild descriptions,And the subtext messages. But also the gaps of the story,Filled in by the reader. It is a sort of joint project,The poet … Continue reading

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Rod McKuen- Stanyan Street

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After a Time

After a time, a very long time of muteness, a word was made. It was a very good word, or so it thought of itself. Perhaps it thought too highly, because the word left to go search for the best … Continue reading

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Leonard Cohen- Famous Blue Raincoat

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Leonard Cohen- Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye

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Leonard Cohen- Is This What You Wanted?

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Leonard Cohen- Anthem

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Family Art

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Hollywood Art

http://www.youtube.com/watch Check paxvox.com for some great music.

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I’m a Big Fan

I’m a big fan of Annie Dillard. I read most of her work in the 1980s, “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” and “Teaching a Stone to Talk”, to name a few. I really was fond of her short stories, never quite … Continue reading

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“I don’t understand!”

“Well, I’m not surprised. Did you perhaps take any theoretical physics classes? Do you have a vague understanding of ‘string theory’? Are you at least aware of the electrical activity of your physical brain?” “Yes, of course. I know about … Continue reading

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The Orders

Teutonic Knight, Wilhelm von Ütgenbach, Herr zu Ehrenstein. My 18th great grandfather, and his grandfather, Teutonic Knight, Gerlach von Ütgenbach und Ehrenstein. My 20th great grandfather, Teutonic Knight, Gottfried III, von und zu der Heess. My 17th great grandfather They … Continue reading

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I am pondering

This is always a potentially dangerous start. On this blog it could be literally anything. This thought is about numbers, and how we use them to find an edge to a concept. My daughter just gave us a lot of … Continue reading

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Is it the Person? Or is it Fear?

I have the pondered the point of writing this. Do I expect that I will change minds? Sadly, no I don’t. Primarily because on the basis of WordPress analytics I have approximately 7.5 readers per week, and three of them … Continue reading

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Brunehilde der Wisigothen

Or better known as Brunnhilda of the Visigoths. I am stepping out from my usual story telling to include this tale of the wife of my 40th great uncle, not grandfather, Sigebert I, King of Austrasia. For some of us … Continue reading

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Another attempt at Terror

Snick! There was a satisfying weight in his hands. Weight meant significance, weight implied power and meaning. He had hold of a chunk of steel with power and meaning, and weight! The folding knife with its six inch tanto styled … Continue reading

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Chlotilde of Burgundy

My 43rd great grandmother, and wife of Clovis I, King of the Franks. Chlotilde was a Christian, but she married Clovis who was a very vigorous pagan. The Salian Franks were primarily pagan at this time, but a few were … Continue reading

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Stephen, Count of Blois

His full name is Étienne Henri ‘Stephen’ II, Count of Blois, de Champagne and de Meaux. And he was my 28th great grandfather. This is yet another sad tale, which ends with Stephen dying in battle, a thousand miles from … Continue reading

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Latest renderings

I have been looking at ancient sculpture, recognizing that most were painted realistically afterwards. Thinking that rendering in color might bring something more to the Stone.

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Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix

Most commonly know as simply “Sulla”. So much has been written about Rome, the Republic and the Empire. Fortunately there are a lot of surviving documents written during and soon after the events being described. Unfortunately, the documents written about … Continue reading

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This is a Sad Tale

There was a people that were displaced, and finding it hard to make their way in the world. In the east there were hordes of men on horseback that were killing and enslaving the survivors. Each year they seemed to … Continue reading

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Count Godefroi I, the Captive

Godfrey I (died 1002), called “the Prisoner” or “the Captive” ( le Captif), sometimes the Old (le Vieux), was the count of Bidgau and Methingau from 959. and the sovereign count of Verdun in 963 to his death. He was … Continue reading

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Latest Sketchbook work…

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Dusk

Dusk brings quiet. The noise of work slows, even the birds seem to shelter in place. We are still sheltering in place. One early evening, after about a month of sheltering, I heard what appeared to be a coyote. It … Continue reading

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Fulk, King in Jerusalem

He was my 24th great grandfather, also known as Fulk the Younger. He was the Count of Anjou (as Fulk V) from 1109 to 1129 and the King of Jerusalem from 1131 to his death. During his reign, the Kingdom … Continue reading

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Bertrade de Montfort

She was my 25th great grandmother, and a very interesting lady. First, she must have been extremely beautiful, and secondly she didn’t seem to mind being a bigamist. She was born in 1070, and lived to 14 February 1117. She … Continue reading

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So, I’m learning a lot…

Who knew that heraldry is a thing. I mean, as a graphic designer I was certainly aware of the concept, but I treated it more like a primitive logo. Not so… it has rules, and structure, and meanings… very complicated. … Continue reading

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Royal Crests

These are the crests of the lines that I have recently discovered in the genealogy of my father, and my mother. It turns out there is an entire field of study in the creation and meaning of crests. I have … Continue reading

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Theodoric the Great

This is a story about my 44th great grandfather. I suppose I can call him “granpoppa”. But it’s not necessarily going to be a good story. Sometimes people live in times that are “significant”, sometimes we are not just along … Continue reading

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Charlemagne

He has been known as Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, since the Norman invasion of 1066. Before that he was called Charles I, even though his grandfather was also a Charles. The leaders of the Franks were not so quick … Continue reading

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Magnus Barefoot Olafsson

Magnus was the son of Olaf, and the grandson of Harald Hardrada. Harald was the famous Warrior King who fought in Italy, Sicily, Syria, Constantinople, Crimea, and Kiev. Then he went back to Norway to fight and become king. Later, … Continue reading

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Blog Cruising

I was spending a little time blog cruising today, farming snippets of thought here and there. I must apologize in advance because I don’t really read for content, and certainly not carefully. When I’m “farming” I’m looking for ideas that … Continue reading

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More Hollywood Art

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Golden Shovel

Softly we sing, We Voice the innermost thoughts that Are Hidden behind the furniture of our mental rooms, As Guests relax on the sofas, Blind To the melody that clings in the air like Vines The world is madly Spinning … Continue reading

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Family Legends

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Life, Death, and Cats

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10 White Witch Stories

My brother is older and has some first hand knowledge of the White Witch. Often, a group of his friends would be driving around, usually “dragging the main”. For a diversion they would drive out to Wildcat Canyon and park … Continue reading

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The White Witch

If you grew up in the late 1950s, early 1960s you heard the stories of the White Witch of Wildcat Canyon. She lived in a haunted mansion behind Alvarado Park in Richmond, CA. There was a “speculation” highway built with … Continue reading

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Great Grandparents

This is my attempt to justify the hours of research into genealogy. I have been on an interesting path, at first I was just collecting names, dates, and places. I would quickly gather then move on for more. It was … Continue reading

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Sailing Life

I spoken of my love of sailing. So many analogies to real life. The great one is relating the tongue (or thoughts) to the tiller/rudder. A very small shift can end up putting you miles off course. There is a … Continue reading

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Perspective

I love the double and triple meaning of words. “It all depends upon your perspective.” What does that mean? Converging railroad tracks in the distance? Or, what you see depends upon where you stand. Generally, I know this to be … Continue reading

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The Great Kosher Chicken Prank

There was a time when we would seek out kosher chicken from the butcher, not Safeway. There was probably not much difference in the quality of the meat, the Safeway chicken had the label kosher so my guess is that … Continue reading

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Common Sense

I don’t usually repost, but this was just too snarky to pass up. British sarcasm! An Obituary printed in the London* *Times…..Absolutely Dead Brilliant!!* Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with … Continue reading

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Futures

Been thinking about freedom. It’s a complex issue, always a two-sided coin. You can’t discuss freedom without having constraint. If there is no constraint, then… you just are. In the same way, a lifetime of constraint doesn’t mean much, until … Continue reading

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Best Read Ever!

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Great Grandparents

I am surviving. I come from a long list of survivors. Oh, they eventually died, but before they did, they passed on their DNA. I am so amazed that if just one of my thousands of grandparents had died as … Continue reading

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The Virus

So, let’s check the boxes. I am old, not terribly old, but old enough not to be confused with young or even middle-aged. I have diabetes. I’ve recently had a heart attack, and heart disease is another box that’s ticked. … Continue reading

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Tax Season & One Things

My lovely wife did me the favor of collecting the yearly documents necessary to present to our tax person. Our new tax person, because our old tax person retired after thirty years. This has been a troubling time. For years … Continue reading

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Lyrics Shaping a Decade

I am of an age where my memory has been somewhat selective. I have professed to my children that the music from the Sixties was far better than any decade since. I had forgotten that the 60’s had its share … Continue reading

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Tangential Knowledge

What is it when we are not looking for something, and then we find it? It’s hard to be thoughtless in the literal sense, which is somehow different than the emotional uncaring sense. The pure thoughtless is almost like the … Continue reading

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Some of our Students

Some of our students just returned from a week at our nation’s capitol. Can you imagined what they must have learned? What a perfect opportunity to witness history, to actually see the government in action, to hear live presentations from … Continue reading

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Hollywood

I have recently been intrigued by the classic black and white headshots of the 1940s. I’m not familiar with any names of the photographers, but I am admiring their work. Wikipedia sometimes gets the actual names of the actors wrong, … Continue reading

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Now?

I once saw a man with a tattoo of a watch on his wrist. Periodically it had the correct time, at least twice a day. The theoretical concept is that if he had more tattoos, it will increase the ratio … Continue reading

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My friend Bob

I am inspired by his work http://www.youtube.com/watch

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Recent Work

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What do I make?

Well, in simplistic terms, I make art. It is art because I say so, not because I have mastered any particular media. It is art because I have recognized that in the making, that the image has crossed the threshold … Continue reading

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When is it Sin? When is it Evil?

A good friend posted an article by Dennis Praeger and suggested that I read it. I’m good with that. I have several of his books and I have enjoyed his writing. No red flags there… Well, maybe one. Praeger has … Continue reading

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Francis Bacon

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More Encouragement Thoughts

Encouragement can be found in a vast mountain lake. A reservoir filled to the brim, more encouragement than you can receive in several lifetimes. And yet it is untapped for most of us, for most of our lives. It is … Continue reading

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DuChamp

I have lost count of what I have done and how many. Apparently my storage system is a little wacky, because I remember working on the image, and then I can’t find it. Later, it pops up like an Easter … Continue reading

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Various New & Revisted

I can’t leave it alone. Gotta try reworking. And I’m really only using two different brush styles. Okay, the last one is my grandson’s.

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One More Egon and a Klee

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Egon Studies

I wanted to revisit Egon with my Apple Pencil.

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Mucha Studies

I wanted to focus on the Mucha women, mostly their expressions, so I removed the background.s. Then I could see the faces, and naturally I took some liberties to make some changes. Changing color and line weight was a good … Continue reading

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Tribute Mucha

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Some New, Some ReWorked

Steve Jobs had very strong opinions. Way back when the Newton was a thing, he liked it but couldn’t stand that it had a stylist. “It could get lost!” Well, yes, Steve. It could get lost, and it did get … Continue reading

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Been Busy

I finally upgraded an old iPad that cracked a screen. On the way to better vision, its getting hard to see detail. the doctor says its all good but I struggle. So i busted for a 12.5 iPad Pro, and … Continue reading

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The Big Island

“The Big Island Today I stepped on new earth. Earth that rose from magma, Mother giving birth to child, As unlovely to look at as can be imagined. Yet time will pass and the child Will change, gaining the Rainaments … Continue reading

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New Earth

I’m back in the land of new earth. Dirt that is younger than I am. Yes, I know, composting trees, brush and vegetables creates new earth. But this place belches new earth from the core of the world. The Big … Continue reading

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In Search of Truth

Diogenes was noted for holding a lamp during the day, saying he was looking for an honest man. He often disrupted the teachings of Socrates and Plato, by bringing food and drink to their lectures. He even criticized Alexander the … Continue reading

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End of Trip

Jerusalem We have been back for two or three days. Somehow with the international date line, we may have missed a day. The last few days were a blur but I will try to summarize. It was a great trip, … Continue reading

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The Ladder

Jerusalem I’ve been here several days, and I will stay several more. It is a city of contrasts. In many was it is like most modern cosmopolitan centers. It has traffic, noise, the bustle of people. It also has history, … Continue reading

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The Garden Tomb

Jerusalem The city is filled with wonder, places of history, places suspected of history. When the British general Charles Gordon was here, he brought a piece of land that he felt was important. People had said that this was Golgotha, … Continue reading

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Three Things

Okay, I have three things to ponder; living water, being hopelessly trapped and living the good life. I am currently in the Judean Wilderness, it’s not sand dunes, it’s ankle twisting, barren brown desert rock. It’s an intimidating place, made … Continue reading

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Golan Heights

This is a place of conflict. Conflict in the past, and likely conflict in the future. We were brought to an outpost that looks over the natural path for an invasion of Israel from Syria. It was used in 1948, … Continue reading

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Peter’s House

The church in the air. I am in Capernaum, the famous village on the shore of the Galilee Sea. It is the town of Peter and his fishing home port. There is a ruin of a Beit Knisset, or synagogue, … Continue reading

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Galilee

On the shore for several days. Ruins, boats and a kibbutz. Largest body of fresh water below sea level. It’s the truth, but I’m not certain of the meaning. Clearly in scripture this was an important area. Even in a … Continue reading

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Nazareth

Many people believe that something unique happened here. They believe that Joseph, the carpenter had his shop here, and raised his family. They believe that his wife Mary was visited by an angel and something wonderful was told to her. … Continue reading

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Acco

My readings of crusader history always mentioned Acre. I did not know that it was known before, and later, as Acco. We are in Acco, on the shore of northern Israel. The area is beautiful, the sea is warm, enticing, … Continue reading

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Via Maris

We are on the famous Via Maris, the Way of the Sea. For thousands of years, people, traders, and armies, moved from Egypt to Lebanon, and Phoenicia to Damascus, keeping the Mediterranean on the left, or the right, depending on … Continue reading

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