Author Archives: johndiestler

About johndiestler

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

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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Tests of Mortality

We are immortal, we are not immortal. No truer thing can ever be said. It seems at first impossible, two statements that are completely opposite. It is all contingent upon the word “we”. “We”, generally refers to our physical bodies, … Continue reading

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Dung Beetle

We are who we are, and sometimes, we get to be who we aspire to be. I had this random thought this morning. I’m not sure what was the cause or context. I am home now, from the skilled nursing … Continue reading

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My People

I am in a skilled nursing facility, recovering from a heart attack. Actually. I’m recovering a stent procedure given to stop the heart attack. I don’t believe there was going to be a recovery, it was a major failure and … Continue reading

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Gen Pop

I’ve grown up, I found a room in the regular hospital. They said it could come quickly, and it did, almost between bites of dinner. The ICU was completely comfortably and very roomy. It was a little noisy and at … Continue reading

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The Quiet Hours

It a strange time in hospitals, between 4:30 and 6:30 am. Mostly it’s sleeping, except there are several dozen individuals softly shuffling from room to room with their little baskets of vials, needles and tape. The blood collectors. Some have … Continue reading

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Life goes on

If you blog, you write what your experience. Sometimes you write what you think you’ve experienced. I’m always unclear about that little difference. I’m currently lying in a hospital bed. I have nurses that are thrilled with my gifts of … Continue reading

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What You Don’t Know

Days and nights are getting a little out of control. I think I’ve been in the hospital a few days. Hmm, since Saturday? Apparently I pushed myself a little too far while tearing out a deck. I thought I had … Continue reading

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Life and Death

There are two states that are guaranteed for all, you are either one, or the other. Further more, all who are alive will eventually he dead, that’s a sobbering thought. Its not a blog I generally like to write about, … Continue reading

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Doubles

It’s true, I love photography. I’ve been blessed to help teach hundreds of students to be more successful at creating images. I say “help” because way more than half the instruction is students teaching themselves and other students, by practice … Continue reading

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Roofing Rant

“Home is where the heart lies”, said to be a quote by Edmund Coke from the early 19th century. I take it to mean that emotion helps to define home, not architecture. And at various times in my life the … Continue reading

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A Little Sharps Work

Summertime filing, sanding, and polishing. Braided wire wrapped over leather, solid grip in wet circumstances.

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Squeal!

Multitasking We have all heard that the secret to life’s success is to do a lot of multitasking. Meaning, I suppose, that whatever you are doing, learn to do two or three things simultaneously, in order to get ahead and … Continue reading

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Some Unusual Art

I attended a jazz recital last night. Our music department generally has a performance to celebrate their student’s accomplishments. Our jazz quintet, “Jazzology”, was the featured performer. We also had a guest performer, Kallil Wilson, a great voice, with amazing … Continue reading

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More Murmurations

I have now spent several hours watching YouTube murmurations. I am enthralled! I desperately want to experience this first hand. I can remember once, while my family fished from the levee on the Sacramento River, early in the morning, a … Continue reading

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Thought Murmurations

I just used the WordPress feature of tracking the access of my blog posts. It isn’t that time consuming, haha, hardly a dozen eyeballs a week find my posts. Notice I didn’t say read and comment! Anyway, over the last … Continue reading

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FOMO

The fear of missing out. I love the internet based short hands, but this one is a little different. The general category of human fears has been well documented with little change over the years. The fear of snakes, spiders, … Continue reading

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Smartphone Photography

One of the biggest improvements to photography is the development of smartphone cameras. This also has created tremendous challenges. The first challenge may seem odd, but it is a hard problem to solve. There are well over 2 billion smartphones … Continue reading

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Radioactive

I am radioactive, or more accurately, my blood is radioactive. I suppose by now my blood has passed through every organ and bone in my body. For a time, the radioactive blood flowed through my eyes and I had x-ray … Continue reading

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The Prostitute

Eric and I were barely speaking, not that we were angry with each other; it was just that we had no room for communication. We had shriveled up, lost our vital fluids in the heat of the desert. Spiritually shrunken, … Continue reading

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Metamorphosis

The classic definition refers to either insect or amphibian and the process they go through from juvenile to adult. The remarkable thing is the complete change of the same creature. A crawling, multi-leg earthbound worm that turns into a winged … Continue reading

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Knock, Knock!

I’ve been listening to a persistent knock for the last ten minutes. I check my Arlo alert and sure enough, there is a man dressed in a black business suit gently knocking on the door with his rather pale first … Continue reading

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Daniel Tiger Live

Katerina Kittycat Today will be the last time where I see my daughter perform in the “Daniel Tiger Live” show. It’s not the last performance. She will continue on, singing/dancing as Katerina, working her way east, playing venues every few … Continue reading

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Stallion .45

         My Stallion .45’s It was Christmas Eve, 1950. I was 7 years old, and so excited that I would finally get the long-hoped-for shiny new bicycle. But it was not to be; instead of the bike, my parents surprised me … Continue reading

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At the Airport

Southwest Airlines has lost a pilot. There is a perfectly good airplane sitting at the gate with a full compliment of passengers and crew, but not enough pilots. Delays like this are unfortunate, but there is nothing for me to … Continue reading

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Objector/Soldier

“The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. “ a Spartan King, quoted by Thucydides My eldest daughter wrote a paper for … Continue reading

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Labels

I have been thinking about labels. A very useful concept. A stack of boxes with no labels is a nightmare of exasperated searching. When there are labels, it narrows the search, saving time. Labels are a short cut to anyone … Continue reading

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