Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Native Blog

A new blog, by Potawatomi (Wikipedia links subject to editorial drift) author Larry Mitchell, The Native Blog.



This pic shows Larry with "Famous Dave" Anderson (enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Lake Superior Band of Ojibwa), of ribs and BBQ sauce fame; with Larry's book, Potawatomi Tracks
{Amazon link}.

Editorial review of the paperback (Excerpt from Amazon.com):
"A year of active combat duty in Vietnam has left its scars on one Native American. After his tour of duty he struggled with drug use, homelessness, alcoholism, and was a victim of racism and discrimination. After 30 years he has discovered that he was really suffering from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Potawatomi Tracks serves as a chronicle of these events and struggles."




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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Broken Vulture Art doodle of Charon.

New bit of poetry, The Butcher's Daughter (OOPS! Wrong link originally given. Updated April 30.),
over at Drip and Spew (main page).



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Friday, April 28, 2006

Cheezy Totem Poles of the World - 1

First installment of a new series Cheezy Totem Poles of the World (A genre related to the Cheap Chinese Crap series); beginning with Sioux Narrows, Ontario. Click pics for larger view.

Lodge beside the highway, in Sioux Narrows.
Lodge beside the highway, in Sioux Narrows.

Big pole in the mini-putt.
Big pole in the mini-putt.

Set of poles beside the tent, beside the mini-putt. Dad reading the plaque, at centre.
Set of poles beside the tent, beside the mini-putt. Dad reading the plaque, at centre.



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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Canadian Soldiers no longer worthy of half-mast flags?

Rick Mercer's Blog: Priority Six - We are a bunch of Pricks

Rick Mercer gives a little rant. About what?... The conservative government will no longer lower the flag on parliament hill when a Canadian soldier dies.

I guess... that's the type of thing that happens when I leave the country for a few days.
In a Globe And Mail story, the conservative spokesperson (Def. Minister Gordon O'Connor) says that all soldier's deaths will now be honoured on one day, November 11;
"We've just returned to a tradition.".

I kinda remember the Tories (conservatives) being the ones who howl when a soldier's patriotic death is not properly honoured. Either: the smell of power, money and hubris in the halls of parliament has pickled their brains, or they are expecting/planning to get our military in a whole lotta crap and would hate to keep the Parliamentary Hill flag at half-mast 24/7/365

Let us hope that I am wrong, or that they will find a way to stop giving the country away to the super-rich of the world AND buy enough body armour for the army.

Okay... enough politics for today. Wait... Another story, about a father who wrote a letter asking 'why?' soldiers weren't being given this honour, shortly before his own son was killed in Afghanistan.
STORY



Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Long week in Minnesota

Hello Bingoragerz.
I've been away from my computer and the internet for nearly a week; but, I've needed a vacation. [No; I am not talking about the glitzy Bingo parlours of the intertubes, like meccabingo.]

Dad and I went down to visit our hunting buddy, living out in Hugo, MN. While we were there, we :
-had a smelt feast
-went to an iron pour
-barbecued like crazy
-visited my buddies at Anurag Art
-played 'til the wee hours and slept in late
-indulged in political, religious and philosophical debate... ad nauseum.

Good stuff.


IT'S A SMELTY THING
The smelt were netted by Marky Mark, up at Lake Superior. I wasn't there when he dropped off the smelt, but I'm told his car was pretty much full of it.
Dad, Tosh and myself spent a few hours cleaning, battering, frying and eating bait.
It was tres deelish.
preparing the smelt
Dad, preparing the smelt

frying the smelt
frying the smelt (basic breading: crumbs, flour, coarse corn meal, Old Bay spice, Sea Salt, pepper, cane sugar. No milk/egg dip) in peanut and grapeseed oil

getting ready to scarf the smelt
getting ready to scarf the smelt (tartar sauce and lemon juice for dip), draining on unbleached paper towels.


GRILLIN' TIME
We did a lot of grilling, but the best gnoshing of the trip was the smoked brisket.
We thawed the brisket, washed it, dried it and then applied a spice rub to it (Sea salt, whole peppercorns, dark brown sugar, powdered chili and other thingies). We left it in the fridge for at least 12 hours, then put it in the smoker for about six hours; using oak and mesquite smoke.
The smoker was run between 200 - 225 degrees F; our target was 190 degrees F internal temperature, checked with an electric fork thermometer(which was later put through the dishwasher and turned into a non-electric BBQ fork).
Every hour, the brisket was basted. For the final twenty minutes, we drenched the brisket in Pear juice and wrapped it in tin foil to steam.

It was so freakin' good... I wish I could lend you my taste buds.


IRON POUR
Iron Pour in White Bear Lake (MN), at the Tamarack Nature Centre.
Iron Pour in White Bear Lake (MN), at the Tamarack Nature Centre.

Iron Pour in White Bear Lake
I'll post more pics of the Iron Pour, over at Anurag Art Online
Within the next two days; I promise.
Update: April 26 - DIRECT LINK


FISHY TIME
For our last day, we decided to do fish. The best place to get fish while I was living in the twin cities was -and is- Coastal Seafoods in The Seward neighbourhood. We went looking for scallops, marlin and swordfish. The first thing I noticed was that the exterior had been repainted and sculpture added, even to the dumpster cage.

coastal seafoods, minneapolis

entrance facade
entrance facade

east wall relief
east wall relief

the dumpster cage
the dumpster cage

We went in and I pointed out the last piece of Marlin to my father -who'd been waiting a long time to eat Marlin again- and the guy who came in after we entered, takes it. There's no mercy for the hesitant when it comes to fishmongering, apparently.
We settled for scallops, swordfish and opah.

The scallops were rubbed and marinated in olive oil, jerk seasoning and brown sugar before being grilled with apple smoke. They were like spicy candy, to wake your mouth up.
The opah and swordfish were rubbed with oil, salted capers and a sauce I can't remember the name of at the moment. They were cooked over a smoky grill, as well.
An excellent final dinner of the vacation.


RANDOM PICS
Corner of Lake St. and 27'th Ave, Minneapolis.
Corner of Lake St. and 27'th Ave, Minneapolis.

A tiny barn in Hugo, Minnesota.
A tiny barn in Hugo, Minnesota.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

New video hoster: Eyespot.com

I will be posting some videos at Eye spot.com. You can see some documentary stuff, for now. Maybe some creative/storytelling stuff, later.

"Flash Player" required; free download, here. Look for "Download Free Players" title, top fifth of page.


My Eyespot.com video-page; Here



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Phantompalooza, baby.

text

Official Phantompalooza site.

Great Phantom of the Paradise movie review at HorrorWood.com.


phantom of the paradise
The "Phantom"

I don't remember, exactly, when I first saw this movie, but I do remember the effect it had on me as a child. I was thrilled and, occasionally, scared silly. I had not yet read, or otherwise heard of, The Phantom of the Opera, or Dorian Gray stories; so, it was an exhilirating entree.


I had the chance to see it again a few months ago...

Boy... is it cheezy. But in a great disco-pop, melodrama cheezy kinda way. The songs still work for me; Paul Williams was near the height of his fame and game, at the time (He made for a great bad guy, too). I was able to appreciate the film in a new and interesting way, this time, however: I watched the film as a creation of Brian DePalma; "years before Carrie and Dressed to Kill" (Phrase from HorrorWood review). The split screen and synchronised tracking of the pre-concert scenes are devices that will be seen again in later thrillers, like Blow Out (John Travolta, Nancy Allen).

Anyways...
Phantom of the Paradise has been labeled as Winnipeg's favourite movie. April 29'th will be the next Phantompalooza event in Winnipeg; with film screenings, a new documentary, "intimate" Paul Williams concerts and phantom-styled party. Be there or be rhomboid.



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Monday, April 17, 2006

Burning the weeds off the old airstrip, in Fort Frances. Children wait nearby, to enter the field and harvest the roasted deerticks.
Burning the weeds off the old airstrip, in Fort Frances. Children wait nearby, to enter the field and harvest the roasted deerticks.
Burning the weeds off the old airstrip, in Fort Frances. Children wait nearby, to enter the field and harvest the roasted deerticks.

Burning the weeds off the old airstrip, in Fort Frances. Children wait nearby, to enter the field and harvest the roasted deerticks.


New Crane painting, on the Bingorage Studio window.
New Crane painting, on the Bingorage Studio window.

New Crane painting, on the Bingorage Studio window.

New Crane painting, on the Bingorage Studio window.

New Crane painting, on the Bingorage Studio window.

New Crane painting, on the Bingorage Studio window.
My camera's memory cards filled up, before I finished the painting. I'll post the finished product in a day or so.


A pile of deathbikes. Read the deathbike posting, here.
A pile of deathbikes.


Moose button.
Moose button.




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Native Unity

Native Unity NAJA (Native American Journalists Association) member, Bobbie Hart O'Neill's blog; collecting news articles of particular importance to Native Americans


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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Inuit Bone / Tooth / Ivory carvings?

MY gramma Edith and Grampa Charlie worked on the DEW-line, feeding the guys who were watching for the Russkies to sneak over Canada to get at the quivering Americans below. Grampa is a chef and gramma was no mean cook; she was also a baker.
DEW-line History

I remember their collection of soapstone carvings, bone and antler sculpture, furs and prints; from when I was a child. Here are a few of the pieces that we have.
Pics click to enlarge.

Inuit Ivory / Bone carvings.
Inuit Ivory / Bone carvings. The two pieces on the left are capped (both; about 4cm, bone-length), to be used as pendants, the rightmost piece (5.2 cm high) had a pendant attachment at one time.

Inuit Ivory / Bone carvings.

The larger piece (broken into two pieces, with a couple fragments missing) is 12.5 cm high and 4.5 cm wide at the shoulder. The small Animal-face at bottom right is missing a tooth/tusk; It attaches to the larger piece by the two projections at the lower abdomen level.

Inuit Ivory / Bone carvings.

Inuit Ivory / Bone carvings.

Anybody know what these types of carvings are called? Please comment and/or email me. Thanks.
:Eric



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The Eleven by Four foot Canvas - Act 1

(ACT 2); here.
(ACT 3); here.


Click pics for enlargements/detail.


While I was in Thunder Bay, last weekend, I purchased a 6-yard roll of 72 inch, heavy, unprimed canvas.
It's a great piece of cotton.

Theoretically, I should be able to make, aboot, a seventeen by six foot canvas to paint on; given ideal conditions. However, conditions have not been ideal.

The dowels that I was going to use for cross-bracing, only come in 4' lengths at the lumber place, so that limits the narrow dimension. Plus; I only felt like buying a couple of 16', 1"x4" lumber bits. So, that limited the length.

I feel shame for having a 10" offcut. Now... I am regretting having caved in on the Four-foot doweling. Perhaps this situation can be rectified by actively seeking 5&1/2' lengths of dry, straight dowel; of adequate thickness. Perhaps I can be a good person, after all.

Here is the sketch that has developed as possible imagery for the big canvas.

A sketch for the big canvas, acrylic painting by Eric Keast, Broken Vulture Art.

A sketch for the big canvas, acrylic painting by Eric Keast, Broken Vulture Art.

A sketch for the big canvas, acrylic painting by Eric Keast, Broken Vulture Art.

A sketch for the big canvas, acrylic painting by Eric Keast, Broken Vulture Art.
This pic's a little blurry. I'll post a better one, when available.

The working title (so far) is Krustayn vs. Mecha-Sasquatch.
Now; I know what you're thinking: What the *#@$!, is a "Mecha-Sasquatch"?
Let me try and give you the short answer.

"Mecha-Saquatch" represents what happens to the "legendary", when it is co-opted by the "pop" aesthetic, media overkill and commercial interests. It is metaphorically torn apart and reshaped, possibly losing all of its mythos.

That's the heavy idea for the day. No guarantee that it will still be the subject of the piece, when paint starts to hit the canvas.

Update. April 15, 2006: Here's the original idea-sketch.

Krustayn versus Mecha-Sasquatch, original painting idea sketch

:Eric.



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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior

Ancient Mining on the Shores of Lake Superior.


I had known that copper had been mined for thousands of years, in the Lake Superior basin, but this article documents a much more extensive archaeological record on the south shores of the Lake, than I had realised. It's a little long, but a good read. The article was written in 1865, however and delivers some expected prejudice.
Here are some excerpts:

In the month of March, 1848, Samuel O. Knapp and J. B. Townsend discovered, from tracks in the snow, that a hedgehog had taken up his winter-quarters in a cavity of a ledge of rocks, about twelve miles from Ontonagon, Lake Superior, in the neighborhood of the Minnesota Copper Mine. In order to capture their game, they procured a pick and shovel, and commenced an excavation by removing the vegetable mould and rubbish that had accumulated about the mouth of what proved to be a small cavern in the rock. At the depth of a few feet they discovered numerous stone hammers or mauls; and they saw that the cavern was not a natural one, but had been worked out by human agency, and that the stone implements, found in great profusion in and about it, were the tools used in making the excavation. Further examination developed a well-defined vein of native copper running through the rock; and it was evidently with a view of getting this metal that this extensive opening had been made.



At the Hilton Mine in the Ontonagon district, in October, 1863, as the men were removing the vegetable mould that had accumulated in one of the old pits, they found at the depth of about nine feet a leather bag, which was eleven inches long and seven inches wide. It was lying upon a mass of native copper which the ancient miners had unsuccessfully attempted to remove from its parent vein. The bag was in a remarkable state of preservation... - the day after it was discovered, -- it was in the possession of C. M. Sanderson, Esq., the agent of the Knowlton Mine; but I hear it has since been taken to Boston and sold.
{No kidding. :Eric.}



In removing the accumulated leaves and vegetable mould, the workmen, at the depth of eighteen feet, discovered a mass of copper ten feet long, three feet wide, and more than a foot thick, weighing six tons...
This mass of copper, like all others found in those ancient pits, was divested of all its ragged points, and hammered perfectly smooth.



{OK; here it comes.}

Many who have been taught to regard the present roving tribes of Indians as instinctively wise in matters of medicine and mining are ready to award to that race the credit of having worked these mines; but, inasmuch as even a traditional knowledge of their existence was unknown to the Indians at the time the Jesuit missionaries visited that region in the sixteenth century, we incline to the opinion that another and distinct race worked them. I am unable to see why the descendants of a people residing in the same country, and subject to the same wants, should abandon the half-worked mines which their ancestors had opened, and even fail to hand down to their posterity a tradition of their existence. If copper was in such demand that the ancestors of the present race of Chippeways were induced to work so perseveringly to obtain it, why did not the children continue to work, at least enough to finish the jobs already commenced by their progenitors? We cannot consistently attribute the Herculean labor expended on these mines to the ancestors of the indolent race of North American Indians. We incline, rather, to the opinion that the miners were the mound-builders, who resided south of the mines, and ultimately found a home in Mexico.




Leave it to the European mindset of the time to see an unused resource as just another reason to disparage the locals. But, he does have a valid question; why were the mines abandoned and unused by the Native peoples of that time and place?

1- The "Chippeways" are also known as Ojibwa, Ojibway and Chippewa; We call ourselves Ahnishnahbeh. According to our legends, we came from the East coast of Canada and the United States, migrating inland, up the Great Lakes. (Probably kicking butt and taking names, all the way.) Certainly, there was also some pressure from the East, when the Europeans starting moving into the interior. The point being, that the mines' locations were not in the 'oral history' of the Chippewa; unless recently rediscovered.

2- Archaeological evidence for copper use, in Northwestern Onatrio actually peaks in the Archaic period, between (approximately) 3 000 - 6 000 years ago. The writer of this article cites a tree-ring (dendrochronology) age of four hundred years for one 'mine', but this represents a 'latest date' for that mine's abandonment, not an earliest. The mines may have been long abandoned, thousands of years before the historic period, with intervening generations of unrelated cultures in between.

3- The Native peoples of the time of the article traded furs and food for gunpowder, iron, sheet copper kettles, glassware, European clay pipes and Brazilian tobacco; etc. Why, bust your hump to pound copper out of the granite?

Anyways; interesting. When I was in the Archaeological department of the Ontario Govt; many moons ago, I was told about a Kenora local guy who brought some copper 'celts' into the office to "get an estimate". Unfortunately, for our looter, Archaeological artifacts are considered public property and the pieces were confiscated. He had been considerate enough to "resharpen" the pieces, before bringing them in; which is kind of like painting a disintegrating Totem Pole. Don't do it.





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