late or early, depending on how you look at it

one of my main problems in life is feeling the urge to write when i should be a. already sleeping or b. past due going to bed.

i mean, i do write early in the morning sometimes, and sometimes in the middle of the day, but most of the time i really want to unload my head it’s after midnight and before 2am.

i think it mostly happens when i store too much information and have not made time to substantially express my inner feelings, dreams and fears. i enjoy the late night early morning space because it is so much quieter than anytime of regular day.  if it’s past 1am, no one is likely to call or text.  no one is ringing my doorbell, or mowing my yard.  the birds and neighbors are even asleep and there is a stillness that is hard to match anytime in the normal waking hours of a day.  somehow the ideas seem more endless in this vast quiet space, the hunger for meaning is palatable, and writing comes easier.  Who wouldn’t want to take out the trash when it’s full? Only the lazy.

My writing is best when I think it’s hidden, missing, or no one is reading. My writing is worst when I write for an audience. My paintings are best when they surprise me. My paintings are worst when they feel like an obligation. My life is best when I have room to expand and contract. My life is worst when I feel no control. My plants are best when I re-pot them and fertilize and water them. My plants are worst when I neglect them.

I know I need sleep. It’s scientific.





i have no idea what my username and password are anymore for this site. i was lucky this time because some password software i installed on my computer knew and let me in. i’ve changed my mind about medium.  i like it still for a lot of reasons, as a good place to write, but it seems like it’s a place to write short pieces, short and good or sweet and funny. i could see myself turning some long journal post here into a medium post with some major editing. but i like writing here. i miss it.  the thing that makes it most difficult for me now is the missing 3 years of posts.  you’ve heard the old saying, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”  well, that’s how it is with me and this blog.  i hated this blog.  i hated the site, and lots of things about its constant updates, new features, and the difficulty i often had posting pictures or videos here. but it was good in a way too because it made me just write.  just write — no pictures or video or extra fluff. it must be hard to follow all this without my last 3 years for context but what can i do?  i had posts about my frustrations with wordpress, my new infatuation with medium, and all of this “backstory” is missing from the feed.

but when we switched servers and i lost the whole blog i was like “whatever.”  but later it made me upset. later i wished i could read what i was thinking a year ago, where my head was at. fortunately my friend brent had saved the entire blog 3 years ago so it was “only” 3 years that was missing. well, i was bound to abandoned this blog if i have 3 years missing.  i’ll just leave it being 2007-2012 and start over on medium.

but i can’t feel good writing all this on medium, stupid stuff that goes in circles.  there’s no context. there’s not a hundred plus posts before explaining my madness. i really want to give up. the most frustrating part is that there exists a file with my entire blog out there and my friend has it, but can’t crack it open. the file is out there but i don’t know who the person is that can open it and re-import it. so i am stuck.  i don’t even know enough about the file or computers to know where to begin to look for someone who can open and import my old blog.

cake. i am taking a short break to get cake.

i’m certain if you had access to my most recent 3 years of writing you would see that i have a thing for starting to write too late and feel hurried to finish and get some sleep.  you might also see a pattern that i have too much to do and not enough time. i write when i should be sleeping.  i sleep when i should be writing. i have a lot to say but i am pinned down by time. tonight is no different. it’s early saturday morning and i only arrived here by a last minute skimming of my bookmarks. i was curious if i could even “get in” to the old blog.

this is the best cake in the world. my moms carrot cake. oh lord it is divine. divinity on a fork. i think i should try to pick up writing even though i lost 3 years of it.  maybe i can “pretend” all of that is not lost. why do i let it upset me so much? i wish i knew.

this is the beginning of my slow acceptance of the lost years and my gradual re-entering to my blog site.  my journal. my private thoughts and fears. there must be someone who can crack the code of my old file?  should i put my energy into that past or into the future? hmmmm




the short of it:

we had a terrible website host. we switched to a new host. my blog was lost in the switch. little did i know that the blog was attached to the web host.  that sentence barely even makes sense to me.

my friend brent had a saved version of my blog up until some point in 2012. he was trying to help me get out of my blog site,  we never did get out but at least he had archived those first 5 years of my online writing.

but the last 3 years are gone. i’ll be writing at medium now. i may be back here later to give you a link to my writing there.  just goes to show you that even if you think you’re online writing may live forever it can be wiped out in an instant.

i think of it like a fire that burned all my printed writing. it only lives on those pages so when those pages are gone the writing is lost. 3 years of my online writing here was lost.  there may be some path to recovering it but is it worth the trouble?

more to come.


one of my best friends is getting married in China in April. i want to see him get married so bad but i am having trouble making the commitment to go to his wedding. it’s weird to be unsure of an action. i usually have no problem making decisions quickly.

the other day i was at Satchel’s and we were closed and at one point the morning light was flooding in through the red stained glass window and it was putting this crazy glow on one of my painting on the wall with a red frame. i snapped this but felt like it would be hard to photograph how intense the light was.

a couple booths down the light was playing a different trick on a collage:

Speaking of collage, Feral is a local artist who did a collage on a door in Lightnin’ Salvage. if you’ve ever been there you know the door i mean… it’s covered in tiny beads and pieces and is adored by the customers. well, she and Ryan are seen here working on a new mosaic out by the swing set. this is a really great treat when you go to the back of the playground… some birds, a river, a town….

i had an awesome time at the medieval faire. when i asked my daughter which was better, Disney World or the Medieval Faire, she hesitated… and never was sure…
my son has saved all year for the shops there. he saved $107 but only brought $55. came home loaded with treasures.

lake bed

this is my new desktop photo. i live on a pond and the current drought has the lake dried up. most of it is drying up mud. it is sort of beautiful to see how it dries….

there are some turtles left, and a gator. i wonder about the turtle that wanders through the mud and then get stuck. turtles don’t get stuck in the mud, right? i was asking my wife and she answered so plainly, “It’s a turtle!” which told me obviously i was an idiot and that turtles probably have no issues with mud.

sometimes i feel stuck in the mud and i am not a turtle. but i do love a good speech. a good speech is nice to listen to, even if it all seems so impossible. i enjoy watching the state of the union address when i am aware it’s happening and i can make an hour to listen. It’s hard not to admit that Obama is an inspiring speaker.

we went canoeing a couple weekends ago. the weather is so gorgeous that the springs actually feel warm. it’s weird. the air was just a bit cooler than the 72 degrees spring so while the sun was beating and it felt awesome at 70, the water felt even better. but i’d like to share this picture of the canoe my wife made about 11 years ago. so sweet. we call her “Tippy” though she hasn’t tipped yet.

the hawk is better than the bison

here’s a couple iphone photos of the bison my son and i encountered today on our walk in the prairie.
it is a BIG animal i tell you… the first one i ever saw was with C only about a week ago near the same spot! My daughter and i went walking a loooong way last week and never saw one. but today i saw my second and my son his first. he was more excited about the HAWK than the bison. the hawk was perched on a post across the ditch and we passed her easily walking out and she was still there when we returned by. it was a fun day. the wife and daughter went to a B-day party and S and I played Hive Carbon and rode our bikes into town and ate some good slices from Big Lou’s and went to Mochi. then rode back and saw the bison and hawk on a walk.

the restaurant was a controlled chaos and i lost my mind when a pie was sent to the wrong table… can you understand the fury here? some table has gotten a pie WITHOUT the onions they ordered…. another table is getting a pie that has onions and they didn’t order onions… both pies have artichoke hearts, steak, sun dried tomatoes…. anyway- this sort of mistake means we are now ADDING sun dried tomatoes to try and “sort-of-fix” the pie that now has to go out, we are making a couple of slices without onions for the guy who doesn’t want onions… we are sending desserts to the folks who got the wrong pie, ordered onions and didn’t get them, we are in a frantic mess in the kitchen making haste to fix everything and get back on track, and all the while pies are done, coming out, needing to find the right table, and new orders are streaming in… it gets quite out of whack at times.

on the brighter side, the other 99% of the pies that came out were awesome and amazing and mind blowing works of art… maybe we made 200 pies tonight and 3 of them were UNperfect. there was the cheese deep dish. that’s a hard pie to get right no matter what. the deep with 3 or 4 toppings is a dream come true. the deep with just cheese is a pizza maker challenge. tonight it turned out soggy, sloopy, wet, and not so good. the crust chosen for the job was undercooked to start with. it then had too much sauce and too much cheese for what it was. so it comes out soggy, gets cut. the decision is made to put it back in the pan and back in the oven ( i was not there at that moment..) and i see it coming out the second time. still soggy, sloopy, sauce and cheese pooled in the middle….. this is a great tasting ugly pie.. and not really right.. more like lasagna than pizza.
i had no choice but to comp the pie and apologize. i explained to the pizza maker how i thought it should be made. and i have to go on. 99% is damn good. i hope i made it up to the 1%.

i love Sundays. i really love Sundays. i love a busy Friday night and i worry all day about Saturdays, but i love me a Sunday.

i”m excited for my friends Dean and Teresa, who against all odds, opened their own awesome bakery, the Vine. as much as i love their bread, the pasta makes me swoon like i thought only a calzone could. we are going to try and figure out a way to get our Satchel’s customers picking up fresh bread and pasta when they are in for pizza. if you’ve never tried it you should make a special point to visit the Wednesday’s farmers market downtown and pick up some ravioli and a baguette. you will be blown away by the dinner you create that night. you could dump Ragu on that pasta and rip the bread and chew it alongside dry and you’re eyes would be rolling back in your head. but with some butter and a bit of creative sauce? Lord, you will think you died and went to Heaven.

Would i lie? do you think i am getting paid to advertise? please.

anyway- LSE is going through some changes. a new bar is coming. bigger, better, you can’t even imagine how better it can get. i find myself giddy about it. plotting and thinking and straining my brain. lots of good news coming in 2012… lots of good news…..


tonight was out 6th annual pinecone contest awards ceremony. i made a video and it ended up being 10 minutes long. this is too long i realize however – it is for the hardcore fans. if i condensed it to 2 minutes, i would get a few more people to watch it but one would not get the grand understanding of the event. the LSE curator and resident artist, john orth, is the pinecone contest official. he preps me every year behind the scenes. he writes the notes which help me MC the event. he makes the trophies and the display, and he prints and frames the awards. this contest could not happen without his extreme efforts. anyway, i want to show some of the behind the scenes prep for an event this big. and with 4 award winners and some context, 10 minutes is the bare minimum this sort of documentary could be. like i said, it’s for hardcore lightnin’ salvage fans. i know you’re out there.

while i have a friend looking into updating my stuff to allow videos to be posted here, the answer from on high has not been yet handed down. and in an unfortunate (or fortunate) twist, i am forced to release this new short film on facebook rather than my preferred release on the blog, because for some reason i ended up with a blog that to this day still often times causes me to wonder…. while you may think technology just happens while you sleep the reality is that i still cannot show a video on my blog in 2012, and although i have experts working on it, they are still waiting for answers and updates from others in the huge expanse of cyberspace. while none of this may make sense to you never fear because none of it makes sense to me either.

so, in order to see the latest video of the 2011 pinecone awards ceremony, please see the satchel’s pizza facebook page, or the satchel’s pizza vimeo channel.

sorry. thanks. i luv u. pinecones and pizza ya’ll.and PEACE!

more stuff

so maybe i can’t embed videos here yet but i can still show you a picture no one else has seen. we got that new mixer and it inspired us to paint our old one red.

in other news……… its busy. real busy. the holidays is one of our biggest times of the year because folks want to bring their friends and family in for a pie. tuesday night before christmas (last night) was one of the hardest nights we’ve had in years. everything was going wrong. there were tickets not printing, mistakes by front of house and back of house (FOH & BOH)… it was just far from fun. tonight was a bit better but still the devices (ipods) were giving us trouble. somehow and thankfully, danny’s iPAD was cranking out LSE orders. but all of these computer problems and also the employees frustration with the devices, has me ready to make a bold move in a new direction.
more on that later.

look at this amazing shot sent in by a faithful customer:


so, while WORK for me is really hard this time of year and my mind is firing on cylinders i didn’t know i had…. there is an alternate universe where the happy customer is enjoying a pie to the fullest, thinking about us while in Paris, and taking this photo and sending it to us. this is the small pleasure that takes me away from the work and stress and kinked shoulder…. and delivers me to the place where i remember why i love this business. people care. pizza eating folks come in and are excited about it and get good food and drop their hard earned cash…happily….

i’m the same way- i super LOVE the places i love: caribbean spice, hogan’s heros, lowe’s, my wife’s cooking, my mom’s cooking, and some big time satchel’s. i STILL eat that pie and just find myself slowing down and getting into it, and my mind blowing a little bit.

are there any other photos i should show you?

the pinecone contest judging was today. i am sorry to report that i was too busy to get the “inside the judging” video that i got last year. the available time for me to christmas shop has come down to the wire, what with me working an 80 hour week between my work at home and at the shop, so i was at target when i should have been filming…. i tried again to embed the pinecone contest judging from last year and had NO LUCK. i’m not even gonna try and link because that doesn’t work either….

but—-you can go to our homepage at, and click the satchel’s pizza vimeo link on the right side of the screen, and look for the video called pinecone judging 2010, and re-live the dream…. but 2011? did john break out the flip video? i wonder…. but i doubt it.

FYI: the pinecone contest awards ceremony for 2011 will be held january 7, 2012, at LSE, at 7pm. that’s right, while we USUALLY have the awards ceremony n the SAME YEAR as the contest, this year we switched up and are having our awards ceremony the first saturday in january. why? because the holidays are so busy with so many events that it’s not only hard to organize and prepare for the awards, but people are often out of town that may be collecting said award, so we are “trying out” this alternate date and ceremony. please bust out your day-timer and notate that 1-7-12 @ 7pm, is the 2011 pinecone contest awards ceremony at LSE. always fun and interesting.

and finally, and exclusively for the blog readers…. i have no idea how many of you are out there but i’m guessing about 30 from views i get after i “used” to post videos…. a great shot of jeff, the guy who basically invented and created the “garden” that is in front of satchel’s. he was the farmer i got to plant and help organize the space that is now the wonderful lush garden that sits right on 23rd ave. he got married recently and this is a shot from the party after his wedding. wow. it was such a great wedding and they are so awesome together….


i got excited about the blog because i had a busy week and a lot to report. i made some videos to share here and wrote one of my longer posts about a host of things going on. but while in the past i could embed videos without problems, now my wordpress account won’t seem to embed my videos. since i want to share them i will head to facebook although my preferred method for release would be here. with the holidays and my schedule, it could be weeks before i’ve figured out a solution and my videos would no longer feel relevant. please check the satchel’s pizza facebook page for the videos in the coming hours/ days.

more pictures

so, for the online version of my show i present 4 new stained glass windows (4 more not yet photographed but i will get them tomorrow….) 1 of 2 murals i painted at the beach this year, and 1 of 3 new bumper sticker designs…. the one pictured is ready for public release tomorrow…(free with purchase)

thanks for paying attention. it means a lot. i’m not sure why i must make all this art but i know that there is a reason beyond my understanding.