Category Archives: Uncategorized

Santa Cruz: a State of Mind

Santa Cruz is sure that it’s the coolest place in the hemisphere. The denizens run the gamut from racy to flaky, with all expressing pronounced Green tendencies. The bakeries are simply amazingly wonderful

Bacon cheddar biscuit at Companion Bakeshop, Santa Cruz

And a plain croissant, just because

and the grocery stores supply all that the racy/flaky desire
frozen pizzas for all diets


and of course the produce is preposterously fresh and succulent



The strip malls have all sorts of goods and services
one stop shopping
and politico-spatial correctitude abounds
as amended
Sigils are everywhere
bases covered
and cover the ground from arcane to obtuse, with detours through the surreal. Wish I’d had more time to document, but it was just a quick trip this time.

aerial appliance

I’ve been carrying an iPhone for more than two years now, though previously I swore never to have anything to do with such appliances. I rarely use it as a phone, and the several camera apps get the most mileage. While flying from Boston to San Francisco yesterday I tried it out as an aerial camera and was amazed at the results. Try these on for size:

somewhere over Utah

more Utah


another genius

Sometimes you meet an Original, a person whose chosen form of art and expression is not in any way derivative, who uses materials (musical [Daniel Heïkalo] or literary [Georges Perec] or graphic [Luigi Seraphini] or sculptural or culinary or…) in a unique or idiosyncratic way. I’ve known a few, and enjoyed the surprise of encounter when new instances appeared.

Ahmet Gezer, sometimes known as ‘Crazy Ahmet’

Ahmet Gezer
and as ‘Lord of the Roots’,
Ahmet Gezer
uncovers forms hidden in wood, in roots and branches, and carves and prunes to liberate indwelling creatures. There are also less fanciful creations in his repertoire, table and lamp bases, candelabras, walking sticks, picture frames. Some of his source materials also include rocks imprisoned as roots have grown around them. Ahmet’s tools are pretty simple: saw, knife, chisel, file, minimal power tools. His imagination is of virtuoso calibre. His shop is underneath the family farmhouse in Sapanca, and his creations and raw materials overflow the shop.
Ahmet Gezer

Ahmet Gezer

He surely sells some of his creations, but I have the sense that selling has little to do with WHY he makes them. He’s not obsessive or batty, but he does project an air of deep personal contentment, and one can admire and even envy his calmness. He seems to spend a lot of time in nearby forests, hunting for likely material. Here’s a gallery of his creations:

(Jabba the Hutt? or somebody even stranger)
Ahmet Gezer

Ahmet Gezer

(I’d love to have this one)
Ahmet Gezer

(table bases)

Ahmet Gezer

Ahmet Gezer

(hard to say what it IS, just on its way to becoming something)
Ahmet Gezer

(light fixture)
Ahmet Gezer

(rock inclusions)
Ahmet Gezer

(pieces in process)
Ahmet Gezer

(raw materials)
Ahmet Gezer

Ahmet Gezer

(vine-wrapped saplings)
Ahmet Gezer

Ahmet Gezer

Ahmet Gezer

Ahmet Gezer

There’s also an example of neolithic agricultural technology in the yard, two wide boards about 5 feet long, inset with flint blades and I think meant to be used on a threshing floor, pulled around in a circle by animals and weighted down by a squatting farmer (or so I imagine from Ahmet’s demonstration).

threshing appliance

threshing appliance


I started oookblog in 2004 and it’s still running on the original Movable Type package, which is now so obsolete that I can’t figure out how to update it –and my UNIX skills are pretty shaky anyhow. The necessity to update the underlying MySQL database led me to deciding to try a whole new approach using WordPress. I think (believe, hope) that the original oookblog will remain… or perhaps I’ll be able to figure out how to import its 9+ years of content into this new space. So I have a lot to learn on this new platform.

…and hey presto I DID IT! The whole archive is there! Let the wild rumpus start.

Today’s dose of cognitive dissonance

Compare and contrast, as the exam questions sez:


…The tribal people of the Omo Valley keep cattle, sheep and goats but their unique pastoral way of life is sadly threatened by the modern world and the march of development.
A hydroelectric dam, known as Gibe III, is planned to be constructed across the Omo River Valley and according to Survival International this will cause the threatened end to the way of life of some 200,000 Ethiopian tribal people.
Survival International’s director, Stephen Corry, is quoted on the organisation’s site as saying: “The Gibe III dam will be a disaster of cataclysmic proportions for the tribes of the Omo valley. Their land and livelihoods will be destroyed, yet few have any idea what lies ahead. The government has violated Ethiopia’s constitution and international law in the procurement process. No respectable outside body should be funding this atrocious project.” (from