Friday, August 12, 2022

A Golden One...

One of hundreds of fruit plates I've designed...

 Those that have followed me through the last four or so years know that my wife survived pancreatic cancer with many digestive concerns. A protein shake with vitamins and minerals was created for her by my doctor/ bro.

About two years ago, after another surgery, I started daily making her a fruit salad, but after a while boredom set in. So, I decided to have some fun for her digestion and my creative needs. Since that time I have created over one hundred different fruit plates I call my "TruMan Compoty" collection of fruity alternatives.

Today, I made a special one celebrating our 50th Golden Anniversary. So glad to be able to have her with me for so many years... and healthy.

Copyright 2022/Ben Bensen III

Thursday, June 30, 2022

"And, I Did Keep My Promise"...


Good Thursday Morning, all bodies.

The charcoal sketch I created last night is of Shaye Cohn, the unofficial leader of the ragtime band, "Tuba Skinny." I first saw the band on streets the French Quarter back in 2018. Shaye starts up the band by counting down, snapping her fingers and tapping her right leg on the street to the cadence of the music. At that time, I was amazed because she never stopped bouncing her right leg.

At the end of the concert, Saturday night, I waited around till the crowd had left for the doors. I wanted to speak to the band, but mostly, to Shaye. I picked out two cd's that she recommended while grilling her about her musical tastes and the band's relationship each other and the music.

Unfortunately, I found out that the band only accepted Venmo or Paypal to purchase any music. Shaye apologized and then, patiently waited as I fumbled to photograph their QR code and get my Paypal account on line... which I never did.

So embarrassed, I apologized for my online incompetence and told her to forget the purchase.

"I tell you what, Shaye offered, if you promise to pay the twenty dollars for the two cd's as soon as you get home, you can have them."

"Aw Shaye, I don't want'cha to do that. I can get them later at the convenience of both of us," I replied.

"No, it is okay," she reiterated. Just promise you'll pay me when you get home!"

"I promise, but it will take me about hour or so because I no longer live in New Orleans."

Just then, a custodian, wanting to close down the lobby, came by asking if we were ready to go. Shaye nodded, and grabbed her satchel as I, grabbed my two cd's and headed for the doors forgetting that she accepted my offer to take a selfie together.

Well damn, if I would've had my wits about me, I could've just asked the custodian to snap a few before he closed up, I thought, as I headed for the adjacent parking lot.

Although I felt like an idiot, I really couldn't complain. It was a great concert. I had a ball sharing the standing room only space with two women that were visiting from Houston and asking anyone who passed by them for a password to get back to their seats. It was hilarious.

It was also a treat to listen to the cd's as I drove across the Pontchartrain.

And, I did keep my promise when I got home!

First cup! 

Copyright 2022/Ben Bensen III

Sunday, June 26, 2022

"Finger Print Recognition?"

Kid Gloves?

Good Saturday Morning, all bodies.
After sloggin' through some heavy rains on the Causeway, I made to Lakeside Mall on time where Apple's Genius Bar resides. I decided to pay to have them replace the battery on my laptop. It just wasn't worth the time and effort for me to do it myself.
Alan, the Genius Bar dude, gave me the option of waiting to have the laptop serviced or to pick it up next week. I decided to wait.
In the process, I moseyed around the mall looking for something to occupy my time. The smell of cafe au lait and beignets emanating from Cafe Du Monde was inviting, but I already had breakfast. I continued past retail islands and kiosks that were just setting up.
Well, I thought, I need a pair of sunglasses. I also need to find a hat to cover my dome. You know, something stylish that I'd wear when I'm not destroying myself in the yard, but I just wasn't into the shopping scene.
I used to be when I was younger.
Anyway, I strolled aimlessly around until I saw the colorful and festive display presented by the Metairie Art Guild's Member Show. Lots of great visual vittles to sink your teeth into. I had some fun conversations about every subject under the sun including art with Guild members Connie Van Brechtel, Wayne Bernhard and another artist who I was introduced to named Glenn Ferrand.
It was a great way to spend an hour or more while waiting for my cellphone to ring. Unfortunately, I was expecting a phone call and not a text message from the Genius Bar. The laptop was ready for pickup at noon, but it wasn't until 2pm that I happen to see the text message.
Besides the long lines of men waiting at Dillard's to use the restrooms, it was a nice day of art and people watching. When I finally picked up my computer, I couldn't believe my eyes.
The gang at "the Bar" actually cleaned up the entire keyboard and monitor to the point that I almost didn't recognize my own computer. The dead bug and coffee stains, the cookie crumbs, the grubby fingerprints, tree pollen and dandruff were all wiped away clean. It was so inspiring and it got me to thinking...
Hmmmmm... I wonder if fingerprint recognition works wearing those blue surgical gloves? Well, it's a thought!
First cup!

Copyright 2022/ Ben Bensen III


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

"A Kitchen Knife "Cuz It Was Available!"

Good "I'll fix it" Monday Morning, everyone!
Well, you see, what had happened was the carafe to our Braun Coffee Maker of about fifteen years couldn't be put back together again. Kinda like Humpty Dumpty!
Why was it disassembled in the first place, you might ask?
The carafe seemed to be taking on water and not just the water that turns into coffee when brewed. Every month or more, the carafe kept getting heavier and heavier and soon could easily used in my kettle bell exercises.
So, I decided to slowly investigate the problem with every handyman's favorite tool, a kitchen knife! A kitchen knife is perfect because I didn't want to go to the garage to find an appropriate tool for just such an event like this.
Besides, a kitchen knife is so non-committal, ya know. Hunting for the right tool to use is not only time wasted, but finding one means I really am serious about fixing the problem. Easy solutions are just perfect for kichen utensils... Right?
Well, Therese went on Amazon and purchased a new coffeemaker, but she hates it. Amazon Man will return it... happily!
No matter which utensil I used, I never did find a way to drain the water locked up in the bottom of the pot. I must admit, though, the sketch came out pretty nicely, so it wasn't a total loss.

First cup... any way I can get it!

Copyright 2022/Ben Bensen III


Friday, June 17, 2022

"Generating Some Thoughts!"

An Ad I created for Honda...

 A "Throwback Thursday" Day, y'all.

Two days ago, Tee and I had breakfast with our old friends from the "Gus" days. We hadn't spent a lot of time together over the last year, but we sure made up for that with a two hour plus visit at Covington's "Fat Spoon."

Just keep pouring the coffee, ma'am!

Of the many topics of conversation was hurricanes, past, present and in the near future. It was a "Clash" of discussions, that is, "should we stay or should we go" when the next one comes.

Then, if we stay, what kind of generator will suffice besides the Generac size behemoths. Linda wanted one that was easily portable, while Therese kicked around the possibility of a Generac.

All this talk brought to mind the many magazine ads I designed and comped up for Honda. I seemed to be hired frequently when a client needed an artist to make the mundane sexy. Okay, at least, interesting. I was pretty good at that.

I actually seduced myself into thinking I needed to buy a medium size generator. It would be good to have one when we lose our electricity which seemed to be occurring more frequently. So, I bought one in '05 after Hurricane Katrina and, at first, it seemed a good idea to protect my computers from current spikes and power fluctuations.

UPS units changed all that.

Then, I only frequently incorporated the generator to power my electric drill in the outdoors. Since I replaced that drill about ten years ago with the battery charged version, I've not used the generator in about, oh, ten years!

Linda's husband, James, spent most of life as an auto mechanic. In the process of repairing all things "four wheeled", James likes to tinker with other things. And, he's damn good at it.

"Hey, James, you wanna fix my Honda generator? Or better yet, buy the damn thing? Whad'dya think?

I kinda feel it in my bones that we will be leaving town come the next storm... Ha!

First cup a brewing!

Copyright 2022/Ben Bensen III

"Sometimes, The Mindless Is The Bestest!"

The Elusive Bird...

Good "Friday" Morning, all bodies!
Well, I reluctantly left the coffeehouse knowing that there was so many things I needed to do that I just didn't want to do. Like a buddy of mine, who decided to leave as I did, admitted he, too, was just procrastinating.
As I drove along the driveway, a small branch from one of the oaks, brushed along the roof of the car a bit more heavily than the day before... and the day before that, and the day before that.
"Okay, okay, I said to myself, that'll be the first thing I will tackle this morning!"
But, when I opened the car door, there was that bird song that some folks tell me belongs to a wood thrush... and maybe it is. I took out the pole mounted pruning saw and headed straight for that driveway branch, but the bird's call seemed to get closer and closer.
What IS that bird?
I can't miss an opportunity like this, I thought. I need vindication!
So, I headed back into the kitchen to grab the best of the three binoculars I own and headed back out to get a glimpse. Oh man, it was so close... so close as I carefully maneuvered my way into a shady position where I could comfortably hold up the binoculars and scan the mid morning sunlit trees.
At 10:30, I was already feeling the heat.
With my back up against a pine tree, I followed the song with every move from one branch to another, but never found the sound. Within ten minutes of my aerial pursuit, the treetops that surrounded me, became silent. The bird's warbling song was not gone, but migrated from one tree to another and every momentary peek I had following that noise produced one regular yardbird after another.
I snuck up onto some commotion in one of our blueberry bushes, only to see a female cardinal fly away with a big, ripe berry in her beak.
"Hey, Lady, I said, glad to be of a service to you!"
The bird call became distant, then, just above me. Then, to the left of me, then, to the right. There had to be more than just one "cheep, cheep, cheree!"
For over three summers now, from late Spring to early Fall, there's a vibe that I can hear, but can never see and maybe, for me, it is just not meant to be. So frustrating!
Seems like we, as a species, always have to find a solution, fix the problem, make all the pieces fit logically, have some sense of reasoning, attempt to explain or justify our existence, and maybe, to seek and inadvertently, destroy.
I don't know, but once again, after wasting about an hour chasing that sonic dream, maybe, just maybe, I'm better off allowing some mysteries to stay mysterious... and magical.
It was something to contemplate indoors, in the air conditioned studio, with a ginger ice tea. And, ya know, that hanging tree branch will still be there hanging tomorrow!
First cup!

Copyright 2022/ Ben Bensen III


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

"A Salvation Army Special"

Celebratin' a holiday... for some folks!

 Good "Salvation" Friday Morning, all bodies.

It's National Donut Day... Who knew?
The Salvation Army established National Donut Day in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army's 'donut lassies,' who made history when they risked their lives to raise spirits and fuel hope by serving thousands of soldiers during WWI, in part by delivering donuts and other sweet treats to those in the war.
In 1917, Salvation Army volunteers traveled to France and set up makeshift huts on the front lines where they provided essential goods and sweet treats to boost morale. The donut was then, and continues to be, a taste of home and a symbol of comfort for Americans, so says the promo by the Salvation Army today.
And, it just happens to fall on a First Friday Folsom Business and Community breakfast at Giddy Up. How fortuitous!
First free cup!

Copyright 2022/Ben Bensen III