Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Friday, June 17, 2011


I just had to share this with you. This is definitely a dream car. It a combination of vehicles found in some of my favorite films: Back to the Future, Buckaroo Banzai, Ghost Busters and the t.v. cult favorite Knight Rider. It's being assembled by author and screenwriter Ernie Cline, whose blog I found through a link at a favorite blog of mine thousands of others: Wil Wheaton dot NET: in Exile an award winning weblog by actor, author and voice actor and all around cool geek dude.

You know, people tend to use the word geek in a negative fashion but truly, a geek in the truest sense of the word, in my opinion, is a person who is young at heart. That's something to admire.

Ernie Cline is definitely someone to be admired. He's on a mission to make his dream car an even cooler dream car and will be posting video updates on his blog so we can see the transformation of the 1982 De Lorean into the Ecto 88. Mr. Cline's blog is now a new favorite and I'll be a regular visitor there. Below are links to his Ecto 88 site and his blog.

Hometown Clown

I was doing a little re-organizing of my desk when I came across this postcard given to our kids by our friend and old circus buddy Rik Gern a.k.a. Bonzo Crunch. He was doing advance work for Ringling's one ring show at the time. I'm not sure how many years ago. Maybe four or five, perhaps.

The Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus has three separate shows that travel the across the country known as units. They are the Red Unit, Blue Unit, which tour the large cities and Gold Unit which tours smaller cities. Rik was doing shows and making personal appearances in advance of the of the Gold Unit's arrival to promote the show and happened to be in our area.

He still does some advance work for them from time to time but that particular job had him on the road for a good long, stretch. He's a talented and dedicated performer with a wide variety of skills which he presents in a very entertaining and of course, funny way as only a good circus clown can. I'm not sure what he's up to this weekend but no doubt he'll be busy entertaining the masses. Below is the backside of the postcard with a little bio on Mr. Gern. Click on it to magnify it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In a Tolkien Groove

Since the next couple of weeks are all about The Lord of the Rings, at least for me, I'd thought I'd share this little gem of a film made for online viewing a couple of years ago. It's the prequel to the Lord of the Rings in which Aragorn searches for Gollum before the dark forces of Mordor get to him first and find out the location of the ring of power. It's called "The Hunt for Gollum" and it was made by some very dedicated and talented Tolkien fans. Below is a link to their website and a wikipedia link with lots more info. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Middle Earth in San Antonio

Pammy and I saw the theatrical release of the extended version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" this evening and enjoyed every minute of it. If you'd never read the books and saw this version it would be o.k. There was so much more history and character information within the additional footage that it should help anyone new to the story to feel right at home in Middle Earth.

We hadn't seen it on the big screen since 2001 and it's the best way to enjoy this film. The house was close to full when we arrived a few minutes before it started so we sat near the front. As the movie was about to start someone in the upper section blew what sounded like the horn of Gondor. I love my fellow Middle Earth geeks! Pammy had to go to the restroom around thirty minutes into the film where she saw a young lady dressed as a boy hobbit. Confusing but nonetheless very cool!

Next week the second film (extended version, of course) of the trilogy," The Two Towers", will be shown and we hope we can make it. Below is a link to the Lord of the Rings films website for more info on this special theatrical nationwide event.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summertime Fun

This weekend was full of fun and more fun. Our son and daughter performed in the annual recital for their ballet school and they, along with the rest of the children, put on a great show. With end of their dance classes for the school year summer truly has begun here at Rancho Ramirez.

We started off the summer right by spending the better part of the day out and about around our beloved city. We had lunch at our favorite restaurant on the westside of town: Natalie's, which we call the Pink House. A great lunch was followed by an afternoon in downtown San Antonio at the Texas Folklife Festival at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

There were exhibits and demonstrations on weaving, woodcarving, a clay pottery demo and we got to see a pretty cool wild west gunfight too. We also sample some good food at the Scottish booth. They had some delicious fish and chips and haggas. I'm not sure of the spelling but I was sure that it was pretty tasty.

Dancing is always a big part of the event with presentations by local cultural organizations and others from around the state performing throughout the day. There was a Chinese dragon dance that was particularly fun to watch. We finished the day at the carnival section where the kids had a blast on a two story high slide. The expression on their faces of sheer delight and fear were unforgettable. They loved it so much they did it a second time.

Our friend David Pitts a.k.a. the Astonishing Mr. Pitts, one of San Antonio's best children's entertainers, was listed on the schedule as a roving performer in the children's section but alas, he was only there the day before but not Sunday. Sorry we missed you, David.

Today it's back to business. I've made a few calls and sent a few emails regarding upcoming Doc Ed school visits for the month. Even though it's slowed down a little for good ol' Doc Ed (me, in case you're wondering) this month has me going out to three different schools. Here's my scheduled school visits for June:

Tuesday, June 14th Olympia Elementary School

Tuesday, June 21st Salinas Elementary School

Tuesday, June 28th Converse Elementary School

I keep having to remind myself that I have I really has this great job that gives me such a flexible schedule and free time for my family and that I'm not dreaming. Thank you my lucky stars!

Oh, I forgot to mention one more thing from our time at the Texas Folklife Festival. As we checked out the craft section I spotted a woodcarving area where the exhibitor was a woodcarving club from San Antonio. I'd been trying to find such an organization since 2002 when we first moved back from Dallas. I introduced myself to the fellows there and they told me all about there club. They meet every Monday to carve... just to hang out and carve and share their expertise. Can you believe it?! Wow! I'm pretty sure I'll be found at their Monday gatherings on a regular basis. They also have a meeting once a month that I'll also been attending. Too cool. Life is good.

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