Monday, December 5, 2016


It is time once again to speak of the unspeakable, buying a REAL camera.

You thought I had forgotten all about it and was going to let you get through the mad season without having to listen to me go on and on and on about a camera.

You were wrong.

There is no excuse, let me repeat that, no excuse for not owning a REAL camera. Yes they are big and yes they are complicated and yes they have many of the same things you have in the dinky camera in your phone but no kiddies they are not at all the same.

They are big but you carry around a phone which an F16 could land on and not even have to use reverse thrust and you do it everyday and all of the time and never give a thought to it cause you know you are a VERY important person and have very important friends and business and cannot be away from communications for even a second cause the entire structure of the North American economy rests squarely on what you are doing each and every minute of the day.

You don't carry a camera around with you at all times even the Ole Trawler who is a photographer sometimes, (insert gasp) leaves the Pentax at home. Your phone is a big as a dinner plate and you carry it all of the time and unless you are Captain Kangaroo you don't have pockets big enough to house that flight deck so having a camera around your neck on the occasions when you are actually thinking of taking pictures isn't all that much of a burden.

They are complicated, and so is the DVD player, the DVD recorder, the Hulu, the Roku, the Firestick and even the lowly microwave and you use them all of the time. Okay, okay so that is why you keep The Thing on the Couch, but he can carry your camera too!

DSLRs are only as complicated as you, that's the important word, you want them to be. There are hundreds of Nikon owners who have never moved the selector off Auto and if you are bold and adventuresome and daring you can select Prog and get some really important advantages. But you don't have to. You can set the beastie on Auto and shoot away and still be a thousand times better of than if you were using the camera in your phone.

Your phone. Once upon a time we all celebrated when phones, mobile phones went from being a just a tad bit smaller than a '56 Packard to being something you could carry around in a shirt pocket, even female, lady women types could do that and not look like they were trying to audition for Victoria's not so Secret angels, but that time has come and gone and now we are back to phones which are bigger than the average Henry J and not nearly so stylish and they sometimes catch fire which is a way of beating the cold and the rain but you don't want to do it when you are carrying it in your back pocket cause eating Christmas dinner standing up is not cool at all and if you are carrying it in your front pocket the results are too grim for words but I understand that the Vienna Boy's Choir is taking applications so all is not lost.

And the images form your flammable phone are just not what you will get from a descent DSLR. Sure they have forty megapixels and the cameras I want you to thin about have a limit of about twelve and a half but they are BIG megapixels while the ones in your phone are itty-bitty megapixels.

So come back tomorrow when we will discuss REAL cameras you can afford and want to own and use and take brilliant pictures suitable for framing or using as studies for you paintings or making into gifts to frazzle you sister who is the Craft-queen and always hand-makes something which shames all of the rest of the family while saving her a sclunch of money which is why she can afford to take that Caribbean cruise every January while you are paying off your credit cards.

Island in the Storm

There you are out in the freezing cold and rain, with only a bare few minutes before you have to get back to normal life with the kids and The Thing on the Couch and you still have at least Humpty-thousand Christmas presents to buy and there are so many people in the shops and all of the pulling and shoving and cursing and kicking this might as well be a Rush Week party and there are still cards to send out and people to phone and even though you have your super deluxe aircraft carrier sized phone handy on the flatbed you have to have to carry it you'll never have time to do it all and what about the cookies you promised to have for the school party and if only there was an island of peace and sanity where you could get a coffee and something that you really might enjoy eating instead of the usual cardboard hamburger but wait...there...just across the mall, it's Aromas!

Sure it couldn't be all that good because its in the mall and next to a burger joint and there aren't any long lines and no one you know has ever been in or even heard of it and that is the way you will want to keep it but of course you won't be able to shut your mouth because when you get inside and have a taste you'll be dragging all of your friends and Twiting and Facebooking and Instawhatevering and you just won't be able to stop talking about Aromas.

Now you know the Ole Trawler is very shy about endorsing anything and I don't do it very often but I'll make an exception for Aromas because this is a place where you will want to come often and tell everyone you know and brag to your family about at Christmas and then you'll ruin it because everyone will know and come in and the place will be packed and that is the price of being Soooooooooooooo good.

So what is so special about it? For starts, it has REAL food, not mall food. You know the kind you actually want to eat. Like Christmas brownies. Sure you can get a brownie at any place in town and some of them are very good brownies but for the sake of your stomach you want the very best and while the other places have good brownies Aromas has the best so go there and treat your stomach like it was a part of you and you liked it.

This is a brownie topped with creamy icing sweet enough to balance the bitter of the dark chocolate, stuffed with nuts and some other good stuff which of course I don't know cause if they told me they'd have to kill me cause it is a secret family recipe and that's why not just anyone can know what it has in it.

Then have a panini. That's a grilled sandwich with nothing at all suitable for children, no ketchup, no slimy cheese, no secret sauce, no Happy Meals just solid through and through yum! I had one with pesto which is the Italian way of making Basil into heaven and The Long Sufferin had a chicken which was just about as far from a chicken sandwich as a speed bump is from Mount Hood. No loser there but I still think I won lunch. Pesto Rules!

And if you still have a need for something wonderful to carry away from this island in the storm have one of their smoothies not to be confused with the stuff which comes out of a quick freeze machine at one of those places with a drive up window. I had the peach banana and it was like cobbler in a cup.

Sure you can order all of your shopping from Amazon and live to see January or you can send gift cards and be despised by all of your family, but if you have the courage, the will, the pride to face the crowds and actually do your shopping go to Pony Village Mall. They'll have the same stuff you can find anywhere but they'll also have Aromas.

No beasts, no breasts, smoothie-foo, panini-foo, fun-foo, Ron-bob says check it out!

Monday, November 28, 2016


If you have run a business for any length of time, the odd requests start coming just about the same time as you are maybe going to show a profit. This puts you squarely on the horns of a dilemma, turn away a lunatic or toss away a profit opportunity. Hmmmmmmmmm?

Most of the time, if the lunatic is only a little crazy, like artists, and actors and those wackos in Congress you suck it up and take the job.

This assumes it isn't on Black Friday.

But you know what's coming, it has to be on Black Friday cause the lunatics wouldn't come out to play if you weren't up to your ass in alligator with wild-eyed, screaming shoppers destroying your displays, waving money, and slapping each other around like it was a hockey game.

The Ole Trawler having enjoyed the pleasures of business for many seasons strives passionately not to be a lunatic...but every now and then it happens even to the folks who have been knee deep in the trenches.

The Ole Trawler and the Long Sufferin' have a show coming up at the library and are working like dervishes if that isn't politically incorrect and off limits and insensitive and rude and all of the other ins-
which dot the landscape in these strange and curious times and while whirling furiously and doing sixteen different things at the same time while making sure not to duplicate what you just did and still getting everything done and in the proper order so that you do not embarrass yourself or the library of the art community which has so generously embrace you all of the longs and fruitful years and then you turn around and find that you are staring straight into the eyes of a lunatic.

Yeppers, the Ole Trawler had become one of those.

And there was no help for it you just had to go ahead and be a lunatic and force some nice merchant onto those fretful horns and try to do it with enough grace so that after the holiday passes and there is enough passage of time maybe they'll forgive or just forget about what you made then do.

So there I was on the phone, on Black Friday calling one of the more successful merchants in town hoping that they wouldn't hang up on me and might have the seasonal spirit and might just take my crazy request and bail my ass out of this panic filled quagmire.

Now most of you know all about the Art Connection and what they do and sell and how they offer the art community of Coos Bay and surrounds the best products right here in our own town without having to make Jeff Bezos another million and fatten the coffers of UPS or FedEx and stuff like that.

What you may not know is that they do answer their phone on Black Friday and they do listen to lunatics and they do agree, at considerable pain, expense, time and small profit agree to take on a piddly-ass job and keep an Ole Trawler from losing what little mind he has left.

So here's the job, I needed a mat cut, time-consuming, tedious, exacting and not at all high profit-margin and they did it! Or rather Coni did it and with considerable good grace under circumstances where she would have been perfectly justified to use an expression not approve by Tarsus the Good and hang the phone up. Not only did she do the job as requested,but she also included much to my surprise and delight a backboard.

Quick primer, a mat goes around the image to cover up any mistakes the artist made in printing, painting, sizing or mounting the image and of course to help focus the eye on the image which is what the artist wants in the first place. The backboard is a solid mat which allows the image to be mounted and properly place to make all of the magic when the Great Public comes to look at the exhibit.

I had cut a backboard because I didn't expect Coni to clean up all of my mistakes and I can on a good day cut a rectangle without screwing it up so badly that the frame can't hide the ragged, frayed edges.

But when I looked in the bag there it was. I was thunderstruck, flabbergasted, knocked over by a pin feather and all that other stuff. What a deal and on the busiest day of the shopping year!

So Art Connection saved my bacon and you can just come to the library and see the results and see for yourself what a first-rate, top-drawer, high-class merchant can do to make even the rudest, most thoughtless, inconsiderate customer satisfied.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you at Art Connection, you sure as hell deserve one!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Holiday Dance

Saturday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m.: Free contra dance at Bay Area Senior Activity Center, 886 S. Fourth St. (at Ingersoll), Coos Bay. Live music by Thyme Travelers, calling by Karen Olsen.

COOS BAY — What's better than contra dancing? How about a free contra dance cosponsored by the South Coast Folk Society and the New Community Coalition. Dancing starts with a beginners' lesson at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Bay Area Senior Activity Center, 886 S. Fourth St. (at Ingersoll), Coos Bay. The Thyme Travelers will play music and Karen Olsen will call. All dances are taught and all ages are welcome. New Community Coalition, an agency that brings people together to share ideas and develop plans of action so we can all be healthier, happier and more vital, is cosponsoring the dance to bring attention to the fun and community-building American pastime of contra dancing. Learn more at and

Gail Elber
1918 N. 14th St.
Coos Bay, OR 97420

Contra dance caller Karen Olsen of Myrtle Point will teach every dance on Dec. 3.

The Thyme Travelers are (left to right) Norman Farrell of Ridgefield, Wash. on mandolin, whistle and sax, and Coos Bay residents Jennifer Sordyl on fiddle and Don Berg on guitar.

Into the Third Dimension

Art by the Sea Gallery invites artists to enter 3-dimensional artwork in the upcoming 2017 show.

Please find details and entry form in the attached prospectus.

Drop-off dates are January 29th and 30th.

Show runs February 2 – March 4th

If you have questions after reading the prospectus please contact the gallery.
Thank you.  We look forward to your participation.

Art by the Sea Gallery
125 Chicago Ave SE
Bandon, OR 97411

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Double Dip

Dear Members and Friends of Coos Art Museum,

Are you aware that you can double your donation for free in Oregon.

Oregon is the  only state in the union with this incredible benefit.

Pay your 2017 Membership and/or make a donation to CAM and donate to the Oregon Cultural Trust and receive a tax credit from Oregon.

Go to the website:

for more information  on donations and limits per person, per couple and corporations.

Fuel Oregon Culture with your donations before the end of this year.

Coos Art Museum has the information cards at the front counter.


Earthly Delights