Saturday, August 30, 2014

Food Truck Block Party

So, while reading the paper at lunchtime, I find out that there's going to be a Food Truck Block Party down at the Jacksonville Landing around dinner-time. I decide that it would be good to go check out. I grabbed my camera and went.

I got there around 5. It was actually earlier, but it took a while to find a parking space. >sigh< The joys of downtown. Anyway, there's a decent crowd out, and about 10 food trucks. Not so many people that you couldn't get what you wanted or find a place to sit....

I've been in the mood for Mexican for days now, so after looking over a few menus, I spotted the Jalapeno Truck! Woo hoo! I ordered! Chicken Tacos! Elotes! and Tamale! Ordering was easy and the prices fair. Getting the food was quick too.

I found a place to sit, and I went to it! The Tamale was filled with cheese and peppers. It had a little kick, but not so much as to obscure the flavor! It was wonderful! This is how I like spicy - as flavor instead of just heat. I next dug into the chicken tacos! Loved them! I could have eaten more of those! The chicken was cooked to perfection and seasoned just right. With the toppings on it, it didn't need anything else. I also loved the Elotes. I've been wanting to try this for some time, having heard about it on several Food Network shows. Delicious! The corn was fresh, and dripping with the mayo and cheese, very flavorful! I loved everything I got from this food truck!

I got their card, so I am now following on Facebook. I will track them down and eat their food again! It was simply delicious! To check them out on Facebook, go to

Now, I'm not sure how the Block Party went. They had a live dj playing tunes while I was there. I assume it picked up a bit. I'm an early bird, and since I was by myself, once I had eaten and walked around a little bit, it was time to go. I had a good time and look forward to future events. If nothing else, with food trucks becoming such a phenomenon in our culture, it's a great way to get them together so folks can go give it a try!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Arctic Arnold Palmer

It's a hot day out today! After spending my morning doing some yardwork, and then running some errands, I was thirsty! Now, I probably should have had some water, but making an Arctic Arnold Palmer sounded great! It was!

Now, the recipe is not my creation, tho I have altered it a little. It comes from a magazine called Smoothies And Frozen Favorites, published by PIL Cookbooks. Picked it up at the grocery store a couple of months ago.

I'm giving you the recipe the way I do it....

1 1/2 cups cold, brewed iced tea (can be regular or flavoured tea)
1 1/2 cups ice cubes OR frozen fruit (choose something that goes with your flavoured tea) [note, I often use less... maybe 1/2 cup]
1 cup lemon fat-free sorbet
1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate.

Place ingredients in blender, pouring in tea last. Blend away! Once combined, pour into glasses and enjoy! Makes enough for two, but really.... who wants to share? ;)

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Beadwork

So, I pulled out the beads and created a new necklace, and finished off a piece.

The necklace has a deep purple and white focal bead, pewter accent beads, aqua/blue beads, flat light grey seed beads, glossy white seed beads and purple seed beads. I decided to go with a double strand to give it a little more ooomph!

The anklet is something I found. It was mostly done. All I had to do was put a closure on it. Can't remember when I made it. I love to wear anklets, so I'm glad to have a new one to wear.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Auction News... and buyer disputes

LOTS of photos available at  Check 'em out. And please, even if you don't want to buy something, please share a favourite auction via Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook. Thank You.

I woke up this morning to find that a buyer from Germany has disputed a rather large order via eBay/PayPal. The order was mailed out on the 28th of July. It can take up to six weeks for international orders to arrive. He has bought from me before, so he knows he's going to get his product. I have contacted the buyer directly, so hopefully we'll work it out.

So, first of all... I know my auctions say no refunds / returns... but if you contact me, I'm happy to work with you. It says that because I have had a few people try to use it to their advantage. Most buyers who have had problems and have contacted me have gotten them resolved. I've recreated orders. I've issued credit. I have given refunds. Unfortunately, the US Post Office is not always reliable - I have had domestic orders show up six to eight weeks after they were mailed out First Class. It's frustrating.

Because of this, I have decided that I will stop selling internationally. It isn't worth it. I have to charge a LOT in postage - $11 - and that usually doesn't even cover the postage costs. And then to have a buyer dispute the problem without contacting me, and before enough time has passed, really is frustrating. I now cannot use my PayPal account because any funds that go into it go towards the hold on the order. I live hand to mouth, so when money comes in, it goes back out.

Again, I want to stress: If you order from me off eBay and have a problem, please get in touch with me first before using their dispute process. I am happy to work with you to resolve the issues. Please be willing to work with me as well - if a refund is required, it may take a couple of weeks, or a couple of payments. As I said above, money goes out as soon as it comes in.The real depressing thing about this dispute is: I'm working on spending money on my business - mainly on models.

Changes are coming after this round of auctions. As I said, no more international sales. The postage & handling fee will return - $1.50 per order. It doesn't pay the entire costs, but it helps. Even tho the sale on eBid  has tanked - discounted photos and only one sold! - I may try to sell more there. There are fewer fees than with eBay. I am open to other alternate auction sites if you guys know of any! I also plan to give my auctions a bit of a make-over.

Don't forget you can find my digital content, the Sans Shirt series, on Amazon. Again, can't offer it on eBay because of scammers. 

I am very frustrated and feeling very beaten down this morning, so I'm sorry if this is a negative posting. I am hoping for solutions. I will continue to list photos on eBay today and pray a solution jumps out at me.

I do want you to know that I appreciate all my buyers - especially the regulars! It makes me happy that you appreciate my work and I hope that you will continue to support what I do. Thank You!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

bits and pieces

So, sometimes I think this blog lacks an identity. Is it about art? Travel? Food? or what? Well, it is about my life and the things that interest me. So, it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

First off, the local paper, The Florida Times-Union, printed my letter about depression. It's also on the website! Check it out:  Of course, I had also posted it here the other day.

So what else is going on? I've been working on my Cafe Press store! Check it out:  It's got all kinds of stuff from super-heroes to abstract art to beefcake photos!

There's also a new t-shirt available, with Charlton western hero Kid Montana. Check it out at

And finally, I've got a LOT of beefcake photos going up on eBay right now, if you're a fan. Check them out at  My sketch cards will appear there starting Sunday.

That's all I got for you now... just catching up on links and stuff. Take care! Enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Depression and Suicide

I want to thank the Florida Times-Union for it's article on depression, in the wake of Robin Williams' suicide. Depression is an insidious disease, and there are many people suffer in silence. I have dealt with depression all my life, and I know there have been times where people have tried to shame me because of it. If you suffer from clinical depression (ie, you're depressed for absolutely no reason in particular, and can't seem to motivate yourself to do anything), seek assistance. Just having a counselor to talk to on a regular basis can be a big help. Getting out of the house and going for a walk, or doing something out of your ordinary routine can help too. Yes, maybe it's just a "quick fix", but sometimes we need that to get back on track with our fight. Make no mistake, fighting depression is a battle!

If your friend or family member is depressed here are some tips on how to help them. First of all, do NOT tell them any form of "get over it". Trust me. They would if they could. Listen to them, even if it doesn't make sense to you. Mirror back what they have said so they know that they have been heard. Sometimes the depressed person just needs to be heard. Talk to them about getting help, and offer to go with them. Take them out for a walk if nothing else. Ask the hard questions, like "are you thinking of killing yourself?" If their answer is yes, get them help. If you are unsure what to do, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Also, don't be afraid of tough love. After listening to all the problems, real or imagined, ask them what are they going to do to resolve them. Do what you can to help them tackle problems, but do not tackle them for them.

The "how to help" list goes on and on and on. Find out more at . Remember that we all need caring and compassionate people in our lives.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Pitfalls of eBid over eBay...

Recently, a buyer complained that there were no thumbnails for my auctions on eBid.  He's correct. There aren't. You have to look at each auction individually, which is a pain. Why is that? eBid saves the thumbnails for their store subscribers.

So, why don't I subscribe to a store on eBid? Well... I just came back to them after a year of not listing there. I had all kind of problems with eBid, and I had gotten a store subscription. Seems they didn't like one of my auctions, quoted "policy violations" and shut down ALL of my auctions. With several hundred auction listings, that's a lot of work down the drain. Anytime they took exception to an auction, they shut down everything. So, it's "beefcake" or male erotica photos. The auctions they took exception to? Not anything worse than you can see on any newstand anywhere - without even unwrapping a magazine either. So, because of this, I will not use their store function.

eBid is a weird creature for me. I don't get enough sales there to really make it worth it, but I like having an alternative to eBay. Let's face it tho, eBay has the market cornered. I also get the feeling that eBid's main market is in Europe, not America. This summer has been an experiment to see if I should return to eBid regularly.

If you go to eBid to check out my auctions, which I recommend as I have photos On Sale there right now!, try right-clicking and opening auctions in a new tab. Check a few models before looking thru all of one model's photos. I apologize for the frustration and I hope that you will stick with it and find a few photos you want.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Support Independent Artists!

Obviously, as an independent artist and photographer, I strongly believe in this. Yes, it might cost a little more money, but that money goes to the artists' supplies, creativity, time spent in creation as well as promoting their work. It's fine if you can't afford the $5,000 painting... at least buy the $5 card. Even just that small amount can make a big difference to an artist. I'm currently struggling with having listed almost 3,000 of my beefcake photos on eBay last week, and not a single one has sold. I'm still doing the post-listing work, and it's frustrating to feel that it's all been for nothing. Ah well, hopefully the wheel will turn and things will improve.

If beefcake photos don't float your boat, check out some of my other links. I also produce comic book art, abstracts, etc... CafePress, Society6, Zazzle, and RedBubble carry alot of my designs!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

i dimmed the light

i opened up a drawer today
    bracelets and beads and jewelry spilled out
the things i had hidden away that day
                         the day that you hurt me yet again
                                               the day that the hurt was too much
and the jewelry began to wear me down
it was too heavy
too much
you could not handle my light, so i dimmed myself down

slowly, i added jewelry back into my life
and you have not been part of my life for nearly a year now
                        or has it been more?
     you were checked out even when you were here
always tap tap tapping on that goddam phone
          tapping out lies so you wouldn't have to face the light

i found the stash of bracelets, and felt that hurt rush back over me
like tepid water in the bath
i sorted thru, greeting my old friends
i put one on, and turned up the lights