Search alternatives

So Google is the Monster of all search engines, and it bugs me. Not just that it has become so big and influential (although that’s part of it), but for other reasons, like their collusion with the Chinese government, and privacy issues. I’m trying to find an alternative that is just as good–for me–but am having difficulties.
I won’t use Yahoo!, for basically the same reasons. I think that they are even more active in their collusion with the Chinese government, having actively turned in dissidents.
I’ve been using AskJeeves, but, am not completely satisfied with it. One reason is the relevance of the searches. I compared a search with Google from my search bar in Firefox and Google came up with the actual document I was looking for as the second link, where Ask got it as the tenth link. Not a major difference, I know, (and they both should have got it as the first link, in a perfect world), but still a pretty good one.
As it stands now, I’m gonna stick with AskJeeves as my default search engine, if anyone can think of a better one that I haven’t tried let me know in comments.

Lee Bontecou

I saw Lee Bontecou’s work, for the first time, last year, at MOMA and, immediately fell in love with her work. I was doing something else today, and came across an other article about her here, with some work I hadn’t seen in the retrospective.
She was in Leo Castelli’s “stable”, with Rauschenberg and Johns, in the 60’s, and then, just walked away from it, but has continued to make art over the last 30+ years. And what art it is.
If you get a chance to see it in real life, do so, picture don’t do it real justice, as some of her welded pieces stick out from the wall 3 or 4 feet.


How to Draw a Bunny

How to draw a Bunny The documentary about the strange life (and strange death/suicide)
of Ray Johnson.
The enigmatic Johnson was a great collagist, affiliated with the Pop art movement, a performance artist (he called them “nothings”), one of the founders of the the “New York Correspondence School”, and the father of mail art.
The documentary begins, and ends, with his death, and is a wonderful walk through a strange life.

One to beam up.


Sad news for Star Trek fans, and others today. James Doohan, better known as the rougish Mr. Scott, or Scotty, died this morning from pnuemonia, and complications from Alheimers.
I guess it’s fitting that he died on the 36th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon. He wants his ashes to go into space, let’s hope they get there.
Warp speed, Mr. Scott, give ‘er all ye’ve got.

Harry Potter Day

Yes, that’s right, the 6th Harry Potter book came out today, with all sorts of hype and secrecy. So we took a trip to the big city (not specifically looking for the book, just general shopping) and went to several stores (yes some big box ones πŸ˜€ ), and we went to Borders, and they had people liined up at the door, being checked to see if they had pre-orederd dit, and getting little tags to take to the counter so that they could get their book. I bought my magazine, and we headed out.
Interestingly enough up the street and a ways aways there’s a Kmart, and stacked up in a big pile by the front door, is Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince for $18.99 each.
Well long story short, my stepsons got a copy of it on the first day, with no hassle, or anything. I’m not usually a big fan of the “Big K”, but I’ve got to say that the lack of hype there about it was real nice.
Damn–it’s a kid’s book, already. Do we really need all this hype. Is this what we have to look forward to for the next six books? I mean they’re fun, and adventurous, but they aren’t that good.

Oh how I wish…

…I was an Oscar Mayerβ„’ weiner….
Sometimes things don’t always go as well as planned–know what I mean?
My wife wanted an “abstract” for our living room, and I started one, that as I went along, found that I hated. So I flipped the panel over and painted what’s shown below.

Untitled 1--2005

It’s a darn good painting, but, of course, Jenny couldn’t deal with having it in the living room. Oh, well–at least I got a good painting out of it. I started on another for the livingroom last night, we’ll see how that goes over. πŸ˜€

Norman Bluhm

My favorite quote from an interview with Norman Bluhm (1921-1999):

Today a lot of painters, and a lot of abstract painters, don’t draw at all. They don’t even know how to draw. I’ve always thought that one of the great elements of great art is drawing. From the Renaissance to Matisse and Picasso, and even the Impressionists β€” every one of the greater painters could draw.

I think as you get older, your knowledge naturally increases. Your desires become, and I don’t mean this in a religious context, more spiritual. The work has become more spiritual. The desire is to create another kind of space, another form of color.

Untitled #2 1964