Spotted on 38 Humphrey Street, these bricks were a joyous discovery. I would love to come home to this every day.

Dyed pink mortar, Oh momma!

Check out the surface which looks like pumice. Astonishing!


The stone wall in McDonald Park needs extensive repair. Huge stones are missing as well as mortar. The granitoid 'top' along the wall is cracking.

I emailed it in to Citizen's Service Bureau for action.



Jeff Neumann sent a crew of wild men over to install my chimney liner. Their leader was a guy named Hans who shouted encouragement up to the roof from the basement. Since he was working right below where I was working in the front room, I was treated to his various directives.

Girls, lift that liner up, its dropped on my hands!
Hey, don't pee on her basement floor!
This damn thing was made in Canada. I can't read centimeters. Saddle up, we're going on a road trip to Canada!
WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE, stretch that liner!

I decided to step outside and catch some rays...

And to see what the monkeys were doing...


I barely resisted calling him Daddy.

Installation, materils, and mortar time: 1 hour. Cost: 300.00.
Increased insults and new cuss words added to my vocabulary: priceless.



Lesley (or Lesel as I call him) Caldera came in from the West coast to visit the Kansas City with some family members. Since he was five hours from St. Louis he decided to take the train over to visit with me for a day.

I headed down to Union Station to pick him up. I made it back to the train yard when something looked amiss: no trains. Once inside the mall I discovered I was in the wrong place (not the first time) and hightailed it (with my renown driving skills) over to the Amtrak station. Hey, what do I know? The last time I took a train, it left Union Station!

Saw this headline while I lingered at the Amtrak depot:

Changing landscape? That's an understatement.

The Ann Rutledge was running late so I entertained myself by spying on this little building and its fabulous bricks. Very tidy mortar with little pebbles.

That lasted a few moments so I decided to check out the bathroom graffiti but could only snap this photo before I heard the rails singing with the arrival of the Miss Ann Rutledge.

Apparently this is the place to go when in need of a future husband.

The Amtrack station is a step above the Grayhound port.

The Ann Rutledge skidding in.

Lesel debarking:

Lesel at the City Museum where I always take visiting artists.



A few years ago this mole starting growing and expanding.

I didn't notice since it's located on the southern slope of a breast. The surgeon who yanked the cancer out of the other breast saw it two years ago and freaked. She did a biopsy which came back negative.

I went back to ignoring it until a recent mammogram. She noticed it again and promptly sent me to a Dermatologist. It's been biopsied, I told the new doctor.

She slipped up and said, Sure, but she probably missed the cancer.

Excuse me?
Well, it really does need to be removed as well as the one on your neck.
There's one on my neck?
How could you not notice this?

Sufficiently scolded, I shuffled out to the front desk where I was given a surgery appointment for December 10th.

Some time during the weekend it slammed hard, I called on Monday and demanded an earlier date. November 12.
25 days.



I sell on Ebay and recently sold this jacket below to a woman who lives in Miami. The jacket is vintage 70's with 29 zippers and studs galore. She just sent these photos.



Back when I was a library bound teenager I befriended a girl named A---- who a walking collection of bouncing angles. She was an odd one, a smart hooiser with a rabid stink eye and a smile that was hedged with teeth. I used to think of her (and her family) as People of the Teeth. Their trenchant wit had the chomp of a whip.

She both intrigued and frightened me. She wasn't pleasant or generous, no, but she was an original.

Some of her originality may have been inspired by her older brother, a Viet Nam Vet who became an iron worker. He was a freaking terror. A----- once told me a story about how he was leaving the old Rusty Springs bar one night when some guy made a pass at his girlfriend. The bro picked up the receiver of the wall phone near the door, jammed in into the guys mouth and twisted it around forcefully. The guy lost a lot of teeth.

Turned out it was the wrong guy.

Viet Nam didn't kill him, it was a fall from a building he was working on downtown in the 80's.

I worked downtown in the late 70's and, while walking to lunch one day heard a whistle that I just knew was directed at me. Not a woof call but a Hey You whistle. I looked around and upwards and eight 'floors' up was her brother walking a girder and waving at me. That was impressive, I'd only met him twice and was surprised he spotted me in a crowd from that height.

A---- had a convoluted vocabulary loaded with mysterious expressions. One was, You are so far out you're skating on the rings of Saturn.

We were BF's for a decade. Eventually we parted. She found a higher power and I, well I had my molars pulled.



This is the story of astounding face bricks and 'mortar' out of a tube.

I am an admirer of bricks, especially face bricks. Face brick is the name for the decorative bricks that were used on the front of the house that faces the street. This photo illustrates face brick on the front of the building and regular (I can't bring myself to say 'common') red brick used on the side.

I love face brick! So when I discover a previously undiscovered (to me) brick, it's always exciting.

These are on Morgan Ford Road between Hartford and Connecticut. Cool bricks, huh?

Then there's the hoosier repointing job. That gunk is 'mortar' that can be bought in a tube. It's weird stuff, I've used it before to patch a small burrowed hole in my foundation. It has a fey spongy consistency as it slowly sets. I was pushing small rocks into it the next day and it was pushing back!

The only way to apply the goo is with a finger.
The trick I used is to coat my fingers with dishwashing soap (so the 'mortar' doesn't stick to me).

This was never meant to be used as brick mortar and mortar is not an adhesive.

That's Missy Van Winkle's Hand.