April 20, 2008

New laptop and a new look

Four. big. GBs. of RAM. Words cannot begin to describe how much I love my new laptop. Not a Mac after all, but the new HP dv2840se which was totally on sale at Office Despot, and once I figured out how to adjust the color, everything was good. I was going to set up a dual-boot with Ubuntu but I've heard the 64-bit Vista makes that problematic, so Ubuntu will have to cool its heels for the time being, while I get more info. Yes, I'm kind of geeky.

Dog news: nearly lost the poor landshark last week. She skidded knee-first into some sharp stuff while traveling at warp speed IN THE BACK YARD [haring after poor, long-suffering Twiglet] and went down yowling. I carried her inside and discovered [it was after dark] that her knee was covered with blood, so I pulled some cold packs out of the freezer and sat down on the kitchen floor with my good girl — ice! compression! — and iced her knee for 15/20 minutes. The vet told me later that icing the knee was the best thing I could have done: "I've seen lots of hematomas from injuries like this," she said. I'm very happy to say that the landshark will be fine [though she isn't supposed to work for another week, which may change the date for shearing]. Home is more dangerous than the farm, apparently.

Before I figured out how to adjust colors on the laptop the blog looked vomitrocious. So I changed it. Walla! as we Californians say. The new look is courtesy of Jo Mora, one of my favorite artists. From Californios:
Joseph Jacinto “Jo” Mora, born 22 October 1876 in Uruguay, died 10 October 1947 in Monterey California, just short of his seventy-first birthday.

Jo Mora came to the United States as a child; he studied art in New York, then worked for Boston newspapers as a cartoonist. He was a man of many other talents, artist-historian, sculptor, painter, photographer, illustrator, muralist and author.

In 1903, Mora came to California, then in 1904 he moved to Keams Canyon in northeast Arizona, living with the Hopi and Navajo Indians. He learned their languages and photographed and painted an ethnological record, particularly of the Kachina ceremonial dances. In 1907, he marred Grace Needham and they moved to Mountain View, California. He moved to Pebble Beach in 1922 and established a home and large studio there.
Mora's posters and maps are still being printed and sold. His Indians of North America poster is well known, and The Evolution of the Cowboy [sometimes called The Sweetheart of the Rodeo] is an eBay perennial. Mora moved easily between cultures, and from childhood was comfortable in several languages: his father was Catalan and his mother was French. I've been coveting and collecting Jo Mora's books, posters and maps for as long as I can remember.

Speaking of cowboys: The NY Times has an article on a photographer, Robb Kendrick, who makes tintypes of western folk. There's a second's worth of border collies in one of the related videos, and some striking portraits of cowboys and buckaroos: that's Max Gaultier on the right. [Click for big.]

I remember looking out my window down in Guanajuato, Mexico one morning at the sound of hooves on the cobblestones, and catching a glimpse of several riders, working men from a rancho in the hills, one of them an old man with hands as brown as my father's hands; these men had a certain bearing and a certain level gaze that men afoot don't share. It's an old Irish saying, I think: "A horse without a rider is still a horse — but a rider without a horse is just a man."


Caveat said...

I forgot to say I like the new look. I'd never heard of Jo Mora, but his paintings look fascinating. Just before your boxes appear, I get a fleeting glimpse of the backdrop you've used.

Luisa said...

Thanks, Selma! If you'd like an unobstructed view of Jo Mora's Yosemite map, there's a link in the footer that should take you to a page with the entire image, including sections I trimmed for the blog. I bought a new copy of the map the last time I was in Yosemite Valley [heart]. I'm still tweaking the blog, as you can probably tell. It's an endless process ;~)

peter hiller said...

for more on Jo Mora check out jomoratrust.com - peter hiller

Luisa said...

Thanks, Peter! The "Mission Trail" exhibition in Carmel sounds like a must-see.