Monday, March 30, 2015

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Mr. Alva Elmer

Mr. Alva Elmer making cowboy history.
Alva Elmer was a mortal man who remains an enigma, a source of inspiration for creativity, and his memory is an education in generosity, and human spirituality.
"Mr. Elmer" is the name everyone was  taught to refer to him by - usually when anyone asked how his house-keeper/caregiver/friend, Sarah, came into possession of his Calabasas ranch property at 4011 MEADOWLARK DR, which no longer exists. The real street-block-sized property was bequeathed to Sarah - the widowed-matriarch of a large family - in Mr. Elmer's will. Upon his passing, Mr. Elmer's belongings and possessions were respectfully salvaged for posterity in as good condition possible, and for as long a time as possible - with every memento being handled with delicate care.
Among items Mr. Elmer left in his wake were various pieces of hand-crafted, handmade cowboy furniture with ropes for handles, pictures of himself living life as a cowboy, with many of the pictures identified as having been shot in various parts of Arizona including Prescott; he also left behind a multitude of musical instruments including an accordion, banjo-mandolin, and full-scale 16-hole chromatic harmonica. The accordion has been beaten up a little over the decades, but the banjo-mandolin was sold during hard financial times, and the 16-hold chromatic harmonica became oxidized, was dismantled (for discovery), and broken. The antique desk is a little scratched-up, but still around complementing its interior environment. Some of the household tools such as shovels, and a hay/pitch-fork are still in the family's possession, as-is a cow-bell attached to a dried-out, leather strap.
The above-picture was documented on a property that Mr. Alva Elmer may have owned. What is known is that he is pictured wearing a white cowboy hat, which was likely a daily trademark routine of his to protect his pale skin. The short-sleeved shirt Mr. Elmer wore in the picture - looked cool - allowing air-circulation under the arms where heat builds-up the fastest when you're a hard-working cowboy, but may have created a painful 'farmer's tan' that darkened his arms while leaving the rest of his body relatively well-protected. In front of Mr. Elmer are two (2) Dutch cooking ovens waiting to be placed on coals sitting in the dirt-ground. The photographer may have been a horse-riding friend of Mr. Elmer's who had been out riding with him earlier, and after returning the horse to its stall - it was now time for chow/dinner to feed that worked-up appetite. The image illustrates the essence of Mr. Elmer's lifestyle, which inspires one to pursue off-grid leisure, pleasure, and off-grid nutrition.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Healing, Medicinal Elixir: Raw Ginger Tea (Recipe)

The irony of this graphic image of a ginger tea is that it's in an old glass of Coca-Cola branded vessel. Coca-Cola has a history of creating their concoction with "Coca-Caina" before the government stepped-in, but their soft drink today not only is non-medicinal - the gas carbonation and high fructose corn syrup ingredients have immune-suppressing effects when ingested to sufficient levels that exceed your body's natural, physical capacity to recuperate from immunological attacks according to studies by a bunch of dedicated people - probably with enormous student loans.

Hours spent in front of a radiation-emitting computer without blinking, starving yourself for hours on-end without-end eventually takes its toll on any graphic designer's immune system - any time of year, but more-so during the Winter when there is less of the Sun's rays for our bodies to convert into immune-boosting Vitamin D. Anyone who spends the majority of their time indoors may fall susceptible to low Vitamin D.

So why not drink more whole milk since we've seen so many ads telling us milk (dairy cow, goat, or powdered) is fortified with Vitamin D? For one, the USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) allows milk to be sold with a certain amount of pus (white blood cells) in parts-per-million; therefore, at that point I'm turned off on everything dairy altogether. Almond milk, anyone? So store-bought almond milk tastes like liquified cardboard and it's too expensive to purchase enough almonds to have homemade almond milk; well, not everyone has a deflection to milk-pus. Pus aside, not everyone is lactose tolerant and not everyone who is lactose intolerant avoids milk - resulting in flatulence, unfortunately for them and the nostrils of others in their company. Do not let this expressed opinion affect your decision to drink milk by any means; however, white sugar deserves plenty of blame in 'The Gas Game'; raw honey - not so much.

One thumb-sized serving (it's 1/4 cup; don't cut-off your thumb just to measure one piece of ginger for tea) can provide you with Vitamins and Minerals to help your body's immune system be where it needs to be to fight allergies, colds and flus (aka: "the flu"). Raw, uncooked ginger root contains Vitamins; C (2% of your daily recommended amount, which allows you flexibility to compensate for the other 98% in your food throughout the day), B-6 (1.9%), B9 (0.7% folate) and Minerals (3%); Potassium, Copper and Manganese - helping normalize your blood temperature and rate of metabolism. Dairy products are never used as lubricants - so it's becomes understandable why eliminating it from your diet while you're trying to get your system flowing and functioning properly is such a vital element to your immunological survival. This truly becomes an issue of survival because an unchecked flu became fatal for at least one person's mother. Clogged arteries, dairy-coated lung hairs, and obesity (being overweight) are a recipe for a stroke, complicated breathing and ultimately, quite an untimely death.

Choose organic, raw, ginger root whenever possible while resisting the temptation to choose on your election of this ingredient based on price alone; this is golden, child. While some people are alien to the nutritional benefits of raw, organic ginger root - they find it edible in its natural form - teeth first. Who knows what source of radiation is being used to irradiate the "conventionally-grown" fruit and vegetable grocery produce and which quantum-connected seed- and petroleum-company partnerships loom in the shadows of legislative hallways, but for some reason conventionally-grown raw, ginger root tastes virtually intolerable to sensitive oral palates. For this reason, some people choose to boil the ginger root - failing to realize they're killing their medicine by boiling it to death - no matter how long or short the boiling occurs; try it to yourself to see how 'alive' you feel afterwards (not really, please don't hurt yourself - I'm trying to help you heal yourself). Another reason people boil conventionally-grown ginger root is because if they're buying conventionally-grown ginger - chances are quite likely they're ignorant to the benefits of auger-juicers over spinning-basket, juicy-pulp-catapults because if you're spending on organic (which costs more at 'Whole Paychecks') - you'll want to use an auger juicer - ensuring you're extracting that extra 30% more juice from the root.

Now that you've purchased a $240 (or more expensive) auger-type juicer from, had it delivered to your doorstep - along with some fresh, raw, organic ginger root, which you've also sourced online, but somewhere else - you're ready to boil some water (well-water preferred to City water because cities have been known to contaminate water supplies with fluoride [research: fluoridation + Germany] which allegedly have neuro-toxic, complacency-inducing effects). Once the water has boiled, pour it into your cup which has the juiced (pulp-free) ginger root (and its starches which generally settle at the bottom) awaiting its jacuzzi bath, add raw honey (also containing an endless list of medicinal qualities) to-taste, squeeze the juice of a fresh, organic lemon (tremendous battery-charging effects; if a lemon lights up an LED - imagine how your body lights up inside), stir (so all the goodness is equally distributed), sip (please avoid burning yourself), let cool down a little more (if you burned yourself), sip (to see if you still burn yourself), and then (when it's finally safe) guzzle your sickness away!

Your healing body may now begin to sweat, perspire and smell like everything you have been ingesting into your body for the past day or-more. With increased metabolic rate, armpits create aromatic works-of-art on t-shirts not properly cleaned with vinegar and baking-soda laundry-washes, but that's another discussion for another day. Feel free to soak your body in a bath filled with warm water and Epsom salts (according to manufacturer's directions) while your body follows its natural process - showing your senses that this path of least resistance holds the secrets to your longevity.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Caution!:'s Vinca Stencil Font Rocks!

Shopping at a local retail big-box, membership store - a customer's bright sign graphic caught my attention from afar. I've been brain-storming a logo re-design for a client and this distressed text reminded me of a spray-painted stencil font. I've attempted a few times to illustrate my own texture on a stencil font, but it never quite looks natural enough to satisfy my creative appetite. With the customer's permission - I shot his shirt and shared it here.

The journey began to dissect this design to find out a little more information about its origins. The shirt is a tribute to the annual Hell's Canyon Motorcycle Rally, which is a 219-mile cruise from La Grande, OR to Baker City, OR that shares Oregon's curves and views; a back-seat-driver's worst nightmare come true because distracted drivers can fatally veer off the road even under the most beautiful and ideal conditions. Hell's Canyon Scenic Byway is also known as "Road Rash Pass" to experienced motorcyclists and was nominated (by Rand McNally Road Trips) for being one of the most beautiful road trips in the U.S. 2012.

I contacted the event organizers to find out the original designer of the shirt and learned their name is Oregon Screen Impressions and they're based in Portland, Oregon. The primary font used for the bold headlines is called "Vinca Stencil" and was designed by Antonio Moro (You may e-mail him at, or for PayPal money donations, please use his paypal email:; the font is available for free downloading online; however, since I was unable to unzip the font from a downloaded .ZIP folder, I e-mailed Antonio and he e-mailed me the font in a mac-compatible format to share it!