ABOUT ME: To begin, hello and thank you for making this connection or re-connection. I am a first-time father at forty-something, practicing Emergency Physician (aka E.R. Doc), Medical Director & Chief of Emergency Medicine, ultrasonographer, master teacher and master student, photographer, novice filmmaker, one book writer, hyper-localism entrepreneur: real estate developer, historic rehab of award winning Viroqua Public Market, co-creator of farm-to-fork Optimo Restaurant (now transitioned to new chef/owners as Rooted Spoon), and dot-dot-dot over-user.... passionate about engaging in the moment by moment evolution of our impermanence. Key outlook on life: healing is not a destination, but daily practice
I grew up where I now live, after a 20 year right of passage... middle Driftless Earth, Viroqua. Current sanctuary to many a used-to-be wandering soul. Here, finally, I seek and I provide, I heal and I breathe.
F E A T U R E D F I L M S
Music Video Short: Work & Wisdom
By the band Soul Music
Music Video: Elephant Love (version 1)
Original works by the band Soul Music
F E A T U R E D P H O T O G R A P H Y
An assortment of my photography our beloved Driftless Area and beyond....
Sad analogy of invasive honeysuckle to the zombie apocalypse.
I don't watch much TV, but I have been addicted, as many of you are, to the Walking Dead series on Netflix.
In the show, humans are infected with an unknown pathogen that destroys higher brain function, leaving us biting, nearly indestructible soulless creatures that wander the Earth in hordes, guided only by our brain stems.
When defending yourself against a pack of these (who seek to dine and you alive) the only means to terminate them is to take out their brainstem. Of course, as you try to take them out, they try to take you out as you do.
Even as limbs, mandibles and other appendages are cleaved and cracked, lopped and falling away, they still keep at you with their grizzly dentition and grasping festering nails hoping for a shot to tear into your subclavian vessels or eyeballs as you hopelessly observe your certain demise or at least incredible maiming in horror.
When I'm in the forest, standing alone, armed only with a lopper, machete and chainsaw, I often gasp at the volume of invasive honeysuckle that surrounds me, envelops me, smothers me.
They seem to approach like an army of mindless zombies, hell-bent on my tortuous death. It's me or them to the end. The odds are with the zombies that they will endure, consuming my flesh and soul, assimilating me into their death cult.
They feel no pain, they require little care, they easily dominate and amass the precious Earth energy, sapping life from the natural world around them.
The challenging things about honeysuckle eradication, horrifyingly, even after you take some out there are many more, infected seedlings, waiting to grow up and replace the deceased. Is it possible to really ever eradicate them? What am I doing in this dark forest alone? Are these contusions and near death events wasted in my futile battle against the endless undead. My pathetic delusion that there is hope of eventual headway.
Moreover, the more you disturb them, snap, pull, push, and saw into them, the more their brains tells them to grow. Unless you kill it, these efforts actually makes the organism stronger.
I have to remember, you have to assault the brain.
My strategy is simple, attack each one individually. Commando up to it and rapidly fracture it's extremities. Rip it's mouth leaves from it before it can chew into me. Penetrate deeply into the skull, and crack out the brain (its relatively delicate root ball) like a soft-boiled egg, again the only means to kill it for good.
Of course it's not that easy. Countless times, after launching my combative efforts, they never go down easily. They try to enucleate my eyeball with their pointy limbs, choke my air in strangleholds, puncture my heart and lungs, as they go down in our desperate death matches.
Sometimes even after their seeming death, as I push them into grotesque piles, accidentally falling upon them, they attempt one last maneuver to have me join them, as I plummet into their infinite sharp edges.
Finally, with some degree of temporary relief, I watch boastfully as their fetid corpses burn.
But alas, the foolish reprieve is brief, for as I turn to prideful stroll back to camp, I walk straight into another rotten, chewing tangle of them.
My invasive zombie apocalypse.
Now, where are my loppers!?
half Moonlit night
not so distant coulee
Peer into forest Might
that animal eyes I see?
don't think so
shadowing moon on
Magical Partial bright
gravel drive bends
To Stretch of tall grass
moment of midnight
From Your campfire douse
its Stellar radience
like old time moviehouse
The oak trees aloft
'top of the ridge
it's blowing almost harshly
in this groove
it's nearly all calm
and nothing's asleep
My God, the fireflies!
There's you and moon and me
displaying cryptic lightcodes
Comprised of shadows
And eyes !
Optimo is now Rooted Spoon!
"Rooted Spoon Culinary is happy to invite you to share in our passion for good food and great community at our new Kitchen Table event space. Look here for upcoming events such as community brunches and special dinners as well as workshops, music, art openings and film showings. Rooted Spoon Culinary offers a distinct style of catering featuring seasonal menus that highlight locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients. We proudly support our local economy and showcase the renowned, high quality food of the Driftless Region by purchasing directly from area farmers, butchers and food artisans. Our menus are custom designed to fit both the season and our client’s taste with food that is hand-crafted from scratch. We offer both off-site catering and on-site events at our event space ‘Kitchen Table’, located in beautiful downtown Viroqua, Wisconsin in the historic Main Street Station. Our philosophy is that the best food is fresh, in season, and locally produced. Let us bring our dedication to quality and love of good food to your private dinner, wedding, party, or any other special occasion"