Mastodon OgFOMK ArTS: 2018

Going For Walks and Flowers

24. Dec. 2018
By Alex Nuttall - Bio

Olde Towne Flowers

I hate using I. 

I was walking yesterday in Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Virginia, US, Earth, Milky Way, Universe. It's been more than once where I found the center of the Universe was no more than a few feet away from where I was standing. In this case it was a flower. Was it a daisy? I don't know.

In some cases I want everything to be exactly right. In most cases. I try to do my part. I'm lazy. Lazy, Lazy, Lazy.

In my ignorance I follow an abundant routine of rote highways with the senses. This is my cattle ride. I'm herding the senses and plucking the dignity as it comes to fruit or milk or is it the port I am arriving at with my cattle simile? Ignorant and feeble is the future and to some it is today. 

Going For Walks and Flowers in Olde Towne Portsmouth - Was it a daisy?
Going For Walks and Flowers in Olde Towne Portsmouth - Was it a daisy?
The center of the Universe can be found within reach of every human being or sentient being. That is where the immediate knowledge and decisions are made for understanding. I love the word understanding. It's like Atlas holding the world. Understand though is temporary thought. It's a conclusion to one story and a gateway to another. A never ending process.

There is a large switch in the way the crowd thinks. The greater of this is the not thinking of reality. Reality is not thinking at all. Reality is codependent arising, dependant co-arising, dependant origination, dependant arising or पटिच्चसमुप्पाद paṭiccasamuppāda (Pali).  Because of this there is that. Because of that there is this. When this no longer exists that also no longer exists. When that no longer exists this will no longer exist.

To get to the center of the Universe one merely needs to travel there by imagination. Upon arriving one lets go of the idea of getting there. This flower above has a relationship with it's environment. It has managed to develop without being crushed. At some point this flower will not exist. The center is still there. The center is the heart.

So your heart was trying to kill you. Or was it you that were trying to kill your heart. It shut down. It panicked. It was still there. It still is there. This is where your brain sends all of its information. The consciousness that rides in your heart organ, it rides in your stomach, it rides in your central nervous system, it plays in the thinking organ.  It is dependent on forms, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness. It is also temporary. 

Awareness is the separation and discrimination. I am not you. I am not him or her. I am not with them. I am with them who are not those others. To understand this you can sit quietly and reach into your awareness to the point where it was  just a basic understanding of light and dark, colors, shapes, smells, tastes, temperatures. All basic stuffs are awareness. It becomes more complicated as the relationships develop. Just think, for a moment, where is your mind not able to go? It is unlimited.

The center of the Universe will not bring you happiness. Nothing will bring you happiness. As wonderful and as expansive as your mind is it will never bring you a lasting and permanent happiness because by its very nature it is looking for something else. 

Search Description:

Writing by Alex Nuttall, title: Going For Walks and Flowers, Original Date: 20181224 – © Alexander Blair Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 – 2018 – Retro-published 20181224.

In an afternoon walk through Olde Towne, Portsmouth Alex Nuttall finds a flower. The flower then reminds him of the causes and effects and co-dependant origination of everything. A lofty subject for some. A game for others. The understanding, however is insightful and pushes the arahant to let go. Posted by Alexander Nuttall 24. December 2018


#Writing #NonFiction #Journal #Dhamma

Simple Post:

“Going For Walks and Flowers“ – 24. Dec. 2018 – Writing, Non-Fiction, Journal, Dhamma


#Writing #NonFiction #Journal #Dhamma

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 - 2018 | 20181224 -ABN – Ed Date: 2018-12-24 07:09

Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Solstice

13. Dec. 2018
By Alex Nuttall - Bio

It is cold in the northern hemisphere of planet Earth. In the United States and many other places there is celebration and coming together. For some of us who have left the old traditions behind it becomes a dance of conformity at best or misery at worst. The layers of hypocrisy, we say, are killing us all.

Lets count the months leading to the New Year and Winter Solstice: September, October, November and December. These are 4 months or 1/3 of the year. The word September means “seventh month”. October means the “eighth month”. November means the “ninth month.” December, you guessed it, means the “tenth month.” In the very root of our everyday calendar there is false perception. We brush it aside. We drive on.

When this is brought up by the sharp minded it is dismissed. Let’s look at our days of the week. Monday is the Moon day. Tuesday is the day honoring Mars (Tiw). Wednesday is the day honoring Odin. Thursday is Thor's day. Friday is Freya’s day. Saturday is honoring Saturn. Sunday honors the Sun. Nothing pagan about that, right?

Our language is one of navigation and convenience. It is not meant to be spot on correct. If anything it is meant to be at best a language of travel. In order to get somewhere you need to be able to describe where you want to go. With the holidays the description is religion or coming together. 

If you were an angry so and so you might want to step away from the gathering and try your own self destruction, resurrection or religion. You will need some stories. You’ll need to set a date. You’ll need to cooperate in order to make it happen. You will end up recreating what it was you were hiding from. It's not necessary. 

Enjoy the Winter Solstice. Enjoy your new year. Sing some Christmas songs if you can. Learn to tell stories with the language you have. Learn to point to discovery instead of learning to point to hypocrisy. The best way to start a story is to credit the source. It doesn’t mean it is an absolute truth. Balance the stories with accurate other stories. Keep the conversation going that points the heart to joy!

The story of Hanukkah, Christmas, Zoroaster, Santa Clause, and various pagan holidays are not the only ones. These stories are not the only truths. They are, however, strong indicators and teachings in the hands of skillful story tellers. Learn as much as you can. Enjoy the holidays and pay attention to your breathing.

Lena the Christmas Cat


Writing by Alex Nuttall, title: Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Solstice, Original Date: 20181213 – © Alexander Blair Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 – 2018 – Retro-published 20181213.

The Winter Holidays or Holy Days are here in December. It's cold in the northern hemisphere. We get together and we celebrate. We have many myths to bring us together. Ultimately its just cold and we get together to get together. 


#Writing #Nonfiction #Holidays #Journal #WinterSolstice #Christmas #Hanukkah #Winter

Simple Post: 

“Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Solstice“ – 13. Dec. 2018 – Writing, Non-Fiction, Holidays, Journal, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah


#Writing #Nonfiction #Holidays #Journal #WinterSolstice #Christmas #Hanukkah

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 - 2018 | 20181213 -ABN – Ed Date: 2018-12-13 05:13

When It Comes Down To It

12. Dec. 2018
By Alex Nuttall - Bio

It Comes Down To It.

The Situation

Here we are. Me and you. Side by side. Eye to eye.

Sort of, it is sort of this way.

There has been a lot of stress with regards to the message OgFOMK ArTS is putting out. It’s been stressful to this writer mostly. Ownership of a broken vessel is not a proud thing but it’s only broken for a short time. The captain elects who he will take along on the journey.

Captain Alexander at the helm. Glad to meet you.  The Planet Earth vessel OgFOMK ArTS is set to sail with only her original cargo. All passengers have been thrown overboard along with their works. So be it.

It was a tough journey. Begging all the time. “Please come out with me.” The old Captain would beg. Like a man with a fine fishing boat who bought the gas, beer, ice, sandwiches, canned goods and such; only to be begging on the phone to his compatriots for some company. Instead of a captain he is a dung beetle. Alas his ball of poo is grand!

The Action

OgFOMK ArTS will no longer take submissions from outside parties. Only the glorious work of Alexander Nuttall will be featured. OgFOMK ArTS had some great contributions and some otherwise. The key of course was the action involved in making it come together. 

It’s no fun to promote everyone on social media and have no one promote your work. It’s no fun. This is why companies advertise. This is why they pay to get the name out. If you have a product that you are selling this makes sense. If your product is your voice then it’s just egotistic drivel.

Or is it.

It does not matter but whatever is promoted has to be something that can be verified and accepted by the committee of one. OgFOMK ArTS has to reevaluate everything and come to the very base.


Since 1987 Alexander Nuttall has worked to half-ass this project. It’s been a journey through depression, conflict, success and failure. OgFOMK, however is a process of codependent arising. It is a portfolio, a journal, a gallery and a resume. Instead of pretending that it is something else or other than that. It is the work of Alexander Blair Nuttall and he owns the rights to the material good and bad. So be it.

Alex Nuttall - MNF Boat

Writing by Alexander Nuttall, title: When It Comes Down To It, Original Date: 20181212 – © Alexander Blair Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 – 2018 – Retro-published 20181212.

"When It Comes Down To It."  Alex Nuttall has decided to shove off from the yoke of cooperation and go at it alone. OgFOMK has been a collaborative effort but at best it has been a lonely journey. So from this point on Alex has scuttled the works of others in the project and will focus on producing his own works.


#Writing #NonFiction #CompanyDevelopment #Journal

Simple Post:

“When It Comes Down To It“ – 12. Dec. 2018  – Writing, Non-Fiction, Company Development, Journal


#Writing #NonFiction #CompanyDevelopment #Journal

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 - 2018 | 20181212 -ABN – Ed Date: 2018-12-12 12:08

Poem: All Romes Lead to the Road

17. Nov. 2018
By Alex Nuttall - Bio

Poem: All Romes Lead to the Road 20181116-0156

Good night and thank you for listening,
All Romes lead to the road,
Common language somehow upsetting,
The balance and the wind shuffle;

Good night and early morning travels
Vaguely saying the measures of mile
Twisting haphazardly with Meter, Rhyme
And dusty Feet marching route-step;

In cadence, exercise! I hate you and
You hate me! Dirty, stinking privates
Won't brush their teeth! Laughing at
The patience of the Grand Narcissist;

Good night and say goodbye to games
Played on the playa with the Devil
Bending his knee to publicly pray and
Say: "Have a blessed day." As you vomit;

Good night and listen for the vomitorium
To hand over fist fulls of fools feeling
Frothy fantastic fetes for fabricated
Nonsensual desires landing in tepid waters;

Over the river and through the woods
With difficult breathing and difficult
Breathing for fantastic difficult roads
And difficult breathing with difficult breathing;

All roads Roman and one man knows
That roads and roads and roads and roads
All Romes end up as roads and roads
Pass through without ever saying goodbye.

Poem: All Romes Lead to the Road 20181116-0156
Poem: All Romes Lead to the Road 20181116-0156

"All Romes Lead to the Road" is a poem written by Alexander Nuttall on 2018116-0156 EST (-5 GMT). All Romes are fantastic cities that eventually become bypasses for the marching elite or the poor foot soldiers who follow them. This is pessimistic. On the other hand, the sinister one, this is just a truth that the fantasy is a driven one that copies many others. It is impermanent and it will end. 

Photo is the Lesner Bridge, Virginia Beach, Virginia 2015-2016 by Alex Nuttall

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Poetry #Rome #Roads

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Writing - Poetry - "All Romes Lead to the Road 20181116-0156"

Crime and Leadership

4. Nov. 2018
By Alex Nuttall - Bio

Crime By Affiliation

  • Anarchist: You Do Your Crime and I'll Do Mine
  • Autocrat: Anarchist Criminals.
  • Bureaucrat: Crime In Drawers and Files
  • Communist: Mandatory Crime For Everyone.
  • Democrat: Disorganized Crime.
  • Dictator: Of The Criminals, For The Criminals, By The Criminals
  • Libertarian: May The Strongest Criminal Win.
  • Monarchist: Crime For The Chosen Criminal.
  • Republican: Organized Crime.
  • Socialist: Crime For Everyone.
  • Technocrat: Sticks And Stones Criminals.
  • Theocrat: Crime For The Chosen Blessed Criminal.

Crime and Leadership,
Crime and Leadership,

Alex Nuttall provides a simple chart based on his leadership bewilderment to  help you make your decision while the electoral college makes theirs. Please vote so that the electoral college can do what they want. It's just like Mommy's smart phone with sparkly things.



The Jazz Rabbi, Part 3

28. Oct. 2018
By Alex Nuttall - Bio

The Jazz Rabbi, Part 3 -- Alex Nuttall 20181028
The Jazz Rabbi, Part 3 -- Alex Nuttall 20181028

The Shooting in Pittsburgh

I didn't think I needed to write Jazz Rabbi, Part 3. After yesterday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue I'm up this morning doing so. Those who have inspired the hatred that has manifested into bombs and bullets are responsible. Killing those responsible would only perpetuate the problem.

Taking a human life is suicide. Homicide is suicide. Why? Upon deeper investigation there is the truth that the privilege to choose is human and to promote the destruction of another human is far worse than doing the act.

The gunman, the bomb maker and the promoter are living the worst possible lives. The salesman to homicide is headed for a darkness in sickness, old age and eventual death. These forces follow us all. To motivate so much and then to have increased one's own suffering by doing so is the worst possible choice..

There will be a day when he or she will wish for the end. Guilt will not let go. The only friend will be an adult diaper that may or may not get changed as a result of the compassion-less fruition.

Faith Without Action

I wanted to come up with something brilliant to say. I wanted to make it go away. The truth is that I’m responsible. I want to blame someone else, but I can’t. I’m responsible for the safety and respect of other human beings and for that matter all beings.

So I apologize for being careless. I love each and every one of you. I hope that from this day on I can create a safe, loving and kind world. 

The Jazz Rabbi, Part 3 -- Alex Nuttall 20181028
The Jazz Rabbi, Part 3 -- Alex Nuttall 20181028

Search Description:

Writing by Alex Nuttall, title: The Jazz Rabbi, Part 3, Original Date: 20181028 – © Alexander Blair Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 – 2018 – Retro-published 20181028.

I didn't think I needed to write Jazz Rabbi, Part 3. After yesterday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue I'm up this morning doing so. Those who have inspired the hatred that has manifested into bombs and bullets are responsible. Killing those responsible would only perpetuate the problem. Posted by Alexander Nuttall  October 25, 2018 (


#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Faith #JazzRabbi #Judaism #Pray #Shalom

Simple Post:

“The Jazz Rabbi, Part 3“ – 28. Oct. 2018  – Writing, Non-Fiction, Judaism, Faith


#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Faith #JazzRabbi #Judaism #Pray #Shalom

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 - 2018 | 20181028 -ABN – Ed Date: 2018-10-28 05:26

The Jazz Rabbi, Part 2

27. Oct. 2018

The Jazz Rabbi, Part 2 -- Alex Nuttall 20181027
The Jazz Rabbi, Part 2 -- Alex Nuttall 20181027

Going to Temple

I went to the Orthodox Temple on Saturday. I wore my favorite gray cardigan sweater, khaki slacks, wing-tip shoes and a white shirt. The only person I knew here was the Rabbi. Upon entering I was handed a yamaka. I was told that I could keep it. It was really nice. My first yamaka.

I sat on the men's side of the temple.  There were pews just like any church. There were prayer books too. There were hymnals. There were not communion shot glasses. We were not going to drink the blood of Christ, grape juice (Southern Conservative Baptist) or wine (Catholic).

The temple was warm. The pulpit was there. The Torah arrived on time.

The Torah

Everyone was friendly. I felt comfortable. The men wore the prayer clothes. The unusual part to me were the boxes strapped to their heads. I couldn’t help but to think of the word “cube” which has roots with the word “Kaaba”

The service went on. I sang the hymns. I read the scriptures. I saw the English translations. One thing caught my eye. A hymn translated in English was thankful that the People of the Book were not made as Gentiles, Slaves or Women. I couldn’t blame them for not wanting to be Gentiles. But it stuck with me.


After the service a man walked up to me. He was about 40 years old. He looked intelligent and friendly. He introduced himself and we shook hands.

I told him why I was there. He asked if I was circumcised. I was. He knew that I was not born a Jew but he could care less. I was interesting to him. He invited me to his home for dinner. It turns out that he and the Rabbi were very good friends.

I am a little foggy on whether we left the temple to go to his home or I was to arrive later. So I’ll just move on to the arrival at his home. His home was within walking distance of the temple and my apartment. I didn’t drive.

I arrived at his home. I knocked on the door. The door open. His whole family was there to greet me. At about the same time the Rabbi arrived too. Again, did we walk from the temple or just arrive at the same time? I dunno.

The man introduced his wife. She was an attractive, smart looking lady.  I reached out my hand to shake hers. She shook my hand but said, “Because we are Orthodox men don’t shake hands with women. It’s OK. You’ll learn.” I looked at my new friend, her husband and he smiled and nodded. I shook his hand too.

Their sons were also at the door. One son was a military looking fellow and another looked more like a liberal arts guy. I was both so I could tell either way.  The two sons smiled and shook my hand in turn. Everyone, Mom, Dad and the sons, had great hand shakes. These people were definitely outstanding world-class Americans.

The Family greeted the Rabbi as an old friend. We were both invited inside. “Please come in.”


There are two insides here. Inside of me and inside of the house. The inside of the house was  comfortable, clean and there was no television to be seen.

There were books on shelves. There were curio cabinets with nick-knacks. We were seated in the living room. Adjacent there was a large table in a dining area.

I sat on a couch. The Rabbi sat beside me. The father, the sons, and the Rabbi all spoke with me and each other. The father was a U.S. Navy officer. One of the sons was serving in the Israeli army.  Another son was a scholar.

The conversation segued to Islam. I had told them that I had actually been a muslim a few years back. We discussed Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael and how the Jews and Arabs were cousins. One son, the liberal arts guy, said to his father, “So the Arabs are actually our brothers?”

“Yes.” Said the father.

Again the question of whether I was circumcised came up from one of the sons. “Yes, he’s been circumcised.” Jumps in the father to his son. Everyone seemed satisfied with that answer.

The Miracle

Eventually Mom calls us to dinner. The table was full of food. I was hungry for sure. I had only eaten my butter biscuits. I still had my 20 dollars from selling plasma. Depending on how tonight went I was either going to get some food later or some booze. Or I just might turn my life around and find God.

Inside I was praying to God now. I was thankful for the new friends and the dinner. I sat opposite of the two sons and the Rabbi. Dad sat at the head of the table facing the front door. Mom moved about preparing and serving.

We all broke bread together.

I started to sweat a little now. I began to think about me being a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I had not eaten chicken, beef, or pork (no worries here) in 11 years. I then let go. I said to God in my mind, “OK, if I am served chicken soup I will eat it. I’ll eat whatever I am given. I am in your hands, God.” Done. I had prayed my last prayer before I was going to be fed animals.

The soup bowl arrived. It was a very nice large soup bowl. I could smell the chicken soup. As  Mom gently placed it before me I looked up at her and smiled. Then the miracle happened.

With the bowl in front of me and her right hand holding the edge she said with gently concern, “Are you vegetarian?”

I almost fell out of my chair. I almost cried. Where the did that come from? I said, “Yes.” as if I had just been caught stealing cookies.

She smiled. “Well, why didn’t you tell me! It’s not a problem let me get you some different soup.”
I looked around. No one was shocked. No one disapproved. This cosmopolitan Orthodox family had knowledge of many things strange, good and human. I was just another guest who was to be honored. So I had my first Kosher Vegetarian dinner at their house. I didn’t even have to tap-dance in order to vent my concern. God had made sure that I was comfortable and loved.

Dinner Talk

As we all continued to eat. The subject of my Jewish future developed. The Rabbi was against it. The father was for it. The sons were for it. The mother, Mom, she said, “Don’t let Rabbi (Name Withheld) talk you out of this. He’s just very cautious. You know we are your family so let us worry about him.

I was already part of the family. The Rabbi was none perturbed at the conversation. This was normal rapport. Here one could discuss openly anything in a civil manner. No behind the back talk. It was all out in the open.

After dinner we all shook hands and said goodbye to each other. The Rabbi and I left at the same time. He went home and I went to my apartment on the other side of Colley Ave. We were to have a few more discussions and interactions. Then I just stopped. I moved onto something else. I will always remember the miracle and the family and the Rabbi. I think I need to say hello some time again but that was 21 years ago!

The Jazz Rabbi

Search Description:

Writing by Alex Nuttall, title: The Jazz Rabbi, Part 2, Original Date: 20181026 – © Alexander Blair Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 – 2018 – Retro-published 20181026.

"The Jazz Rabbi, Part 2" is about how Alex Nuttall went through a brief Judaic phase. It all started with a crazy dream about a drumming Viking who said, "Shalom". Some of the details in this story have been changed to protect and respect the privacy of others. Part 2 shows the great miracle that happened. Posted by Alexander Nuttall  October 25, 2018 (

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Faith #JazzRabbi #Judaism #Pray #Shalom

Simple Post:

“The Jazz Rabbi, Part 2“ – 26. Oct. 2018  – Writing, Non-Fiction, Judaism, Faith

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Faith #JazzRabbi #Judaism #Pray #Shalom

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 - 2018 | 20181026 -ABN – Ed Date: 2018-10-26 05:56

The Jazz Rabbi, Part 1

25. Oct. 2018

The Jazz Rabbi, Part 1 -- Alex Nuttall 20181025
The Jazz Rabbi, Part 1 -- Alex Nuttall 20181025

The Dream

I went to sleep that night hungry. I lived in an apartment in Ghent, Norfolk, Virginia. It was sometime in the late 1990s. The year was 1998. I couldn't keep a job. I was depressed. I prayed all the time.

I have prayed as many times and as many ways as there are humans on this earth. When I went to sleep that night I had yet to pray like a Jew. You see, I've been a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim and a Buddhist but not yet a Jew. 

I had a dream. In the dream I was in a gymnasium. It was large. There were thousands of people in the gym. In the center I saw a red haired and red bearded fellow whom I thought was a viking. He was a powerful man. He also played the drums. He was amazing.

I walked up to the man as he played. He was drumming like crazy. He was all over the drum set. Beating, beating, beating on those skins. Ba-tap! Ba-bomp! Ba-ting! Ba-too! He showed no mercy on those drums and our ears. The ears of myself and the audience begged him for more. Ba-tap! Ba-bomp! Ba-ting! Ba-too! 

I walked closer and closer as he continued to play. I could not see has face. I was behind him. He kept on playing until I was about 5 feet from him. He turned around and we made eye contact. He stopped playing. It was silent. He said, "Shalom."

End of dream. I woke up in a sweat. It was about just about dusk. It was a cool November morning. The radiator creaked and ping-dinged as it did its job. The windows were open. An empty bottle of cheap whisky was on the floor beside my bed. I had to do something.

I got up on my knees and I prayed to God.

"Dear God," I began, "Thank you for the dream that I received..." 

I don't know what else I prayed exactly but I am sure that that is how I started. As a young person I watched many televangelists on TV. I went to church and Sunday School with joy! I was good at praying. I was a pro! But I hadn't prayed in a while. I was due for some good praying. I needed me some religion. So I thanked God for the dream and promised I would go find a temple and start praying some more. It was a sign.

I took a shower and got on some nice clothes. I wanted to be presentable.  I began my journey.

The Journey

It was about 8 o'clock in the morning when I left my apartment and went for a walk. I was bundled up for the brisk chill. I was showered. I had shat. I had shaved. 

I was a Ghentile in Ghent. Besides the many fine churches in Ghent. Ghent has three Jewish temples within walking distance of each other. One is a Reform Temple, another is a Conservative Temple and finally there is an Orthodox Temple.  I needed to meet with a Rabbi and tell him about my dream.

The first place I went to was a Reform temple. It was a beautiful, massive structure. My church growing up was called Temple Baptist. This temple looked exactly like my old church except it was a synagogue . 

I walked into the temple and a secretary was there. I said to her, "Is the Rabbi in?" She explained to me that he was not and that I could set up an appointment. I told her that I would be back later and thanked her for speaking with me.

 I did not want to set up an appointment. I didn't tell her that I was on fire inside. I smiled and left.

The second synagogue I went to was a Conservative Temple. It was very fancy and nice as well. It looked more like a temple and less like a church. I tried to open the door but it was locked. I had to be buzzed in so I rang the bell. I voice came from another side out of a tiny speaker. 

"Hello," she said.

"Hi," I countered. "My name is Alex Nuttall. I would like to speak with the Rabbi."

"He's not available." End of discussion.

There must have been a camera too. I didn't see her, but she saw me. I was not attractive. I left.

I knew there was one more place I could check. It was an Orthodox Temple. The place was not as fancy as the other two. Outside it looked like a simple country church sans the cross. It was a white building. Paint was peeling. It needed some love.

I went for the front door and it was unlocked. I opened it. Inside it was warm. It was well lit. There was a desk and a secretary sat there. She greeted me warmly. 

"Hello, my name is Alex. I would like to speak with the Rabbi."

She smiled. "Sure, hold on. Let me see if he's available."

She walked away and I stood and waited. Everything in this temple looked familiar and also strange. I had grown up playing and swimming at the JCC (Jewish Community Center) in Newport News, Virginia. Many of my friends had been Jewish. I even knew Hanukkah songs because our elementary school had Christmas and Hanukkah programs together. I was very comfortable with Jewish people and their faith. I had yet, to actually go to a temple. I had no idea what the differences were in Jewish practice and faith. 

The secretary returned. She said, "The Rabbi will see you now. Please follow me."

 She led me to his office. I walked into a scholarly office. To the side of a beautiful wooden desk was a man about my height. He extended his hand and I shook it. He has red haired and red bearded gentleman just like my drum playing viking. He introduced himself and I did the same. He asked me to be seated.

"What can I do for you?" he asked.

"I know this is really strange and I apologize for bothering you. I would like to share with you a dream that I had." 

He patiently listened. He nodded his head. He smiled.

When I was finished his eyes were very friendly. He continued to smile. He said, "I used to be in a Jazz band. I played the drums. As a matter of fact, my drum set is set up here at the temple in the other room."

My spine tingled the same way it did when I first heard Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze".
The Jazz Rabbi -- © Alex Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 20181025
The Jazz Rabbi -- © Alex Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 20181025

Praying on

My conversation with the Rabbi was warm with caution. The Rabbi made it very clear that he was not about converting Gentiles to Jews. "We are not in the business of proselytizing!" He would say. He even took the time to educate me on a group of Gentiles who practiced kosher and were not Jews. I listened. By this time I grew to like him even more. He was human. He was not a salesman. He also was the guy I saw in my dream.

After our meeting I made up my mind to go to the next Sabbath Service. It was a couple days away. In the mean time I wanted to go to the library and researched all I could about Judaism. I also wanted to sell my plasma so that I could eat. I was still hungry.

I had about 3 dollars in change. I walked to Hardee's and bought two butter biscuits.  I sat down inside and contemplated everything. My dream, the meeting, discouragement and my resolution to become a Jew. I was praying inside at every moment when I was not planning what to do next.

After I sold my plasma I went to the Larchmont Library.  I drove my blue Ford Fiesta there. I now had twenty dollars. I was going to make it.

"The Jazz Rabbi, Part 1" is about how Alex Nuttall went through a brief Judaic phase. It all started with a crazy dream about a drumming Viking who said, "Shalom". Some of the details in this story have been changed to protect and respect the privacy of others.

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Faith #JazzRabbi #Judaism #Pray #Shalom

© Alex Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Writing - Journal - "The Jazz Rabbi, Part 1"

Google+ For Consumers is Ending in 10 Months

13. Jan. 2018

Google is "sunsetting" the consumer end of Google+ . As Blogger users we have a choice on our profiles to either use Google+ or Blogger. This profile is seperate from our About page which has more specific profile information as contributors to OgFOMK ArTS.

I've switched the settings in our blog to default now to the Blogger profiles: Here is Kim's and here is mine. I actually like it better because it keeps anyone curious about us focused within the Blogger ecosystem. The biggest problem I had with Google+ profile is that it could send you everywhere but back to where you came from. For navigation purposes that's a "no-go." 

I like Google+. I don't love it. I follow a lot of interesting people. It's ending so that's that.

My favorite Social network is LinkedIn for me and OgFOMK ArTS . My most used is Facebook. I still like Twitter (Thanks to President Donald Trump a whole lot of people use Twitter now). 

All of these are limited in scope and range because they are canvases and not original works. For us at it is the next best thing to a print 'zine. We love publishing. I'll miss Google+ but I won't put any more energy into it unless Google asks me to participate in the Enterprise stuff. That could be interesting. I won't hold my breath.

For now please update your profile on Blogger if you write for us. You Google+ will probably still show for a while. I'd recommend putting a little energy into this. 

Alexander Nuttall -- "Google+ For Consumers is Ending in 10 Months"
Alexander Nuttall -- "Google+ For Consumers is Ending in 10 Months"

Alexander Nuttall, Publisher and Writer for OgFOMK ArTS, discusses the Blogger profile choices and has migrated from Google+ to the Blogger profile.

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - OgFOMK ArTS Development - Operations - "Google+ For Consumers is Ending in 10 Months"

#OgFOMK #AlexanderNuttall #Operations #OgFOMK #Profiles #Googole+

OK, So Maybe You Will Find Us On Facebook

2. October 2018

Yep, We sure were angry. We were very upset. Out of control, we felt. Too busy. A cluttered mess of me, myself and I.

The OgFOMK ArTS social media train wreck.

We got over it with a little bit of Rhythm and Blues. 

As we disconnected not just OgFOMK but our personal profile we waited for our profile to die. Facebook was toxic and too busy. Our profile died. Happiness from a new birthday party! (Nick Cave Reference). 

Fortunately the co-editor kept her cool. She just watched the baby poop on itself. It wasn't her baby. She just bought diapers, sang songs and listened to the ramblings of the baby. She knew it was just like a hurricane. It would pass.

Alex Nuttall -- CEO and Train Wreck
Alex Nuttall -- Editor, Publisher, CEO and Train Wreck

We had a meeting in my head.  "Self", I said, "you need to exercise all avenues for OgFOMK ArTS!  You have to work hard to stabilize the brand, the people and the posting." The committee of one voted and we decided to keep the personal shit down to nothing.  On the other hand we cared about the work we were doing and we wanted our artists, writers and craftworkers to get the best coverage as possible.

Facebook is big. Who knows how long it will be around. Facebook does some very good things like events and sharing and there are people who are just wasting time moving from one idea to another. Those are the people who are looking for happiness and who knows maybe we will be a source. There are also those who focus, extract and leave.

But we won't put our material on Facebook. As in whole posts, whole works.... That's not good. That just keeps Facebook in control of all traffic. Facebook will shoot your head full of ads based on whatever. You can do better than that.  

The truth is that we are standing on organic traffic that has been earned from the contributors and our efforts to share, network and connect with people who we feel will enjoy the work.

We send out to the Hacker's Network, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Odnoklassniki, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, email and other channels that make sense at the time. Some are problematic. All of it takes a lot of time. But it is worth that one gem that comes out of it.

We implore those who at least tolerate us to share our posts with your peeps. It helps. Sharing helps to bridge gaps and build a following that empowers us to be an alternative to a lot of very negative and marginal media. We need to have fun and we need to make our world a creative balance. There is a war on intellectuals. There is a war on artists. There is a war on craft people. Our work is deemed a waste of time. The reality is that the work we humans do is built on a foundation of inspire, create and collect. 

Below are some screen shots from today's data:

20181002 - OgFOMK ArTS Data on Views - Week
20181002 - OgFOMK ArTS Data on Views - Week

20181002 - OgFOMK ArTS Data on Views - All Time
20181002 - OgFOMK ArTS Data on Views - All Time

20181002 - OgFOMK ArTS Data on Views - Day
20181002 - OgFOMK ArTS Data on Views - Day

In conclusion we'll try to keep it simple. Hopefully some good sole will help us with this. Or maybe all of you will just share us a little too! We are appreciate everyone who has given us a few minutes. Enjoy!

Alex Nuttall admits defeat on trying to live without Facebook. What a wimp! Like, do we need a wimp like him to be wishy-washy? The answer is yes, because he will buy us tacos. We love tacos. 

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Journal - OgFOMK ArTS Operations - "OK, So Maybe You Will Find Us On Facebook"

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Wimp #Facebook #Defeat #Focus #Business #Operations

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits

30. September 2018

It's Saturday night. Do you know where your trash is? It might be hanging on the wall at the tasting room of Copper and Oak Craft Spirits. The artist, anthropologist and reclaim archaeologists Ross Brooks shows us what was discarded, rescued, embellished and promoted. Ross Brooks shows us us. 

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Heidi and Ross Brooks

Ross doesn't just hang his findings and finishing touches on the wall. He'll tell you about his discovers too. He's kind enough and honest enough to be shy about his work and then when sharing his discovery you can see the pride of being able to share what he found and did to awaken the discarded refuse spirit.

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Heidi and Ross Brooks arriving at Copper and Oak
The venue was Copper and Oak Craft Spirits, located in the Downtown Portsmouth, Virginia, Olde Towne district. We were able to get there from OgFOMK ArTS' office in a hot, flat 6 minutes. We ain't bar hoppers but we love art. So when a friend tells us about an art show we want to go see it.

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak

Copper and Oak Craft  Spirits is not a bar. It's a trendy tapas joint. It is no bohemian flopping ground. It's entirely new to us. It's a distillery right on High Street with a very comfortable tasting space that has blank walls that are perfect for creative minds.

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak

The tasting room is 50 percent of the visible space. It's public space. The other visible space that is not public is the Craft Spirits Distillery. Partitioned only by a wainscot wall and vintage mullions that frame light friendly glazing.

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak
There's a small bar. There are comfortable chairs, tables, couches and relaxed lightings. The crowd is a mix of animated gentlemen, ladies and the director of Ross Brooks' show, Ross Brooks.

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Pieces at Copper and Oak

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Pieces at Copper and Oak

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks Show Piece at Copper and Oak

The works range from LP jacket size or slightly less than to twice the vertical size of a movie poster. No fancy frames. No place card judgements. Fastened to the wall with whatever made sense at the time. 

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Richard Kim Photographs Heidi and Ross Brooks
Ross planed the show about nearly two months in advance. For him to do the show it was a lot of stress. No one pushed him. No one forced him. No one paid him or commissioned him. 

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Heidi, Ross Brooks and Richard Kim
His work was not even for sale. It's not fine art. It's sweat, frustration, feelings, form, perception and joy. 

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Heidi, Ross Brooks and Richard Kim
With Ross, as difficult as it was to get his composition together, there is always humor. He's laughing. He smiling. He's kindly taking you on a journey with him where he has found your discardlings. 

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks with Friends
Ross Brooks the archeologist from the dig becomes an anthropologist. He takes his findings to the lab. He cuts, dissects, reassembles and presents. 

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks with Friends
Upon completion of the work the artist passes on the results of his labor to the director. The director shares the work. Now it's up to the audience to complete the process.

Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits
Ross Brooks with Friends

Ross Brooks of Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Virginia shows his found object work at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits. It's a collection of found pieces that have been highlighted as mixed media with an anthropological bend.

© Alex Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Journal - Ross Brooks Show at Copper and Oak Craft Spirits

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #RossBrooks #CopperAndOakCS #PortsmouthVA #Art

You Won't Find Us on Facebook... Anymore.

1. Sep. 2018

Part 1 - Weird

You've been blocked.

You won't find us on Facebook anymore. That's a lie. You'll find some of us, but you won't find me. Facebook is not a safe or reliable platform for collaboration. 

I was recently very disappointed about 3 weeks ago. My friend and teacher, Ajan Udom, had posted a video with me and some others talking about Buddhist Dhamma. He even called out my name so that all my Facebook peeps could see me running my mouth. My wife even liked it!

A day or two later my wife says: "Where is that video Udom put of you? I don't see it. I wanted to show someone else and it was gone." 

I checked. Not only was it gone but I could no longer see Udom's profile. I thought, "Jees! did he block me? Maybe I said something wrong? Maybe I embarrassed him?"

Fortunately Udom had asked me to use the app Line to keep up with him. I contacted him via Line and I asked him if I had done something wrong and if he blocked me. He texted, no! He suggested maybe that maybe I was hacked because he could no longer see my profile. 

I panicked. I immediately changed my password and logged out of all devices connected with Facebook. I logged back in and checked. His profile was still unavailable to me. I used another browser and I checked his profile. I used the incognito mode. His profile was available and very public. I logged into Facebook and poof! His profile was gone.

Udom and Alex 2017
Udom and Alex 2017
I asked my wife and mutual friends if they could see Udom's profile. Answer... yes.

A few days later I visited Udom in person. He showed me his telephone. I checked his settings. I was not blocked on his side. He told me that he never unfriended or blocked anyone. He would unfollow if they were too busy, but he never unfriended or blocked anyone. I checked his settings. It was true.

He could not see my profile either. Still he could not see it. So this was really upsetting me and I was supposed to be learning meditation, compassion, patience and Buddhist Dhamma from this teacher and I was totally moving in the opposite direction due to my attachment of the Facebook medium.

Udom was one of the people I really liked to see what was going on with him. He would always post nice photographs and he would compose short poems in Thai that Facebook would translate conveniently and incorrectly but humorously.

Part 2 - Weirder 

You're very popular all of the sudden. 

At the same time that we were blocked suddenly I was getting a hundred or so requests for friendship from Thai people, Indian people, Myanmar folks, and Vietnamese. At first I thought this was nice. And guess who they were also friends with? Yep, Udom. But they, all of them, could no longer see that Udom and I were friends. The switch went on and then off quickly but the affect was like a wave.
My glorious ego was spinning out off control.

Facebook even offered me protection by enabling the Hollywood follow button. I could ignore people or decline friends requests but people could still follow my public posts. I started to feel sick inside. Too much.

As I checked some profiles I started feeling very uncomfortable. I did not like what I was seeing. I didn't know any of these other people. I still could not see what Udom was posting. I even complained to Facebook about this. Unlike Google, Facebook has no customer service. Zero! I complained three times. I even sent a picture to them with Udom and I beside each other after the block.

Alex and Udom after the Facebook Block -- Sent to Facebook!
Alex and Udom after the Facebook Block -- Sent to Facebook!

I received a canned response: "Thank you for helping to make Facebook better. " That was it. I could understand if I was harassing someone. Facebook would not want to endanger another user, but isn't it obvious when blocked? They could just state that I was blocked and that they were looking into the matter. They could contact Udom and ask him if he meant to block me. Or they could have contacted me and asked if I meant to block him.

So again I asked Udom if I said or did anything to hurt his feelings or make him upset. He responded with a puzzled look. He smiled. He reassured me that I was fine with him. After all, this is the person who performed the marriage ceremony for my wife and I. This man means a lot to me. We've gone on road trips. We've had many conversations. We are collaborators in the Dhamma.

Part 3 - Morebetterest!

Your unreliable platform for collaboration.

Collaboration is very important. Facebook helped Donald Trump get elected. Facebook helped me to connect with many people. Facebook works for those who have more money by getting the cattle together for each monumental push. Facebook is a business of 2 Billion people.

There are 7 Billion people on this planet. Give or take a few, that's a good guess. I am interested in real relationships. I am interested in creating and doing and living. Facebook is about Facebook. Facebook is an unreliable platform for collaboration. It's especially unreliable if you promote fearlessness.

If you like to push causes of fear, mistrust, distrust and us versus them then Facebook is there for you. This we know is how people spend money and work to get more money to spend it. Depressed people will spend hours on Facebook and they will spend money chasing happiness. People will work hard to earn enough money just to use Facebook.

If you are promoting self learning. Mindful training. Compassion for people. Love for all beings. Then this is a waste of time and money. In fact people who are happy are debt free, honest, creative, resourceful and able to due with very little. In a nutshell happy people don't by crap and waste time looking at it. 

I want to be happy. I want to be debt free. I want to have real relationships. I want to be able to collaborate with people who also want this same thing. So why am I upset at Facebook? I should just let it go.

I asked myself the question: Is Facebook good for collaboration? The answer was no. I closed and requested my account deleted. So you won't find Us (OgFOMK ArTS) officially on Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp anymore. If someone wants to share us, then we would be grateful.  

The reality is that none of our contributors have shared any of the posts we have. 99% of the sharing was done by me to promote us. Our contributors maybe 5% of the time shared something that he or she did and never what anyone else did. (Although my dear old friend Paco shared some of my work and I was very flattered.).

So the reality is that Facebook was what I used to get attention to us. It worked, kind of and sort of.  The real treasure to our 'zine has been Google.  The search engine giant has crawled all of our work and when people were looking for real content on real subjects we turned out on the pages they searched.

Collaboration with our editor Kim has been through Facebook but we use other channels too. I can imagine what would happen if Kim and I started a group and then we were blocked from each other! That would be a lot of wasted work. Udom and I have been and continue to collaborate on this: what if we had a group on Facebook? What would have happened?

A real vehicle for collaboration -- The Picnic Table with Umbrella
A real vehicle for collaboration -- The Picnic Table with Umbrella

Part 4 - Closing

You're tossing one out of the basket.

You won't find us officially using the unreliable platform of Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp. Something else could happen. Another platform could become a moot point too. As with any case there could be another platform that also goes down or becomes shaky. This is just impermanent reality. I think I'll go practice my meditation now. 

Alex Nuttall discusses the finer points of leaving Facebook behind as an unreliable platform for collaboration.

© Alexander Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Journal - "You Won't Find Us on Facebook... Anymore."

#OgFOMK #AlexNuttall #Facebook #Instagram #Whatsapp #Collaboration

If You Really Want to Follow the Money

I was inspired by an  article  my cousin posted on Facebook regarding tax cheats. I'm re-posting my response.  Sunflower follows the s...