Today's blog is about a web site called ballofpaint.com. It was lucky that I was able to find something more intriguingly useless than ranting about politics to amuse myself.
Most hobbies are useless. As the child of hippy parents, I spent a lot of time with them making candles, macramé and selling ceramic pot scrubber frogs at craft fairs and other suspect venues, I speak of obsessive hobbies with some authority.
My own obsession with politics has, like most hobbies, no economic value or long term benefit. I learned as a kid that there are only so many macramé swinging glass top tables that can be hung form the ceiling before someone actually spills a highball or some toddler gets smacked in the head (sorry Greg).
My favorite were the ceramic frogs to put your pots scrubber in my Mom made. To this day, I look for a ceramic frog pot scrubber holder in peoples homes. But the greatest most useless hobby of all has to be Michael Carmichael's worlds largest ball of paint.
Since the late 1960's Michael has faithfully painted a baseball that now has over 20,000 coats of paint and weights almost 900 pounds. His wife, who must be a remarkably tolerant woman is in many of the pictures with that "and by now you could have had the rumpus room paneled" look in her eyes.
I love it because it is useless, senseless and impossible to ignore; much like politics.
Michael has been painting this baseball for at least as long as the PC's have been in power in Alberta. He has reinvented his baseball by simply painting over the previous improvements, yet his baseball remains unchanged, if hard to find, buried under, and presumably never to come out of, 20,000 coats of paint.
There are days when Michael will add 10 coats of paint and others when he doesn't add any.
There are days in politics when the government will add the equivalent of 10 coats of paint to itself and other times when they add none, this has more to do with election cycles than some obsession with color but the underlying motivation is the same.
Of course, Mr. Carmichael does not spend any tax dollars to repaint his baseball and the government has a hard time doing anything so delightfully irrelevant, so really any comparison is only a mind set on my part.
But still the idea that someone has been painting a baseball since the PC's were first elected in Alberta is an interesting thing to ponder.
Did I mention the baseball is now so fat and bloated, it weights 900 pounds and has it's own shed.