Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Greetings, Michael

Years ago when I edited a major business handbook for McGraw-Hill and wrote hundreds of articles for the trade press, I appeared in all the periodical and book indices. Sometimes a Canadian travel writer would get his citations lumped in with mine in LexisNexis or the Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature. I've never met that Michael Ball and think he's retired or dead.

Now with the Web and tediously detailed cross-references, it is easy to find other Michael Balls, to contact some of them, and to get their email by accident. However, only the sculptor has tracked me down.

He and I have had some pleasant exchanges, touching on the Web sites, his art, my career, and our home towns. It has made me wonder whether other Michael and Mike Balls identify with the name or whether they think they are sui generis, as we pretentious sorts say after the second bourbon.

At the risk (albeit very low risk) of being a Michael Moore, I sent email to the Webmasters of and, and to the contact addresses on the Web pages for the Mikes themselves. I notified the Webmasters out of courtesy that I was linking to their home pages and directing any mis-sent email to their domains. I was a bit more personal with the bearers of the name, introducing myself and making them aware of the blog for us.

This was last week and I have seen nothing in response. I didn't expect the singer to respond nor his minions to pass along the message. I did think that a skin diver would be a bit more real and field the message. For the Webmasters, it seems good manners would have required a THX or better.

I won't stalk the celebrities, but if they respond, I'll mention it here. I don't believe I'll wait by the phone.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

One Sharp Michael

A couple of months ago when my company included me in a layoff, I finally began populating the public side of my eponymous Website instead of just using it for messages and ftp. Shortly after, the German sculptor with our fabulous name contacted me. I had links on the home page to the singer, to the diver, and to the sculptor. I have the stereotypical writer's disease of poor self-promotion and figured that most folk would be seeking those Michael Balls.

The sculptor and I have exchanged emails several times. I learned that summer in Munich requires an umbrella at all times. I also learned with a clever artist he is. I strongly recommend his site to get a sense of his metals, his ceramics, and his drawings. He clearly has great fun with his art.

As a reward to linking to him, he sent me a miniature of one of his bronzes. I snapped a so-so quality image of it. It deserves better. I'll scrounge in the basement and find my studio lighting, which I have somewhere down there. When I make a better image, I'll post that. Meanwhile, get a feel for the fun of it all.

Most of his pieces are large and heavy, and so he hasn't had a U.S. show yet. His site has images of many of his best though.