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BigBill

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I know this is going to sound like crying to some. But at the urging of some of the more seasoned members of this forum I decided to post some "observations"

I pesonally got into bonsai because I fell in love with these little trees while stationed in Japan. I am a navy man, medically seperated, but an old salt none the less.

I bought several trees while there that I kept alive and triving for years. I dont consider this being a bonsaist because I didnt create these trees. I followed the directions of the man I got them from and pruned and fertilized and watered as I was instructed. All was good until I got transfered from Florida at 65 degrees to Maryland at 15 degrees. The trees didnt make it through the climate change no matter what I tried or what I did. I was out a bunch of money and completely as far as I thought done with bonsai.

After a bunch of personal stuff, I found myself single and back at home in Kentucky. With the little trees calling to me. I decided that I wanted to be a bonsaist. I wanted to create, not buy. I wanted to design and shape not following the directions someone gave me.

The issues I am starting to have are the following:

No one seems to want to give help. Well I deffinatley shouldnt say no one.

Reading only gets you so far. And I am going to join the local bonsai club when they have their next meeting, if I dont have to work.

I never realized how ego driven most bonsaists are. I thought bonsai was supposed to be relaxing and introspective. Seems to me more people would post pics of their trees if they didnt feel like they were going to be attacked by the all mightly gods of bonsai.

All I ask for is constructive critism. I know I have crap stock. I dont know about anyone else but I dont understand learning on an expensive piece of stock. I personally would rather kill a $1 tree over a $100.00 tree.

If there is something wrong with a tree, say your piece, and explain whats wrong. Dont make a blanket statement; its a stick in a pot, why are you messing with that crap. Just throw that away.

I have seen a lot of trees on this and other sites, and I serious have no clue why that tree is any better than the crap stock that I have. Is it the name that is attached to the post that makes it a good piece of stock? Or that I dont have my own line of pots or run my own bonsai site.

I am not attacking anyone. Life is to short to be bothered with that.
Just seems to me that it wouldnt be hard to be constructive.

I still email back and forth with a few bonsaists that I meet in Japan. I am not a name dropper, not that it matters who they are. I sent them all picks of my $1.00 Nana, and I got a ton of ideas and praise for saving the little tree. (not that I was looking for praise. Just help with my trees.)
Why is it that these guys that work on tons of trees, can find the time to point out whats wrong and whats good, what I need to do to fix the bad and what I need to do to enhance the good. But on here I feel like I am being looked down at, and I am not good enough to be bothered with.

I sure everyone on this site was new at sometime. No one was hatched with pruning shears in hand and set down in front of a turntable and started pruning master pieces.

Maybe this site just isnt geared for people new to bonsai. If so I am sorry to have bothered anyone.

And frankly in defense of my $1.00 Nana. I think it has a lot of character and I think it will make a fine cascade one day. Will it win a contest? Who cares. Everything in life is not a contest. Some things are for the plain ol' joy of doing it.

Thats my 2-cents for what its worth. Probably not even worth 2 cents.

Feel free to flame away or ignore. I will go on learning bonsai.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I feel the pain, Bill. I moved from Chicago to Southern California and watched almost all of my bonsai die. I should have sold/given them away rather than force them to make the move in the depth of January - it was too much of a shock. This was 12 years ago, but I still cry when I think of this huge japanese maple I had :(

As far as the $1 nana goes, I think many people have been in the same place. They see a piece of material at a local store that is priced "too good to be true" and then they bring it home and realize that there is no easy "bonsai solution" - that to make a decent bonsai out of the tree would take years. Many beginners (myself included) started out in bonsai by filling our yards with "starter" plants like these, and then we became depressed because after a couple of years we had very little to show for our efforts. However that does NOT mean that we did not learn anything. We learned how much root trimming a tree could take before you killed it; we learned how hard we could prune a branch, or how to pinch black pines; we learned how to winter trees. As our eye for purchasing bonsai stock improved, we began to find "better" material - better in this case being material that could yield bonsai results with less work in less time. There is, after all, no such thing as unsalvageable pre-bonsai; just that some material needs more time than other :)

I don't see an easy bonsai solution in the $1 nana as it currently stands. I would seriously consider a dramatic change - reducing it to one trunk and trying to train it in bunjin style. In fact, one thing that can be fun is to look through a book of master bonsai, and try to fine a tree that you could shape your nana into looking like.

Oh - and join the club FOR CERTAIN! You will learn 100x as much if you join a club, start going to shows, and start attending workshops. Those three things will accelerate the learning curve.
 

Smoke

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Bonsai is and has pretty much been a male driven past time. Sure there are few gals here that talk the talk and are able to hold their own pissing with the dogs. Most male oriented pastimes have been very competitive driven. Sports, collecting, tropical fish etc., etc.

Males tend to speak from the gut rather than from the heart, and the net makes this all the more possible. It is very shielded and I know from experience from meeting people from all over the world thru bonsai and the internet, that when finally met in person, they are usually very different in person. Sure there are traits that do show, but ego is not usually one of them. Most people in real life are much more meek and polite and would probably spend hours with you talking about your 1.00 dollar juniper and what they did the first time they confronted the same thing.

If you are really interested in finding real expertise in such a matter, pick out a member and PM them. Ask some questions, I think you might be pleasantly surprised.

Feel free to flame away or ignore. I will go on learning bonsai.
Thats the spirit. Do not get frustrated with what goes on in the forums. These have little to do with bonsai and have everything to do with entertainment. Just make bonsai, improve at bonsai and post the results. Those that do will be handsomely rewarded.


Still trying to stay positive, Al Keppler.
 
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BigBill

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I'm not looking for someone to hold my hand. I thought the point of an open forum was to get a group responce to something. There are a few people that I PM on this site and I always get good info from them. One of them is who urged me to write the original post in this thread.

I personally am very learned in live reef aquarium and still have several people that email me to ask my opionion or ask for help with problems with different corals or how to propagate them or the proper lighting. Even though I currently have no tanks set up.

And you will always have the new guy that sets up a tank and even though everyone tells them the tank has to be aged and the proper nitrogen cycle has to be set up. And that most tanks should be running a year before you add live coral. Throws a bunch of expensive coral or fish in the tank a week after setup and then posts a bunch of why did my fish/coral die.

I understand how frustrating that is. But even as a beginner many moons ago in salt water tanks. And even more moons ago in fresh water. I have never felt competitive. I played football and I was competitive. Because you either win or loss.

I just dont see where there is a compitition in an art form. be it small trees or creating your own reef. These things should be good for the soul not give you ulcers.

I was using my $1.00 nana as a point. Check any of my posts. I post a picture and if I get a response it isnt anything to do with the question asked. or it is in no way constructive. I dont want anyone to lie and ohhh and ahhh my trees. And until my $1.00 nana post it was usually comments about how I embedded the pics instead of uploading or something else completely off the mark.

Where as if some of the more veteran people post a what should I do with this thread. They get a bunch of virts showing what the others think they should do. Whats the difference.

I would have accepted a cut off all the branches but the long one and then leave it alone for a few years with just simple pruning. What I got was a nice response from Irene and then someone attacking her for saying something nice. And then what normally happens is the train derails and the post goes off on some weird tangent that has nothing what so ever to do with the original post and then degrades into 3rd grade name calling and a bunch of my mom could beat your mom up.
 

Smoke

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I just dont see where there is a compitition in an art form. be it small trees or creating your own reef. These things should be good for the soul not give you ulcers.

I was using my $1.00 nana as a point. Check any of my posts. I post a picture and if I get a response it isnt anything to do with the question asked. or it is in no way constructive. I dont want anyone to lie and ohhh and ahhh my trees. And until my $1.00 nana post it was usually comments about how I embedded the pics instead of uploading or something else completely off the mark.

Where as if some of the more veteran people post a what should I do with this thread. They get a bunch of virts showing what the others think they should do. Whats the difference.

I would have accepted a cut off all the branches but the long one and then leave it alone for a few years with just simple pruning. What I got was a nice response from Irene and then someone attacking her for saying something nice. And then what normally happens is the train derails and the post goes off on some weird tangent that has nothing what so ever to do with the original post and then degrades into 3rd grade name calling and a bunch of my mom could beat your mom up.

Yes Bill, but don't get upset because a forum does not look at bonsai the way you do. I am very competitive with my trees and am doing bonsai for one reason and one reason only...to make the best possible. There is much to learn and you will not get the whole cookie in two weeks. It may take years and you may never find what you seek in a discussion forum. I've been on forums for ten years and I'm still looking!


Such is the way of the net. I was in many reef forums before I was in bonsai forums. I let many of my trees die and solnd most of the good ones for the corals and fish I wanted. I used to go by "wall stacker" and the forums there were just as bad. Many newbies always felt like they were ignored and the guys with the best setups and the expensive lights just jabbered away like nothing.


Cliques my friend, and relationships. Many of the people at this site migrated to this new site and wished to move it to a more advanced site. Many here wish to talk about more of the artistic ideals of bonsai and many wish to show more advanced trees to recieve more avanced help. Many of the members here are daily figures at many other sites and have very high post counts. I would say collectively we have looked at a tree such as yours oh...maybe two or three hundred times.

I gather from this quote that you may already know what to do and may be just fishing. I say fishing for pats on the back. Hey everyone wants a pat on the back. You have to earn pats, they do not come easy. Your quote makes perfect sense to me and I wonder why you would need any help to do what seems obvious. Many times the pats on the back come easily to those that take bold steps and find their way the hard way. The school of dead trees, er...hard knocks.

Diversion always has been and always will be part of the dicussion forum way. Please don't try and change it, it is what keeps some threads fresh and entertaining. Don't try and make this too serious. Oh and BTW you will experience this when you get in the club too. Just thought I would make your day:p


As always, Cheers Al
 
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BigBill

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I gather from this quote that you may already know what to do and may be just fishing. I say fishing for pats on the back. Hey everyone wants a pat on the back. You have to earn pats, they do not come easy. Your quote makes perfect sense to me and I wonder why you would need any help to do what seems obvious. Many times the pats on the back come easily to those that take bold steps and find their way the hard way. The school of dead trees, er...hard knocks.
Not fishing for pats or anything else. I got that idea from BNut. I was looking for what you would do with that tree yourself. I know that you probably would have never given that piece of stock a 1st glance much less of bothered with it. But what if you had. I wasnt looking for help with the obvious. I was hoping for someone to give me a constructive idea to point out the unobvious.

I'm not looking for approval or nor do I want to be part of the clique. If i fail or succeed will be of my own accord.

I understand that you want the best trees and you have whatever measuring stick you compare them to. But who are you competing against???

I was looking for ideas where to go with the tree. Sure I can throw it away. But where is the challenge in that. I look at it and see a future semi-cascade but maybe someone might have said "hey have you thought of doing this?" and maybe that might have been enough for me to totally rethink my view of the tree.

I post for interaction, to see what other people think. Thats why I come to forums, for a different view, a new perspective.
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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LOL...ok you want some advice...cut every branch off leaving a stub to maybe jin later and stick it in the ground and forget about it for about five years... In the meantime spend money on some better stock like the stuff you bought in Japan. I would talk to Tom at shadyside.com, Brent at evergreengardens.com, Jason at oregonbonsai.com, or Marc at thegrowinggrounds.com. Happy hunting.

If in the future you want pats on the back using stock like this then they have a forum just for that and it is called bonsaisite.com. They will tell you how great a buy that was fo' sho'
 

zelk

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LOL...ok you want some advice...cut every branch off leaving a stub to maybe jin later and stick it in the ground and forget about it for about five years... In the meantime spend money on some better stock like the stuff you bought in Japan.
i agree...
 

Tachigi

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Hi Bill, I was very confused when I read this thread. You make it sound as if your entire experience since coming to DaNut has been bad. I have participated in most of your threads and thought that people responded with good information in a friendly manor to your inquiries. Thinking that I must of missed something I went back a viewed all your threads. The only thread I could find that that had a sarcastic overtone was one post from Paul in this past thread about your Nana.

In a forum that is open to an infinite amount of people sometimes you get the good with the bad. How you say, can I determine who to tune out? :) Go to the members list above and look at some of there posts, its there history. If their posts are few and far between or you perceive those posts that are there, to be of little value. You know to tune them out. To restate what has been said a thousand times before. A forum is like a TV. Sometimes crap is on or there are to many commercials. You either deal with subdifuge or change the channel. The trick is to determine what is worthless, what is a request (such as your pictures) and what has value.

I'm glad you joined Bnut. I always enjoy someone with your enthusiasm and inquisitiveness. However, you joined last month I would give it a little longer before passing judgement :)
 
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irene_b

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Yes Bill, but don't get upset because a forum does not look at bonsai the way you do. I am very competitive with my trees and am doing bonsai for one reason and one reason only...to make the best possible. There is much to learn and you will not get the whole cookie in two weeks. It may take years and you may never find what you seek in a discussion forum. I've been on forums for ten years and I'm still looking!


Such is the way of the net. I was in many reef forums before I was in bonsai forums. I let many of my trees die and solnd most of the good ones for the corals and fish I wanted. I used to go by "wall stacker" and the forums there were just as bad. Many newbies always felt like they were ignored and the guys with the best setups and the expensive lights just jabbered away like nothing.


Cliques my friend, and relationships. Many of the people at this site migrated to this new site and wished to move it to a more advanced site. Many here wish to talk about more of the artistic ideals of bonsai and many wish to show more advanced trees to recieve more avanced help. Many of the members here are daily figures at many other sites and have very high post counts. I would say collectively we have looked at a tree such as yours oh...maybe two or three hundred times.

I gather from this quote that you may already know what to do and may be just fishing. I say fishing for pats on the back. Hey everyone wants a pat on the back. You have to earn pats, they do not come easy. Your quote makes perfect sense to me and I wonder why you would need any help to do what seems obvious. Many times the pats on the back come easily to those that take bold steps and find their way the hard way. The school of dead trees, er...hard knocks.

Diversion always has been and always will be part of the dicussion forum way. Please don't try and change it, it is what keeps some threads fresh and entertaining. Don't try and make this too serious. Oh and BTW you will experience this when you get in the club too. Just thought I would make your day:p


As always, Cheers Al











Hmmmm Fresh and Entertaining.....What the hell is wrong with simply answering in a Positve manner?
The "Old Saying" Bonsaiist eat their young. When the Ego's come out the bad additude comes with it.
If you want to be competitive, do so. But Not on the forum. People are here to learn as well as share and how many stay in the shadows because of being attacked for asking questions? I don't play the mind games of believing I see where or how someone thinks. To me that is a fast way to KILL the desire for learning. And then where would this or other forums be?
Too many years I spent as a hermit bonsaiist, it is not the best way to learn.



Jase, that comment is way below you. I know you better than this. Put some positive back in the learning.
Chris, stand for something or fall for anything. You have not been at this that long either. Lead by example.


Mom
 
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Rick Moquin

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And I believe that his words were directed at Irene and not BigBill.
Perhaps but what added value did the post in question offer? It is often better to post little, than to post of little value.
 

Rick Moquin

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Hmmmm Fresh and Entertaining.....What the hell is wrong with simply answering in a Positve manner?
The "Old Saying" Bonsaiist eat their young. When the Ego's come out the bad additude comes with it.
If you want to be competitive, do so. But Not on the forum. People are here to learn as well as share and how many stay in the shadows because of being attacked for asking questions? I don't play the mind games of believing I see where or how someone thinks. To me that is a fast way to KILL the desire for learning. And then where would this or other forums be?
Too many years I spent as a hermit bonsaiist, it is not the best way to learn.
Mom
Well said Mom!!

Having said that we should not lie about the fact that this aprticular tree has a long struggle ahead. It was rescued from the dead and the best thing that has happened to it is, it is in the caring hands of a fellow enthusiast. The tree was cleaned and slipped potted and would benefit greatly of being planted out or in a grow box for the next couple of years without any work done to it.
 

Smoke

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Look the larger percent of those that wish to play the game will have the larger stake in how a forum is run. There were very few at bonsaiTALK that wished to actively engage in talking about the more artistic aspects of bonsai without the usual interference of those that did not or poo pooed the idea.

They started their own web site, and actively moderate it to keep it on track and to the point. Many find the web site snobish or dry and not very entertaining. It is what it is and it stays true to its roots. That is a good thing. Nut was started here with much the same idea in mind. A place to talk about more advanced bonsai aspects. Sure people can come here with less than desirable stock and ask for help. There will be those like Irene that will help them.

Don't try to grind an axe with the rest of the forum because someone calls a spade a spade about someones tree. Frankly I don't see anything in the 1.00 dollar juniper either. But then I never came out and said so either:D I just keep my mouth shut now a days.

So now we have lowered the bar so low that those that could help do not wish to interact because they will be chastised for speaking the truth in their opinion. Thats just as bad as telling someone that the 1.00 juniper has a future as bonsai.

Cheers, Al
 

Rick Moquin

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Is it for the latter reason that you post your trees over at the monthly contest at BC, on a continual basis, where there is no competition. What kind of satisfation does it bring AL?

I remember taking first in an archery competition a couple of years ago, only to feel flat about my performance. I outshot everybody that day by a wide margin. I was not on my game, nor was my competitors. That particular event was my worst showing ever and I was compeltly amazed when it took first place.
 

Smoke

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Is it for the latter reason that you post your trees over at the monthly contest at BC, on a continual basis, where there is no competition. What kind of satisfation does it bring AL?

I remember taking first in an archery competition a couple of years ago, only to feel flat about my performance. I outshot everybody that day by a wide margin. I was not on my game, nor was my competitors. That particular event was my worst showing ever and I was compeltly amazed when it took first place.
Actually Rick I was personaly invited to do so by Cheryl at the forum. She asked me to post some trees in the contest because the participation there had waned. Since you follow my trees so closely and where I exhibit them, you will be happy to know that even though I have entered every month since March, I have won only once. Two months ago we saw an entry by Bill Valavanis and Morten Albek. Before that time I had maybe 3 posts at BC since I had joined. Whats your point?

Two of my trees that placed in the top thirty in the AofB contest were panned there. Again, whats your point? Envy? You are more than welcome to post a tree in their contest and whip my ass.

BTW why don't you just go ahead and tell me that since I buy awesome stock I am not a true bonsaist since I haven't started from crappy nursery material.

AND... before anyone goes off, I didn't start this personal attack. Rick did, the guy that is always telling everyone that their posts add nothing to the dicussion. I find my entries in a contest on another forum totally irrelevent to this dicussion.

Nice job taking this to the gutter. Al Keppler.
 

irene_b

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I am thinking that the Edit works very well here and needs to be used more often.
I could just blow up and rip into each and every member here. But that is just not my way off dealing with frustration. And believe me when I say I get there when I read all this crap.
I do Not hold hands or do the pat on the back.



Not to long ago my friend Ron Martin died.
He and I were very good chat buddies and I will miss him for the rest of my life.
In Chat one morning we had about 6 new members asking questions.
Ron answered each and every question from each of those people.
And yes we had both heard the same questions more than 100 times each.
When they left we discussed where Bonsai is going and how we can take and hand it over to the next generation.
We agreed that each of us oldies need to answer each and every question that is asked, Why you say. They learn by example from us.
We did not believe that answering questions was a cardinal sin and that the person asking may be the next great teacher in Bonsai. Who knows?

Before Ron died he told me you know "Sweets" (only other man in my life that got away with calling me that name was my Uncle) you may not make friends and may damm well make a lot of enemies but if you can help just one budding bonsaiist by answering the same questions over and over again and just being yourself and remembering what every stick in the pot meant to you when you first fell in love with the little wee trees, and holding that feeling to your chest before you answer their questions, and telling the Show stopper Ego driven know it alls to shut up and sit down every now and then and letting them know that they were once the very same way.

So now I am telling each and every damm person here at Bonsainut to shut up and sit yer arses down and pull the memories from deep within yourselves and hold on to it, Before you reply to ANYONE!

Now if I pissed you off! Oh well! Life goes on! Get the hell over it!
Now I am going to go play with all my stick in the pot wee trees and hope like hell you assholes who want to rip and tear into people use that damm edit button while I am gone!
Mom
 

rlist

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I am thinking that the Edit works very well here and needs to be used more often.
I could just blow up and rip into each and every member here. But that is just not my way off dealing with frustration. And believe me when I say I get there when I read all this crap.
I do Not hold hands or do the pat on the back.



Not to long ago my friend Ron Martin died.
He and I were very good chat buddies and I will miss him for the rest of my life.
In Chat one morning we had about 6 new members asking questions.
Ron answered each and every question from each of those people.
And yes we had both heard the same questions more than 100 times each.
When they left we discussed where Bonsai is going and how we can take and hand it over to the next generation.
We agreed that each of us oldies need to answer each and every question that is asked, Why you say. They learn by example from us.
We did not believe that answering questions was a cardinal sin and that the person asking may be the next great teacher in Bonsai. Who knows?

Before Ron died he told me you know "Sweets" (only other man in my life that got away with calling me that name was my Uncle) you may not make friends and may damm well make a lot of enemies but if you can help just one budding bonsaiist by answering the same questions over and over again and just being yourself and remembering what every stick in the pot meant to you when you first fell in love with the little wee trees, and holding that feeling to your chest before you answer their questions, and telling the Show stopper Ego driven know it alls to shut up and sit down every now and then and letting them know that they were once the very same way.

So now I am telling each and every damm person here at Bonsainut to shut up and sit yer arses down and pull the memories from deep within yourselves and hold on to it, Before you reply to ANYONE!

Now if I pissed you off! Oh well! Life goes on! Get the hell over it!
Now I am going to go play with all my stick in the pot wee trees and hope like hell you assholes who want to rip and tear into people use that damm edit button while I am gone!
Mom

You are a better Mom than I... ;)
 
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