Shout out to a few fans.

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#22
How long you been here a couple months, six months? This place is a shadow of its former self.
Just as long as we realize there is no correlation that supports new people joining being the cause of old timers and valued members leaving. When I joined the site 5 years ago I could tell pretty quickly some shit had gone down a year or two before me triggering an exodus, and it's only picked up the pace since then. Coming back to the site after being away for a year I noticed some of my favorite posters no longer appeared on the "new" feed like they used to. Heck, even I thought about not posting stuff anymore recently when I got into a couple tiffs with other members. But ya know what, I had this wild crazy thought - that's not what bonsai and a bonsai forum is or should be about. And it was Smoke, Al, who caused this thought to happen with something he said back in the "parrot" thread:

I want to see what your doing on your own trees and hear your own words, ( not your teachers) and show me why what you did worked or didn’t work.
Because as much as he can be crotchety and cantankerous at times, this, THIS is the reason I first joined this site. I wanted to see the WORK of others, I wanted to learn what was possible with bonsai, but what I'm finding more and more of is bickering - childish bickering. I had the thought months back that all I see are threads of people arguing, hardly a progression series post anymore - and yes, I got sucked up in it at times, I'm not saying I'm without fault or perfect or a saint. But damn it all, I'm getting tired of logging in and seeing the top new threads being filled with incessant bickering and not bonsai. Yes, there can be discussions and debates over techniques and art, but those should be minimal compared to the amount of trees being posted for progressions and critiques. Because seriously, why are we here if not for Bonsai? Are we here just to argue and make asses of ourselves? What's the point then?

Ok Al, challenge accepted. So I'm done posting in these kind of threads, I'm going to outright ignore them. I started this past evening by posting updates to my privet progression thread, and started a new thread for the progression of a new tree I collected this spring. Tomorrow I've got some updates for one of my Mugo pine threads. Then I'll spend some time this weekend posting a thread showing the construction of a cold frame/misting house for collecting juniper. I'm just going to post trees, trees and more trees just to spite the people who only come here to be argumentative. If you want to stop by and talk or ask any questions feel free, if you come by to shit post, then I'm going to ignore or block you, don't have time to deal with your shit because I'm too busy working on trees. I loved this site five years ago when I joined, I'm not letting it go down without a fight. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get some sleep, then I'm waking up tomorrow, going out and working on some damn bonsai. Then tomorrow night I'm going to post about it, WITH pictures.

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#23
How long you been here a couple months, six months? This place is a shadow of its former self. This place is overrun with constant help me threads and frankly newbies that just want to put people down for asking for some quality content. when you get twelve years here and the content that I do here then you can call me a son of a bitch. For right now, I call it the way I see it. Think of it like this, if you got nothing to post here of any substance and I run you off, just what exactly have I lost? What have you lost? I lost a loud mouth that has something to say about nothing, and you lost a forum so full of history that I have contributed over the years that you will never own as many trees as I've posted.

If this is the new blood that we are in for a crash....soon. and BTW, I answered your legitimate question. I suggest you put me on ignore.

Sorry fella but I don’t run off and quit. And I won’t put you on ignore because you actually do have some valuable knowledge I may want some day. Your problem is that you package that knowledge so poorly with your attitude. You keep beating people up with your longevity in bonsai and telling people how great you are while putting them down with snide remarks. I am on this site to learn and enjoy the hobby of bonsai. Not you or anyone else is going to chase me off. If you enjoy your bitter attitude, so be it. I will survive.
37314A44-8E04-4F12-A25A-A5AB4857EC66.jpeg
I have lots of things in my life that I enjoy.
 

Anthony

Imperial Masterpiece
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#24
I did ask if it were possible to create a forum section for folk
who had many more years of experience, to chat in.

I can understand Al, the being tired of - how to questions -
perhaps Al,you can talk to Bnut.
That and my mallsai is dying [ especially after Christmas gifts ]
Good Day
Anthony
 

Anthony

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#26
In the long run, as it works down here, you settle your mind on Bonsai
but then start chatting as friends.
So you get together look at the efforts, break out the white tea
and green bean biscuits, sit and talk.
Good Day
Anthony

* Those same friends also come over, without having to be asked
and help repot......................................
 
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#27
White tea and green bean biscuits...coffee and a donut...IPA's and a smoke. The unifying factor is our interest in an art form that has been around long before any of us, and will remain long after we go. I look at the really old (300-400 yrs) bonsai and unlike a painting, or a piece of pottery, I have yet to see a signature on any of them. I just see a beautiful piece of living artwork that has had numerous bonsai practitioners at all different levels of expertise who have worked in obscurity to get it to the state it is currently in. It is fascinating to me to think those same folks sat around trees sharing their favorite beverages and food and more than likely talked about the same stuff we do. Bad wiring techniques...crappy apexes...pinching , fertilizing, watering, bugs, fungus, blowhards, masters and glorified landscapers. Their conversations are long gone and the tree remains, unable to tell the tale, but living through their feeble attempts at what "bonsai" technique meant throughout the years. It is an interesting endeavor.
 

wireme

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#28
I had no idea. I had no idea that the thought of having a fan base here was something one should strive for. In reading this I am truly saddened. I had no idea that my "like" was that important. I have belonged to the Eagles Club since 1976. It is a Great Mens club that gives back to the community and the Max Baer Heart fund each year. They have a motto: "If I don't have anything nice to say about an eagle, I will not speak ill of him". Maybe I just didn't have anything nice to say about your project. I respected you enough to not schlock up a good thread with my opinions that, frankly, mean nothing. Its your tree you work it the way you want to. I work mine the way I want to and I get lots of suggestions on what I should do to my trees. Not so much lately but years ago I felt that the forum thought I should just burn them.

So...in the spirit of giving back to three of my biggest fans, Defra, Wireme and Paulpash, I offer this exchange.

You three post up your best tree. Get it ready like it's for a show. I will offer you each a tastefully written critique of the trees. It will define its great points and the not so great points. It will be honest and truthful...as I see it. You each called me out so now the balls in your court.



This guy gets it:



My Dad being inducted into The Eagles Hall of Fame and my baby sisters
View attachment 198344 View attachment 198345 View attachment 198346
I guess when I made the comment quoted here I saw you railing against the kind of posts you don’t like and I was thinking maybe you could try encouraging the types you do like more often. Why I didn’t just say that instead of complaining myself or not saying anything I’m not sure, just an impulse post thing. The thread did seem to have a way of touching nerves apparently, it got good and rambunctious there! Calling me out by asking for a show ready tree is a bit off topic IMO. You could ask for examples of posts made about techniques or tricks learned through experience, would be a bit more applicable to that thread I think.

But, sure I have wondered what Smoke might be thinking about some of the going-ons here. I also have over the years wished for some more feedback from some more of the long time no bullshit posters on the forums who’s opinions are respected. Thats probably reason why my earlier reply came out as it did. So, great, tell me what you think, awesome.

I can’t say that I have a tree that I’d be fully satisfied to chuck into a reputable show yet. If I had to pick one today it would be this. Sprucing it up as if for a show is not going to happen, not for a few weeks anyways with everything going on. The pics are a quick overview of progress taken off the trees thread. Last two pics show a styling undertaken last summer that marked the first attempt to be thorough, before that was setup and growing and the tree as it sits this evening. I haven’t done anything this year beyond the repot. I think I’ll improve it yet but for now it is this.

I collected it myself too, first pic in this post is actually the trees second container since collection and a couple bends and a bit of pruning had already been previously done 159B7AD4-D812-4FFB-B653-5D0F52364649.jpeg 28ABD8E7-2C58-4FA8-A2B5-A98722F200EA.jpeg 5C9DE787-7E52-418E-9354-3184ECDAAC8A.jpeg E95DEA4D-05B1-4FEE-9C33-24DDB33126D3.jpeg DB204E12-7962-46C9-A031-2AEA7616DBD2.jpeg E40B2FAB-4586-4821-B09E-B5F7C6ABDB8B.jpeg
 
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#29
Is that all you can do ? I guess you're never going to man up....
I am of course just reading from the sideline. But you whining about Al not saying "Maybe I was wrong and you have grafted a tree before" starts to get a bit old. get over it. What do you care whether A guy who has been doing bonsai for half his life thinks about your skills. Uness you are looking to become the master bonsai grafter and are looking for business here, where I doubt.

C'mon guys. Get over it. You do not like the way he responds? Use ignore. Else, accept that we are all different in our ways, and pick up the input that is given.

And.. Do post those pictures as suggested.. Take that great picture of your tree to be assessed and post it up in this thread. @defra
 
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#31
I had no idea. I had no idea that the thought of having a fan base here was something one should strive for. In reading this I am truly saddened. I had no idea that my "like" was that important. I have belonged to the Eagles Club since 1976. It is a Great Mens club that gives back to the community and the Max Baer Heart fund each year. They have a motto: "If I don't have anything nice to say about an eagle, I will not speak ill of him". Maybe I just didn't have anything nice to say about your project. I respected you enough to not schlock up a good thread with my opinions that, frankly, mean nothing. Its your tree you work it the way you want to. I work mine the way I want to and I get lots of suggestions on what I should do to my trees. Not so much lately but years ago I felt that the forum thought I should just burn them.

So...in the spirit of giving back to three of my biggest fans, Defra, Wireme and Paulpash, I offer this exchange.

You three post up your best tree. Get it ready like it's for a show. I will offer you each a tastefully written critique of the trees. It will define its great points and the not so great points. It will be honest and truthful...as I see it. You each called me out so now the balls in your court.



This guy gets it:



My Dad being inducted into The Eagles Hall of Fame and my baby sisters
View attachment 198344 View attachment 198345 View attachment 198346
I'm just going to say, as somebody who is completely outside of this conversation and not one bit attached ... if you three don't at some point take @Smoke on this you're crazy. I've seen threads where @Smoke gives detailed feedback, and it's alway in depth, thoughtful, and the kind of stuff you'd only learn from decades of developing trees. I'd bet a lot of money you'll each learn at least one thing about your tree that you may not have considered before.

Always take feedback from experienced people whenever you can get it.
 
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#32
I am of course just reading from the sideline. But you whining about Al not saying "Maybe I was wrong and you have grafted a tree before" starts to get a bit old. get over it. What do you care whether A guy who has been doing bonsai for half his life thinks about your skills. Uness you are looking to become the master bonsai grafter and are looking for business here, where I doubt.

C'mon guys. Get over it. You do not like the way he responds? Use ignore. Else, accept that we are all different in our ways, and pick up the input that is given.

And.. Do post those pictures as suggested.. Take that great picture of your tree to be assessed and post it up in this thread. @defra
I have used ignore - problem solved. What gets old for me is hypocrisy. He's very fond of having a dig - "post it up" but then conveniently hides when proof is given. Can I also ask why you felt the need to interject here - especially when it's obvious that you 'are just reading between the lines' and have no real idea what was said?

Maybe it pissed me off because I worked at Hippopottering Maples for 2 years grafting 500 - 700 plants a year to post out to customers.
 
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#33
I'm just going to say, as somebody who is completely outside of this conversation and not one bit attached ... if you three don't at some point take @Smoke on this you're crazy. I've seen threads where @Smoke gives detailed feedback, and it's alway in depth, thoughtful, and the kind of stuff you'd only learn from decades of developing trees. I'd bet a lot of money you'll each learn at least one thing about your tree that you may not have considered before.

Always take feedback from experienced people whenever you can get it.
I've had 30 years doing bonsai - I've been a judge numerous times. I grow all my own stuff from scratch. I have worked at a commercial Acer nursery, in charge of stock production. I regularly sell trees to make way for more stock. I also have access to other people here in the UK who are regarded very highly. I don't say this to brag but to put my position in context which is that our hobby should be about friendship, guidance, relief from the stresses of life & a connection with nature. The negativity of his posts in recent months I am sure is marked by the passing of his wife but I and numerous others on here should not be subject to him lashing out, hurt or anger.
 
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#34
I find it strange how people here claim to have so much experience, but for whatever reason don’t show it and then get upset when their experience is called into question. If you claim to have experience without showing it, in my experience, you either don’t have the experience, you have little to show for it or (if on a forum) you are being a leech by not contributing a fair share.
 
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#35
I find it strange how people here claim to have so much experience, but for whatever reason don’t show it and then get upset when their experience is called into question. If you claim to have experience without showing it, in my experience, you either don’t have the experience, you have little to show for it or (if on a forum) you are being a leech by not contributing a fair share.
Ermmm I did actually show it - multiple times - that's the whole damn point! I even added a tip onto the grafting thread that @markyscott wasn't aware of. @sorce posted on the thread in question so I hope he comments here to put it in context.

As for being a leech I've posted plenty of trees on here. Do a search on Potentilla, crab apple, quince, field maple, wisteria, elm, a mugo pine on Vance's train thread and probably a dozen others.
 
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#36
Yes, you are correct about your postings. I apologize for my post implying otherwise. I hadn’t finished writing it when I left to work. I must have hit send getting ready. I wanted to finish it with something along the lines that if you can go back and see your tree progressions, that should speak for itself. Not everyone here has the experience they claim.

I had more and it should have been better written overall but my thought train has derailed with my FU.
 
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#38
I find it strange how people here claim to have so much experience, but for whatever reason don’t show it and then get upset when their experience is called into question. If you claim to have experience without showing it, in my experience, you either don’t have the experience, you have little to show for it or (if on a forum) you are being a leech by not contributing a fair share.
I do not know how long you have been a member here....but I joined in November 2009. I had the same problem with Al's Modus Operandi. I do not do bonsai, could not help you with anything bonsai related....but I have studied Toko no Ma and bonsai display in detail. (Both bonsai related display books and non bonsai display books that are written in Japanese). Whenever I posted anything about display, Al's typical response was I don't need to listen to this guy until he shows us with pics that he can make a bonsai from scratch. Well, I do not have time to do bonsai, but I have made over 600 scrolls for customers (many of them bonsai artists) by hand since that time. So that is my experience with Smoke.

Now to give some background of some of my contributions to display so you have a reference point.

I consulted on a display of the Toko Kazari, where Al competes every year, and that person won 1st place. (I believe Smoke won 2nd or 3rd place that year) In that show, the bonsaiist was going to use a certain display stand, but I saw in his house a different stand (shoku) and recommended he use that one. The bonsaiist said that was the deciding factor in making the display great. The only regret I have on that show is recommending him moving the scroll off of center to prevent the tree going into the painting of the scroll.

I also made the scroll and consulted on the display for USNBE in 2014 that won best in show, and was featured prominently in the judges display video. In that case, I created a display outline for the bonsaiist and recommended a certain type of stand and explained why. The bonsaiist was floored because that was exactly the type of shoku he had commissioned to be made before I recommended it.

Now Smoke just ignores me and I ignore him....If he wanted me to give critiques of his scrolls, I would gladly do so, but I would treat him the way he treats others on this site that he does not agree with. (God Complex with no filter) My recommendation to you three who were called out...ignore it and spend time on your bonsai. There is not enough time to get engulfed in his negative drama.
 
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#39
I did ask if it were possible to create a forum section for folk
who had many more years of experience, to chat in.

I can understand Al, the being tired of - how to questions -
perhaps Al,you can talk to Bnut.
That and my mallsai is dying [ especially after Christmas gifts ]
Good Day
Anthony
Anthony, I feel such a forum section would be counterproductive to bonsai at large. All the real knowledge would be locked away from those who need it most - the beginner. I could see having a beginners section though. It would be a forum where us rookies could ask questions and not bother those who don’t want to be bothered. Experienced artists could drop in and share whenever they wanted but it should be a place where no question would ever be considered stupid. No flaming of newbies. It could be a place to develop new artists while elevating the enjoyment of established nuts.
 

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