Red tailed hawk

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Little Wing

Look to the sky

© Jon Harwood
There's certainly been some interesting signage of late in Fallbrook. Jon Harwood took this shot of the guy who was at the Avocado festival.

Guess he was pretty aggressive, calling out everybody equally, nonbelievers, christians and failed to respond. He looked to Heaven and Earth and evidently only saw the wrong brand. Bargained for salvation and got hisself a lethal dose.

We had a similar protester at Palomar College during the Women's March, the lord directing him to get real nasty in everybody's face. Cops eventually excommunicated him.

And this billboard was recently installed above the 7- Eleven, Jesus, your only way to God. Only way, huh? Sounds pretty emphatic.

I recently finished the Travels of Marco Polo and Marco recounts trying to explain to Kubla Khan, and I certainly paraphrase, why there could only be one god and in fact it was the one that he himself had grown up with.

And the Emperor finds this highly amusing, presiding over a dominion that accepted all faiths including Mohammedans, Christians and Jews. But the Pope wanted Marco to baptize everyone in their path and sent some priests along for just such a task, which was majorly rebuffed. I will go back to the library and copy the passage for you one of these days because I found it quite illustrative.

Wondered to myself if polytheism wasn't merely a dodge to tell the rabidly devout to just mind their own business.

I still can't for the life of me figure out why certain religions including Islam and Christianity, think they got the only route available to whatever they consider salvation. Or could even give a rats ass about what anyone else thinks?

The Buddhists don't try to convert anybody, neither do the Jews, or the Unitarians for that matter. Why are some faiths still seeking spiritual scalps? I find it rude and overbearing personally, not that that matters.

What is the rationale for the need for some adherents to display these sorts of messages? I tell you what. If I am off base and end up in hell, you can throw rocks at me and say I told you so.

Judy Henske

Peregrine falcon, Torrey Pines

Rosalie Sorrels - Rock Salt and Nails

Beehive Blunder

The recent ABC/Washington Post poll regarding President Trump is both interesting and frankly a bit disheartening. Trump has the highest disapproval rating for any president since World War II but 96% of his supporters would vote for him again.

It illustrates that despite the incessant gnashing of teeth by the left regarding Trump's real and imagined deficiencies, it doesn't mean diddly to his supporters. They love him.

So perhaps democrats, liberals and progressives should save their breath and energy. Find a new way to try to resonate with the uneducated white folk that make up the bulk of his base.

We have to come to grips with the fact that we are now a deeply divided people, perhaps more divided than we have ever been since Vietnam or even the Civil War. Find a way to talk to each other again, and foster responsible governance.

And that certainly doesn't mean that we should simply accede to his agenda. There are many areas where he must be fought every step of the way. Like on issues concerning the environment and the Interior Department.

Some of my most cherished moments of the last several years are the many trips I have taken to photograph the Utah back country. President Trump announced today that he is going to try to roll back Federal Monument status for both Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase of the Escalante. In fact he wants to review such designations for the last three administrations.

No President since FDR has ever tried anything like this and he was stopped. Some very good comments here at the Deseret News.

Let's look at the facts. This is not state land. This is federal land, owned by the people of the United States. You and me. This is not so much about local or state's rights as it is a case of locals plundering and selling their birthright to energy interests that want to exploit public resources and despoil the environment.

It is ironic that the 1906 Antiquities Act was authored by a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt. Old Teddy would be rolling over in his grave today if he saw the audacious blunder his successor was trying to make.

Slate has some good info about the land grab.
...no president has even tried to revoke a national monument since 1938, when President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to reverse Calvin Coolidge’s designation of the Castle Pinckney National Monument in South Carolina. The attorney general at the time, however, decided that the act “does not authorize [the president] to abolish [national monuments] after they have been established.” In the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Congress again affirmed that only it had the power to revoke or modify national monuments, says Mark Squillace, a University of Colorado Law School professor and expert on the Antiquities Act.
Some presidents have managed to shrink monuments. Woodrow Wilson, for example, shrunk Washington state’s Mtout Olympus National Monument to open up more than 300,000 acres to logging, but he didn’t face lawsuits over the decision as Trump almost certainly will.
The Trump war on the environment is in full swing. From pesticides to dirty water and air. If you are content to sit on your hands and say nothing I really think you take some ownership of the policy. And a share of responsibility for what comes next.

Once the wild places are gone, they are gone.

Tiger by the tail

Don Rich was a fantastic guitar player. I really like his voice as well, really captures the Bakersfield sound. A musical prodigy who started fiddling at the age of three, he was known for a clean sound and wide smile. Buck Owens discovered him in Tacoma and made him the center spoke of his band, but Rich's life ended tragically at the age of thirty two in a motorcycle accident.
"He was like a brother, a son, and a best friend. Something I never said before, maybe I couldn't, but I think my music life ended when he died. Oh yeah, I carried on and I existed, but the real joy and love, the real lightning and thunder is gone forever."Buck Owens

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lou Reed

Steam punk and clown

vicious, you hit me with a flower...

Jonathan Wilson - Fazon

Lake Hodges

The weekend had its high points. I saw a big bobcat coming back home Wednesday, thought it might be a coyote but the gait was slightly different as it dived into the chaparral. Saturday it sat on the side of the road in the darkness and waited for me. I stopped the car and we stared at each for about a minute. A beauty.

Then I got home and there was a big owl on the wire but no light at all so no photograph. Was worried because I couldn't find Puma, my little girl kitten. She finally came in late that night with a mouse.

I drove over early on Sunday and decided to take a short hike around Lake Hodges. Very beautiful and peaceful, I want to get back out there soon. So many great places we just seem to drive by and never stop for in our oh so busy lives.

Costumed faces

The show wasn't all that great for me but I had a decent week considering and think I can pay the bills and that is what I always hope for. When life deals you a losing hand there are times you have to think of making a little chicken salad out of whatever it is that you are dealt.

For many years the Calendar Antique Show in Del Mar has been visited by a costumed troupe that arrives in full regalia, Lady Mari's Costume Walkabout. This year's theme was obviously the circus and I think it was their best effort yet.

My great friend Lena stopped by the show the other day and mentioned that I always seemed to have a camera close bye. She's right. I like to be able to capture random moments such as these. These performers gave me an opportunity to grab some interesting portrait shots.

People seem to be freed up to express a different part of their being when in costume.

I want to thank the group for coming. A lot of fun and creativity expressed. I enjoyed the picture taking.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Singing in a fiery band

False friends at the bar

Prester John

Emperor of the Abyssinians
I am about through the first two hundred pages or so of the original Travels of Marco Polo.

It is such an interesting story, largely corroborated and free of much embellishment, following the Venetian man and his father and uncle around the farthest reaches of the globe starting in 1271 ce .

You learn a lot about the world, which 13th century land where a man might offer up his wife for you to sleep with, what to eat, where to find the best musk perfume and the finest silks, Marco certainly got around the world.

Just an amazing character, who made himself invaluable to the great Kubla Khan.

One of the things I find interesting is to the many references to one Prester John. I'm thinking maybe a pope. But no. I looked him up today.

Prester John or John the Elder was a powerful Christian ruler of the east, certainly one of legend.
John, a wealthy and powerful “priest and king,” reputedly a lineal descendant of the Magi who had visited the Christ Child, defeated the Muslim kings of Persia in battle, stormed their capital at Ecbatana, and intended to proceed to Jerusalem but was impeded in the last goal because of difficulties in crossing the Tigris River.
John was said to rule over a Nestorian kingdom which included parts of India. His legend reportedly hearkens all the way back to the New Testament.

Polo is now in Thibet (Tibet) in the course of my reading. He says the idolatrous inhabitants are murderous, dirty and disheveled and that the young girls are encouraged to engage in sex before marriage as nobody wants an inexperienced bride. Will let you know if I uncover anything else interesting.


I am not sure if this is a Calliope, Rufous, Allen's or Anna's but it is a spectacular bird that I found flying around my front yard.

Speaking of obits...

Neat story.

"Mike ran out of family long ago and is survived by his ex-wife and best friend, Teresa Elliott. Though their marriage ran aground, their friendship only grew stronger and hers was the last voice Mike heard. And the last thing she said to him was "Donald Trump has been impeached." Upon hearing that he took his final, gentle breath, his earthly work concluded. Mike will be forever missed but never forgotten."

Moody Richard

Beaked Yucca

I'm pretty psyched this morning. My yucca rostrata is about to spike its first bloom.

This plant is also known as the Big Bend or Silver Yucca and is native to Chihuahua and Coahuila as well as West Texas.

The native people called it Soyate. It is a welcome and beautiful addition to my palm and succulent garden.

I will make sure to take and share a picture when it finally blooms. They are said to be stunning.

Perfect yellow rose

Monday, April 17, 2017

Allan Holdsworth

Since I have temporarily swore off politics I can almost function as a full time obit writer. So many musical heroes biting the dust these days. Allan Holdsworth Saturday. Was just talking about him at the Seder, Saturday night. Our host is a recording engineer and had worked with him.

Holdsworth lived in Vista. No less a luminary than Frank Zappa said that he was the best guitarist there was. I first caught him playing with Jean Luc Ponty. Wonderful.

I like this cut because it features the faboo vocalist Annette Peacock, not to mention a stellar cast of musicians. Give it a listen, if it is your bag.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Rotary Connection - Tales Of Brave Ulysses

First light, Grand Canyon

I am not sure if this shot is successful or not. It was shot long ago with a low resolution camera. Its inherent limitations afforded me the ability and freedom to play and paint with its color. I like to take past mistakes and turn them into more graphic images. Reduce clarity and add grain as necessary.

Bruce Langhorne

Bruce Langhorne, legendary Village guitar sideman, has passed away. Langhorne plays guitar on these cuts but also played with Dylan on a lot of stuff including Corinna, Corinna and Maggie's Farm. Here he plays the great guitar part on Peter Paul and Mary's version of Lightfoot's For Loving Me. Interesting life story, a childhood prodigy who lost three fingers in a fireworks accident and had to stop playing violin.

I have nothing but respect for groups like the Weavers and Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary and the New Lost City Ramblers, all of that wave. They sang and played beautifully and they sang with a message. They sang songs of a topical and political message while the Chuck Berry's and Little Richards were writing about dumb teenagers in the back of a chevy. I think they accomplished more than they are given credit for.

Taj Mahal - Corinna

Calendar Antique Show

Dutch sterling pitcher circa 1890.
If you enjoy seeing good artwork, antiques and vintage items, please come and join me this weekend at the Calendar Antique Show at the Del Mar Fair. From Tin to Tiffany as we like to say.

The Blue Heron Gallery  will be bringing an excellent selection of early San Diego paintings and some wonderful old masters from an incredible Rancho Santa Fe estate.

The show runs this Friday through Sunday April 21st through 23, 2017.

Show hours are Friday & Saturday 11am to 7pm; Sunday 11am to 5pm.

Here's a link for more info.

Hope to see you there.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

White faced Ibis

Larry Coryell - Kowloon Jag

We lost so many great musicians last year. Everyone laments Bowie, Prince, Merle Haggard and Frey as they should; but I hope that people will remember the greats Paul Kantner, Dan Hicks and Larry Coryell too. Here the latter is playing with Santana's wife Cindy on drums, who is just brilliant, as is the rest of the band.

Oceanside Pier, four seconds

Desolation Row


Are you bored with the same old lunch? Perfunctory tacos, burgers and burritos getting you down? I suggest that you try something wonderful and fresh, at Aydee's Garnacheria in Fallbrook. I wrote about Aydee's last year when it opened, a Guatemalan restaurant in a sea of Mex. And no, the cuisines are definitely not the same.

First one that we have ever had here, that I recall, in a town with a fairly sizable Guatemalan population.

I still love it. In fact I'm loving it more than ever since I discovered a new item there that I am just crazy about, the gordita. The gordita is a deep fried masa pocket, like an empañada or arepa in a way. At Aydees you can get it stuffed five ways. My favorite is the piquant chorizo potato but they were out of that today so I had a beef and a chicken. They also have cactus (nopales) and a relleno version whose exact name I momentarily forget, something like rasas.

The beef gordita was excellent too. $3.99 per gordita, eat them piping hot and tell me if you don't get addicted. These gorditas pair beautifully with their homemade y muy delicioso red and green salsa.

And be sure to try the rice tamales served on banana leaves as well as excellent sopes, soups and birria. They also serve the best and freshest smoothies in town. Place is clean and the food is delicious. Gorditas will make you a little gordito but it will be a fun ride.

Aydee's Garnacheria
110 E Mission Rd
Fallbrook, CA 92028 
(760) 723-0110

The Fireballs - Torquay

Plunge, Virgin River

You don't always need a tripod or neutral density filter to stop action. This shot was taken handheld at ƒ20, 20th of a second.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Dirty rotten scoundrel

I have a long list of personal deficiencies, those that know me well certainly do not need me to point them out for them. One of the things I most known for in my town is having a perpetually dirty car. In fact year in and year out, one vehicle or another, I believe that I have the dirtiest car in Fallbrook.

You see, I live miles out on a dirt road and have spent approximately 62% of my life down one dirt road or another. Two trips a day on said road makes things pretty dusty. If I cared (and I don't) and wanted to keep the thing clean, at the cheapest do it yourself carwash, let's see ...figuring... three bucks a day, would add up to a little more than a thousand bucks for a year. Lot of money, lot of work.

I'm not going to do it. Have no one to particularly impress and better things to do with the money, not to mention time. But in a more and more wealthy and tony Fallbrook, I stick out like a curly haired bohemian at a klan rally, which come to think of it, is about right. I am sure that it has not helped my social standing one bit in this land of mercedes coupes and lexuses and immaculately manicured ranchettes.

The reason that I bring the whole matter up is that I read this article about a Fallbrook Sheriff's Deputy who got an award for tracking down lawbreakers and miscreants. Deputy Evan McCormick is quite good at tracking down stolen cars. And how does he spot them?
“It’s just driving around and running license plates mostly,” said McCormick, who has been with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for more than nine years. “You drive around and look for a car that looks like it’s out of place. It’s dirty or cobwebbed and just doesn’t belong. Run plates all night long and you’ll find cars.”
Now I am not suggesting that my dirty car smacks of criminality, I'm certainly no angel, but I had never made the nexus between my dirty van and being a lawbreaker. The whole time I thought I had been projecting soccer mom.

I drove up to Malibu to deliver a painting to day, after a quick stop in Brentwood. Driving down Wilshire I really felt conscious of my sloven appearance. Young hip men and  beautiful women in tight pants that ended five inches above the ankle, no socks, looked at my dirty rig like I was the second coming of Jed Clampett. I tried to stare straight ahead in my shame, my Falltucky sticker now almost unreadable under a thick veneer of dust.

No longer fit for civilization, he's reasonably intelligent and occasionally funny but did you see his dirty car? Do you think he's a criminal?

After ten years of writing this blog I know a few things. I check the analytics occasionally, know how many people are reading what. And I have to tell you, you people are sick of politics. Music you like, in fact it outpolls politics three or four to one. Pretty pictures you like. But my political opinions? You'd rather get a contagious case of whooping cough.

I don't blame you. It's an onslaught out there. Too real. We are all sick of it. I hear you. Going to dial it down unless there is an absolute imperative. Like this. If you aren't interested in reading it, no point talking to myself.

I'm not sure what they blew up on Camp Pendleton this morning but have never heard anything that loud in thirty seven years. They had a noise alert so it was planned. My guess is a bunker buster or a MOAB. Sounded like a giant industrial explosion or bombing.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

More feathered friends

I have lived in the valley so long I usually know where the birds will be. Creatures of habit, we are  are we.

There is a Cooper's hawk that lives in the sycamore on the crook of the road near the Maurers. Been there for years.

I shot this red tailed guy to your left across from Tinkers and Latimer's place early this morning. He is a familiar sight too but I've never taken his picture until now.

Walt Perry was taking his walk and wanted to know what I was doing.

I leave in the morning in pretty low light and my lens isn't fast enough to get a real sharp shot in those conditions but it gives you a good idea anyway of what's up.

And this other guy is the one that always sits up in the dead eucalyptus tree at Brandon and Alvarado across from the Cultural Village.

Too high up to get a decent vantage but took a shot anyway. For posterity if nothing else.

Or the Hawks of Fallbrook Calendar. Miss April.

And here's a hummer I shot in my bauhinia last night.

Bert Jansch

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lizards and bits

A lizard whose scales behave like a computer automaton - New York Times. Or maybe a game of go?

Don't even think of crapping on Jeff Bezos spaceship. Which reminds me of the time we were sternly admonished not to take a dump on Eric Clapton's Tour Bus. Leslie's friend Mitch was his videographer, well it's a long story, you'll have to ask her...

Generative adversarial networks or the artificial intelligence wars - Google’s Dueling Neural Networks Spar to Get Smarter, No Humans Required - Wired

This christian kid thinks like a computer and might be playing the most inspired chess in the world right now.

And a chess problem that stumps A.I., proves that humans still might have an edge. For now. http://interestingengineering.com/can-you-solve-chess-puzzle-ai-software-cant/

The puzzle, released by the Penrose Institute, was recently devised in order to study human consciousness through physics. The Penrose Institute founder, Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Professor at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford, devised the puzzle to distinguish between human and artificial intelligence machines. The puzzle is said to be solvable by humans but not by AI software.
“If you put this puzzle into a chess computer it just assumes a black win because of the number of pieces and positions, but a human will look at this and know quickly that is not the case,” said Sir Roger.
Nostril size, climate adaptation and human evolution.

Engrams and circuits are critical for building strong neocortical memories. Don't leave your hippocampus without them.

Pink floyd shrimp is louder than Deep Purple.

New study shows six to nine month olds displaying racial bias towards members of own ethnicity.

I never pitch my wife's shop Caravan but I should. It is great, lots of cool stuff. Like 3D socks that come with their own 3D glasses. She just got a great selection of socks in, like you've never seen before and incredible quality for cheap $. Tell her you heard about it on the blast. I will put some shots up tomorrow.

Scott Pruitt, the new head of the EPA, is asking for ten bodyguards for 24/7 protection. Word is that he is worried about getting fragged from somebody inside the building. Can't say I blame him. I could see a scientist dedicated to preserving the environment taking a crack at him, I really could.

I watched my favorite star trek episode tonight, the last show of season two, Assignment Earth, with Agent Gary Seven. Too bad he never got his own show. Terry Garr plays the goofy hippy chick.

Bombs away.
GBU 43 b - 8500 kilogram warhead