Lady of the lake, version #938

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Taj Mahal Johnny Too Bad


Amelia - Robin Adler & Mutts of the Planet

Hissing of Summer Lawns

I believe that Robin Adler and her band Mutts of the Planet are the most serious and dedicated group of musicians I have ever encountered. The foremost repertory band on the globe performing the work of Joni Mitchell, they have performed several of her albums in their entirety, including Blue, Court and Spark and Hejira.

Although the lineup has occasional changes the musicians are always top notch. The current lineup features Jamie Kime, an incredible virtuoso and Grammy winner on electric guitar who has toured with Jewel and Zappa meets Zappa, Barnaby Finch, the keyboard wunderkind who has played with everybody, Lee Ritenour, Tom Scott, Dave Grusin, Ronnie Laws, Earl Klugh and George Benson to name only a few. Jim Reeves the bass player, is a Canadian who has long grooved for the band Steely Damned. The drummer Duncan Moore is acknowledged as king of the skins in San Diego. Robin's husband Dave Blackburn plays rhythm guitar and is a supremely talented musician and producer.

The band takes on Joni's Hissing of Summer Lawns on Saturday Nov. 11, the day before my whale watching trip. I plan on going to the show and I hope you will too. You will never have an opportunity to hear this material played live with this level of vérité and musicianship again.

You can order tickets at Robin's website here. This will be a celebration of Joni Mitchell's 74th birthday and the venue is the newest location of Dizzy's. See you there.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Antelope Studies

Waiting For A Miracle

CALM, Santa Barbara

I did the CALM show in Santa Barbara this week. A three day affair, it ended yesterday. It started out rather grimly and I woke up the first night in a sky is falling panic attack, much like I did earlier this year in New Mexico.

Shouldn't be a neurotic mess this close to 60. But then again, I really got it pretty good. Forty people dead so far in the fires up north, many thousands of dwellings destroyed, I'd say I'm doing okay.

Thankfully I cobbled together a half way respectable show in the end, well that may be a misstatement, I made expenses and a little bit more, dumped some ballast and kept the cash flow moving. That will do sometimes.

Santa Barbara, the city most sane people would want to live if they had the money, breathtakingly beautiful.

Unfortunately the collector population is aging and many uncharacteristically failed up to show for this one. I sold cheaper things this time, glad I brought them.

Had a rather powerful experience at the show that I will share with you. A very thin older woman came into my booth wearing a cap. I noticed that she had a hospital band on her wrist and asked her what was going on?

She confided that she had cancer. A rare cancer that I happened to also have had at one time, cancer of the ureter. Unfortunately hers was too far gone, she had finished chemo, it would no longer help, in fact nothing would.

Her step son, who had his own malady, was down from Wyoming, along with her husband, to fulfill one of her last wishes, to see the lovely things at the antique show, the paintings and objects which would serve to brighten her day. Pulled her out of hospice to look at paintings. She and I shared an intense hug.

Having fought back twice from cancer myself, I feel like I have a special bond with those fellow souls fighting the good fight. Cancer or no cancer, we all know that life is a terminal proposition and extinguished in the blink of an eye. We must strive to live lives worth living, to the best of our ability. I felt honored to meet this woman during her final release and departure.

I have been playing the game pretty fast and loose, spending too much time traveling and taking pictures and not enough time on the business and inventory and so I am very grateful to at least put a little distance between my neck and disaster.

Try my luck in Palm Springs next.

I took a nice walk around the lovely courthouse yesterday morning, had a pleasant dinner with Breitweiser Saturday and horsed around a bit with Bill and Cam. Will keep on keeping on, that is, as long as I can do the requisite shuffle.

Seattle sight line

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Peter, Paul & Mary - Single Girl (1964)

Ed Mell Sunrise

"Twelve Thirty" The Mamas & The Papas

I like to be in San Juan, I know a boat that you can sail on.

Is she happy?
Unfortunately, with our busy lives and competing schedules, Leslie and I had not shared a vacation together all year. We had a short window this weekend and decided to use it. Hawaii was an option but we decided that it was time to visit our good friends in the northwest, R & D.

We landed at Sea-Tac and rented a car. Leslie wanted to visit the Pike Market again so we did. I'm not much of a shopper but I played nice.
Watched the fish throwing, sampled the latest cannabis salve, bought a beautiful bouquet, ate turkish food and delight.

Found a nice provision shop and bought fresh black truffle, chanterelles, cantal and prosciutto so that we would not arrive empty handed. The staples.

Afterwards we drove to the Gehry building to take some pictures. It has a new name, was the Experience Music Project, now it has a new moniker, MoPOP, or Museum of Pop Culture.

I am fine with the name change but I think the museum itself has suffered with time. Here is a pic I took ten years ago when it was in its infancy.

In my eyes, a beautiful design and form. But you can't take that picture anymore. Large trees now block that sightline. This is as close as I could get.

And they have added so much extemporaneous gingerbread and layers that it has lost a little visual punch. Become fragmented.

 Definitely still a cool structure although it is reportedly loathed by many locals.

I like Frank Gehry, a guy who isn't afraid to push the boundaries.

Leslie played in the purple reflections.

We got back into our car and humped into the nightmarish Seattle traffic. Stopped in Everett, found a nice sleeper restaurant in Everett, Buck's Cafe, for dinner. I had a chicken breast stuffed with crab in hollandaise. Would definitely go back.

Stayed in Anacortes and after a good breakfast at Dad's Diner (incredible home smoked meats) got on the morning ferry to San Juan.

I really don't have time right now for a full scale reckoning and dissertation and might not for a while. Will try to give you a taste with a few pictures.

This was pretty cool. Watched a gadroon of gulls mob a seal for his king salmon. He kept going under for bites and they kept trying to steal it. Became quite a boil. Wish I had taken a better picture.

I know you hate it when I complain about lacking this or that piece of equipment and start deriding my photography. Sounds like egads, false humility. But there are times I am really close to a great shot and miss it.

This is one of those times. The seal shot. Every one was sharp and clear except the one that counted. Debated bringing the expensive lens but was afraid to put it on an airplane. Maybe next time. Brought a minimal amount of gear, had a great time and took some decent pictures. Can't wait until I have time to properly sift through them.

Ran into some beautiful foxes of assorted colors at South Beach. The blackish one above had a chilling, penetrating gaze.

This one was very beautiful.

More shots later. Must say, the Island was fascinating and fabulous, our hosts were loving, giving, gracious and wonderful. We had a docent tour of the whale museum, phenomenal food, many laughs. Visited two full service farms and a lavender farm. Got many good bird shots. Juncos to chickadees, red red robins and nuthatches of all stripe. More avian friends later.

red breasted nuthatch

Pine siskins

Northern flicker

downy woodpecker

Mt. Baker

No phone or computer connection all week. No politics, little news. Heaven.

Now it is time to go to work.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Say's Phoebe
I'm sure you've noticed that the news is bad, the country is divided, the government is a joke, our worst inclinations are now manifest. Due to the darkness and miasma, I've been steering clear of politics. Now its birds, music and pretty pictures. Because truth, or my version of it, don't mean squat. Nobody's mind is getting changed. Not worth getting into a tizzy. Find a good distraction and wait for the light to change.

I told my neighbor I was going to plant a crabapple, might bring the tanagers in. He calls me the bird nerd. I think I saw a dark eyed junco prowling through the trash in the Walmart parking lot in O'side today. Had some pretty red winged blackbirds in my tree today too.

I'm about to get real busy at work and am going to get one more excursion under my belt before I do. Will talk soon.

So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star

Day's end

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Lou Reed - Charley's Girl

Monument Valley redux

I found a whole card of images I forgot to process (the 70-200 and 150-600 stuff) but don't worry. Won't hit you with too many of them.

Encinitas food crawl

I needed to go to the coast yesterday to see my accountant. After the meeting, Leslie and I drove over to Ron and Lena's. We all wanted a walk and lunch so we headed over to Bulltaco in the Cardiff campground, great view and interesting food, home of our favorite duck burrito.

But it was closed. People didn't show up, out of food, one excuse or another.

So we headed into Encinitas, parked in front of the Lumberyard.

And embarked on a truly gluttonous afternoon. First stop was Napizza. We had heard great things about the place, all natural, wheat flown in from Italy, 72 hour rise on the dough. Place has gotten some rave reviews.

We asked the guys behind the counter and got two suggestions, the truffle mushroom and the potato bacon. We all shared, both were heavenly, the former just out of this world. Crust great, rectangular shape. Certified organic and nasty free.

Encinitas is their fourth location. Deserves the raves.

Ronnie was in the mood for fish tacos, just a block or two up the way so we then hit the Taco Stand. The day was rapidly turning into a food walk.

We had been talking fish tacos, we like Pedros, not so into Wahoos or Rubios anymore. Car wash stinks now. Taco Stand is our pals' go to fish taco.

The options were battered, the baja, or grilled mahi mahi, the pescado. We did both. Habonero sauce was excellent. Good, not the best I have ever had. But good is good.

We still had to get back to the car and we had to walk past another pizza joint to do it. Past the old hydroscape and the now defunct Encinitas Land and Cattle co., whatever that was?

And so we passed URBN, the restaurant that's missing a vowel. In for a dime, in for a dollar. Leslie got a taste of the coconut rye stout, we ordered a margharita pie and shared it. Excellent, great thin crust.

I should state that Encinitas rivals Little Italy for the sheer number of Italian restaurants. My father's favorites was Pinos, now long gone. I guess Borellis is the oldest, place I had my first legal drink. George Harrison and Ravi Shankar loved Borellis.

But there have been some real good ones and bad ones and the place is now awash in pizza. Leucadia Pizzeria was the best slice in the old days, but nowhere close to the Bronx in San Diego, our favorite and the gold standard. Still the champion.

Urban was good. Coal fired. Cheaper and I liked it better than Blue Ribbon across the street. We would go back to all these places. East Coast pizza at Seaside market is very good too, or it used to be anyway.

Now I am not in the customary habit of having three lunches in immediate sequence, trying to watch my figure. I was full. I looked at the lobster roll joint with genuine sadness. But my cohorts were hungry again, can you believe it?

There is a place in Encinitas that is so crowded and loved for their ice cream that the wait is simply too great to endure. Name of Handel's. National franchise. Yesterday incredibly there was no one there. Lena had the butter pecan, Leslie went for a heavily chocolate influenced four scoop medley. Of course we all shared.

Very good. Kind of like Neiderfranks, remember them? Last great local ice cream, from ages past. Handel's was good but not having rocky road was a big fail for me.

I was stuffed. I would like to tell you about the great dinner I had when I got home but I can't. Gluttony just doesn't look as good on me as it once did.

But I did it all for you.

Afterwards we went over and had a walk around the lagoon. I shot some birds, didn't get much. Amazed I could walk.