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Larry © Robert Sommers 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Upcoming show

I will be participating in a group photography show at the Fallbrook Library during the month of March titled "Images of Fallbrook." Opening reception is the evening of March 11, 2016. I will be showing large scale portraiture and a few other topical works. Hope that you can join me at the reception or make time to see the show sometime during the month.

Lee

Friday, February 5, 2016

Doc Watson - Little Sadie



I had a dream last night that Doc Watson came down and visited me, even gave me a guitar lesson. Thought I should acknowledge his kindness. Saw him at least three times, maybe four. The greatest flatpicker ever.

Super Deluxe at half the price



The scribe writes in the book of hours with a golden feather...
Painted hills near Winslow

Raven frieze - Wrigley Memorial, Catalina Architect -  Bennett, Parsons and Frost, 1933
Roadside grave of Macario Griego, Trampas, NM


Me and my late pal, Sam Maloof

Crow and branch


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Stupid Pills


I am so sick of politics. I can't wait for the election to be over. Both sides demonizing each other, being spoon fed news that merely reinforces their respective positions, no political discourse, no critical thinking, frightening.

The self righteousness and self congratulatory fervor is so thick that you can cut it with a knife, makes me want to puke.A media that focuses on winners and losers and pays little attention to policy. So little intellectual integrity today.

I never thought that things could get this stupid. A pox on both their houses. I guess we are getting what we deserve.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

High Flyin' Bird

Sweet Thrills


I worked late yesterday and I was starving when I left the office. By the time I looked up from the computer it was already dark. Leslie was coming home to make dinner, but there was no way I could make it that long. It was snack time.

I was jonesing for sugar but what to do? The doughnut shop closes early and a piece of fruit from El Toro Market simply wouldn't cut it this time. I continued down the road and decided to case the nearby Circle K for something sweet.

Courtesy - Village News

I walked in, hadn't visited in ages and noticed that the fencing was still up inside near the front door, the stuff they had to install to keep kids from running out of the place with stolen beer. Clean inside, dingy out, some nefarious folks in the parking lot as usual but no visible tweakers. Wisegirl tried to sell me a promotion and I told her to amscray.

I looked around and considered my options. Was a little late for hostess cupcakes, the three pack was overkill and then there was the problem of hiding the evidence from my wife.

I looked long and hard at the Rice Krispy treats, which now come in several new flavors including butterscotch, but they are quite large and the decadence would have overwhelmed my already pinned guilt meter and I thought better of it.


Wasn't in the mood for skittles, my relationship with them has gone sour since the hard one broke my tooth a few months ago, hmmmm?


Then I saw them, like a beautiful mirage on the other side of the store, a shining city on a hill, there stood a Thrifty Ice Cream counter, at least ten different flavors nestled happily in their tubs.


When did this happen? When did the Circle K start selling ice cream? I asked Juan, the man behind the register and he told me that they had been there for a few months but confided that ice cream dried him up and he did not personally partake in the frozen confection.

I was informed that the favorite flavors were readily apparent by their paucity, the green which I assume is pistachio and the synthetic looking multicolored swirl, of undetermined origin, the scarcest in the tub. I opted for a personal favorite, Rocky Road, in a cup thank you, but was notified of various available container options including the waffle cone.


The base of the kiosk said Bon Suisse company and I made a mental note to check them out.  Thrifty Ice Cream at the Circle K. I would have to do some digging.

For those of you that are not aware, Thrifty Ice Cream is the stuff that they sell at Rite Aid. It made the news a few decades ago when it received its kosher certification as the cleanest ice cream around and is definitely a favorite of many people. What makes it different? Here's what I found out about Thrifty:

Harry and Robert Borun, and their brother-in-law Norman Levin, founded Borun Brothers, a Los Angeles, California drug wholesaler in 1919. Eventually they opened a few Los Angeles retail outlets under the name Thrifty Cut Rate. The first drug store was located at 412 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, across the street from the Broadway Department Store.

“Save a nickel, save a dime.
Save at Thrifty every time.
Save a dollar and much more,
at your Thrifty Drug Store!”

By 1950 they had one hundred stores, all operating in California. They eventually expanded to the Pacific Northwest and Nevada and later on, down into Mexico. Thrifty initially bought their ice cream from local wholesalers but eventually had to start producing their own to meet heavy demand. In 1940 they purchased Borden Ice Cream Company's existing Hollywood factory for $250,000.00.

Thrifty makes the ice cream for at least 559 Rite Aid stores, Farrell's Ice Cream Parlors and Costco. They won the Orange County Register's prize for best ice cream in 2010 as well as numerous gold medals elsewhere. The secret? A flash-freezing technique in the manufacturing process to minimize the size of the ice crystals. Then a final freeze at −60 degrees for at least a day before being shipped.

Flavors include Chocolate Malted Krunch, Butter Pecan, Mint 'N Chip, and Rocky Road and Circus Animal Cookies, made with real Mother's Cookies as well as many more. They use real fruit, cookies, real whole California milk with a butterfat content of 10.25% butterfat, far less than their competitors.

They also pioneered their own cylindrical scoop design way back when. And did I mention that the stuff is cheap?

Somewhere along the line Thrifty bought Pay Less. Thrifty Corp. itself was acquired by Pacific Lighting, the parent of Southern California Gas, in 1986. So who in the heck is Bon Suisse? A California company, they have held an exclusive license to use the Thrifty brand name and sell Thrifty ice cream in Mexico, Latin America, and the Middle East since 1995.

And they apparently have worked out a deal with Circle K. But here is where it gets a little squirrely. In October of last year Walgreens bought Rite Aid and though they have not yet announced if they are planning on jettisoning the much loved ice cream, in fact they are definitely considering the big ixnay. But not to worry, you can always swing by the Circle K. For now.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 1, 2016

That's the other side of this life

2/1/16


I am back from my show in Santa Barbara. It was difficult, very difficult. I quickly remembered why I had considered not returning. Same reasons as always, I don't need to delve into them again. But I managed to pull it out with a quite respectable an almost adequate ending. The key for me is to not turn myself inside out when things go south.

My ass has been pulled out of the fire many times in the past and it was once again. Sometimes it is just a matter of waiting for the wind to change. And having a little faith.


I did a few things that were good for my mental health. I set up quick and got out of town, exploring a few ridges and back roads and driving out past Ojai. I went to Super Rica with the boys and had my favorite jugo de sandia and a dover sole tamale with cream sauce and chiles. I was invited to a great dinner at a friends' house and met some new wonderful people. Talked long into the night.

Kept my head in a better place through the adversity this week.

Tired today.

Jefferson Airplane takes off



It is hard for me to express my sadness at the passing of Paul Kantner. I didn't know him personally, mumbled a few words to him once, but still feel that he was an integral part of my life. There were lots of great psychedelic bands, the Dead, Quicksilver, Beatles to name a couple but few if any managed to weave a radical social and political message together with such a potent musical fire as the Airplane. And Paul Kantner was arguably the principal architect of that message. The Jefferson Airplane touched me hard.

I first was exposed to the airplane in Texas when my angry stepfather used to break my older sister Liz's 45 singles of white rabbit with regularity. This was sometime between 1966 and 1968. No sooner would he break them than she would replace them. We moved to New York soon thereafter and I recall waiting outside the Fillmore East late in the night for Liz on at least one occasion while the Airplane were playing. They were her favorite band and maybe mine. The dead were planes, trains and card games but the Airplane hit you in an altogether different place.

And then my little weird story. I had seen Tuna many times and Kantner sitting in with them on at least one occasion but never the airplane or starship. One day, many years ago, Leslie and I were walking down the street in Ocean Beach for one reason or another. We were walking by a tiny little club and the marquee said Jefferson Airplane and we looked at each other and said oh right and we walked in and there was Paul Kantner sitting in the middle of an empty room on a stool.

I walked up to him and asked him if he would play Other side of this life and he looked me straight in the spectacles and said coming right up and launched right into it. I stood next to him all night and called out a few favorites for Paul and his smoking band which if memory serves, included Slick Aguilar in that incarnation.

It was amazing and surreal. There can not have been more than 40 people in the room all night.

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Jim Marshall Photography LLC
I do not think that Paul was particularly either a great singer or even displayed too much virtuosity in his rhythm guitar playing. What he had was a fantastic and giant brain and a beautiful being. I think that intelligence makes up for a hell of a lot. While not blessed with what could be termed a great voice, his harmonies a bit discordant, they were distinctive and functional. His lyrics were priceless and occasionally sublime.

It is very hard today to explain the impact of psychedelic music, for the simple reason that if you have never been psychedelic there is really no proper way to adequately describe the experience.

But if you happened to "make the trip" people like Paul Kantner and the Jefferson Airplane could provide some auditory touchstones that might lend needed comfort and navigational help on your personal interstellar excursion. Of which some of us were quite grateful.

My friend Vlad videotaped the Jerry Memorial in Golden Gate Park and we watched the previously unseen footage last time I was up in Monterey. And I remarked to him that Paul Kantner was the most moving speaker, his words were transcendent, eloquent and brilliant. Maybe one day he will let me post the video.


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Leslie and I caught Papa John Creach's memorial in Hollywood many years ago. Merle Saunders played as did David La Flamme and then the airplane without Jorma. About midnight Paul announced a special guest and it was Grace and she sang long into the night, powerful, precise, beautiful and simply amazing. Another very magic moment in our lives. Leslie and I hung out at the bar with the late photographer Jim Marshall, a great guy himself.

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Signe at the Matrix - Herbie Greene?
I wrote Michael L when I heard the news about Paul dying the other day. Michael had a leather shop in the Haight back in the day that eventually morphed into something huge. He wrote me this note:

Robert
I was at the Fillmore in 1967 it was either  Feb 4 or June 4 I looked it up,  to hear Grace Slick take over for Signe who had a baby, light shows, people dancing it seemed like everybody was high and non violent, if we could only recreate that feeling....my favorite song, Miracles 1975ish thanks for sharing I miss your blog

Michael 

Lo and behold I couldn't believe it when I heard the news. Signe Anderson, original singer for the Airplane, who was incredibly loved (people were in tears when she left the band), died the very same day as Paul, January 28th. What a strange coincidence! Bless you guys. Bless your pointed little heads.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Brave new world.

There was a thought provoking query recently on a photo forum that I frequent, DPReview, that questioned if it was ever appropriate to blur a background "bokeh" on a photograph or if it was somehow cheating. Bokeh is what happens to backgrounds when a lens is shot close to wide open with a short depth of field.

And it got me to thinking about all sorts of things regarding digital media and various arts, photography included, and the notion of artistic purity.

I love classical arts, arts that have stood the test of time. I am the sort who favors ballet over break dancing or the latest modern fad. I used to be involved in martial arts and there all always new hybrid schools springing up, melding a multitude of styles that I was always a bit contemptuous of. My school tradition traced its origins back to the 17th century. I both pay attention to and respect tradition, but I am not a slavish devotee to it.

Film and photography reach back much shorter in time of course then the 17th century. Thomas Wedgwood first captured an image from a camera obscura on leather or paper coated with silver nitrate around the year 1800.

Nicéphore Niépce and his partner Louis Daguerre created what was ostensibly the first actual photo etching in 1822.

George Eastman marketed the first roll film in 1885 and Kodak started selling cellulose acetate or safety film in about 1908. Photography really took off in the early part of the century, in my opinion hit its high water mark in the 1940's and 50's with Weston and Adams and continued to flourish until the advent of digital photography. The split between the strict representationalists and those that used the medium to embellish with a more painterly approach actually occurred very early in the 19th century.

Digital photography was born the same year I was born, 1957.  Russell A. Kirsch at the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed a binary digital version of a wirephoto drum scanner, so that alphanumeric characters, diagrams, photographs and other graphics could be transferred into digital computer memory. The CCD or charge coupled device was created in 1969 and in 1986 Kodak developed the first megapixel sensor.

Digital photography is a young and nascent art. The rules of the road are still being considered. There are so many ways to now convey our visual message. Is there a right and wrong way? Is it mandatory to follow the old conventions? The line between the photograph and graphic image is fuzzing, getting its own slightly blurred bokeh.

Film these days is frankly going the way of the woolly mammoth. Fuji just announced major hikes on film prices because demand is so weak and there are fewer and fewer processors. I am having a hard time selling a very nice Leica enlarger. Why, because there are very few people shooting film these days. I still do, on a rare occasion, but I am an exception. I love film, it goes with my decidedly analog nature, but the ease and cost of digital can not be discounted.

You can do a lot with a digital camera and a camera. There are a plethora of powerful tools available today, many incredibly sophisticated. I can pick a look, a specific old film to emulate, let's say I want Kodak ISO 32 Panatomic S, I can dial it in in Silver Efex Pro 2 with a few keystrokes. Grain, structure, whatever you want. And it hard to disagree with the notion that a photograph looks better on a backlit monitor than it ever did on a coated paper.

The purists, titans like Henri Cartier Bresson, wouldn't even crop. A photograph was an image developed by light passing through a lens for a period of time, a capture of a specific moment  and that was that. I can imagine his horror today watching people remove telephone poles with content aware patch tools. We have lost an essential element of honesty in the medium, since ex wives or husbands can now easily be removed from old photo albums with a few swipes and keystrokes. Can photography still be trusted?

I can make an image graphic, change its color, do all sorts of interesting things, things that film photographers could never dream of back in the day. And this leads me to the root of my question. With a digital tool with near unlimited options for creating an image, how important is it to obey rules that were dictated by the nature and evolutionary crawl of the old film medium?

My first thought was about one of my favorite rock and roll bands, the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia, the late brilliant guitar player, started experimenting with a midi setup when Doug Irwin first started crafting his guitars sometime in the late 1970's. And Jerry got real good at utilizing the new tools and all of a sudden his guitar could sound like a trumpet or a flute or countless other band instruments.

And while it was cool, I sometimes asked myself, why be derivative? The midi can also sound like a thousand new instruments, things that haven't even been invented or conceived of yet. Would it not be cooler to start an entirely new idiom or lexicon than to trod on the old ground? Get a trumpet to play trumpet, ain't nothing like the real thing.

Do we penalize Van Cliburn for playing Bach on a piano instead of a harpsichord, the instrument the music was written for? Of course not. But many digital photographers believe that we should be adherents of a puritanical sect of photographic Calvinism and obey the hard and fast rules of the old order.

I am not going to rehash the analog v. digital debate, it has been done too many times. I stopped subscribing to Stereophile when people started writing articles about how expensive power cords could make your stereo sound better. But I  can hear the bloom of analog, can hear the room on a good Van Gelder recording. A recording engineer friend says that he can perfectly recreate all the cool things I like digitally. I don't believe him.

Thom Hogan, a very well respected writer on all things photographic, wrote an interesting article recently, Are you better technically or aesthetically? And Thom makes the point that you have to have good technique. There are rules that have to be followed, no matter if we are dealing with film or digital. Things like composition, color, light value. Thom is right. You learn it in art school, before you can turn into a wild abstractionist, you better take a life drawing class or two and learn to draw. He also weighs in on something else that strikes a chord with me:
...I’m not immediately struck by the “lack of noise” or “the extremely long tonal ramp” or the “micro contrast of the fine mid-tone edges” or anything else you might call technical when I see a photo. First: does it strike my visual and emotional response in any way? Second: is it a moment I didn’t see or haven’t seen before? Third: do I want to keep looking at it? Thom Hogan
I have said the same thing many times. Better to have something technically imperfect that speaks than the opposite condition. Still it amazes me how many photographers and even artists lack basic compositional sense or create extremely boring work. Embarrassing really. I meet people who have taking pictures professionally for forty years that still frankly suck.

I think that expecting digital photography to follow the same protocol and dictates as the mother ship of film is like living in Williamsburg, Virginia and dressing up in period costume like a puritan. Pretend that electricity has not been invented. I know devotees of the arts and crafts tradition who hate turning the lights on in their homes, favoring the customary illumination of say, 1915.

I hate to go off on my familiar rant again, how stupid humans are. But think about it, the car manufacturers now pipe fake engine noise into automobiles, so that enthusiasts can experience that big engine sound that has now been largely eclipsed by new technology. Like putting playing cards in the spokes of our bicycle tires. Failing to grasp the new paradigm, being bound by outdated modes and memories.

So what about photography? I say do whatever the hell you want to do. If you want to blur a bokeh, go right ahead. Extract and declarify your girlfriends wrinkles, have at it. If you chose to emulate the masters of the past and stay allegiant to the harpsichord, that is fine too. I believe that each of us as artists creators has to decide which rules and conventions we choose to keep, if any. That is essentially who we are, it is our recognizable signature or artistic hand. What works for us.

We may love each other's work, we may abhor it. As they say in the art business; there's an ass for every saddle. I am pretty simple myself. I hate photographs that move and I hate HDR. I like photos that say something.

So don't ask me to follow your dictates of what you deem permissible and I promise to do the same for you. We all make our own rules. It's a brave new world.


Eadward Muybridge - Boston Public Library


Fallbrook from Red Mountain


I took this shot one fine day back when you could still get up to the top of Red Mountain. I think that we Fallbrookians sometimes forget just how close we are to the ocean as the crow flies. This shot brings it home.

Just think, if not for Camp Pendleton we would have wall to wall houses!

Shake Sugaree

Saturday, January 23, 2016

T-Bone Walker - I Want A Little Girl (Full Album)

Facade, Spanish Village




Gustatory Frimminx

As an epicure on a somewhat tight budget, one of the the events I look most forward to on the yearly food calendar is San Diego Restaurant Week. Twice a year, some of the best establishments in town offer a price fixe discounted menu that allows us poor schlubs from the hinterlands a chance to partake in what the rich folks are eating.

This year, for what might be our fifth year in a row, we headed back to Pamplemousse in Del Mar. Chef/owner Jeffrey Strauss's food is so damn good that we really needed to look no farther. The rube from the provinces made his annual pilgrimage to the temple of food.  We threw Love's Forever Changes CD into the player and sang ourselves to Del Mar from Fallbrook.

When the accent mark suggested we book a reservation there was no hesitation on my part. And last night's meal was indeed epic, probably the best and most consistent meal we have ever had there. The place was packed. Leslie and the accent looked elegant and beautiful, I looked a bit threadbare and disheveled but if the more turned out patricians noticed they gave no signal.

The place was seriously full of eager diners, more people than I had ever seen there. The parking lot was littered with Bentleys and Teslas. I was worried about how long it would take to order and get our food. How could they pull this off? I needn't. Things went flawlessly. Food, service, timing, a well conducted symphony of food.

I have stopped bringing my Nikon to dinner so the ladies courteously took the photographs for me. The SLR is too large to do proper surreptitious food porn and my camera on the HTC phone sucks.

I will get straight to the food. After several different and tasty bread selections our most excellent and professional server John explained our options for the evening. We quickly decided.

My first course was the lobster ravioli, filled with huge chunks of lobster, seared scallops, wild mushrooms, little multicolored pear tomatoes and asparagus, all swimming in a marvelous ginger soy beurre blanc. Very rich and creamy.

This dish was so absolutely delicious that I was afraid that the rest of the meal would be a giant downhill run from there but I can happily report it was not in any way.


Leslie chose the beet salad for her first course. It contained grilled artichokes, crisped goat cheese, greens, pine nuts and balsamic. Nice, she gave me a bite, in fact the three of us as is our custom always share everything. But if I may be so bold, not nearly as sublime as mine. I am not a huge beet guy. She loved it, had no complaints.


The accent upgraded to both of the supplemental options, a duo of fois gras and gnocchi with shaved black truffle. The girls have learned over the years to work the truffle shavers at Pampelmousse and the servings were, shall we say, quite liberal.


The accent mark was kind enough to buy the table a bottle of Veuve Cliquot to wash everything down with. It was delicious but unfortunately I am finding that my allergies are accelerating and I can't drink white wine or champagne without getting instantly congested and going into a sneezing attack. Sulfites or bad genes.

Damn. Sneezed my way through an excellent dinner at Leven and Beth's last week. Thank god I have other vices that I can readily substitute.


Our entrees were not long to follow; I had the osso buco, made with Colorado lamb, crispy lamb confit, truffle mashed potato and carrots. I guess I hadn't read the menu carefully but I was astounded by the wonderful crunch of the lamb confit, which I had overlooked, the most interesting and different texture that I have ever seen with osso buco.

I asked the server for the reason for the fantastic crunch and he said the remolata and I knew that wasn't right. Les thought that perhaps it had been seared. Now I know.

My only request would have been for a marrow fork, which I hinted to the very nice g.m. Mr. Ernst, but not really forcefully. After scouting for a suitable tool, I ended up leaving one of the best parts of the shank on the plate.

The accent agu had a steak, a delicious but slightly underdone ribeye that she decided not to send back and ultimately learned to live with and love.

Leslie, my gorgeous wife, went for the duck confit with sweet white corn, chard and cherry reduction. It was absolutely superbly succulent and the portion was very generous as well.

The whole meal was just so tight and consistent. Other years there might be a weak link or two in the lineup but this meal was perfect in every respect, every dish. There is a very good reason the place was packed.

A lot of foodies run all over each other trying to find the next new thing, we are old and wise enough to recognize culinary perfection when we see it.

I saw the owner outside as he was running to Gelsons to grab some more lamb and told him so. Really on his game.

I had stupidly eaten a large lunch and wanted to forego dessert but my dinner companions simply would not allow it. Twist my arm.

I ordered a pear tarte tartin with a very thick vanilla gelato and berries.

The girls opted for the warm chocolate truffle cake with salted caramel créme anglaise, gelato and berries.

They picked right this time. The confection was absolutely sinful. Mine was good but theirs was out of the park.


Another year, another remarkable meal at Pamplemousse.

I saw my now retired cardiologist and his wife at coffee this morning. He never really appreciated this kind of thing. I hinted at the gravity of my sin but since he is retired did not ask him for any sort of absolution for my depraved gluttony. He has read the blog before, knows the nature of my perfidy, but as I said, is retired and now deserves a break.


We finished up with a shared cup of excellent coffee and they brought us a small plate of little piggie sugar cookies. Not sure anybody else in the restaurant received such a plate...

There are a few days left of Restaurant Week. You might want to give it a go.

Pamplemousse Grille


514 Via de la Valle, Suite 100
Solana Beach, CA 92075
858.792.9090

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Warren



Nikkor 85mm 1.8d


I asked Ken to loan me his Nikkor 85mm 1.8d because I am planning on doing some portrait work in the near future. On the way to work this foggy morning I saw a red tailed hawk return to the site of the old nest in the sycamore for the first time. This is the nest that fell down a few months ago.

This was the lens on the camera, the only one I had at the time and I shot it wide open and then bracketed a little bit. You use what you got. Very sharp. This shot is basically unaltered, right out of the camera.

Notice the white spot on the back of the hawk's head. Not a bald eagle. Beth introduced me to the concept of leucism and it is the proper explanation for the loss of pigmentation.

When I got home from the medical procedure yesterday I bracketed a bunch of shots of this Kuan Yin in my yard. Very nice lens. Nice bokeh. This one is stopped down to f2.2. He is going to loan me his 1.4 50mm and we will see what it does to backgrounds.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Up the down staircase

Most literary agents and english lit teachers will tell you that it is never a real good idea to write and publish while waiting off the effects of a general anesthetic.

But here at the Blue Heron Bast, we are bareback baby, a high wire act that never edits and always works without a net, so here goes.

The first item on this year's bucket list was to take care of something that I have put off for at least eight years, a comprehensive inspection of my colon. I am proud to tell you that I did so today.

And let me save you the trouble, they found neither my head nor your car keys up my ass. I am sure that they would have told me if they did.

You are supposed to get a colonoscopy at 50. I never did and with my previous cancer history in the general neighborhood I should have.

I met with the nurse practitioner a few weeks ago. He explained the procedure in detail to me and asked if I had any questions. I told him I just wanted to see how big the doctor's hands were and if he trimmed his nails. Was the doctor going to jump right into the operation or would he just hug and hold me tight for a while? Would there be music and mood lighting?

This is a rather intimate area and I can tell you truthfully that his prospective mission was the maiden voyage through the portal in question and my whole lower G.I.. To boldly go where no man (or woman) has ever gone before. I was rather nervous.

I drank the noxious bowel prep last night. Ghastly, even worse than described if you can believe it. Like drinking bile. I hurled twice and once again this morning. When I tell you that my poop canals were sparkling clean, I kid you not. You start shedding liquid in a way that you might think the human physiology incapable. You could eat off my sparkling tubes now.

I gritted my teeth on the long ride to the Colonoscopy Center in Encinitas this morning. You have to drink a gallon or so of water after the asshole cleanser and I thought that I was going to lose it once or twice. Les drove me.

I signed consents and directives and met the anesthesiologist, who was a foreign woman, a real sourpuss with absolutely no sense of humor. I decided to table my bedside patter and better colonoscopy material as I don't think this one had cracked a smile since she witnessed her last lynching in the Teheran square.

I'm like dear god, if something awful happens, please don't let this old bag be the last thing I lay my eyes on this side of the mortal coil.

I eventually did wake up and got the news. All looked good, six polyps, all removed, all hopefully benign, a little diverticulitis, an unmentionable or two. Cool. The doctor was very nice, said I needed to do this more regularly, wants to see me back in three years. I hope they have better tasting prep by then.

Now that I buckled down and did the dirty deed, (did I tell you I crapped myself on the way home?) I can get all smug and tell you that if you are over 50 and have never had one, you need to get one too. Your asshole needs a clean bill of health. This asshole has his.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Grandview Beach, Leucadia


I had some business on the coast yesterday and decided to see what the waves looked like. There were nice periodic 8 to 10' sets at Grandview although a surfer I was talking to said that they were more like 12'. Nice steep faces, good shape. Several surfers were out taking advantage although the guy I talked to said the shape only really held up at Swamis, a little further down the coast in Encinitas.


Whales were spouting off in the distance. I thought about how lucky I am to get to see the ocean on a regular basis. A lot of people can't. If I lived in Barstow or Needles it would be near impossible. Got to count my blessings.