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MoPOP at dusk, Seattle

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'VE GOT THE BIG RIVER BLUES

A stitch in time.

There is a function you can toggle in the blogger platform that allows you to limit your audience and only engage those wonderful souls that you deign worthy of such an honor. I can't say I understand the attitude. I like to touch as many people as I can with my artistic output. I don't do this for the money.

I have drawn and painted since I was a child. I made my living as an artist for a period of time, was first published as a writer in the mid seventies, a science fiction story of questionable merit titled Johnny Zero and published in an out of the way occasional that has certainly vanished in the ensuing ether. Wrote for two magazines, rather technical stuff, California Grower and Silver.

I have judged, curated and exhibited in many different art shows, a few solo showing my own photography. I co curated Native Palette in 2003, a seminal exhibition of early San Diego painters with Michael Johnson and Gary Lang. Two very incredible major print exhibitions, Transferring Ink. Art of the Flower, a few more. I put together a major studio pottery exhibition including the works of Beato, Natzler, Heino, Voulkos and more.  I was on the incipient arts committee for our new local library.

As an art dealer who first started selling paintings in the late seventies I have been privileged to sell a John Singer Sargent that made it through committee, a Thomas Moran, a Sir Joshua Reynolds. Two Charles Russell's. Six or eight Dixon's. Some other very major works. I have been much blessed and am extremely proud of several things that I am lucky enough to have had run through my hands. A major collection of Beatrice Wood. Maloof, Allan Adler, two men that I can say I am very proud to have been friends and more than friends with, and with certainly Allen, more like a son.

When I was on the art committee I sent out a call for textile artists. Almost no response. I asked a woman who does fabric art why we were getting the cold shoulder and she said  "They hate that, you can't call them textile artists, you can't call them quilters, they hate the fibre artists..." I was in one big unhappy internecine conflict. I, an admitted outsider, had no idea that things were so balkanized in this world of needle and thread. I gave up and finally resigned and a great guy named Larry Miller took over and has been putting up some really nice shows ever since.

I know that the quilt show that Larry put on is coming down soon and it is really fabulous. I thought I would take a few shots to share with you and went up and snapped a few frames yesterday before I saw the no photographs sign. We had never had such a sign during my tenure and admittedly it took me by surprise. I went over to the librarian and confessed my photographic wrongdoing. Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, right?  She told me not to worry about it but I emailed Larry anyway and broke the news of my gross malfeasence. He said that he had no problem with the shots but better check with Karen. Karen emailed her troops and I got a chorus line of negatories as to using any of the purloined shots. Hey no problem, you say no pictures, no pictures. Maybe this blast just isn't their cup of tea...

But I wonder what it is with these people that don needle and thread? Why is their work so bloody precious? Are they guarding the crown jewels or the secret missile documents? Are fellow cutthroat quilters sitting up at night thinking of ways to covertly steal their designs? I have never seen the like or the attitude in all my years, seventeen with this gallery. I like showing my work. I have thousands of images floating all over the internet. Copyright is a horse that long ago fled the barn. I met a very good photographer last week, a woman who won't put anything on the web for fear of theft. Perhaps I should be more protective of my own work. God forbid that someone will see it who hasn't paid the ticket.

One lady wrote that she can't say yes to a photo because after all, the signs were up. Bad Robert. So I just won't talk about it.

11.30.11


I wish that I had a picture but we will have to make do with a description. It was several weeks back when I first saw, the cat, a furtive glance to the left while I was driving, near the Pebbles old stone house in the Glen. Not much of a visual impression, really. It was very dark and I watched the feline scurry across and then turn to look at me. It was a young cat to be sure, fairly small, but the grapefruit sized head definitely larger than a house cat.

It all happened so fast, such a flash really. Did it have a tail or not? I just didn't know. I have seen about 10 to 12 bobcats in the thirty one years that I have lived in and just over the canyon. Once saw a mom, with three kittens in tow at the base of Gavilan Mountain. This cat was either a large bobcat or a small cougar.

We saw three or four cougar last year. One ran in front of Leslie and I driving on the high canyon road into our valley. We saw him two days in a row. Very dark. Cats are like hawks they come in a much broader color range than the city dweller might realize. I have seen them a light fawn color and a mountain lion I once saw many years ago in Del Dios was near black. Last year's cougar jumped the neighbors fence and ate his goat. We had a cat disappear.

We know our cats pretty well. What was strange about the cat from the other week was that in the quick glance it seemed to not have a tail but it also had no spots.

The next day the cat ran in front of the car in broad daylight. No camera so you will just have to take my word. He was a bobcat with a white tuft under that long bobbed tail. And he had no spots, something I have never seen before on a bobcat. A beautiful rich and dark coat. One of the joys of living in the country. I was lucky to see he or she in the same spot two days in a row. Hope it happens again.

"Oh Well"

Bully, Bully.

I have heard tales of a teacher at the local high school who is verbally abusing the kids, calling them dummies and much worse. She is a PHD and tenured and my understanding is that it would be hard to get her out of her position. One of my friend's granddaughter is a student in the class. She is half Mexican. Some students apparently put up a youtube skit that they had worked on in class that was quite derogatory to Mexicans, calling them putas and making fun of fieldworkers amongst other things. One of the mothers of the young filmmakers was called and was informed about the offensive nature of the clip and she pulled it. My friend went to the administration and was told that they would handle it their way and to stay out of it.

What the kid needs to do is bring a phone into class and videotape the verbal abuse and name calling like those kids did back east. I know a lawyer that will take the case. Toast.

It's a Man's World

No Parking

I own the building where my gallery and my wife's women's apparel shop is located. I will be paying an eastern bank umpteen thousand dollars for this privilege until the day I die, unless of course I sell it or lose it in some unforeseen confluence of fate.

I paid a premium for the space when the town and nation was trending upscale, back in the pre crash day when brick and mortar was still relevant.

Along with my building I purchased two parking spaces out back where my wife and I could park. And to be doubly secure that I could one day rebuild if any unfortunate fate would befall my store, I bought a share in the community parking lot across the street that was created back in the forties so that retail customers in town would have a place to park while they were shopping. Just to square it with the planning department incase something ever goes awry.

Many of my neighbors have no parking at all. One prominent land owner was supposed to kick in a share way back when but realized that she could survive just fine poaching parking from those who paid for the privilege and never did get around to it.

Where is this all leading? Yesterday I got back from a short trip to the mailbox and there was a large and nice SUV in my wife's space again. I waited for the owner to arrive from the County Welfare office, a twenty something latina as it happens, and asked her why she felt entitled to park in a space that was clearly marked private and tenant parking only?

"I am only parking for two minutes. You are being selfish," she told me. Now I used to summer in Berkeley. I know the whole rant - private property is theft. I tried to have a rational conversation about the propriety of mooching my wife's space but she was having none of it. I was being weird for being possessive of something she only needed to borrow for two minutes. My protestations about the need for respect for private property went right over her diminutive head.   I had something she needed, for two minutes, and if I couldn't understand that it was my problem. I shook my head and walked away. Maybe one of these days I will actually tow, and run the risk of full scale blowback.

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I have had a few interesting conversations regarding my recent Welfare Mom epistle. I don't like either the rich or the poor when they sponge off those of us who have to shovel the coal into the hopper. My friend B has a sister in Section 8 housing. He said you wouldn't believe the nice cars that the people in there are driving.

I asked K, a friend who has worked for the county for years and she gave me the skinny on the whole thing. Yes, they are driving really nice cars but they are all leased. They can't own property and get their free Medi-Cal so they lease everything, work in cash and keep the gravy train rolling. She recounted asking a guy his name and address one day and he withdrew a paper from his pocket that had both written down so that he could remember who he was that day. She says it goes on all the time, unquestioned.

I had friends in Hawaii many years ago who were raising three kids on welfare while at the same time growing serious poundage of gnarly bud. Very wealthy. When I questioned them about the propriety of their leechy actions I got some revolutionary humdrum about hating the politics and policies of "the man."

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B told me the other day that my thinking was simplistic because childbirth is too grueling and horrible to even conceive that women would make more babies to ensure more welfare checks. These women in my town with four surrounding the stroller and one in tucked away in the oven are obviously the chattel of dastardly men. I was informed that males have all of the power in the bedroom and women are merely unwitting victims of evil males or ignorant churchgoers in bondage to some papal edict. Where can I find some of this supposed power and why have they been keeping it away from me?

I saw a kid at the board of equalization yesterday, couldn't be much past 22, with her five children with her, all obviously out of the same stock. They all had fake right to life tattoos on their little arms. She looked terribly young. I hope that her faith and her god is strong enough that I don't have to pay the bill for them one day. I guess I should blame her husband, she is a woman and obviously powerless.

*

I have lived in New York City, visited some of the worst neighborhoods you could imagine and seen multi generational welfare families. People get as institutionalized to relief as midwest corporate farmers get for farm subsidies or banks get for cheap government money which they use to swallow up smaller banks. I get disgusted by all of it.

I can't prove that women have babies so that they can get more money from the system as several of my friends allege. But I think that I am a pretty good judge of character. I see what I see and I know what I know. I look these people in the eye as they pick up their monthly checks. They are unabashedly entitled.

My friend B, who gets mildly disappointed when I fail to toe the liberal line, says that we should be happy to support these families and throw them a little extra, so what? Just look what we have given the oil companies and the war mongers. I get her point. But I still say that it's hard enough to pull your own weight without having to pull somebody else's, maybe somebody who was at least smart enough to know better.

Lucretia Macevil

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yea, Judge.


I think that Federal Judge Jed Rakoff should be applauded for not approving the settlement in the SEC case against Citi. It pisses people off to see big banks paying big settlements without ever admitting guilt. The SEC says that guilt is implied. But you know how it is, memories fade and they can just scoot down the road and say that they were never convicted of anything.

Rakoff blasted the settlement as chump change and faulted the lack of transparency by the enforcement agency. "The deal is neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest."

The SEC proposed a similar fix in October in a deal where Citi sold its marks a whole bunch of trashy paper, built to crash and then bet against it, with Citi bringing in $170 million and the investors losing 700 million. Rakoff also questioned an SEC, Bank of America deal where B of A allegedly misled its investors about its plans to buy Merrill Lynch. He ultimately signed off, but grudgingly. I think that he has had enough.

Goldman Sachs paid $500 million last year to settle charges that it had misled its clients about the quality of its mortgages while J.P.Morgan Chase & Co kittied up 153 million.

Citigroup is also accused of misleading investors. Don't think that they would have been willing to pay $285 million to the feds if they did not have the thought that they might be the least bit complicit. Now they say they are going to fight. These banks view these pathetic handslap enforcement actions on the part of the SEC as merely the cost of doing business. In the last 15 years, banks involved in S.E.C. enforcement actions had at least 51 cases of repeat offenses, including six by Citigroup.

The lily livered patsy in charge of enforcement for the SEC, Robert Khuzami, says that the judges actions will "eat up agency resources and time and divert resources away from the investigation of other frauds and the recovery of losses suffered by other investors." As in, we don't want to hassle with the big boys and their slick legal teams, can you find us somebody a little smaller and weaker? It is time that we had an Elliot Ness, somebody with balls cracking heads at the SEC instead of these callow pantywaists. Do your freaking job, Khuzami or we will find somebody who can.

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Herman Cain is going to have a lot of 'splaining to do about those 61 calls on his phone to the mistress he has never met. As his wife repeated last week, it's just not in his character. This year's John "Freaking" Edwards. Fella's, it always comes out.

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Word today that Hank Paulson spilt a lot of privileged and advance inside market dope on Fannie and Freddie during the financial crisis to a bunch of astounded hedge fund managers. Now there's a guy who should be hanging from a yardarm.

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Can you imagine how many millions of dollars it has cost for the police, janitors and firemen to babysit the OWS crowd? And its not like the 1% are picking up the tab, it will unfortunately be your typical 99% taxpayer. You've had your Woodstock, now do it on your own dime, kids.

Arthur Lee & Love - Alone Again Or (Live)

Weekend at Two Bunch


It was a nice weekend. Went to Richard Carpenter's 60th birthday party and met and saw a lot of wonderful people, many friends and some that I had never met. A incredible soprano violin player, Beth Folsom, who plays with the Hutchins Consort and with many other prominent orchestras, dazzled us all with an impromptu concert.


Yesterday we drove to the desert with Renée and ducked into Two Bunch Palms. I have visited the place before but you might have missed it so let me tell you a little bit about the joint. Two Bunch was an oasis originally leased from the Southern Pacific Railroad, built in the 1920's as the west coast fortress of Al Capone.

Mobsters and Hollywood starlets would mingle in the fortress, situated in the quaint little town of Desert Hot Springs. Capone built an incredible hideaway resort, complete with brothel and casino and had a reported tunnel system, a turret built for security and the good sense to hang out an an outrageously relaxing spot. Capone's actress friend Gladys Walton lived there. His bar and safe and a lot of great period pieces are still on premises. Outrageous Hurrell photographs of starlets.




No kids, cell phones or loud talking, Two Bunch is located in the now not so quaint northern burg of Desert Hot Springs. There is no entry sign. You drive up to an anonymous gatehouse and are signed in. We drove to the office. A three hundred thousand dollar Bentley sat in the parking lot. Two Bunch has long been a retreat for actors and writers. Robert Altman's movie "The Player" was filmed at Two Bunch. You feel totally isolated and blissed out soaking in the warm pools.



We have been going for years and through a couple owners. It is currently owned by the bank. Many of my friends have been going for several decades. Great rooms, especially the newer ones, we got a two bedroom suite with our friend for about $350.00.



As I said, it is in receivership and things have changed a bit. They no longer have the outrageous pastries in the morning. Some of the lighting at the grotto pools is either no longer on or operational. Place is a touch colder. But still a great and relaxing time.

Turtle Staredown© robert sommers


There was a large lake by our room filled with fish, ducks and turtles. The ducks loved this lady.


Our room was huge, separate dining room, large living room, huge bedrooms. I think that the rooms were designed by an old architect friend of mine, Ron Wylie. The girls made duck confit tacos again, this time with truffle butter, a generous squeeze of lime and creme fraiche instead of crema. I liked these the best. We are on a taco thing lately. Leslie's friends Wes and Robin shot a boar and gave us wild boar round last week which may have made the greatest taco I have ever eaten. Outrageously rich and succulent.



We all did the mud baths. The girls got wraps and rubdowns with oils and scents. Leslie did Watsu, Renée a special massage. The spa treatments aren't exactly cheap, might want to dig around your suite for some of Capone's loot. I hung out at the pool and tried to finish my Houdini book. Nice overnight recharge, great guests, good breakfast. I recommend Two Bunch most heartily for a quick chillout at the base of San Jacinto Peak.

We scooted back. Our companion is just tops, she drove and she knows the lyrics to all the Arthur Lee and Love songs.




Make a polecat fight all night...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kiss my Ass

And so it begins...


Worried about those bristly, rough edges that are bound to appear when the government finally gets around to declaring martial law, well worry no more. If congress has their way, American citizens will soon be subjected to imprisonment and incarceration without the benefit of trial or the opportunity to face their accusers. According to a report that Renée sent over:


The Senate is going to vote this week on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.



Under the ‘worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial’ provision of S.1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which is set to be up for a vote on the Senate floor this week, the legislation will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supports the bill. The bill was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), before being passed in a closed-door committee meeting without any kind of hearing. The language appears in sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA bill.


“I would also point out that these provisions raise serious questions as to who we are as a society and what our Constitution seeks to protect,” Colorado Senator Mark Udall said in a speech last week. One section of these provisions, section 1031, would be interpreted as allowing the military to capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on U.S. soil. Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil. That alone should alarm my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but there are other problems with these provisions that must be resolved.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

So Much Trouble in the World

Sea Nymph

"A man who does not stop to look at beauty will soon be poor." Proverb, Benin.

A sixty seven foot fin whale, the second largest animal on the planet, was hit by a ship and found beached in San Diego last week. The whale was pregnant and the unborn fetus floated nearby. I saw several pictures of the whale on the beach and I had the thought that I have never seen such a beautiful creature.The pictures are all off the web, the great one on the bottom from the U.T., I think.

The whale was poked and prodded by the experts, tissue and genotyped, dissected and then the remains were hauled off further into the ocean.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Toulouse Street

Barzini's a pimp.

Sal the Zip is sleeping with the fishes.

Yesterday they fished Salvatore Montagna, aka Sal the Iron Worker, out of the L'Assomption River north of Montreal. Sal was the acting head of the Bonanno Familia, one of the five legendary New York families in The Commission. At one time he had over 130 made guys under his wing.

The Bonanno's were forced to leave the five family syndicate when they were found to be dealing heroin in the 1960's.

The married father of three was deported to his native Canada from the United States in 2009 because of a conviction for refusing to testify before a grand jury on illegal gambling. Soon after his arrival in Canada, members of the local Rizzuto crime family started showing up very dead.

The Bonanno family is an interesting read. In the seventies acting boss Carmine Galante was murdered on the  orders of the imprisoned Phil Rastelli. Joe Bonanno was always in hot water for spending too much time in Tucson. Donnie Brasco infiltrated the organization. Then in 2004, acting boss Joe Massino turned rat. It ain't easy.

According to wikipedia, "the Bonanno crime family can be traced back to the early 1880s in the town of Castellammare del Golfo located in the Province of Trapani, Sicily. During the 1900s, top members of the Bonanno, Bonventre, and Magaddino Mafia families relocated to New York, forming the Castellammarese clan due to their rivalry with Felice Buccellato, the boss of the Buccellato Mafia clan.The newly arriving Bonanno, Bonventre and Magaddino Mafia members began establishing dominance and control in the Castellammarese community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While operating in Brooklyn, the Castellammarese leaders were able to preserve the criminal organization's future."



Bonanno was awarded most of his late boss Sal Maranzano's crime family after pal was killed by jewish gangsters. He was one of the charter members of the Commission, along with Luciano family Boss Charles "Lucky" Luciano who served as head of the Commission, Mangano family Boss Vincent Mangano, Gagliano family Boss Tommy Gagliano, Profaci family Boss Joseph Profaci and Chicago Outfit Boss Al "Scarface" Capone At only 26 years old, he was the youngest boss of a crime family He directed the family into popular organized crime dealings, involving gambling, loansharking, and narcotics. The family also had significant interests in California and Arizona. With the support of his cousin, Buffalo crime family boss Stefano Magaddino, he also expanded into Canada. Bonanno was more steeped in the Old World Mafia traditions of "honor," "tradition," "respect," and "dignity" than other mafiosi of his generation, and was widely reckoned as the most traditional boss in New York.  His family was considered the closest knit of the Five Families due to the fact that it was made up mostly of Castelammarese. He strongly believed that blood relations and a strict Sicilian upbringing would be the only way to hold the traditional values of the Mafia together. Bonanno's power was due to his close relationship with fellow boss Joe Profaci. The relationship between the two bosses became stronger when Bonanno's son Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno married Profaci's niece Rosalie in 1956.If any members of the other three families exercised thoughts of muscling in on Bonanno enterprises, the close ties to the Profaci family made them think twice. With the death of Joe Profaci in 1962 an alliance of Tommy Lucchese and Carlo Gambino threatened to undermine Bonanno's position.


In the early 1960s many of the Bonanno family members were complaining that boss Joe Bonanno spent too much time at his second home in Tucson, Arizona. This led to a civil war in the family, widely referred to in the media as the "Banana Split" or "Banana War". The war was triggered in 1963 when Bonanno conspired with Joe Magliocco, Profaci's successor as boss of the Profaci family, to wipe out several other mob leaders, including Magaddino, Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese and Frank DeSimone. Magliocco was given the task of wiping out Gambino and Lucchese, and gave the contract to one of his top hit men, Joe Colombo. However, Colombo instead alerted Gambino and Lucchese. The other bosses quickly realized that Magliocco could not possibly have planned this by himself. Remembering how close Magliocco was to Bonanno (and before him, Profaci), they realized that Bonanno was the real mastermind. The commission summoned Magliocco and Bonanno, intending to go easy on them, with nothing more than a fine and loss of their family. However, only Magliocco showed up. He admitted his role in the plot and was forced to give up his family to Colombo. After months of no word from Bonanno, the commission named Bonanno capo Gaspar DiGregorio as the new boss.



Bonanno still claimed to be the rightful boss. Magaddino, acting on behalf of the commission, sent two of his soldiers to kidnap Bonanno and take him to a rural area in Upstate New York. He was finally released after a month, with the commission hoping he'd fade quietly into the background. Instead, he rallied a large part of the family to his side. The family split into two factions, the DiGregorio supporters and the Bonanno loyalists. The Bonanno loyalists were led by Bonanno, his brother-in-law Frank Labruzzo and Bonanno's son Bill.


There had been no violence from either side until a 1966 Brooklyn sit-down. DiGregorio's men arrived at the meeting, and when Bill Bonanno arrived a large gun battle ensued. The DiGregorio loyalists had planned to wipe out the opposition, but they failed, and no one was killed Further peace offers from both sides were spurned with the ongoing violence and murders. The Commission grew tired of the affair and replaced DiGregorio with Paul Sciacca, but the fighting carried on regardless.


The war was finally brought to a close with Joe Bonanno, still in hiding, suffering a heart attack and announcing his permanent retirement in 1968 (he went on to live to the age of 97, dying in Tucson, Arizona in 2002) Both factions came together under Sciacca's leadership. His replacement was Natale "Joe Diamonds" Evola as boss of the Bonanno family. Evola's leadership was short lived - his death (from natural causes) in 1973 brought Phillip "Rusty" Rastelli to the throne.

The family loses its seat, Galante becomes a renegade, Rastelli tries to take charge. Galante gets wacked. A bunch more guys get wacked. Rastelli dies in prison, Sal the Iron Worker takes his seat. Now he's gone too. Tough business.

For Lovin' Me

Freitag Follies

Leslie got us both tickets to see the National Touring Company's performance of the Monty Python production "Spamalot" Saturday night.

Really nice seats, fifth row, I laughed my ass off. I am not a big musical guy but this was perfect.

The performance was one night only at Sycuan Casino. I am not real big on the Indian Casinos, prefer to play in Vegas, but this was one of the worst of the worst. You find it by driving to El Cajon and taking a bunch of side streets.

We arrived an hour early. I watched two twenties get eaten alive by an all too willing slot machine.

It is an absolutely cavernous sea of one armed bandits. Sphinx's, nuclear drums, cherries and spades, as far as the eye can see, cascade around the whirling screens and idiots like me are only too happy to watch their money evaporate in their wake.

The place is enormous but their were not a lot of table games. I watched the pai gow action for a few minutes and finally sat down at second base at a five dollar blackjack table. I am a $25 minimum guy and up, a very good player and I hadn't sat at a table like this in a long time. Samoan kid next to me, making all the right bets. Woman at first hitting black jacks one after another.

You don't want to break up a table's chi by putting big bets up in front of people playing small stakes so I was betting ten dollar stacks. Out of consideration. I lost one or two but made the proper moves and then found my stride. Could not lose and started riding the beam. "Four," I said as the dealer turned over a four. "Eight," I cried out before the she plopped the same down face up on my 13. The table sort of gasped and people were mumbling about the psychic guy. I had to make a move.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen," I remarked to the young neophytes sitting around the table. "I'm afraid I have a play to attend."

It was bad form to leave when we were all having our way so with this dealer but all good things do come to an end and you don't want to test your psychic powers too often in such a public forum. Better to go out early, looking like Houdini with my record intact. Wouldn't let me cash hundred dollar chips downstairs. Interesting place.

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Speaking of Houdini, I am reading a fascinating book by Ratso Sloman and William Kalush, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero.    This book offers the history of the son of an Appleton, Wisconsin Rabbi, Ehrich Weiss and his morphing into the remarkable escape artist. Sloman and Kalush explore a side of the magic trade I was not aware of, it's appropriation by both the American and English intelligence services.

Early in life, Houdini and his wife Bess ply the carney circuit and Houdini picked up a lot of his skills from sword swallowers and the like. Great book.

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Stopped at D.Z. Akins, the only good deli in these parts, 70th st. in La Mesa. We had killer rye bread with smoked whitefish, strong, moist and divine and a good bowl of matzoh ball soup with a really nice and clean chicken broth. Leslie bought macaroons and rugelach for the car ride. Heaven!

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Helen sends over an interesting Hans Josling lecture from TED.

Income Inequity

Mother Jones has an interesting article today with a lot of catchy graphics illustrating the ever widening income gap in America.

I abscond with a few:







Bee Gees


Get well Robin Gibb.

Great for Jock Itch, too!

Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray by Defense Technology is your first defense for crowd control or getting those pesky hippies and liberal arts types off your lawn.

Need to dress up a lonely nacho platter or add some zest to those steaks and chops? One spritz of this lovely and safe food product will have the neighbors knocking on your doors for your recipe.


Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1.3% Red Band/1.3% Blue Band Pepper Spray
is not recommended for use when you go to Walmart and want to clear out the long christmas lines so that you can buy your Xbox 360. Any such use will void the warranty.

"Defense Technology, when truncheons just won't do the trick."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Prayer by William S Burroughs



A very strong poem from William Burroughs that is sure to offend some. If you do not wish to be offended, I suggest that you not view the clip.

Bonnie Raitt - Walkin' Blues

Giving thanks.

This fellow is a Crow Indian dancer and flute player who wandered into my shop last month. I would like to thank the native americans and formally apologize. We lied a bit about that share thing. We shared you right into the reservations, after that unfortunate incident with the infected blankets and all.

You see, your concept of share and our concept was a bit different. What we really meant is that we will let you live in the most remote areas of the country that are uninhabitable for stupid white folk, we will break every treaty we have ever signed with you, will abscond with all the funds in your trust accounts and then lose all the documentation. Sounds fair to me. And have you ever tried our delicious fire water? You will love that stuff.

Don't worry. I foresee that in the future you will open a flotilla of casinos and soon own our sorry white asses. I foresee this working most optimally on the asians at first but soon you will have all the money and your grant deed back.

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Irrespective of whitey's forked tongue we have a lot to be thankful for in our fair land. Lots of sumbitches would love to be in our spot. Our plumbing fixtures are probably close to the top of the list, right after the japanese. Our remakes of British sitcoms are almost as good as the real thing. We may have invented pastrami. Lady liberty stands at the harbor and casts her fair hand out to the persecuted and the refugees. Or she did. Sorry, no room at the inn. We still got the NBA and they consistently beat all comers around the world. Someday they might even get a deal done and start playing again. Speaking of sports, we live in a great country where the fair citizens of San Francisco can spend years calling for quarterback Alex Smith's head and then shamelessly throw rose petals at his feet when he gets a few wins under his belt.

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Thanks to all of you loyal readers and commenters. The editors, the provocateurs, the grumpy lovers, the grumpy haters, grumpy, Fallbrook Shutters, my friends, those of you who have never met me but still tune in, Dave in Japan, Shawn, Ricardo, MJ in Thailand, Window Dancer, MMWB, Sano, BigD, Banar, Helen, Denis, Isak, LKS, Len, Corrie, TRZ, Renee, Garn, Mark, Cam, Creech, Hudg, jdfinest, Kerry, R&D, Lena, Tracy, Sheebz, Bristol, R.I., Ida, Joe K., RC, Iamevolved, Hilo, Bob DeGoff, Frazer, Bijou, Le Masters, Ken, BigMike, Russ, Fred, Stan-wherever you are, deliguy, brett, wildbill, mel, Kim, Wanda, Mom, Uncle Norm, Liz, Leslie, Barbara, Howard, Keith, Melissa, all of you lurkers, occasionals, drop ins and the people I have forgot to mention. This all consuming passion of mine, which may morph dramatically one day out of the blue or turn into a black hole unexpectedly and cease to exist on this temporal and all too physical plane of existence is an honor to write because I respect so many of you so much and know that you don't read blogs but still feel compelled to watch me unscrew the cranial hatch and ply you with my strangely demented embellishments and musings. Thanks for being in our mutual life. Happy Thanksgiving.

Robert

Chee's © Robert Sommers

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tamer of beasts

 Sure are a lot of these things out there.

My newest creation - 1/2/13