Thursday, May 31, 2012
I traveled to Los Angeles yesterday with my friend Ken Seals for a rewarding but ultimately exhausting, fun filled day. Our first stop was at my favorite mexican restaurant in the world, La Cabanita in Montrose. We both dined on and adored their amazing chuletas, thin pork chops cooked in a pasilla chile sauce topped with sour cream. Amazing green tomatilla sauce and a smoky chipotle sauce, the cuisine just doesn't get any better. It was great riding up with Ken because, besides being a great guy, we have very similar taste in music. Started with the Band, Will the Circle be Unbroken, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, made for a very nice ride.
I must candidly admit that this was my first trip to the Getty. What a repository and what a revelation! A beautiful complex, inside and out. Lots of space and perfectly designed down to the nth detail.
Ritts is not exactly my cup of meat. Think Mapplethorpe, west coast edition. Technically brilliant, the commercial photographer liked to venture into both overt homoeroticism and the rather grey androgynous area between gender, but only with the most beautiful of human bodies as his subjects. It is a celebration or continuum of the Nazi era film work of Leni Reifenstahl. The brutality of fashion, set to a colored aryan ideal. Ritts subjects sometimes wore thorns or clay or became inanimate figures on a mantle.
In at least the Ritts photos I saw, I notice an interesting phenomenon; men are quite soft and women are invariably hard. He has no problem celebrating the most delicate and gentle expressions of men but his women are taut faced, severe and contorted. His photo of swimmer Lynn looks like a drug store mannekin or a man in drag. The women might have sand or water on their face, always slightly obscured and I noticed usually a touch out of focus. He did not appear to allow his women models to be femininely beautiful.
The stuff was quintessentially Los Angeles in its reliance on perfect form and surface. I just didn't feel a lot of breadth underneath. Bit shallow I think. I really liked one of the photos, a closeup of two bodies, reminded me of my photographic hero, Weston. And sure enough underneath the work was a thumbnail of a Weston piece that he riffed on. Might as well borrow from the best.
Ritts is a master of photography. Some of his dark on dark techniques are truly amazing. I wonder if there is any more personal work extant, perhaps not as candy coated and wrapped up in the issues of sexual identity? This exhibition bored me very quickly.
|View through screen, Getty © Robert Sommers|
Next door was a great collection of early photographers, more pleasing for me. Adams and Cunningham, Stieglitz, Steichen, Weston, Muybridge, Brady. Early camera lucida work. A wonderful photo of Mrs. William Morris. Bravo. Another of powerful picture of Martha Graham dancing in her dance piece Lamentation. The Gloria Swanson photograph. A murderer's row of photography. (another term of venery) I was in heaven. The Getty has a lot of money and they have spent it very wisely. An absolutely incredible museum. And they let you mostly take pictures. A very pleasant staff, I might add.
|Lucas Cranach the Elder|
We continued upstairs in our wing to european paintings. I was in a room with three Manet's, one Renoir, three Monets, three Degas, a great Jericault, two Pissaro's, a so-so Sargent, maybe more expensive canvas than I have ever seen in one place. Great Van Gogh. A large Munch, an underwhelming Turner that the Russian guard told me was just purchased for 55 million.
We saw earlier paintings as well and many objects. Illuminated pages, stained glass. And only managed to scratch a small portion of the museum's offerings.
I am really hoping to get back up to the museum
soon to continue to sample its many fruits.
After dinner we drove through Burbank and up to the Castaway Restaurant, perched high above the city. Ken belongs to a photographer's group called Clickers and Flickers and they meet every month for a meal and a slide presentation. A lot of old pros, a lot of film people.
We had drinks in the bar. A really good jazz band with a blonde woman sax player were grooving on the other side of the room. Met a few photographers, looked out at the great view of the expansive valley below.
We got seated at our table. Introduced ourselves tot he group. I had an older man who was a friend of Weston, Ed Martin across from me, Gail Natzler, Otto's widow to my immediate left. A school teacher and her husband on the other side. A man who just created a photographic tarot deck, Lee Varis.
People brought shots of their latest work. I thumbed through the slick magazine that the group puts out. All very impressive.
The featured guest was ace Los Angeles Times photographer Mark Boster. He just published a book entitled Four Seasons of Yosemite: a photographer's journey. Mark is a great photographer and responsible for some of the paper's most iconic shots. His slide show was incredible, especially the shots he has taken for the paper. He is a smart and funny guy, a self confessed member of the 7:30 a.m. crash and burn crew.
We finally left for home around 11 and started the long drive back to Fallbrook. I want to thank Ken for driving and for accompanying me on this quite epic day.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Thank you for forwarding your blog with the anonymous email regarding FPUD to Barbara, she provided me a copy.
If I may I would like to set the record straight.
The author is either Director McPhee or one of his supporters who follows Director Mcphee’s misleading and incorrect ads in the Village News. By agreement with the Village News, “Opinions” from any of the FPUD Directors will not be accepted or published. The Village News will accept paid advertisements; and Director McPhee often chooses to advertise his incorrect and misleading, speculative opinion.
I don’t know where the dollar amount regarding transportation originates but the total cost quoted sounds like the cost of operating the entire FPUD fleet to me. The Board has discussed take-home vehicles in the past and determined that we would rather incur the expense than delay responding to an after hours emergency while an employee drives a personal vehicle to the FPUD yard and then drives to the emergency with the appropriate vehicle; after hours is up to 16 hours each day and week ends.
FPUD did contract with former General Manager Keith Lewenger for professional services in the areas of transitioning the new GM, continuing the negotiations with the Base (which were at a critical stage) and working on a project which would allow four of the north county water districts to share equipment and specialized staff and perhaps save money for all by reducing duplication. GM Brady controls Lewenger’s working hours and since February, Mr. Lewenger has billed $1308 of which FPUDS ¼ share was $327. (This was for work on the sharing project).
Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use
FPUD has rights to 1/3 of the water flowing down the Santa Margarita River (as documented in Federal Court). This is very complicated because there are lots of complex water rights that are prior to the court decision. But for the first time we have a “Letter of Understanding” with the Base re. water sharing (the FPUD share is an average of 3,100 acre feet per year), delivery ground rules, etc. which has been approved by USMC in Washington and the Department of Defense. Efforts are under way now to flesh-out the details so the project can proceed; probably a 200 page document that will take more than a year to get DOD approval.
SD Water Authority/MET Representation
While he was General Manager Mr. Lewenger, at the direction of the FPUD Board, consistently worked to keep both Metropolitan and San Diego County Water Authority, (our water wholesalers) water rates as low as possible. Unfortunately, on the San Diego County Water Authority Board, FPUD’s weighted vote is between 2% and 3 % of the total. Mr. Lewenger’s reputation and skill in working with the group provided us with much more representation than our small percentage would allow. The City of San Diego has more than half of the representation. By joining with Valley Center and Rainbow we have been successful in establishing an agricultural SD County water rate (which continues for the next two years) even though the Metropolitan interruptible agricultural surplus water program ends this year. (This is the Met. program that sold farmers cheap water for 17 years and then with the drought, contractually required a 30% reduction in agricultural water usage. The result was many of the Avocado trees were stumped or the groves abandoned). Likewise San Diego County Water authority is one of a number of water agencies (a number like 33) that belong to Met. Even with a no vote from the SD Water Authority, the rate increases passed; but the increases were less than Met’s staff proposed and Lewenger’s efforts to moderate the increases obviously helped. Los Angeles County is the major player on the Met Board. Mr. Lewenger currently works for the city of Carlsbad and is their representative to the San Diego County Water Authority and also represents The Authority on the Met Board.
Per Diem Payments
While he was General Manager Mr. Lewenger was receiving Per Diem for his Water Authority Service while being paid by FPUD. The Board explored the issue with the Water Authority. The Water Authority would not agree to reimburse FPUD rather than Lewenger for his service on the Water Authority Board and the only other alternative was to refuse the Per Diem. The Board determined that since the District benefited significantly from Lewenger’s involvement, and water rates would not be reduced by refusing the per diem, that the Board would allow Lewenger to receive the payments.
Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Since both MET and The Water Authority have Boards that are entirely made up of representatives from member agencies, I can’t see where any breach of fiduciary duties occurred.
Thank you for allowing me to set the facts straight.
Director Seat Number 1
Fallbrook Public Utility District
Monday, May 28, 2012
Leven and Beth have a very nice collection of trilobites which they have collected in Morocco. With these pictures you can see them in three dimensions.
My late friend and idol Rick Griffin originally introduced me to Garry Cohen. Rick, Ida and I went to a costume party and Garry was wearing an astronaut suit and Rick recognized him inside the suit. I have known Garry since I was about 19. He went to elementary school with Rick, talked to me about the incredible contraptions Rick would build, even in the fifth grade. Garry is a fabulous artist, jeweler, ceramist, glass blower, anything. A unique talent. He was the man who developed the initial image for an iconic psychedelic creature called the monitor, originally a totemic design for a jewelry piece. He says he got the idea from Rick, Rick said it was Garry. Whoever. They both ran with it.
|Man from Utopia © Rick Griffin Estate|
This guy reminds me of the monitor. Both Rick and Garry's version.
Check out the Paleofacts website. Some wonderful things to purchase at importer's rates, straight from the source, in all price ranges.
|© Rick Griffin Estate|
Frank Donadee from Collector Magazine stuck a video camera in my face at Long Beach last sunday and started asking me questions about guitars and guitar players. He wanted to know my favorite guitar player. I immediately blurted out Doc Watson.
Doc Watson is an American legend and institution. I have seen him four times, once with his late son Merle. To see him is to love him from your heart. Pure as the driven snow and an extraordinarily sensitive and soulful musician. A true virtuoso who doesn't need to be flashy and has always remained humble and kind.
Doc is real sick. The 89 year old man had surgery to repair a colon blockage yesterday and reports are that it was a very tough day. I hope that he pulls through okay. I can not imagine a world without him. Feel privileged to have him exist in my lifetime. Thank you Doc.
Norman Rose is a Doctor of Optometry who practices in Escondido. The name of the office is the Premier Eyecare Optometric Center. Here is a link to his website. Leslie accompanied me and I met his courteous and very friendly staff. The walls of the office are covered with testimonials from people and parents whose children had benefitted from his care and treatment. His staff initiated a battery of tests on me with some equipment I was unfamiliar with.
Dr. Rose came in to the room. A tall, gentle and affable fellow, his accent rings with evidence of his roots in upstate New York. He had told me something about his approach before, a neural, nutritional and somewhat radical, behavioral approach to eye problems. He had told me that my regular eye doctor might not be entirely aware or supportive of his unusual approach and methodology. I had tried to get the two of them together but hadn't managed. A blurb from his website:
Dr. Rose is a Developmental / Neuro-optometrist. He treats children and adults who have reading and learning difficulties, patients with dizzyness and vertigo, patients who are progressively becoming more nearsighted, patients with a turned eye or amblyopia ( lazy eye ) and patients with a history of stroke or traumatic brain injury who have visual, cognitive, perceptual and balance difficulties. He also examines infants at six months old for eye diseases , turned eyes and potential amblyopia (lazy eye) development.
Dr Rose is a member of:
- The American Optometric Association
- The California Optometric Association
- The San Diego County Optometric Society
- The Neuro-Optometric Rehabiliation Association
- The College of Optometrists in Vision Development
- The Orthokeratology Academy of America
- He is licensed to practice Optometry in New York, New Jersey and California
This explains a lot about my problems driving near barricades and parking garages, my life time's annoying habit of tapping my accelerator pedal. My vertigo. No one had ever detected it before. I have always had a hard time with distance and depth of field. And this has been since I was 17. A lot of my physiologic symptoms and behavior suddenly gained clarity and clarification. Things began to start make sense.
In addition we discovered that my Lens Crafter® glasses were not even close to the prescription that I had previously ordered, a phenomenon that has really hit the news lately as being unfortunately quite common. He found the beginnings of a left cataract, evidence of cholesterol and sun damage and made a few more prescient comments. Talked about nutrition and the need for supplements, and daily dosage of cruciferous vegetables. I am set to embark on a rehabilitation regimen with Doctor Rose.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate this doctor. Visiting him was a real eye opener. I like him, respect him and I advise anyone experiencing vision problems to call his office at 760-743-6540. He is located at 1299 East Pennsylvania Ave., Suite B in Escondido, behind the old Vineyard shopping center in a yellow building. Tell them that the blast sent you.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
I can already hear a certain person's comments, too many notes, etc. I think that virtuosos are different. Peacocks like to strut their stuff. With their mastery, if they want to embellish it is fine with me. Texas blues players are a different breed than chicago, than mississippi...
This is why the news out of San Onofre is so disturbing. The nuclear power plant has been shut for over four months while federal regulators try to pinpoint the reason that the tubes that carry radioactive water in the new steam generators are eroding and failing at such an alarming rate.
This week comes the news that the piping is a new alloy, that had never been tested by the feds and that it was installed as a routine maintenance item on new bracket supports in order to get around government review. Over 1300 pipes to date have been classified as beyond repair.
Of course, the way that the power monopoly game works, you can rest assured that the ratepayers will take the ultimate hit for the risky business that the power companies have been engaging in and we will pick up any eventual tab. That is a given.
Fukushima. You think it can't happen here?
The Catholic church was not being shown in the greatest of lights in Philadelphia last week. Monsignor Lynn says that he was instructed by his Cardinal to keep those accusing his priests of sexual abuse in the dark. He says that he did what he was told and never really wanted the job.
The worst part was when he said that he didn't turn one of his priests in for molesting kids because he molested women too and that meant he wasn't really a pedophiliac. He apparently kept a shred list of priests who were suspected of molestation in a safe, where it was discovered a few years ago.
From Chicago Tribune - Reuters:
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A senior church official on Thursday defended his response to a child abuse victim who was told that a predator priest could not be punished because he had sex with women too and therefore was "not a pure pedophile."...
On the witness stand on Thursday, Lynn was asked about a delay in his response to a child sexual abuse complaint filed in 1998. In the complaint, a former seminarian, identified only as Tim, said he was repeatedly sexually abused by Reverend Stanley Gana, who was removed from the ministry in 2002, according to a scathing 2005 grand jury report about the widening church scandal.
"Monsignor Lynn asked the victim, who had been forced to have oral and anal sex beginning when he was 13 years old to understand that the archdiocese would have taken steps to remove Father Gana from the priesthood had he been diagnosed as a pedophile," the grand jury report said.
"But Father Gana was not only having sex with children and teenage minors, Monsignor Lynn explained, he had also slept with women, abused alcohol and stolen money from parish churches," the grand jury report continued.
"That is why he remained, with Cardinal Bevilacqua's blessing, a priest in active ministry. You see, Tim,'" said Monsignor Lynn, ˜he's not a pure pedophile.'"
Lynn is accused of covering up the abuse of priests including Gana, who was never charged with a crime and who was reassigned from parish to parish as complaints surfaced.
"Father Stanley Gana, ordained in the 1970s, sexually abused countless boys in a succession of Philadelphia Archdiocese parishes," the 2005 grand jury report said.
"He was known to kiss, fondle, anally sodomize and impose oral sex on his victims. He took advantage of altar boys, their trusting families and vulnerable teenagers with emotional problems ... He molested boys on a farm, in vacation houses, in the church rectory. Some minors he abused for years," the grand jury said.
Lynn, who is not accused of any molestation, faces the possibility of 28 years in prison if convicted.
I can't seem to leave the valley anymore without running into hawks. Red tails everywhere. Red tail woodstock, seemingly from every high branch or telephone pole. Whole mess of them this morning. Saw my namesake flying around too, our valley's resident blue heron aloft with its majestic wingspan. I also espied another very psychedelic colored little bird in the bushes that I have never seen before and think might be very rare but couldn't squeeze off a shot with my slow camera.
I was supposed to meet with my photo group at the coffee shop as we do every saturday morning. I decided to be late, figuring that it was more important to take pictures than to talk about taking pictures. Managed to get there finally in spite of myself.
Friday, May 25, 2012
|Timothy Leary, Mystic Arts © Bill Ogden|
Yesterday I was carrying packing blankets in when a blanket corner caught a painting, which caught another painting which fell over onto a lamp, which came crashing down to the floor, but not before grabbing my prize 1981 mint, koa Taylor guitar with the florentine cutaway and the extra wide neck, my favorite guitar and sending it hurtling to the floor two feet down. I stared at the fruits of my infamy, dumbfounded and couldn't even look at the carnage for several minutes. What is done is done. I picked it up, waiting to see the snapped neck and puncture wounds and there's not a scratch on it. Miraculous. Forget that atheism stuff. I'm a believer.
Stan sent this over:
Check this out!
Listening to Chris Whitley (and going to see his daughter Trixie next week…talented people.)
but here's the thing. I needed to upgrade my sound system.
So I bought a 25 year old Yamaha Class A, 100 WPC….holy crap
EBAY. 70 bucks plus shipping….a steal.
I also picked up an immaculate Carver 900 yesterday from an architect. It is in showroom condition. That was 125 and worth 250 in this kind of condition.
I have a wonderful pair of Infinity bookshelf speakers with double suspended woofers. I got them from Janis Ian as a gift in 1979.
So am looking forward to re-listening to all my favorite music for the next ten or fifteen years or until my hearing goes away!
It's all good.
FELLOW MUSIC LOVERS...THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST INCREDIBLE MUSIC E-MAIL I'VE EVER SEEN.AFTER CLICKING ON AN ARTIST, LOOK TO SEE ALMOST ALL OF THEIR FAMOUS WORKS, THEY ARE THERE , with the lyrics!!FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE. ENJOY AND PASS THIS ON.
Incredible early photos courtesy of Hudg - Atlantic.
HoboBeans brought over her mayan calendar ragnarok/armageddon/rapture end of the world compliance stickers. Nice. Fungusamongus 12/21/12, a very interesting number.