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MoPOP at dusk, Seattle

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dark Star crashes

Been living from a suitcase for most of the month, honest to god it's getting kind of old. Three shows in four weeks up and down the golden state is testing the limits of my patience and endurance. And it definitely shows. Have a permanent neck ache - soft mattresses and hard pillows.

I'm exhausted and it is probably not helping sales and definitely not helping my attitude.  Actually haven't been too many sales to speak of this week. Brought great stuff but it's just not getting any traction.

Just making enough to keep moving, not enough to actually get ahead or god knows, fund any imaginary vacation. One more day to make something happen and if it doesn't I need to scurry back quick to my warren and regroup. Wonder how long I can keep this up, or are they going to pull me out of some dingy hall with a toe tag one of these days?

I'm not going to indulge in a full scale post mortem, I see little point. Will talk about food instead. Always safe. Been raining a lot up here. First night I stayed with my friend Kerry and we drove my car into the mission and had dinner at La Rondalla, decent mexican fare, good company. An annoying woman was sitting at the bar and her dog was lunging at people and wouldn't shut up.

I had mole chicken enchiladas that were pretty good. La Rondalla reopened last year after being shuttered for about seven years. I believe that it is something of an institution in these parts but it can't be solely because of the food which was sort of vanilla. Took forever to find parking. I hate searching for parking in the city, the whole compression aspect of urban living getting harder and harder for me to take.

Second night out I went to eat at the Iron Gate in Belmont. The Iron Gate is an old school warhorse, took my dad there in the old days when he was at full cognition and he simply loved it. Steak diane, flambé, a lot of things that light up, a proper caesar made at table side. Old world elegance still done right.

I ordered an excellent hearts of palm salad with bay shrimp and avocado. Steve had foie gras and crab legs. For an entrée I ordered sand dabs, as I usually do and they were marvelous as always. Don't remember what Steve and his son Joe had but we were all happy and dusted the nice meal off with chocolate soufflés which were superb.

I believe that we were the youngest diners there by about twenty or so years. We were loud and had a lot of good laughs.

Last night I met Loughlin at Creola. Or I was supposed to anyway. Missed it for some reason, took miles to reorient and turn around, driving back slowly I saw that the closed sign was out and the familiar yellow light was off. Place was dark. No wonder I missed it.

I pulled in anyway, seeing a candle on inside. The owner Edwin stepped out of the darkness and whispered in my ear, "Robert your buddy is seated over there." The lights had been off all day, five minutes later they reappeared and we were allowed to share a great dinner.

We both had salad with goat cheese. Nice little corn muffins. Mike had a pomtini, I splashed back a cosmo. Instead of the normal filet I usually get I went with the shrimp, crawfish and crab etoufee. Mike ordered the filet, still my favorite anywhere. Skipped dessert.

I finally finished my near miserable day and decided to venture back to South San Francisco  for culinary adventures by myself. South San Francisco is a gritty, ethnic working man's burg which also is home to a bunch of Bio Tech companies. Grand Avenue is full of interesting restaurants of all types, thai, filipino, chinese, italian, etc. I thought about the fancy chinese place next door but instead went back to Xiao Long Bao Kitchen for another round of their delicious shanghai style dumplings.


I'm not going to lie to you, I'm no expert but they were delicious. Hot, full of broth, very flavorful. I also had an order of shredded pork and vermicelli in a clay pot which was good but not necessarily sublime. Next time I will be a bit more adventurous. Was the only non asian there tonight.


I walked the few blocks back to the parking lot and got my car, which was thankfully not molested. Driving back I came upon a long candlelight vigil and march blocking my path, people carrying signs, saying hooray for our side. Rolled the window down and a nice man thanked me for my patience and explained that they were Jordanians and were marching in honor of their dead pilot.

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Tonight Sirius Radio was playing a nice grateful dead concert from Chicago in 1971. An excellent Dark Star that jammed into Sitting on top of the world. Keith Godchaux playing a nice melody line that complimented Garcia quite well. 


I have been reading a lot about darkstars lately, reading a lot about physics in general, currently Leonard Susskind's The Black Hole War, my battle with Stephen Hawking to make the world safe for quantum mechanics. Hawking believed that when something got sucked into a black hole its information disappeared and Susskind and fellow Dutch physicist Gerard 't Hooft thought that that postulation would be physically impossible and contrary to fundamental laws of science, matter and energy. They had a long and convoluted scientific pissing match of some kind, which is recounted in this book I am now approximately halfway through.

Susskind introduces the reader to quantum tunnels, the infinite horizon, entropy (which almost always always increases), a host of other ideas associated with quanta. He has a delightful way of distilling complex problems and making them understandable to the layman.

When I finish this one I have another book to start called Einstein's mistakes. Guess nobody's perfect.

ESO/M. Kornmesser

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Speaking of the singularity, artificial intelligence and all sorts of other weighty matters, you may want to wade into this never ending article that Jonathan Hill sent me tonight.


Jessica sent me this great shot of my mother with Jessica's nephew that I think is wonderful. Mom is hanging in there. Best laid plans and all that...

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