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Desert vista with Spanish daggers, White Sands

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

11.30

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. George Orwell

I got a funny text today from a friend who said that Leslie and I need to cool it on the politics. Not sure if it is for our own mental health or if we are causing some sort of psychic disturbance and waves in the community.

I will certainly consider his words. But it is still a good time to keep an eye open. These are strange and curious times and I like to keep my own running record.

Please bear with me.

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history. George Orwell


If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
Joseph Goebbels

Cheap Trick

The new surveillance state



It all happens so quickly...Congress goes into matador mode today and refuses to discuss Rule 41. It goes into effect tomorrow. The government will now be able to illegally hack innocent victims of a botnet.

Many thanks to Senator Ron Wyden for sticking up for American citizens' constitutional rights to privacy and unregulated search and seizure. More here.
“At midnight tonight, this Senate will make one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years and years,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who tried with Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) to offer three measures to delay or rein in the new FBI powers. “Without a single congressional hearing, without a shred of meaningful public input, without any opportunity for senators to ask their questions in a public forum, one judge with one warrant would be able to authorize the hacking of thousands, possibly
millions of devices, cell phones and tablets.”
In the final analysis we surrender our rights so meekly and passively.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ooh la la

Second helping

So where was I, best of 2016? Or new stuff? Hmmm. Here's a little bit more of both, shots from the last year.

Natives.





This guy looks like the road chief.


Can't forget the wonderful session I had with the peregrine falcons at Torrey Pines. Magic.



So much cool stuff this year. Grabbed some good portraits and had a show.







to be continued...

All Your Love - Otis Rush

Going down slow

Doesn't it feel like all the oxygen has been sucked out of the balloon?

A lot of people are walking around completely whacked, yours truly included.

And then there are a bunch of people, nonchalant, optimistic, dare I say hopeful? Big deal, four years, how much damage can he do?

We must keep busy. Learn to knit. A hobby. Tranquilizers perhaps. I really wished I enjoyed drinking more. But, as the lady on the radio this morning said, keep your head low and under the radar.

Got a nice reply to yesterday's blog:

Happy to be you muse and inspire more Liberal drivel. 

I am thinking she meant your muse. Amused? Kind to write.

Arnold Layne

Zebra dissolve







Monday, November 28, 2016

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

Pacificus

We are all trying to maintain as best as we can. I have tried Bushmills, all sorts of things to try to dull the pain, but we need to look ahead and get constructive. Try to make something work.

This is the best I've got right now; California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii split off and form our own more perfect union. We call it Pacificus.

If the people in Lancaster and Bakersfield aren't down with it, we simply buy them out and send them to Yuma with a one way ticket.

We have been supporting the red states with our tax dollars for years and have received nothing for it with the exception of too many Arizonans crowding our beaches every summer.

If California is the world's seventh largest economic engine, what would the four state collective republic create? I see pinot noir flowing like water, getting lost in my sister state's sugar cane. A happy, green, shining country with a strict border policy. Who knows, maybe we'll build a wall.

As a native born Pacificun, I think that I speak for my fellow citizens when I tell you that I am tired of paying for red state morons and ingrates. Snake handlers and hate mongers. Coal belching despoilers. Tired of not having an equal vote.

It will be a hard break up but we'll all get over it in time. Best for all concerned.

Later. Please don't visit.

Autumn Leaves

Conservative values

I got one of those typical thanksgiving letters from a friend and retired business owner. Trips and goings on with the family. Standard fare until it got to the end part:
Planning an inauguration party.  Condolences to those who were “with her”.  We feel your pain, or did for the last 8 years. We are praying that our hopes for the amazing success of conservative values are realized.  GOD BLESS AMERICA!
I get it. They rub it in a little but they are giddy, they can't help it. Good for them. I probably would too. My problem is the next to last sentence, the conservative values part. Which values exactly are they speaking about?

The values of a President to be who is an admitted groper, a guy who took advantage of the tax and bankruptcy laws and left thousands of people crushed in his wake?  I don't want to repeat myself and I think his kind usually spontaneously combust on their own, so lets say we look at the prospective cabinet instead.

An Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, who wants to pull money from the public education system in order to have the american public subsidize religious and charter schools. Her husband, a scion of the Amway empire, has been a strong proponent of teaching intelligent design and creationism right alongside  the widely accepted science concerning evolution. Considering a majority of the Republican party believes that the world is only six thousand years old, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Charter schools are a way rich white folks make sure that their children don't have to mix with poor, minority folk.

Or Jerry Falwall Jr..

An EPA head in one Myron Ebell, who is not only a denier of climate change but is not even a real scientist, who once said that people who die from the results of global warming were probably "going to die anyway."

An administration that has called the seven year drought we have experienced in the west a hoax.

A prospective Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who said the only problem with the KKK is that some of them smoke pot.

Peter Thiel, a man who has been on record saying it was a bad idea to give women the right to vote.

A senior strategist and Counselor, Steve Bannon, who has been on record wanting to restrict voting to property owners and is the publisher of an alt right magazine that regularly disparages blacks and jews and who has championed the views of white supremacists.

A potential Secretary of State, David Petraeus, a married general who spilled confidential and classified information to a mistress while in the middle east.

Rudy Giuliani, another serial cheater, who told the press he was getting a divorce before he even told his wife.

An advisor and supporter named Carl Higbie who wants to establish an internment camp for American muslims, including natural born citizens.

A president who was elected with a lot of help from the Russians, who paid people to come up with false information to spread on social media about his opponent. Who won't release his tax returns, who won't tell you who he owes money to, besides the massive amounts owed to Deutsche Bank. Who has already asked the Scots to do something about the wind machines that are affecting the views at his golf courses, who is reneging on promises to divest of his business because he can do both jobs perfectly and the laws don't apply to him. Who has advocated jailing women and the doctors who undergo abortions.

Conservatives are okay with all that...
My god, who's next?

(to be continued.)

anti miscegenation flyer recently handed out at three universities including SMU.

Tom Waits - Wrong Side of the Road

Trumpers


soon to have a position in the new cabinet...





View from Andrew's porch


Dyke & The Blazers - Why Am I Treated So Bad?

Lend a hand

100% Human Hair, Los Angeles, CA
Girl with white shoes, Broadway


We had an excellent time in Dallas and one of the high points for me was going down to the Arlington Metroplex on Thanksgiving morning.

Living on the street, San Francisco
Andrew, Cassie and I waited in line at the massive church operation and picked up a couple turkeys and boxes of dinner fixings and delivered them to the less fortunate.

Hundreds if not thousands of people were involved in the effort.

It was an incredibly well run effort and the families that received the dinners from us were very grateful.

Always need to be conscious of the fact that it could easily be you and me down there. Poor is not an illness and sometimes people are fighting against a stacked deck. Lots of people barely surviving on the fringes. I am grateful for being able to give, of my time if nothing else, in this instance.

Thanks to those of you who do it every day.

Hard bed, Florence

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dallas, got a soft machine...

I hope that all of you Blast readers, from wherever land you may hail, had a wonderful holiday if you celebrated this weekend. I have a lot to be thankful for and thank all of you in the near and extended Blast family for your continued readership and participation.

I am not exactly sure what it means but I reached my ten millionth view this week.

As a round number freak, I take pride in this accomplishment, however paltry its true significance might actually be.

We spent a delightful holiday in Dallas, with family.

Leslie's brother has a beautiful place which affords exquisite views of the skyline so I managed to grab a few pictures.

Not easy to shoot long exposures without a tripod but I gave it a go.

first light







Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Blue Heron Brigade

If you are happy with the election of Donald Trump, good on you, mate. I myself rather loathe the man, as should be readily apparent to even the casual reader.

Think he is a danger to our country, our constitution, and our world, I wouldn't trust a word that came out of his pie hole.

Word today that he plans to run the family business from the Oval Office and admits to using his foundation as a piggy bank.

Like I was saying, you have a right to like him and I have the right to hate him and even protest his agenda.

And that's just what I think I will do. At least on one day, the inauguration,  January 20th. I am not sure where or how my protest will take place. Would love company. Either local or will travel if necessary. Anybody come up with anything that sounds good, let me know.

Nothing violent or fancy, just a little old fashioned first amendment protected dissent.

Silence is not an option. Get out and say your piece or forever hold your tongue.

My year behind the viewfinder, part one

Was a good year personally for photography. Over 30k snaps. Visited a lot of cool places with my wife, with Ken and by myself. Found the right work/play balance and pushed it at every opportunity. Thought I should do a backtrack with some shots that you may have never seen.

Sandhill cranes

Started out in the cold of New Mexico's Bosque del Apache at New Years.

Geese and cranes flying north
 Tooled over to Saguaro National Park near Tucson for a nice sunrise.


Back to Oceanside for a long exposure sunset.

Really can't believe how much I managed to grab.

Had several good outings at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, where I caught this red shouldered hawk camouflaged in the near barren limbs.

And another buteo skimming the surface.

Wasn't all birds of course. Managed to grab a postcard like sunset at Grandview.



Played around with my portrait lenses too.


Hung a large format portrait show in the Library.

Starless trip to Joshua Tree with Ken and Fred. If you ever go out to shoot with preconceptions, they can never match what manages to come down the pike. The unexpected is what usually delivers the goods.

Marine Corps' Stearmans at Torrey Pines.



Yellowstone and the Tetons. Will never forget the beautiful red fox.


They want to start mining near Yellowstone. With the new administration, who knows? Enjoy the wild while it still exists. Hard to feel optimistic about the future right now at least in terms of maintaining some sense of sanctity in our environment.


to be continued...

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Curtain Falls - Bobby Darin

Manikin artist


Jack Tarr The Sailor

Papers, please!

Girls at the show
I think that one of the watershed moments in the coming presidency will be when the large deportation push gets going. The number that the Donald first bandied around was eleven million but lately we hear three. Fine. Lets work with three.

People think that this is going to be tidy and hygienic, not a chance. It is going to get very ugly and fever pitched. Very quickly.

Hurry up with those new prisons boys, they will be busting at the seams. Wonder if the native inhabitants of our fair country ever had a deportation plan? If they did, it wasn't very effective.

People aren't going to believe who gets snared. See, it's not just Mexican rapists, it is going to be the nice Irish guy next door too. The Danish woman down the street.

 I know plenty of people who have been a bit "tardy" shall we say, checking in with the authorities. Of all pigments. Lot of your favorite chi chi restaurants are going to be looking for chefs and you may even have some difficulty securing a new downstairs maid. People are sweating right now. Your neighbors.

Of course last week the Obama administration threw a Korean guy out who came here at the age of three and has no connection to his birthplace, that is besides a sketchy mother.

Tough luck, Seoul Brother. Trump will trump that in spades. Don't listen to their screams, they don't belong here. I am sure that like the famed Milgram Experiment, people will become immune to the deportees pain fairly quickly.

I never quite understood why the folks in Arizona are always in such an immigration tizzy. I live in a community with plenty of illegals. They for the very most part keep their noses very clean and work their asses off. Drive too slowly but obey all the laws. Don't bother people. Native borns are more the problem...

Why is California so much more chill than our Eastern neighbor? Besides racism, let's not make it too easy.