hummana hummuna

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Anita Kerr Singers

You could not get less hip these days than Anita Kerr, which is one of the reasons I love this gorgeous rendition of the Delaney Bramlett song. Great horns and vocals on this track. Anita Kerr was a very wonderful and competent performer, read her bio here. She was not only a great singer, she was a great arranger as well.

Eschscholzia californica

Friday, March 22, 2019

Hot Rize - Shadows in my room

The fields of Elsinore

Reneé and Vern took me hostage for a few hours this afternoon and carted me off to the poppy fields in Lake Elsinore.

They have been hitting the place pretty hard in the last week and their able reconnaissance allowed us to be free of crowds and hit close to maximum flower wattage.

All about available light of course.

You look around for patches of illumination.

Easy to understand how Wendt and Redmond, Payne and Gamble, the great California impressionists, all fell in love with the landscape in the season when the California state flower was in its magnificent bloom.

It was all very lovely. Glad I didn't miss the show. Lovely marriages of orange and purple with a bit of mustard thrown in for good measure.

I took a lot of shots. Will be fun seeing what I've caught. T'was quite a show.

Of course, you never lose sight of the fact that you are in Lake Elsinore.

We were on the Snake Rd. for a spell, a pretty steep grade. But we lived to tell our tale. Ended up at the Hat for pastrami.

Frumious Bandersnatch - Retinal Circus

Clouds over the Santa fe

We had never been to 127 Main before last night, at least in its newest incarnation. Meal was not real good but the service has improved and was excellent.

I am not going to get into a blow by blow food review at this point but will tell you that the best part for me was seeing the lovely clouds rolling in from the east.

Cooper's Hawk

My friend Bob Booth is an excellent photographer who lives near Prescott, Arizona. He sends over this shot he took recently of a Cooper's hawk amongst the cactus.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Les and Snoop Dogg

My wife Leslie was at a retail buying show in Las Vegas this weekend and ran into her new friend Snoop.

She said that he was a wonderful soul. Great vibe.

I live the life I love

This is a Willy Dixon composition written for Muddy Waters. Willy Dixon wrote so many iconic songs, his contributions to the musical lexicon must never be forgotten.

Cañon Mezzotint

Chastened rainbows

It took forever to get home in the rain. The Paschal supermoon was rising brightly in the sky as I made my way down the narrow canyon road to my little hacienda de refugio.

I fell asleep on my couch, exhausted. Unbeknownst to me, Leslie had covered me up with a blanket but I still woke up freezing around two in the morning and finally stumbled my way to bed.

Four hours later I was up for what was gearing up to be a busy morning. When I hit the mailbox in the dawn light I saw a beautiful ridge of palm trees peaking out from over an occluded fog bank.

It was really marvelous. I jumped out of the car, fumbled with the iso on the camera and grabbed some shots. Stuck the zoom on and got closer.

The sky was lovely and sherbet in the early dawn hours.

no processing
I continued my way towards coffee and camaraderie. As I got up to Mission Rd. I saw continuing pyrotechnics, a gorgeous and intense vertical rainbow immediately bearing down on the hilltop ridge to the north. I needed a shot. I couldn't stop on Mission or I would cause on accident, pulled off on Davis Rd., a road I have actually never been on before. Rainbow was of course, now gone, I nearly ended up in a ditch trying to pull out of a tight squeeze at the end of the road. I tried. Foiled again.

Oh well, at least I saw it.

Vern and Reneé have been hitting the poppy fields of Elsinore with vigor. Here are a couple shots they sent.

Elsinore poppies now visible from space.

Lincoln Heights

I had lunch with a friend and sold a few things up in Orange yesterday. I then drove up to Los Angeles to see a friend's son. He lives in a work/live loft off the 110. Dropped off oranges and picked up some baskets and paintings. Hit rain, hail and lightning while I was there, it was very dynamic weather.

When I left his house and made my way back to wherever my gps was leading me, I noticed a couple things.  Number one, there were beautiful bungalows and victorian houses around, number two, the area was very cool and I knew absolutely nothing about it.

Out of the corner of my eye I see a sculpture of what looks like Pancho Villa.

Hmmm, would have to check into that.

As I continued on Valley Blvd. I noticed a beautiful park on my left, one that I had never seen before. It had a water feature and a lovely mission bell in an adobe gate. Where the hell was I?
I called a friend who went to USC and he said he knew the general area but not the name of the park. When I got home I did some checking.

What I was looking at was actually the little known Lincoln Park, once known as the crown jewel of Los Angeles area parks. Built in 1901 from land donated by John Strother Griffin. Griffin was a surgeon who worked with General Kearney. He was awarded the land for his work curing the smallpox epidemic. He called the land Enchanted Hill.

The original name for the park was East Los Angeles Park, then Eastlake Park. More on it here.

It once had a zoo, a sulphur bath, an ostrich and alligator farm and was located on an old stagecoach road to the San Gabriel Mission.

Forgive me but the Pancho Villa statue was actually of Emiliano Zapata, the bronze created in 1980 by artist Ignacio Asunsolo and it is located in the El Parque de Mexico. The park has or had work by some very important artists, including Francisco Zuniga and Julia Bracken Wendt.

And Lincoln Heights just might be the oldest neighborhood in Los Angeles outside of downtown, started in the 1830's within the original 40 league Spanish land grant.

Not far from Boyle Heights and Brooklyn Heights, both once home to large Irish and Jewish immigrant populations.

Of course the native Tongva or Gabrielinos lived on the land for at least fourteen hundred years before that.

I am intrigued with this place. I am planning on coming back soon with my camera and I'm going to take my time and get to know it a bit. Very cool area.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Food shapes speech

A new study, Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration
suggests that with humans' change from hunter gathering to farming, our food got softer and our bite and speech changed.

As one commenter pointed out in the New York Times, presumably some sibilants were lost to the world as well.

And on a similar front, how you pronounce the letter R might say a lot about your familial origin. Rhotics.


Unmasked by your fricative phonemes - One day soon, Siri will be able to distinguish you from your speech patterns.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Fill the frame

Loggins and Messina

Thanks, pal.

Two very nice female deputies showed up after my phone call. Did I wish to press charges if the culprit was found and hauled in? Yes, I did.

The graffiti miscreant known as Mase decided for some unknown reason to etch his initials deeply into the plate glass window in front of my store. What a wonderful person.

Swear it wasn't there that morning, I had just stepped out for a second. I think I might have even seen him sitting on the bench outside.

Too deep to rub out, it will probably cost me a grand or so that I don't have to replace the window. Not enough to submit to insurance, in any case.  Like a stupid dog pissing on a tree stump to mark territory, this delinquent a-hole left his cursive calling card right on the front of my shop window.

What kind of idiot criminal signs their work?

Monday, March 18, 2019

Space Hymn

Beto O'Rourke denied ever taking LSD yesterday. I have no way of knowing if he was telling the truth or not and frankly don't care. It's really none of my business. Well I think it would have been nice for him to admit if he had but I don't blame the guy for lying, considering the circumstances. He can always repent later on or go to tripster confession.

I do think it shows you how far we have come, ten years ago, it was have you ever smoked weed? Now that's pretty much a given.

The new politico taboo is obviously psychedelic exploration, although that makes little sense. We have no problem with you if you are a hard core lush who beats his wife but if you took acid before, horrors! Not sure I want a glazed president juggling the nuclear football while listening to Dark Star but I have no problem with a little youthful exploration.

Early adherents like Steve Allen and Cary Grant were administered acid by the good Dr. Janiger to cure and heal them and the substance did surprisingly well, was quite effective actually, especially with the treatment of alcoholism.

Not really sure why the subject was even broached but there are reports that a younger Beto once wrote fiction online under the nom de plume "Psychedelic Warlord." Hmmm.


West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Eighteen Is Over The Hill

Spring colors

The approach of spring has touched my Santa Margarita River valley. Ceanothus, or purple lilac bushes, are starting to paint the hillsides in their lovely shades of aubergine. Echium, the pride of Madeira, are starting to flower in the gardens with their towering blue purple spikes. As you can see from the picture above, the wisteria has opened its lilac spikes high in my oak tree. Canterbury bells and lupine grace the boundaries of our canyon road, accented by the ubiquitous golden California poppies.

I had a house call in town in the early afternoon and decided to pick up my camera gear and take a few shots in my garden afterwards.

I had bought a bunch of ranunculus and Icelandic poppies and planted them when I got home, along with some salvias and leptospermum.

The orange and yellow hues seem quite congenial with the dominant purple rubric.

Southern California is awash this week with painted lady butterflies, the remnants of which dot many a windshield. I set my camera up in the garden and caught a cavalcade of birds, bees and butters. Even a friendly mockingbird.

Hunting with a camera is a lot like hunting with a rifle or hunting anything else in life, if you are going to have wins, you are damn sure going to have a bunch of failures.

I had a mess of them yesterday. Didn't care a bit. Saw plenty and don't have to record everything I experience. Not a paying gig.

I do wish that I had stopped my aperture up to ƒ22 when this red tailed hawk flew by the moon.

But I didn't. I wasn't expecting it, didn't have the presence of mind. The hawk was being mobbed by a couple of crows. Here's the photoshopped version anyway. A little sloppy. Same moon, seconds later.

Live and learn. The hawk itself was very lovely.

I was thinking about corvids and raptors, how funny that fierce hawks allow themselves to be dominated by crows with their superior brainpower.

At that moment a kingbird flew out of the cedar and attacked the crow. So maybe the kingbird is the actual king? Or more likely, every dog has his day, nature merely a gigantic game of rock, paper, scissors.

Watched the feeders for a while, the house finches always willing to put on a comical show.

Until they were chased away by the super macho doves anyway. Never figured out how they got this peaceful reputation, doves? They can be little bastards.

I sat for hours, tried to lure the hummingbirds in with a sprinkler, never fails.

Until yesterday.

I adjusted my vantage, sat for hours in different spots, managed to grab a few shots. Grabbed a few super sweet navel oranges off the tree for sustenance. Didn't go inside until evening.

Shooting hummingbirds is actually quite humbling.

You hear this little mechanical snick or a rush of their wings and you turn around and they have just done a figure eight around you and flew into the sunset.

If you do manage to get a decent shot it is either because you were lucky or they decided to allow it.

Could swear I've heard them laughing at me...

You have to be very patient, in any case. Little green gems.

Not sure what this guy is, have to get my book or ask Ken or Beth. He says California Towhee, I should have known...

Not a bad day, me hanging around the garden with my friends.