new rider of the purple sage

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Tex Mex

As I mentioned, I spent a lot of my youth in El Paso. We moved around a lot but it was one of the places that stuck. My mother was a teacher there, her husband, my stepfather, worked at White Sands. El Paso is the butt of a lot of jokes and a target of derision but I enjoyed my life there and in Las Cruces the previous year. Played a lot of sand lot baseball, swam at the Blue Dolphin, absorbed the Tex Mex culture. Trips to Juarez with my family to our favorite restaurant, the Alacazar. Elmer's restaurant on  Montana.

I learned Spanish from the second grade there and became fluent at an early age. One of the things I liked most about El Paso was the fact that there was no racism that I could see in Cielo Vista, the community I lived in. Gussie Rodriguez lived across the street, people were honestly color blind in El Paso and they integrated, probably more than they do here today in San Diego County.

I was reading an interview earlier with an Arnold Sameniego, a 40 year old who works at the Walmart and I got to thinking; My best friend up the street was Eric Sameniego and he was my age.  Maybe Arnold's dad, who knows? The age would be about right.  My heart goes out to to all the people of my old hometown.

Happy birthday, James Baldwin

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
James Baldwin

Bill Monroe

Set up like a bowling pin

On fumes, I am ready to start another summer journey. Make or break, last roundup. Like an old bank robber, hoping for one last score and a little breathing room. Getting by ain't a whole lot of fun. Of course, it's all a matter of perspective. I could have been unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at Dayton or El Paso del Norte yesterday, any of those poor folks would trade places with me in a heartbeat. If they had one. For better or for worse, I'm still in the game, so fucking sad what has happened to our country, 250 massacres in 215 days, or is it 251  292 now? You feed the crazies all that hate and then get surprised when they start acting out? Send Trump and Coulter and Limbaugh and Ingraham and Bannon and Miller and all the rest of the bastards to their own little desert island and let them play Survivor or Lord of the Flies til the cannibalism starts. I've been surviving on charity and a steady diet of near misses, removed myself from my fellows of late, no desire to talk or plumb the depths, been bingeing Daredevil on Netflix, which is way too violent but not terrible. I am usually a few years late to any party. I threw the i ching the other day, got fire on the mountain, an auspicious hexagram for a deadhead and a decent portent for a traveler. The Wanderer - Strange lands and separation are the wanderer's lot. Been using the Wilhelm edition since I was about 13 and it can be remarkably prescient. Second line changing. Long distance runner, what you standing there for? Hit the road jack, don't you come back, no more, no more...Did you know that they threw lots in the bible, both testaments old and new? Leviticus 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. Psalm 22:18 They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Prov. 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD, anyway the second line changing talked about throwing all your valuables in a van and skedaddling down the road where you will meet a trusted helper, much obliged. Six in the second place: The wanderer comes to an inn. He has his property with him. He wins the steadfastness of a young servant. They call me the wanderer, Yeah, the wanderer, I roam around, around, around...

New Mexico awaits. Will let you know how it all turns out.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Booker T. Jones and the MG's

Cropper at his nastiest...

Cielo Vista

I just heard that there was an active shooter at the Walmart located at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso. Maybe two.

This sort of hits close to home for me. I lived in Cielo Vista as a kid from 1965 to 1968. My elementary school, MacArthur, is only two blocks away.

Still remember my teachers' names; Mrs. Fischer, Mrs. Heller, Mrs. Bingham and Mrs. Saudermeister. Used to be a nice place to live, no longer such a "beautiful view."

My one sister went to high school at Burges, the other went to the Catholic Loreto Academy. My street, Basil Court, another block or two away from the school.

Of course there was no mall back then. Not much of anything, we were on the outskirts, now it's practically the center of town.

Horned toads, an occasional desert turtle, not much else. Decent place to be a child. We weren't rich but not many people that we knew were either.

I've been gone a long time but it is still startling to hear about this. Longest time I ever stayed in one place as a kid. I guess it was home base.

 World definitely has a screw loose. I hope everything turns out okay.


Friday, August 2, 2019

Brown Eyed Women

I heard this all woman Grateful Dead cover band on David and Gary's show on Sirius Radio two weeks ago. Jaded old me was captivated. I think they are great. This was always one of my favorite first set Jerry songs. Sounds awesome here. Happy belated Birthday, Jerry!

Phoenix Cross

About twenty eight years ago I bought a 15 gallon palm from Rancho Soledad Nursery in Rancho Santa Fe. They told me that it was a phoenix hybrid, canariensis x reclinata.

In layman's terms that is a cross between the rather common Canary Island Palm and the multi trunked Senegalese Date Palm.

The palm grew and grew but it was actually very ugly. It was a mountain of fronds and suckers, we called it Cousin It. Big amorphous blob.

Leslie and I cut off a lot of bottom sucker growth. It had the worst qualities of both parents, a botanic disaster. The spikes were long and lethal.

We never took the beard off the palm and it became a dense thicket. Orioles played in its protective skirting. Left it well enough alone.

Our neighbor Todd has been helping me around the house lately. Great guy and an arborist. I asked him if he could trim it up for me.

He wasted no time attacking the job. Has taken several trailer loads of fronds out.

And lo and behold, my ugly duckling is now a beautiful swan with nine trunks, topping out near twenty four feet in the air. Who knew?

In a day or two it will be finished up. I need to fertilize it, green it up but will wait until it is a little cooler.

I sent a picture to a palm expert friend who thinks it is more probably a reclinata x roebelenii cross. He mentions a lack of side shoots on the trunks and some identifying frond characteristics.

Rancho Soledad now thinks it is a straight reclinata. I sure don't. I will have to look around for a before picture. The difference is startling.

Love this headline

Hello in there

Suggested by Hudgins...

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Putin's Mitch

Poor Mitch McConnell. People are putting up some very funny billboards in his home state of Kentucky. I like it when libs take the gloves off. And he certainly has it coming.

Mitch's protestations notwithstanding, he did thwart bipartisan efforts to stop the Russians during the Obama administration.
The Obama White House, swayed by enormous amounts of evidence compiled by the U.S. intelligence agencies, asked for  bipartisan support to push back against Russian intrusion.
In mid-September 2016, Obama sent counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, FBI Director Comey, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to brief top members of Congress. He didn't want to appear partisan so he sought a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” against Russian meddling in our democracy.
But it didn't happen – because McConnell refused. He didn't want to go public and he questioned the validity of the intelligence. He finally agreed to a watered down version that didn't mention Russia.
And of course his former top aides have been lobbying for the Russians in order to build an aluminum plant in Kentucky.
Hunter Bates–McConnell’s former chief of staff–and Brendan Dunn, who advised the senator on policy issues such as taxes, trade, and financial services–and played a key role in Republican’s successful effort to pass tax-cuts–both filed lobbying disclosures last week confirming that they were working for Braidy Industries on the development of a new aluminum mill in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, per Politico. Rusal reportedly has $200 million invested in the project.Braidy Industries, an Ashland, Kentucky based aluminum alloys manufacturer that creates products for the automobiles is 40-percent owned by the Russian aluminum behemoth Rusal. EN+ Group is the parent company of Rusal, and Deripaska no longer owns a majority stake.
To make matters worse, Rusal was only able to procure its stake in Braidy after the U.S. granted Deripaska sanctions relief in January, relief that McConnell advocated for. McConnell previously said that the push to lift sanctions was “completely unrelated to anything that might happen in my home state.”  

Future Games

I will be the first to admit that this is not nearly as good as the version on the Fleetwood Mac album. But it is not terrible. I used to think that Fleetwood Mac meant Peter Green but as I get older I keep coming back to the playing and beautiful vocals of Welch and Kirwan, as illustrated on the albums Bare Trees and Kiln House and Future Games. What beautiful songs from this period. Bob Welch brought many of them, including Sentimental Lady, Future Games and Hypnotized. His life had a very sad ending, committing suicide after a terrible bout with spinal problems that his doctor said he would never recover from.