Jelly, jelly so fine

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Water Is Wide - John Gorka

I'm dreaming of a white New Years!

 Leslie woke me up from a rather sound sleep a little past seven this morning. "What's wrong," I asked? She told me to hurry outside. I have lived in Fallbrook for near 35 years and had never seen it snow here before. To my amazement, both hills on either side of our house were covered with the white snowflakes, Red Mountain and Gavilan Mountain.

It was supposed to snow down to 2000 feet last night. My house is at 525. Looks like it got down to around 700'. Unfortunately my camera was in town. Leslie took some shots with her ipad. I ran in to town and retrieved mine, stopping at Riverview and driving up Toyon Heights on the way back. Stopped at the airport for a second as well. I saw a lot of snow on the ground on the way to town. In fact there is a little snow flurry downtown as we speak.

Unfortunately by the time I got my camera from my store a lot of the snow had melted. Maybe we will get some more tonight. Brett drove up to Tenaja and got some fantastic shots. I wasn't so lucky. If you have better shots send them along and I will post them.

Snow is pretty rare in sunny southern California. But this was certainly not a first for Fallbrook. It snowed in 1967, and I think again in 1969. I was in junior high and I remember the light afternoon snowfall. Farther back there were big snows in 1949, 1912 and 1882. I read that the 1912 snow was a whopper, leaving 30" in some places.

You don't really expect snow in the land of the palm trees!

Jerry sends a couple pics from up in La Cresta:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Russian Lullaby

Irving Berlin
This is a great song, the Redbone version a rendition that I have never heard before. Russian Lullaby was written by the great Irving Berlin. Berlin was born Israel Isadore Beilin in Tyumen, Russia in 1888. Tyumen was the first Russian settlement in Siberia.

This song has been performed by a wide variety of performers over the years including Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane and Jerry Garcia. An immigrant's song of plaintiff remembrance.

When my mother's dad left Moldava in 1922 he was forced to sign a document promising that he would never return to the land of his birth. As desolate and hard as our existence might once have been, it is a difficult thing to imagine the pain of forsaking one's homeland forever.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mom, hanging in.

My mother is holding on at the hospice. Astoundingly so. With a creatinine level of close to five, she should have checked out weeks ago. I was talking to a hospice doctor I know about her condition and he was shocked. Her mental condition is remarkably cogent. It shouldn't be. Total kidney failure. She gave up on dialysis and all other medication weeks ago. I am worried about her, constantly dreaming about her, but she looks like she is indeed bulletproof, an unusually strong person.

She woke up today asking for vanilla ice cream. Jessica got her some haagen daz. My mother and my wife actually share the same birthday, August 23rd. They are very much alike in many ways.

But my wife hates vanilla, being a total chocolate lover. I, on the other hand, love a good vanilla, and ascribe my passion for its more subtle charms to superior genes.

Fred Neil

I am back on a Fred Neil binge. What a player, what a voice! Watched this interesting video interview with his old partner Vince Martin. That's the bag I'm in.

Maltese Heron

Pushing sixty, at the end of another calendar year, I am indulging in a bit of personal accounting. I have had a remarkably full life, chock full of both stunning victories and crushing defeats, yet I have come to grips that there will be some things that will never get struck off my bucket list.

I will never learn conversational italian, or to sail a boat properly, tie a decent fishing knot, or even a sheepshank for that matter. I am afraid that ballroom dancing will forever evade me, I will never feel comfortable cooking in the kitchen. A competent guitarist lacking only a sense of time, I will never feel comfortable playing for or with other people.

I will never get that novel written.

I tried in 1990, in the midst of my divorce, and stopped and started with a few literary threads along the way that basically went nowhere. Lacking interest and inspiration, both dreadful things for a writer not to have in his quiver.

I suppose I could string a few stories together, if forced to at gunpoint, if I wasn't so critical about such things. But I just can't see it happening. A writer is first supposed to have something to say.

But if it does happen, someday, against all odds, I do have a photograph for the back inside cover. I had been eyeing the alley between the pub and the nail salon for some time. I saw Jon Harwood with his film camera one day last week and convinced him to run over and take some shots. He developed them and sent them over and here they are. I'm halfway home. Think they will look good on a juicy crime novel.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


My friend Jim's granddaughter Logan is visiting from Omaha. She visited us at the coffee shop the other day. Pretty little girl.

Victor Moscoso

Friday, December 26, 2014

Xmas 2014


Leslie and I had a really nice christmas. Our great friends Ron and Lena invited us to join them at the San Diego Zoo. On Xmas morning we heard the animals receive presents that they open. Although we got there early I confess I didn't see a lot of that. We had a fantastic day in any case. Everybody seemed to be having a good time, even the elephants.

It is hard not to have a great day at the zoo if you call yourself a photographer. I lugged my Nikon D7000 around with the Sigma 50/500mm on a sling. It was easy yesterday. A lot of shots presented themselves. I sort of focused on the eyes.

The tiger lay right by the window and made it simple for us.

The big silverback gorilla grabbed a willing consort and gave himself a christmas present, vigorously making love in front of a slightly stunned audience. Afterwards he ran over and tapped the window gently above my head, a simian highfive.

We took the skytram over the zoo that gave us a nice view of the surrounding city. The day was pretty beautiful although we did get a few sprinkles while we were up top.

All in all it was a great time. Of course the people watching is really great too.

I have a lot of shots to process and to ponder. Afterwards we headed to Jasmine for dim sum but the wait was ridiculous so we called Spicy City who said, come on over we're not busy but they lied so we ate korean/chinese next door which wasn't so memorable but our friends are so we made the best of it.

We drove back to Fallbrook, stopped at the shop and then headed off to Bill and Jean's for her special Christmas lasagna dinner. Fine day had by all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 end of year entries from the blast readership

Stan Schnier
"When Carmen's out of town, I like beer on my cornflakes" - Michael Maas
Ken Seals
Fall bush flying - Jeff Barney
Brett Stokes

Lichen - Jeff Myers
Napoleon House Bar, New Orleans - Toni Inman
The Skookum Maru, anchored at high tide. Jedediah Island, BC - Ralph Chaney

Douglas Garn
Drew Cady
Penang, Malaysia - Lena Leichtling
Not the best shot, but memorable. Good luck finding the bird. - Bill Olson
Somewhere to hide from the storm - Richard Hudgins
Jacobs Clan, Hawaii - David Jacobs
Me and grandson - Carrie Repking
Last trip to Isan - Michael Loughlin

At the library - Jon Harwood
Himalayan Holyman with i.d.  bracelet - Helen McHargue
 Lights at LACMA - Kip Peterson
John Colombero

Muddy - Kerry Brown

Beth playing for Kitty, taken before Kitty's passing - Tracy Merchant
Robin Adler and Dave Blackburn, Fallbrook's best singing group!!! -  Mike Reardon

My wife's 92 year old father, Nicolas, at the Buddhist temple in Bonsall. His key to longevity,  "Eat lots of vegetables, and don't stop smoking and drinking until you're 80. - Jerry Hall

Lake shot, British Columbia - Dave Blackburn
Blue Heron Board Meeting - Robert Sommers
Smoke gets in your eyes - Warren Bishop
Jonathan Hill
Boobies - Painted for Exquisite Corpse October 2014 - Noreen Ring
Roy Cohen
Silver Temple, Chiang Mai - Ricardo Neuman

Terry Schurmeier
May not be the best photo but it does mean the most to me.  It's my two year old granddaughter, Ever and me, in art class. - Linda Kohn Sherwood
This may not be that great a shot, but it means something to me because I developed it myself in my kitchen sink.
I picked up a couple of old medium-format film cameras from eBay, and actually using film has been a refreshing change from all the digital work I do. This was shot with a Mamiya C330, and developing black & white is pretty straightforward and doesn’t even require a darkroom, as I just scanned the negatives afterwards.
It’s amazing to me how much detail there is in that 2”x2” square; this was taken in Colt State Park in Bristol.-
Randy Walters

Nitza Leichtling
Lou Nidorf

Batton Lash and Jackie Estrada
Meteor Crater view - Victoria Roberts
Bali Prayers - Ron Holder
This is my end of year choice photo. It shows the earths beauty at night under the majestic Milky Way. This location is the very accesible Waimea Canyon, just 3.5 miles from town, with a nice big pull-off to park and see the sunset above Kekaha. And when the night sky unfolds, the beautiful stars, satellites and moonbows can be seen from this awesome view point. It's a perfect way to end the day and reflect on what I am thankful for in my life, here on Kauai. - Ted Fleming

Dominick Grossi

"Just let me go home" - Michael Bradford

The chuck wagon resting during the 105th Hunewill Ranch Cattle Drive, 2014 - Bill Le Masters

Lightning On The Navajo Reservation - Ryland Zweifel
Cam Wilde
Allan Seymour
Caribbean sunset - Jan Duggan

David Manring