Red tailed mother carrying avocado branch © Robert Sommers 2023

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I believe I shall just ease into the outrage, if you don't mind. In bluegrass they call it trickling in. I could spill but I'd just get myself in trouble, from one side or the other or most probably, both.

So let me dink around a bit and we can get more serious later. I'll whine but I won't go ballistic.

I had a shit weekend in Pasadena, excluding the food and the company of course. Would have been cheaper to just pull two grand out of my pocket and light it on fire, would have saved gas.

Things are a crapshoot these days. All the antique shows are down, people come in and bitch about the ever dwindling number of dealers and I occasionally will grit my teeth and softly explain that people can't keep showing up to sell if people don't show up to buy. Simple. Older clients are done spending and the kids don't show the least bit of interest.

Of course the ikea generation doesn't really feather the nest too much, how do you restore plastic? Sort of waiting around hoping to understand the new paradigm one of these days but it honestly hasn't clicked with me yet. I get the skin thing and the backwards hat thing. What am I forgetting? Or more charitably, they are more color, gender and orientation blind than their parents, more likely to smoke weed, generally broke and perhaps more concerned with bigger, global issues, like solving hunger and world peace and all that. Maybe my gang was the last wave of materialists?

They certainly take to the social media thing, as if I should talk. But I still don't tweet or instagram, no facebook for me, pretty cyber old school.

I don't really push my stuff near as strongly as some, don't cross platform the blog much, try not to badger people and then they get sore for me not sending it.

Anyway I am nearing eight million views in Googlespeak on Google+, whatever inflated number or concept that represents, and thought that I was really something. Until I discovered this guy, Alan Shapiro the other day.

How does a guy get seven billion views? Almost four million followers. Moses didn't have that many followers. Prick. Guy must be good or a hell of a networker, not sure. Just saying, my seven million plus feels a little inconsequential at this point.

I walked into Starbucks to meet Bijou and exchange paintings in Glendale the other day. Black dude behind the counter. I walked up and ordered a regular coffee. What is that, he asked? I looked at him square in the eye and said "You know regular, the size between big and small?" He grudgingly poured me a cup, pouting that I wouldn't play fair and adopt the lexicon.

What other business demands that you talk their special idiom of pig latin before you get served? Might as well wear a costume. I refuse.

There is a new Starbucks in Fallbrook that has pulled a lot of traffic from the old locally owned hang. Never been in, don't plan to. Don't like the coffee, think they are a slightly insidious organization. Never been in the McDonalds either. Try to keep my gelt away from the big corporation types. Don't look forward to the day, soon coming, where everything will be dropped off by one of Amazon's drone fleet. How soon until Google has its own army?

I wrote Leslie a gmail about picking her up from her airplane flight and got a little reminder from Google to get her. Without asking for it. Why don't I like the molochian beast reading all my mail and then making timely suggestions on how I should lead my life?

When Google decides to complete my sentences while texting I make a conscious effort never to take its suggestions, to always do something different. I don't want my computer verbalizing or my phone speaking for me. Call me old school.

Keep the machines away from me. I want as little to do with them as possible. I don't need them for sex, for spellchecking, for instant coffee, nothing short of an occasional translation and google maps when I get lost. If I need their help I will ask for it. Hate it when they volunteer.

Of course my grievances with the modern world extend much farther than this minor diatribe. Honda civics that ride your tail in the slow lane and then pass on the right, also cars that glide across multiple freeway lanes to make a last minute exit without concern for the rest of us, the list is long.

I was at trader joes the other day and the lady in front of me never stopped talking on her phone throughout her checkout. Tilted head, we were all bit players in her movie and she was barely conscious. More and more people are trying to master the text and walk and its pretty goofy. Lots of car texting too, much of the phone use blatant. People are on their instruments 24/7. Might as well have the chip implanted.

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