Jelly, jelly so fine

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


I mentioned to my wife last night that at 851 posts and counting, this year's blog total is set to be my second most productive year ever.

It has been a steady progression upwards from 2014's nadir of 246 posts (the year I quit for six months), which was probably a personal hangover from 2013's mega tally of 1130.

She pointed out that I had not been writing the long opuses I used to write, which is certainly true. It just doesn't feel like I am working that hard this year, remember when I would put out seven solid posts a day in my glory years. This year came pretty easy.

Less politics these days. Don't feel the need to alienate those that may not agree with me, would rather find common ground.

Ran out of things to say, issues to cover, guess I have already said my piece. Now you get more birds, less outrage. I started reading through some of the early blog years the other day and I note a couple things. My photography has got a hell of a lot better and a lot of my old links no longer link. Many video posts are now officially dead.

The one thing I have not been doing, in years really, is writing fiction. I go back to 2009 and I was smoking with the short fiction back then. I just reread a bunch of stuff and I am still proud of it. But I can only write fiction when I am flush and not freaking out about how the bills are going to get paid and I am just not feeling that secure anymore.

Hope I can get that freedom back one day, there is nothing like it. Would be nice not to stress and to feel that creativity again.

I wrote a pithy note to a younger brother who obliquely ruffled my feathers recently. With his permission I will one day share it with you.

You folks did a nice job on the annual pictures thing this year, thanks a lot. Still time to send yours in.

Au revoir!

Johnny Ace is dead

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

World's worst photographer

One of the online groups I belong to is called the World Best Top Photographer Association Community. Who appointed them to such a lofty perch? Got me.

Frankly the title of the group is so pretentious I can't honestly post my work there. Put a few pictures up in the beginning and then felt like a complete stooge. As if.

Pronghorn, National Elk Refuge

Black and White - Daring Greatly

Ricky Jay

I think I first got acquainted with Ricky Jay on sunday mornings as a kid. He had a show from the Long Beach Pike where he threw the cards through watermelons and the like. It was on after demo derby and roller derby if memory serves.

Guy was one of a kind. What shtick, patois. Later in life I was lucky enough to meet Ricky at the Antiquarian Book and Print Fair in Pasadena. I sold him something and we discussed his great book Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.

Brilliant magician, card sharp, actor, historian, wit, he had it all and will be sorely missed. There will never be another Ricky Jay.

Rock on Stephen

Stephen Hillenburg, the animator and marine biologist who created Spongebob Square Pants has died of ALS. 57 years old.

Did I ever watch a single episode of the show in its twenty year run? No, I did not? So why do I bring it up?

In the first place, ALS is a terrible disease. My friends and I watched our buddy Clark Crouse die of the disease and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Secondly, I was going to write a snarky letter to Morty along the lines of me favoring leaving a legacy of snorting drain cleaner and abusing shih tzu's rather than leaving as my life's work a legacy of what appears to be a pretty dorky cartoon.

And then I started actually reading about the guy and it turns out that he was a very talented fellow indeed. And the show was both informative and groundbreaking at times and is still the highest rated franchise to ever appear on Nickelodeon and MTV, bringing in an estimated $13 billion dollars in revenue.

Teaches me once again to try and learn something before I open my trap. Keep on trucking, Spongebob.

Monday, November 26, 2018

More this and that

Potential suitors for the 2020 Presidential sweepstakes are lining up. Some make me cringe; Bernie, Warren are two in that particular category, some are clearly too old and have missed their shot like Biden. Kamela Harris is not my favorite, having spent a large part of her tenure protecting Jerry Brown from coming clean on his relationship to the power companies. Booker would not be my choice either.

Eric Swalwell
I like Sherrod Brown. I like Jon Tester. And I really like 15th district California Congressman Eric Swalwell. The representative from Half Moon Bay has impressed me every time I have heard him speak the last several years. Not a rock star like Beto but more cerebral and who needs a rock star anyway?

Trump saying he doesn't believe his own administration's climate change report is par for the course. But his statement that the environment is cleaner than ever under his watch is total bullshit. White House spokesman Lindsey Walters says that the report considers only the most extreme worst case scenarios. The lead author of the report says that all scenarios were considered and properly weighed in their conclusions.
The White House claim that "the report is largely based on the most extreme scenario" is false, said Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University."I wrote the climate scenarios chapter myself so I can confirm it considers ALL scenarios, from those where we go carbon negative before end of century to those where carbon emissions continue to rise," she wrote on Twitter. "What WH says is demonstrably false."
The sight of little immigrant kids choking on tear gas is pretty appalling. Not all of their parents have legitimate reasons to seek asylum, being broke is not enough. But the level of illegal immigration is historically pretty low and the issue is being ginned up to cause irrational fear in flyover country. The closer you get to the border, the less people care frankly.

And the great majority of these people are not "stone cold criminals" as Trump refers to them, they are simply people seeking a better life for their families. We see them every day, cooking our food, picking our fruit and cleaning our yards. Native born Americans are actually much scarier.

But I guess I understand the Trump administration's refusal to backpedal on the issue of gassing toddlers. In their mind they will simply grow up to become stone cold criminals one day and they are merely acting prophylactically.

Trump suggested today that the government should start its own worldwide television network. Doesn't it already have one called Fox?

I received an email the other day from a right wing friend suggesting that white Christians need to start procreating pronto in order to keep ahead of the coming muslim hordes. Please. Visit Toronto, a city where all sects, tribes and religions seem to live together just fine, islamists included. Maybe get out and see the world before you start freaking out and planning the next crusade.

Great Jake the Snake interview with Joe Rogan. God I miss my late brother Buzz. Would love to share it with him.

Pulled  a hamstring pushing a big variegated agave around yesterday. Hope it gets better quick. Flying soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Evening herald revisited

Granny Clampett returns

When will people figure out that spreading the word that Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Republican senatorial candidate from Mississippi, went to a segregationist academy, joked about public lynchings, wore a confederate uniform for photographs and waxed prosaically about Jefferson Davis, will only ensure that she ultimately gets elected?

White people in Mississippi eat that sort of stuff up like pig knuckles. She might be madder than a wet hen and drunker than Cooter Brown but in her neck of the holler, she's finer than a frog hair split four ways.

Family Finder

Ever wanted to figure out where you were from? In a genetic sense?

I trace my own Y clan, my father's father's father to the nth power, back over 22,400 kya to Somalia. Of course all of us hominids once sprung from Africa, the human mother ship.

Family Tree DNA is running an incredible deal on their Family Finder autosomal test, only thirty nine bucks this weekend. Then it is gone. Trust me, it is worth it, I don't want to tell you what I spent on this stuff. Great company, Family Tree. If you have any interest in such matters, do it.

Quotes from Sir Arthur

Alex mentioned one of my favorite quotes from the British author and great thinker Arthur C. Clarke at coffee this morning, one that I first posted on this blog about twelve years ago.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I looked up Clarke for more brain fodder this morning. His quotes rank right up there with my two reigning quote smith favorites, Hemingway and Napoleon. And so I will share a few more choice morsels with you.

The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.

I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.

Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories. 

This is the first age that's ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.


Friday, November 23, 2018

Hummingbird in Hong Kong Orchid Tree

Billy Cobham - Stratus

* Billy Cobham - Percussion * Tommy Bolin - Guitar * Jan Hammer - Electric piano, Acoustic piano, Moog synthesizer * Lee Sklar - Fender bass * Joe Farrell - Flute, Soprano sax & Alto sax * Jimmy Owens - Flugelhorn & Trumpet * John Tropea - Guitar * Ron Carter - Acoustic bass * Ray Barretto - Congas

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Annual Blast Reader's Photos 2018

Kerry Brown

Burmese Buddha - Ron Holder
pals - Douglas Garn

Dahlia - Kathleen Morgan
The morning after, Thailand - Ricardo Neumann
Sign in Ashville, NC bar - Linda Kohn Sherwood
Roy Cohen
Near Deception Bay - Victoria Roberts
tigre y trastero - Robert Bijou

Hanapepe swinging bridge - Ted Fleming
Pronghorn and meadowlark - Ken Seals
Barney Winter, Fairbanks - Jeff and Gena Barney

Heller's Bend - Jon Harwood

Rust - Kip Peterson
siloette - Lou Nidorf

Noonan's Point aka Swamis - Jerry Hall
Stranded seal, Santa Cruz - Michael Loughlin

Kauai Kows - Drew Cady
Lois Newkirk
Mexican Revolution Day Parade. Los Algodones - Kerry Johnson
Dominic's Italian delicatessen in Boulder Creek California 1978 - Dominic Grossi

Bamboo bridge~ Luang Prabang, Laos - Lena Leichtling

Mike Reardon
James O'Donnell
Your title here - Shawn Mayes

Casey at the keyboard - Jonathan Hill
Fall Colors in Cade’s Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee - Debbie Ramsey
Highlander in front of Caisteal Tioram, Scotland - Pat Campbell

William Warmboe

Fallbrook Library - Noreen Ring
Colorado - Renee O'Brien

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


Send me a photo

turtle staredown
It is getting near that time of year. I am getting notices of Black Friday sales, thanksgiving greetings from people and retailers I have rarely if ever met, in hopes that I will maybe send some dough their way, that is if I ever get any. 

I got my first Christmas broadside the other day from the woman who sends them every year and wants me to know that Jesus has great plans for me. Thanks, Dude.

And we are nosing into the time of year when you send me a best of the year photograph.

Don't pretend that you don't know the drill, we have done this many times before. Hip hip hooray, one picture, you lazy sods.

working girl
It can be professional, amateurish, light, heavy, pretty, ugly, minimal, overwrought, I frankly don't care, just something meaningful to you that you would like to share with the group that you yourself took.

I don't care if it a pic of your dog's nasty underbite, somewhere, somebody is going to like it.

You may use anything, your phone, a brownie instamatic or a Linhof, as long as it is capable of capturing an image.

Send me a photo. Or two, and I will pick. Will start running the thing when I get back from France.

Don't make me come after you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Buddy Rich and Alla Rakha

Roland Painting

I bought a rather wonderful midcentury painting at the show that came out of an estate in Phoenix. A large work, it depicts men with a crucible of molten metal in front of a foundry. I believe that it was painted in Pittsburgh.

The painting is signed Roland but I have been through all the Rolands on Artprice and Askart and don't see a real fit or match.

This decal is on the back of the frame, from the Jacobson Picture Frame Co. in Pittsburgh. The company was extant between 1943 and 1989. Thought about contacting them but they are unfortunately now long gone.

I believe this painting is early midcentury based on both the type font and the lack of an area code prefix.

Any help I can get ascertaining the author of the work would be greatly appreciated.