Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Carl Reiner


I am mentally and physically exhausted. I have had a lot I wanted to write but like an errant bird, the opportunities seem to fly by me now and right out of my grasp before I can commit thought to paper or keyboard.  Guess it is okay because things are so heavy and nasty politically right now, why work yourself into a tizzy and get apoplectic? There will always be an equally compelling and horrific outrage tomorrow. So I guess it is best keep your powder dry.

bad penny
Because I am pooped I am going to resort to a device that I used to employ, one which Ken in particular dislikes, the big run on paragraph. No research required or allowed, just pure shpiel. Here goes: I hate the fact that the right wing "boogaloo"  contingent intent on a race war in this country has adopted the Hawaiian shirt as its signature trademark. I have the best Hawaiian shirt collection of anyone I know and would hate to think I get confused with those a-holes. Would leave them in my closet but it's pretty much my whole wardrobe * Trump wants to kill Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic. Brilliant. He says that we will have a new and better plan that will respect pre-existing conditions. It is funny, he said the same thing three years ago when the GOP controlled all three branches of government and both sides of congress and he and his cohorts couldn't agree on a thing or make the numbers work. And now they will, with a Democratic house? Right. And I have a bridge to sell you. * Betsy DeVos has to be so happy that she can now finally use my tax money to fund her private religious schools and siphon off money from the poor public system. Bring on the Christian Madrasas. * Susan Collins is really sweating and cutting a fine line now that her boy Kavanaugh has joined the dissent in the Louisiana abortion case. You know, the justice who swore he would respect stare decisis and existing precedent. Let's face it, making it impossible for doctors to acquire admitting privileges so that they can perform abortions is tantamount to outlawing abortion.  They call it de facto. Conservatives pay a lot of lip service to originalism and textualism but the reality is that they are always playing a result driven end game in the culture war. You don't like abortion, don't get one. Women are perfectly capable of making their own moral choices. * First the Trump Administration said they were never briefed on Russian bounty gate, then they said the information wasn't credible, than they said there was no consensus between the intelligence agencies, than they found out it was in the daily briefing a year ago and now they say that maybe the orange one didn't read it. If John Ratcliffe did not brief the President he should have and should be fired. But don't be surprised when we find out the Trump knew everything the whole time. Didn't want to cross his masters on the Volga. I still think the Russians have something really big on him. One day the whole Kremlin, Saudi, Deutschebank saga will be displayed before our eyes in living color and we can figure out how our country was commandeered by a Russian plant, a Manchurian candidate from Queens. * Netanyahu and Israel have been playing a double game on the Palestinians for a long time. The annexation of the West Bank shows what they really think about peace, a plum for their religious constituency that believes that god promised them all of the real estate in the area. Netanyahu is cementing his gains before his orange crony gets booted out of office * A little over a month ago the R number at Rt covid was below 1 for all but four states, we have now backtracked to where 34 states are now over the safe mark, many undergoing dangerous spikes and increasingly full hospitals. I get daily rejoinders from my supervisor that it is time to open it up. I wrote back "We'll open it up if it kills us." Literally.

Thank you FHD!

I want to give a big shout out to the Fallbrook Health District.

They are donating free forehead thermometers, face shields and mask kits to Fallbrook merchants.

Their supply is probably not infinite so if you are an open Main Ave. business you might want to get in touch with them before they run out and see if you qualify.

I am not exactly sure what the parameters are for getting the package. I do know that Leslie  and I both received one and we appreciate it very much.

If you are opening up, you have to stay safe!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Covid Roulette

My old coffee pals are tired of me bringing it up. They don't want to hear about Covid anymore, that was so last week.

They are back to having breakfast together publicly on the weekend, living a normal life. In fact they have asked me to shut up about it, tired of my reproachful texts and covid shaming.

I am a definite buzz kill and the numbers are overblown. They're not going to get it and I need to stfu. At least according to a couple of the people who still speak to me anyway.

I wish I had their optimism and the luxury of gambling but I don't and can not. My health problems and compromised immune system are such that I can't take chances. Call me old fashioned but I think everybody interested in survival should be limiting their unnecessary exposure right now. And definitely wearing a mask.

Fallbrook's cases are growing by leaps and bounds every day. We crossed the one hundred confirmed threshold today, sitting at one hundred and four right now. Seems like it is six to ten more cases every day. I watch the tables very closely. This is an increase of about 80 cases in little more than a month. Our official rate is now 210.4 per 100k of population. There's a lot of places higher it is true but it is definitely lurking silently in our community. We should still be practicing utmost caution because how the hell do you know who has it and is now contagious and/or  asymptomatic?

I mentioned on a friend's blog that more and more young people are getting sick and a guy retorted that few children are dying, which is indeed true. But many of the young are coming down with afflictions and organ damage that might be with them forever. Just a dumb time to be taking chances if you ask me and nobody did.

Peter Norman

I never knew about him. A very interesting story.

Butthole Surfers - Human Cannonball

Bad company

“Stay cool is the netiquette rule, if flamed. Responding is for a fool. NetworkEtiquette.net”
― David Chiles, The Principles Of Netiquette

You know, I have friends from across the political spectrum that read this blog and that is the way it should be. I want everybody to be comfortable here, regardless of our ideological differences.  There is an unspoken general agreement that we are free to hash out our differences civilly. Some of you prefer to look at the pictures and listen to the music, that is alright too.

Fillmore and I have never agreed on anything besides the Los Angeles Lakers and I pretty much publish all of his comments in their entirety. Because I appreciate that he has a right to his divergent opinion as I have a right to mine. Censored him one time I think and we both laughed about it afterwards because he knew he was clearly over the line.

He is not hateful or malicious. And happens to be very intelligent. So I appreciate his counterbalance to my thinking, as puerile and juvenile as he often says and writes that I am. My word is not infallible of course, nor is it sacrosanct, it is merely my opinion.

The first rule of the internet is to not feed the trolls. If you give them air they win. So I don't usually feed mine. I only have one, a quite nasty person. Last year he wrote me that I got and deserved my cancer because of my left wing politics. Other below the belt things of that sort. I figured if I deleted his vile posts he would eventually slink away.  Always hateful, he not only attacks me but he also attacks the other commenters on the blog regularly. And he purports to be a good Christian man. God help us.

When I open my comments moderation page I hate to see his fetid brand of offal in my inbox. Even though it is anonymous, his angry tone is always unmistakable, and I quickly delete his hate filled offerings. He tees off on me regularly like a piñata and I can't swing back.

Here are two from yesterday:

Honestly I find it unfair that a troll can come into my literary world uninvited and infect it with his toxic palaver without any consequence. You may not like what I say and I am sure that often you don't, but I have the balls to sign my name every time and you always know where it is coming from. I take ownership. And you do too.

Trolls can be big armchair tough guy warriors and they never take responsibility for anything. Parasitic free loaders really. Uninvited leeches. Bad company. This one is obviously obsessed with me and has self appointed himself as my moral conscience. No thank you. Do me a favor, seek like minded company, asshole, and leave me alone. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, I only ask that they sign their name.

I wish he would go away but it is clear that he won't. So I have a decision to make. I can stop anonymous commenting on the blog altogether. Commenters will then have to have a Google account to contribute and comment. Or you could send your comments by email to me for me to post although that will be cumbersome. Or I continue to delete him with unfortunate regularity and get an upset stomach.

I asked Big Dave for advice yesterday and he suggested asking another blogger what they do in this situation? But I don't know any really besides Roy. It is my thirteenth year writing and I am now once again a dinosaur on a dying medium.

I'm a bit torn here. What do you think I should do?

Monday Mail Call

Steve Saylor in New Mexico hiked into the remote Sabinosa Wilderness.

I have some amazing places mapped out for our next great adventure, one of which I just returned from, Sabinosa Wilderness. Just recently opened up to the public...had been inaccessible, no access roads, area surrounded by private property. Susan & I went today and were the only ones there...almost like having the Grand Canyon to ourselves. Only problem..once you hike down into the canyon, you must hike back UP to get out. About killed me. Anyway, more on it tomorrow.

Don S. shared a beautiful sunset picture from his deck on the solstice.

Lois and Bob sent a picture over of their blooming gold medallion tree. What a beauty!

JB sent a picture of his lake cabin in Alaska which is now flooding. They are getting a lot of rain up there. This picture could have been taken at midnight for all I know, he said it gets dark at about two in the morning. I had mentioned to him that it was still light here last week at 8:30.

Saylor also sent a picture of this beautiful bull snake which has been hanging around his El Dorado garden.

Michael L sent a picture of some cool things he found in the wall of his old San Mateo craftsman home. I have sold the tagged baby skookums before. Neat find.

Sue and Dain shared a great fiery Portland sunset shot from their home up there.

I love your shots, people.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

For no one.

En Passant

Agadmator, one of the great chess sites I follow, was taken down yesterday because the YouTube algorithm decided he was was a racist. Imagine, black takes white. It is a cruel game of class warfare, the lowly pawns usually get taken first. And I guess it is violent, bishops, knights and queens sometimes even get captured. Ribald promiscuity, people mate openly. It is chess, people. Black takes white and white takes black. Get over it.

Sunday mornin' coming down

One of the worst political trends today is the fact that many people of faith have allowed themselves to get in bed politically with a moral degenerate with no faith, religion or real ideology except an excessive love for himself, Donald Trump. A man who lies with impunity. White evangelical Christians have been co-opted and are now practically synonymous with a GOP that has framed many important issues of our time like we are in a national religious war or crusade.

There was an interesting article at Huff Po yesterday; White Evangelicals Aren’t As Worried About COVID-19 As Other Faith Groups: Study. The last two paragraphs sort of put it all in a nutshell:
“Rank-and-file Republicans, who have largely been taking their cues from President Trump and other Republican elected officials, are generally less concerned about engaging in a variety of social activities and less likely to believe the pandemic poses a major threat to their families,” he said. “If Trump and other GOP officials continue to say everything is fine, then I would not expect major shifts in attitudes among evangelicals,” he added.
I wonder about the reasons for the attitude in the last sentence, this rather blind and unquestioning obeisance which might prove to be quite physically damaging to them in this crisis? And I think the late Carl Jung probably would have the best explanation, that those more apt to follow the strong father archetype are most willing to submit to authority without regards to reason or the potential personal costs.

Sheep, you got the wrong shepherd this time, I hate to tell you.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Milton Glaser (1929-2020)

Milton Glaser - Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits promotional poster - 1967
The superb graphic artist Milton Glaser, who produced some of the most iconic images of our lives, has passed, on his 91st birthday.

He was a titan, his designs will last forever.
If you perceive the universe as being a universe of abundance, then it will be. If you think of the universe as one of scarcity, then it will be...I always thought that there was enough of everything to go around - that there are enough ideas in the universe and enough nourishment. Milton Glaser
Art Nouveau, Chinese wash drawing, German woodcuts, American primitive paintings, the Viennese secession and cartoons of the ’30s were an endless source of inspiration. All the things that the doctrine of orthodox modernism seemed to have contempt for — ornamentation, narrative illustration, visual ambiguity — attracted us. Milton Glaser

Friday, June 26, 2020


Steve Saylor sent me a picture of his cat Snoozer aka Butthead.

Early Mornin' Rain


I have had a few people write in mentioning the Glen Campbell song I posted. Glen was such an amazing talent, the session guitar player was one of those select performers who could sing as well as they played, at the highest level. There are so few of them; Clapton, B.B. King, T Bone Walker, Hendrix, Joni, McCartney, who else? He did both with facility and emotion and displayed a rare vulnerability in his music.

I got this message from my friend D:
In 1969 I was in my first year at University of Illinois in Chicago. My high school girlfriend had gone to school at U of I in Champaign/Urbana. As often happens, she met someone else. Her calls were fewer, I suspected something was amiss. I drove down to see her. I arrived, she told me plainly, without challenge,  we were kaput. I drove back to Chicago that night. Tail between my legs. Humiliated. Dumped. A two hour drive in the dark of night, on a lightless highway pitiably punching in buttons on the car radio looking for a station. In the middle of nowhere I got reception. But every button I pushed was Glen Campbell singing about the lonely Wichita Lineman.  There was no escaping the song.  It was like a bad joke.
He pointed out that a whole book has been devoted to the message of Wichita Lineman, Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World's Greatest Unfinished Song. His message brought one of my own sad personal memories up. It was the mid seventies and I was going overseas to work for a year, ending up working in Israel as an electrician. I flew to Miami and then took a Greyhound bus to Tampa to say goodbye to my then girlfriend and first love, who was attending the university there. It is a very long bus ride. Unfortunately for me, the road back would be even longer.

When I got there we met on a bridge over the river, I guess it is the Tampa River. She greeted me and broke the news that we were now officially quits, like D she had another guy and I was now geographically undesirable and we had a couple other mutual issues that made our relationship no longer tenable for her. The shock hit me like a brick on the side of my head.

I had never loved anybody so much before and I was completely devastated. Wasn't going to jump in and drown but I wasn't dancing any jig either. Honestly, I was miserable. Have hated Florida ever since, to tell you the truth.

I somehow found my way back to the bus station and embarked on the melancholy five and a half hour ride across Alligator Alley back to Miami. The dirty, belching bus and my equally miserable compatriots on the journey only added to my angst ridden gloom and pallor. Greyhound is the perfect ticket for those without any other options.

It was pouring rain and very cold, which Northern Florida can sometimes get. In the next row was a black woman and her child and they were plainly freezing. In a fleeting moment of compassion and chivalry I gave them my only coat to stay warm and I shivered all the way back, my physical discomfort essentially meaningless at that point compared to my busted and broken heart. Couldn't have felt worse if I tried. Was down a love and a jacket.

I'm happy to say that things worked out well for both of us and after all these years we remain friends and happily married to our respective spouses. But you never forget the pain you felt when your childhood heart breaks, the Wichita lineman, still on the line.

Have you ever been dumped? Or had to cut the cord yourself? Care to write about it? I will publish your story, anonymously if you wish. I actually started a book once about another similar experience, will probably never finish it. It had its own sad song.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Here's That Rainy Day

Don't tell me there are no sour grapes.

David and Barry were remarking that I had this singular capacity to undergo major crises but then always manage to top it off and ease the pain with a good meal. Good call. Time to talk a little about food. I went to Evergreen Nursery looking for geraniums the other day.

They had two left, too big and not in the colors we want. Turns out they come from Brazil and Brazil is knee deep in their own troubles these days so they can't get the plants. But I made due. A little down the road, on College and Oceanside Blvd. is a really nice little Vietnamese French bakery, Le Rendez-Vouz. I picked up a couple almond croissants. My second visit.

Alex told me about the place. He said that I had to try the Banh Mi sandwiches next door at Yummy Pho. The bakery makes their bread and so it is pretty close to perfect and authentic. I had a sandwich, with sweet char sui pork and it was good as advertised. Owner came out and thanked me for coming. Very nice. I will be back.

I got about 150 emails from you folks and I can not thank you enough! I have tried to answer everybody but I know that I have missed a few. Thanks so much! Many of you suggested I go out for a nice meal to celebrate. Leslie and I decided to do just that and treat ourselves to sushi yesterday. We went to her favorite place on Nordahl during the noon hour, Umai Sushi.

We get there and there are about five people at tables but they tell us that they can not serve us. They have no servers. Well, really, how are all these other folks getting served? No big, we will go elsewhere if we are not wanted.

We walked a few doors down and entered Manna Korean Barbecue. All you can eat. It is part of a small chain, I had eaten at the one on Convoy when it opened. We love Korean food and it was great yesterday. We had a very excellent server too, Don, quite helpful. We had the cheaper all you can eat menu but nailed some really excellent dishes. Like this butter and rosemary marinated pork steak. Delicious.

We gorged, so many delicious sides, had an excellent meal. Afterwards we went to Leslie's chiropractor in Vista for a quick adjustment.

I noticed a big market and suggested that we stop and check it out. She was game.

Oh my. North Park Produce and International Market. Owned by an Iraqi, this place has to be the best middle eastern supermarket in San Diego. As you probably have guessed, my wife and I love trying foods from different cuisines from around the world, we are quite adventuresome eaters.

Huge assortment of spices, feta, bureks, separate pierogi and dumpling refrigerators, fragrant soaps, an unbelievable assortment of foodstuffs that you won't find anywhere else.

Even sour grapes.

Place is well ordered and halal, we will definitely be back. Lots of things you have never seen and will probably never see anywhere else in these parts. I wasn't that thrilled with the produce but everything else was a wonder and the frozen food cases have to be seen to be believed.

The deli counter is pretty cool too.

Persian, Mediterranean, Indian, the gamut of prepared food, tikha, tandoori, schwarma, kebob, so much stuff. We bought huge pita rounds, soft and made that morning, baba ganouch, pickles, olives, Danish feta, hazelnut squares, so much stuff.

Traipsed over to Ron and Lenas' and had ourselves a delicious but socially distant spread.

I finally scratched the sushi itch today at Yumi Sushi in Fallbrook. Good fish and good people.

I read the other day that men with cats have a harder time getting a date. Another reason to be glad that I am hitched. I don't think that I have ever introduced you to my two buddies before, Nico and Tiger.

Our kids.

Dark tidings

News out there is pretty grim. No getting around it. But I don't want to take a dirty bath in it right now, will just touch on a couple things.

I watched an interview with some young people at the recent Trump rally held at the church in Phoenix.

The interviewer wanted to know why they weren't wearing masks (he was) during the event?

And this young girl said that he was a hypocrite, why wasn't he asking the same question of recent George Floyd protesters?

And I thought to myself, what in the world does that have to do with your personal health and safety, why would you jeopardize your health because some other idiot was jeopardizing his or hers? Doesn't make much sense.

“There is no second wave coming. It’s just hot spots. They send in CDC teams, we’ve got the testing procedures, we’ve got the diagnostics, we’ve got the PPE. And so I really think it’s a pretty good situation,” said Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump.
The other thing is this false narrative that is coming out of the White House in the last few weeks. Larry Kudlow was indulging in his own patented line of bullshit when he said that there would not be a second Covid -19 wave.  If there was a hotspot flareup, we would send a targeted strike team in and deal with it pronto.

How Larry?

Are you going to rope the little critters?  Them microbes are pesky. Why not be honest, Larry? Your strike team will accomplish bupkis.

There is no vaccine or cure for Covid 19 at this time, it is spiking dangerously in many states around this country, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The CDC and all the experts in the world are helpless to do much of anything against this opponent while we wait for the scientists to come up with something real. Not some dopey politically expedient cure like drinking bleach or the phony malaria drug.

Seven states are now reporting the highest hospitalization rates since the start of the pandemic. ICUs in Texas are 100% full. And much of the damage was self inflicted, with people like Ducey carving out exemptions for golfers and hair salons and a President who wants to slow down testing because it makes him look bad and who refuses to wear a mask and to respect a quarantine. Trump is pushing for a big re-opening because his own fate is now tied to an economic revival, regardless of the toll in human life. And his supporters have been inculcated with the idea that it is all a big hoax.

In fact, there are only four states currently predicted to reach containment; New York, New Jersey. Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Big heap of crap, people.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Dire Wolf

Egret and Avocet

Here is a shot I took at SJWA yesterday of a greater egret with an American avocet standing behind it.

There is a stilt behind that bird but it is so blurry it is almost not even worth mentioning.

I am not sure if I like the shot or not but it shows the limits of my customary approach to shooting birds.

I tend to shoot wide open, especially with birds that are apt to start flying, typically sticking an aperture of ƒ2.8 on the 400mm and somewhere between 2000 and 4000th of a second shutter speed with auto iso.

I will slow it down as necessary to about 650th of a second with the long prime if the subject is static.

I took this picture at ƒ3.2, giving me a slightly wider focal plane. It wasn't enough. As you can see, the long beaked avocet is not in focus. But I guess this is okay, just makes the thing a bit "artier." And if you will notice, the reflection of the avocet is nearly in focus.

I was shooting up into the ƒ8 range yesterday, manual. I should have stopped down for this shot, I suppose. When you are shooting wide open you might only get a portion of your subject in focus and shooting two subjects at the same time is very difficult.

The problem is that if you have a long lens that shoots ƒ2.8 you tend to want to take advantage of it all the time and that is something I need to change in my repertoire in order to become a better photographer. Compositionally the shot is good and it probably would have been excellent at ƒ5.6 or higher for a greater depth of field.

Glen Campbell : Yesterday, When I Was Young

Good news

The doctor called yesterday afternoon. The news was exceedingly good, she told me. The bladder cancer was low grade and not a threat, the best possible outcome. I'm good for three more months, until my next scope.

I broke down, was very emotional. Told her I loved her, thanked her. She said that she should have called me earlier, that I was very worried on the operating table last Wednesday, something I don't remember.

I have fought this stuff for close to forty years, don't remember being so fragile or clingy before. For some reason this one really hit me. Must be getting soft in my old age.

Thanks to everybody for your best wishes. I have said it before but once you have fought cancer, you spend the rest of your life with an eye on the rear view mirror, never fully out of the woods. But you also tend to take big gasps of air and enjoy your life with renewed gusto, knowing that our life here on earth is both temporary and precious.

If you are over fifty and have never had a colonoscopy, now is the time to do so. If you are a woman, get a regular mammogram. Don't wait and don't gamble, like I did. Don't be a fool like I was. I still need to deal with the tumors in the remaining kidney but they are slow growing and I don't believe they pose a clear and present danger. One thing at a time. I will enjoy this temporary victory in the long war.

I hope that we can take a little vacation and chill when it is safe to do so. Everybody be safe.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Black night


My pathology results are now in. I called again this morning. But I won't get them until tomorrow, the doctor is in surgery all day. Which is okay, although I suppose it increases the drama a skoche. Not that I needed any more theatrics. Getting a bit self indulgent as it is. Need to wait a little bit longer to see if my team's efforts have been successful.

Either it is one thing or it is the other and either way I will have to learn to deal with it. It has been over a year now, couple three surgeries down the road and immunotherapy and all I really know is I gave it my best shot.

So fuck it, bring it on.

I've been spending a lot of time in the garden. we have been doing a lot of planting, mostly drought tolerant flowers and shrubs. Nothing too exotic but a lot of purple, as you can guess. Since we no longer have dogs and the rabbits basically have free reign, I bought chicken wire and twisted a bunch of baskets. Tired of feeding the conies and the gophers.

Took some photos in the garden the other afternoon.

The hummers were having a field day in the lantana. Made for some pretty backgrounds although the birds were not particularly colorful.

Didn't grab anything too earth shattering but I did take a candid cameo of a lizard.

Leslie says that we currently have five scrub jays availing themselves of the Sommers' free lunch at the feeder.

Here is a wing display.

Continuing my bird theme, I took off for my nature sanctuary this morning. I had intended to leave earlier but I forgot my wallet.

Bummed a coffee off Sarah and borrowed a ten spot from Bill so that I could buy enough gas to get home. Went home, picked up the wallet and finally got on the road.

It was wonderful out there. Not too hot.

Pickings are sparse this time of year or they can be, but there were tons of egrets and more herons than I can ever remember.

Saw a black crowned night heron sticking his head out of the reeds.

I don't see a lot of them there.

And an ibis. Do you sense a dragonfly theme?

That is why we probably had so many kestrels around. The small falcons love feasting on dragonfly.

The larger raptors were spottier. A couple here and there.

Like this red tailed hawk over at the Walker Ponds.

I seriously don't know what I would do without this place. Has been a big part of my healing.

This greater egret speared a small frog.

I took my customary hike but brought the big lens instead of the zoom I normally carry.

I put the wide shoulder strap on that I bought from Bill Olson for support.

I thought about taking water but decided against it. I had drank a lot of coffee and was sufficiently hydrated.

I would test myself, do the Billy Jack thing in the desert instead. Makes things a bit more psychedelic when you push the boundaries.

I did almost pass out planting the other day, got faint. But I had promised myself that I would work until I finished and it felt good to know that I still could go past my normal limits. And I did.

Great hike today. Not a lot out there but it felt good to still be alive.

Be able to smell the flowers.

And confer with my birds.


Monday, June 22, 2020

Covid 19 graph

We all have one, a good friend that maintains that Covid 19 is no worse than a bad flu. Terry D. just sent over this incredible graphic. Send it to the favorite corona virus denier in your life.

It shows the number of COVID-19 deaths relative to other diseases for the period from 1/1/20 - 5/24/20. It stops at 345,059 deaths at 5/24/20; of course deaths today are 36% higher at 469,378. No big deal, right?

By the way, Fallbrook is now up to 63  93 cases, we've had a real upswing the last couple days. It seems like only yesterday we were holding at 24. Over 130 cases per 100k now. But every day I get the same letter from Supervisor Jim Desmond, time to open this economy back up. Don't be a sissy.

San Diego records second straight day with 300 new covid cases.

Post script: I think the speed of the takeover is almost more startling than the numbers on the graph. Stan asked where was cancer? I checked, last worldwide mortality number I saw was about 9.5 million per year worldwide, would dwarf everything.


Doug Garn in New York sent me a picture of a crow on his car. He sent it after I told him a little story.

When I got to work yesterday I heard a knocking on my roof. I thought someone was working up there, it was very loud.

I looked through my skylight and saw a crow knocking loudly on the porthole. Thinking of my weird deal in Yosemite I was worried for a second that he was picking the rubber seal apart.

If you remember, the ravens picked my windshield wipers clean of rubber and were starting to work on the sunroof seal on the new car.

When I looked a little closer I saw that he was rapping an acorn on the window, trying to break the nut apart. I yelled at him but he didn't see or hear me.

Ron and Lena have been having a crow problem in Cardiff. They hung up a dead ringer replica and it seems to keep the live ones away.

Rick Griffin - illustration for Timothy Leary

The rocket vignette looks like a contribution from Spain Rodriquez to me.

To love somebody

Get a grip

"First they came for the eskimo pies and nobody said anything..."

As much as I despise the current administration, and it is plenty, I am sure that if we get a new liberal administration I will loathe them as well, perhaps not as much, but I certainly will.

Both sides exhibit incredible hypocrisy. And more than a dollop of fascist thinking. Unfortunately, people in the middle of the road like me, tend to get run over. Okay, left middle.

Take the latest barrage from the woke generation. The perpetually aggrieved. We are going to now put both Aunt Jemima and the Eskimo Pie out of circulation. And forget about the fact that the relatives of the good aunt are firmly against it. And a good portion of the northern inhabitants have referred themselves to themselves as Eskimo for the last couple of hundred years.

Really, who cares what they think? What do they know?
"I understand the images that white America portrayed us years ago. They painted themselves Black and they portrayed that as us," Vera Harris, whose great aunt, Lillian Richard, traveled the country promoting the Quaker Oats brand and portraying the Aunt Jemima character for more than 20 years, told NBC News. "I understand what Quaker Oats is doing because I'm Black and I don't want a negative image promoted, however, I just don't want her legacy lost, because if her legacy is swept under the rug and washed away, it's as if she never was a person."
Harris added that Richard was recruited to work for Quaker Oats in the 1920s, during a time when there were "no jobs for Black people, especially Black women."
"She took the job to make an honest living to support herself, touring around at fairs, cooking demonstrations and events," Harris said. "When she came back home, they were proud of her and we're still proud of her."
Sorry Vera, these enlightened souls know better than you do about your family's legacy and will surely instruct you as to what proper thinking entails in the new millennium. You need to feel the shame. Ditto the Eskimo Pie.

Somebody is truly pained by this? My, such sensitivity. So easily to be offended nowadays.

We will of course, also have to expunge the word Eskimo from the dictionaries too.

Won't work in our brave new world of political correctness.

But that unfortunately is what many of the natives still call themselves, poor fools. Forgive them lord, they know not what they do.
Many Native Alaskans still refer to themselves as Eskimos, in part because the word Inuit isn't part of the Yupik languages of Alaska and Siberia.
A mere technicality. Of course many Native Americans proudly call themselves Indians too but we can't stand for that much longer now either, can we? To the re-education camps!

My god, if you could see what my artistic heroes Griffin and Crumb did with some of this imagery in the 1960's, you would plotz and have a coronary.

Guess we underground comic and psychedelic art aficionados were a bunch of louts.

Perhaps we had thicker skin back then? Not as many  people out for a pound of flesh.

These artists loved appropriating cultural imagery and myth, as did my favorite writer Zelazny.

And they usually did it pretty respectfully or in the case of Crumb, S. Clay or Robert Williams, with a sense of humor and intention definitely required.

Honestly, I see no intention to insult or offend in any of these depictions. Little Black Sambos, that was different. I always found that imagery extremely offensive. The last restaurant is about to bite the dust or rebrand and it is about time.

Why aren't the Irish and Greeks apoplectic over the Celtics and Trojan monikers? Aren't they equally pernicious? Leprechauns, tsk, tsk...

And the Land o Lakes butter depiction of the Indian girl, recently expunged in the inchoate cultural revolution?

Did you know that at least one long running incarnation of the logo was designed by a real life Chippewa Indian, a Red Lake Ojibwa named Patrick DesJarlait?

He passed away in 1972, I suppose that if he was still alive he would have to submit to a little cultural sensitivity training in a camp somewhere, North Vietnamese style.

You occidentals can't practice Yoga, it's cultural appropriation you know? White people wanting to openly protest the treatment of minorities must also know that they can not lead the charge or they will risk pissing somebody off.

Better to lay back and consider your enormous collective guilt for a while, honkies. There is a new tertiary order for this sort of thing. You must have proper cred and have your contrition level suitably vetted.

Honestly you can't do or say anything these days without running into some oversensitive aggrieved party.

Who obviously know better than the people who legitimately could have a grievance but don't. Because as you know, the newly enlightened know better. Because they are truly superior.