Jelly, jelly so fine

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Repugnance Gap

There are scads of articles out that want to tell you why Trump is going to win the upcoming election. And he very well may. I thought that this article by Todd Blodgett was very good, Here's why Trump is winning, in spite of the polls. Blodgett is an ex Reagan staffer. He says that conservatives can't be honest about their views because many of the rest of us evidently find them pernicious and disturbing.

I especially thought that this paragraph was particularly telling:

In August, the respected CATO Institute reported that 62% of Americans acknowledge holding views that many people consider offensive. Among conservatives, that number skyrockets to 77%. With potentially tens of millions of closeted fans, Trump is a pollster’s nightmare. 

Basically 77% of these people have views so repugnant that they are afraid to be honest and candid about them. I am sure that these views include overt racism, sexism, homophobic bigotry and more. Because they are so willing to adopt these same lines of attack on comment and message boards under the cover of anonymity.


I was particularly disgusted by two things today that might make a repugnant conservative cackle with glee. A mixed but largely black crowd in Graham, North Carolina, led by a preacher, was peacefully marching to the polls when the action started.

With what bystanders say was less than one minute's warning, the largely all white police force started spraying them with pepper spray, including many young kids and at least one person in a wheelchair. Reporters were manhandled, many were arrested. Leslie and I both had the same thought. Wow, Birmingham, things never change in this country, do they? I guess that is one way to stop the vote. Tear gas them!

I won't even talk about the Trump trolls hijacking the Biden rally in Texas, egged on by the President's son. Many armed, they rammed a car and tried to force the campaign bus off the road. Just a few repugnant conservatives having a little fun! The political event was forced to cancel. Mission accomplished Donnie!

Saturday Report

 Not a lot to report today. Jim's Signs is working on the mural repaint for the third or fourth time.

Not a great idea to put murals on south facing surfaces in San Diego County. Jim got tired of fixing it, now Sean gets to take a crack at it.

Very appealing costume from the lady bigwig at the Fallbrook Food Pantry.

Bob DeGoff sends over the retirement strip for the great Tom Toles.


This is my hundredth blogpost this month. I usually don't pay attention to such things but if I had to bet I would say that I will probably break my previous yearly record of 1131 set in 2013. Or I might not, might get struck by a falling oak tree, who knows? Not a goal, not pushing it, will see how it shakes out.

Will sent this along. Blame him.

I Scare Myself

You ain't scared you ain't paying attention.

Covid, covid, covid

The United States beat the world record on covid yesterday. Our 100,233 cases in 24 hours beat the daily tally India set last month of 97,894 cases. I was listening to CNN this morning and they said we pretty much had a new case every second in this country and a death every two minutes. Well I guess records are made to be broken. It is a sad mark in any case.

I have to admit that I have a hard time reconciling this grim news with the cheery news coming out of the government on a daily basis. You know, we're rounding the corner, the microbe is in our rearview mirror, covid deaths have gone to practically zero according to Donnie Jr., ditto the recent White House Press release crowing that one of the administrations successes was having ended covid. Mission Accomplished! But perhaps a tad premature...

The recent spike and resurgence is not a factor of more testing. It is a result of politicizing a pandemic and an administration continuing to ridicule mask wearers and spreading disinformation. Conservative friends of mine still tell me that the whole thing is overblown, will mysteriously end the day after the election.

Hospitalizations are up and so is positivity. Hospitals that have beds don't have adequate staff. But they tell us everything is going to be peachy keen.

Just how stupid do they think we are? Piss on us and tell us it's raining...

From the Daily Beast:

A staggering 46 percent of coronavirus tests are coming back positive in South Dakota at the moment—but Gov. Kristi Noem has “no opinion” on masks and her team thinks everything is going just fine, The Wall Street Journal reports. The positivity rate is eight times more than the World Health Organization’s recommended 5 percent threshold at which businesses can safely reopen. But Noem’s senior advisor Maggie Seidel said, “We feel pretty good about where we’re at. The governor is not going to change any of her approach—why should she?” Noem has been ambivalent about face masks, writing in an opinion piece last week that “those who don’t want to wear a mask shouldn’t be shamed into wearing one.

18 Trump rallies have led to 30,000 COVID-19 cases and seven hundred deaths: Stanford University study

Fox News viewers write about ‘BLM’ the same way CNN viewers write about ‘KKK’

 Interesting article on machine learning and linguistics.

Earlier this year, we started constructing a data set that consists of all of the viewer comments on YouTube videos posted by four television networks – MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and One America News Network – that target slices of the political spectrum. Together, the data set contains over 85 million comments on over 200,000 videos from 6.5 million viewers since 2014.

Our machine learning translation system found that words with vastly different meanings, like “KKK” and “BLM,” were used in the exact same contexts depending on the YouTube channel being analyzed.




I was so pleased yesterday when a man who shall be known as maskedmanwb visited my shop with his lovely wife, a wonderful painter. Haven't seen or heard from him in years.

People who have read this blog in the early days might remember mmwb. He is probably the most intelligent conservative comment writer I have ever had. Definitely the most constructive. 

His arguments were always extremely well supported and also made me both think and challenge and reassess my own position.

Then one day he simply vanished.

So glad they paid/payed me a visit. Hope Window Dancer and Randy Walters revisit one day to, if they are both still alive that is. I miss the old crowd.

Kindness and human domestication

Interesting article on a new book called Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity. Natural selection favored friendliness. Perhaps we should try it again?

In his new book, Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity, Hare presents a thesis on why being more cooperative with those around us, and more willing to compromise, may have conferred survival advantages. Violence and aggression, he writes, wasn't always a sound evolutionary strategy. Being the alpha bully means you're more often engaged in dangerous encounters, and a target of the greater group, in whose best interest it is to weed out threatening, socially destabilizing males.

"When you look back in nature and see when a species or group of species underwent a major transition or succeeded in a new way, friendliness or an increase in cooperation are typically part of that story," says Hare. He cites the evolution of flowering plants, which evolved over 100 million years ago out of cooperation with pollinators. Dogs too were domesticated as amicability became adaptive. Wolves friendlier toward humans would've had a more reliable food source and a better chance of living on.

Beware the alpha bully. 

The man who would be king

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Government creep

I forgot to mention something that went across the radar last week. This article at WaPo; Senators seek IG probe of border agency’s warrantless use of phone location data.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials who have used cellphone location data to track people inside the country without a warrant are refusing to tell members of Congress what gives them the legal right to do so, a group of Democratic senators said Friday.

The story goes like this, the fourth amendment precludes searches without a warrant and a 2018 SCOTUS decision forbade the practice and found law enforcement authorities must obtain a warrant before gathering location data from Americans’ phones.

The CPB says that they are legal but won't say how or why.

In a statement to The Washington Post, CBP asserted without explanation that the agency “may obtain access to commercially available information relevant to its border security mission.” It also said: “All CBP operations in which commercially available telemetry data may be used are undertaken in furtherance of CBP’s responsibility to enforce U.S. law at the border and in accordance with relevant legal, policy, and privacy requirements.”

I love Senator Wyden and I hope he comes down hard on these guys. By the way, ICE and CBP are also running facial recognition software without a warrant, another constitutional intrusion. Perhaps we will get a new administration soon that will respect the law of our land. Amazing that Customs believes that they are not accountable to Congress.

The Indifference of Heaven

Woman with colored handbag, Broadway


Mike Oldfield 'Tubular Bells' Live at the BBC 1973

This is a 1970's earworm for sure. But this rare live performance is pretty interesting. Because the players are so good here including Oldfield, Steve Hillage, Fred Frith, Pierre Moerlen and Mick Taylor. This includes a new oboe part. Worth a listen if this sort of thing is your bag.

Orange nightmare

I don't have a tremendous amount of anger towards our President. He is what he is and anyone with a brain could or should have seen it coming.

I think he has done damage to nearly everything he has touched, from his ridiculous covid response, to his horrible environmental policies and for his appointment of Betsy Devos, who has done her best to dismantle the public education system.

The schools we can fix, the damage to our air, water and environment will be harder. And the thousands of people who have died of a disease that he characterized as a hoax and dissuaded mask wearing to combat, obviously they will never come back and their families will never be the same.

Like I said, I can't really blame the grifter in chief. He has been running a con his whole life. Leopards don't change their spots. Guy is $900 million in debt, can you blame him for charging official White House guests three bucks a pop for tap water at Mara Lago?

I blame the people that knew what they were getting, the pussy grabbing guy who stiffed his contractors, ran numerous businesses into the ground and bankruptcy, stiffed the I.R.S. and played footsie with Proud Boys and white supremacists across our land. The G.O.P. saw a useful idiot that would allow them to appoint their judges, enact their social policies and then look the other way at the more distasteful stuff.

After Nuremberg they asked a lot of the German people how Hitler happened? "We didn't know what he was doing," people said. "But the trains ran on time." There were a million excuses, very people could admit that they were on board with his social extermination campaign and ruthless regime. But we know that many of them were and were also active participants.

I hope that Donald Trump loses next week and that we can close this sordid chapter of our history. But of course, it is possible he might win and now he has a Supreme Court that appears to be running cover for him. Then he can pull a Putin and legislate for a couple more terms. And don't be surprised if you hear crickets from the same people who voted him in when he starts pulling his autocratic shenanigans, nary a peep. Ethics don't matter, just getting their man installed, no matter who he truly is and don't think they don't know.

The other day he suggested that it be illegal for the press to talk about Covid during the election. I guess that is how it all starts. What do you want America and how much are you willing to stomach? Hard not to get any on you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Let It Bleed

Leaky valves

I went into work Sunday morning to pack some things for my trip to Bakersfield yesterday when I heard a steady staccato ping. What the hell is that noise? 

It had been raining for a couple hours but not really all that hard. Not pissing down in any case.

Sure enough, my roof was leaking, between the two skylights, sending a trickly stream down to a light standard and then gravity taking it the rest of the way, culminating in a wet rebound and endo off the horn of an old Edison record player. "Ping!"

The splash made a halo that unfortunately sent a light shower of water cascading over two artworks below the victrola, which were a rare work by Rick Griffin and an original painting by Dick Swift. 

The Griffin, thankfully, is okay, the Swift will need a new mat and maybe more. Oh well, could have been worse.

My framer will hopefully open it up tomorrow, she didn't make it in today.

Yesterday went well, I dropped off some pottery at the restorers and sold a painting. Had lunch at the wonderful Chalet Basque, a Bakersfield favorite, open since 1969.

I had a delicious rack of lamb with garlic, great pickled tomatoes, my buddy had the breaded veal. Mine was better, frankly.

I returned home, got in at a decent hour, no stops whatsoever, slept soundly through the night, if you don't count the three pees anyway. The urologist mentioned that the almost sixty three year old prostate ain't looking so good these days and the frequency of urination is definitely on an upward parabola. Nearing a constant stream. My life is one long pee break with ever shrinking sporadic interludes or short dry spells of bladder inactivity. The joy of aging. One thing at a time, I suppose.

Anyhow I drove the van into work today, had a big project in mind, cleaning up my middle storage room that is just dreadful and which crashed in on me the other day when I was trying to grab a Beatrice Wood vase. I need to clean it up to salvage any possibly remaining self respect.

And yet as I opened my door I could not fail but hear water running. My toilet had been leaking for about three days. Damnit, how much is that going to cost?

I lifted the lid and saw that the chain had broken. Went down to Hanks or Joes, whatever you call it and bought a new one. Didn't work, still leaking. I shut it off and called my friend Tom who can fix anything and often does for me. Greatest guy in a crisis, friend of thirty seven years or so but who is counting?

Tom monkeyed with it and told me that the valve was shot.

We went back to the hardware store, bought Henry's patch for the roof, a new valve assortment for the toilet and not a damn thing for my enlarged prostate.

That one can wait another day.

Was supposed to see the urologist tomorrow for a follow up. Called her office today and they said that we can do it telephonically, which is good on several fronts. 

Certainly less invasive and I can put off organizing my middle room for the moment, having been so rudely interrupted by life's changing plans. 

Why dive into something today that I can so easily put off until tomorrow?

Sunday, October 25, 2020

By Hook Or By Crook

I was searching my memory banks for enjoyable concerts in my life and I found this one somewhere near my medulla oblongata. It was December 21, 1971 at the San Diego Sports Arena. Almost 49 years ago, can you believe that? How old am I anyway? No poster exists or I don't remember one if it did.
An obscure band from San Francisco that was on the Airplane's label, Grootna, opened, then Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, in their laconic prime. Chambers Brothers came out next, very loud and psychedelic, the Time has come today took me to places I had never been.  It's a Beautiful Day closed it down with a wonderful set and David La Flamme's incredibly brilliant violin. Probably paid four bucks a ticket, tops. It was quite a night. I really miss Dan Hicks, there will never be anyone quite like him. Started as the Charlatan's drummer. They don't make shows like this anymore. I left the arena with a giant smile on my face.

Sunday mush

My friend Debbie was in the south recently, on vacation. I called her to check in and asked her if she had filled up on grits. "Well, yes, actually, I love grits,"she said. She grew up in the Imperial Valley but her family was from Oklahoma originally and grits were a staple.

I am not a big grits guy, they are made from hominy, but I have my own secret. I love mush.

When I lived in Texas between 1964 and 1968 we were pretty poor. At least for a two year stretch. We had a huge family; Liz, Barbara, Donna, David, Robert, Rusty, Gail, Buzzy, John Matthew, Adelle and Don. That makes eleven. Lot of mouths to feed.

We never went hungry that I can remember but we definitely ate very simply and cheap. Lots of beanie weenie out of a can. Minute steaks. Fish sticks. Endless casseroles. And corn meal mush. Lots of mush. Guess they call it polenta now. We bought it by the big sackful.

Resourceful kids that we were, you found ways to doctor up what you ate if it was an everyday staple. Create a little diversity, relieve the gustatory tedium. Started with butter, then honey but in the end we settled on melting cottage cheese in the mush at just the right time to get a nice cheesy counterpoint.

Now Leslie and I eat polenta on fairly frequent occasion. Polenta is your fancy, five dollar Italian word for corn meal. She melts smoked gouda in it which is similar to what we did but a little stronger and not quite as pleasing to me.

I think rich or poor, one finds some degree of comfort in the food of their youth. I know I do. 

Leslie brought home cottage cheese the other day and made me mush this morning. The cottage cheese pooled and melted as I remembered. Dotted the center with a little tupelo honey. it was wonderful, not exactly what I remember, the grit of the corn meal was different and I think we used large curd cottage cheese back then which reacted slightly differently. Maybe I have to put it in the gruel earlier?

Lena says that the best polenta can be purchased from Asanti Brothers in Little Italy. I guess that I will have to check it out. But I would honestly settle for the plain old El Paso, Texas corn meal from my childhood.

It was wonderful. Thank you Leslie! Good to go.

How Can I Tell You?

Male Northern Harrier


Saturday, October 24, 2020

hello in there

Polled data

 I was on some website yesterday and I was asked to do a brief survey which was anything but.

They ask you questions and then make calculated inferences about your habits. Strangely enough, they were quite accurate in my case. The highlighted answer is mine in each of these cases. I am obviously an SUV driving guy who likes dramatic movies, check, reads technology websites and blogs, check, only watches streaming services, check, reads political websites and is an early adopter, check. Only thing is I don't watch MSNBC because I don't watch the news but I listen to them on the radio on occasion.

I found it interesting that they could infer that I watched MSNBC because I thought that my investment portfolio would be relatively static in six months. Where does that come from exactly?

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for picking me up unsolicited today! Always appreciated, lots of new eyes...👀👀

Pissin' In The Wind

Another Jewish cowboy bites the dust

Well fuck, now Jerry Jeff Walker is gone too. 2020, keeps mowing the great ones down. Prine, Little Richard, Kobe, RBG, this has been one miserable year. Not to mention the 1,152,489 other poor souls who have lost their lives to the microbe globally.

I last saw Jerry Jeff I think at the Belly Up tavern. If memory serves correctly, he shared a bill with Emmy Lou Harris and Steve Goodman. Maybe Bromberg too. It was a long time ago.

I sat next to a woman at the show who grew up next to Jerry Jeff when he was known as Ronnie back in Oneanta, New York. He could sure pour on the shitkicker schtick like he was raised in Ozona.

I took a walk yesterday down at Los Jigueros Preserve with my friend Paul. 

Paul is a professional bass player, used to play with a lot of big national acts, including the Association and Gary Puckett. Retired from his technical job at Legoland last year.

Paul and I have two kidneys between us, having both undergone a similar scalpel treatment at some point in time, his very recently. 

His fared a little better than mine did, his guts aren't falling out.  Anyway we have both had our tsoris of late, needed a good walk.

He told me that he had a friend that refuses to set his clocks back for the upcoming daylight savings time, doesn't want to spend one extra hour in this awful covid ridden annum that he doesn't have to. I concur.

He is getting into photography again and I told him to meet me there with a camera. I brought my small lens so I didn't get any birds to speak of, although the hawks were plentiful overhead. We grabbed a couple of obligatory shots of flora and rusty metal instead.

The walk was much needed, you mask shamers should know that we started out that way, have both been recently tested and mind your own business.

We were out in nature and there was not a soul nearby. Thank you for your concern.

Once again, turn off your television and go take a walk somewhere. You're too riled up and it's not good for your lumbago.

I hope that I can get back out there with my buddy soon.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Letter from Dan

Sorry about your friend Melissa. She put up a good fight.   Love the new fount on the blog.  Interesting hawk story. I had a dream that a dog i had when we lived in Fallbrook was barking his play bark at the door. I went to see what he wanted and my brothers dog was there so I let him out to play. They ran around the tree in the yard then they both turned into birds and flew away. I did know my brothers dog was sick. But  it was getting better. When I got up I had a text from him that his dog died that night.


How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?

Covid watch

San Diego had 430 new Covid 19 cases today and one death. This brings the county's total case number to 53,928 with 867 fatalities.

In addition five new community outbreaks were announced today, bringing the number in the last week to 21, I believe.  A community outbreak is defined as three new cases in a specific setting and in people of different households over a 14 day period.

What pisses me off is that they announce the outbreaks continually but never tell us where the hell they are. A lot of damn good that does us.

By the way, Fallbrookians, our case numbers in our little burg now stand at 610 or at about 1.2% of our total population.  Be careful and vigilant, this thing ain't over.

Frank Zappa - Lost Interview

I find this interesting, especially his references to the man he calls the godfather of the Los Angeles freak scene, Vito. I had never heard of him until a very short while ago.
Not material but I once worked for Kim Fowley. For a night. He had a band named the puppies he was promoting at the La Paloma. Dave, Jeff and I were hired as security. We were in college and it was the punk heydey. 

Anyway the place was pretty empty but the show was ticketed. A guy walks in, goes to the bathroom and sticks a safety pin through his forehead. He came out and there was a lot of blood. He wants to go down to the front near the stage. I made him sit in the back, quite offended really and gave him a little lecture about not being an idiot and me sending a picture of his punim to his mother.

Rudy pitches a tent

So you were just adjusting your shirt? Right, Rudy...



I believe that one of the worst results of the Trump era is how we have managed to weaponize stupidity in our country in such an incredible and effective way. I honestly never thought it possible, first Democrats are drinking the blood of babies in pizza parlors and the Q nonsense, then you have the people that are sure that Biden is going to take all your guns away and institute totalitarian Marxism to America if elected.

I guess that if you have willing traditional and social media allies, it is not such a difficult job to convince anyone of anything, no matter how outlandish. That is especially true if the standard bearer of the message has a lot of power and a penchant for dishonesty, like a President of the United States for instance. Works hard at sowing discord and sounding dog whistles.

It usually takes me a while to find the worst example of this condition in the morning but today this jumped right out at me. It was so easy. Check out this article: Parts Of Idaho Repeal Mask Mandates Even Though Hospitals Full Of COVID-19 Patients.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Moments after hearing an Idaho hospital was overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients and looking at sending people as far away as Seattle for care, members of a regional health department board voted Thursday to repeal a local mask mandate.

“Most of our medical surgical beds at Kootenai Health are full,” Panhandle Health District epidemiologist Jeff Lee told board members in the state’s third most populated county.

The hospital in Coeur d’Alene reached 99% capacity a day earlier, even after doubling up patients in rooms and buying more hospital beds. Idaho is one of several states where a surge of COVID-19 infections is overwhelming hospitals, likely in part because cooler weather is sending people indoors, U.S. health officials said.

But the board voted 4-3 to end the mask mandate. Board members overseeing the operations of Idaho’s public health districts are appointed by county commissioners and not required to have any medical experience.

Board member Walt Kirby said he was giving up on the idea of controlling the spread of coronavirus.

“I personally do not care whether anybody wears a mask or not. If they want to be dumb enough to walk around and expose themselves and others, that’s fine with me,” Kirby said. “Nobody’s wearing the damned mask anyway. ... I’m sitting back and watching them catch it and die. Hopefully I’ll live through it.”

Another member, Allen Banks, denied COVID-19 exists.

“Something’s making these people sick, and I’m pretty sure that it’s not coronavirus, so the question that you should be asking is, ‘What’s making them sick?’” he told the medical professionals who testified.

Amazing really. A state once better known for fly fishing and white supremacy has now gone full flat earth and is now actively going against their own medical professionals, people who are working feverishly to keep them alive.

Is there something in the water up there? Or has the notoriously conservative state merely been taking cues from Trump and pretending that masks are unnecessary and that the problem is about to "poof," disappear?

I looked Allen Banks up. The guy is a PHD chemist and no dummy. But he has sure swallowed the kool-aid on this one.

Walt Kirby is just a total idiot. Fine with him if people walk around and infect others... By the way, things are not going so well up there on the covid front, you would think that rational people would take reasonable and basic precautions.

Idaho reported 987 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to more than 56,600 since the pandemic began. Infections are thought to be higher because a lack of testing and other factors. At least 553 people have died of the virus, including seven reported Thursday.

But no, it seems like a significant number of people in America are content to thin the herd and let people die, let the chips fall where they may. Compassionate bunch. Too freedom loving to give a shit about their neighbors or even their own loved ones.

Another Einstein on the board, Glenn Bailey, put it this way:

Health board member Glen Bailey, acknowledging that masks and distancing can help slow transmission of the virus, nevertheless introduced a motion to rescind the mandate. “I agree we have a problem with this virus, but at the same time I object to the mandate the board passed because it restricts people’s right of choice and ability to comply or not comply under penalty of law.”

I feel for the innocent people in Idaho who don't deserve to be served by these troglodyte knuckleheads and I feel for their tired and overworked medical community as well.


South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem can't quite stop congratulating herself on the state's Covid response. Hard to figure out why after you read this article; This Republican governor thinks she's nailed her state's Covid-19 response. She hasn't.

Noem's South Dakota is second -- only to North Dakota -- in the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. On Friday, the state reported more than 1,100 new cases, breaking a single-day record set the day before when 973 cases were reported. Cases have increased by 51% over the last two weeks, according to The New York Times. Of the 10 hottest spots for the virus, as tabulated by the Times, six are cities in South Dakota.

If there is an epicenter for the resurgent coronavirus in America, then, South Dakota may well be it.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Amazing Spider Man faces mutant angst


I bought this page out of an estate sale recently, pretty cheaply actually. It is the work of Sal Buscema and Joe Rubinstein from 1985. I used to sell comic art in the 1970's, haven't had any overground stuff for a long time. I sent it to Heritage Auction, with two Snow White cells from 1937 that are scheduled to sell in December, depicting Happy and Sneezy.

They were not sure how this would do, Sal's work can go high or it can tank. This one is up to $450 $600 $1025 $1250 $1800 already with ten twelve thirteen fourteen bidders, with four one days until the actual live auction. One of the hottest pages in the pre-auction. I am very pleased. Hoping it takes off. Honestly I think the particular page is pretty cool. Spidey's friend is a bit too needy. I especially like the frog shadow in the third panel.

If nominated I will serve...


Let's make America okay again. Smoke pot with every chicken.

Mike Watt - Big Train

Scientists discover new organ behind nose


438 pipe Wicks organ found behind man's nose. 

Man's wife shocked.

"Well that explains all the silly noises," said Harriett Nerfderfer, Dublin, Ohio. "It sounded like a bloody full orchestra when he sneezed. And the dogs would make an awful racket."

Funny angle


You know, I may not be the funniest guy in the world but I have my moments. 

Like when I am sleeping.

I kid you not, I have had occasional dreams where I do whole stand-up routines with fresh jokes. Now maybe they're not so funny when they see the light of day but seriously, some of them are not half bad when you are asleep.

I wonder about the capacity of the human brain and subconscious to engage in humor on the fly like that. Or is it just my weird mind?

The other night I had a dream where I was entertaining a crew of people at a cabana on the beach. I killed them (in the comic sense.) Laughs galore. Unfortunately you will have to take my word for it right now, they are sort of indisposed at the moment. 

I can only remember one joke that I told my somnolent crowd.

"How do you kill a mathematician?"

It's easiest to swing them from a hypot-e-noose.

Now I admit that this is not exactly a thigh slapper but my god, this is my brain working in the middle of the night, cut me some slack alright?

I told Friedman my joke, my sometime daytime stand up partner, a guy who had a long career writing jokes professionally for people like Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller. He was non-plussed, stifled a yawn, told me not to quit my day job. Nary a snicker, more like a snore. Probably just jealous. Like he could get those kind of crowds in la la land. Charitably, he told me that I would probably knock them dead at M.I.T. with that one. Obviously experts hate it when somebody cuts into their turf.

I get it, it's not my best work but jeezus, I was sleeping. And if you are interested, I will be playing all week, at Tony's Champagne Room. The Holiday Inn in Sleepsville, right off the interstate, land of nod, book your tickets now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Spencer Davis Group

That Zany White House

 Great Headline. 

Trump's tweet on 'total' declassification of Russia docs isn't an order, White House tells judge.

The White House chief of staff told the judge to ignore Trump's tweet saying he had authorized the declassification of "any & all documents" related to the Russia probe.

When President Donald Trump tweeted that he had authorized the full declassification of all documents having to do with the Russia investigation, he didn't mean it literally and didn't intend to make information from the Mueller investigation public, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in a court filing Tuesday.

"The president indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents," Meadows said in a sworn court statement.The White House chief of staff told the judge to ignore Trump's tweet saying he had authorized the declassification of "any & all documents" related to the Russia probe.

As in, don't believe a word we say. Because if our lips are moving, we are lying. Anyway he was probably just kidding.


Funny that Mitch McConnell doesn't have the time or inclination to pass a Covid relief bill that the public desperately needs before the upcoming election but they can find the time to vote for a new justice on Monday. The GOP and administration have broken all sorts of spending records the last four years and can now pretend that they are suddenly worried about the national debt and sit on their hands while America is on the  hot seat. They lack the courage to do the right thing for the American people in their time of need and pandemic. I guess I could say that their hypocrisy is startling but at this point it is not, it is merely business as usual.

I'm An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)

Sunday Morning Coming Down

I have been having some very strange dreams lately. Last week I was swimming with my late brother. Dreamt about my mother, something I rarely do. And my father too.

Last night I was driving on the Bay Bridge towards Oakland when suddenly while everybody else went straight ahead, I was given the option to drive up an incline to the very top of the bridge and sail across the girders on a very narrow and unlit pathway. 

Exhilarating, I was the only person granted the privilege, but still a little roller coaster scary. 

Not sure what it all means. I used to be afraid of driving on bridges before my eyes were operated on, lousy depth perception and life has been a bit of a roller coaster of late. No idea of the actual portent.

Leslie and I got up at five minutes to four on Sunday and drove to the swap meet in Long Beach. We had to drop off a tile table I had sold to a customer. I didn't buy a lot but managed to shop all the rows. 

Afterwards I decided to take a few pictures. Long Beach is one of my favorite places to take people shots as they tend to be pretty far out there.

Portrait of a man © Shlomo Ben Yaacov 2020
I had a shipper from New York come by and pick up a dresser to send to New York the other day. He saw my camera and mentioned that he was a photographer as well. 

His name is Shlomo. I really like his work, made me feel slightly inferior. I like his club stuff, really good. I have not been shooting enough people lately. Seeing his nice photographs drove the point home.

Shlomo is an Israeli, used to drive a tank, now he lives in New York. Great careful shipper, Artisan Shipping. Spends a large chunk of his life on the road.

We had a good time at the market, held on the third Sunday of every month. Saw lots of friends. 

Many people wanted to talk about the new Vintage Swap Meet I am proposing. 

Frank ran a story about it in Collector magazine but I have not seen it as yet.

I talk to the county tomorrow for my first serious meeting. There are some glitches but nothing that can't be resolved, I reckon.

I didn't shoot a lot of pictures but grabbed a couple.

Saw some neat stuff, as I said, didn't buy much. I liked these gas pump bird houses, only forty five bucks.

And positively loved this cereal display, just priced a little bit out of my league. Each brand, with date of manufacture and title properly denoted.

Big shot art dealers

People I knew. Weird stuff. Weird people I knew with stuff.

You just never know what you will find at the swap meet.

Just focussing on the slightly bizarre. 

Saw a cream poster that I think is very rare.

Didn't buy it, kind of kicked myself but they wanted a lot of gelt.

Besides, I stopped selling the rock and roll stuff about thirty years ago.

The visual oddities that one sees at the swap meet are just beyond compare. Masks make it all the stranger.

Last year I missed one of the shots of my life. Bill was selling a wooden Civil War era prosthetic leg. 

I was turned in another direction without camera in hand when a one legged man stopped to ponder it. Sort of like King Lear.


What did they say in the 1960's? Let your freak flag fly?

Still doing it at the swap meet. Those that blanche at eccentricity, DO NOT ENTER!

After we left we had a wonderful birthday feast with my newfound cousins in Los Angeles. Great time.

I got a catscan with and without contrast on my abdomen last Wednesday. Wanted to track the large cyst on my remaining kidney.

Was worried, apprehensive and sweating bullets frankly.

The doctor called yesterday. All is good for now. No change.