tonalist woman in the garden

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Rice Pudding

Before the late Jaco Pastorius became famous as an innovative jazz bass master with Weather Report and playing with Joni Mitchell he honed his chops in dance and funk bands like Wayne Cochran's C.C. Riders. Cochran was from Georgia and known as the White Knight of Soul. This cut is a 1972 recording. Jaco's dad was a drummer and he started out as a drummer but destroyed his wrists and changed to bass. Perhaps the most free and innovative bass player the world has ever known.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

President Chester Arthur

Arthur was a rare man who rose to the occasion. Worth learning about. Everybody thought he would be in the tank for New York's Roscoe Conkling, a mob boss. But he instead became the president the country needed in 1881. Great men are evidently born of circumstance and tempered by fate. Sometimes they surprise everybody by being the right person at the right time.

Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island

Tempestuous tyke

As a serial selective rule breaker myself, I must admit that I really admire the new congresswoman from Colorado, Lauren Boebert. The rules apply to everybody else but her. 

The laws in the Capitol are fairly clear, they allow guns in individual offices but not in the legislative chamber.

Yet the congresswoman and her cronies refuse to go through metal detectors or open their purses, claims it infringes on their second amendment rights. What a fine example to set for our children!

Some of the story I am not clear on. The Capitol Police chief does not recognize CCW's from other states, Boebert says he gave her one. Not sure which, but they can't both be right.

And this business of the speaker telling all members to forgo social media and not disclose anybodies location, that couldn't apply to her, could it? So she ratted out Pelosi. Good for her.

You have to hand it to the glock toting gal from Rifle, Colorado, she looks like she represents her constituency to a T. 

And for a high school dropout with a fairly long rap sheet, she has really come up in the world. See GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert and husband racked up arrests in home district

He is a real beauty too, showing his junk to two girls at a bowling alley. Siccing her pitbull on a neighbor was a nice touch too.

Like many of the current MAGA crowd, Boebert appears to have been radicalized by her Q anon mom. The local paper is on her ass for something that almost looks trivial but is also apparently unlawful. Public officials can not legally censor social media feeds. Oops.

We'll just disregard that one too. The big bad liberal media doesn't play fair and if we pout and scream loud enough we can do anything we want, can't we?

Friday, January 15, 2021

Requiem for John Hurt

Great News


First the great news. My wonderful friend Bruce the locksmith is alive. A truck pulled out right in front of him on Mission the other day and Bruce clipped the rear panel and then careened into a telephone pole.

The telephone pole snapped in two and smashed square onto the top of Bruce's PT Cruiser. He totaled the car but he walked away miraculously.  Couple bruises on his arm.

It was the other guy's fault according to the cops. It also cut off power to a large swath of Fallbrook, we didn't get it back until two o'clock that night.

Bruce sent me this picture the other day before the accident. Rainbow must have brought him good luck. So glad he is okay.


I had a cystoscopy today, a three month post cancer surgery screening. I am not sure why I have been nervous about this one but I honestly have.

Leslie offered to drive me down to Mercy Hospital where my urologist practices. The news would either be good or bad, my life now built in ninety day increments.

We decided to grab lunch first and try a new place we had been reading about, Catalina Offshore Products, a fresh fish market. Well the place is not new new, been around for forty years, but new to us anyway.

The reader did a story on it a few weeks ago and raved about the place.

You see, not only is it a bustling fish market, they have a local rock star sushi chef, Joey Maldonado, working four days a week, Wednesday through Saturday, from ten to two.

Grouper was beautiful

Joey, a very affable guy, is a culinary school grad who has worked at the best places in town including Harney and Tabu as well as Leslie's favorite spot in Escondido. 

The man obviously has a passion for fish. He is also a North County local.

I didn't want to hex my day and celebrate too soon, like calling a perfect game in the eighth inning and inviting disaster.

But we went and had him make us a feast anyway, screw it.

And he did.

Toro, Japanese mackerel, delectable halibut, salmon and snow crab, the place totally rocks.

Leslie and I drove to Balboa Park and had a picnic off Upas amongst the street people, I had a blanket in the back of the car. We went for it. 

Washed it down with a local soda or two, Coffee Vanilla and Ginger Ale from Swell.

You can not find better or fresher fish than Catalina. Bought "broken shrimp" to take home too. We spent a fortune but it was worth it and I can't wait to go back.

5202 Lovelock St. Bay Park
 (619) 297-9797

Afterwards I went to the doctor and had my procedure. I also got great news, bladder is staying pretty much the same, no new cancer. Miracle. Good to go for three more months or 10k miles, whichever comes first.

We stopped at Einsteins for a couple bagels, can't find a decent one in Fallbrook and then a short popover at Spicy City for hunan style cumin lamb for tonight's dinner.

I am celebrating man. Me and Bruce, we are still standing.

Business was good this week, had a nice sale and a wonderful gift. I also got this beautiful 25 x 30" Maurice Braun oil painting back from the restorer yesterday. Braun was arguably our greatest San Diego painter and this is a very good one. I don't get them that often so I thought I would show it off.

It is titled In the Valley on the back and I think the palette is more fall or late summer than spring. Great composition and not over sweetened. Hell, maybe it is spring. What the hell do I know?

I like how the evening rays are just hitting the top of the mountain on the left. Stop by the gallery and take a look if you feel like it.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Hello, Fox News?

I have received some nice letters from folks from both left and right who liked my recent Virtue of the mean blogpost. 

I was talking about it with a conservative friend in Orange County this afternoon. I asked him if the two sides would ever be able to meet in the middle again?

His answer sort of surprised me. "No way," he said. "Too many powerful interests make too much money keeping us divided."

Cynical, but he may be on to something.

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys

Kerry sent this over. Kids sort of mess with you and lull you to sleep and then BLAM!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Sam and Spencer - Gimme Some Lovin'

Debbie's wood duck


Virtue lies in the mean

With our country going through such tumultuous times I think it is important to remember that the great majority of Americans, on either side of the political divide, are good and decent folk.

I have many Republican friends and they are probably as likely to storm the capitol in a Camp Auschwitz t-shirt with guns a blazin' as I am.

I saw a comment on the Fox website the other day that I both liked and commented on. I think it says it all in a nutshell.

Now an argument can certainly be made that comparing wild eyed ideologues on the left with right wing conspiracy theorists who want to storm the bastille with weapons is a false equivalence. I get that.

But the grand vision of the progressive squad, free college, medical care, housing, eat the rich, etc. is probably just as fantastic in a literal sense, as in fantasy. It scares people too, frankly.

Let us seek to work towards and find agreement in the middle again. There are way more of us middle people then there are of them. Not every Republican has an AR -15 seeking left wing scalps and not every Democrat is a communist intent on destroying the economy and stealing your money. 

First thing we have to do is start talking to each other again and not past each other while focussing on the lunatic fringe.

Virtue lies in the mean. Turn off the television and let's have a beer.

...Now virtue is concerned with passions and actions, in which excess is a form of failure, and so is defect, while the intermediate is praised and is a form of success; and being praised and being successful are both characteristics of virtue. Therefore virtue is a kind of mean, since, as we have seen, it aims at what is intermediate.

Again, it is possible to fail in many ways (for evil belongs to the class of the unlimited, as the Pythagoreans conjectured, and good to that of the limited), while to succeed is possible only in one way (for which reason also one is easy and the other difficult- to miss the mark easy, to hit it difficult); for these reasons also, then, excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue;

For men are good in but one way, but bad in many.

Virtue, then, is a state of character concerned with choice, lying in a mean, i.e. the mean relative to us, this being determined by a rational principle, and by that principle by which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect; and again it is a mean because the vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while virtue both finds and chooses that which is intermediate. Hence in respect of its substance and the definition which states its essence virtue is a mean, with regard to what is best and right an extreme.

           Aristotle - Nicomachean Ethics, Book II 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Roxy Music

From Ansel Adams spot over the Snake River


Grown over a bit since old Ansel was there. May 30th, 2016. I didn't muck with the color, left it well enough alone. It was what it was, a rather dreary day. In my opinion, the Grand Tetons offer every bit as much visually as their more famous northern neighbor. On a good day anyway.

1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Above the cloudline, San Dieguito River

Welcome To The Machine

Mad dream

Charles II of Naples
I had a very strange and somewhat apocryphal dream last night. I was living in a medieval kingdom with a mad emperor. Unfortunately our ruling despot was lame and dragged a foot. 

Because of this a proclamation was made that everyone in the land should also drag a foot, so as not to embarrass the leader. Me and the rest of the gentry dutifully did our best to comply so as not to show up the great one and lose our heads.

The dream is getting fuzzy now in the waking hours but we were following the king's cortege at one point and I remember being remonstrated for walking too normally and not adopting the halting gate of the ruler. 

We had to run after the procession and I remember adopting a limp so as not to be cut down by the king's soldiers and enablers.

Later I was in a pub or tavern of some kind and was told that I could not pick anything to eat, they would tell me what to eat. Sort of Orwellian but in a baroque setting. 

I was happy to wake up. Could you imagine actually living in the time of a mad and evil king?

Beth's Bighorn


My birding buddy Beth has been very busy of late. She did three four Christmas bird counts for the Audubon Society, including one in Borrego Springs. These are major efforts and very time consuming.

I am not sure what birds she saw but she did send this nice picture of a desert bighorn ram that she encountered, always fun. Perhaps it was in Palm Canyon, I will have to ask her. They have been finding lots of long eared owls in Borrego Springs of late, wish I had time to go down there.

Congratulations, Beth!

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Monterey Pop Festival 1967 - Outtake Performances

00:00 The Association - Along Comes Mary 03:50 Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound 06:44 Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence 10:02 Country Joe And The Fish - Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine 15:24 Al Kooper - (I Heard Her Say) Wake Me, Shake Me 22:52 The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Driftin' Blues (Full Performance) 27:37 Quicksilver Messenger Service - All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You ) 30:56 The Electric Flag - Drinkin 'Wine 33:45 The Byrds - Chimes Of Freedom 37:15 The Byrds - He Was A Friend Of Mine 40:17 The Byrds - Hey Joe 43:00 Laura Nyro - Wedding Bell Blues 44:10 Laura Nyro - Poverty Train 48:31 Jefferson Airplane - Somebody To Love 51:39 The Blues Project - The Flute Thing 1:03:14 Big Brother And The Holding Company - Combination Of The Two 1:09:35 Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth 1:12:52 The Who - Substitute 1:16:52 The Who - Summertime Blues 1:20:22 The Who - A Quick One While He's Away 1:28:54 The Mamas & The Papas - Straight Shooter 1:32:35 The Mamas & The Papas - Somebody Groovy 1:35:33 The Mamas & The Papas - I Call Your Name 1:39:29 The Mamas & The Papas - Monday, Monday 1:44:42 The Mamas &The Papas - San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) 1:48:50 The Mamas & The Papas - Dancing In The Street 1:53:19 Tiny Tim - Medley

Grateful Dead 6/8/69 Fillmore West

This is a very interesting show if you are into the music of the Grateful Dead. I first heard parts of it on Sirius Radio recently. 

Skip to the 47 minute mark for the section that piqued my interest. A thirty five minute Turn on your lovelight but no Pigpen and no Jerry. 

Why, you may ask? Because a local and infamous dealer named Goldfinger had wickedly dosed the communal apple juice backstage with LSD. 

Like the Randy Tuten poster for the show so presciently depicts, the kids were really drinking the electric koolaid that night.

Everybody was comatosed, including Phil and Hunter. Elvin Bishop and Wayne Ceballos from the band Aum stepped in and helped things along on guitar and vocal respectively. I really enjoy Elvin's playing and singing on The Things that I used to do, especially in the spirit of this particular evening.

Purportedly, Robert Hunter wrote Black Peter after and because of this night. Jerry finally picks up his lost marbles and plays on the song Cryptical envelopment forward.

My friend Vlad says he has a hard time listening to the Dead from 1969, the music is so Cranial. Better eat your wheaties for this one.

From Phil's book searching for the sound: "While waiting for our set to begin, we were passed an innocuous looking (except for the faint subliminal glow emanating from the liquid, and barely noticeable sediment at the bottom) bottle of - apple juice! Without any hesitation we each sampled the bottle and passed it on. as soon as the juice hit my taste buds my entire consciousness went into "Oh Shit" mode - I had never experienced the taste of acid like that before. Normally one would ingest less than one hundred micrograms (Ten Thousandths of a gram) and it would be completely tasteless. For the taste to be perceptible, there must have been one Hundred milligrams (one thousandth of a gram) in each mouthful. We later found out that not only had Goldfinger with his usual prankster attitude, hit the bottle, but that every other acid cowboy in town had added their gram or two's worth".

Dipshit MAGA supporter carves TRUMP in poor animal's back

 Federal officials seek information on manatee harassment.

Florida is such a special place.

What I need...

The last few weeks I have been indulging in idle thoughts of where I would like to go on a trip after this long Covid entrapment? Let's say money was not a huge issue and you could go anywhere. I'm honestly getting a little stir crazy.

Last year we were talking about Portugal and Spain again. I had given thought to exploring England and Germany, have never spent quality time in either. But do they have enough magic for us?

I have always wanted to go to the Marble Caves of Chile and explore Patagonia but not sure I am in physical condition to do so at present.

Poipu and other places in Hawaii always ring our bell as do the San Juan Islands. Africa would be great but it is expensive and takes a lot of planning. Leslie wants to go to Northern Japan and I would be down with that too. Some other time, perhaps.

But having thought of all these places, the one place that is calling out to me the strongest is going back to Yellowstone and the Big Sky country. I was looking at this tour and fantasizing yesterday. Would love to get out there in the worst of conditions and see what I could do with the camera.

The Tetons and Yellowstone speak to me like few places on this earth. 

I have only done it one time in the snow and didn't have the proper equipment to do it justice. Now I do. 

Would be so fun to be there without a lot of humans around.

Place speaks to me on another level.

Of course you can only go in from one road to the north right now and access is prohibited. And my brother in law no longer has a free place for me to stay in Jackson.

Who knows what will happen? Maybe I get a wild hair and just go...

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Verdi: Messa da Requiem

Sunday musing


Gavilan Sunset

I hope that you have had a nice weekend after what has been a pretty traumatic week for most of us. I suppose that some thrive on discord and chaos, maybe they had a peach of a time? Scared the rest of us, even those prescient enough to have seen it coming. Trump or not, we have two distinct world views going and they could not be further apart. The potential for further trouble is very real.

Like this guy for instance. Claims the insurrectionists showed remarkable restraint in not executing lawmakers.  John Guandolo is a Naval Academy grad, ex military and FBI. Begs the question how many of the people supposedly protecting our lawmakers think exactly like he does?

I can break bread with a lot of people and put differences aside but draw a line at people like this, sorry. We will never see eye to eye.

Anyway, didn't mean to get political again. I had a good day in the shop yesterday and a pleasant Sunday so far. Leslie made me a good cup of coffee, a nice pulled pork burrito with Rosa's green sauce and sour cream and gave me a haircut, which was sorely needed.

I drove to the shop, have almost finished cataloguing my Southwest baskets, my second basket category. 

About five more tomorrow morning and I will have it finished, at least with the first batch. The Great Basin and Northwest Coast come next and then I can start on pottery.

I am going to do a virtual show for Kim and John and need to get that together soon as well. I am a little foggy on the concept of a virtual show and not entirely optimistic. 

Not an inexpensive undertaking for something that will depart in four days without a digital trace.

However friends of mine have done them and said they got good sales and clients from them. And John and Kim have been very good to me over the years and I need to pay it back. So I will keep my fingers crossed and figure at least I will save on hotels and gas.

I do prefer to sell in person. Antiques and art are a visceral and tactile medium and it is hard to transmit their warmth and smell and my enthusiasm over a cold digital medium. There are times when even your scribe and favorite misanthrope is a people person. I hope that my material is good enough and that I don't embarrass myself.


Had a hard time going to sleep last night. Funny enough, couldn't stop thinking of my dad. The good times that we shared and there were plenty. Ball games, fishing trips, blackjack junkets, great meals, travel to Africa, Canada and Hawaii. I ran through so much in my mind.

We had our ups and downs but I tell you, he was there for me when I really needed him. Bailed me out of jail once at three in the morning after a kerfuffle with a cop at a Grateful Dead concert at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Didn't bust my ass either, just took care of me.

He really loved me and Buzz and we loved him. I hope that I told him that enough. He wasn't perfect but neither are we, we all do our best. We did a lot for each other, like families are supposed to. Had so many great times. 

He loved math, supercalc 5, a good top sirloin, opera, basketball, his darkroom, fuschias, building perfect architectural models, his wife, Shela. He was a very smart and talented man. A true renaissance man.

Now Buzz is gone and Dad is gone and my memory of our great times together is all that is left. No one else but me knows what went down back then.  I miss the hell out of them both.

Loved my mother too but had a hard time living any closer than three thousand miles from her.

But you know there was a time? I can remember getting a kiss from her every day before school. Maybe it was the fourth grade, I was late for the bus and I ran off without my kiss without connecting with her.

It felt weird but I had to scoot. I remember when I got home that day, she had apparently cried all day. She was still shaken. The first day without a kiss from her eldest son had honestly devastated her.

That is love too.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Albert's Shuffle

Falcon in flight

 This shot pretty much depletes the catalogue of my most recent peregrine falcon encounter.

These stoners are not your friend

I was listening to CNN this morning and I heard an insurrection factoid that had somehow escaped me. During the recent siege, a bunch of protesters went up to the "Oregon room" and smoked weed. Why, Oregon? You got me. I guess they liked the colorful paintings and maps.

This has been corroborated in several accounts like here and here.

Saul Loeb - AFP via Getty Images

Call me old fashioned but I remember a day when long hair and weed smoking meant that you had a somewhat liberal worldview. Not white supremacist MAGAheads. Guess it shows you how old I am. I don't think I will be partying with these folks anytime soon, glad these degenerate philistines didn't destroy any of the paintings. Strange times we live in.

Authorities are still trying to confirm the actual identities of several people photographed with zip tie handcuffs, which suggests a potential hostage attempt. Like this guy with the helmet upper left in the tactical gear.

Win McNamee
Now I don't know him and it is just a guess but it would not surprise me at all if this was an off duty cop or military man wanting to have himself a little boogaloo action. Just has the look.

Reports are that there were quite a few cops engaged on the stupid side of the riot, two officers from Seattle are unaccounted for. Only time will tell if I am right.


Elizabeth from Knoxville

Friday, January 8, 2021

1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Kindred Coffee

I have lost count how many owners we have had at the local coffee shop since it's inception. Eight? Nine? Why it seems like only yesterday Jim Tudor was making us all creamed chip beef... Anyway, there is a new one. Has been since Thanksgiving.

Her name is Laura and I think the change is going to be good. The name is going to be changed from the horrid Coffee, corks and cuisine to Kindred Coffee, a much better appellation. Laura seems to be a genuinely warm and nice person and she is a great baker.

We have ran the gamut at Cafe Primo, or whatever it is called, Espresso Lounge, I forget. The food has ranged from Costco store bought to the excellent Geds, who brokered great pastries. The last owner's stuff was decent but really expensive.

Laura made fresh apple cinnamon muffins yesterday that were just perfect. Today I tried her cheese danish. I didn't really like the layout and composition of the confection and told her and rather than cop an attitude, she changed it and the final result was perfect and scrumptious.

It is a pleasure to order again, I hope she upgrades the coffee beans a skoche. I look forward to what she does with the place and the adjacent kitchen in the months ahead. Think it will be a winner.

Funny Calculus

Is there a dumber justification than; We know that there are no facts that support the notion of election fraud but enough of our constituents believe the delusion that there are that we are going to vote to throw shade on the subject and disregard what we know to be true for the interminable future anyway. Because we owe it to them.

Weeping in The Promised Land

Sunset from Don's


All Fall Down

What he carried on his back

Some issues are easy to decide and some are, if not more difficult, at least worth looking deeper into. Like the story of Mario García Toledo. Mario was a San Felipe fisherman. 

He was 56 years old when a conservationist boat owned by the Sea Shepherd conservationist Society slammed into his panga recently, killing him and severely injuring an accomplice. Cut the boat in two.

Mario was doing something terrible, he was hunting illegal totoabas, a fish in the drum family that only lives in the gulf of California. 

You see, Chinese people will pay upwards of $50k for a kilogram of the fish's dried air bladder. They think that it helps with their fertility problems. The fish has been illegal to catch since 1975.  The catching of the totoaba often leads to the catch of another critically endangered species, the vaquita porpoise. In 2018, the Chinese government confiscated over $28 million dollars worth of Totoaba bladders from the illegal blackmarket.

Laws or not, totoaba are still caught and sold illegally. And a poor Mexican can feed his family for an entire year on a few fish. I can understand how it can happen.

Catching totoaba can be very lucrative for a San Felipe fishermen. The fish’s dried air bladder can yield anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000 per kilogram on the black market in Asia, where people use it in a soup called fish maw. The dried bladder is said to have medicinal properties, such as boosting fertility.

During peak demand in China, the retail price of totoaba maw per gram has exceeded the price of gold.In Baja California, one can earn an entire year’s salary just by netting a few totoaba, according to the fishermen.

García Toledo “literally lived from the sea his entire life, fishing at low tide with small nets,” said Cesar Carrasco, a San Felipe resident who said he has known García Toledo since childhood.

There is an argument about who did what to whom? The Mexican locals say the larger conservationist boat deliberately rammed the smaller panga. The Sea Shepherd people say that they were attacked with molotov cocktails. I don't know who did what and it is really immaterial.

Totoaba is still being caught illegally to satisfy the strange urges of the Chinese and in a Mexican fishing village, somebody is missing a poor husband and father. Very sad either way. And his lifelong friend had a pithy last word:

“He would gather clams and then walk miles down the beach, selling them,” Carrasco said. “He witnessed incredible events such as seeing thousands of totoabas enter the estuary at a depth of less than one meter. How could this be a predator of the species, if he fished only what he could carry on his back?


Speaking of fish, I would be remiss in not mentioning a parting shot from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump vetoed a bi-partisan bill January 2nd that would have gradually ended the use of large-mesh drift gillnets deployed exclusively in federal waters off the coast of California, saying such legislation would increase reliance on imported seafood and worsen a multibillion-dollar seafood trade deficit.

Trump said in his veto message to the Senate that the legislation sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., “will not achieve its purported conservation benefits.”

Feinstein issued a statement saying Trump’s veto “has ensured that more whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine species will be needlessly killed, even as we have a proven alternative available.”

The fishing bill’s sponsors said large-mesh drift gillnets, which measure between 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) and 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) long and can extend 200 feet (60.9 meters) below the surface of the ocean, are left in the waters overnight to catch swordfish and thresher sharks. But they said at least 60 other marine species — including whales, dolphins and sea lions — can also become entangled in the nets, where they are injured or die.

It is illegal to use these nets in U.S. territorial waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and off the coasts of Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. They remain legal in federal waters off California’s coast.

In 2018, California passed a four-year phaseout of large-mesh drift gillnets in state waters to protect marine life.

The bill Trump vetoed would have extended similar protections to federal waters off California’s shoreline within five years and authorized the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help the commercial fishing industry switch to more sustainable types of gear.

Trump said that the passage of the bill would make the price of swordfish too high. Egads.

Post tide

With our country having recently teetered this close to insurrection and martial law, it is certainly no time to gloat at the Trump immolation. And I will not. But I have reread my blog from November and December of 2016 and will say that I accurately predicted then that in the end his inevitable implosion would take nearly all of his supporters down with him. This thing was never going to end well.

And it has. In the end the rats are scurrying off the deck as fast as their little legs can carry them. It was a faustian bargain and only Mitch McConnell can tell you if it was worth it or not. He certainly put his judges in. But the damage to the country and to the GOP in the future is hard to fathom today.

We know how many people in the Republican party were content to look the other way, on so many issues. Makes you wonder if there are any bedrock principles left that they truly believe in?

The country needs to be smudged, cleaned and utterly disinfected to get the Trump grifter stink out of the national upholstery. And the kraken, the Manchurian Maga wackadoodles that have become a national force and believed the ridiculous and sordid Q canon, it is not like they are going away anytime soon. Can't put that genie back in the bottle. Dangerous to weaponize stupid.

But thankfully this time, a few people did step up, even the Senate Majority Leader and the Vice President and said "There is a line we will not cross" and all I can say is, bully for them. We got another shot to straighten ourselves up and fix things.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Wilson Pickett - Hey Jude

The end of this song features one of Duane Allman's most epic riffs. I think this song is what brought him to Clapton's attention. Two years later they played together in Derek and the Dominos.

San Elijo Humdinger


Barbarians in the foyer

photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock

So many amazing images from yesterday, quite surreal really. This one by Jim Lo Scalzo might be my favorite. A member of the MAGA resistance takes a breather in the wake of the stars and bars.

Kip sent this over.

Freeborn Man

Actually written by the great Paul Revere and the Raiders, specifically Mark Lindsay and Keith Allison. Very underrated band, loved up in Washington.

White faced ibis


A friend of mine asked me the other day when I developed my fondness for birds. "Hmmm," I thought. I told him that I was quite the artist and sketcher as a child and always had an affinity for long legged birds like the ibis, drew them quite a bit.

I can remember rendering them when I could not have been any older than seven or eight years old. Have loved them my whole life. Not sure why but that is my story and I am sticking to it. I loved their graceful long necks. 

I have had two neighbors call today to tell me that there is a blue heron hunting in my field at home.  By the way, the gallery is named for a nesting pair that used to live across the river.

And did you know that when I practiced Hung Gar kung fu, a five animal system, my specialty was crane? If I ever get a tombstone I would like an ibis, deco style, stage left. Just not real soon.

Atlanta Is Burning

Laundry, food and crap


My recollection might be a bit off but being a kept and basically incompetent man, I do not believe I have done my own laundry for over thirty years.

I think I tried once early on and accidentally dyed my wife's clothes a pretty pink color and she said you are fired. I have been banished from the laundry room ever since and frankly, I am cool with that. Not really welcome in the kitchen either.

I broke my laundry streak this week. I needed to clean my sneakers and she said we were not going to do it in our machine, which she says might be on its last legs. 

When you live on a ranch or a rural area, pants and shoes get dirty, even the ones you want to keep clean. Things pop up and you deal with them and even the good sneakers end up looking like hell.

You could clean them or if you are basically a lazy sod like me, you buy a new pair.

New Balance is now gone in Cardiff, the online shoes don't always fit and I don't feel like going to the Nordstom's rack because it is iffy. So I decided to clean seven pairs of tennis shoes, some of them really nice ones, just caked with mud.

I sussed out the local laundromats and finding one that fit the bill, near Grocery Outlet, commenced to cleaning. My pal who is an expert at such things said to take the soles out and to tie the laces. I did so. Woman behind the counter suggested two pods. We never had pods back when I was doing laundry but that was a long time ago and things have changed. We didn't have citizens storming the Capitol back then either.

I had heard two schools of thought on the dryer. Most said don't, your shoes will shrink but I didn't want to wait three days to wear them so I went with the five minute blast at medium heat to just get a little moisture out of them. Then I air dried them on my upper deck.

My feet are comfortably in my favorite pair of sketchers but I have two comments; the material feels rough and different and none of the shoes are as clean as I had hoped. My friend and surrogate parent Jean said that I should have scrubbed them with lava soap first. Live and learn. Any of you have sneaker cleaning tips that you would like to share?

Since I am focussing on the mundane so as not to belabor our nation's sordid current events and this will be a stream of consciousness day, I want to let you know that I bought a new lighter yesterday.

I felt like having a puff. Don't think lesser of me but it is legal here in California and my back is hurting and I found myself sorely needing a medicinal boost.

I went to the Circle K, a tienda I typically just ply in order to procure my favored thrifty black cherry ice cream and asked for a lighter and a lottery ticket.

Ticket was a bust, lighter this swank playboy model, so seventies. I told Leslie and she asked why I didn't give it back but it certainly makes me look like a player and I think I will keep it.

Anyway on a different subject I mentioned Grocery Outlet. It is a curious store, you might find something you really love, like the lu belgian chocolate cookies for instance and the reality is that you will probably never see them there again because lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place and they are a discount, close out buyer. But for a person long interested in the concept of intermittent rewards, see Buy stuff, kill monsters, win gold, place is a gold mine.

So I am there the other day and I see this large package of bacon ends, a European style mix with a strange cure and color. Leslie cooked some up and I liked it, having a strong flavor and sweet caramelization. She was not so keen on it but thought it would be beautiful in coq au vin.

It was. So if you are keeping score at home, she does all my laundry and she also makes me delicious coq au vin. Lucky man.

And while talking about food, I would be remiss in not sharing pictures from Lena and Ronnie's latest gustatory feast, bouillabaisse with caviar appetizers.

Eileen was over for dinner and they went to town.

First course caviar and blinis washed down with a good champagne.

They made a killer bouillabaisse, with cockles and a big chunk of king crab. Switched to pinot for libations.

I'm honestly sorry I missed that meal. Looks incredible although I am not a big caviar guy.

Anyway the title of this post is laundry, food and crap and I fear I must get to the third member of the trifecta, the crap part.

It appears I have let my septic system deteriorate horribly. Haven't pumped it in a decade or two.

Last time I did they said it was only half full so I thought, hey, it's working so swimmingly, why bother?

Bad move. I thought I was shitting pretty and I wasn't. The gasses (and baby there are plenty) apparently deteriorate the tanks if left unintended and I had pushed this poor tank far past its earthly limit, Robbie's lunkers notwithstanding.

I called a company in Valley Center to pump the tank, the Fallbrook expert's phone no longer working and they sent a man out to pump the tank.

I got home in time to see him sitting on a bucket, four feet up a veritable mountain of my turds with a grim look on his face. One of the five worst jobs in his tenure as a septic sucker. His tattoo flamed arms held a vacuum hose and I watched my scatological issue on its farewell excursion back to wherever such effluent makes it final departure from the mortal tank.

The smell was unbearable. I am looking at this guy and thinking, how can a human do this 24/7? What kind of saint am I dealing with here? Great job for a covid survivor who has lost his sense of smell but I would not be personally capable. Glad he was there. Charged me an extra $150 for my gross indignities. The doodie duty I suppose. Turd tariff. Shitty surcharge.

And told me that my system will need about $5k of remedial work to work properly again. New T's divider, lid, risers. I am glad I am flush at present so that I can flush in the future. Trying to get a couple bids but it is definitely the shits. At least I got my money's worth out of this one. Whole new tank is upwards of 10k. (second bid was over 12k)

I could keep you posted but have probably already spilled too much. Anyway, watching this guy work with that hose, I did have a personal epiphany. Dude, don't ever complain about your job. Do you know what you could be doing instead?