Thursday, October 21, 2021

Happy 80th birthday, Steve Cropper

Winwood vocals.

Respect the trees

 

Have you noticed that some nimrod advertising an upcoming concert on E. Alvarado is stapling their promotional postcards directly into the trunks of trees on Main Avenue ?

You see them up and down the street, on both sides of the tree trunks in many cases.

I have no idea who the band New Haven is but I am going to have to get pliers to pull all the staples out of these poor trees.

Don't staple your crap to tree trunks. It can damage them and make them sick. Imagine if someone did that to you.

Have some common sense and try not to be so thoughtless and inconsiderate.

The trees deserve better.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Amber Moon

Leslie called me yesterday evening, told me to jump in the car with her and go look at the moon.  

We drove up Alvarado and parked at the top but it was already too high in the sky and too dark for any great shots. 

I snapped anyway. It has been spectacular lately with its lovely golden hue.

Our washing machine is on the fritz. I told her I would pay for a new set but she hasn't found the right one yet.

So after our lunar expedition she went to the laundromat and I went out by myself for sushi. Her choice. I offered.

I had not been to Yama in ages and it was pretty darn good. I ordered the delicious blue crab and avocado roll amongst some other delicacies including yellowtail belly. Nice.

*

Had a good sale this morning, been on a little bit of a hot run of late.

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Brigitte sent me a picture. Somewhat cryptically, it read Willegs Cheese, Delft NL. Slow on the uptake I wrote, Holland? She corrected me - Netherlands. Please.

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R & D sent a shot from their place in Haiku - Pauwela Maui that looked mighty nice too.

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My Scottish friend Pat who lives across the pond sent this picture over.

This is my daughter Catriona (who came to your house aged 7)  and my grand daughter Amélie flying to the Peloponnesus on holiday today.

Hello ladies!

Pat is working in Barcelona and also offered this colorful interior shot of the Sagrada Familia.

Such an incredible space! If you get a chance to visit Spain, it is full of irresistible charms.

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Shawn sent me this one:


Will's contribution is the Cheetah Cub Cam from the Smithsonian.

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Speaking of cams, this Allen bird cam from South Africa is my absolute favorite.

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Do you see the P on this blogpost after the word Netherlands? Why are the p's on my computer doing this?

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My sister Laurie gave me a beautiful gift today as an early birthday present. Thank you Laurie! I love you and appreciate it so much!

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I have sold D paintings and weavings for over thirty years. Now because of aging and memory problems he has moved into a facility and I get to sell them again to help offset the costs of his care. Wonderful to see some of these again, sold two at the show in Palm Springs.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Pacific Vibrations Part-1 (alternative soundtrack)

Lather was thirty years old today...

Shawn sent this over. 

For those of you that don't know, microdosing is taking a very small amount of a psychedelic substance, usually psilocybin mushrooms these days. 

It is said to help with headaches and to give small cognitive boosts or illuminations but not be mind blowing or debilitating. It might be referred to as chipping but maybe not, not really up on such things.

It has become popular among tech people in Silicon Valley the last several years. Of course for people extremely sensitive to the effects of such substances, a little can go a very long way. Like to the moon. Or so I am told.

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I saw Nancy Javier at Harry's today with her friends Helen and another Nancy. They gave me this sheet on a book signing and read they are promoting in January.

Fallbrookian and big time author T. Jefferson Parker has written a book on Laguna Beach, 1968 and the Southern California acid revolution called A Thousand Steps.

I have never been able to read him, not my taste, but I know other people love him. 

I have met him and he seems to be a very nice guy. 

I just don't particularly enjoy his style or genre.

I wonder why the girl on the Milton Glaser style cover is crying? Hope it's not a Diane Linkletter sort of tearjerker because it was rarely like that, at least from my experience and perspective. 

I know Matt Antony is merely trying to get by but if he did not actually partake of the lysergic sacrament it will be something like a shaker teaching a sex education class.

Still I do find it a little funny and ironic to listen to a guy read fiction about the acid revolution when one of the guys that was a pivotal member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love actually lives here in Fallbrook, Ronnie Bevan.

And Ronnie has a book about what actually went down that is quite riveting, Brotherhood of Hashish. Some acid talk, lots of afghani primo!

Leslie was selling copies at her store, not sure if any are left but we are friends of Ronnie and it is nice to be able to get the tab from the horse's mouth and not doled out as historical fiction.

And Travis Ashbrook, another founder, is I believe, just up the street in Temecula.


Or you could read Mike Hynson's book Surf Rebel, with cover illustration by my old friend Lance Jost. 

Or just check out the movie Orange Sunshine, which is a little boring but gives a good run down on Modjeska and Laguna Canyons as well as Mystic Arts and the place up in Idyllwild I happened to live next door to way back when. 

For a great tome on the subject of acid, still hard to beat Bruce Shlain's Acid Dreams :The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond.

And a good old piece in the Orange County Weekly back in 2005 on the subject, Lords of Acid by Nick Schou.

I will try to read the Parker book. Having actually taken orange sunshine a time or two in my sordid youth, I have nothing if not an open mind.

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Over 12,000 hits on the blog today, a lot of traffic from Sweden. Not sure what is up but hej, friends! 

I got a nice note from Jerry yesterday: Sounds like you've cut through the mental fog you were struggling with. Your writing is crisp and your mind sharp again. Happy you had a good show.

I appreciate that Jerry and I think I am indeed functioning better. It took over a month to get the shop back together after New Mexico, almost have it functional this afternoon after two days. Making progress. Peace, friends.

Flamin' Groovies

Pic from Tom

 


Will you love me tomorrow?

Screenshot in a nutshell

 

 More here...

Wallace first fell ill on July 26 — but refused to get tested or go to the hospital, his 8-months-pregnant wife, Jessica Wallace, told the local paper. He instead took high doses of Vitamin C, zinc, aspirin and ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medicine normally used to deworm animals that health officials have urged people not to take to treat COVID-19.

“He was so hard-headed,” his wife told the Standard-Times. “He didn’t want to see a doctor, because he didn’t want to be part of the statistics with COVID tests.”

He said that he cared more about his freedom than other's personal health. But it was his own freedom overdose that ultimately did him in. Karma.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Landslide

Desert Tales


I am back from the desert and the Palm Springs Modernism Show


It was rewarding on every level.  

I think my pals Cam, Bill and I approached it the right way, bringing a large selection of affordable smalls to the show. 

Some dealers were less fortunate, betting on a more high end buyer that may have not ever appeared.


Although we certainly had higher priced items as well, I think it is important that people don't feel priced out and that I can offer something less expensive but every bit as wonderful so that everybody goes home happy.

I think we accomplished that.

And honestly, some of the merchandise is stuff that I frankly abhor but guess what, that is immaterial. People like it, I will find it and sell it to them.

Peoples' tastes and palette have changed and I am trying to give them something that they want, godawful as it might be in the final analysis.

Still, I did something I have never done before at a modernism show, I introduced a large quantity of native and ethnic material. 

It was very well received and I got to sell things that I actually loved too. 

Amazing how well good design will integrate, regardless of the period and vintage.

I didn't take a lot of photographs this year. I was busy all the time and I probably brought the wrong lens, my nikkor 55mm ƒ1.2 manual focus. Too tight.

Lot of my regulars skipped this year for some reason, no Barone, not sure why. 

I sold a ton of stuff. Quite surprising. This is supposed to be the weaker show compared to the February, guess what?

Anyhow, I am tired, was exhausted white knuckling the loaded van home through heavy traffic. Got back around ten, think I was doing about 45 on the freeway at the end, completely spent. I have new clients coming Wednesday and I have to jam on putting the place back in order tomorrow, made some headway today.

Couple things about the weekend. First the funny thing. 

An Italian man who designs and manufactures lighting was across from me with his husband. Wonderful pair. 

But I cracked up when I saw their sign and the name of their company.

Unapologetically Italian.


I told them that they had just given me the name for my newest company, Reluctantly Jewish.

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There is a design style in Palm Springs that is all its own, a mixture of fifties, gay, desert and tropical. The color palette is heavy on the ochre, orange, fuchsia, pink, turquoise and olive hues. I think after a suitable period of time has eclipsed all residents who make the grade are presented with a straw homburg or fedora and an honorary retro plaid jacket. You get penalized for socks.

It is a place where people like to have fun and play dress up, not much different than what we did back on the dead tour or playing pirates as kids, but with much more style and panaché. 

Let it go and outrageous wins the day.

I am not sure if these people dress like this when they go back to their weekday house in Los Angeles but I think there is a sartorial freedom in Palm Springs that makes them want to let it rip.

Good for them.

What I find most interesting, from a sociological perspective, is that these retro cosplay hipster mid century modernists are largely existing side by side with a sizable number of homeless people. 

You often see them together on the same street, the Jetson clown car meets the down and out.

Homeless in the desert looks to be much worse than homeless in New York or Seattle or San Francisco or even Fallbrook. 

Some of these folks look very scary indeed, full face tattoos and obvious overuse of numbing agents. Feral and dangerous. I typically give these people a wide berth.

It is flat here, and ungodly hot, the homeless can not hide or be swept away and the extreme elements and severe heat have a way of quickly desiccating and destroying both body and soul.

This sometimes takes on a cartoonish wolves and sheep juxtaposition on the street as the respective worlds collide. One that is not funny in the least. Everybody trying to survive in this world and not get hurt, by elements or by bigotry. Strange outpost of co-existence.

Anyhow Bill and I were sitting at Sherman's eating breakfast and a woman in black appeared on the corner. 


I signaled to him to check her out, Bill being a keen appraiser of the human condition.

She had a large and small suitcase as well as several bags. But she was remarkably clean. Looked normal emotionally but in a bad way. She was talking loudly and nervously on her phone, plainly traumatized. Whatever had occurred to this poor woman had happened within hours or minutes.  We watched in saddened fascination as a grizzled gutter snipe circled around the potential new mark.

I was wondering to myself, did a spouse or lover throw her out, had she been recently evicted or lost her job? This poor lady was plainly going through it and she looked very new to the homeless condition or lifestyle, if that is indeed what she was going through. Black would not be the ideal color to face the desert in and her skin was still clean and unblemished. At the worst, this would be very hard indeed.

I will never know the answer to the question but I firmly believe that we witnessed zero hour of the descent, a spiraling dive that can take any of us and spit us out broken in mere seconds.

We paid our bill. I looked for her when I walked to my van, thinking that perhaps I could intercede and at least give her some money. But she was gone. Bill later told me that he caught some of her conversation on the way to his van and that our guesses were apparently on the mark. She was crying and our fears were confirmed.

If this unknown woman has a fall I do hope that it is a temporary one and that she rights her ship really soon without too much trouble or pain. The desert is a terrible place to be marooned alone without a home or friend.

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Flowers grow out of dark moments
He came alone on Saturday, not with his wife as was customary. I have known them for years. 

He bought a lovely Corita Kent serigraph from me, pencil inscribed Flowers for Mary, his wife's name. Sunday they came in together. But she looked very different. 

Her neat black pageboy was gone, her hair now gray. Something had clearly changed.

I asked her what was going on in her life?

Mesothelioma, an incurable variety. Now everything made sense. We hugged and shared and talked. Hopefully I was able to impart something helpful from my own experience.

Live every day as if it was your last and let the people you love know that you love them. Repeatedly.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Calexico

Love revisited

 

Because of my Palm Springs show, I am going to miss one of my favorite bands down at the Casbah this Friday. 

If you have the time and inclination, they put on a great performance and the Casbah is intimate and fun.

We have seen some great Love performances there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

MARISA MONTE - PALE BLUE EYES

LJ

San Juan Island

My wife Leslie rarely if ever puts pictures of herself up on Facebook. I stuck some up last week, unbeknownst to her, just waiting for her to delete them, as she usually does. She surprised me and left them up and has had a startling amount of positive response and likes.

Truth is, she is a beautiful woman and her face radiates joy. As you can plainly see from these shots which I repost here. Luckily for me, she will be gorgeous forever!

I have posted most of these here before, enjoy the repost. Her smile still melts me, love waking up next to her every day and seeing this beautiful face.

Mezquita Mosque, Cordoba


Madrid street shot

Most of these shots were taken when we were traveling. I hope that we can take some more voyages soon, Covid has definitely cramped our joy meter. 


Pike Street Market, Seattle


Parma, Italy

Lamoretti Vinyard, Emilio Reggiano


Queen Mary

Grandview Beach


Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada


Two Bunch Palms

She is not only pretty, she is smart as a whip. She is sincerely happy and can be sincerely pissed. Trick is to keep her happy.


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Mobius Rock, Alabama Hills



Neural Filter Test

 

This is a picture I took of a friend of mine, educator and antique dealer Robert Galvez.

Robert is a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor.

This particular picture shows him in what I would call a neutral to happy emotional state. 

Up but not giddy. 

Perhaps a hint of suspicion, what the hell is this guy doing with a camera in my face at this hour of the morning?

I was poking around in Photoshop yesterday and I saw that there was a whole new rabbit hole to fall into called neural filtering

Neural filters go into the cloud and assess your subject with a bazillion similar images in order to make suggested alterations with AI or artificial intelligence.

This really isn't my bag but I did write a course book on Photoshop that still sells very well and I like to keep up to date with what is going on with the Adobe product. 

So I thought I would have a look.


The smart portrait neural filter allowed me to adjust various (three) emotions in my subject that did not necessarily exist in my original capture (or that quaint and antiquated notion we call reality) as well as make a whole assortment of other modifications. 

pass
The first thing I did was dial Robert's happiness quotient up a whole mess, a whopping 45 points. 

A naturally happy guy, his neural simulacra took to happy like a duck takes to water.

fail

Anger was a whole 'nother story. Try as it might, the end product looked forced, unrealistic and not angry in the least. Somewhat pinched. Truth is, Robert is just a hard guy to get to look miserable and unhappy because that is not him. He's pretty up. Even his pissed off version looks a little joyful although mostly strained. More like happy after a root canal.

This is not going to be a tool I spend a lot, if any, more time with. I keep thinking of the movie Wag the dog. With manipulative tools like this, people can ultimately look and feel and emote any way you want them to and no one is the wiser. Or will be able to, when the technology matures anyway.

I am not sure that I am down with that, from an ethical standpoint. But it is interesting in an academic sense and it will be something to watch the technology evolve. Gracias, Roberto, for the shot.

Roxy Music - Out of the Blue

Young Mennonite couple, Bodie

 


Lazy Waters - The Byrds

Tuesday Quickie


Ray H. sent a picture of this tasteful mascot over that he saw at the car show.

Hudgins offers: The Migration Patterns of the Privileged: On 21st-Century Climate Gentrification ‹ Literary Hub

Wild Bill shares this interesting column from Pharyngula - When blogs ruled the internet.

Michael offers this choice tidbit from France, Culinary animation:


Hylocereus Undatus flower from my garden.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Johnny Are You Gay?

Guess it was only a matter of time

 

Superman's kid comes out.

Clark and Lois's son Jon is now a confirmed  bisexual.

Word is that his new boyfriend is less than impressed. 

"Man of steel? Fecch! 

If I had wanted something this pliable I would have looked up Mr. Elastic over at the Fantastic Four.

Gehry Building, Seattle

 

This is one of my favorite architectural shots that I have ever taken. I love the way light and color flows around the rounded and aberrant forms of the Hendrix Museum. And I am glad that I took the shot when the building was young because the shot no longer exists, the form now unfortunately obscured by trees and foliage.

The next picture is a non obstructed later view that catches a bit of the late afternoon sun reflection from a slightly different angle. I always felt that it had a futuristic, science fiction quality. Fritz Lang, Metropolis. Which is fitting really as the building once housed (and still might house) a science fiction museum.