Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sunday morning to do's

You don't realize how much your spouse does for you until she takes off for a week.

Mine went to Northern California for a small buying show and a little fraternity with a couple friends. 

She is coming back real soon so I had to make an assessment; is there anything I have forgotten to do around the house that will cause even a small conflagration upon her return?

Catbox is clean, check. Wet bathmat off the floor? Check. Recyclables out? Check. Did I save her the Sunday funnies? Check. Cat bowls scrubbed? Not yet but they will be and I don't think the cats are exactly talking so I am probably out of the woods on that one.

Dishes are out of the sink, bathroom sink is reasonably free of the detritus of shaving. 

I am not so clueless as to think after 31 years that I have not forgotten some duty and committed at least one cardinal sin but I can't quite foresee my gross failure at this point.

I have been real busy with work and floods and things are lagging around here a bit. 

Allan Gracey glued up about two hundred feet of new 1 & 1/2" schedule 40 water main and it will probably get tied into the system tomorrow. 

Tom helped plant a beautiful specimen beaucarnea recurvata that I got from Bill.

I should say, I helped, as he, as usual, did most of the work.

Bill also gave me one of his prized birds of paradise with yellow instead of orange flowers. He was growing them thirty years ago before anybody had ever heard of them. I planted it the other evening.

My "Mickey Mouse" opuntia blew over under its own weight but I think it will be okay. Cactus are like that.

I planted a regular bird with standard flowers this morning.

I have had three giant trucks in my back yard for about a year. Been storing them for Tom in  my pasture. 

Tom sold them and a mover is going to come over today. I will miss the old Studebakers.

I had a minor epiphany the other day. There are people who plant and people who water and cultivate and some rare people that do both. 

I am the former and thank god my wife is here to make sure that it all stays healthy and alive.

Takes a village.

I fed the birds this morning as I have done every day during her absence. It is quite a complicated chore. 

First the sunflower seeds in one feeder. Next the nijer for the finches. After that peanuts are distributed on the ground for the scrub jays who are all over it in seconds, only challenged by the nasty doves. 

Then a couple of scoops of wild bird seed spread on the ground for the quail and towhees, both California and Spotted. 

The piece de resistance is the grape jelly bowl for the hooded orioles who have yet to appear but are annual residents and on their way up north as we speak.

It is a lot of work. My wife does it every day, along with a million other things.

I let the cats out today, first day of freedom in a week. Chaperoned, of course. Pruned and fixed a couple sprinklers, re-mortered a bird bath. If I am feeling up to it I am going to attempt to clean the garage, at least a quick once over as it is pretty pitiful. When you live as far out in the wild as I do you really stop caring what your garage looks like but it is getting pretty sad, even by my low standards.

This afternoon I get to go into town and pay bills. Joy of February 28. Wife coming home soon.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

New offerings from the gallery

Masked figure - Robert Bradshaw

I sent this letter out yesterday which I copy here in case you are interested in checking it out:

I have been lagging a bit at sharing the goings on in my gallery. This is the first gallery news since last July.
Please check out the following link to see some of the artwork and items.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Queen of the Roller Derby

Objects of Art update.

Heard from the show promotors who have been working feverishly to iron the bugs out. Server is upgraded. Sometimes you need to make a mistake or two before you get the thing wired. Supposed to be humming along now.

You may enter the American Indian and Tribal shows for free, here and here. If you experience any problems whatsoever logging in, please let me know.

Hurricane Ray's

There was a broken pipeline by the Mariscos Restaurant last night and it flooded our building and the shops of the neighbors. I didn't get hit bad but Jamie and Jennifer did. Juleen is going through Leslie's stuff and trying to salvage what she can but the damage was thankfully pretty minimal on our side. Neighbors were not as lucky.

I asked Jamie what he and Kathy were doing for lunch and he turned me on to Fallbrook's newest culinary sensation, Hurricane Ray's.

Ray's is a food truck parked on Industrial, the same people that now own the old Texaco on Main.

They do pretty much one thing there, chicken. You can get the chicken sandwich two ways, spicy or regular.

I went with the spicy. And let me tell you, this is a giant chicken sandwich.

Very tasty and more pollo than a man could want but it got a little glommy towards the end with all the sauce.

But will I be back? You bet your ass I will. Although I can see the lines for this place getting very long very quickly.

Will eat my way through the small menu and then report back.

The things I do for you people.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Gung hay fat choy

Hot Rize

Well dressed insurrectionists

Funny article over at the Guardian; What the arrests of Beverly Hills residents say about the US Capitol attack. I particularly liked this paragraph:

All three Beverly Hills defendants had spoken out publicly about their participation in the Capitol riot before they were arrested, including in newspapers interviews and on social media.

“I’m like, I didn’t know we were storming the Capitol. I should have dressed different, Bisignano told the Beverly Hills Courier before her arrest, noting that she had worn Chanel boots as well as a Louis Vuitton sweater to the riot.

Hope she at least had time to color coordinate. 

Prettiest Little Girl

Best laid plans of mice and men

So the Virtual Tribal show opened for early buyers at nine in the morning yesterday, the Indian Show an hour later. 

I had a new sharpie and a new spiral notebook and I was ready to start writing tickets until my hands fell off. 

Sadly the phone calls and orders never came. One dealer inquiry last night, bless his heart.

I have been feeling a little big for my britches of late and yesterday was a real punch to my overly inflated ego. Thanks, I needed that.

I had spent so much and worked so hard for two months for this show and had expected a monetary payoff but I am in a business where you don't always get one.

I glanced at my fellow dealers booths and didn't see much if any action there either but I didn't look that closely.

cochiti drum
So I decided to back off. Go about my business, get some work done while I am waiting near the phone, try to go back to what passes for me as a normal workday. 

Four more days left in the show, maybe something will fire? Whatever comes down the pike, made the decision to back off and not be a nervous wreck, doesn't help anyone.

Had a good nights sleep. Fed the cats, fed the birds, took a breath. I stopped over at Main Street and had a good breakfast. 

So today I am once again not hearing the phone ring and just starting to think bad thoughts about my merchandise when I get a couple calls from friends; they can't even access the site. Yesterday or today. Virtual wheels just spin.

Apparently it isn't me, there is in fact a server issue, the show pulled more people in the first hour than they thought conceivable in their wildest projection. So rather than me being on hind tit, it is all of us consuming the same effluent sandwich.

Word is they are trying to switch the thing over to an industrial server, going to extend it at least another day. Who knows, maybe the thing will indeed fire? If I hear that it is smooth sailing I will pass the word. Those that have an interest will hopefully be able to check it out, one day soon. 

I think that things are ironing out. To get into the shows try here and here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Quicksilver Girl (Doowop Alternate Version)

Sky was yellow and the sun was blue


Bill Warmboe took this picture up in Sonoma today. A native Upper Peninsula Michigan guy, he says that you have to love California in the winter. CJ offers a wonderful shot from the frozen tundra.

Arise, shine, for thy light is come...

One of my newest acquisitions, one that I really like and want to share with you:

Eduard Buk Ulreich (1889 - 1966) 
Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the lord is risen upon thee
24 x 20" Gouache and watercolor mural study on paper
Original art deco frame
signed BUK lower left

This is probably the best art deco/ Works Project era painting I have ever owned. Buk was a noted WPA muralist who created murals at Radio City Music Hall and in many public buildings. I see traces of both Leger and Picasso here, personally love this painting. Especially like the juxtaposition of elephants and trees with protean distaff figures that remind me of iconic characters like Justice and Temperance.

You know you're getting older...

This was the morning's junk mail I pulled out of the mailbox.

Cremation discounts and hearing aids.

I must have passed some chronological maginot line.

Oh, joy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Reddish Egret

Albert Collins

So happy to find this, just posted, never heard this live version from Chicago. Love the late Iceman.

postscript, well I am glad I got to hear it a couple times before it was yanked...

See you in the virtual world!

assorted beadwork - Blue Heron Gallery
I have just finished buttoning up my two virtual shows, the 35th San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show and the 37th American Indian Art Show / San Francisco, virtual editions. 

Early buy in starts tomorrow. I have a booth in each and I can not believe how long it took for me to set the things up. But I know it will be worth it. I think virtual is the way to go. Saves on hotels and food too. Feeling good about this one although you never can tell.

I am definitely totally bushed. I don't remember feeling this tired after fourteen hours of driving to Santa Fe, 'course I am older now. This thing took forever to shoot, catalogue and post.

I am very happy with my presentation and everybody else's looks fabulous too. Some of the best dealers on the planet, definitely needed to find my game to represent in this crowd.

If you are interested in seeing the show, spend the twenty five dollars and get in tomorrow morning while everything is fresh and available.

Visit this website for the Tribal show and this one for the American Indian.

Here are some screenshots from one of the promoter, Object of Arts, last promotional blasts. The greatest thing about the show is that a lot of the money is going to Toadlena Trading Post's Blessing Way Foundation and helps to feed and provide relief to poor native people, who have been disproportionately hit by the ravages of covid 19.

I will be out of reach to most of my peeps for the next five days, sitting rapt by the phone and keyboard, hopefully waiting for a sale or two. Will talk to you next week when I come up for air. Wishing everybody good luck and fortune. Stay safe and happy!

Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds

Fallbrook agit prop

This broadside was taped to the windows of all the downtown businesses yesterday. 

Well, all but mine anyway.

Not sure why I was skipped, perhaps they ran out of scotch tape.

My first thought when I read it was being reminded of John Lennon's Christmas 1971 release, Happy Xmas, the war is over. 

Unfortunately John was off by several years. And I think our scribe is calling the game and claiming victory a little prematurely too. 

Social distancing and masks are still necessary, although covid rates are dropping we are not yet out of the woods.

You may choose to live your life based on "your own decisions for your own health" but you still have a responsibility to be a responsible member of the hive and not get anyone else ill, Mr. or Mrs. Libertarian.

And I as a business owner have my rights too and I bristle when somebody tells me what to do in the best of times, and more so in dangerous times like these.

It sounds a bit authoritarian to declare that all businesses are to return to business as usual because you are telling me to. How about you piss off and stay out of my business. But thanks for letting me practice the guidelines as I see fit. Very big of you.

In a way this smacks of religion. There is a little of the "if enough people believe it at the same time we can make it happen" quality to the sign. I admire your faith but will stick with the medical authorities on this one, thank you.

Would be interesting to see who is responsible for this and how they figure to speak for the rest of We the citizens? Some idiot is going to read this false tract and actually believe it. I find it highly irresponsible and dangerous.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Pearls from my friend Will

My doctor asked if anyone in my family suffered from mental illness.  I said, "No, we all seem to enjoy it." 

Telling a person to calm down is about the same as baptizing a cat.

I thought the dryer made my clothes shrink.  Turns out it was the refrigerator.

I thought growing old would take longer.

Went shopping while hungry – now I'm the proud owner of Aisle 6.  

Being an adult is the dumbest thing I have ever done.

I'm a multitasker.  I can listen, ignore and forget all at the same time!

Went to an antique show and people were bidding on me.

I won't say I'm worn out, but I don't get near the curb on trash day.

People who wonder if the glass is half empty or half full miss the point.  The glass is refillable.

Retired:  under new management. See spouse for details.

When you can't find the sunshine  ...  be the sunshine.

I don't have grey hair.  I have wisdom-highlights.

I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

Sometimes it takes me all day to get nothing done.

My heart says chocolate and wine, but my jeans say, please, please, please, eat a salad!

Hold on while I overthink this.

My spouse says I have two faults.   I don't listen and...something else.

Never laugh at your spouse's choices.  You are one of them.

"dammit I'm mad" is "dammit I'm mad" spelled backward. (You will have to work a bit for this to make sense)

One minute you're young and fun.  The next, you're turning down the car stereo to see better.

I'd grow my own food if only I could find bacon seeds.

Losing weight doesn't seem to be working for me, so from now on I'm going to concentrate on getting taller.

Jameo breakfast


I couldn't wait to look at this year's red tailed hawk nest in daylight this morning. It was dark but I still managed to catch the beautiful light morphed mother to be consuming a small rodent. It is her first day in the newly reinforced nest.

I absolutely love watching these beautiful creatures! Can't wait for the new brood.


Newsmax host Greg Kelly and his guests go after Biden's dog, Champ. Says the 12 year old german shepherd is not presidential. What a bunch of assholes. You ask me, it is nice to see a non foofy dog in the White House.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Perfect timing

I can feel Spring approaching. 

I can see it starting to percolate. We are about to enter my favorite time of the year.

The critters are getting restless.

Leven had a large hawk land four feet from him in the brush yesterday and just sit there. 

I had a hawk at my feet in the bushes the other day. 

I saw the gigantic ringtail the other night and a surfeit of owls in the evening light on the way home. 

Stephanie got into a long stare down with a bobcat on her back deck. 

Hal has seen the first Swainsons hawk in Borrego.

We all watch the Santa Margarita River valley pretty closely. We know that the scrub will offer us a small white flower in a few weeks as a precursor before the ceanothus turns the canyon its beautiful shade of blue purple. Then the echium start their spires. Then poppies and lupines. Its all like seasonal clockwork.

As I drove by the hawk nest this morning on the way out I noticed that it had doubled in size. Wow, I thought, somebody has been busy. The nest was small by our normal standards last year, two years after the big nest blew down. Here is the picture of the diminutive red tailed nest.

But small or not it worked and we had three beautiful babies.

I thought about how cool it was to see the hawks work, how smart they were and how they got down to business.

What a joy it was to see them build these nests, twig by twig.

I noticed the most beautiful hawk I had ever seen on a dead tree near the sycamore last week, I think it was the male, very orange in color.

And lo and behold tonight, what do you know, we have a mother hawk sitting in the nest. I always thought that nature was so smart, having babies hatch just as the trees can sprout the leaves that can give them privacy and color. All works so well, like a well orchestrated symphony.

The sky is always falling.

Joe Biden had been our president exactly one day (and yes, he was actually elected) when I saw RNC chair Ronna McDaniel say that Americans were already showing buyer's remorse with his terrible decisions. 

The Liz Peeks and Michael Goodwins of this world were quick to pile on with a whole host of negative blather about his failure to unite the country and he hadn't even had time to shave yet.

Ted Cruz did something admittedly dumb in a political sense the other day, he took his wife and kids to the Ritz in Cancun to get out of the cold. 

Not exactly a cardinal sin but the left wing media pounced like he had beaten a kitten to death. It was cold and he saw a way to get warm with his family. I get it.

The problem we have today is that every political act in this country is instantly processed by two polarized and equally partisan news silos. It has become so freaking predictable. If MSNBC takes this road, Fox will be on that road. Very few news outlets even attempt to call them down the middle. Huntley Brinkley and Cronkite and those that did are a mere distant memory for a few of us old fogies. Now they are all playing to the home crowd.

As my conservative friend Jeff profoundly pointed out; the media makes a lot more money when we are at each other's throat. And the new installment where Trump and McConnell go at it like they are on Jerry Springer should be great for ratings.

The metaphor of a divided electorate being like a bad marriage is tired but unfortunately true. 

And I have been in a bad marriage and I know how shitty it can get, do you? 

Well when I was, this was the book that got me out of it and kept me whole. Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends. Bruce Fisher, Citadel Press (or it was when I bought it for a dollar thirty something years ago.)

This was the best book I have ever read about emotional healing. I have loaned it or recommended it to practically every person I know that has had a break up. God knows where my copy is now but you can buy it cheap. Common as the AA book or Gideon's bible at this point.

But it makes some great points. Like stay out of each other's way for six months and don't pull the emotional scabs off.

The country needs marriage counseling. The current atmosphere is so nasty and twisted and emotionally charged that we stay permanently triggered when we run to our respective corners and media silos to see what the hell is happening in the world. 

You can't help but get a twisted view when the people shoveling it down our gullets have such an obvious agenda. And I should add, when we are so easily manipulated.

So let's take a time out and try to stay away from killing each other for a round or two. Rope a dope, bob and weave and try to play nice. The conservatives didn't invent nastiness and neither did the liberals. But there are forces out there who figured out they could make a lot more money if we were constantly at each other's throats. 

You have to have noticed. We have an awfully lot invested in how rotten the other side is and it is honestly really tiring.

Hopefully one day we can find the more respectful middle again. The last eight years have been rather bruising. Let's try to heal, shall we? And for god's sake diversify your sources of information. Start listening to the other side. Maybe they have something legitimate to say?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

John Prine

Anti-social distancing

Covid 19 has certainly taught humanity a whole new set of lessons in terms of how we relate to our fellow hominids. We are zooming, masking, bumping elbows and crosswalk buttons, forgoing smiles and all in bad need of a decent haircut. And we need to pat ourselves on the back, we are doing a pretty good job at dealing with all of that. Certainly better than those folks back in the black plague did anyway.

But I wonder what the long term implications of this pandemic will be, as it relates to our interpersonal behavior? Because honestly I don't ever see the genie fitting back in the bottle.

We have had two dear couples cancel planned rendezvous with us because they were worried about catching the deadly microbe. And these were events that they had set up, we weren't exactly pushing them. And I get it, we are not yet 65 so we are not in a tier that can get vaccinated yet. They had. I could push the cancer card and probably get one but where would that leave my wife? Anyway people are worried, rightfully so and covid is definitely crimping our interpersonal communications.

Anyway that is not the point of the ramble, the point is this. I think that people are enjoying their solitude and private space in a way that they may not have imagined.  And they won't necessarily feel comfortable after the threat has ended. I think that it will be difficult to revert back to the pre covid crowded human maelstrom when and if this whole microbe thing is finally over. Our social behavior has changed for ever, on a global level.

In my own case I believe that I have long suffered from some mild case of agoraphobia. I don't feel comfortable around crowds of people, especially when they are drinking. Concerts are excruciating. I like my humans fine one or two or five at a time but even then... There is no getting around it, I like my own space. And that is why I wander far into the fields to shoot big and little birds with my camera, because it keeps me as far away from humans as I can possibly be.

My shop has been appointment only for about fifteen or sixteen years. Lately even good customers have pointed out that I get antsy when customers stay too long in my private clubhouse/warehouse. I subtly or not so subtly find myself herding them to the door like a nipping Australian cattle dog at a certain point when I need my space. And it is pretty unconscious behavior.

So covid is maybe magnifying and accentuating my previous misanthropy and need for private space somewhat, giving it an excuse. I can only take my fellow hominds for so long, even the ones I really like.

I know that many people are fleeing compression right now. Redfin used to have about .05 of its queries looking for rural real estate, now it is 30%. I have had the trails in my valley to myself for thirty years, there is not a day that goes by that their are not ten to twenty cars of people roaming around.

It will be interesting to see if sports attendance post covid ever matches pre covid numbers again. Covid may hang around like influenza for perpetuity, will the mask become an essential item of the new paradigm for the next several decades, the twenty first century version of the necktie? Certainly makes more sense then the vestigial necktie but we still wear them. Will we ever be truly comfortable socializing again?

Won't draw this out, have a lot of work to do. But make no mistake, Covid has changed us forever. Ain't no going back.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Oceanside Pier, one second at ƒ25


Early Morning Rain - Foxes & Fossils

Darwin should be a household name.  What a talent. These guys sound so good together, don't step on each other vocally. Think about how many great talents out there go mostly unnoticed. Wrong place at the wrong time.

I have spoken

Sioux strike a light bag
I have been so busy cataloging and photographing new collections that I have purchased recently that I have really not had time to breathe. 

First a big basket and pottery collection, then a great beadwork and plains collection. Wonderful Napoleon III Louis XVI ebonized cabinet.

I have two virtual shows opening up next week. I would say that I am about sixty percent ready for them.

baskets anyone?

I have about sixty items finished for the Native American show, still have twenty seven more to photograph and post for the Tribal and Textile show. 

Both shows have great dealers but the latter has some of the biggest international dealers in the world. 

Definitely need to step up my game, not look foolish amongst these people. 

Can only do my best but this is new territory for me.

Anyway I am really lucky to have found some incredible material of late and it is moving, even in the pre show virtual setup. 

Everything now is gravy but I am a very competitive person and always want to do well. But I am absolutely exhausted.

Interesting week in the valley. Was driving home the other night and I saw a fat and incredible black and white tail disappear into the bushes.  Not familiar to me. I looked it up and it turned out to be a large ringtail, a rare nocturnal animal that I don't think I have ever seen.

A very nice guy named Todd helps me around the ranch. He is an arborist and a little whacky at times. 

We have a Mr. Douglas Eb sort of relationship if you know what I mean.

I was talking to him near my front flower garden the other day when he said that he didn't want to alarm me but that there was a hawk sitting between us, right by my old metal airplane. Said he had a small bird in his talons.

I walked around and sure enough he flew off. Could not have been more than a foot from me.

My variegated agave marginata now has not one flower spike but two. 

It is not supposed to even have one at this age. It doesn't care. It wants to bloom.

We had a nice light rain last night. I think I see a multitude of wildflower seeds I cast around popping up.

Shawn sent some pics from his garden in Thailand. Puts mine to shame. But I don't live in Thailand.

Not much else to report. Almost made a very expensive dumb buy today, turned out to be a fake. Was rescued at the eleventh hour. Need to get back to work but no gas in the tank, will try again tomorrow.

This is my neighbor of thirty years, Brian.

Definitely Fallbrook grown and one of a kind.

I have been seeking solace and wisdom and really didn't know what to do next. Sort of at the end of my rope.

So I went to Trader Joe's today and just stared at the clarifying butter. I didn't move for twenty minutes. People had to angle their carts to get by me.

But I would not be dissuaded in my search for satori.

Didn't really work. Nothing got any clearer to me. Will hang out longer next time. 

I know that I am late to the party but I love the Mandalorian. And I haven't liked the Star Wards franchise for a very long time. What amazing production value. If you haven't seen it on Disney, do so. And in the words of Nick Nolte's character, Kuiil, I have spoken.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Old Churchyard

Short supply

“Once Mitch McConnell made it clear he intended to acquit . . . what the House managers needed wasn’t more witnesses or more evidence. What we all needed was more Republican courage.” Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Friday, February 12, 2021

Friday's cold cuts

You can take my bologna when you can pry my cold dead fingers from around it.

Nearly 200 pounds of illegal Mexican bologna was confiscated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the New Mexico/Mexico border, the agency confirmed in a release. | Fox News

"When knockwurst is outlawed, only outlaws will have knockwurst."

As Trump's businesses struggle, his single most profitable asset is at risk. Poor guy. Should be interesting when the creditors come calling. Three guesses which group the MAGA heads will blame?


Stingy GOP skinflints

The Lousy Tippers of the Trump Administration
"They were exhausting, impossible, stingy, and cruel, just like at their day jobs."

Mild symptoms my ass...

Ron Wright R.I.P.

In the best news this week, Leslie's criminal case was dismissed by the judge regarding the fake assault at her store on/by the Q spouting Trump supporter. Such a relief. Thankfully the eyewitness stepped up... Actually the assault was very real but my wife was the recipient of the attack and only defended herself. 

"Ecstasy without agony is baloney." Diane Jacobs