Monday, May 31, 2021
Sunday, May 30, 2021
In soft regions are born soft men.
Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing.
But I like not these great success of yours; for I know how jealous are the gods.
Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects.
Civil strife is as much a greater evil than a concerted war effort as war itself is worse than peace.
Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men.
They made it plain to everyone, however, and above all to the king himself, that although he had plenty of troops, he did not have many men.
Of all possessions a friend is the most precious.
My neighbor called me the other day and told me to come over to one of his properties to see some hawk babies. I didn't want to leave the expensive Nikkor in the car yesterday so I dropped by with the lesser Sigma lens instead. Took a couple shots in the midday sun. Never easy.
He had thought that they were red shouldered but I see no patch in my photos so I am pretty sure they are red tailed instead.
Body type and chest markings lend themselves to that taxonomic appellation as well.
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Poor Daniel Trujillo. What a tragic waste.
A 33-year-old Colorado sheriff’s deputy who publicly criticized the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines died from COVID-19 complications.
Daniel Trujillo, a married father of two, died on Wednesday, the Denver Sheriff’s Department said.
“It is with great sadness that we share 33-year-old Denver Sheriff Deputy Daniel “Duke” Trujillo passed away last evening from COVID-19 complications,” the department wrote on Facebook Thursday morning.
The ex marine decided to double down on stupid. Sad.
The former Marine had posted several anti-vaccination messages on social media in recent months, according to The Daily Mail.On May 7, Trujillo changed his Facebook profile picture border to read “I have an immune system,” an apparent rationale for not getting inoculated, the outlet reported.
Last month, the border photo read “I don’t care if you’ve had your vaccine,” according to the article.
Screengrabs from a post shared by the deputy in April reportedly include a TikTok post of a Marine railing against vaccines, the Mail said.“Being a marine has taught me one thing: never be the first to volunteer,” the man said. “Y’all rushing out there standing in line to get the vaccine like folks rush out to get the new iPhone, and if history has told us any new product that ever comes on the market is always full of problems. And you know how they fix those problems?”
Trujillo captioned the clip, “I’ll get it later on after y’all start growing apendages (sic) out of y’all’s foreheads,” according to the report.
Trujillo worked at Denver’s Downtown Detention Center, where another relatively young deputy was killed by the coronavirus less than two weeks ago.
Unfortunately, we hear too many of these stories. Daniel bet wrong and it cost he and his family everything. Get your vaccine! Nobody is bulletproof and life is precious.
Joseph Hurley, Antonio’s lawyer, said he won't use his client’s belief in false claims of election fraud in an attempt to exonerate him. Instead, Hurley will use them to argue that Antonio was an impressionable person who got exploited by Trump and his allies.“You can catch this disease,” Hurley said. "Misinformation," he said, “is not a defense. It’s not. But it will be brought up to say: This is why he was here. The reason he was there is because he was a dumbass and believed what he heard on Fox News.”
Friday, May 28, 2021
I saw an article that got me to thinking over at NBC; How pop culture set the stage for the coming UFO report, for better or for worse.
From the sounds of the report that have bubbled up, there have been a hell of a lot more unidentified galactic intruders buzzing around than one could even imagine.
Who knew, except a bunch of freaked out Navy and Air Force pilots, not to mention a few scraggly tweakers out in the Amboy desert? Looks like the space cat is almost out of the bag.
I always thought that alien life had to exist, somewhere, it is a probability in an infinite quantum world. If all the building blocks necessary for sentient beings to exist managed to cobble themselves together here on old terra, the law of averages say that it will occur about a quadrillion other places in the great outdoors too.
Where it gets tricky is what will it resemble. Our life forms here on earth are all tied in to being oxygen breathers built of carbon on a planet with a specific gravity that dictates things like limb length and ambulation, although some of the creatures of the deep sea seem to have an entirely different marching order. I wrote a piece that briefly touched on this topic once, titled Sousa on Mars.
Do you realize that this music directly correlates to the average length of a human stride? A six foot tall male averages a 28.5" stride. Which also relates to the average length of the human femur, 18.9 inches. Of course gravity comes into place as well. The average specific gravity of the earth is 5.5 g/cm cubed. So our music is directly related to both our particular anatomy and our ability to ambulate. If you lived on Neptune for instance, the specific gravity is about 1.19 times greater than earth's and your average salsa band number might sound more like a fugue. On Mercury, it is probably more apt to sound like gerbils huffing helium.
Honestly I always thought that if we did encounter distant life, it was just as likely to be a virus swarm or amoeba of some kind. But man, if anything, is a narcissistic animal and our innate predilection is to figure that anything smart enough to master a hyper drive and interstellar travel will present itself in our very own image, or at least something not too much farther out than what one might find at a certain sleazy bar on Tatooine.
The question is, what will they be after? Will they be an advanced civilization of space angels that come to steer us away from our crude, nasty habits and evil ways?
Or will they be colonizers scouting the landscape for life forms that they will instantly consume, extinguish or vaporize with the same basic level of remorse we humans feel when we are wiping up ants with a wet paper towel on a Sunday picnic table at the park? Or when we thoughtlessly wiped out the majority of the global turtle and whale populations?
Because if the latter is the case and we get treated the way we currently treat other life forms on our own planet, I am sorry folks, but we are in really deep shit.
And when the members of the galactic welcome wagon are dispassionately sucking the marrow from our bones like they are downing a nice chianti and fava bean apertif, I hate to say it but we will probably have it coming.
Thursday, May 27, 2021
73% of Republicans blame left wing protesters for January 6 riot. Remember Nunes, Gowdy and Issa raking Clinton over the coals for two years on Benghazi, a 100 hearings, but the GOP won't agree to revisit the January 6 insurrection with a bipartisan commission because they don't want to "re litigate the past." Incredible consistency.
Anti vaxxer arrested after driving her car right through Covid tent while screaming "no vaccines" in Tennessee.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is threatening to scuttle cruise ships that require passengers to get vaccinated.
The next video is interesting. Forget the first woman, people often get mad in airports. Listen to the language of the second woman, bonus Karen, and it will confirm the problem we are facing today. We now have people living in alternate universes, fighting bizarre theological battles and against the New World Order in real time on the masking issue.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
A fisherman was dining alone in a fancy restaurant and there was a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He had been checking her out since he sat down, but lacked the nerve to talk with her.
Suddenly she sneezed, and her glass eye came flying out of its socket towards the man. He reflexively reached out, grabbed it out of the air, and handed it back.
'Oh my, I am so sorry,' the woman said, as she popped her eye back in place. 'Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you.'
They enjoyed a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they went to the theatre, followed by drinks. Hand in hand they talked, they laughed, she shared her deepest dreams and he shared his. She listened to him with interest.
After paying for everything, she asked him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast. They had a wonderful, wonderful time.
The next morning, she cooked a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy was amazed. Everything had been so incredible!
'You know,' he said, 'you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?'
'No,' she replied. 'You just happened to catch my eye.'
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
I am breathing easier.
"I want to know what can we agree on, and let’s see if we can get an agreement to kick-start this, and then fight over what’s left, and see if I can get it done without Republicans if need be." Joe Biden
Biden dramatically revised his infrastructure plan in hopes of getting a deal with the GOP. Foolish really. Mitch McConnell will never engage with him in any compromise, he says that he is 100% against the Biden agenda.
I hope that Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema are paying attention. The Republicans do not know how to compromise and any move in their direction will only result in another step back, Zeno's paradox in action.
Those that have sought a bi partisan solution are getting gamed by an opposition that honestly has no interest in solutions, just regaining power. And so you get a leader like Kevin McCarthy hanging his own Representative John Katko out to dry last week after he had been authorized to find middle ground on a January 6 commission.
They need to wise up and realize that the GOP has no serious interest in getting anything done. They are not sincere people and can not be trusted to do anything except undercut anything the President proposes, no matter how it benefits the country.
Might have to kill the filibuster. Pack the court. Do whatever it takes. Before they decimate Roe. Because that is surely coming next.
Still, I am feeling pretty good. They gave me an option to livestream the thing and play auction colonel impressario behind the camera.
It was tempting but my friends said it would be probably too distracting. Maybe with a couple under my belt. I reluctantly passed.
Would need to buy a leisure suit with a wide lapel, will be just like me crooning at the Diamond Lounge at the Roadway Inn. I think I could be very entertaining but it will sadly have to wait.
|Barry says I am too ugly to sell...|
This time anyway.
Anyway I have over 450 approved bidders, with more coming on every hour and a heap of money already committed. Still, I have watched auctions with lots of bidders and watchers sink like the titanic's boozy uncle, no sure thing until there is a sure thing. Fingers crossed.
Already thinking about the next two. Want to do a baseball sports auction and then another one like this one, with more high quality Native American, which I have plenty of.
I do have a prediction on this one. How about this; It will not be as great as I hoped, nor as bad as I fear. There are things that I think will kill that will sink like a stone and things I deem worthless that will bring stupid money.
It will work itself out. I will come out of the thing no smarter but will hopefully have a little cash in my pocket. Insh'allah.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Ken would get upset when I went stream of consciousness, a big believer in keeping one's thoughts concise and separate.
Anyway I am going to give myself two minutes this afternoon to go off and then go back to cleaning my office, so that I don't scare the employees away next week.
Leslie received her water bill from Nestle today, which evidently has bought Palomar Mountain Water. It tripled, from fifteen to forty five bucks a month.
We will discontinue their service, never particularly liked their water or business practices anyway. Our pure mountain spring water was changed for nasty tasting purified tap water and they not only never notified us but now refuse to take their water back.
In the old days, a lifetime ago, the ex and I would travel up Palomar with jugs and get water out of the artesian well for free, right out of the side of the mountain. Later it would be by Doane Pond, also mountain spring water, entirely for free.
They ultimately put locks on the well and PMSW was born. This was in the late real estate developer era of my life, do you remember that chapter? I built 73 houses in Escondido called El Norte Highlands and allowed Palomar to put a tank in every garage.
I got a lifetime supply of free water in the deal, or at least I did until they sold the company the first time. Like twenty years of free water, delivered. Literally sweet.
I guess all good things must come to the end and they have. Nestle may make the very best chocolate, they are sort of way down on the list when it comes to H20.
article in the San Diego Union about the late Fallbrook Film Festival that literally made me laugh.
You see I was the head judge for the festival in its inception and continued in that role for several years, screening hundreds of movies every year with Leslie and Susan Duling.
The three of us were the judges. And we did a damn good job, if I may say so myself. It was a fabulous film festival.
We worked some with Heidi Borsch and Adrienne Alpert but mostly hand in hand with Brigitte Schlemmer. She made everything tick.
Linda Mandrayer and Ron Shattuck worked on the Festival side of things. We handled the content.
|not a bad poster I created...|
Movies that we championed from out of nowhere, like Bicycle Dreams, went on to win the film festivals in New York.
We were good and our sensibilities were good and the Festival was well attended and amazing. Our selections were smart, interesting and engaging. We had screening rooms all over town and in Bonsall.
But the festival did not stop because it was a lot of work.
It stopped because we were told that our presence was no longer welcome, our output (which was never tawdry or risque) was too "edgy" and the powers that be wanted it to be more "family friendly." Linda may have had something to do with the topical shift.
We were dismissed and told that our contribution and attendance was no longer welcome.
Now old yeller had been made several decades earlier and I admit it was a great movie but I don't think we really needed another one. However I certainly get the hint when I am not wanted and I amscrayed.
An evangelical lawyer named Greg somebody and his wife took over and the pollyana-ish thing crashed and burned in a year or two. At least that is my memory and story and I am sticking to it.
I am only bringing this up because people either weren't there or they are engaging in revisionist history when they conclude that it died because it was "too much work." It died because they snuffed its heart out. I know. I was there.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
He liked to go outside and chase the rabbits around, got along well with the cats, was mostly a perfect gentleman except for an occasional pee in the hallway.
We made every possible effort to find his family.
We posted on every social media site, Friends of Fallbrook, Facebook, Nextdoor, Fallbrook Lost and Found. Nothing. Alerted all the neighbors. Zip.
Leslie took him to the vet and found out that he was neither fixed nor chipped.
He seemed to be wounded, was very tender in his flanks. Still amazed that he made it out to our road without getting eaten.
A man on Nextdoor wrote me (incorrectly, it turns out) that he had seen the dog running up and down Santa Margarita and he believed that he came from a drug rehab group home there called Paragon. "Great," we thought. "Do we want to put the dog back in that environment?"
We had a several very nice and sincere people interested in adoption. We wrestled with all sorts of possibilities for the canine's future when we got the text from Beth. A girl was looking for her lost dog on Facebook, her mother had accidentally let it out while she was helping her sister move out of state. She loved the dog very deeply.
Leslie returned the pooch yesterday. I wish Whitey (actually Max) and all parties concerned nothing but the very best.
I love many things about my vocation. Being an art and antique dealer gives me the opportunity to travel, to belong to a large fraternity of fellows and occasionally scholars and also to work a job where I can support myself using my own knowledge and wits. Usually have one person to credit or blame and all it takes is a mirror.
But mostly what I love about the gig is the fact that you never know what the next thing is that will be coming through the door. We all have an atavistic hunter gatherer lurking in our dna wanting to make a great discovery. Or I think we all do, anyway. This pursuit scratches a certain itch. Like seeing what makes other people tick.
Yesterday, a relatively new client and friend brought me her parents' antique silver bookmark collection. Many of these were made by great companies like Tiffany and Gorham and they are all so interesting. I wish I had time to catalogue them right now but time is something I lack at present so they will have to be content to sit for a while until I can get to it.
This is most of them, there are a couple others. I love the trowel and Sherlock Holmes. There are some beauties here and I can definitely tell you that the collection took a long time to put together. Each one was selected with thought and care. I don't know about you but I love this sort of thing. Not about the money, certainly about the love.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
I got word today that my friend Darryl passed away yesterday. Ron Munn told me.
Monday, May 17, 2021
After working pretty hard for over a month getting ready for the auction, my auction handler in Pennsylvania, Becky, suggested I take some needed down time before jumping back in this week.
So I have basically chilled this week. Tightened a few little things up but mostly left it alone, the learning curve starts again this Wednesday and I will go back to hitting the books.
The weather was cool the wind was brisk, the waves were choppy. But it turned out to be an epic day. Bad weather or not, we were going to have a good time.
First we ran into a team of common dolphins.
Not a huge pod but they had fun leading our boat around for a while.
Then we got into a large pod of fin whales, five I believe to be exact and they spent an hour or so doing large and small circles around the boat. These baleen whales are the second largest in the world after blues, they run about 85 feet long.
One of the fin whales did something the captain (and obviously we) had never seen before, she jumped out of the water and did a horizontal barrel roll. Of course I didn't have a camera ready but I did see it and it was perfectly fine too.
Captain Chris said that Leslie and I were good luck, last time out he saw humpbacks horizontally lunging into a bait ball twice, and he had only seen that once before in his life. We certainly feel lucky, it was very cool.
No epic shots unfortunately but as they say, sometimes you have to be there.
I picked him up at Panera in Escondido and after coffee we drove down to Torrey Pines Reserve to see if there was a baby peregrine falcon around anywhere.
It is that time of the year.
We had to walk up the steep hill with our gear and my overweight self and it was a bit of a needed PITA.
It rained in the morning and the weather was not ideal but it was wonderful to be back at a familiar and favorite vantage. Something about the confluence of pines and cactus. And waves.
The parents had one progeny this year, it started flying about five days ago and the nest was moved south in a more private vantage. Herb is a docent at the reserve I have met many times before, an affable and very funny German man.
We traded puns for a while and then he told us that this male is not banded, only the female is, it is done in the nest and no one is banding at Torrey Pines anymore.
It is unusual to have only one chick, but it was the same last year. This one started flying about five days ago but we did not see any acrobatics or food exchanges. It kept itself scarce.
Herb explained that the mother was trying to coax her progeny into flying, learning the acrobatics of flight and participating in airborne food exchanges.
I didn't bring my good, fast (and heavy) lens. Shot with the slow Sigma. Boy does it make a difference, makes me appreciate the Nikkor.
Still the shots are almost acceptable at times and it has a greater reach at 600mm. Makes my point anyway, at least conceptually.
Some of the problems are definitely operator error, some the limits of the camera rig.
The male and female flew for a while but junior never took off.