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Morning run - Brush Creek Ranch

Monday, June 28, 2021

Slippery People

The Spoke and Word

© Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen is an athletic trainer, writer, music aficionado and a great photographer. In fact, truth be told, he is the best cell phone photographer I have ever met, by far.

He has had a blog in one form or another as long if not longer than I have and he is almost as prolific, if not more so. He can often be found riding his bike around town. It was his only transportation for a fair amount of time, by choice. 

When he found himself more responsible for his aging mother he started driving again because it was the responsible thing to do.

The man was my trainer for a period of time many years ago when I was working out regularly and he is excellent. He preaches the concept of functional strength. High reps, relatively low weight to burnout.

Roy's blog is called The Spoke and Word. Roy is a very ethical and moral guy and he frets about things a bit more than I do. I would find it personally very difficult to live up to the standards he sets for himself. But I am glad that somebody is trying to.

He wrote a piece yesterday on "wokism" that I found interesting, the word getting bandied around so much these days.

He has a small cadre of regular commenters so it is a pretty intimate conversation around friends. One of his regs, Dr. J., I think hails from Florida.

You can read the comments if you click on the post. Anyhow the subject was the schism between the young woke and the old guard and he had this to say:

Very thoughtful essay, Roy! In many ways, I don’t see real progress, just an extreme pendulum swinging back and forth. but jumping over the middle. We have the 50s extreme and the 60s extreme with no large middle ground.

I found this interesting in this sense;  He, quite correctly I think, posits the chasm as a fight between the fifties paradigm and the sixties paradigm. Sixty or seventy years have passed and could it be that we are still fighting the same cultural and philosophical war between two distant decades? 

If true, it is truly astounding if you think about it. Shows you how cataclysmic the psychedelic revolution was and also how vapid things have been ever since. Well, we have had disco, jazzercise, kambucha, facial tattoos, the war against gluten as well as plenty of new repetitive stress injuries in the interim but really, what else? Emo? The Talking Heads for sure. But seriously, mostly we have been living in a cultural wasteland and a time of complete political opposition and stalemate.

The Battle continues...

Eat those mushrooms kids, you are going to need them.

Robbie Robertson

Don't leave me alone in the twilight...

 


Neural kineticwaveform #27

I haven't painted or scribbled for a while so I thought I would indulge myself a bit this morning. I purloined Ralph's mother's old quilt and some of Bill's silver jewelry and used wave generators of various amplitudes and a few other brushes and came up with this number. Paul Klee meets Tron in a Texas Cage match.

We need to give ourselves space to play now and then, don't we?

Ellen McIlwaine

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Nicer subjects

 

The Bromelia balensae flower spike continues to grow and evolve.

There are now not one, but four pups sprouting up around the mother plant so I think I will be in very good shape in the future.

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Vlad and Natasha are enjoying another wonderful trip up in the Olympic Peninsula area.


I ran into one of the best writers and smartest and nicest people I know the other day, Helen. 
I think she is coming back after a brief hiatus.

Check out her writing on her excellent blog, Guacamole Gulch. Her last post was funny, she says that she is done with gardening. Likes planting, it is the maintenance that is the pain. I can relate.

Rick Danko & Richard Manuel

Shit list?

 

I got to the shop yesterday and was greeted by two fresh steamers at my back door.

The indigents that like to hang out behind my shop at night apparently gifted me a couple wet turds.

It was as disgusting as you could imagine and the flies were already having an absolute field day going to town when I arrived for work.

I only wish that my phantom crapper could have had a little better aim as the gross effluence nicked the corner of my welcome mat and it was frankly a bitch to clean up.

This was my third uninvited doodie in two weeks and I wonder if I had somehow provoked it? 

In any case, the pooper looks like they have a miserable diet and I would definitely recommend more vegetables and roughage.

I have been at my wit's end about this and short of spending the night in the parking lot of the building that I own, really don't know what more I can do?

I alerted the volunteer sheriffs the other day and they said they would talk to somebody. 

Of course, I have never heard from anyone, the sheriffs in this town are, shall I say, pretty detached and I am not sure what I could do to get them to patrol the alleys and take a look downtown.

Been trying for years. If Frank and McBroom were still around I know the problem would be solved by now and very quickly. I miss Clyde too.

Anyhow, the aluminum foil to the right of the poop patty looks like it is for cooking heroin. I know a street person named S--- who is a good guy and who I have hired for odd jobs. I told him about my situation and he said that he knows one guy named T--- who does smack and would ask him to refrain if it was indeed him smoking and producing the crap behind my place.

Perhaps it was a bad move as yesterday there were not one crap extant but now three. Had word got around of my disdain and unhappiness? Am I being subjected to an anal vendetta?

I went down to Joe's/Hank's/Ace and bought a square shovel and a new hose and went to work cleaning things up as best as I could. I wanted to puke, honestly. An absolutely disgusting job. I threw away the socks and paper towels the shitter (s) were using to clean themselves and washed things down as best as I could. 

I hired an electrician today and he replaced the old photovoltaic with one that can hopefully not be so easily disabled.

I resent the bleeding hearts who are enabling the homeless in our town. Call me heartless but I don't think my "squatters" are some poor woman and her kid who lost her job and couldn't pay the rent. I think they are more likely drug addicts and alcoholics and I don't think it is my job to clean up after them in this way. 

It might be hard to believe but the homeless or deranged crapping at my back doorstep does not make me feel more charitable towards these people. I will wipe my own ass, you take care of yours, capiche? At least try not to aim for the welcome mat, that is plainly passive aggressive.

This shit has to stop.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Friday, June 25, 2021

Sandy Denny

Just another Mono Friday


Gut shots

I ain't gonna lie. It has been a tough week. 

I have slipped a few punches but definitely taken a few nasty jabs and crosses too. 

A few gut punches. But I am still standing. And I got some good news yesterday to boot.

Not to go full pity party on you but let me clue you in to a partial laundry list of the b.s.. 

Coming home Sunday I saw a letter in my mailbox. I decided to wait until the next day to grab it. 

Bad move. 

Monday morning all the mailboxes on the corner open and empty. Letter missing. Same thing today. Mail thieves struck again. There might be a camera that grabbed their license plate numbers, I am hoping. I am going to have to go to one of those expensive heavy duty locking boxes. Shame, most of our mail comes to the office but some bills do come to the house and I will have to wait and see what they stole.

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As if the vagrants defecating behind my store is not enough it appears that they are now smoking heroin back there too. 

Or so I surmise by the aluminum foil with the burn marks that they left anyway.

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Brigitte wrote today, someone is sending out spam links with my name on them.

Don't open them!

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Assholes somewhere close by are still shooting off fireworks at night. What kind of moron would shoot off a roman candle when it is this dry?

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The troll weighed in on the blog today:


Obviously this person has zero credibility.

Hydroxychloroquine has been completely debunked, at least fourteen studies have said it was completely worthless in the fight against Covid 19, as does the World Health Organization.

I usually caution your ilk not to drink the koolaid but if you want to drink the bleach, troll, well, have at it.

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I bought a beautiful 19th century watercolor from Florida recently, fairly expensive, over a grand but not enough to hit my policy deductible. The man I bought it from shipped it from UPS and purchased insurance. It arrived completely destroyed today. UPS told me that they will deny the claim because they did not pack it.

They don't tell you that when they take your money, funny. SOL.

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I got my biopsy scheduled today, smack in the middle of the Del Mar Antique Show, which I will now have to miss. But I said I had good news and I do, they can find no cancer cells in the urinary cytology, so maybe I will get through this thing relatively unscathed. Been hanging out in purgatory since my cystoscopy, not able to make any plans, not knowing what the hell. Hopefully things will become clearer.

We shall see.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Curtis Mayfield - Superfly

Thursday's child

 

Joel sent a nice sunset picture from last night.

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I met Lena at Anderson's nursery on La Costa Blvd. after I came home from San Clemente.

Bought some interesting material including this rare form of Crassula. 

I enjoyed walking around and looking at all the nice material.

I am on the list there for a spiral aloe if and when they get another one in. Definitely a plant I would like to try to grow although they are tough down here.

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Transgender soccer player playing in a ladies league surfaced the other day. How ridiculous and unfair to the other players. Not about identity, about plain biology.

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Bought three seventies laguna style surf assemblages the other day at the swap meet. 

Signed Barbour, Philip C. Barbour, Laguna Graphics.

None of my Laguna artist compatriots know anything about the guy.

The work looks very much like other artists of the time, Terry Lamb, Bill Ogden, Lance Jost and Jim Evans.

Need some restoration but really not too bad.

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I watched a video of shoplifters in San Francisco the other day stealing with total impunity, in front of guards, in broad daylight.

It is out of control and it is not the fault of Joe Biden.

But it might be the fault of people like Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón. George wants to let violent offenders out of jail, wants to give young murderers another shot. I am all for redemption but it takes serious contrition first. 

And right now, in many places, it is wolves and lambs. And if the predators do not see a major stick bearing down on their heads, I fear their behavior will never change. Anything else is wishful thinking.


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I found a beautiful and original Uncle Sam Wants you poster by James Montgomery Flagg in an estate I am working with recently. 

My paper restorer Jaime Mendez is going to make it look beautiful. 

It is a very valuable and iconic poster. 

I have another different Flagg marine poster going up for auction in New York in August.

I have some wonderful posters in right now from this particular estate including works by Howard Chandler Christy and  Matisse.

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I have been watching an old favorite series on YouTube, the Hornblower movies based on C.S. Forester.

It was created in 1998 and ran through 2003 and won a prime time Emmy.

Great acting by Ioan Gruffudd and Robert Lyndsay. Eight episodes in all, I watch them on my lap top. Check them out, if you like this historical fiction sort of thing.

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Never would have believed that I would see a display like this at my local farm supply, Grangettos.

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I stopped by and saw my old friend Lance Jost when I was up north yesterday.

The longtime Laguna artist has created so much, from the murals at Electric Ladyland studios to the more recent Cabrillo Arch murals in Dana Point.



We have been friends for well over forty years. A great artist who never stops creating beautiful things.

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Rabid Ron

I don't really enjoy calling anybody an idiot and there are certainly people in government with less intelligence than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. 

So stupid is not the right word for the guy. Craven, venal and evil might indeed be more fitting than dumb. Self serving certainly works as does willfully ignorant.

Because I don't think he believes his own malarkey for a second. He just knows that his brain deficient base does and that is all that matters.

Still he has taken two positions of late that are so awful I think I have to break with my recent allergy to politics and call them out.

Republicans like to talk about the rights of private businesses to set their own rules. Unless you are a cruise ship company in Florida I guess. 

DeSantis does not believe that cruise ship operations, an industry that was prone to large scale bouts with all sorts of infernal diseases even before Covid 19, should be able to regulate who comes on their ships or require their passengers to be vaccinated. Cruise lines were in fact some of the first superspreader locations for the dreaded disease.

This is plainly asinine. About two weeks ago, Royal Caribbean had to delay their Odyssey of the Seas cruise when eight crew members came down with Covid 19. But Ron DeSantis wants to ban vaccine passports.

With populations the size of small cities packed into close quarters, cruise ships are uniquely vulnerable to viral spread. So to comply with CDC guidance and keep passengers and crew members safe, several cruise liners want to require nearly everyone onboard to be fully vaccinated.

But that could now be illegal in Florida, the center of the American cruise industry, under a law DeSantis signed this month that prohibits businesses from discriminating against unvaccinated customers.

"In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected, and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision," DeSantis said of the law, which codified executive orders he had already issued.

What a douchebag. The cruise ship companies are not suicidal, they want the regulations, even if it means racking up big fines with the State of Florida. 80% of the people in his state disagree with him on this issue and want people to be tested and fully vaccinated before they get on a cruise ship. He does not care. How many people have to get sick and die so this jerk can pander to his idiot base? Anything to bring the tax dollars in, no matter the body count.

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In other news DeSantis now wants to poll University students and teachers as to their personal politics, make sure there is no indoctrination going on and that the Kate Smith version of American history is the only one that can be taught. 

That is truly frightening and Orwellian. No one knows what he will do the information he gets but it is plainly none of his business.

Good article on the subject at Vanity Fair, Ron DeSantis goes after free thought with an eye towards 2024.

The three bills, which he enacted during a press conference at a Fort Meyers middle school, were DeSantis’s latest salvo in his war against critical race theory—the right’s latest political bogeyman. DeSantis banned public schools from teaching it this month, on the grounds that it “teaches kids to hate our country.” On Wednesday, he took the deranged culture war a step farther, signing laws that will require students and staff at public universities to be surveyed on their political beliefs; bar higher education institutions from preventing access to ideas students may find “uncomfortable, unwelcome, disagreeable, or offensive;” and force-feeding K-12 students “portraits in patriotism” that contrasts America with communist and totalitarian regimes.

“We do not want false history,” DeSantis said.

This is, of course, bullshit. Teaching kids about racism is not itself “racist,” as DeSantis has charged, and glossing over the less savory facts of America’s history is not teaching students to love their country more, but rather to idealize it. None of this is actually about education, though—it’s about playing up the grievances of the Republican base to improve their electoral prospects. That is far more “repressive” than any liberal professor he can dream up. But, as the bills make clear, he’s not actually opposed to the “thought police”—he just wants to be the one wearing the badge. 

“Intellectual diversity should be something every university strives for,” wrote the editorial board of the Miami Herald Thursday, noting that Joseph McCarthy similarly targeted academics in the Red Scare. “But we know the results of government officials policing educators: paranoia, persecution and the opposite of the free speech Republicans say they want to protect.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

X - Los Angeles

Bromelia spike

 

The flower stalk on the bromelia balensae is continuing to grow and evolve. 

To the left is the gigantic flower in full sun yesterday.

Here is a cell phone shot from this morning, you can see multiple bracts starting to form on the spike.

Notice how much new growth has appeared in the center in one day.



Monday, June 21, 2021

My Mama Never Taught Me How to Cook

Final measure or last laugh

 


Heroes and Villains

Father's Day, Veterans Swap Meet


Leslie and I went to the Long Beach Swap Meet yesterday morning at Vets Stadium. I had to return a few things that did not sell in the auction and see some old friends. We were up at 4:30, sort of slept in and made our way to the north west.

Long Beach is a great place to find cool vintage stuff and a superb place to people watch so I always try to bring a camera. 

Yesterday I took the nikkor 85mm ƒ1.8d, a lens I don't really use enough. It is an old lens but it still works. 


Thought about taking the 55mm ƒ1.2 but this one autofocuses. Next time.

It was fun to get out there and shoot. 

Ninety percent of the people had no problem with me taking their picture and the ones that declined were still pleasant.

You get a different slice of life in Long Beach than you might get in Peoria, I imagine.

Friendly, fun and colorful although I must admit, I haven't been in Peoria lately.

I found some cool stuff, an old taos drum, a painting, some early surf stuff from Laguna that reminded me of Ogden, a Jack Boyd spore necklace with a green stone.

Leslie bought mass quantities from one of her wholesalers that sells there.

Chitchatted with the Munns, Booth and Conley, met a bunch of old Indian traders there. 


Galvez of course.


Hopi maiden or Princess Leia? 


Place never fails to fire in a visual sense for me. Never real difficult to find subject matter.


Lens was a little bit soft but not terribly so and I probably could have done a much better job with it with a little more focus and clarity, pun intended.

People are such interesting creatures when they aren't at their worst.

I never run out of subjects at Long Beach, perhaps because I am friends with many of the people out there, having once worked the show with regularity.

Mi familia. La Cosa Nostra, if you will. Our thing.

Visual people.



People of all stripes, ethnicities, castes, classes and orientations, mixed in a crazy Southern California picker alembic.


Would have been nice if he could have kept his eyes open. My fault, always take two.

This is a tough focal length to dial in for the street.  

Better for static studio portraits.

Easier with something a little bit wider, like the 55 or a 50mm.


Freak flags fly, all manner of self expression abounding.









People don't have to be beautiful but they should be interesting.


But then again, what do I know?

And it doesn't hurt to be beautiful either. 

Or infatuated or somewhat compulsed for that matter. 

Or comfortable in your own skin, that's good too.


A lot of smiles yesterday, in both directions.


I met a pro photographer recently who won't take pictures anymore, has done it all already I guess.  

Lost his mojo and got bored he said. 

Dropped the brush.

I know that I will never stop creating in some way, I could stop writing or taking pictures like I could stop eating or breathing. 

I see something that I want to capture visually pretty much every day.

I hope that I am never satisfied and will always seek new ways to create. 

Show me an artist who is satisfied with their work and I will show you a person that has probably stopped growing.