Nocturnal battle

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Commander Cody

“The only thing worse than selling out, is selling out and not getting bought.” Commander Cody aka George Frayne.

Interior view, La Sagrada Familia - Barcelona


Exploring Abandoned Detroit

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

John Lennon

I had a rough immunotherapy procedure this morning. Very difficult afternoon, hope I am better tomorrow, another cystoscopy scheduled on the eighth. Shit never ends.


We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game. Young Thug

I wanted to write something about this relatively new phenomenon of humans called influencers. Like a lot of other things that have arisen in this brave new world of ours, I don't really get the whole thing. Although some of the people that have been given the sobriquet are talented, it is certainly not a pre-requisite.

What is an influencer? I decided to look the term up and found various vague definitions. 

An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority...

Influencers are someone (or something) with the power to affect the buying habits or quantifiable actions of others by uploading some form of original—often sponsored—content to social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or other online channels.

They are experts within a specific community who endorse or review products, software, or even thoughts within their field of expertise. Others in the community look to them when making their own purchasing choices.

There are many more definitions but I think you get the idea. If I have this straight, basically an influencer is a person with an outsized presence on social media that can convince other people to buy a product of some kind. They are cool people that other less than cool people want to follow around in case it will rub off. 

Here are the top ten non celebrity influencers in my area and maybe ten biggest nationally or in the galaxy, I forget which. People who have become famous for being famous.

It is obvious that we are going through a horrible bottom stage of some cosmic Kali Yuga right now, hence the popularity of Kanye, Real Housewives, Kardashians, etc. You would like to think that this is the nadir but you are always wrong when you make bets that things can't get any worse, so I won't.

Stupid and vapid is winning bigly and I guess it was their turn. But I still wanted to make a few comments about the influencer thing. We had a power influencer couple around the joint in Santa Fe. Young, slick and inked, they had umpteen zillion followers and lots of people seemed to be trying to curry favor with them. But for what?

What had they ever accomplished besides being young and cool? I wish I had the answer but I don't. But they, or people like them, are obviously very important allies to have in the new scheme of things. In fact there is a new occupation now called YouTuber. I guess it can pay quite well. Get s sponsor, you no longer have to work, just perform daily.

These gigs can range from talented people like Xiaoma and Eric Rosen, who I follow, to the banal and idiotic. Like the people who have found their niche in life making reaction videos. Or the flute teacher who has to react to every Jethro Tull song.

One fellow gave me pause. He pretends that he is looking for violin lessons, is ostensibly a beginner. He has created a whole cottage industry of videos trying to prank legitimate teachers. 

Now I am not a violin player but I did play cello as a kid, not very well, mind you and I think this guy is god awful, basically unlistenable. And the part of the video where he says "I am a Youtuber" is seriously cringeworthy. Not, I play for the Portland Symphony but I am a YouTuber. So what? You suck. And the people you are patronizing and goofing on can probably play circles around you.

I am on the milkhorse of social media platforms, the incredibly antiquated blog. Nobody blogs anymore. The top San Diego influencer @mikey has 3.1 million followers. I have 32 at last count. If @mikey is a Lamborghini Countach, I am your family's rusted out Plymouth station wagon with the simulated wood paneling, sputtering and wheezing forward. And I am so down with that.

I don't tik tok or tweet or instagram or facebook, I plow my little literary furrow and go home when my day is done. At one time Google listed me as having had approximately 15 million tertiary views but now they have distilled the number to a brisk 3,623,294. I get read by somewhere between eight hundred and four thousand people on a normal day but have no idea how many of them were marooned on my blog while looking for their lost volleyball in cyberspace.

And that is plenty. I don't want to influence anybody because what the hell do I know that the rest of you don't know? Bupkis. Beware of those that are trying to sell you something and that use bubbly, effervescent sorts to help rope you in. You and I will never be that cool and I wouldn't bother trying.

Do something, climb a mountain, write a novel, discover a new element for the periodic charts. But don't put "he ruled tik tok" on your gravestone. Fame is fleeting.

Be careful what you wished for...

Newly proposed federal cannabis decriminalization laws may prove to be horrible in the long run for pot smokers and are striking fear into small growers. Do you want large corporate farmer's producing your weed? Doesn't sound too psychedelic to me.

I predicted this eventual outcome a long time ago. But who didn't see it coming? The commercialization of pot has been a gross and tawdry thing for years and the end product less and less enjoyable, at least to me. But I am a sativa fan and most all the great flavors of the past have been lost to history in the indica push.

See Some cannabis firms see ‘disaster’ in federal legalization at Politico.

...the prospect of lifting all federal prohibitions has some business owners, regulators and lawmakers afraid doing so too quickly will invite industry behemoths to eat up small companies and push minority-owned firms out altogether.

“It's going to open up a tidal wave of large operators ... sucking up all the capital in the capital markets and essentially rendering social equity participants unable to even get funded,” said Aaron Goines, co-owner of Emerald Turtle, a social equity-owned cannabis delivery company in Massachusetts. “In general for social equity, I think it would be a disaster at this point for federal legalization to occur.”

As a longtime occasional toker, my problems with decrim have nothing to do with social equity or even the quality disparity between geographical regions.

I don't trust the growers, I don't want Winston, Marlboro or Kraft anywhere near my weed. I want totally organic, preferably outdoor and I want to know who is producing it and exactly what they are doing. No GMO, no mite spray, no big growers, no corporate weed. You can have the empire, I am with the rebels.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bright light, Andalucia


Here is another one of those light tower shots, also taken out the window while driving 100 kmh. I don't remember exactly where we were but I can give you the general location. We were in Spain and we had started our day in Toledo. We then drove on the wonderful old road to Ciudad Real. Miles and miles of olive groves, every twenty miles or so a beautiful old castle would turn up perched on a hillside.

We left the old city of the King on our way to the mountains of Andalusia. Our ultimate destination that night was Cordoba, if I remember correctly.  This picture was taken on the last leg when we left La Mancha.

Anyway, we had never seen anything as bright as the light shining off this solar mirror reflecting tower. Retina burning light. This shot was taken at about 6:26 p.m.

It goes without saying but I hope to return to Spain one day.

Owning the libs

 From CNN and NYT:

The political divide over vaccinations is so large that almost every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state. ... Because the vaccines are so effective at preventing serious illness, Covid deaths are also showing a partisan pattern. Covid is still a national crisis, but the worst forms of it are increasingly concentrated in red America. David Leonhardt

More than 9 in 10 self-identified Democrats (92%) report that they have had at least one dose of one of the three vaccines for Covid-19. That number among Republicans? Just 56%.

The 12 states with the highest case rate for every 100,000 people are all run by Republican governors. The 13 states with the highest hospitalization rate per 100,000 residents are all run by Republican governors. The 15 states with the highest percentage of deaths per 100,000 are all run by Republican governors.


Stagecoach Sunday Returns!

The Fallbrook Land Conservancy is excited to announce that Stagecoach Sunday returns this week! This outdoor, in-person event is a Fallbrook tradition and we are so excited to welcome the community back to the historic Palomares House and Park (1815 South Stagecoach Lane). Sunday, October 3rd from 11 am to 3 pm we will have live music from Daring Greatly, BBQ from The Rib Shack, beer from Booze Brothers Brewing Co., live animals from Wild Wonders and much more!

To date, FLC has protected over 4,000 acres of open space through ownership, management, and conservation easements. Many of our preserves provide hiking and walking trails available to the community and visitors. Stagecoach Sunday is our most important fundraiser of the year and proceeds go to helping keep our preserves open. 


I saw Karla Standridge, the Executive Director at the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, this morning and she told me about this upcoming event and sent this information along. This is one of the best organizations in town and I encourage you to join and participate. I just bought my tickets. I hope to see you Sunday!

More on the FLC and the event here.

Old joke

Wife is in the kitchen and she hears her husband in the living room screaming at the television. "Don't go into the church, don't go into the church, you idiot!

She goes in the room to check on him, "Honey, are you okay?

"Yeah, I was just watching our wedding video again."

Nihau overlook, Kauai


I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)

Senator John Tester


We live in a difficult time politically. Bipartisanship is basically dead.

The problem started long before Trump, with Bush II it became my way or the highway and the practice continued with Obama and his successors.

I am old enough to remember a time when American politicians would work across the aisle and compromise for the good of our country. 

That is now a thing of the past.

I think a lot of the blame rests with McConnell. 

The majority leader admittedly loves a good knife fight, will make up rules as he sees fit and is only concerned about his side winning the end game.

His attitude and actions have done much to polarize and divide our country, he has no respect or concern for fairness or the rest of America,

The Senate is now as fractured as it has ever been, the House perhaps worse.

One person that I admire a lot is Montana Senator Jon Tester. Every time I hear the moderate and flat topped Tester speak or be interviewed on the radio, I think, this is the kind of man we need leading our country.

He is articulate, fair minded, articulate and reasonable. Such a rare commodity in Washington.


From the WaPo: Mitch McConnell is laughing in your faces.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Carolyn Hester

Venus with lollipop


Coastal elitist


Remember the nifty decal design that Brett and I created that featured yours truly, wearing my Steinmart™brand Hawaiian shirt and irrigating red America?

I had him fix a few glaring geographical political errors in Florida and Texas and then the thing just sat on a thumbdrive on my desk for a month, basically unloved.

I had the printer print up a few labels for me this week, large and small. 

Blast readers only need to send me a stamped self addressed envelope and I will send you a couple, free of charge, while they last. Say big or little and send the commensurately sized envelope.

Note: You might not want to stick them on your car in this political environment.

Fallbrook wreck


I took this shot with my 55mm f 1.2 nikkor film lens
I had it modified so that it would work with modern digital cameras.
Do you notice the early ektachrome color cast to the image?

I went to a great party at Dr. Neon's house this weekend. Where I proceeded to put my foot in my mouth. Once again. Anyway, a great birthday, wonderful interesting folks, food and music. I am sitting at the bar and two women are sitting there on bar stools next to each other. One had a pretty modern and hip hair color and was sporting a rainbow watch band.

I am nothing if not tolerant and after hearing a bit about their life together I asked them if they were partners? Oops, nope, married hetero

The rainbow strap threw me. They laughed, said that they have worked together for many years and are best friends. Just liked the watchband. (I'm not gay but my watch is.)

But then she laughed again and said she did drive a Subaru. But no coexist 🌈 sticker. Very nice people, all good. Can't ever assume.

Blog and conquer

I guess the blog should be fed on a Monday morning.

I don't have much but here are a couple things that have caught my eye of late and a bunch of stuff from you folks.

Could a Mongolian warlord have been radically misunderstood? 

And did he really once meet a talking unicorn that convinced him not to invade India? A different look at Ghengis Khan.

What if 2020 was just a rehearsal?

A Crypto-Trading Hamster Performs Better Than Warren Buffett And The S&P 500

The choice of a man who saw an elephant in a hole.

Terry D sends Why worry?, a great tune with Chet and the Everlys.

Orange County Karen - old but funny

Hudgins sent: Our constitutional crisis is already here.

21 million say Biden is illegitimate and Trump needs to be restored by violence.

Renee sends comedy wildlife photography award winners.

Covid and CD47 protein.

Eyebird - Steve Elmore

Painter and gallery owner Steve Elmore interviewed on Santa Fe Coffee and Culture.

Will Chandler offers John Coulthart's fabulous blog, der animal in decorative art. If you are interested in historical design I highly recommend it. I subscribed.

From Redditt:

A horse walks into a bar and orders a pint

The bartender says, " you're in here a lot. Do you think you might be an alcoholic? " The horse says, "I don't think I am," and promptly vanishes from existence.

See, this was a joke about Descartes' famous philosophical statement, "I think, therefore I am." I could have mentioned that at the beginning, but that would have been putting Descartes before the horse.


Re: Scotus

“It is all well and good for justices to tell the public that their decisions reflect their judicial philosophies, not their political affiliations. If the right side’s judicial philosophies always produce results favored by Republicans and the left side’s judicial philosophies always produce results favored by Democrats, there is little chance of persuading the public there is a difference between the two.” 

Irv Gornstein - Georgetown Supreme Court Institute

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Scorpion's Tail, Borrego

Simon & Garfunkel, Andy Williams

It is hard to get much less hip these days than Andy Williams. I think he had one of the greatest voices ever and certainly in his generation. You can see here that with little rehearsal, he fills in a harmony part worthy of the Beach Boys. Professionals, nobody stepping on each other's voices, exquisitely timed. Of course, Paul and Artie sang like angels back then.

My stepmother worked for Andy in the sixties, after she worked for DiMaggio at Mr. Coffee. I had the pleasure of taking celebrities around his golf tournament in a cart one year as a kid. He drank a lot back then but I remember him as a nice man. Later he collected native american and I liked him even more. What a smooth and beautiful voice he had.

The difference between my generation and the previous is that they had real singers back then, people that worked on their vocal crafts rather than just accompanying an instrument. Who fills that role today and in the last forty years since Morrison and Joplin? Tom Jones. Who else? 

Of course singer translates to schmaltz for the generationally averse so I can see how the change took place. But it is tragic in a way. People like Bing and Bobby Darin are relegated to the historical scrap heap, no longer relevant. We must reject everything our parent's admire, remember? It can't be any good.

Who has replaced Dean Martin, Frank, Andy, Tony or Tom? Nobody.

Coatl Coffee


taken with my new Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 ED AS IF NCS UMC Fisheye Lens for Nikon F Mount with AE Chip

There is a Saturday farmer's market on my block every week. It is a work in progress and was sort of a pain in the beginning but I have made my peace with it and it does bring folks downtown, which is a good thing.

I try to see who is out there selling and I met this new vendor today, Michael Contrestano, who works for Coatl Coffee. I guess that he was here last week too but I never saw him, he was in the next block.
Coatl is a small coffee operation, organic, non GMO, essentially fair trade, as its beans are largely grown on one of the founder's relative's farm in Chiapas.

The coffee is naturally grown and mold free.  He gave me a small shot of the cold brew with the oatmeal foam and another shot of the hot. 

I loved the coldbrew, usually never touch the stuff.

I am a Pete's Kenya double A guy and the hot was a touch acrid for my taste and not round enough but still really good. Brimming with pentacyclic diterpenes. 

I plan to try the other blends one day and see if they fit my flavor profile. With a vintner's articulation he said that the Ethiopian blend that I did ultimately purchase is fruit forward with notes of blackberry and blueberry. There is also a Sumatran sourced variety. I will let you know.

Being a graphics guy, I liked the design, logo and brand very much. 
The feathered serpent and a logo mantra, I am your energy, that sounds like it sprung from a rather hallucinatory woodshed session. Whole presentation is beautiful. Juan Carlos Beaz did a really nice job, from conception to fruition.

The founders are Dorian Escobar and Louis Elguera. The business is now online and in shops, they are currently looking for a cart and coffee shop location. You can visit their shop and roasting operation at 105 Copperwood Way Suite B, in Oceanside. Their phone number is 760-448-0033.

Michael took me through the natural process in which they prepare the beans, which is much more labor intensive than the non organic method. 

He guided me through the five stages it took for the brew to arrive in your cup, from the start to the brisk finish.

One of the cool things for me is that the coffee is officially designated bird friendly. From their website:

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has certified the farm in which our coffee grows as Bird-Friendly coffee. What this means is that there are over 100 different varieties of birds that are present on the finca in which our coffee grows. Including the famous Quetzal an elegant, exotic mystical creature. The large trees that shade the coffee plants provide perfect conditions not only for the coffee but for these wonderful creatures that sing and maintain the eco-system of our finca. 

The Bird Friendly gold standard has more to offer and protect than other traditional certifications. There is often parts of nature destroyed to make way for coffee growing. Bird Friendly coffees are grown on farms using a combination of natural shade, tree height, and biodiversity to provide quality habitat for birds and other wildlife. As a brand our goal is to promote nature and connection which is why we are proud to serve Bird-Friendly coffee to our customers and donate a portion of our sales to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. 

Coatl Coffee, give it a gulp! 

Pecos Ragnarok


Friday, September 24, 2021

Good News!

Turns out the pandemic may have been a good thing in one respect. Lockdowns have resulted in a greater number of birds in our country.

See Reduced human activity during COVID-19 alters avian land use across North America at Science Advances.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in extraordinary declines in human mobility, which, in turn, may affect wildlife. Using records of more than 4.3 million birds observed by volunteers from March to May 2017–2020 across Canada and the United States, we found that counts of 66 (80%) of 82 focal bird species changed in pandemic-altered areas, usually increasing in comparison to prepandemic abundances in urban habitat, near major roads and airports, and in counties where lockdowns were more pronounced or occurred at the same time as peak bird migration. Our results indicate that human activity affects many of North America’s birds and suggest that we could make urban spaces more attractive to birds by reducing traffic and mitigating the disturbance from human transportation after we emerge from the pandemic.

Or a slightly easier to read version at Ebird, Lockdowns and less travel may have altered the behavior of birds.

Ithaca, New York & Winnipeg, Manitoba—Eighty percent of bird species examined in a new study were reported in greater numbers in human-altered habitats during pandemic lockdowns. Researchers compared online eBird observations from the United States and Canada from before and during the pandemic. They focused on areas within about 100 km of urban areas, major roads, and airports. Their findings were just published in the journal Science Advances.

“A lot of species we really care about became more abundant in human landscapes during the pandemic,” says study senior author Nicola Koper at the University of Manitoba, which led the research. “I was blown away by how many species were affected by decreased traffic and activity during lockdowns.”

Reports of Bald Eagles increased in cities with the strongest lockdowns. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were three times more likely to be reported within a kilometer of airports than before the pandemic. Barn Swallows, a threatened species in Canada, were reported more often within a kilometer of roads than before the pandemic.

A few species decreased their use of human-altered habitat during the pandemic. Red-tailed Hawk reports decreased near roads, perhaps because there was less roadkill when traffic declined. But far more species had increased counts in these human-dominated landscapes.

Twist and shout

It's only rock and roll and I don't have to like it

This will have to be quick. I have work to do. 

When Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts recently passed into backbeat heaven, I thought, what a great time for the band to call it a day. 

A perfect punctuation mark or rim shot to a storied career. Spare us another ten years of watching a once great band wither away and die right before our eyes,

But no, apparently the $how must go on. 

They played a private concert for billionaire Robert Kraft and a bunch of his corporate pals at Gillette Stadium in Boston. Not sure what they made but you can be sure it was plenty. 

They sure missed Charlie but it took no time at all to fill the seat, did it? 😢

Guests included the head of Moderna, Noubar Afeyan, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Draft Kings CEO Jason Robins, and Providence Equity founder Jonathan Nelson. Kind of doubt anybody was smoking fatties in this crowd.

You remember Kraft, don't you? He is the Trump good buddy and crony who got caught with his pants down in Florida. He apologized and had the charges dismissed, the call girls got big fines and community service. Pays to have a good lawyer.

The Monday event turned into an emotional evening for the band as a group of just 275 guests dined on sushi and sipped cocktails inside an enclosed tent on the Patriots’ home football field at Gillette Stadium in Boston, sources said.Billionaire Kraft, who “loves to throw parties,” looked ready to celebrate during the first major party he has has hosted since the outbreak. His girlfriend Dr. Dana Blumberg was seen by his side throughout the night.

...Previously Kraft has brought in Elton John and Paul McCartney to perform at other events. But his favorite group seems to be the Stones — they performed at another one of Kraft’s events in 2016. Monday’s set list included “Gimme Shelter,” “Start Me Up,” “Miss You,” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together.”

Now I am not going to get into the legality of prostitution or comment on the actual "poignancy" of the private concert that the Patriots owners and his rich buds attended. 

It does sound very emotional, I am hoping that the sushi and cocktails did something to blunt the sting. Cry all the way to the bank.

The idea of rock and rollers selling themselves out for the patrician set makes me slightly queasy. Just rattle your jewelry, as John Lennon once so famously said. 

McCartney played a private wedding in Rancho Santa Fe a few years ago, one that didn't last much longer than the reception, if I remember correctly. 

I can't see Lennon playing this sort of thing nor Jerry either for that matter. Dylan, possibly.

Because they all stood for something else besides money. The Stones? Don't think so. How long have they been cashing in and what exactly is the message? Besides the naughty bad boys schtick and the band that won't waste a minute when another one drops.

Of course, authentic hippie ethos is in very short supply when a big payday is at hand. 

The Who, Dylan, Aerosmith, they all sold cars and other merchandise.

Donovan flogged Volvos. 

Elton John played Limbaugh's wedding. 

Sounds like I need to grow up, right? Nobody stands for anything any more and if they once did, they forgot what it was.

So now you get these quick little cash cow events and the billionaires can party and the almost equally rich musicians can get stock tips and everybody leaves happy. 

Now there is nothing wrong with being rich or poor, there are good and bad people in both castes.

I just think I might be a tad more comfortable with the commoners, would certainly have more to talk about, rather than the gout and the ski trip to Gstaad and what Caribbean island you're thinking of buying.

I saw the Stones when they were great, in 1972. They were of course a different band after Brian Jones left, after Mick Taylor left and after Bill Wyman retired. They should have called it quits right then. I saw them again at the end of the 1970's and they were a pitiful shadow of their former selves.

bill and charlie
People forget that they were originally Brian Jones band, along with keyboard player Ian Stewart. 

Jones was perhaps the most musically talented and lyrical of the entire group. He played a variety of instruments including rhythm guitar, slide, oboe, sax, sitar, organ, kazoo, dulcimer, recorder, mellotron, marimba, harp and harmonica.

But his spirit and contribution was whitewashed and vanquished and the late leader is like he who should not be mentioned.

And apparently the band got in a bit of a snit when Wyman did just that.

A plaque marking the meeting between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards is to be replaced after The Rolling Stones' former bassist Bill Wyman objected.The blue plaque, unveiled at Dartford station in February, says the pair "went on to form The Rolling Stones".

But Wyman complained, saying guitarist Brian Jones created The Rolling Stones and enlisted the other members."I've never upset a Rolling Stone before but we are going to put it right," said councillor Jeremy Kite.

Jagger and Richards both went to Wentworth Primary School but met up again on platform two of Dartford station in Kent on 17 October 1961.They bonded over a love of the blues and formed a musical friendship that still endures.

Wyman, who left the band in 1993, told BBC Radio 5 live the plaque was disgusting."Mick Jagger and Keith Richards didn't create the Rolling Stones - they were part of The Rolling Stones like all of us," he said.

"Brian Jones wanted to form a blues band and he enlisted each member one by one."He gave the name The Rolling Stones, he chose the music and he was the leader."

Guitarist Jones drowned in the swimming pool of his home at Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, East Sussex in 1969 after taking a cocktail of drink and drugs.

Dartford council leader Mr Kite said the plaque was intended to commemorate the meeting of the two Dartford sons, not the formation of The Rolling Stones.But he said it would be taken down and replaced by another with new wording.

"Accuracy in history is really, really important and we want it to be right," he said."We will create a new plaque which makes it clear that this is where Mick met Keith and went on to be part of The Rolling Stones."

Good for Bill, who has no regrets on leaving the band. He was unhappy when the Stones only allowed him to play two songs in their 2012 London reunion.

“The nice thing was that my kids saw me on stage with the Stones,” he said. “They’d asked me the December before, and I had to jam with them for three days. I was under the impression I was going to get really involved, but when it came to it, they only wanted me to do two songs, which was very disappointing.”

Well, that is it, I have gone on too long. I can hear it now - Grow up, people sell out, get over it. Talk about ancient, that righteous hippy stuff met its due date how many decades ago?

Ian Stewart - Stones manager Loog Oldham axed the founder
because he didn't look "rebellious" enough.
But I would never see them again, not if you paid me. 

And watching a concert of a band of decaying fossils prancing around for a bunch of vulture capitalists eating sevruga certainly ain't how I want to get my ya yas out.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Rob's juicy tunes

This is one of my spotify stations, some folky songs popular once upon a time, some sort of obscure beatnik stuff and a few songs from people nobody or few have ever heard of. 

Listen if you feel like it, there is a chance you might like it.

One of the stations that I play in the background when I am working. I have made it collaborative so if you want to add to it or blow it up with polka music, feel free.

Buckets of Rain

Two seconds, Oceanside Pier

A little short


I was at Grocery Outlet the other day and saw that they actually had distilled water. Hot damn! Do you know that it has been almost impossible to find of late?  Serious shortages.

My wife uses it for steaming clothes in her shop. I bought one and alerted her so that she could buy a case.

I needed a new battery for the key fob in my Mazda. Jamie couldn't get my size. I guess there are serious battery shortages too. I found one at Ace, luckily.

And watch out, might be time to stock up on toilet paper again, it is poised for another massive wipeout.

Actually there are a lot of shortages being reported around the world right now; liquor bottles, metals, plastics, resin, semi-conductors and wood to name just a few.

Some industries are rushing to build new factories, including semiconductor producers under pressure to feed a growing appetite for chips needed in cars and electronics. But not all producers are eager to build new plants. The bike industry, for instance, is heavily concentrated in Asia and producers there worry that the current surge in demand is only temporary.

Compounding the current problem are clogged supply lines. With so many manufacturers rushing to build supplies at the same time, the containers, ships, and trucks needed to move the goods often aren’t available, and have soared in cost when they are. That has disrupted some of the mechanisms that normally help keep supplies, and prices, in check.

I heard the other day that we are 100,000 trucks short in America right now and that this is contributing greatly to the supply line problem. The pandemic is supposed to be another one of the great drivers of the whole supply line drag.  There are also massive labor shortages, it should go without saying, anybody who needs a job should be working right now.

Speaking of working, somebody on next-door took a picture of a guy begging in a wheelchair recently walking perfectly normal later in the day at a supermarket. Vermin. I look at these people, many of them young, content to beg on an off-ramp like it's a great, long term paying gig with total disgust. Way too early to give up on life. If you are able bodied, get a job and let go of the crack pipe. Support yourself, don't be a moocher.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

King Midas In Reverse

Wayback machine - Me on CBS

Here is a brief video from my distant past that you might find amusing. At one time I was a very successful builder, my subdivisions won SAM awards for sales and I had some of the highest profit margins in the area. I believe that the year this video ran on the national news with Dan Rather was 1992. My last project was 73 houses and they sold out in a matter of weeks.

Then my bank, Home Federal, which had financed all my projects, was taken over and essentially went under during the S & L crisis. Here you see me hat in hand, unsuccessfully trying to secure a loan at the worst possible time, just as the federal government was instituting a whole passel of draconian regulations and cash requirements that made it virtually impossible to find financing anywhere. The only people who could get a loan at that point were people that didn't need one.

This was on the heels of my limited partner losing a multi million dollar fortune to a swindler. He won a unanimous jury verdict but in the end, only the lawyers made out and I was forced to remake myself and find a new career. This is during cancer and in the midst of my divorce. You never know, one day you are up...next thing you know you are gasping for air.

Vlad taped this off the news, way back when. He graciously digitized it for me today so that you could see it. Thanks bud. I know I was skinnier then, thanks for noticing. The actual filming was over an hour but it was distilled into a concise six seconds or so. 

This was the beginning of the end, buy me a shot one day and I will tell you the rest of the story, if you are interested and if I feel so inclined.

56th and Wichita - Freddie King

Sandhill Crane, Bosque del Apache


Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer

Pluvial Blues

I had something come up in my You Tube algorithm today that sounded interesting, well, sort of like a bad country music song type of interesting anyway. That time it rained for two million years.

I thought, damn, that's a lot of sorrow. 

You know what a John Prine could do with that much heartache and rain?

Two million years, that is one long damn winter. Worse than Seattle. An interesting video, if you like this sort of thing. Better to have something to occupy you for a rainy spell that long.

I am no John Prine but I scribbled a few lines together anyway on short notice, just for the exercise. Hasn't been a lot of song material written about the pre pleistocene era frankly.

William Stout 

You never know how things will fall
Out or in
With love and all

But I never dreamed they’d collect my tears
That time it rained two million years.

When we started out we were
on dry land
The earth was young
Our eyes were bright

But south things went
As they are prone to do
We went our ways
our one now two

Earth had split
And we did too
The beasts came forth
Unholy zoo

The sky opened up
our darkest fears
buckets full rising
above our ears.

they often break
dams will burst
and hearts will ache

Mountains blow and oceans flood
meteors crash and hopes get crushed

Thoughts of you
still hurt and sear

like the time it rained
  two million years.

© Robert Sommers 2021

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Fred Neil - I've got a secret (didn't we shake sugaree)

Swap Meet Grappler


New Yawker


Food for thought - Tom Gauld

I love to read the New Yorker, want Hannah Goldfield's Table for Two writing gig in my next life.

I do subscribe. But sometimes I get so busy with life I just can't keep up with them all and they get piled next to the kitchen table or in the bathroom and it takes a few weeks for me to catch up.

Such was the case with the September 6, 2021 archival gastronomic edition. It was hiding in my office somewhere and I finally dug it out last night.

If you are a foodie, you will enjoy it immensely, great vintage pieces from the past by Anthony Bourdain, M.F.K. Fisher, Trillin, Joan Didion and more. And if not, do I really know you?

I'm starting to think that no one else is coming.

Sonic Reducer

Dastardly Reverse Psychology

Hilarious article at Breitbart, Nolte: Howard Stern proves Democrats want unvaccinated Trump voters dead 

Apparently crafty liberals want conservatives to die so they encourage them to get vaccinated, knowing they will do the exact opposite. Wow, they caught on. Eat your vegetables. (Hint, don't eat your vegetables, they are good for you.)

Who wants to cave to piece of shit like Howard Stern (or Jimmy Kimmel or these repulsive doctors refusing to treat the unvaccinated or Bette Midler or, or, or…) Who wants to feel like they’re caving to a guy who’s such a piece of shit he publicly mocks people who have died. And he’s not just a piece of shit mocking them; he’s a piece of shit hurting the families the dead men left behind.

No one wants to cave to a piece of shit like that, or a scumbag like Fauci, or any of the scumbags at CNNLOL, so we don’t. And what’s the result? They’re all vaccinated, and we’re not! And when you look at the numbers, the only numbers that matter, which is who’s dying, it’s overwhelmingly the unvaccinated who are dying, and they have just manipulated millions of their political enemies into the unvaccinated camp.

All I can say is, "Don't walk in front of that truck..." 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Masthead shot

This masthead photograph was taken on a trip Ken and I took to Utah a couple years back. It is a shot of the solar reflection plant in the Mojave. Two things to note about the shot; it was actually taken at four o'clock in the afternoon and I took it while shooting out the car window at seventy miles per hour.

I reduced the exposure so that the bright light from the solar towers could dominate the shot. I kind of like it and the black and white version is pretty nice too. Popped the color and vibrance and made it a bit more graphic for the masthead. I could pick it apart for some sniggling little reasons but why should I? Seems to work.

Girl with polka dot bag, Broadway - color version


Margriet Sjoerdsma