Juvenile red tailed hawk with clean and pristine feathers

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Enes Kanter Freedom

Getty Images
Enes Kanter, the Turkish emigré NBA basketball player, became a United States citizen on Monday and changed his last name to Freedom to boot. 

I don't agree with the guy on everything but I applaud him for standing up for what he thinks is right and for going after the brutal communist Chinese regime for their despicable human rights record.

Kanter even took on LeBron James for his silence on China. Good for him. NBA players and owners with fat distribution rights and deals in China will overlook a lot in order to keep the checks rolling in.

What I don't agree with him about is his saying that Americans who disapprove of our country's policies should keep their mouths shut. Dissent is as American as apple pie, Enes. All the way back to throwing tea in Boston Harbor.

As long as we are not violent or burning anything down we here in America are free to speak our mind. It is called freedom of speech.

But good for you for calling out the Chinese dictatorship on Tibet and Uighur. I wish more prominent athletes and corporations would have your courage. Some things are more important than money.

Danny Gatton

Twilight, Oceanside Harbor

Monday, November 29, 2021

Love Is A Losing Game

One kind favor



My father, Amos Sommers, passed away six years ago. 

If he had made it to today, his birthday, he would have been 95.

He was an imperfect man with an imperfect son but we both did our best to find middle ground and I am happy that we lived the latter stages of our lives on very good terms.

We all do our best at life, there are no dress rehearsals or do-overs.

He did a lot for me and I appreciate it very much.

I miss him a lot and owe him a lot.

I took this picture at the Alzheimer's home in Clovis in which he spent the last five years of his life.

He was starting to fade into the scenery at the end and I think the picture I took sums it up pretty well.

All things must pass

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Roxy Music - My Only Love

Catching Up

Well, I am still alive and I don't have covid.  Two tests, including a ridiculous gauntlet run at Walgreens. Serious cold and bronchitis but hopefully the z-pac will work soon and I am back on the mend. I have not been writing, brain has not been functioning quite right, bit of a fog. A lot of thoughts and things that I would normally note and discuss have now officially met their due date and have free spooled into space, never to return. Sleep and soup, you know the drill.

I packed my van for the next show today. I am feeling very optimistic about my prospects which means it will probably suck and I will fall flat on my face but I suppose that the possibility of "killing it" or doing very well also exists. Last show was great and things are lining up well.

I got a haircut on my way home, from the new hispanic barber shop around the corner, Traskilo. It is my second time there and I think the place is muy bueno.

My barber is a Guatemalan, Mario. You don't just get a haircut there. 

You get an expert straight razor cut, eyebrow trim, hot towel, back massage, the whole bit, for around twenty bucks.

And the guys take their time and do a really nice job. I remember my first haircuts in Juarez as a kid. 

We would cross the border and get them for a nickel, I think and get a piece of chicle at the end for good measure. Mexican barbers are cool.

I liked my old hair cutter but these guys are tops. I think the owner's name is Chuy. Give them a shot. Yo soy muy guapo.


Shawn sent a lovely shot from Thailand, These might be his Swiss clients in the kayak.

He also sends a very cool Zatoichi video.


Really smart toaster from 1949.


The writer Ann Patchett wrote a thoughtful piece about poisoning herself with magic mushrooms while trying to assist a dying friend. I sympathize. While I suppose that psychedelics can be recreational, I always knew that trips could also get very heavy and god knows that I have had my share of the super intense ones. 

A friend of mine once took acid in my presence and it was her first time and her stepfather's past sexual abuse of her came tumbling out of her completely suppressed subconscious in a very painful way. Changed her life dramatically and that included a stint in an institution and a divorce. Rattled her foundations fundamentally. Was probably not a good idea to trip. Some things go to the big closet for a reason.

Nothing to trifle with and not for everybody, that is for damn sure. Ask Mike Tyson, who experienced a mythical death on toad venom. 

And check out this weird guy from the seventies with the windowpane gel on his tongue somebody sent me recently. Anybody recognize the strange fellow? Kids...


Idiots thought a covid party was a good idea. Now they are on respirators.


Fallbrook mom takes great trip with kids. Great mom, I know the dad, who is also cool.


Best inbounds pass ever.


The reopening last week of the "path of the gods" connecting Luxor to Karnak in Egypt is truly amazing and beautiful. Only took 3400 years. Make sure you see the video.


I have both covid vaccinations and am going to get my booster as soon as I feel better. But even I was not ready for how strident they are about wearing masks in Santa Barbara. If you are vaccinated in San Diego you can wear them voluntarily if you choose. Not up there. You can not enter a public building or restaurant without a mask, vaccinated or not. I walked out of a coffee shop after absorbing a twisted grimace from a worker for not having one on. Interesting.


Elisabeth Achelis had an idea for a better calendar.

Achelis endorsed a calendar of twelve months made up of four equal quarters of thirteen weeks, or ninety-one days. “Each year begins on Sunday, January 1,” she explained; every quarter begins on a Sunday, and ends on a Saturday. “Every year is comparable to every other year; and what is of utmost importance, days and dates always agree.” If you were born on a Friday, your birthday would always fall on a Friday. In deliberations at the League of Nations, the World Calendar beat out many rivals, including a proposal for a year of four thirty-five-day months plus eight twenty-eight-day months, and proposals for a five-, six-, and ten-day week.


I have only watched an hour or so of the Beatles movie. The push pull between Paul and George was like the dark vortex dance in a bad divorce. I feel for both of them. 

Michael Hogg comes off like a complete buffoon. I look forward to finishing the film when I have time. 

I love George, he was always my favorite Beatle but I have sympathy for Paul because everything he tried was met with suspicion from the oversensitive guitarist. 

John comes off as very self absorbed and patronizing towards George. No wonder Harrison was done.


I might play hooky Tuesday and go bird watching, take a day off while I can get it. Enjoy the week and what is left of your Sunday. Hannukah is early this year. Happy holiday to my hebrew friends.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Billy Strings and Jake tear it up

The Los Angeles Show - Jewelry + Art + Antiques + Vintage

Family Tree

If you have ever been interested in tracing your family lineage, now is a great time. Family Tree DNA is offering a $39 autosomal test called the family finder for the next four days.

All of the DNA companies are good, Family Tree is the first one I joined and my go to. It has the largest Jewish database in the market and this has allowed me to find 29,624 cousins to date through this particular test.

I never thought I would see these tests get this cheap. You might want to give it a whirl.

And men can get a Y test and go back so far you can find your uncles swinging from tree limbs. Mine left Somalia approx. 22,400 years ago.

Warming up

Arguing environmental policy with anti warmers is a lot like arguing with anti vaccers. God forbid the free market libertarians ever run the show. Please read the comments.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Smokin’ Strings

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Holiday to all of you. Unfortunately I am sick as a dog and we had to cancel our thanksgiving plans. Felt terrible for the last four days or so. Got covid tested yesterday but won't have results for up to 72 hours. I probably should have taken a more rapid test, wasn't thinking. 

Thankfully my fever broke this morning. I think it is just a bad cold, flu or bronchitis but we will see, make sure it is not a breakthrough case. Still have taste and smell. I have been vaccinated but was waiting on my booster. Fingers crossed. Have another show next week in Glendale. I am going to call my doctor Seymour as soon as I get my test results and see if he can help me with this tsoris.

Definitely thankful for a wife who is taking care of me and making me soup. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and stay well.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Psychotic Reaction

April's last show

The show in Santa Barbara was really good, sold a lot of nice things as did most of my fellow dealers. It was a bittersweet affair in a way as the founding promoter, April Thede, retired Sunday, this was her last show. The show will go on, in good and capable hands, but we all have a lot of history together and we will miss April.

To commemorate the event we all assembled outside for a group photo, which included April and the wonderful crew. 

These are a good cross section of the people I work with at the shows, year in and year out. My gypsy antique family.

They stuck me up in a cherry picker and I took the shot. 

They were going to leave me up there for the day but instead eventually bounced me down.

April insisted I stick myself in the group shot so I did. Magic of photoshop.

I started working at this Earl Warren Fairgrounds facility when I was 17 years old and just out of high school.

I was a groom on the horse show circuit. 

I have a lot of history here. 

Been a good place for me through the years.

I sold well and I bought well this weekend. The lady from Phoenix who had a booth next to mine got covid and couldn't come so I expanded to forty feet and the booth looked very impressive. 

I also unfortunately brought home a really bad cold. Need to unpack and then run home to bed. Will share more later.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Monday, November 15, 2021

CALM Antiques, Decorative Arts and Vintage Show

If you are in the area, or want to take a nice excursion this weekend, please join me at the Calm Show in Santa Barbara. 

CALM is now in its 41st year of existence and it is one of my favorite shows to do.

The show starts Friday and then continues Saturday and Sunday. You can read more at the CALM website here. Feel free to download this complimentary pass.

Due to the pandemic, I have not exhibited at a show in Santa Barbara for almost two years, this should be a wonderful event if you like art and antiques, lots of fresh merchandise and a lot of energy built up. 

Chihuly vase
I am bringing a wonderful assortment of art in many styles and genres and some great Native American pots and baskets. 

I will also be showing a beautiful glass basket vase by Dale Chihuly, circa 1997.

It always has an exceptional group of dealers and you couldn't ask for a lovelier town to work in. Masks are required. 

Hopefully I will see you there.

Red Daisy

Good Grief!

There never used to be a partisan divide on getting flu shots. It was a common, shared belief that they would help ward off the nasty bug. But guess what, we don't live in "used to be" anymore. Now even the common flu shot has been politicized and weaponized. A 25% spread between repubs and dems on getting a flu shot.

The amount of anti vaccers for flu now resembles the anti covid numbers.

From Business Insider:

Why are educated Republicans more typically vaccine hesitant than educated Democrats? A study that might help to explain the gap, albeit three years old and written pre covid. And the GOP is now the individual freedom party, unless of course they are talking about a woman's reproductive rights.

Toni Lindgren



Sunday, November 14, 2021

Ringo Starr - Blindman

Stick it, white man

Cahokia Mounds, Illinois
If you have an interest in cultural anthropology, there is a very interesting article at the New Yorker, Early civilizations had it all figured out by Gideon Lewis-Kraus. 

It is not an easy read but it is thought provoking. Could it be that we have been devolving in some way since we have forsaken our more primitive ways?

Societies were categorized by evolutionary stage on the basis of their mode of food production and economic organization, with full-fledged states taken to be the pinnacle of progress.

But it was also possible to think that the Neolithic Revolution was, all in all, a bad thing. In the late nineteen-sixties, ethnographers studying present-day hunter-gatherers in southern Africa argued that their “primitive” ways were not only freer and more egalitarian than the “later” stages of human development but also healthier and more fun.

Apparently some early indigenous cultures also did not take kindly to following other people's rules. Hmmm, I get it. And maybe we know much less about humanity's past than we think we do.

“Nowadays, most of us find it increasingly difficult even to picture what an alternative economic or social order would be like,” they write. “Our distant ancestors seem, by contrast, to have moved regularly back and forth between them. If something did go terribly wrong in human history—and given the current state of the world, it’s hard to deny something did—then perhaps it began to go wrong precisely when people started losing that freedom to imagine and enact other forms of social existence.”

This wasn’t a matter of sheer forgetfulness, they say. It was by design. At least some of the Indigenous inhabitants of the Americas, they tell us, were bewildered and appalled by the strange European custom of giving and taking orders. Their judgments were widely circulated in the Europe of the early Enlightenment, where Indigenous people were often featured in dialogues meant to criticize the status quo. At the time, they were typically dismissed as the rhetorical sock-puppetry of canny European heretics. For how could “Natives” credibly engage with political constitutions or deliberate over consequential decisions?

“The Dawn of Everything” makes a persuasive case that what was passed off as Indigenous criticism of European political thinking was, in fact, Indigenous criticism of European political thinking. These Indigenous objections could be safely deflected only if they were seen as European ventriloquism, not ideas from another adult community with alternative values. 

Unfortunately there appears to be no going back.

If we accept that the rise of agriculture meant the rise of the state—of political élites and intricate structures of power—then all we can do is tinker around the edges. Even if we regard the Paleolithic era as a garden paradise, we know that our reëntry is forever barred. For one thing, the requirements of hunting and gathering could support only some trivial fraction of the earth’s current population. A life under government control now seems inescapable.

Damn.  Of course the primitive cultures were not homogeneous either, even neighboring cultures.

In a 1903 essay, the anthropologists Marcel Mauss and Henri Beuchat described the routine organizational reversals in Inuit communities. These groups spent their summers fishing and hunting in small cohorts under the possessive—and coercive—authority of a single male elder. Graeber and Wengrow describe how then, as the winter brought an influx of walruses and seals to the shore, “the Inuit gathered together to build great meeting houses of wood, whale rib and stone,” where “virtues of equality, altruism and collective life prevailed. Wealth was shared, and husbands and wives exchanged partners.”

In the Pacific Northwest, men of rank among the Kwakiutl held lavish, greasy potlatches and took war captives as slaves; their neighbors to the south of the Klamath River, the Yurok, prized restraint and self-denial, and committed themselves to modes of subsistence that rendered slavery, which they found morally repugnant, unnecessary.

Interesting piece. 


I'm trolling Breitbart. Please check out the comments on this article. Won't be hard to figure out who I am. Add a comment if you feel the inclination.


Michael Flynn says that America needs to be a land with only one religion under god. Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel says that he is with him.

Which is kind of funny since Mandel, the grandson of holocaust survivors, is not of the religion that Flynn thinks should be the only game in town.

And Mandel's opponent is making Mandel's Jewish religion a talking point in his campaign. Now, which of these guys is a bigger slimeball?

"In terms of antisemitism, all I did in an ad was pointed out that Josh is going around saying he's got the Bible in one hand and the constitution in the other. But he's Jewish,” Pukita said. “Everybody should know that though, right?"

Pukita was referring to a radio ad created by his campaign that criticized Mandel for courting evangelical Christians and frequently visiting churches on the campaign trail.

“Are we seriously supposed to believe the most Christian-values Senate candidate is Jewish?” a voice actor asks in Pukita’s radio ad. “I am so sick of these phony caricatures.”

Merlin partially unfurled


Why you never want to look at the kitchen...

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Fire Suite

They will occasionally play the last part on the radio but I always thought the preamble and poem were most incredible and you never hear them nowadays. Haven't personally heard it in ages. So I post it for you today.

Batten the hatches in Thailand

Shawn tells me that it is now monsoon season in Thailand and that they are getting socked and soaked.

Stay dry if you can, folks. Has to be a tradeoff somewhere if you want to live in paradise.

By the way, I am told that the antique cloisonné opium pipe kit I recently found is probably from northern Thailand. Have no idea what it is worth.

The Beach Boys - Cool Cool Water

The Great Pacific Whaling Spree

Leslie and I took off work on Thursday and went whale watching. 

Last week a blue whale was spotted off Newport and we were hoping to see one. 

We took the afternoon boat as they are usually more flexible on time if you get into anything really good.

We got to the boat and people were pretty glum, the earlier boat had been skunked. 

Not to worry, we told the folks at Oceanside adventures. The Sommers are good luck

And we are, the last three trips have been truly epic.

We had new crew on this boat, two young ladies and a different captain than we are used to. 

They got word that a big pod had been spotted but it was way out there. 

The captain said that we were going to dispense with the routine sea lion and seal part of the ride and jet out to the pod as fast as we could. 

It was a nice calm day.

No problem with us.

The action was supposedly about ten miles out, it actually was over twelve. But we did land ourselves in a super common dolphin pod, the captain estimated that it was over twenty five hundred dolphin in total. Probably the second largest group we have ever encountered. 

We also spotted three humpbacks and really enjoyed their show. 

We spent a considerable amount of time watching a mother cavort around with her calf.

I wasn't going to even bring my camera but I ultimately did. 

I did not have the long lens on so I didn't really get any super awesome shots but enjoyed myself thoroughly nonetheless. 

Was content to look and enjoy. 

The trip just makes me want to get back out there and nail it. One of these days I will get what my friend KJ calls the money shot, that is if I am lucky enough.

Took a few extra minutes and watched the sun go down.

It was a perfect day. Can't beat getting out on the water.


More news on the ocean front. Heidi and Kent recently returned from Guadalupe Island where they entered cages and faced the large great white sharks.


Not sure I would have the courage to do it but it looks like quite a rush.

Heidi in the cage video.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Chet Holmgren

I am a happy guy. College basketball is back. All three San Diego teams won last night, USD, my SDSU Aztecs and UCSD even beat Cal. But this guy, Holmgren at Gonzaga, is just amazing. The freshman center from Minnesota looks unstoppable. Sounds crazy but he is tall for his seven foot size, with his incredible wingspan. He is going to rewrite the record books. The long armed center can do everything, from bringing the ball up to scoring. I have seen him cross people over and go behind his back. Should set a block record this year.  And he is only going to get stronger and better as he gets older and fills out. Chet will be an outstanding pro in the NBA and really fun to watch for the two (?) years he is in college.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Tuesday share


Vlad and Natasha are having themselves quite a time in the Bahamas. 

Of course, just a short time ago they were living it up in New York City seeing the Dylan play on Broadway.

Nice life!


Will just got back from a trip to Detroit helping a client with a museum bequest. Looks lovely there right now too.

These shots were taken one day apart, before and after the frost.


Lena sends this over - Minnesota police break up brawling bald eagles.


Renee shares Why You Should Assume Everyone Is Stupid, Lazy, and Possibly Insane (Including You)


Bread from Acorns - Terry DeWald offers a 1933 film on native basketry.


Camilla can't stop talking about Biden's fart.


The Iron Butterfly just lost its longtime drummer, Ron Bushy. Millard was a big fan and sends this over:

Ron Bushy…1942 - 2021

Iron Butterfly drummer…RIP…at the fateful afternoon show at the Cheetah, No. 1 Navy St in Santa Monica, IB opened for the Doors…
Kareem (Lew Alcindor) came in through the side door and sat in the front...the four of us started chanting to play the ‘Iron Butterfly theme’
…their set ended and they walked off…we kept yelling for it…they came back on and played it…we changed rock history…kind of…
Bushy came out during the Doors set (boring as usual) and sat with us in our seats halfway back (the Cheetah was half filled). 

They actually came back to the Teen Center on Victory Blvd. a couple years later and played again where we first heard them before 
they hit it, and I talked with Bushy again. Heady times.