Rapt attention

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Let Me Ride



Fleetwood Mac

Heroes are hard to find

People are up in arms for the time that it took for the cops to go in after the Uvalde shooter. I'm not. They were probably scared of getting shot. Heroes are made, by heroic actions, not born. I was in a similar situation once and I flinched.

Many years ago the neighbor came screaming over that there was a man with a gun in her house. She had come home and a burglar was riffling through her dresser drawers. I grabbed my 12 gauge shotgun but did not enter the home. I called the sheriff and waited for him to arrive. Why?

Because I didn't want to get killed by somebody hiding behind a door. Self preservation is a very motivating factor. The man on offense always has an advantage in these situations. Could have easily got the drop on me. He knew where he was and I didn't. In any case, the cops finally showed up, entered the dwelling and the guy was long gone, probably out the back door.

Should I have risked my life in this situation? Maybe so, I am not sure. Probably not for Mrs. Harrison's jewelry. Talk is one thing and action is another. Perhaps if there were kids involved I would have behaved differently. I don't know.

With kids involved in Texas, you would have hoped that someone would have met the test and gone in earlier. But did you know they have no legal duty to respond? See The Police are not required to protect you.

"Nothing in the language of the Due Process Clause itself requires the State to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens against invasion by private actors," then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote for the majority in DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services (1989).

The decision was reaffirmed in Castle Rock v. Gonzales.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, stated that Ms. Gonzales did not have a "property interest" in enforcing the restraining order and that "such a right would not, of course, resemble any traditional conception of property." The Court went on to reaffirm the DeShaney ruling that there is no affirmative right to aid by the government or the police found in the U.S. Constitution, and thus no legal recourse could be brought thereunder.The “no duty to protect” rule remains unwavering and the law today.

Out of the nest


The baby red tailed hawks are venturing farther and farther from the nest. This morning they are perched on a dead tree near an oak. Mother is probably off hunting for them . They are just figuring out the intricacies of flight and testing out their wings. They are spending more time alone, without their siblings, as well.

Soon they will be off into the wild blue yonder and find new places in which to live.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Lone Star Lunacy

I don't think it is true or fair to say that Texans love guns more than they love their own children. 

Probably more accurate to say that they love them both the same.

The Last Plains Indian War Chief

Thanks to Terry D. for sending this over.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Little Red Rooster ((Original Single Mono Version))

I was listening to some early Stones this afternoon on my stereo when this track came on. Written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Howlin Wolf in 1961, Sam Cooke took a crack at it before the Stones cut it in 1964. The lyrics actually reach back to Memphis Minnie and Charley Patton in the early twentieth century. Dead later put out a fairly lousy rendition, the Stones is pretty wonderful and impeccable.

Anyway when I was listening I had the realization that I didn't know who was playing the excellent slide, Keef or Brian? Was Richards capable of such beautiful, lyrical slide? The answer is no, it was Brian, probably the most talented musician in the band, at least until Mick Taylor showed up later. to replace him.

Jones could play anything, guitar, drums, saxophone, sitar, harpsichord, piano and euphonium. But he tangled with the manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, who didn't like his blues direction. But Jones did so much more, baroque, psychedelic, he gave the band a panoply of extra color and texture that they never really got back. Multidimensional. By the way, Oldham is the same bloke that told pianist Ian Stewart that he wasn't good looking enough to be on stage with the band.

Brian Jones helped found the Rolling Stones and his musical contribution can not be overstated.

Gary Larson


Dennis Chambers Hears Tool For The First Time

I thought that this was cool. Chambers is one of the greatest drummers in the world, has played with Parliament, McLaughlin, Scofield, Santana and too many others to mention. Here he takes a crack at a Tool song originally played by the great Danny Carey (a guy I have sold artwork too way back when.) Great drummers blow my mind.

I sing of Olaf - E.E. Cummings, 1931

i sing of Olaf glad and big

 - 1894-1962


i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelovéd colonel(trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms(first knocking on the head
him)do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf(being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds,without getting annoyed
"I will not kiss your fucking flag"

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf(upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
"there is some shit I will not eat"

our president,being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ(of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see;and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me:more blond than you.

Country Joe McDonald - Kiss My Ass

Remember great Americans who made a difference


We honor those that have died fighting for their country tomorrow on Memorial Day, which was once known as Decoration Day.

The remembrance actually started in the south after the Civil War, memorials being erected for Confederate dead in Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia.

Similar observances soon occurred in the north and the day was officially set in May of 1868 by General John Logan.

We have had a lot of patriots in this country. I guess I first think of people like Franklin, Jefferson, Hale and Washington. Thomas Paine and Paul Revere.

And then there are the World War II aces like Richard Bong, Thomas, McGuire and David McCampbell.

So many Americans were involved in extraordinary acts of valor as were many heroes from other countries, many paying the ultimate price of their lives.

But I was thinking, did you have to be a fighter to do something patriotic and worthy of valor? I think not. I was thinking about some of the people I consider patriots, by deed or by their words or actions. 

Although certainly not comprehensive, my list is a bit different. Some of my heroes opened their mouth and told the truth when nobody else would. Many of them challenged the system and the status quo. All loved their country and wanted it to be the best it could be. Many were prosecuted and some were jailed. Are they also not worthy of being remembered? You can pick yours, I've got mine.

Daniel Ellsburg

Rosa Parks

Colonel David Hackworth

Abbie Hoffman

Dana Beal

Lt. Col. John Paul Vann

Dick Gregory

Chicago Seven

Sister Corita Kent

Paul Erlich

Friday, May 27, 2022

Edgar Winter and Keb Mo

Aigle flies on Friday...

I got my hair cut today over at my favorite barber shop, Traskilo. You get the whole shebang there for so cheap, hot towel, massage, eucalyptus facial. 

My preferred haircutter is Mario, a Guatemalteco from a large family of barbers. Guy is excellent and his english is getting better.

As I rose up to pay, I got waved off. The nice gent in the next chair loved our conversation about food and had paid for my haircut.

That has never happened before.

What a great place and what a cool guy!


On my walk there I noticed that the shop down the road is selling pants with holes in them.

For a pretty penny no doubt. 

I have been in Fallbrook so long I remember when we actually wore the holes in our own jeans. Forgive us, we didn't know any better. Now we pay people good money to tear holes in them.

World is changing. The guy who works there favors distaff apparel. Two young guys walked out of Main Street Cafe with dresses and sensible purses the other day as I walked in.

To each their own I guess. Or is it improper for me to even notice or bring it up? I just don't think he had the legs for that particular shift but good on him/her/they for trying.


Stuck my head into Little C's Tattoo Shop the other day. My friend Lynn was there getting a new ink job. Caught this shot of her in the mirror. First time for me in the shop. He is a really good artist and I liked checking out the excellent collection of tattoo flash on the walls.


What else? Bought this cool Neptune painting the other day. Haven't figured out out the artist yet but I like the way the Sea King and fish are stylized. Would look great in the right house or restaurant. Needs a cleaning.

Tom and Poseidon
Thing is quite large, will be quite inexpensive by the square inch. Bought it at the mall in Oceanside that I am vacating. Was a favor for a friend but not a good fit for me.


My ability to perform tasks is at about 25% of last year. Trying to put the pedal to the metal but just not accomplishing what I need to get done. Better get a tail wind soon... Never got Covid and can't be getting any older, not sure what is up?

Someone Else's Blues

P.C. ran amok

Bruce from Cardiff sent this one over today. 

I rarely see eye to eye on ideological issues with my conservative pal Bruce. 

But in this case, he is absolutely correct.

Denuding the popular lexicon of the word "chief" lest we offend indigenous communities?

How freaking stupid.

Jimmy Olson Perry White knew...

And a certain ex Boston Celtic will be needing a new nickname.

From Bob Schmid


Why? (Am I Treated So Bad)

Fallbrook Borracho

This man was walking past my shop yesterday and I asked him if I could take his picture.

He has been around for a long time and I have honestly never seen him in a non inebriated state. 

He doesn't have alcohol in his bloodstream, he might have a little blood in his alcohol stream.

Guy starts pretty early in the morning.

Yet for all his drinking, he has a ready smile and is really a pretty happy guy. 

I have seen much worse. Love the t-shirt. Sort of reminds me of this guy. Remember him?

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Flat Earthers

 Anti Vax carryover 

From the NYT:

A wave of parents has been radicalized by Covid-era misinformation to reject ordinary childhood immunizations — with potentially lethal consequences.

I have to think that if the Anti Vax covid hoax deniers had their way a hundred years ago, we would still be majorly fighting polio, tuberculosis and smallpox in this country. 

The following chart from the CDC shows the currently recommended immunizations for children.  I wonder if these diseases will have a comeback in the face of all this anti-science hysteria?

I'm a believer

Time to clip it?

With the coming reversal of Roe v. Wade and the imposition of some of the most draconian abortion laws ever enacted in his state, Oklahoma State Rep. Mickey Dollens (not the guy in the Monkees) is considering sponsoring some interesting legislation.

Mandatory vasectomies for every male in the state once they hit puberty. 

Dollens said that the vasectomy would only be “reversible when they reach the point of financial and emotional stability.”

“If you think that is crazy then I think that maybe you understand how 50 percent of Oklahomans feel, as well,” the Democrat reportedly told a group of GOP lawmakers.

Good for Mickey! Makes a lot of sense to me. Goose meet gander. I would even take it a step further and demand i.q. tests as well for prospective parents. Too many idiots having babies, let's raise the intelligence bar while we are at it. As we say in Oklahoma, the Sooner the better.

Red Tailed Hawk undergoing convolutional neural networking

This shot is one from my hawk and snake series. I took it seven years ago with the low resolution and rather antiquated Nikon D40x and a Nikkor 70-300 ƒ4.5-5.6 lens. If I had known what I would have run into perhaps I would have brought a better lens along but we aren't granted such foresight.

Even though I got some stunning shots that day, the picture quality is less than optimal. I decided to do something different yesterday and use Adobe Lightroom's relatively new Enhance feature. This is the now enhanced image above.

I used the Super resolution option. I believe that AI is used for this upscaling. They call it CNN, a convolutional neural network.

 “The new Enhance Details feature available in Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom CC approaches demosaicing in a new way to better resolve fine details and fix issues like false colors and zippering. Enhance Details uses machine learning—an extensively trained convolutional neural network(CNN)—to provide state-of-the-art quality for the images that really matter. Enhance Details works well on both Bayer (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc) and X-Trans (Fujifilm) raw mosaic filters.” 

I have eschewed such technology but thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out because the pictures always struck me as a lost opportunity.

I can't say it is perfect, in fact it is far from perfect but it did improve things a little bit. I will play around a little more with it. Here are a few of the great shots of the sequence, with the same enhanced technology applied.

Spiraling out of control

Why here? Why do we have all these school and mass shootings in the United States? I know that they had one in Norway but that was an anomaly. They don't happen in Canada or most civilized countries with near the frequency that they occur here. 311,000 students have been subjected to gun violence since Columbine.

And seventy percent of the shootings since 1999 have been committed by kids under 18.

The response from the right is sadly predictable. The only thing that will stop a kid with a gun is a kid or adult with a bigger gun.

Or "The problem isn't hate or racism or guns, it is crazy, criminal people. How dare you look for a motivational cause!"

Or they can blame this kid for being a hispanic, leftist transexual, illegal alien. Which is completely unfounded, as far as I can tell.

What is the matter with our culture that we glorify weapons and violence and desensitize people to the pain that they can cause to others, many times innocent strangers that they don't even know?

I have owned guns my whole adult life. But I have never felt the need to go beyond a shotgun and a handgun for personal defense. I stand with those that call for an assault weapons ban.

I don't know what the answer is. We have lost our moral compass and our emotional mooring, our positive connection to our fellow human beings.

We have to do whatever it takes to find that anchor again, wether it be through faith, fellowship, shrooms, whatever works for you. But we need to right our ship and we need to get rid of the assault weapons in the hands of children, immediately.


A lot of people are talking about leaving the country. I know two people in Portugal right now. I have news for you, they are getting sick of Americans over there too. We need to fix our problems at home.