Jelly, jelly so fine

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Jimmy Noone - The blues jumped a rabbit



The Hill: Trump can't legally declassify documents.

Idaho States Journal : What Alito is up to.

Wrong god. A Texas school board rejects 'In God We Trust' signs in Arabic.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

5-10-15 Hours

Thirty seconds, Oceanside Pier


Pretty much says it all.


The Travelin’ McCourys - Cumberland Blues

Noodlin' around

I had my bladder cancer biopsy yesterday. It is never pleasant but it is over, thankfully. Wore my lucky Manny's tie dye t shirt. 

Anesthesiologist let me pick the music and I quickly went under to the dulcet strains of Cumberland Blues. 

Very expensive day in the hospital. I filled out my Medicare plan a and plan b application this morning.

I will have post procedure irritation for several days but I am not bleeding at present and am on antibiotics. Throat a little sore from intubation tube.

We went over to the great noodle restaurant Shang Xi Magic Kitchen afterwards. 

Total comfort food. Hadn't eaten or drank in a day.

I should know something about the tumor pathology by Friday. 

My doctor explained that it is not benign but it all depends on the magnitude of malignancy at this point. 

She told me that there is a new drug we can try if it is low grade enough. Anything to keep my equipment.

Thanks to all of you who have checked in and have been concerned for me. I am doing a little office paperwork but will go home shortly.

Thanks again to everybody. Appreciate you all very much.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Hello, Mission Control?

The Mission Resource Conservation District headquarters is located next to my shop. The organization advises people on how to sustainably deal with landscaping their property. 

From their website:

San Diego County and regional residential property owners are increasingly interested in learning about ways to keep their properties healthy and sustainable. Some property owners are interested in how landscaping around their homes can benefit them and help ease the effects of the drought. 

Now I am certainly not a paragon of virtue, I have pesky fountain grass growing up behind my shop, can't kill it. But honestly, it looks like Bouchard Gardens next to the MRCD. The weeds have been growing up through their pavement for a long time. Not sure if anybody is doing maintenance anymore, place doesn't look very operational.

It looks extremely unkempt. Quite a few of the newly planted shrubs are now dead. One would think that their message would be better received if they kept the place a little tidier. Once (before they took possession of the building) the grounds were a paragon of beauty, healthy trees and shrubs. Now it is a chaotic free for all. The message is less environmentally sustainable and more we don't give a shit, or at least that is my read.

The tweaker house on Brandon looks better than this place.

Sketches of China

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Pot meet kettle

I admire much of Joni Mitchell's catalog and music but am not so keen on her as a human being. She has a habit of gratuitously and needlessly denigrating her peers. Last week during an interview her nasty bite was directed at two rock icons, Grace Slick and Janis Joplin, the latter long gone and not able to defend herself.

But hooray for Grace, she didn't have to take her crap. Whose business is it policing who is sleeping with who anyway? How judgmental. Wasn't long ago that Joni was dissing Neil Young.

You know, Neil Young is singing Rock n' roll will never die, and Neil never rocked and rolled in his life. I mean, he rocked, but he didn't roll. He has got no swing in him.

Before that it was Bob Dylan, who she accused of being a thief.

“Bob is not authentic at all: He's a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake,” she said. “Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.” 

She also said that Dylan never brushed his teeth. One has to wonder what kind of surveillance she was capable of to make such a sweeping condemnation. Then there was this:

“Musically, Dylan’s not very gifted; he’s borrowed his voice from old hillbillies. He’s got a lot of borrowed things. He’s not a great guitar player. He’s invented a character to deliver his songs, it’s a mask of sorts”.

As brilliant as Joni Mitchell is on occasion, her songbook catalog pales next to the contributions of Bob Dylan. He has no equal, constructed identity or not.

Of course, her ire at her fellow artists goes back even farther. She wrote a less than charitable song about the bluesman Furry Lewis.  Furry was none too pleased.

"The way I feel" says Furry "is that your name is proper only to you, and when you use it you should get results from it. She shouldn't have used my name in no way, shape, form or faction without consultin' me 'bout it first. The woman came over here and I treated her right, just like I does everybody that comes over. She wanted to hear 'bout the old days, said it was for her own personal self, and I told it to her like it was, gave her straight oil from the can." He stares at the surrealistic photo on the Hejira cover. "But then she goes and puts it all down on a record, using my name and not giving me nothing! I can't stop nobody from talkie' 'bout Beale Street, 'cause the street belongs to everybody. But when she says 'Furry,' well that belongs to me!" 

I have to wonder about an artist who feels the need to attack his or her peers incessantly. Honestly sounds like a real bitch. And didn't she once marry her own bass player, Larry Klein? Her nastiness is unbecoming.

Autumn Leaves

Faith and medicine

Most people have probably heard by now about the woman in Louisiana whose fetus has no skull and can not survive childbirth. The woman went to a hospital but was denied an abortion because the doctors were afraid of getting sued under the new draconian abortion trigger ban.

Around 10 weeks into her pregnancy, Nancy Davis, a Black woman with a partner and three children, said doctors told her that her baby would be born with acrania, a rare abnormality that occurs when a fetus lacks a skull.

Davis said her condition meant that the fetus would likely be stillborn or die within the first week of life. Medical professionals recommended an abortion but said they couldn’t provide one because of the state’s abortion ban.

"Basically, they said I had to carry my baby to bury my baby," Davis said as she stood with her family and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump outside the Louisiana state Capitol on Friday.

One of the things I find troubling about this poor woman's plight and there are a lot of things, is something the legislators who pushed for this ban said.

"Amongst those changes was a medical futility exception that allows for a woman to have a medical procedure which leads to a spontaneous miscarriage, if she is carrying a child that cannot survive outside the womb."

They further stated, "Although many of us share a faith which would compel us to carry this child to full term believing that throughout the pregnancy the child's vital organs will form, we voted for this exception and therefore recognize it as law."

This is total hogwash. Craniums start forming in the first eight weeks of gestation. No matter how much prayer you engage in, you are not going to mysteriously have a skull created in subsequent trimesters. Your faith is bumping up against reason, science and medicine again. Here is a medical article on brain and skull development that might prove useful.

This review will primarily focus on prenatal development and growth of the human cranial vaults. Described below are the sections into which this review is divided.

First is the embryonic phase which is the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. In this phase, formation of the cranial vault is preceded by the formation of mesenchymal cells by epithelial-mesenchymal transformation (EMT) via the mesenchymatous or precondensation. And development of the cranial bones begins with condensation of mesenchymal cells.

Second is the fetal phase which is the interval from the end of the embryonic phase to birth. In this phase, IM ossification for the primitive membranous skull formation begins. And cranial sutures are formed and it plays a critical role as IM bone growth sites. Also, skull bones growth through displacement and bone remodeling.

This sort of misinformation and posture on the part of the legislators is what happens when politicians pretend that they have medical and scientific training and they don't, preferring to rely on a faith based calculus. The results will not be good and rest assured that this particular tragedy will not be the last.

From NOLA:

After a Baton Rouge woman was denied an abortion for a fetus without a skull, state Sen. Katrina Jackson and 35 other lawmakers said the hospital “grossly misinterpreted” the state’s exceptions to the abortion ban in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

“We are issuing this statement today to provide further clarity, although the law in conjunction with the emergency rule is very clear that this young lady is within the exception,” the statement read.

Of the 36 who signed, 10 are female lawmakers. The lawmakers wrote that they believed the vital organs would form later in the pregnancy.

That is not how acrania progresses, according to medical experts. The skull does not form later, said Dr. Cecilia Gambala, a New Orleans-based maternal fetal medicine specialist who oversees high-risk pregnancies and complications. A lack of understanding of the prognosis of acrania highlights the challenges of practicing medicine within the constraints of a law written by politicians, many of whom do not have a medical background.

“Legislators who are not doctors should not be practicing medicine, but if they're going to they ought to have an understanding of the science of fetal development and fetal health,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, an OB-GYN, CEO of Nest Health and former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.

Turkuaz w/ Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew

The show in Los Angeles on September 29th should be epic! I really want to see this band.

Mose Allison

Zen Pooch


Summer's end

So I am at the Oakland Airport last night, ready to enter the TSA portal, when I realize that I have the rent a car keys in my pocket and that the keys to my own van are sitting somewhere about five miles away on a tarmac in a new, black Nissan Sentra.

I freaked out, my flight was boarding in about twenty minutes and the security line was long. I tried to call Alamo, could not get through and finally found a couple of cops outside. I pleaded the urgency of my problem and after joking that I would have to ride in the back in handcuffs, one of them was kind enough to drive me to the offsite center, which is pretty far from the airport and past one of the most Mad Max homeless encampments you will ever see.

I took the next shuttle back and managed to not miss my plane but Southwest is first come first serve so I was sandwiched into a middle seat and would stay in a forward cocoon state for the hour and a half flight. This was a first for me, how stupid.


I had flown to the bay area Friday night to do some due diligence on a major painting that I am trying to help broker. The communication has been difficult at times and occasionally quite frustrating but I think some small headway was made on this trip. Baby steps.

Prior to the painting examination I was given an address to see some more material on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Unfortunately, they did not give me the city in the text address and my GPS directed me to to Oakland instead of Berkeley.

The three block walk searching for the address was eye opening and edifying. Some very sketchy characters around, I was assessing my chances of survival for a moment or two. I finally made it to the correct destination, which had nothing for me, frankly. No problem, I owed various people money in the Bay Area and would use the day and a half to settle debts and see some friends.

I stayed with Gary and Melissa. 

She is a remarkable chef, the best we know and she made a beautiful duck ragu Friday night.

Absolutely delicious.

Saturday morning I went to Burlingame to have a delicious breakfast at Kristys with Warmboe. 

Bopped over to his shop, which is even more packed than mine if you can believe it. A common ailment in the trade, I think. Bought some beautiful Roi Partridge prints from him.

Afterwards I stopped at Dave and Amys to see their new construction project and then drove up to Sebastopol to see Rick at his shop. I ended up buying a whole bunch of neat stuff from him there and seeing a few people I knew wander in.

Hightailed it back to Oakland and to the rent a car key debacle. Got home around eleven last night.


I am packing a lot in to my very recently compressed life, considering I have a medical procedure tomorrow that could be a major pivot point in my existence, Have no idea which way the lots will fall, not even an inkling of how the biopsy will turn out. I saw the tumor on the screen and it was pretty ugly. 

I have had a couple years since my stage four diagnosis in the bladder wall and am happy for the time I have enjoyed with the rest of my organs intact and would like to keep them around for the future if at all possible. Perhaps that is asking too much? I am more than a little apprehensive. And as nervous and pessimistic as I am at the moment, I still have to acknowledge that this tumor could ultimately be benign.

To make matters worse I got an eye infection Thursday, never had one before and I need to see the eye doctor tomorrow before my surgery.

Anyway the coup de grace kicker is... do you mind if I bitch? I am three months from the age of sixty five and it can not come soon enough. I pay over fourteen hundred dollars a month for my medical care (not including my wife) and it covers so little. 

I got a call from the hospital Friday that I would have to bring along a $6500 dollar copay for the biopsy procedure tomorrow afternoon, not having yet met my annual out of pocket expenses. I am like, are you kidding me? But what am I going to do? No time to scrimp when I am sashaying around death's door I guess. Bastards. Thankfully I have the gelt but what a shock!

Guess I shouldn't worry about money when I can worry about my diagnosis and mortality. I believe that the worst case scenario is the same, lose the bladder and prostate and piss through my belly button for the rest of my life. Need to keep the site real clean, alter your life style. 

People do it and live with it, just not me. Not eager to try. 


Please don't bug Leslie tomorrow, We will get in touch.

Let her rip, Joe


I, for one, am happy that our President has finally taken the gloves off and stopped acting like a human piñata. Go Dark Brandon.

Time to throw some blows. 

Republicans are, of course, up in arms. The opinions are pouring forth see: Biden does the opposite of bringing Americans together.

Hey Repubs; where were you when Biden's predecessor was in office? Do you think Donald Trump was trying to bring the country together? Where was all your togetherness talk then? With all the insults and the snowflake talk, you think it was a lovefest for us libs? I didn't hear any cumbayas. Biden has no obligation to be your punching bag because you don't think he is playing nice. 

Why do you believe that it is incumbent upon the Democrats for making peace and coming towards your side policy wise when the favor is never returned? The GOP has not done a thing, I can't remember a single vote, frankly, to help create a bipartisan consensus in this country, since the last Bush was President, honestly. Wouldn't give Obama single vote or even give Garland a listen.

We are in a horrible clan war and I don't listen to much from either side as it is so reflexive and has so little ideological underpinning. More of a matter of "my enemy likes it, well then I hate it." Like the student loan brouhaha. Give corporations  and billionaires all kinds of tax cuts but god forbid we should relieve a little student debt. So stupid. Same old partisan crap. Criticize Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server but continue to defend the former president’s decision to take top secret classified government information to his home at Mar-a-Lago. Mueller is a witchhunt but have about a hundred separate Benghazi investigations. Say nothing about Trump's 7.8 trillion dollar single term deficit but harp constantly about Joe and his 1.7.

And it is not my fault that nearly half of America worships a would be dictator and believes election lies that have been thoroughly debunked by at least sixty judges bye now, many of them Trump appointees. I never have respected stupidity and I'm not going to start now. 

I had dinner with a friend of Trump in Albuquerque. As an ex contractor and developer I told him that I detested his man for one thing above all others and in a murderer's row of litanies, the fact that he stiffed his contractors and didn't pay his bills. Now Right Forge, the service that hosts Truth Social, is finding out what it means to get in bed with this man. $1.6 million dollars owed by the orange crush and the company now teetering on bankruptcy and insolvency. Tsk, tsk. Republican Senate candidates are crying for cash after the Rick Scott debacle and Trump squirreling away $120 million into his own pocket.

The perfect grift. Sucker born every day. So spare me the crocodile tears. You dish it out but you can't take it and your poor victim act is really stale. Respect is a two way street.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Thursday Errata

RoxAnn shot pics of these Brooks Falls bears while up in Alaska.

I am pressed for time so I will have to squeeze a bunch of disparate thoughts together, sort of like ping pong balls in the clothes dryer, sorry. * Don't quite understand the Florida court that said that a 16-year-old’s request to have an abortion in the state of Florida has been denied. A state appeals court this week said she was not “sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy.” But she is mature enough to be a mother? what am I missing here? Girl was an orphan and so could not get her parents' permission. * Tried the new Pho place yesterday. It's name is Pho Bomb and the title is accurate in the pejorative sense. It was a total bomb and it will be difficult to go back. I have been eating Vietnamese food for over forty years and have never tasted anything so bad. Discolored, grisly meat, bad broth, diffident service, save yourself the trouble. * Had our own domestic terrorist in Fallbrook the other day. Deputies responded to reports of a man acting suspiciously in the 200 block of East Fig Street and arrested Jacob Daniel Oberg in the area around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. Oberg was wanted in Riverside County for vandalism, burglary, drug and stolen property accusations, the department reported. Six molotov cocktails, gasoline and a road flare, just who was he coming for is what I want to know? * Wonder if Trump felt like the United States Nuclear Codes were his own private property for perpetuity?  What else was he stashing? * Been so busy for the last six weeks I haven't picked up my camera or shot a single bird. Bay area soon and then biopsy. After that, who knows? * Not sure why Mark Margolis, who played Hector Salamanca on Better Call Saul, was not given a cameo goodby at the end of the series. He played a pivotal part in the series. * Happy that the church is selling Murrietta Hot Springs Resort back to a secular company that will open it to the public again, have many fond memories there, also used to go to temple there on occasion. Loved the mud baths and to swim laps in the beautiful tiled pool.  Was a huge resort for the tribe way back in the day, my grandparents on both sides frequented it on occasion. * The great Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson has passed. He had a great rivalry with Daryl Lamonica and John Hadl when I was a kid.

Harwood sent this one over: 

The Valentinos : It's All Over Now

The original from 1963. With Bobby Womack. Made it to #94 on Billboard. The Stones covered it soon thereafter and struck gold. Hendrix played for the Valentinos in 1964. The ☠dead always did a nice job with this one too.

Mortal wager

I had a strange dream last night. My life was hinging on a dart throw in a bar, closest to the bull.  Not sure what the other fellow had on the line. My dart hit the bulls eye, teetered and fell stuck on the floor. I lost. The die was cast. Tried some fancy bargaining but did me no good. Life's not always fair. Things get a little hazy after that, back of a truck on a lonely highway... Woke up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Tom Rush

The flowering heart

I have been an art lover since a very young age. I was sketching and painting at the age of four or five, was suspended from the third grade when someone looked at my desk cubby and discovered a few nude female drawings I had drawn. Nothing lurid but provocative enough to keep me home for three days.

One of the saddest things in my life was when I got my cancer and had to give up oil painting, there is nothing else quite like it. Miss that turpentine smell, boy.

In any case I went from an art creator to an art curator somewhere along the line. Not quite the same but it still allows me to ply my critical eye and make a decent living.

I love art, signed, unsigned, what have you. I thought I was really slick once when I sold an unsigned painting of Monhegan, Maine for twenty two thousand dollars. I was less ebullient when I discovered that the painting had resold for a half a million six months later, turned out it was a Henrietta Shore.

My philosophy and criteria is more about quality of a work than authorship but this approach doesn't always pay the bills. Still, every human being is capable of producing something beautiful artistically at some point in their lives, this I truly believe.

Some paintings are cut and dried affairs, wrapped up tight as a drum, others lead to disquiet and searching, like jigsaw puzzles missing a few pieces. This is just such a painting. It leaves me with more questions than answers, me being a curious sort. The kind of prescient painting that is pretty far ahead of its time and will take a while for people to catch up to it. Or a painting that perhaps stands slightly outside of time.

Bill found it in Hillsborough I believe. He kindly let me buy in for half.

Tempera on paper. About 24" x 18". A bird, or perhaps a snake, biting its tale, with iconography reminiscent of the designs of historic pueblo pottery.

It is titled lower left and signed lower right Mary Navratil November, 1956.

I had two major reactions to the painting or maybe three. 

The first was that it was remarkably hip, some seventy years after its date of creation and would look good in any modern setting. A Jim Dine type of image, with more teeth and texture, bit less sugar.

The second was wondering if the artist was influenced by or connected to the New Mexico Transcendental Painting Group, those early southwest abstractionists and symbolists that included Bisstram and Raymond Jonson.

Founded in 1938, their impact was huge in the southwest. 

Works by these artists, like Agnes Pelton, are now worth a fortune and only accelerating in value.

The third reaction was very personal, it drew me back to the books by the esteemed psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Psyche and Symbol and Man and his symbols.

One of the books had a very similar image to the flowering heart in one of its plates, I forget which one.

But I remember that it showed the snake eating its tail, the ancient hermetic depiction of Ouroboros. 

I believe that the particular plate showed a white lotus in the center of the image.

I remember the image quite vividly because there was a time about thirty years ago when I was getting bombarded by this image, tangibly and conceptually in a variety of forms and emanations for several weeks, in dreams and in waking reality. But back to that in a minute.

The fourth question obviously was, who was this artist, this Mary Navratil? I did some hunting and sleuthing and have a basic framework but one that once again, leaves more questions than answers. An artist of considerable talent, who somehow has fallen off the map and escaped scrutiny.

She was born in Iowa in either 1899 or 1901, I would guess the former as many of the distaff persuasion like to knock a year or two off their age, if I may be so bold. In 1940 we find her in Las Vegas, New Mexico, designated on the census as a catechist with six other novitiates.

Now I have got two differing opinions from my Catholic friends as to what a catechist is? My friend who studied as a nun said that it was an archaic term for those that taught the catechism. Another friend said that it was an intermediate step before full blown sisterhood. I have no idea.

But I have a client who grew up in Las Vegas, an old man and he says that he went to this particular address as a kid to receive catholic teaching and he may have even remembered Mary.

Navratil is a Czech name. I may have found something in my research that intimated that she had been in a failed marriage prior to the sisterhood but I can not be sure. But she has left Iowa and is now working for the church on the other side of the world at the age of 39. Go figure.

There are a lot of blanks to fill in but the next time I can catch up with her is the 1960's. 

She is no longer solely an artist, she is also apparently a writer now and a resident and distinguished grant recipient of the Wurlitzer Foundation on 418a Canyon Rd.

Why Mary?

Why did you stop painting and start writing? Or did you stop? How much painting did you actually do? Where can I find your writing? Were you always religiously involved? Why did you resign from the Old Santa Fe Association in 1969? And where did you end up? Were you a Jungian?

I found an almost unintelligible snippet in a Taos Newspaper about a 1967 one man show she had that fills in a little but is unfortunately behind a paywall :
...a one man show of artwork by Mary Navratil has been hung in the offices of the New Mexico arts 120 East Marcy  the show will continue until april Miss Navratil is a native of Santa Fe, she entered the Field of Fine arts immediately after receiving her degree in Interior decoration from the California School of Fine Art now the San Francisco Art in 1946 she  received the Abraham Rosenberg traveling Fellowship awarded annually by the San Francisco As foreign travel was closed that she used the Grant to return to Santa Fe for research in Indian color and design through the medium of her study was made under the guidance of Kenneth director of the Laboratory of Anthrop her work since that time has been acquired for permanent collections of the Oakland Museum of Art and the museum of new as well as by private and has been a consistent prizewinner in juried shows of the San Francisco Museum of Art and she has just finished a one year residential Grant from the Helene Wurlitzer for painting and research which is reflected in the present exhibit of paintings and miss Navratils work for years has been philosophical in involved wholly with the archetypes and of the psyche, basic images of unconscious imbedded in man since earliest times and usually deemed religious in her Effort has Hen to organically through individual such images designs (sic)...
Answers a few questions and confirms some suppositions. I am not done looking by any means. My curiosity is aroused now. The New Mexico Archives has some letters from her from 1960.

Unfortunately I can not access them at this time. But I will find a way. Hunt's not over.

late find, she wins an award in San Francisco, in 1958, picked by Richard Diebenkorn.

Women's Board Purchase Awards went to William
H. Brown and Mary Navratil, San Francisco, and
Sylvia Vince, Oakland, from Richard Diebenkorn "s
selection. Glenn Wessels of Berkeley, whose work was
selected by Peter Bios, also received a purchase award.
From Wilfrid Zogbaum's selection, Manuel Neri of
San Francisco and Carol Haerer of Berkeley received
purchase awards.

Why am I so intrigued by this artwork?  I am not sure. Well, it is a very archetypical image that reaches to the depths of our unconscious. Its iconography is timeless and it strikes a chord with me for some reason. As a painter who also became a writer perhaps I feel she is a sympatico? 

From https://jungcurrents.com/a-jungian-shaggy-snake-story: 

The Ouroboros or Uroborus is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.

The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (compare with phoenix). It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished. The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the alchemist’s opus. It is also often associated with Gnosticism, and Hermeticism.

Carl Jung interpreted the Ouroboros as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche. The Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann writes of it as a representation of the pre-ego “dawn state”, depicting the undifferentiated infancy experience of both mankind and the individual child. 

From Carl Jung, Collected Works, Vol. 14 para. 513)
The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail.

The Ouroboros has been said to have a meaning of infinity or wholeness. In the age-old image of the Ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself.

The Ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow. This ‘feed-back’ process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the Ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself. He symbolizes the One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the prima materia which […] unquestionably stems from man’s unconscious.
From Brittanica:
Ouroboros, emblematic serpent of ancient Egypt and Greece represented with its tail in its mouth, continually devouring itself and being reborn from itself. A gnostic and alchemical symbol, Ouroboros expresses the unity of all things, material and spiritual, which never disappear but perpetually change form in an eternal cycle of destruction and re-creation.

In the 19th century a vision of Ouroboros gave the German chemist August Kekule von Stradonitz the idea of linked carbon atoms forming the benzene ring.

Kekule (1829-1896) had a dream or vision that gave him a glimpse into the molecular construction of the benzene ring.

‘I was sitting writing at my textbook; but the work did not progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair towards the fire and dozed. Again the atoms were gambolling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation: long rows, sometimes more closely fitted together; all twining and twisting in snakelike motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightening I awoke; and this time I also spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis.’ [August Kekulé, 1890]
I am starting to go far afield now. Somebody please find me some more information about Mary Navratil, okay? This painting has got me going...

The serpent Ouroboros surrounding a circle with lettering in Latin and Hebrew, pen and watercolour drawing from Clavis Inferni sive magia alba et nigra approbata Metratona (late 18th century; called the Black Book) by M.L. Cyprianus. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Monday, August 22, 2022

Take your pick

Julie Gaspar rest in peace

I don't know her but I donated a few bucks. Always sad. Can you spare some help with this poor girl's funeral expense? Nothing saddens me like a child who is struck down by disease in their youth. So tragic. Not fair.

Lone yucca, Grand Canyon

Al Green - Funny How Time Slips Away

Layout kerfuffle

My entire left margin decided to rebel this morning and somehow dropped off the page. I tried a little layout triage and managed to get it back on my blog, albeit now it is situated below the blogposts. Not sure what is happening but this may have to do for a while until and if I ever figure it out.


Postscript: Nice folks at Blogger gave me a fix within minutes. Thank you!

Mistaken identity


Sunday, August 21, 2022

Incompetence explained


In a nutshell.

BRYANT'S BOUNCE (1953) by Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West


On the International front: 

Sarah Muscroft has lost her job.  She forgot who she was working for and blamed Islamic Jihad for lobbing rockets at Israel. Oops!

Muscroft, who headed the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said: “Relieved to see a ceasefire agreed ending hostilities impacting both Palestinians and Israeli civilians. Such indiscriminate rocket fire of Islamic Jihad provoking Israeli retaliation is condemned. The safety of all civilians is paramount — the ceasefire must be upheld.”

You can't show this sort of objective impartiality and hope to keep a job with the United Nations. Good luck, Sarah.


A NYT stringer has lost his job for his inflammatory writings about jews. Fady Hanona was pretty open with his hatred, “I don’t accept a Jew, Israeli or Zionist, or anyone else who speaks Hebrew. I’m with killing them wherever they are: children, elderly people, and soldiers,” Hanona wrote, according to the watchdog.

The freelancer also allegedly wrote “Jews are sons of the dogs … I am in favor of killing them and burning them like Hitler did. I will be so happy.”


Things aren't too much different domestically:

Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has accepted the endorsement of Jarrin Jackson, an avowed anti semite and gay basher. Jackson has reportedly said:

* He does not want Hispanic and Black immigrants in the United States because he wants “America to stay American.”

* “He ‘largely’ agrees with the conspiracy theories that Jews are ‘taking over the world’ and that they are attempting to get rid of white people through immigration and miscegenation (cohabitation between a white person and a member of another race).”

* “The Jews” are evidence that “evil exists.”

* He supports “a conspiracy theory called the Kalergi Plan which claims that elites, especially Jewish people, are trying to rid the world of white people." 

* “(Being gay) is the most disgusting, despicable, stupid blehh (makes gagging noise) thing ever. Insert barf emoji. And yet, we’re supposed to celebrate this and supposed to treat it like it’s normal?"

* "All Jews will go to hell if they don't believe the gospel of Jesus Christ … just like everybody else."

* "I love Jews because Christ told me to, not because they deserve it."

* "I'm not beholden to Jews or any other group."

* "I ain't owned by the Jews. I worship Jesus Christ. He's my Messiah."

* "Outline & detail the evil. Amen. ...The Jews, Illuminati, Covid shots kill. Rothschilds. Communists. Woke pastors. Social gospel. Christ will chuck a bunch of stuff in the fire."


Pennsylvania Governor candidate Doug Mastriani is in hot water for his connections with Andrew Torba and his social platform Gab, which is notorious for its hate speech.

While Gab has made the company’s laxed rules over removing posts or banning users a selling point, it has also led to concerns from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that the site is a “haven” for hate and extremism.

One of the most infamous examples by the ADL is mass shooter Robert Bowers, who in October 2018 killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“(Bowers) posted to (Gab) just before the deadly synagogue attack in October of 2018 that killed 11 people. Doug Mastriano paid Gab.com thousands of dollars for alt-right, antisemitic extremists to be part of his campaign,” Jeffrey Letwin, a Pittsburgh Jewish community leader, says in press footage aired in one Shapiro’s recent ads.

The ADL in 2020 noted that accounts with ties to white supremacist groups had amassed thousands of followers. 

American Renaissance, whose Gab account describes them as “America's premier source for race-realist thought,” and emerging far-right group Patriot Front collectively had 14,000 users in 2020, according to the ADL. 

As of Thursday, American Renaissance alone had over 16,000 followers and Patriot Front, a group the ADL and Southern Poverty Law Center have called a white nationalist hate group, had over 10,000 followers on Gab.

Google and Apple have banned Gab from their respective mobile app stores.

Torba has previously denied claims that he harbors any hatred against any non-Christians, but he has repeatedly expressed a need for Christianity to be the law of the land. 

A video of a livestream posted to Media Matters on July 22 appears to show Torba addressing past claims that Gab is a bastion of hate speech.

Torba said that American conservatism was “explicitly Christian”, and that the conservative movement should be guiding America to a “Christian society.”

“No, we don’t want people who are atheists. We don’t want people who are Jewish … This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country,” Torba said.

Torba added that he believed America is first and foremost a Christian nation and that his beliefs did not call for forcing religious conversion or deporting non-Christians.

“You’re free to stay here … but you’re going to enjoy the fruits of living in a Christian society, under Christian laws and under a Christian culture. And you can thank us later,” Torba said.


Saturday, August 20, 2022

Sierra Hull - Mad World

Rode hard

I am still pretty exhausted. Chicago, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Palm Springs, finally home and then an auction yesterday. Picked up two collections in the last day as well. I can't quite remember pushing it this hard, without any kind of break, at least for a couple decades anyway. 

Perhaps I am dreading the outcome of my biopsy at the end of the month and am trying to cram as much work and life in as I can? Who knows... Out of my paygrade.

Auction did not fire as I had hoped it would, hundreds of man hours photographing, measuring, weighing, cataloguing and inputing, not to mention a considerable amount of money wasted, with little return.  Live and learn.

Certainly too tired to expound too much on the trip, a few things I found interesting at the time no longer seem so. 

Both New Mexico shows were surprisingly good. 

I brought good things and found good things at the show which I sometimes flipped.

I sold an expensive painting or two and a fine germantown weaving to a museum.

Many of my cohorts did well, happy for everyone and hope that those that did not get their turn next time.

Some purchases I will probably hang on to for a while. 

Like this modernist tufa cast necklace by the Mission/adopted Hopi master jeweler Preston Monongye (1927-1987).

It cost a small fortune and will await a special buyer.

My experience ran the gamut, from the upscale Hyatt to a particularly creepy Motel 6.

Which was still better than the Days Inn in Holbrook, with the awful shower and continual loss of power.

I ate at the opulent Sazon for the first time, with the Stoops and Calvins', once again seated in Santa Fe across from Karl Rove (who I was tempted to greet with a kind witticism about the establishment Repubs not looking so bad these days but did not) and also at McDonalds. Agony and the ecstasy.

Would have been Denny's but there was a 45 minute wait. Wonder why they are having a hard time finding employees?

Perhaps it has something to do with the payscale? Alas, there would be no Denny's pot roast for your faithful scribe this journey.

Barry jumped in the van after the failed Dennys run and we headed to Mickey D's. 

Having a captive audience and foil in the car I turned the heat up while ordering, to the consternation and embarrassment of my guest, me inquiring if the chef had a nightly special or recommendation that evening and asking about the free range status of the beef. 

Hate captive cows, don't you?

Friedman was sure that my patter was lost on the young hispanic cashier but did wonder if I would get a loogie in my bun for my general temerity and dopey question? Didn't have time to see where they were sourcing their spuds. Probably extruded anyway...

As always, all kinds of humanoids at the show, like this pair to draw to. Nice guys. Standing in front of a recently obtained Andrew Dasburg canvas. And a Henriette Wyeth.

The other tranny couple with the tattooed head and gold lame outfits came by too but they were sort of assholes, taking umbrage at me pointing to their "get-up."

Hey, if you are dressing to visually offend, you should not be so easily offended, my fluidly inked and gilded friends.

One of the cool things that happened was that one of my favorite artists, Howard Post, came by the booth with his charming wife.

Howard Post

I have loved his work since I first saw it at the museum in Cody thirty years ago and it was a thrill to meet them. I later went to his opening at Legacy Gallery with Steve.

Great folks. By the way, that is Billy Schenck holding court in the back with his wife Rebecca. Saw a lot of old friends this trip, old home week.

John Feldman and friend

Had a nice breakfast with Barry, Joseph and Linda Sherwood at Palacios Cafe, too short, wish we could hang out more often but will take what I can get.

Linda tried to smooth out my errant eyebrow but as you can see, it was for naught.

Tony Abeyta was there too, with his girlfriend and a groupie or two. 

I could do a whole scatological rundown on the trip but will thankfully, spare you everything but the basic outline. 

My large intestine, which has never before let me down, chose this very trip to rebel. 

It started off with my chazering a whole tub of biscotti in the van on the way out, it turned to a fine cement in my gut, the final product  would have required a jackhammer to penetrate. So I walked around with a side ache for about ten days until god finally had mercy on this humble colon and I was able to resume my standard issue.

It was a different sort of trip. All business. Never took my camera out of the bag once. No Pecos, no hiking. My host in El Dorado was down with a bad back and non ambulatory. No writing, a lot of eating at home. 

Sue and Steve Stoops had us over for her wonderful baked chicken and root vegetables one night. Allowed me to watch the penultimate installment of Better Call Saul at the house they rent. Absolutely delicious. 

I ate at the Pantry a lot, very dependable. The Indian buffet once. No Harry's or Santa Cafe this year. Or Adelitas or Plaza cafe. Stuck with red chili.

Dain, Ben and I had a nice meal at Seasons in Albuquerque, I had perfect salmon over mango and radish.

For two days my parking and headlights on the Ram wouldn't stop flashing on their own accord, uninvited. I called the dealership and they said they don't do commercial, I would have to go an hour away to Albuquerque. My show setup started in an hour.

There is a quonset hut behind the pantry, a fellow named Chris, old school Santa Fe hispanic. He told me to come back at 10, put a scope on, did a 30 minute battery reset and I was good to go. Bless you Chris, highly recommended.

What else? Albuquerque had more drugged out homeless street urchins than I have ever witnessed, maybe the worst city I have ever seen for being totally whacked. Right up there with Eureka and San Francisco anyway. Feral.

A couple provocative t-shirts. I liked the nuttiness of this one until I saw that it was part of the uber evangelical lions not sheep cult and that the guy was probably serious. 
This guy's gave me a chuckle, Stop Plate Tectonics.

Had two great meals at Jambo, a perennial favorite. This hibiscus glazed red snapper was beyond good. We talked to the owner, Ahmed, a great man from Kenya and he actually visited us a few days later at the show.

I had a drop off on the way home in Scottsdale and spent the night at a friend's home. It was awfully hot there but nothing like the heat I would encounter after my stop in Palm Springs, it was 125° in my car outside of the pizza joint. Took this shot after things had cooled down a bit.
Ran into a few monsoon rains that cooled things down a bit too.  Hey, next time you travel west on the 10 look at the road signs for Eagle Mountain. I saw two that were misspelled Eagle Moutain. Wonder if anybody else has ever noticed?

So I got home and hit the ground running, still haven't unpacked, need to weed the yard and do a thousand different things to catch up.

But tomorrow I will have brunch with my sister in law Julia, down from Toronto and then chill out and rest for a day. Really need it.


We went to a memorial this afternoon for my late friend Alan Gracey in Live Oak Park. Fought the gallant fight against cancer, he will be greatly missed. 

It has been a bad couple months for losing loved ones in Fallbrook. Doug Clements, Dr. Manring, Mike Breining, Tom Odendahl, Alan, Arturo Morales, may they all rest in peace. In addition my old friend and mentor in San Diego, Jim Milch, has recently passed away.

A lot of old friends showed up today, definite slice of old Fallbrook, Dave, Tony, Brett, Pecore, Allie, the Greek, Mohammed, Bobby, Kirk, Gena, Sue D., Laurie, so many others, all grieving the loss of Alan, a true brother and son of Fallbrook. Our condolences to Chistina, Leilani as well as brother James and his family. Christine, a native Hawaiian, performed a beautiful and poignant hula for her departed husband.

Vaya con dios!

A special thank you to RoxAnn Ratican for helping me run the auction, couldn't have done it without her, Saylor for putting me up, Feldman for the challah, Friedman for the occasional straight line and comedy patter, Dain for the hotel share and for putting up with my snores, David for the beautiful material.

Appreciate you all so very much.