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Juvenile bald eagle

Friday, September 30, 2022

Off to the races

 




Spirit - Girl in your Eye (1968)

Fodder


Jewish
free zone, Berkeley? Oh wait, I got it, we don't hate jews, just Israelis and zionists. Which reminds me of - The safe space that became a viral nightmare, ASU. Who is the racist now, baby? * Bad neighbors - Rifle shots ring out from an Escondido plant nursery. * Faux Chevron ad. * Hurricane Ian will ruin insurers and homeowners. * Zodiac Killer mystery solved? * 



Biden is the antichrist and feminists are witches promoting the work of the devil,
or politics as usual in Pennsylvania. * Psychedelic decriminalization bill * Mormon lawns


Sketchy

 

I am an old fashioned guy. I put my pants on one leg at a time and I lace up my shoes in the same singular fashion. 

Truth be told, I am having a hard time with this newfangled twenty first century. 

Twenty two years in and I am still kicking and screaming.

Take the subject of footwear. I happen to have an unnatural attraction to an old pair of black tennis shoes that I got from the Sketchers Store. Comfy, memory foam, the real deal.

We went to the outlet to grab a pair the other day. Guess what?

The lace up shoes are now as officially dead as the dodo. Yes, you can get laces on your shoes, but they now serve no functional utility, they are merely a pointless design extravagance. 

Now I don't know about you but I think if you have laces, you should be able to make a tie with them? Old school, right? Perhaps the younger generation that no longer can read cursive writing is also unable to tie their shoes and this is why lacing is suddenly verboten?

Got me.

Laces are suddenly vestigial, joining the necktie as something we wear without the least idea of why we do so, save that it is a necessary style or fashion statement.

I will do the slip on, if forced to with a gun to my head, ain't going to wear the fake lace number.  Humans, why are you so pitifully stupid?

Just kissed my baby

Pastoral view

 


The Stranglers - Midnight Summer Dream

Morning Run

 


From Twitter

 


Thursday, September 29, 2022

Joe Ely

Brush Creek Ranch

 

Mirror Lake, Medicine Bow National Forest

Leslie and I have spent the better part of a week in Wyoming, at one of the finest guest ranches in the country, Brush Creek Ranch. Brush Creek lies between Saratoga and Laramie, Wyoming, just west of Medicine Bow National Forest and the Snowy Range.

early morning cloud formation

We were fortunate enough to have been gifted the trip by some dear friends, one of whom was celebrating a "special" number birthday. 

We flew to Denver last week, rented an SUV and drove the next four hours to the ranch. We had a beautiful cabin and great accommodations. Top shelf.

The staff could not have been any nicer. The management was genuine and congenial, the other guests all quite friendly and affable. No politics, no division, thankfully cut off from the world.


There were a host of activities we could sign up for but a lot of the stuff I wasn't really into. They don't specifically cater to photographers.

I was also kicking myself for not bringing a tripod. We flew Frontier and they charge for everything, our baggage fees more than double our airfare. I couldn't add an extra lb. 

Which was unfortunate because there was no moon, the milky way was on fire up in the skies and I had no way to shoot it. Didn't figure I could borrow a tripod so I didn't ask.

Archery, cattle drives, I am more about getting lost in nature and shooting pictures. So I hired a guide to give me a tour of the general layout. A couple guides and tours actually,

I jumped into her Ranger and we surveyed the 30,000 acre property, or at least a portion of it. Had a blast!

It was not long before I found this bull moose munching on the willows, not a daily occurrence on the ranch. I was lucky. 


The area is really beautiful right now, the aspens are starting their chromatic shift to scarlet.

The place abounds with great flora and fauna, but with an emphasis on magpies which are ever present and rather noisy. 

They dominate the airwaves in these parts.

antilocapra americana

I saw a lot of neat animals, including a multitude of deer, pronghorn and sagegrouse. 

Even an occasional prairie dog.

Mountain Bluebird



The place was truly wonderful as were our gracious hosts. 

Leslie and I had not been anywhere together in almost five years, maybe longer. Since Italy.

Cats and careers. So happy we were able to finally break away.

Second day we drove up to Medicine Bow and explored the National Forest.

Medicine Bow was named for the mountain manzanita tree that the native people found there that was used to make their best bows. 

Local tribes included the Arapaho, Arikara, Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Nez Perce, Sheep Eater, Sioux, Shoshone and Ute.

We discovered a lovely grove of aspen on the fairly unused Barber Lake cut off road. The place is just magnificent, would look lovely in an early snow, not sure why I have never heard of it or explored it before?

red tailed hawk







The only problem with the ranch is that they are feeding you incredible food all day long. Sick, I probably gained five lbs. and it definitely shows. The wagyu beef produced there is other worldly in its excellence. Nice saloon for pool, drinks and laughter.

Our hosts like to do stuff and second afternoon we all went out shooting. No problem, I have always had guns but honestly haven't shot for a long time.

We started with pistols, 22 caliber. 9mm, 38 and up. Then long rifles, shotguns and the like. We all performed well, Leslie surprisingly well. 
Les hit her clay target on the first swing with the 12 guage.

A golden eagle soared far above us, high above all the cacophony.

We got to sniper rifles and 308 caliber rifles on tripods and the fun really started. 

Leslie, Doug and I were hitting dish sized targets at 1060 yards. 

You would shoot and then listen three beats for a ping of metal. 

Incredibly accurate and so much fun. They ended up calling Leslie the assassin. Who knew? 


I am not going to give you a daily play by play, no point. I ended up in the forest by myself a couple times, drove into Saratoga, which seems like a very boss town, replete with a free mineral hot springs pool. Wanted a t-shirt from the Beaver Liquor store but they didn't open until eleven. So juvenile.

We went horseback riding one day for a couple hours. I had a big palomino named trouble who was actually okay. 

We set mutual terms, got along fine. Hadn't ridden since my horse died but you never forget. My arthritic left knee was definitely hurting afterward.

We had a good time, made a couple stream crossings, bushwacked a little. The next day I drove up at sunrise to watch the wranglers stampede the approximately 130 head of horses to the corrals.

I took up a spot where the first wrangler told me to go, later another one yelled at me for being there. Oh well, can't please everybody, sometimes you have to please yourself.



Excuses...It was early, it was dark and I missed a lot of shots. Brought two lenses, could have used four, including the sharp 400mm. Won't put that one on a plane, too valuable and delicate. Need to drive next time and nail it.


Did the best I could, considering, and had a good time. Will take a while to even look at, let alone process all these shots. Might be a keeper? we shall see...







I loved being near all the horses running around.  I look forward to looking at all these and seeing what I caught.

Want to thank my hosts once again, what an amazing gift! We had a perfect week, but all too short. We drove back to Denver and had lunch with my beautiful sister Laurie, had not seen her in way too long. Quick flight home and then heard it from the cats for leaving them like that for five days. Good to be home.

Friday, September 23, 2022

TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me

Could have been a contender...

 

Most of you that know me, know that for all my many deficiencies, I have a really great memory and a good storehouse of trivial facts.

I guess my brain is wired somewhat differently than it is for most people. I even have vivid memories from my eighth month of life, which I believe is somewhat unusual.

The statute of limitations has passed and the decades have melted away so I guess I can spill a personal story that might make you laugh, who knows?

I believe that the year was 1984. Art Fleming had left Jeopardy in 1979 as did announcer Don Pardo, and after a brief John Harlan tenure, it was the new guy Alex Trebec and Johnny Gilbert. 

Never liked Alex as much as Art but maybe it was because I was sore after my personal experience and ultimate failure or perhaps it was his politics or general attitude. Who knows?

I was involved in home building at the time and living in Rainbow. I moved there in 1980 with my then wife D. People who knew about my penchant for trivia were always telling me that I should try out for the game show Jeopardy.

So I did.

If my memory serves, and I believe that it does, I took a written test in a large building up in Hollywood. There were over two hundred applicants. The test had approximately 183 questions, very hard actually.

We went home and awaited the results.  They got in touch with me, I had nailed a phenomenal score. I only missed three questions and they all had to do with opera, never my strong suit. Only two other people scored as high or nearly as high. We three were the only people that passed the test and were sent to the next level of testing.

We were called back to Hollywood a few weeks later for an oral interview. And I made a fatal mistake, you see I smoked a joint in the car to kill time for the boring early morning two hour drive. I was feeling very mellow. Too mellow.

When I got to the interview I was introduced to a black guy with a huge diamond on his pinkie and a John Shaft type beret over his immaculate fro, fluorescent polyester pants and shirt. City boy. I'm sitting there like a hayseed in my overalls. Hippie Jed Clampett.

He asked me to talk about myself and I took the absolutely worst tack possible. I tried to describe what it was like raising chickens on my avocado farm in Fallbrook. This went over with my intensely urban host like a fart in church. He was having none of the hippie hayseed going on about his backyard fowl. Bad move on my part, I could see his shutters come down fast. Failure to resonate.

I watched the next potential contestant do her thing, Miss bubbly and effervescent. She was giddy and enthusiastic, everything I wasn't, jumping and up and down and smiling like a Cheshire cat and the dude just ate it up. I guess you could say she did everything I should have done and you would probably be right but I was young and naive and thought that knowing all the answers was good enough. 

Wrong.

Long story short, she got the gig, I was quickly shown the door and the rest was history.  Failed the oral interview. I had my shot and I blew it, my chance at the big time went up in sativa smoke. Not enough to know it all, you have to be able to read the room. Branding and marketability was key and obviously the urban gent just could not relate to whatever the hell I was projecting at that point of my life.

Lesson learned.

Raised eight boys only I turned bad...

Red Scare


Another Russian official dies in a mysterious "accident." Putin and his cronies are below contempt, bloodsucking ghouls.

Russian news outlet Izvestia reported that Anatoly Gerashchenko “fell from a great height” down numerous flights of stairs inside the Moscow Aviation Institute’s headquarters, according to The Daily Beast. The institute’s press office described his death as “the result of an accident.”


Ravil Maganov, who chaired Russia’s second-largest oil company, Lukoil, reportedly leaped to his death from the sixth floor of a hospital earlier this month. Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, a former manager at Lukoil, was found dead in May of an apparent heart attack in the home of a shaman, according to Newsweek.

Meanwhile, local news reported that Leonid Shulman — an executive at the country’s third-largest bank, Gazprombank — hanged himself in his cottage in January, according to Reuters. The next month, former Gazprombank executive Alexander Tyulyakov was also found hanged, the New York Post said.

Vladislav Avayev, a former vice president at the bank, was found shot to death in April next to the bodies of his wife and daughter. The following day, Sergei Protosenya — an ex-manager of Russia’s second-largest gas producer, Novatek — was found hanged in a Spanish villa.

Thus far, authorities have not said that foul play caused any of the men’s deaths.


Sounds like an awful lot of bad luck, huh? I was thinking about China's premier now cementing his status as "Dictator for life." First Putin, then XI. And you know what, if Trump had actually won the last election, we probably would be facing the same thing here right now. The man who could not get off the stage. Orange President for Life. Think McCarthy or McConnell would utter a peep?

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Russia is holding sham referendums in four areas, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk, in order to eventually annex them into the motherland and protect the rights of Russian speakers in the eastern Ukraine.

Can you imagine if Mexico started fighting to reclaim Chula Vista and Imperial Beach in order to "save" the Spanish speaking population there? My guess is that we wouldn't like it too much. Stand with Ukraine.

It is quite possible that the internal Russian reaction to the mass mobilization is the tipping point to bring the feral Putin down, could not happen soon enough. "How do I break my own arm?" was one of the hottest search phrases on the Russian internet yesterday, I don't think the citizenry is really down with Vlad's expansionist pursuits. Costs the equivalent of about $9k to get out of Russia yesterday, probably a lot higher today.

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Russia is threatening to use nuclear weapons to end the conflict, I believe that it would be the last thing they ever did.

ISUPK gathering - Chicago

 

When we were in Chicago I chanced upon this group from the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge. They are part of a larger movement of Black Hebrew Israelites, who believe that they are true descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel. Anti white, anti gay, anti semitic, black supremacists, I guess it takes all kinds.

I have seen members of this group get pretty loud and nasty in New York, this gathering was pretty tame, comparably.

Dublin Blues

Thursday, September 22, 2022

By nature

 


Probably most of you are aware that the New York Attorney General is alleging that ex President Donald Trump and three of his kids fraudulently deceived his lenders by inflating the value of his real estate holdings, not just a little but at times by a factor of nine or ten. He not only fudged on the stated value, up or down, depending if he was talking to a tax man or a banker but also on the square footage of the properties. Trump valued his Fifth Avenue penthouse at $327 million dollars (a price never paid before for a NYC apartment) but he also inflated the actual square footage to three times its actual size.

“We found that Trump, his family, and the Trump Org used fraudulent and misleading asset valuations over 200 times in 10 years on his annual financial statements. These statements were then used to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and insurance coverage.” Letitia James

In typical Trump fashion, he is blaming the lenders for his falsehoods, he says that they failed to do their due diligence. Basically, it was their fault for believing him in the first place. And in the end, everybody got paid, at least according to 45. Cheating is evidently a time honored part of the game, expected really.

...in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, Trump said his company’s financial disclosures warned banks not to trust the information provided.

“We have a disclaimer right on the front,” he said, that warned banks: “‘You’re at your own risk.’ … ‘Be careful because it may not be accurate. It may be way off.’ … ‘Get your own people. Use your own appraisers. Use your own lawyers. Don’t rely on us.’”

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When I read this tonight I immediately thought of an old dealer cohort friend of mine, the late Steve Arnhart. Steve knew more about glass, especially Italian glass, than anybody I have ever known. He wasn't a bad sort but he definitely had a larcenous streak and a predilection for speed and young boys, a failing that ultimately led to him dying in jail. But that is another story. He was not the worst person I have ever met, in spite of it all, but he, like the rest of us, definitely had his failings. I liked him a lot despite it all, he was brilliant and irascible. Miss the guy, as twisted as he could be on occasion. You are thrown in with certain people in your life and sometimes it is best not to judge.

Anyway Steve was also notorious for stringing people out for money. He never got sideways with me but plenty of people walked around with five or six bad Arnhart checks in their billfolds and sometimes they took years, if ever, to be made good. There are several other notorious antique dealers today who are famous for the same thing but I don't think I should be naming names so I won't spill, at least not yet.

Arnhart gave just such a bad check to my dealer friends John and Rick. A considerable sum. Rick tracked him down and when confronted Steve looked at him and flipped it around, blaming him. "Everybody knows you can't take my check, you idiot. What were you thinking?" And there it was. Trumpian in its brilliance. Your bad. Why would you be so stupid to believe me? When John and Rick told me the story I had to start laughing, it was so audacious.