Wading in a pool of abstraction © Robert Sommers 2023

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

End of the road for Del Mar Antique Show?

I have been exhibiting at the Del Mar Antique Show for over thirty years. It has always been a great and important show for me. 

One of my specialties is the work of San Diego area painters and local collectors of such material often manage to find me there.

Unfortunately the show was canceled in November for not having enough dealers and it looks like the April show is in danger now as well. 

We have 31 dealers at last count, we need 45 for the promoter to break even.

If we lose the next show, chances are that we never have one again. Once they are gone... This is a very sad turn of affairs. If you know a dealer that might want to show there, please let me know and I will give you Dolphin's contact info. We have lost all the shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco is hanging on. 

Are people more happy sitting in their cubicle and manning their keyboard than they are having a walk around a building and checking out the wares in real life? It is very sad, brick and mortar and tangible goods are apparently so passe.

If every dealer could bring one other dealer in, the problem would be solved. Cross your fingers...

Avian antics


Tim Clark

Come Rain Or Come Shine

Home, Sweet Home...

It is a rainy and foggy day. As I left my house in the Santa Margarita River Valley this morning, I thought about how beautiful I still find the low lying fog on Gavilan and Red Mountains.

I have lived nestled at their base for forty two years and still can't think of a single place I would rather be!

I get to see the most wonderful views in Fallbrook twice a day, both when I leave and come home from work. 

I am able to still live on the fringe of the wild, away from the noise and incessant chatter of civilization. Once you get a taste for it, it is very hard to go back to compression. 

I love it here in rain or shine.

Because there's no place like home, Auntie Em.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Santa Barbara Show

I am back from my Santa Barbara show, exhausted after two shows in two weeks with one day in between to restock the van. Got home around eleven last night.

The show was a little better than decent but not what I had hoped for. A few good sales but a lot of people taking me to the altar and then leaving me there. "Let me go home and measure" and then you don't even get a call back saying we've decided against it, you just never hear from them again. People are not very accountable, let alone considerate, these days.

Setup started Wednesday, took me two days to get it together. The nearby mountains were covered in snow, a rarity, and the beautiful city was even more so.

It rained all day friday but it was my best day selling. 

Then it trickled down to a fizzle.

Had some interesting characters in and around the booth. 

While Heidi Klum came to Palm Springs, Gwyneth Paltrow came to this one. 

Friends sold to her, not sure she even came into my booth.

This dentally deficient chap had some sort of mushroom fixation but he was a nice enough fellow.

Rather than start from scratch, I stuck my boxes from the Old West show in Mesa in with the modern stuff from Palm Springs Modernism and tried a new look.

Sold and got way more reaction from the modern than I thought I would.

Lots of money at the show. But the rich can be quite curious. 

Bill had a couple of eastern europeans in his booth going through his five dollar jewelry box.

They picked out five pieces and he gave them a five dollar discount.

But they asked for even more.

He went outside and saw them getting into their Bentley.


I drove over to the Mission Saturday morning and took pics with my cell phone and camera. I met a priest on the lawn, coffee cup in hand, who had been recently transferred down from San Francisco. 

He was a nice guy, from Austin originally. 

Very animated.

He let me take a few shots. My favorite palm, the jubea, to the right of the priest.

I stayed at the Motel 6 South in Carpenteria. It is definitely a step up from North. I went out to dinner with Lennie and Alyssa Friday at the Tee Off, an old warhorse bar/steakhouse that serves a very stiff drink.

We ordered the Big Bertha tomahawk and a porkchop, it was incredible. 

Nobody leaves hungry from the Tee Off, believe me. Hammered, yes. Hungry, no.

I somehow got back to my motel and the smoke alarm was going off. 

I called the front desk and they sent a guy up who spoke no english and didn't seem to understand my spanish too well, either. 

He unscrewed the cap and a torrent of water poured out. 

I told him that electric and water was not a safe combination and not to hook it back up but he did anyway, pretending not to understand me.

Oh well.

Bare bones place, no kleenex, no coffee, no shampoo, no hand towels, no drawers, nothing.

Spartans stay at this motel and complain that it is too rugged. 

But it will do. I marshaled on.

I ate at Esau's with Bill practically every morning, our favorite surf coffee shop in Carpenteria. 

Very healthy fare, as you can see.

I ate at Zookers one night and Lao Thai the next, by my self. Both really good.

Seafood pasta and chocolate almond bread pudding at Zookers. Great food but a too familiar wait staff that insisted on calling me bub or bro.

Prik king and mango sticky rice at Lao Thai.

I drove up past the botanic garden Sunday but couldn't find a good spot to stop to get pics and finally gave up.

Looked at the ocean a time or two.

But mostly just worked.

Such a beautiful place, no wonder all the super wealthy folks want to live there.

I had a lot of interest in the work. Who knows, I might even get a call back one day...

Took me three hours to pack out last night.

I was really tired and it took me well over four hours to drive back home. 

At one point I moved my camera case and in horror, watched as it tumbled three feet out onto the cab floor. 

Thought I had just destroyed a six thousand dollar combo of camera and lens but I am cautiously optimistic that things will be okay.

I unloaded boxes today, will pay bills tomorrow and then start the next cycle of thrills. Going home now to sleep it off.


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Jesus Gave Me Water

I was listening to this Sam Cooke song the other day and was astounded by his beautiful voice. This 1951 song was Cooke's first single after joining the Soul Stirrers in 1950. In 1956 he crossed over to secular music with great success. Cooke was murdered by a motel manager in Los Angeles in 1964.

Qualified impunity

There is a great article at Politico, Qualified immunity is burning a hole in the constitution. The police can run roughshod on American citizens and it appears we have no redress. Definitely read the article.

The Supreme Court created qualified immunity out of thin air in 1967, just six years after the Court first recognized that people could sue police officers and other government officials for violating their constitutional rights. In that first qualified immunity case, Pierson v. Ray, the Court held that the officers were entitled to a “good faith” immunity in civil rights cases. Chief Justice Earl Warren, writing for the majority, explained that this immunity from suit was necessary because, otherwise, officers could be held liable when they mistakenly believed the law authorized an arrest. As Chief Justice Warren explained, “A policeman’s lot is not so unhappy that he must choose between being charged with dereliction of duty if he does not arrest when he has probable cause and being mulcted in damages if he does.”
Although a “good faith” defense was the impetus for qualified immunity, today, officers are entitled to qualified immunity even if they act in bad faith, so long as there is no prior court decision with nearly identical facts. For more than five decades, the Supreme Court has repeatedly strengthened qualified immunity’s protections, describing each additional layer of defense in increasingly terrified tones as necessary to protect officers from the unyielding power of civil rights lawsuits.

And on the same subject. The police can now arrest you for satirizing them. And there ain't nothing you can do about it. A man in Ohio made fun of some cops on Facebook. So they threw him in jail for four days.

The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in a ruling in April that "the officers reasonably believed they were acting within the law" even if his Facebook page was obviously a parody. That's because there was no court precedent saying it's a violation of the Constitution to be arrested in retaliation for satirical remarks when the officers have probable cause, the court said.

What the hell has happened to our country?


More. Ho on Texas officials who jail their critics.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Carlos on Jerry

“Most people who play the blues are very conservative,” Santana once
wrote of Garcia in a feature for 
Rolling Stone. “They stay a certain way. Jerry Garcia was painting outside the frame. He played blues but mixed it with bluegrass and Ravi Shankar. He had country and Spanish in there. There was a lot of Chet Atkins in him – going up and down the frets. But you could always hear a theme in his playing. It’s like putting beads on a string, instead of throwing them around a room. Jerry had a tremendous sense of purpose. When you take a solo, decide what to say, get there and give it to the next guy. That’s how Jerry worked in the Dead.” 
“Jerry was the Sun of the Grateful Dead – the music they played was like planets orbiting around him,” he continued, ostensibly referencing the band’s psychedelic sensibilities. “He wasn’t a superficial guy at all. It was a lot of fun to play with him because he was very accommodating. He’d go up and down; I’d go left and right. And I could tell he enjoyed it because the Dead always invited me back.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Let it snow...

Gavilan dusted
The weatherman said that we might get snow down to 1500 feet tonight.

The elevation of Red Mountain is 1538'. That is the hill to the South of us with the three communication towers on it. 

Director Frank Capra originally owned the Red Mountain Ranch. I went to the garage sale in the old barn many years ago before it was demolished.

Last time I saw snow in the neighborhood was 2014. Didn't kill the palms, miraculously.

It is super rare here in Fallbrook. 

Hope it happens...

Nick Lowe

I'm bored

Palm Springs Modernism, 2023


I am back from Palm Springs. The show was very good for me and I had a great time too.

Great meals at Tropicale, Ricks, 849, Spencers, Sherman's and Del Taco. Hey, nothing else was open...

Not as much sartorial splendor this year, people were actually pretty drab and muted and not sporting their usual colorful fluorescence.

Except for this wonderful pair, who make the grade every year! Check out those shoes.

Thanks to everybody, the promoters and exhibitors, attendees, porters and wait staff. 

Special thanks to my wonderful booth partner, Steve. We sold a lot of everything.

Let's do it again in the fall, shall we?

I am off to the next thing.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Bleak to dark

Renee had us over for dinner last night, made us a delicious meal. Afterwards we watched the HBO special From bleak to dark from comedian Marc Maron.

I wasn't familiar with him but thought he was just incredible. If you like dark, irreverent humor, be sure to watch this special. 

Guy is good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

That's the bag I'm in

Tweaking the blog

Due to a small but steady stream of very nasty anonymous comments I am having to reassess my blog. I have several options, including taking the blog private but that would limit it to about 65 people (although Google says 100.) That would mean that many of you would no longer be able to read it. I don't want to do that.

I can continue to delete comments, I can take the blog private, move it to another platform where I can see i.p. addresses of commenters, stop blogging entirely and who else knows what? I even toyed with the idea of not allowing any more online comments and asking you to mail me your comments privately and I will post them accordingly.

The reality is that I hate to provide photo and literary content for anybody that would resort to such nastiness. But my hands are sort of tied with a public blog. There are always going to be toxic asshole "dobadders" lurking around. But out of sight is out of mind and it will be easier to pretend they are gone if I don't have to see their vile comments denigrating me and my family.

What I have decided to do, as an interim step, and we will see if this works, is to only allow comments from people with a Google account. This will be inconvenient for some of you, those of you who maybe are still on AOL, for instance, but should not be too much of a hindrance for a healthy back and forth. If you can't navigate the Google authorization process, simply drop me an email comment. It is better than pulling the plug on the blast and giving in to the deranged sickos.

As of now, anonymous comments will no longer be accepted on the Blue Heron Blast.


Postscript: Ralph called to tell me that when he tried to sign in and comment with Google, the blog comes back up. He has a gmail account. Will some others of you try to comment and see if you are also having problems?


Several friends have suggested that it might be a good time for a refresh and a sabbatical. It might at that. I probably will take a break for a couple of weeks at least, we will see. Keep it fresh, try not to be too reactive.

I got this note from a dear friend of the conservative persuasion:

Take a long break. I’m sure it’s stressful to you feeling like you have to constantly meet a deadline.

I also think that stopping the blog would take a lot of negativity out of your life with all the energy you put into so many republican hating pieces.

I would like to say something in my defense here. My blog is an open book. Search for Obama in the sidebar. I was very critical of him, often. I am an equal opportunity hater. See Obysmal. Barack and Hugo. Sterile Cuckold. Thank you sir, may I have another? Four more yearsNahash Sefta. There are so many more. In fact, it is hard for me to find something positive in my writing about Obama.

The difference is, my differences with him were based on positions and performance, not his party or the color of his skin or where he may or not have been born. I also disagreed with many or most of Trump's positions but mostly because he is an unethical prick without a shred of decency or honesty. I can't say that about his predecessor.

I was actually pleased to see that Larry Hogan, the ex Governor of Maryland, is thinking or running for President. That is a Republican I could actually vote for and I haven't seen one of those for a long time. An independent person who believes in bipartisan solutions.

Roe over Sturgeon


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Hocus Pocus

Thanks to Stan for sending this one over...


Maurice Ravel - Kaddish

Can't wait...


And guillotines. Let's bring back the middle age, shall we? More here. My friends on the right, is this what you want, are you down with this? If you elect him, I hope you will own this if it comes to fruition.
As Donald Trump's second re-election bid begins to pick up steam in the new year, details about the former president's plans for his return to the White House have begun to emerge — including a new report from Rolling Stone, which alleges Trump has begun polling his advisers on whether he should bring back firing squads, hangings, and even the guillotine should he win in 2024.

According to two sources, the former president has even begun exploring the possibility of group executions, with a third person claiming Trump has expressed interest in a government ad campaign to highlight the administration's lethality and, per Rolling Stone's source, "help put the fear of God into violent criminals." 
Is there a discount rate on group executions?

So Much Trouble In The World



juvenile downy woodpecker

Bullock's Oriole

Anna's Hummingbird