Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Oversharing

I talked to Barry this afternoon. He thinks I am writing too much and he can't keep up. 153 blogposts in a month, that is a lot. Told me it was time to chill.

I have been in bed, recuperating, missed my shows in New Mexico, what am I supposed to do? This is how I process the world, I write and share. But I will dial it down because he is probably right.

I checked my records just for the hell of it. In the sixteen years that I have been writing the blast, I have exceeded this total twice, April of 2020 where I tallied 164 and sometime in 2013 when I accounted for 155, I forget the month.

Still he is right, this is pretty excessive, not to mention verbose.

Sorry, I will try to throttle back.

I'm Tommy James


First some housekeeping.

I underwent my last immunotherapy regimen last Friday. I am happy to say that not only is it over, I had less reactions than to any of the other four treatments. Not getting an infection obviously makes all the difference. Last time it took a week to get out of bed.

So this week has been the first week of the rest of my life, where I get to step out of the rubble and dust myself off and make a go of it. Hot damn! Rebuild, off and runnin'. Then wait another year and maybe try this cancer drug again.

It's not easy and the cupboard is bare after the involuntary three month time out. Today was billpay day and god was it thrilling. 

Gravel and fumes.

My life has always been boom to bust to boom. It is the path I chose I guess. Thank god I never had kids to subject this mishigoss to. Poor wife. While I have many friends going to Europe and going around the world and finally enjoying the well deserved fruit of their labors, I can only see a slow, laborious grind in my near future. Victim of a misspent youth I suppose.

So be it, have had my fun. More than my share. Now I get to eat road dust for a little while. Beats dodging shrapnel in the Ukraine for sure.

I had a friend write me the other day to tell me that I sure got sick a lot. Nothing I planned, I can assure you.

Anyway I had an epiphany yesterday after recounting my travails to a friend who most assuredly would rather have been talking about the weather;

Nobody is going to come wipe your ass when you are 65. You have to do it yourself.

Maybe they will do it twenty years later but only grudgingly. And they get paid a lot for that work later on and often end up stealing all the jewelry. Not there yet. It is my job and only my job to dig myself out. Or not.

2008 was bad. Losing the Del Mar Show last year was was really bad too as is the general contraction in my buggy whip profession of antique dealing. We can solve every problem but lack of interest. Every Del Mar dealer I know is hurting.

I was watching YouTube this morning and I saw this video from one of my favorite 60's performers, Tommy James and the Shondells.


Nobody could write a short catchy pop hit like Tommy. What a talent!

And now, he is relegated to playing the run down State Fair circuit, this performance from up state New York with an equally old band going through the motions and probably living on corn dogs and deep fried twinkies. Same tired set night after night, I'll bet. Still fixing the van that keeps breaking down. He should be beyond that at this point but shouldn't we all? Rock and roll, baby!

The bad Jackie Mason combover that was never any good has turned into an even worse haircut, a reverse Trumpian coiffure with everything in the back.  The red vest used to fit, I swear. The Shondells can barely rev their engines these days but they are still going to give it a go, because what the fuck else are they going to do at this point, besides the eventual trip to the aging rockers hospice home?

*
It is sad and beneath me but I take a small solace in knowing that I don't care how set you are and how many trips to Papeete you can take in your splendid and exalted life, sometime in your life the shit sandwich is coming.  

And if you take leave of this mortal coil and arrive on death's door with the sudden realization that you don't have a real friend in the world and maybe never did or you have never loved anyone like you love that person you stare at in the mirror every day, well, then, you really got the shit end of the stick. I don't care how rich you are. And somewhere along the line, everybody feels the pain, no matter how well insulated they might think they are sitting.

Thank god I have friends and family. I appreciate all of you.

Orange Flubber Fibber

 


Moon Martin

Shooting the moon


Well, the moon shooting was not as expected from top to bottom. A very difficult shoot. After fixing my error message I ended up setting up in the middle of my horse pasture in the dark, wondering what kind of bug or serpent would come along to join me?

Turns out that the moon actually came up so late over the mountain that there would have been no point trying to get the shot up on Vista Del Rio either.

It finally peeked over the hill at 8:50, way after sunset.

Not sure how I did but shooting was hard. 

After my initial volley of shots I went back in and came out around midnight. 

It was approximately 222,043 miles from earth, its zenith in transit or culmination at 12:14 a.m.. 

Moon was bright, at 99.99% illumination.

It was so difficult at the extreme angle. 

I have never shot my heavy lens at an object so high in the air and even with the gimbal shooting and focus was less than optimal. Pain in the keister (and shoulder.)

I took a lot of shots, this might have been my best one in terms of definition. I saw Saturn nearby, just didn't have enough light to capture it this time.

 11:55 p.m. 8/30/23 Nikon D850 - Nikkor 400mmƒ2.8 fl E - 400mm iso 100 ƒ4.5 at 1/400th

Not my greatest effort ever but not bad. I'll take it. By the way Luna doesn't resemble cheese to me. More like a moldy orange that went bad on the counter,

To ERR is human...

I was all set to shoot the supermoon rise off Leven and Bethan's porch last night. I had taken killer shots from that vantage a few years ago.

I ran home from work and grabbed my Wimberly Gimbal and tripod. 

I decided to preset my camera with what I thought would be the optimal settings when I got the dreaded message from the Nikon, ERR.

Shit. I quickly grabbed my phone and looked for online fixes. This had happened to me once before. It is a signifier of internal electronics problems.

I did everything they suggested. I changed the lens. I cleaned my contacts, in both the lens and camera with a microfiber cloth. I pulled out the cards and replaced the battery. I left the battery out for fifteen minutes. Nothing worked. I said goodbye to my hosts. There would be no shoot this evening. There was a trip to Kurt's Camera in my near future for a repair, if possible.

Now it has been hot and I had left the camera in a very hot car under a jacket. Could I have fried my very expensive Nikon D850? My god, not like I have the money right now to replace it.

I went home and kept searching and I found one guy who suggested a diagnosis and possible fix. Check the shutter button and see if it is functioning properly. I pressed the button, which was trapped in an imperceptible mid push and voila, everything now worked!

So anybody with this particular error code out there, check your shutter.

DNA Mission Creep

 Surprise, the FBI is sucking up our genetic data.

THE FBI HAS amassed 21.7 million DNA profiles — equivalent to about 7 percent of the U.S. population — according to Bureau data reviewed by The Intercept.

The FBI aims to nearly double its current $56.7 million budget for dealing with its DNA catalog with an additional $53.1 million, according to its budget request for fiscal year 2024. “The requested resources will allow the FBI to process the rapidly increasing number of DNA samples collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” the appeal for an increase says.

The staggering increases are raising questions among civil liberties advocates.

“When we’re talking about rapid expansion like this, it’s getting us ever closer to a universal DNA database,” Vera Eidelman, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union who specializes in genetic privacy, told The Intercept. “I think the civil liberties implications here are significant.”

The rapid growth of the FBI’s sample load is in large part thanks to a Trump-era rule change that mandated the collection of DNA from migrants who were arrested or detained by immigration authorities.

Steve Martin - Olympic Diving Finals

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Al Green - Perfect Day

Funny headlines

 

Welcome to the Gulag!



Gaslighting 101. Why does he keep peddling this shit? Nobody wants to kill Trump, we want him to die all on his lonesome, maybe choking on a burger and diet coke. Guy doesn't need any help. I get that you need a martyr...

And if that one didn't work, there would have been another. Surprised it took as long as it did...

*
I am not in the prediction business but if I had to guess what would come down with all these indictments a year from now it would be this. Democrats will get 85% of what they were looking for. And they won't be happy. Republicans will also not be happy. Nobody will be happy, everyone will be angry and we will be even more at each other's throats. The gulf between red states and blue states will only get wider but one day the people in the red states will wake up and find that there are no doctors left to deliver babies and fix sick women. They are already leaving. And the folk there can go back to leeches and barbers and snake handlers and drinking bleach and lynching and nascar and fag baiting and polluting and the rest of us can go on with our lives.

*
Loved John Eastman's latest bombast that people have every right to overthrow their government. And the government and the people who don't feel the same way you do have every right to resist. But you don't have the right to beat up Capitol Policemen in your revolution, John. They didn't sign up for that and they are not acceptable collateral damage.

*
"A 2006 Supreme Court decision determined that wetlands would be protected if they had a "significant nexus" to major waterways. This year's court decision undid that standard. The EPA's new rule "removes the significant nexus test from consideration when identifying tributaries and other waters as federally protected," the agency said."

And poof, half of our wetlands protections are now gone! Thank you Pacific Legal Foundation. May your families, along with those of the majority SCOTUS, drown in a sea of pollutants and contaminants that you would so casually poison the rest of us with...

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Spaceball Ricochet - Marc Bolan

Lone ibis at dusk

 


Loathsome Lineup


Don't take this too seriously, it is obviously completely subjective, but how would you rank the Fulton County indictees on the overall Loathsome Scale?

Leslie and I had this conversation at dinner last night and I thought you might want to give me your two cents. And if you happen to love these guys, rank them in that order.

I realize that Roger Stone is as yet unindicted and that he or Bannon could throw off the whole curve but we have to go with what we got right now. Dance with those that brung you.

Here's my bottom ten, the worst at the top.

19. Donald Trump - evil prevaricator, entirely without conscience. wannabee dictator
18. Rudolph Giuliani - John Eastman (tie) - demented drunk and constitutional wackjob
17. Sidney Powell (she just ekes past the smiling Jenna Ellis) - lies as easily as she breathes
16. Jenna Ellis - smiley face that likes to hide behind a large cross
15. Jeffrey Clark - environmental bureaucrat who tried to shiv his bosses and is now fighting witches and spirits in his front yard in his underwear
14. Kenneth Chesebro - cerebral mastermind who helped engineer the fake elector scheme, think Lex Luthor
13. Mark Meadows - (see below) connivernot crazy but knew better

It is hard to rate the rest of them. Ye's publicist is disturbing as is the black dude who assaulted the FBI agent. I think most of the rest of these people were out of their depth and just following orders, too stupid to understand what they were doing was illegal.  

Maybe I have Meadows ranked too low here, he seems to want you to think he was the guy who was just there for the ride, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Maybe he goes right under Giuliani, he being the god fearing moral man that never had enough backbone to say no. I don't think he is batshit crazy like so many of these people, merely conniving and ultimately utterly without principals. According to Pence Chief of Staff Marc Short, all the fingers point to "innocent Mark."

Will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.


Luna Tunes

The latina waitress that works at Main Street Cafe, what is her name? Starts with a b. Short and pretty, used to work at Rosas... Anyway a few months ago I had a conversation with her about deep fried tacos like I got up in Torrance.

The other day that she told me to try the Taco shop Luna near Albertsons. she said they were the only people in town that did it.

I went down there yesterday. It is much nicer than the first time I went and smelled better, although I had no prior complaints about the food.

I ordered a deep fried carne asada and a deep fried potato taco.

Although they were nowhere near as good as what I had up north, they were still good and interesting and I would certainly eat them again.

tacos el goloso
But no sauce, or lime, or crema, not even close to the other place. Tacos el Goloso was the bomb. This was merely good. Shells seemed cooked like a regular taco, no sauce, no magic. This was not a birria taco.

I paid a little under eleven bucks for two tacos and a mandarin drink.

So it wasn't exactly cheap but I guess nothing is anymore.

Lust For Life

Twice in a blue moon


Wednesday night at we will get what is known as a super blue moon, the last one we will experience until 2037! It will be at peak at 12:14 a.m. Thursday morning.

In a super blue moon, a full moon, super moon and blue moon will all converge together. By the way, a blue moon isn't really blue, it just means that it is full twice in a month. A super moon means that the moon is full and at its closest point to earth. Should be bright and spectacular.

I am by no means an expert astronomical photographer but full moons are harder to shoot than partial moons because the intense brightness obscures the detail.

Here is a full moon shot I took with my Nikkor 400mm ƒ2.8 fl. ISO 100 ƒ4.5 at 1/400th of a second. I applied super resolution in Lightroom and minimal sharpening.

May have to drag the camera and tripod out tomorrow. More here.

Monday, August 28, 2023

DEVO - Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA

They shove the holes in the poles

I wanna end this prophylactic tour
Afraid that no-one around me
Think I'm only a spud boy
Looking for a real tomato
Smart Patrol

I was sad to hear that DEVO is hanging it up this year, supposedly. Mark Mothersbaugh and co. are finally calling it quits. Gerald Casale said, "We did as well as we could, for as long as we could.” Fifty years apparently.

There's a good article on the boys from Akron at the Guardian. The Eagle scouts who carved their own path and talked about de-evolution. Completely created a new ethos in a sea of mediocrity and hippie blather and forecast dark rumblings ahead for the human race.

Many thought of Devo as a joke, unable to accept they could be funny and sincere. The label didn’t know what to do with them. “We came out fully formed,” says Casale. “People want to grab you when you’re malleable and change you, but they couldn’t do that to Devo because the armour was too strong.”

Being so fully formed – with a perfect concept, aesthetic and choreography in place from the off – caused creative friction in the band over time. “You’ve got a body of work informed by a whole manifesto and philosophy,” says Casale. “Do you let go and move on to the next thing? You want change, otherwise you’re stale, but you don’t want to be contrived.”

I saw Devo many times, early on all the way to the Huckjam tour and they were amazing from the get go and through out. Revolutionary. They spoke a new language and if you were hip to it when nobody else was it was the coolest thing. They were like sirens for those of us that didn't quite fit in and were possibly seriously affected.

Bob Casale
The show I saw at the California Theater with Big Mike and possibly Pat Campbell was one of the three greatest musical performances I have witnessed in my life.  

Crowd on stage doing swanees into the pit, just pure joy and cacophony. The energy was so over the top, their performance so polished and developed. But so intense, so many strings pushed to the breaking point and past that, it was beyond words. The late Bob Casale was a beast on guitar.

The spud boys delivered. And the dumb humans that thought it was just about whipping it good missed a hell of a lot. 

Later on things didn't sound quite as good. It happens. We all get older. But I really respect every one of them. And their birth or origin story bears repeating:

And yet, while Devo effected a radical break with tradition, they were actually children of an entirely different revolution. Casale and co-frontman Mark Mothersbaugh had been studying art at Kent State University when, on May 4, 1970, they witnessed the Ohio National Guard massacre four students, among them two of their friends. That day inspired Neil Young to write the song Ohio, and caused Mothersbaugh and Casale to change: hippie idealism became a new kind of negative energy and disgust.

“Correct,” confirms Casale. “Until May 4, 1970, I might have been part-hippie – I certainly had a laissez-faire attitude, I liked my pot, and my hair was long – I looked like Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. But that day changed everything. I was always political and there were things lurking in the background that were fodder for rage, but that didn’t find a true focus until I was in the middle of people being shot by soldiers with M1 rifles. That’s when Devo was born. We became an insular, parallel world: I started talking about common people – the unwashed, who believed the illusions fed to them by government and schools – as spuds, pinheads and huboons: half-humans, half-apes.”

I think Booji here is getting romantic. It is splitsville for the band. Just having a little trouble letting go. Understandable.

I never saw them but early Devo used to come out as a fake christian hippie band called Dove and then turn the tables on their peaceful audience as they transformed into their new roles as discordant, anarchist dadaists.

Who remained as musical as hell.

I got to see Mark Mothersbaugh's art show at La Luz De Jesus gallery in Los Angeles many years ago, maybe at Psychedelic Solution in New York too, been too long to remember.

He was a brilliant and precise visual artist. A true visionary.

I wish them all well. They filled in a great portion of life's soundtrack.

Nick Lowe - Cracking Up

Bless the Beasts and Children

Sad state of affairs

I was thinking today about the Jacksonville shootings. They were so predictable with the racial rhetoric being spewed around so freely these days.

As are the responses. 

Have you noticed that when a black person kills anybody, they are savage animals. When a white person kills someone they have a mental illness.

Funny how that works. 

Check out this video to see all the familiar Fox and GOP talking points. To me it all goes back to Trump and his support for the good nazis marching at Charlottesville, the fine people on both sides.... MARA - Make America racist again. You remember, Jews will not replace us. He let that genie out of the bottle again. Now we are bearing the fruit, El Paso, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Poway, Jacksonville, all over this country.


Or stories like this, Mississippi cops torturing black people for being on the wrong side of the river. Or racist cops in Antioch. Or Minnesota. Or Prince George. Or Greenwood. People that think that racism is only directed at white people these days are plainly delusional.

Senders

Sunday, August 27, 2023

I know you Rider


The forgotten legacy of Pamela Colman Smith. 

All The Young Dudes

No bias, just GOP incompetence

As you know, the Blue Heron Blast is strictly non partisan and I am very hesitant to take a side in any political squabble. Still I had to stifle a chortle when I read this article, Federal Judge throws out RNC case against Google.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee that accused Google of discrimination against conservatives by disproportionately sending Republican fundraising emails to Gmail users’ spam folders. 

In his Thursday ruling, U.S. District Judge Daniel Calabretta said the RNC had failed to show that Google was acting in bad faith by treating some of the RNC’s emails as spam. And the judge also said Google’s actions were fundamentally protected by Section 230, a legal provision of the Communications Decency Act that largely shields internet companies from liability for what is posted on their sites. 

The ruling represents another blow to Republicans in their ongoing quest to prove Big Tech is biased against them

It appears that Google has to filter Republican fundraising as spam, not because of its political nature but because it is so poorly crafted.

The RNC alleges that ‘for nearly a year’ Google engaged with the RNC over its concerns. Google suggested that the RNC ‘reduce the frequency of emails that it sends at the end of each month,’ informed the RNC that ‘the monthly crashing of the RNC’s inboxing rate was due to a high number of complaints,’ met with the RNC on March 29, 2022 and offered the RNC a training on August 11, 2022. In the Complaint, the RNC recounts that adopting Google’s suggestions had a ‘significantly positive impact on [email] performance,’ though they did not resolve the end-of-month issue. While the RNC may disagree with Google regarding what caused the drop in inboxing, the fact that Google engaged with the RNC for nearly a year and made suggestions that improved email performance is inconsistent with a lack of good faith.

So the problem wasn't bias, it was instead gross incompetence. Now who would have thought? Look at the luminaries in the Republican party today, Jordan, Gaetz, Greene, Gohmert, McCarthy, Tuberville, could the real problem be an intelligence deficiency?

See: Republicans seized on a study as proof of Google’s bias. Its authors say it's being misrepresented.

“Gmail isn’t biased like the way it’s being portrayed,” he said. “I’m not advocating for Gmail or anything. I’m just stating that when we take the observation out of a study, you should take all of the observations, not just cherry-pick a few and then try to use them.” 

Republicans omitted or downplayed biases against Democrats in Outlook and Yahoo Mail.

Willkommen

Butchered Pronouns

First the boilerplate. 

Although all humans, or honest humans anyway, admit to certain prejudices, I try to keep mine to a minimum. People have a right to a free and peaceful life, no matter who they choose to love and regardless of the shade of melanin they were conferred with at birth.

*


I was reading HuffPo this morning and I got stopped by this article. I don't know why I even stopped to read it, pretty girl I suppose?  

HuffPo is full of these sorts of stupid Millennial, Gen X, Y, Z stories, honestly I am so old I can't even tell anything post boomer apart.

But there was something cumbersome about the subheading that made me read the text of the article. 

Here are the first two paragraphs.

Alyson Stoner recently discussed an “uncomfortable” kissing moment they experienced as a preteen actor on Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.”

During an Aug. 18 episode of their podcast “Dear Hollywood,” Stoner, now 30, reflected on the time they learned that the script for an episode of ‘The Suite Life’ had their character, Max, kiss both twins, Cody and Zack (played by real-life twin actor brothers Cole and Dylan Sprouse, respectively).

Well, voila! I figured it out. It was the word they. I'm old and slow but Alyson is non binary. What does that mean? Let's go to the dictionary:

Non-binary people may identify as an intermediate or separate third gender, identify with more than one gender, no gender, or have a fluctuating gender identity. Gender identity is separate from sexual or romantic orientation: non-binary people have various sexual orientations.

Let me put my cards on the table. I have at least one and maybe two "non binary" nieces and nephews at the moment, I can't quite keep count.  Love them but we don't talk much. You might say things are fluid. And they are entitled to whatever gender identity "they" might have this month.

But I resent the theft and butchering of the English language. The He/She/They thing is so fatuous and contrived. The pronoun "they" has represented a plural in our language for about 1500 years, since Anglo Saxons arrived in Britain from Germany in the Fifth century. Ditto the earlier Latin antecedents.

And now all of a sudden it is being co-opted to describe a single individual? I could see it for multi personality disorder or one of those disassociation illnesses but even that is a stretch. But now, the excessively woke have commandeered a perfectly good pronoun and essentially dismembered it. The deed is done and we acceded and let them steal it without a shot being fired.

I hate to sound like the "get off my lawn" crotchety old guy but I look at this sort of behavior as mostly shock value and a way to traumatize your parents and elders, like big mohawks and safety pins in the Sex Pistols period. 

Gender bending appears to be the flavor du jour for today's maladjusted youth,

They just don't get it. Most of us don't give a fuck. Do what you want to do, sleep with whomever you want to, just leave us alone.

Call me old fashioned but I personally still think that your sex is defined by X's and Y's. Shave your Adam's apple, cut off your Johnson, add a store bought Johnson, unless you are one of the minuscule .5% of the population with a clinically verifiable intersex variation, I believe that the trans phenomenon is largely self delusion, if the switchee honestly thinks they are changing their sex. But hey, be comfortable.

I have discussed this with gay friends, many feel the same way but don't have the balls (excuse the expression) to voice it out loud.

I usually get a lecture like this: 

Robert, you are confusing biology with gender identification or orientation and they are two different things completely. 

From the APA

Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ.

Fine. You can identify as the Trix Rabbit for all I care, or a grapefruit, does that make you one? X's and Y's don't lie. I'm not going to run this topic into the ground any more than I have. I just find this "they" shit when there is one person around as tedious as people blaring misogynist rap music with their windows down or non Maori people getting tattoos on their faces.

Why the sudden need to proclaim your gender identity and confusion to the rest of us? Is this really necessary? Did we have to change the English lexicon for this?


The old pronoun language has operated very nicely and
serviceably for a really long time, probably since we humans started using our opposable thumbs back on the African veldt. 

Dress like the opposite sex, alter your machinery, do whatever you want to do but do us all a favor and back off on the pronouns

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Desmond Dekker and the Aces

Saturday's child

 

Yesterday afternoon I had my last immunotherapy session. At least for the current regimen. Finally, number five.

This is either my third or fourth go 'round with the stuff.

The prophylactic cancer treatment usually beats me up for from three days to a week. 

I guess it depends on if I get an infection or not. So far so good. It is good that it will finally be over and that I can resume my life again.

It never used to affect me but it does now for some reason. Cumulative, higher dosage...

*

Ricardo sent a cool skateboard video. Isamu. Pretty amazing kid. Renee and Hudg wanted to let me know that we are witnessing civilization's collapse. No shit.

*

Jerry sent a picture of his son Jason at Iao Valley in Maui.

Leslie and I once took a very memorable hike there, had to go through a herd of cows to reach our trail.

Maui was the first place I ever visited in Hawaii. 

Back when they had the Lahaina Whaling Spree in the 1960's.

My father's best friend, Tim Morrow, had a wonderful shop there, the Collector.

Dad loved staying in Napili, he loved playing golf in Maui, bought land there to build but the cardiologists said he was too far from a decent hospital so he didn't.

I remember being a young kid and seeing my first "back to nature" hippie girl at the airport, a visual that fused my circuits.

The hot but hirsute chick had legs and pits that were a lot hairier than mine would ever be and it weirded me out as a ten year old or whatever.

I loved the greeter and the pancakes and the banyan tree and pretty much everything about Lahaina. Can't help thinking of my late father and brother when thinking about their beloved island. So horrible to think what those poor people that live there have undergone and all the horrific death.

I am a claustrophobic person. I don't like crowded spaces, or bars or places with singular exits and entrances. I need far horizons and wide open spaces. And as much as I love Hawaii, and my favorite island Kauai, after a period of time, I find myself circling the rock, trapped, wanting to get out and off. That is probably why I live where I do.

*

Some good mugshot memes this week. Too many.



*
Charles Haywood - Putz. Remind me not to buy his haircare products. This expose is intense. Some of his best friends are Nazis.

*
Went down a weird YouTube rabbit hole featuring toughest British bar bouncers, mobsters and tough guys, Alan Crossley, Lenny McLean, Roy Shaw, etc.. Great tradition of thuggery. But could they make a proper apple crisp?

*

I have never seen so many monarchs and swallowtail butterflies around as this week. 

They are loving my lantana. 

Don't try to find one in this picture. It is not there.

But there have been a ton of them. Take my word for it.

Orioles have split. 

Somebody found a painted bunting female down in North Park, wish I could see it.

*
I had a leathersmith fix an antique native beaded pipe bag for a friend recently.

I had to go to San Diego the other day and wanted to deliver the bag and get paid for it.

Only one problem. I lost it. I searched for an hour and a half, tore my place apart. 

Went through the trash cans. 

I was screwed, I would now be out both the cost of the bag and repair.

Went across the street to drown in my sorrows with a cup of coffee and decided to take one more look.

Found it in twenty seconds.

Whew!

*

Pardell and Pecore, two peas in a pod.

*
As some of you know, for many years I have augmented my income by writing educational curriculum for teachers. The company I write for was sold to a university this year. Last week, they wrote me and asked me both to revise an old course and to develop four of five more new courses.

I am happy and flattered. They like my writing and my sense of humor. I need to read a book this weekend and get right on it. If I can do enough of these it might make a difference in my retirement.

*
Fechtman said that Taylor Swift's impact seems to be really broad these days. I don't get it but I am old. But he included this picture. Unreal.


*
Got a letter from across the pond.

Hey Robert
I was so intrigued to see that so many people in California have rain gauges. Who knew that was a thing?
You all live in the desert no?
Anyway, I want to be in the rain gauge club. Rains a lot here so plenty to measure. Only 5mm today
Px

I wrote back to explain that I live in an agricultural community where water is scarce and expensive. We have to stay on top of it.

*

Thanks to Linda Wilson for sending Leslie such a beautiful birthday 
bouquet of lilies!

*
I thought that the beautiful woman who administered my labs was from Trinidad Tobago. "No," she said, "Jamaica, but I was seven when I moved here. I still have an accent?" She did but I pride myself for having an ear for such things.

We talked about Jamaican music and she was amazed that I had met and seen Jimmy Cliff and Toots and the Maytals. I never saw Bob but both Leslie and Diann did. I feel lucky to have seen many of the originals. The next generation never delivered in the same way. I'm listening to a lot more reggae lately.