Girl with magnifier

Monday, October 30, 2023

Chinaberry Lane Crew


Bill Phillips, Brian Vaughn, Carl Drews, Cortland Peterson, Alex Press, Mitch Wickline, Doug Holt, etc. My 1970's N.C. deadhead peeps. 

Not sure if any of you are still out there in the ether or occasionally tuning in but guess who called me today, out of the blue? 

Kevin Barry. 

Been over thirty years, I think, since I last heard from him. Really great to catch up. He is not too far away, looking forward to seeing him soon. I have his number.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Brian Jones - A Degree Of Murder

Tough read

A few articles to peruse if you feel like diving in to the middle east cesspool:

How Hamas came to power.

Harari - leftist indifference to Hamas atrocities

Hamas hideout under Gaza hospital

Omer and Omar: How two 4-year-olds were killed and social media denied it

Dear Jewish Academics: Hamas exulted in killing Jews, not zionist colonialists

An Israeli Academic Spent a Decade Trying to Understand Palestinians. He Now Believes Hope for Peace Is Bleak

Friedman - Please, Israel, Don’t Get Lost in Hamas’s Tunnels

Imagine you are Israel. You are suddenly attacked and your people are slaughtered in their cribs, wheelchairs, kibbutzim and at a rock concert, unarmed. Hamas operatives make videos of the killings and broadcast them in real time on social media, send taunting notes to the parents afterwards.

The military on Tuesday published a recording of a Hamas terrorist who took part in the October 7 onslaught in southern Israel bragging to his parents of slaughtering Jews, as Israel continues to put out further details from the murderous assault earlier this month.

In the call, the man can be heard excitedly telling his parents that he is in Mefalsim, a kibbutz near the Gaza border, and that he alone killed 10 Jews.

“Look how many I killed with my own hands! Your son killed Jews!” he says, according to an English translation.“Mom, your son is a hero,” he later adds.

His parents are heard praising him during the call. Identified by his father as Mahmoud, the terrorist says he is calling his family from the phone of a Jewish woman he’s just murdered, and implores them to check his WhatsApp messages for further documentation.

How proud they must be! Notice, he was killing Jews, not Israelis. You listening, Wallace Shawn?

These "armed resistors" then make statements that they only kill soldiers, never civilians. This is after their attack plans to the contrary are found and disseminated which shows the opposite. In any case, the soldiers and guerrilla force slink back into the shadows of Gaza and hide in a population that both elected them and knows fully well where they operate.

Israel retaliates, naturally, and the cry goes up that Israel is applying collective punishment (which they are) and that Hamas and the Gazans, who perpetrated the atrocity, are the true victims here. They are joined by their friends on the political left and at the U.N., who love to lecture Israel and the Jewish people on matters of morality, and demand immediate statehood for the Palestinians as payment for their recent acts of terror and perfidy.

What they have failed to achieve by bloodshed and atrocity shall be rewarded by an immediate ceasefire and a land deal. Israel can certainly not punish the murderers who killed over a thousand people and then hide amongst the civilian population. Let it go. Hamas gets a pass.

I have been clear that Israel's hands are not altogether clean here, that they have been duplicitous with their settler policy and have missed many genuine opportunities to give the Palestinians a contiguous state. I blame Netanyahu and the right wing for a lot of the rightful anger in Gaza and the west Bank.

But let's blame Hamas too, a group not only dedicated to the destruction of Israel, from the river to the sea, but to killing Jewish people wherever convenient, in and out of Israel. This is a barbarous muslim group committed to terror, make no bones about it. How can you make peace with a people committed to your destruction?

Unfortunately, in the world we live in and in certain circles of the left, Jewish blood is apparently very cheap. 

On college campuses today, throughout America and Europe, anti semitism is rampant and young people champion the rights of terrorists to kill Jewish babies in their cribs in their righteous acts of resistance.

This is where they lose me. I recognize the awful tragedy of innocent people dying in Gaza but never forget who cast the first stone in this recent conflict. The people of Gaza have their share of blame too, electing leaders who perpetrate genocidal actions and then pretending that their hands are clean.

What is happening in Israel and the occupied territories is horrific, for all involved. The current violence will end one day and no one, on either side, will have learned anything.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Two watercolors by architects

Two watercolors by architects. I have recently purchased these two paintings by relatively unknown architects. I love the artwork produced by architects because their draftsmanship and attention to detail is non pareil.  Pardon me but both pictures were taken through glass and there is some glare.

The first watercolor is by the late Northern California designer Fred E. Brooks (1914-1992). He was a partner in the Sacramento firm Rickey and Brooks and an early member of the NSID. 

It depicts a pier in San Luis Bay, Avila Beach that is no longer extant. 

This is a classical way to paint watercolor, from the school of Sheets, Kosa and Phil Dyke. 

I love the perspective on the small figures in the distance and the way he uses the large pier silhouette in full shadow compositionally. 

Notice the bleed in the shadowed structure. Difficult to do and perfect. 

Work from this artist is scarce but everything I have seen has a wonderful clean and modern feeling.

The other watercolor is a view painted during the construction of the Hoover Dam by Doyt Early (1900-1992). 

It was painted on February 12, 1935 and shows the third tower under construction. 

His painting style is far less classical but I like how rather than painting the cables, he omitted pigment from those specific areas. 

You can see his excellent pencil work in the boom coming over the spillway to the right. Early had a degree from Ohio State from seven years earlier, 1925 and was known for his prints of bridges. 

He lived in the Monterey area and built one room schoolhouses across rural California until his retirement in 1960.

Female mallard in flight, female northern harrier

Lee Michaels

Can't be too perfect

I had gone to the new doctor in July, in the midst of the immunotherapy treatments. 

He had me run a full set of labs but I was feeling so miserable back then that I never was able to go over the results with him. 

I finally had my follow up this week.

The nurse took my blood pressure, height and weight.

"Don't tell me, I don't want to know."

She started asking me questions. "Was I ever depressed?" 

"Sometimes, who wouldn't be in this often miserable world?" 

"Did I own a gun? Was I suicidal?" 

"Wait a second, what is all this for?" 

She explained that the insurance company required answers for their annual wellness exam.

"Well, then let's start over, I said." She assented.

"No, no, no, no no."


She then gave me a cognition and memory test. I was looking forward to it because I have a fairly extraordinary memory. She gave me five objects to remember for ten minutes and I started reciting number sequences backwards. Did some simple cognitive tests, all the square objects fit perfectly in the square holes. Aced it.

Then she asked me to start naming animals and not to stop until she told me. Aardvark, anaconda, alpaca, albatross... I kept it going pretty well and am confident that I named some animals that other people have rarely if ever named, gibbon, gerenuk, serval, etc...

I kept shpieling and showing off and she finally told me that I had to stop, they were way over the required total and we simply had to move on.

Teach her to ask me a question like that...

Doctor came in. All the lab results were good, platelets, blood count, renal function, etc. We were both very pleased. Of course, the bad cholesterol was too high and the good cholesterol a smidge too low, a problem shared with many others. I told him that I would try to up my red meat and fat consumption and heard him quietly groan.

More butter... For the gerenuks.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Leon Russell

October conundrum

So I was a little tired and ready to go home early to take a nap when I realized that my sweet tooth was calling. I did a quick cost benefit guilt analysis and decided that a maple bacon donut from the Laotian place near Major was in short order. 

Not nearly as intense as the gigantic apple fritter and would take care of business perfectly. Now this particular place is always open, what other donut shop is open until five o'clock? I could get my fix and nobody else would be the wiser.

But I got there this afternoon and a sign in the window said, family emergency, closing at two this week.


I looked around Major Market and nothing looked good, little container of Haagen Daz is six bucks, not going there. Their whole refrigeration aisle looked like it was on the fritz, I skedaddled.

I had an idea and went up to Grocery Outlet and found the perfect substitute, a smallish pumpkin pie. Well, call it medium. 

No preservatives, natural, blah, blah, blah. I had fished out all the dirty change from my console and paid with dimes, nickels and pennies. Sorry about the lint...

Now buying something like this has its own set of issues. I pondered them as I drove out onto Mission, steering wheel in one hand and grabbed a hunk off the side with the other, taking about twenty percent in my first grab and stuffing it in my mouth.

You learn as a married adult, eat too much on the way home, you get hell from your wife, better to finish it altogether or hide or jettison the evidence before you get home.

I looked down at the fragmented and crudely torn pie and thought that I was in a real quandary. If I threw the empty package in the trash, she would surely see it and I would hear no end of it. If I gave her what was left, she could rightfully call me a pig.

My guilt meter was already on 9 and I plotted my escape plan.

Luckily a solution appeared out of the ether. A guy that helps me with my garden, Todd, was leaving the gate to my place as I got there. Todd is not married, loves pumpkin pie and was more than willing to take the hand off of what remained of my once proud dessert.

Problem solved! Everybody is happy. Nobody getting fat except me and Mama Cass.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Andy Sheppard

Hasn't he suffered enough?

You would think that liberals would have better things to do than pick on poor Justice Clarence Thomas. The guy just can't catch a break. 

First it was that damn Anita Hill, then it was all the free trips with Harlan Crowe.

For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks.

The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.

These trips appeared nowhere on Thomas’ financial disclosures. His failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. He also should have disclosed his trips on the yacht, these experts said.

News today that a wealthy health care executive loaned him the money for a fancy $267,000 motor home and then forgave him for everything but twenty thousand of the interest on the debt.

The drip, drip, drip of new ethics questions about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's ethics continued Wednesday. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., disclosed that documents turned over to the committee indicate that Thomas benefitted by having some or all of a $267,000 loan forgiven in order to purchase a luxury RV.

Like who hasn't had something like that happen to them? Sounds like a good friend, buying him a Prevost. Probably got paid back in spades, if not honest friendship. Is it his fault he has a better class of friends than we do?

Besides, like the book says, ol' Clarence is a man of the people.

In fact, he and Ginny like to park the rig at Walmart when touring the countryside and hang out with the regular folk.

brown on the outside and rich white filling...

You think he still finds time to hang out with the brothers?

It turns out that Clarence forgot to report this one too.

Hey, he has a lot on his mind, his wife helping plan the January 6 insurrection and everything. 

Give him a break, alright?

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

You need a mess of help to stand alone

MAGA Poison

I don't think I really need to pile on the GOP too much over the speakership debacle. They are doing a good enough job on their own making a spectacle of themselves.

There are fractures in both parties too be sure, but Nancy Pelosi was able to run a functioning house with a very narrow majority, similar to what we have today with the Republicans.  The policies advocated by the squad are indeed vile and horrific yet they are relatively small in number and marginalized ideologically by the great majority of the Democrats.

The current House majority has not been able to breach their own internal divisions and shows no promise of actually being able to legislate and govern.

Vote after vote, the moderates are submarined and torpedoed by the Freedom Party radicals.

It is not hard to see that the name of the poison still infecting this house is Donald Trump.

He is inserting himself into every Republican decision and making it all about him, from the debates to the speakership.

And when he speaks, they listen.

Seven of the nine candidates for speaker refused to certify the 2020 election results. 

The current nominee, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, was one of the principal architects of the campaign to deny Joe Biden his duly elected position.

Johnson, a former lawyer, led an amicus brief signed by over 100 Republican members of Congress backing a flawed Texas lawsuit that asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 election. He also played a key role in crafting the rationale that many of his GOP colleagues used in justifying their votes to throw out the 2020 election results ― even just hours after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

“In formal statements justifying their votes, about three-quarters relied on the arguments of a low-profile Louisiana congressman, Representative Mike Johnson, the most important architect of the Electoral College objections,” according to The New York Times.

I felt sort of sorry for Tom Emmer, the last nominee. He seemed like a decent guy who was interested in actually governing. But he voted to certify Biden and that was the kiss of death, even after he made a last minute attempt to placate the orange one and kiss his ring. Trump's handprints were all over the carnage.

Just hours after Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) won the Republican Conference’s nomination to be House speaker on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social to deride the congressman as “totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters” and a “Globalist RINO.”

He then got on the phone with members to express his aversion for Emmer and his bid for speaker.

By Tuesday afternoon Trump called one person close to him with the message, “He’s done. It’s over. I killed him.”

The current party, which has exorcised establishment conservatives like Rove, Romney, Cheney and Jeb Bush is caught between going full blown MAGA, a position that is not popular with a majority of the American people and moderating its message in a way that can show that it is capable of governance.

It was interesting to see how Emmer was brought down. One of the sticking points was his support for gay marriage.

Minnesota Republican Rep. Tom Emmer’s support for legalizing gay marriage was a major reason his Tuesday tenure as the GOP’s speaker-designate lasted only four hours, a sign of how the extremism of the Republican Party is directly contributing to its now three-week-long struggle to elect a speaker.

Emmer voted for the Respect for Marriage Act in 2022, which turned the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing gay marriage into national law. His vote, which came after years of opposing gay marriage, put him in line with the overwhelming majority of Americans: Earlier this year, Gallup found that 71% of Americans support gay marriage, an all-time high.

One of his fellow representatives, Georgia Rep. Rick Allen, suggested that Emmer "had to get right with Jesus." Talk about a big tent strategy.

With Chesebro, Powell and Ellis ready to spill the truth and Meadows granted an immunity deal and already confiding that Trump knew that he had lost the election, one has to wonder what the next domino will fall and when this "Maga Movement" which is honestly about one authoritarian man, will lose its steam, if ever? Talk about a need for an exorcist. What a tedious and long running exercise in self delusion.

The ABC report states Meadows repeatedly told Trump in the weeks after the 2020 election that there was no evidence of any widespread voter fraud which cost him the race against Joe Biden. It said Meadows told federal prosecutors that he believed Trump was being "dishonest" in the early hours of November 4, 2020, when the former president claimed in a press conference "frankly, we did win this election," when a significant number of votes across the country had not been counted yet.

Vladimir Putin should be really happy.


Postscript: The new speaker. All of my"fiscally conservative, socially liberal" friends on the right should love this.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil

Airplane Connection

So last week, playing around with the family tree and genetics site Geni, I discovered that I was distantly related to the Jefferson Airplane's Jorma Kaukonen and that my wife Leslie was related to the late Marty (Buchwald) Balin. 

We are both huge fans of the band and we love this!

Now to be honest they are sometimes the loosest of in law relationships but they are indeed real. And on my side, as we will see, funnily enough, all through my paternal grandmother.

As a goof tonight I plugged Jack Casady and Kantner in to the engine, no luck

I was related to both Spencer Dryden and Grace Slick however, both through my father's side. And Charlie Chaplin, although he never played in the band. I didn't know he was Dryden's uncle?

Screenshot 2023-10-24 11.14.12 PM.png
Screenshot 2023-10-24 11.11.58 PM.png
Screenshot 2023-10-24 11.11.23 PM.png

I guess I have to assume that this sort of distant in law interconnectedness would happen for everybody and not just me but who knows...So who else was in the airplane?

I plugged one more name in, original singer, Signe Anderson. She left the band to have a kid and Grace took her spot.
But she will never leave the family. She is related to my cousin Sam Raimi who directed the Spiderman movies. I have to ask myself, what are the odds for this strange matrix and interconnectivity?

Fly Jefferson Airplane, they'll get you there on time.

Freddy Fender

Dia de los Muertos, Oceanside

Oceanside celebrated its 22nd annual Dia de los muertos festival this weekend. 

I love the Day of the Dead celebrations. 

Everybody has fun.

Posada woman, Fallbrook - Copyright Robert Sommers

Mostly because the Latino and native population is quite serious and sincere about venerating their late family members. I would think the phenomenon started with the Indian natives and then overtook the Spaniards and mestizos in Latin America. I think the sugar skulls go back to the Aztecs and Mayans, the codex nuttal and meso-american era.

We don't really have a corollary for this sort of thing in Western culture. 

We do say the kaddish, or prayer for the dead on Yom Kippor in Judaism. And forgive and ask for forgiveness. 

But most cultures I am aware of have nothing like this these days celebrating their ancestors.

My buddy Jim Ramsey and his wife Debbie showed up with their 5150 Ratrod Club.

The whole club outdid their selves.

Debbie helped decorate Jim's car with the pictures of real late family members that were copied by Brian and Laurie at Village Copy Center.

Looks like everybody was having a great time! 

I think that they did this at the Mission for a long time but switched to downtown Oceanside a few years ago. 

Debbie tells me that they performed the rites in the cemetery at Pala Asistencia also and put candles around the graves. 

She said it was really beautiful. 

Not sure if they still do that.

I have long admired the simple and sincere beauty of Hispanic roadside memorials, like this one I shot in Trampas, New Mexico, the monument to one Macario Griego.

Never forget those of your own that have passed.



Snow Geese

Mountain Bluebird

Bald eagle

Sandhill cranes

Junker's Blues - Champion Jack Dupree

Palm Spring Modernism Show - Fall 2023


I am back from the latest Palm Springs Modernism Show. It started out with a roar for me and then dialed down to a whimper but I am exceedingly grateful for every sale and for the promoter. She has been very good to me, a true friend.

The Fall show tends to be a much less vigorous affair than the Spring but I always do well anyway. 

Snobby Modernism dealers won't do this one and many collectors prefer not to come. 

Good, leaves more business for me.

But sales still seemed good for most people although the amount of vintage dealers has admittedly dwindled.

They will reappear, like the swallows at Capistrano, beaks in the air, in February.

I actually like the pace and vibe of this one. Much more relaxed.

People's sartorial taste seems to have changed.  

The crowd was much less glitzy than normal, solid colored shirts, checks, plaids, much more dialed down.

I liked this Beatles print.

And these skulls were cool too.

Warmboe and Alyssa were right next to me.

Across from me was this young Persian artist with her beautiful paintings. 

She split the booth with a company that imports Brazilian furniture.

Next to her were the Gay Fad people, a Lancaster, Ohio company started in 1939 that makes beautiful drinking and cocktail glasses, some in 24 carat gold.

Really beautifully crafted. Loved everything about the booth but the incessant rave music.

I brought some home. Gay, it's not just a fad anymore.

There were two other great art dealers there, Nigel Turner and his lovely wife Louise and Thom Gianetto, Dan and Don.

I like all of these fellow dealers very much. They all have wonderful work.

There is a reason that the survivors have survived, they are good at what they do.

Some of the work at the show was not exactly to my taste but that is what makes the world go round, no?

Being a more classical fellow who sees value in practically all design eras, I look at a certain element of the Modernism thing with bemusement.

Many of the designs have been reproduced to death and were ugly from the get go. 

Construction is pretty awful, chroma garish and pallor cold to the touch.

Which is fine, it takes all kinds.

But the people who have gone full barrel and are walking around looking like they came right off the Jetson's set or are living a seventy five year old dream right down to the hula hoops make me laugh.

I felt the same way about the arts and crafts / Mission people when it was in its heyday.

Did they only light candles at home for verité and live in muslin and burlap clothing available between 1906 and 1915?

There is almost a religious quality to the true believers I find amusing but the strict exclusion of other beautiful design elements from other eras I do find rather tedious.

And so when I walked up to the Modernism Radio booth that was podcasting I got a little snarky.

"Why a modernism radio station? What exactly is there to talk about? Is this narrow mid century design trend now officially a religion? Or merely a way of life?"

He looked at me and cut me down to size pretty quickly.

"It's fun."

Okay then. I shut up. As the man at the Times aptly noted, culture is at a definite standstill.

Here are a few more pictures of my booth. Mainly sold great 30's era etchings and aquatints for the real money.  Sold a nice print to the Hilbert Museum. So there. 

Several clients put things on hold and then took me to the very end before declining but that happens. The only time it really bothers me is when they refuse to make eye contact when they return or walk past your booth. Man up.

So a great time was had by all. 

I had wonderful meals at Pommes Frites (with Frank and Joy Purcell) , Elmers, Rick's, Shermans, Agua Caliente, and Del Taco, all the usuals.

But the best was at James and Daniel's home.

Thanks to everybody.

Did you notice? Stuck one of my own photos up.

Class up the booth.