Jelly, jelly so fine

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Trilok Gurtu - Shunyai

Robert Sommers Bird Photography


Cardiff Narcissus

I finally got around to putting some of my bird photography on my business website. Anyone interested in checking out or buying a bird photo can look here.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Stay Classy

 Many people who drove through downtown Fallbrook today were greeted by this flag.

Pretty in your face. The enormous banner hung off the top of a large truck and trailer outside of the car radio place and Main St. Cafe. Very expensive rig. I took a picture as I drove by through my car window but the wind was blowing and I couldn't quite grab it.

I talked to several people who saw it and were offended. Can you imagine the uproar if someone had hung a Fuck Trump flag? Probably not, because the non MAGA types tend to have more class than this. 
One person I talked to wanted to call the police and file a complaint for public indecency.

Thankfully the trailer has moved to who knows where and we are spared of this sort of vile sentiment in a town where most people agree to address their political differences more civilly.

You certainly have a right to freedom of speech but you also have a moral duty not to be an asshole and engage in obscene conduct on a public thoroughfare.

Postscript - Turns out that this is owned by the guy who owns the car radio shop. I don't know why you would want to alienate at least half of your potential customers with this sort of divisive rhetoric by placing a banner like this outside your shop but he can run his business as he sees fit and we can give him our business as we see fit.

Laura Nyro

A random visitor

Love is a kind of warfare. Ovid

The man was waiting at the door to my shop with a beautiful woman in tow. I could immediately sense that he was a bit irked at having to wait to gain entrance. This was obviously a powerful man who was used to getting what he wanted. Rather pushy.

As you probably know by now, my shop has been appointment only for well over a decade. In this way I get to regulate who comes over the threshold and sometimes it comes to turning down someone who sends serious danger signals to my trusty asshole meter. It was going off in spades.

Now I could probably make a lot more money if I let people come in at will and had regular hours but we all have to make decisions to protect our mental well being once we are in our sunset years. Money isn't everything. And this guy's persona screamed DICK.

But hey, I have a mortgage to pay and he was eager to come in. I relented.

"Would you like to come in and see the gallery," I asked, as politely as I could. In the next second he barged through the door, beautiful woman three steps behind, brushed past me and made his way to the back of my shop to get a closer look at something or other that had caught his eye. Didn't wait for me, just acted like he owned the place.

I kept an eye on him, that portion of the shop being very crowded and also worrying about the guy both falling and crashing in to something. I chose to talk to his beautiful trophy companion. I heard the slavic accent and asked if she was Czech. It turns out she was Ukrainian. Very sweet. We made small talk, I told her about my maternal Moldovan roots.

He either had to be Italian or Jewish, always hard for me to know which is which. Obviously an ex New Yorker, takes one to know one and I did. Every utterance was patronizing and dismissive, every word a verbal challenge. Kind of like me.

Turns out he was Italian, an ex Prosecutor. A guy who knew it all, I think beneath that tough, brash exterior was a real schmuck. Like I said, takes one to know one.

Anyway I am talking to his girl and he offers up a question. Did I know any men that would like a beautiful Ukrainian mail order girl? He had just the lass in mind.

For some reason I decided to go low with this guy. I didn't like his swagger, the way he commandeered my space.

"Sorry bud. My friends don't tend to pick their companions like they were selecting produce at the grocery store. Pick a girl out of a catalogue? You do know that there are a thousand ways people can learn to despise each other, don't you? What makes you think such a relationship has any chance of working? Anyway, my friends would not be interested."

He gave me a little death stare, started coughing and took immediate umbrage, denied that his suggestion was a mere transactional commodity exchange. These were women of substance, etc.

Methinks he doth protest too much.

I smirked to myself, happy with the momentary fleeting look of understanding that I had received from his slavic trophy, something akin to you got that right, dude, as soon as I get my residency and a divorce settlement, I am heading for yonder hills.

Or so I thought anyway, I read a lot into things and it was only a momentary connection. Could be way off. Good luck to them. By the way, I know many couples with great relationships and marriages that have met on dating sites, including my late father and his third wife. It can obviously be very successful.

I just think it is important to see potential mates at their worst before you sign on the dotted line, see what kind of left hook you may be looking forward to or what kind of psychosis they may have stored up way back in the closet. People are funny, you know, sometimes it takes a while to figure them out.

I was with my first wife for ten years. It did not end well and the middle wasn't so good either. Leslie and I have been together for thirty four, married for thirty this year. Poor girl should get a medal. We tolerate and put up with a lot from each other. And we both love each other a lot, regardless of our cumulative deficiencies.

I was thinking this morning how lucky I am to have found someone like her to spend my life with. Have never met anybody else with her gifts and skill set. Smart and beautiful and tough as hell.

And I do think that all relationships are transactional but once the contractual rules of engagement are set, that does not mean you can not create a lovely long term life together. You just have to hold up your end.

And you never really know your husband and wife until you see how they act and react when the chips are down and everything is in the shitter. Some men or women that got what they wanted their whole life by playing the beauty card never developed other rather important aspects of their being. I always tried to steer clear of those. Never know when they will flee to a better deal.

I got lucky.

It's a simplification but women tend to crave security, men look for beauty. But I will always remember the sage advice of Lee Trevino, the pro golfer. Purportedly he was in a bar in New York with a bunch of pals when a gorgeous woman walked by and grabbed everybody's attention.

"Never forget, fellows. Somewhere, somebody is tired of that."

Be very careful deciding who to share your life with and where to put your attentions. Things can get very tricky and expensive. Beware of beautiful men and women.

Carnal - © Robert Sommers 2024

Thursday, March 28, 2024

South California Purples - Chicago

The late, great Terry Kath on guitar.

Further on, down the road.

I always hesitate to say that things are going well because, in my experience, as soon as such proclamations are made, things start falling off the stove top and my life comes crashing down to earth. 

But honestly, things have been looking up. Good sales, new clients, after a long downturn I am finally taking a breath, paying my bills and getting caught up.

Not sure why exactly, I'm an antique dealer dammit, not a soothsayer. 

But I do think the yoga is helping me reconnect with my body and literally giving me an opportunity to breathe. 

Nice timeout for me. 

To whomever it might concern out there in the universe, including my clients, family, friends and deity of your choice, thank you!

This morning I felt a little tight in the low back and after coffee I drove down to Los Jilgueros Preserve to enjoy a nice walk in nature.
Lots of wildflowers blooming and birds chirping, I think it is also going to become a new habit.

The sage smelled so good, it is a total sensory experience. 

The California redbud is blooming, I haven't had much luck with the one I planted at home. But I checked it when I got home, still alive. Yippee.

I know I sound like a broken record but I have spent the majority of my life in the North County, forty four years in Fallbrook and I don't remember a more beautiful spring.

The ceanothus is just brilliant with two or three different gorgeous shades of blue. 

The hills look truly magical. 

And I don't think there is anywhere else in the world where it grows like this, at least that I know of. 

All the rain this year did its job.

It is just magnificent.


Of course, life changes. 

It will be hot soon and dry again and I will once again be scurrying around trying to pay my bills.

Such is my lot.

But I am sure enjoying this happy spring nonetheless.

My buddy Jeff came by today with his daughter.

He is a couple years older than me, very solid guy and dear friend.

We are sitting on the bench outside my shop bending our ears and shooting and enjoying the breeze when a young migrant fellow with very poor English stops his bicycle and asks us if we know where he can find any meth?


We look like we know where to find meth?

We told him taking meth was not a very good idea and he quickly rode away.

Very strange.

I hope the migrant population isn't getting  strung out too. Seen too many friends' children turn into feral wolves on speed and now fentanyl.

I think a famous rock star once said that only fools take medicine when they are well. Hard drugs are really not a good idea, kids. Can't think of a lot of people that they have actually helped.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

You don't have to cry

These days...

Michael Calvanese sent over a very interesting piece on fear and the amygdala from Delancey Place.



Such a beautiful time of the year. 

A warm moon in the morning chill.

The ceanothus is cranking like never before with all the winter rain.

Wisteria is doing its thing.

My echium and rock rose are starting to bloom.
Hooded orioles back.

We Fallbrookians are very blessed.

We have lost two great Fallbrookians recently, Steve Gaggero and Gerald Port.

Both of those gentlemen were top notch.

I believe that I met Jerry in the seventies when I used to drive up to Fallbrook to play basketball at the Boy's and Girls Club.

His late father became a very close friend. Here is a picture of them both with Jerry's wife, Denise.

Steve, the owner of Good Earth Nursery, was never less than kind and wonderful to me.

Speaking of nurseries, I was talking to an oldtimer the other day who remarked what a shame it was to lose Nickerson's Nursery.

I agree.

Place used to be so great and vibrant and then poof, it has lain dormant for how long?

Sad. And for why?


I lost a long time compatriot from the antique world this week, Bill Noonan.

A proud son of Kentucky, Bill was a wonderful man who loved pottery and art.

He will be greatly missed.

Bill is on the right in this picture from Modern Times or a Glendale Show, maybe the only one I have.

Not quite sure who the pageboy guy is next to him in the garish tie dye?

Think that is all I have got for now. Client coming...

This cool shirt on NextDoor:

The rescued baby hedgehog was really a pom pom.

Thinking, fast and slow.


Season of the Hawk

I saw one baby red tailed hawk head this morning. The technical word for the hatchling is eyass or eyas. It is difficult to know exactly how many babies are in the nest for a couple weeks. I always get fooled.

I took these shots when it was still pretty dark this morning, 10,000 iso. The new denoise tools in lightroom are pretty remarkable.

Should be pretty fun in the weeks ahead. 

Hawk season is one of my favorite times of the year!

Postscript: My neighbor Stephanie just called, said she just saw the mother feeding two very aggressive babies. So we have at least two.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024



Thursday night. San Diego State Aztecs shock the world.

Chicken Shack - When The Train Comes Back

Traffic - Empty Pages

Keeping it in perspective

Joel sent me this, I think it was floating around the internet. I have not fact checked it but it may very well be accurate. It's not.

The population of Earth is around 7.8 Billion.

For most people, it is a significant figure. However, if you condensed 7.8 billion into 100 persons, and then into various percentage statistics, the resulting analysis is relatively much easier to comprehend.

Out of 100:

11 are in Europe

5 are in North America

9 are in South America

15 are in Africa

60 are in Asia

49 live in the countryside

51 live in a city.


75 have mobile phones

25 do not.

30 have internet access

70 do not have the availability to go online.

83 can read

17 are illiterate.

33 are Christians

22 are Muslims

14 are Hindus

7 are Buddhists

12 are other religions

12 have no religious beliefs.

26 live less than 14 years

66 died between 15 - 64 years of age

8 are over 65 years old.

If you have your own home, eat full meals & drink clean water, have a mobile phone, can surf the internet, and have gone to college, you are in the minuscule privileged lot. (in the less than 7% category)

Amongst 100 persons in the world, only eight live or exceed the age of 65! If you are over 65 years old, be content & grateful. Cherish life. Grasp the moment.

If you did not leave this world before the age of 64, like the 92 persons who have gone before you, you are already the blessed amongst humankind.

Take good care of your health. Cherish every remaining moment.


I decided to fact check one thing that didn't square with me. 

This is indeed incorrect. The population of North America is 579 million, South America 422.5 million. So perhaps the whole thing is bullshit or made up by some gross AI entity? I decided to keep checking.

The religious breakdown is fairly accurate.

Contrary to the meme, about 85% of the world's population now owns a smartphone. World literacy rate is also a bit higher than the meme although I have no idea when it was actually written.

World internet access was way off. Double the meme.

Not quite sure how to interpret the child mortality rate statistic but it also might be off considerably.

According to the WHO the life expectancy stats stated are way off. 

Besides all this the meme is perfect and somewhat inspirational. But definitely take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt. Except for the blast of course. Because we care.

Hummer in the nasturtiums, juvenile bald eagle and egret rising


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Harry Nilsson

Banging track. Sort of a J.J. Cale vibe. I heard this on Sirius the other day and was wondering if Lennon was playing on it? He, and the rest of the fab four loved Nilsson. John drank with him a lot in Los Angeles. Have you ever watched the Nilsson documentary? Extraordinary talent, so musical, he could do anything, in any genre. Sort of like Rundgren.

Anyway, I found out, no Lennon on this track. But it does feature Ringo on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass along with Frampton and Chris Spedding on guitar, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Bobby Keys on sax.

New residents

Leslie and I drove by the red tailed hawk nest Friday evening and both parents were there. There was a lot of activity and mom flew away with half a rabbit in the frenetic moment we shared.

I told her that I had a premonition that we would see babies the next day.

Yesterday I drove by the nest in the rain and mom was feeding.

Wouldn't you know? I can just see the tops of little white heads. Took a few shots and she went back to her job keeping the hatch warm.

Won't be long. Will put my good lens in the car and wait. Happy time for me every year.

By the way, more rain in the forecast for next weekend. It just doesn't stop this year. Which is good.

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - Drifting

Saturday, March 23, 2024

From the New Yorker



I am on Linked In, for some unknown reason. Every once in a while you get a message showing you who has been looking at your profile. The other day I saw that one of the 34 searchers was the Metropolitan Police.

As in Scotland Yard.

Uh, what's up fellas? 

Looking to buy a painting?

Super Patriot


Friday, March 22, 2024

Osprey, fish and bugs


Gypsy Lights

Friday Crossfire

Jerry Hall sent this over - Men who bake.


Peter sent this interesting article by Jeff Jacoby, The slashing of Balfour's portrait.

And a Trump description from across the pond.


Joel sent this over. How true.


Andor Legos


Was Cream misunderstood? Disraeli Gears.


Say what you want about Democrats. You rarely hear them seriously considering executing their elected officials. We sort of grin and bear it. It is amazing to think about what is happening in North Carolina, from the Governor's race to this nutcase.


I haven't worked out in years. I have to tell you, I am really loving yoga. Feel so much better, every day!

Doody Call

 I saw this comment on NextDoor, worth pondering. 


I heard we had a 100,000 extra immigrants in San Diego county, not sure if it is true. There is certainly a homeless epidemic. 

Somebody had a beer party behind my store last night and once again, left all their trash back there. Don't say call the sheriff, they do nothing around here for this sort of thing. It is our problem.

And honestly, I can deal with a little trash.

But you see those four beer bottles in the back, close together? 

Someone stuck them in a big fat human turd.

That is pure passive aggressive and beyond my call of duty and any altruism I might have once possessed. That is plain nasty and I am sick of it.

When it finally hardens I will take care of it but honest to god, I didn't sign up for this.

Fucking assholes.

Harpo's Blues

Day in the life

Abby, my first love, sent a picture of her beautiful young granddaughter. So happy for her and her husband Jay.


Leslie and I spent a day together in San Diego this week.

We dropped off a painting or two at a clients, then went out to Chinese food at Spicy City, her favorite place on Convoy. 

Spicy city has a nice cold bar where you get to pick your selections. 

We went with our usual, pickled cucumbers, bamboo shoots and smoked beef. 

Cumin lamb and garlic pork chops. 

It is really delicious but definitely spicy. 

Afterwards we drove up to San Elijo Lagoon for a short walk. Saw lots of ducks, mostly widgeons. The Ranger said a domestic duck with a white crown has been living with the cormorants for about eight weeks.

Then we went to Swamis to look at the garden and the ocean.

The dahlias were so beautiful!

We left Swamis and decided to cap the day off by walking out to the pier in Oceanside. 

Were thinking about the new fish and chips place but it was a little too pricey.

Then back home!

All good.