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Jelly, jelly so fine

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Creator Has a Master Plan

Norman Connors does a nice job here on the Pharaoh Saunders composition. 1976.

Lucky Bob and Lucky Tom

It has been a whirlwind week. Lots of business, activity and driving. Leslie went to Dallas to visit her brother and her flight back Thursday was delayed. Didn't get home until near midnight. 

I had dinner with Steve at a neighborhood place in Kensington and then drove to Coronado. 

I hung out at Chip's and listened to music while I waited for the plane to land. 

Bitches Brew by Miles Davis was a near religious experience on his amazing sound system.

Thank you Steve, Chip and Celia!

Next day I drove to Oakland, had dinner and a great visit with Melissa and Gary.  

She made the best lasagna I have ever tasted.

The next morning I got up at six, drove into the city and stopped by Big Dave's to have a quick scone-off. Saw Amy and Cassidy.

I brought my two day old cranberry blueberry with dried nectarines and walnuts, he countered with a very tasty lemon poppy. 

Tie I think.

Drove over to a client's place in the Outer Sunset district afterwards, bought some incredible material. 

Very happy.

Afterwards I drove to Burlingame to see Warmboe and Ann, then drove to Loughlins for a nice chat. Stopped by and saw Kerry too.

Left the city and drove to Sonoma. Bought more great stuff from Petteford and stayed with he and his wife Anne that night in Sebastopol after a terrific Peruvian meal together in Santa Rosa. 

I took my leave Sunday morning, drove to Berkeley to see my friend Richard. He took me out to the Berkeley Country Club. 


Talk about an outrageous view! What a wonderful golf course. We had lunch at his club and watched the Masters. Really nice. His wife Wanda Westberg is a great painter and I had never met her before. Like to sell a few of her pieces.

I left Berkeley and GPS took me past Tilden Park. So beautiful. How did I never know about this park before? Been going to Berkeley for 50 years. Incredible.


I headed over to Fresno to see my stepmother, Shela. 

We had a nice Chinese dinner and caught up on family stuff. She looks good and is really taking care of herself. Has a nice garden.

She gave me a beautiful painting of my fathers that I have always loved, 17th or 18th century Flemish. Might be egg tempera?

I left early yesterday and drove down after a stop in Bakersfield to see my pottery restorers. I bought a blue Natzler bowl that had a small rim chip and needed a touch of restoration. They have retired and are now only working for old clients. Wouldn't know what we would do without them.

Drove home, no traffic but a lot of miles. My right leg throbbed from all the accelerator pushing and frenetic schedule. I can't believe how many people saw and deals I made in three days. But it all worked out perfectly. Crammed a lot of activity into a very limited amount of time. Left nothing on the table. Put it on my headstone.





And now I am back home. Yea!

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Last week was tough for me. I was pissing blood, usually a sign for me that the cancer was back. I have a cystoscope scheduled for Friday. But I drove down to the hospital and got a test and was relieved this week that there were no malignant cells detected so I feel a heck of a lot better. I was really getting down and dark.

Now I think I will be alright. One day at a time.

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Jeff's buddy sent him this shot from Fairbanks.

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Tom's little dog got away in Rainbow yesterday. 

Actually it is his wife's dog. Ran away and disappeared. 

Would not come back. 

Tom, quite rightly, caught holy hell. 

Today he went back to that property and the dog jumped in the car. 

Very lucky, lots of critters out there to take out a little Bichon frise

Save Tom a major ass kicking too.

Five million and change

 


Thursday, April 11, 2024

Evolve

Quote of the day

He said that Biden didn’t know that Africa was a country*, he couldn’t remember the year his son died, he didn’t know the last names of staff members, he forgot when he was vice president, all very embarrassing stuff,” said Newsmax host Rob Finnerty, throwing a question to Representative James Comer about special counsel Robert Hur’s report on the president’s mental acuity.

           *It's not. 

Yo, five million

I used to care about numbers, not so much anymore. However I think I should note that in about two days the blog will officially reach five million views. I might be out of town and will probably not have access to a computer so I mention the milestone now.


I ran across this blogpost the other day and see that it took my seven years to hit one million and roughly eight more to almost hit the five mark. I guess business is picking up?

Not really sure how the view thing works. I know I hit 12 million views on Google + years ago when it signed off but the metrics are very arcane and I certainly don't understand them. Views, schmews.

Suffice it to say that I thank you all for tuning in once again, especially those of you that don't do blogs. Your readership means a lot to me. I don't do facebook or instagram, this is sort of my kitchen table and I am so happy that you came to join me.

We have covered an awful lot of ground.

As long as my loyal readers stay in touch, honestly the number of views are meaningless to me. Who knows how many originate in some Singapore troll farm anyway?

Thanks again.

The Grunion Invasion

Shooting War

 

This article has been percolating recently and it should give everyone pause for concern; are we heading to more extremist violence and insurrection or even a civil war in this country?

U.C. Davis has been studying trends and the statistics are frightening.

Large numbers of Americans who have bought guns over the past four years or who regularly carry their loaded weapons in public are willing to engage in political violence, even to the extent of shooting a perceived opponent, a new mega-survey has found.

The study of almost 13,000 Americans, drawn from across the US and weighted for demographics, provides alarming evidence of the openness of certain types of gun owners to the idea – and possibly the practice – of violence as a political actThe risk of violent behavior rose dramatically, the researchers found, with certain subsets of gun owners.

In particular, Americans who have bought their weapons since the disruptions of Covid in 2020 and those who often or always carry guns in public expressed high levels of susceptibility to political violence. A similar, though less marked, trend was visible among owners of assault-style rifles of the sort used frequently in mass shootings.

The study, Firearm Ownership and Support for Political Violence in the United States, was conducted by the violence prevention research program at the University of California, Davis. Its findings will ring alarm bells at an already exceptionally tense time for the country.

This is the part of the conclusion most sobering: 

About 42% of owners of assault-type rifles said political violence could be justified, rising to 44% of recent gun purchasers, and a staggering 56% of those who always or nearly always carry loaded guns in public.

One has to wonder how certain members of the House GOP will react to the next insurrection and which side of the battle lines they will be standing on? 

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Civil War - The Movie

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Spirit - "Nature's Way"

Hipster neolithic

I readily admit to having a tattoo aversion. It is not a part of my family or tribal culture but I know that we all have different aesthetics and sensibilities so I try very hard not to judge. 

Research shows that a full 32% of all Americans are now sporting ink.



I am not sure of all the biblical underpinnings for the frowning on tattoos in the Jewish belief system but Leviticus 19:28 states:
"You shall not make any gashes on your skin for the dead or incise any marks (כתבת קעקע) on yourself; I am the Lord."
Maimonides concluded that regardless of intent, the act of tattooing is prohibited (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Idolatry 12:11).

But hey, I know Jewish people completely covered with tats, to each his own. So much for the Talmud right? 

Of course there was a wave of Jewish forearm tattoos in the 1940's but that was pretty much compulsory.

In any case, my tribe is relatively young, not close to 6000 years old or so and there is now evidence that the tattoo and piercing phase extends further back. 

Otzi the Iceman
had 61 tattoos adorned on his now frozen flesh back in the fourth millennium B.C., a period known as the European copper age.

He would fit in quite easily at your local goth establishment.

And new evidence that body piercing occurred 11,000 years ago, in remarkably similar body locations as it is plumbed today.

The clear upshot? 

I'm the outlier, the anomaly. 

All you tattooed hipsters with the ear gauges, typical stuff. Hate to tell you this but you're quite normal, folks have been doing it for over ten thousand years.

Try again.

Dark Star

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Doodie Calls

I have been a bachelor for a few days. Leslie went back to Dallas to see her brother and his family and to catch the eclipse.

Although it was cloudy she said it was great and sent me this shot. She had an eclipse lens that attached to cell phones. Or I think that is what she said. Anyway she is having a great time and I am trying to keep things together at home.

We have three cats, all with very different personalities, all good kitties. My job is to keep them fit, fed, happy and alive until she gets back.

So a quick discussion on the subject and then I sign off, not feeling too chipper of late and I don't really feel like writing too much.

Besides feeding the cats and petting the cats and watching them when they play outside so they don't get chomped by predators, I also now have cat box detail. Twice a day.

Now there are not many things I dislike as much as cleaning the catbox. It's like this; every time I either do the dishes or clean the cat box, my spouse finds something to kvetch about. For some reason she doesn't like the job I do and says she has to re-do it. And I honestly apologize for that. It is not intentional, I can assure you.

But how does the old saying go, never get really good at something that you can't stand doing despise. I think that when it comes to cleaning cat boxes that maxim has stood me well. Sorry baby, I tried.

Heart To Hang Onto

Ronnie and Pete.

Beware the garbage police!

I saw this post on NextDoor the other day.

I did some checking and it is legitimate. Random trash audits. Prepare to be scanned. Good grief! Apparently this is not Edco, this is Sacramento. 

Now personally, I sometimes get confused about which plastic goes in which bin, or paper, it is not always easy. My wife corrects me all the time. Guess we will have to study up lest we get sent to refuse prison.

One of the commenters said that she received a notice of a violation in her green refuse bin but they would not tell her what was the offending particle.

This should work out really well.

Unaffiliated

We know that god works in mysterious ways but here's one for you.


Definite headline of the year.
BONIFAY, Fla. (AP) — A woman checked out of a Florida hotel and told staff that she was going on a God-directed shooting spree because of the solar eclipse, then shot two drivers on Interstate 10 before being arrested and charged with attempted murder Monday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Taylon Nichelle Celestine, 22, of Georgia, entered the highway 115 miles (180 kilometers) from the Alabama border in the Florida Panhandle and headed west. Within 5 miles (8 kilometers), she fired into a passing car several times, spraying auto glass and grazing the driver in the arm, the department said in a statement.

She then fired at a second vehicle, hitting the driver in the neck. The driver was injured and treated at a hospital.

Troopers stopped the woman after she drove for about 16 miles (26 kilometers) and found her with an AR-15 rifle and 9mm handgun. She was arrested and booked into the Holmes County jail. She was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and improper discharge of a firearm.
My question is what right we have to interfere with her religious liberty? If god says shoot...

Linda sent me this in response: "Were you or a loved one supposed to ascend into heaven for the rapture but didn't? You may be entitled to financial compensation."

Funny world we live in.

Of course we are free to believe or not believe, although in one poll I read that atheists ranked below murderers in the societal approval metrics. They tie with rapists. There have been several studies that support this.

Did you know that there is a correlation between church attendance and higher gun violence? Strange, huh? True.


People don't trust atheists. Even fellow atheists don't trust atheists according to the studies. Yet more and more people are now identifying as atheist or agnostic and church attendance is plummeting globally and here in America. Don't blame me, I'm just a reporter.


According to Pew, believers are still way ahead.

*
Speaking of religion, and reporting, it seems like religion and faith is spreading more and more into our public discourse. And I wonder if that is necessarily a good thing?

I was looking at the local paper this week and an editor wrote an article about the Hope Clinic for Women that provides birthing information and some health diagnostics for pregnant women (although I don't believe there is a licensed doctor on staff. I could be wrong.)

Anyway they try to talk women out of having abortions and that is obviously their right. My question is the wording of the article itself.
Hope Clinic for Women held its 19th Annual Inspiring Hope Gala March 15 at SonRise Christian Fellowship. With the support of the community, HCW has continued to offer its free services but needs help to keep growing along with the needs of its clients.

Executive Director Carolyn Koole reported that on the services provided in 2023: 23 babies were born to moms in the program; 1,040 client visits provided 4,050 free services; 71 free pregnancy tests and 88 free ultrasounds were given along with 789 individual educational classes.

Besides those services, nine abortion pill rescue treatments were given and over 2,500 volunteer hours were performed. Koole added that 80% of their clients have an annual income of less than $15,000, 69% are single and 52% are under the age of 24.

Last year, God blessed HCW with a matching grant through Zion Lutheran Church. It was also able to replace its 12-year old ultrasound machine and to start a fatherhood program which celebrated its first anniversary the next day. Eight father coaches are currently volunteering their time.
Last line in the last paragraph. Last year, God blessed HCW... 

I really can't recall seeing a line like this written by a reporter in a public newspaper. Or is it a public newspaper? Perhaps it is a private newspaper sometimes read by the public. In any case, it is our only printed local news source.

An editor making a theological statement about a business receiving a divine blessing. Today I looked at the print edition and the publisher has a similar article on the first page that also adopts a seemingly non secular message.

Is this type of religious cheerleading in a newspaper a good thing or a bad thing?  I grew up in publishing and have written for several magazines in my life and no publisher or editor that I knew would ever let a writer take such a stand. But that is then and this is now and I guess I will have to adapt to this brave new world we live in. Or stop reading the paper entirely if I do not care to be proselytized to or accept the fact that it is now a religious screed.

Are public professions of faith in non opinion or editorial news articles that reflect a reporter's personal beliefs a good thing or a bad thing?

What do you think?

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Renegade Nell

If you are able to stream Disney +, check out this great new show, swashbuckling fantasy set in 18th century England. 

Family friendly and really well done.

Baby pics

 


Fooled me again. Three red tailed hawk babies in the nest this year. Growing fast.


Saturday, April 6, 2024

Paul De Gaston, again

Do you remember my stories about Paul de Gaston? Nazi spy, artist, photographer, abortionist, Black Dahlia figure, philanderer, or were there actually two Paul de Gastons? 

It was the most incredible whodunit story I have ever uncovered on this blog or in my life. I don't know how many posts I have previously written on the subject but at least twelve.

I will try to put the saga in coherent form again, it has been a few years. 

A more talented writer would have already written a book I suppose. 

Sadly, I destroyed some of my most salacious emails from the family when a few members said they brought up too much personal pain.

I received some rather interesting new information from the family today that I will share with you shortly, not that I will ever be able to completely put this story to bed...

Toots & the Maytals

2-4-6-17-25-31

It is a story I have often considered and thought about. 

A poor cab driver from Pakistan, Ihsan Khan, has a dream, is given the winning lottery numbers in a vision.

He goes back to his native village just in time to save his compatriots after a massive earthquake.

He ultimately bankrolled the region's earthquake recovery.

Most of his life, Khan seemed to be running as far as possible from Pakistan and poverty. At about 21, he moved first to the Chicago area, and after marriage, a son and a divorce, to Washington. He lost touch for years with his Pakistan family, who thought he was dead. Eventually he came back home. He married a Batagram woman. But he stayed in Pakistan only a month here, a month there. Always, he returned to D.C., where he drove a cab, making about $3,000 a month.

The dream came to him in the early 1990s — a “beautiful” dream, one with diamonds and rubies and Khan speaking to a crowded room of “way too many people.” Then the numbers popped up: 2-4-6-17-25-31.

Khan says he played those numbers for years. In November 2001, with no. 31, he hit a $55.2 million Powerball jackpot. Khan chose a lump-sum award of $32,499,939.24, which after taxes worked out to about $18 million.

He gave one last cab ride — free — before walking away from his job. He bought a million-dollar home in Virginia and a Mercedes-Benz. He started an education foundation named after his late mother. And then he moved home and was elected mayor.

The earthquake hit as he walked through the cemetery. He felt the ground shake, saw cracks snake up the buildings. “I saw houses to the right and left, falling down,” he said. People crawled out from under the rubble, crying, yelling, blood running down their faces. “Some dying before me,” he recalled. Since then, he has dealt with the survivors and the wreckage. He works out of a white tent, in the shadow of the damaged district office. A phone line has been strung into the tent. Khan sits behind a walnut desk propped up on bricks...

I like to bag on religion and faith but there are times that events occur that are way beyond any semblance of rationality, like the story of the good cab driver, who ended up at just the right place at the right time.

I heard another story yesterday that gave me pause in regards to my religious cynicism. A couple came to the shop yesterday that have been friends and clients for about thirty years. Haven't seen them for a long time. They are both very intelligent and he is a Pentecostal minister, with a church in Vista for as long as I have known him. Their daughter also shares the pulpit with him.

Forty six years ago Janice and Roger were living in North Park. At midnight one day in September Janice woke up with an ominous portent of doom and got a particular urge that she fought with initially, thinking that people would consider her crazy.

She didn't want to wake Roger but she got a neighbor and told her that they needed to go out and pray for every house and person on their block.

They did so, stopping in front of every home and uttering a prayer for love and protection.

A week later PSA flight 182 came down on the next block, one of the worst tragedies in San Diego history, ultimately killing 144 people.

How did she know that the block was in danger? What convinced her to go out in the middle of the night to pray for her neighbors in her pajamas?

You can tell me that a blind dog sometimes finds a bone or a broken clock is right twice a day or any number of sophist points to deny the incredible vision that Khan the cabdriver or my friend Janice experienced but I have a different explanation.

They are tuned in to a higher power or super intelligence that defies rational thought.

I need to remember these stories when I am so quick to belittle or condemn people of faith. Because I never got the winning lottery numbers in a dream, I will tell you that.

I learned something.

Take That Pollution Out Your Throat - Wilson Pickett

Waterworld


I have read several articles lately that show what will happen in states like Florida and California as sea level continues to rise. Scientists believe that the effects will be extreme. I mentioned this at coffee the other day and Joel said that the sea level has not risen.

Joel is wrong.

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

https://www.ppic.org/publication/sea-level-rise-in-california/


Want to even get more depressed? Read this one.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/apr/06/simply-mind-boggling-world-record-temperature-jump-in-antarctic-raises-fears-of-catastrophe

I know that I am a pessimist but as smart and capable as hominids like to think they are, I wouldn't bet a nickel on our long-term chances in this regard. Glad my ranch is a comfortable distance from the coast.

Keep doubling down on stupid, humans, perhaps Musk and Bezos will put you up on a new planet to destroy when you are done with this one. And you can always shrug your shoulders and say that it was god's will.

Mow them weeds

I've got a little over four acres here included an unused pasture and the weeds just won't ever stop. Todd, the guy who helps around here, says that it is just too much to weed whip with all the rain. 

We are all getting older and I have been maintaining this particular ranch for 35 years. I get it. McDaniels does the mowing for me once a year but it is not cheap.

I have talked to a friend or two in similar straits and we have come up with the idea of buying a small tractor together. Used but in good shape, dependable. Maybe a Massey or Kubota?  I had a Massey when I was contracting and it was bulletproof.

But we don't have the money for a big outlay.


If you know someone with a tractor that they are not using in good working order, priced reasonably,  please let me know.

Graham Bond Organisation - Harmonica

Quick takes

From Kip - Wondrous Eclipse

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Rural Rage a myth?

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Malachi Flynn scores fifty!

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The line between life and death

"In the moments after Patient One was taken off oxygen, there was a surge of activity in her dying brain. Areas that had been nearly silent while she was on life support suddenly thrummed with high-frequency electrical signals called gamma waves. In particular, the parts of the brain that scientists consider a “hot zone” for consciousness became dramatically alive. In one section, the signals remained detectable for more than six minutes. In another, they were 11 to 12 times higher than they had been before Patient One’s ventilator was removed.

“As she died, Patient One’s brain was functioning in a kind of hyperdrive,” Borjigin told me. For about two minutes after her oxygen was cut off, there was an intense synchronisation of her brain waves, a state associated with many cognitive functions, including heightened attention and memory. The synchronisation dampened for about 18 seconds, then intensified again for more than four minutes. It faded for a minute, then came back for a third time."

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Poop bombing cetaceans.

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The story of Cream's Disraeli Gears.

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So what if the abandoned critter is actually a pom pom?

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Jean Maria Arrigo, who exposed psychologists’ links to torture, dies at 79

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Saudi Suffragettes get screwed.

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Cook's Journal - Arroz con pollo

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Kill Jews, the cocktail. How could that be racist? Reminds me of the stink eyes Leslie and I received in the synagogue in Toledo.

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Dragon Man

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Sea Nomads

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How all in the family explains today's political dynamic.

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Trump’s Second-Term Blueprint Would Take A Wrecking Ball To Public Lands

Friday, April 5, 2024

Traffic Tsuris

My wife and I had to go to San Marcos to pay property taxes yesterday and run a few more errands in Vista.

Coming back we ran into the traffic jam of all traffic jams on the S-13 back into town. It took us an hour and twenty minutes to make it from the Daniels market intersection back into town. 3:54 to 5:16 p.m. I missed an important meeting.

Whoever is managing this roadwork is doing a terrible job. I have never seen traffic this bad here in all my years. An ambulance came by at one point and I was worried for whoever needed attention.

I still don't know the cause of the delay. The road was one lane at Green Canyon but it didn't look like any work was being done.

Ridiculous.

Go south from town at your own peril.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Hooker and Steve

My friend New York Stan, who played with the Incredible String Band and managed Muddy, talks reverentially about Earl Hooker as do many blues aficionados. I like him but he doesn't rise to the Magic Sam level in my personal pantheon. Haven't heard enough of him actually.

I was looking for a Steve Miller song on his discography the other day and saw this 1969 Arhoolie release that I never knew existed.

Miller plays piano and organ, sings on a track or two. Louis Myers on harp. 

Steve Miller is pretty amazing. A child prodigy, he was a friend and student of Les Paul.  I have seen him many times and he really loves the blues! What a voice and band too, underrated, especially the early stuff.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Can't Find My Way Home

My Moosterpiece


Jeff and Gina gifted us another organic moose roast that he harvested up at his home in Alaska. Super clean protein, lives on willow. The moose is an even toed ungulate, the only remaining species in the Alces family.

I cooked it up tonight but did not prepare it in my usual way.

I usually soak the moose in milk to get rid of the supposed gamey taste. But honestly it never tastes gamey to me so I didn't tonight. I like the flavor!

I have also previously braised the moose in the french oven for a long slow cook, tonight I just decided to cook it like a beef roast in a roasting pan, quick and easy. I don't find it particularly tough but it has that reputation.

I patted it dry, used copious amounts of kosher salt and pepper and then finished seasoning with thyme, rosemary, garlic powder and onion salt.

I stuck the Le Creuset skillet in the oven to get real hot and then seared the roast in hot oil. 

Didn't get real brown but close enough.


I covered it in bacon on the sheet pan and surrounded it with potatoes and carrots. Poured some tempranillo over the whole thing. Sprayed some duck fat on the spuds.

I brought the moose to about 144 degrees, a little more medium than last time but still really good. Cooked very fast, around forty five minutes. The bacon fat helped the potatoes and carrots, which are now super sweet, best I have ever made, frankly.

Leslie won't eat it but I want to tell you, it is really good!


As I have mentioned previously, it is illegal to sell or buy moose in this country. It must be gifted. Thank you Jeff and Regina!

Wednesday this and that

I was on a bit of a manic roll all day yesterday, had a good time goofing on people.

I went to Ace hardware and there was a guy outside looking at a light bulb. 

As I strode past him I said, "Looks like you just had a brilliant idea." 

Guy didn't even smile or flinch but I thought it was funny.

This is a photo of my friend Tom looking stoic and recreating the scene for me in my green room. Please don't try this at home.

*

I later went to the grocery store to buy a chicken for last night's feast.

The young cashier was ringing it up and in my most sincere voice I asked her if she could tell me anything about the chicken's upbringing and what it's emotional state might have been when it was ultimately dispatched?

The owner of Grocery Outlet was standing there and busted up laughing.

*

The chicken ended up being spatchcocked and plunked down in my Peruvian aji amarillo recipe.

Dinner was wonderful if a bit spicy. Stuff is addictive.

I also made scones this week. 

Back to basics, simple cranberry, walnut and ginger. 

No icing, they were really good. Unfortunately only one left.

They don't last long.

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Joel brought his new 1963 Chrysler Imperial to coffee the other day. 

What a dreamboat.

Two and a half tons of driving pleasure.

This was Chrysler's answer to the Cadillac. 

Car is pretty mint, 32k original miles.

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I ran into Little C on the street yesterday.

The longtime Fallbrook tattoo artist is now hawking his own brand of pomade.

I don't normally use the stuff but he turned me on to a can.

Pretty cool.

I wish him good luck on his venture.

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Jon Harwood snapped this picture of Dirty Ray and a few of his boys yesterday.

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I have been taking a morning walk at Los Jilgueros Preserve. I turn on my Merlin bird app and it tells me what birds I am listening to on my hike. 

I believe that it is helping me refine my auditory skills. 

This is an abbreviated list, it was mostly song sparrows and grackles but my screenshot couldn't get them all in.

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Enjoy the beautiful day, everybody.