Blue Heron in flight

Friday, May 31, 2024

Judge them by the company they keep...

 I saw this headline in the WaPo today:

Nice to have friends, I suppose. And haven't they hired Tucker Carlson recently? The other day the now convicted felon Trump was going on about his boy crush, North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un.

Donald Trump is still reminiscing about the greatest love of his presidency: Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea.

In an interview with right-wing podcaster Tim Pool over the weekend, Trump spoke at length about how good his relationship was with the dictator, claiming that Hillary Clinton would have brought the country to the brink of war had she been president.

“It boiled down to something that was very beautiful, the way it happened, and I got along with him very well,” Trump said, saying that their relationship “morphed” from insults early on.

“He respected me, I respected him,” said Trump. He called Kim a “very smart guy, very strong guy” and the “absolute leader” of his country.

Both the Korean dictator and Putin are murderous thugs who assassinate their political opponents and think nothing of killing innocent civilians. It does not speak well for the moral fiber of Donald Trump. He is unfit to lead our nation.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Time to get really low...

Iron Butterfly

Message from Lori

Many people know that Brian Cook of Express Copy Center has been in the hospital for several weeks after some very serious surgery.

I talked to his wife Lori yesterday at the car show and she asked me to let people know that they are still open for business but with limited hours.

She sent me this note today:

Robert wanted me to explain about Brian having surgery. He went in in April and had a non cancerous tumor removed from his brain.  He was just was transferred to an extended care facility after 4 weeks in ICU. He has possibly another 3 to 4 weeks in extended care, maybe less maybe more, no one knows. He is improving and his spirits are good he is waiting to be able to come home and come to shop to be able to see everyone. We are all very thankful for all the prayers and well wishes that have been thrown our way.  I believe those have been very instrumental in Brian's recovery we almost lost him he flat lined twice during surgery and again in recovery but is on the road to recovery.

We definitely appreciate everyone's understanding of our crazy hours at Village Copy Center. I am there every morning till usually 11 or 12 in the afternoon due to the fact of me also working at Pauma Casino where Brian would totally be able to take over in the afternoon and keep things rolling and until he comes back it will continue to be crazy.

We ARE able to still provide the services to our customers. Emails are always encouraged with the file attachment to allow us to complete your job along with your contact information. Our services will still as always be done in a timely manner. Jobs that are completed will be at shop to pick up email will be sent stating job is complete and if you need it after we are closed you able to pick it up next door at the Yogurt Palace.  

We appreciate your business we need your business some have worried about burdening us in this time. Rest assured it is no burden we definitely want to continue to serve our community and all the loyal people whether they are new customers or those who are returning. Again best method of communication is email villagecopyctr@yahoo.com  by emailing I have more access to monitor and receive through out the day whether I am there or not.  Again thank you so much.  Lori

Fare thee well, Bill

"Bill Walton is the best player for a big man who ever played the game of basketball." Philadelphia 76er Coach Gene Shue

I was sad and surprised to see that Bill Walton had died. Of cancer. I had no idea he was ill. Walton had the greatest career of any college center, he was incredibly dominant while at UCLA. 

But he might have been even more impressive in high school, at Helix High in La Mesa.

As a senior in 1969–70, Walton made 384 of 490 shot attempts, 78.3 percent, still the all-time national record. In addition, Walton's 825 rebounds that season ranks No 3 all-time. His 25.0 rebounds per game in a season ranks No. 7 all-time.

Walton played for UCLA under Coach Wooden from 1971 to 1974. His older brother Bruce played football at UCLA, enrolling a year ahead of Bill. Bill Walton led the Bruins to two consecutive 30–0 seasons and the NCAA men's basketball record 88-game winning streak. The UCLA streak contributed to a personal winning streak that lasted almost five years, in which Walton's high school, UCLA freshman (freshmen were ineligible for the varsity at that time) and UCLA varsity teams did not lose a game from the middle of his junior year of high school to the middle of his senior year in college.

Walton was drafted into the NBA in 1974 and led Portland to the championship in 1977. He was plagued by bad knees and injuries but used his intelligence and superior passing ability to make his teammates better.

I got to know Bill Walton when he played for the San Diego Clippers. But we never talked basketball, just about the Grateful Dead concerts we were going to. I remember having a long protracted conversation in the upper rows of the Sports Arena before one game.

He loved the dead and was a member of the inner circle. 

If you were unfortunate you would be sitting right behind him, happened to us once or twice at Shoreline, his massive bulk blotting out the stage like a dark star.

He was a great athlete and a better human being, a man who conquered his stuttering and became an able public speaker.

Long may you run, Bill Walton.

I Would If I Could

Fallbrook Vintage Car Show 2024

They brought the Fallbrook Car Show back to Main Avenue this year. It was pretty amazing. 

400 cars, I hear as many as 50 thousand people. Not sure if that is accurate or not but there were a whole mess of humans out there and it was a great day for pretty much everybody.

They had the Fords over here, the Model T's there, the rat rods in their own rusty section. It was very cool. We had a Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, Lotus night years ago, this was the closest to that but with far more cars.

I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in ages, stopped to talk to a lot of them and had a palm hat made for myself.

Joann Roll knows how to fit a hat!

Saw some new and interesting faces as well as some familiar ones.

It was a good day.

Didn't take a lot of pictures but here are a few.

Cool Ford Phaeton.

This blue 1973 BMW 3.0 CS was my favorite car there, stunning!

Some very nice rides. I like it on Main St., or Avenue. Hope they bring it back, was a fun day.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Reparations for Chewbacca


Now the self righteous wokesters are going after a universe far, far away. The wookies apparently weren't the right shade.

“They would say, ‘It’s all white men,’” Lucas said, per Variety. “Most of the people are aliens! The idea is you’re supposed to accept people for what they are, whether they’re big and furry or whether they’re green or whatever. The idea is all people are equal.”

Sorry George, that kind of thinking simply won't fly anymore. 

Actually he thinks that if anyone has a legitimate beef, it is probably the droids:

“People are always discriminating against something and sooner or later, that’s what’s going to happen,” he reportedly said at the festival. “I mean, we’re already starting with AI, saying, ‘Well, we can’t trust those robots.’”

Weather Report - Elegant People

Musk Ox

My photographer friend Wilbur Norman does photo tours all over the world. He has been scouting Norway for an upcoming jaunt and sends this closeup he recently took of a Musk Ox.

The Magnificent Musk Ox - Ovibos moschatus ("musky sheep-ox", the males emit a musky odor during mating season)
It has the same name as me in the Inuit (Eskimo) Inuktitut language: "Umingmak" ("the bearded one"). This is also the title of a 1967 book, 'Oomingmak', by my late acquaintance Peter Matthiessen; I treasure the copy signed to me.)

This photography adventure was quite an experience and one I never have to do again in winter (17 km/10 miles per day in snowshoes at altitude above treeline!) However, my guide 'Alan' tells me the last two weeks of September are a glorious time to visit as the barren, low-scrub landscape turns into autumn colors and the only equipment one needs is good hiking footwear.

Along with the bison and the pronghorn, the muskox was one of a few species of Pleistocene megafauna in North America to survive the Pleistocene/Holocene extinction event and live to the present day. - Wikipedia

IMAGE: ©2024 Wilbur Norman.

They are beautiful creatures. Great job.

Lois sent this over:

           Dave was a single guy, living at home with his father and working in the family business.  He knew that he would inherit a fortune once his sickly father died. Dave wanted two things:

• to learn how to invest his inheritance and to find a wife to share his fortune.

            One evening at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. 

"I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit 20 million dollars."     

 Impressed, the woman obtained his business card.

Two weeks later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men.


Iko Iko - Dixie Cups

Road food

I pride myself in being comfortable in many worlds, rural, urban, provincial, urbane. Rich, poor.

I moved around a lot with a crazy mother as a kid and learned to communicate and fit in at her mercurial footsteps. 

She was a master at that and at sizing people up, she was also a french gourmet cook, which is quite difficult to do when you find yourself at that sad conundrum in your life when you are occasionally very poor.

I feel confidant that we were the only children on our block in El Paso who dined on calves brains and tripe as well as other weird shit. 

She made yoghurt from scratch and I remember her first quiche. People simply didn't each quiche in Cielo Vista in 1965. 

She had a good palette and I think most of her children had one. Buzz, after giving up law and opening a restaurant, was an award winning chef in Toronto.

And then there were times where there was no food in the house, and we lived on corn mush and fish sticks, beanie weenie and minute steaks. A person learns to adapt.

I just returned from San Francisco. Second trip back and forth in what, ten days? Wait, no, a week. I sold some paintings in the south bay, a whirl wind trip. My ankle still hurts from pushing the accelerator and I get to go back on the road Tuesday.

I dropped out of high school and went hitchhiking around the country at 16. Had a ball, traveled far and wide, met up with an incredible cast of characters. Learned how to survive on the road. No one cared about money back then, siddhis, illumination, sex, joy and happiness. You did what you had to do and you took care of each other and I never remember it ever becoming a big deal.


Last week I was driving and I was hungry but didn't want to stop at fast food and was sort of near nowhere on the 99. I went into a Shell station and decided to go to the sandwich rack.

Now I never do this but I had a schedule to meet and I needed to get something into my stomach. What the hell, right? What could it hurt?

It did.

I ordered a chicken caesar wrap with something resembling aoli mayo. What I didn't check out was the vegetable it was laying with in the wrap. I still have no idea what it was, but it tasted acrid and sour like a weed that grows up on a forgotten cement basketball court in the inner city. Like a thistle or artichoke leaf maybe.

It was disgusting. I ate as much as I could bear and threw it away. Very off putting.

This week I found a road sandwich that actually works.  

I like to stop at the Weirick Rd. Arco AM/PM for my first pit stop when I am driving north on the 15.

Anyway, 5:30 in the morning, need to drive ten hours, what do I eat? 

I sauntered over to the hot cart and bought their own Sausage, Egg and Cheese croissant. I ate it. It was good.

And I noticed that they had to be eaten in fifteen hours or thrown away. 

It tasted good and it tasted fresh and so did the second one I bought yesterday on the way back from Woodside.

Of course, this meant I would have to skip stopping at the Jack in the Box in Frazer Park, their small tacos another culinary masterpiece.

I needed to get somewhere, like home, made as few stops as possible. And now I have a new cheap go to when there are very few options. I have had way worse.

As I said, I got up early to go home yesterday. 

Thought the GPS would send me across the 580 but it favored the 101.

I drove through Gilroy and stopped at one of my favorite diners, the Longhouse. 

Leslie, Cam and I have been eating there for over thirty years. 

It burned down once but they rebuilt it. Great breakfasts. I had ham and eggs.

Gilroy is of course the garlic capitol of the world. We love garlic.

When we drive through, we roll the windows down.

It was the strongest and greatest garlic cloud I have ever smelled yesterday.

Going over the Pacheco Pass I decided to stop at Casa de Fruta and buy garlic pistachios and dried apricots. They wanted thirteen bucks for the former and twenty seven for the latter. Too expensive. I left without buying a thing.


My ankle hurts from so much driving.

I went to the mechanic before I left, tire pressure light was on.

I told Gary at Pro-Tire that I was driving back up north and he insisted on checking fluids and making sure I was good to go.

Lo and behold, he showed me that a rat had taken up residence in the engine compartment and had chewed up a bunch wires and left them bare.

Undetected, I could have easily had a fire if they touched, could have been an absolute disaster. I appreciate Gary so much. He has kept me on the road for thirty years, with the best attitude imaginable.

And now he saved me again.

He did a service and oil change three weeks ago. According to the window sticker I am due again in under four hundred miles. Wow. This Ram Pro-Master is so great. It has changed the way I do business, it's load capacity and front wheel drive a blessing. Turns on a dime, could live out of it if I had to.


One thing you don't see today that you saw hitchhiking in the seventies is that nobody writes between the tile cracks like they used to do. You could read some pretty profound wisdom it the tile above the urinal. Don't see it anymore. Ray says they shrunk the grout.


I was thinking about the transgender bathrooms thing when I walked into the rest stop in Avenal for the second time on the trip. I think there is a lot of selective indignation on this subject. You see, there is a sign in the bathroom that says that disabled people might be accompanied by people of the opposite sex. And nobody freaks out, they know that the attendant is not there to "get them." More like, somebody has to pee.

I don't think transgender people are any different or are there to accost anybody, they also have to pee. Let them. I was talking to Dave about this because on the Grateful Dead tour, you often saw women in our bathroom. The lines were shorter and they were not to be denied. No one cared.

But he told me once that he and Jeff got an ovation from the women in the john because they were the only two guys who washed their hands after using the toilet. You see that I hang around with a better class of people.

So what is my scorecard on this issue? Bathrooms, no problem. Compete against biological females in women's sports? No freaking way.


Want to know that you are getting old? Count how many people in your contact's list are dead.

Speaking of getting old, my podiatrist (who said that my big toe is healing splendidly, if you care) told me that you are entitled to a couple free pedicures annually at his office through medicare. Yippee. Who knew?


I just permanently blocked an acquaintance that has become so virulently anti zionist that she justifies the killing of Israeli babies and kids at a concert as long overdue. I tried to explain to her that without Palestine I would not be alive today but she was having none of it. On her way to Washington to protest Gaza. Over and out.


Leslie was broadsided last week, took out the right door of her car and the inner parts of the entire right side. Guy backed into her when she was turning on Hawthorne. He says she hit him but it is impossible to hit somebody with the middle of the side of your car. Cops know, so do the insurance people.


I saw John Paul at dinner at Max's in Burlingame. He told me that as an RSS follower of the blog I make life very hard for him. I write too much and he is getting constantly notified. I am bummed about this. If you are seeing too much of the blast, let me know and I will dial it down.


Warmboe noted that I failed to mention the magnificent short ribs dinner he cooked for me on Wednesday night. It was phenomenal and I apologize.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Soul Kitchen

Long live the Doors

I rarely get asked to dispense any sage advice and it is probably because I don't have too much to dispense. 

But one thing I have learned on my many revolutions around our sun is that it is important to keep your own counsel.

You might have a friend who despises somebody or something, or even have a spouse that does for that matter and you reflexively adopt their opinion. 

And then lo and behold you find out that if you listen to yourself, and you finally meet them or experience something, you may have a completely different attitude.

I was thinking about this the other day when I read an interview with the late David Crosby dissing the Doors.

“Morrison was no effing good as a singer or poet,” Crosby said, deeming him nothing but a “poser.” It’s an opinion he held onto for a long time as he previously said in 1998 that Morrison was “an obnoxious guy”, stating simply, “I knew him, I didn’t like him.”

Now David Crosby was certainly entitled to his opinion, which was shared by quite a few others by the way, including Lou Reed and Hendrix. But I love the Doors and think he is way off base.

Morrison and the rest of the band were not derivative, they followed their own muse.

I was raised on Door's music, they were a favorite of my late mother, Adelle.

And I happen to think that Jim Morrison was a brilliant poet, singer and lyricist  who will be remembered long after people have forgotten who the hell David Crosby was or what he ever wrote.

And to dis Manzarek and to say Krieger and Densmore's playing is pretty okay, well go to hell, David, I think you suck and your guitar playing certainly sucked. I love how all these guys played, think they were incredibly underrated if anything. I believe the Doors music will live forever, I really do. They had a unique sound. Not everybody has to sound the same or play the same tune.

Jerry Garcia, a musician I met several times and respected, had similar feelings about the Doors:
GARCIA: i never liked the doors. i found them terribly offensive...when we played with them. it was back when jim morrison was just a pure mick jagger copy. that was his whole shot, that he was a mick jagger imitation. not vocally, but his moves, his whole physical appearance were totally stolen from right around mick jagger's 1965 tour of the states. he used to move around a lot, before he started to earn a reputation as a poet, which i thought was really undeserved. rimbaud was great at eighteen,nineteen, and verlaine. those guys were great. fuckin jim morrison was not great, i'm sorry. i could never see what it was about the doors. they had a very brittle sound live., a three piece band with no bass- the organ player (manzarek) used to do it. that and that kinda raga-rock guitar style was strange. it sounded very brittle and sharp -edged to me., not something i enjoyed listening to. i kind of appreciated some of the stuff they did later, and i appreciated a certain amount of morrison's sheer craziness, just because that's always a nice trait in rock n roll. no, i never knew him, but richard loren, who works for us, was his agent and had to babysit him through his most drunken scenes and all the times he got busted and all that crap. he's got lots of stories to tell about morrison. i was never attracted to their music at all, so i couldn't find anything to like about them. when we played with them...
The Doors were the number two band in Los Angeles at the Whiskey, Arthur Lee and Love pretty much ruled the town. I knew Arthur a little bit but was really good friends with his childhood best friend, the late Arnold Briscoe. Arnold and Arthur had similar feelings about Morrison.

Millard saw them at the Whiskey and Cheetah and thought they were terrible.

But you know what? All of these guys negative comments, as much as I respect them as people and musicians, they don't mean shit to me. Because I keep my own counsel. And I will always love the Doors. I think Morrison and I had similar childhoods and got knocked around a little. I get him and love him. Long live the doors!