Posts Tagged With: San Francisco Bay

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 7 Jo-jo 0007 (May 22, 2018)

 

 

 

“It’s never treason if you win.’”

Stross, Charles. The Traders’ War: A Merchant Princes Omnibus. Tom Doherty Associates.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA
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TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN SACRAMENTO:

It was a balmy warm spring day. I walked around the lakes at Town Center taking photographs of the flowers now in full bloom and reminiscing about things past and present.
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The Roses at Town Center

For all extents and purposes, I live now in the midst of a forest near the Capitol City in the center of the Great Valley and travel every morning back to the Golden Hills to eat breakfast, exercise and discharge my duties to the Scooter Gang (soon to be renamed the Adolescent Bicycle Riders from Purgatory).

I live in the middle of a deep dark seemingly enchanted forest near the center of Capitol City. It is like living in Capital Park except here, tiny little houses are grouped around curving flower-lined pathways snaking beneath the branches of the trees. There is no horizon visible here like there is in the golden hills, only the trunks and branches of the great trees, redwoods, cedars, and pines and the little slip of sky above. Like all forests, it is quiet, only the slight hum of the nearby freeway penetrates the shadows.
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The Enchanted Forest

In the mornings, I still walk around the lakes in Town Center but in the evening, I now return to stroll along the banks of the American River and through the Enchanted Forest.
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The American River at Dusk

Last night after dark, I watched Marlene Dietrich vamp her way through Shanghai Express, feathers flying, eyes flirting and smoke rising from the cigarette clutched between her fingers like an orchestra conductor’s baton.

On Saturday, I helped Naida set up her table at the semi-annual flea market in Campus Commons where she sold some books. Residents of the subdivisions browsed through the unwanted ephemera of their neighbors. Surprisingly, there were a number of bicycles for sale. It seems bicycle thieves strip the bicycles of desired objects (a gear shift, wheel and the like) and toss the remainder into the neighborhood bushes. The derelict cycles are then sold by the HOA at the market.
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Naida (in the hat) in Discussion with a Potential Customer

I took the time while waiting for the market to close to continue my exploration of the Enchanted Forest. This time around the lakes in the center of the Forrest. I sat on a bench and stared at the water. I was soon joined by another elderly retired gentleman who used to work for a local real estate development company that just so happens to have developed both Serrano the major subdivision in El Dorado Hills and most of Campus Commons. We swapped tales of developments past and discussed at some length the many difficulties and few joys of being old.

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The Lake in Campus Commons

 

That night, we attended a concert in downtown Sacramento that featured a new choral work by a young composer. We believed we were to attend a performance of Tosca but unfortunately had the week wrong. Attributing it all to another example of creeping dementia, we decided to make the best of it and cadged some tickets from a nice couple whose friends could not join them that evening. We enjoyed a presentation of religious-themed music including “Ancient Airs and Dances” by Respighi, Dvorak’s “Te Deum” and “Jubilate Deo” by Dan Forrest (the young composer). The latter contained hymns in Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Mandarin, Zulu and Spanish accompanied by some of their traditional instruments.
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The Concert Finale. (It looks more like the Triumphant March in Aida)

 

B. A BRIEF SOJOURN IN THE BAY AREA:

On Monday, my sister was to be operated on for breast cancer at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. She urged me not to take the long drive to be there since she would probably be too medicated after the operation to appreciate my effort. I told her that I was not coming to see her but to accompany George who I was sure would be quite distressed waiting for the operation to be completed. When I arrived at the hospital, I found George well attended to by Brendan and Katie.

The operation appeared to be a success. Maryann emerged looking well. After they all left the hospital to spend the night in the hotel, I left for Peter’s house in San Francisco. That evening, Peter’s band, Blind Lemon Pledge, played a gig at Green Tortoise, the well known SF hostel featuring the beginning point for the hippy era cross-country bus trip to NYC. I attended as the band’s temporary roadie. During the performance, the management of the hostel, suspicious I might be some homeless person who slipped into the hostel to get out of San Francisco’s spring cold and snag a free meal, questioned me closely. I managed to persuade them that I really was a roadie so they left me alone.

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Blind Lemon Pledge

The following morning Peter and I met with my grandson at Bernie’s for coffee and pastry. Anthony has had what is known as a troubled adolescence that included several convictions for marijuana offenses and the like. For the past few years these offenses have centered on his attempt to develop the technology for distilling the essential ingredients from the cannabis plant, a complex, dangerous, and previously illegal activity. His passion has led him to be hired as laboratory staff by the major (and right now only) approved dealer and developer of cannabis products in SF. The laboratory is virtually indistinguishable from a traditional chemical lab, with gleaming new machines, meters, switches and cautionary signs of the wall. He distills from the plants the various active ingredients that are used to make several products. He replaced two trained college educated chemists. Good luck Anthony.

(JP — Since that meeting I received the following from Anthony:

Thank you, that means a lot. Im happy in this field. And you know.. i have been in this field since i was 13/14 yrs old. Its great to be able to do things legally now.

Remind me, what are your current symptoms now so i can find a cannabis product that will work for you. I remember you said edible maybe 2:1 ratio 2 cbd: 1thc (so higher cbd) are you interested in tinctures and tropicals as well?)

 

C. BACK IN THE GOLDEN HILLS AND THE ENCHANTED FOREST:

One of the more significant problems that arise upon reaching my age is that I often soon forget whatever I may have been recently up to. Like now, I am sitting in a nondescript Starbuck somewhere in Folsom writing this. It is raining outside. I met with my oncologist a few hours ago. He declared me still in remission. Hooray for me. I cannot remember what else I have done since my return to the Great Valley a few days ago. Perhaps, I napped a lot. I recall having a late lunch-early dinner at Subway with HRM a day or so ago. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: How are things going with you?
HRM: Good.
Me: Anything interesting happen in school recently?
HRM: Everything.

And so on — the conversational rhythms of the emerging adolescent.

One evening, we went for dinner at a nearby Ethiopian restaurant. It was enjoyable, especially accompanied by honey wine. That night, I had a dream so loaded with Jungian overtones that to attempt to describe it could lead to madness. I struggled, eventually successfully, to wake myself up but could not get back to sleep again for fear the dream would return.

D. AN INVESTIGATION AND AN ADMISSION:

Recently I learned that someone may have investigated my background and concluded that I was somewhat of a libertine. I am incensed. Not because I had been “investigated.” Nor am I upset because privacy in modern society seems to be as outdated as garters. No, what chaps my hide is that they failed to discover or disclose that I am also a “ner’do well,” bipolar, an only partially reformed doper, and am fond of walking sticks, straw hats and Hawaiian shirts. I firmly believe that when my privacy rights are violated, I deserve the right to be assured that those interested be completely informed of as many of my peccadilloes as possible. Otherwise, I feel others will be left believing I am only half as defective as I actually am. I believe that in a free country, we have as much a right to be acknowledged for our defects as for our abilities.

 

E. SEARCHING FOR “SPITFIRE”:

When one loses a word from memory or from a computer-saved document, it can be quite distressful. Especially if like “Spitfire” it is difficult to replace. We recently lost, or perhaps not lost but misplaced, the word “spitfire.” We were understandably upset and spent a considerable amount of time and effort looking for it — alas, to no effect. It did, however, make quite a story. Unfortunately, it was a story with no end. After all, once you’ve lost your Spitfire, what can you do?

Actually, “Spitfire” was what two full grown men called the 14-year-old girl who fought off their attempt to abduct and rape her. Twenty years later another man tried the same thing with the same woman with the same results. She is not a “spitfire,” she a Heroine because none of the men were punished by anyone but her alone.

“Spitfire” is not alone in her experience. As “me too” movement demonstrates, it is a tragic event in the lives of all too many women.

 

F. ENNUI AND ME:

In life, it is a truism that no great euphoria or great misery goes on forever. Sooner or later they all return to the mundane mean. This morning, after yesterday’s emotional roller-coaster, I, once again, sit in Bella Bru Cafe with my cafe latte and toasted cinnamon-raisin bagel with cream cheese trying to decide which exhibit of life’s amusement park I will visit next.

The sky is overcast, not dark — a light covering of clouds, all silvery light, just waiting for the sun to break through — ambivalent. Sort of like my mood. Should I go for a walk, swim or should I stay here, sipping on my quickly cooling coffee and staring off into the distance? I decide to move — not molt in the darkness. So, I drive to a nearby Starbuck’s, get a warm cafe latte, plug in my Mac, and stare off into the distance. Of all human emotions, I like ennui best.

 

G. SAME OLD GRIND:

Had a great morning. Got out of the house at about eleven-thirty singing “Shaboom” and skipping down the path to the car. The day got even better when I found the car’s windshield did not carry a nasty note warning me I risked receiving a ticket for parking there overnight. The sun was shining as I drove the 20 miles or so up Route 50 to Bella Bru. It was too late for my usual breakfast so I ordered a hamburger. While I waited for the burger to be delivered to my table, I thought about how best to take advantage of my current good mood. I decided the best thing to do was to do nothing which is the same thing I do when I am in a bad mood. Ennui and indolence go together like mac and cheese.

After transporting two members of the Scooter Gang from the Skate Park to Zach’s backyard pool, I returned to the Enchanted Forest. A long walk along the levies of the American River and through the university campus followed. Then an evening around the piano singing old show tunes until September Song brought tears to my eyes.

And the days dwindle down
To a precious few
September, November
And these few precious days
I’d spend with you
These precious days I’d spend with you

Ain’t it the truth.

It had been a good day and so I went to bed and hoped for a dreamless sleep.

 

 

 

DAILY FACTOID:

“During the First World War, all combatants combined expended on the order of eleven million tons of explosives. This was equivalent to the payload of a single B-52 bomber or Titan-2 ICBM of the middle period Cold War, before smart weapons and precision guidance systems began to replace the headsman’s axe of deterrence with a surgeon’s scalpel.”

Stross, Charles. The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files Book 1) (p. 328). Penguin Publishing Group.

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. Tuckahoe Joe’s Blog of the Week:

The Association for Cultural Equity (http://www.culturalequity.org/index.php) is an organization set up by the renowned musicologist Alan Lomax to preserve the world’s musical traditions. During one of those many episodes of American history when anything “foreign” even music was considered a threat, the FBI file compiled about him describes him as:

“Neighborhood investigation shows him to be a very peculiar individual in that he is only interested in folklore music, being very temperamental and ornery. …. He has no sense of money values, handling his own and Government property in a neglectful manner, and paying practically no attention to his personal appearance. … He has a tendency to neglect his work over a period of time and then just before a deadline he produces excellent results.” (from the FBI file on Alan Lomax, 1940–1980)

The website contains a number of recordings of musical performances and interviews with musicians captured by Lomax over the years. Although the entire collection is now available from the Library of Congress, this site contained some of the most interesting of his recordings especially those of little-known blues musicians from America’s south.

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

Life seems to me to be little more than a series of side trips along a much longer voyage. And like all journeys no matter how pedestrian or mundane, they contain the same elements; hope, disappointment, determination, surprise, and boredom. I guess that may be why most literature features a journey of some sort.

 

C. Today’s Poem:

I found this poem while searching the net under the heading, “Poems from the Kalahari.” It seems little Danny Moskowitz having grown tired of the stressful, materialistic life in these United States, decided to find peace and happiness by returning to the land and living as a native in the middle of Africa’s Kalahari Desert. There he dresses in animal skins and spends his day wandering the wilderness for food and companionship. At night, lacking an internet connection, he writes poetry.

Daniel Steven Moskowitz May 2016

The Most Interesting Creature on Earth
I was feeling very hungry
For ideas
So,
I took out my spear
And headed off
Across the Kalahari
I couldn’t find
An Elephant,
An Ostrich
Or a Gazelle
To kill
With my spear
But I bumped into a beautiful maiden,
Drinking some Rooibos Tea
In the shade of a camelthorn tree instead.
I expressed my frustration to her.
“I’m out hunting in this Desert for Ideas,”
“But I can’t find anything”
“That will provoke my curiosity.”
“Well,”
“You found me,”
“Didn’t you?”
She winked,
And I was forced to gaze
At her shiny, bronze-hued breasts.
“How are you going to satisfy my hunger for ideas?” I asked her
“Ha!”
She declared.
“You don’t seem to know it”
“But I’m the most interesting creature on Earth!”

 

 

D. Peter’s Musings:

In my last issue of T&T, I began a section with the following:

I do not know whether or not the spate of Terrorism, sectarian violence and ethnic and racial bloodshed of the last decade is greater then it was in the past. I suspect modern communications make it appear more immediate and wide-spread than it actually is.

Peter responded:

It probably is at least, if not more, intense in the immediate loci of the activity, what and wherever it is. But I think it’s probably more widespread given the impact of various influences over greater distances. Now, after the Vikings and the Normans ravaged England and Europe, and the 100 Years War was raging in Europe (with the Plague thrown in for extras), Mongols and Turks were causing havoc all over to the east, just after that Henry V crossed the Channel to mess with the French, and the Spaniards and Portuguese were gearing up to ravage the New World, time out for Enlightenment was momentary at best. Beyond Descartes, “I kvetch therefore I agonize”. From Scylla and Charybdis to Stalin and Putin. Interesting comparison: Today’s lunacy of Trump & Co. and the rise – again – of the racists and fascists and reflections elsewhere around the world remind of China’s Period of Disorder, 200 years or so between the Han and Tang dynasties. Lunatics and chaos.

I can only agree — Gallows humor uber alles.

 

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

“Worst of all is the news from the United States, or rather, the lack of it. The political headlines are all saber-rattling over the Iranian nuclear weapons program and some bullshit enquiry into Benghazi in the run-up to a midterm election. It’s almost as if Congress has no idea that a giant occult power struggle for control of the US government is in progress … or perhaps it’s over already, and a ruthless media clamp-down by tongue-eating mind control parasites is the only thing keeping the world from learning about the takeover of DC by gibbering alien nightmares”

Stross, Charles. The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel (p. 197). Tom Doherty Associates.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
mujerescirculares

 

 

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Categories: April through June 2018, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thia and that from re Thai r ment, bt 3Th. July 12, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

English: First Battle of Bull Run, chromolitho...

First Battle of Bull Run, chromolithograph by Kurz & Allison 

TODAY’S FACTOID:

July 21, 1861. The First Battle of Bull Run, a victory of the Confederate army under Johnston over the forces of the United States under McDowell.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

I have returned to Thailand and am still struggling with the ravages of jet lag. I have not read a Thai newspaper yet so I have nothing pithy to report. It is, however, somewhat refreshing to return to a society where the populace knows their politics are corrupt and seek general advantage wherever possible and leave one where the populace denies their politics are corrupt but all seek individual advantage.

Since I wrote the above I have had a chance to glance at the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s major english language newspaper.

For the first time since his removal from office by a military coup, a photograph of the smiling former prime minister Thaksin appears in full color on the front page above the fold. I assume he is smiling because, although he remains in exile in Abu Dubai having been convicted in absentia, his party (the party of the so-called Red Shirts) led by his youngest sister had just won an absolute majority in the Thai legislature.

The accompanying article was appropriate ubiquitous as befitting the editorial staff of a newspaper whose publisher was an opponent of the previously fallen prime minister. So, this is how reconciliation begins.

In a column on the editorial page of the same newspaper, the apparent lone dissenting voice points out that the election should not be considered a win for Thaksin’s party because they expected to win 300 out of the 500 seats in the legislature instead of the 265 they did win.

He then goes on to anoint the real winner in the election, a porn and massage parlor operator who headed up his own party and was expected to win only one seat actually won 4. He, according to the columnist, is anticipated to be a major voice in opposition in the new legislature.

I resist the urge to compare and comment on the anti-pornography pledge being circulated in the current US campaign.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Nothing to report from here yet except long periods of restless sleep followed by equally long periods of fatigue. Vittorio, Anita and Vittorio’s aunt arrive in Thailand on about the 22 of July to visit with Anita’s relatives. They then travel to Paradise by the Sea for two weeks were I shall join them.

This morning I left my apartment to spend my first day at the health club since I left about three months ago. After walking a bit, I realized I had left my hat back in the apartment. I experienced a sudden attack of anxiety, fearing that without it I would not be recognized.

At the club after a lengthy negotiation over membership rates, I went for a swim in the pool. I am completely out of shape and could only complete three laps.

One last item about Italy: one Sunday our hosts held a BBQ party at the farm for about 50 or so of their closest friends. There was a lot of meat eaten and wine drunk. I spent the evening in delightful conversation with an economics teacher at the local American AF base who tried mightily but gently to temper my opinions.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

The McWilliams Building is a remnant of those buildings dotting the City that survived the great earthquake and fire. Steuart Street is a short block long string of these buildings. Like the others, the McWilliams Building has undergone substantial renovation and like the others contains a high price restaurant on its ground floor.

It is six stories, clad in brick and cross braced with the latest technology on earthquake safety construction techniques. On the top floor on what was the roof of the historic building is a glass enclosed space containing Big Bill’s glass and steel decorated personal office with its magnificent view of San Francisco Bay, the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena and treasure Islands, the now elegant freeway free Embarcadero and the East Bay cities and hills. The Site also contains Bill’s private conference room also with the same splendid view.

Bill’s long-suffering but still attractive secretary’s desk sits before the glass enclosed door and wall to Bill’s office. Although the magnificent view is also available to her through the glass wall and over Bill’s glass desk and various expensive sculptures with little merit other than cost, her chair and desk face to other way and view only a refurbished brick wall and a Chagall print. The suite contains a personal bathroom for Bills use,(His secretary uses the lavatory in the offices on the floor below) a small kitchen and store-room and brick windowless room occupied by Bill’s go-fer and part-time chauffeur.

The floor below connected by a spiral staircase contains the company offices. The two floors below that are occupied by the law firm of Marcus and Perry, a firm with extensive contacts with city and state governments that has housed several local political notables, before and after their time in office. The firm provides Bill with most of his legal (and political) assistance. One of the things Bill likes about the firm besides its proximity and dependence is also has flourishing sport law practice. It always stroked Bill’s not insubstantial ego to have notable local sports figures drop by for a chat and some advice which Bill was always ready to give. They also were even more gullible investors in Bill’s schemes then doctors.

Below the law offices Bill rented out the least desirable floor at a discount to a group of non profits, selected by Bill to represent as full a range of interest groups that in other circumstances could conceivably oppose one of Bill’s projects, an art group, a LGBT group, and small environmental group concerned with endangered plants, a homeless lobby, and so on.

Bill strode into his office, stood before the magnificent view but did not look at it. Bill was worried. Later today, in the early afternoon he was scheduled to appear at the Federal Building in the local office of the Department of Justice as a “Person of Interest” in questions about his activities in Red Star.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

Gödel, Escher, Bach

Gödel, Escher, Bach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a. Eponymous laws:

Hofstadter’s law“It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.” It was created by Douglas Hofstadter in his book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

I bet you thought you would have finished reading this by now.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“A Market is something that one goes into to buy groceries and usually has a prefix affixed to it like “super”. Everything else is a casino.

c. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/), if you believe that:

The earned income tax credit that rewards the lowest wage earners in the nation is an unwarranted redistribution of income, but lowering the capital gains credit on unearned investment income is not.

d. Testosterone Chronicles:

In one study, researchers found that men with increased testosterone “were 27% less generous towards strangers with money they controlled.” Men with lower levels of testosterone were significantly more generous than men with more testosterone.
Source: Plus One

(This explains it, conservatives are testosterone poisoned.)

e. The Mac Attack:

“All those who have written upon civil institutions demonstrate (and history is full of examples to support them) that whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it. If their evil disposition remains concealed for a time, it must be attributed to some unknown reason; and we must assume that it lacked occasion to show itself; but time, which has been said to be the father of all truth, does not fail to bring it to light.”
Niccolo Machiavelli – Discourses of the first 10 books of Titus Livius – Chapter 111.

(What, no invisible hand to make everything turn out right in the end? )

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

To Greg: While I borrowed part of your name and profession, the character is my own invention.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“You can’t have everything… where would you put it?”
~Steven Wright

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

Preparing for the BBQ:

Nona on her tractor:

So long Tamai:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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