August 2013

Black Sitcom

I’m sitting here watching the drama unfold as our leaders keep backing down to “least untruthful” positions as their previous lies are exposed.  Actually, it’s a dystopian black sitcom in which the country is being turned into a plutocratic police state.

And yes, i admit that to expose the machinations of the police state is treason, and whether the perp thinks he’s doing it in order to save his country is of no import.  On the other hand, our nation’s founders deemed it self evident that secret government would by definition be tyranny.

I’m allowed to sit here bemoaning our trajectory only because 1) i’m such a tiny pipsqueak considering that there are harsher critics than me sitting in Congress, writing for major newspapers, and blogging their butts off, and 2) i haven’t had access to classified material for half a century.

We sure are living in interesting times.

To keep my mind off the spectacle of my country swirling down into the toilet, i’m distracting myself by making exotic jams and working on this new site.  I’m real pleased with the look and feel, but as we know from our business backgrounds, when you port any legacy system over to a new platform, you can expect some glitches.  And, oh there are plenty here.  Luckily, the problems are mostly confined to a couple hundred missing pics, which i’m now in the process of restoring.

Yep, bread and circuses will take my mind off the government.  The Romans figured that out.

Meanwhile, an interesting window treatment with black helicopter.  No, wait.  This one’s white:

Black Helicopter Window Treatment

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Another Modest Proposal

My readers will remember my long history of selfless suggestions to the leaders of my country in which i’ve offered simple but brilliant solutions for our nation’s problems.

Well, it’s time for another.  We’ve all been tracking our country’s most famous whistleblowers since back in 1971 when Daniel Ellsberg turned over to the New York Times  the Pentagon Papers, revealing that our government had been telling us a highly inaccurate version of the Vietnam war.

I refer, of course, to Bradley Manning, who last year gave to Wikileaks a trove of classified files uncovering embarrassing details about our war in Iraq and was tried on a long list of charges with potential sentences totaling 135 years; and Edward Snowden, who gave to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald files revealing that the NSA has been recording and saving all our telephone calls, emails, and Internet activity.

Ellsberg was of course prosecuted by our government, but the prosecution case fell apart when it was determined that the FBI had gathered information on him through an illegal wiretap.  Ahh, we laugh at the innocence of the seventies, since we’ve rewritten those silly old laws so that now, nothing the government does is illegal.  But that was then, and Ellsberg escaped punishment.

Manning has just been convicted of most of his charges and today was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Snowden slipped off to Hong Kong before he started blabbing and then was marooned in Russia, where he has been granted asylum.  And since we can’t get our hands on him, and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist to whom he blabbed, is safe in Brazil, our government was reduced to harassing Greenwald’s boyfriend on an international stopover in London on his way to Brazil.  Oh please.  We don’t need the boyfriend, or the journalist,  we need Snowden.

So i modestly propose that Obama should make Putin an offer:  we’ll trade them Manning for Snowden.  Thus, we get our hands on Snowden and Manning, being gay, will quickly get thrown in jail or killed in Russia.  A win-win.  Especially since we’d then have the chance to get a little rough with Snowden during a few years of debriefing to make sure he’s not holding anything back.  Win-win-win.

And no, just knowing that i’m helping my beloved country is sufficient reward although i wouldn’t mind a modest pension to supplement my social security.

Meanwhile: Time Marches on, on Market Street

market street




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Up and Running! – 15 August 2013

I’d never have believed it, but i’m now up and running on my very own domain. What a joy. A few rough edges remain, but it’s working.

And to give credit where it’s due, the role of interface between me and WordPress was played by my friend Geo, who’d be happy to do the same for you. Actually, he’d probably be even happier to design a complete website for you, but he was extraordinarily patient with my quibbling over tiny point size changes and my insisting on functionality that did not come entirely natural to WordPress.

Meanwhile, to celebrate, a recent photo of the new market-rate condos going up at Market and 16th. Best i can tell, the statue is a reproduction of the Adonis de Milo.  The obverse.

Adonis de Milo

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Oh Good Grief

Seems to be a step back for every step forward on building this website. Today i learned how to add “Pages”, which are a step toward a website in that they do not get thrown onto the top of the screen with the newest on top like “Posts”.

Here’s Four Barrel Coffee on Valencia trying to be as bikey as Amsterdam.


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Horticultural Discovery

Papaver somniferum

It’s a Papaver somniferum i spotted growing over on Potrero Hill last spring. Since they apparently grow more or less wild all over the country, they don’t seem to be illegal unless you know what they are.

And how did i know about this?  Well, from an article by Michael Pollan in that font of illegal knowledge, Harper’s Magazine.

And please, i’m far too old to have picked one to sample and far too senile to remember where they were.

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Damn This Thing!

I thought i was getting a website, but it’s a blog! with entries all stacked up with the newest on top. Besides, i haven’t been able to figure out how to build the sort of menu i had on my old site.  So i gave up and got my friend Geo to build the site for me.

On the other hand, i did finally find where WordPress hid the html editor and the style templates, so i’ve been mucking around making minor changes to website structure that i don’t really understand.

I feel like i’ve just performed an appendectomy on my child. I mean, all you gotta do is cut ‘em open, find the appendix, cut it out, and sew ‘em up. Right? What could go wrong?

Doubly Secure


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Trial and Error

Here’s an interior shot of Wright’s spectacular Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael.

Marin County Civic Center





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