June 24th, 2016

Yá’át’ééh abíní! (“It’s a Good Morning” in Navajo!!!)

Those of you that have known me for awhile, know that one of often quoted truisms is that, “Nature seeks balance in all things.” To me this is the fundamental truth of life and human history. Since I was a boy who read the book, Future Shock, I harbored a real fear for our species. I grew up with the certainty that mankind unlike any other previous species had the ability to kill every living thing. I did the futile, “under-the-desk-head-cradled-kiss-your-ass-goodbye” drills in my elementary school during the Cuban Missile Crisis in Miami. I pushed those thoughts away for most of my life. For I knew that humanity will not control itself and that sooner or later, Life or Mother Nature or some might say God, or Allah or Vishnu will control us. If you ever read the studies on the behaviors of mice under conditions of over crowding or studied the reasons for WWII, you will realize that unless we really learn how to live with each other and reduce the burdens of our consumption on the planet, humans will perish. We are projected to have a population of 9.7 BILLION souls living on this planet in 2050 and by 2100, the number is 16 BILLION. To put that in perspective, we had approximately 1 BILLION people on the planet in 1800. Prior to all of our life saving and extending technologies and focus on pan-epidemic prevention, we would have a good old fashion plague do the necessary population adjustments for us. Of course, two world wars and various and assorted genocides perpetrated over the past 116 years did their part but like the vermin that feeds on seed corn, we keep having babies with little regard for how to feed, water and sustain them into the next century. Maybe that is how a completely self serving jackass can become a viable candidate for the most powerful office in the world. Maybe Mother Nature or your flavor of Great Spirit is making this impossible election between these two pillars of amoral political leadership possible as a form of correction to our out of balance spending of limited natural resources. Certainly, a solid nuclear holocaust would do much to reduce human populations and available livable locations. Perhaps with a smaller scale, the right leadership might be able to restart us in a way that allows us to nurture and respect each other and what is left of our planet. But then I have always been an optimist.

I accidentally added a lot of excitement to our Birthday(BJs)/Fathers Day (Mine) dinner on Sunday. I was slow spit roasting a boneless rib roast on the grill with some bacon wrapped asparagus on a drip pan underneath. First, we ran out gas about 35 minutes into the cooking. And then after I swapped out the gas cylinder we had huge grease fire that got so hot it melted the solder holding the thermometer in the grill hood. So note to self, check drippings runoff when doing both a rib roast and bacon wrapped stuff and drain periodically and keep a fire extinguisher under the built in grill from now on. The Chinese take out was excellent. The dog(Georgie) made off with the charred remains while I was getting the take out dinner. Evidently, she cannot consume over 3 lb. of charred and blackened rib roast without living seriously huge and nasty surprises for Darrian who was unfortunate enough to have Georgie for a sleepover.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I am reading the new book by Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code) called, “Inferno” and am relearning more about Dante than I forgotten I knew. Its a good read by a talented and intelligent author.
• We finished painting our entry way where my 55 gallon fishtank used to reside. It came out very well in the new color.
• I got a chance to watch The Music Man with Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and a very young Ronny Howard. It is still one of my favorite musicals. I was taken back to 1962 when it came out and as a 10yr old boy the price of my ticket to see it at the Gables Theater was a quarter. If you haven’t seen it in awhile, you might want to watch it again and experience that same joy.

Website Update
• Last week for the “New” Vocabulary quiz!

Painting Update:
• I failed again to wet a brush. But I am reading a wonderful book by Joe Miller, the painter and owner of Cheap Joe’s Art Supplies called, “Joe’s Journals”. Joe is an excellent watercolorist and life long Journalist (not the newspaper kind but the traveler with a sketchbook kind) from Boone, NC. I am enjoying this book almost as much as painting.

Writing Update:
• No progress this week. All our house projects are taking precedence right now. I need to get back to this but not this week.

• Tippy and I went to a backyard concert last weekend. I am not sure that every city has these backyard concerts but we have been going to them for a number of years. This time we got to see Venice (again for me first time for Tippy). It was a great show and my friend, Joe McAndrew, his wife Jan, and a couple of their friends allowed us to tag along. The Lemmon Brothers/Cousins did a fantastic show like always only this time it was a lot of covers from their new album. Kip, it turns out does a quite passable Mick Jagger impression under the stars in north county San Diego, much to Tippy’s delight.
• This presidential campaign is a tragedy of monolithic proportions. No one is talking about the real issues facing the office. Both “Presumptive” candidates have decided to make this election about Donald Trump not economics, jobs, education, immigration or health care. This approach clearly indicates that the personal agendas of the candidates – getting elected – is far more important to them than actually performing the role of leader of the free world. The arrogance is astounding!

Music Update:

• Venice – Free Man in Paris — We saw the boys doing this one in a backyard in Poway last weekend. It was a great show and they brought a nice tight version of this classic Joni Mitchel song.
• Eric Clapton – Stones in My Passway — My daughter, Jess brought Eric’s, “I Still Do” album home to me from her visit to Vegas. This is an old Robert Johnson tune that Clapton and Glyn Johns put a heavy fuzz on. Eric just keeps getting better as a blues singer!
• Dan Fogelberg – Souvenirs — Alway thought that this song was about the prettiest song that Dan gave us. Its a beautiful tune filled with the melancholy sweetness that his music always filled me with .. kind of a sad joy.
• Depeche Mode – Strange Love — This campy little tune always got to me somehow. Its not really the kind of thing I go for usually. It reminds me a bit of The Fixx but maybe its different electronic sound that draws me in.
• Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band – Turn the Page (Live) – Bob’s anthem about being a rocker in a traveling band in the 1960s. This live version is sweet. I hope you like it too.
• Bruce Cockburn – Lovers in a Dangerous Time – Here is another new favorite from his “Stealing Fire” album. It still amazes me that I have missed Bruce’s work for so long, This song was recorded in 1983/4 and covered by Bare Naked Ladies and Dan Fogelberg in 2006 and 1990 respectively I have now heard them all and I like Bruce’s version the best.
• Bonnie Raitt – Nobody’s Girl — From her, Nick of Time album, this is one of my favs. Venice did their version of it for us at the concert but I was surprised that it wasn’t on their “Breakfast Buffett” album
• Bonnie Raitt – Thing Called Love — Well then the Lemmon boys had me digging around in the archives and listening to Bonnie’s “Nick of Time” album again, I came across another fine tune that bears repeating. Written by John Hiatt, this was a great video too that featured just a whole lot of flirting by Dennis Quaid and Bonnie. Its a cute one if you haven’t seen it.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!