December 31, 2015

A Note on the Calendar Year

The ball dropping in Times Square is meant to signal the moment 2016 officially begins in America, though those of us on the West Coast remain unconvinced. We're partial to a later midnight unqualified by the ghost of Dick Clark. That midnight, the one going on in New York when the ball drops, the one sanctified by Dick Clark's ghost for the benefit of a grateful nation, is a fine midnight, having now passed, and cause for a certain kind of person to celebrate, I warrant, but fundamentally unpersuasive. We have it down as still to come at this point around here.

December 13, 2015

War On Xmas

The Heathen Christmas Penguin Itself, Edging Ever Closer to the Middle of Things

December 10, 2015

Jostling In The Age of Trump

George Will becomes incensed by the characterization of Ronald Reagan in Bill O'Reilly's book, it says here.

Now, George Will has been an odious presence on the American scene for decades longer than Bill O'Reilly, such that as the tarnish of many a long-past episode involving him and ratifying his assholery fades from current memory, as tarnish so often will, we are yet left with him choking out new affronts from behind that bowtie year after year producing his rendition of the most scrupulous wording for it that Republican money can buy.

With regard to the politics of it all, if the premise is addle-pated nonsense, then rational human beings are best suited to advance such nonsense to its full potential, being that crazy people, who are quite capable of entertaining a host of crazy ideas and often enough even creating a marvelously crazy premise or two of their very own, are more often than not at a loss over what to do about it all beyond that, to carry it on. To advance the given premise, you need a platoon of chaps with skills like Will, smart tendentious sorts who can write to deadline on any premise.

[Whether or not O'Reilly is right that Reagan's brain was mush during any portion of his presidency is beside the point. Historically, Reagan's Central American policy was based on savage, deadly, senile nonsense of the sort entertained by George Will, who was there to applaud the politics of it all in real time.]

December 09, 2015

Still Life With Foot-Long Foot

Most of the photographs that surface at the Quotidian these days are shot during Dog Walk, that two hour period immediately after waking devoted exclusively to rambling about with the dog. The photos have what a snapshot can have, immediacy. There it is, Santa Cruz Harbor, at such and such a time on such and such a date, as given through the auspices of the iPhone 6. Very little "post-processing," using any of the clever tools available to fiddle with the look, just the processing inherent in the combination of software and camera required to make a file of what the iPhone's pointed at when the shutter's pressed.

Let's say every snapshot is an instance of discovery. The snapshot discovers a fact about the apparent world, and presents that discovery straightforwardly to the observer. The iPhone is a fine tool for just that.

So, yes, Dog Walk, iPhone 6, sidewalk, foot-long foot:

I've never taken a photo that so cried for a narrative plausibly tying the discovered fact to what went before.

I mean, there it is in all its harvested glory, dried clumps of buds still attached to the eight main stems of the thing, the Hanukka Bush Itself, ready to burn for eight days if started right in on, is what I'm saying.

I do not have the story, and do not want to make up a story or choose from among all the plausible alternatives to attach this bush to its previous condition, however much the usual urges insist.

December 04, 2015


Today, December 4, marks the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the newly-named Grateful Dead music band. They had been the Warlocks, notionally, for awhile, but, rebranded, went on to a nicely achieved career in music.

Grateful Dead Blues For Allah, Stained Glass, installed in the Grateful Dead Archive exhibit space, McHenry Library, UC Santa Cruz