Tuesday, August 08, 2017

98

98 BLOG

 
MODULES FOR LIVING

TABLE MODULE

                                                




MY LINE OF NOMAD FURNITURE
I've moved so many times since I left home for college that I finally had developed my own LINE OF FURNITURE.

_Flooring: We had all this cheap wicker type of squares 12" square that would easily fold up and stack for moving, yet presenting a nice warm, comfy floor in  the living area.

Chairs: I found some large, square, cushions and made a low base with a slanted back for two of the cushion, allowing us to sit around with our all on drugs &  wine to solve the problems of our universes.
Book cases: I finally devised a box that had handles cut into the ends, so they could be tossed in a trunk and not have to pack/unpack.  Books.
Bed:  The waterbed was around but I thought it too cumbersome so I opted for the inflatable mattress, just making an appearance.  The only real problem I had was they all came with a flocked coating which was very hard to get around when I had to fix a leak  with my bike tire patch kit. Otherwise this was ideal, except it was blown up manually and took some time. 
Eating: We didn't Dine, we scarfed.  For a table, I had a large 42" round  butcher block top, remove 4 screws, then roll it out to your car.

THE SPEC HOUSES

BRIDGE HOUSE
 
'M' FRAME



LANGWORTHY TOP OF WORLD

HEX HOUSE

CONCEPT ONE

CONCEPT TWO

            

Of course, the mere smell of wood & concrete this readily got me into building 'Spec' Houses in Laguna Beach .
Spec means that you buy a lot, design a house for it, then sell it on condition, or   'On Speculation' that you will recoup your investment plus some profit involved for all the work you've done. When I opened my office in South Laguna during my 'Mostly lived on carrot juice days' I met a Japanese fellow who had some backing from his folks in Tokyo and wanted to build some "On the edge of the Spearpoint ' house so we did a few really far out Spec houses.
            The first one went pretty well. The plan was based on three hexagons with the two car carport,  which had huge umbrella roofed area.  I did all the structural calculations (Still do) but after we finished the carport, there was an unusual flexibility of the heavy steel center support column as I could rotate the entire 20' roof roof with my finger several inches. But easily solved with a small bolt to the adjacent retaining wall. We alway re-used materials like the  wood siding was from a friends old fence. 
  But you have to realize, we knew that 99% of the market was being catered to by Tract builders,   so we were after the 1%, but not the 1% you know who have most of the money, we were after the .09% who had TASTE!  . Well, it turned out that the percentage was less than than that, but we got lucky,. An architect from Taliesin & his partner, a successful artist loved the place & bought it right away. Then we found an impossible lot , bought it and built an 'M' Frame house on it , We were able to use a lot of redwood plywood in those days as it was fairly cheap. This place had 20' ceilings in the living area and we actually  sold it too.
  But we kind of met our Waterloo when we built the plastic roofed house on Top of the World, the plan based on the old Mexican haciendas, around a small patio where one had to go outside (although covered ) to get to the living area. This was 1965, the lot cost 12,000, construction materials another 12,000 as we did all of the construction. (This, our Labor, turned out to be free). My partner & I did all the labor (I mean all, concrete, carpentry, electrical. Plumbing, etc.). However, after several months after we finished it we ran out of money to keep up with the loan (Yes! We were able to obtain  construction loans from the local bank) so we voted that Lamont move in and make the payments on the loan. You  can only appreciate the irony of me living  in the best house in Laguna, on Top of the World (That's what it is actually called, sitting up about a thousand feet above town, overlooking a huge cattle ranch) but friends generously collected food boxes from the elementary schools  for my small family (Me, Patricia & new daughter, Medina). But fortunately for everyone, our neighbors, who were renting, loved the house and bought it after several months. Ted & Lucy, both Greek scholars , also bought the lot across the street and hired me to design another fine home.
   My partner, Patrick, dropped out of the high risk games (He got busted for having a maryjane joint but my next client, Tom Lyster, got the bug, and after we finished building his house,  which was first published in a German Architctual magazine  called "Bauwelt" or something similar. built another Spec House on the adjacent lot that was more or less a historical garden from Old Laguna days. In order to preserve the wonderful historic gardens in this little Canyon, we used the obvious things, and built a "Bridge House out of pre-fabricated roof truss, as Tom was a salesman for them. Well, everyone builds a spec house that bridges 40' over the gardens below, don't they? But this time we got lucky and sold it before it was finished to a professor who was head of the Art Dept. at the new  Irvine University. This owner was great, as he hung original art work all over the place, like Licktenstein originals, (the guy who did blow ups of comic book people & things.)
  

BOOK ALERT
I found the alternate story of the WAR (not the last war) of WW2. It's titled   THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE. by Philip Dick, who was a science-fiction writer and also wrote DO ANDROIDS EVER DREAM OF ROBOT SHEEP?  This later became the Cult movie "Blade Runner", which will be released in October as an upgrade of the older ones. It seems only S-F writers have enough imagination to write alternate histories. This was written 17 years after the war was over. An interesting story, as the author has the protagonist write an alternate of the alternate, (in other words, How the Allies Won" That was easier) The U.S.  was divided up between Germany & Japan, but it was better to be on the Jap side as the Nazi still liked to kill any Jews. But life is fair and the Germans attacked the Japs and took them over too. Are there any Japanese Jews? (Not any more!).

VIDEO ALERT
If your still interested in politics you might like REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM featuring Noam Chomsky, who is one of the few who have a memory of recent political happenings and the shenanigans of most of  our recent presidents. Wars, finances health care, don't seem to important issues with us .  Anyway, it's Rather sobering. (I'll drink to that!).

ANOTHER VIDEO
The curious case of Benjamin Button.  F. Scott Fitzgerald did a short story on a kind of reverse aging person who is born old but gets younger, unlike the rest of us. His relationships tend to get pretty weird as how would you like to see your spouse getting younger and reverting to a baby?

BELIEVE IN TRUTH
To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights. 
                                                by Timothy Snyder


I'M GETTING A LTTLE WORRIED ABOUT OUR SPORTS MANIA.
I happened on  to the beginning of a national basketball game a while back and was really appalled at the adoration of the Star Spangle banner was shown. This whole thing was rated as a Holy exercise, where all had to show obeisance to the music by standing, hats off, with their hand covering their heart. Usually the playing field is showing a giant American Flag (Patton!) and anyone stupid enough to forget the "under God l" would probably be tarred & feathered, and dragged  around the field before any activities began.
  This worries me a lot as it seems the mainstream has forgotten that there is no "Uber Fatherland" to require our obeisance especially with a song that was penned by a
 Brit who used the music of an English Drinking song but putting a more Nationalistic twist on the lyrics.  We have to be careful to be able to differentiate between Nationalism and Patriotism and Religion.

LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR FEDERAL BUDGET
Maybe it's time to re-access our monetary requirements that impact our tax requirements so.
I noticed the other day an article talked about the small amount it took to take care of  one of our military problems (some trans-gender stuff) was only 3 to 9 million dollars. And went on to say it was ONLY .05% of our military budget I thought it was about  500 Billion.  Now, here I thought a few million was a large sum, but now it seems to be pocket change. Maybe our leaders should hire a  small book-keeper to set our national priorities. Here's how I would see it working;
   Let's begin with a clean slate and ask ourselves what exactly should be the role of the Federal Government? Our founding fathers may have done that but it sure got distorted afterwards.  I wonder if they knew about the power of lobbyists?
We pay most of our taxes to the Federals, except I now see our sales taxes (which are local taxes) are creeping up to 10% of all we buy (State Tax)(except food?).     
                        1.  Military - It is more efficient to band together and hire a Military force. That is the primary reason for a Federation of individual entities, isn't it? Also the expensive cost of weapons, especially nuclear subs, fast fighter planes & bombers can cost millions and billions each!  When did we assume we had to have the largest Military twice over of any country on earth? No other country spends 60 % of their money on the military . Even so, our new president wants to increase the percentage.
                        2.  Health care for all;(6% of our budget) Most developed countries have a pretty adequate Health system for most of it's citizens. Our best system is not even good enough for our Senators & Congress men, who have their own super Health care system. My favorite doctor is quitting (retiring) due to being overcome with paperwork that supports an inadequate health insurance.
We've given it over to large Pharma and Insurance corp. This means that the independent doctor will be extinct as he can't afford to do all the paper-work that large companies can do. Doctors will have to work for large companies that will relieve them of the obnoxious paperwork. Soon, Medical doctors will be majoring in accounting with a minor in Medical.  Maybe we could allow abortions but certainly not pay for them. And lets cut off the Viagra to the geezers. 
                        3.  Infra-structure;  -  Build & maintain a national system of roads and rail (& air) to move things and people around in a defense mode.  It should be obvious to our lawmakers that fast trains are much too expensive for any one state to afford to build, to say nothing of maintaining.
            The above items are large scale projects and need everyone to chip in. A good example is California trying to build a fast train from half the length of the state that is costing more than we can afford on a local level. All we have to do is look at other countries to see how they do it, and we may find that only the federal government  can afford to build & maintain such projects.                        I suppose infra-structure should include large electrical generating facilities, which used to be dams, but is now  PV or wind or wave generation. This takes a lot of money & support. What state can afford to put up $7500 for every electric car sold in their state?
$15.000,000 will cost the Feds for just the last 200,000 electric car still to be subsidized.
    How much money is generated every payday?  Maybe it sounds crazy, but maybe the Budget should be based on our earnings. Take 10% of that and that should be how much you can spend on everything. What percentage of that should you pay to Feds?, To the State?                          4. Social services. ;- This is a big one. Just look at your phone book (I know, you probably just google it) and you'll find most of it is Social Services that take up several pages .
How would you describe ...S.S.?  I suppose most of it would be something Socialist countries support , sometimes too much, making the country potentially bankrupt, or out of money. College? How about promoting & supporting work that will actually earn you a living? maybe education should be kept on a local or State level?
 Polititions love to use the word “socialism” in a derogatory way, but aren’t our Social Security, Health Care, Fire and police kind of Socialistic?  I don’t believe that is a dirty word.
            However, we sometimes are responsible for our own plight, as we are still believing Everyman should be able to own his own house, on a small plot of his own, even if there is only 3' to the property line. What Is wrong with us? Are we brainwashed to only want a small bit of dirt, but not all the  entities of communal living?. Just try to get financing on a very small living unit. I have, and couldn’t get anything.



A SHORT, INTELLIGENT NOTE
  The old American idea that giving money to Political Campaigns is free speech means that the very rich have far more speech, and so in effect, far more voting power, than other citizens.

                                                            Tim Snyder

Thursday, August 03, 2017

97

97 blog                                     

REVISIT THE DATING GAME
I thought I had it all figured out on my #66 BLOG , but after after thinking about it a bit, let's review it.  This will never be sought after by the U.S., we can't even get the Metric System accepted.
A couple of thousand years ago  Justinian accepted that the Christians were a formidable force, and  he restarted (changed)  the dating from the time of a wise man by the name of Jesus (at least 300 hundred years earlier.). But when Mohammed was born and conquered most of the contemporary world of the time, they started their own ,  at about 635 AD. , Do Muslims still use that system?
I might as well get on the bandwagon and announce that from here on, we will begin the dates from the time of my birth, which is kind of handy since it is on a decade number, say, 1930.. If we do that, today's date would be 87 AL (After  Lamont). Of course, everything that happened before I was born would be BL (before Lamont, or BS;  Bullshit), which we have been living with since day one (birth of Jesus?). Just kidding....
  Proposition; Let's try to minimize the use of "Before & After. " and start dating from around the time of Troy or 1200 BC.  That's kind of a wild card as no one knows when the time of Troy was.
However, assuming that, it follows that the following figures will apply
            Founding of cities                                -6800 BT ( We may
                                                                          have to use Before Troy)
            Discovery of writing                            -1310 BT
            Time of Troy-  1200                            0 (Anything previous to
                                                                                      be BT)
            Founding of Athens - 1000?                800?
            Founding of Rome                              753.   (By Remus
                                                                     & Romulus, a Myth)
            Socrates death - 900 (No BC or AD)  900?
            Jesus birth                                          1200 (Another Mythical
                                                                                             story)
            Mohammed birth                                 1850? (A real guy)
            WW One (The War to End All Wars?).  3114
            WW Two (Or was it this One?)            3141 (Pearl)
            My birthday                                          3130, June 4
            Birth of a Nation                                   2976, July 4


BOOK ALERT
DARK MONEY by Jane Mauer
If you are interested in where the money comes from in American politics, you might be interested in reading this book. Climate change? Lots of money will take care of that from the Koch (Coke) Brothers. 25 million. Obama Care? More $$ will take care of that. Amway gave 20 million to get out of paying taxes to IRS. These folks have invented an array of organizations that are called "Tax - deductible Philanthropy" , academic institutions, Think Tanks, Congress, etc. Have you even heard of Richard Mellon Scaife? He & the Koch's buddy in donating millions to orgs so they could get around paying taxes.  Jane traces the Byzantine trial of the billions spent by these folks and gives us vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy. It appears we are duplicating the fall of Athenian Politics, as their 600 senators were all Land Owners. No peasants, please.
           
          
Jeffers Place

Wright's Walker House
 















ON A LIGHTER VEIN.   We visited my old haunts in Big  Sur & Carmel a while back and I use these times to re--connect with my love of  Robinson Jeffers work. His fabulous stories of old Big Sur I have read several times as they are so pithy and manage to convey the early people who lived there.  He built a wonderful small stone house in Carmel that is always worthwhile, also it is nearly across the street from Wright's 1948 Walker house, perched on the seashore there. Anyway, it gives me an excuse to remind all of you readers (of books, you are out there , are you not?) of Jeffers works. ('Give my Heart to the Hawks,' 'Tamar', 'Roan Stallion'). 
           
SO MUCH FOR SECURITY  When the secret service was established in 1865, it had no responsibility for protecting the president. This, despite the bitterest irony in American intelligence and protective services; The authority to form the Secret Service was given by president Lincoln on the day he was shot. The agency began with ten men, and it's first mission had been to combat currency counterfeiting at a time when more than 1600 private banks printed their own money. It was not until after 1906 that Congress authorized the agency to expand into a protective force around the president, a espesially  after the deaths of Garfield 1881 and McKinley in 1901. But remember; Guns kill people, not guns.

MISCELLANY

DEFINITIONS; A   musical interlude
The ARCHITECT is the  COMPOSER hired by the KING or the  OWNER
The  DIRECTOR  is akin to the CONTRACTOR, organizing & keeping the workers  in line
The SUB-CONTRACTOR is akin to the MUSICIANS who actually do the work.
The AUDIENCE or your FRIENDS enjoy the fruits of every ones labor.

Hot day; Cool beer.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
My first experiment in beer making was a gallon of Mead, something akin to what early, Medieval  imbibers drank. A simple recipe, mostly fermenting some honey.  Along my trail of beer making, I usually showed friends how to make their own Pliny the Old Guy.
Michael wanted to make up a small batch of it so I showed him the ropes, then he took the gallon jug home to ferment on the kitchen counter.
The crucial item I did not give him was a cork that had an air-lock, which allows the gases to escape as they build up in the container from the yeast action.  Mine only fit larger bottles.
Well, during the night, Michael was awakened by an explosion and he opened the door of the end room, he noted the hallway was sprinkled with glass shards. Luckily, he or his young son had not been in the hall , they may have even seriously hurt, if not killed, when the gallon of beer exploded due to build up of pressure that had no other way out but to explode.



RELIGION & MYTHS
Since the discovery of  Akadian Clay tablets (Part of the Epic of Gilgamaesh, King of Ashurbanipal , 668 BC) more than a dozen Cuneiform tablets have been discovered, all of which have some version of the FLOOD  MYTH  , some which pre-date the bible  myth by a thousand years. (That would be the Old Testament). 

A LITTLE POETRY INTERLUDE  IS CALLED FOR HERE;

From 'I AM A LOVER'  My favorite book from 1961 (Captions of Photos)

I am a Lover,
But have not found one to love.


How shall I learn, Supreme Mystery?
To know thee, tho I muse continually?
Under what form of thine unnumbered forms Mayst Thou be grasped?       
                             Bhagavad Vita

Winter is icummen in,
 Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop.
And how the wind doth ramm!
                          Sing: Goddamm.      
                                                Ezra Pound (I never could understand that guy)


In the artists studio all distinctions disappear.
One has neither name nor family;
One is no longer the daughter of one's mother,
one is one's self - an individual -
And one has before one
ART,
And nothing else.
                        Marie Bashkirtself  (Never heard of her)

'Twas brillig,
                        and the smithy troves
Did gyre and gamble in the wabe:
All mimosas were the boron overs. . .

He took his Vorpel sword in hand;
            Long time the manxome foe he sought -
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
            And stood awhile in thought.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
            The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun. . .

...the frumpious Bandersnatch!                Lewis Carroll. (Now that I can understand !).

            Let your life lightly dance
on the edges of Time like dew
On the top of a leaf.
            Rabindranath Tagore

CORDOBA
Distant and alone.

Black pony, great moon,
And olives in my saddle-bag.
Although I know the roads
Never will I reach Córdoba.

By the plain, through the the wind,
Black pony, red moon.
Death is watching me
From the towers of Córdoba.

Ay, the road is long!
Ay, my valorous pony!
Ay, that death should await me
Before I come to Córdoba!

Córdoba.
Distant and alone.
                        Frederico Garcia Lorca

            Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me - let fall
No burning leaf, Prithee , let no bird call.
                        Edna St. Vincent Millay

The capacity of the people for error
Is not to be underestimated.
                        Westbrook Pegler


VIDEO ALERT
I've just discovered on YOU TUBE I can pick up short bits of the great movies, like "Blazing Saddles", "Young Frankenstein" & "Little Murders" Even Bob & Ray Radio clips. But my favorite is the Wedding Scene from "Little Murders", one I've always wanted to show my kids. But now you can see it anytime by You Tube , Wedding in "Little Murders". This as written by Jules Fiefer, a fabulous  Political Cartoonist of past days. The movie is probably from the '70's starring Don Sutherland & Elliot Gould, who photographs dog shit.

HISTORY OF THE CAMERA
  Of course the first 'Camera'  was a room with a small hole in one wall that projected an image (upside down, before  Single Lens Reflex Rooms))  discovered by some painter in France or Holland around 1600's .But carrying a room around with you was not practical at the time.. 
And they also had a hard time selling upside-down paintings,
  For those of you who only know that your iPhone is also a camera, It didn't change much the first few decades after it was invented in 1814, but Eastman made it so most of us could take a picture by 1900. Color was not available until 1907, but not for mass consumption. The early photographers of the West needed a whole wagon to carry their own development lab, but by the 1950's serious photogs carried glass plates around and viewed their image upside down, when doing serious work. However, we may have won the war with Japan but their ingenuity was evident in their development of cameras. Before that, if you wanted to view the subject as is, you used one to look down into, or upside down,  but soon, the Japanese invented the Pentra-Prizm, SLR (Single Lens Reflex) that turned it rightside up in your Lens. Even during the 60's I developed my own photos  (we're still in black & white mode) in my bathroom. The Japs eventually excelled and took away the market from the Germans. Prior to this , you had to use a large plate , ergo, a large print in order to get a fine print.
The electronic camera wasn't developed until the late 80's, after the 'Land Camera' was invented in order to get instant photos. It was basically a photo lab in you camera and spit out a complete print 'In Color' in  a few seconds. However, after a few years , the photo could deteriorate, much to the chagrin of us looking thru old photo albums. But the electronic camera changed all that. NO FILM REQUIRED! Even on our initial trips to Europe (1980's) we had to save all the used rolls of film and buy new film in the Farmacia, In France or Italy.  By 1995 we could buy small cheap "Point & Shoot" cameras that stored hundreds of shots on a small chip. The downside of that was when a thief took your camera (and they will!) you lost hundreds of shots of your vacation in Europe. Our  solution was to change the card every week so you wouldn't lose them with you're camera.
But now I could store them on my desktop computer and view them large scale.
  Then apple comes along and adds an excellent camera to your phone. But if you are serious and need telephoto lenses, or other filters, you may still want to buy the $2,100 model from Nikon.    

NOTE: The origin of the  THE VENICE CARNIVALE is  "MEAT IS VALID" Must have something to do with the Catholic "Lent period".

Note #2: The Italian name for Eggplant is 'Melanzanov' which means "Unhealthy Apple" which comes form the mid Eastern 12th century. Don't ask me why.

Note also; The Porcini mushroom means 'Piglet', don't ask me why.



HURRAY! THE WARS’ OVER!   (This from 2003)
Our president (Bush) has  just told us  the war in Iraq is over.  I was wondering how that was  going.  I guess we’ve got all the  nuclear warheads out of. Is  there still a war in Afghanistan?  And remind me what we were doing there. Other than protecting our oil supply.   Do we still believe we are there to help  these poor bastards into Democracy? Don’t any of our advisors read history books? We all know that these Muslims have been killing each other since   Mohammeds brother started an off shoot of Muslim religion .
     I know its’ not PC to question ‘What went wrong?’ but I have to. Just ask anyone from ORHA (Committee to put back the country after we’ve trashed it, or the one’s who were supposed to set up a government when the killing stopped , like we did for Germany and Japan , two years in advance).  In actuality, we began planning for such a thing in Iraq until a couple of months before “Mission Accomplished”.  The ORHA folks were given a bare space without even desks, to say nothing of the telephones. Washington sent recent Grads from Prestige Schools to help run Iraq. One young woman was given the job of all traffic control in the country of millions! Yet she knew nothing of Urban Planning. Worse yet,  in 2003 Paul Brenner was sent in to run the whole crazy deal. He initiated several disastrous programs.
    First, he closed all form of government the Iraqi’s had.
2nd; He fired all Saddams workers and disbanded the existing Army. That immediately formed a group of 500,000 men who had no jobs & no way to support families & relatives. Oh, and by the way, these men knew where all the arms wore stored. Immediately there was wholesale looting of one of the most historic Museums in the world, as well as their incredible library with thousands of ancient writings, but worse, the U.S. didn’t feel it was necessary to protect theses from looting and destruction.
I forgot to mention he let out 100,000 prisoners to help out the looting.
   3rd;  And we didn’t see why it was necessary to protect the several large arms dumps.
Have I painted a stupid enough picture yet? 
I’m glad also we got it all sorted out about just who or what was the difference between a Rebel, insurgent, Militant, Shiite and Sunni?

These new wars against a sect of Muslims, fighting them  in the streets doorways with with huge aircraft carrier and supersonic fighter planes.  At least Drones can get in closer than a high altitude bomber at 30,000 feet.  Our politicians still don’t admit to why we were in ‘nam or Iraq, but don’t we all know it’s the Oil?
Destroying expensive equipment (Humvees, helicopters, etc)  so our Military/Industrial folks can keep up their living style? Is that why we keep doing all this?

 

















Wednesday, July 19, 2017

96


Dyer Road, Laguna Beach
THE GREAT GOOD HUMOR WAR

I swear I’ve written this several times but since I can’t find it anywhere, here goes again, describing one of my favorite scenarios of my lifetime.

My first wife, Joyce, and I bought a small prefabricated house in 1960 that some early entrepreneur had dismantled and moved  several of them to a hillside subdivision in  Laguna Beach, CA after they were utilized for housing during the 1933 Olympics in Los Angeles. Of course, it was cheap, or we wouldn’t have been able to afford it ($11,000). Since the land was cheap, it was due to being some  pretty steep hillsides, and the roads wound around several times before it finally arrived at  our house.  I spent a lot of effort building an addition to the house as we were expecting a baby before too long. However, as the old adage says, ”There are always mosquitos in Paradise”.  This particular bug was in the guise of a “GOOD HUMOR” man, the one that had a glockenspiel on a loudspeaker on his little truck  playing some inane tune over & over again. We finally had to stop him and ask if he could maybe turn the noise down a bit as was  driving us totally crazy. Unfortunately, our plea fell on deaf ears and the mayhem continued.
  As I was building quite a bit I had purchased an old but solid International pick-up truck that was built like a tank and very substantial.  Therefore, one hot afternoon, we parked the pickup on the road, utterly  blocking it for blocks as it was a very narrow  road.  This stymied the Ice Cream man and he knocked on our door and asked us to move out truck so he could get by. NO FUCKING WAY!  Was my wife’s answer, so that got us to an impasse.  It didn’t take long to get from four letter words to Joyce getting her spray-can of Gold Paint which she ornamented some huge ‘x’s over most of the one side of Mr. Ice Cream man,s truck. Welll. That pretty much got the Local Police involved, who came up the curvy road  with sirens blaring (Although that’s not as bad as the god-damned Good Humor Man.). The officers separated all the combatants and I was convinced to park my truck so the Audio-Terrorist could continue on his route echoing down the canyon walls. 
  This whole thing resolved itself early on as Joyce and I got divorced after a whole year of married
alternates of Bliss & Misery. I had to sell the house and moved into my office in South Laguna, above my tool crib, a much more tranquil arrangement.

VIDEO ALERT
  A well done bio on Beethoven is the current movie COPYING BEETHOVEN.  Ed Harris plays a pretty good Beethoven and is supported by a cool looking babe, which may or may not be an actual happening. But who cares, they do a great story with gusto.

VID ALERT #2
If you are seeking to see what our future looks like, check out about FRACTALS.  Begin by watching this video; FRACTALS; HUNTING THE HIDDEN DIMENSION:NOVA.  Benoit Mandlebrot discovered the glorious imagery by mathematic about when the Psychodelic revolution occurred.
You will be blown Away, dude  !!  Strangely, it when on to influence science, medicine and art.

TIME AND MOTION
1.  We’ve all hear the notion that time is a relative term and under certain conditions, it can slow down well below our normal perceptions of it. Example; When I was younger and swashbuckling, I (being a left-over from the Hot-Rod generation) customized my 1965  356 Porsche, de-chroming it + 20 coats of hand rubbed lacquer, ( The first International Orange Porsche in the US.)  Anyway, I took my girlfriend out for a spin to see how fast it would go and was passing another car when time virtually stopped for me. I watched in fascination as a 6” section of re-inforcing  (steel) walked up my hood, bounced once then imbedded itself half way thru my windshield, this all in slow motion. Fortunately I was wearing sunglasses and immediately pulled to the side of the road. Even in those days, windscreens were made of laminated glass, which doesn’t shatter apart but is held together with a plastic membrane in the center laminate. I looked at my friend, who was spitting out bits of glass that was the consistency of sand. But I was so stunned , sitting there, looking at this piece of steel, imbedded half-way thru the glass, directly in front of my face, I don’t remember any glass in my mouth. However, at some point of this narrative, time began to flow at it’s regular speed, again.

2. N.D.E.    Another example of the inconsistency of time, is whenever I read a short story of Near Death Experiences (NDE) The person about to die (or should during this drama) describe a very long time wandering around in the nether world, yet, when they get beck in their body, only a few minutes have passed, because, as we all know, the mind cannot live long without blood and breath, maybe but a few minutes?

3.   Pot, Canabis, Grass, Weed, Marijuana;
Let’s not forget that as we make the transition from alcohol to pot, our driving habits may undergo some serious revisions. This again is the result that when under the influence of drugs, whether it be pot , or peyote, our recollection of time undergoes more major revisions. Where as alcohol makes us gregarious and we drive faster that we should, pot has the opposite effect on us and we drive slower than we think we are going. I recently heard we were reducing  the speed limits to 15 mph due to our new impairments. (this may not be a true statement, but one of my on-going fantasies).(Don’t quote me on this as it not be true,)
4   There’s another one, I’ll think of it soon.     ------------------------???????????????

 WHAT IF?
Have you noticed how our wars have gotten kind of weird lately? We sure showed ‘em in Vietnam. Those dirty little commies thought they could get away with a government of the people, like we do.(Well, at least a government run by Lobbyists).  I guess they must all be really sorry they have to live under a commie government, although of friend of mine has lived there for several years and says it works fine.  But that’s impossible right? My  government ,(Or my Media) said so.
  That brings up a question of has anyone written books about our wars describing how it may have turned out if we had lost the war (Or how about if we had won, like Vietnam).  What if Germany had won?  What if the South had won our Revolution?  What if we had won in Iraq?
Did we ever declare war on them? Did we.  I just heard about a story that Hitler won. I’ll try to find it.
I found it ! It’s titled ‘The Man in the High Castle’.  See next post.

These new wars against a sect of Muslims, fighting them  in the streets & hills with huge aircraft carrier and super sonic fighter planes.  At least Drones can get in closer than a high altitude bomber at 30,000 feet.  Our politicians still don’t admit to why we were in ‘nam or Iraq, but don’t we all know it’s the Oil?
Destroying expensive equipment (Humvees, helicopters, etc)  so our Military/Industrial folks can keep up their living style? Is that why we keep doing all this?

 





















































Sunday, June 18, 2017

95



95
    
WAR MACHINE 
60% of our yearly budget is for the War Machine,  that means 60% of our workers are employed in those industries. Do you think any of those workers will vote to eliminate their jobs?
That’s more than Russia & China combined spend on war. 

MISERABLE THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The days are trickling away as inexorably as the sand in an hourglass.

MY STYLE OF DANCE
 THE INDIAN DANCE
During my early days of experimenting with East Indian culture, (Sanscrit, Dance, etc.) I studied under the dancer  Bupesh Gupta long enough to promote and perform in a public performance . I rented a small Church ,( owned by the local Laguna Beach Hari Krishna Sect.) for a one night stand. This all came back to me recently when my wife & I attended a local Indian Dance program at the Green Music center. Mysteryously, we were given free tickets at the entry ($50 each) for the performance, and watched the dance which was so different from my recollections that I was very disappointed, although the small group of musicians were outstanding. Anyway, as we were leaving, Joy said" That was a surprise, I thought it was going to be Indian Dancing, not from the middle East" .


Photo of SMARTS in Aix in Aix in Provence, 1998

SMART a personal transportation module

I recently bought an almost new SMART car to stay in the forefront of Design. Ever since I saw their debut in Aix in Provence in 1998, I have secretly lusted for one.  This fabulous machine is the ultimate Anti-American auto, due to its size, horsepower, & everything else.  Nevertheless, I am having a blast driving it, 4 miles each way ,  although I do have to admit I have to turn on all my defensive driving tactics to get to my office every day.  Since new ones will go for nearly $20,000, I was looking for a used vehicle. Joy & I went to our local Honda dealer who had a used SMART so we checked it out. The Salesman, a slick Mexican complete with pin-curls on his temples, ran next door to find the car. We actually drove it around the block and it seemed kind of like a normal car, except for a weird kind of automatic shifting device that mimics a transmission and clutch.  When we  returned and I asked told him I wanted to see the engine, to assure myself they did not have a couple of squirrels in a wheel there.  I suggested it might be in the back so we looked in the micro cargo space (about 12” wide) but didn’t see any sign of an engine so we checked out the front of the car but there didn’t seem to enough space there. Well, he struggled around trying to lift up the tiny hood and managed to disengage the upper part but not enough to open it up to see if there really is a radiator somewhere.  Miffed, he went into the agency for help, but we decided we had enough and left.
  I was enamored with a red one so Joy found one in San Francisco Mercedes Dealer, where we visited to see what they had.  We had struck gold as it is called, as this place sold more SMART s than anyone else in US. And had a new slick showroom on the second floor for the SMARTs.  Also, they had a 2nd generation 2014 red one with only 5,000 miles on it for $8,000. We struck a deal, as Joy should be able to sell her 20 year old Honda V-Tech for nearly that much.  I drove it home in a huge rainstorm up and down the hills of SF, learning about shifting , windscreen wipers, etc. as on the job training.  Around Novato I discovered I was doing about 70 mph in a heavy rain so I slowed a bit as I am forever cautious driving in wet weather.
  After driving my new car for a couple of weeks, I am more than happy about the car, once I understood the automatic transmission and looking up other anomalies of the car. (How to get into the hood, etc.). The car only weighs about 1600 lbs. and I can vouch that it could be due to the elimination of springs, & shock absorbers.  Also, it drives pretty much like a normal car except there is no front or back. It does have a few creature comforts like a sensor that turns on the wipers when it gets rain, heated seats, and air conditioning. I do not like the fact that I have to turn off the lights manually, but I suppose it could be a portion of the system that will turn off everything after you’ve left the vehicle? I finally located the battery under the floor mat as well as a swell tire patch kit that takes the place of a spare tire.  Heated seats, but no tachometer (most new cars have these but are probably not used as most of us are ignorant of what to do about it.).
  I am not real happy that my neighbor, Michele, called it a “Clown Car”, but come to think of it, that’s pretty accurate.  So of course Joy gave me the red sponge clown nose to wear while driving.
This car has brought me back to Deja-Vu, as Smart car drivers are waving at each other, just like us early Volkswagen drivers did in the 1950‘s.

A GENERATION SWINE (Gonzo Journalism at its’ best)
I just finished reading a book by Hunter S. Thompson “A Generation of Swine”. And wonder where the current replacement for him is in our culture. First, I had to look up the word “Gonzo”.  It seems to be rather murky, of course, but it generally is agreed that it describes the first person participatory style which the author is protagonist.”  (Social critique + self-esteem).
He wrote mostly in 1950’s to 1990’s. It seems there were not a lot of rags that would consider printing his rants but fortunately Esquire, Rolling Stone and even the San Francisco Examiner and the National Observer  had enough sense to publish his stuff. Here are a few tantalizing samples of his wit;
“NIXON:    What we tend to forget ,  he has been elected to almost every office in America except sheriff, and he understands politics as well as almost anybody. He is a mechanic, a true leverage junkie – for all his kinks and crimes and even his weird drinking problem, he possesses a truly awesome, bedrock shrewdness that made him perhaps the most successful politician of his generation. When he lost the governorship of California, he came so close to that one that he ran publicly amok when he lost. That was when he called the press gang of rotten cowards who had ruined his life but who “won’t have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore”.   Six years later he was elected president of the United States.” Nixon?
 “Not all Democrats are speed freaks, lechers and fools,…Nature abhors a vacuum, and it is the nature of American politics in these times to have a Kennedy haunting the White House.”
“One of Washington’s cheapest and scurviest big-time political consultants say the Democrats can’t stand another of those hideous exposures, that the whole party will turn into a late-night TV joke.  -  But he was wrong. The voters are fed up with this orgy of dumbness and punishment. The electorate will demand a degenerate in the White House. (Sep, 1987).”
“It is difficult for the ordinary voter to come to grips with the notion that a truly evil man, a truthless monster with the brains of a king rat and the soul of a cockroach, is about to sworn in as  president of the United States for the next four years….And he will bring his gang in with him, a mean network of lawyers and salesmen and pimps who will loot the national treasury, warp the laws, mock at least one reason to declare war, officially, on some hapless tribe in the Sahara or heathen fanatic like the Ayatollah Khomeni.  (1987)”  Bush?
“IRAN/CONTRA MESS  -  The whole investigation was a farce and a scam that benefitted nobody except Washington lawyers who charge $1,000 an hour for courtroom time. Oliver North’s bill for legal fees will be a million dollars, which has already been covered by the private donations.  If this low-rent scandal is the best this generation can do, they deserve what they’re getting and they are going to have to live with it. They deserve to be called A Generation of Swine.”
“SENATOR PAUL SIMON - Simon is small and ugly and weird and he almost never smiles. He has lips like Mick Jagger and the ears of a young baboon.”
“This is the problem with this anguished generation. Somewhere along time ago they fell in love with the idea that politicians – even the slickest and brightest presidential candidates – were real heroes and truly exciting people. That is wrong on its face. They are mainly dull people with corrupt instincts and criminal children.  (July 1987)”
SEE WHAT I MEAN. AND HE WAS TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WERE LIVING AT THE TIME!
 A HISTORY OF SPECIES 
Have you ever wondered how long a particular critter lived? I’m at your service, once again, with the following collection of minitue.
(ANCIENTS )-    WHEEL OF 84  (Approx.)84 Lacs = 8,400,000 years  (one lac = 100,000)

SPECIES                (Quantity)          Ancient sages                    Current               
Plants                                   3,ooo,ooo                           300,000
Water Creatures                400,000                               ?
Insects                                  2,700,000                             1,000,000
Birds                                      1,400,000                             10,000
Land animals (man)           400,000                              5,500,000?
Bacteria                                       ?                                      10,000
TOTALS                                 8,400,000                             8,700,000 (+/- 1.3 M) pretty close, eh?
LIFE SPAN (Western Concepts)
INSECTS
Ant                         15
Fruit Fly               0.1 day?
Aphid                    5 days
Spiders                 15 yrs?
Tick                        4
Cicada                   17 yr
Wood Beetle     45 yr     

BIRDS                    Years
Blue Jay               4
Canary                  24
Macaw                  64
Tit Mouse            9
Pigeon                  35
ANIMALS
Humans               115
Chimp                   37
Squirrel                  15
Pond Scum         ?
Mouse                  3 yr
Rat                         7
Hamster               1.8
Dog                        29
Cat                         38
Horse                    62
Elephant (Asian)  86
Bear                       42

FISH / AMPHIBEAN
Frog                       5 – 15
Goldfish               25
Sturgeon             50
Koi                         23-200
Tortoise               190
Eels                        150
Whale, Bowhead  200
PLANTS
Sequoia                            3,000
Bristlecone Pine               4,843
Creosote Bush                  11,700! Mojave
Juniper                                 3,000
Larch                                     700
Pine, Swiss                         1200
Redwood, Sierra              4,000
Dragon Tree                       200
Bo Tree                                 2,500
English Oak                        ,000
English Ivy                          440
Grape vine(Zin.)                  100
Mushroom                          days
CRUSTACEANS
Crayfish                                   30
Water Flea                          0.2
MOLLUSK/MISC.
Clam                                      1 – 10
Snail                                      1 – 30
Bi-valve     Ming                   405 yrs
Earthworm                         10 years?
Leech                                    27
Rotifer                                  0.003 – 0.1 days? Plankton, etc.

NEW BOOK COVERS
Originally I began this rant  (in 2006) about things that bothered me but other people didn’t seem to mind or notice. I sometimes get side-tracked in dispensing interesting ruminations but don’t let me forget about my ‘Pet Peeve  - THE BOOK DUST COVER” . I guess I don’t mind a book that has a cover clinging to it’s cover as the hardcover is difficult to print with pictures and color stuff in order to sell the item. But what really freaks me out it when some friend will keep the cover for years, until it’s all tattered and worn to nothing but a bloody rag. I admit it sometimes handy to use as a page mark until you can score one but for god’s sake, throw it away after you’ve started reading as is a real hassle for me to try to keep it in place while reading. If I know the owner is a “Duster”  I will place the cover aside until I have finished the book, but I don’t guarantee it will be returned with it.  













Tuesday, March 28, 2017

94

WALLED TOWNS                                                   

To really get the feeling of the Medieval Europe, there is nothing like staying overnight in one.  Of course, we must realize that all towns of any consequence had a wall around them as their neighbors (Dukes, Barons,) were always trying to rape and pillage them. Nowadays, the old wall lines have been converted to Peripheral Freeways that completed surround the urban core (Paris, Amsterdam, etc.), which is really a modern miracle when it comes to getting around in these cities.

PARIS                                       
THE LOUVRE
About the only remnant left of the old walls , other than the freeways are the terminal stations of the Metro, although some lines have gone past these gates. They uncovered some of the old walls when they excavated for the new underground mall of the architect
I.M. Pei.at the Louvre.                      
Between Walls

Duke De Lamont

CARCASSONNE             
Just when you think you have figured out the easy ways to and from Le Gare in a taxi you get to Carcassonne.,Since cars aren’t allowed within the old city walls, and its quite a distance up the hill from the Gare to the walled Old Town ,  you need to take a taxi (or bus, when you’ve figured that out), as walking isn’t much of an option we are dumped off at the drawbridge of the walled town. Inside, you drag your bags up hills over cobblestones for a few short block to find our hotel(Hotel de Ramparts).
Nice modern insides worked from  a 12th century abbey. There are only three hotels inside and we’re in one of them. We really enjoyed strolling around the place and finding little outdoor cafes and such. Found a restaurant that served Coq au vin, not easy to find, as it is considered a peasant dish. It was very tasty, but a lot of work getting the meat off the odd cuts of chicken. It could have used more mushrooms & onions. However, not to complain as it was one of the best meals we had so far. A large downside to stay in a cheaper hotel is the didn’t seem to understand the concept of venting the plumbing fixtures to eliminate smell. Although, they invented the Studer Vent, a gismo the you install in you fixture plumbing the take care of the smell, it was something we had ran into in Bordeaux. Maybe they were still using the original sewer container in the basement? That brought back unpleasant memories of the out house used on the farms I worked in Eastern Washington. 
 The fort, built by the Romans and occupied by the Visigoths in the 5th centuries, came under French control around 13th century. There are two major concentric  walls, both have more than seventeen round towers in the walls. This is probably the largest extant castle in France, it was restored by the French Architect Violet-le-Duc in the mid eighteen hundred, who had a habit of adding pointy roofs on a lot of the round towers here and elsewhere in France. King St. Louis built the walls in 13th century. This was the last of the holdouts of the Cathers, A religios group from Byzantium who didn’t agree with all the Catholic Dogma, therefor were massacred, called the Albinasian Crusade, whereby the Knight Errant was given the land of any Cathar he killed. A very tidy arrangement for the Catholics.



Aigues Morte



ST. CHAPELLE

AIGUES MORTES (Dead Waters)
This is one of the best preserved towns as it still has a population of about 6,000 folks.
It was originally the only French port to the Mediterranean sea  as well as a source of salt due to the manipulation of the ponds in the marshes. It looks like a smaller version of the salt mounds in San Francisco Bay. Also, they are renowned for a type of horse of smaller stature. The king, St. Louis IX (that’s the 9th) figured large here as he left here to participate in the crusades of 1248 and 1272. He didn’t do much fighting but died of Dysentry near Jeruselum. I’ve always wondered why a king became a saint, Well, the Catholic Pope was in Avingnon at the time and King Louis was renowned for his “humility” and taking care of the poor, but at the same time, was instrumental in expanding the Inquisition, the bastard! While in the Outremer, (French for overseas) he was suckered into buying the Crown of Thorns: and a sliver of the True Cross. He paid enormous sums for these so called authentic relics, like twice as much as he spent on building his fabulous chapel, “St. Chapelle” in Paris. Today, this small church is in my estimation the best example of the art of the 13th century. We stayed in a hotel St. Louis, in the town, just a block from the Main Plaza, obviously a renovated house from a few hundred years back. Charlemagne erected a watch tower in 790, while most of the walls were put up in 1270.
  Evenings in these towns are pretty magical, as the tourists are gone around 06h00 and the restaurants and plazas are nice and quiet.
   Leaving one day from Auges Morte to SantMarie De Le Mer to see the annual gathering of Gypsies (Yes, they still exist!)  As well of a flock of pink flamingos in the marshes, we took a back road which had a free ferry across a small river. Well, we arrived at the ferry at 12:01 and the ferryman was at lunch till 1:30(Promptly!). So we all waited around while about 20 cars cued up. Spent time conversing with a Canadian bicyclist who had two wooden legs.(Don’t ask me how). He and his two kids were cycling from there to Avignon, about 30 miles! His kids were put in a French school that helps foreigners learn French while still studying.

Street Lamp, Coke bottles
Soccer Team


DELFT
   Trained down to Delft, put up at a the small Museum Hotel  that had large contemporary ceramic sculptures all over the place. This is another ancient town that still  has a few canals through it. It’s hard to believe this to be a walled town as it is very alive with churches, commerce and plain living places.  Of course we took a boat tour in order to see the canal life, they only recently cleaned them out and retrieved one thousand bicycles. The young bucks in Holland have a penchant for stealing bikes and throwing them in canals while drunk.  There are two major churches here, the Oude Kirk and the Nieuwe Kirk.  The old church was built in 1100's while the new one was finished in 1350. New & old arerelative terms here. They have a wonderful large square with the old City Hall on one side. This was filled with a market one of the days, selling everything from flowers to tee shirts. Needing to do our laundry we asked the young woman concierge where we could find a Wash & Dry. She said that “We don’t do that here”. That was a big help but so we finally ran across one later on the main square  that day. The sign said “Rein-Tex”. Never did know what it meant, but it worked.
 Took a couple of day trips on the train, one to Haarlem (Yes, New York’s was named after this). We found a fantastic old church (Grote Kerk) from the 1300's with great slabs of basalt on the floor where the well known are buried, including Mozart. A very unusual roof structure of stone ribs and timber infill.  But best of all, there was a fantastic ornate organ on one end wall and best of all they were playing Bach or Buxtahude. We were almost the only ones there except for this incredible SOUND! It was truly, a religious experience.
 Another day tripped to Keukenhof Gardens,  which has a huge flower show at this time of year (Spring). It consists of many acres of ground that contain giant tulip area, creeks, and several pavilions, each one containing a type of flower, orchids, daisies, etc. Each pavilion has a snack bar for food and of course beer & wine. This eased my pain a little. An original restored operating windmill was fun to climb up on but the best thing was watching a guy hand carved wooden shoes on a sawhorse with a clever tool that is jointed and attached to the saw-horse that enables him to quickly shape the shoe and actually make pairs that fit.
 Back at Delft we found a great little restaurant overlooking a canal. What intrigued us was the lantern over their door. It was made up of spoons and coke bottles! The atmosphere and food was on a par with their lantern.


ST. MICHEL MONT MERCURE        

 We moved on to our favorite place of all, the Chateau de la Flocelliere, an ancient castle  partly reconstructed after the revolution. Not exactly a walled town, it felt like one as several of the original walls were still standing, all around the main Chateau.  Operated (and owned) by the Vicomte & Vicomtesse Vignial, we occupied the second floor of he tower. The old oak floors were not sealed but merely waxed over the centuries. They had a wonderful sheen to them. We were invited to an aperitif in the drawing room one evening, declining a Cuban cigar but yes on a couple of drinks poured by the Vicomte himself. We met some of the other guests, a German builder of thrill rides, like at Marine World. We booked a dinner for one of the evenings and sat down to a very tasty chicken, potatoes, & haricot vert. We shared dinner at the chateau  with an old French couple, he being an old retired army parachutist. Unfortunately, they had no words of English. But our hosts were fluent in about ten languages so we had a good time. The Vicomte kept us up to our ears in good wine, the Vicomtesse kept filling us up with her great food, prepared by her and a kitchen helper. The kitchen was a marvel of 18th century stuff, including a rough square granite sink. Throughout our stay, Joy kept asking for ice (She’s incorrigible, like Bill and his Martinis) and who would bring it? Why the Comtesse. I was kind of embarrassed. Didn’t bother Joy any, she had to have her Coke with ice.
 On one of our day trips from the to a nearby town with a swell creperie we got caught up in a high school marathon on some hilly town. They just told us to drive careful so we threaded our way thru the runners and check points, finally getting free to proceed on our way. Also drove down to nearby La Porte de Rochelle , where most of the early ships left to deliver settlers to the Americas. Had a lot of great old forts guarding the port. We found a Pizzeria on a canal for a nice lunch.



THRU THE WALL
HELLO - CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

VILLANUEVA SUR YONNE
Caron's Hotel-Restuarant
The  wall and towers were built in 12th century as one of eight residences of the French kings. The main west gate is still standing, renovated by Viollet-le-Duc, but with the unfortunate narrow width, only one car at a time can negotiate the gate which straddles the main street at the end of the business district. I guess the inmates of the town are just used to it after several centuries and what option do they have? The whole townon one side is open onto the river, I don’t know if there was a wall on that side during the hard times.
 Joy found us a wonderful B&B owned and run by Mde Leslie Caron, the actress. She had bought and renovated an old boat repair shop on the River Yonne, complete with four rooms and a very elegant restaurant, which she runs. She’s not as gorgeous now days as she was in “An America in Paris” but has a classy view of life.

CHURCH FACADE

DEVILS BRIDGE

LUCCA
We didn’t overnight here but have haunted their streets a couple of times. Totally surrounded by huge walls and breast works of te Renaissance times when cannons could chew you up if you didn’t have lots of dirt and stone in front of you., Again, cars only allowed in peripheral parking lots. An obvious oval void of the Piazza Antiteatro is the result of all the 3 and 4 story buildings surrounding it reflecting the remnants of a Roman Theatre. As usual, the Romans founded the place about 200 BC. The composer
Puccini was born here. At one time , there were many stone towers here but only a couple left today. An word of warning; there is a huge, fast round-about at the main entry. Just relax and drive around it a few times until you can catch sight of the turn-off to Lucca town. However, once when we left, we entered a one way street, but we were going against traffic. A fabulous old stone bridge , The “Devils Bridge” is a short distance into the hills from Lucca. The Ponte dei Diablo was commissioned by the Countess Matilida in 1100. It has a span of 37.8 meters (look it up!). This is the spot where we understood that Roundabouts are great for cars but deadly for pedestrians, a concept not understood yet by American Planners.

SAN GIMIGNANO                
FRESH PIG!


BASE OF TOWER
This is one of the great walled towns as it has not spread from the old walls like so many other cities. We have been here several times but always find it interesting. For instance, we had never seen a pigs head that you can cut chunks of meat from in a  shop.









The Duke of Verona





PADUA                                  
Only a short distance from Venice, I had to see the old walled city of Padua, whose crumbling walls still surround most of the town. This was a setting for Shakespeares’ “Romeo & Juliet”. Since I had played The Duke of Verona ack in Santa Rosa  (I guess the Duke owned Padua at the time).  I couldn’t help standing an  the actual Town Hall  where the Duke had espoused his monologue so I could reprise my role on the actual steps . The square was filled with some market vans plus a group of workmen who enjoyed my discourse immensely (Not understanding any of it) but gave me a rounding applause when I had finished. Those are the moments we cherish, traveling around and doing re-enacting of old parts.