Wednesday, July 13, 2016

He's A Fake And He Doesn't Know The Territory!

The Notorious RBG:
"He is a faker," she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. "He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. ... How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that."

Twelve Monkeys

Last night, Bella and I were walking east on T Street when a tall black woman came striding purposefully from the opposite direction. She was wearing a SARS-type mask across her face. I looked at her and smiled. She looked at me and her eyes bored holes through the back of my skull. I figured she must know something I didn't. Bella and I were living in a "let's find cats" reality. She was living in a "12 Monkeys" reality.

Bella wasn't having any viral nonsense, though. She spied a dark shape crossing the street up ahead and dragged me right along in pursuit. I thought it was a cat at first and told Bella to cool it. We followed parallel paths, with the animal running along on one side of a small hedge and us running along on the other side. Then the animal ran right up the trunk of a palm tree. A raccoon! Bella barked and howled in frustration. It just wasn't fair, but life is hard for a dog on Sacramento's streets at night.

I Was a Normal Person With a Life. And Then I Started Playing Pokémon Go.

I can relate, but will pass:
I caught a lot of Pokémon that night. There a Weedle on my table, doing jumping jacks on top of my braised kale. There was a Doduo hiding behind the bar I went to with my friends. Outside in the semi-crowded darkness of the backyard, there was a Tauros. And every once in a while, I’d head outside “for fresh air”—which really meant I’d stroll around the block and search for more.

U of A Follows ASU; ASU Goes National

When I passed through ASU in the late-80's, they were implementing the model U of A is implementing now. ASU has led the way as public investment declines. I doubt either approach will work long-term, though:
Ultimately, Arizona shows two ways that universities can respond to government defunding. They can become country clubs, or they can become “knowledge enterprises” that rely on the Internet to deliver education to enormous, geographically diffuse student bodies. Either way, the gap between the type of education available to children from affluent families and that offered to everyone else is going to grow. There was a moment in American history, says Newfield, when “the kind of thing that the Bush family could take for granted at Yale became possible at U. Michigan for somebody whose father was a middle manager.” That moment is over.

Paralyzing Self-Doubt

Been Down In The Basement

Trying to organize the Man Cave.

Late For A Very Important Date

Southwestern monsoon appears to be getting off to a late, uncertain start: maybe by July 20, or so.

Our "WTF" Dance Number

Here is our group number, 'WTF' by Missy Elliott, at "The Debut", Momo's Lounge (above Harlow's, on J Street), March 31, 2016.

Marc Does Hip Hop

Here is my hip hop solo, Bel Biv DeVoe's 'Poison', at "The Debut", Momo's Lounge (above Harlow's, on J Street), March 31, 2016.

BBC Goes to Bakersfield

"If there's nothing going on at the oil fields, then there's not much going on here," says Edmondson. "That's our customers."

Black gold is the lifeblood of this blue-collar, conservative county - the heart of California's billion-dollar oil industry. This is the home of country music legends Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, who sang of the working man's blues.

Thousands of "nodding donkey" oil pumps dot the flat, blistering hot landscape.

It's a place where young men could earn a decent middle-class living in the oil fields without a university education; where the many orange, almond and grape fields have provided work for transients since Dust Bowl migrants came here for refuge in the 1930s.

It's also a place where Donald Trump's promise to "Make America Great Again" resonates.

"We need to bring companies back to America," says Dwain Cowell over breakfast at Zingo's. Regular customers nod in agreement as Cowell rails against the loss of the US iron industry to Vietnam, China and Japan.

Officer-Involved Shooting in Sacramento

Close to Stoney's. Joe the Plumber got his head cracked there about 12 years ago. Hope no one else gets their head cracked:
Sacramento police shot and killed a man Monday who both witnesses and police said was armed and acting erratically on Del Paso Boulevard.

The tense situation that led to the man’s death began about 9:25 a.m. near an apartment complex on Lochbrae Road, one block from Del Paso Boulevard. One officer suffered a minor injury in a fall during the confrontation with the man who witnesses said had a knife and a gun.

Witnesses initially saw the man walking through the Woodlake Oaks apartments on Lochbrae Road. The man, who appeared to be in his 50s or 60s and was dressed all in black, was acting in an erratic manner and was yelling, they said.

An officer in a patrol car began following the man as he swung his hands in the air as if performing karate chops, witnesses said. He then walked onto nearby Del Paso Boulevard as more police responded.

Read more here:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fourth of July Pictures From Davis Community Park

Have A Nice Illusion

Yesterday evening, Bella and I looked across the DMV parking lot towards St. Joseph's Cemetery. Two people were alternately staring at their phones and looking about randomly. "Look, Bella, those must be some of those Pokemon Go people. If they come over here, start barking."

Last night, just as we started our walk, there was a clatter behind the neighbor's back yard gate. An unfamiliar cat climbed on top of the gate, looked at Bella and myself, and clambered back down behind the gate.

There was lots of good music coming from "On Broadway" late last night. They ditched Lionel Ritchie for the moment and went with Rihanna instead. That's a good move. Live music there too. Someone was wailing on a saxophone. I need to get over there sometime.

I found a set of keys at the street corner and turned them in at the Chevron Food Mart. There was some sort of good-natured negotiation going on inside. Two partiers from "On Broadway" were trying to buy the entire supply of ready-to-eat fast food on display at a discount price. It wasn't clear to me why one would want a bunch of day-old hot dogs, but from a dropped word I wondered if they were going to hand them out to homeless people.

Bella and I headed farther north than usual. We were passing near 20th & P St., so we detoured to see where Will Murti was shot and killed a week ago. The commemorative candles I read about were no longer in evidence, but I did appreciate how close the location was to The Press Club. I wonder if Murti was a patron of that place? Lots of clubgoers were on the sidewalk outside when we passed by.

When Bella and I returned home, Bella charged at a mysterious animal that had been lurking in the yard. Probably that cat next door.

Here is a sidewalk sign on Q St. near 17th.

Bernie Sanders Is Doing Us Proud

Keith Drum is very pleased with Bernie Sanders:
He cooled it on the personal attacks, but used every bit of leverage he had to move both Hillary and the Democratic platform to the left. He didn't get everything he wanted ... he never expected to. He did lose the primary, after all.

Nonetheless, he got a helluva lot. He played his cards well, and in Hillary Clinton I think he had a fairly willing sparring partner. She didn't fight all that hard against his platform demands.

[Y]esterday the platform was finished, and Bernie is pretty happy with it. With that done, he's endorsing Hillary almost immediately. ...[H]e stopped the personal attacks, pushed the party to the left, and now he's diving in to the campaign against Donald Trump. Good work.

Bernie Sanders has been in politics a long time, usually working from a position of weakness, and knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. I was baffled by the hysterical nature of the attacks on him by the Clintonistas, because it seemed clear to me that all Sanders was doing was trying to maximize his leverage. You don't do that by folding early. And he is still trying to maximize his leverage, which is why he'll be working with Clinton now.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Harold Hill And Saul Goodman Are Merging In My Mind

Since I've been Stage Manager of "The Music Man" at DMTC and also suddenly become more interested in the Midwestern roots of the TV series "Better Call Saul", it's easier than ever to see points in common. Harold Hill is Saul Goodman 1.0, or Saul Goodman is Harold Hill 2.0. Both represent a specific American type that never goes out-of-fashion - the charming, fast-talking traveling salesman. "The Gary Conservatory Gold Medal Class of Aught-5" = "Go Land Crabs". Saul's Chicago is just a few miles from Harold's Gary, just 90 years later. River City = Albuquerque. Etc.

I even had a dream about an underground theatrical pavilion right at the Illinois/Indiana state starring both Harold Hill and Saul Goodman. They are merging in my mind.

DMTC's production of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" closed today. I will miss Richard Wall's portrayal of Harold Hill. Here is Robert Preston's portrayal of Harold Hill from the movie:

It's "They" - Get Over It

I'll Be Banking At The 1st Annual DMTC Monopoly Tournament

I haven't played Monopoly in years. May the ghost of Andrew Carnegie protect me:
Come join us for Davis's very first Monopoly tournament!

Here's how it works: Every player will get to play two games, each with a 90-minute time limit. Points will be given to each game's winner, and anyone still standing at the end of 90 minutes. After the two games are done, the top five scorers will compete in a final game to determine the overall winner. Prizes will be awarded to each finalist.

To register, visit the DMTC web site and follow the "Tickets" link. Register by Saturday, July 9th for the discounted entry fee! We can currently guarantee a seat for the first 30 registered players. Check-in on the day of the event will be from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Lunch will be provided to all players.


Llamas Bedevil The Tour De France

Crafty animals, those llamas:
[T]he llamas were purchased by a proprietor of a nearby campsite and let loose to graze the hillsides in the summer. On the particular day they were photographed, he wrote, they were likely lying down on the road to warm up from the cold mist.