Sunday, February 16, 2020

A Panorama Of Hotel De Ville At Night

At least I think that's what it is.

When Screen Saver serves up its never ending supply of images that I have taken over the last couple of decades I don't always remember what they are.

But I'm pretty sure that I shot this out of the window of an apartment on Isle de La Cité that I once lived in.

On the third floor - fourth if you are an American.

And Hotel de Ville was a frequent subject of my camera work.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Watching donnie Cut And Run – Part Two

Fat Mike has announced a deal with the Taliban for a seven day cessation of atrocities – both sides.

Fat Mike says this will get us out of Afghanistan.

And that probably is true.

Seven days should give donnie the dildo enough time to set aside his Revenge 2020 campaign for a few hours and tuck his big tail up between his ample haunches and run for it.

I imagine the Americans and Afghans who have died in the last 18 years are as happy as the dead little clams that they are.

If you are interested in donnie cuts and runs – part one, click on it.

Then tune back to the latest of The Adventures of Bar and trump, the poor man’s Burns and Allen.

Paris After Dark

To App Or Not To App?

That is not the question.

And here’s why.

Some states’ political parties use the caucus method of choosing their candidate for president.

The reasons given all seem to boil down to the belief that the caucus is face to face, town meeting, Thirteen Colonies style politics.

And that, the caucus states parties assert, is a good thing.

And I think it is.

I speak from personal experience: I caucused in the Democratic contests in Washington State in 2008 and 2016.

To implement that town hall meeting type of politics is, oddly, complicated: initial horse trading begets a vote which begets a winner and one or more non-winners; rather than leaving it at that, in the interest of consensus, the non-winners are asked to horse trade their way into another voting round from which a winner and – perhaps one or more non winners emerge; that goes on until a winnowed, consensus, winner emerges.

The physical mechanics of this process varies by state but that’s more or less the idea.

One of the long term criticisms of the process is that it tends to draw a limited group of participants.

Another is that the rounds of horse trading take a lot of time.

Apparently in response to those – valid – criticisms, various forms of automation – apps – are being adopted.

The problem with that technology adoption is that the availability, reliability, speed and security of currently available networks all put a gaping pothole into the road of implementing a caucus app right at the starting line; and even if data begins to flow down the network, the weirdness of the calculations required seems to quite consistently yield no results or bogus results.

And, even if the calculations consistently work, a table based computer calculation replacing rounds of sweaty, smoke filled room horse trading negates the whole ostensive purpose that has made the caucus the vehicle of choice in the first place.

And the requirement for expensive devices and expensive networks and the expertise to utilize those expensive resources are obvious factors standing in the way of participation.

So the question is why do parties continue to use the caucus at all?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Gull Landing

Canal St Martin

I like to walk from my apartment down the Seine on the river level quai and cross to the right bank on Pont de Austerlitz and go down into the Paris Arsenal and walk through the little quai-side parc.
That leads to La Bastille.
Keeping in the same direction, beyond the gold guy on the column:

I start walking up the covered portion of Canal St Martin.
After awhile the canal re-appears in a series of écluses, stiles and slack water stretches.

Then at rue Crimée I leave the canal and go on to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
But that story is for another day.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Paulo And Fransesca

They joined us every morning for breakfast on our little patio in Florence.
This picture shows them showing their disapproval to our cutting off the bread and fruit after an hour or so.
They wanted more.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Some Paris Pictures

Several trips to Paris ago, and several accompanying years back, I had a revelation: there are probably more sushi restaurants in Paris than there are in Tokyo.

So I shouldn't have been surprised when I saw and shot this image in the sand of the quais not far from the Paris Cop Dock - which is pretty near the pillars in the Seine where I get my best cormorant pictures, and just down the egress road that leads up to Quais St Bernard, where the parrots leak out of le Jardin des Plantes and inspect the holes in the trees down by the cop dock.

The crow was in a little garden on the same river level quais quite near a really troubling sculpture of
A guy manning a machine gun.

The gunner seems to be pretty sexually aroused.

Anyway, here are the pictures.

Sushi in the sand:

Crow with pickled sushi ginger:

Cop Dock Cormorant:

Parrot inspecting a hole in a tree on the egress road by the cop dock:

I have never taken a picture of the machine gun guy.
I respect his right to privacy.
I guess.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Brexit Day Two

It must be disheartening.

If you are a Brit.

You are in a world dominated by:

A. a waning ex colony that is administered by a senile, sociopath criminal;

B. a waxing ex victim;

C. a ridiculous, playing a great game of poker, Slavic vestige of the last real Gilbert and Sullivan dictatorship;


B. a population on your Island that is just plug stupid;

like that of your ex colony.

So goes, I guess, the course of empire.

But this time the sun has set on all of us.

How historically funny.

How historically sad.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

When You Are In A War …

… you should buy a Rolex.

I watched Antique Roadshow while I was cooking beef curry for dinner tonight.

I make really good beef curry.

It’s always a hodge podge of stuff; this time it was left over New York cut sliced thin, shallots, broccoli and jalapeno, all also sliced thin.

Each ingredient gets its time in the wok on its own with the meat getting a light touch after the others are finished.

I chose tandoori curry powder from the various jars of curry that I have accumulated from the Pike Market.

The whole thing got turned out on steamed rice.

It was quite good.

But back to the war: there was an old ex-USAF hippy – not too different from me, except he has a lot of hair and is 8 to 10 years younger than I am – who had bought a Rolex at a Base Exchange in Thailand in 1974.

He had paid $374 for it at the time.

As luck had had it, he hadn’t ever worn it and had kept all the Rolex paperwork and BX receipts and all that sort of thing.

Not wearing it has left a foil thing from Rolex on the back of the watch; sweat and such would have removed that foil over time; but it has not been removed.

So it is a new watch from the point of view of collectors.

And, he had never sent in the Rolex warranty registration.

That alone was worth $1000.

The watch was worth $700,000.

Something about Paul Newman, they said.

I have a Sanyo 1.5 cubic foot refrigerator with a dent on its top that I bought in Vietnam, a bronze star and a memoir that I wrote about that Vietnam thing.

The Sanyo still works.

I loaned it to my mother in law in her waning days in a senior center in Idaho.

Until she died.

I don’t know what she kept in it.

In Vietnam I kept salami in it.

And vodka.

I like cold vodka.

I doubt that the refrigerator, the bronze star or the memoir are worth much.

The star has an accompanying picture of General Philpot, though.

I have heard that accompanying documentation makes things more valuable.

Raindrops On Pine Needles And A Hummingbird