Monthly Archives: January 2015

Our Silences and precious freedom of speech.

Another San Diego interesting sight .

Cool San Diego Sights!

Sculptures on display on San Diego's Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor. Sculptures on display on San Diego’s Embarcadero near Tuna Harbor.

My walk early this morning took me down to Ruocco Park, just north of Seaport Village. I wanted to check out something I saw on the news that looked really interesting.

Few people were about. Sunrise was lightening the sky. Ten imposing human-like sculptures rose before me. As I approached, the figures loomed ever larger, silent, heavy-lidded, facing the fishing boats in Tuna Harbor, and a handful of joggers passing by.

This temporary installation of public art opened yesterday to the public. Our Silences, created by Mexican sculptor Rivelino, is composed of a row of ten massive bronze figures, whose mouths are shut and silenced with a metal plate. The object of the art is to provoke thought, feeling and discussion about freedom of speech. One wonders if the small prison-like black box nearby contains a political prisoner, or someone’s…

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watch for foxes

ANGELUS oaks Jan 2015 with Sally 179

Cabin Dec. 2014 angelus oaks 059

Coupon and road sign 005

ANGELUS oaks Jan 2015 with Sally 117

Angelus Oaks Nov. 2014 029

Poland vacation Kociewie 146

Poland house and neighorhood 037

sign cuts 002


grandkids at descanso gardens 068

grandkids in Morro Bay , etc. 227

grandkids in Morro Bay , etc. 230

Mt. Baldy on New Years 002

Courthouse trip to archives 004

Driving up CA 080

arboretum oct 2013 038


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ghosts & guardian angels

I guess no one would call a guardian angel a ghost . But guardian angels are invisible , aren’t they ? ; and they’re around . Well , I’m not sure mine is around any more . Mine’s most likely long -ago retired . I forgot to ask the nuns back when I was five what happens about that —- does a kid’s guardian angel stick around ’til the bitter end ?

My religious education , I will admit , is a bit sketchy and weak . It’s not that the nuns tried . They did . And I picked up what I needed to know , I guess , back there in elementary school . Grammar school , I should perhaps say , instead of elementary . My friend Joe and I , it seems , had this discussion a couple of years ago . But , anyway , to quasi – quote Arty Doyle : It’s either grammar or elementary  , my dear Watson .

My guardian angel was a pretty good one , I guess . Here I am , after all , after all these years , pretty much okay . Proof is in the pudding ? Could have been worse . Well , now that I’m thinking of it ………….there were a few times………………….. I’m not one to go around blaming things on my guardian angel , though . So , let’s just move along . This post’s topic is ghosts , after all , and not guardian angels .

One guardian angel thing before we go , though : We kids had to leave a space between us on the pew in church so our guardian angels had room to sit next to us . It was a nun rule based on nun-knowledge . That one bit of trivia  might give you a hint about  my religious education and how bits of esoteric spiritual wisdom seeped into my soul . But , that’s another post for another day .

I wouldn’t describe myself as lacking in confidence , but I will say that the ghosts you chase you never catch. ———–John Malkovich

I don’t believe in ghosts . But that doesn’t mean that they’re not out there anyway .model hair down 1895

Another thing that I learned in grammar school is that people who have died  watch me , especially relatives . They’d like to know that I’ll do right ,stay out of trouble , and that sort of thing . They can see it all happen , of course , when I goof up . A  little intimidation goes a long way . A touch of control from beyond the grave . Predecessors and ancestors watching and judging .

I suppose there was a time when I was slightly haunted by these beliefs , if not by the ancestors . I’m not putting it down , though . It was okay . Childish , but okay . Much in my childhood was childish . I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be .

There may be ghosts in the neighborhood , whether I think so or not . I get that feeling  occasionally . The cop murdered around the corner back in 1927 , for example . A little presence also , perhaps , of my old neighbors Bing , from across the street , and Rex , who lived next door . Rex’s house is being torn down so a bigger house can be put up . I suppose Rex doesn’t mind , though . He hadn’t built the house , after all , and he had been a builder , too .

Ghosts , I think , apparently , don’t appear . After all , they’re ghosts . They’re spirits . Like why the skeleton decided not to go to the party :  He had no body to go with . So they , most likely , don’t make noises or cause cold breezes . They may exist ; but they’re not there . I know ; I know .  That doesn’t seem to make sense .x-MAS 047

Wait . I’ll try to contact my guardian angel and I’ll ask about ghosts . But , on the other hand , maybe I shouldn’t . Nun ghosts might suddenly swirl around with blackboard- drawn circle souls . Some of the circle will be scribbled in with a mass of chalk . You know what I mean , don’t you ? If not , then where did YOU get your religious education ?  Sin , man ! When a person sins the soul gets a little more full of chalk . That soul is already in trouble ; but wait until the circle soul fills up with chalk ! Hell , man ! ( I think . )  There’s venial sin and then there’s mortal sin . Ask my friend Joe about the difference. He knows . My older sister would know , too . Nuns would know , too , of course , if you could find some these days . I think they’d know . If not , I suppose they could Google it .

Anyway , I think that I should stop here , in the middle of this mess . My guardian angel , still here as it happens , is getting decidedly pissed off . There are signs . Didn’t you feel that sudden rush of cold air ? My ancestors are probably shaking their heads as they look down on me , too . Well , maybe they should be  looking at my guardian angel instead of me . That old angel  maybe should’ve steered my in another direction some time ago .  .

In one aspect , yes , I believe in ghosts , but we create them — We haunt ourselves .——–Laurie H. Anderson .


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passing hat thought

big hatMy grandfather used to talk about people talking through their hats . Hats . That was long ago when men wore hats , before John Kennedy went to his inaugural and didn’t wear the hat . Maybe that’s what started hats going out of style for men.  There was old Ike Eisenhower in the traditional top hat sitting next to him  and Kennedy with no hat on his head at all . Out with the old .men in top hats

With  politicians  ” She/he’s talking through her/his hat ! ” often applies , even though she/he may not be actually wearing a hat . Here in the digital age we can easily throw up ( pun intended ) examples of their saying one thing here and another there ; or one thing then and another thing now ; or of promises made during campaigns and from then on mysteriously set aside as if they had instantly vanished.  Gone with the wind .

Politicians , as soon as they throw their hats into the ring begin talking though them , I think . Well , that’s not a profound announcement , I know . That’s politics .

coolidge and hatSome people ( including politicians )  cry at the drop of a hat . Magicians pull rabbits out of  hats . Home sweet home is wherever I can hang my hat . Some people wear two hats . People pass hats . Men used to tip their hats to ladies .  Some people are so cheap their hats squeak . Some people sing about hats . Dylan sang about a pill-box hat . Lyle Lovett sings : ” You can have my girl ; just don’t touch my hat .

Hats are still in , though , especially with young people .  Hats off to hat wearers !

I was thinking about hats today , for no apparent reason . Maybe my hat was on too tight yesterday . I’m not mad as a hatter , though . It was just a passing thought I hat .

Alice : This is impossible .

Mad hatter : Only if you believe it is . 

old man and potato


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Hiding In Shadows – The Way We Make A Broken Heart

You will be amazed at the way this blogger writes , the information presented , and the music choices presented . Check out some of the posts and you will see clearly what I mean .

The Immortal Jukebox

‘No adultery is bloodless’ (Natalia Ginzburg)

‘Adultery is in most cases a theft in the dark.’ (Stefan Zweig)

‘To borrow against the trust someone has placed in you costs nothing at first. You get away with it, you take a little more and a little more until there is nothing more to draw on. Oddly, your hands should be full with all that taking but when you open them there’s nothing there.’. (Jeanette Winterton)

‘There must be millions just like you and me, practiced in the art …’
(John Hiatt from, ‘The Way We Make A Broken Heart’)

The human heart is about the size of a large fist and usually weighs about 10 ounces. Throughout each twenty four hours of light, half-light, near dark and dark your heart will beat some 100,000 times and if you are lucky enough to live a long life it will beat on and…

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Crazy street gibberish makes perfect sense.

I think it’s the Gas Co. about to dig , but who knows ! This photo blog finds interesting sights in San Diego .

Cool San Diego Sights!

Sure, this makes perfect sense. It must. It has to! Sure, this makes perfect sense. It must. It has to!

I took these two photos on the way to the Santa Fe Depot to catch the trolley this morning. Then I just stood and scratched my head.

No doubt this spray-painted street gibberish makes perfect sense to someone. I hope so!

Looks like someone has a lot of work to do! Looks like someone has a lot of work to do!

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computer savvy

Poland house and neighorhood 013I’m not a guy who knows computers .horse at ralphs

I checked a book out of the Arcadia library recently that might make me a little more knowledgeable . It’s a big book and it has colorful flow charts on almost every page . Almost is written as if for a child . Perfect. Just what I need .

Oh, I’ve owned computers , of course . I bought my first with a teacher discount in the 1980s . It was a cute little white thing , and it crashed for good after a year or so . It could store about as much information , as I remember , as might be crammed into a shoebox . You might think that I exaggerate on this point ; but , be informed that I  wear size 15 ( U.S. ) shoes , so it’s a little less of an exaggeration than you would think .

My feet , by the way ,  most of my adult life , had been size 13 , ever since I was fourteen years old . But then , several years ago , they stretched out to size 15 .  For years I suspected that shoe companies , most of them in Asia ,  were shorting us all on sizes — a  ‘ 15 is the new 13 ”  type of thing .  “Large” labelled clothes no longer fit , too . I found myself having to buy ” X-Large ” .  I know what you’re thinkin’ —- I gained weight and stretched out . Yeah , true ; but not enough to account for this shoe/clothing size-label conspiracy . No way .ANGELUS oaks Jan 2015 with Sally 117

I gave up the conspiracy theory , though , some time ago . I’m not much of a conspiracy theory type of guy . Lee Harvey Oswald for example , as far as I’m concerned , was the lone shooter of JFK . Not the CIA . Not Lyndon Johnson . Not the mafia or the KGB . Just Lee Harvey . O.K. , so it’s almost certainly impossible to get off two accurate shots from that angle , with his shooting experience , at that distance , with that weapon . So was it really the Secret Service guy in the following car who accidentally discharged his weapon into the President’s head ? Was there , then , Secret Service cover-up ?  I’m not pursuing it .Featured Image -- 12912

Remember old discussions of discussions about , for example , how many angels fit on the head of a pin ?  Want to spend time talking that conundrum out ? Not me , man . I prefer to wallow in my ignorance . Reminds me now of that UCLA philosophy class : ” The Philosophy of Knowledge “.  How do we know what we know ?  I say : Who cares ! You either know it or you don’t . If you know it , fine , then you won’t need to talk about how .Angelus Oaks Jan 17 , 2015 002

I don’t hold myself up as a shining example of how to be or how to think about things . Someone , I guess, needs to explore the truth , hypothesize, develop theories , test theories , etc.   Someone needs to philosophize , perhaps . Someone , I suppose, needs to explore space , for example , and capture bits or planets to study . Someone needs to expand our knowledge so that civilization can advance . Don’t wait for me , please , though — you go ahead .

But , have we advanced all that much , by and by ? Sure , technologically . We’ve found more and more effective ways to destroy one another , of course ; but have we explored and discovered ways not to destroy one another ?  Call our conundrum  human nature , if you want . Maybe that’s what’s holding us back .Cabin Dec. 2014 angelus oaks 059

Anyway , I know how to look some stuff up on my computer , but I don’t understand much else about it .  I don’t understand hacking . I don’t understand the entire network mechanics , really , despite the flow charts in my library book .  I’ve found through experience that the true geniuses of computer technology begin with one simple rule : Turn it off , wait 20 seconds , and then turn it on again . That almost always works .Coupon and road sign 005

Can this technique be applied more generally to the world ? Anybody waiting for WWIII ?  How about this for the world ? : Turn it off ; wait a half-life of twenty million years , and then turn it on again ? Maybe . Maybe not . I think GOD had something like this in mind when Noah was around . Nuclear weapons could turn us off one of these days .

Meanwhile , I’m clicking the keyboard of an old  Dell computer that I bought used a couple of years ago over the internet. The NSA is , no doubt , listening to my blabbering and writing my name down on some  list . It gives them something to do — a purpose . GM , General Mills, B of A , Shell Oil , and Ralphs Markets are doing the same , I’m sure ; making their own lists . Good luck getting anything useful , guys !

But , of course , I’m simply speculating about all of this . I’m certainly not a philosopher , and, as I’ve said ,  I’m not a guy who knows computers . I’d like , at least , to be able to say with confidence :  ” At least I know what I know ” ; but I took that Philosophy of Knowledge class at UCLA , remember ,  and so since then I haven’t  even been sure of that .ANGELUS oaks Jan 2015 with Sally 179


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