Friday, June 23, 2017


   The linear orderliness of this lovely scene does more than remind me of those summers when I baled hay, though a moment of regression might be helpful.
    We were not paid much and the work was hot and hard, but lunches were amazing. Someone, usually the farmer who had hired us or his wife would bring full picnic baskets and pitchers of lemonade or iced tea to the shade of a tree where we paused. At one farm the basket might be full of fried chicken, heaping on a platter and pies. Or the basket might be full of sandwiches and cookies or pie. We were young, lean, always hungry and able to sweat out a morning, stop and eat like horses and then go back to grabbing the bales with a hay hook as they came off the baler and stacking them on wagons as we bumped our way over a field.
     Order and foundational values were important to us. We'd stack the bales high and they needed to stay in place as we jostled along. They also needed to come off the wagon in order so we could load them onto a conveyor lifting them to a hot, dusty and miserable hayloft where we off loaded and again stacked them neatly where they would summer and winter until the farmer busted them down for livestock.
     The work was honest and we were happy for the pay, no matter what it was. We worked all day, counted on each other and again needed to be orderly in everything we did.  I think about that as I anguish over American politics and government.
        There seems to be no order at work in this era. The Democrats are leaderless and in disarray. The Republicans are shattered, led by the least popular and most unfit president in history. We are in crisis.
        Though they control the House, Senate and White House the fractured, shattered, souless GOP seems intent on suicide. As universally hooted as the House health care plan was, Senate Republicans are retching a version that will also do harm and damage to millions while rewarding the wealthy with a tax cut. And of course they've done it in secret, a place where you sell your soul. It is as though they are giving the Democrats tickets to GOP beheadings, but it is the Democrats after-all. 
        A Democrat party that has its act together could sweep to power in 2018. They don't need to do much, the Trump follies and the sinister dramas of Ryan and McConnell have done and will do immense damage, if people are paying attention. And of course the Democrats need a generational adjustment and a bit of skill. So, given the all the odds there is no safe bet.
     What I am missing most is an explanation from anyone about what we are doing to protect the 2018 election and beyond from further Russian meddling. 
     When and how are we going to get answers from someone in Washington as to
  •   What did the Russian's do?
  •   How extensive was the attack?
  •   Did they affect vote counts or registration?
  •   How did they do it?
  •   How deep have they gone?
  •   What are we doing in a defensive way?
  •   Can someone guarantee it won't happen again?
     The absurdest follies of Washington is distracting, sadly, from the worst attack on America since 9/11, but damned if anyone seems concerned. That is more than worrisome. It is deadly frightening. Thinking Americans, young and old, waver between depression and despondency.
      One does not need to tilt left or right to know our system is in a spasm. We have become dysfunctional and it's annoying because we are used to order and for things to make sense-that has been our history-it is what has set us apart. 
      Now we are learning why "the old folks" used to long for the good old days. I've heard people say even Tricky Dick Nixon sounds good by comparison-now that's frightening!

      See you down the trail



Monday, June 19, 2017


life under the oaks
    Our annual Father's Day weekend sojourn to the Live Oak Music Festival is a photographer's paradise.
     The fundraiser for the California central coast NPR station KCBX is nestled between the San Raphael and Santa Ynez mountains north of Santa Barbara where it is beautiful under the ancient oaks. This year brought warm temperatures, so this shooter decided to document how people covered their head. Did you know there was such a variety of straw hat?

a popular man

The eclectic music mix was superb...
   Langhorne Slim made friends when he moved from the cool  shade of the stage into there sun and asked people "to get involved!"

    Joe Craven and the Sometimers blew everyone away with a version of Blackbird.
  Jessica Fichot dazzled as she sang in French, English, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish. 
    Live Oak runs three days and is famous for a stunning array of music.

     Though only a day tripper, we are always dazzled by the Live Oak nation and life under the big oaks...

beating the nincompoop 
       If it is at all possible schedule yourself into Cuba before the latest disruption from the cheeto colored idiot takes affect. Frequent readers have read on the scene posts from the Cuba File. They can be found in the archive of the blog. 
       It is a shame the nincompoop is trying to undo a step in the right direction. The bloated cretin is taking action that violates the belief of the vast majority of Americans. Don't we wish he'd just disappear?

      See you down the trail.