Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Early Vic

Early Victoria Skimboard photos, from the 1970's, and the first Laguna Shop. The postcard is from the 1940's, the lineup however, is still the same. More HERE

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Lookout

Lookout spot, Solag

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

© 1984 LA OLY COM

1984 Los Angeles Olympic pin picked up in SF of all places. I actually went to the Bronze Medal Soccer game at the Rose Bowl. Yugoslavia 2, Italy 1.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Michael Arntz

Staying with the former UCSB ceramic faculty. These are actually massive. Related Michael Arntz post HERE

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sheldon Kaganoff

One of my former faculty from my Santa Barbara days Sheldon Kaganoff at Reform HERE. Vessels are from the "Surface and Form" series.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

From the Farm

(Terra Firma Farm newsletter)

Most Californians have tasted an olive straight off the tree once — either just out of curiosity or as the victim of a practical joke (“What, you’ve never had one?  They’re great!”).  The horribly bitter, acrid flavor immediately makes most people wonder, “How the heck did anyone figure out those were edible?”.  Or, for that matter, that the oil tasted so good.

The same could be said for another oil crop, one that many people have never experienced up close.  Thousands of acres of safflower are planted in the Sacramento Valley each year in the early spring and harvested in late summer.  Their pretty orange and yellow blooms beautify the July landscape every year, where it is planted in the early spring and harvested in the late summer.  Like olives, safflower is perfectly adapted to California, requiring little if any irrigation.   In its own way, safflower is as unpleasant as raw olives. Although its pretty yellow and orange flowers are beautiful from a distance, the plant itself is a thistle covered with sharp spines.  A friend of mine who grew the crop once told me that the only way to walk through a safflower field unscathed was in a suit of armor.  Again, how the heck did anyone ever decide it would be a good food crop?

                Another hostile, thistly plant produces a popular vegetable:  Artichokes.  Workers who harvest artichokes actually do wear heavy gloves and coveralls to protect themselves from the sharp spines.  All this for a vegetable with just a tiny bit of edible flesh on the base of each flower petal and a tender part in the middle with a nasty, fuzzy “choke” that also has to be discarded.  Clearly the ancient Mediterreans who domesticated artichokes must have had very few other crops available to grow!

                It’s true that artichokes are more of a delicacy rather than an everyday foodstuff.  But what about Lettuce, the most common bland, watery vegetable in the diet of many Americans.  It was domesticated from wild lettuce, a plant as spiny and unapproachable as an artichoke plant.  I’ve never tasted it but I’m pretty sure it tastes about the same as it looks.  Who was the first person who thought, “that looks like it would make a good salad”?

                Not all modern vegetables are descended from spiny relatives.  The Carrots that we eat today are tender and sweet, and full of nutritious vitamins and minerals.  But carrots were bred from a wild plant that is nearly indistinguishable from deadly poison hemlock.  Which came first, the awareness that wild carrots were tasty, or that their doppelganger poison hemlock was deadly?  And who decided to keep trying to eat wild carrots after seeing someone die after accidentally eating hemlock instead?  I like carrots, but I don’t think I’d risk my life for them.

                Corn is one of the mainstays of the global food supply (for better or worse).  Yet the plant it was domesticated from, teotzinte, was a grass with a runty seed head 100th the size of a modern ear of corn, with barely a teaspoon of kernels.  And yet, entire civilizations in Central America focused hundreds of years of plant breeding on their efforts to make bigger ears of maize with larger kernels.  Somewhere lost in the annals of history, an ancient Native American plant breeder must have tried to convince his peers to give up the task and focus on improving some other obscure grain.

                The person who first ate a Hot Pepper and decided, “Wow, that really hurts to eat, but I bet we can make it sweet” may have been the most visionary of all of history’s plant breeders.  But even more curious is that hundreds of years later, hot peppers remain far more popular worldwide than sweet ones.  You have to give credit to the ancient salesman who was certain that he could convince people to grow and eat hot peppers.  “Pain is good for you”, “You’ll get used to it”, and “it covers up the taste of mold and rotten meat” are a few of the sales pitches that I can imagine.

Meanwhile, there are dozens if not hundreds of perfectly tasty, extremely nutritious plants that humans do not plant or eat.  In fact, some of these plants grow in the same fields as food crops, but are actively hunted down and removed with chemicals, cultivators, hoes and hands.  They are called weeds.  On our farm, purslane, pigweed, and lambsquarters are three examples.  In many cases, they grow as well or better than the crops they compete with (I guess that’s what makes them weeds).  If Mother Nature is trying to send us a message about what plants we should and shouldn’t eat, humans clearly aren’t getting the message.

more from Terra Firma HERE

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday NMc...... Here's to many many more. You're my favorite.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sun Shield Shield

In preparation for more days of sun, NMc created a custom umbrella bag from heavy weight cotton canvas.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sure Fit

After a failed attempt to body surf in Hawaii with my hat on effectively stretching the material, a new interior Ikat band has been sewn in for a proper fit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Harvey Pekar 1939-2010

More from the NY Times HERE

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

F.C.C. Indecency Policy Rejected on Appeal

Published: July 13, 2010
New York Times

A federal appeals court struck down a Federal Communications Commission policy on indecency Tuesday, saying that regulations barring the use of “fleeting expletives” on radio and television violated the First Amendment because they were vague and could inhibit free speech.

NBC broadcast an expletive by the singer Bono at the 2003 Golden Globe awards.
The decision, which many constitutional scholars expect to be appealed to the Supreme Court, stems from a challenge by Fox, CBS and other broadcasters to the F.C.C.’s decision in 2004 to begin enforcing a stricter standard of what kind of language is allowed on free, over-the-air television.

The stricter policy followed several incidents that drew widespread public complaint, including Janet Jackson’s breast-baring episode at the 2004 Super Bowl and repeated instances of profanity by celebrities, including Cher, Paris Hilton and Bono, during the live broadcasts of awards programs. The Janet Jackson incident did not involve speech but it drew wide public outrage that spurred a crackdown by the F.C.C.

In a unanimous three-judge decision, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said that the F.C.C.’s current policy created “a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here” because it left broadcasters without a reliable guide to what the commission would find offensive.

The appeals court emphasized that it was not precluding federal regulation of broadcast standards. “We do not suggest that the F.C.C. could not create a constitutional policy,” the court said. “We hold only that the F.C.C.’s current policy fails constitutional scrutiny.”

But if the commission decides to appeal the ruling — the latest in a string of court decisions questioning its ability to regulate media — it almost certainly runs the risk that the Supreme Court could reverse longstanding precedents that subject broadcast content to indecency standards that are not allowed for any other media.

Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the F.C.C., said in a statement that the commission was “reviewing the court’s decision in light of our commitment to protect children, empower parents, and uphold the First Amendment.”

In a statement, Fox said it was extremely pleased by Tuesday’s decision. “We have always felt that the government’s position on fleeting expletives was unconstitutional,” said the company, a unit of the News Corporation. “While we will continue to strive to eliminate expletives from live broadcasts, the inherent challenges broadcasters face with live television, coupled with the human element required for monitoring, must allow for the unfortunate isolated instances where inappropriate language slips through.”

The case, known as Fox Television Stations Inc. v. F.C.C., has already been to the Supreme Court on a technical matter that did not involve its constitutionality. In 2009, the justices ruled that the F.C.C.’s indecency standard was not “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore was allowable.

Rodney A. Smolla, a First Amendment scholar who is president of Furman University in Greenville, S.C., said that the Supreme Court had been clear in ruling that when the government created rules about what a person could and could not say, “you have to be very specific about what is in bounds and what is out of bounds.”

“This decision demands of the F.C.C. that it regulate with precision and not use general terms like ‘indecency,’ ” Mr. Smolla said.

Before 2004, the F.C.C. consistently held that occasional, spontaneous use of certain words that were otherwise prohibited did not violate its indecency standards. But as complaints multiplied over the celebrity obscenities and the Janet Jackson episode, the F.C.C., under Michael K. Powell, then its chairman, tightened its standard and Congress increased the potential fine for indecency violations tenfold, to up to $325,000 per episode.

Tuesday’s decision takes the F.C.C. back to the Supreme Court’s ruling in 1978 in F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, which upheld the commission’s finding that George Carlin’s classic “seven dirty words” radio monologue, with its deliberate and repetitive use of vulgarities over 12 minutes, was indecent. At that time, the court left open the question of whether the use of “an occasional expletive” could be punished.

In 2009, when the Supreme Court first rejected the appeals court’s ruling, justices, including Clarence Thomas, who was in the majority of the 5-4 decision, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dissented, indicated that they had questions about the First Amendment issues in the F.C.C. indecency policy and whether existing standards were still relevant.

The appeals court picked up on that theme in Tuesday’s decision, noting that the media landscape was much different in 2010 than it was in 1978.

“Technological changes have given parents the ability to decide which programs they will permit their children to watch,” the appeals court said. Noting that it was bound by the Supreme Court’s Pacifica decision, the court said that it nevertheless wondered why broadcasters were still subject to restrictions that, in the case of cable television, would be found to violate the First Amendment.

Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, said that while the court’s decision was troubling, it also emphasized the need for clarity about broadcast standards. “It’s of concern because the F.C.C. has been a critical protector of children’s interests when it comes to media,” he said, adding that he expects that the commission will try to construct a more targeted approach to keeping indecency off the airwaves at times when children are likely to be watching.

Brian Stelter contributed reporting.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Film by Lisa Foti-Straus

More on Ernst Chladni  the "Father of Acoustics" HERE

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Digging in the dirt.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Home Foraging

Todays foraging: Haricot Verts (French Green Beans), Zucs, Basil, a few Strawberries, and a monster mash of Kale varieties. Well done my Darling.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Really digging my RP Miller Stripey shirts. So much so, I  might need one of every color. Pick yours up from the Ladies of Gravel and Gold, one of the best shops in San Francisco. Made in the USA

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A candid portrayal of Lily Dale, a spiritualist community in upstate New York, where most of the town's residents are registered Mediums who regularly give spiritual readings to visitors through alleged communication with the deceased.

More from the HBO documentary catalogue HERE

Monday, July 5, 2010

5 on 5

Happy 5th Birthday big boy! If you keep up all of this daredevil activity you will be well trained in the medical emergency field. The Mc's sure do love you.

Last Day

Last Day Angelenos... HERE

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Happy 4th food everyone.