Thursday, May 26, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! with Malibu morning picture of the day - Thursday, May 26, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and Dear Readers,

"I Only Have Eyes for You" today.

Artist "Guy With Red Shoes," Swirling Eyes, paint on brick wall.

This eye-catching mural is found on the side of a retail business (no relationship to the imagery) facing their parking lot. There is no artist's mark that I can find, but you can see his backside self-portrait hanging there, a la Norman Rockwell.

Due to cars being in the way, this has to be taken at an angle, but it's OK because the artist certainly is using distortion as part of his message anyway. Plus, as you drive or walk by, the head-on angle is not the experience any ever gets of this work. This artist has other works in East Hollywood which I will show you in coming weeks. I know their his because these floating eyes are his signature.

You can see this work as you drive west on Hollywood Boulevard. Just keep your eyes peeled to the south after you pass Normandie. This picture was actually taken this morning. I've been waiting for a good day, but since there were no shadows this morning, and only some glare I decided to use this and pre-empt something else.


And here we are again withe blue sky with some morning low clouds. And here's the second look with higher clouds over land.

By the way, if you are a regular reader of this blog, know that I am on vacation for a bit, so do not expect to see any updates here until after June 6.

Until then, play safe, work hard, and sleep soundly.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

A clear, blue sky greets you at the coast today. The sea doesn't get more still than this. Almost looks glassy smooth.

And here's your second look with just a bit more cloud cover. So if blue is your favorite color, today is your day; you get several kinds all in one view.

Hope you're having a good Wednesday. We'll see you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"Del Amo Street Art Gallery" Part 5 and Malibu morning pic of the day - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Street Art Lovers,

Today I wrap up all the the offerings of the mural artists whose work adorns the walls of the Del Amo Family Shopping Plaza in Willowbrook. You can look back at any comments I may have made in previous Tuesdays. For your viewing pleasure:

Artist unattributed, Fuschia Elephant Defends Against the Space Aliens, paint on swap meet.

Artists (3 names, I give up trying to read them), Elephant Alien Battle Rages, paint on swap meet.

Artist unattributed, Mary, Queen of Love, paint on swap meet.

Artist Deity, Woman of Faith (see the cross?), paint on swap meet.

Artist Thrashbird, Classical Goddess Mask on Marble, paint on swap meet (2016).

Artist unattributed, Bleep, paint on swap meet.

Gotta comment on this one. This looks to be inspired by one of my favorite artists, Francis Bacon (no, not Renaissance founder of scientific method), the weird English painter of the 20th century.  This one is just SO different from the rest, I just imagine the painting crew conversation, "Hey, I brought along my friend from art school Mihaly, mind if he takes a wall?" Why am I such a fan of Francis Bacon? Am I a nihilist? A depressive? A person steeped in despair? Nah. It's just the name. How can anyone not like the art of a guy with the same name as the world's greatest breakfast food?

Artist Ailaone, Mushroom Goddess, paint on handicapped ramp wall.

Artist Angelonce, Sign Guy on Pay Phone Shells, paint on swap meet.
And that's all they painted ...

Whew! I need a cigarette.

I coulda stretched this out another week, but I'm going on vacation. We'll pick up with more stuff in a couple of weeks.

Until then, hang in there.

Oh, and in case you wanted to see the ocean and sky for this morning, here you go ...

Clear to the south ...

Clouds over land ... have a wonderful Tuesday all you all.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Monday, May 23,2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's time to start a new week afresh. I hope you're ready. Especially since we've got a long holiday weekend looming in front of us.

Clear and cool this morning in So Cal. Expected highs on the coast here are supposed to be in the 60s, 70s inland. Here's a second look.

Apparently it's in the national news that the Los Angeles light rail system opened up seven news stops along the Expo Line which now connects downtown L.A. to Santa Monica, the first time a train has gone to the beach for some 60 years.

I took the Expo home on Friday. It was crowded, but the fare was free. The time it took to go from Santa Monica to Culver City was about 22 minutes. It beat the 534 (which goes on the freeway) by about 15+ minutes--the speed on that stretch of freeway is usually 7-8 MPH at that time of day, first gear for nearly a half hour in standard trannie.

Here's the pano shot, sweeping from the look down Broadway (wavy sidewalk) on the left, over to the Downtown SM Station on the right. The cross street there is 5th Street.

Since the fare was free, there were many non-commuters and the line was long, but the train holds a lot of people. It was like waiting in line for a Disneyland ride.

Most of the "history tourists" went only as far as Culver City. After that, it became the usual passengers consisting of blacks, Latinos, white and Asian USC students, and people on their way to their date nights to be spent at L.A. Live and Staples Center.

The trip from SM to DTLA is really about an hour. The train has to navigate streetlights, so it's not as predictable or fast as the Red Line subway. In fact, I heard on the news this morning that here on its first day of full weekday operation, it suffered the main risk, being obstructed by a stalled car.

I figure I'll get to ride it a few times before getting relocated to Calabasas in July. The SM Expo extension will cut about probably about 20 minutes from my evening public transit commute. Not terribly much, but over time it gives you back some of your life.

That's it for today. Have a wonderful Monday.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Friday, May 20, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's Friday and here is the view from Malibu.

May Grey has receded a bit this morning. Here's another view to the west.

A shimmery morning here in the southland. And none too soon here, since we're having a graduation this morning here at Malibu Community College today (the legal studies department).  Tomorrow we'll have the education and psych department graduations and I'll be working those. Hope the weather will be just as nice.

Signing off for right now, but come back later. I may have time to post our somewhat regular Friday feature of late.

If not, have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD with Malibu morning pic of the day - Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and Assorted Friends,

Today's street artist, one Dr. Knudson, gives a glimpse into the Apocalypse, and while it turns out to be a little messy, it looks to be not so bad.

Artist, Dr. Knudson, Just Another Day in the Apocalypse, paint on commercial building.

... I mean really, good food, good company, conversation, and electronic entertainment ... what else can a man ask for?

Here's the long view in Pano mode. We have a ruined city, four travelers on motorbikes, and the cozy domestic scene of buddies on the right in the friendly blue flicker of a cathode ray tube--broadcast in 3D no less.

These fellows on the left contrary to appearances look to me to be quite upright and safety conscious.

I mean who would enforce a helmet law after the Apocalypse? And yet the three riders are helmet-clad. The simian-like passenger is taking his chances, but he does have his goggles to avoid stray motes in the eyes.

These kinds of scenes are what animate adolescent boys. I should know, I was one. Why do we like tales of absolute destruction? I really don't know. Maybe it's because we feel beleaguered by the existing power structure (inevitably run by father figures), and when all that crap is swept away, we can finally pursue authentic lives according to our own wishes? It was the fanciful imaginings of the Battle or Armageddon in the Book of Revelation that drew me into reading the Bible in my tween years. Thank goodness I matured beyond that level of God-engagement. Some never do.

The level of detail in this "car"-nage is rather amazing in itself no? Everything exists in  planar space in good relation to other objects. The shoddy-looking utility equipment on the building just adds surprising depth to the subject matter.

You will find this rather depressing scene just off Fountain Avenue, between Vermont and Virgil, but closer to Virgil, right across from the Children's Hospital. There used to be a Pioneer Chicken right around here, but sadly it's gone. One must drive the Bell Gardens or East L.A. to satisfy that jones, but that's all behind me anyway. My blood tests in old age have my doctor encouraging me to become vegetarian, and so I must go or die.

Here's the context shot for you all:


Cloudy morning again. What a surprise.

Page is up late, but better late than never (had to go record a few voiceover tracks with an engineer this morning).

Hope all is well with you. Have a wonderful Thursday.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's midweek and here is the view on the coast.

Kind of a repeat of the last few days. We'll see if there's a break in store, but no 2nd look today. It all looks like that.

Since the visual offering is kind of sparse today, here's something for you adaptive religionists:

In the hymnal Sound the Bamboo, the editors have collected many hymns that are sung in Christian communities in Asia, both in original languages and in English. Here are the words to "From the Unreal, Lead to the Real":

From the unreal, lead to the real. (call)
From the unreal, lead to the real. (repeated response)
And from dark night lead us to your light.
And from dark night lead us to your light.
From death lead us to fullness of life.
From death lead us to fullness of life.
Om shantii, shantii, shantii.
Om shantii, shantii, shantii.

Shantii = peace

The Sanskrit words in transliterated roman script:

Asa tomaa Sathgamayaa.
Tama somaa Jyotiir gamayaa.
Mrithyomaa Amrutham gamayaa.
Om shantii, shantii, shantii.

This one is interesting because this is a direct lift from the ancient Hindu scripture the Upanishad. Those who have adopted it say that since no deity is named, it works fine.

I suppose that your willingness to adapt words from one belief system to another depends on how much you belief in "word magic." That is, you believe that certain actual words or sounds when made, activate not a praise or plea to your god, but are the "on switch" or a spell really, to spurring some other deity or demonic force into action. This presumes that you believe such other deities exist and that they're pretty malleable to your will. I mean, why would a being of such power be subject to anybody who can buy a copy of the Upanishads in paperback for a few bucks? And anyway, if you're asking for enlightenment and peace, wouldn't an evil god be the wrong one to ask? (Unless your nation is at war. And the U.S. not currently at war with anyone ... are we?)

Is there something inherently bad or evil about words of beauty that a poet produced, who happened to belong to a discredited system, but expressing a univeral, human longing for truth? Or, can you redeem any fruit that comes from a "poisonous" tree. This concept can be adopted in many ways. We have data gathered about the resiliency and limits of human life which Nazi scientists measured on human (Jewish prisoner) subjects. But nobody thinks they can ethically use that data.

Those Nazis sure are handy rhetorical instruments for all of us aren't they? If they didn't exist, I suppose we'd be still demonizing ethnic groups like the Huns (basically Tatars, Kazahks, Afghans, Turkmen, Uighurs, Mongolians ... and other Asian steppes people).

Now of course, there are people who will say that white people enjoying their majoritarian privilege in American society are enjoying the fruits of the poisonous tree of American chattel slavery. And that current blacks suffer from those fruits as well. Is that taking the "fruit of the poisonous tree" ethical argument too damn far? I wonder. How would someone ethically disclaim that fruit? The Khmer Rouge of Cambodia thought just wiping history clean and starting from Year Zero from an equal and just place was the right way to go. Of course, we know that experiment did not go so well, especially when a lot of people refuse to forget--so they MADE them forget.

Me? If some talented person, who led a reprehensible life, came up with something wonderful, I have no problem acknowledging and using the maybe one gift they were able to give the rest of us. Because my core belief is that God is able to redeem what's good in me, so should I be able to do that in others as well.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Del Amo Family Shopping" Part 4 and Malibu morning picture of the day - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

Our presentation of the murals of the Del Amo Family Shopping Center in Willowbrook continues today and we'll have one more week of it next week, compliments of our "Out of Bounds" Gallery.

We've got four more panels. Remember that these images are 2-2.5 stories high on the side of a warehouse turned into swap meet.

Artist unattributed, Hello Kitty Balloon Still Life, paint on swap meet.

Artist unattributed, Juju Medallion, paint on swap meet.

Artist "Peso" (?), Proceed with Passion, paint on swap meet.

Artist, Reddymade, Red and Whitescape, paint on swap meet.

In the interest of (my) time, I'll skip commentary on these. Just enjoy them for what they are.

Here's the view on the coast this morning, May Grey continues in full force as you can see:

A monochromatic morning.

But a couple weeks ago, I was leaving on Friday night and I just had to capture this scene.

... because, every  now and then, a purple dragon pops its head out of the ocean to see what we're up to here.

Just in case you tuned in last week and found nothing, I was sick but still trying to fill in work deadlines, so I was among the walking dead.

That's it for today. Glad to be back


Friday, May 6, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Friday, May 6, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's Friday and a storm system scheduled to roll thru So Cal. Apparently it's raining to the south in San Diego and supposedly headed north. If so, these clouds here are the northern edge.

It makes for a interesting sky when you have multiple layers of clouds like this, and the sun is low causing some contrasting shadows.  Here are 2nd and 3rd looks for you.

I hope you have nice weekend plans in store. Maybe I'll make some time and actually go see Jungle Book and catch up to the rest of America.

I was in the Cub Scouts back when the Disney's first version of Jungle Book came out. It was a field trip on a Saturday and we went to Grauman's Chinese Theatre to see it. I even remember a large display banner hanging on the theatre. They might have had a studio premier there.

When we had a field trip, I remember we always wore our caps. We also had our shirts with the sewn-on merit badge patches.

There were a few boys I recall who did not have the long-sleeve, navy blue shirt that the rest of us would wear to meetings. They had a yellow t-shirt with the cub scout logo on it. I remember thinking that the t-shirt was cool because they offered freedom of movement (important to boys).

The blue shirt was somewhat restricting, and your behavior was heavily restricted when you had it on. It was like being in a Sunday suit. Most fathers were Korean War or WW2 vets and they had certain ideas about what was called for when you were in uniform.

It was only in later years that I came to appreciate that the boys who only had the t-shirt were from families that could not spare the extra dollars on the uniform shirt, but they were not excluded from membership because of it. In fact, I remember two such boys who were friends of mine telling me that they didn't have fathers which seemed odd, but we never took it any farther than that in conversation.

I remember thinking sometimes that those boys were maybe luckier having one less gruff, sometimes mean, demanding presence in their life. It's interesting how a kid processes circumstances much different than adults.

I don't think I had the slacks. My oldest brother may have had them, and I may have had them 3rd-hand via hand-me-down. Being 3rd of 4 boys, I rarely had new clothes of my own. Little brother Greg did get new things because by 4th wearing, pants, shoes, and shirts had gotten too ragged.

Friday's Dialogue with Jo Libertarian

Yes, it's that time again kiddies. In this election year, we are asking my friend Jo, who is a libertarian to give his knee-jerk reactions to the presidential issues of the day. Today we pick up the issue of jobs, creating them, and how do we get America back to work, since that seems to be something Americans seem to think a president has the power to do.

So Jo? How does the president create jobs and get America back to work?

Well, I figure both the presumptive nominees, Trump and Clinton, do have the power to create some jobs. The president is the head of the administrative branch. So, if I were in that office and promised to create some jobs, I'd call in my accountant and see if the budget had any more capacity to bring on some more full-time help where we were short-staffed. You have to make a decision to hire someone very carefully, because personnel is unique. Personnel wind up costing more in the long run in any kind of enterprise than any materiel or supplies you might need. And they make demands too. They're cost rises every year.

I'd tell my direct-reports the same thing. Hire to meet current needs if you can fit it in your approved budget, but think in the long term about their rising cost as years go by.

And then, I'd be the commander-in-chief too. The quickest way to create some jobs there is to start a war, and then we of course need more people. I don't have to worry about the budget in that case since Congress always seems to find a way to pay for our wars. What's that? Only the Senate has the power to declare war? Yeah, that's true on paper, but how is it that every president since WW2 has had to fight some kind of war without a declaration? So, it's a pretty meaningless requirement don't you think?

So in the first case, I could create a few hundred, and in the latter, several thousand. Campaign promise kept.

But how does that "get America back to work?"

That's a ludicrous idea that a president has anything to do with that. That's such a vague idea too.

But the administrative branch controls the Federal Reserve Bank right? And what they do directly affects access to capital (money needed to buy stuff or people needed to start or grow a business), right?

The president controls by appointment, but after those guys are in place, they do whatever circumstances and their ideology tells them.

The cost of borrowing money (from Uncle Sam) has never been cheaper (practically zero interest rates), but nobody seems to be taking the money and staffing up. I'm not even sure the Fed has influence on making business people borrow money.

Now the Fed lends to banks and those banks then lend to businesses, but only to businesses that qualify under their lending guidelines, and that's fine. But if I'm a business person who has access to a lot of low-cost cash, why not just get into the portfolio lend it out in turn by buying a high-quality bond and make money that way instead of going the more risky route of trying to make something that people want more cheaply than a foreign company can?

We've got 3.5 million people in America. Surely there have to be a few of us who can come up with some thing, or some way to do things that has value and is not easily outsourced overseas? That's not something a president has any power over. I know! Donald or Hillary can have a contest, and creative people can pitch ideas, and whatever seems good, they can loan money to develop it.

Isn't that the job of venture capitalists? Or really anybody (like a bank) considering a business proposal?

That's right, isn't it? I guess that takes us back to war. Africa. let's start a war in Africa. That's a continent we haven't had much foreign adventure in yet have we? Unless you count Libya, and most American's don't.

But hey, to libertarians, other than maintaining a legal system and coordinating national defense, the government has no part in job creation. People who have enterprises that need personnel will hire when they expand, and layoff when the contract. Jobs are created when enterprises need more people to get their job done. People can have jobs if they're willing to do what they're asked at a price they can agree to. Job seekers need to be smart enough to figure out who's paying for what kind of work and then get themselves trained to be considered.  Employers need to pay enough to get and keep the calibre or work force they require. It's kind of that simple.

If all you know how to do is put a door on a refrigerator on an assembly line (turn screws), and a robot in Sri Lanka does it faster than you for cheaper, then you need to up your game and find something else. Discard the old notion that you have of what you are. You're made in the image of God. You are the pinnacle of evolution. You're living in the most free society in history. Do better. I know you can.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

iT'S STreeTarT THurSDay iN K-TowN w/Malibu morning pic of the day - Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and all the rest,

This week we venture just a bit south of East Hollywood, but not too far. I was walking the streets of K-Town recently, getting some lunch while I was running my annual tax clinic. I was miffed that I had cut down a street to get a shot of a mural I had spied one night, vowing to return in broad daylight, but some restaurant was unloading and assembling a bunch of commercial ranges right in front of it, on the street. The NERVE!

So I walked a few steps and looked into a parking lot and found what appears to be a Dourone mural. If it's not that guy's, someone copied his logo.

Artist Dourone impersonator, I Am Dourone, paint on building.

It's certainly weird and surreal enough to be a Dourone, but this is not the usual kind of place that he gets a commission to do.  In any case, here we have it, and I present to you.

You can find this work in a parking lot as you are heading north on Oxford just past 5th Street. It'll be on your left (west).

On the far left we have this vertical typography which seems to spell out "KLIPP."

Then we have this red figure peering out of a wood-grain box with a doorway.

After that we have this semicircular machinery (done in hot-dog stand colors) surrounding a yellow brain (see 1st figure).

Then we have this section which gives us another doorway, some large bubble text, a bit of psychedelia, and then a silhouette of a man with a red brain.

I thought this blue field with dots, slashes, and infinity was pretty cool in and of itself, so I have a detail here just for you.

There sure is a LOT of brainy stuff in this work.

I put it on its side here. I just like it that way.

And so, let me give you the whole thing in context. Do you have a gloss on this? I don't. But it's certainly a literally cerebral piece.


They May Grey continues--60s on the coast they say.

We'll see you tomorrow!