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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our Huntington Beach Outing

     I hatched the plan to take everybody out to lunch—in Huntington Beach, on or near the pier. So, on Wednesday, that's what we did.
     A change of pace. Ocean air. Grooviness.

     We all remembered Huntington Beach and environs of long ago—circa early 60s. We remember all those oil derricks and the pervasive smell of oil. And we recalled getting those tarballs on our feet. Those phenomena are all gone now, as were all those tin cans of "Tin Can Beach," north of the pier, all those years ago.
     Is it just me, or do others see how aggressive looking the faces on toys have become?
     "Yeah, Charley's stole the handle, and the train it just keeps going, no it won't slow down."

     Yes, Ruby's. They need to crank up their AC.
     Annie took this pic.

     Pa somehow gravitated to a bench, near the end of the pier, with a plaque of some guy named "Bauer" on it.

     As you can see, I persist in being much too large for this world. Wearing black helps a little.

     The weather was beautiful, natch. There was some wind and some surf. Pretty nice day.

     Mr. Seagull

     The usual goofy kids, soap balloon making machine, etc.

Roy, Ma, & Annie in Santa Monica: 55 years ago

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Miscellaneous 70s and 80s photos

Manny took this during a trip (with Edith and Ron) up north, early 80s?

Attila in the grass on the hill behind our place in Trabuco Canyon, c. 1975
Looking south(?) from Santiago Peak (Saddleback Mountain), c. 1974, during a day trip including Ron, Ray, Roy and Ildy & Attila in Roy's old '66 Beetle
Annie dancin' in the surf, Point Reyes (during a trip Ron/Ray/Roy took up to Annie's), c. 1975
Again, from atop Santiago Peak
Hermann & Marianne (with Ray? and Roy in the background), hanging around the old trailer, c. early 80s
Ildy action shot, c. late 70s
Kathie looking over Newport Hills area, c. 1984 
The magnificent Ildico, c. 1976
Upper Owens Valley (eastern Sierras), c. 1980s
Plano Trabuco (present day Rancho Santa Margarita), taken during a drive with Ron/Ray/Roy and Ildico/Attila, c. 1974
Roy & Kathie, Lewistown, c. 1982

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Mr. Fire: loomage
     I recently returned from a brief trip to Mammoth. I took the trip with Kathie, and we had a chance to talk, which was crucial, I think, to our sense of the trip’s success. We talked about lots of things, including unimportant things and important things. Imagine that! People can be together for hours—or days or years!—without talking. Kathie and I detect such deficits as one might detect a lack of sleep or vitamin C. A lengthy tête-à-tête is usually prescribed.
     I turned 60 on the day the trip started (Tuesday, the 14th). Sheesh. Whadya gonna do? To ward off the bad juju, I had burned five super-duper music CDs—A through E—just for the trip. Kathie liked B the best, especially the music of one Sharon van Etten, the sort of folk singer that Kathie generally gravitates to but that I managed to find and like whilst surfing YouTube. (See music list below.)
$Westin Monache Resort Mammoth$
We stayed at first-rate hotels, except in Bishop, that hayseed haven, which offers at least one decent place with its own babbling brook ensconced in concrete. ("No fishing" signs are posted everywhere.) The place was practically next door to the famous Schatz bakery of Bauer lore.
Kathie’s beloved "blue" Subaru Forester was perfect for the trip. She’s proud of that thing and, sure enough, it performed like a trooper!
It’s odd, but I felt ill during this trip and during each of our previous trips of the last few years. Breathing issues, energy/fainting issues. Pretty serious and alarming, really, though I don't worry anymore. Don’t know what that’s all about. (After a trip a couple of years ago, I consulted three doctors trying to nail down the issue, but we never got anywhere.)
Still, we had fun. I tend to settle into a chirpy Existentialism and Smilishness during these adventures. (See previous posts, pics.)
* * *
Simon the chocolate Lab
The morning of the day we were to return (a Friday), Annie texted us about some fiasco down in Irvine. Ron and Susan and their gang had left for their own Sierra trek (a short backpacking trip), and they had left their old dog, Simon, a chocolate Lab, at some doggie day care (and night care, I guess). (You'll recall that Simon was Susan’s mother’s beloved dog. Nancy passed maybe a year and a half ago, and so it happened that Simon became the beloved Bauer family dog [and Nancy totem], living well past his expiration date.) But the guy who ran the doggie place got a look at Simon and declared that he was not well enough to stay at his fine establishment. Don’t know how Annie got clued into that, but she somehow did and ended up picking up (“rescuing”) Simon, who, according to Annie, was on death’s door (he was dehydrated, weak, and terribly anxious). She ended up on the floor with him, hugging and reassuring him. By the time I got to Trabuco Canyon, late Friday night, I found Annie at her place, harried, pissed, and overwhelmed by her efforts to care for Simon, which, evidently, she was doing sans help from Ma or Pa. (She explained that, but never mind.) I hung around and got ‘em settled into a situation for the night: she moved into her outside tent/room, which was wired for light/C-PAP, and which she could share with Simon, who seemed to have no control over his bowels and who continued to be somewhat agitated, albeit goofy and friendly.

It was a very shitty situation. I kept telling Annie that, “tomorrow, it will be a whole new day and we’ll deal with it then.” I told her I was not going to abandon her with this fubar from hell.
Next morning, I went to Ma and Pa’s and connected with the Boy (my cat Teddy—I actually missed him a great deal) and discussed the Simon situation with them. Owing to my rhetorical approach—well, that comes natural—they became concerned (why hadn’t they done that yesterday?) and agreed that Simon should be moved up into their garage right away. One good reason for that: it was plainly going to rain, and Annie’s tent would not stand up to that.
Afterward, I went down to Annie’s place and I informed her of the new situation. Pretty soon, we moved Simon up to Ma and Pa’s garage and provided a nice setup for the old guy: a mat, some blankets, food, etc. Annie and I took turns watching over Simon, who is stone deaf and probably blind too and who exhibited obvious “abandonment” behavior (he kept looking for someone: no doubt Ron and Susan and the kids).  
I suggested to Annie that she go back to her place and catch some Zzzzs with her cat TigerAnn, who was maximally put out by all this canine folderal. She did.
The storm came in and it started raining pretty good, but I kept the garage door open and tried to get Simon used to the situation, with people comin’ and goin’ all day. He did seem to grow accustomed to that, and his health and attitude improved. He seemed happier, increasingly calm, and, for whatever reason, he did not shit all over the place. We kept taking him for brief walks to give him opportunities, but he never took ‘em.
     The rain gave way to a significant thunderstorm. At one point, I poked my head out into the garage and found Simon sound asleep on the big mat. Just then, I heard the crack of thunder, which sounded very loud and close. Simon didn’t flinch or wake. Later, I told Ma, “He’s either sleeping or dead, so he’s OK.” And I meant that.
By the evening, Ma and Pa finally joined in this babysitting, and we eventually all sat around with the old dog (we’re all animal lovers), conversing as we do—i.e., as though we were in an absurdist play.
Already by mid-afternoon, we had learned that Ron and Susan and gang had evacuated the mountains because of anticipated flooding and then discovered Annie’s alarming text messages about the Simon fubar. Their plan was to head straight south and pick up Simon that night, i.e., asap. They ran into some road problems—the I-15, at Cajon Pass, was still screwed up owing to the fire of the day earlier—and so they didn’t get to Trabuco Canyon until about 11:00 p.m. By then, old Simon was doing pretty well, though I warned Susan that he was overdue for #2 (he hadn’t done that for over 24 hours, but he had been eating quite a lot). Sure enough, as they led him out to the car, he started distributing turds at random. Ron's crew seemed to take that all in stride. (Not everyone shares my utter horror of dog shit, evidently. That baffles me.)
* * *
Schat's bakery, Bishop
Kathie and I experienced our own fiasco on Friday, driving down the 395 and approaching the I-15 south. Maybe a hundred miles north of the 395/15 junction, we could see a huge fire to the south—where, of course, we were headed. Neither of us are habitual radio listeners, and so we drove ever closer to the fire without any information about its nature or meaning. As we drew very close to the 395/15 junction in some dumpy town called Hesperia, it was clear that the fire was more or less at the Cajon Pass and that it could spell problems for our plan to take the 15. About a mile short of the junction, I noted an unusually strong stream of traffic moving in the opposite direction. I speculated that cars were seeking an alternative route.
“Uh-oh,” said Kathie.
Sure enough, that was the situation. The road to the 15 was blocked, and so we drove right over to one of those gas station/food mart places and asked around among people who seemed to be in a daze. I learned that the fire had messed up the 15 and so nobody was going south on that road anytime soon, though one couple told me that a cop had yelled to somebody that the road would open “in about an hour and a half.” That seemed unlikely. Meanwhile, the fire loomed hugely behind us, filling that part of the sky. (The weather was quite good and visibility was perfect.)
We headed in the opposite direction on the 395 (i.e., north), hoping to find an alternative route to the south. Kathie, our navigator, suggested that we take Phelan Rd. to the west, and so we did that, as did many others. Ultimately, Phelan would take us to the 138, which goes southeast straight into the 15—hopefully, “below” the fire area. (That ultimately proved to be a good plan and probably the only viable plan.)
As we crawled along Phelan among the Joshua Trees, with the fire looming just a few miles to our left, we began to experience the kind of foolishness that erupts at such times. Intermittently, we saw drivers roaring past everyone or darting into or across our queue. WTF? Very dangerous, irresponsible. "These people deserve to die," we said.
We turned on the radio and learned at long last about the fire, which was clearly viewed by the media as something extraordinary, mostly because it had crossed over the southbound 15, causing many drivers to stop, abandon their cars, and run like hell away from the flames. Dozens of cars were burned up and thousands of cars were stuck in place as the fire roared. What a spectacle! What a mess!
Kathie & Roy @ Mammoth
On the radio, we started hearing stories about people running amok, looting stores—that sort of thing. We realized that some of the news stories about such craziness concerned a location very near where we were driving (perhaps a few miles to our left). We weren’t afraid, but we knew that it would be good to make headway out of the area as soon as possible. And so we stayed on Phelan and eventually made our way to the 138. Radio stories seemed to suggest that, behind us, Phelan, too, had been closed, so we felt lucky making any headway at all.
Eventually, we got to the 15, and we headed south. Whew!
     I said nothing at the time, but I was vaguely aware that we had dealt with this situation—hours of uncertain and dicey travel in unfamiliar semi-civilized territory—with nothing but good humor and rationality. Even with that goddam fire looming over us, we were having fun.

*Subsequent days brought record-breaking rain to Southern California. Sheesh. It's been feelin' like Florida around here ever since. A tropical heat-wave.
A pronunciation of "perfect" immortalized by Curly Howard of the Three Stooges. Ask Jan.


"This is the face of Fu Manchu"
1.     Heaven - Talking Heads
2.     Every Time the Sun Comes Up - Sharon Van Etten   
3.     The Moon - Cat Power   
4.     Baby, Baby, Baby - Vibrators    
5.     Bad Lie - Wheels On Fire           
6.     I Don't Know What to do - White Stripes        
7.     The Have Nots - X          
8.     Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs           
9.     Get Together - Youngbloods     
10. Whenever You're Ready [Demo Version] - The Zombies      
11. These Days (LP Version) - Jackson Browne                
12. Fu Manchu - Desmond Dekker             
13. Countdown - Lindsey Buckingham                              
14. Flowers In December - Mazzy Star      
15. Who'll Stop The Rain - John Fogerty & Bob Seger
16. Lived In Bars - Cat Power         
17. Billy - Bob Dylan                         
18. Pulled Up - Talking Heads        
19. High Point Two-Step - Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band
20. Needles And Pins - The Searchers       
21. The Scientist - Johnette Napolitano & Danny Lohner

"I'd like to think I'm the mess
you'd wear with pride"
1.     A Setting Sun - Grand Archives
2.     She's Got You - Cat Power         
3.     I Don't Want to Let You Down - Sharon Van Etten    
4.     I'll Be Your Mirror - Clem Snide           
5.     Pale Blue Eyes - The Kills          
6.     I'm Gonna Try - Shimmering Stars      
7.     Rock Lobster - B-52's     
8.     I Go to the Barn Because I Like the - Band Of Horses
9.     Dark End of the Street - Cat Power     
10. Compliments - Band Of Horses
11. Don't Worry Baby - Beach Boys           
12. Across The Universe - The Beatles       
13. Hey Jude - The Beatles  
14. Feel (Alternate Mix/1972) - Big Star  
15. Wicked Gil - Band Of Horses     
16. Can't Find My Way Home  - Blind Faith 
17. Dreaming - Blondie        
18. Just Like a Woman - Bob Dylan            
19. Solitary Man - Chris Isaak         
20. Telstar - The Tornadoes

"And his cheeks in a chunk
With his cheese in the cash"
1.     Stir It Up - Bob Marley  
2.     Presence Of The Lord - Blind Faith      
3.     Cry Like A Baby - Box Tops       
4.     I'm goin' down - Bruce Springsteen    
5.     Time Pass Slowly - Judy Collins            
6.     Pritouritze Planinata  - The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Choir
7.     Halfway Spoken Heart That Feels Comfort In Everything Until It Dissapears And Then It's Gone - Carissa's Wierd    
8.     Where Is My Love - Cat Power
9.     The Goonies 'r' Good Enough - Cyndi Lauper 
10. Some Devil - Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
11. The Funeral - Band Of Horses  
12. I Cut Like A Buffalo - The Dead Weather        
13. Midnight Blues - Detroit Cobras           
14. Hands - The Dutchess & The Duke                  
15. Bell Bottom Blues - Eric Clapton           
16. Tell Her No [BBC-Radio] - The Zombies           
17. Million Dollar Bash - Bob Dylan & The Band  
18. Don't Look Back - Fine Young Cannibals         
19. Awaiting on you all - George Harrison             
20. Detroit Breakdown - The Gories           
21. The Luck You Got - High Strung           
22. Living This Life - The Dutchess & The Duke   

"And this place where I now live
will burn to ash and cinder" 
1.     One Day  -  Sharon Van Etten     
2.     Naked, If I Want To - Cat Power           
3.     Gypsy Death & You - The Kills  
4.     Million Dollar Bash - Bob Dylan & The Band  
5.     Who's Been Talkin' - Howlin' Wolf       
6.     Our Town - Iris DeMent
7.     Pressure Drop - Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds    
8.     Flake - Jack Johnson       
9.     Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands - Joan Baez   
10. Little Darlin' - Joan Baez   
11. One of us - Joan Osborne                      
12. We Would Be Building - John Fahey    
13. Small Town (Acoustic Version) - John Mellencamp   
14. Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash                  
15. Someday Soon - Judy Collins                
16. Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin
17. Future Starts Slow - The Kills   
18. Goodnight Bad Morning - The Kills                  
19. Alone Again Or - Love    
20. When My Morning Comes Around - Iris DeMent       

"Don't let on, don't say she's broke my heart
I'd go down on my knees but it's no good to pine"
1.     Bathwater - No Doubt   
2.     California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas                     
3.     Halah - Mazzy Star         
4.     Sweet Sensation - The Melodians        
5.     Wordless Chorus - My Morning Jacket
6.     Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter - Nellie McKay         
7.     Gimme Shelter - Patti Smith     
8.     Another Cup of Coffee - White Stripes
9.     If I had a hammer - Peter, Pall, & Mary           
10. Show Me - Pretenders   
11. The One I Love - REM    
12. Hello Mary Lou - Ricky Nelson  
13. Miss You - The Rolling Stones   
14. Until I'm One with You - Ryan Bingham         
15. Angel - Shaggy                
16. If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow  
17. I'm A King Bee (Single Version) - Slim Harpo 
18. Everybody Is A Star - Sly & The Family Stone
19. Beast Of Burden - The Rolling Stones  
20. Sun Shines out of his behind - Smiths 
21. Hey Little Girl - Syndicate of Sound     
22. Jeepster - T-Rex                      
23. Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bridgeport, Mono Lake, etc.

On Thursday, we headed up to Bridgeport, which is a great old town. Found lots of cool old buildings.

Kathie really liked these doors.

The mountains look like this in Bridgeport

Lots of flat pastureland near Bridgeport

Bridgeport's famous county court house
(they had to move it from Aurora when they discovered that the latter town wasn't even in California!)

Typical Sierra Nevada summer moodiness

This seemed to be part of an old complex of buildings that served as the first courthouse. Not sure.

Lots of churches, of course

Kathie loved this old house with the great posies. Got some close-ups below.

Naturally, as we approached the 15 (Cajon Pass), we saw a big fire. Turns out it started right on the 15 and burned 20 or so cars. Luckily, no one was killed. But we had to find an alternate route to San Bernardino. Kathie was a geat navigator and we managed to get back on the 15, circuitously, after about 3 hours.

Them posies

At a little museum in Bridgeport--an old generator

Kathie just outside the new Manzanar memorial, which is nice--the White Mountains in the background?

Kathie loved seeing and hearing the gulls at the north end of Mono Lake

Looking south from above Mono Lake

Mono Lake

A great little park on the north end of the lake--provided, I think, by the bastards who took all the water away