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Dylan in Providence, RI, 1965

In 1965 I took a month-long sabbatical from my job as an insurance broker in San Francisco. The counter-cultural movement of the '60s was in full bloom and I wanted to explore a bit of the world. I took a Greyhound bus to Bakersfield, where I hopped on a freight car. Got off in Barstow and started hitchhiking. My second ride took me all the way to Detroit in a 1950 Ford. From there, bus to New York and after hanging out there for a week I went to see my cousin Mike, a painter living in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. On the way back from Mike's I got a ride from a bunch of students at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. There was a Bob Dylan concert that night. Did I want to come?
Did I!
I took my Nikon 35 mm camera and rolls of tri-x. Things were so loose in those days — just having the camera meant the cops let me walk right up to the stage. Told them I was a photographer for some newspaper, heh-heh.

The first half of the concert was folk music, not thrilling to moi. After the intermission a bunch of musicians came out and guess what — rock and roll! A number of people got up and left, muttering. Dylan didn't care. The world was opening up for him. A great concert. I shot a bunch of pix and had a front row vantage point. In looking back at these old photos, I realize that the other guy here is Robbie Robertson — history in the making.
I got back to San Francisco eventually in drive-away cars (VW fom NY to Miami, Pontiac from Miami to Phoenix), hitching to SF. The morning after I got back, I got up, heard the faint hum of commute traffic going into SF on the nearby freeway, quit my job, and started to work as a carpenter.

Olympus Stylist 1200 Digital Camera is A Beauty

I recently upgraded from on Olympus Stylist 800 to a 1200. These are small cameras that I keep in my fanny pack so I've got a camera with me at all times. (For serious shooting I use a Canon 20D.). The 800 was great, the 1200 is better. Smaller, slicker, and an ASA setting of 6400, the latter great for me because I shoot in a lot of low-light situations, like music in night clubs and I neve use a flash. The light sensitivity on the 6400 is unbelievable. About $300 from BH Photo.

Olympus Stylist 1200

I shot a very dark corner of a room and it looked like the camera had painted it with light. Here's a shot (panorama of 2 actually) of our kitchen last night:

Shipping Container Hi-rise in Switzerland

Freitag flagship store, Geroldstrasse 17, Zurich, Switzerland. Architects: Spillmann Echsle. Built in 2006.


Musical Coyotes/Landsman/Tending the Wild/Free Lunch

Yesterday I was in the hills heading for my mushroom patch and a very large coyote crossed the fire road about 200 feet from me. He was as big as a wolf, with a bushy tail. He trotted along, glancing back at me every so often. About an hour later, just after the sun had set, I was coming back down the hill and I heard this amazing woo--ooo-ooo. It stopped me in my tracks. I've heard coyotes singing before but never this close. There were two voices, and let me tell you, this was singing. Yip-yip-yip, woo-ooo-ooo, ah-woooo — words can't describe this sound, the musicality of it. It made my hair stand on end. Electrifying. I stood still and listened, thrilled. After a minute, I heard, from maybe a mile across the valley, a faint reply, woo-ah-woo-woo. As I went along, I saw them, two of them, and they were 2-300 yards away. As soon as they saw me they stopped singing.
Three books of note: Landsman, by Peter Charles Mellman, a novel that reminds me of All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. Powerful writing, a first novel; Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources, by M. Kat Anderson, a meticulously researched and documented book about mostly unknown land management practices of the California Indians; and Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) by David Cay Johnston, about which Ralph Nader says: “With clarity, conciseness, and cool, fact-saturated analysis, Mr. Johnston, the premier investigative reporter on how industry and commerce shift risks and costs to taxpayers, sends the ultimate message to all Americans—either we demand to have a say or we will continue to pay, pay, and pay.” Eye-opening is the way Walmart (and Cabela's) get huge subsidies from communities that want their big box stores, even keeping the sales taxes they collect. They're unfairly (and criminally) subsidizing the cutthroat big guys and running the littler guys out of business.
HBO's The Wire, about drug dealers, murders, and cops in Baltimore, is back on and as good as ever. Every actor is strong and believable. Musician Steve Earle sings Tom Waits' song "Down in the Hole" in this season's series and has a role as the leader of a 12-step drug program.
And that's it for this early Monday morning as the Bay Area dries out after a killer storm. We were without power for 6 days, and running a publishing operation without electricity these days is difficult to say the least.