Bucky with the good chair

bucky chair

(spent more time than I’d like to admit trying to find pictures of Buckminster Fuller in interesting chairs)

One of the better gravestones:


in good old Mount Auburn Cemetery


which is the place I’m picturing when I hear:

Ted Cruz


Kind of reminds me of Otani Oniji III in the Role of the Servant Edobei by Sharaku.

Yakko Edobei is a villainous rogue who plots to steal money from the servant Ippei. Otani Oniji’s leering face, shown in three quarter view, bristling hair, and groping outstretched hands capture the ruthless nature of this wicked henchman. The eye-catching costume pattern of yellow stripes on brown adds a stylish touch expressive of the times., Inscription: Japanese inscription on the side, and Repository/Location: National Museum of Fine Arts (Valletta, Malta)

Photo: Jim Cole, STF

Photo: Jim Cole, STF


TC Jerri Blank


Tyler Cowen is a king


I think his “dirty little secret,” if you will forgive the pun, is that once you get past the first album he wasn’t much of a true Dionysian, but rather a playful polyglot who assumed various poses.  Most of all I was impressed by his urge to create, and how strong and how internal that drive seems to have been.

Tyler Cowen on Prince.

Fault Fun


Very happy with this purchase of David K. Lynch’s Field Guide To The San Andreas Fault.

Good charts.  IMG_4002

Plus, fun style.

Didn’t know we barely nick the top ten ever in the US!

Reading up on author David K. Lynch I am delighted to learn:

Back in the 70’s, he was proclaimed “Frisbee Immortal” by the Wham-O company. Dave’s recreational activities include playing the fiddle in assorted southern California bands, camping, collecting rocks and rattlesnakes and reading the New Yorker.


You wish!  Can’t wait to hit the road and start looking for scarps. scarp

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Will definitely check out Lynch’s Color and Light In Nature.

color and light in nature


Jackie smoking pregnant


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Trying to learn what brand of cigarette Jackie Kennedy smoked (no clear answer) I came across an evocative picture of Jackie Kennedy smoking while visibly pregnant, which you can see here.

I couldn’t and can’t find the source for it.   Google Image searching leads me in an endless looparound of Tumblr and Pinterest.  Maybe it’s in an old magazine.  Maybe some Kennedy guest or family member took it and it got on the Internet somehow.  Maybe a British tabloid published it, they go crazy for Kennedy goss.


Public domain pic of Jackie, August 31 1963, by Cecil Stoughton, found http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-ST-C283-50-63.aspx

Not mine to “print” I guess on Helytimes — we take sourcing semi-seriously.  (But is it that different to link to it?)

Kennedy and Marilyn

Public domain photo of Robert and John Kennedy with Marilyn Monroe, taken by Cecil Stoughton. Found here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/9jndTasee0CsvxnFg6IWxg.aspx

This home movie footage, on the other hand, is in the public domain and online at the Kennedy Library.  Some of these movies feel almost too private, too intimate — you can for instance see our current ambassador to Japan, then age six, jumping on the bed in her swimsuit with (possibly) the future first lady of California?

Here are two clips.

Jackie smokes:

The President’s golf swing:

If you know anything about golf would love to hear takes on JFK’s swing.

England forever!


From the Times Literary Supplement, this remarkable sentence in Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s review of Christopher Hitchens posthumous book of essays:

Born to a dyspeptic, reactionary naval officer and a mother whose Jewish origins Hitchens only discovered after her tragic suicide, he was educated at a modest public school and Oxford University, where he delightedly embarked on a double life – radical agitation by day, sybaritic lotus-eating by night – which set the tone for the years to come.

Jerry The Dog


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My pal and former Office co-worker Owen Ellickson is one of the greatest Twitterers in the game right now IMO, on track to become a legendary Dad Humorist.

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Owen and his lovely wife used to be my neighbors, so I oft visited with Owen’s dog Jerry, who was, to be blunt, not always a pure joy to encounter.  Nonetheless I was fond of Jerry and sad to learn of his recent passing.  Owen wrote a tribute to his dog that I found very refreshing and tender and with permission I reprint it here for Helytimes readers:


We put our dog Jerry down yesterday. Jerry was somewhere between 13 and 15, and had lived with me for over a decade. Everyone has been very nice about it; in truth, few will mourn his loss. Jerry was a bad dog.

We like to think of dogs as paragons of kindness, bottomless pits of furry empathy that remind their owners what they aspire to be. In this “Marley & Me” framing of dogdom, even the worst things our little friends do are adorable, the kind of benign bloopers rom-com protagonists commit. Marley’s big sins were things like “chewed up a bra,” and “pooped somewhere silly.” Jerry’s sins were things like “bit a person,” and “bit a dog,” and “bit another person.” Over the ten-plus years Jerry was with me, he bit four dogs and six people. He bit residents and visitors; he bit men and women; he bit inside and outside. He bit me. He bit my wife. Owning him made me feel angry and nervous and guilty and negligent. Yesterday was a long time coming… the subject of putting him down was on the table for the majority of our time together. Jerry wasn’t a (charmed coo) “bad dog.” He was a (frightened whisper) “BAD dog.”

Jerry had bounced around Los Angeles pounds in his youth – ours was at least his fourth home, Jerry at least his fourth name (previous monikers included Frowly, Donut and Buster). He’d gotten smacked around a bit at his previous stop, and maybe before that too; whether that was the sole cause of his demons wasn’t clear. What was clear, a month or two in, once he started getting comfortable: Jerry was a little nuts. He flew into rages when anyone tried to enter our house. He had an unquenchable thirst for screaming like a lunatic at dogs he encountered on the street. And he didn’t like sharing me with anyone: if I kissed or hugged my girlfriend (now wife) in front of Jerry, he’d let out this piercing whine. It made us laugh, but, I mean, that’s crazy, right?

Simply put, Jerry had problems. We gave those problems names (separation anxiety, border aggression, stress-induced colitis, psychogenic polydipsia) and plenty of attention (heavy exercise, chicken-flavored Prozac, a litany of trainers and experts and behaviorists, including a man who called himself the Dog Whisperer’s protégé, although I never got documentation on that, although how could you, really, I guess), but we never solved those problems. At best, we managed them. At worst, he bit. If our goal was to make him a good dog, we failed.

But I don’t think it’s fair to say that HE failed. I don’t think there was some beatific, Upworthy version of Jerry that he simply refused to become. He was who he was; he gave what he had. Jerry wasn’t a perfect soul, a living vision of kindness. He was just another asshole, like the rest of us. He was aggressive and neurotic and selfish and flawed. He was still my couchmate, my hiking buddy, my pillow, my eater of last resort. He still animated our home with his grumpy-old-man noises, still made us laugh when he stared at apple-eaters like a weird drooling Sphinx, still licked my head fanatically after basketball. He still made me happy every day that I owned him, even if he made me feel all sorts of other things too.

Jerry was a bad dog. But if I could go back in time and pick a different dog from the tens of thousands that littered 2005 Los Angeles, I wouldn’t. And, with apologies to the various creatures he bit, if I could go back in time and change Jerry into a good dog, I wouldn’t. I didn’t love him because he was good. I loved him because he was Jerry.

Bad name!

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sent in by our Boston correspondent.

Like a Hockney painting

ST-C206-15-63 05 June 1963 Trip to Western States: White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico Please credit "Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston"

JFK checking out a missile test at White Sands, New Mexico.

Trip to Western States: White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Uncomfortable giant bunny

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An anonymous correspondent sends us this one with text:

maybe drunk but thought video was funny

The California Condition

marcia gif

Deep California sentence in this Vulture interview with Marcia Clark:

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Santa Barbara

Obama kowtows to yet another foreign leader!

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When you look at an old photo of a boxing match

Corbett & fitz

It’s like what the hell is going on?

Came upon the Fitzsimmons Corbett fight while reading about local history.   The film of the fight is sometimes said to be the world’s first feature film.  Thomas Edison himself said Corbett was the first film star (which is extra interesting because spoiler alert guess who is the winner and who the loser?)

You can watch it yourself on YouTube, I can’t say it gripped me completely:

This movie was directed by Enoch Rector.  Should not all documentarians honor their forbearer?  Yet there is little to read of this man online.  Let me share some choice things then from his NY Times obituary when he left this Earth-existence on January 27, 1957 at age 94:

Born near Parkersburg, W. Va., Mr. Rector attended the University of West Virginia, but an urge to travel caused him to leave before graduation.  He qualified as a transit theodolite operator and worked with a surveying crew on the transcontinental right of way for the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Mr. Rector arrived in Seattle with $200 and invested $150 in passage on a sailing ship that took him around Cape Horn.  Landing at Buenos Aires he became engineer in charge of surveys for a railroad that runs through Bolivia.
His inventions included a kerosene carburetor that was used successfully on Fifth Avenue buses but was abandoned for economic reasons.
Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Anne Rector Duffy, wife of Edmund Duffy, a political cartoonist.

You’re gosh-darn right I’m gonna show you the work of Edmund Duffy!  Let’s see the three times he won the Pulitzer Prize:

An Old Struggle Still Going On (1931):

Old Struggle

California Points With Pride (1934):

Cali points with pride

The Outstretched Hand (1940):

The outstretched hand

Huge props to Brian Cronin over there at Comic Book Resources for writing up about those Duffy cartoons.  I hope he doesn’t mind that I reuse here as long as I credit him and thank him.

Incredible story on the middle one in particular, which depicts the lynching of two (white) kidnap-murderers in St. James Park in San Jose:

St. James PArk

Oh and what’s that?  Jackie Coogan was one of the lynchers?  You mean this guy?:


Jackie Coogan kid

(that day did he look more like this guy?)

Jackie Coogan

California man.  Always interesting.

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Kudos to Lawry’s


One of the finer restaurant newsletters in the game. FullSizeRender (89)

Damn if I’m not gonna learn everything I’ll ever know about Diamond Jim Brady from a steakhouse newsletter.  

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Understanding politics


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The American people were so disgusted with the political process that they vomited up Trump.  That’s why he’s orange.  He’s barf.

that from the incomparable Dan Greaney:

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(here’s how he got mixed up in it)

If the political work degrades in a dysfunctional joke, soon enough people demand it at least be an entertaining dysfunctional joke.

A reaction to finding a disgusting process may be to make it more disgusting, visually , so that at least there is no trick or lie . The process will then be honest about its true repulsive character.

those both from Björn Skövde’s post about “Understanding Berlusconi and the European Future” (“Förstå Berlusconi och europeisk framtid“) published on Folket i Bild online, April 2009.  Translated it myself using Google so may be a little wonky.

bernie gif

Grey old scolds from Vermont can generate excitement with the young, who yearn so for wisdom that they find it in every crusted Yankee pronouncement.

from reporter/novelist Vivien Kent’s sassy 1964 Life mag piece on:

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which is unforch not online.