…we keep it wrapped.
(Picture taken at Orange Alley at 25th Street in San Francisco on March 12th, 2015)
All the wide happy and the scattering crowds,
these are which I watch over.
For I am police, I am law.
“Are you a detective?”
I honestly didn’t understand the question.
Like most of the graffiti art I see in San Francisco, I had no idea what the hell this blue cartoon bear with the rainbow-spitting belly button face was supposed to mean. But it was colorful and had a whimsical quality I liked, and to me those are good enough reasons to photograph just about anything…
(Picture taken on Valencia Street in San Francisco on January 3rd, 2015. The artwork is by Sirron Norris.)
I once tripped through these lands like a god,
like the pure embodiment of all the liquor
the Allies ever drank in Tokyo.
It is quiet here now,
and the Americans are gone,
but I know these streets.
My wife and I needed a break from where we live in Brisbane, California, so we took a drive down the California coast to Pismo Beach for a weekend vacation. We found modestly-priced hotel on Shell Beach Road, and stayed for two nights.
It was nice. We liked it…
The Ark of the Covenant, well,
I use it as a coffee table now.
It holds many remotes with which
I flip channels to see the world.
The world doesn’t bother me,
what people say about how it used to be does.
A straight arc is a line.
These Fritos in my pockets,
I’ve had them since 1977.
…in a hotel room in San Juan Bautista, California.
My wife and I had been having a lovely time until then.
I am fortunate she returned from the hotel pool in time
to switch off the set.
If she hadn’t, I might have ended up on Fox News.
(Picture taken in San Juan Bautista, California on June 22nd, 2013)
The tiny neighborhood bars and watering holes distributed throughout Tokyo are probably as numerous as the stars on a clear night in the Himalayas. Perversely, they’re often the kinds of places that are easy to miss, at least in the daytime, even if a given joint is open when one happens to walk by.
But sometimes one can pass a Tokyo bar, even a run-down looking place, and feel strangely drawn to it somehow. Something about it catches the eye, perhaps the way it’s painted or how the bar’s name is displayed on the street. And suddenly one finds oneself walking into the joint even if one wasn’t originally in the mood for a drink.
Freedom in Nakano 5-chome is that kind of place, an unassuming little neighborhood bar that doesn’t look like much on the outside, but had an allure that made going inside an unexpected but rich Tokyo experience…
“Pretty cool, huh?”
I looked at the owner, driver, whatever, with a look that probably betrayed my massive disdain for his ride and what he just said.
“The girls love it,” he proclaimed.
“Not any girls I know over the age of 10,” I thought to myself as I snapped one more picture and walked toward my car.
Ye fucking gods, at least that idiot Springsteen sang about a Cadillac…
(Picture taken at Midtown Market, Brisbane, California on October 2nd, 2014)
Since my last post on the subject of Facebook (see Goodbye, Facebook below), I’ve paid next to no attention to it at all, reminded of its existence only by the slow feed of occasional email notifications, an onslaught that slowed to a trickle once I stopped feeding the best. Once in a while I’d click a guilty click to see a picture, perhaps of a friend’s newborn. Other times I was curious to see if the powers that be at Facebook ever bothered to get back to me on my request to cancel my Ars Skeptica page.
A quick bit about that, as an aside:
For whatever reason, of the handful of silly pages I created, Facebook’s magical data gremlins must have realized that Ars Skeptica was different. The others it let me delete without an issue. The Ars Skeptica page deletion provided a prompt that they would get back to me in two weeks time (many weeks ago now) to confirm that I do indeed mean to delete said page. Continue reading
do a rag time in Tokyo
smashing the feedback
of a million wartime guitars…
A destitute man in San Francisco’s Japantown. He was digging through public garbage cans, apparently for containers having California redemption value…
(Picture taken in San Francisco, California on September 7th, 2014)
For those of you who enjoy my work on these pages, I was absent for nearly four weeks due to a death in my family. My apologies. I won’t let it happen again. Death, I mean. I have recently begun diverting all my beer money towards developing an immortality serum in my basement lab. I also have a new photography project in development. Click here to have a preliminary look.
Do you like soy sauce, tofu, miso soup? The humble soybean gives us so many edible wonders that you probably didn’t know it is also used to make what Westerners consider to be one of the foulest foods ever to come from Japan.
(Nattō from my grocer’s freezer about to get mixed with raw egg. This is one of my favorite toppings for rice.)
As America becomes more divisive and divided on issues like gay marriage, gun control, and religious influence in schools and government, it’s sometimes good for one’s mental health to consider the things we Americans in common still seek out and enjoy. To me, nothing still provides the level, apolitical (mostly), highly-caloric, and deep-fried playing field for Americans to gather into one more-or-less harmonious population quite like the good old county fair.
With the summer solstice mere days away, and outdoor temperatures and certain global tensions on the rise, Scholars and Rogues offers this pictorial tour of the recently-ended San Mateo County Fair for your amusement, distraction, and enjoyment. Consider it a sort of mental vacation from the grind behind whatever desk you’re riding, or as an inspiration for the amorphous, as-yet unplanned summer vacation you’re obliged to take this year with the spouse and kids. So, as they say on the midway, “step right up, ladies and gentlemen….”
It was just a spring day in a rundown part of Tokyo in the week before Golden Week in 2012…
In Tokyo it is often hard to tell if someone is homeless, or merely down on both their luck and available resources.