It was a great day for photos

This first one was taken while over on the other side of campus in the early morning, coming back from the medical plaza. A couple of minutes later I took this one:

And much later in the day, coming home from work:

Gotta say again, the iPhone can really take some good shots if you know how to work with it…

In the OC Weekly, my review of Larkin Grimm’s new album

Really, really love Larkin Grimm, great songwriter and performer, and her first album for Young God Records, Parplar, is easily a standout of the year for me. To quote from my review:

Totaling 15 songs, Parplar, recorded with the assistance of [Young God boss Michael] Gira and a number of guest performers, is still straight-up Grimm, with the opening song’s beautifully performed first lyric, “Who told you you’re going to be all right?/They were wrong,” setting the unsettled tone. This isn’t winsome never-neverland, but a cascade of fractured emotions and wit.

You can find her on Myspace here — check her out!

Reviewing the 2008 November California propositions — Prop 10


Umbrella yes-vote site.

Umbrella no-vote site.

From one billionaire sponsor of a proposition to another — but T. Boone Pickens works in different realms than Henry Nicholas III, thankfully.

On the face of it it’s almost like I’m getting past propositions reheated up at this point — alternative energy! transportation issues! bonds! So there’s something that feels a bit deadening right about now — maybe I’d feel differently approaching it if I had looked at it first of the twelve, I’m not sure.

A friend of mine put it to me this way, though:

i think that while undoubtedly SOME money will go into t. boone’s pocket, it could be a small price to pay for millions of dollars in research, subsidies for end-users, etc. right now i’m a “yes” voter, but i wish there was a “yes, but…” option.

I’m with that, but from a different angle, namely my current concern about bonds and budget and less the lining of T. Boone’s wallet. As it stands, I see nothing about his general approach that is somehow self-contradictory, as has been alleged — if someone who has grown rich off a resource is thinking, “Hmm, looks like it’s time to diversify for the long term,” then why be surprised if he tries to do so and seeks to swing public opinion his way? Whether or not you like that approach, of course, is another matter.

Ultimately, I’m deciding on this one the same way I’m deciding on 1 — while I’m not entirely thrilled with it all, I do think there is some sort of sense in investing for the future here, and this has more potential and interest to me. Further, there doesn’t seem to be the internecine environmental warfare going on here than with 7, at least on first blush.

A conditional but ultimately hopeful YES. Political Blogger Alliance

Reviewing the 2008 November California propositions — Prop 9


Umbrella yes-vote site.

Umbrella no-vote site.

As the election draws nearer and as I, frankly, feel a bit more tired, I admit I’m not as inclined to give these last few propositions as good a going over as they deserve. Which they do deserve, don’t get me wrong — but there’s almost a tendency to fully drift into autopilot at this point, and I can’t imagine I’m not alone. I think a lot of people aren’t so much waiting to get to Election Day but the day *after* Election Day.

So that said, this reflection on Prop 9, and the three remaining propositions to follow, will be somewhat swift — in this case, Prop 9 tackles one of those endless issues, crime and punishment. Having already suggested no votes for both 5 and 6, I’m pretty much inclined to go that route 9 as well.

Part of the reason why, I admit, is somewhat perverse — namely, the identity of the man who sponsored it (as well as 6, I now realize, which is even more hilarious in retrospect). Former Broadcom head Henry Nicholas III is, as they put it, a character — which is a kind way of noting that a guy who has been arrested for various drug, fraud and sex charges seems like an unlikely person to be sponsoring a victims’ rights law. But hey, that’s life for you.

That said, his reasons are deeply felt — his sister was murdered by an ex-boyfriend of hers back in the early eighties, and whatever else he’s done himself, anyone who couldn’t think that he has reasons to feel outraged still after all these years has a heart of stone. Yet I tend to agree more with the people arguing against 9 as this sounding like gilding the lily, and like 6 relying on emotion overriding more practical considerations. It’s a rhetorical difference, I admit, but in reviewing the arguments and rebuttals on the official site for the proposition, the fact that the no forces took a very cool, level headed line against the ALL CAPS APPROACH was appreciated.

But rhetoric isn’t enough, of course. In the end, this strikes me, especially in the wake of problematic laws like the Three Strikes effort, as overreaction, a focus that is so driven one way only that it introduces more problems than it solves. And, once again, it places demands on a state budget at just the wrong time in its fiscal history.

A flat NO. Political Blogger Alliance

“Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today?’’


“Joe’s with us today!’’ Mr. McCain hollered at a cold outdoor rally at Defiance Junior High School. “Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today?’’


“Joe, I thought you were here today,’’ Mr. McCain continued, with dimmed enthusiasm.

Still nothing. The crowd murmured.

“All right,’’ Mr. McCain said, realizing that Joe was nowhere to be found. “Well, you’re all the Joe the Plumbers!”

Somehow, it says it all.

And you can watch for yourself:

More California proposition thoughts later today.