A couple of weeks left in my 40th year.

September 22nd marks the beginning of Fall, and the 7th of September is the first day of my 41st year on Earth.

Fall starts a couple of weeks after my birthday, so to me they are related. I always know when the Los Angeles county fair is, because it is around the same time, and I know Labor day is also around the same time. I start thinking about Halloween costumes about now, and even planning holiday travels.

Fishing slows down around my birthday as the waters cool and the summer heat dissipates, taken over by chilly, foggy  mornings and earlier nights.

School also starts right about now, and I will be taking two classes this semester. Math and Speech. Both are required for transfer to a Cal State school. Next semester I have a science class lined up, and that’s it, I’ll be done with my lower level transfer requirements. Where I go or end up after that depends on the events of the next few months.

I get retrospective around my bday, I start thinking about my father, who passed away on my birthday when I was 14. I have been feeling that way this week again, predictably, but subconsciously. I don;t make an effort to think about it, the dates just serve as a reminder, and as they tick closer to early September, I begin picturing my father, who passed away at 33, doing the things that he did that led up to his passing.

It’s a morbid thought, but it doesn’t carry any darkness for me. That’s the only way I can put it. I just picture him going about his business, which was shady business, and getting into some trouble. I leave it vague, I don’t try to picture the circumstances. It’s more a feeling of trying to see, in my mind, what he looked like, and who he thought he was at that moment. Comparing himself to myself, and to my little brother, who is now at the age my father was when he passed away. My little brother looks a lot like my father did, except I picture my father much bigger. Then again, I think, my father must have seemed to huge to me when I was small, so who knows? Maybe he was my brother’s size? I’m bigger than my brother. Maybe he was more like my size?  These are the things I think about, for whatever reason.

Then I think about how he left the world for being irresponsible. I think about how people never speak ill of the dead, and how people tell me they remember my father as a good man. I can’t vouch for that, because while he was a really fun guy, and he had a lot of love in his heart, he also went to jail a few times. Quite a few times, and sometimes prison.

His record, on paper, must make him out to be a completely horrible person. I can’t argue. I also don’t know enough, and was not there, but I’m pretty sure he did some bad things to end up spending almost a decade in prison.

I was talking with my girlfriend about whether or not I would ever tell my kids about who my father was, and I thought about things I’d written in the past about him. Would my kid find it? If so, would they romanticize his lifestyle?

I don’t approve of it, but I would be lying if I said I never daydreamed about it. Gang life is big in my neighborhood. You learn early that there are these types of people, that if you get into an argument, or look at them the wrong way, you are going to get in trouble. Nobody sticks up for you like in the movies, you get into it with these people, and you will take your lumps. Get into it enough, and the lumps become beatings or you can just get murdered. What a thing to grow up with.

What would a kid think of it? My kid? All I can do is hope that I raise a kid smart and strong enough to recognize why it is not a lifestyle to aspire to.

I will say this. My situation in life has definitely changed. in the past, when I pondered all this, it all revolved around me, and how it would affect me. How I was feeling going through whatever introspection I undertook. Now though, I’m thinking of a kid that doesn’t exist yet, going through my stuff online, and I wonder how that will go.

An interesting way to kick off my 41st year.






Busy pre-holiday weeks!

Brewed up an Oatmeal Stout yesterday, and racked a Double IPA to secondary fermentation 🙂

10 gallons of beer chilling in the fridge is a very nice thing, especially with the holidays coming right up.

I also wrapped a couple of fishing rods in paracord, something I’ve been messing with lately. I need to get a smaller diameter line for my better poles. but this test run went very nicely.


Rasta colors on the left, and UPC (Universal Camouflage Pattern on the right. Feels awesome in the hand, can’t wait to get them on a boat.

Also had an issue with the Coronet. A thumping noise in the rear end at about 35 mph. Felt it in the brake pedal too. I have a feeling it is an axle bearing, so I took it in to the shop. I don’t have a bearing press, nor do I want to spend forever messing with it when my mechanic can turn it around in a few days, and cheap. So anyway, Here is a shot of my 68 in burnt out dark blue, with her slightly older sister in white.


One more angle. . .


It’s been fun! Lots to do, and an AZ trip in the works for Christmas as well. Great way to cap off an awesome year, especially once that beer finishes up and I can tap it for a pint.

Cheers everybody.





Bowtie Project, Blood Moon Eclipse, and Readings By the Campfire.

Last night I attended the Bowtie Project’s “Readings by Moonrise“, along the Los Angeles river, right next to the Glendale Narrows. The Glendale Narrows is a stretch of the river that is actual earth on the bottom, bot concrete like most of the river.

The Bowtie Project itself is run by a non-profit known as Clockshop, that is hosting some fun events along the river on an 18 acre former rail-yard that lies right next to the river. Along with California State Parks, Clockshop is hosting some really intriguing, really fun looking events. Last night, a warm Sunday night, was my first chance to come and take part in the fun.

We punched the address into Waze, and followed the directions through some streets in a part of town I had never seen before. This alone was interesting because I’ve lives not 5 minutes from the place my whole life, and it was like finding a hidden room in a house you’ve always lived in. We arrived at about 6:30 pm, with the sun beginning to set in the West, and the sky turning a beautiful rose color over the Griffith observatory in the distance.

Facing northeast from the Bowtie at about sunset time.

We parked in a large dirt lot, mostly clean and free of trash, which was nice. We walked over to the makeshift entrance, just two people sitting at a table with a list of those who had donated. We were on the list, so we were welcomed, and the people at the table pointed us over to the fun. As we walked toward a large fire pit dug into the ground, surrounded by people sitting in a ring around it. There were also some unoccupied black stools in the ring, and we took two for ourselves, along with one for the food we had brought, as the flyer for the event said to bring a picnic.

Around the campfire.

If you look closely, you can actually see the observatory in the background.

On the way to the fire pit, we passed by a few telescopes. The event was also attended by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, and they were out letting folks peek through their lenses at Saturn, which was out, and also waiting on a rare event, a supermoon eclipse. It was still light out though, and the moon wasn’t all the way out, and was in fact, obscured by clouds, so we sat and listened to a poetry reading by Robin Coste Lewis, as the sun finally set.

The audience was captivated, and we listened to her poem for about 15 minutes. When she first started reading, a train passed by, forcing her to pause for a second, but she took it in stride and in good spirits. It seemed to add to the uniqueness of the event, and added a bit of magic to the whole thing. Another thing that was going on while she read was that Luis Rincon from California State Parks was setting up skewers in the fire to get them red-hot and clean, because after Ms. Lewis’ reading, smore supplies would be shared with the group. All this in the middle of Los Angeles.

When she was done with her reading, we took out our picnic which consisted of some Chicken Lula kebab we had made at home, along with some hummus, tabouli, pita and tzatziki, which we ate while everybody else was making smores. We had a nice dinner there, as the sky darkened and people milled about, some checking out the telescopes, and others just walking around the unique open space. After this intermission, Ben Loory sat at one edge of the ring of people, and got ready to take his turn reading.

His voice was very hoarse, but with the aid of a microphone, he told a couple of really awesome short stories. He had the crowd laughing at parts, and really engaged as they sat there listening, now in the dark, around the warm smoky fire. Toward the end of his reading, I turned around, and there, rising from the east, was the Blood Moon. When he finished reading, after a round of sincere applause, I said “Look at the moon”, and it seemed like everybody heard me because all at once the groups heads all turned around, and we all started to take in the eclipse.

The moon had taken on a reddish glow, almost the color of the desert clay, like the walls of the Grand Canyon in my opinion. The clouds were breaking up around it, and we started to get a really good look at the fullness and darkness of it. Where the moon usually beamed bright white over us, it was now dark and shadowy. It seemed to have a more 3D effect, and people began ooing and awwing over the spectacle.

After we finished our little picnic, and the reading was over, we packed up and headed over to the telescopes. We were able to look through 4 telescopes, all with different views of the moon. Some were zoomed way in onto a small section of the moon, while others framed the whole moon in the image, making for some really awesome sights. One of the astronomers had a large chunk of meteorite on her table, and we chatted and asked questions to learn more about the various setups we were stargazing through.

It was an amazing event, and I will definitely attend whatever upcoming gatherings I can. At one point, one of the organizers asked, by a show of hands, how many people were attending for the first time. It seemed like 99% of people shot their hands up. I do hope the momentum continues, and this smart, unique way of using our river space catches on. We could really use more activities like this in Los Angeles.

Little surgery on my left hand.

I had a minor procedure done on my hand the other day. I’ve missed two days of work because of it. One for the surgery, the second because I was laid out on some gnarly pain killers the doctor gave me. Today I’m back at work, and I haven’t taken a pill so I could work. My left hand is sort of throbbing, but it’s about what I would have expected, having had my hand sliced open. It’s pretty sore, but manageable. I can obviously type so it’s not that bad, however there is no way I could play guitar right now, which the doc had assured me would be no problem.

No biggie, I’ll live, but two weeks with this bandage, and taking a shower with a bag on my arm, is gonna be weird.

Makes me think of this passage from “The Old Man And The Sea”

“He decided that he could beat anyone if he wanted to badly enough and he decided that it was bad for his right hand for fishing. He had tried a few practice matches with his left hand. But his left hand had always been a traitor and would not do what he called on it to do and he did not trust it.”

And this one:

He could feel the steady hard pull of the line and his left hand was cramped. It drew up tight on the heavy cord and he looked at it in disgust.

“What kind of a hand is that,” he said. “Cramp then if you want. Make yourself into a claw. It will do you no good.”

Today though, I had to come back to work. No sense in putting off work. My hand is all swollen and tender, but I’ll live. You never really realize how much you use your left hand for typing, until someone wraps it tightly in gauze so you can barely use it.