Recommended read(s)….

I picked up this excellent read at City Lights Bookstore during a recent weekend jaunt through North Beach.  It’s a perfect mental counterweight to the current political chaos that is saturating the national media landscape.

The "S" Word: A short history of an American tradition... Socialism by John Nichols
The “S” Word: A short history of an American tradition… Socialism by John Nichols

Here are some other reads that I have enjoyed recently:
“Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide” by Frederic Lenoir  – This book is a great overview of multiple perspectives on happiness, touches across the wide philosophical spectrum.  Very grounding, a lot of thought food for the mind, concise read.

“Of Walking on Ice: Munich – Paris, 23 November – 14 December 1974” by Werner Herzog  – I read this during our recent trip overseas.  I love listening to Herzog’s voice when he narrates his films, so reading this journal / travelogue / stream of consciousness was  particularly satisfying.

“Borb” by Jason Little – This graphic novel is a wonderfully strong graphic novel on homelessness.   The last time I was so emotionally stirred by a graphic novel was when I discovered a copy of “Where the Wind Blows” by Raymond Briggs on my parents bookshelf.

Copenhagen Folk

One of the most enjoyable things about traveling is stumbling upon venues or locations not on the planned itinerary.  We stumbled on Mojo Blues Bar after an evening of drinks at Ruby.  We were drawn in by the live music pouring from the entrance and the promise of dry shelter from the rain that started coming down.

We ended up staying the whole night listening to a really great open mic style folk show.  Ukulele, plucked violins, and a whisky soaked Irish singer who required a little support (tonal and physical) from a tactful and gracious MC.  The MC ended the show with this lullaby which was a perfect end to a wonderful rainy evening in Copenhagen.

Quesada Avenue Tile Stair Project

This is a great neighborhood project that I had the opportunity to work on and complete.  The tiles were painted by neighborhood kids around seven years ago.  The neighborhood group had struggled to find the necessary funding to complete the project.   The situation changed in 2014 when partial funding for this project was provided by the District 10 Supervisors office, other funding came from Public Works, and additional resources were provided by the Quesada Garden initiative group.

A before picture of the Quesada Avenue Stairway
A before picture of the Quesada Avenue Stairway
An after picture of the Quesada Avenue Stairway
An after picture of the Quesada Avenue Stairway

This was a challenging project because of the initial condition of the stairs, but Public Works Cement Shop did a great job leveling and setting the tiles on stairs that were uneven and worn.   The riser tiles had to be individual cut so that the images matched across multiple tiles.   Lots of lessons learned with this project, but very satisfying to see it finished.

A quote on not knowing…

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all of its contents.  We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

-H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

Monterey Bay

On a whim, we decided to drive to Monterey on the Friday of the 4th of July weekend.  4 hours later…we saw some nice views.

We drove through Salinas in an attempt to avoid traffic into Monterey, the activity in all the agricultural fields was really impressive.   You could feel the churn and scale of this food system that feeds the country.  Much different from the activity you see in the corn and soybean fields of the Midwest.

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay