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Wednesday, September 26, 2018


    It dipped into the 40's south of Santa Cruz yesterday. It's time to return to sunny Florida.  On Thursday we'll
slide into our golden van ("El Dorado") and head east. 

 First stop, Yosemite.

         Visiting three years ago

    What fun we've had during the first 8000 miles of our summer tour.  Since we shoved off in June we've seen the amazing,

done Burning Man again,

Another outstanding photo by our friend, Mike Filippoff

and enjoyed being with our west coast family.
    Tomorrow morning we'll roll the first mile and I'll think, "All I just have to do, is 
this 4000 more times, and we'll be home!".

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


     I'm not so good with names. Francesca and I  went to two family reunions this summer.  Each year they get bigger and find myself saying, "Hey you!" when I should be saying, "Good Morning Samantha!"
     So I created cheat sheets, family trees.  The  names connected by familial lines help me keep them straight.

    We're in California now where I've taken this a little further.  I am illustrating my wife's "tree" with a simple drawing of everyone.  

The Violich clan often gathers at the family house south of Santa Cruz.  It's got a popular front yard so I drew everyone there.
    Pi on the gopher-ridden knoll
The grandparents look down from an ancient oak. Everyone, as you see above, is scattered across what we call "the knoll".  Francesca's brother, Antonio, has the most prolific branch. They're the happy group on the left.

     Our Coconut Grove contingent (with kids and spouses) now number eight. 

I doubt we'll ever catch up with Antonio. What's important is that everyone's healthy, happy, and that I greet visiting kin with a smile and a name. With my drawing on the wall this shouldn't be problem.


     Please don't shout. I don't like loud. We've got laws prohibiting excessive noise but they usually aren't enforced.  
     Loud motorcycles especially bother me.
Years ago I banned them from the King Mango Strut parade. I've got no time for guys on Harleys with their uncomfortable rumble that says "f-ck you" to everyone nearby.    
    I'm in Santa Cruz, CA, now where a local letter-to-the editor from a Miles Zarathustra expressed it perfectly.  
He wrote,

   I object to the handful of morons who hold Santa Cruz hostage each weekend with the loud, ugly, noise of their motorcycles.
What mental dissonance Harley riders must experience, imaging themselves as heroes, while forcing on to the rest of us such hideous sonic blight.  
    The bloated disease of biker's fart fetish pollutes the air, an attack on any who value tranquility, or indeed, their hearing. The police do nothing to prevent this health hazard.
    It is possible to find happiness without annoying everybody around you. Failure to do so is not heroism, but laziness and a selfish lack of imagination.  One might call it cognitive flatulence.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


    I love county fairs, the annual gatherings
where folks can ride blue elephants, 

eat elephant ears, 

admire exotic chickens.
    We went to the Santa Cruz County Fair last weekend for all that plus the vegetable sculpture show,

and, a blue-ribbon winning round rock collection.      It was great fun and being greeted by a smiling eggplant made our day.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


  I love sharing the stories that come with my BMan photographs.  Here's the last batch.

 Even  dummies had to "mask up" for dust storms.

 Sunglasses were an easy way to get weird.

 Hundreds of drones danced in the sky

          Ahmet, the dear son I adopted last year,        stopped by to visit with his girlfriend, Katerina.
When he's not burning he's performing surgeries in Amsterdam.

 We made so many new friends. One morning our neighbor, Sahari, shared his Indian coffee.

Three volunteers at the performance stage (as a dust storm was passing through)

 Our group,  Miami's Fabulous Five 

Mayan Warrior, a nightclub on wheels from Mexico City
 The noodles were free but the line much too long

 I love the way everyone lights their bikes. We need more of that in Miami!

 Resting my dogs

I volunteered in the festival's media office.  Here's a typical
person stopping by for assistance.
 Yes, there were a few kids there but I am not sure why

Better to bring them when they've reached drinking age. Natalia and Dylan performing in the big tent

We could use some of these signs in Coconut Grove                                                                                   


Posted on a porto-potti. 

   My son, Ian, with Johnny Green*, our new friend from Taiwan. ( *his translation of Lin Shang-Shian whose last three letters spell his new friend's name, "Ian")

It's a good place to show off your over-the-top costume or naked body.  Those folks comprise about 80% of the publicity and 2% of the BMan population. You're free to do your thing in Black Rock City.
   Thanks to Burning Man '18, I now know there's a bright future for my driftwood  collection.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

LUST IN THE DUST, More Photos from Burning Man

     The world's coolest out-door art gallery pops up every year in the Nevada desert.  Burning Man is a magnet for international over-the-top talent. Here is some of the art we got to see (and sometimes, climb) last week,

    The huge Italian marionettes were back. In this vignette, a young woman listened to  her grandfather's sagely advice.
Much of the art is participatory. Between shows, anyone could operate the mega-puppets by pulling long ropes.

   The art can be dangerous too. We called this one "The Shishkabob". If you climbed past the seventh car you were treated to an open bar in the trailer.

    It was obvious someone was going to fall and when they did, the sculpture was roped off and "no climbing" signs were erected.

 Climbing this bear was safer but still an exciting experience.  We need more playgrounds for adults.


  When you got tired you could wander into shaded dome and  collapse in a sea of huge, hug-able, teddy bears.

 This emaciated 32-foot polar bear was made from  white automobile hoods. In the evening images of calving glaciers was projected on to it.

An endless line of see-saw swings.

This year's theme was, "I, Robot"  so there were mechanical creatures everywhere.
      Our friend, David Date, putting finishing touches on his "Myriapoda Robota".  When prompted, it would crawl centipede-style.

Little House on the Prairie with Robo Chicken Legs

When the robot danced, everyone danced!

This one was a gift from China.

The dust storm was gift from the state of Nevada.

 Easier to read from the other side

     Most of the sculptures lit up at night.

   The one below transformed sound into intricate patterns of light. They moved through thirty hoops at the speed of sound.  We rode our bikes through them much slower.
"Sonic Runway"

The Temple was a magnificent sight at night.  

   Every year it gets filled with photos and notes to loved ones lost.

    On Sunday night it was set on fire in a solemn ceremony.

   With all this going on,our crew of five had its own project. Everyday we set up an art studio next to The Man. We drew anyone wanting to sit for their (bad) portrait.

Every one we drew was bad enough to get certified.

Here I am with Tina, another satisfied customer. It was a thrill to be a small part of Burning Man 2018.