Saturday, April 28, 2007

15 months old!

Amadisto is 15 months old today! This week he had a visit to the doctor for some more vaccinations and a check up. Here are the stats:

Head: 49.9 cm / 19.6"
Length: 83 cm / 32.6"
Weight: 11.4 kilos / 25.13 lbs.

That's one hunk of boy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

El Monte 1962

My mom and I at my grandmother's in El Monte, California. My mom tells stories about El Monte being nothing but orange groves and dairies when my grandparents built their house there in the 1950s. You can still see some of that in this picture I think.

You can also see my mom wearing heels, which I don't think she has worn again since this picture was taken.

This is the glorious LA I like to remember, but I don't think it exists anymore. I can still smell the oranges in my dreams though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


1979 Serrano High School, Phelan, Calif. Sharon and Mickey were the hottest double-play duo in high desert softball. I'd say I'd be their batboy anytime, but that just sounds wrong. Let's just say I was their biggest fan. I believe I went to see my girlfriend Sharon in all her home games, and that's saying something since softball season overlapped with the best weather for skateboarding. (By the way, nice field girls! Now that's what I call sandlot!)

Prophet Apple

Occasionally, I receive emails from the Prophet Apple. This one arrived the other day:
Sent: April 21, 2007 11:30 PM
Cc: US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; Emerging Spirit; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5; Ethnic, Ministries; US TX5; US TX5; US TX5
Subject: NASA 2007 4-3 San Antonio - Jerusalem report

NASA praise and pray center San Antonio- Jerusalem 2007 4-3 report

from the Book of Esther to see the Bible how to connect with Astronony and science
(the Earth age) 46 --------- 3 (from the Astronony and science, the universal is keeping expend: the theory of "3K" = Lk13:18-21 Rom1:16 Is45:8 Jn1:4 Jn1:14 Jn8:12 46-dove-body (Mt3:16 Act1:8 Jn2:20 )------- 3 -Light , K=11 Dt1:2
l Ganna (46-----3, 3 & g =37= place, so g change to C= Canna, because
l the ganna is the most far ray, Ps2:7.8 Ge17:8)
l X- ray ( P --ray, P =16=96= I am who I am, so only through pray then
l Rom8:26 2Col4:7 Col2:9 )
l UV-rays ( ultravioley : Pur --pl. -- e = 88-Immanuel Mt1:23 Jn19:5, then UV
l 1Col15:54)
l raIn--- bow 7 colors ( visibale Light ,so Ge9:16= I am who I am )
l In--fra--Red ( In-Israel nation, Red Sea, through red-27 ,1Co11:25 blood is
l red, Zec2:8 Rev11:18, wrath ,fire, blood all in the apple of God's eye.

Because Rom5:4, so Rachel's bitterness and jealousy through praying ,the barren begot son -Joseph, and even instead of firstborn - Reuben (Ge29:31 Gen30:1.22 1Chr5:1)
what's the distance between the stars :

m - M = 5 log (d) -5, m: star, M: Star, d : pc , 1pc = 3.26( m = apparent magnitude, M = absolute magnitude, pc = the distance unit of second, (Astonony))

so 十 5 ft for Haman ( h-eight / ate Ge3:6) stand between BC---- AD = NEW , Jesus pay the price, BC=23-W, AD=14-N, 5=E, return through 十, 1Jn3:8, Rev12:7.8,

then the Book Esther got the name " Jesus " and the name " God "
because Jesus + O = God, (Jesus=74=Gd), Jesus descendant from heaven to the earth =

Go------d , ( Ge1:14 4th day Ps19:5 Jn1:14 Word=60=four =4=d ), so
d : pc 1pc =3.26 = Light . God

man return-------" nam "---- "e" = " Name ", through Est9:9:14 = Son of Man crucify (+ = 10) , through Adar 13.14. Adar 14.15

Rev22:16 " I . Jesus, have sent my angel to give you " this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David. ( see a d, (from Chemical) ) and the bright Morning Star." (2Pt1:19)

Jn8:12 Then Jesus spoke to then again, saying, " I am the Light of the world. He who follows ME shall not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life.

Holy Spirit we give you all the glory, TX You inparts the Words, enable us to pray, so we call Abba Father, love heavenly Father in One Jerusalem, let your Kingdom come ,your Will be done on the earth like in the heaven , lift up the name "Jesus Christ of Nathreth " ! let whole world focus on " Jesus " , we love You Jesus, God with us ! In God we trust ! TX you Heavenly Father, for your grace ,mercy and love, we all yield to your Spirit, to shout the victory of Christ , prepare Jesus's second coming, in Jesus name ! Amen !

ps " Holy Spirit U are the most welcome in all the earth " this book,introducing God's great servants Dr.Oral Robert Dr.Billy Graham Dr.T.L.Osburn. Dr. Peter Wagner . pastor Elf Elkman

NASA praise and pray center God's servant pastor Apple Hsu. permit NASA 2006.7 English report free to print on Christian magzine.

Pastor Benny Hinn 's ministry ,special event: San Antonio, TX Apr27-28 , Birmingham, England May11 Cleveland OH May31-Jun2 Sydney, Australia Jun11-12 Atlanta, GA Jun28-30 Grapevine,TX Aug23-24 Dallas, TX Aug25 Birmingham, AL Sep13-14 Israel Nov 4-13 Orlando, FL Dec14-16 coming crusade: Kampala, Uganda May12-13 Auckland, New Zealand Jun8-9 Hershey, PA Jul13-14 London, England Jul27-28 Toronto, Canada Aug16-17 Rotterdam, The Netherlands Aug31-Sep1 Sofia, Bulgaria Sep2 San Jose, CA Sep27-28 Lima, Peru Oct26-27 ,please watch "TIYD "

any donation to help pastor Apple to travel nations before crusade to draw spiritul map and join the crsade, please send to : Taipei 10099, Taiwan. Name: Hsu Ping ( Ping means : Apple. passport name )

杜絕網路駭客,保障帳號安全 - 馬上設定Yahoo!奇摩安全圖章!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shaw, Washington D.C.

10 years ago when I lived in the Columbia Heights neighbourhood of Washington, D.C., it would have been inconceivable that the neighbouring 'hood of Shaw could ever become the 2nd most "bloggiest neighbourhood in the United States".

Then again, 10 years ago nobody had heard of blogs either. So things change I guess.

But this one is going to take a while to sink in.

Addendum: I also never thought I would see the time when there was opposition in Shaw to Shiloh Baptist Church, a historic African-American institution in the neighbourhood that has contributed a lot to those in need in Shaw. It's becoming clearer what is happening here....

Art from the supercool Daquella Manera blog/Flickr. Gracías.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Thunderbirds

A rare pre-P*Land photo from 1976. Tony thinks maybe we called ourselves the "Thunderbirds." This name would have come from two places:

1) The thunderbird metals we all wore around our necks in those days. These metals were sent out as direct mail pieces by the Navajo and seemed to be everywhere in the mid-70s.

2) Phelan's only bar back then was called the Thunderbird and figured prominently in the life of our town.

This picture was taken at the Elferings house. From left to right: George Elfering, me, Tony Elfering, and one mega-icicle! (Yes, there are icicles in the Mojave desert.)

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Spin-Doctored Universe

Although I have a mind that veers more toward the artistic than the scientific, I have been obsessed by the "why" questions about the universe since childhood. I'm fascinated with quantum mechanics and what the theory has to say about reality and try to keep up to date on the latest non-scientific writing about it. And of course with this background, I feel eminently qualified to comment on the latest study about the origins of the universe.

While this interview on "The Self-Made Universe" with theoretical physicist Paul Davies is interesting, it doesn't do much to answer the big question of why the universe seems so fine-tuned for the emergence of intelligent life.
"In essence, what happens when we make measurements or observations of the universe today, we’re resolving some of the quantum ambiguity that exists in the past....

"In that manner, what we must imagine is that the origin of the universe is an amalgam of realities, and only those realities that lead to observers who can resolve those ambiguities are going to be selected for.

"Although this sounds very radical, it’s a very old idea. It goes back at least 30 years...."
Isn't this theory of backward causation nothing more than the ultimate spin-doctoring on the origins of the universe? We've known for a long time that the presence of the observer determines what is observed, so what's the news here? Davies studies seem to shed more light on the role of the observer than actually telling us anything new about how the universe came to be the way it is.

Scientists are struggling with the question of why the universe is a place where life exists, when even the slightest variation in how the Big Bang played out would have made this impossible.

I don't think the intelligent design theory completely answers this question either. It's deeper than that. My thoughts on the origin and nature of the universe are closer to what one of those who commented on the article wrote:

"Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit and anthropologist suggested that consciousness was intrinsic to the universe, much like matter, space and time; it was not inserted into the universe nor did it accidentally pop up a few billion years ago. Evolution, to him, was a process of restructuring matter/consciousness into 'higher' forms through space and time. Early on, at the Big Bang, the potency for our level of consciousness was part of the universe in a way that the potency for a tree is intrinsic in a seed. To him, matter (in space/time) in any form has an intrinsic aspect of consciousness."

...which is to say, I'm in agreement with mystics everywhere.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Revolución de Amor

Often when I'm feeling a little down, I'll put some headphones on and listen to this album cranked up as loud as I can take it. It's by the Mexican rock group Maná and it's utterly brilliant. While it doesn't take my blues away, it always helps me to incorporate them back into the fullness of my life and regain my equilibrium. But you have to listen to it really loud.

I bought my copy of Revolución de Amor---obviously a bootleg---from a sullen teenager sitting on a blanket between the Catholic's Cathedrál and the Aztec's Templo Mayor in Mexico City's Zocalo, a space with some pretty significant spiritual energy flowing through it.

From the blanket next to where I bought the CD, there was an indigenous woman selling giant Incredible Hulk hands made out of lime green foam that you could wear as gloves and bap your friends with.

Later that afternoon, a couple of blocks up the street, I saw a group of prostitutes standing in lingerie and high heels on the sidewalk outside a strip club. They were smoking and chewing on one of these Hulk hands, spitting the little green pieces into the street with loud disgust.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Here Come the Hummingbirds

Watch out Canada, there's a swarm of ruby-throated hummingbirds headed our way! The first sighting of the year documented on this site happened on April 11 near Hamilton, Ontario.

That's the earliest Canadian sighting recorded since the site started in 1996. Of course, that poor early bird has probably frozen to death with the freezing temperatures we've had this past week. Oh well, there's more where she came from. (I know, how insensitive.)


Still Smiling

...even though I gave him a little haircut last weekend.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Something's Broken

Words should fail us when faced with a horrible tragedy such as that which happened today in Virginia. I am deeply disturbed and I don't think anything I could say would illuminate such a profoundly dark act.

Except perhaps that I still believe we can make the world a better place. And that's saying something after today.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Healing Waters

Words in a dream the other night.....

"Everyone who is healing will come back to the waters eventually."

Above: Off 26th St., Santa Cruz, California

Here's to You, Mr. Robinson

Friday, April 13, 2007


From The New York Times:

Sixty years after Jackie Robinson shook the baseball establishment and broke the sport’s color barrier, an unforeseen grassroots movement by today’s players has suddenly shaped the way Major League Baseball will commemorate the anniversary. More than 200 players will wear Robinson’s No. 42 retired by baseball 10 years ago in ballparks across the country on Sunday, the anniversary of Robinson’s first appearance with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

"Jackie Robinson’s impact is still being felt today but it was also felt almost immediately,” said Jonathan Eig, whose new book “Opening Day” chronicles Robinson’s 1947 season. “In my research I discovered a letter from a factory owner in Bloomfield, N.J., who wrote that Robinson was the inspiration for integrating his factory in 1947. He wrote the letter to Robinson’s widow after her husband’s death because he wanted her to know the impact Jackie had on him.”

Earlier yesterday, [Mets manager Willie] Randolph said he had gone into the small closet next to his desk to gather some socks and unexpectedly came across Sunday’s specially-made No. 42 jersey.

“It gave me goose bumps,” Randolph said last night. “I called my wife just to tell her how beautiful it was. I can’t wait to wear it. It’s going to be an emotional day.”

Randolph said that after Sunday’s game the jersey would be framed.

“I have a spot picked out on my office wall,” he said. “That is one I will keep forever.”

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Now that's Classy!

Here I am last weekend trying to hawk my latest CD out of the LIMO as we cruised through the Bronx. (You think I'm joking?) I think a couple of chicas mistook me for Tommy Mottola, but I'm not going to hold it against them.

I know, Grrrrrr. And what's with the beard, some may ask. When you figure out the answer, please contact me here.

That's all for now.

Mariah, I still love you!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Yankee Fans

My brother Sol and nephew Ty chillin' at Yankee Stadium on Easter Sunday. And I mean chillin'. We even got snowed on.

I just spent 24 hours in New York City with my brother's family. What a rush! I am still recovering....but we had a great time...and that's saying something, since normally I don't even like the Yankees.


Early this morning under the Brooklyn Bridge on the way to LaGuardia.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Evangelical Baptism, 1985
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

I'm off for a may you and yours have a happy Easter!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Once again, April Snow

Just like last April 5, we awoke today to fresh snow on the ground. It's supposed to snow all weekend, not too much, but still with a windchill of -14C / 6F, it's not feeling much like spring. Hopefully, this is the last gasp of that geezer, Old Man Winter. Even I'm not enjoying it anymore.

"Art" from Snow Monkeys of Japan.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wicked T-Elf Carve

Tony Elfering slices a very nice two-wheel carve on the edge of the Ditch in Desert Knolls. Circa 1982. Nice shorts dude!

The Mongolian Spot

My little brother Sol was born with a round, light blue Mongolian Spot right at the base of his spine. It was about the size of a Canadian loonie or a U.S. 50 cent coin. I remember looking at it with awe, and wondering why my brother was born with a full moon on his back. My Dad told me that the kids who had these spots had a lot of Indian blood in them.

It wasn't until years later that I remembered the spot and looked it up. Almost 100% of East Asian, Native American, and African infants have Mongolian Spots. Fifty percent of Hispanic infants are born with them.

I'm not sure my brother even knows that he had this spot. He couldn't have seen it, and even if he had, it disappeared by the time he was six or so and he probably wouldn't remember it.

As the big brother, I--of course--was born spotless.

Monday, April 02, 2007


In July 1985, while traveling in Nicaragua, I met two Maryknoll missionary priests and offered to serve them, washing dishes, digging ditches, whatever I could do. One of the missionaries started to say yes, but the other jumped in, "We have enough people to do these jobs. Who sent you here? If you want to join us, you have to be sent by a church back in the States." I told them I wasn't sent by anybody, but that "I am right here now, ready to work."

"No," said the lead missionary. "Go back to the States and have somebody send you down here to join us."

As I walked away, I saw the Maryknoll priests arguing about me out of the corner of my eye.


In December 1985, while I was homeless for three or four weeks in New York, I went to the monastery on West 31st St. and offered to become a Franciscan monk. I was serious. The fellow behind the counter said, "Well, usually people thinking about becoming a monk are recommended by their church. Did your church recommend you?"

"No," I said. "I don't have a church."

"You aren't Catholic?"

"No," I said.

"Well," said the fellow. "That would be a good place to start."


A couple of days later, still homeless in New York, I met a young monk who worked in a women's homeless shelter in Hell's Kitchen. It was cold and I was looking for a place to stay, but obviously I couldn't stay there. So Young Monk offered to let me stay in his apartment somewhere around West 40th St. by the Lincoln Tunnel. I was so frozen and hungry that I accepted.

The first day was fine. Young Monk drove a cab on the side and let me ride with him all over the city, even though he knew it would cost him some fares from those who might be afraid to join two men in a taxi. We also hung out with Young Monk's friends who were dancers for the Broadway show, Cats. I saw a side of New York that I had never seen before. They paid for everything and told me I was the type who would be very handsome when I was in my 40s. :-)

But by the next day Young Monk told me he was really only interested in having sex with me. When it became clear this wasn't going to happen, he kicked me out, back onto the cold, mean streets.

Art: Giovanni Bellini, St Francis in Ecstasy, Mont'Averna.

Apologies to St. Francis, though I'm sure he would understand.