Archive for March, 2013

If we had to pick a favorite hangout in Todos Santos we would probably say La Esquina for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it is within easy walking distance of Casa Fisherrero. Add to that the excellent food (including scrumptious smoothies and coffee drinks), wonderful service from beautiful women, good music (live and recorded), Wednesday Farmer’s Market, a lush garden to get lost in, great internet connectivity, a perfect ten in overall comfort, dog friendly, I could go on but let the pictures convey what they can:

Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone

Desayuno por dos:

Ham and Cheese Omelette with very special salsa.

Ham and Cheese Omelette with very special salsa.


Rancher's Potatoes topped with two eggs over medium.

Rancher’s Potatoes topped with two eggs over medium.

I love hummingbirds. They are such improbable little upstarts. Colorful, quick and fearless with the ability to hover like none other. And that’s as close to a poem as I’m likely to get. Here’s one I photographed at sunrise this morning. You can tell I gussied it up a bit because of the low light situation and my almost non-existent zoom.

Hummer at rest.

Hummer at rest.


I have looked back in my archives to put together a spontaneous tribute to one of my favorite birds.
One of the feeders back at the mobile mansion.

One of the feeders back at the mobile mansion.


I drew this rufous hummer during one of their short annual visits.

I drew this rufous hummer during one of their short annual visits.

Back in 2010 I fancied myself a writer of conspiracy fiction. In the passage included below I predicted Jules Verne-like a sinister humbot Illuminati construct that later became a reality as shown in the following newspaper article I found a year or so later.

Illuminati Humbot

Illuminati Humbot

Like most of the other residents of his small resort community, the “Writer” welcomed the glorious weather which arrived just in time for the season’s first onslaught of tourists, Memorial Day Weekend. Even the endless flow of traffic headed for the coast in legions of motor cycles, armadas of RVs, and chattering herds of fluorescent-clad cyclists, did little to curb the enthusiasm delivered by a succession of cloudless, sun-drenched days.
The holiday weekend was a time for family, festivals and fun. It brought a welcome diversion from last week’s troubling confrontations with the Illuminati’s “Mentor” constructs, hallucinations galore, and the inevitable questioning of his sanity. It was easy to forget the pressures of apprentice superheroism too, when he was enveloped in the warm glow of happy people, good music, barbecue and adult beverages, all set against a backdrop of ravishing Spring finery, Sonoma County style.

But today is the day after. Lucy is back on the job. The “Writer” is back on the porch in front of the mobile mansion, honing his skills and warming his outrageously flat feet in the sun. Gojira gazes for a moment in the direction of the cheerful cries of children emanating from the schoolyard, then settles down like a lifeless Rod Stewart toupee at the “Writer’s” feet. The drone and crunch of a wood-chipper a block or so away, the swish of passing vehicles, the hum of the hot tub provide a hypnotic audio mix.

The “Writer” can also discriminate the calls of the usual avian suspects: the caw of a big black crow in the apple tree, the angry squawk of a cat food thieving jay, the agitated peeps of a mother woodpecker from her hole nest in the power pole, the metallic zzzzttt-zzzzzttt of the Ana’s hummer commenting on the quality of the mixture of sugar and water in the feeder.

The “Writer” turns to watch the hummer who is cycling through the four feeding stations in a strange frenzied manner, never pausing for more than a sip or two before moving to another of the four plastic yellow “flowers”, around and around the perimeter of the feeder.

At first the “Writer” thought that the bird’s erratic movements might be provoked by the presence of ants or yellow jackets on the feeder. This atypical behavior persisted even as the “Writer” slowly approached for a closer look. As he advanced , a familiar tingle, crept up his spine. He was about to have another freaking far from natural experience. There were disturbing details in the aspect of this particular Ana’s that were setting his nerves ajar and his mouth agape.

He noticed that the buzzing from the bird’s rapid wing movements was much louder than normal. It’s blazing scarlet head and neck shone with a sharp metallic glare that was painful to the eye. And then it noticed him.

Suddenly this picture of a perfect Spring day was dashed against the bricks of the patio and shattered into shards of nightmare. In a few fleeting moments the hummingbird had darted directly into the face of the “Writer”, causing him to stagger backwards, trip over his chair, and topple awkwardly onto the porch. He had only partly succeeded in slowing his fall, grasping the chair vainly for support before crunching heavily onto the carpet-covered deck , stunned. Before he could do more than prop himself up on his skinned elbows, the diminutive hell-diver resumed his attack. Just as the needle-beaked freak zoomed toward the victim’s reddened proboscis a grey blur flew from the shadows under the RV to intercept the micro-monster mid-air and slam it beneath its curved-clawed paws into the dirt with a curious and quite final crunch. The “Cat With No Name” had saved the “Writer” from a nasal encounter of the worst kind.

The shaken senior could feel the furry feline rubbing against his feet, but for a long moment he lingered on the deck, quite still, doing a detailed parts inventory. Other than the skinned elbows, he felt no obvious ill effects from his fall. As he slowly pulled himself up to his feet he was able to see what remained of his attacker gleaming in the sunlight where its fractured beak, twisted wings and exposed circuitry presented him with fresh problems and questions he really didn’t feel up to dealing with. Especially on such a beautiful Spring day as this one.

That was then, this is now!


hummernews (1)

Not So Still Life With Hummer, Bird Feeder, Novelty Plastic Skull, Roses and A Carnivorous Plant

Not So Still Life With Hummer, Bird Feeder, Novelty Plastic Skull, Roses and A Carnivorous Plant

When I first moved to the Russian River I lived in an old apartment house owned by an eccentric* gay artist. He was a wonderful, funny, huge man that had a head that resembled some of the pre-Colombian art that he collected. His partner was also an artist who had had one man shows in Palm Beach and New York, sold lots of paintings for big bucks. He confided in me that the frame was often seventy five percent of the deal in selling his paintings. People were looking to hang something that fit in with the decor of the room where it would be displayed and the frame was a major consideration for them. If I ever paint anything I will be sure to remember that.
Here are two photos I took on our walk today:
frame1
frame2
Which do you prefer?

*His name was Allan Williams and one of his eccentricities was to projectile vomit on command, which my friends and I would beg him to do. We were probably more eccentric than he was. I can’t for the life of me remember his partner’s name. If anyone else was around at that time and remembers, please let me know.

If I can summon up some last minute magic before the month ends this Sunday I will have my best month ever reader-wise. As I describe below these are the little milestones that keep me highly motivated to continue blogging at the high level Mongrel lovers expect. I beseech you to read and pass along vast quantities of my material so that I may ascend to a higher level of blogolalia. Let’s make March Madness For Mongrel together. We can do it. Rah rah rah. Or you could send $1.99 to Michael Fisher, 20030 El Rancho Way, Monte Rio, CA 95462, to express your enthusiasm monetarily. Better make it $2.00 even, so all that change won’t rattle around inside the envelope. Thanks.

This is Make An Old Blogger Happy Month! Reach Out And Touch One.

This is Make An Old Blogger Happy Month! Reach Out And Touch One.

Maybe it’s just my imagination but I always seem to get a little energy boost at this time of year which usually climaxes right about the middle of April when I celebrate my birthday. Am I feeling the seasonal urges, the end of a long winter, the sap rising, the rain-soaked earth catalyzing new growth? Am I more in touch with the Pagan approach to this holiday season than the ritual and ceremonies of the “new” Christian religion? I dunno and I am not sure it matters. But I do love to see the cherry blossoms, the yellow mustard in the meadows, even the (achooo!) acacia blooms, the tulip trees, the sun glistening on wet spider webs. Yes, I do miss these signs of Spring in Sonoma County when I’m way down here below the Tropic of Cancer. But it seems I am still feeling the energy surge, and at my age an energy surge is always welcome, as long as it doesn’t fry the circuitry.
easter
I only have a couple of unpleasant memories associated with this time of year. The first was an Easter which happened to coincide with my 21st birthday. This occurred in a dry county in Tennessee, all the bars and liquor stores were closed and I couldn’t enjoy my first legal drink till the next day. The other was an Easter Egg Hunt that I organized which devolved into a chaotic scramble, small children unfulfilled, eggless, crying, parents fuming, Easter Bunny heckled, disrespected. I still have nightmares about that one. But it’s a time of renewal, so let’s forget the past and grow onward and upward, shall we?

dog'sword

We often have difficulty telling people how to find Casa Fisherrero, since many of the streets in our neighborhood, in fact in all of Todos Santos, have no names. That included our street until yesterday, when we took the initiative to name our street. There seems to be a precedent for this although we are not strictly sure about the legality of vigilante street naming.

It all began with a woman named Gail and her idea, nee passion, to name her street. Although apathetic at first her husband was soon recruited to her cause. After a short list of possible names was winnowed down to the winning name (Gail’s choice suggestion) El Camino Rocoso or “Rocky Road”. Constant urging by Gail resulted in the painting of two signs (by her husband) which were to be affixed to a power pole at the corner of El Camino Rocoso and Las Brisas. The hanging of the sign and dedication ceremony are depicted below.

Area man proudly displays self-named street sign, actually it's not named after him, and the sign did not name itself, but you get the idea.

Area man proudly displays self-named street sign, actually it’s not named after him, and the sign did not name itself, but you get the idea.


Friend Bruce facilitated the sign installation both by lending tools and actually hanging the sucker.

Friend Bruce facilitated the sign installation both by lending tools and actually hanging the sucker.


Tiny area women (Gail and Christine) are dwarfed by massive signage.

Tiny area women (Gail and Christine) are dwarfed by massive signage.


Afterward we celebrated by taking a much-needed beach break. It was a beautiful day in the Los Cerritos neighborhood too. There was a lot going on, this being Easter season and all. There was horseback riding, surfing, boogie-boarding, kite-flying and bocce ball going on.
See if you can find the hidden bocce ball. Hint: look for a big-headed boogie boarder.

See if you can find the hidden bocce ball. Hint: look for a big-headed boogie boarder.


hotel
All the tired horses in the sun, how'm I s'posed to get any riding done.- B. Dylan (from one of his alltime worst songs)

All the tired horses in the sun, how’m I s’posed to get any riding done.- B. Dylan (from one of his alltime worst songs)