Dancing on Thin Ice

To the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. —R.W. Emerson

Tag: photography

if I lived there

. . . I would probably never leave. Near the end of April I was a guest of the Sociology Department at Notre Dame de Namur College, which has its main offices in the old Ralston mansion in Belmont, California. While there, I had an opportunity to photograph the mansion house. Enjoy.

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another glorious sunrise

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01 April 2011

the real sunshine in my life

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Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.


These photos are part of a series I shot yesterday while on a visit with my grandson Clyde, who will be three years old on June 22nd. We were playing with a little plastic rooster wearing a grass skirt and coconut shell bra (it’s complicated), and a plastic Geronimo (you know, the Native American who bravely resisted the US Army back in the 19th century). Geronimo and the rooster were chasing each other around some bowls of water (ahem! pardon me, some LAKES and PONDS) and the rooster would occasionally jump from a bridge (don’t tell me you can’t see the bridge), shouting,”Geronimo!”

and then . . .

something unexpected happens to inject some pure, undiluted joy into my life.


Leonardo and me at the Noir City 9 opening party. (Photo by Mike Humbert)

Last week my friend Mike Humbert drove all the way to San Francisco from Paradise, California to take me to the opening of Noir City 9 at the Castro Theater. Before the show we met with festival director Eddie Muller, “the voice of Noir” Bill Arney, and a handful of others at Dashiell Hammett’s old Post Street apartment, which is being lovingly restored by Robert Anderson. Altogether a completely delightful evening, one I’ll remember for a long time to come.


Friend and fellow historian Peter Field and me at Noir City 9. (Photo by Mike Humbert)


This poem by J.C. Squires so perfectly and elegantly describes what happens inside my head, I wish I had written it.


I and myself swore enmity. Alack,
Myself has tied my hands behind my back.
Yielding, I know there’s no excuse in them—
I was accomplice to the stratagem.




Dispossessed within the raging battlefield of my mind, hounded by thoughts and feelings over which I have no control: a casualty of my own psychosis. As to medication, I might as well be taking aspirin.

It took me half an hour to write this.

Note to the bean counters at Wellcare: go fuck yourselves.

sky on fire

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A recent sunset as photographed from my rooftop.

the upside of insomnia

If indeed there is anything at all good about having a sleep disorder, it’s that I’ve witnessed many glorious sunrises. From my rooftop, I recently photographed the sun’s ascent above the horizon as the full moon was setting.

Sunrise with Cloud

“Sunrise with Cloud”

Dawn and Moonset

“Dawn and Moonset”

a visit with Serge

This post has been moved and incorporated into my story about Serge titled “Temple of the Heart’s Imagination”, on my history site Up from the Deep.

italianate lanterns

The next time you find yourself walking about the San Francisco Civic Center, take a close look at the lanterns on the War Memorial Opera House and the Veteran’s Building and especially those that illuminate the gateway between the two buildings. Of course the architecture is beautiful, but the lanterns are sublime.

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cuteness infusion

Camera in hand, I recently spent the day with my grandson Clyde. Next month is his second birthday.

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Clyde – 18 May 2010

Grandpa is putty in Clyde’s hands.

shameless horn tooting

The vivacious and multi-talented Julie Michelle recently interviewed me for the excellent photo website Caliber. If you’re at all interested in photography (and San Francisco), it’s a website well worth visiting.

julie michelle

Julie Michelle, self-portrait

“The City” at 1:AM

"The City"

Roman Cesario has been doing some fine work in the central city and past shows at his gallery (corner of Sixth and Howard) have been worthy of note. I have seven pieces in this show, including some new cityscapes, all of them previously unexhibited and all most definitely for sale. I hope to see you at the opening—it should be a lot of fun!

more cloudy skies

I’ve been preoccupied with other projects and have thus neglected this site for months. Tsk-tsk! For the next little while my posts might be just random images that I like. For starters, here are some San Francisco skies that I shot with a little Canon G3 back in 2003.

“Gathering Clouds”

“Throne Lights”

“After the Rain”

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