Saturday, December 23, 2017

Sigue Sigue Sputnik Love Missile F1-11

A pretty bad memory from the 80's that I never had, so it's all new to me.

Eisenfunk - Pong

I like putting YouTube on, walking away, and coming back to some random thing the algorithms think I might like. The algorithms know me pretty well.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

An agreeable good time. Better than "Rogue One."

Orkestra Obsolete Play "Blue Monday" Using 1930s Instruments

Friday Night at the Mall





I feel like a salmon who took that left turn in Albuquerque.


This salmon finds an inviting stream.


Santa Claus holds court.





I really enjoy the mall. Weird place. Skate-and-snowboarding shops seem to be in. Very tempting merchandise, not usually seen in my demographic.

Most amusing moment of the day was coming upon a woman in Macy’s who was trying mightily to pull up the falling pants on a young male manikin and preserve its dignity. An impossible job, seeing how emaciated the young teen manikin was. “Looks awkward,” I commented. The embarrassed woman laughed and nodded just as her family arrived to point and laugh too.

Maybe I’ll be back tomorrow. Good prices in Sears.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Jolly Old St. Nick

"Climbing the Razor's Edge into the Bright, Blue Dome of the Sky: A Trip through the Academic West of the Seventies and Eighties"

Introducing my new book!

"Climbing the Razor's Edge into the Bright, Blue Dome of the Sky: A Trip through the Academic West of the Seventies and Eighties," is Volume 2 of Marc Valdez’s memoir about growing up in New Mexico, and the years beyond.

Volume 2 covers Marc Valdez’s college years (1974 – 1990), and covers his experiences getting a Ph.D., plus holding two postdoctoral positions. The scope of the memoir covers Socorro and Albuquerque, New Mexico, but expands beyond New Mexico’s boundaries to include Denver, Colorado, Tucson and Tempe, Arizona, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

In a way, my college years were a kind of creative imbroglio, but since I was in academic environments a long time, there were many twists and turns.

I think these links function, for now:

Print Version

Kindle Version


[P.S.: Hmmm.... Is that a problem? I've been striving to call myself "Marc P. Valdez" in order to distance myself from the 50 or 60 people named "Marc Valdez" in the United States, but here I've flubbed it on the cover of my own book, where you'd think I'd have at least the semblance of control. I'll live with it. I think there's a Texan named Marc Valdez with skateboard videos on YouTube. Oh, yes, and there is that gender-confused Filipino singer named Marc Valdez with the singing career in Japan. I got a teenage fan, a Filipina Facebook friend who stood by me for five years, out of that. Maybe confusion works in my favor. Life is marketing.]

Hip Says "Slow Down!"

Oy. Can't stay asleep. My hip says "Oy." Vigorous day yesterday. Walked everywhere. Everywhere. Plus, way too much Dancehall fun last night. Way...fun....much fun.....too much fun....

Wednesday Night at the Movies with Joe the Plumber - "The Disaster Artist"

I've stumbled into a new tradition - Wednesday Night at the Movies with Joe the Plumber. Because when you don't even have a van to live in down by the river, but you and your pit-bull puppy are living down by the river anyway, there's nothing better than Wednesday Night at the Movies. And I like movies too.

The idea behind indulging Joe is that now that I have a pickup truck, we might finally be able to move his cuckoo clock, his box of junk, various Native-American paintings, and his massive exercise unit (which would make a tasteful addition to the mounds of homeless junk down by the river), and transport it all from my basement to his storage unit, conveniently-located somewhere in Elverta. But first, the movies....

In the last month, or so, we've seen "Lady Bird," "Coco" (in Spanish), "The Last Jedi," and last Wednesday night we saw "The Disaster Artist."

"The Disaster Artist" is great fun. Go see it. Joe the Plumber gives his stream-of-consciousness equivalent of two thumbs up for it. A good buddy film.

Joe and I should make a movie.

How Did I Get Here?


I particularly like this mashup version, because most of David Bowie's "The Man Who Fell From Earth" was filmed in New Mexico in 1975. You can find these exact places without much trouble:

Resistance Is Not Futile

But only if we continue to resist. So far, we're doing a good job.


Interesting - "Trump had fewer deportations than Obama's first year":
Despite President Trump's tough-on-immigration rhetoric, there were around 177,000 fewer deportations this year than in 2009, Obama's first year in office. That number is lower than any year during Obama's presidency, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data.

So, is it a win for the Trumpies? That’s what they always say, but they are idiots, so what do they know? Illegal immigration peaked in 2010, and dropped, mostly because of the economy, but also because of demography. Birth rates dropped dramatically in Mexico from the 60’s into the 70’s, and the needy 60’s kids driving the immigration no longer need El Norte to the extent they once did.



Meanwhile, ominous news from the medical front.

And taking the lead coming around the Clubhouse turn here at Apocalypse Downs is fentanyl!:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported that the life expectancy in the U.S. decreased in 2016 for the second year in a row.

According to the CDC’s 2016 mortality report, the life expectancy for a member of the U.S. population born in 2016 was 78.6 years, down 0.1 years from the expectancy for a person born in 2015, itself a decline from 2014.

The government figures released Thursday put drug deaths at 63,600, up from about 52,000 in 2015. For the first time, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins played a bigger role in the deaths than any other legal or illegal drug, surpassing prescription pain pills and heroin.”This is urgent and deadly,” said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The opioid epidemic “clearly has a huge impact on our entire society.”

Step One 30th Anniversary Videos, This Time on YouTube

I want broader distribution of these videos, particularly for the heartfelt "For Bre" - Part 2 video.



















If I Were Homeless in Sacramento


I’m a bit puzzled by the ways of the homeless this winter in my Sacramento neighborhood. Once again, we are in extreme drought mode, with warm, dry weather. There should be lots of homeless nearby, yet I think there are fewer than last year. I don’t know why.

Joe the homeless Plumber sleeps beside the American River, not too far from Costco, and gets his meals at Loaves and Fishes, so maybe that’s where they are all at this year. Joe says it’s cold there right by the water, and he snuggles next to his pit bull puppy for warmth.

If I was homeless in Sacramento, I think I’d prefer sleeping under the W-X freeway, where there’s illumination all night long and the cover overhead provides rain protection and keeps it from getting too cold. Echoes nice for singing too.



Ambling Around Midtown


Thursday, December 21, 2017