Tag Archives: Books

April 4th,’18 Anasazi Beans and Sonoran Mesquite Flour Feast for Fools

Welcome… if you click around you’ll find information about my shows and books. Buy a book, book a show. Be sure to surf my digital frontier and message me. The switchboards are open.

Wheat-Barley-Rye-Buckwheat-Mesquite Flour 

Food of the Desert Dwellers

Mesquite Pancakes
Mesquite (Sweet and Spiceful) Pancakes

Beginning last August my wife and I embarked upon a gastronomic revolution. The idea was to tip the sacred cows over and leap into the culinary inconvenient truth of our eating too few and too familiar foods. We wanted to stretch our boundaries and we also wanted to rid our diet of empty calories and replace them with foods rich in healthful micronutrients that would fight off free radicals and enhance our cardiovascular well-being.

First off you’ll need to break the fever. In this case I mean habits. Old habits always die hard. With support from each other we began preparing nothing but whole foods plant based meals. At the start of our journey the first thing needing fixing was our taste buds. We tossed out the salt, sugar and booze. In two weeks time we could taste and identify flavors that had simply gone lost hidden beneath these too dominant other food and beverages.

Tucson Mesquite Flour
Sonoran Desert Mesquite Flour  has a Distinct Flavor all its Own

Otherwise things proceeded at an alarmingly positive pace. Once we slowed down and ate our meals with greater care we’d arrive at the end our much lighter meals feeling full. Feeling contentment after eating lighter, less oil based, more leafy-greens, less starchy, no meat meals takes a couple of skills. You need to chew your food slowly. You need to taste the flavorful meal. You need to be sure to use spices. Become friends with garlics, onions and curries. Shallots, cilantro, fresh made horseradish are flavor boosting helpers.

Downer side problems abound but not insurmountably so. We have issues. Won’t drill down but they exist and you’ll have to trust me when I say these are good problems to have.

 

Wagon Wheel Saloon
Patagonia’s Strictly for Medicinal Purposes Human Oil and Lubrication Joint

Our instrument is essentially the body and mind. Taking better care isn’t just about trudging at a low dull level. Eating with inspiration is a means of being good to yourself and when you are treating your life with kindness you are on the right track even if it takes a little more doing, time and care. Let’s get going peeps we have a world to save and fun to have.

Edited Red Star

March 25, 2018 The Bigger the Dream

Running with the Small Dogs

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Sunset in the Superstitions not far from Apache Junction, Arizona

We rolled out on the road without a wireless telephone or an Automated Teller Machine card. We used such antiquated technologies as American Express cashier checks, wired funds via Western Union, made calls with coins fed into pay phones.

Running the American West at times for months without coming off the road was paid for by solitude. Once the knack for being alone became a skill. Once comfortable in your own bones living day to day without companionship or conversation the feasibility of touring tilted in your favor.

You no longer need run hard from one date to the other fearing what is in between. That segment of space and time becomes a mindful opportunity. You can pull off and eat supper at an overlook during sunset. You might get under a shade tree and spend the afternoon working out. Roll down a dirt road along a river, build a fire, drink a glass of whiskey and spend your evening looking up at a sky choked with stars.

Small Town

Ely, Nevada on a busy day!

If you are going to give your audience an unvarnished glimpse of who you really are why not deepen your own center, cultivate a truer more fully realized sense of belonging to the cosmos, report back from the frontier to the landlocked-nine-to-fivers what you’ve found out about what drifting out on the highways and byways of the American West can mean to a fellow citizen. My audiences expected such payment in return for the investment of their attention.

A showman might not have fame or great wealth. Instead we may be symbolic post suburban-middle class kindred spirits. We might just be reporters of what an ordinary person might be capable of as they escape the mundane grip of a more conventional life.

In that way we owe our audiences the blueprint we’ve sorted out as to how a laugh filled entertainment might just brighten the load they carry, make something larger in their imaginations possible. A showman in possession of a show can cure modernity’s digitally induced melancholy. On an ordinary day we’re not much better than average, but when it all clicks a showman can electrify the minds of every single person captivated by the experience we’ve driven so far and for so long to bring to their community. We are shaman, we can possess magic. It is all that and more or nothing at all…

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Showman between Performance at Tempe Festival for the Arts

As ever, explore my site, buy a book, book a show (or come find me today… in Oakland’s Fairyland) and come on back. I’ll be here even if I’m running with the little dogs out there.

Edited Red Star

 

March 14, 2018 Weather Related

You Win a Baby Blue White Leather Interior Cadillac

Boat
He drives a boat

Rain is the sworn enemy of a street performer. Cold wind and ice come in second with unbearable high humidity and heatwaves next. The not too hot, not too cold is supportive of such things as solvency. It is the shoe that is always about to drop. We’ll discuss noise in another post.

I’m feeling slightly less dread after seeing that back east in Western Pennsylvania there turned out to be 113,813 people that see the world same as I see things and 113,186 people that don’t. No matter— I’ll fight just as hard for their Social Security and Medicare. Best of all we’re just slightly less off the rails this morning. That’s a good thing.

I’ve got a good pile of nonsense stacked up on my desk, some writing to do, a bit more Norman Mailer to digest, and an exercise bike and handstand training session dead ahead. That’s how we roll here in downtown Los Angeles Arts District.

Arts District Art
Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

For those living in Northern California you may turn your attention to Oakland, California for the weekend of March 24-25. I will perform beneath the oak trees at Children’s Fairyland. The first paragraph in this post could influence the outcome or even whether I appear at all. We’ll see.

Something on global warming…“If you haven’t personally experienced climate change then you haven’t pissed off my wife yet.”

Thanks again for pulling on in and spending half a minute of your valuable time with me. Come on back. I’ll be right here doing my part to make this a better world and a niftier website.

Edited Red Star

March 13, 2018 Northern Californian Goes Inexplicably South

Tires
Road Dog Street of Dreams

Welcome to my website.

One of my missions is to give voice to what being in California feels like. What is this experience doing to its citizens? What’s happening? What’s this happening happen to feel like? One thing for sure you better plan on driving off hours when everyone else has gotten to work and be sure to be done driving before everyone starts driving home from work. The freedom to move about in California is neither absolute or during much of the day practical. Driving from LA to Phoenix off hours is infinitely easier than tangling with rush hours.

I am back up in San Francisco this weekend. I’ll spend Sunday with two of the great men of Boston’s street theater scene. Steve Aveson and Al Krulick were The Shakespeare Brothers. I was a cousin working not in but along side. Al is out here on the west coast and we’ll debrief the raging sage of Binghamton, New York. I’ll also get a chance to sound off about the World Emergency Full Catastrophe Climate Change Comedy Show. This talented duo will be a fountain of misguided comic gold to return to the invention laboratory where I will continue my explorations.

halyard
What is tougher than Charles Bronson?

And here another piece in the preparation of sailing offshore in California this summer. One fully loaded Ford Navigator can be suspended by this line.. Dyneema is rope’s real world version of the comic book fantasy world’s Kryptonite. Technology marches on and in the world of sailing the proliferation of new materials is mindboggling.

Whether entertaining, sailing or writing a novel you had better come prepared to weather the challenge. Now away… more soon… come back as you can.

Edited Red Star

How’s That Change Thing Working Now?

good-luck

SMOKING HOT BLAME YOU CAN BELIEVE IN

Signed up for the National Park Service going rogue Facebook page this morning. I owe much of my souls most healed aspects to the unfettered, unfiltered quiet time the parks have gifted to my life.

To imagine what we need to do is liquidate these national treasures is to fail to take up our responsibility to leave future generations a glimpse of the paradise we are all born into.

It seems bizarre to me to stand up and shout out in anger that we are going to sell these assets off, exploit their natural resources and squander these last untrammeled parts of our nation.

I can tell you without looking at specific polls that nobody wants the parks sold off, defunded or opened up to mining and logging. There is no majority advocating to take healthcare away from citizens. There is no clamoring among the restless masses for corporate tax cuts. We don’t want to start a war with China. We want social security and Medicare to be there for all Americans. Vast swaths of the population want the EPA to keep our water pure and air clean. There is nowhere in this country citizens urging Congress to repeal Dodd-Frank.

But,  if you vote for people and ignore what they say, what they stand for? Because you don’t believe they would ever do what they say they are going to do? That’s just off the rails. We’re in the midst of a climate crisis. We have work to do. Instead a feeble, disorganized, incompetent group of mostly Caucasian’s with money, have gone to Washington to discover they haven’t a clue how to run anything as complex and as vital as the government of the United States of America. They are in total chaos. Spare our National Parks the trouble.

 

Left Coast Lifter

October 27, 2011 Building a Bridge for All the People

Here at work is the Left Coast Lifter. Left Coast a right wing epithet coined to characterize the voting habits of California, Oregon and Washington. We are reliably Liberal. Yesterday was a classic Indian summer day on the San Francisco Bay. This gigantic crane is preparing to hoist into position the last piece of the new Oakland-San Francisco  Bay Bridge. It is a two million pound piece of steel fabricated in Shanghai, China. Ironically the largest public works project in California history turns out to be not quite what it seems. Yes, it will be the largest finished public works project, but it is the largest public works project ever fabricated in another country. I am not sure how that decision was made, but it doesn’t take much imagination to appreciate that if we had fabricated within the United States we might well have employed more people and had more revenue flowing into the community where this fabrication was taking place, paying workers and the factory, and then the workers and the factory would have revenue to pay taxes with and as they say a virtuous cycle might have been enjoyed by the cities, counties and states that all of this activity might have taken place. This is what we our supposed to be electing and appointing leadership to do. In downtown Oakland last night there was a candlelight vigil for Scott Olsen the Iraqi War veteran injured earlier this week when Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan ordered the Occupy Oakland protestors removed from the park they had been encamped in. Here is life, this rich, complex, diverse, multi-faceted stew of all of us mixed up all together and trying to build something that will work better for all of us. I have a suggestion. First, if you are a Mayor forget about removing protestors from your parks. Embrace our right to free speech, to peaceful assembly. Second, if you want to empty the parks of the protestor’s maybe get the big things right, like policy, for example building bridges. Maybe, the cheapest possible price for a bridge part built in China isn’t really the bargain it seems. Perhaps making those bridge parts here might have put food on the table and kept roofs over the heads of our own citizens. Yeah, I’m all for the Left Coast Lifter, I just want it to be lifting the right thing, like the people in this country who need a hand up.

BANKRUPT HEART                                   THE SECOND NOVEL

Ry walked a footpath out to the edge of the bay, a
jetty jutted first south then turned hard to the west forming a breakwater for
the marina. Ry hiked on the trail above the rip-rap. Out on the point where the
jetty turned a woman stood alone in front of an easel. Ry took in the brisk
cool air of morning from behind the watercolorist. She faced the cracking sun
rising from behind the hills in the East
Bay. Next to her was a
portable folding table, sponge, tubes of paint, vase of water, and an
assortment of brushes. She was in no hurry. She stood motionless watching the
horizon. Then, as if coming out of a trance she turned and smiled at Ry. She
had a kindness in her eyes. She was silent, focused. She turned her attention
back to her watercolor.

            “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you
out on the jetty before.”

            “I’ve never been here before.”

            “I know the old Cambodian fisherman,
I call him Bok Choy. He calls me his little pain in the ass.”

Bankrupt Heart Copyright © 2011 by Dana Smith