Dean Clough

September 30, 2022

Portico Darwin: October 2 and Gratitude

Today's post is different. First and foremost, that is because I leave tomorrow for Boulder to attend a memorial for Scott Edwards, to be held this Sunday, October 2. There will be no post on Monday for that reason. A coincidence, but October 2 has taken on some significance for me in recent years. On October 2, 2019, I left TEECOM. On...
Read more

September 28, 2022

Portico Darwin: The One Where I Actually Complain About European Trains

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS WARNING: TODAY'S RAMBLINGS are nothing but a first-world whine. I hope you like it! As I referenced in arecent Travel Guide, there are few things about which I am more passionate than trains. Passenger trains. Especially, big, beautiful high-speed passenger trains, like the kind we're building all over the US as we sp...
Read more

September 26, 2022

Portico Darwin: Say Hey

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Monday. Here is some help for setting the right tone for the week. And beyond. One of the books I read whilst away on vacation was "24", which is subtitled "Life Stories and Lessons from The Say Hey Kid". For you non-sports fans out there, it is a kinda biography of the best baseball player of all time, Willie M...
Read more

September 23, 2022

Portico Darwin: Carnac and I Are Back

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Yeah, yeah, I know: Portico, we thought you were going dark for 3 weeks, yet you rubbed our noses in your vacation glory. My apologies, but I'm hopeful you found the information useful. I will tell you we loved discovering Lake Garda and especially Hotel Val di Sogno, as well as really enjoying Innsbruck. And have I m...
Read more

September 21, 2022

Portico Darwin: Innsbruck Travel Guide

(Editor's Note: by now, I hope you know the drill. There are a lot of photos, so if you have any trouble, you can view the post in a browser here.) OVERVIEW This borders on being just a Micro Travel Guide, as we were here for only a short time. But we were impressed enough by Innsbruck that I felt it deserves some attention. This is no...
Read more

September 17, 2022

Portico Darwin: Dolomites Travel Guide

(Editor's Note: again, this one has a lot of photos - it had to. So if it's slow to load on your device or if it seems like some pictures are missing, you may wish to read this post here.) OVERVIEW If you read this blog, you know I have several happy places. Places where even an obsessive like me can let go, and not grind and grind and...
Read more

September 16, 2022

Portico Darwin: Lake Garda Travel Guide

(Editor's note: there are a ton of photos in this one. You might wish to read this here if it's slow to load and/or if it seems like some photos are missing). OVERVIEW Let me be clear right up front: I have no idea what the hell Lake Como is like, but I don't know how in the world it could be more absolutely stunning than Lake Garda, i...
Read more

September 14, 2022

Portico Darwin: Milan Travel Guide

(Editor's Note: I know I promised peace and quiet, but why hold back these treasure troves of valuable information?) OVERVIEW For years, I've never heard all that many great things about Milan, Italy. Sure, it's the fashion and financial capital of Italy, but its reputation is one of gritty urbanity, not of urban splendor. The reputati...
Read more

September 2, 2022

Portico Darwin: Enjoy The Peace + My Predicitions

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS My heart remains heavy, over the loss of Scott Edwards. Thanks to all of you that reached out. Life must go on, but this is an odd day, for sure. (Odd transition, too.) Because later today, Julie and I leave for a nearly 3 week trip to Europe. We're visiting Milan (our inbound gateway) for 3 nights, Lake Garda for 5 n...
Read more

August 31, 2022

Portico Darwin: A Terrible Loss

There is no regular blog today. Yesterday, I received word that Scott Edwards died of a sudden heart attack, at home late Monday night. He was 63. After my own parents and wife, Scott had the biggest impact on me of anyone in my life, which is why I am sharing this here. Our relationship dates to the summer of 1985, when I went to work...
Read more

August 29, 2022

Portico Darwin: Waking Up On a Monday

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS OMG, is there a worse thing today than to be called "woke"? "The woke radical left is coming for your guns and want your children to hate themselves!" And then I saw this online, and I knew a post was going to be necessary. The problem, at least to this older white man of privilege, is that woke simply used be a form ...
Read more

August 26, 2022

Portico Darwin: Loan Sharks

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Like clockwork, out came the Republicans bitching about Papa Joe forgiving $10,000 ($20,000 for Pell Grant recipients) in student loan debt, for middle and lower income people. Shocker, I know. But also a shocker, they are completely wrong. And for a change, I have standing to say so. Here's the story. You see, by the...
Read more

August 24, 2022

Portico Darwin: Maybe a Civil War Would Be OK

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS OK, I've had enough. I am ready to fight for the real America. In the streets, if necessary. This guy and every single other fucking white Christian nationalist can kiss my radical liberal commie pinko San Francisco ass. The photo above was taken recently at the Kentucky State Fair. In today's Republican party, this g...
Read more

August 22, 2022

Portico Darwin: Nicki Vale Goes on Holiday

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS (Editor's Note: this is not an official Portico Darwin Travel Guide, as I must actually do the trip. But this one looks pretty f'ing good.) Our niece, the blossoming marcom empress Nicki Vale of Denver, is heading out for quite an adventure. As she was kind enough to share her plans with me, I thought I'd share them w...
Read more

August 19, 2022

Portico Darwin: Giant Champions

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS This one might not mean much to a lot of you. As I say, you can always start writing your own blog, or go read a book. But if you like baseball, especially of the San Francisco Giants variety, this might bring a smile to your face. The recent anniversary of my 2012 Giants winning their second of three World Series cha...
Read more

August 17, 2022

Portico Darwin: My Man, Barack Hussein Obama

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I think for many, the real heartbreak over Trump being President and all that's come with that is not just what a complete slimeball of a person he is. Or that it may take us decades to recover from the damage he's wreaked. No, the heartbreak is because I thought we had really turned a corner as a nation in 2008, when...
Read more

August 15, 2022

Portico Darwin: Arrive SF and A Taste of The Future

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS My Oceanside inspection complete, I winged it home yesterday. I would be remiss if I didn't thank my Killer hosts: suffice to say, you passed my rather stringent inspection with flying colors. And you're both so nice to invite me to come down each and every month from now on! And speaking of travel: now is the time I ...
Read more

August 12, 2022

Portico Darwin: Arrive Oceanside and Are Republicans Even American Anymore?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Yesterday afternoon, I winged it to the SoCal suburban paradise of Andy and Libby Jones. Their little tyke Dean Andrew Jones, Jr. is coming up on his first birthday, so I hand-delivered a gift, and then proceeded to inspect the new pergola that Andy has gone on and on about. Indeed, everything is wonderful, including ...
Read more

August 10, 2022

Portico Darwin: This Is How I Feel About Joe Biden

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I frequently complain about a lack of nuance in our public discourse. Here is an example of how two things can be true at once: I mostly love and am proud of what President Biden has accomplished, yet he needs to be a one-term president. Here is some nuanced thinking, from me, as well as another concerned citizen, on ...
Read more

August 9, 2022

Portico Darwin: The F Around & Find Out Special Edition

This is the FBI entering the South Florida mansion of Al Capone. It popped into my mind yesterday for some reason. Tomorrow, I will be balanced. Today, I bask in an American rebirth, and our greatness. We remain a country of laws. I believe Trump is headed for what he deserves: total and utter disgrace. I will further predict history w...
Read more

August 8, 2022

Portico Darwin: Historically Good, Volume II

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS It would be hard to calculate, but I am not sure there's a place where I've ever spent more time in my life than in The Presidio, a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, here in SF. Because since 2014, I've walked 5 miles most every day somewhere in its 1,500 acres of splendor. And before that, Julie and I...
Read more

August 5, 2022

Portico Darwin: Historically Good

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Last Friday, it was a history of concerts - at least my own. Today, I'm going to share some different history, yet keep the focus on my favorite subject: myself (shocker). Because I've found some great historical photos of my beloved SF, and specifically, our own neighborhood here, The Marina District. Sounds exciting...
Read more

August 3, 2022

Portico Darwin: Is It Just Me?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS RIP Vin Sculley. Almost as legendary as Bill Russell. An American Treasure. OK: I look back on the World Trade Center being knocked down on 9/11 as a pretty bad day in American history. A subject that should be respected with the utmost gravity. I also feel the death of a loved one is a serious matter, and likewise, o...
Read more

August 1, 2022

Portico Darwin: The New Beyonce' Album Sucks

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS RIP Bill Russell, amongst the greatest athletic champions, and people, in history. There, I said it, right there in the subject line. I find it funny that anything Beyonce' puts out is automatically considered a monumental achievement in the recording arts. That is fucking bullshit. Yet, I can hear it now. "Oh, the ly...
Read more

July 29, 2022

Portico Darwin: IT'S ALIVE - Volume II

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS (Editor's Note: this is easily the most graphic-intensive post I've made to date. Because of that, it might take a moment or two for all of the photos to load on your device - my apologies for any problems.) Of many, having the time to take on (self-absorbed) hobby-like projects is a big perk of being retired (or in h...
Read more

July 27, 2022

Portico Darwin: Reality Bites

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Sure, it's been fun focusing on what I wear at home, but I return us now to the real world. As you know, one of my biggest gripes with the Republican party is that they don't offer much in the way of policy proposals, but instead seek and retain power via division, gerrymandering, and name-calling. Lately, however, it...
Read more

July 25, 2022

Portico Darwin: GQ Edition

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS "Oh, Portico - your recent blog posts have been so heavy. So political. Can we turn down the doom and have something fluffy and fun?" No problem. But you asked for it. As you may know already, I've pretty much shelved my quest for relevance and have really leaned in to retirement. (OMFG, I LOATHE the term "lean in", b...
Read more

July 22, 2022

Portico Darwin: 187 Minutes And Some Want More?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Do you know how long 187 minutes is? Yes, a bit more than 3 hours, but it is also the amount of time that then-President Donald Trump did absolutely nothing on January 6, 2021. While our Capitol and elected officials and his own VP were under attack, Trump did not call anyone on his National Security team. You know, l...
Read more

July 21, 2022

Portico Darwin: Special Wake-Up Call Edition For Democrats

Tonight's January 6th Committee hearing may be yet another nail in the coffin for Trump and his enablers. Until then, I came across a couple of items that I think merit your special attention. They provide some balance and perspective, something welcome as the drumbeat for Trump being jailed continues. First, here is the cover and lead...
Read more

July 20, 2022

Portico Darwin: I've Been Grinding On The Railroads

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS It's been a while, so how about a trip around the world to see how other countries are doing on major infrastructure projects? First, let's visit Asia and see what our Chinese friends are up to. Hint: 400 MPH trains is what they're up to. China Just Unveiled the World’s Fastest Train That means a trip from downtown Ch...
Read more

See more posts »