Dean Clough

May 24, 2024

Portico Darwin: The Definitive Beach Boys Post

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <4 Minute Read Happy Friday and Happy Summer. Disney was clearly aware that Memorial Day Weekend kicks off summer, and thus are wise to debut their new documentary about The Beach Boys today, on Disney+. Because what the hell says summer like The Beach Boys? (Kids, believe me: Not much.) But I digress, because thanks ...
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May 22, 2024

Portico Darwin: Oh, Sonos!

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Wow, am I glad to no longer be in the residential A/V game. Or a Sonos customer. As I've mentioned once or twice endlessly, I owned an integration firm that designed and installed the technology in fine homes for almost 17 years. Now, a company that was initially a savior and then a no-brainer go-to for ...
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May 20, 2024

Portico Darwin: The Newer Normal

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read Happy Monday, and if you had even half as much fun as I did over the weekend, you're probably ready for some reality. So today I am focusing on the world in which we live - not one that isn't coming back. The High Interest Rates Aren't High This nutty expectation of ultra-low interest rates must end. Int...
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May 19, 2024

Portico Darwin: Mt. Madonna County Park Micro Travel Guide

OVERVIEW Julie and I love to camp. But when one gets to a certain age - or just doesn't want to screw around with a tent - it is nice to find parks that offer some kind of rentable enclosure. You know, like a primitive cabin. Or a yurt. WTF is a yurt, some may ask? This is a yurt. More specifically, that is my wife on the deck of ginor...
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May 17, 2024

Portico Darwin: Albany Doesn't Have to Suck

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 4 Minute Read Happy Friday and we're back from camping. Mt. Madonna County Park, in a luxuriant redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is certainly worthy of a Micro Travel Guide, which is coming soon. For now, let's just say B.J. Thomas will loom large. Until then, and since you've had a break from this festival...
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May 10, 2024

Portico Darwin: The Mooch is OK

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read Happy Friday and this post is multifaceted. It includes a thank you, a podcast recommendation, and a reprint of one of my proposed Constitutional amendments. And it's all because of Anthony Scaramucci. Huh? First, a thank you to my British friend Randy Smee for introducing me to a UK podcast called The R...
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May 8, 2024

Portico Darwin: Spelling Beeware

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read I hope you have an enjoyable Wednesday and a laugh from some signs I've seen recently. There was this, at the Textbook Vesuvio in North Beach. Really, the white paper and green tape were enough. Next, a bodega in Cow Hollow, not too far from our place. I like how the error is kinda permanent. And then t...
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May 6, 2024

Portico Darwin: National Old Man Yells at Cloud Day

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read Happy Monday and I hope you had a great weekend. Sadly, I am going to dive right in and start bitching immediately, after some housekeeping. While I am aware of the protests occurring on many university campuses regarding Israel and Gaza and the whole mess, what I have said in two earlier posts still rep...
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May 3, 2024

Portico Darwin: Nice Cocktails, The Easy Way

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read For a Friday, I will do my bit as a big-time influencer and share a product that upped my game recently at the bar. At least at my own - I'll let others assess my performance in public places. I enjoy making the occasional cocktail at home, and my two favorites are the Old Fashioned and the Negroni. The ...
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May 1, 2024

Portico Darwin: A Classic Liberal

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read For hump day, how about if we find something upon which we can all agree? Are you ready? Because if you're reading this, I am nearly certain you are a liberal. A classic liberal, in fact. That's because, until its corruption in the not-too-distant past for cynical and partisan reasons, the term meant som...
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April 29, 2024

Portico Darwin: Greedy and Unsportsmanlike

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Happy Monday and a nice, relaxing weekend gave me time to ponder a problem in America that is hiding right out in the open. That problem is greed. If you've been exposed to my blather for any period of time, you've likely heard my speech on the subject. It goes something like this: “I simply don't unders...
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April 26, 2024

Portico Darwin: Bringing Outside Lands Inside

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read + Listening Damn it, this pains me, but I must give credit for today's post to the wannabe music guy Hunter Deuce. I was whining in this blog a while back about how hard it is to find quality new music, and he shared one of his techniques for doing just that. It is a shocker, I know, but it made a lot of...
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April 24, 2024

Portico Darwin: We're Cute, But . . .

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <2 Minute Read Let me say something today that will surprise no one: I like being complimented. My raging insecurities demand attention, and often, in case you've somehow forgotten. So I do enjoy being noticed when out in public. Well, usually, because today I'll share a cautionary tale, one aimed especially at younge...
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April 22, 2024

Portico Darwin: They Don't Call It Stormy Monday

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read Happy Monday, and please stop the world, I want to get off. And no, for a change, I am not talking about global events. Because we raged Thursday. We raged Friday. And yes, we raged Saturday. So instead of drivel by Darwin, today you get (mostly) photos by Portico. I took the picture above last Tuesday ...
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April 19, 2024

Portico Darwin: MasterClass and The Masters Must Be Stopped

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read Happy Friday and today's post may make some long for the days of London Calling. Because one of the founders of the company that produces this blogging platform recently reminded me that there's woke, and then there's Madison Wright and the Psycho Woke. There's no better example of the latter than the ba...
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April 17, 2024

Portico Darwin: A Solution for The Middle East

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read As I consider the Middle East powder keg, I believe the time has come to call in our special agents. But first, please ask yourself: If Israel's laws and policies were imposed on Iran, what would happen? Iran would have rule of law, free and fair elections, minority rights, LGBT rights, etc. If Iran's la...
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April 15, 2024

Portico Darwin: What Wealth Inequality Looks Like

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Editor's Note: I wrote this before Iran attacked Israel over the weekend. Given that, perhaps you will enjoy this diversion. 1 Minute Read Happy Monday, and after yet another Travel Guide and the interminable London Calling, how about something other than my usual textual verbosity? How about some pictures? Like a who...
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April 12, 2024

Portico Darwin: London Calling, The Final Chapter

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 6 Minute Read Happy Friday, and this is the eleventh - and yes, last - installment of London Calling. Preface and Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 We They Did It That's false modesty because I was as critical to the success of this ginormous program a...
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April 11, 2024

Portico Darwin: Bodega Bay Travel Guide

OVERVIEW Sure, I write about this region - the California coast from where we live in SF, north to Mendocino - often. F'ing sue me because if comparison is the death of joy, I am dead. Because I say this part of America, in our beloved California, is as good as it gets. Anywhere. And I'll be damned if I prefer Sonoma, downtown Sonoma, ...
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April 10, 2024

Portico Darwin: The Best Eclipse Blog

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read What was cool about Monday's total eclipse of the Sun was that 1) people I would not have expected to be excited were, and 2) I joined them. All despite not having anything but beautiful - and mostly un-dimmed - sunshine here in SF. So I will put off my usual bullshit and share with you what I was fortun...
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April 8, 2024

Portico Darwin: Now, a Word from Congress

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 4 Minute Read Happy Monday and major thanks to Steven Simon for forwarding this Substack newsletter to me. It was written and published by Jeff Jackson, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina. I am leaving his party affiliation out of this, because I don't care if this guy were Martian: Can ...
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April 5, 2024

Portico Darwin: London Calling, Chapter 10

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 8 Minute Read Happy Friday, and this is the tenth installment of London Calling. Preface and Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Arthur Moves In I don't really know how it worked out, but when we vacated our apartment in SF from May through August, one of my best f...
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April 3, 2024

Portico Darwin: Dumbphones

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read Disclaimer: I fully acknowledge I don't have children and thus can't truly understand the challenges faced in parenting. But what follows makes a lot of sense to this outside observer. Many of us of a certain age vacillate between amusement and disgust at how others of a different, younger age must hold ...
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April 1, 2024

Portico Darwin: Did You Like Reagan?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read Happy Monday. Put simply, I am not in the Saint Ronnie club. You know, the one consisting of those who deify President Ronald Reagan and insist he's in the league of Lincoln or either Roosevelt, to name three of our greatest leaders. I was and remain no fan and blame him for the shift towards socialism f...
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March 29, 2024

Portico Darwin: London Calling, Chapter 9

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 7 Minute Read Happy Friday, and this is the ninth installment of London Calling. Preface and Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Git 'er Done Holy shit, now I had to do it. Planning is one thing, execution is something else. Were we ready? Was I ready? Although we had starte...
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March 27, 2024

Portico Darwin: In Tribute to Francis Scott Key Bridge

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read I am an early riser, and one of the first things I do after pushing the Nespresso button is look at The Economist website to see what's happening. I like its international focus: US news only leads if it's something big. Like a major bridge collapsing; I read this around 4AM PDT yesterday, or a little m...
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March 25, 2024

Portico Darwin: Depart Dallas + Censor Sensibility

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Happy Monday and it's been a whirlwind of a visit to Dallas for your author. Many thanks to cool kid Kevin Monza for a Killer long weekend in the Big D. Let's start the week with a reminder of what freedom of speech means. Elon Musk and those like him who wish to confuse us often distort this Constitutio...
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March 20, 2024

Portico Darwin: London Calling, Chapter 8

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 5 Minute Read A quick note: This morning I depart for Dallas for a long weekend with the Metroplex playboy Kevin Monza, returning on Monday. Micro Travel Guide? Perhaps. But for now, Happy Friday, and this is the eighth installment of London Calling. Preface and Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapte...
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March 20, 2024

Portico Darwin: It Was Allen Dulles

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Here is a warning for any flag-huggers reading this: Today's post contains criticism of the United States. And also a lot of photos. With that out of the way, please consider the following from history. • The Cold War • Psychological and Drug Warfare • Richard Nixon • Media Manipulation • Joseph McCarthy...
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March 18, 2024

Portico Darwin: Writing from A Real Writer

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read Good morning and happy Monday. Sure, I fantasize about being a professional writer, vs. whatever it is you want to call this shit show. But that doesn't mean I don't know what real writing is. As evidence, everyone gets a break today. You from my droning, me from having to pretend I can write. Instead, ...
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