Dean Clough

January 28, 2022

Portico Darwin: Depart Ormond By The Sea + Rocco Pacelli

Let me begin by poking at the hypocrite police out there.  I'd love for you to read and then fall all over yourself about my LinkedIn post yesterday.  Commercial over.  For a few minutes, at least.

It's been a nicely chill week here, in more ways than one.  The weather, except for a glorious Sunday and Monday, has been cold and rainy and windy and really just awful.  It will make my upcoming Travel Guide all the shorter, so there's that. 

And I won a race!  Here I am on the podium during Tuesday's VIP Tour of the famous racetrack.

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More photos?  Well, of course there are more photos.

We will keep it somewhat car-oriented as I recount for you now a story that happened this week in a bar here in Ormond By The Sea.  If you can get over the shock of me being in a bar during a bachelor week, I think you'll find this story interesting, if not awful.

I had mostly the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rocco "Rocky" Pacelli (no Portico Darwin wit there - that's his real name) and his wife Carol at my local while here, The Seadrift Sports Bar & Grill.  They are retired, live in Pittsburgh, but jump in their luxe RV for 3 or 4 months and head to Florida during the winter.  Rocky is a mechanical engineer and owned a tool and die manufacturing company in Pittsburgh for 35 years.    He's also a car guy, and regaled me with stories of his cherished Corvettes, both convertibles; the one not pictured was a blue '69 - in mint condition and completely unrestored.  Rocky and his wife were very pleasant, and clearly successful - I mean, he has a lift in his custom garage!  Paging Andy Jones!


The conversation finally led to me, and they asked where I am from.  I said San Francisco, and we chatted about how Julie and I have lived there for 30 years, love it, but that we're going through a rough patch as a city right now.  I then revisited a recent topic in this newsletter, and said something to the effect of:

"You know, I am what most people call a 'liberal', but I'm really more of a centrist, and the wacky progressives in SF really take it too far.  In fact, Rocky and Carol, I bet that you and I would agree on most things.  Just because I say the election was not stolen, and Trump did not win, does not mean I'm aligned with AOC or the nuts we have at home."

Rocky and Carol's mood changed in an instant.  Rocky said "Well, we may agree on some things, but we don't agree that Trump lost the election."

I mumbled something about the weather, paid my bill, and ran home.

A reminder to everyone that sees this:  Rocky Pacelli is wrong.  Trump lost the election, and it was the most transparent and investigated in our history.  I again will post the link to the definitive Associated Press article on the matter.  I almost sent it to Rocky - I have his email address - but I will let it go.

AP News:  Far Too Little Fraud to Tip Election

For the record, in an exhaustive study, the AP found a grand total of 475 ballots nationally where there were legitimate issues.  475, and not all were even cast for Biden.

Gosh, the damage Trump did with his Big Lie is awful.  We can disagree on policy, but we can't disagree on facts.

Always one to seek common ground, Elizabeth "Polly" Michaels sought to make peace between her son, the biosciences wunderkind and social media hypocrite watchman Raymond Michaels, and me, by tugging at my heartstrings with an old photo.  It worked.  And I seem to recall the boy genius already speaking and reading at this point . . .


But it's not all unicorns and rainbows.  Maybe this guy should stick to his knitting and sell some houses?   I agree with many of Hunter Deuce's sentiments - I raised a lot of them in my original post - but I think he'll be proven wrong in the long run.

"I really hope Charlie gets to see some money from this NFT business.  I really do - his art is pretty spectacular. 

But my take on the NFT business is this - it's manufacturing scarcity.  That's all it is.  It's like buying a bottle of shampoo at Walgreen's and then hanging the receipt on the wall.  And using a shit-ton of energy to produce. 

Will some people make money?  Probably.  (But) I think there are going to be a lot of people who are going to wind up regretting getting into this whole business." 

Hmm.  The art market in general is nothing if not an orgy of fake scarcity.  And that party has been going on for centuries.  And creating scarcity is the central business of DeBeers, would you not agree? 

And, your point doesn't really hold water when you consider that Charlie has insisted from the beginning that each NFT we do include the original, signed painting.  Painted works by him are, by definition, scarce, no?

But Hunter got it right on at least one thing, and that is that Charlie's art is pretty spectacular. 

I never tire of this work, this photo, its story, and where it is exhibited.  This is Clufffalo:  Art Omi, in the New York State Museum, in my hometown of Albany.  Here's a link to a PDF of a gorgeous catalog that explains this stunning work and its history.

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Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

In honor of the freak show that is Central Florida, here is an album that was just on my "Best of All Time" list.  Check out song 2 for the freak show reference, and all of the other kick-ass tunes from Widespread Panic's titanic "Til The Medicine Takes".


Or since it's Central Florida, should it be "Til The Methamphetamine Takes"?

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.