Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.
September 8, 2023

Portico Darwin: Writers & Actors Should Settle Right Now

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read It is a Friday, a day when many look forward to a couple of days of not working. Except for those that aren't working in the first place. You know: People like the ever-vacationing Hunter Deuce, me, and all of the writers and actors in Hollywood and elsewhere that are presently on strike. It is that last...
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September 6, 2023

Portico Darwin: This Is What I Mean

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 4 Minute Read Hello Wednesday and it's great being retired. And also lazy, well-informed, and the editor of my own blog. Huh? Because I can decide to simply re-publish a brilliant article from my beloved Economist magazine as a post. Many of my whines about America stem from our refusal to learn from Europe; increasin...
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September 4, 2023

Portico Darwin: Not Your Average Sound System

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read Happy Monday of Labor Day, and what says "holiday weekend" more than a description and review of a recent sound system I installed? OK, virtually anything, but at least it involved "labor." As you might recall, not long ago, I went to Houston to install the WiFi and A/V at Dr. Shelly Murphy's new ginormo...
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September 1, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Rock Albums

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read (+ endless hours of listening) So many have asked (actually, absolutely nobody has asked), "Portico, what rock albums have meant the most to you? Not necessarily your opinion on the best, but what albums could you not shut up about, upon discovery?" Here they are. This is not my list of the greatest albu...
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August 30, 2023

Portico Darwin: Book Bans and You

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <2 Minute Read Say hello to hump day. As we observe the Presidential candidacy of Ron DeSantis, the Republican Governor of Florida, implode, it is useful to consider his pandering on culture war issues in his state. And some of his worst bootlicking has been providing cover for those who want to ban particular books i...
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August 28, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Hotel SOPTOC Chain - Short Stays

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Happy Monday, and let's make it interesting. If you've been following along at home, you know I've started putting out my (fantastical) ideas regarding addressing homelessness and lawlessness. I've put it all under the umbrella of Soft on People, Tough on Crime, or SOPTOC. I contend that if we make it ea...
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August 25, 2023

Portico Darwin: World Leader Pretend

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <2 Minute Read Welcome to Friday. I followed through on what I said to Hunter Deuce: I didn't watch Wednesday night's Republican National Committee debate. What follows is all I've read or heard on the subject; it is from The Economist's daily news briefing yesterday. “Eight presidential hopefuls tussled in the Republ...
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August 24, 2023

Portico Darwin: Paso Robles Travel Guide

OVERVIEW We were only here for 3 days, but holy smokes, did we see and do a lot in this easily Diamond Certified area. Diamond Certified for so many things beyond fine wine, which of course we guzzled, too. We visited rad places in and outside of Paso Robles, stayed on a swank ranch in Templeton, went to a wacky museum and even crazier...
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August 23, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Ethos of Neil Peart

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 4 Minute Read Happy Wednesday. Upon our triumphant return from Paso (yes, yes - a Travel Guide is coming soon), I finished the last few pages of Neil Peart's excellent book, "Roadshow: Landscape with Drums." It is appropriately subtitled "A Concert Tour by Motorcycle," as it documents the late Rush drummer's decision ...
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August 21, 2023

Portico Darwin: Depart Paso Robles + 90s Movies!

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read + A Lot of Binge Watching Happy Monday and greetings from gorgeous Paso Robles. The upcoming Travel Guide will spell it out in all of its Diamond Certified splendor, but for now, here are a couple of tidbits to tide you over. I will say this: Mighty Mississippi played like their last gig was 5 or 6 days...
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August 18, 2023

Portico Darwin: Arrive Paso Robles & Mighty Mississippi

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read OK - let's get right into another long rant about Trump, and the lack of highspeed rail in the US. I will also work in more complaints (or brags!) about SF. Kidding! And happy Friday. Around noon today we are off on a highly-anticipated trip, and one almost certain to be immortalized in a proper Travel ...
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August 16, 2023

Portico Darwin: It Was The U.S. Senate

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read I know, I know: I've regressed and have been writing about policy, if not politics (OK, maybe some politics, too) quite a bit lately. You can blame the United States Senate. Because hopefully we've now come to the final chapters in one of America's worst stories: the criminal melodrama of Donald J. Trump...
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August 14, 2023

Portico Darwin: Platforming

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 4 Minute Read For the record, I am thrilled President Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to further investigate the dodgy Hunter Biden. If Hunter did something illegal, he should be prosecuted. If the criminality involved his father, so be it - he should be impeached and removed from ...
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August 11, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Numbers Are In . . .

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read . . . and they are ugly. Happy Friday, and my apologies in advance for sharing this rather sobering information ahead of your weekend. But Gallup - the polling company - has been doing a big annual survey for 20 years now of how Americans feel on a variety of topics, and the results merit your attention....
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August 9, 2023

Portico Darwin: Barbieland is Real and That's Not Good

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 4 Minute Read I mentioned on Monday that we saw Barbie this past Sunday. My God is Margot Robbie f'ing hot. There, that's the post. No, that's wrong. In actuality, she's really f'ing hot, but that's still not what today is about. Since Sunday, I've had a chance to consider 3 different, but related, inputs, and - shock...
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August 7, 2023

Portico Darwin: The End of Everything

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Happy Monday, and how about a touch of Debbie Downer? You can thank the demise of college football's Pacific 12 Conference for the inspiration. Because lately, I've been thinking quite a bit about things that used to be, yet are no longer. Or still are, but rendered irredeemably Bogus. While it is sad fo...
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August 4, 2023

Portico Darwin: Soft Power and You

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 1 Minute Read + 8 Minute External Article Here's something to ponder for the weekend. I came across this interesting article from Foreign Affairs Magazine about the United Kingdom's British Broadcasting Corporation, the legendary BBC. I share it today as a reminder of the importance of a nation's soft power. For an ex...
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August 2, 2023

Portico Darwin: Branding Can Hurt

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Let's call this Worst Wednesday. Because today is about the two worst branding decisions I have personally witnessed. And I'm almost 60, FFS! Disclaimer: I am no branding, or even marketing, expert. But by now, you must know there's no correlation between my expertise and my popping off on a given subjec...
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July 31, 2023

Portico Darwin: 1970s SoCal

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read + Great External Stuff Happy Monday. Today's post is short, so at least there's that. I love to write, and I remain amazed by its inspiration. Like today. As you may have heard, a founding member of The Eagles, Randy Meisner, passed on. And there you are - a blog. Meisner's death, and one of my favorite...
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July 28, 2023

Portico Darwin: The One Where I Complained The Most

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <4 Minute Read Happy Friday. Julie and I live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in SF. And with all due modesty, that also (still) implies the world. This is down the street one block. Sorry, but it's true. Which begs the question: how on Earth can a man talk about Xanadu and paradise and winning lotteries and gratit...
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July 26, 2023

Portico Darwin: You are in Section 230

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <3 Minute Read A hump day in the middle of summer? What better time for a dry policy discussion! And on the topic of Section 230 to boot! Try to calm your excitement and pay attention, because the adjustments I propose (really, stole, from Scott Galloway) below to this regulation could largely clean up social media. O...
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July 24, 2023

Portico Darwin: Depart Mendocino (Xanadu)

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 2 Minute Read + a 13 minute (!) song Actually, this is probably more appropriately entitled "My Most OCD Blog Post Yet". Why? Because our destinations this weekend, Mendocino and personal Happy Place Anderson Valley, are not unlike paradise, and are a big muse. I have visual evidence. We depart in a couple of hours to...
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July 21, 2023

Portico Darwin: Depart SF + Why I Hate Cars

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <3 Minute Read + Links Happy Friday. Tomorrow, we leave for a minibreak to the magic of Mendocino, and we're going with Ol' Purple Label and her hubby, K. Helmsley Garfinkel. A visit to the Portico Darwin Happy Place Anderson Valley is a given, so I'm already getting jacked. Indeed, I like the region so much, there's ...
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July 19, 2023

Portico Darwin: RIP, Anchor Brewing?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 3 Minute Read Not many here saw this coming. Anchor Brewing, an SF institution forever and the makers of our beloved Steam beer, looks like it is going away. Its corporate parent since 2017, the Japanese brewing giant Sapporo, announced last week they are closing it down. I have a couple of personal notes, and then I'...
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July 17, 2023

Portico Darwin: Introducing Catherine Carats

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS 4 Minute Read In case you haven't noticed (and given that I rarely shut up about it, how could you not?), I have been on a personal quest of sorts since retiring. A part of it has been to develop more patience and also to temper my volatility when things aren't as I wish. Please: laughing doesn't help. But for your en...
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July 14, 2023

Portico Darwin: US National Parks, My Way

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <2 Minute Read As you may have noticed, I was recently in Houston. And I was thinking: what is the opposite kind of place, in terms of just about everything? A US National Park. So now, as a service (and for a reason to show fun photos) to my readers, I bring you some great information about what Ken Burns rightly dee...
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July 12, 2023

Portico Darwin: Depart Houston + Someone Needed a Refresher

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <1 Minute Read + More at Link I had a typically pithy piece teed up for today about National Parks, and how they remind me of Houston (!). I leave in a few hours after a very successful trip, at least in terms of the installation. You can count on a future article where I sing the praises of the bonkers Monitor Audio ...
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July 10, 2023

Portico Darwin: For Going Outdoors

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <2 Minute Read Happy Monday. Let's put it this way: where I am and what I am doing is the polar opposite of going outdoors to a picnic or festival. Because you can't really go outside: I'm in Houston and it's July 10. I'm staying at the rapidly-emptying Murphy Villa, yet spending a lot of time at the new-to-Shelly and...
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July 7, 2023

Portico Darwin: Arrive Houston + Why I Say We Can Do Better

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <4 Minute Read In a couple of short hours, I'll be ensconced up front on a nonstop to balmy Houston. Dr. Shelly Murphy has beckoned: it's time to install the tech in her swank, freshly-remodeled and ginormous - shocker - condo. So how about a Friday free of my drivel, as I jet off to a land of big hats and bigger bugs...
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July 5, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Front Desk at Hotel SOPTOC

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS <3 Minute Read Phew. Time to towel off from that shower I'm sure you needed after Monday's post. The navel gazing ends (for now) and I return to envisioning a better world, no matter how far-fetched the ideas. Because today, I would like to add to my thoughts about being Soft on People and Tough on Crime, as a general...
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