Dean Clough

January 9, 2023

Portico Darwin: Are You a Fool, Or What?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Monday, and let's begin the week with some Shakespeare. Naturally. "A fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." While often this blog is little more than a personal trough of self-aggrandizement and documentation of my overly-charmed life, I do occasionally seek and then pass ...
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January 6, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Everest of Guitars

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS (No, I'm not back on my political lectern. And Ukraine is still top of mind. But today is January 6th, among the darkest dates in American history, and a big reason are the people above, who refused to certify Biden's election after the riots at The Capitol 2 years ago today. Kevin McCarthy is there, as are those now ...
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January 4, 2023

Portico Darwin: The Final Nail?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS If you watched this past Monday night's football game, you already know about this. If not, you should be aware a player very nearly died on the field of cardiac arrest after a violent hit, but was brought back to life via CPR over several minutes. As I write this early on Wednesday PST, the player, 24 year old Buffal...
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January 2, 2023

Portico Darwin: Jim Morrison Was Right

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy New Year and face it: it's the dead of winter. But winter in SF is arguably the best time here. Sure, there are storms (and we're having some fabulous rain this season and OMFG do we need it - just not too much too fast, please), but boy, do we have some Chamber of Commerce days, too. In fact, New Year's Day in ...
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December 30, 2022

Portico Darwin: 2022 Darwin Award Winners Special Edition

There are acutally actually no typos in today's post. Without further ado and in response to the clamoring from many (fact check: nobody), here's who will be taking home the prized Portico this year. The award ceremony is very hush-hush and on a need-to-know basis. Trip of The Year ·Ormond Beach · Tupper Lake · Italy & Austria: Lake Ga...
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December 29, 2022

Portico Darwin: Travel Guide 2022 Special Edition!

Yes, more me! As so many have been begging for (nobody, actually), here - hot off the presses - is The Portico Darwin Travel Guide: 2022 While not as vast as last year's, there was still plenty of magic. I hope even a tiny bit is useful to someone out there, and I appreciate any and all feedback, and especially if you try my advice som...
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December 28, 2022

Portico Darwin: Pencil Neck Geeks

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I trust you had a great Christmas. Us? Well, Christmas Day itself was fine, but let's just say all good things must come to an end. After a positively Diamond Certified almost 3 weeks in Hoboken and NYC, it all screeched to a halt when, about 20 minutes before boarding, Alaska Airlines canceled our EWR-SFO nonstop Chr...
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December 25, 2022

Portico Darwin: Metro NYC Travel Guide

OVERVIEW Alright - this is another doozy but it provides new perspective, or at least I hope it does. That's because I am now mostly convinced - barring a short trip and/or having big dollars and wanting to splurge - that the smart people stay in Hoboken, vs. Manhattan proper, on a trip here. There are exceptions - it's not convenient ...
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December 25, 2022

Portico Darwin: Tupper Lake Travel Guide

Tupper Lake is in The Adirondack State Park of New York State, specifically in its famed High Peaks region. It is a superlative amalgam of mountains, forest, lakes, rivers and wildlife, that surround the nice-but-struggling village of Tupper Lake proper. Let me summarize it this way: Julie and I have been fortunate enough to travel to ...
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December 23, 2022

Portico Darwin: An Atheist's Christmas

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS A proud atheist, in fact. But - and let me be clear - I really don't care what you believe or don't believe. Are you fair? Honest? Grateful? Curious? Fun? Productive? GOOD ENOUGH! Please continue with your patronage of your synagogue, church, mosque or whatever it might be. I am 100% on board with anything that makes ...
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December 21, 2022

Portico Darwin: Seamus Colonnity Buy Himself Some Trump NFTs

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Editor's Note: Seamus Colonnity is an occasional visitor here, borrowed from Christopher Buckley's hysterical "Make Russia Great Again: A Novel". Imagine a less intellectual Sean Hannity, and you're getting close. If you need a visual image of the mighty Seamus, here is a good start. Here, the proudly ultra-MAGA Colon...
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December 19, 2022

Portico Darwin: It Was St. Patrick's Day

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS What a weekend. Once the rain stopped late Friday, it was Chamber of Commerce weather combined with Textbook or better everything else. Not sure I could swing the cold or heat or chaos, but there is nothing quite like New York City (and Hoboken), especially now. This was yesterday. Still, many (OK, actually none) have...
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December 16, 2022

Portico Darwin: Ferries and Fairies

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS As you'll see in the upcoming Metro NYC Travel Guide, after walking, the mode of transportation of choice around here, at least for this sailor, is the ferry. So, in a mercifully short post for your Friday, I deem the ferries here in Metro NY as magical and will briefly explain why that's so. First, they're magical. L...
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December 14, 2022

Portico Darwin: Outside Tables and Downside Service

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS What better place from which to pass pretentious and privileged judgement on the entire American restaurant scene than New York City? Because I think we've all experienced, in every location large and small, the overall drop in the quality of service at restaurants. And something happened here this past weekend that h...
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December 12, 2022

Portico Darwin: Prime Polluters

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I should be up front about this: Hoboken, my home until Christmas day, is a veritable adult f'ing Disneyland for someone like me - maybe you, too. Bars. Restaurants. Wine boutiques. Bodegas. Delis. Bagels. JFC there's even a German biergarten a few blocks away with . . . Weissβier! Oh, and there's this place called Ma...
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December 9, 2022

Portico Darwin: Arrive Hoboken + Hall of Joke

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Yeah, baby. A not-too-awful flight in steerage across our big country and we're now wonderfully ensconced in an undisclosed location in happening Hoboken. Pro Tip: I like the Oneworld alliance, of which American and Alaska Airlines are a part. We're flying Alaska both ways, but our American Admiral's Club membership g...
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December 7, 2022

Portico Darwin: Another Plane from Fantasy Island

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS China's problems have gotten so bad, I felt I needed to call in my heavy hitters. So in a twist, it's Mr. Roarke and Tattoo that step out of da plane; once off, they jump in to an electric Waymo that awaits. Without a word or a driver, the car transports them to a discreet resort, high in one of the world's most treas...
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December 5, 2022

Portico Darwin: Leave The Writing To Us?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Monday and let's turn our attention to the gee-whiz world of AI - artificial intelligence - and take a look at a tool that uses it in a way that I find quite disturbing. At least as someone that loves to write the old-fashioned way. You know, with my own brain and emotions. The tool is called Lex, and via its cl...
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December 2, 2022

Portico Darwin: The One About The Kinks & Generation Gaps

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Today - shocker - I will reflect back on a part of my life about which I'd like to brag. But it's also kind of fun and a generational story. too. It is also 100% KLUF. It's about when I saw Ray Davies of The Kinks, in London, while I was working there in 1998. Indeed, future blog posts may recount further highlights o...
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November 30, 2022

Portico Darwin: Watch the Watch

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I guess some would call me materialistic. Alright, everyone would, but that's OK, because I know I try to temper that with appreciation and gratitude. Seriously. And there's nothing I own for which I have more appreciation or gratitude than an Omega watch that I inherited from my late father, Bill. It is a 1971 Seamas...
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November 28, 2022

Portico Darwin: Conic Boom

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I trust you had a great holiday weekend. Thanksgiving is easily one of the best times of the year in America, and nowhere more so than here in SF - the peace and quiet are wonderful. In between the wanton piss-ups. But now, we must go back to reality. Because the FTX meltdown is something. It's like Enron or WorldCom,...
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November 25, 2022

Portico Darwin: 2022 Darwin Award Nominees!

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS First, a belated Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you had as much fun as we did. But it's also another time of the year, one you've no doubt been eagerly anticipating. Delusions of grandeur! Fake awards for real things! Yes, it's time for the nominees for the 2022 Portico Darwin Awards! Let's take a look at this year's cate...
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November 23, 2022

Portico Darwin: Just a Second

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Let's go into Thanksgiving with the right mindset. I heard this not too long ago and it really puts the whole wealth and greed thing into a new frame of reference. Call me a simpleton raised near a meat packing plant, but a million dollars still seems like a decent amount of money to me. Yet, I observe aghast as 1BR/1...
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November 21, 2022

Portico Darwin: New News

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Thanksgiving Week Monday, made extra special this year by The World Cup occurring simultaneously. Sportswashed or not, and even without beer, it is an amazing exhibition of sport on the grandest scale. But here, away from the desert and certainly not without beer, I'll say that, if Keith Raniere hadn't ruined th...
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November 18, 2022

Portico Darwin: The Worst Cars

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS You know, I got a lot of push back on the elite nature of my recent post on electric cars. OK, I actually got zero push back, but I need something to justify this list. Because today, I give you the worst cars that I am aware of. I'm talking the real f'ing dogs of the automotive world. I share my own run-in with a bad...
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November 16, 2022

Portico Darwin: Sportswashing, Qatar Style

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I have wanted to write something more about sportswashing for a while. I've touched on LIV Golf before, and that's certainly one example of an awful country (Saudi Arabia) attempting to freshen its tainted reputation via sports. But there's also the sportswashing facilitated by the Olympics and Formula 1; both have be...
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November 14, 2022

Portico Darwin: Now, a Poem

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Recently, I've doubled down on gratitude, cut my news and social media intake, and tried to tame my anxiety. And to make it worse, I've written about it here. Yet, when you thought I couldn't get any more goofy, today, to start your week, I give you a poem. Actually, it's a poem my wife gave me at a low point a few ye...
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November 11, 2022

Portico Darwin: SF is The Best! SF is The Worst!

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Friday. Re: the mid-term elections. My major reduction in news intake and social media means I have little to say that hasn't likely already been said by the pundits I'm no longer reading. You're so very welcome. I will make one comment (shocker) though. Remember that most anything Trump touches, he ruins. Maybe...
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November 9, 2022

Portico Darwin: Music, The Origin Story

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I will defer commenting on the mid-term elections until after the dust settles. Plus, after Monday's Debbie Downer of a blog, we need to lighten it up. And what the heck could be lighter than me providing - with cover art and links to the music - the first 3 albums I ever owned? These records were the beginning of wha...
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November 7, 2022

Portico Darwin: Like Taxes

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS OK - I am sorry to start the week with such a dark subject. But as you know, I occasionally share things in their entirety that I find unusually profound and/or informative. Sometimes even challenging things. I'm doing that today, but jeez, please do NOT read anything tragic or awful in to this. I am fine, as is Julie...
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