Dean Clough

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...
Read more
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...
Read more
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...
Read more
November 4, 2022

Portico Darwin: Diamond Certified Electric Cars

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS A while back, I advocated an electric future, powered by - yes - nuclear power. And we need that, in large part, because of our reliance on dinosaur ruins for, oh, I don't know, forever? Cars, anyone? While I will always wish we hadn't built our world around cars, the fact is, we did, and cars are here to stay for the...
Read more
November 2, 2022

Portico Darwin: The One About Bowling

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS OK, I know. A post about bowling, bowling shows, famous bowlers and bowling alleys seems a little extreme. Well, I like to live life on the edge. And is there anything edgier than bowling? What drove today's ridiculous topic was this, an article from not too long ago saying that the last bowling alley in my hometown o...
Read more
October 31, 2022

Portico Darwin: The Musk of Trump Hammers Pelosi

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS At least in part, you can blame the East Bay hipster Kevin Monza for this. Today's post was to be a really fun one on bowling; but that will have to wait. My apologies. Because on Friday, Mr. Monza pretty much demanded a comment of some sort on the crazy-town attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of U.S. Representative a...
Read more
October 28, 2022

Portico Darwin: What Retired People Do

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS One question I'm asked often (especially on Fridays) is "What is the meaning of life, Portico Darwin?" Actually, no one ever asks me that. Instead, it's more like "How do you fill all of those lonely, empty hours in retirement?" Or, if it's someone pleasant: "Where do you get the super cool old photos you use in the b...
Read more
October 26, 2022

Portico Darwin: Office Buildings Are The New Pyramids

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Disclaimer: what follows was greatly influenced by thisIn Plain English podcast, and specifically, the research done by the guest on that episode, Nicholas Bloom. A lot of what I say below is backed up by the cold, hard research done by Bloom and his fellow brainiacs. Their stuff is at WFH Research. With that out of t...
Read more
October 24, 2022

Portico Darwin: Where Oil Comes From Sucks

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Monday and am I the only one pissed at Saudi Arabia? First, we've put up with their anti-Semitic and misogynistic bullshit - forever. Then, there was their involvement in that little ol' thing we call 9/11. A bit later came MBS and his penchant for killing those that protest him . . . killing those that protest ...
Read more
October 21, 2022

Portico Darwin: What Clinical OCD Looks Like

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS My recent post on my life as told via Esquire covers may have struck you as a bit strange. Today's is worse. Or at least obsessive and probably also compulsive. But at least it might give you something to do this weekend, apart from reading books. And perhaps some will see the method in my madness. In fact, you probab...
Read more
October 19, 2022

Portico Darwin: What Price Diamond Certification?

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Is this a rant about inflation? I don't think so. Complaints from a dinosaur? Maybe, but this impacts young and old alike. Because today is about how a lot of things I (probably you, too, if you're reading this) enjoy have gotten much more expensive, in some cases prohibitively so. OK, I can hear it now: "Cry me a riv...
Read more
October 17, 2022

Portico Darwin: More Dr. Phil (Darwin)

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Monday. Let me start your week with a suggestion, in case you're still deciding what to do this Fall. You're welcome, and with that out of the way . . . I was humbled (it's true) by the feedback I got regarding my post on gratitude, and the story behind it. That blog, the one about lowering my news and social me...
Read more
October 14, 2022

Portico Darwin: Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Friday. If you don't care about sports, you can safely blow off TODAY'S RAMBLINGS. But don't miss FROM THE UNWASHED MASSES or KLUF. My Giants finished in a .500 shade of gray, after 107 wins last year. Our beloved - and champion - Warriors are in turmoil. Yet - despite it all - we still have it very good here in...
Read more
October 12, 2022

Portico Darwin: My Esquire Covers!

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS This is the first in a series of pointless - and I mean really f'ing pointless - posts. Pointless? Well, upcoming editions will be about the 13 most recent albums by a band few know of, and another, a complete list of the fake names that I've used in this blog since its inception. See what I mean? They are harmless di...
Read more
October 10, 2022

Portico Darwin: Yes Nukes!

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Happy Monday. Long-time readers know that I 1) occasionally simply repeat an article or podcast from somebody smarter than I, on a subject in which I am (and hope you will be) interested, and 2) love the Freakonomics podcast. Well, what do you know? Today I'm combining the two and pushing a subject whose time I think ...
Read more
October 7, 2022

Portico Darwin: Get Off My Vineyard

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS Today's blog about wine tasting might be corked. You'll see. But you do have to first skim this PDF. It is a very useful list of what our local paper, The San Francisco Chronicle, deems "the most beautiful wineries in Napa and Sonoma". Wow - those are some bold words. But: the fact is, The Chronicle has always had a r...
Read more
October 5, 2022

Portico Darwin: No (Less) News is Good News

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS I am going to run with a complement - backhanded as it may have been - from the senior media critic Max "Madras" Ryder. In response to my recent tongue-in-cheek (but only kind of) essay about our travails in first class on a EuroCity train, Max was nothing but sweetness. “Oh, you don’t realize how amusing that little ...
Read more
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

See more posts »