Any truth to the rumours that Downtown North parking program will be enforced by Apache helicopters?

Roger that, Delta and there's a Blue Tesla with it's nose in the red, near the corner of Bryant and Poe...

Roger that, Delta and there’s a Blue Tesla with it’s nose in the red, near the corner of Bryant and Poe…

Staff interviewed each firm and found that Serco, Inc. demonstrated the most complete understanding of the Downtown RPP program intricacies based on an evaluation of relevant experience, proposed staffing approach, and proposed technologies, despite the higher cost {$1.5 M} to the City, as discussed further below.

About Serco Inc.: Serco Inc., headquartered in Reston, VA, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Serco Group plc, a $7.5 billion international business that helps transform government and public services around the world. We improve essential services by managing people, processes, technology and assets more effectively. We advise policy makers, design innovative solutions, integrate systems and – most of all – deliver to the public. Our people offer operational, management and consulting expertise in the transportation, business process outsourcing, defense, education, environmental services, facilities management, health, home affairs, information and communications technology, knowledge services, local government, science, and commercial sectors. Serco Inc. has approximately 8,500 employees across the United States and five Canadian provinces. More information on Serco Inc. can be found at

Downtown Pilots, you betcha!

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Moon rising over the Grateful Dead

Santa Clara Fare Thee Well Sunday, 2015

Santa Clara Fare Thee Well Sunday, 2015

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I chose Etkin over Elias, I should have my head examined

Eliane Elias, jazz diva

Eliane Elias, jazz diva

Dr. Amit Etkin, guru of mapping our brains

Dr. Amit Etkin, guru of mapping our brains

Terry and I saw a documentary about Veterans dealing with PTSD, at Cubberley Hall, sponsored by Dr. Amit Etkin and his lab; meanwhile, at Bing Hall Eliane Elias held court with Brazilian piano jazz and voice.

I would prescribe less Seroquel and more Sergio Mendez.

Or how about coming up with a pill that will help politicians and industrialists learn to stop compulsively pushing the war button?

edit to add, edit too sad: meanwhile Washington Post has a page Faces of the Fallen with information on 6,840 Americans in uniform who have died in either Afghanistan or Iraq:

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Palo Alto Perry w. Clyde Jones critter (Bynum, North Carolina)

Lane Wurster took me once to visit with folk artist Clyde Jones, in his Bynum, North Carolina home (Chapel Hill area).

I was at the meeting, and in fact shared a table with ex-Mayor Nancy Shepherd and current Mayor Karen Holman when a workshop produced Palo Alto Perry, a stuffed animal that resembles an actual donkey, in Bol Park, in Palo Alto.

Palo alto Pery (left) and Karen Holman (right)

Palo alto Pery (left) and Karen Holman (right)

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Ann Packer and Superchunk: precision author

Superchunk written though Kathryn remembered him wearing it: What's that...well, he gave her a smile...from her workout and her...doorway, she dropped

Superchunk written though Kathryn remembered him wearing it: What’s that…well, he gave her a smile…from her workout and her…doorway, she dropped

I ran into Nancy Packer the other day; she was taking out the trash and I was leaving my parents’ building via the back door. I always get a little kick talking to this very wise women. She is the mother of two authors I admire: George Packer who wrote “The Unwinding” and Ann Packer, whose books I’ve collected but never quite cracked.

Something recently alerted me to the fact that Ann Packer’s 2011 novel “Swim Back To Me” has the same title as an old Geraldine Fibbers song. Indeed, the book has an indie rock leitmotif and references to The Fibbers, Pavement, The Pixies.

I found an extant copy at Bell’s Books last week and plunked down my 13 bucks. I made a joke to Faith Bell that I could call my apartment “Bells Books West” based on the stacks of books there, many of which I bought there, Palo Alto’s last used book store. I am guessing there are 600 books in my apartment, about 100 of which are stacked on the floor, over-flowing from the four book cases. Forty or so are from Bell’s, I reckon.

Not actually reading “Swim Back to Me” more like skimming — which is sort of like eavesdropping on the table next to you in a relatively noisy cafe — I stopped at page 102 when I saw reference to Superchunk.

Superchunk was originally Chunk and got its name serendipitously (which is very indie) in that original drummer Chuck Garrison got a piece of junk mail addressed to “Chunk Garrison”. Chuck left the band to form Small 23 and was replaced by Jon Wurster. Meanwhile original guitarist Jack McCook of Greensboro, North Carolina and Page High School (literary reference!!!?) left and was replaced by Jim Wilbur. In 1991 I was visiting Rich Durante and Brook Baker Durante when they were in grad school and saw a flyer about a Superchunk show that very night at Cat’s Cradle. Months earlier I had met leaving member McCook in San Francisco based on a call from Jim Yardley his high school and maybe childhood friend asking me to show Jack around. We went by Paradise Lounge which was pretty dead, and Pat O’Shea’s for food and some equally tepid music, and McCook ended up not moving to SF, thanks to me and my lame tours.

happy 51st, JBY

happy 51st, JBY

That night at Cat’s Cradle I was telling somebody that story and they said “McCook has left the band, but he’s here tonite!” so I went and reunited with him and watch the gig side-stage with him. After the show I was introduced to a lady named Tracy who said she could drive me back to Rich’s house after we fetched her boyfriend who was getting off work from Crook’s Corner. On the ride from Crook’s Corner to Rich Durante’s I gave Lane Wurster, the boyfriend and brother of new drummer Jon Wurster a greeting card I had made in Alistair Johnston’s book arts class, a letter press doo-hickey that said Mark Weiss 5752 Jewish New Years Greeting Card in various fonts and Lane and I bonded enough over that the he sent me a Mammoth Records Christmas card, showing their six employees and several Clyde Jones carvings, and then a Cats From Cavender card with pictures of four roommates and their pets. Anyhow, three years after that I started a concert company and five years after that Superchunk played my Earthwise 5th Anniversary show, and Lane and Chris Eselgrowth also while working for Mammoth moonlighted on about 20 or more Earthwise posters.

If I ever meet Ann Packer, like at a reading or the elevator of our parents’ building, I will offer to lend her my Geraldine Fibbers vinyl EP. The Fibbers played Cubberley, with Brian Jonestown Massacre in 1997 or so. Ann Packer is apparently friends with the author Sylvia Brownrigg who was my year at Gunn and I met originally at Fremont Hills elementary.

I mean to amend with more detail on this books use of indie rock and indie rock lyrics, plus a “Packer Primer” listing the three authors’ respective lists.

Ann Packer’s front list title, “The Children’s Crusade”

And the instant matter:

and1: I was thinking of sending word of this to the Superchunk archivist, whoever that might be. In 1999 or so, it must have been, they used to include in their press kit something from Village Voice a sports article that said something about how if Superchunk could stay indie, that the North Carolina basketball stars who entered the NBA draft early could have stayed in the NCAA. Must have been Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter.
andand: Kurt Vonnegut’s breakthru book, “Slaughter House Five” is also known as “The Children’s Crusade”..

To the Editor:

I can’t fathom why Katie Kitamura calls “The Children’s Crusade,” by Ann Packer (April 12), a “curiously polite” novel in which the central confrontation “takes place largely offstage.”

Packer’s story of the Blair family and its four adult siblings grappling with a distant, psychologically scarring mother with the help of a compensating, kind father is one I found beautiful precisely because it’s emotionally intense, at times hauntingly so.

Kitamura writes that in earlier novels Packer “covered more traumatic terrain,” but surely we know by now that among life’s most profound — and traumatic — challenges is a child’s attempt to work out over a lifetime why he or she didn’t merit a parent’s love and attention. The Blair siblings Robert, Rebecca, Ryan and James are drawn exquisitely by Packer in their distinct ways of doing just this.



The writer is the Chancellor professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary.

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Down where the spirit meets the bone


i like the way this blogger uses Bill Frisell as a segue from Lucinda Williams review to Mike Disfarmer, with Birney Imes as a step. We got to this buy viewing a 90-minute video of William Least heat Moon, “Blue highways” the same bloger also wrote of

Originally posted on That's How The Light Gets In:

Lucinda Williams Spirit Bone

Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

Today’s post celebrates a career masterpiece from Lucinda Williams, purveyor of country-soul, rock’n’roll blues – call it what you will – who for the past thirty years has been writing passionate and fiercely confessional songs rich in flawed and broken characters and rooted in the landscape of the American South. I’ll also trace connections between the album and two photographers whose images also portray in intimate detail the landscapes and people of the South.

Lucinda Williams first came to my attention in 1988 when Rough Trade released her eponymous second album of original songs (actually, her third collection, but the first to get any attention over here). Mixing  country, blues, and folk and with a voice all heartache, Lucinda Williams defiantly proclaimed – in the words of one of its stand-out songs – ‘Am I too blue for you?’  Another album highlight was ‘Passionate Kisses’ in which Williams sang that she ‘shouted out to the…

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Taylor Eigsti, Brad Cooper, situation summer, 2015

I heard Taylor Eigsti on the radio yesterday morning, with Alisa Clancy of KCSM and was moved to call in and purchase a pair of tickets for his show Sunday at Filoli in Woodside, featuring Gretchen Parlato, the vocalist. Filoli is not too far from where Tay grew up, in Menlo Park, and he graduated from the Woodside Priory. He lives in New York these days, and is 30.

When Taylor played The Cubberley Sessions, in fall 2000, he had just turned 16. He said in the interview that Smith Dobson had him help teach a class in San Jose when Tay was only 13 or so. He taught at Stanford Jazz workshop as of age 15 or so and is returning, he says, later this summer, to teach, perform, learn (?!) and jam for the 19th time.

The interviewer name-checked Joey Alexander, a 11-year old with a new set on Motema. I would be curious to hear Tay’s impressions of Joey. He would say nice and polite things, I’m sure.

John Shiflett told me that he could sense Tay’s development between the first and second sets at their free show at the Mountain View performing arts center.

Taylor’s mom, Nancy Eigsti told me once that when Taylor was in the crib he would cry if she didn’t put on a Fattburger record which he like to listen to before falling asleep. As in, he had already developed a certain amount of taste, or the ability to distinguish what he knew from something new — we can argue about the merits of that thing. Tay said in the interview that he remembers listening to Marian McPartland show on the radio, imagining someday being on the show, then worrying that she might call out a tune that he didn’t know. He eventually appeared on the show several times, and in fact filled in for Marian at a Filoli gig she had to cancel, purported on his 16th birthday, which would have been September 24, 2000 if we can believe what we read on the internet.

Taylor said that he tours with the Chris Botti band and that Chris jokingly introduces him as “Brad Cooper on piano”. Here are the two photographs, let’s compare.

When Taylor was 16, he looked more like Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, shown here with Gretchen Parlato.

This is the poster from five shows at Cubberley in 2000, including a Taylor Eigsti hit, but I am joking that it looks like Tay and Gretchen. I met her in Philly, once.

This is the poster from five shows at Cubberley in 2000, including a Taylor Eigsti hit, but I am joking that it looks like Tay and Gretchen. I met her in Philly, once.

edit to add: I wonder if Paolo Alderighi appearing at Filoli this summer knows “Palo Alto” by Lee Konitz?

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