Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | February 19, 2013

Elfin Forest

Elfin Forest

Trees barely overhead in this lovely area between Los Osos and Morro Bay — see With the Sea Beside Me: an intimate guide to California’s central and north coast.

Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | February 10, 2013

Elephant Seals at San Simeon

Elephant Seals at San Simeon

The beach was covered, and we watched a pup being born, Jan. 2013

Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | February 5, 2013

Diablo Canyon Nuke plant

Diablo Canyon Nuke plant

Great hike on Point Buchon Trail, beyond Montana de Oro, along a previously inaccessible section of coast. From Windy Point, a view of the power plant, but they won’t let you get too close.

Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | October 21, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now

Recently, I acquired a pair of Ono’s sunglasses. It’s the Ernest Hemmingway model, polarized, with 100% UV protection, with amber lenses and readers set low in the lens.
I’ve always had cheap sunglasses, the best being a polarized pair I got for just under $30, so these Ono’s were the first high end pair I’ve ever owned. They’re also the first amber lenses I’ve had in years.

That said, what a difference they’ve made. When I put them on for the first time, everything was sharp and clear, without glare, without tiring my eyes.

Rolling down the highway on two wheels, pushing the speed limit, good visibility is a must, and I didn’t realize before that I’d been limiting that visibility. The scenery now speeds by me undistorted. Also, as a side benefit, I like the style.

When I pull over for a bite of lunch, the 2.00 readers help me with the fine print on the menu.

I usually don’t recommend products, but these are a worthwhile investment. Check them out at

Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | October 21, 2011

Trinity Lake in September

Being a bit of an explorer by nature, I don’t find most lakes interesting,. Most are shaped like very large swimming pools, and exploring by kayak or boat means making a big circle. Trinity Lake is a notable exception. This convoluted mountain lake, on Highway 3, in the heart of the Trinity Alps, is a maze of inlets and fingers, dozens or perhaps hundreds of winding water ways to explore.

Obviously, I’m not the first to realize this, as it can be crowded in the summer, with lodging often filled, campgrounds overflowing with kids, bikes and boom boxes, the lake filled with boats. However, during September, after Labor Day, most of the families go back to town, and the weather is still great, perhaps even better, as the day time temperature drops out of the triple digits. With warm days, warm water and nights cool enough to sleep comfortably, September is the ideal time to get away to Trinity.

While the lake stretches for miles along Highway 3, most people come in from the south, through Weaverville, a town worth a stop for some exploration. One of the first, and in my opinion, best places to stay and boat is Trinity Lake Resorts and Marina. This complete resort offers houseboats, deck and speed boats, cabins, a store and a restaurant. This is one of the facilities operated by Forever Resorts, a really first class operation.

The place is easy to find. Drive about 14 miles up Highway 3 from 299 and turn right on Cedar Stock Road at the sign.

General manager, Shannon Smith made us feel like old friends, even though it was our first time. The cabins, if you can call them “cabins,” are two story, with two bedrooms upstairs, a full living room, kitchen, bathroom, spacious living room with dish TV and a large deck, complete with a barbecue, overlooking the lake and marina.

There’s a hard choice to be made here. You can, as we did, stay in a cabin and check out one of their boats for a day cruise, or you can rent a houseboat and wander the lake for days, and it would be easy to spend a week out there, without seeing it all. Since they have slip rentals, you can bring your own boat.

If you’re staying in one of the cabins, you can cook your own meals or wander down to the restaurant for some gourmet meals.

The marina is at the southern end of the lake, and you can follow the main channel up to Trinity Center and beyond, or slip into one of the arms and inlets for some fishing or swimming. You can pick up a map that shows the best places to catch the various species of fish in the lake. But if hiking is your thing, there are roads leading west off Highway 3 to a wide selection of trail heads leading off into the Trinity Alps, some of the most majestic hiking in the state.

In September, with the crowds gone, you might opt to hang out on the deck, watch the wildlife wander by and enjoy the peace and quiet of the deep woods. However you enjoy a vacation, September is a wonderful time to do it, and you’ll find the rates are lower than in high season.

Check the place out at Call them at 530-286-2225 or email them at

Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | October 21, 2011

Trinity Lake Resorts

Trinity Lake Resorts

See: Trinity Lake in September

Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | February 3, 2011

Whatever happened to analytic thinking?

The following quote by Nobel Prize winning scientist, Peter Medawar, speaks ominously to this society at this time.

“The spread of secondary and latterly of tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.”


As a society, we seem to have substituted the boisterous babbling of bewildering balderdash and the relentless ranting of redundant rubbish for clear, analytic discussions.


As Medawar points out, we have many people who are educated and sophisticated in their tastes. However, something has been neglected in their education or in their personal intellectual quest. One thing that seems to be lost is the reflective gap between some event and the assessment of it.


For example, the recent protests in Egypt were immediately proclaimed by some as a great and noble revolution, leading to a new era of democratic government. Others immediately denounced it as an Islamist take over. At this writing, it is too early to tell, but it could end up as either of those, the rise of a new autocrat, a complete break down of government or perhaps some other alternative. The point being, these folks didn’t take a moment to think it through before pontificating on the subject.


Take our current political climate. If you were to plot a graph with the political far right on one end and the far left on the other end of the X axis, and then plotted the amount of analytic thinking on the Y axis, once the American voters were each placed in the appropriate spot, I strongly suspect that we would end up with a bell curve, that is, as you move out to the extremes, the number of analytic thinkers drops off to nearly zip.


Perhaps we’ve learned to harness our thinking into 140 character tweets, or perhaps our educational system is focused only on preparing students to do something, rather than to think deeply about something. Whatever the case, we are inundated with the sound of many intelligent loose cannons.


Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | April 21, 2010

Custom conspiracy theories for nut case groups

Filling imaginary needs has been the key to the Eclectic Press business plan. Recently we’ve identified a definite psuedo-need in our society, and we are rushing eagerly in to fill it. In addition to our other questionable services, we’re introducing something new, something your organization could profit from.

Are you a member of a nut case fringe group? If so, is your group small and unsuccessful? It’s probably because you don’t have a good conspiracy theory. Every highly respected nut case fringe group has a conspiracy theory that captures the imagination and brings in those nut cases who are desperate to belong. And remember, more members mean more dues, so the money you invest will be returned many times over.

Eclectic Press will custom-make a conspiracy theory that fits your group’s unique brand of paranoia. Here’s a brief outline of a scenario we put together for one successful client. “The American Dental Association has been taken over by aliens from outer space, who have snatched the bodies of member dentists. Now, the amalgam they put into your teeth contain miniature transceivers, controlled by the aliens. After everyone has a filling, the aliens will turn humanity into robot worker who will

assemble useless merchandise for the galactic black market. ”

The organization that purchased this conspiracy theory increased their membership from 7 to over 100. We can do the same for you. All you need to do is provide us with some basic information on your group and give us cash. We don’t take checks from nut case fringe groups.

Now, we can’t promise to make you as successful as America’s two biggest nut case groups, the Democratic and the Republican parties. These groups attained mainstream status without losing their quirky, nutty roots through decades of constructing complex and convoluted conspiracy theories. While this level of sophistication takes generations, one of our basic theories should be enough to let you become at least a minor religion.

Just log on to Remember that if you’re nutty enough to think you need a conspiracy theory, you’re nutty enough to pay us money for it.

Posted by: Daily Iconoclast | April 20, 2010

Hello world!

Intellectually, I know what President Obama is doing about reducing nuclear arms is a good thing. Yes I know that nukes are bad, cause lots of destruction and radioactive fallout and all that. But…

You see, there’s a part of me that feels that once I’ve bought something, spent good money on it, I should use it, like the electric blanket that feels like I’m sleeping in a waffle iron. But, what the hell, I can’t return it, so suffer with it for a short time before dumping it.

Well, I spent good money on nukes, as did my parents. In fact anyone who paid taxes from the 1940s through the 1980s paid something toward developing and building nukes. I hope you can see where I’m going with this.

Who knows how many millions or even billions were spent building enough bombs to blow the earth half way to Uranus. And now we have them stacked up, in ICBMs, in silos, perhaps even under our downtowns. In all these years, we’ve only used two of them. Two out of how many thousand? We proved in WW2 how effective these babies are. Put an instant end to the war in the Pacific. And that beautiful mushroom cloud. Remember the final scenes of Dr. Strangelove? Awesome.

But I digress. Now, before we toss all these potent reminders of what a bad ass America really is, we should remind the world again. Our government has identified a number of international bad guys, nasty dictators, genocidal maniacs, political leaders without a sense of humor. Why not, and take a moment to consider this before reacting, drop a few on some really nasty folk?

Perhaps a half dozen of these big 100 megaton fusion bombs, not those wimpy fission firecrackers we used on Japan, would get people’s attention, reminding them to behave or else.

After that, when our state department sends the message, “Don’t slaughter your own people,” they will undoubtedly listen.

So, if I’ve convinced you, write our President and tell him to bomb someone. After all, that’s what made this country great.