Click covers for info. Copyright (C) Rudy Rucker 2021.

Seventy Five

I turned 75 on March 22, 2021. Here’s some photos relating to that, and to other things, also some text about the images. No special theme today.

Georgia and Isabel came into town to join Rudy Jr for my party. We swung by the De Young Museum in SF to see the Calder and Picasso show. I like this silhouette with Rudy in a trucker hat and his twin daughters in the background with Georgia.

The party was in our back yard, the day before my birthday. Sylvia and the daughters and granddaughters put together a great display of streamers and balloons. Like being 11 again, but with better decorations. I got giant 7 and 5 balloons…clutching them here.

Naturally one of the big balloons, the 5, got away and and flew into the sky. Always interesting to watch a helium balloon dwindle. Especially such an asymmetric shape. Mild concern about where the balloon will land.

Back in 1979, when we were living in Heidelberg for two years, we found a balloon with a message from a family in East Germany, longing for contacts in the West, and we wrote them a letter and got one back.

One of the grandkids propped up her mother’s cell phone and got a nice cheerful photo of the group. So many people. I used to just be one person. Pater familias. It’s been a long road, and I’m grateful I made it this far.

Naturally I loved this torus balloon—the torus shape has always intrigued me. And with a streamer-ribbon going through it, yes, like some kind of subdimensional particle diagram.

After awhile the kids and grandkids started screwing around with the ribbons and balloons and streamers, knotting them into an intricate shape which, again, made me think of low-level spacetime phase space diagrams, and the diagrams Stephen Wolfram is using in his new models of consciousness. But shiny and colorful. I’m going to try and do a painting that takes off on this image.

We went to Four Mile Beach in Santa Cruz with Georgia, Isabel, and her husband Gus on the actual day of my birthday. When Georgia is happy and out in nature, she sometimes does this thing of holding out her arms and whirling them, as if “winding up space,” as she puts it, reeling some of it in, savoring how much room there is.

I like this rock with the mussels on it. Like hair, or a cap, and the boulder is a face partially buried in the sand. I feel like this when I wake up too early.

And here’s Isabel with her beloved dog Rivers who, in many ways, resembles a slightly larger version of our old family dog Arf, who we got as puppy in Virginia, and who moved out to California with us.

I drove a large rental van with all our stuff in it. Arf and one of the kids rode with me in the van every day, the kids taking turns day by day. And the other two kids would ride in our old “Purple Whale” station wagon that we were initially so proud of when we bought it used. Yup at last!

But when we got to California, the Purple Whale was no kind of classy car at all. We had to raise the level of our game.

I love our back yard. I was fertilizing and adding dirt and compost to this lawn for about six weeks, getting ready for my party. Like an old man, actually caring about my lawn, crazy.

That funny tree stub holds up our cable link to the outside world: streaming TV and the Internet. The rest of the tree died and we had it hauled away, but we kept the stub because it’s more organic than a post.

The top looked kind of…sawed-off, so I put a cute birdhouse on the top, not that any of the local birds are interested in it. But it makes a nice design. The cables and power lines are nice too, their angles. This little spot is where I always paint. My studio.

Rudy Jr’s company ISP company Monkeybrains continues to prosper. I have a cool warped mug I like to use, designed by Rudy. Every so often it wears out or breaks, and then I order a new one from somewhere on the web…I don’t know where, that part of my memory is unnecessary, as it’s locatable online. Offloading parts of my brain to the Web.


The oranges and bananas are really good this time of year. These are great travel fruits, in that they come with a wrapper. Still lifes of fruit…a motif that never dies. And, humble and ordinary as they are, good for yet another nice photo. The richness of the colors.

Sylvia and I took a walk in this spot we like on a saddle ridge in Almaden Quicksilver Park. I love this one oak with either eight or eleven trunks, depending which of us you ask. And there’s Sylvia’s hat.

And Sylvia wearing the hat, very glam.

An old horse or cow trough near the branching oak. So elemental, iron and water in a rectilinear frame. And the reflections and the stuff you see under the water!

Having spent some time teaching Computer Graphics, I have huge respect and awe for the ongoing realtime ultra hires graphical “computations” that nature performs. Working in parallel. Not “working,” actually. Just being.

Another day I went walking at the south end of the (now nearly empty) Lexington Reservoir. I wear plastic Keen sandals and walk in the stream. Really great weeds in this shot, so twisty, and they were moving in the rather stiff breeze. The gentle, feathery quality of the fronds up top.

Kind of a 1/x curve here, this svelte log over the stream. With a little thought and guile, I’m still able to find spots near home that don’t have a lot of people in them, although it’s harder than it used to be, as we’re all cooped up and looking for a place to romp.

I see this as an alchemist’s lab shot. The eggs, emblems of life, being treated in ramekins of potent, colored elixirs. Easter is about magic. Birth is magic. Death incredible. My friends are dropping like flies. Thank you, God, for giving me another Easter.

Trad shot of an old photographer’s shadow, long in the setting sun. Getting O-L-D!

This photo is utterly cool, like of a UFO. I think it’s from among some fishing cottages near the harbor of Bergen in Norway; we were there a long time ago, like five years, odd this photo has been waiting in the batter’s cage all this time, it’s a beaut.

This is the part of the post where I switch over to older photos. I save a list of my better photos in the bottom of the document where I create my blog posts, and I paste in the photo links with new text to make a post. And I kind of want to clear out the older photos that are waiting around. My back pages. So I’m dealing down a few.

We miss travel so very much. I was talking to my old pal Jon Pearce today, walking in the redwoods Fall Trail near Felton, and he said something about feeling depressed about life being, after all, fairly routine and mundane, and usually there are trips to pin onto it, to dress it up, and make it seem exciting, but not now, with US citizens banned from every country in Europe except Iceland and Albania.  Maybe I can go to Mexico City soon?

I used to play with this ball a lot when I was working on my novel Return to the Hollow Earth. Another FMIHTSP = Fucking Masterpiece I Had To Self-Publish. Fmihtsp.

Where did this image from? It’s the subway in Washington DC. I was thinking of this image when I wrote the chapter “Juicy Ghost” of my latest novel Juicy Ghosts. Or come to think of it, maybe that chapter should be called ‘Treadle’s Inauguration,’ and the novel should be called Juicy Ghosts. Possibly Nightshade will take it—they put out ten of my books last year. Or I’ll find some other publisher for this labor of love, written in my old-master-type late style, but, hey, I’m 75 and my sales are in the toilet, especially with Covid closing all the bookstores, so we’re maybe looking at another FMIHTSP.

Some elegant representatives of the SF-reading public I long to reach! Encountered these spirited ladies at con, maybe it was in San Jose, couple of years ago. Back when there were events and crowds. Maybe none of them had ever heard of me, but they let me grab the shot anyway. Basically anyone at a con in a costume wants to be photographed.

Hitting the Santa Cruz beaches a lot these days. This is by the lighthouse on the Seabright Beach, where they have a several hundred large tetrahedral concrete shapes like children’s’ jacks. Each of them has a number, which I like. As if each atom had an ID number. I’ve always wondered how they got these huge things in place. Note also the WARNING sign. So bogus, to pitch everything as dangerous. Panic at all times! Never relax! Eternal vigilance is the price of life.

This is me working on a novel or a story, maybe it was “Everything is Everything,” which appeared in Rob Penner’s now sadly departed Big Echo. I wasn’t yet into the final push on Juicy Ghosts (formerly known as Teep). This shot was August, 2020, with the Covid still ramping up. Sitting at a cafe near the bay with Sylvia, happy to have my scrap of text to revise. I’m generally happy when I’m writing. Now that I finished the novel, I’m holding my breath waiting to see if I’ll sell or self-pub it, and I’m not ready to write, and I miss it. But I’m painting.

Another golden memory, the day the sky turned orange…was that before the plague or during it? Hard to keep time straight. All the months the same. Always Sunday. Always garbage day. No trips. No friends.

The day the sky turned orange, yeah, that was fall, 2020, we were in Cruz, we’d gone down there for a break from the plague lock-down, that’s right, spent a night in at the Sea and Sand motel, and the fucking sky was orange from the wild fires. A tourist from LA asked me, “Is the weather always like this up here?”

Epic crop of bird of paradise plants this summer. Love these things. So extraterrestrial.

Another souvenir of Norway. I love this icon. And see the big ship? We rode on one of those a little bit.

My friend Gunnar is from Norway. He’s about ten  years older than me, about 85. I haven’t seen him in months. He’s a wise man, enlightened, great aura, deeply into the One. He’s lying low in an ashram on Mount Madonna. I wonder if we’ll ever go walk in the stream at the south end of Lexington Reservoir again.

Too many goodbyes at my age, not enough hellos. But at least I’m here! With my family. And a nice party. Photo by Isabel. Thanks, dear ones.

3 Responses to “Seventy Five”

  1. Michael H. Says:

    Thanks for the update, Rudy. Time flies. A very happy belated B-day. I was wondering how you were doing and have been missing your pictures.

  2. geebert Says:

    Twas a grand party for a grand gent! lol! Like how many times you say “OLD” in your above blog post. You’ll always be young at heart! Love ya.

  3. Failrate Says:

    Well, here’s hoping you pick up new friends to supplement the old. Plus, little simulations of them live in your neural net, just like little simulations of you live in the minds of the people who know you. We are the lifeboxes of the people we love ( 😉 or hate).

Rudy's Blog is powered by WordPress