Showing posts from July, 2004

Stupid Meter Maid Tricks

Chapter 1 A couple of weeks ago I was driving towards Cannery Row. I turned off of Lighthouse into the left lane of Foam. For those unfamiliar with the area, Foam is a two lane one way street. Traffic was heavy that day, as it usually is on summer weekends. As I turned onto Foam, traffic came to a dead stop. I could see some yellow flashing lights ahead, and as I slowly crept forward I saw it was a meter maid cart. The meter maid wasn't writing a ticket, she was just talking to someone. Her cart was blocking traffic. People in the left lane were trying to get around her, but were having trouble due to heavy traffic in the right lane. This meter maid was clearly oblivious to the fact that she had two lanes of traffic backed up for almost two blocks. Sensing that, I decided to let her know, so as I passed I rolled down my window and said "You're gumming up traffic." All she needed to do to solve the problem was to move into one of several empty parking spaces a few fe

I'm still here.

Its has been awhile since I checked in with my two (that I know of) regular readers. Rest assured, I'm still here. John Hartford had a song wherein he describes in witty verse a series of calamities. He cheerfully concludes each verse by singing "...but I'm still here." And so am I. So many things on my mind, and so little time to share them. The reason for my absence from this journal was a co-worker on paternity leave, suffering from twins. That left just two or us to run a place that will soon require four if business keeps picking up as it has the last couple of months. Meanwhile, I have found a little time each day to play my banjo. I got a mute , a small clamp that keeps the bridge from vibrating, so I can play at night. It also gives the banjo a soft, soothing tone so it is like having two instruments in one. I know three songs reasonably well now, and I'm working on a fourth & fifth. It is really cool to be playing banjo that sounds like real banjo a, Part II

Awhile back I wrote about a fruitless experience on I am happy to report that they've gotten the bugs out, pretty much. We needed stuff, and we were just too tired and too busy to go to the store. tempted us with a coupon for $15 off $75 or more if we tried again, so I bit. It worked! First I checked the milk, in the size and quality we usually get, because that's what they didn't have last time. They had it. So happily I went through the list and made an order. I ordered ice cream, frozen veggies, hamburger, cookies, cereal, soup, and lots more. All at the same prices as the store, mostly items on sale. They even had our personal favorite products lined up on-line for easy selection, from information gleaned from years of using our Club Card. (Big Brother is here and it turns out that he is actually more useful than threatening, so far.)  The time spend wandering virtual aisles was about the same as going through the actual store, this first ti

Housing Horrors

A small house went up for sale in Seaside last week, just two doors down from ours. It is about the same square footage (800 square feet), and on the same size lot as our own. Less than a year ago our place was appraised at $325,000, which just happens to be in the price range my boss has been looking for. He and his wife want to get out of the rental rat race. The For Sale sign went up on Monday. On Wednesday I called the real estate agent to inquire further, so I could pass the information on to my boss. I was shocked when the agent said they were asking $475,000. And that was "as is" for a "fixer-upper." On Saturday there was a red SOLD sign on it. You'd think I'd be happy to hear that news, for it means that we are sitting on our own little gold mine. But rather, I'm frustrated. Housing is not just unaffordable for low income people. It is now out of reach for the middle class, my friends, my co-workers, the people who make everything around here

Unquestionably Debateable

Today I read a newspaper commentary. I will refrain from naming either the author or the paper to spare both from further embarrassment beyond what they have already inflicted upon themselves. While I tend to be in agreement with many of the author's views (I think), I ended up just laughing. The piece contained this unfathomable sentence in regard to whether underground water is part of a river system or not: "Without question, this is debatable, but no one has stepped up to spending money to determine if this is wholly true, which it undoubtedly is not." Down the rabbit hole we go! Let's take the first five words. He's saying is that the issue is definitely uncertain. I think. Next, we have a roundabout way of saying "nobody has determined" (Somebody buy this fellow a copy of The Elements of Style!). Finally if we are not totally lost we arrive at "...if this is wholly true, which it undoubtedly is not." In other words we need to spend mone