October 2008

Me Now

Not to turn the Rev. Niemöller’s famous caution around, but they’re coming for me now. The Catholics and the Mormons have put a proposition on the ballot that would forbid homosexuals to marry. No wait, that’s not quite true, as it generously does allow us to marry persons of the opposite sex.

What kinda fries me about this, aside from the fact that they’re spending millions of tax-exempt bucks on a media campaign for the proposition, is that in addition to refusing to let me marry in their churches, which is just fine since you couldn’t drag me in there, now they’re trying to prevent me from marrying in my own church.

So if you want the Roman Catholic “His Holiness” and the Mormon “Prophet, Seer and Revelator” to start dictating what rites your church can perform, go right ahead and vote for Prop 8.

But remember that in my youth, you couldn’t buy contraceptives in the parts of this country that were controlled by the Roman Catholic Church. And the prohibition extended to everyone, not just Catholics. If they get the power, the religious fascists will be coming for you next.

Oh, but wait, they already are. Under the Bush regime, a pharmacy clerk can legally refuse to sell you condoms if doing so would conflict with his religious views, and both McCain and Palin favor a reversal of Roe vs. Wade.

And here’s some nifty trash cans in front of SFMOMA:

SFMOMA trash cans

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I followed up on my plan to Segway over to the Presidio this morning and left here at 7:00 so I could catch the rays of the rising sun on The Spire.

A beautiful morning, and I picked a good route, via Noe Street, Page Street, Golden Gate Park, and Arguello Boulevard. And oh, did I time it well, because the sun had just illuminated the sculpture as I arrived.

More good news was that by simply continuing on the road past the parking lot for the golf course clubhouse where my previous adventure had begun, I found a much better vantage, and one that required no tramping through the thorns.

Here it is in the morning.

Goldsworthy's The Spire

As I was about to leave, I got into conversation with a couple of park service dudes and then, as I often do, gave the one who was interested a trial ride on the Segway.

My good deed was instantly rewarded because the dude suddenly said, “Hey, that’s him!” and I intuited immediately who. So I jumped on the Segway and whirred along the bike lane until I caught up with this gray haired guy who was walking along the road checking out The Spire. I blurted something to the effect that I’d been loving his stuff for years and thanks.

He broke into an ear-to-ear grin and stuck out his hand. Way better than touching the hem of his garment, it struck me, as his great rough paw engulfed and gently released, unharmed, my dainty hand. And oh, has he ever been handling lots of rocks.

Don’t we all just love it when folks like something we’ve created? Even a totally anonymous, utterly unimportant fan. When I was in the limo business I once picked up Paul Kantner at the airport and took him home, very professionally giving him no indication that I knew who he was even though I’d loved a lot of his work with Grace Slick.

After he paid me, including a nice tip, I thanked him and added, “and thanks for all that music.” He absolutely beamed at this….and from a nobody he’d never see again.

Damn. Shoulda said that before he tipped me.

On the way home I kinda liked this shot of Temple Emmanuel:

Temple Emmanuel

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I’m back from a month in Amsterdam and catching up on real life. And oh, first thing I discovered that I’d picked a bad time to leave San Francisco because as I was leaving Andy Goldsworthy was arriving to construct The Spire out in the Presidio. And the day after I returned, I learned that it had been erected the previous day. Grrrrrr. So just like his Stone River down on the Stanford campus, I learned about it too late to sneak over and watch him work.

Oh well, I met Sybil at the Galleria this morning and had planned to just ride on over to the site on the Segway and hope that the NiMH batteries would be strong enough to get me back home. Iffy, owing to a lot of elevation change, but luckily I forgot my camera and had to return to the house from the Galleria.

Then I went ahead and took the Prius to the golf course clubhouse parking lot, from which I could take this only marginal pic, the lower part of the sculpture being obscured. To get an idea of the scale, note the guys up in the cherry-picker working on it:

Goldsworthy's Spire

At that point, your intrepid photographer shuffled around the


tape bordering a woodland trail from the parking lot until the tape ended. I then set out cross country through the forest, The Spire intermittently in view through the trees.

Not an appropriate endeavor in the first place for a man with walking issues and who only a few days ago had cautioned an old friend to be careful on his excursions into the wilderness.

Alas, so intent was I on The Spire that I failed to notice that branches of a fallen tree covered first with vines and then with autumn leaves were concealing a pit, into which I plunged. Luckily, there were no punji sticks at the bottom. Unluckily, the above-mentioned vines were of a thorny disposition, the thorns both numerous and very sharp. They were also readily detachable…from the vines, less so from my flesh.

Somehow, the damn things were so intelligently designed that large numbers of them went right through my clothing and then remained stuck in me when I tried to brush them off, so I had to stumble back to the car and then drive back home, where I wriggled out of my clothes and scrubbed myself vigorously in a hot shower until I got the thorns out. Most of them, anyhow.

Tomorrow I’m going to ride over there on the Segway and see if I can find a back trail that’ll get me to a point from which better pics might be taken from the safety of the Segway, perhaps even a shot of an annoyed Andy chasing me away.

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