March 2011

Another Vast Improvement

And speaking of vast improvements, here’s the street bumper that i hit back in January as viewed from the west in its new position.  You can see that the left bolt that would be holding it to the street is sticking up three inches.  Now look closely at the right end and you can see that the bumper has been rotated 180 degrees around the right bolt so that it no longer sticks out into the street a foot beyond the plane of the planters.  If you look closely, you can see the faint outline where it formerly rested and even the little round hole in the street where what is now the left bolt used to fit.

I swear i had nothing to do with the repositioning, but my guess is that enough people hit this thing that one of ’em finally took matters into his own hands.  Note how what is now the left end of the bumper is rounded from multiple impacts, one of them mine, when it was sticking into the street.


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Our Latest War

Americans on both left and right are now criticizing President Obama’s cooperation with the French and the British in bombing military targets in Libya even though some of these critics, most notably Newt Gingrich, were earlier criticizing Obama for not attacking.

The right has taken to comparing Obama’s commitment of US forces to Libya with Bush’s invasion of Iraq.  Oh please.  Obama merely OK’d US tactical support of the rebels rather than mounting an invasion.  What Obama didn’t do is get aides to spend months burrowing through all our intelligence reports in search of any material they could find that would support an attack on Gaddafi.  Nor did Obama publicize intelligence reports, some of which were later revealed to have been based on forged materials, of Gaddafi’s possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction. 

So the fact that Bush got congressional approval for his invasion of Iraq is not so much a credit for Bush as it is a demerit for Congress for allowing itself to be deceived.
The point of comparison i find most interesting between the two military actions is that it took thousands of American lives, trillions of wasted dollars, and several years for the American people to grasp the folly of Bush’s invasion of Iraq; whereas it’s taken zero American lives so far, a relatively tiny amount of money, and only a few days for us to agree that our participation in the air raids over Libya was a bad decision.  
A vast improvement.

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Bad Trip

I’ve written on several occasions in the past about wonderful trips to Palm Springs to visit my friend Bob.  This one went sour.  I don’t understand what went wrong on my last evening, and don’t have much hope of ever doing so since in spite of my pressing, the only explanation i could get for all the sudden rage simply makes no sense.   So be it.  If he won’t tell me what’s wrong, i can’t fix it.   Now i don’t have to drive a thousand miles to pay visits.

Here’s a shot of the hunter while things were still good, home with my quarry, a wild grapefruit that i captured on the condo grounds. You wouldn’t believe the fight that sucker put up!  I was hoping that once i got it skinned and filleted it would turn out to be one of the old Marsh variety that i love so much.  Alas, by the time the condo complex was built, the Marsh had long since been replaced with sweet varieties.

the hunter

For the trip back up to San Francisco, i decided to cut over to 101 again, and this time farther south than i’d ever done.  I’d studied my road map and seen that a very thin blue line ventured west from I-5 at the exit a mile or two north of Tejon Pass.  Since it was the only road going west off of I-5 for a distance of over 50 miles, i took it.  It has no official state number, but at one point it was identified as “Pine Mountain Road”.  I followed it westerly though the northern portions of Los Padres National Forest, gradually descending until it hit State highway 33.  About a mile to the right on 33, i turned left onto “Soda Lake Road”, which heads straight northwest through the middle of the Carrizo Plain, paralleling the San Andreas fault.

More thrilling than paralleling the fault, though, was when i flew across the first of many cattle guards and suddenly found myself not on pavement but rather dirt.  At this point it struck me that i had not seen a single other vehicle since i turned off the Interstate many miles back and that i had only half a small bottle of water.  And then, to ice the cake, my mobile phone gave its little out-of-battery bleat.

Oh, but wait, i’m thinking, if i’m stuck in the mud, surely i’ll be able to survive by sucking moisture out of it until somebody comes along.   Ah, what i’ll do for a thrill.

Soda Lake Road

And speaking of thrill, down that road a ways i spotted off to the right this shortcut to the San Andreas fault and thought, hmmm, doesn’t look all that closed to me.  But an upwelling of sanity prevailed and I didn’t run on down it for a few miles to see why they were calling it closed.


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At the Gym

Last fall i discovered that for a modest premium increase i could get free membership to a good gym, so at the beginning of February i got into the program and joined the 24 Hour Fitness on Market Street.   Well equipped gym, the latest equipment, and squeaky clean.  If i had to pick a flaw, it would be that i’m older than the grandparents of most of the clientele, almost all of whom are handsome, buffed young men or pretty, buffed young women.  The only thing that saves me is the handful of old walruses beside whom anybody would look good.
It’s a good feeling to be working out again, not really pushing hard but at least using the elliptical trainer to get my heart rate up, which i can do before it starts hurting too much.  Actually, the only thing that hurts very much now is my damn wrist where i broke the radius.  My orthodoc says to be patient and has written an authorization for therapy.  
The fringe benefit of being at the gym is that i keep noticing about every other visit that i’ve lost a pound.
Unfortunately, it seems to be the same pound, as when i check during the alternate visits, i find it again.
And yes, we all know the gym alone won’t do the trick, that the only way to actually lose weight is to consume fewer calories.  Which is easy enough to say, while the reality is that, as my legendary internist pointed out on my last visit after a glance at my latest lab report, i’m killing me softly with my spoon.
Clearly i need to either eat better or stop fiddling around and finish the job off more rapidly with the Segway.

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