October 2013


Today being a traditional day of disguise and deception, i’ve been mulling our current political situation.

Can our leaders not hear what they’re saying or read what they’re writing?

Like a couple of days ago our self-confessed serial liars General Keith Alexander, director of NSA, and James Clapper, Jr., the director of national intelligence, claimed that they had not collected tens of millions of phone calls by French and Spanish citizens.  And then immediately admitted that they were in possession of these phone calls.  Apparently it depends on how you define “collect”.

And San Francisco’s very own Senator Diane Feinstein, AKA “Big Sister” – who has been eloquent on the need for the NSA to collect every syllable American citizens utter, every character they type, every Internet search they make – yesterday condemned our spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Frankly, as a loyal American citizen, i kinda wish it were the other way ’round.

And our drunken Roman Catholic Archbishop, when questioned on what he would do after the Supreme Court struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, responded that the Church must always oppose laws when they teach an untruth and gave as an example laws promoting racial discrimination.  Hmmm, apparently His Grace forgets that his Holy Church promoted and perpetuated the enslavement of Africans and Native Americans in the Americas for centuries when the Spanish conquerors needed expendable workers to build the missions, till the fields, and dig in the mines.

Or our President, who could say with a straight face, “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” when he knew full well that what they were doing was saving all your calls to databases so they could do a search on you and sift through everything you’ve said for the last few years.

No, those in power can never hear themselves…and the count on the American people’s inability to remember what their leaders said last month.

On a lighter note, it’s a gorgeous Halloween day, and i rode out this morning to deliver a jar of hot-off-the-stove Piquant Peach Chutney to my benefactor Bernie in Noe Valley and timed the excursion just right to catch the late morning bands of trick-or-treaters going up Noe Street.

Noe Valley trick-or-treaters

And of course we do have to give back, so here’s a shot of the photographer taken by a kind bystander.  The pity is that when i was riding i had that mask tipped back on the helmet, and the wind lifted it off without my noticing.  Damn, i coulda worn it when opening the door tonight for trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Segwayer

Photo of the Halloween Segwayer by Barry

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Rina’s Visit

Great turmoil here as Rina arrives on Friday for a three-week visit.  Not ready.  I’m such an old male chauvinist.  When a guy’s coming to visit, i just throw him out some clean sheets and towels in the guest bedroom, but when a woman’s coming to visit i have to clean the damn house…or at least the kitchen and bathroom and at least superficially.

When a guy’s coming to visit there’s no need to make plans ’cause we’ll just take one day at a time, doing whatever we feel like doing.  This year i’m taking Rina on a week-long Great California Desert And Normal Town Tour, so for the first time in my life i’ve actually got out maps and planned routes and even made hotel reservations!!!!.  When guys are traveling you just stop when you’re tired driving and find a place to sleep, ideally with beds, toilet, and shower.

Hell, i once rearranged room functionality in anticipation of Charmazel’s visit, converting the old office into a real guest bedroom with an actual door.  And now in anticipation of Rina’s visit i’ve bought a memory foam pad for that bed and even a heated mattress pad.  With a guy, it’s just “You can sleep over there.”

Oh, and instead of using those old tee shirt halves as kitchen towels, i’ve put out some of the nice looking kitchen towels that women for some reason have been giving me over the years so that i now have a whole drawer stuffed with towels too nice to use unless there’s a woman in the house.

Luckily she’ll be gone before i’m completely civilized.  I mean, it would take more than three weeks.

Meanwhile, San Francisco is just full of lovely doors in the winter.  Here’s another one:

Lovely door

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ENDA Solution

Some of us have been tracking the ENDA legislation currently before the Senate that would prohibit employment discrimination against gays.  As i mentioned in an earlier post, this legislation is vigorously opposed by the Roman Catholic hierarchy, most particularly by our very own Archbishop, who argued in a letter to the Senate last June that as boundless as his love for the faggots was, he could not approve of anything that smacked of supporting them because, like all human beings except for Roman Catholic clergy, they are likely to have sex.  And their being gay, their sex would be with each other, of which the Church disapproves.  Q.E.D., the church cannot allow protecting them from employment discrimination.

His Grace’s olympic leap of faith left me breathless, but this morning one of my eminently reasonable solutions occurred to me:  the path blazed by the Sultan of Brunei when he instituted Sharia law last week…but only for Muslims.

If we followed that sensible approach, Catholics (as well as the vast majority of other Christians) could be fired from their jobs for being gay, but the non-believers would be protected.

Oh, wouldn’t i just love hearing His Grace explain why the Sultan was wrong.

Either way.

Meanwhile, speaking of restrictions:

If You Block It

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Good Samaritans – 26 October 2013

OK, here’s the rest of the story about that calamitous adventure.

The plot thickened.

When i got home the next day i discovered a couple of phone messages from my sister describing an interesting phone call she’d just received from this nice guy named Spencer wondering if she knew where i was.

Well, San Francisco, of course, she replied, and then he dropped the news on her that he’d found her number on my passport in a backpack he’d picked up beside the road just south of the Oregon border, so she was wondering if i could maybe call her back and help her understand what my backpack was doing way up there.

Aieeeeeeeeeee!  Busted.

But since it was on the answering machine, i had time to frantically try to think about how i might tiptoe around the awful truth, but failing that went ahead and returned her call and admitted that i’d been making a dash for the border without even telling her i was leaving town.

She was gentle.

And told me that Spencer had suggested that i call my own mobile phone number to contact him.  Which i immediately did and discovered that he’d called her the previous evening from Ashland, probably about the same time i was having dinner there.

But knowing that my pack containing my mobile phone, cameras, computer and charging cord for the Segway was right there in Ashland, i’d returned to San Francisco since without all that stuff, i couldn’t continue the  adventure.

So we had a nice chat, and he said he’d mail me my pack when he returned home to Bakersfield.

Which he did.  And no, i’m not a total insect.  I offered him a reward but he insisted that all he wanted was reimbursement for the expense of mailing my stuff.  And when i was insisting, he agreed that a suitable compromise would be my making a donation to a favorite charity of his.  So i did, and made it hurt.  Actually, it’s a rather interesting group called M.A.R.E. focused on giving disabled kids rides on gentle horses.

But there i was with all my stuff back, which was kinda ironic since immediately after i left it all by the roadside i managed to convince myself that i didn’t need any of it.  Well, except a camera, and i’d been thinking of treating myself to an upgrade anyhow. But instead, i’m stuck with trying to learn how to use more of the potential of the existing ones, which now that i think of it is far better than starting from scratch with yet another complicated new machine.

And then i had a marathon telephone conversation with his wife, Tammy, and found her a delightful combination of charm and knowledge, and so i’ve incorporated a visit with them into the end of the Desert Tour that Rina and i will be making in November.

And now that i’ve finally got all this written down, i’m realizing that the reason it took me so long to write it was that i feel undeserving of all this good fortune and couldn’t bear to tell anyone about it.

On the other hand, i just had a cheerful thought:  if i had an enemy he’d be gnashing his teeth over this.

Meanwhile, since i have my camera back, here’s some Art.  The title is “Post No Bills”

Post No Bills




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Language Moment

Well, events have conspired against my writing the sequel to my calamitous northern adventure of 22 September, but i promise you’ll see it soon. Meanwhile, just to toss out a little entertainment, here’s another language moment, as told by a friend.

He went into this club, see, and as he entered noticed a couple of attractive young women checking him out.  Passing them, he overheard one whisper to the other, “9”.   Enormously pleased over this high rating, he swaggered over to the bar and reported it to his friend.

The friend sighed and responded, “I hate to tell you this, dude, but when i passed them on the way in, they were speaking German.”

And so as not to leave that one writhing there, here’s some godlike bodies on San Francisco’s 10th Street.

10th Street facade

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