July 2017

The Joys of Moving

After having subjected me to an exhaustive financial examination for thirteen months and now knowing to the penny how much money i have in all my accounts, the main office at Bridge Housing insisted on a money order rather than a check for the first/last months’ rent.  On the other hand, the building manager is very nice, and the tenants i’ve met are all charming.


Gave notice to my current landlord and signed the lease with my new one.


Changed my address for the Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, my bank, my credit cards, my insurance company, the post office, all my periodicals, etc.


Picked up my keys and measured both rooms in my new apartment to make sure everything i want to take will fit.


Moved my medical insurance from Petaluma to San Francisco.


Moved my phone, ISP, and webhosting connection.

And packed.  Pretty much done with that now.  Reserved two saucepans, a plate, a saucer, a bowl, a fork, a spoon, a soupspoon, a wooden spoon, a ladle, a chef’s knife, and a paring knife so i can eat up the last of the food in the refrigerator, after which i’ll eat out.

The day before the move i’ll pack up the computer, keyboard, monitor, and router, subsisting on my smart phone until i set up my computer in San Francisco.

All i gotta do for the next week is dispose of a few things i can’t take.

And clean.



Meanwhile, a shot inside the Marin County Civic Center.

Marin County Civic Center


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At Long Last

Finally, finally, after months and months in an excruciating approval process, i got word this afternoon that i’ve been accepted as a tenant in an old folks home in San Francisco.  I move on 7 August to a spacious one-bedroom apartment there.

And OK, it’s not exactly an old folks home but rather housing for low-income seniors at the southwestern foot of Bernal Heights.  It’s a great neighborhood, totally middle class, and dotted with excellent but affordable restaurants.  Not to mention being a stone fruit’s throw from the Alemany Farmers’ Market and well within range of my other favorite farmers’ markets.  And finally, excellent weather since it’s not in a fog belt.

So now i’ll be back in San Francisco where almost all my friends, markets, etc. are.

Will i be in heaven or what?

The downside is that now i’ll have to start taking better care of myself and exercising more caution.  I mean, we don’t want a bitter irony as in “poor thing had been back for only three months when….”

Meanwhile, one of the things i’ll miss in Petaluma – the old mills.  This one is at the Washington St. bridge.

Petaluma mill


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Mostly Harmless

The title above is from Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


About five years ago i was on my way back from Palmdale one Saturday evening when my Prius began behaving strangely; and then, after i’d decided that nothing really serious was wrong and and for damn sure i didn’t want to be stuck in Fresno on Sunday, i pressed on.  Alas, as i approached Altamont Pass the electric motor failed, leaving me with such limited hill climbing power that i just barely made it home on the engine alone.

Monday morning, i started it up with the intention of limping into Luscious Garage, only to find that a day’s rest had left it once again operating perfectly.  But i took it in anyhow and left it for them to diagnose.  Went back that afternoon and learned that they had thoroughly examined it and could not duplicate the problem.

I inquired into their analysis and discovered that they’d looked into the Prius’ computer and could see that i’d been driving at a steady 73 MPH up highway 99, had stopped briefly at Fresno and then continued at a slightly lower speed until i hit the grade at the Altamont Pass, where my speed plunged to near zero and then fluctuated wildly as i went up and down hills the rest of the way home.

Shocked and feeling a bit violated, i inquired whether it had recorded what i’d ordered for dinner at that drive-in in Fresno, but since then i’ve adjusted to the idea that my car is spying on me.

And then last spring friends prevailed upon me to get a smart phone.  Oh, yes, i knew all about how smart phones spy on you, but hey, by that time i’d figured out i was already so totally compromised that a bit more spying didn’t matter.

After all, in my misspent youth in the Army Security Agency i was the NSA’s bitch although that was back when the NSA’s mission was to spy on the electronic transmissions of foreign entities.  Then, in the aftermath of 9/11, the NSA took advantage of the national paranoia and unilaterally changed its mission to spying on everybody, everywhere.  The NSA director at that time was famously quoted as saying, “Collect it all.”

So at that point i became a vociferous critic of the NSA, so much so that i’d be very surprised if i were not by now on at least the Potentially Troublesome list.  Not that i care, since i’m old and sick, so it doesn’t matter that every syllable i utter, every character i type, every website i access is being recorded and filed away on the NSA servers in Utah in case they want to dig it out and use it against me.

So like my vehicle’s spying, the NSA’s surveillance is merely an annoyance rather than a source of worry.

But then, this morning, another outrage revealed itself.  No no, not my toaster.  I’m aware that all the new smart appliances that you connect to your computer are all spying on you, so i don’t own any of them.  Oh no, it was much more intimate.

My hearing aids.

See, the left one had been acting cranky, intermittently turning itself off.  So i took it into the delightful father and son team (Bill and Bill Diles) at Petaluma’s Kenwood Hearing Center where i’d bought it, and the son gave it a good cleaning and ran the diagnostics.

Well, he said, i see you’ve been using it only a couple of hours a day on average, which was true because i don’t wear ’em around the house.  And then, while i sat there slackjawed at this revelation, he went on to show me a chart revealing that i had spent declining percentages of my wearing time in the following environments:  Quiet, Conversation in Small Group, Conversation in Crowd, Conversation in Noise, Noise, and Conversation in Quiet.

I didn’t ask him for transcripts of the conversations.

Meanwhile, speaking of the security state, a downtown Petaluma scene.

La Migra in downtown Petaluma

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