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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day at Point Reyes, A Break From My Everyday Exciting Life

A Day at Point Reyes, A Break From My Everyday Exciting Life

We drove out to Point Reyes National Seashore for a hike yesterday. The weather was beautiful, although a little warm for the coast, with no fog, sunshine and a high temperature around 70 except within a few hundred feet of the shore.

We decided to hike the Bear Valley Trail , since this trail is wide and levelly paved. I needed a non-rocky trail since I managed to break a toe Thursday night. This link has great pictures from the trail. The path alternates between warm grassy meadows and cool fern-lined gullies. This made a very pleasant hike just under nine miles. The walk begins about 4 miles from the ocean, going through a series of hills, ending at a promontory overlooking the ocean, which makes a perfect place for a windy lunch and watching pelicans fly about 100 feet below. The gullies had several large annual plants that can only be described as resembling illustrations for Dr Seuss books.

The drive both ways was uneventful, which is a relief because we were traveling under the threat of traffic from a NASCAR race at Infineon Speedway . Apparently, we missed the before and after race traffic. You can no longer call this an elitist blog, since I’ve added two links to NASCAR. Just don’t ask me to spell out the NASCAR acronym.

I broke my toe in the classic way. Got up at about 11:00 PM with a stomach ache, got up and read in the living room for a while, then turned out the light and walked back to bed. I suffered the immediate pain silently, in order to spare Kathleen and the cat from the toe-clutching-middle-of-the night howling in the hallway that haunted my childhood.

That’s all my excitement for this weekend, until I go to the DMIL’s house to watch this evening with dinner. We have dinner and watch Sherlock Holmes and Midsomer Murders
Mystery shows “Tivoed” from the Biography Channel. I don’t know why among the Biography Channel’s most popular shows are mysteries. I also don’t know why the rural Midsomer area hasn’t run out of population to murder yet. The high prevalence of adultery might somehow contribute to providing future murder victims.

Next weeks major excitement involves band. I am in a group that will wind up practice on Monday and Wednesday to play a Sunday night concert at Carmichael park. And we’ll play at a local fireworks show. Fireworks shows are a unique experience. We play before sundown, while five or about five thousand people are in the park setting up chairs and laying out blankets, trying to keep track of their kids, and wondering how they ever let their kids talk them into this in the first place.

We are playing the typical fireworks show pieces, including the 1812 overture (really just the last third of this ponderous piece and, of course, ending with Stars & Stripes forever. We are having a vocalist sing “Old Man River” and another Patriotic song (maybe the Battle Hymn, but I can’t remember).

That’s my story an I’m sticking to it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I Communed With Saints (of the Latter Day variety)!

OK, OK, Calm Down! I spent last Sunday morning with a few hundred Latter Day Saints. Of course, I politely refused communion. The communion consisted of white bread and water served by teenage boys wearing dark slacks, white shirts, and dark ties. Why are these details not a surprise? I used the official Catholic – approved gesture for refusing communion, which involves silently crossing your arms, and gently tapping each shoulder simultaneously with the opposite hand. I think this confused the boy priests, I hope they didn’t think it might be an obscene gesture. From listening to the service, I think that Mormons do not believe in Transubstantiation.

My ensemble played for the Sunday service, since one of our members is a member of that church. The service was not terribly exciting. The talks, given by the congregation’s men (all priests, of course) were pretty dull. Fortunately they didn’t harp on too much weird stuff, however, several verses were quoted from what I believe were Jesus’ sermons to the Incas, straight from the book of Mormon (I think). We also heard a lot about how hard work will make a man great, that we must never lose hope, and other surprisingly standard Protestant themes. It was somewhat comforting to observe that Mormon teenagers are equally bored in church as any other kids. Whatever.

The overriding feel of extreme patriarchy surrounding and throughout the whole environment was beyond belief. I cannot clearly describe any of the myriad of small patriarchy – reinforcing words and actions, but the cumulative effect was beyond anything I could have conceived. Ok, everything I could have conceived excepting plural wives. I was a little freaked out.

I talked with several church members, and everyone was nice. They were perfect hosts. No one asked me “if I was interested in learning more about their church”. Most important, no one offered me any me green kool-aid.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Disappearing Act

I have been lazy about making blog entries. My sole lane excuse is that work has been on my mind a lot the last few weeks, and it isn’t blog-worthy. It’s a combination of boring and public policy issues. I don’t want to talk about it, and nobody wants to hear about it.

I have also been busy on the weekends, although I have no reports of peaks climbed or a thrilling social life that I can boast. I have spent most of my time obsessing about work and doing a lot of Recorder society stuff, mainly mundane board of directors business. Getting the new board of on the right foot and dealing with work has made me tool dull to blog.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Some of My Best Friends are Vegetables

Saturday in our neighborhood is Farmers Market day. The local California Farmers Markets differ from the Madison, Wisconsin Farmers Market of my youth and young adulthood. California Farmers markets are more about serious grocery shopping and the occasional mariachi band, and less of a celebration of the short and intense pleasure of the glorious summer like Madison’s Farmers Market.

I bought a giant head of romaine lettuce, green beans, red and gold beets, and several pounds of peaches, apricots and Pluots. Pluots are a plumb-apricot hybrid that resembles a plumb in feel and appearance, but combines the tart lemon-like plumb flavor with the apricot’s flavor and fragrance. I have rarely seen pluots except at farmers markets.

I boiled the beets, steamed the beans, and washed and tore the lettuce as soon as I got home. I try to keep pre-cooked vegetables in the refrigerator for grab-and-go eating all week. I love getting my hands into the vegetables this way. Life is somehow merrier with a fridge full of fresh food ready to enjoy.

The farmers markets are the only place in my life where I can experience the benefits of a real free market economy. I can buy peaches from my choice among about ten vendors, all within about 100 feet of each other. Amazing how this arrangement assures quality and price. I can’t say the same for Safeway.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.
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