Wednesday, July 08, 2015

The Jehovah Witnesses Call

This morning, my head was still full of wool, and I wasn't functioning at my usual afternoon level of operatic grandiosity, when two Jehovah Witnesses came calling.

"Is Rita here? No? Well we would like to share some scripture, from I Peter 5:6-7:

'Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth that for you.'

Meanwhile, I careth more about the well-dressed, pony-tailed little eight-year-old girl with them. She was jumping from porch step to porch step, and I was afraid she'd stumble and fall. Since the house sits above the street, and features a walk-in basement, and thus there are many steps to reach the front door, an impressionable 8-year-old might think she had already climbed halfway to Heaven.

"She just LOVES the steps," her mother explained. I mentioned the basement, and she continued, "We're from Oklahoma, and a basement like that would be of great comfort in a tornado." The meteorologist in me thought: 'No, this Sacramento 'basement' is entirely above ground, so even a flimsy little F1 tornado would turn this place into matchsticks. Statistically, we probably get one of those storms here every thousand years.' Then the girl knocked on the wall of the house and said, "Mama, we have to move into this neighborhood!"

So, I collected my Awake and Watchtower, and never learned who Rita is.

The Murder Considers

Right now, there is a befuddled murder of crows where I leave seed for the pigeons, sparrows and doves. Someone left about 20 slices of wheat bread, and the crows are experimenting with how to transport the bonanza; by heaving the slices in the air and walking off with them is one approach. They'll figure something out; crows always do.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


A small bunny waits expectantly at the Davis train station on the evening of Sunday, July 5th.

Shovel Money To The Greeks

Paul Krugman reminds everyone that the way you solve the Greek banking crisis is by shoveling lots and lots of money at them - not through loans, but by direct transfers. In 1982, when the Texas economy cratered, the problem was solved by transferring $75 billion directly to the Texans - no loans, no bankers collecting interest - through national deposit insurance. The Europeans are a bunch of cheapskates and don't have a similar program, so unless Grexit happens, and the Greeks default on all their loans, they are condemned to an eternity of misery.

Skunk Tells Bella The Dog To Pound Sand

Gag! At 12:40 a.m. I was walking Bella through the cool darkness along Portola Way in Curtis Park. I didn't see the skunk hiding four feet away in the lawn next to the sidewalk. Bella, with her six foot leash and magnificent nose, the crowning achievement of 30 million years of canine evolution, found the skunk with no problem, and got hammered right in the face. It's going to be a long, long week.....

E.: MMMMMAAAARRRRRCCC! You smell like a skunk!

M.: I'll take my clothes off. This Internet recipe says to mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid. Do we have baking soda?

E.: Ummm.... Hmmm.... Oh, over here. But we don't have hydrogen peroxide.

M.: I'll use Clorox II.

E.: Use tomato sauce! And since you are using dishwashing soap you need to use fabric softener!

M.: I'll use anything, if it works....

[UPDATE: I've given Bella the first of what will likely be several washes (a mixture of water, Joy dishwashing soap, store-brand bleach in the manner of Clorox 2 containing hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda). What may be of help is, based on all her lip-smacking and tongue-rolling, that I think Bella caught most of the spray directly in her mouth, with less on her fur. She is so accustomed to sleeping near me; she is bewildered by the sudden outdoors exile.]


Existential Despair

In My Neighborhood, No One Has Much Patience With Moving Vehicles

That's got to hurt. Man with cane opened door on passenger side of van maneuvering to fill tank at local AM/PM, rolled out of moving vehicle, and bounced on pavement. Croaked out a loud complaint. Got up under his own power, but still....

Commemorating New Mexico in Sacramento Streets

Puzzled by the New Mexico Native American references spray-painted on the pavement of Sacramento streets by gas line utility workers. I've seen Zia and Navajo lately. Wondering what it means?

[UPDATE: Michael Karoly takes a reasonable stab: "Navajo is an underground construction company by that name. They've painted out their work area in white paint and called in an Underground Service Alert (USA) so that any utility company with facilities can mark out theirs in various types of colored paint. I'd guess that Zia is also a UG const. company getting ready to work in the areas that they've marked."]

Fourth of July Fiasco

A mixed bag of a day at Community Park.

Some parts were fun. Chatting breathlessly and brainlessly with strangers about the virtues of boutique popcorn was the highlight.

But as a fundraiser it left much to be desired. Faced at the end of the evening with an insurmountable number of Dickey's sandwiches to sell, we flogged them well below cost, and gave at least a 100 to a homeless shelter. So, we did the right thing; just paid heavily for the privilege. I'd be surprised if we did as much as broke even. Ordering too much was part of it, but unit price was low only because order was large. If we had halved the order unit price would have been higher. So we gambled and lost, big time.

I'll never again give Dickey's the benefit of the doubt. Better to eat dog food.