Since I failed to do it before –
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
(italics are mint)
Is the famous quote from Madison in the Federalist #51 published on Friday, February 8, 1788 and credited to either Alexander Hamilton or James Madison. The complete text can be found in the Congress.gov website.
I am not sure whether to claim I spent the last week thinking too little, or thinking too much. One of the challenges of representational government is that it must represent all of the people. Not just those with the issue of the moment, or those with the most money. I am certain that my grandmother, coming to the US in the early 20th Century around the age of 10 wasn’t as worried about the US government as she was being safe from the pogroms, having enough to eat and perhaps being able to get some education. For her and most of that generation, money was safety, food, clothing and a future for their children. They had faced starvation, death, weapons and sea voyages in steerage. They had no place to which they could return even if they had wanted.
I have seen the effects of hate let loose: in Bosnia where neighbors when after those who had lived next door for decades; in Iraq where blowing up houses, schools, hospitals, convoys became common place without regard for those just trying to survive and protect their families; in Afghanistan where destroying history was paramount and teaching the young allowed only if doctrinal and if those taught are males.
Divisiveness, single issues, fanaticism all take away from freedom. It is easy to say that you “believe in the constitution” when it seems to support what you want but not as clear when those same freedoms have to be allowed to those with whom you don’t agree.
I am hoping we are strong enough as a country to survive the current bigotry, bullying, and white male supremacy and come back to a middle ground where hard work is expected and rewarded, children are fed, medical care is available to those who require it and schools actually teach science.
It shouldn’t be an unobtainable dream.
Or rather too hot.
My life this past week has fallen into the “not too terribly organized” which is not the way I really appreciate living. I like knowing “where my stuff is.” Which might just explain why I am so anal when traveling about placing everything in an exact place, not having anything cluttering up desks and counters and getting crabby about sharing space as I get older. Right now I am drifting between our house and that of the Eldest as she recovers from surgery. I am willing to leave her alone for a couple of hours, but not for an extensive time period. It doesn’t help that school is starting this week nor that the As are in the middle of a home stand.
Telling myself excuses much?
Today’s game was against the Astros. We had done decently to well in the last couple of games. The team, unlike one of the NYC teams, is not high on arrogance. But sometimes they just don’t completely have it together. The fan numbers were good but not great inspire of the front office providing discounts for students and encouraging large numbers of groups to attend the game. Our group was high energy with drum count at six and cowbells at least double that. Jose now has an As jersey that says “More Cowbells” in the name location and 149 for the player number.
The game started well, then the pitcher seemed to lose it. For that matter, it had been chilly in Richmond. It wasn’t in Oakland, but I wasn’t exactly dressed for the warmth. After six innings the As were down and I was significantly overheated. Since it didn’t seem like either of us had an alternative, I headed first home to pick up what I needed for tomorrow’s assignment and then back to Richmond.
Oh, and a stop at Safeway for ice cream… Best way to cool off….
After serious consideration – well, all three minutes of it – I made the decision this morning not to head over to UCHasting for the class I am auditing. Actually I probably made the decision last night when I didn’t finish drafting everything for today’s class. In all, it made me more comfortable to hang out in the Kaiser Oakland waiting room with George than it would have to be BART across the Bay and unable to get back should there have been a problem. It is not like the Eldest hasn’t been this route before – we were hoping that her surgery in April would have permanently have solved her problem – but her pain came back so here we were again.
There was also the fact that she was first up in the surgical queue today rather than the last case of the day. The only thing positive about having to be anywhere at 0600 in the morning one can say is that traffic isn’t anywhere near as bad as it could be.
Her surgery went well; she looked awake in the recovery room and we just about managed to get her back to her house before the block wore off. The cats, of course, were delighted to have her back if only to snuggle before using her/her bed once again as a trampoline. Daughter #2 and I will be alternating time here along with George for some daytime coverage so that we don’t leave her undefended for the next couple of weeks just in case.
I have an exam tomorrow, so will head to the city, hit part of the afternoon game then hurry back. After tomorrow – no class till the 20th.
Ok. I can do this and remain sane. I have to remember that I am tossed in with the non-US crew. The group of people who have a much better sense of world history than I, a command of significantly more languages, and knowledge of other legal systems. I can accomplish writing assignments, research, class discussions.
I even remember studying the US Constitution in Mr Kaufman’s Class in fall of 1963. I was in that class when we learned President Kennedy had been assassinated. Where the theoretical discussions of succession of power rapidly became something other than dry words in a textbook.
There is a different feel when the Dean of the Law School comes in to teach an hour on separation of powers. But some of the slides look remarkably similar to what I saw on overheads all those decades ago. The Constitution still stands, but the issues have changed over the years and for those of us [US Citizens] who don’t want to acknowledge change, there really isn’t much choice. If we want to live in 1787, then those proposing such a “return to our Roots/Constitution” need to think long and hard about what that means:
- 1) No electronics – no Twitter, no PCs, Macs, cell phones. The writing implements then were quill pens, paper. Deal with it
- 2) Give up your transportation. Horse, buggy, wagon are it.
- 3) Everyone but white males gives up all rights to include citizenship, property etc. OTOH no one really cares about how you (white male) got to the New Nation
- 4) Government is minimal – part time. Everyone (men) have a job. A real job – like farming or running a store,
- 5) Right to bear arms means responsibility to do so. All men get to serve their country in the military. Flat feet are no excuse. Plenty just finished serving who might no longer have feet.
Or we can accept that the constitution grows with the country. A country built by immigrants and for immigrants. Some whose ancestors came over the land bridge thousands of years ago, some invited to leave their home countries because of their actions and beliefs (think Pilgrims) and some arriving now, seeking a better life for themselves and their children.
All of us who took eighth grade Civics/US Government or US History need to do a bit of a refresher. And then think long and hard and why we have let the Executive Branch of the Government take over. Madison in the Federalist Papers #51 makes some excellent points.
Ok, you have managed to avoid having to listen to me discussing baseball for, oh let us say at least a day. So first I will mention that the As are doing fine – in spite of a couple of the relief pitchers. Essentially they rock. A goodly number of my fellow Right Field Die Hards are in Anaheim this weekend expressly for the purpose of watching the As walk all over the Angels. Well? 2 out of 3 ain’t bad as the old country song goes.
Otherwise, I have put a bit of time into quilts that different daughters were making for friends babies.
To be clear – my daughters are not having children, but have several friends that are doing same.
The Eldest finished all but the machine quilting and just wasn’t up to it at the moment so
and I took it over to her today.
Meanwhile, the quilt and bibs that Daughter #2 sent off in the mail have arrived –
and just to make sure
After all my careful scrutiny and planned, I fouled up my schedule for this fall. Very, very carefully, I made sure that my classes fell on Tues/Thurs/Friday. Well, to tell you the truth, the one class I really want to take is on Tue/Thurs afternoon. There is a Friday morning mandatory class. My choice for the other mandatory class was either Mon or Tues afternoon.
Gee, let me think. Already traveling on Tues, Thurs and Friday. Do I want a add a class that meets on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. Now, looking at the requirement of taking one of the standard first year law school classes, I tried to apply the logic of scheduling. The course that fit all the criteria was Contracts on Tues and Thurs Morning. I was a happy bunny. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at UCHastings. Monday & Wednesdays in the afternoon over at UCBerkely School of Public Health potentially helping teach the Intro to Infectious Diseases Course. Set, locked… and too good to be true.
Reading the welcome memo from the Contracts Professor about moving around a few of his lectures – some to Friday morning (remember from the last para where I said something about a regular first year law course?) and some changes in the Wednesday schedule. Wednesday? How in the world did I miss that? With required attendance which was dropped right on top of another mandatory class.
Looking in the course catalog – Tues/Thurs are listed on the main page. It is only when you pull up the extended course listing that I find the note about Wednesday lectures. The time of which is going to overlap with the 1-2 x month conference calls with the California Womens Veterans Leadership Council. Since I am already not able to make the every other Tues 1000 conference call re: educational seminars for after the first of the year I am really loath to skip either class or the council meetings. It is not like I am the only one from the Bay Area on the Council – oh, wait, I AM the only rep from the Bay Area…..
Anyway, you see my dilemma. Added to by the fact that I already have the freaking text book (rented, not bought) and the course I just might have to drop is 4 credits. The available alternative is 3 credits (time slot on Tue/Thurs). It seems that everyone wants to teach in the afternoon which is when I already have other classes…. I don’t particularly want to drop below 12 credits since that affects housing allowance…
In any case, this is probably, as I would say to someone else… a first world problem.
And yes, that is a C, not a Q. And it is not a APPLE joke that starts with iRack and iRan…
Remember I started discussion formatted analysis while I was pulling out my hair at the though of the less than “brief” Briefs in law? Along with my comparison to the standard medical SOAP note.
[taking a deep break – I can probably do this]
So there we are in class today – morning and afternoon sessions devoted to the analysis of a variety of cases (and now I am thinking this should be Cases – just to make sure that it isn’t any old case of something that wandered in off the street wanting to play but
soothing something (autocorrect- ARGH!) which has been specifically and carefully selected after decades (?or at least a couple of hours) of teaching experience with recalcitrant students. Plus the lovely challenge of a rota of three – one a senior type of my era who received her degree from Berkeley more than a few years ago, one who seems to think pulling references to Star Wars™ will avoid lack of clarity or cultural references and the third who has been on faculty for the last year having spent a significant number of previous years working for the UN mostly in Africa.
Plus the student body (17/4) and me.
The classroom is one of those with tiers of seats at desks (note, the desks are fixed, the seats are physically part of the desks but do rotate out enough that if you are skinny you shouldn’t have too much trouble inserting yourself into the structure). The positive about the rising tiers from a student point is that there are power points at every seat that actually work. From a faculty point -there is simply no place to hide.
Where am I going with all of this? Why to analyze something for Monday – relating to “assault and robbery!” In preparation of this – we played with “burglary” in class. To whit: the format
I = Issue
R = Rule (legal that applies)
A = Analysis (I keep wanting to put in Assessment for obvious reasons)
C = Conclusion (no plan required)
So in the case of Larry Lightfingers who was caught apparently trying to hook a fur coat with a ten foot pole through a house’s open window around 1900 –
I = is this burglary?
R = Burglary as defined in MadeUpCity Code – breaking and entering a residential dwelling of another person after dark with the intention to commit a felony therein.
A = (here one gets to play with breaking/not breaking due to the open window, Entering/not – entering due to use of the pole rather than his physical body. Residence/non-residence – houses can also be commercial properties, after dark – ? Hello? depends on time of year….
felony – well, since the fur coat likely exceeds $400/value this one is not as difficult.
C = guy should be charged with being a dumb ass.
And now you see why I was not cut out to be a lawyer……and why I am avoiding the assault and battery analysis due Monday…
No trip into San Francisco today. Not getting on BART, not wandering through the Farmer’s Market at UN Plaza and not going to a baseball game. I am not sure what was going on at today’s orientation at UCHastings, but it didn’t involve me. Quite good since it was late when George picked me up at BART after the ball game.
Unlike the night before, the As managed to squeak out a win over the Dodgers. In fact, there was still waaayyy too much blue in the stands. Tuesday night the attendance was around 33k, I didn’t hear the numbers last night. On the positive side tonight besides the five drums and plenty of cow bells, there was an opposing right fielder with a sense of humor. The win meant the series was split and the As gained more ground in the standings.
I crawled out of bed at the crack of dawn before figuring out that George was making the early drop off run which meant getting to back to sleep. Other than meeting a friend for coffee and a photography discussion, I spent the rest of the day running errands, reading and eating more cherries (note, cherry season seems to be lasting longer this year) rather than doing anything for school. Ah, well, I like getting up early to do homework, right?
Ok, I have no clue where the name “Brief” came from in regards to legal jargon, but I can confirm that there is absolutely nothing brief about any of it.
Rather, let us take the opinion (please note the use of the royal “we” as courts have a tendency to speak in the plural. Understandable if an opinion is being written by one individual on behalf of several, but not at all clear to me in other circumstances.
Obviously, I am used to some other standard formats:
1) SOAP notes for medicine where one puts the information in the format of Subjective (the complaint), Objective (the physical findings which include vital signs, lab, X-ray, physical exam), Assesment (what you think is going on, diagnosis) and Plan (where we go from here).
2) BLUF – which is military speak for Bottom Line Up Front. No one expects any of the military higher ups to read more than a paragraph so the conclusions are clearly stated in a one paragraph executive summary followed by a short discussion of how the recommended decision was reached. An actual verbal presentation would more closely follow the MDM format (Military Decision Making) where Courses of Action would be fully outlined and presented.
And here I am, learning yet another standardized way of looking at things. The specific thing under discussion seems to be appellate court and above decisions. The format currently provided by [one each] faculty member has 11 points that one goes down. I can’t remember five items most days much less play with 11 fill in the blank things.
I suspect this will be narrowed down to the IRAC format which I have heard mentioned by several lecturers to this point. This four part analysis/ summary uses “Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion” as a method for case analysis. Four parts I can deal with and it is suspiciously like my friendly SOAP note. This ought to be interesting…..
Ok – I am done complaining for the day…..
Day 2 of the orientation didn’t include me till early afternoon. It meant that I didn’t have to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn or battle huge crowds on BART. On the other hand, most of the morning didn’t feel like it was really mine to do with what I will since I had an afternoon hanging over my head.
So there I was, hanging around Hastings waiting for our library tour which was followed by a trip to the main lecture building for a discussion of expectations, Bar exams, and all the differences between the study of law in the US and other countries.
Since I am in a Master’s program and not a “law”student, a lot of it really doesn’t apply to me. Yes, I am tak8ng some of the same courses but am not being graded on the same curve. In any case, my attitude now is the same as when I was a med student and when I did my MPH. I am in this for knowledge, not for grades. As long as I get credit for a class, grades do not matter to me. pass is the same as an Excellent as far as I am concerned.
Going from class, I headed straight over to the ballpark. The Dodgers are about the toughest team we have faced in a while and our starting pitcher never really had it. End result, we lost 4:2. Headed home before the 9th, cold, tired and the writing was on the scoreboard.
Ok, so there I was contemplating grey hair in this room full of bright young things eager to start their LLM at UCHastings School of Law. Twenty-one of them as a matter of fact with a ration of 17 women to 4 guys. I think the number of countries involved is about fourteen which includes, but is not limited to Norway, Brazil, Ivory Coast France, Germany, Japan, China, Poland, Russia, India, Israel (?Mexico, Iran, Italy?). They seem to range in age from 22 to 27 years old. George didn’t understand why I was surprised at the youth involved. I hadn’t been thinking about someone going directly from law school to a Master’s Program in the US. Rather, I had been thinking about it like an MBA – first get a few years of practice, then do a specialty that will get you ahead of your peers. It probably does make sense from the point of view of being young, mobile, and likely in the best command of the English Language. Not saying that legalese is English by any means but you get the idea. Several have been in the US for months to several years; this is a way to further their education, potentially find a job/green card and increase their chances of passing a Bar Exam (California and New York both allow graduates of foreign law schools to sit the exam. After about a five month process of proving both educational credentials and morals (seriously – morals. lawyers?).
Since I am the only one of me, it seemed stupid to require that my advisor create a special orientation just for me and so I elected to join all these bright and shiny young faces at their orientation. At least for those subjects which I am interested in. Skipping the Visa discussions, career counseling, and several other things on the list. Today is the first day of the two weeks which is expected to turn us from random but intelligent strangers into some kind of group with a modicum of understanding of the US Legal System.
Today we heard from some of the Dean’s Staff, the Library/IT, the Health Service, the Diversity Services, the Security Staff and a panel discussion from five former LLM students. And they fed us, I forgot to mention breakfast, snacks and lunch. I don’t expect this amount of largess to continue.
But my most fun of the day – other than bailing off BART at Embarcadero and hiking down Market Street to 200 McAllister was meeting the IT crew. The young man who helped me with getting a student ID was a young 56 and his supervisor looked to have a good ten years on him. Punch cards were us, along with card sorters. Friendly folks with a sense of humor. Much appreciated. Perhaps it is because they are located with the library staff on the 4th floor rather than buried in the basement somewhere?
Anyway, I finished up, chatted with a few people and headed home on BART. I don’t need to arrive till 1230 tomorrow…
Not sure which is of the higher positivity – managing to arrive at the stadium and slide into our seats less than five minutes before the opening pitch – or doing three loads of laundry after we got home.
The As won.
Now that is out of the way… no wait. We had a rep from Foxx News-Detroit in the stands with us for about four innings. Apparently some Tigers fan got upset yesterday and Tweeted (!) about the drum noise. Unlike some of those who use social media without checking their facts, this particular individual, suit and all, decided to stop in. End result? He seemed to have a good time and asked questions about the group origin, rationale behind the various beats and the general upbeat nature of the group. Decided that one reply on the previous day “they can’t be controlled but can be contained” was probably correct.
Then there was laundry.
But the most fun (ack) of the day was finishing the machine quilting for a project of the Eldest.
at least I don’t have to do the binding….
Often we have heard various descriptions of law as heavy, weighty. I had always thought of it as perhaps relating to the seriousness of what it meant both to society and the individual. Or perhaps to affects on in dividuals or even the density of words since we all know that it takes lawyers 150 words to be precise where the rest of us might use a simple sentence that starts with either “yes” or “no.”
It isn’t that most of the breed are trying to be obscure, rather they are trying to be totally and completely clear in their obscure way to make sure that there is no question of the exact meaning of anything that they say. Obviously it takes a lot of words to be that precise. In fact there are so many words in many of their documents that loop holes and exceptions wind up occurring. Disagreements as to happenstance, events, opinions keep the rest of them completely occupied in settling disagreements and the court dockets full.
I think that all of us can agree that some rules and regulations are necessary when a population gets above a certain size. The law then becomes that set of rules which we agree govern us. Or, if we don’t agree – still have an effect on what we are allowed to do in public, with our things and to/with others. I can’t be an anarchist since I firmly believe that a civilized society has the responsibility to protect those individuals who, for reasons of health, ability, finance, position, have the ability to protect themselves.
I would like to believe that we have come a significant distance from those Homo sapiens rolling out of Africa and into first what is now Europe and Asia and happily slaughtering Homo neanderthal and the other hominid species on their way to taking over the world. * (If you haven’t read Yuval Harari’s – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – it is an excellent book. Check your public library. I was introduced to this book through Coursera).
All of the above doesn’t explain why I am considering the weight of law.
The two hardbacks (rented, not bought) weigh about 1.5 kg each. The paperback slightly under a kilo. Law is just heavy and those that write the textbooks don’t say anything in five words if a paragraph will do. See comments above. I am waiting on the last book to arrive from Amazon. As much as I would prefer to support UC Hastings Student Bookstore, there is no way I am interested in carrying these tomes anywhere other than upstairs to my desk. They are certainly not going back and forth from home to class on McAllistar Ave in San Francisco. Orientation starts on Monday. I am hoping not to have to revise my opinion on book hauling.
Wearing my As Fan Hat –
Apparently Chevron and the powers that be assume that Harry Potter is the right cultural reference for a Witches and Wizards Fireworks evening. I have no clue where the “witches” come in since the wizard’s school didn’t seem to discriminate or change nomenclature based on gender. I didn’t get the shiny gold baseball with wings in the center. Duh – as someone mentioned to me – this is baseball’s interpretation of the Snitch from Quidditch.
Who new? Or cared?
A’s won 2:1 in the normal amount of innings.
There seems to be a general opinion that my life currently seems to be all about baseball. Not exactly true, but since I am really not traveling anywhere in particular, it is something that is going on regularly in my life. Further helped, of course, by the fact that the As are actually playing decent ball a year or more ahead of what everyone predicted. They entered this season stating that this would be a year of rebuilding; surprising everyone but their dedicated fans on their play. Especially repeated success in coming back from a deficit in the 7th or later innings to pull off a win.
And then there was tonight’s game which turned out to be a battle of the bullpens which left most of us wondering how many relief pitchers were going to be activated by the time the game finished. Not counting the fact that Anderson pitched for seven innings you would predict 1-2 relief pitchers.
Did I mention that this bit of insanity lasted 13 full innings? With NO score till the bottom of the 13th? There were a couple of times when each team managed to get a runner on base, but then, between pitching and excellent fielding that last out was accomplished.
By the end of the 11th, I was completely wiped and it was barely 2200. Then I got a txt from George saying he was at North Berkeley to pick me up. Why? Oh, I read that you were on BART, but that was yesterday wasn’t it? Yep. Do you want me to head home? He went off to fuel the car and head home. I considered the game and superstition kicked in.
Every time I leave, the As win. If I stay? 50/50. I headed to BART and watched the rest of the game on my phone on the way home. Six to seven pitchers for each side, The new kid on the team, just called up from Nashville came through in the bottom of the 13th. His single brought in the first (and last) run of the game.
And we will do this again tomorrow, and Sunday, and Monday and ….
you get the idea.
Back we are to a rental beast. Beast being the literal truth as the smallest thing on the lot when George went over was a Jeep SUV. Hello? That is not a small or easy to drive car. Nor, just to add insult to injury is it terribly fuel efficient. Add to that clumsy, difficult to park and stark white and you will start to understand how completely I loath this particular vehicle.
It isn’t a car in which I would feel safe with a new driver as it seems to take more than its fair share of the road. George was the poor person who had to deal with Enterprise this time and has agreed that if it is going to be more than a few days till our car is returned he will take the responsibility for swapping out for something smaller and a bit easier to handle.
What started this rant in my head was the challenge of driving with the standard US driver neither knowing or understanding the use of turn signals. Heaven forbid that you actually provide the driver behind you with a clue as to what you might be considering next. Much less someone coming in the opposite direction. I won’t even bother to describe the California driver and traffic circles (roundabouts for you English driving types). Signal? Who? Why? How?
Meanwhile – in other challenges, I have been working my way through all the documents that UCHastings seems to require. Every other minute there is yet another document, paper or mandatory course to complete. Not that I mind TitleIX training, but I have already addressed the fact that training geared toward incoming college freshmen is insulting at best to mature students and incomprehensible to the average foreign student.
Gee, back to my usual mode of being a total PITA. Feels natural, even if it falls under the guise of making the whole experience more appropriate and relevant.
Which is absolutely not my favorite thing in the whole world. But then, I have a daughter due back from Germany today, a couple of cats to get back to their own cozy home and no in town baseball game to provide me an excuse.
You see, I have this upstairs room that is variously called my craft room, my studio or that junk room. You get the idea. It had gotten to the point where I wasn’t willing to even step inside the room which leads to serious secondary and tertiary affects. Projects don’t get completed, I contemplate buying more supplies since I can’t locate what I know is in the room and my kids look at me with the “lead by example much?” quizzical look that I can’t refute. So I broke down starting yesterday and started to put the room in order.
To understand the magnitude of the task just think sewing, machine embroidery, knitting, spinning, quilting, cross stitch and you will get the idea. Each of those mentioned above has supplies: patterns, books, fabric, threads, yarn, needles, notions, machines, a spinning wheel or two, fiber, coffee mugs, tea cups and a sheep skin (doesn’t everyone need a sheep skin?) to just start the list. And then there are the various audiobooks in physical copy that I have accumulated from both Graphic Audio and Audiobookstand (going out of business….) that I haven’t yet heard.
I did mention the cats? Onyx seemed to think it was his job to assist in all things. The third time I pulled him out of behind boxes or that he tumbled boxes and books off the shelves along the slanted wall he was evicted. Not pleased, as it is the given right of cats to walk wherever they want. Ten minutes later, I was forgiven as the custodian of the bag of treats.
Any way, we picked up the daughter safely, transferred her and the cats to her house and it still left me enough time to make a serious dent in the disaster.
I can actually find the floor…..
It was during the winter that I sat outside for hours, middle of the night to watch a lunar eclipse. There was another one last night (the 27th) which was not exactly visible in my half of the world.
I didn’t miss it completely as both the Eldest and a friend in Southern Germany sent me some lovely pictures. So I will share with you and we can all enjoy the sky sights by proxy.
and the series from Christian in Bayern
After driving a rental car since 3 July, I picked up our shiny clean car yesterday from Hustead’s on 7th in Berkeley. I am so used the size of our Golf and the standard transmission that I have found myself not willing to parallel park due to car size. And then there is the uncomfortable feeling of searching for the clutch which just doesn’t happen to exist. What is also noticeable to me is that I much prefer the hatchback/station wagon back opening to a trunk. Just sliding things like suitcases and groceries is easier than lifting them out.
It is also interesting to have a clean car. Mind you, once in a blue moon or so I drive the car through a car wash. Being a good citizen of California I would rather take it somewhere that processes the runoff water properly than to run up my own water bill and have slime all over the driveway. You see, it is the redwoods around our property. They have a tendency to shed and drip on any vehicle left in the parking area. To get it off requires not just cleaner and water but a lot of scrubbing. Car washes have these lovely big rotating brushes that manage to get off the sticky stuff with one pass through. Much easier on me as well.
At least that is my story and excuse for not washing a car. As far as the rest of it? They actually vacuumed out the inside. And changed the radio station which tells me that the battery in the car is well functioning and provided entertainment to the crews while working. At least I am assuming that you don’t bother to change the station if the only thing you are doing is moving the car in and out of the shop.
Back to the car. I have a new right rear passenger door. A repaired rear quarter panel and a new right rear tire. There is lovely, clean shiny paint along that side.
While waiting for the last bit of polishing, the manager and I talked about the challengers of traveling with family. His most recent experience involved daughters, excess baggage and outrage that he expected them to stay within weight limits. Then I think of the size suitcases I used to travel with and have some sympathy. It takes time and energy to learn how to coordinate clothing so that you can minimize what you pack. It takes a willingness to ignore current fashion in favor of light weight and layer. And besides – if I brought too much in the way of shoes or clothes, I wouldn’t have enough room for the knitting and cross-stitch projects now would I?
No, not four footed creatures but a team in the Women’s National Basketball Association. If you are not US based, you are excused for not knowing that there has been professional women’s basketball for several decades. The Minnesota Lynx date from 1999 as an active team. I have friends in St. Paul who have been fans since the team’s founding. Since there was a game tonight, it made total and complete sense (ok, as much sense as anything else I do) to attend this evenings game with them.
After all, flying from SFO to MSP is not enough to totally wipe me out for a day even given BART on the home and dealing with a rental car on arrival.
Since it is not winter but rather the season known as road construction, I was not surprised to find that the basic driving route that I had planned provided a few challenges. Never the less, I made it safely to St Paul in plenty of time. Time enough to see that the apartment that I occupied in 1978 across the street from the Commodore Hotel is still standing. I heard it went condo a couple of decades or more ago.
Back to the Lynx – it was a pretty full arena. The fans are loud. Now this is Minnesota and – Garrison Keillor aside – people are pretty polite. These folks were LOUD. Nice, but loud. Not the bad language and name calling that has come to be associated with professional sports (men – baseball and US style football. We will completely ignore the UK’s soccer) but high levels of positive cheering.
Of course, winning does help.
I love Minnesota Drivers. They are polite; they merge flawlessly and without honking horns. They obey traffic signals. Not like the Bay Area where driving can be a cross between a game of chicken and a combat sport. Everyone for themselves and watch out! I can’t blame diversity, transplants or immigrants although we have more than enough of all of the above. The laid back California attitude simply vanishes when someone gets behind the wheel of a car.
Never in Berkeley would someone stop and let you out from a parking spot at the curb simply because you signaled and were waiting for side traffic to clear. Wouldn’t see drivers being careful to always pass on the left. Perhaps Minnesota has a soporific effect on its residents. The politeness and reserve extending to insuring that you don’t interfere with anyone else on the road.
Or maybe it is the long cold winters that instills both a hardiness and a sense of community responsibility. In any case, it was a pleasure driving from the airport to my friends house. Not something I can say often in California.