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I found this in a draft file from six years ago. It's obviously not new, but I couldn't resist the irony. From the Times of London:
Live: All four Welsh miners found dead.
 
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This flower reminds me of a crinkly handmade Veterans Day flower, except for the color, which for Veterans Day would be red. I understand they are still wildly popular in the UK, but I distinctly remember them on everyones' lapel when I was young. My father wore one to show that he was a good citizen, even if that was pushing it a bit. You gave money to a veterans organization and they pinned a flower on your lapel. A kind of racket, like Girl Scout Cookies, which I buy every year. One of the mothers told me that the little girls outsell the older girls many times over. "Men walking into the market…" (She paused and gave me a sly look. I was holding three boxes of cookies.) "…lack the power to say no." But it's all for a good cause, I tell myself. Girl Scouts and Veterans. I’m a veteran. I appreciate the benefits I receive.

We still have I Voted lapel stickers and lots of American flag pins, but beyond that, unless it’s merely a local phenomenon, I think the trend of wearing something to show that you gave or contributed or participated has long since passed.

But I still thought immediately of lapel flowers or boutonnières when I saw this. I think it was the irregularity that struck me. In checking the spelling of boutonnière, I came across the article What’s That Flower on Blair’s Lapel? The article ends with something that made me think someone else has seen this flower, or something close.
The red poppies are so ubiquitous in Great Britain that they've even inspired a counter-commemoration; the Peace Pledge Union distributes white poppies ‘as an alternative symbol of peace and a challenge to militaristic values.’
The Peace Pledge slogan is NO MORE WAR. And that, I think, like little girls and Girl Scout Cookies is something we should all be in favor of.
 
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I find myself saddened by the fact that no one in my present acquaintance is capable of reading or understanding what I write. Most of them, however, are capable of infinitely expanding on their own pedestrian or simply erroneous thoughts. Start them up and they don’t hear a word I say. One of the homeless people I see says, “I don’t want to talk about that,” if it’s not something he brought up. Another says to everything I complain about, “Your point is meaningless. God obviously wants things this way.” Still another, when I mention that Trump’s pole figures have dropped to around 30% looks at me horror struck and says, “That’s not true. Trump is the most popular president we have ever had.” There’s just no outer reality in almost any of the people I know.

But I’m not convinced it’s just the people I happen to know. Last night, out of habit I suppose, I went to the 7:00 o’clock showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I stood in line for hours with my boys to see the original film in Hollywood. The line went around the corner, down the block, around another corner and into a residential neighborhood. There wasn’t one empty seat in the entire theater. And we were wowed.

That was 1977. An entire lifetime ago. And the world changed in ways that are difficult to explain. But the Star Wars World has turned into a kind of arcade world of noise and violence. The people in the audience, both children and adults were bubbling over with excitement. They were laughing and yelling to friends, talking helplessly about themselves. And this roar didn’t stop when the movie began. It subsided when the volume went up, when the shooting and exploding began, and roared again as dialog returned. There were belly laughs at the slightest of jokes, and then the jokes were repeated back and forth until something else caught their attention. Not just the boys in front of me, but the adults as well.

I had the feeling that this movie was four or five TV episodes strung together without commercials. Except very expensive episodes. The audience actually cheered and clapped when things blew up. This movie changed the world in no way whatsoever. The audience raced home, I believe, to watch television. The pace of the movie was frantic, the volume of the audience was frenetic, and not one person in ten had the slightest idea what was happening.

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s not me.
 
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During the past summer I bought a small bunch of what I call mini sunflowers to replace a tiny display of sweet peas that I picked once a week in the patio. When the sweet peas died my desk seemed empty, and the sunflowers seemed just the ticket. They lacked the delightful scent, but they were bright and seemed rather dramatic to me. I replaced them twice before they stopped selling them.

A week went by with absolutely nothing. Finally, I asked the florist at the grocery store for help. She was watering things where I have coffee. She gave me a list of flowers to consider, and later that day I came back to buy some. But only one of the flowers she suggested was in stock, and it wasn’t flowering. I ended up with a bunch of buds threatening to bloom. They were called Alstroemeria, or sometimes Lily of the Incas, which I had never heard of.

I bought a tall vase, because they had very long stems, and stripped the leaves off the lower portion of the stems. I also added a packet of some sort of vitamin to the water. It was glued to the wrapper. And in two days the first bud bloomed.

Then the next.

And then thirty of forty more while I slept.

I had a profusion of delicately ornate flowers on my desk in gorgeous white with colorful stripes that changed my entire life. I absolutely loved them.

Then, about three weeks later, a petal dropped on my desk, and a few more on the floor, and when I tried to move the vase it seemed like hundreds of petals dropped everywhere. They left a trail from my desk to the trash bag in the kitchen. And once again, my desk was empty.

I replaced the original white Alstroemeria with two more bunches of white, and then lavender, which is pictured here. I went back to white, which was cheerful and seemed to spread happiness and, at the time, was all they had. Flower delivery days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I bought the last bunch of white on Wednesday, thinking myself quite fortunate. And as I type this my eye wanders to yellow with red stripes and a hint of green. Alstroemeria purchased last week. It was, again, all they had, but they filled the room with a kind of happiness I never expected. Even the UPS man, looking past me as I signed, said, "Oh, yellow flowers…"

I’ve told this story to the florist every two or three weeks since the first bunch of mini sunflowers, and she now waves at me as I shop. I smile and wave back. As I said in an earlier post, I’ve know lots of crazy people, but I have never met an unhappy florist.
 
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To brighten things up a bit today, this magnificent bloom on a neglected shrub. It looks like a thousand tentacles in an ocean of green, each reaching out to cause havoc, or perhaps only to be fertilized. How does nature come up with such things? And how do we manage to walk past them without noticing?
 
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Every walk has something to see and thoughts to think, but the reality — reality itself — is much different. Vast stretches of it require not seeing, not stopping, not thinking. This is the back way out of the market, about half its distance. I have nothing good to say about it. In fact, most of my walks are through similar things, similar places. It’s the song in my heart, as they say, the things in my head that make it tolerable. There are no art directors here, no plot, beyond coming and going. And yet, despite this, there are a thousand things to see and think. Flowers blooming in odd places. Dogs barking and wining for treats. People, at least the shells of people, saying hello, sending a smile, raising a hand. Each thing and person performing its part, like the mud leading downhill on this walkway. Around the corner it gets better, more diverse, and then sometimes it becomes almost transcendent. The way in and the way out.
 
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This, I believe, is a jade plant in bloom. It’s on the side of the building where where my walk first joins the sidewalk. I don’t believe I have ever seen a jade plant bloom, though it must be an annual event. A profusion of tiny white flowers.

My grandmother had one, my Welsh grandmother, in other words my father’s mother, at the back door leading to the kitchen. It was about four feet tall and unusual in appearance. In those days you visited relatives by going in the back door and yelling something like, “Hi grandma, it’s Evan.” And my grandmother would come running to say, “Oh dear, I have nothing to serve you.” And so would begin the ritual of preparing tea, and sandwiches, and scones, and biscuits, and a hundred other things she didn’t have. I’m not sure that such hospitality exists today. Nor do I know of a single back door I’m allowed to walk through.

In high school I took my Danish girlfriend Karen to meet her. My grandfather died in Wales. It was my thirteenth birthday, so she’d lived alone for many years. They seemed like peas in a pod, and yet totally different. They were both people you'd want to know and visit, always up to the task of company. And they got on very well.

But before opening the back door we stopped. Karen was taken by the strange plant next to the door and three steps down. She had never seen anything like it. It was completely covered in what looked like tea leaves. Leaves in all shades of brown. I said, “Watch. In a few seconds she’ll put the kettle on. She’ll say, ‘Oh dear, I have nothing to serve you.’ Then she’ll rinse out the tea pot with hot water, and without looking march to the back door, turn to the side and empty the pot with her left hand. The old tea leaves will land right on top of the jade plant.”

My grandmother’s jade plant never bloomed, to my knowledge. In other words, it never bloomed this profusion of white flowers. But it did bloom year round. It bloomed tea leaves. Piles of them.
 
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Albertsons market, the one I walk to almost every day, is having a Grand Opening. There are strings of flags stretched between light poles and huge signs announcing it. Merriam-Webster defines Grand Opening as “a special celebration held to mark the opening of a new business or public place (such as a park or stadium.)” The problem is that Albertsons has been there for years. It isn’t new at all. What is new is the reworking of the produce department and new glass fronted cabinets in the deli and in the meat department in the back corner of the store. Not the entire meat department, just the glass fronted cabinets in the corner.

I’m not saying that these improvements aren’t nice. They are very nice. Over a period of months and at great expense they were installed during the late night shift. So, Albertsons never closed. It was just a mess for a long time and now that job has been completed. So they might have a Just Finished a Partial Remodel Celebration, or some such thing, but not a Grand Opening. They also can’t have a Reopening or Grand Reopening, because first they would have to close in order to reopen.

This is very much like the humorous ending of Sunshine Cleaning Company (2008) where Joe (Alan Arkin) sells his house to buy his daughter Rose (Amy Adams) a new van with the sign Lorkowski Sunshine Cleaning Company on the side. She looks at the sign and says, “Since 1963?” “Yeah, it gives a sense of stability. People like that.” “It's a lie,” she responds. “It’s a business lie,” he answers. “It’s different from a life lie.”

Of course life and movies are different. Albertsons wants us to feel excited about having a new Albertsons in the neighborhood, even if it’s an old, somewhat redone Albertsons. It’s just an innocent business lie. But when they sell Fresh Made sandwiches in the cold section, and the sticker says they were made three days earlier, is that just to make us feel good about our ham and cheese factory made sandwich, or is there something inherently dishonest about it? Yes, the sandwich was fresh made, but the sandwich was made three days ago. That, I believe, is a life lie. It’s like having to ask how old the freshly caught fish is. Was it freshly caught this week or last week? The line between business lie and life lie can be very thin.
 
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I was curious to see if they were still open. Apparently they are. I could have walked there from where I live, but I checked the computer and found this on Yelp.
These people do not deserve the business of anyone who is female, a person of color, LGBT, or any other community that is now under threat. They also took money from my friend's mother with dementia and when asked if they would allow the return of the item  by her family  they refused. Do not shop here unless you want to deal with people who will cheat you and steal your money. They don't care who they hurt or how they do business.
I was with a friend and his wife as well as my girlfriend when we stopped here years ago. We were on our way to the Arts Festival in the park. It was typical of our friends to show off the money they had that we certainly lacked at the time. They lived in a house so full of things that it was a challenge to walk from room to room. They found two corner pieces for their dining room, got a discount for buying two and arranged for delivery. But they asked to hold off on the delivery for a few days because they had to clear a space for their new possessions. Not that they explained that.

Years later, after his wife died and my girlfriend suffered a psychotic break and ended up living with her mother, I moved into his guest house to empty the place and supervise other work. Soon it became apparent that as one room emptied another began to fill. It was partly the wife, but not entirely, because the wife was dead, but the filling up continued. I stayed there for almost four years.

One day he came home with a bagful of things meant to earthquake proof the house. Among them were two cables meant to secure the corner cabinets in the dining room. I asked how he wanted me to use them. There was nothing to attach them to. It was like trying to attach an antitheft cable to a bicycle with no spokes and no gaps in the frame. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “Drill holes in the back.”

A few months later he came home fit to be tied. He told me that I had cost him thousands and thousands of dollars in damage to his priceless antiques. I asked which antiques he was referring to. He has lots of junk, some of it expensive junk, but nothing even remotely antique. “The corner cabinets,” he yelled. By drilling holes you completely ruined their resale value. I said, “I did what you told me to do. I drilled holes in the back to keep them from falling over in an earthquake.” Well, he would never say such a stupid thing. “These are collectors items,” he insisted. “These are late 17th Century!”

Shakespeare’s First Folio was published in the first quarter of the 17th Century. The cabinets would be only about sixty years younger. If you’re using your fingers and your toes, that’s about 400 years. Well, he got very angry when I explained that his cabinets weren’t that old, that I was with him when he purchased them, and that having the word “Antiques” in the name of the store did not mean everything they sold was precious and truly antique. I though maybe he would pass out he was so furious.

Anyway, I found the above photo on the computer last week. I put a small digital camera inside and pointed toward myself. I found a backup tag attached to the inside. The holes I drilled were through plywood. Plywood came into its own in the 20th Century. The shelves were plywood, held up with shelving plugs placed in machine drilled holes along the inside of the cabinets. And the whole thing was held together with small, dark colored Phillips-head screws, an invention of the 20th Century. And after all that time, the cabinets still had the distinct smell of stain. In other words, they were copies. New copies, made in Indonesia. Asking price $1,495. Purchased at a discount.

I’ve known lots of crazy people in my time. I knew this person for almost twenty years before it was necessary to draw the line. He was always odd. Hell, I’m odd myself. I'll owe up to that. But I have never stepped so clearly or with such abandon over the edge from which he fell.
 
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The smoke from fires south of here has given the sky a golden hue and made morning look like late afternoon. The sun is an orange ball. It’s hard to tell if I’m supposed to be awake or asleep, though I just woke up again. I’ve been up and down all night with pain and cramps. A miserable night. The world seems completely out of kilter. Everything seems wrong. I was expecting 80° and sunshine. I left myself a note to water early, which I did, but now I wonder if the water is going to sit on the ground all day or soak in by night. Windless and silent. Everything seems almost on hold.
 
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This to me looks like an elaborate Christmas decoration, except that it floats above instead of hanging below the branch. A while back, I can’t remember exactly when, I saw a man in his front yard surrounded by tree trimmings. The house is on one of the corners I walk past every day. He said that every year or so he trims the tree. It has a thick, gnarly trunk and stands about one story high. He uses a tall ladder to do the upper sections. It seems like a very large bonsai to me, so carefully has it been shaped. He’s been doing this for twenty some years. He couldn’t remember when he started just as I can’t remember when I saw him. The purple decorations were a total surprise today. There are hundreds of them distributed evenly around the tree as if carefully placed. They seem like spots of color at a distance, but the closer you get the more impossible they seem. I’m guessing this tree or shrub would be, except for the blooms, unremarkable without twenty years attention and an artistic heart.
 
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There are only two basic kinds, the male kind and the female kind. I’m the male kind, and I prefer the female kind, which makes me somewhat normal. If we apply the word “beautiful” to humankind in general, one would assume we were referring primarily to the female kind. Men are handsome, or rugged, or good looking. Women are beautiful, at least in the mind’s eye they are.

The dynamics of sexuality have been thrust into the media. The predatory nature of some males, and by some I mean a rather large portion of them, has haunted the news lately. But today it was announced that thousands of individuals signed an online petition — thousands — to have a painting by the French-Polish artist Balthus removed from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and perhaps replaced by a less offensive work by a contemporary female artist. It is offensive because it depicts a household scene of a pubescent girl leaning back dreamily in a chair, one foot on the floor, one foot on the edge of the chair, with her underwear visible beneath her skirt. This, it seems, constitutes voyeurism.

The petition reads in part, via The Guardian, that “Given the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses, The Met is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children.” Because we see her leg and some underwear. I’m also concerned about the word “masses”. It is apparently good for the few, among whom I count myself, but not for the great bulk of humanity.

Of course, this is nonsense, but dangerous nonsense. Should we allow her to be painted and displayed only when she has three children and is fully covered? We’d see more of her at the beach than we see here, but we would miss the dreaminess, the cat, the scraps of furniture. No one petitioned the museum not to show Ruckstull’s “Evening”, a beautiful statue of a drowsy woman who happens to be completely nude. Should her breasts and pubic area be taped over? Should we petition the museum against the display of art in general, because someone might be offended?

Fortunately, the museum responded, “visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression.” Apparently they felt pubescent girls are beautiful was one step too far.
 
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In a dismal section of Atascadero, on my way to Home Depot for some parts I needed, something caught my eye. I hit the brakes and slowly backed up. It was a wooden barrier where one might expect concrete or cinder block, or maybe nothing at all. It’s purpose was to hold back debris or mud from the hillside to protect the fire department’s yellow water plug. I’ve taken pictures of water plugs before. Some of them stand quite proudly in their surroundings. But it wasn’t the plug that caught my eye this time, it was the barrier.

Everything about it was well thought out and completely natural in appearance. Four uprights — two of them one section taller than the others. Twelve wide and seven shorter planks. Thirty-eight bolts and thirty-eight predrilled holes. It may have come in a single strapped bundle, or a flatpack ready for assembly in place. All stained a natural brown.

Not to make too big a deal of this, but after the Army when I was back in school, I bought a package of Gillette GoodNews! disposable razors, at the grocery store. I had much the same reaction to the GoodNews! razor that I had when I drove past this fire plug barrier. It came in brown, something no one seems to remember. Now they are all in blue and called the Sensor2, the 2 referring to the number of blades. I was attracted to the color brown for reasons I don’t fully understand. But there was something else about it. It was light, made in a convoluted pattern of plastic that gave it strength and, as John McEnroe said in television ads, it was not just disposable, it cost only 25¢.

I remember taking one to school and being very disappointed by peoples’ response. Where I saw a piece of art and engineering, they saw a disposable razor, or possibly not even that. I think most of them thought I was trying to trick them somehow. They though I was being philosophical or ironic. Or perhaps they just thought I was stupid.

Anyway, few things in life hit the nail on the head quite like these two examples. Notice the extra short piece on the top of the barrier. I think that’s where the sign goes. I’ve been writing about flowers lately. Flowers are God made, or natural. Things we find and perhaps appreciate. These other things are human made, having their own sort of obvious or subtle perfection, but things found by almost no one.
 
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How could you ask for more brightness, more exuberance than this. On the Yoga Center fence one moment and then gone. I cross one dangerous street on my walk, and this is the first thing I come to, cars wizzing behind, thankful to be alive. I stand on the corner out of harms way wondering what the news will be. What splash of color. So much more interesting than the electronic news papers I read. Here is something that doesn’t make the news, but is, in its own way, the absolute news. The world continues with or without us. That’s the good news. And sometimes it is spectacular.
 
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Certain succulents are a lot like flowers, at least in their apparent structure. Their petals grow and open, and besides green they often have vivid displays of color. I can’t remember seeing so many succulents since I began walking to the store every day. Of course, there are many kinds and only a few are flowerlike, but they tend to be quite impressive. It’s hard to pass this one without slowing down a bit. The eye is caught by it.

Part of me wants to take a duster with me, something to flick away the particles of dirt and dust. I think it’s the part of me that wants to make things artificial and perfect. But these are growing in the dirt, in wind and in rain. The imperfections are part of their inherent perfection. It takes time to attune oneself to this.

These are not plastic, they are temporary growths, though temporary in the sense of years rather than days. They come and go, but they take their time. There are hundreds of succulents in manicured and un-manicured yards on my short walk. Perhaps they like the weather here, the moist marine layer, the infrequent sun. Or perhaps they simply require no maintenance. They seem to be everywhere.
 
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I have no memory of this flower. My telephone backs up photos to the cloud and my desktop, where I am now typing, grabs them and keeps them ready for viewing. I discovered this quite by accident not long ago, though it was a major selling point for the cloud. Here was a magnificent flower between two pedestrian photographs with nothing to tell me about where I was. Is it possible I simply responded to the color and kept walking? Is it an old flower? A dying flower? Or is it simply rough around the edges? It seems to be holding on to life with a very firm grip. Or am I just imagining that? This, I believe, is my favorite flower picture. One that I found this morning. It has so many questions and so very few answers.
 
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The part we normally don't look at. Or if looked at, hardly see. Much of the world we live in becomes invisible to us. We look through the wires to see the dying light, but fail almost entirely to see the poles and and all the paraphernalia that go with them. We adjust the world to give our senses what they want, what they look for, what they need — a world without uglines and distraction. And the longer we look, the less we see. Was there ever a time when such wires pleased our senses? Was the manufactured skyline ever as beautiful as the one we see? "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind," said Shakespeare through Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream. But the following line tells us something crucial that is almost never considered. "And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." We blind ourselves to ugliness, so the mind can see what it wants to see, what we want to see. In this case, the last beautiful light of evening.
 
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Flower specialists could probably tell me more than I need to know about this flower, but it seems like a total miracle to me. One of the many things that have caught my eye walking past the Yoga Center. It was there and gone, as ephemeral as starlight in the rosiness of dawn. Were it not for the camera in my phone, it would be nothing but a vague memory. Even so, I think I walked past it several times without noticing. Do flowers really come in such colors, or do Yoga Centers create certain spectacles unexpected elsewhere?
 
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I would like to share the scientific name of this flower, but I have no idea what it is. It crept through a ramshackle fence at the Yoga Center on the corner. Someone there has a taste for the unusual. It continued to grow until it could no longer support its weight, and now the fence is merely a fence again. Though an interesting fence. I think it expresses something about meditation, or meditative exercise. It lived behind the fence for the longest time, until it figured things out and burst forth. I suppose all flowers are like that. This one, however, found a space toward the sun, toward the sidewalk, toward passers by, and refused to be held back. Namaste.
 
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How do you not stop to admire something like this in the midst of absolutely nothing? My daily walk may be short, but is filled to the brim with surprises.
 
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In the past few months I’ve found myself stopping to take flower pictures on my daily walk. When I got here it was difficult to walk across the street, so I push myself every day up the hill to the store and back. I now take the same walk that used to be on and off patches of sidewalk all the way to the store on continuous sidewalk. They’ve been working on it for the last few weeks and it’s almost finished. We’re starting to be what some complain looks a lot like a middle class neighborhood. One of the houses had an enormous display of California poppies growing between an old patch of sidewalk and the fence. And then there was nothing. My heart sank. The owner of the house was just cleaning up as I passed. He saw the shock on my face. “I do this every year,” he said. “First I knock all the seeds on the sidewalk and sweep them up. Then I cut down the old poppy plants, amend the soil, and sprinkle back all the seeds.” Someone taught him to do that years ago, and now it’s like giving the yard a haircut.

Poppies, of course, are weeds. But some of the most beautiful weeds in California. They’ll be back.
 
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Well, I was wrong about the Catholic Church and wrong also, I suspect, about Martin Luther. The Thanksgiving dinner was not at the church, but across the street from the church at the Community Center. When I left, with an hour still to go, they had already fed 265, plus more than 100 take out meals. I’m not sure if the delivered meals were counted in that figure. The lady handing out tickets figured they would serve at least 100 more meals before they quit. It was a very loud and festive group.

I sat with a man 89 years of age whom I’m helping with a website and a blog. He says he’s a wordsmith, but what he really means is that he wrote for local newspapers and magazines for a good portion of his life. There was a band playing. The band was extremely loud, and no one could hear anything that was not yelled directly into their ear. The lead singer wore a fully sequined dress that seemed, perhaps, it’s possible I just don’t understand fashion, more at home in a barroom than a Thanksgiving hall. As luck would have it, the man I was eating with is hard of hearing and was therefore unbothered by the sound. He continued to talk, though I have no idea what he was saying. But he responded to smiles and nods, and seemed to enjoy his meal. He was getting ready to have Thanksgiving dinner with his daughter in a few hours. When the band stopped for a moment I told him he hadn’t changed his latest post. I wrote to him about the final words. They contradicted the premise of the post. It wasn’t a stylistic error, it was a mistake. He said, “If I get any complaints I’ll change it next year.” Complaints. I complained two days ago in a very nice email. I think what he meant to say was that if anyone important complains he’ll change it in next year’s text. So, it wasn’t just a post, it was an annual post.

There were two serving lines. The man across from me at the table went through just ahead of me on the right side, and then snuck through the left side for another meal. He ate two full turkey dinners with all the trimmings in less time than it took me to eat one, and planned to sit there for a while before attempting one final dessert. He had three cups of coffee, three or four cups of water and an apple juice all brought to him by a troupe of obedient Eagle Scouts. What good sports they were. I suspect they earned Thanksgiving Badges.

My neighbor, with whom I am growing a garden in the patio, decided not to go to the community dinner because someone gave him a turkey. He decided he would barbecue the turkey and we could have a second turkey dinner Thanksgiving night, like the dinner my companion was planning on. I suggested that we wait until Saturday. But no, Thanksgiving was Thanksgiving. He promised to pick me up for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner Monday. He was really excited about that. But he never showed. He also did not seem aware that he had forgotten anything. I folded his laundry because someone complained that he couldn’t do laundry for two days. Two days in the washer, two days in the drier, and then automatically folded. It makes one wonder. But today, as I left for the Community Center, he said he’d been thinking about what I said and thought Saturday might be better. Last night on the way home from town (which means on the way back from San Luis Obispo) I carried a heavy bag, left-hand/right-hand, home with everything for a turkey dinner except the turkey.

I wonder if chicken and cranberry sauce go together. I could always buy a precooked chicken and have post-Thanksgiving dinner alone Saturday night, something I could count on, maybe with an iTunes movie, when he forgets to barbecue the turkey and locks the door and turns out the lights. Until then, I think I'll just be thankful in private and take a very long and completely restful nap.
 
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I heard yesterday that St. Timothy's Catholic Church up the road is having a Thanksgiving dinner this year. I had spaghetti in their hall about six months ago and had a wonderful time. My neighbor attends St. Timothy's. When I was told, I asked what day the dinner would be and was informed that Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of the month. "So, they're having it on Thanksgiving," I said. There was a pause followed by a glare that said rather distinctly what a moron. But later I was told that Calvary Church about two blocks from here was also having a Thanksgiving dinner. Against my better judgment I asked when they were having it. The answer was, "I think they're having it on Tuesday so the people who work there can spend Thanksgiving with their families." Or, maybe, have dinner at the Catholic Church. Martin Luther, I think, based his 95 Theses on something much deeper than theology.
 
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IKEA Kaleidobeadspread
 
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(The dogs next door.)

dogs_next_door2
 
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earth

grapes

wood
 
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TazoAwakeBox


From the side panel of a box of Tazo Awake Tea purchased at Albertsons grocery store.


Tazo Tea, as will surprise no one, is a division of Starbucks. They purchased the Portland, Oregon based company in 1999. If you enjoy the taste of the tea sold at Starbucks under the name Tazo Awake, you may be disappointed to learn that the tea sold in markets under the same name is a different product altogether. Of course they are both tea, and they are both Tazo, but there the similarity ends. It is a sign of the times that people, by and large, consider themselves to be urbane and sophisticated for frequenting Starbucks, but how sophisticated can the company itself be that knows not the difference between teapots (see above) and a teakettles? These instructions should carry the warning:

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME
 
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PicaStick
 
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RinaCitizen

Last Friday, with eight hundred seventy-five others, coming in all sizes, shapes and colors, Rina became a citizen of the United States of America. She is now officially Jiseon Ryoo Jones, the name of her choosing. Immigrants from more than ninety countries took the oath as babies cried, cameras flashed and tears mixed with smiles filled the crowd. We are all immigrants in one way or another. America, as is often said, is the Great Melting Pot. So, what better time to remember than this proud day that our strength is in unity, not uniformity. One nation under God, with people from everywhere.
 
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plumbing
 
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RinaJones

Rina, the most recent member of the family. We're hoping for some tiny Joneses before long. Five years this March, though it seems like yesterday. Inside we all have clocks that run at their own distinctive speed, or else the older we get the less we pay attention. Valentine's Day today. Pandemonium at the grocery store. Perhaps we should also have a day for celebrating The Apple of My Eye.
 
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OxnardAmtrak

From the window of the northbound Surfliner yesterday — a dreary trip punctuated by tiny miracles.
 
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Archives
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