Odds and Sods – Sept 25th


A few days ago, Irene went boomba at her Zumba. Apparently her knee Zimmed when it should have Zummed. Now she is in great shape – except hardly being able to walk.

My view of exercise is akin to Thomas Inman’s paraphrase of the Hippocratic Oath: ‘First, do no harm.’ And particularly do it in a way that keeps you away from those other Hippocrats – the doctors. This reduces my obligation – from a preventative perspective. No pain = no pain.  I try to keep it that way.

What’s this thing these days with making things sound more complicated than they are? Back when I first moved to the Bay Area, we had a thing called ‘fog’. It was the gray, wet stuff that enveloped the place much of the year, chilled you to the bone, and provided a handsome living to the purveyors of sweaters and sweatshirts to unsuspecting tourists.

From time to time I travelled down to Southern California, where, according to the song, it never rains. However, according to the weather reports, they had this thing called a ‘marine layer’ that would come in, chill you to the bone, and provide a handsome living to the purveyors of sweaters and UCLA sweatshirts to tourists. It looked a hell of a lot like fog to me, but I figured things are always needing to be fancier and more glamorous down there. So instead of fog, they have a ‘marine layer’.

Well, guess what? Apparently the rising cost of living up here in San Fran has attracted the fancy fog from down south. So now, on the news, in the weather report, we have our own ‘marine layer’. Just don’t go out in it, unless of course you can hear the sound of the marine layer horn. That should keep you from bumping into rocks. Or tourists at the Cliff House.

When I was growing up, if you had a bunch of extra trash – say more than the guys would take off your sidewalk on Wednesday morning, you took it to The Dump. This was also a good near-final resting place for old sofas, worn out tires, and really smelly stuff that you not longer wanted within a couple of miles of your place. But we don’t have a ‘dump’ anymore. Nope. What we have is a ‘Transfer Station”. I took a bunch of stuff to the Sonoma County Transfer Station while cleaning out Mom’s house awhile back. Big concrete and tin panel building you drive up to, back your vehicle up, and then throw your stuff onto a pile. Then some guy in a piece of heavy machinery pushes it around, so you can throw more stuff in. I guess that’s the ‘transfer’ part, although personally, it really does still look like a dump to me.

According to the Napa Valley Register, what we have here in the County is a ‘Materials Diversion Center’. I think because now, instead of just trash, we have ‘recyclables’ and ‘compostables’. And we put them in different colored cans so the trash guys no the different. So rather than just dumping or transferring the junk and smellies and such, they now have to be diverted. From what and to what I’m not sure. But I kind of suspect it may still be done by the same guy in the piece of heavy equipment. Who knows?

I’ve got this new day job that I have to drive a lot to get back and forth to, in day job hour traffic, and maybe also drive some more while I’m doing it, but not so much of that yet. This means I am listening to the radio a lot. A couple of times in the last week I heard a radio commercial for something called the OMBra. (Pronounced ‘Oh – mm’ and the rest just like it sounds, as in Playtex). I’m thinking, at least from the pronunciation, that they are trying to imply it imparts some mystical Far-Eastern serenity – like having the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi chanting on your iPod. Ommmmmmmmm. But maybe the ‘O’ and the ‘M’ are just short for something – like Oh Mama!, or maybe the founders Oren and Martha. The commercial didn’t say.

Apparently the OMBra is a female support sports undergarment which includes sensors reading the wearer’s heart rate and “other vital data” during exercise. In addition to the serenity of not too much chaos going on and keeping things on a higher plane, so to speak, while bounding along the sidewalk, a woman has the benefit of digital bio-feedback. So I’m thinking, what should we really call this? The ‘titbit’?

As bulbs burn out in the house, I’m replacing them with the new LED type ones. According to the package, these things are supposed to last like twenty-one or twenty-two years. Which is longer than I expect to be around, personally. I mean, when they finally do burn out, I’ll either be dead or the light-bulb-changing mantle will have long been passed on to someone who can climb more than two steps without breaking a hip. So these are the last bulbs I’ll ever buy, eh? Kind of gives new meaning to the term ‘lifetime warranty’.

So I’m thinking – what’s the business plan here? Sell everyone these bulbs at exhorbitent prices until all of the old, burn-out-just-when-you-really-need-the-light ones are replaced, then go to Tahiti for twenty years and wait for the first one to burn out? Who will still remember how? Hey, here’s one: How many Millennials does it take to screw in a light bulb? A what??????

We are coming up to other stuff like that as the years pile up behind me on the old trail of life. I remember my Dad saying “Well, that’s the last car I’m going to buy”. Kind of fatalistic I thought at the time. But you know what – it was. He kept it for, I don’t know, twenty-five years or so , was driving it the day he had a stroke at eighty-eight (years, not mph), and still only had thirty-five thousand original miles on it the day he died at ninety. The beige vinyl top was still in perfect condition, but the way. Hell of a deal, rush right down here now before someone else grabs it.

I know I’ve got at least one more BMW in me. But the current ride is coming up on fifteen years and with the cost to replace it, if I do, I just might expire before a new one is paid off. Wouldn’t that be a hoot! Talk about yer ‘free ride’.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


(C) 2016 by Greg Fuller



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *