Postcard from Berkeley

Vine and Walnut, Berkeley the Original Peet's Coffee

Last Saturday, Mary and I were going to meet with the daughter of Walter Lowdermilk–a Rhodes scholar, forester, and soil scientist–and were too early. So we wandered off to toward Tilden Regional Park and happened across the Berkeley Rose Garden. It’s on a hillside in a shallow draw that looks perfect for a concert. We lingered there a while and then used my iPhone’s map app to find the nearest Peet’s Coffee. It came up with one on Vine St and Walnut Street.

Inside the store we found the eclectic mixture of people that is emblematic of the People’s Republic of Berkeley. Conversations about politics and the environment drifted past us. We also found lots of Peet’s memorabilia. Mary and I had stumbled upon the very first Peet’s Coffee and Tea store in the country. I suspect some of the people there had been coming to this store since it opened. And since, Mr. Peet had trouble getting people to leave (at one time removing all the chairs which only caused the people to sit on the floor) they may never have left.

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Draft #2-Timberati on the Graveyard Shift

Lee Lofland over at the Graveyard Shift has asked if I’d like to do a guest column. Lee’s a retired detective who’s “solved cases in areas including narcotics, homicide, rape, murder-for-hire, robbery, and ritualistic and occult crimes. He worked as an undercover officer for several jurisdictions, and he even spent a few years as a narcotics K-9 handler.” He’s written a first-rate book on Police Procedure and Investigation, that I turn to when I want to make sure I’m in the ballpark with my descriptions of law enforcement procedures.

Below is the second draft. I can use all the comments, suggestions, grammar corrections, etc., that I can get. Continue reading

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Ya Cain’t Fix Stoopid

People have often commented on my driving . Usually the person riding my bumper is the one observing that I drive like a like old lady (not from Pasadena); while I can’t hear what they are saying, I can read lips.

Yesterday had all the elements of a great day as I drove my well-engineered Swedish chariot back up the switchbacks of CA Highway 29 over Mount St. Helena, sun and temperature were perfect for opening the sunroof and driving with the windows down.

With said windows open I heard tires squealing louder just out of my sight on the curve. I think NASCAR must make the average idjut think he can drive like Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt. I was about at the apex of a left hairpin when the oncoming car careered around the bend straddling the double-yellow stripe. I had heard him (or her) coming, and since I drive as though most of the populace is as dumb as this guy, I went off into the gravel and avoided him.

While the safety equipment on my 1995 Volvo 850 would have protected me; I don’t need to prove it.

Drive safely everyone. Savor the moment and let the journey be as important as the destination.

For the record, my wife and mother-in-law love my driving.

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