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Dead at 77.

Careful with the videos.  It’s been reported by one poster that some embedded youtubers have been leaving viruses on his computer.  I haven’t had any problems with any of these.  Anyway, a woman as good as she is well worth the risk.

Addendum: Thanks to Moonshadow for this link about fake Youtube pages.

Well, let’s test out this new format.  Here’s the story.

The Court also ordered restitution of the Mateel’s attorney fees in making the motion (I think – the article’s not clear on just what attorney fees are being awarded, but it’s just over $1000.00) at the full $300.00 per hour rate rather than the $200.00 per hour discounted rate.  I’ve seen that happen before.  The law allows for “reasonable attorney” fees and doesn’t reward the breaching party when an attorney cuts a special deal to help a client.  Judge Miles ruled $300.00 per hour “reasonable.”

Now, I will be watching this thread carefully and I have more administrative options (your first post may not go through right away, it seems that I have to approve some posters and not others – don’t ask me why).  I can ban IPs.  I’d rather not do that, but while I will allow expression of frustration, I’m not allowing name calling, libel, nor severe disrespect.  I calls them as I sees them.

Not satisfied with what looks like a very hawkish national security team nominated yesterday, some right wingers are kvetching about seven appointments to his transition team who are openly homosexual.  He’s “keeping his promises” to the “homosexual pressure groups.”

Scared yet?

Well did you know that eharmony, the largest online dating now (gasp!) serving homosexuals!

Meanwhile, in more mundane news, the year-long recession has been confirmed.  Of course, it’s all Obama’s fault.

Bruce Anderson describes his recent encounter with a Swedish hitchhiker.  He doesn’t like to pick them up, but his guilt was on high setting on the particular day.

She had multi-colored hair, the requisite nose rings, leopard pants, a purplish blouse, hiking boots. I guessed she was about 30, but she could have been 13 for all I knew. If she was 30, as she appeared to be, the skateboard fastened to her backpack? Age plus costume plus skateboard meant the conversational possibilities were likely nil.

But she’d been animated enough to silently beg for a ride, and I didn’t want to hear the next day that the body of a young woman had been found in Hopland with her throat cut, that I’d left this woman-child out there for the wolves.

I haven’t picked many people up since I had children.  I’m willing to take chances on my own, but not with kids.  And when the kids aren’t there, the car seats often occupy the back seat while my mobile office (ie. my junk) occupies the front seat.  Call me sexist or naive about the potential dangers of the female half of the hitchiking population, but I almost always pick up a woman.  I’ve shuttled many an individual from Redway to Garberville, which isn’t so much of a sacrifice.  I’m not as big a grouch as Bruce when it comes to hitchiking conversation, but I do enjoy having the few minutes of my short commute to myself to clear my head.  But in addition to the inevitable guilt Bruce talks about, in a small town I don’t want to look like a selfish jerk and I’ve picked up plenty of people over the years here whom I’ve gotten to know later.  Lastly, I can use all the karma I can find.  So I do pick them up when I can.

I have met some fun people on the road and some not-so-fun.  I’m not going to tell the local stories as the details could point the finger at someone – this being a small town.  However, I picked up many hitchers in my college trips to and from home between Santa Cruz and Pacifica.  Highway 1 used to produce a host of characters, from hippies who were trying to escape harassing police in Santa Cruz to evangelical Christians who had made a vow of poverty and living on God’s graces (and everyone else’s).  Sometimes I got pieces of art as gifts, and at least one of those little green Bibles.  Often the rides were educational, as in one case where I picked up a young woman near the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz and after a brief and revealing exchange I learned the different signals prostitutes give when they’re simply looking for a ride and when they’re looking for a “ride.”

I’ve been lucky though.  I’ve liked most of the people I’ve picked up.  In San Francisco near Mission Street an Asian woman once came out into the street and frantically flagged me down.  She barely spoke English but we were able to communicate well enough for me to get her to her desired location to deal with whatever emergency was in her lap.  I never quite got what it was, but she was so grateful when I let her off that I felt good about it the rest of the day.  I always hoped that her trouble worked out for her or whomever.

On the other hand, and there was the slightly surely woman I picked up in San Francisco on 18th Street.  When I told here where I was headed, she “joked” – “I bet you’d take me where I want if I had a gun.”  I responded that I probably would.  She being young and attractive, and my being young, male, and stupid, I wasn’t angered or afraid over the joke.  I actually found it sort of appealing.  One of those experiences where in retrospect I wonder how any of the male half of the species survives the 20s.  She left the car without incident at the top of Clipper.  I didn’t subsequently read about any female serial killers, nor dead boyfriends.

Oh, and Bruce is right.  Foreign hitchers tend to be more gracious.  At least they never bring up guns.


December 2008