Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Continued unpacking. Washed the riding and camping gear, then the bike, then my clothes.

Listened to “NPR” then “Democracy Now!” (my home routine.) I'm back in the world of traffic reports. How did we ever manage without them?

NPR reports the average CEO now makes 370 times the average worker. Excluding benefits, the average worker has not kept up with inflation. (And benefits are quickly being eroded.)

There is anxiety over elections being stolen once again. Apparently the new computer systems offer new opportunities!

America! Take back your lives. Stop buying useless and unnecessary CRAP!!! George W. Bush feels we can just "consume" our way out of any crisis. That's exactly what got us into the crisis! Our consumption encouraged borrowing and buying on credit, has driven the vast income disparity and has spurred the greed-driven corporate executives and shareholders (who top the something-for-nothing category!) Send a message to these jerks who seek to build power and wealth on the backs of consumers.

I noted a few things that have changed during my absence. "Flying Goat" no longer has a wireless connection (important news!) Landmark Vineyards has ripped out their Chardonnay vines – vines that were just maturing. (I could have told them many years ago that building a California winery devoted solely to Chardonnay was not a brilliant concept - especially at a time when the market was flooded with the stuff.)

Two months’ worth of mail at the post office. Found a CD of Deal's Gap photos that I ordered. There was also a box from "Aerostich". It contained a half-dozen copies of their holiday catalog – and I’m on the cover! (I thought they were joking.) Still, it's a nice acknowledgment. They also included a $50 gift certificate!

According to statements, my investments increased about $6k – so, in a way, this trip was paid for. (Of course, one is paper, one is real costs.) Part of me is pleased that the Republicans are doing such a good job looking after the rich. Some of that trickles down, at least to my level. (Okay, I take back what I said about greedy executives and shareholders.)

Oops. Once again, I forgot about Jessica’s insurance and let it lapse a couple weeks ago. That's a responsibility I need to hand over to her!

I ran into Mike Lee at the post office. He's the former winemaker and partner in Kenwood Vineyards. We exchanged a bit of small talk, but it was clear he didn't recognize me from the other locals one runs into at the post office. I never mentioned that I once worked for him.

Settling into the routine, I stopped at “Pepe’s” for a late lunch. I "scarfed up" their fresh salsa, as if contains something essential my body has been lacking. (I suspect that's not far from the truth.)

A stop at "A’Roma Roasters" to replenish my home coffee supply. Purchased a half-pound of Mexican coffee. I didn’t want to stick around though.

Next, I went crazy at the video store. There's so much to catch up on (since the movies I usually watch are not ones I'm likely to see when visiting family.) Rented six videos! The King, The Middle of the World, A Prairie Home Companion, The Proposition, The Fall of Fujimori and The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

More changes. The light is strikingly different, as the shadows have grown longer while I was away. Another traffic signal is going in on Bennett Valley Road. I swear, the engineers (and contractors) won’t be satisfied until every intersection in Santa Rosa has one.

It often strikes me that in Los Angeles, with it's incredible number of cars, traffic flow on surface streets is managed far better than in Santa Rosa.

Went to "Whole Foods" for a few groceries. Some changes: many of the aisles have been converted to roll-around shelving. (What’s that all about?)

By now, "trick-or-treaters" were out en masse. "What if some come to my door?" Reluctantly, I stopped at "Long’s" for a big bag of candy. "They don’t need this crap...but I must go along with the tradition."

None came by the house though – they just skipped over me! Sad!

Caught up on the "Kenwood Press": the October 15th issue announced that, after 40 years, the Kenwood Pillow Fights are coming to an end!

Tonight I watched The King. A very good film. William Hurt plays a fundamentalist pastor, and Gael Garcia Bernal, his estranged son from a long-hidden liaison. (Okay, perhaps not the likeliest scenario.) Some powerful acting, though the amazing Bernal is weaker in this one than in many past performances.

Well, speaking of "consumption", I'd say I've done my fair share for the day!

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