Just As I Thought

Sunday Morning with Gene Cowan

Just a catch-all magazine show this morning.

Welcomed Thom and Jeff to California yesterday, hung out and went to Santana Row for window shopping and Greek food; wandered through the garden at Winchester House. I realized that I met up with Mac at Santana Row as well… so, perhaps the Row is now the official blogger meeting place? TK, are you listening? Yes, soon the pull of the Bay Area will lure yet more east coasters, and maybe I won’t have to keep flying back to see people.

Got up early this morning to watch the penultimate episode of Doctor Who, which had downloaded overnight. I won’t give any anything, especially since the second part won’t air until next Saturday; I will let this one slip: the quote “She’s not Rose Tyler, not any more” was a big red herring, cherry picked out of the episode to cause heart failure among us avid viewers.

Independence Day is upon us again. Last year, only 8 weeks after I’d moved to California, I climbed the big hill in south San Jose and watched the fireworks blooming all over the south bay, little pockets of shimmering light appearing miles away from mountain to mountain. It was really amazing, surveying my new home, like a bowl full of tiny lights. This year, I live on flat ground, a low neighborhood with trees that doesn’t allow for long sight-lines. Nevertheless, last night the booms started at 9:30, and I went outside to see what I could see — nothing. They kept going, loud and rolling, and I couldn’t figure out where the fireworks were coming from, because I couldn’t see them. Not the baseball field down the road at the university, not downtown San Jose. A little research on the net nailed it: Great America. That theme park is about 5 miles away, and yet the fireworks sounded as if they were on the next block. And they’ll be going every night through the 4th. I wonder if I could see them if I got up on my roof?
Anyway, this made me think of the unfortunate people who live near Disneyland, where there are fireworks shows every night. How can they stand it? Do their dogs develop some kind of psychosis or traumatic stress disorder? Or do they get used to it, like I’ve gotten used to the planes taking off from the airport on the other side of the railroad tracks?

Last thing, very interesting: DC is experimenting with rubber sidewalks. It is expensive, but it solves the problem of buckling and cracking sidewalks due to tree roots — DC is a city of trees, which is great — which lead to lawsuits when people trip and fall.
The sidewalks are made of recycled tires. In the midst of a wasteful, backwards-sliding civilization bent on creating disposible… well, everything, this is one of those rare progressive ideas. Softer, bouncier sidewalks that are easier on the feet, they are kinder to trees, they recycle a product that would otherwise sit in a pile and sometimes burn for years, and they last three times longer than concrete sidewalks. Neat!

4 comments

  • Our Golden Retriever was so afraid of fireworks that one 4th she dug a three foot hole in the center of the bed so she could hide under it. After that we got pills from the vet and drugged her senseless on New Years and the 4th of July.

    My Terrier is ok with fireworks but thunder causes her to wet herself and shake and shiver for hours. Considering that we had a direct lightening strike that blew apart six of our (unplugged) computers I’m not surprised. And even though all the people walked away untouched there’s no real way of knowing if the little girl got some voltage from it or not.

    I like the rubber sidewalks and wonder if they might be useful in Alaska where the thaw and freeze cycles causes things to rise and fall two or three feet! We call them Frost Heaves and if you’re cruising down the highway at 60 or 70 and hit a frost heave, well…..Lets just pray you have a good grip on the wheel.

  • Don’t be silly. I already added “cute pocket waiter” to my Christmas list.
    They were probably selling them, encased in plastic, at that little Japanese store. I think they were labeled “For the serving of happiness.”

  • I hadn’t heard of Santana Row; but thanks to the miracle of the web (http://www.santanarow.com/about/location.php) now I do.

    We had a big storm here last night that knocked out cable tv (but not the power or my Verizon DSL) so I was forced to dig into my saved shows on TiVo for entertainment. I finally watched the last ep of Dr. Who from last season… Eh, it seemed weirdly edited, like something was missing in the beginning part. Capt. Jack looked awful, and the plot was sketchy, right down to the Rose/Tardis deus ex Machina.

    All the Daleks were fun though (I love how they can make “exterminate!” sound like a cry of hysteria), and I’m always glad to see Mickey (I think I have the hots for him). And the Bad Wolf thing was a letdown, and… I don’t like the new Dr. nearly as much as the old one.

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