Baby, I can drive your car

January 30th, 2006 § One comment § permalink

I’m chagrined to announce that after eleven years of resisting the idea, I’m now licensed to drive in the state of California. Yes, it’s true. I took my driving test at the Claremont DMV in Oakland this afternoon and passed with flying colors.

And no, I don’t plan to buy a car, now or in the future. I only got the license for my job, which sometimes requires that I travel to far-off cities (and nearby cities with terrible transit service); a borrowed or rented car works fine for that. I haven’t ruled out City CarShare, but since I won’t be eligible to join until I’ve had my license for a couple of years, I have a while to consider that option.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go ride my bike.

I learned this at the uni-versity

January 11th, 2006 § Comments off § permalink

One of my coworkers sent an instant message to my office this evening, asking if anyone wanted to join her at the sushi place down the street for a “Rock ‘n’ Roll roll.” I promptly diagnosed her with a severe case of sushi stutter. It’s usually caused by eating raw fish in combination with cream cheese or avocados.

The spreading decline

January 9th, 2006 § One comment § permalink

From Oranges, by John McPhee:

Some foes [of orange trees] attack underground, most notably the burrowing nematode, a small worm that is the author of a disease called the spreading decline. The nematode feeds on small roots and increasingly cuts off the food supply of the tree, which dies slowly, from the top down, as more and more skeletal branches appear each year and the amount of fruit steadily decreases. When people in Florida are feeling depressed and miserable with some unspecific malady, they sometimes tell one another that they have the spreading decline. Since no one has yet found a way to kill the nematodes without killing the tree, decline brings economic disaster. Whole groves of affected trees and a surrounding margin of healthy trees often have to be bulldozed into a great pyre and burned; after the land they stood on is fumigated, it must be left empty for three years. As we drove along, [the orange grower] Mathias would now and again point to areas full of half-dead trees and say, “Decline.” Some were all but leafless, and looked like Northern apple trees in February. Once, we were on a secondary road, moving along between healthy, thick-foliaged orange groves, when perhaps fifty acres of treeless land suddenly came into view, covered with new houses, all of which looked alike. “Decline,” Mathias explained.

Corn syrup is the new opiate of the masses

January 9th, 2006 § Comments off § permalink

For anyone who’s not reading the New York Timesseries about diabetes in New York City, here’s a typically distressing excerpt from Tuesday’s article:

Mr. De La Vega said: “People ultimately feel powerless about a lot of things. People think about bigger things. They think about survival. Kids grow up fighting in the streets, so you want to raise big, strong kids. So you give them three pork chops, a nice tall glass of soda to make them strong.”

Shockingly, no lifeguard was on duty

January 4th, 2006 § Comments off § permalink

This was the highlight of my day: A woman was searching for her shopping companion in Berkeley Bowl‘s cavernous produce section. She didn’t see him, so she yelled, “Marco!” Several people immediately replied, “Polo!”

Where am I?

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