Golden Gate Bridge


Golden Gate from Baker Beach Posted by Hello

I said earlier that I’d be happy with just a couple good pictures out of every batch. There were more than that from San Francisco, but this and the one I posted last week are my favorites.

White Meat

From the French-speaking Pirates of the Carribbean comes the word barbecue, the roots of which translate roughly as “from beard to tail.” It’s a reference to the pork feasts that were common in the region, and connotes the share of the pig that’s fit for consumption.

And this is just what our neighborhood did yesterday—consumed a pig, that is. The occasion was the Third Annual Andover Pig Roast, an event begun by a then-newcomer to the block, in an attempt to bring everyone together. It must be working, since I now know more of and about my neighbors than I ever did in the previous 14 years of living here.

If you’re a vegetarian, the whole thing probably sounds pretty barbaric, and you might very well be right. I could take or leave the part about the pig. It could be pizza and beer, or banana-cream pies, or whatever. As long as there’s still a reason to have a big party, I’m there.

Big Sur


California coastline near Big Sur Posted by Hello

If I get one or two good photos out of every batch, I’m happy. This one is a favorite from the May San Francisco trip. Out of about 100 others, there are another two or three that I would consider worth posting and boasting about.

To give is to receive

Those whom heaven helps we call the sons of heaven. They do not learn this by learning. They do not work it by working. They do not reason it by using reason. To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven.

Chuang Tse: XXIII

This is one of my favorite Zen quotes, used by Ursula K. LeGuin in her novel, The Lathe of Heaven. The “aliens” in this book often spout quotes like this, and like “to go is to return,” and so on. It seems to be part of some Grand Theme, like the karmic “what goes around, comes around.”

Which is all my way of introducing freecycle.org. I’ve posted once on this site, but I’ve been reading and responding to some of the other posters’ “wants” much more than that. I’m really much too busy (or lazy—it’s a fine line) to hold a garage or yard sale, and I’m far too environmentally-aware merely to throw things away if they still have a useful life. Freecycle seems like the best alternative, a chance to let my detritus live on.

And some day—karma again—I might get something in return, if I see an “offer” I can’t refuse.

VGR

The Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1976, is now passing through the outermost reaches of our solar system, NASA announced recently.

In the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Voyager is depicted returning to Earth far into the future. The craft is an unidentifiable menace at first, due to the letters that have worn away. It seems it’s now known as “V-ger” (pronounced vee-jer), and it takes Captain Kirk’s usual wily ways to suss out the truth.

Even Gene Roddenberry couldn’t have foreseen another use of (at least some of) those letters in our times. But there they were, on yet another unidentifed object, on the floor of San Francisco International Airport.

I was sitting in a chair at the end of the security line, leaning down to put my shoes back on. A small blue pill lying on the floor nearby cried out to me. Looking around and seeing no one, I pocketed it for further investigation.

The pharmacist who listened to my description the next day recognized the color blue, the diamond shape, and the letters “VGR” and manufacturer’s name “Pfizer” stamped on the pill. Yup, you’ve probably guessed it by now—it’s Viagra!

Mystery solved. But somebody was planning to have way too much fun with his “V-ger” in that airport!

Another Year, Another Pizza

Yesterday was my birthday. We celebrated by going to Fricano’s (original) pizza parlor, the first time there for me. Fricano’s claims to be Michigan’s first pizza parlor, dating from 1949. They can’t prove the claim, but no one else has ever disputed it, either.