thinkerA little spritz of moisture last week and every meteorologist here was predicting a sloppy, wet, El Nino winter. Pardon me for being a bit skeptical. My general sense is that weathermen frequently get their predictions wrong and that meteorology does not qualify as a science. I was suckered in by one of these prognosticators who claimed the water temperature in the Pacific was rising and hied myself off to Stinson Beach where the Pacific was as sub-artic as ever. I lasted 5.6 seconds.

My own fearless prediction is that in ten years restaurants will be much, much quieter. Not because the rich techies howling across the room at each other will complain about the ear-piercing decibel levels. No, it will be the servers who will cry “Basta!”. If we think the din is deafening imagine what damage is being done to employees’ ears night after night. Just like it did banning smoking in bars, OSHA will jump in to protect them.

Speaking of restaurants I want to declare myself vigorously anti-bruschetta. Every time I order one of those Italian toasts whatever is on top comes sliding off down my face onto my shirt. On the other hand being a hopeless carnivore I am very pro hamburgers that include bone marrow. An embarassment of riches. On the subject of restaurants there is an explosion of new burger joints around the Bay and until recently I happily let Michael Bauer (the main Chron food critic) lead me on. But he has been leading me astray. He gave three stars to one in Oakland that was only a step above Burger King.  Speaking of critics the Chron’s movie maven Mick LaSalle lost his credibility with me years ago when he jumped out of his seat for a historically monumental cinematic embarrassment titled “Down with Love”.

Can someone tell me why Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to hawk their propaganda in BART and Hare Krishnas at the SF DMV?

I have been to Delano and seen (and tried) dozens and dozens of varieties of grapes. Why do even the most locavorest of markets around here sell only two kinds –green and red?

One of the significant advantages of growing older and slowing down is the extra time to read. Two of my summer pleasures were “Dylan Goes Electric “ a you-are-there return to the days of our youth when we (some of us) imagined music could change the world. And apparently, according to the sharply written, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, there is a tsunami of personal attacks online these days demonstrating that bullying is expanding out of third grade and into adult life. But you already knew that. You watched the Republican debates.

If and when winter happens and one day you find yourself unwilling to go outside  and face the elements I recommend positioning yourself in from of your digital device and navigating to YouTube and typing in Mary Karr. Until Fran Leibowitz comes out of retirement Mary Karr takes the prize for brilliant, plainspoken, generally hilarious conversation.

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