Rain, rain go away. The last two months’ downpour has definitely killed any fantasies I had about moving to Portland. I have no statistics on the increase in local outbreaks of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) but cabin fever is an issue. As is safety. When I drive around I see banged up cars all over town. Drivers can’t handle this weather or the resulting potholes. On TV residents are being interviewed and saying, “At least the drought is over” as their carports wash away in the distance. Every week the weathermen and women repeat robotically, “Four more storms are lined up ready to hit tomorrow”. The garden is out of control, a sea of happy weeds. Our reward, if Spring ever comes, is a floral explosion of historic proportions.

Speak of this cold wet winter I’m still in shock. My last two PG&E bills have been as much as a Warriors courtside ticket. The staggering rate increase is apparently needed to pay for the lawyers representing the pipeline disaster in San Bruno seven years ago.

Do you know any millennials? If you don’t you’re apparently lucky. Word is that they are so entitled and arrogant that businesses hire consultants to handle their sulks. According to the Wall Street Journal these consultants are charging up to $20,000 per millenial.

Inevitably everyone over 60 turns into unlicensed medical specialists. The ailments of friends, neighbors and people we don’t know become fodder of our conversations as we banter about treatments for insomnia, torn rotator cuffs, arthritis, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, shingles, cataracts, back pain, atrio-fibrillation, bunions, hearing loss, constipation, incontinence, etc. Like discussions of grandchildren I limit this therapeutic sharing to 10 minutes.

Even with more spare time that we know what to do with it’s impossible to keep up with the news. You could easily spend a couple of hours each night watching the puzzled pundits on TV. Every day Krasny and Teri Gross offer required radio listening. I feel guilty about tossing the Sunday Times in the recycle if have not read that 10,000-word article about alcoholism in Siberia. And what do we do with all this vital information? We talk about it with our friends and family who have all read the exact same articles and listened to the same opinionators we have.

I would rather not think about the homeless. How are they bearing this soggy season? Wouldn’t even those who reject shelters because of their curfews and rules want to get out of their cold, wet tents? I know their sense of independence is prized (I volunteered at a program for homeless youth) but couldn’t they rally together like a bona fide community and police their campsites, reporting knife wielding neighbors and public defecators? If we can come up with driverless cars you’d think we could remedy this depressing situation. After all, aren’t we the richest and most powerful country in the world?

I have one final word to say about drivers who don’t use their turn signals. But I am too much of a gentleman to print it.

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