Tag: living

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‘He Didn’t Make It’

Surely you recall hearing or reading the title of this post somewhere. “He didn’t make it” is such an overly used movie or television trope (books, too). The statement also aptly describes the fate of the fallen Grinch who is subject of the Featured Image. He survived immediate decoration take-down following end of the Christmas holidays, but he was no match for the series of torrential rainstorms buffeting California.

Flooding. Mudslides. Power outages. Record snowfall in the mountains. Sinkholes. Hey, but no wildfires; too wet for that. But, don’t you fret; all that water will soon be forgotten. Sun will dry the place, pretty quickly, and the body politick will want to resume fear-mongering about drought conditions caused (presumably) by Climate Change.

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Soon to be as Popular as Grand Ole Opry?

Today, I did an In-N-Out drive-by while other cars were ridiculously stuck in the drive-thru. What’s up with all this vehicular laziness? Park. Go inside and order. Your food will come faster. Shall we time it so you can see, or is your butt so planted you would never consider the freedom and ease found at the counter?

But I digress. The Featured Image, quickly taken from inside my Honda using Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, is shared solely to illustrate this post—and opportunity to snark vomit all over the fast-foodery’s homeland. This week, In-N-Out announced plans to open its farthest east location(s). In Tennessee. Why the Volunteer State, you might ask. The company doesn’t really answer, but you don’t need more sense than the drive-thru nutters to rightly reason. That’s where the customers are—meaning California expats and refugees. And you thought they all flocked to Idaho and Texas (yes, where many did flee).

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Street Legal

Bike lane expansion and building of multi-story residences reduce the number of parking spaces around San Diego. Here in University Heights, many neighbors are testy about the loss of street spots to safely (hopefully) park their vehicles.

But, hey, the city can make room for electric scooters, or bicycles, in legal locations (got to get `em off the sidewalk, eh). I was surprised to come upon such space—filled with a Bird, no less—along Adams Avenue across from Old Trolley Barn Park.

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A Very SoCal Christmas

Christmas Day assumed various nuances that made memories for the Wilcox family and others. For starters, we could celebrate free of SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates that oppressed the previous two years’ holidays. Summer suddenly reappeared in a magnificently mild and sunny day, with the temperature reaching 25.6 degrees Celsius (78 Fahrenheit). Even as I write, temp is unseasonably 19 C (66 F). Tomorrow is supposed to be nearly as warm as today.

As I will more fully explain in a few days, my wife and I have changed computing platforms—PCs and smartphones. At 12:30 p.m. PST, I met parents and their adult age college student to buy Annie’s 13.3-inch MacBook Pro M1 (16GB RAM, 1TB SSD). I have yet to find a buyer for my 16.2-inch MBP M1, which is a monster configuration that only a crazy man would let go—or swap for something seemingly less. All will be revealed soon enough. There are reasons.

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No Christmas Cheer Here

One of the nearby assuredly festively-decorated houses isn’t this Christmas season. You can get a sense of what’s typical from the profile of Queenie, who joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in December 2021. Sadly, she vanished last month, and her owner assumes coyote.

Sad as that may seem, the family suffered another emotional assault a month earlier, when the homeowner came home to find that the four towering palms outside her house had been marked for removal (e.g. clearcutting). Reportedly, San Diego Gas and Electric ordered the curbside destruction.

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Adventure Advertising

Unless mistaken, my wife and I saw this pull-trailer promoting GoCamp, which rents camper vans, parked on Florida Street here in University Heights. I perused the company’s website: Including duplicates, 46 vehicles are available from San Diego to the destination of your choice.

Based on interior—exterior, not so much—I rather fancy Van Luca: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Gia, which “is a 2009 Ford Econoline 150 Chariot hi-top conversion”. They are available for $179 and $145 per night, respectively. Neither can be driven one-way; got to bring them back. The Benz burns diesel, which is something of a liability because of high costs; the Ford is a gas-guzzler.

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This is Pat

A year or so before China locked down Wuhan because of SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, I saw someone rummaging recyclables from bins in an alley. I had a bag of seltzer cans to put out and gave them to the fellow, whom fit my stereotype of a homeless scrounger. But days later, we passed again—and then less than a week later, once more. He was a regular.

When we had amassed more giveaways and he appeared in the alley, I made a delivery and conversation. He wasn’t homeless! He lives here in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. He is perfectly housed and also nearly blind. Meet Pat. I wish more people showed as much self-reliance, even without a debilitating handicap.

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Wow, 15 Years in San Diego

Fifteen years ago today, the Wilcox family moved to San Diego. Apart from an 18-month hiatus, my wife lived in the Washington, DC area for about a quarter century, which was most of her adult life in October 2007. I can claim about a decade less residence in and around the Beltway but still a little more time than California—but not much longer, if we don’t vamoose sometime soon.

The city seemed sleepily comfortable for our first 10 or so years here. But since 2016-17, dramatic changes started to accelerate, reaching shocking crescendo during the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—when, if nothing else, cost of housing (buying or renting) exploded upwards.

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Gone But for Memories

Call me shocked. On several occasions during the two years leading up to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—and at least once after they started—I contacted the woman who managed our rental in Kensington, Md. We lived there just shy of a decade, and I felt sentimental about the place. Should the house become available to rent, or to buy, could she let me know? Absolutely. Promises. Promises.

Opportunity passed unbeknownst to me, and I am baffled about missing it. The house, previously purchased for $56,000 in 1965, sold for $475,000 a few months ago. I had checked on the property’s disposition from time to time and never saw a listing, nor is there any indication that there ever was one. Perhaps the tenants bought the place. I’ll never know.

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I’m in Trouble Now

Uh-oh. Some Bible scholar correct me if I am mistaken. Isn’t that the number of the Beast? On my grocery receipt. For cat food!

Bad as that is—and I lie not: Hours ago, when I started writing this post, my website fatally crashed. I had to enter Recovery Mode and remove an important plugin, which, oddly, comes from the same developer as the blogging system. You would think the company’s stuff should work rightly together.