Saturday, November 28, 2020

Greetings From Sunny Mazatlan: Taking Taxis Instead Of Driving One & City Of Bellevue Score: They're Leading One To Nothing & A Political Essay

In the Back Seat

Anyone knowing me well will not be surprised when I say I'd rather be riding in a cab than driving one.  My first extended period taking cabs was in Madrid, Spain April 1982, when honeymooning we took cabs in the evening to various restaurants, zipping around that wonderful city in Spanish-version Fiats. Friday morning, 3:30 AM Seattle/Pacific time, my taxi buddy Emmanuel, YC 296, took me to Sea-Tac, his Crowne Vic roaring down I-5 in the rain and wind.  I told him to keep on working, that I might not be the only one going to Sea-Tac this early  but he appeared more interested in going home and sleeping.  The wimp!

Arriving in Mazatlan, I took a cab to my AirBnB apartment ($14.00 per night), the fare about 400 pesos, and giving the driver an American five dollar bill for the tip, translating into about 100 pesos.  My place is about three long blocks from the sandy beach Mazatlan is famous for.  Last night, walking in that direction, I came across an active basketball court, watching a few minutes and seeing there were some "players" on the court.  If I can find someone who speaks some English, I'll see if I can "find a game."  I have been playing for nearly 57 years, and if you don't think I'm lying, used to occasionally "dominate" a game but that might be a distant memory now that I'm old, fat and out-of-shape. My "outside range" was once 23-24 feet. 

This morning, I took a cab to the dentist's office (Dr. Wendy Kramer,, a short drive away, the English-speaking cabbie charging me 70 pesos (zone-system in Mazaltan), giving him a 100 peso note and a US dollar bill.  His son lives in San Jose, California.  The cabbie told me business was bad, the pandemic and competition from Uber, Lyft and other ride-share (TNC) companies making it a hard go.  Like my previous driver, he is a Mazatlan taxi veteran, both highly professional at what they do, plying their city's crowded roadways.  The city has a population of about 650,000. 

My Bellevue Court date was a fiasco

What I thought would be routine turned into a judicial circus, with the court allowing both court room participants and defendants appearing over "Zoom calls."  It was poorly organized and moving at a snail's pace, meaning my 9:30 docket wasn't close to be being opened, as they were still talking to the folks from the 8:30 schedule, suddenly finding myself # 17 in their theoretical queue. 

I could go into much detail but once I realized they had not honored my subpoena requests, I was gone, already scheduled for rides in the next two hours.  They didn't know what they were doing and I knew it, paying my $42.00 ticket for being a taxicab in Bellevue and living to fight another day. They haven't heard the last of this as I will be filing official complaints, including with whatever WA State oversight body exists.  This is justice?  What a sorry joke!

Given the Political Season, That's My Reason: An essay upon what I think will happen

I barely worked Thanksgiving Day, before dinner having to get a tire ruined by this huge screw replaced, and luckily, my favorite tire shop in the 9400 thousand block of MLK Jr. South was open, selling me a replacement for $50.00.  After eating, my first of 3 rides took me from Pier 52 to 125th & Lake City Way, the nice lady a confirmed "Trump-ite" faithfully repeating the fantasy perpetuated these past 3 weeks, 4 years and even before that.  Inspired by her and all else that have occurred, I have decided to share my prediction of what will be the soon-to-be former president's fate.  To me it's clear, and not something anyone else appears to be saying.  Hey, all cabbie's are contrary, we know that! 

The Evaporating Mythology: Donald Trump Four Years from Now

Oh how naive all the headlines are these days, screaming Mister Trump will be running for president again in 2024, that his hold upon the traditional GOP electorate is ironclad, and nothing changing the trajectory of the Trump comet zooming across the Republican universe---America fated for disinformation, misinformation and obfuscation for months, years and, heaven help us, decades to come.  But what should be obvious is what Trump's shouting is all about, the noice containing one primary aim: to keep the American public from rationally thinking, relying upon dissonance confusing anyone interested in maintaining a sound mind, preventing the adding up of correct political equations; in short, propping up a mythology televised over America's wide screens.  And now over 80 million American voters have proved him wrong, ignoring the before and after bluster distorting rational mind and soul, fantasy making for poor public policy or anything else substantial.

What we have all been experiencing since election day is Trump's suicidal attempt to serialize a myth disappearing into the American electoral sunset, saying night is day and that full moon beaming down is actually the sun announcing yet another new "Trumpian" dawn, Trump repeating, ad-nauseam "reality is not reality" and "I simply don't care what you think one way or the other."  Why this tactic is self-destructive and non-productive corresponds to what I have said, the vast thinking majority not interested for an additional moment listening further to his nonsense and are ready for it to stop, legal wheels now turning to ensure Donald Trump will be permanently silenced in political oblivion. 

And this is my not very bold prediction: all the legal and criminal cases hanging over his head are about to come crashing down, especially the numerous sexual assault and rape allegations, and once his DNA samples are provided to the courts, Trump will be finished, with many but not all of those faithful Trump-ites now contrite, having to admit they all along have been backing a now convicted rapist for nothing but unsavory political and personal gain.   

If this does come to pass, will the majority of Americans collectively truly admit that supporting demagogy is a fatal route to true democracy?   I would hope so but Russia still has Stalin supporters and Germany, its Neo-Nazis, meaning millions will remain faithful to a myth tarnished and broken floating upon a mist obscuring a reality inches from their nose---Trump their demigod blessing them from a golf course closed to the normal public, guards, not angels, heralding this new kind of sequestered Heaven. 


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Going, Going, Gone Taxi Insane & Parked Taxicabs In London & No Winning Against City (Bellevue) Hall? & Park of the Week & Authoritarianism Part 2

Goin' Bonkers

Past couple of weeks I too have proved vulnerable to that oversensitivity often overwhelming the exhausted and afflicted cabbie, becoming openly irritated with dumbbell, controlling and essentially deranged passengers.  Though fully knowing what is coming, who they are, what they are, still I am allowing myself to go crazy when forbearance is the appropriate response, not stupidity answering a customer's general inanity. A toothache not helping but that's merely a convenient excuse to be unreasonable, to graphically display a distain building for years---too much abuse a volcanic or seismic fracture spilling or toppling over.  Hopefully my now scheduled dental trip to Mazatlan, Mexico will soothe both the ache and the taxi beast.  I hate it when I am impolite, even to fools.  Besides, these are my invaluable passengers and I ought to love them dearly, or at least in theory I do after sometimes making $400.00 and feeling "taxi fat and happy," all the pain and insult somehow worth the minor slight, the blood dripping from my brow nothing, no nothing at all.   

No business in jolly old London, England

A friend sent me an online article about the pandemic downfall in London and area taxi business, the accompanying photos showing hundreds of "mothballed" cabs parked in fields and parking lots.  There was also a photo of dozens of Heathrow Airport cabs jammed together waiting for what the caption said was one fare in nine hours.  Dismal, and when will it end?  One quoted veteran cabbie was not optimistic.  

Doesn't look good for Tuesday

A couple days ago I found out that the City of Bellevue had not yet acted upon my subpoena requests for the mayor and police chief.  The information officer or clerk I had talked to a number of times kept changing the storyline like a character in a dystopian novel.  I have seen this before, setting me up for the execution.  I will make my appearance but nothing will come of it.  If I want to change Bellevue's anti-cab law, it was take some effort, something I probably won't do, government understanding this, snuffing you out like a cigarette butt.

New feature: Seattle and Area Park of the Week

As I keep telling anyone who will listen, the only good thing left about Seattle are the parks so I will be featuring many of my favorites over the coming weeks. I hope you are inspired to check them out.

"8th Avenue South Park," SE corner of 8th Avenue South and South Portland, officially 760 South Portland Street

This postage stamp-sized park has long been one of my favorites, located as it is directly upon the Duwamish River in the heart of the South Park industrial zone.  This week one could see barges and floating cranes moored close to the park.  The park itself has a few half-buried giant metal gears greeting you.  There is one table and two benches.  This place is unique and you will have it to yourself save for resident rats and gulls soaring overhead.  I love the place and it's easy to find, just turn north off of South Cloverdale onto 8th S. and you will run right into it.  Bring a lunch and enjoy Seattle at its gritty best, a time machine ride back 50 years into the past.  Not much changes in South Park. That's good for those looking for "old time Seattle," this park certainly fitting that description.

And since you're in the general area, visit Resistencia Coffee located 3/4 mile away at 1249 S. Cloverdale Street.  A genuine place!

Authoritarianism Part II

I am inspired to further commentary due to a passenger I picked up on Tuesday, a 77-year old gentleman recovering from a heart attack.  This all happened in Snohomish County, located north of Seattle. I picked him up in Mill Creek and took him back to a rehab center in the city of Snohomish.  His story is short but not particularly sweet, having had his heart-related emergency in a Walmart parking lot while sitting in his Ford Explorer.   His SUV was towed, and soon thereafter, sold at auction while he recovered in the hospital. He knew nothing about it before it was too late to do anything about it.  Now he says he's had enough of the Northwest and will be moving to Las Vegas. 

Remember, this is so-called democratic America where your rights as a citizen are protected and respected. If that's true, how did he lose his SUV?  The answer are confiscation laws allowing police departments to quickly sell impounds along with almost anything found in an suspect's vehicle, and letting them sell the car or truck too.  You don't have to be convicted. Simply by being arrested you can lose you car, house, everything.  Or just have a heart attack.  Poof! your vehicle is gone.  

What is obviously happening are governments and individuals taking advantage of rules and regulations governing our sometimes theoretic democracy.  Last week, newly reelected Senator Lindsey Graham, GOP from South Carolina, called the State of Georgia Secretary of State, who is also a Republican, and asked if he could disqualify some Democratic votes.  Bold! Astounding! 

And he was told hell no! that wouldn't be happening, a bad/good example of both abuse and proper authority. 

Yes, authoritarian appears to be lurking around the very next corner.  Beware or your democracy will be towed away in the middle of the night, while your sneering jailers glare, knowing you are caught in their snare!

Friday, November 13, 2020

Don't Dump Those Fares Or Else! & Uber And Lyft Across the American Landscape & Why All Varieties Of Authoritarianism Is A Bad Idea

 New Puget Sound Dispatch Edict: Don't roll those meters!

The latest PSD newsletter firmly came down upon all those drivers dumping fares they don't like, telling them the MTI system allows them "to be watched," so you better watch out, you better not cry because PSD Big Brother, Big Sister has come to town.  And I endorse this approach, the past few months having encountered too many abandoned passengers waiting out in the cold and rain.  PSD essentially said that if you won't do the job properly, you will be disinvited from PSD/Seattle Yellow Cab.  I can't argue with that.  Customers call cabs for one solitary reason: because they need to get somewhere regardless of the distance, any consideration whether it pleases the cabbie not part of the discussion.  My suggestion then, minus all qualifications, is answer the call, take them to the requested destination, and proceed on.  What other option is there?  Get out of the business, thank you every much.  

Uber & Lyft are assholes, and those backing Uber & Lyft financially are also assholes. What else are they?

After the California voters gave Uber and Lyft their Proposition 22 victory, their stocks collectively gained 20 billion dollars, investors liking that ride-share companies can continue exploiting their "independent operators." All anyone truly cares about is money and how much I can stuff into my pockets provided by the sweat and blood of others toiling beneath the California sun and elsewhere.  Many states are now talking about what to do, now that Uber is offering a "watered down" collective bargaining to begin discussions whether the operators deserve the minimal of benefits.  Many are howling in response, saying the drivers are employees and nothing else. 

As the stock goes up, the wages go down, and the only ones laughing all the way to the bank are the corporate clowns.

And the ones crying, we know who they are, spending all day driving in circles in their Uber cars! 

I know it seems odd that I am siding with the Uber and Lyft drivers but it isn't nice the way they are treated, not at all.  

Flush All Authoritarian Behavior Down the Cultural Toilets

I personally have witnessed authoritarianism in many countries through the years, my first experience being Hungary and Budapest, 1984.  That was muted in comparison to the machine gun brandishing government thugs in Morocco in 1991 or the "they are everywhere" police presence in the People's Republic of China in 1995. But just not there, noting police and governmental abuse in Spain 1982, Turkey 1999, Yugoslavia 1991, Poland 2015, Vietnam 1995, Ecuador 2002, and Russia 2015.  There is nothing fun about others controlling your life, your behavior, what you can do or not.  

Of course authoritarian behavior isn't isolated to countries and regions outside our borders.  In 1972, when dealing with the United States Selective Service System, they informed me that someone other than myself owned my body, and that they could make me do anything they wanted me to do.  Shoot people with guns.  Drop bombs on their heads.  Gas them in their homes.  Shell their towns and villages.  If the US government wanted me to kill and destroy, that's what I was supposed to do.  If that isn't authoritarianism, I don't know the definition of the term.

And this kind of despotic behavior isn't confined to the federal government.  Any local government can decide that when building a road, if your house is in the way, through the purview of "eminent domain," they will be taking your house after paying you something, market value hopefully but regardless, you will be kicked out and your house knocked down.  

During these past four years of the Trump Administration, we (meaning my fellow Americans, those paying attention) have observed a systematic dismantling of democratic protections---agency Inspector Generals given the boot, entire governmental departments intentionally understaffed, and in cooperation with a GOP-controlled US Senate, witnessing the filling of over 200 Federal judgeships with appointees well-known to side with Federal control of the American citizenry, limiting what you can do with your body and who you can do it with.  

And in an extreme post 2020 election acceleration, Trump denies he has lost both the popular and electoral college vote, making all kinds of erroneous claims while, at least initially, the GOP leadership stays quiet, seeking to appease the current GOP base of voters.  Even the Secretary Of State makes a statement saying there would be a smooth transition, a smooth transition to a second Trump term! though Biden has clearly won 290 electoral votes and counting.  

Yes, authoritarianism in all its shapes and forms, guises and colors should never be embraced by anyone, let alone by my fellow Americans.  In 2015 I visited 3 of the Nazi-run death camps dating from WWII, those sites the direct result of citizens accepting and embracing authoritarianism.  Currently in western China there are at least 280 concentration "reeducation" camps holding over one million detainees. This is what happens when you accept authoritarian rule.  People are arrested.  People are tortured.  People are killed.

My advice then is to recognize autocratic rule and reject it.  If someone is telling you to hate one group or another, reject it.  Make every attempt instead to understand what is being told to you and why.  What is the motive?  What is the purpose?  When you do that, hopefully you will be able to see what is truth and what are deceptive lies.  It is tantamount that we can tell the difference.  Our very lives, our very nation may depend upon you being able to define goodness and evil.  It should be obvious, and hopefully it is.

Postscript 11/15/2020

Two days ago Morocco broke a 30 year truce with the Western Sahara, formally known as Spanish Sahara.  All these years later, the vote for independence has yet to occur.  What you have in Morocco is an authoritarian Royal Monarchy/Islamic regime controlling the population.  All the people want in Western Sahara is control over their own lives.  Is that too much to ask?  Why does Morocco want to keep Western Sahara for its own?  Phosphate. 



Sunday, November 8, 2020

Lives: 4 Taxi Passengers & Uber Wins In California & Yellow Customer Files Complaint Against PSD & A Very Short History Of Voting In America: Never Take Your Right For Granted & 50 Masks

Judy, Connie, Unknown (never got his name) and Mary Jane

Think your life is bad, hardships overwhelming, nothing going your way except down?  My suggestion is, think again, consider the good and potential opportunities awaiting you, and if not there, try to create them.  I say this after once again being reminded, after providing rides to Judy, Connie, the unnamed gentleman, and Mary Jane, that I have much to be thankful and appreciative for.  Judy's life in very real terms is an unending hell, caught in circumstances never to be released.  But my real purpose is to display part of our usual ridership, who they are beyond merely needing a ride from point A to B.  Life is a "bed of roses?"  Hardly, is the stark reality and answer.


Judy, short, squat, blind from brith, dirt-poor, needed to go the bank and then the "phone store" to pay her bill.  Though in her late 40s, her life clearly delineated by deformity and hardship, shaping an existence that is little better than a concentric box where living is only a path to dying and little else.  Helping her with her bank transactions, she had me read her bank balance to her after withdrawing $61.00: $450. was the answer.  Yes, that was it, $450.00 to last an entire month.  Had her rent already been deducted?  I don't know but I dropped her off at the store, not wanting her to pay any additional "wait time."  I told the middle-class youngster behind the counter, "You'll have to call her a cab." a request clearly startling a complainant mind.


She's a taxi regular, going to and from a nursing home where, for 36 years, she has toiled in the kitchen, currently washing dishes. Previously, she was prepping.  Making matters worse, due to staffing shortages, they are having her come in twice daily, disrupting her sleep yet eliminating some paid hours.  "I find myself unable to fall asleep, still awake at 2:00 AM." 

No name but remembered

I only had his caregivers name, picking up at an University District clinic and taking them back to a care facility.  Stunted from birth, his body spider-like, long arms and legs extended from an attenuated, shortened body, required assistance in and out of his wheelchair.  Yet given his lifelong disabilities, an educated ambiance prevailed, displaying an unusual empathy, providing the cabbie with a four dollar tip, a gesture spotlighting just how the human spirit often overcomes personal adversity.  

Mary Jane

Picking her up at an Aurora North/Highway 99 motel, I will forever see walking toward my cab, an obvious presence despite dire circumstances.  Going a mere five blocks, she gave me a ten for the effort, with me responding I noted she was savvy, intelligent.  Responding, she said life's dynamics both good and bad placing her where she was, acknowledging her part in stressful arrangements.   She could have also said life is often neither fair or kind, each individual, you, me, everyone impacted in ways not seen or imagined. 

Prop 22

By at least a 58% margin, California voteed to embrace Uber's efforts to keep their drivers as indentured servants.  Not good, not wise, all those good liberal voters in Halloween disguise.  But my sister JoAnn did vote against it. Hurrah!

Metro Script

Taxi customer Noelle is outraged that Puget Sound Dispatch is now charging us cabbies a 5% processing fee for Metro Transit Taxi Script, saying she filed a complaint with Metro.  "They can't do that!" she fumed.  I don't know either way what is true but I have wondered about it, charging us for something that has always been referred to as "equal to money."  My real reaction is amusement, novel that a passenger would come to our defense.  Usually of course it is the exact opposite, the customer saying we did this and that to them, instantly guilty minus judge and jury.  Ultimately it's small change but it would be nice to know whether PSD can continue taking the driver's coffee money. 

You should treasure your ability to vote: A Short History

I know three people who don't vote.  Tom has lived in Russia and other authoritarian countries and certainly should know better, being Gay and knowing we have a vice-president in Pence who believes in "conversion therapy."  Tom also has a PHD in Anthropology from a big time East Coast university so, to me, he has no excuse being dumb when he certainly isn't. 

Mark, with his BA in Spanish and having lived and studied in governmentally corrupt Mexico should also know better, but Mark embraces conspiracy theories, saying everything is covertly controlled by "all those others."  Yes, Mark, we all understand, take a pill and don't feel better in the morning.  

Patricia is not registered to vote because she is trying to avoid jury duty, not wanting to take part in judging others.  I can understand that, jury requests similar to the US Selective Service drafting you into the army, feeling they own your body and can make you do anything they want.  The reason I registered and voted in New Mexico was due to King County's belligerent request to force me to accept jury duty, threatening me with fines and imprisonment.  Now I am not an official Seattle resident, and it's true, I don't want to be here. 

US Voting History

In 1789, only 6% of the population, white tax paying or property owning males could vote.  No one else.

In 1790, the Naturalization Act allowing all white males to vote.

Between the years of 1792 to 1838, Free Black Males in many Northern States have their voting rights taken away.

1792-1856, abolition of property owning requirements for white male voters.

In 1860, tax paying requirements remain in 5 states.

1870 15th Amendment passes, granting voting rights to black males.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote.

In 1924, all Native Americans are given their voting rights.

In 1943, Chinese-Americans are allowed to vote.

And a happy day in 1961, residents in WA DC are granted voting rights.

And you can't vote because it doesn't matter, doesn't count for nothing, etc. That's crazy baby!

Fifty masks

I keep supplying masks to my passengers, 50 and counting.  Over 1000 Americans are dying daily. Wear that mask!


Sunday, November 1, 2020

A Readership Appreciation & Can We Please Serve West Seattle Without Harassment? War Versus Egypt And Ethiopia? & "My Presidential Platform"

 To My Most Valued and Appreciated Readers

Why any writer writes is to be read, and I thank all of you for weekly tuning into taxi reality as I know yet don't especially love but certainly, at this late juncture, fully understanding an occupation begun  September 1987, my initial innocent introduction manifesting into the unimaginable and unexpected: a journey directly into America's mind, heart and soul, each new passenger teaching me a new curriculum examining our countries' cultural and societal vascular system.  What I am sharing with you is a front row seat upon the human condition, meeting every kind of person in every conceivable life condition: rich, poor, crazy, sane, happy, sad, healing and unfortunately, dying.  As I know too well, taxi will gnaw on you until you are little better than chaff blowing in the wind.  And maybe that's why I saw this week some very emotional commentary posted on last week's post---anger and acrimony disturbing the page.  While not interested in censorship, there certainly must be better alternatives to insult and bluster, tranquil dialogue surely a better option.  If anyone finds that incendiary I request you think again, take a deep breath and realize, as a fellow human residing on this planet Earth, we are in this together, making us all cousins, no matter how distant.   

Cameras Upon the lower West Seattle Bridge 

Due to structural failures, the closure of the West Seattle Freeway Bridge has created limited routes into and out of greater West Seattle.  With the announcement of new repairs upon the southbound lanes of the 1st Avenue South Bridge, the situation is only worsening quick access to important taxi service neighborhoods like the Admiral and West Seattle Junction.  And what is the City of Seattle's response to a crisis not of our making?  Only to install ticketing cameras punishing anyone trying to cross the lower bridge during daylight, prime commuter hours, issuing $75.00 citations.   What it means to us cabbies is that we continue to be treated as non-transit vehicles, to this date never receiving the recognition we deserve.  I have written to the City and County requesting some kind of waiver/exemption but have no faith it will be granted.  Year after year I have been pleading that taxis receive exempt-tagged license plates, knowing that is the required answer.  And do I think it will ever happen?  Yes, I do but perhaps not in my lifetime. 

Mentioning this for all of my Horn of Africa taxi comrades

For those not following news concerning Africa, Ethiopia is nearing completion of a large dam upon the Blue Nile River, Ethiopia the continental source for that mighty, life-giving river.  Like so many dam projects worldwide, water rights has become a heated topic between Egypt and Ethiopia.  Negotiations are ongoing while the building continues but this didn't stop Donald Trump, in a telephone conversation with the Israeli Prime Minister, saying that Egypt is "going to blow up the dam, they are really going to do it." That this was news to everyone, including Egypt, was part of the reaction and story.  Ethiopia's response was predictable.  Can you guess what it was?  

If it was me you could vote for

With my old taxi buddy Bill railing at me, calling my politics this and that, I thought I would take a few minutes and lay out my platform if I was running for president of the USA.   Is the nation ready for a President Blondo?  Maybe, especially if they like somewhat unique solutions to longstanding issues.  By the way, history fans, the terms left and right date from 1789 France during the ill-fated reign of Louis XVI, pro-King supporters sitting on the right, non-King folks to the left, this arrangement continuing through the French revolutionary years.  No, I am not  advocating for the guillotine but clearly during this current election season, many have figuratively "lost their heads." 

Core Belief

All human beings deserve equal opportunity and support to achieve their full potential minus any and all obstacles.  How to achieve that is not simple but certainly a worthy goal.  If achieved, it would end conflict as we know it, everyone happy, wagging their tail instead of telling everyone "to go to hell."

 Samples of my Platform

Transportation Infrastructure

Transition by 2100 to complete non-polluting transportation.  Like Europe and Japan, build high-speed train nationwide system hauling people and freight.  Prioritize road and bridge repair.  Train people from fading industries into the new ones.  

Wildfire Control 

Build massive saltwater desalination plants powered by solar.  Using drone technology, use giant water carrying drones to irrigate dry area and farmland.  90% of the earth is ocean and sea.  Let's use the water that is at our disposal.  Think this is science fiction?  See Jules Verne. 


Emphasize proper diet, exercise and life planning from day one.  Provide generous tax breaks for maintaining health and proper weight.  Create a cultural embrace of maintaining one's body.  Create affordable health care available to everyone, deemphasizing the current societal support for bad eating and lifestyles leading to expensive governmental support in the longterm. Encourage everyone to be healthy and happy and live to 100 years plus.


To include all my ideas would takes hours and days I don't have to give.  In short, all my policies would be based upon commonsense applications.  Freedom of choice and decision would be paramount.  While government support might be greater in the short term, long term  there would be less interference in people's lives.  How would this be possible?  By providing people real options to become wealthy, healthy and wise.  Pipe dream?  I don't think it is.  Be free, live free, and please, in all ways, live contented and be happy.  And if I were dictatorial, make it snappy!

No Sense or Knowledge of History at the Grocery Store

Call this a bonus segment because it says to me so much why America is what it is today.  Yesterday, the nice checkout clerk, upon ringing up my total of $19.39, said "1939 was a much better year than 2020." "It was?" I responded, "That's when WWII started, September 1st, to be exact."  No, the clerk had no idea though he glibly suggested he did, prompting me to recommend checking out the years 1936-39.  A lot was happening then, I said.  

A quick quiz.  Which country did Germany attack on September 1st, starting the war?  If you know the answer, eat some dumplings.  Or better yet, once pandemic travel restrictions are lifted, go to Krakow and eat at one of the 24 hour dumpling joints at 3 in the morning.  Tell them I sent you.