Saturday, June 08, 2013

Some Bad Luck; It Happens To Everyone, Right?

Summertime in San Francisco means alternating cold, foggy, depressing days and oppressively hot days in unpredictable sequences. That said, anywhere else on this continent, people could be forgiven for laughing at my description.

The truth is once you get acclimated to this Mediterranean climate, your tolerance for any weather that deviates a few degrees either way from, say, 65 F, is limited.

The kids are getting used to their new freedom from school and homework. Sometimes, a little too used to the freedom. The boys were supposed to come back here, hopefully by midnight or so; if later, as is our custom, I had taxi money waiting.

I go to sleep well before midnight every night.

But something nagged at me and I woke up at 2:30. They weren't here. That set off a long series of phone calls and texts until I determined they were safely elsewhere and simply had neglected at telling good old Dad of their change in plans.

Nevertheless, precious little sleep came after that and when it did, so did the nightmares.

Not to use that as an excuse but tonight after dropping two of them off at their Mom's, I was stopped by police for running a stop sign. The strange thing about this is for days now, maybe weeks, I have been purposely driving very, very carefully, observing every rule.

I think it is in reaction to knowing that my 18-year-old will soon be able to drive alone, and my 17-year-old will have his learner's permit. Somehow I figure if I do the best job possible, maybe they will too.

Actually, the situation tonight was ambiguous. I believe I did come to a full stop, but failed to yield to a car that had preceded me stopping at the intersection. Since he was to my right, he had the right of way.

Somehow I didn't notice him until I proceeded. Behind him was a police car, its view partially obscured. It pulled around the corner, sirens and lights flashing, and I pulled over.

One way or another, under their theory or mine, I broke a traffic law. I'm mad at myself, and wish I didn't have to drive so often. As the cop told me, "Even the best drivers make mistakes." He seemed almost apologetic ticketing me.

I also wish I wasn't so tired when this happened. He asked me how old I am and what my telephone number was. I don't recall that ever happening before on the half dozen or so occasions I've been pulled over in the past.

Is this what is now done to older drivers? Perhaps to see whether we still have enough of our marbles to drive?

I'm not that old yet. Though on a day like this one, I confess to feeling well over the hill.  :(

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Tipping Point on Same Sex Marriage

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly three-quarters of Americans, including a majority of those who personally object to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, say legal recognition of gay marriage is "inevitable," according to a survey by the Pew Research Center released on Thursday.
The survey found that just over half of Americans favor giving gays and lesbians the right to marry, while 42 percent oppose legalizing gay marriage.
In March, a Pew survey found 49 percent of Americans favored same-sex marriage and 44 percent were opposed.
"It just keeps ticking up and up and up, and we wanted to register that we've crossed that threshold," Michael Dimock, the director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, said in an interview.
Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said they believed legal recognition of same-sex marriage was inevitable, including 85 percent of gay marriage supporters and 59 percent of opponents.
Dimock said that sense of inevitability about gay marriage is shared by Democrats, Republicans and independents in equal measure, with more than 70 percent of each group expressing that view. "What stood out most to us is this very broad sense that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is inevitable," he said.


Personally, I say it is about time. Civil rights for all.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Foggy Tuesday

Don't like the weather in San Francisco? Wait ten minutes or walk ten blocks. It'll change. We are a city of micro-climates, a city of high hills and low valleys, palm trees, deserts, underground rivers, and of course a mighty ocean with a huge bay.

But beyond the elements and the physical characteristics, cities are collections of people, and today a good collection of our family -- eight of us, plus a baby on the way plus a friend -- gathered for some early summer fun.

Aidan played his uke, so we had a soundtrack.


Sunday, June 02, 2013

Sunny Sunday

I had the pleasure of taking care of grandchildren Luca and Sophia today for the first time in quite a while. Luca is getting close to his fifth birthday; Sophia is two.

When he was her age, Luca could understand French from his Dad but rarely would speak it.

Sophia speaks French interchangeably with English. For big and small she says "big" and "petit."