Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday Morning Comin' Down

Walking around my sunny neighborhood this morning, here is what I saw. A guy named Mike who used to live next door but now lives down the street a ways. We exchanged greetings and I asked about his little boy.

A bit further along I greeted an old Latino man, whose family wheels him into the morning sun. I said "Hi."

A bit later, Mike's wife came running out to the sidewalk, yelling "Mike, get some ... at the store."

I couldn't make out the word she said. Something like "wheat."

"Sorry," she said to me.

"Don't be sorry," I responded. "It's a neighborhood. It's communication."

Around the corner I passed a laundromat, where a little black puppy stood in the door and looked up at me in a friendly way. I smiled at him.

Later I passed neighbors trimming their hedges. And paused at intersections, letting cars pass rather than wait for a slow old man to shuffle in front of them.

On my way back, I saw the puppy again, now laying in the sun in front of the laundromat. As I passed, he raised his head and smiled at me.

I passed the old Latino man again, now standing with the help of his walker, and this time I said "Hola." He said "Hola."

As I reached my apartment I met the young couple who live upstairs with their little boy. The boy, who is around 2, showed me his new toy, a plastic garbage truck.

Then, I moved my car so that my next door neighbor could back a truck into the space in front of his building for some work.

Back inside I looked out back while doing my laundry, I saw two young artichokes growing and several white butterflies rising.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nearing End of Long Week

Well, Julia is moving down the Colorado with her new friends by this point. Dylan is camping at the Russian River with his high school friends. Aidan is working full-time, working out and seeing his GF.

So all is quiet on the home front. No one here but me.

Maybe that's just as well, because there has been turbulence at work. On Monday we had the SF police chief on our talk show, Forum. No one took much notice when he didn't sign the routine release form before the show but instead took it with him.

Hours later it was faxed back to us with some pretty draconian changes, suggesting we couldn't use anything he said on Forum in any other form.

By then we had carried clips of his appearance on the radio newscasts, archived the audio, and I had approved a major analysis of everything he said on News Fix. It was news. We also had a small audio clip ready for a video we'd been producing for weeks about the four-year delay under this chief to implement a body cam program.

About 9 p.m. that night our corporate lawyer informed me we were at risk of legal problems by re-posting his comments on Forum, which, of course, we had already done. He advised me to not post the video.

At 2:14 the next morning my cellphone rang. It was from the radio control operator, informing me that an Iran nuclear deal had been reached. There was no reason for this to happen because this is not a local story, but it did.

Of course,  no parent of young people out on the town wants their cellphone to ring at that hour, but that is the nature of my chosen profession. I don't think I slept again before I got up and got myself to the office.

Once there, I checked in with the various producers, editors and reporters on their shifts, and discussed this matter. The only decision left for me to make was whether to air the video.

I admit I was not in my best mental state at this point. I was actually in a very foul mood. After listening to my colleagues I uttered some words that I'm quite sure will become lore at KQED. To understand them, you need to know the police chief's surname, which is Suhr.

I turned to my video producer and said: "Post the video -- now."

To the newsroom, I uttered loudly: "Fuck Suhr."

Hours later, Suhr's flaks faxed an amended release form that sanctioned what we had already done. As if I could care.

He is a public official, paid by all of us, and if he wants to try and censor my reporters, good luck.

I admit it is "old school" and probably "macho," what I did. But it also was right. I slept much better the following night.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Tonight's News

So tonight her mother left our youngest off at the edge of the Grand Canyon, somewhere near Flagstaff, where she had to "surrender" her cellphone. I am assuming their ten-day trip down the Colorado starts tomorrow morning.

The only news reaching me is she finds her colleagues "nice." She is nervous and excited.

What an amazing adventure awaits her? But she will be completely out of touch the whole time. Maybe that is good part of the adventure?

I think I speak for all parents when I say we hope our kids turn out better than we did. I am pretty sure, after all these outings, my youngest will do so. I am so proud of her!

But for the next ten days I will be waiting for news from her.


Sunday, July 12, 2015


It is strange to be 68 years old, surrounded by sophisticated technology, but living alone -- except of course when my kids visit. The boys will be over later today, and I will cook Dylan's fav -- spaghetti -- once again. This time I have fresh garlic, basil, and onions on hand.

I love to cook for my children and grandchildren.

I used to love to cook with my girlfriends, back when I had girlfriends. My Chinese GF taught me how to prepare food, Chinese-style. My Japanese GF taught me how to cook, Japanese-style.

Japanese people believe that modest amounts of meat are best, so they rarely cook things like the huge American steaks popular in this country. Instead they take small slices of meat, often pork (flavorful), with spices and rice and sauces, and create delicious meals.

They also love fish, and will find creative ways to use even the smallest fishes -- tiny dried fishlets.

One way or another, I have never had a Japanese meal that was not delicious. Here in this house, I have never had a home-cooked Chinese meal that was not delicious.

In between those two friends, my American GF didn't like to cook, so we often ordered out. She had her favorite places and we usually ordered from one of them. Rather than have food delivered, we usually picked it up, if my memory serves.

Surrounded by sophisticated technology, I am no loner in touch with any of these women -- they have all disappeared over the years. I have very little idea what any of them might be up to. So, for me, my world of communication regarding past partners is pretty much just radio silence.

In the radio business, we call that "dead air."

Into that silence for me flood the memories, and then the most basic of needs -- food. I can't wait to start cooking...