Peaceful vs. Scary…

An hour before the end of my shift, the duty supervisor called and asked me to go with Ed on a T-1 Hi-cap repair. What could I say but yes. Ed would do the same for me. I called Ed, “Where are you Ed?” He replied, “I don’t want to be here Juan, North Richmond.” I got in my truck and jetted to where he told me he was.

I pulled up to Ed and said, “Ed! Why are you here at this time of night? This is beyond dangerous!” He agreed with me. “I know you want to go above and beyond but they hold up and shoot people here.” He listened to my pleas to get out of the area and packed up his tools. It was just then we heard multiple gun shots in the distance. “For God’s sake, turn off you warning lights and let’s make like seagulls and get the flock out of here.” 

We got back to the garage on time and it was just then that Ed looked wiped out and sweaty. As he was driving back he had a panic attack. “Ed! You need to not put yourself in danger. That was danger.” He nodded yes. The above picture is up in peaceful Sonoma, next time I’ll include a picture of North Richmond… This too will pass

Why Did I Volunteer?

The next few hours will try any man’s soul. At one point I said to myself, “You’re going to earn your money today. I hope Toonce at least stays dry today.” I pulled up to the garage to be met by an early crew person coming out of the garage. He yelled out of his personal truck, “I’m out of here. I’m going home to hear the Raider game. I don’t need this!”

Ed was already in the crew room putting on his rain gear. “Hey Juan. We’re taking it easy today!” That’s his usual refrain but he ends up doing more than he needs to do. I replied, “Ok be safe Ed. There’s a lot of hazards out there. Don’t rush.” He promised he wouldn’t but he tends to be quite hung-ho and anxiety rules his behavior. 

I’m working all this overtime to build up my paid Oakland Family Leave time. I blew a lot of my vacation time helping someone who needed a little help in March and call me foolish but I’d do it again. Anyway, at 9:30pm on the 21st, intend to be departing on Delta Flight 2240 non-stop to JFK to see my little family. I bought Josh a ticket from LAX to JFK so he can spend the holiday with us. It all works out somehow. Here comes grandpa, Baby Hunter. This too will pass

If He Wins, Was It Rigged?

God forbid Donald Trump wins but if the does, will he get up on election night and say, “I want to thank my followers who believed in what I said about our election system being rigged. Well it was rigged and now I am your President! It was thru your hard work at rigging the ballot boxes that we won against Corrupt Hillary!” I really doubt it, though his crowds will believe anything he says because quite frankly, they are easily led…

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste?” I used to see that phrase on public service announcements when I was a child parked in front of the TV. I didn’t understand what they were trying to say, I’m almost 60 and now I do. To take as a certain fact that our election is rigged without any proof that it is, is what a wasted mind thinks.

First of all, our country’s elections are run at the local level and unless there’s some grand conspiracy, it can’t happen. So when Mr. Trump tell his cheering troops that “It’s rigged folks” he’s just hoping they’re taking his word as gospel. In other words, “Children, please put your brains in your cubbies and pick up your crayons and coloring books.” My fear is the population has been dumbed down by years and years of minimal schooling and this is what we have, people not thinking rationally… God have mercy on us as a nation. This too will pass

My Buddy…

Toonce met me halfway up the access road tonight, before I saw my little housemate I heard his meow. His little beacons reflected back my LED flashlight. I called out, “Tooncie! You should be sitting closer to the RV, in case you need to get to safety.” He meowed his happiness to see me or that his tummy was growling.

We walked together down the hill until we hit the muddy area where he meowed at me to carry him the rest of the way. I kept telling him,”Are you hungry buddy? As soon as I take off my boots I’ll get your supper going. You know in countries like Spain, cats eat a late supper.” After he ate his supper, I treated him to teaspoons of rice pudding. 

He really deserved a nice thank you dinner for being such a loyal cat. What friend sits on a pitch black night and waits for his caretaker to show up? This too will pass


They don’t usually send us to the land of the well healed but with all the recent rain, they had no choice. I would rather work in the land of manicured lawns versus the land of dog infested muddy yards. In Moraga, no one throws their garbage out of their cars, I can’t say the same for San Pablo.

My next job was in the older section of Concord California, a bit of a drive. It’s always fun to see new scenery so it really didn’t matter how far it was. I pulled up to the ranch style house and there to meet me was the prem tech. He called out, “That tree is around the  pole. Can you reach the strand and terminal.” I replied, “I can but I’ll need to use my saw.” A few minutes later and after some serious tree trimming he was able to climb the pole. 

The duty supervisor asked if I wanted to start at 10am and 9 am tomorrow. I quickly said, “Sure.” What he doesn’t know is, I’ve been on double time since yesterday. The World’s Largest Telecommunications Company won’t go broke, they’ll make it up somewhere. They just spent 85,000,000,000 to buy another company… This too will pass

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Now I’ve heard it all! Bill Cosby’s team of lawyers are now saying Jello-Pop Bill is blind and being that he’s impaired, the case against him should be thrown out because he can’t defend himself properly against charges of drugging and sexually assaulting women. Talk about the ultimate joke pulled from his book of jokes…

I never liked Bill Cosby and I always thought there was more to him than that laugh and “little old me” cuteness he portrayed to his audience. The truth is, he’s turning out to be a real piece of work. I wonder back when he was sexually assaulting his victims, did he tell them, “I’ll deny I did it and if that doesn’t work, I’ll say I’m too sick to be put on trial. No one will believe you anyway,  I’m Loveable Bill Cosby.”

If he had any honor he should finish himself off with a vial of cyanide but he won’t because he’s truly a coward. No, he’ll continue blaming his victims for his behavior. The ironic thing is, there are people still willing to pay to see him do his act. I wonder if he’ll walk out on stage with a white and red cane and a service dog as props? This too will pass

3500 Dollars a Month…

My last job of the day was at this overpriced apartment in Emeryville. It was a year ago, I asked the manager how much a studio was going for and she said, “We have a cute one overlooking the train tracks for 2600 while our one bedrooms are going for much more!” I thought to myself,  “So for 2600 dollars I can hear the trains rumble by twenty-four hours a day, horns blaring.”

I needed the key to get in the phone terminal, I knocked on the office door. “Hi. I’m hooking up service in 326. Can I get the phone room key?” She pleasantly replied, “Come back tomorrow. We are closing.”  A young couple were finishing up their rental agreement. The manager said, “Ok that’s about it. I just need your check for 8000 for first, last and the 1000 deposit.” As I was walking out I caught up to the couple and cheerfully said, “Hope you enjoy Emeryville!” They both replied, “Now we need to find ourselves jobs!” This too will pass

The Bus Terminal Known As McDonalds

MI stopped for a quick lunch at this McDonalds at the corner of University and Shattuck in Berkeley. It’s one of the more recently remodeled stores but the clientele hasn’t changed at all. Between the homeless and other regulars, I’m surprised this location makes any money at all. One after another, the street people walk in, rummage thru the trash cans and then bum food from real customers. 

Take for example this fellow, I don’t have a clue what he has gone thru in his life but it appears he’s made some bad life choices. He was just fine when he was sound asleep. An employee woke him up and he began to yell and scream that the world is unfair. The world may be unfair but don’t start screaming out in a McDonalds, it doesn’t help. 

The 8 dollar an hour manager came out to quiet him down but that only made things worse, another man with anger problems walked up to the manager and began to denounce her efforts. She backed off and went to call the police. I sat there for a few minutes and no one showed up, another day in paradise. This too will pass 

San Pablo…

There are some real miserable parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, this one of them. I can attest to the fact that, San Pablo on a rainy day seems to be more unpleasant and miserable than on a dry day. Miles and miles of urban squalor bounded by cancer causing refineries, noisy freeways and toxic chemical plants. There are no good neighborhoods of San Pablo and what makes this city almost worse is it’s stench from God knows what.

Yesterday, I was sent there for a day of fun and good times. Did I say good times? I meant, a long eight hour day of avoiding barking guard dogs and squawking roosters. I might be wrong but the population of roosters and chickens living in backyards equals the inhabitants of this hell hole. I’ve never been there at sunrise but I can only imagine how noisy it can be.

When it comes to dining in San Pablo, there’s only one place to eat, Pollo Loco. It’s that fast food chicken chain where families have their Sunday dinners at and the drive thru is backed up around the corner. Wait, there are a couple of grungy taco joints where the menu is usually hand painted on a sheet of plywood and nailed to the exterior of the restaurant, “Taccos and other god food hear!” Yes, if I get sent there today I’ll just sit in my truck and cry before I jump out and avoid the rain… This too will pass

You’re Staying In Buddy!

When I told Toonce that it would be an indoor day today he meowed, “I don’t mind the rain.” The weather people say it’s going to pour in Sonoma, up to 3 inches in the coming days. It wasn’t going to start till the afternoon but as I’m laying here, I hear already the soft tapping above me. Last night I took the chance and drove to the bottom of the hill, hopefully I can get out.

It’s 7:14 and it’s still dark out and by 6:30 this evening it will be dark again. Thankfully the company has disbanded our 1pm to 9 shift as of this coming Sunday and more of my working hours will be in the light. Trust me, it’s no fun walking in someone’s nasty backyard in the rain let alone in the dark. I’m not complaining, I’m just tired and maybe rainy days do get me down. 

Toonce may not know it but he’s a blessed cat. I saw a stray feline in my travels yesterday and thought, “You poor little cat. Stay dry. No cat likes wet fur.” Come to think of it,  I don’t feel so bad about Toonce spending the day sleeping on a soft bed… This too will pass