May 23rd, 2005


Weak End

Somehow I managed to sleep till almost noon Saturday and Sunday. It may have had something to do with this $%^&*@! cold which I thought had gone away Friday. It may have had something to do with staying up till 3 am trying to get Ulead Video Studio to burn a DVD project to a double-layer disc. And trying three different programs to see if they could do it. Looks like I'll have to succumb to buying Roxio's 7.5 version to get all the features I want.

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Saturday I wanted to go to Rep. Anna Eshoo's town hall meeting, at town hall in Mountain View. It was at 1 pm. I got in the car at 12:45, got downtown 5 minutes later only to discover that the whole of Castro Street and all its approaches, including the ones to city hall, were blocked off for the Art & Wine festival. No parking to be found anywhere.

So I drove back home, parked in the nearest Park&Ride lot for light rail, and caught the 1:10 to town.

From there it's about a mile to city hall, which was slow going through the fair crowds. I arrived at the meeting at about 1:45, in time for the Q&A session. Eshoo has an interesting way of doing Q&A. Her capable staff have question sheets and pencils on all the chairs, and you fill in your name and question, and the staff collects them throughout the session. Anna reads the name and the question, and does her best to answer each one. She discourages getting into any live conversations, but she does it gracefully, and in the interest of getting to as many q's as possible in the time allowed. There's always a stack left over, which she answers from DC, usually within a month.

I mostly agree with her voting record and point of view on the major issues. She's on the Intelligence committee, and sometimes her views on where to go from here in Iraq are tainted by the crap she is fed by the Pentagon. There are two areas we disagree on, and I chalk it up to her having more of a humane streak than me. First, she supports our troops wholeheartedly. Her take on the war is she's against it, but we're stuck, and we need to give the troops the supplies they need to get the job done because they are caught in the middle. My take is we need to stop the appropriations cold, and get the hell out of there. This is an all-volunteer army, most of whom joined during recent memory of the Gulf War. There's this excuse that they just signed up to get an education, but I'm not buying that. She also said if we pull out now, it will create a huge void which will be filled by all the wrong people. I say let it. There's a reason that part of the world has never produced a democracy, and we're not going to solve that problem.

The other issue we don't agree on is she thinks illegal aliens ought to be given the same care & feeding as citizens. They're in our country, we need to treat them as guests. I say they're in our country illegally, and we need to treat them like they're breaking and entering. In the interest of humanity I'm willing to meet her halfway and take the $$ for the care and feeding of them out of the foreign aid we give to the countries they come from.

She did bring some good news - the polls show Bush's privatization of social security is on the rocks. Only 22% of The People are in favor of it.

She has a very competent staff. Three women, one is a matronly grey-haired woman, one is a girl-next-door auburn-haired gal in her 20's, and the third is a stunning blonde model type who might not be out of her teens yet. I''ll let you guess what the pecking order was.

Back into the sunshine (it suddenly became summer Saturday, after weeks of nasty weather), I checked out the fair. Mostly the same old stuff. It was bigger than last year by about a block, but still half a block shorter than they had space for. And the side streets were barely used (10 years ago the side streets all along Castro Street were filled clear to the next block). Some amazing eye candy among the crowd.

Sunday I had on my caledar to go to Pear Ave Theater and catch the afternoon show, which featured an after-show talk with the cast. I'd marked it down as starting at 2:30. Left the house at 2, got there at 2:15. Turns out it had started at 2. It's live theater, so...

...back to the street fair. More eye candy, and I needed the exercise. This time I came at it from the other direction and found parking right away.

PM was spent at Coffee Society in Cupertino, where I sat at a table next to a couple of Persian women. A few minutes later, there were four of them. Within half an hour my view was completely blocked as they dragged chairs from all over the place to accomodate a dozen people at two tables. It got so noisy that I left.
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Nutrition Class III

Tonight's class was such a total load of crap I'm planning on dropping out after the next session. I would drop out now, except the next session is the reason I signed up in the first place - it'll be a tour of a grocery store from the nutrition point of view.

The whole class was spent on touchie-feelie crap. Eating for confort, eating from stress, eating when something's eating you. I'm not sure which bothered me the most - the fact that the nutritionist is convinced that everyone overeats because of psychological factors, or the fact that the rest of the class actually did.

I eat because food tastes good. I eat the wrong things because that's the stuff which tastes the best.

As I've said before, if I'm angry or stressed or bored or need comfort, I'll bang on the piano.

She had told us at the first class that this session would feature a guest speaker. I was hoping it would be that very hot chick who teaches the class in the next classroom.

Boy was I surprised.

At about 7 pm, in comes, sideways, a man who looked to be about 6'5" in all directions. I'm guessing 500 lbs.

He was there to talk about how he lost almost 100 pounds. He's practicing meditation. He's learned to savor each bite of food.

Let me just say I was not inspired. Okay, it takes an enormous amount of courage for a guy this size to get up in front of a group and talk. But really, after his talk it felt like someone had thrown a wet blanket on the class. It was about as effective as having Evil Kneevil teach the motorcycle safety class. Or inviting Darth Vader to speak at a father's rights symposium. Gag me.

From class I went to Safeway to buy some groceries, and spent a lot of time in the butter aisle, reading labels. I was hoping to see some merit in the nutritionist's suggestion that butter is better than margerine, but the cholesterol alone was enough to kill it for me. The fats didn't help, either. I ended up getting Promise, which has none of the bad stuff except the same amount of sodium as all the others.