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In today’s L.A. Times, I see this:
Now, why couldn’t this have come along back in the days when I was only driving 1,000 miles a year? I even read an article about this two years ago saying it was going to be available Real Soon. I did the math once, and there were years where I used my car so little that the cost of my insurance worked out to something like $20 for every time I took it out of the garage.
And Proposition 103 said that insurance rates should be based on miles driven and driving record, rather than on ZIP code. That passed back in 1988. And it took 22 years to actually put it into effect? WTF?
I’m still going to look into it. I rarely drive to work, so I’m still on a low-car diet compared to most people in L.A.
Thursday was the last day for school for Lucinda, and her last day of elementary school. She’s off to middle school next year. So of course, that meant it was time for another trip to Disneyland.
We went down there and met our friend Mike, who let us in with his pass. He’s been telling Lucinda that she should try riding California Screamin’. He’s been telling her that for at least a year, but so far she hadn’t done it. I rode it back in May just so I could tell her what it was like. I thought that today would be the day.
When we got back there, I got us Fast Passes for it, and then we went to ride Mulholland Madness. That’s a kind of silly little rollercoaster, and it’s kind of rough. The brakes on it are very harsh. But with that as a warmup, we headed back to California Screamin’.
We went through the short line and got on. But at the last minute, Lucinda got cold feet and walked across to the exit platform. So it was just me and Maddy. I got out my camera and we were off. The first ride was a bit weird, since at one point I looked down and saw that my hat, which was on the floor by my feet was missing its band. I thought it had been blown off by the wind, so I spent the last 2/3 of the ride reaching down there trying to find it. So I kind of missed most of the ride.
In the end, it turned out that the hatband had come off, but it was sewed to the hat on one side, so it didn’t get lost.
Of course, this meant we had to ride it again.
The second time, Lucinda almost sat down to ride, but at the last second she walked across. She said she would ride it for sure the next time we come. In the meantime, I put my hat in the little pouch in front of the seat, so I knew it was secure, and I could pay attention to what was going on this time. I had one weird introspective moment when we were going down the big second hill. I was thinking, “I used to hate rides like this. But now… Wheeeeee!!!” I had the camera out to get an upside-down picture on the loop, and I also made a point to look out to the side just to watch the world flip over. That was novel.
After that, we walked over to Disneyland and rode the Matterhorn. While the girls waited in the line, I walked over to Space Mountain to get Fast Passes, but they were giving ones for 10:00 that night already. So I knew that if we were going to ride it, we’d just have to bite the proverbial bullet and wait in line. Which we did. And it was a fun time, even if we did have to wait 45 minutes for it.
Next, we rode Big Thunder Mountain twice, once through Pirates, and even did the Indiana Jones ride. Lucinda had done that one once before, about two years ago, and she didn’t like it then. But this time she thought it was all right.
Finally, after the requisite stop in the gift shop, we headed over the the Jazz Kitchen for dinner and a souvenir photo.
It was a very fun day.
Tonight, Leslie and I went to see “Food, Inc“. This is the new documentary about the American food system, how it works, what’s in it, who controls it, and all those unsavory details. Think, “Super Size Me” meets “The Corporation“. Yick. Fortunately, I’d made us a nice home-cooked dinner before we went, since this film has a way of killing one’s appetite. Still, it was a good film, and definitely worth seeing.
Last night Susan and I went to watch the election returns with some of my friends from the office. To say that we were pleased with the outcome is perhaps understating it a bit…
Today I went to the Nuart to see “The Unforeseen“. This is a documentary about land use and development in Austin, Texas. We lived there for four years from 1991 to 1995, and were witness to a bit of the debate over development there. In particular, there was a big controversy about development in the Barton Creek watershed. The environmentalists said that it would degrade the water quality of the water in Barton Springs, which feed the city swimming hole. There was a big referendum campaign when we were there, with the city voting to stop the development. So then the developer had the state legislature pass a bill to overrule the city. This bill was vetoed by Governor Ann Richards. But then, when George W. became governor, they passed it again, and he signed. And apparently, all the bad predictions have come true. The film included underwater views at the springs in 1996 and 2004, and the difference in the water clarity was stunning.
As much as I’ve always said that I hated living in Austin, there’s really nothing wrong with the place. It just wasn’t where I wanted to live. But I was always curious about what had happened with the Barton Creek development issue, since that was such a large part of local politics during our time there.
And one other treat was that I got to meet Carol, who I’ve known online for several years but never met in person before. So that was fun.
This afternoon, we all went over to West Hollywood to see “What Would Jesus Buy?” at the Sunset 5. I think that this may be the first time we’ve taken Lucinda to see and art-house movie, and it turned out to be quite a little adventure.
The film follows Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping when he and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir go on a nationwide tour to try to stop the commercialization of Christmas and to raise awareness of the costs of our consumer culture. They visited the Mall of America, Disneyland, and lots of places in between, preaching the gospel of anti-consumerism. It was hilarious.
For a special treat, the director was there to answer questions after the film. The film was produced by Morgan Spurlock, who did “Supersize Me”, and this film is done in a similar style, with Reverend Billy and the choir doing guerilla ‘interventions’ at big-box stores and malls. He uses his bullhorn to preach of the coming ‘Shopocalypse’. They also performed exorcisms of credit cards to drive out the demons of debt. Overall, it was a fun time, even though Lucinda was the only child in the audience.
I found this article on BME the other day:
It’s the story of a man named Louis who was a pioneer in the field of body and genital piercing. Reading the story, I realized that we had met him once. Back in 1988, we went to a video show and party at EZTV in West Hollywood. And we met him. He was a nice guy. But when I got to the surprise ending of the story, I just about fell out of my chair.
After reading the article, I heard that one of his old rings is on display at Anomaly Piercing here in Pasadena. So I stopped by on my way home to see it.
In the kink world it’s sometimes said that the weirdest people are Republicans.
So I’ve been reading a lot lately about Alberto Gonzales and the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. And I remembered that I went to college with him. I didn’t know him at the time, but we were at Rice at the same time for one year. So I dug out my 1979 yearbook to have a look at his “senior box”.
The Rice yearbook gives all graduating seniors a little space to put anything they want in the book. So here’s Alberto Gonzales’s. Note first that in those days, he went by “Al”. I guess it wasn’t considered an advantage to be ‘ethnic’ yet. His box is pretty standard. It doesn’t give a lot of insight into his character. Unless you consider ‘bland’ to be a form of character. But perhaps that’s what’s necessary to be the President’s toady.
Anyway, it’s not really significant, but I found it slightly amusing.
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