Kevin, Jason and Nick chillin’ by the garage. Winter in San Francisco is 50 degrees. Literally chilling.
February 29, 2012
February 28, 2012
Sprinkling now. Should be clear in the morning. Gonna keep getting warmer as the days get longer.
Trucks running good. Need a new rear tire but with gas as expensive as it is makes you wanna push your luck.
Neighbors had me over for cake and ice cream, the middle one turned 5. Boy kids are a handful. The screams they let out. Always moving.
Shop opens Friday, things look good. Never gonna be perfect so try’n have fun instead.
Folks still voting for religion when money runs this country but they wouldn’t believe you if you showed ‘em.
People get older and the details start to fade and the comfort is in the pattern.
February 26, 2012
It’s easy to sell something people are looking for. Right now people are looking for mid century modern. A coffee table with thin legs stamped “Made in Denmark” would be easy to get $500 for. At the flea market even.
The Konica 7025 in my garage prints up to 8 X 16, you can enlarge, reduce, collate, print front and back, everything a $2,000 copier should do. I can’t sell it for $100.
It’s only black and white. It’s larger than a cement mixer. The boss has one. No one needs it and it isn’t pretty to look at.
I’m giving you a lesson. Stick with what people want, not what once cost a lot money.
February 24, 2012
Recently Observed: a throwback can of Budweiser. The new can looks like a hip hop clothing mogul designed it, too flashy for me. But that old trusted square branding brought me back to my first beers, which were served warm and drunk in the woods, because we were children. I suppose they are reaching out to that market now – adults who remember breaking the law, adults who can afford to drink better but want to reach back to a time we incorrectly call innocent.
Maya Angelou wrote a whole book about the coping mechanism of caged birds. Seeing from a distance the arc of a man’s life allows for insight as well. Our humble city investigator who has turned to drugs…do we know why?
“My job is about ruining lives. Quite often rightfully so, but the city doesn’t tap someone gently on the shoulder with a warning. A 30 year veteran of the parks department who likes to take a three hour lunch and sip some wine while he does so gets a punishing hammer dropped on him. Dressed down and strung up on charges, his retirement gone, his sense of place in the world destroyed, and he jumps of the Golden Gate. Because of me. So I smoke crack some nights, like a caged bird sings, because I hope to make it through to when things may get better.”
Some days are better than others. Some clouds are greyer than their neighbor. Some verbs got more punch than their synonym. Some how some way. Something else I wanted to mention: yesterday while rolling a stacking washer/dryer unit I tripped in a pot hole and the whole thing fell on me, handtruck and all.
The unit was over six feet tall so I was walking backwards, and as I’m falling I’m trying to push the thing away from me. It sorta worked, and by that I mean it slammed into a parked car and dented the shit outta the driver’s door.
The worst part was I farted when I fell, trying to throw the machine off me. So when a woman ran over to see if I was okay, I snarled, “Get AWAY from me!”
So you must sit there and wonder, what is it like to drive around in a big truck all day?
You’ve seen us, not us, but crews like us. Three guys in the cab of a box truck laughing, or scowling. One or the other. Either hung over or still buzzing. Hairy dudes with muscles that smell like booze and B O, mouths that smell of coffee and cigarettes.
The suspension isn’t good in a cab over, since the cab is over the engine and the engine is over the wheels. You get bucked and kicked. It’s not a caddillac. Dudes have a hot coffee and we hit some bumps and they jump up with steaming coffee in their lap and they dangle the cup between two fingers so it rides the wave and the seat belt is tying ‘em to close to the heat and the curses and grunts are hilarious to me, who’s driving, and holding onto the wheel.
Had a guy working last month, he picked his boogers and peeled ‘em off his finger into the little sippy part of an old coffee cup. He considered that polite. Everytime I look at a coffee cup lid now I think of him.
We drive around San Francisco and see all the billboards. Lately someone has taken it on as their life’s work to draw with a sharpie on the kid who is advertising for polio. Maybe not Polio. The kid looks 12 and is in a wheel chair and somethin’ aint normal, as they say. Even more so because he’ll have two giant black squares for eyes in the Tenderloin, and over in Noe Valley he’s drooling black and holding a whiskey bottle in his hand.
We see the city. Every day. Just driving around.
February 21, 2012
Picked up a wardrobe box full of fake snow from a pre-school last week and brought it to the flea market where it sat unmolested.
For every item there is a season, turn turn turn. It was not fake snow’s season.
A prop shop offered to take it for free and it’s on the way to the dump so why not? Saves the dump fee.
Still, so much is thrown out and it’s because for every thing there is a season and no one can afford storage. Fashion cycles every twenty years but who can handle looking at those pants you’ll never wear for that long?
600 pounds of dirt went to the dump today. That makes no sense.
February 20, 2012
Instead of keeping my promise to George and heading home to write another witty missive, instead I gathered my wits and trucked them down to the bar where my crew were celebrating another evening of being alive. Instead I should don’t do that, but I did.
After a few beers one gentleman new to town asked if it might be possible to drive his all wheel drive Audi wagon on a beach. I won’t name names or disclose locations since this beach is Federal land and we could have been over the legal blood alcohol limit. But it turns out his Audi can get on the beach – there’s just a crazy sand cliff that sneaks up on you when you are driving without headlights to avoid detection.
The all wheel audi will need two men and lots of driftwood and two full hours of constant frantic digging, the kind of digging a hopeful jungle prisoner would exhibit should he be left alone for a short time and sense an opportunity to tunnel to freedom before the natives return to the beach to roast him alive. Once all the wheels have a reasonable share of the vehicles weight, it will handle like a dream.
And that’s why there was no blogging last night.
February 18, 2012
Older guy with gray in his beard came by the shop wanting to know if I was interested in buying some things since he’s moving.
“Always like to take a look,” I said.
He stood by the door, not a shopper, not looking around, just wanting to know if I’d spend some money. He was clean, groomed beard, wore a newsboy style hat and reading glasses.
He said to me, “I’m also selling an old truck, a 68 Ford.”
We got talking about old trucks, how cool they were, how much money it is to keep them going.
I asked if he could bring the truck by the shop so I might check it out.
“I don’t really move it except across the street for street cleaning. I don’t trust the brakes. Truth is, I’m living in it, and that’s where all my stuff is, so if you could come down by the park and take a look that’d be a lot easier for me.”
This gives you an idea of what kind of neighborhood I’m living in and what the potential for success in retail is in the Outer Richmond. Homeless guys too broke to bring their junk to me.
February 16, 2012
Tonight’s discussion concerns commenting. Everyone wants to, no one knows how. We here at the Pregnant Robot have heard your complaints and have made it recently possible for anyone and any robot to leave a comment. No email, no password, nothing. You have three days to comment on a post, then the comments will be closed. Be prepared for a flood of ludicrous viagra pitches.
February 15, 2012
Got Doug on the phone, he was in a loud bar and kindly stepped out on the street to have a quick chat.
MRIP: Sorry no one asked any questions. No one knows how to sign in and leave a comment on the site. So just tell us what’s new.
Doug: I kicked a guy out of our improv team. I should say I volunteered to write the email.
MRIP: How do you get kicked out of an improv team?
Doug: We’d been together a couple months and he rubbed everyone wrong at one time or another.
MRIP: Isn’t the point of improv to not say No? What if he said No you can’t kick me out?
Doug: Ha! I wrote him the email and he wrote back and responded the way I imagined – “this is pitiful you can’t say this to my face and have to have a meeting behind my back.” He’s like 23. What’s he want, to sit in front of seven people and be told he sucks? That’d be hella embarrassing for everyone involved.
MRIP: Are you drinking to cope with it?
Doug: Just one.
MRIP: Have you gotten more political since you arrived in LA?
MRIP: More image conscious?
Doug: Yessss. I guess I was trying to do it before, but now I have free time to go to the gym on a regular. I don’t have a stylist, but I’m trying to slim down which I’ve been trying to do anyhow.
MRIP: Do you find yourself thinking about your feet or other parts you’ve never paid attention to?
Doug: I’m thinking about getting all my moles removed.
MRIP: Why did you volunteer to write the email?
Doug: I have no idea. Trying to learn how to deal with stuff I guess. We have a coach we pay ten bucks each for a couple hours of practice. He says negative unsupportive and sarcastic shit all the time.
MRIP: In LA a lot of beautiful people go there and are frantic to get famous before their looks fade. Then there are people who have an “interesting” look.
Doug: We know where I stand.
MRIP: What’s it like to be on the “interesting” side?
Doug: I’ve never given my appearance that much thought, as far as being marketable, but its surreal, to meet people on the street who tell me I have a great commercial look. It’s fucking weird, to be told I have a look, but I’ll capitalize on it while I can.
MRIP: How long do you think you got?
Doug: I give it ten years. We’ll see after I get some work done. New lips and stuff. I’m kidding, I’m excited be living somewhere new and interesting. That’s enough for now.
Text me, it says. Written on a wall. Graffiti. Was it written by a boy to a girl standing next to him busy talking on a phone?
Or is it a joke? Surreal art? Is it ironic that someone would hand write this command?
Perhaps the past is reaching out to the future, wanting to be hip, wanting to know what’s happening.
That’s what I believe.