Why I Don’t Fly

I like to think of myself as a supporter of the local economy. There is one sector, however, in which I do not participate.  I do not fly.  I haven’t flown regularly since 2009, when I retired.  And I don’t miss it.

I used to fly a lot. Try living in Hawaii and working for the Navy if you want to  rack up airline miles.  For eleven years I was flying a couple of times a month to San Diego or Norfolk or DC.  I developed the invaluable skill of being able to sleep on a plane. Now, I actually can’t NOT sleep on a plane.  I’m usually snoozing before takeoff.

And thank God for that! The Friendly Skies aren’t so friendly any more. Better that you sleep through altercations with unruly passengers who actually expect the plane to take them to where their ticket said.  Better that you not have to see the Delta crew snatching a stroller from a mother traveling with three infants, or hear the horrified reactions of the  passengers. People on airliners these days act exactly how you would expect people or animals to behave without adequate space, or room to move around. Just like the rats they used to show us in college. Cramming people into a 12″ width seat may be legal but it’s not smart. The conditions on the typical airliner wouldn’t meet the standards of the Geneva Convention,  but we volunteer to put up with it, because we’re accustomed  to unrealistic airfares.

I especially don’t understand people who FLY to SFO. By the time you spend an hour getting to the airport, an hour checking in, a couple of hours in the air and circling to land  and an hour getting a rental car, that’s five hours and you’re still at SFO.  If you drove, you’d be checking into your hotel.  Or enjoying yourself.  

I know we’ll hear from Gregg Foster that things are’t that bad;  Gregg and the Fly Humboldt folks do a fine job considering what they have to work with.        

As for myself, except for going to China, or Hawaii or Europe – I still have a couple of bucket-list type trips in me-I will be traveling by car, bus or train.  Did you know that you can get to China without flying?  You have to get to Alaska, then take a freighter to Korea then a couple more boat trips,  but it can be done. Let me know how it goes. 

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The Price of a Popsicle

 

When I was five years old my grandmother lived on 14th Street in Eureka and my aunt lived on F Street nearby. They used to send me down to the C&V Market with a NICKEL- 5¢ -to buy a popsicle.

These days I suppose no one would  let a kid out of their sight long enough to travel several blocks and back, but nothing ever happened to me.  The two owners- Mr Corsetti and Mr Venturini- were always there. (Thanks to the folks on I Remember In Eureka When for helping me with the names.)  I loved getting one of those orange chalky- tasting popsicles.  I’m sure they were full of unhealthy chemicals.

The other day I stopped by again. The first thing I saw was a sizable display of smoking implements. That was kind of jarring, but I don’t know what I expected. It didn’t take long to find the freezer full of ice cream treats, but NO POPSICLES!  “You don’t sell Popsicles?” I asked the nice man behind the counter.   He shook his head, smiling sadly.  “No more”.   I found something that was kind of like a  Creamsicle –  orange on the outside with a gummy white interior.  It lasted all the way to Murphy’s. It cost $1.49.

I’m not sure what point I am trying to make except that a Popsicle in 2017 costs 30 times what it did in 1954. Rob Holmlund from the City has introduced zoning changes to protect the small markets of Eureka, and indeed they deserve protection.  Next time you’re driving out and around, stop off at the C&V, or Pat’s or the Handee Market (or the Harris & K market, or the California Market or the Asian Oriental Foods) and buy a loaf of bread or something. These little stores have served the community well.  Support your local markets!

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Harbor Group Meets Wednesday on Community Sustainability Planning.

From their press release:

EUREKA– Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group (HBHWG) welcomes, Humboldt State University Environmental & Natural Resources Science graduate students Laura Casali and Rob Dumouchel to present the Fishing Community Sustainability Planning (CSP) getting underway in Eureka and Shelter Cove to this month’s No-Host Luncheon. This is a way for fishermen to have a direct impact on the future of the port and their industry. They will layout: what is a CSP, who it will impact, who is involved, who will benefit from it, and how it is being funded.

This forum is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, at Samoa Cookhouse from 12:30 to 1 p.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Fried chicken will be served for lunch at $16 and soup and salad is available for $14. To RSVP please contact Charlie Bean at 707-441-1974 or email Charles.bean@Yahoo.com

****************You’ll notice the Cookhouse has raised its prices, only by a dollar for the full lunch but THREE more dollars for the soup/salad routine.  Bet a lot of folks will be packing home chicken wrapped in napkins.  See you at the Cookhouse!

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Erie, PA

I was just posting about Amtrak when the news came on the TV that the deranged killer of Cleveland had shot himself in Erie PA. On our trip in October we stopped in Erie. We were driving alongside a body of water and I suddenly realized it was Lake Erie!  We’re both childish enough to be thrilled at seeing another Great Lake and as we approached Erie, it was inviting enough that we changed our plan and decided to overnight there rather than moving on to Cleveland. I’m glad we did.

Erie is a wonderful little city in the grip of depression.  I hadn’t really seen the Rust Belt up close  and it was striking.  On one side of town were the pubs and cafés and a new Sheraton right on the water. On the other were broken down businesses and rotting houses.  Broken down people, too. The Sheraton was SOLD OUT on a Monday night, I’m assuming for a conference. We stayed at the Avalon, which was a deal at $75. We didn’t check out the McDonald’s where the killer social worker killed himself- the Avalon had a great breakfast.  We found good Chinese food in Erie, also, and the lake views were magnificent. 

If I’m in the neighborhood again I would definitely stop in Erie.  A lot of the tourist attractions had already closed down for the season or we would have gone on a lake cruise. I love travel, even to weird places. Especially to weird places.

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The Ignoramus in the White House

The unhinged man-child who is currently our President is a constant embarrassment as the extent of his ignorance and inexperience becomes ever more clear.  He has no philosophy, no values and no curiosity.  It took China’s Xi a whole ten  minutes on the phone to talk Trump out of the idea that China would be able  to “help”  with North Korea. The steady diet of scandal, nepotism, and incompetence goes on and on. Is all this just a plot to prepare us for the advent of President Pence?

For a good account of Don the Con’s educational deficiencies, read HERE.

Happy Easter? Bah, Humbug!

***Here’s an oldie but a goodie in the holiday spirit.***

Easter is my least-favorite holiday.  At Christmas you get good chocolate and lots of presents.  At Easter you get Peeps. No comparison.

As a kid growing up in Eureka, I was subjected to all kinds of barbaric treatment by well-meaning family members. I HAD to have a new coat, made from scratch by a lady on “A” Street, Audrey Hansen and her mother. Anyone remember them? Every coat involved two or three fittings all of which involved repeatedly being stuck with pins. These days we’d call it child abuse. The ladies were still in business when I was in sixth grade and had to have a Tiger Lily costume for the Christmas Pageant. More pins.

My normal hair wouldn’t do for Easter, either. My grandmother would march me down to Daly’s to have my hair permed. Remember that salon on the mezzanine level?  The sulphurous fumes from the frying hair filled the whole store.  Ah, the good old days.

Like it or not, Easter is a big holiday for retail spending. The National Retail Federation tells us each of us will spend $140 on Easter this year.  I’m not even close. I bought some Reese’s and a Paas egg coloring kit.  Don’t ask.  Our Easter Dinner will be a pork roast rescued from the freezer. I like to slow-cook them so that the house smells good for hours.  

That NRF article includes some fascinating data on how people plan to spend the holiday. almost half of you will be in church.  Which is good.  I don’t go myself, but I definitely  approve of church. Almost a third of you will be surfing the web on Easter, maybe doing some online buying. I asked the friendly staff at Partrick’s the other day about their holiday sales and they reported that while their big days are Christmas and Valentine’s,  Easter comes in a close third,  representing maybe 15% of yearly revenues. That’s pretty much the same as on the national level.  

So Happy Easter, everyone.  Support your local candy store and don’t make your kids get their hair fried. And go to the Zoo. It’ll make you feel good.

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