Saturday, April 30, 2011

Messing with the mail

It seems that just when everything is hunky dory with my electronic devices something goes buggy. I reset my password for my gmail account and brought on a whole boatload of crap.I had prepared an email to send to my friend Eric who is one of the five or six readers of this blog, and it didn’t send ! So after calling tech support at Apple and reading all the online tech support material in the online forums I ended up deleting my account. Great. When I re-established my account, I could receive gmail, but it still would not send any. Damn. To this day, when something goes wrong I always assume that it is my fault somehow. As it turned out, it was Google’s fault ! ( No wonder they don’t have a call-in system ). So if you had trouble with your gmail Thursday morning, Google reported technical difficulties online. Well, that is just great. Anyway, it is up and running as far as I know. It’s a good thing I was able to send a conciliatory gmail to Eric before I went off to bed, because I was dog tired after a day of bashing away at this. The movie I am featuring is what it looks like in my room upon rising. Enjoy !

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

A lot of birthdays are happening this week. Best wishes to my sister Rita, my nephew Edward and a few friends I know. The weather is still rather gloomy but that is to be expected this time of the year. Yesterday was earth day and I drove down to Napa for a meeting and noticed that their were some blocks sealed off. A lot of people were milling about and checking out the vendors booths. Mostly, it was a host of environmental groups showing people how to recycle and plant sustainable vegetables and stuff. I saw my ex-girlfriend there, and went to sit down to ponder what to do. Then after careful reflection, I decided to leave.

Later, I went to view my High School’s history and statistics on Wikipedia and read some interesting information.My friend Eric Swenson will appreciate the following…

For a school with an enrollment of less than 700 students, the recent athletic history of St. Mary’s is rather impressive.

St. Mary’s continues to have outstanding success in track & field under the guidance of head coach Jay Lawson '81. Known for the 1600 meter relay, the 1992 version of the team AKA the 4 Horsemen ran a time of 3:11 and was one of the best teams in the country. The 1998 version of the team was arguably the most rounded team, anchored by a great boy’s 1600 meter relay squad which was ranked 9th in the U.S. and had a best time of 3:13.79. The relay traveled to the famed Penn Relay’s where they finished top 10 in an international field of 500 teams. The boy’s hurdles and jumps were also strong with Jerrod Mack jumping a best of 51 feet in the triple jump, earning him 3rd in the U.S. that year. The deep boy’s squad also had 6 members running sub 50 second 400 meters, led by Jafar Williams who went on to play football at the University of Washington. The boy’s team had continued success through the turn of the century in sprints and jumps helmed by Lawson, and jumps coach and Cal Berkeley jump legend Jeff Rodgers. In 2010 Maurice Spikes, current high school state champion in the high jump, reached an impressive 6'8. Another quite astonishing record is that of current hurdles champion, Trinity Wilson.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Saturday was a gorgeous, sunny day here in the Napa Valley. I went to Mt. La Salle to attend a “Retreat for busy people”. This is the third one I have attended. Brother Richard Moratto conducted the retreat. It was about the Resurrection, just in time for Holy Week. I took lots of pictures and felt very good about my time spent there. A lot of memories about that place harken me back to a less complicated period of my life. It seems to be an anchor spot for me. It is a place I have returned to at various times in my life. I have resided there for over a year on two seperate occasions. The brothers have alway treated me with love and respect. I feel the same way about them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Walker Ridge

I was prepared to go on a long hike Saturday, for at least five miles. It didn’t happen. Dieter drove Harrison and I all the way past Lower Lake to Walker Ridge. This place is really out in the Boonies. We parked in an area where dirt bikers and ATV’s were buzzing around kicking up rocks and dirt. Gathered were a group of naturalists who looked somewhat like a chapter of the Sierra Club ( I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them were members ). After “ gearing up” with our backpacks and poles we sauntered across the street to where the meeting was taking place. As it turned out, our little hike was going to be more like a politically motivated nature walk in an area that had been set afire by an arsonist back in 2009. The group leader launched into an explanation of the serpentine soils that were just beginning to support new growth and that the government had slated the area for an expansion of a windmill project that (according to the group leader) was going to be environmentally devastating to the area.This talk went on for a good twenty minutes. Finally we got “ungeared”, hopped back into Dieter’s Toyota Avalon and proceeded to follow a bunch of SUV’s up the mountain road to the summit. After parking, we had decided it was no point in throwing on our backpacks because this walk was only going to be a quarter mile at most. We learned about larkspur flowers and golden fields and a host of other succulents and wildflowers that were just beginning to sprout in an area peppered with shotgun shells, beer cans and broken clay pigeons. The trash left in this area was equally depressing. I found a fairly good sleeping bag mat made out of EVA styrofoam that I took back with me. We stayed until just after lunchtime. Then we hopped back into the car and drove towards Middletown where we stopped for coffee at a place called Mugshots.Eventually we got back to Calistoga around 3PM. We even took in an Estate sale on the way back. I picked up a ball peen-hammer, wire snips and shoe laces all for 3 bucks! Woo hoo !

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Meet Mitch

This guy looks like a composite of all the bosses I ever worked for; or more accurately, Mitch looks like the owners of the companies I worked for throughout my career in Hospitality. Perhaps a Union Rep, who later became a slum lord, who later bought a hotel or resort, who later would hire a General manager who would be inept, so then they would eventually try to run the place themselves. This is a classic recipe for dysfunction and unhappiness in a work environment. The owner who wants to manage the boss.Classic. It’s all about control, suspicion and more control. Fuck. Today I got up, took a shower, cooked a nice healthy breakfast and got out the door to go to a job fair today. I went to Solage, which is a nice resort here in Calistoga just on the outskirts of town. It is owned by a French Company called Auberge ( they have a few resorts here in the Napa Valley ). I had applied for a Concierge position when the CIA showed me the door. I didn’t hear back from them, so I saw that their was an opening for a bellman on Craig’s list so I applied for that. I have done most every job their is to do around a Hotel, Spa or Country Club. I have been a Bellman, Concierge,Lounge Host, Server, Cocktail Server, Front Desk Attendant, Reservationist, Tour Guide, Massage Practitioner, Room service waiter and Banquet Captain. These are all fun jobs if you don’t get too involved with management and keep a low profile. The best job of all of these by far, has been the Concierge position. I will be forever grateful for the work I did in this position, the people I met and the good times I had.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Day at the Beach

When I get cabin fever, I head out to the coast. The Ocean represents freedom from worry. I drive out River Road through Guerneville and then to Jenner. I collect lots of flat, round rocks to bring home to paint, and I also pick up a few interesting pieces of driftwood. Yesterday I found out that my unemployment insurance has run out. Now I have to rely on my savings to stay afloat here. I went to Mass today ( April 1st ) to say a few prayers. I am looking for a a sign. I am looking for guidance and direction from my Higher Power and it hasn’t been forthcoming. I am lost at this point. I suspect something will be revealed to me, so I will wait.