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5 January 2010
When I was a little kid, we lived on a steep hill in San Francisco. Every so often a man would kind of lope up the street. Everyone said he was shell shocked (now he'd probably have post traumatic stress syndrome). He was tall and lanky and seemed monochromatic. Everything from the oversized shoes to the floppy cap he wore seemed to be a kind of grey-brown. He walked bent over, with his arms swinging back and forth.
And he talked to himself. Or to some unseen being. I never saw him when he wasn't talking to "someone." All us kids were afraid of him. When we went past the luggage storage area in my friend Stephen's apartment building and he told me that the "boogie man" lived there, I always imagined that it was the shell shocked guy.
Years later, when I was working for a typing service here in Davis, we had a customer with severe mental problems. He had been a high school teacher, I believe, but he lost his job after he became convinced that we were being controlled by rays from another planet. He used as his proof illusionist Doug Henning, who could "make things disappear." He was certain Henning was being controlled from another planet.
The man wrote and wrote and wrote and would bring his gibberish to us to type. While he proofread his stuff, he sat at a table in lively conversation with an invisible person. Sometimes he would stand outside the door having an argument with something or someone invisible
(Ironically, he did one day get his book published--I suspect self-published!--and I actually bought a copy to send to my friend who sufferend through endless drafts of his stuff with me!)
My oldest aunt had a friend from outer space. Bertie, she called him. Since he was of some royal lineage, I suspect he may have been cheating on Victoria with my aunt. She wrote tomes about her relationship with Bertie and where they went.
When I was young, we would have said these guys were nuttier than a loon.
Nowadays, you have to be careful of labels like this. When you see someone walking down the street alone and talking animatedly or having an argument with an unseen companion, it's more likely that s/he is talking to someone on the cell phone. It makes it hard to tell the real crazy people from the people who are just crazy enough to talk loudly in public to their unseen friends!
I have thusfar resisted the temptation of anything beyond a very simple tricorder type flip phone, decorated with puppy teeth prints (we were due for new phones in August, but I didn't want to give up my puppy-marked phone!)
But I have to interview a guy in San Diego this week and it's silly to pay daytime long distance rates for an interview when I could do it for free on my cell phone. But I can't hold my cell phone up to my ear to conduct an interview like I do with my land line.
I was hoping to get some ear phones, but the only ones they had had ear buds, not "in the ear" thingies, which I prefer. Then he showed me the Bluetooth. I admit I was curious. After I saw it and he explained how it would work to me, I decided to join the 21st century and get a Bluetooth.
I wasn't completely sure he knew what he was doing when he set it up.
But he seemed confident and told me that as soon as I charged the thing for 2 hrs and turned it on and then started up my phone, I would get a message asking if I wanted to use the Bluetooth. I came home and plugged it in, excited to try it for the first time.
Naturally I can't get it to work, now that it should be fully charged, so I guess another trip to Verizon is in my immediate future...or at least before Thursday, when I have to conduct this interview!
HOWEVER, I am no slouch in the kitchen. I made "real"
ice cream today (now that my "coconut ice" is finished) and it is fabulous.
A quart of vanilla malt chocolate chip ice cream is waiting to be dessert
after dinner tonight!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Maybe it will be finished by my birthday!