My Third of July Odyssey. Or, “Where did that marching band come from”?

July 4, 2015

What could possibly go wrong with a noon time airport trip on the third of July? To the San Jose (SJC) airport? From the Monterey Bay?
Well, truth be told, nothing DID go wrong with the trip to the airport. Dropped off Tasha and the grandsons on time at the correct terminal and departed for home. But on the way up freeway 101 we couldn’t help but notice how jammed up the freeway was with southbound Holiday traffic, stop and go, crawling, crawling, crawling traffic…….virtually all the way to San Jose. Much of it seemingly going to Monterey for the Fourth weekend, I assumed, to fill up vacant hotel rooms.
So, crafty local that I was, I decided to use my superior knowledge of local roads and communities to circumvent the jammed up freeway traffic by traveling on surface roads that paralleled my route. Smart. No sweat, right?
Before you answer, and what I’d forgotten, is it’s been over a dozen years since I retired and stopped using those local roads and visiting the interiors of those communities. In California, unlike places like Kansas, et al, everything is always ‘changing’. And not always for the better, but ALWAYS for a more complicated state of existence.
And I was unprepared for the changes but didn’t know it, so departed SJC southbound for Gilroy, the first leg of the journey, a freeway distance of 38 miles. Normally takes less than 45 minutes.
Took freeway 87 South to 85 South and then got off on Cottle Road because I could see traffic on freeway 101 ahead just standing still. Quickly found Santa Teresa Blvd and being familiar with the local office there knew it would head the direction I wanted. And it did. No sweat. Good speed with medium traffic. Probably averaged 23-25 mph including all the stop signs and traffic signals for awhile.
What I noticed was once I crested the hill past Santa Teresa the name of the road changed. But no fears, it was still going in the right direction and traffic had lightened up so speeds were almost perfect! But I was approaching Morgan Hill.
Morgan Hill, California. Small town America in a nutshell. But really, really spread out. As the residential density began to increase I began watching for a road to drop down to Monterey Road, which everybody knows was the original road through the valley from the bay area to Monterey back in the Barney Oldfield days.
Unfortunately, I was offered a road and declined it because the way ahead still looked “clear”. And it was for two more blocks. Then “the city” part of Morgan Hill took over. Traffic became horrendously slow. A nightmare. Through intersection after intersection.
Finally, after a lifetime, reached West Main and was able to turn down towards Monterey Road. But still could only crawl through humongous traffic. Suddenly both sides of West Main were lined with outdoor lounge chairs roped together. Chair after chair. Rope after rope. For four blocks. Yikes! This was a parade route! Fourth of July parade was coming! And we were barely crawling past.
Finally could see a major intersection ahead with a traffic signal problem. All four lights had been flashing red, apparently, but the signal had malfunctioned and now all four lights (apparently) were solid red. No one could move. In any direction.
Suddenly, in what could only happen in small town America, a burly guy dressed in blue tank top and denim cutoffs ran out into the middle of the street and began arm-directing traffic. He was obviously an off duty cop who saw a problem and ran out ‘fixed it’. Bless him! High fives from everyone!
Once past the bad traffic light situation finally got to Monterey Road – – – to discover it was also closed off for the parade. So had to continue the only open way remaining, back toward freeway 101 which was still going about 5 mph. Bad! Crossed over 101 instead and went searching further south for another road to take me back to Monterey Road. Finally found it and after sojourning a bit in middle America got back to and on Monterey Road…..still headed for Gilroy.
Arrived in Gilroy after lots and lots more stop and go traffic – and needed a break. So stopped for 10 minutes after noting the driving time up till then had been 2 hours and 5 minutes. And I had driven 52 miles. Averaged 25 mph. After all those stops and through all that traffic. Shake My Head.
PS: The rest of the trip was almost as bad, but I decided to grin and freeway it. Last 22 miles took 55 minutes. /smiles/
PPS: Yes, there are other “over the hill” routes I could’ve taken via Santa Cruz, etc, but IMO those were normally worse at these times.



June 26, 2015

Facts are facts.  SMH

Moe Gummint

Gotta luv the free enterprise system.

June 19, 2015

Have been spending a lotta time online during the past week trying to “fix” my honey’s PC.  Seems the latest version from the antivirus provider we’ve been using for more than a decade has, like Casey, whiffed out.  Big time.  Not to mention the Scandinavian country’s company’s three initials, but it would have been far cheaper for them to have just refunded our money than continue their current line of gyrations.

This year’s antivirus update wouldn’t install, and left behind a huge error code.  So over a week ago we paid them a little extra to install it online.  Six hours of tech time from four techs later and we are still at point A.  Not installed and still unprotected.  Plus this is the second time they’ve escalated the problem to “level two” techs.  Where each referral takes 32 hours to wend its way back to the hoi polloi. 

I realize from names like Thiy_ga_ajan, Pad_ava_hi, Ar_ndath_ and Ven_at that the level one techs are not $60 an hour guys, but payroll has to count for something!  I can’t wait to actually chat online with a “level two” person.  Or process our refund.

Moe Gummint

My Grandsons

May 13, 2015

Are better looking than yours!

Meet Rohan and Becket!

Speakin’ Am Boss

May 7, 2015

The Freddie Gray riots in Baltimore last week again prompted cries for “an honest conversation about race,” with appeals to fix the “broken” public school system. So here’s a plain and simple idea: make the public schools teach young black kids to speak proper English in the commons.

Notice that the speech issue — how people talk in public — is never part of that “conversation about race” we are supposed to be having? Has anybody noticed in his public speeches Martin Luther King spoke English correctly, but with a Southern accent? And has anybody noticed how important that turned out to be in his role as “a communicator?”

When kids grow up their manner of public speech will identify them and their prospects for success at least as much as the color of their skin — and maybe even more so. Their ability to speak common English correctly will sometimes be the salient feature in how others assess the content of their character. Nothing is more important than when speaking openly or in public, insisting black kids move out of their pidgin patois into real English, with all of its tenses, verb forms, and cases. It’s arguably more important than learning arithmetic, history, and science. It is virtually impossible to learn these other things without first being demonstrably grounded in real, grammatical English.

So why is this crucial question of language absent from the public conversation about “the intractable problems of race in America?” Is it because both blacks and whites are too fearful, too cowardly, to face this particular problem of how English is spoken in the open? Perhaps this raises the specter of IQ. How can any IQ test be meaningful when the person taking it isn’t comfortable with the language the test is being given in?

Probably any ghetto kid drilled in proper English for two years would show substantial improvement on any standardized test. But first Americans of all skin tones would need to admit this is important. It seems as if many of us don’t want to. Some would rather wring their hands over “structural racism” and other canards. Why? Because many Euro American whites have been programmed to “not offend” at any cost; many Asian Americans are too busy being successful; and many African Americans are heavily invested in an Excuse-For-Failure industry, some even wringing big money from public bodies administered by others.

Social hand-wringers might be upset over this proposal. “All dialects are created equal in this rainbow society,” they might argue: No they’re not! Have you noticed that TV news, business, show biz, education, and politics increasingly employ people whose parents came from India and other parts of Asia? Do they publicly speak in a patois lacking in complex verb forms? Apparently not. Are they succeeding in American life, such as it is? Apparently so.

How about it America? Can we agree on job number one? Teach kids how to publicly speak the English language. Everything else builds from that.

May 7, 2015, from Salinas, CA.   Adapted from a post by James Kunstler.

Room to protest. WCPGW?

April 28, 2015

Moe Gummint

Yes, it was a bit of rain

December 11, 2014


Video: MSNBC Panelist Says America Is Fundamentally Racist

November 26, 2014

The Victimentallism Industry pays quite well, thank-you-very-much.


Many different angles and explanations have been floated as reasons why the tragic event in Ferguson occurred and will possibly continue to occur which has helped illuminate the view many people have about American society.  SGR has made a conscious decision to not pick a side in this horrible situation other than to attempt to report as many facts as possible.  However,  Mychal Denzel Smith’s recent appearance on MSNBC is important because it explains the way many people on the Left look at the world.  The video speaks volumes about why some are unable to accept or even consider the validity of the Grand Jury’s recent decision to not indict Darren Wilson.    Smith says in the video below, “What we haven’t dealt with, we refuse to deal with it is the idea, the fact that the foundation of this country is racism and white supremacy. And we are — all of…

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Truckload of dishwasher installation hardware racing to Merced.

April 12, 2014


Back to the Future?

April 1, 2014

The Crawdad Hole


Daily Caller:

Exclusive: Bob Dole considering 2016 presidential run

Bob Dole will travel to Iowa next month to test the waters on a potential 2016 presidential run.

“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years,” the former Kansas senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview from his Washington, D.C. condo, quoting the rap artist LL Cool J. “I may not be as active as I once was, but I’ve never hung up my political hat. I’ve just been patiently looking for the right opportunity to engage.”

At 90, Dole would be by far the oldest presidential candidate in American history. But the World War II-hero dismisses such concerns.

“Abraham lived to 175. Moses lived to 120. The way I see it, I’m just getting started,” Dole explained.

“Look, health is what matters, not age. And let me assure you I can…

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