Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday gripes and field trip

I was just walking over to our other building and thinking about people’s attitudes. The sidewalk out front is wide, but there was a group of people walking towards me, side by side filling the sidewalk. No one approaching seemed to notice me, and nobody made a move to make room for me to get by. I ended up just stopping and standing at the edge of the sidewalk, forcing the person at one end to crowd the others to get by, and they then all looked at me as if I was doing something wrong.

Was I incorrect in my actions? Is it my responsibility to walk out into the street and let this group by? For some reason I feel the sidewalk is the place I should be, not out in the street with cars zipping by, and common areas are meant to be shared.

I guess this is all part of the “it’s all me” attitude that I have been seeing getting worse. More and more people are ignoring the feelings of others because they want things their way. I thought this was confined to those under the age of five, but it seems that teenagers usually have this attitude, and for some reason people are keeping this attitude into old age. Well, really old farts have felt this way for a long time, as the membership of the AARP would indicate. (“Give me that senior discount sonny”)

Driving around town I find people just throwing their fast-food trash out the windows, and smokers – let’s not forget those that have no problem blowing smoke in your direction and tossing the butts about. Guess it also applies to those in too big a hurry to follow the speed limit signs, and run through red lights because obviously they are too important to be held up.

Boy, you can tell I had a good week by the lack of postings and the measly wanderings here.

OK, here’s a link courtesy of the vdoprincess I found rather amusing: a take on the poor subjects of Flash Animators. Harkens back to those old ‘out of the inkwell’ cartoons when the poor artist was put upon by his creations.

OK, need some pictures. Let’s to part one of my recent field trip.

When my son planned on moving here a few years ago he came with a trailer full of stuff that he put into a storage locker while living with us. He figured that he would buy a house and have a place to put it. Well, he ended up moving back to Oakland and buying a house there. Never coming back to get his storage locker full of things, he kept paying the $100 a month or so rental. Feeling nice I offered to fill up a U-Haul trailer and drive it out to California, meeting him about half-way in Fresno. Last month I did just that.

So, here’s my truck in our driveway, all ready to leave.

I didn’t think that this trailer full of furniture and stuff would weigh too much, and that the old 1965 Dodge would be able to handle it. But it does almost burn more oil than gas, so I took along half a case of oil (and I still had to buy more). So, off down I-15 southbound I go.

You can see the long trip ahead. This is the old down the hill a dozen miles to Baker view. I found out that I was pulling more that the truck really wanted to just past the California border. Las Vegas is at about 1,100 ft elevation, and the first high pass is 4,700 ft, with one long hill leading up from the dry lake bed at the border. There is an extra truck lane for the slow 18 wheelers that I always passed before, but now found that I was over there, only doing 30mph instead of the posted 65.

Turning right at Barstow I headed towards Tehachipi, surrounded by hills and a farm full of wind powered electric generators – alternative energy sources, in official speak.

Some of them are pretty big – with blades over a hundred feet long.

And down into Bakersfield and the big central valley of California.

This is what the rolling foothills look like. Quickly dropping to the valley floor.

You can’t see all the detail, but there are squares of fields, orchards and vineyards as far as you can see. The central valley extends like this from just south of Bakersfield all the way three hundred miles or so up past Sacramento, probably about eighty miles wide. Most of the fruit and produce for the US is grown here. All of the pistachios, most of the almonds, all the raisins and most of the eating grapes. Along with lots of other stuff.

Bakersfield also is surrounded by these things.

The old walking-beam oil pumps. Lots of oil production here, with pumps scattered among the crops.

Turning north at Bakersfield onto old highway 99 headed for Fresno. And here are the grapes –

Fresno is the raisin capitol of the US, I think they have a big raisin festival and stuff each year.

And what happened just north of Bakersfield?

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