Storms pass over the Bay Bridge...
and the urban wilds of San Francisco...
But it's the excitement brewing at the Marina that we've come
to partake in...
Grumpy and the condiment arrive to take the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, which has lost
all of its funding for winter sports.

Plungers gather...


And they're off!

A crazy cold day is had by all, in a most hilarious way.

NFL Draft thoughts: Get Spiller, Get Clausen, Ignore Bradford

We know that the The Boy Named Suh and Gerald McCoy are going to go 1-2, which means that St Louis and Detroit are going to be paying them next year.

Both sides are winners on this - so well done them.

With Tampa Bay and Washington not having a quarterback to speak of, then the odds are on that one of them's going to be picking up Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen. Many people are saying: "Ooooh yes, pick up Sam Bradford!". I'll throw this out there: I'd rather have Jimmy Clausen.

After a horrible first season, Jimmy Clausen emerged as a bona fide NFL first rounder in his final two years at Notre Dame, despite having a coach - and a defense - who sucked ass. He was certainly better than Bradford last season, who was injured in his first game against BYU and injured trying to come back against Texas. To be frank, I'd rather take a sore toe over a rebuilt shoulder every time during the week and twice on DirectTV Sundays.

And now to the 'other picks'. Eric Berry's a defensive playmaker, and if he dropped as far down as Pittsburgh, I'd be surprised and overjoyed. But frankly, he'll end up in either Washington, KC or Tampa Bay.

But there's one person who I've been raving about all off-season, and that guy is CJ Spiller. You saw what a gamechanger DeSean Jackson is for the Philadelphia Eagles. There is a market for a game-changing, punt-returning wide receiver - and that market is Spiller.

Frankly, I was shocked that some so-called pundits didn't even have Spiller in the first round. This kid not only can return a punt to the house, but he's got track speed, he can catch the ball, and he can destroy you for speed. Think Wes Welker, except quicker. Last year he was brilliant, putting up 1,212 yards rushing and over 500 yards receiving on a Clemson side which was like most of the ACC- nothing special.

Scout has him going to Seattle as the No.14 pick, but if you need some lights-out speed to ignite your football team, then 'Speedy Spiller' is your man.

And no, we at the View From North America are not his agent (although we'd like to be!!)

Marital advice

Attention Husbands:

When your wife attends a party with you but leaves early to take care of your 14 month old daughter and also because she is 23 weeks pregnant and not into hanging with your drunk buddies – yet she tells you to stay and enjoy yourself, please take note of the following;

When you stumble home drunk – even if it is at a “decent time” because as you so proudly slur, you’re a “family man” – it is best that you just quietly slip under the covers and go to sleep. Or better yet, grab a blanket and head to the couch.

You should not wake your sleeping wife to talk about anything unless on the odd chance you came into a large sum of money while you were out and you would like to give it to her to go shopping or to the spa or the following day because dammit, she deserves it.

In fact, especially if you’ve been drinking hard liquor it would be preferable if you not open your mouth at all. Even to breath.

You should most certainly not wake your wife to tell her about your buddy’s wife’s friend who is “so nice”. And you should not go on AND ON about how nice she is.

And under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you exclaim, “Did you know that she is 4 months pregnant???!!” because she’s so skinny that she’s not showing whatsoever.

Doing any or all of these things will cause your wife to contemplate waiting until you have slipped into your whiskey induced coma and then holding a pillow securely over your face, applying extra pressure around your mouth and nasal passage.

There will also be a fairly high price to pay in the day(s) following such an incident.

gone with the wind

Harsh, unforgiving midday sun did not detere us today. Instead, we worked with what we had available and made do.  When working out of doors, one must adjust to the elements and adapt accordingly. As the rest of the week calls for rain, we jumped at the opportunity to shoot on this day, in between crazy schedules, while the flowers briefly revealed themselves. Miss W played her part perfectly as Scarlet O'Hara in her homespun gown, among flittering plum blossoms and birds. Donna, you'll find your proofs here...http://fuloflyfe.zenfolio.com/. :)




Losing my cool

Steve and I can only go on for so long with one vehicle. We're making it work right now (he's riding a bicycle to/from work) but once the second baby comes along (or before), two vehicles are going to become very much a necessity.

We've had our eyes open for something in the SUV department. Nothing new as we couldn't afford it, but something to accommodate the four of us.

Yesterday I was visiting my parents when a commercial came on for a Dodge Grand Caravan (minivan).

I mentioned to my dad that I heard they were priced fairly reasonably.

My dad said, "THAT is what you guys need, you know?"

Me, sheepishly, "I... know..."

My dad said, "Not an SUV. A minivan would be a much better fit for you guys."

Me, sheepishly, "Yeah... maybe..."

My dad said, "Think of how convenient it would be!"

Me, "But it's a MINI VAN, dad! Can you imagine???"

My dad said, "Imagine what?"

Me, "One of our vehicles would be a station wagon and the other would be a mini van!!!"

My dad said, "And...?"

Me, "Oh dad, I would have absolutely zero cool left in my life."

My dad said, "That what happens. You're cool for a bit when you're younger. Then you have kids and you have to give up some of that cool. Don't worry, you can get cool again later in life."

He does have a Harley and a convertible classic car in his garage. Could he be on to something??

Me, "Well, maybe if I could get a black mini-van with black tinted windows... maybe then I could handle it..?"

My dad said, "Black is too hard to keep clean, you need a more practical color."

Please, Gods Of Coolness... if I have to get a mini-van, at least let it be black... please!?

self portrait

Recent class assignment called for a self-portrait. Not my favorite of tasks, let me tell you. Here is the end result, with the defining elements including the minimization of me in relationship to this lovely, historic room in the preserved Victorian Peralta House. The oversized scrapbook gives an odd, Alice in Wonderland quality that I was after, with the pages opened to one of several of my mother in law in the 1960's as part of the women's auxilary group that supports and cares for the property. She is still a very active member.

Old homes, filled with memories and history are my place. They remind me of childhood in Alameda, in the little Queen Anne from which I began. As required for the assignment, it is SOOC (straight off the camera), all manual settings, which is generally how I shoot anyway. A parlour shot with Miss S follows as well.

Interest

After just completing 25 minutes of vigorous cardio on the elliptical trainer at the gym last night, I made a pit stop at the water fountain to have a drink before I proceeded to the treadmill for the next 20 minutes.

As I was bent over lapping up the heavenly, ice cold water, I became aware that there was a person – a guy – standing behind me waiting for the fountain. And suddenly all I could think about was my big fat ass being on display and him probably snickering and making some fat-ass joke in his head.

Except when I stood up and turned around he didn’t seem to be making fun of my ass after all. In fact, this nice looking guy with two muscular arms covered in tastefully done tattoos, stopped me to ask me about my sleeve. He talked about the color scheme and said how good it looked and how he was impressed as I have a lot of blue ink in my arm and he felt that a lot of women can’t pull off blue in a tattoo – but he thought it looked really sharp on my arm. He said that my sleeve looks awesome and that the artist did a great job.

He wasn’t full of bullshit. He wasn’t a skid loser who was trying to strike up conversation with a tattooed girl just to try to be cool (if I had a dime for every time…). He was genuinely interested. He was intelligent and kind. And did I mention he was nice looking???

He has no idea the good he did last night. When was the last time anyone took interest in me – other than to ask how old my child is or how far along I am in my pregnancy? And when was the last time I got a compliment like that? I have no idea. Can’t remember. Clearly it’s been far too long because such a simple conversation with a stranger completely made my day and I am still thinking about it today.

For Lana

u

Including a few more goodies from Lana's collection...fun little memories of time and quiet space enjoyed. It is such validation that she is delighted with her images. Rule #1: do not compromise - work with those who appreciate you.

An aside...when your clients show you the tea and chocolate stash and leave you to work alone, at will, you know for certain, life is full of kindness.








Just maybe, the angel resting on the patio table is my personal favorite. Don't you just want to stretch out with a down pillow?

As for the rest, you'll have to go here: http://zenfolio.com/fuloflyfe

Sweet Valentine

Loving thoughts to you, my friends, on this Valentine's Day.

     Today to complete the image capturing of the Kloch studio. Lana is a wonderfully generous and gracious host. I feel so lucky to have the invitation to create vignettes of her collections. To have creative license, lucky me. A coffee table book perhaps? One room almost completed, most of the house still to do.



Penn State will end up an unlucky 13th, the rather-too-early predictions say

According to bible College Football News (sadly unavailable in the UK), Penn State will end up ranked 13th this year - having seen no Spring practice and a few high school films.

What's next - high schools seniors that'll kick some ass in 2015?


Anyway, it says: "It's Penn State, so the team is going to be good. It’ll go to a great bowl game, and it’ll be in the hunt for the Big Ten title, but it’s more of a Big Ten X factor than a sure-thing contender going into 2010. Ohio State is loaded, Iowa should be even better, and Wisconsin should be terrific. Penn State has to replace QB Daryll Clark and has to hope for Kevin Newsome or Matt McGloin to be good enough to keep the passing game going while RB Evan Royster gets a heavier workload. There’s work to do to replace several key players on defense like DT Jared Odrick and linebackers Sean Lee, Navorro Bowman, and Josh Hull, but there are several decent prospects on the way ready to step up. This will be a good team that no one will put at the top of the Big Ten preseason pecking order, but it could surprise and be great with a little luck."

I loved the statement: "It's Penn State, so the team is going to be good". Thanks for the vote of confidence - did you see the way Penn State's offensive line was awful in 2009, or for that matter, the 2003 and 2004 years? And by the way, we have a three-way quarterback fight (if it goes anything like Michigan, then we're screwed), we're losing two of our best players and two of our second-best players, and by the way, we're really, really young.

Frankly, I think we'll struggle against Alabama, Iowa and Ohio State, but we'll win one or two of those games, and shock the nation. I'll take another Capital One 1 bowl right now.

Alabama are No.1, by the way. Some team called Florida is No.2. And by the way, Texas is No.3. So that means??? It's another Alabama vs Texas National Championship Game! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

Note to a coworker:

Dear Coworker,

If I send you a message at 12:07pm letting you know that I still don’t have your paperwork which I needed by 8am – please just send the paperwork and get on with your day.

Please do NOT leave me phone messages AND emails telling me that you sent me copies at such-and-such a time and that you don’t know why I don’t have them and to let you know if I still don’t have them and then you’ll resend them.

Look, I don’t give a fark why I don’t have them. Either you didn’t send them or there was some sort of technical glitch or else aliens came down and snatched them up off my desk when my back was turned… the fact of the matter is that I DON'T HAVE THEM AND I NEED THEM. You’re self defence emails and phone calls don’t help me get my job done. I am not your boss, you need not reason with me.

I just need your paperwork.

Please just send it to me and lets both move on with our day, shall we?


Today I made time to play my instrument. Oh the fingers are out of shape! But it is good to play
again, and continue I will.
What did you do for your own self today?  


Relegation: You guys have it lucky!

In the US, you don't understand the nature of relegation. If Washington State has (yet) another season of one win or no win football, they don't go down to Division I-AA to play the gaudy likes of Appalachian State. Michigan's four win season won't garner them a visit to Richmond. They just get to suck, suck, and suck some more. The NFL is worse - the best reward you can get for suckage is to get the best player the next year. In fact, it's almost like a team will try and be awful towards the end of the year, knowing that they will sign a great player a year on.

Well, in the UK if a team sucks for a season, they get relegated. If they do it for four seasons straight, they generally get booted out by the league and are a 'non-conference' team (a far crappier version than Boise State, kids!). The stadiums get smaller, the urinals become holes in walls, and the burger stand in the lovely stadium only a few years ago becomes a crappy burger outside the stadium, which should really be condemned in its own right. The stadiums generally get far scummier and more miserable, and the fans get few and far between.

And during the times of relegation, it's pure death for the fans, too. At Loftus Road, the formerly proud home of my club, the fans are angry, and have been chanting for the dismissal of management, the club's board, and the director of football. Oh, and they are turning on themselves, too. Oh, and for this writer, there's a fair element of hating life to boot.

You see, my QPR hasn't won since December 26th, 2009 and they haven't drawn a whole lot of games either. Points-wise (another thing not gotten in the worlds of football, basketball and baseball), we are two points away from the relegation zone, and if there was a bit of hope to be seen, now it's around a corner smoking a cigarette and thinking about leaving us for a brighter future.

When you go to your US sports games, just think of those fans who might see their team relegated and weep a little tear for them. It's the least you can do. We can't celebrate with a draft, after all.

A suggestion...

I have a suggestion for any boss or manager who wants to treat their entire staff to lunch from Subway. Would it not be a good idea to maybe call Subway ahead of time and order a tray of assorted sandwiches? A little something for everyone perhaps? Sure you might have some picky eaters but how how hard it is to pull that slice of onion off your turkey sandwich, or to scrap the little bit of extra mayo from your bun?

Instead, someone sent their Girl Friday (or whatever errand girls like to be called these days) to Subway at lunchtime (I would venture to guess the busiest time of day), armed with a foolscap piece of paper with numerous hand written orders scribbled on it and the company Visa. This girl (who had no shame in holding up a lengthy line up of hungry truck drivers, mill workers, construction workers and one pregnant woman) took her time describing to the poor Subway employees just what she needed to be on each and every sub, going to such extremes as to even have them unwrap one already made sub to add salt and pepper to it because that’s what was written down on her paper. (We all know the dietary importance of salt and pepper and how someone might possibly have a severe allergic reaction and possibly die if it was omitted from their sandwich). She then had the Subway employees write in felt pen the initials of each of her co-workers on their corresonding sub wrapper after it was prepared.

And then she needed a box to carry the sandwiches.

And then she needed a drink tray to carry the drinks.

The best part though, was when she went to use the company Visa and it asked her for a PIN number. She told the Subway worker to just swipe the card because there is no pin for this card.

The Subway worker managed to communicate to her, despite English clearly not being her first language, that indeed a pin number was required.

So the lineup grew longer while Girl Friday called and talked to whomever was covering the phones for her while she was running this errand, and asked to speak to the boss so she could get the pin number for his Visa.

Sadly, the boss didn’t know the card had a pin either. So the girl said she would just talk to the Subway employee and let them know that a pin wasn’t required. The Subway worker insisted that yes, a pin was required. Most Visa card holders all know by now that all new Visa cards require a pin number. The places with the old terminals don't require them, but all the new terminals require that pin and soon, that will be most everywhere.

I would like to tell you how the story ended but luckily I had cash in my purse and was able to pay for my sandwich and retreat to my car while Girl Friday punched in the office phone number into her cell with her fancy fake fingernails yet again.

I wonder if next time the boss wants to treat the office to lunch if he might reconsider his options. I hope so.

54 very quick college football predictions

Last year we put out a bunch of college football predictions, throwing it out there that we thought we'd see Florida and USC play for the National Title. While we were one game wrong about Florida, we were a whole lot wrong about USC, who managed to lose to just anybody with a winning record this year (apart from Ohio State).

This year, we're throwing out our college football predictions. We can't wait to remind you how wrong we were (apart from the Big XII, anyway!) in 2011!
54. I'll cry a bit on the first Thursday/Friday/Saturday of the season. College football's back, baby!
53.Florida State and Miami will again play the best game of the year. Isn't always the case in Florida at the start of the season?
52. I'll be organising a trip to Beaver Stadium to see Penn State play Illinois.
51. And a week later, I'll be off to Athens to drink some Southern Comfort, drink some Jack Daniels, drink some beer, and watch Georgia play Vanderbilt (only weekend where both teams play home games in sequential weeks and the weather's going to be pretty warm).
50. It'll be a better idea to wear orange this year....
49. As long as you're Auburn, Texas, and Clemson
48. Because let's face it: Tennessee ain't going to be great this year, either.
47. Nor is Syracuse.
46. And Illinois fans will be talking about Ron Zook in the category of "great recruiter, crap coach".
45. Speaking of recruiting, Florida and USC had good times, didn't they? Well, with that much talent coming through, expect some arrests/transfers/
44. And speaking of good times, they aren't going to continue to happen at USC. We expect some fairly serious sanctions for the Trojans coming up. Scholarships will be lost and wins may be forfeited.
43. But Pete Carroll won't care - he's in Seattle getting rained on!
43a Seattle won't make the NFL playoffs in 2010 either.
42. Speaking of playoffs, Barack Obama will soon realise that investigating the legality of the BCS is a simply waste of taxpayers' money and stop what he's doing.
41. Then we'll go back to old cliches of every given Saturday.
40. Speaking of 'Every Given Saturday', we fully expect Alabama to beat Penn State at home; Florida State to upset Oklahoma; Wisconsin to beat Arizona State; Iowa to beat Arizona and Ohio State to do the business against Miami in the game of non-conference games.
39. That's not to say that 'The U' is going to be bad this year - we fully expect them to contend for a divisional title. That Jacory Harris kid is goofy but good, people. Oh, and that game against Florida State at the start of the year's going to be a classic.
38. Speaking of the ACC, no-one will know who the hell's going to win those divisions.
37. Although Virginia Tech will have its work cut out beating Boise State in the second best non-conference match-up of the year.
36. People may well start talking about Tyrod Taylor in Heisman terms, and they'll also be talking about Matt Barkley (USC), Blake Gilbert (Texas), Mark Ingram (Alabama), Greg McElroy (Alabama) and AJ Green (Georgia).
35. AJ Green will be a good receiver on a mediocre Georgia team. Sorry Bulldog fans, although we expect to beat Tennessee this year, we can't see a lot of joy from the games against Auburn and Florida this year. But their defense is going be a hell of a lot better now Willie Martinez has been run out of town.
34. Speaking of 'Them Gators', we confidently predict that one of their freshman is going to do something stupid in their next four years and get run out of Gainsville, but....
33. It won't matter to Pope Urban Meyer I of Florida, who is going to keep on coaching for years to come - especially if he can put together recruiting classes like the one in 2010. Unless he leaves for the good of his health/ a good drama/ because he can't be bothered/ because his wife's threatening him/ because God him to/ because he's going to the NFL to coach Tebow/ because he got a better offer for Nick Saban's spot at Alabama
32. But if we're talking recruiting, there's another team who continues to do well: Texas. The Longhorns were only a mistake or two from an astonishing comeback against Alabama in the NC Game, and we fully expect their dominance to continue in 2010. There's also another reason -
31......The Big XII South will be on another down year this year, with Oklahoma, Texas A&M or anyone else really troubling our viewing time. Although the guys at OSU are men, by the way....
30. And if 2009 was a 'down year' for Notre Dame, 2010 will be a good one in Brian Kelly's first season. Now that Charlie Weis has gone, Notre Dame haters like me will like them a little more.
29. And might be cheering them on as they hit up a BCS bowl this year - even without the Jimmy & Golden show. We'll predict a 10-2 season (with losses against USC and an up-and-coming Michigan State), and people will be talking future National Titles for Notre Dame. Although that's a little unlikely, people.
28. Let's go back to the Appalachians and talk about Tennessee. Derek Dooley's a pretty no-name coach at Tennessee. I'm sure I heard: "Ohhhh.... you mean THAT guy from Louisiana Tech" more than once around Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won't compete for the SEC this year, and everyone will be talking about how sons aren't quite as good as their fathers. And maybe the name "Elmer" and "Fudd" will get talked up as Fulmer suddenly looks like a pretty good idea.
27. And if someone wants pressure, then it's Rich Rodriguez. He's had a crappy first two years at Michigan, and he's almost guaranteed the pink slip if he screws up his third year.
26. The problem is is that this Tate Forcier kid's good. If he can cut out the interceptions. If he can't, then it's goodbye RichRod as NittanyBuckeyeHawkeyeSpartanIrish Nation celebrate your departure.
25. Michigan State is going to be good this year. We predict third or fourth place in the Big Ten, a Jan 1 bowl game and a 8-4 record (I was going to put 9-3, but you just know that MSU will screw up to an easy team somewhere along the line).
24. Nebraska had a good year in 2009, didn't they? Although The Boy Named Suh's gone to the NFL, Bo Pellini's defence is still going to be very, very real to opposing QBs this year. We're calling for a 10-2 year, with losses coming against Washington and Texas.
23. Speaking of Washington, then Steve Sarkasian renaissance will continue for Huskieville as Jake Locker has his fourth year of fun as UW's quarterback. We predict an 8-4 year for the Huskies, with landmark wins coming against Nebraska, BYU, UCLA and Cal.
22. But if you thought the ACC was hard to work out, then try the Pac-10, although we can confidently predict medium-to-good years for almost every team except Washington State - and Arizona State.
21. Oregon and Oregon State will battle it out for the Civil War crown and the Rose Bowl at the Civil War in November. We'll make a very early call for lots of points to be scored on the ground as Jacquizz Rodgers and LaMichael James put up some serious numbers.
20. Oregon's Autzen Stadium, Penn State's Beaver Stadium, The Horseshoe in Columbus, Neyland Stadium will all continue to be REALLY, REALLY, LOUD. Texas' stadium in Austin, however, will continue to let us all down.
19. We won't be let down by the Ohio State Buckeyes, who we think will win the Big Ten this year. Terrelle Pryor will also have his name to the 'Heisman Contender' list after anchoring his team to victory against Miami, but we still think the Bucks will lose at Iowa.
18. Speaking of Iowa, they'll criminally lose one they shouldn't do, but still have enough to go to their first Rose Bowl in years.
17. Penn State will shrug off the loss at Alabama to win "one for the JoePa" at Iowa to give Paterno his 400th win, but the loss at Ohio State will eliminate them from the Big Ten title reckoning. They'll have to settle for yet another Jan 1 bowl game (against LSU).
16. PSU's Derek Moye will become one of the most talked about wide receivers in college football after a string of sensational performances, and Evan Royster will solidify people's thoughts that he's ready for a pro career.
15. Having said that, we think that Kevin Newsome will NOT be Penn State's quarterback going into the first game of the season. Although Joe Paterno loves seniority, he's going to love either Robert Bolden or Paul Jones as the quarterback. Newsome will get some playing time - and will be horrible to stop on a 4th-and-1 play because of his speed, but don't expect too many reps for him. Sorry, Kevin. Prove me wrong, won't you?
14. Matt Barkley WILL lead USC, but it won't be a Pac-10 title that he'll win - or a Heisman. The Trojans will start fast, but lose at home to Oregon, at Oregon State, and on the road to Arizona. And we're not sure about the Notre Dame game, either. And Lane Kiffin will whine a bit. Not that he'd ever do that, mind.
13. Speaking of losers, Michigan will lose its rivalry games against Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State, Virginia will lose its rivalry game against Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech will lose to Georgia, Texas A&M will lose to Texas, Florida State will lose (again) to Florida, Purdue will lose to Notre Dame, and Auburn will lose to Alabama. If I've forgotten your rivalry game, then I'm sorry.
12. Speaking of good, we expect Oregon to win the Pac-10 and still have the nation's hottest cheerleaders.
11. We'll make the call and say that Mark Ingram will repeat for the Heisman after leading Alabama to yet another SEC title.
10. He'll cry a bit, and we'll be hearing more stuff about his dad, who's in jail, if you hadn't heard.
9. Speaking of SEC titles, Alabama will play Florida for the third straight time in Atlanta. Alabama will already have dealt with Florida in the regular season, and the 'fantastic Florida freshman' will hear the second chorus of 'Rammer Jammer' emanating from the Crimson faithful.
8. The Big Ten will be won by Iowa. Second place will be Ohio State and third (again) will be Penn State - although PSU and OSU will have the same in-conference records. We all pull our hair out and ask for another team for the conference in an effort to defeat the tie-breaker. And in 2015, we'll be complaining like Texas fans did in 2008...
7. The Big XII North will be won by Nebraska - simply because there's no other team worth talking about in the Big XII North...
6. And the Big XII South will be won by Texas - simply because there's no other team worth talking about in the Big XII South.
5. We'll call for Texas to win that game, shall we - the second time they'll beat Nebraska in a season. But it's shaping up to be quite the rivalry...
4. Rutgers will be the surprise winner of the Big East, and we'll all be trying to spell PISS-CHAT-AWAY. Unsuccessfully.
3.TCU will be the best team amongst the non-BCS schools. Boise State will have a one-loss season - with the loss coming against Virginia Tech.
2. The ACC Championship Game will be played between Virginia Tech and Miami. 'The U' will win in a game for the ages.
1. But not quite as good as the National Championship Game, which will again feature Texas and Alabama. Texas will win the National Title.

Playing my cards right

I’ve probably mentioned before (in some tirade) that Steve and I share one vehicle. I drive him to work in the morning, then take Ruby to daycare then head to work myself. We can't exactly get by without our one car.

The car has been acting up a bit in the past few weeks and my pleas to Steve to have it looked at and repaired have fallen on deaf ears.

Cars don’t magically fix themselves. Car problems rarely, if ever, just disappear. They only progress to become worse and worse until you one day find yourself standing on the side of the road with your thumb sticking out.

Yesterday when I was on my route the car really started acting up. I was actually afraid that I might not make it to work or home again afterwards.

When I got to work I immediately called Steve and advised him that the car could no longer be ignored and that it needed to be fixed today. Like, now.

He called me back a few minutes later with the following solution:

Steve: I called “my place” and they said that if I drop the car off by 6pm tonight they will try to have a look at it tomorrow. I guess I’ll have to walk to work tomorrow.

Tarable: And what about the rest of us??

Steve: Oh. Yeah. I guess I will have to walk Ruby to her daycare.

Tarable: And me? Your pregnant wife? How will I get to work tomorrow.

Steve: I’ll find a way to get you to work.

Tarable: How???

Steve: I don’t know. I’ll find a way.


Uh, yeah. That just wasn’t going to work for me.

So after giving the man of the house his chance to get this issue taken care of and not liking his solution, I called “my place”.

Tarable: Hi there. Just wondering if I could get my car in today to be looked at and if I need an appointment?

Car Fixing Dude: Hmmm… today???

I didn’t want to have to do this but I had to play some cards that I don’t usually like to play…

Tarable: Yes, you see my husband and I only have one vehicle. And besides getting he and I to work every morning I also have a one year old daughter that I need to take to daycare every morning.

Car Fixing Dude
: Ohhh...

At that point I was pretty sure I had him but I was on a roll and I figured I'd lay them all down…

Tarable: I’m also 5 months pregnant and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it over the Alex Fraser Bridge this morning during rush hour. Please don’t make me be that person.

Car Fixing Dude: Oh my god, no. We don’t want that! Can you get it in here by noon?

Why yes. Yes I can.

My car was ready within three hours of being dropped off and merely needed a couple of spark plugs and a new air filter. I was informed by the Car Fixing Dude that it now “runs like a top”. Indeed it does.

Thank you. It’s a pleasure playing cards… uh, I mean doing business with you.