Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tales from the Golden State and Rants From the Land of the Perpetually Annoyed Driver

We are now cloistered in our abode for the next 3 months. It is quite pleasant, a one bedroom flat on 2 acres surrounded by Ponderosa Pines and Valley Live Oaks. We have a nice covered patio that now is serving as our primary living space, but I am sure that will change with the weather. Speaking of weather, the forecast since we arrived was for sun and more sun. The 7-day outlook has not shown a cloud in the sky. Daytime temperatures are in the mid to high 70’s with the lows dropping into the 50’s. In a word, it is perfect.

Nevada City, California, is located in the Sierra foothills about an hour northeast of Sacramento. Nevada City is a small town straight out of the 1850’s with a major detour through 1969. The town, nestled into a steep hillside, is made up of wooden clapboard buildings with broad sidewalks and streets better suited to walking than driving. It does not take much imagination to see gold miners, gun slingers and dance hall girls walking the streets. But then you are jolted back to another time with the aromas of patchouli oil, sandalwood incense and marijuana filling the air. The shops, which once housed dry goods merchants, general stores and assay offices, are now filled with holistic healing salons, aromatherapy, coffee bars and wine tasting salons. The miners’ dusty Levis have been replaced by hippies in dusty Levis and tie dye shirts which advertise the latest cause like “Angry Lesbians for Unisex Urinals” or “I Don’t Eat Anything with a Face.” Restaurants which advertised “Good Grub Cheap” now hang their hats on “Heirloom Tomatoes with Arugula, Goat Cheese and a Splash of Balsamic” or “Vegan Burritos”. Not that there is anything wrong with that. There are plenty of saloons, bars and dance halls remaining, which on a Saturday night, soon, I hope to do some recon work. The Mine Shaft looked promising with its old swinging saloon doors, but I was jolted back to the here and now with the advertising for cheap beer during football games. Signs of the times. Oh well. I had always wanted to be a good hippie, I guess just an old hippie will have to do.

I was driving one morning in the OC. Sorry, that is my ADHD kicking in. I am finished with the previous topic for now and on to something else. I may or may not return to the previous topic when I am finished ranting on the next thought that passes through my skull. Well, I was driving early one morning in the OC. I was actually leaving my father’s house in the retirement village of Laguna Woods. It was early, with very few cars on the road. I had just backed out of the covered parking stall when a car rolls up behind me and proceeds to tailgate me to the next stop sign and then was right on my tail for the 500 yards to the next traffic signal, which was the exit from Del Boca Vista Retirement Estate Phase 5. The driver behind me then throws up his arms and makes a Jackie Stewart type move into the next lane to be one car in front at the signal. The light turned green and he jumps on it only to be stopped by another traffic signal a mile down the road, still one car in front of me. I am so sorry that I happened to want to use the road at the same time as this poor old chap. If I knew he was going to wake up in such a state of annoyance I would have stayed at home and not dared to have crossed his path. I certainly meant no harm by being on the same road as him at the same time, but I was and had to suffer the waving arms and nasty glares of the Perpetually Annoyed. You know what....Honey Badger don’t give a shit. Funny thing, Mr. Annoyed got stuck behind some trucks on the Interstate and I gave him the peace sign as I cruised past. That made Honey Badger smile.

I have been golfing twice since returning from the Highlands. I finally got my new clubs and was anxious to try them. I found a special deal at a local course and went down to try some American golf. As I drove up, the bag boy loaded my clubs onto the buggy, no walking here, sir. He directed me to the golf shop where I received my leather bag of range balls, not complimentary, and met Bob and Dave, my playing companions. Now, Bob and Dave were nice guys, but the golf was so different than what I have come to know and love. The round was just shy of 5 hours, including a stop at 9 so Bob and Dave could get a hot dog, and probably some more balls. This riding business, and that is what it is, business, is for the birds. It should not be called golf, maybe cart ball is a better term. At least the cart gives you a place to store your hot dog. The second round was up in the mountains at a course where a friend of mine is the Director of Golf, so the price was right. Again, buggy golf. Are there no walking courses? Again, just short of 5 hours. At Dornoch we would have played 18 and been on our third round in the bar.