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The finger of doom.

Today is a day for bitching and complaining.

First on my list is parking.

My new morning Starbucks is a busy one, at least double the amount of morning traffic from the one in downtown Manhattan.

Traffic sucks on a regular basis even when all available spots are open.

And now, today only, the building management decided that it would be a brilliant move to put out some red cones and yellow caution tape and restrict half of the parking spots.

If there is some sort of serious work to be done and it is absolutely necessary to shitcan half of the customers to the coffee and none-coffee businesses here, so be it. Have the work teams standing by and get it done ASAP.

Here is the problem.

There is no workers to be seen. Not even an ominous work van.

Nothing.

And the morning java crowd is not taking it well.

As far as addictions go, caffeine is a fairly mild one that doesn’t make evil shit happen if you are denied.

Nobody gets shot if you can’t score and no one has ever performed oral sex in the alley to get a mocachino in the wee hours.

However, caffeine has an odd element of entitlement that other drugs lack.

Anarchy reigns in the parking lot at the moment.

The is a black BMW that is stopped in the middle of the lot, door open, and a guy in a black suit is rapping on someones trunk.

He is not happy.

“HELLO? UH, YOU SNAKED MY SPOT! HELLO!”

I watched this one evolve and I believe I know what his issue is.

Black BMW entered from the west.

Open spot about 10 spots up. He hits his turn signal, but for reasons unknown, creeps forward really slowly.

The second he hit his blinker, a red VW Jetta enters the lot, coming in hot, at least 20 MPH in a small lot.

Sees the open spot, BMW is still 8 spaces away from the open space, and the Jetta makes an audible tire squeal as its slides into the spot.

Mission accomplished.

BMW does not view this as done.

Adding to the fun mix is the Jetta driver, who appears to be a very mild mannered business woman, not angry, not yelling, appears to be oblivious to the BMW driver’s issue.

You know what this little scene is missing to make it truly fun?

The police.

Oh wait, here they are.

And, it appears, that the BMW driver has been looking for someone to yell at other than the Jetta driver.

Why? No clue. But the police are the wrong ones to yell at.

As anyone who has spent a little hood time in the company of the police can tell you, they do NOT enjoy being bitched at.

Out comes the finger.

When the BMW driver begins to stab the finger in the general direction of the officer, things only get better for those of us who take some sort of sick delight in the tense shitty moments of others.

The BMW driver is now in trouble. The Jetta driver has asked and been given permission to go get her coffee.

I decided that coffee was a fine idea myself and went inside.

When I came out, 15 minutes later, the BMW driver was still making friends.

Let that be 3 lessons to us all.

1. Let the spot go. You don’t own it and another one will be available soon.

2. Its not personal. Don’t get out of your car, don’t make a scene. It still will not get you the spot.

3. Leave your finger out of it. The police have little tolerance for you and HAVE NO TOLERANCE for your finger in their chest. Trust me on this one.

Words for the next generation.

Leave your finger out of it.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Death is not a secret.

Popquiz hero, what do you do?

 

Bomb squad in the hizzy, y’all.

There are 3 members of the pd bomb squad sipping coffee in the El Segundo Starbucks.

Its a little daunting, I mean, are there really that many bombs going on in beach cities?

Even the cities that butt up against LA Airport?

Evidently so, the bald one with the extra bulky kevlar vest under his shirt just finished his coffee and declared that they better get going, it was going to be a busy day.

Am I the only one that is more than a little scared about the fact that the beach city has a serious full time bomb squad? Couldn’t they just be part timers, meeting once every few months to update paperwork?

As I watch the bomb squad get in their ominous black SUV and leave, I notice that people are beginning to arrive for the daily meeting of the “I want to die, soon” club.

There are just 2 members out on the patio right now, lighting up.

I have never seen people aggressively smoke like this.

Most people smoke by taking a drag, and letting the smoke sit in their lungs, then letting it out.

Its disgusting, but that is how its normally done.

Not these guys.

Suck a lungful of that smoky death and then let it out and take another hit before the old smoke is completely out of their mouth.

The overall effect is like picking up disgusting in a bar, taking it to dinner, slipping it a roofy and then treating it like a naked farm animal for the rest of the evening.

So its really gross.

You have to wonder what makes someone hate themselves to that point that dying a horrible death is desirable.

Its not like its a secret anymore, if you smoke, it will kill you.

It even says it on the pack.

I thought killing yourself was illegal?

I once heard a kid give a really stypid opinion about smoking.

To be clear, the kid was barely out of his teens, so old enough to make his own choices, but young enough to make really stupid choices.

His claim was this, a friend of his went to a doctor who told him that the human body can absorb the toxins of a couple of cigarettes a day without a problem.

The level of ignorance is pretty deep on this one and the “I weep for the future” is obviously implied.

At the time, I said nothing, mainly because I wasn’t sure where to go with that.

“Your an idiot.” Seemed too obvious.

What left me stumped was where to go with this for maximum insult.

Lost opportunities and all that.

The one thought I keep circling back to is that this is more of a modern version of nature thinning the herd.

This kind of stupidity removed from the gene pool is not necessarily a bad thing.

I subscribe to the “Everyone is responsible for themselves” thought process.

Not a popular thought process, by the way.

We do live in an era that absolutely no one is responsible for anything, except the rich, they are responsible for everything else.

Thank god the smart asses are not on the dime for anything.

First, you would have to find one of us who gave a shit about anything but our own amusement.

Lets face it, we’re a shallow bunch.

And we like it that way.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Surrender, Dorothy.

All good things must come to an end.

Today is my last day working in Manhattan Beach, the sweet location by the beach.

Moving on, better things, all that.

The blog will continue, so don’t worry about that.

I am moving work digs to just down the road.

And there is a Starbucks nearby, what do you know?

I lead a charmed life.

I am walking up the hill, the reverse walk to my car from the office.

Sun is shining, birds are chirping, there are a few ladies wandering around in bikini’s.

And there is a homeless guy that resembles a scarecrow standing in front of Starbucks, shouting at people.

Now, I am a people person, we all know this.

I like to talk to people, all sorts of people, usually homeless people.

Because nothing says funny like crazy.

And, like striking gold when you are digging for worms, I find something special.

There is something special about the variety of homeless guy that chemically peaks into that shouting zone.

People react to that in such an interesting fashion.

By pretending he is not only not there, but by obviously pretending he is not there.

Putting your hand next to your face to supposedly keep from seeing the guy is just plan rude.

I like to view this as a street performance.

And his act? Its a classic.

He has the usual homeless appearance, complete with wild hair and scraggly “Unibomber” beard.

I cannot seem to shake the image of the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.

In a twist, Scarecrow appears to be a gypsy homeless, despite the fact that most scarecrows are rooted in place. He has a bicycle with a child trailer containing a non-smiling german shepherd. (Never a good thing when they don’t smile. But, given the circumstances, would you?)

“Don’t go in there! Bad fucking news in there! They could give fuck all about y’all!” This is being shouted at the top of his lungs.

Eye contact seems to be in short supply, so when I stop and look right at him, he takes the bait and focuses on me.

“Stay outta there!” Complete with an angry finger jab in my direction.

“Why?”

Just from his enthusiastic reaction to a simple question, I might be the first person not wearing a badge or high on meth that has talked to him in months.

After a second of orientation, he continued.

“You can’t be homeless in Starbucks!” The shouting really makes it a little difficult to chat.

That seems harsh. Starbucks as a corporation, would have a hard time defending that policy in the media. Best to dig deeper.

“Are you sure?”

Ok, that pissed him off. It cranked the agitation level up a few notches. I am safely out of lunging distance. Hunter S. Thompson said that you can turn your back on a man, but not on a drug.

Fine, no turning my back.

“FUCKIN’ A, I’M SURE!” The dog growled.

“Hey guys.” A very mellow voice came up behind me.

Ah, the police.

The rest of the conversation was not something I was invited to, so I left.

The police always prefer private conversations, they are picky like that.

 

I will miss this Starbucks as my daily stomping grounds.

I have written close to 500 blog posts sitting mainly at these little tables.

In life, the only thing that is a constant, is change.

So, I will move on, and remember all the scenes and people that I have witnessed here.

And I will miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Shoot out at the OK Corral

I am in a Starbucks near my house, doing some writing. Not late evening, but not early evening either.

I just finished writing a paragraph that I really liked.

I am not sure when it happened, but when I looked up, and everyone in Starbucks was armed.

What the hell?

There are ten people here, take away me and the two coffee maids behind the counter and there are 3 customs agents, 1 sheriff, 2 local policemen and 1 airport cop.

I believe I am now involved in a stake out.

As I look closely, automatics seem to be the weapon of choice for the discerning enforcement officer out on the town.

And, it seems that only the customs agents are not wearing kevlar vests. If its important enough to wear a sidearm, I want a vest, too.

But, I don’t get one. In this little episode of “Star Trek” I am that ensign you’ve never seen before this episode, and Captain Kirk just asked me to take a look behind that boulder over there.

Which means I die horribly, and all I get is an acting credit and union scale.

Now, if I was the only one in Starbucks armed with a phaser, that would be something else entirely.

I notice the general conditioning of everyone.

The customs agents are a little chunky, really chatty and generally seem like the cosmetics counter at Macy’s taking a coffee brake.

Next in the physical build line up in the airpot cop. His shape is kind of a oddity. I can’t figure out if he is short and fat or short and just built like a fire plug. Given that he order two, count them two, cheese danishes, I am putting my money on fat.

The two local cops are fit, serious and obviously take their jobs serious. Authoritarian yet approachable, just as they should be.

The sherrif is just frightening. He is huge, has spent some long hours at the gym and the firing range, from the look of his side arm. It is not standard issue and costs a small fortune. This is obviously not a job for him, it is his calling and he treats it so. Good. They always say you should have the wolves guard the sheep. This wolf is a barely restrained bad-ass.

I have a weird thing about the government and cops. By luck of the draw, the way I live my life breaks no laws. Consequently, I do not fear the police.

Its like the TSA searches. I like the idea that every little plastic box-cutter someone could have taped behind their testicles has been removed.

And why is that box cutter taped behind his testies? I don’t ask, I don’t tell.

Don’t taze me, bro.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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