Gunfire is pretty common here, perhaps even more common than in Oakland though usually for the same reasons: celebrating holidays, sports victories, weddings, that sort of stuff. It is kind of fun to listen to and watch tracers and stuff, but usually the villa is also celebrating in an obvious way; when you hear gunfire you also hear cheers, at least at night.
This evening the house was quiet, but the gunfire sure wasn’t. The guys tell me it was a tribal feud in the neighborhood, quite close from the sound of it. This is a low-fi recording from my phone.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
A few years back Carolyn bought me a pair of Ecco shoes to replace my old New Balance trail shoes, which I had been wearing as long as she knew me. I had two pair of those that are still marginally serviceable but, after 15 years or so, are starting to fail visibly.
They were extremely comfortable, look very nice, and seemed to wear well. Until their first winter, in Guelph, in the snow, the soles just started to disintegrate. A hole broke through the ball of one foot and snow came in–cold, cold snow. Apparently this is a fairly common problem with (old) Ecco shoes. I went to the local late-night shoe store (there is one in Guelph) and got a pair of Rockports. They’re very nice as well, though a bit less comfortable. I selected them because they could be resoled, and I did so after about two years of daily wear when the sole got so grip-less I started to slip on rainy sidewalks. Now they have a nice Vibram sole and should be good for another 3-5 years.
In the mean time, Ecco called me to ask if I wanted to return the shoes for possible warranty service. I told the nice woman that I wasn’t asking for that, but I would if they wanted to examine the failure, and that I wasn’t happy with the disintegrating sole material and I went with Rockport, but let me know if they ever change the sole material to something more durable.
A week or two later a pre-paid return mailer showed up in my mailbox. It sat on my kitchen table for about a year or so with other urgent matters. The dead Ecco’s were left behind in my Canadian office, then got mailed with my stuff to my LA office, then finally came back with my stuff from LA to Oakland. Not too many months later, off to Ecco-land they went.
About a month after I sent them in I was informed that Ecco had warranty replaced my shoes and sent me a new pair. They have latex soles, which may well be more durable and they feel, if anything, more comfortable than my first pair.
If I ever need another pair of shoes, I’ll buy another pair of Eccos.
Burrito nom nom
- Breakfast at the big table: heath bar ice cream with espresso. #toscanini #039;s #
- Dear boston pops, please, please spare us the misery of the WBZ color commentary on the PA. #shutup #
- Mass ave taken over by peds leaving fireworks. Police asking people to move to sidewalk not helping… #
- It is 60F here in LA and it Rained this morning. WTF? #
- RT @akieffer: Agave Lab Releases New iPhone App – Tastebud for Open Source Food http://lnkd.in/E3W9KF #
- No power, no network in santa monica and AT&T screwed up my WWAN account. Work FAIL. Thanks PG&E. Sprinkle shorted it out I guess. #
- Wow, nice earthquake. My monitor was wiggling http://ova.st/5 #
- RT @dvrogers: Niki de Saint Phalle + Jean Tinguely The world began to blowup + shooting paintings via @christinamcphee http://is.gd/djcm4 #
- Off to oakland. Fruitvale is our closest BART stop, but we're on the coliseum side, so it was quiet last time and I hear is so far tonight. #
- Quiet in east oakland now #
I was running up in Redwood Regional Park today and this very hippy couple in brightly colored hand woven South American fabrics came along the trail the other way with three dogs. Two passed in typical dog-like manner. But the last, a floppy moppet of a white spaniel or something comes running by and bites my leg on the way.
I thought at first it was just a smack and went on my way, but then I saw blood drooling down my leg, mixed with dog drool, so I ran back to the couple to make sure the dog’s shots were up. They didn’t even offer their names, which suggests to me that they were probably from Berkeley because it seemed more like Presumed Entitlement than Attitude, which would have suggested Oakland provenance. I had just started a 5.25 mile run and didn’t want to stop and deal with it, so floppy gets to bite another day.
In the end it doesn’t feel too bad, a couple of cuts on the bony side and one little puncture on the chewy side. The picture is after about an hour of running and then driving home and washing it off, but it did look butch with a rivulet of blood running down my shin and coloring my sock.
We had some people over for dinner and each had their own strange brush
with law enforcement.
At the last minute we invited one of Carolyn’s friends to join us. He was
going to be an hour late or so, but planned to join us as soon as he got
his car back.
He arrived first.
One couple was coming over but we got a call from them shortly before we
expected them: they were robbed while they were out earlier in the day and
needed to figure out what was missing. In the end our friend Liisa came
over as soon as she could but her husband didn’t feel comfortable leaving
the house. Turns out it was some young kids in the neighborhood that have
been breaking into various houses in their neighborhood. They might end up
being very unhappy over their choice of targets thanks to her husband’s
connections to the OPD through his time in Iraq.
Another friend rang the door just about when he was supposed to, but
moments before his bag was stolen out of his car. He saw the house the
kids ran into and wanted to run over to get it. Knowing the gun ownership
rate in Oakland, I called the police first and they arrived in minutes and
went over with him. It turned into a huge production with various
residents covering for each other, lying, getting cuffed, police dogs…
in the end they couldn’t do anything but the OPD were really helpful and
sympathetic and professional. I was very impressed.
The last friend, the one who ended up first, he had to leave early because
he had to bail his friend out of jail in the morning.
Dinner at Old Weang Ping, maybe the best Thai restaurant in the bay area. 510-430-8771