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13 October 2019

Sunday Sillies:

Reality Winner

I know that writing is, for me, a form of working, and that enjoying sillies, on a Sunday, comprise two activities that go completely against the conscience formed during my childhood by the long-ago behavioral bans, known as Blue Laws, in the Dutch Reformed Church borough of Prospect Park, New Jersey. But, hey, I am now living in the intolerant Keystone Cop police state of California, so why not go for it? Reality can be a real winner when you’re dealing with delusional losers.

Yesterday was the second day of human life forms digging out of 2-1/2 days of blackouts in 34 of 58 counties of California. (The first day was spent taking one big long shower. The statewide reduction in water pressure was palpable!)

Grocery shopping to replace tossed-out perishables was in order. We were lucky to find enough food in the local grocery stores. We, the People, had been getting digital dooms-day notices all summer from the PG&E power-crats. I guess shutting off the power during 100+ degree heat waves would not create the correct “optics”. Doing it during the non-existent autumn somehow made more sense.

After 10 times of crying wolf, PG&E had to produce a fabricated wolf. He came in the form of forecasted high-winds that never arrived all during the entire past week here in Placer County. Surely, the Weather Experts can’t be wrong! (See How Do You Still Keep Your Job!)

There are lawsuits all-around on this debacle. The CEO of PG&E wine-partying in Sonoma during the Night the Lights Went Out in California was, in his own swinish words, a colossal mistake . . . in poor taste . . . (won’t happen again).

Mistakes were made, I did nothing wrong! And it will happen again (if it is not already happening), but there will be better blackguards around to make sure the reality does not reach the rabble.

On Thursday, 10 October, of Project Gusty, I sat by the kitchen window, awaiting the wretched north wind that always means a stuffed sinus and bleary eyes for me. A branch or two moved but then stopped, as soon as I called Dear Husband to hurry, come look at it!

I worked all day during that first sun-filled, windless, 60-degree day of the Planned Blackout due to hot, dry weather and fiercely gusting winds. Wearing a sweater to ward off the chill, I used my trusty 11-1/2 x 8 legal pad, pen and French dictionary to translate the second half of Chapter 37. It was a long chapter, 34 pages. I got twice as much work done without the Inter-net. I also realized that the distractions of digital devices, which could not be re-charged during a blackout, are now nearly permanently blacked out from my life!

For me, three major events did occur during the Nights the Lights Were Out in California.

Patrick Marleau returned to San Jose, but only after the Sharks lost their first 4 games straight. Quite naturally, he scored two goals, or more precisely, two tying goals.  The latter one set up the winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Final Skate-Exit out of the Shark Mouth onto the Game Ice has been graciously handed back to Patty from “Pickles” Marc-Edouard Vlasic (not Classic, Vlasic, you Auto-Correct Idiot). The Return of Marleau did occur during blackout conditions, so no one among sports fans really knows what went on in that agent-team session. Not that we would know anyway, but I am sure that his age was not mentioned!!

The other major event involved my debit card, a forlorn piece of plastic that is used only for online purchases, which are also becoming forlorn. You see, the pinching of the card ####s became so common that I retreated from real-life, out-there purchases into the digital world of PayPal where a security policy is at least offered, and updated, often.

The financial institution was right on top of those fraudulent purchases that I did not make for cheap shoes from DSW and for AT&T merchandise, seemingly for smartphones, given the 3-digit amounts of those transactions. I learned about the attempted fraud just as I was about to literally blow out the candle for the night. I then slept extremely well, a good 9+ hours. So lack of sleep cannot be cited for any testiness on my part that next morning with the Online Bank Teller on the cell-phone. It was more likely due to the absence of my morning cuppa Scottish Breakfast tea, along with the fact that I’d had to wash up with washcloth and cold water.  I did down a large glass of luke-warm orange juice (mixed with cold water) and 3 Milton Crackers. Low-blood sugar was, therefore, not a problem.

However, after climbing the phone tree (which is not to be confused with the greasy pole, whereat the State Dufus now squats), only to be humanly greeted on the phone with the line, “Thank you for reaching out,” my first and only impulse was to take a digital punch at the mouth of the programmed person.

No one is reaching out to anyone anymore. No one really cares; they are told to say these preposterous pandering ploys to pretend they care.  Honesty is such a lonely word  .  .  .

The info I received from the Online Bank Teller was out-of-date and somewhat incorrect. Being the teacher, mother, writer, and lover of truth that I am, I began to inform this lowly-paid employee the facts about how a debit card is usually charged only upon shipment of the online ordered item.

We all have been lowly-paid employees. I was during my entire work-career outside of The Home! Working in The Home has, thus far, been my highest-paid stint. And most of the time, I take the wages out in pounds of flesh!

You nonetheless do a good job, no matter what you are paid. This person was ill-suited for personal interactions, so that disqualification probably got her the job!

In a nasally, whining voice that made me long for the good old days of a real Phone Voice, this girl started to rattle off her canned responses that amounted to, as I informed the ever-observant-and-alarmed Dear Husband: “Look both ways before you cross the street.”  I dryly thanked the ignoramus and hung up.

My old debit card got shredded; my new debit card is on the way in the U.S. Mail. I really don’t get the chance to memorize these numbers anymore due to their constant replacement cycle! With whatever minutes I had left on my dying Apple laptop, I quickly emailed Dear Daughter with this tale of warning, so that she can be even more paranoid about using the Card! My new debit card still has not arrived, which brings me to Event No. 3.

Even though Chance the Royal Rascal was bored by this paper-tiger fiasco, Dear Husband and I had a very lovely romantic series of evenings by candlelight, after cooking our hamburgers on the camp stove with the help of our Coleman lantern. We have already been in camping-out mode for well over a year, while we await construction of our Dream House. This all-electric rental house, built in 1978, was the Wave of The Future! I presently cook on a glorified hot-plate that is the 4-burner electric stove, with only 1 burner truly functional at any one time. (I did nonetheless recently create a wonderful crab soup, or soupe d’étrilles.)

That Wave of the California Future has been replaced by the Tsunami of the California Solar Panel House, largely because rebate-madness is ending. Tons of unsold stockpiles of cheap, Chinese solar panels are crystallizing in the warehouses of the State of California. Our house plans were approved last year, just before that Mandate got rubber-stamped. For future home-builders in this fascist confab of a State, you can just pop the ugly mold-traps off of your roof and re-discover an architecturally aesthetic roofline in the process!

Sadly, very sadly, all of my Lehman’s candles are spent. I must purchase, or rather Dear Husband (whose purchase I, the card-less Spouse, have authorized), must order online more non-electric supplies. They will form a major portion of our Survival Kit from this vendor of all necessities for those rough-and-ready citizens of the northern third of the State of California. (See Non-Electric Essay from 2013.)

Dear Husband says Lehman’s Non-Electric probably has rush-shipment available for the special California survival pack, created just for us, we who have become the laughing stock of the nation. California has never led the way, although that boilerplate phrase is getting dimmer by the day here amongst the disorder of the dufii (plural of dufus). Commerce, not Government, in California has always led the way; and it will one day, inevitably, lead the way by saving California’s bacon, before that pork is edict-outlawed. It will be the only piece of pork banned! Another day, another 10 edicts!

I feel like a reality winner here, in Placer County, because while people outside of the State of California, and even some here, believe this huge expanse of statehood consists of LA and San Fran, there are many millions here who know better. We simply don’t exist where the pontificators are concerned, and we like it that way!

Among the pontificators is a GINO, governor in name only. It’s been 20 years since California had a real governor, but that reality is a winner too. After Moonbeam, the flood.