I Now Know What the Circle Represents in “Circle K”

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See that Circle K? Perfectly fine looking place to get gas and finally go to the bathroom, right? I can’t stress “finally” enough here, even if I did go for a larger type, added both bold and italic, and perhaps opted for a more dire font. But I won’t bother. You know what I’m saying. I’m on a long road trip, pulling over to go to the bathroom, and while I’m there I’ll get some gas.

So imagine my delight when I park next to the pump, run to the door and see this…—>

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You don’t put this sort of notice on a little sheet of notebook paper! This is the sort of thing you put up on the marquee, replacing the current gas prices if necessary. This is worthy of hiring the guy in the chicken suit to stand at the entrance and wave a NO TOILET sign. This is not something you want people to have to find out AFTER they’ve sprinted to the door. Otherwise they’ll end up thinking it’s interesting enough to blog about, and take a picture of their wretched, disappointed face before slipping into their creepy van and peeing in an empty Gatorade bottle. In theory…

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Burrito Solamente Carne – Only Meat, Choice of Meat

Lunch today at Cecilia’s Restaurant in Los Banos, CA.

I was going to take a picture of the outside so I’d have a nice establishing shot for this blog post, but noticed that there was one on the cover of the menu, so…that much less work. Cecilia’s looks like this…


The only reason I’d dare mention a place I went to lunch is BECAUSE of the menu. Specifically here, on the burrito page…


Check out that last choice: Meat burrito, only meat, choice of meat. The word “meat” is 3/7 of the entry!

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And, to make matters worse/better, it’s listed right next to the vegetarian burrito, whose only description is an English translation of the word “vegetariano.” In fact, all the burrito names are listed in Spanish, except the meat burrito, and, possibly, the burrito supreme – which is just one “o” away from being in Spanish.

My Spanish isn’t great, or even good, but I do know that “vegetariano” means “vegetarian.” I also know that “Los Banos” means “The Bathrooms.”

I ended up ordering the carnitas platter, which I think is Spanish for “tiny meat.”

Thermometer Nostalgia

For years now my friend and I have made it a habit to always send each other pictures of this thermometer – The World’s Tallest Thermometer – whenever our travels take us through Baker, CA.

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There’s no need to read too much into this, Dr. Freud – it’s just that once we took a road trip together, over 10 years ago, and stopped at the Mad Greek, which is right across the street from this ginormous rod, so this photo exchange is a touchstone of bygone days. A bit of completely heterosexual phallic nostalgia. That’s all.

Here’s the pic I took on my way from Aspen to Fresno. The Hipstamatic has captured this scene in the way it needs to be captured.

I have no idea what the temperature was.

Damn! ‘Spensive!

This is favorite expression of my father – “Damn! ‘Spensive!” As in, “My goodness, that is expensive!”

He tends to use this even when things are, in my opinion, an amazing bargain. For example:

ME (at garage sale, picking up an old book): Hey Dad, look. They have an original Gutenberg Bible for sale!

DAD: How much?

ME: Twenty two bucks. But I bet they’ll take twenty.

DAD: Damn! ‘Spensive!

But, as we are all destined to become our parents, I found myself saying the same thing as I filled my (gas) tank in Mojave. Now, gas is certainly not cheap at the moment…

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But this little spot, perfectly situated to gouge people like me who got out in the middle of the desert and realized that they hadn’t planned ahead, was, well…very highly priced…

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And this is for regular! $4.26 for regular! As much as I tried to resist, I felt a “Damn! ‘Spensive!” well up and bubble out of my lips.


And not only am I paying a shitload per gallon, I also have to make sure “nozzle all the way in gas tank.” Do I have to do everything? Well, apparently so. Including, according to this notice, paying in the side…

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I walked around to the side in an effort to pay, but found only a brick wall. I went to the other side, but was also met by solid brick. How am I supposed to pay in the side if there’s not even a little slot to slip my cash through?

I figured it out eventually, of course. Despite their outrageous profit, this station is obviously not paying their proofreader enough. Nor, for that matter, is their toilet cleaning staff being properly rewarded. Picture excluded for all the right reasons.

I bought a Gatorade as I left.

Four bucks…



Cold Mornings

This is how cold it is in my house in the morning –>


I have to put a banana (r) and the honey container in front of the heat register as soon as I get up. Then I wait. Otherwise, the honey won’t actually flow into my coffee, and the banana…well…ever bite into a cold banana? I know that the frozen banana is an actual treat that you can buy at little stands, but it’s not the same experience if it’s not on purpose.

Anyway…cold…that’s the point…


This isn’t any sort of comment on my feelings on taxation (but maybe it is), and it certainly is in no way to be interpreted as a “Tea Party” reference (no, seriously), but…

I was taking my tea bag from my cup and needed a place to put it. Not being a cup and saucer kind of guy, but having enough class to not just plop it on my desk, I put it on the nearest absorbent piece of paper – which just happened to be a recently received 1099.

Find meaning in this if you must. I know I have.


Scanning Stuff

I’m sorta always scanning stuff – pictures and whatnot. But I think I may have completed the majority of it just a few days ago. This project has been ongoing since 2006. I felt like I was one big push away from having the majority of it done, and so it was.

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Here (above) is my makeshift workstation – folding tables, scanner, laptop and pictures strewn about…

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And, just to maximize the confusion, I like to spread the joy into my usual writing desk.


During an earlier scan marathon, back in 2008, I put some pics in a manilla envelope and labeled it thusly –>


“Maybe scanned? Double check” OK, so my filing system isn’t the best, but I’m thoughtful, and I have a Sharpie. When I came across this envelope the other day I was thinking that these pics HAD been scanned all those years ago, and that I was just being paranoid. But I opened it up to double check, because I feel it’s good to heed notes to yourself from the past, and there was a big old wad of my history that nearly escaped digitization. One of my faves being this Polaroid —>


This is taken with a Hipstamatic, so even though it’s old, it looks even older! Man, I know how to have a good time…


Here’s the result of my years of scanning – all stacked in boxes, semi-organized. Well, at least organized under the category of “already scanned, no need to scan again.” Which is key. Next I need to put these pics in some nice protective, archival, acid-free sleeves and into albums. But that’s years away.

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Oh, and another good find from this scanning session – I still have my “Wacky Packages” stickers from the late 70s. This is one that I still remember well from that era, and it was nice to rediscover it. I just love the look on the dog’s face. Now you can love it, too. Go on, love it. Love it!

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