Much to my surprise, moiself received a text from the campaign of Christine Drazan, the Republican candidate for Oregon governor.  The message said that Drazan “has a plan” (no details of course) for Oregon’s homeless situation, and asked for a donation.
My cell phone has been inundated by texts from political candidates, mostly from the Left side of the spectrum. I block the caller# and delete them all, even when they are from candidates I support (I do *not* give candidates my cell # and resent them finding and using it). And what in the name of a purple Planned Parenthood placard…
…would make anyone on the Drazan campaign think that *I* would forget Drazan’s anti-abortion politics because of some mysterious “plan” she has?
Moiself just had to respond to this text, before blocking/deleting:
If you are not pro-choice then you are no choice.
Shame on you.
Do not text this number again.
* * *
Department Of Thanks For Sharing
The streets of Manzanita are a crap minefield.
Welcome Fall; welcome to the roaming elk and deer, pooping while they’re roaming, pooping while they’re standing still…stepping on their own poop; stepping on the poop that their herd comrade just dropped in front of them; stepping in the dried poop from three days ago…
A small price to pay for living in and/or visiting a bit o’ paradise on earth – the Oregon coast – in autumn.
And yet another reason to take your shoes off when you enter a home. If you’re walking around here, whether on the streets, sidewalks, trails, or beach, you’re stepping on poop, in some form or another.
Although it doesn’t show up well in this picture, this poop pattern continues up the street, on both sides.
* * *
Department Of The Playoff Game That Wasn’t
Early last week daughter Belle messaged me, wondering if she should get a ticket to Game 4 of the Seattle Mariners-Houston Astros American League Division series playoff game. The division playoffs are a best-of-five series; Belle’s company, Schilling Cider, is a Mariners sponsor, and was guaranteed a certain number of tickets to purchase for playoff game 4. Belle checked to see how many tickets her company would be allotted, and found out there would be enough so that she could get one for moiself as well…and would I be interested?
It warmed the cockles of my heart, to hear that Belle was interested in going. How Belle’s grandparents would have liked that, I told her.
Chet and Marion Parnell were longtime baseball fans. They once told me they’d always wanted to go to a playoff game but never had the opportunity. I grew up going to LA Dodgers and Anaheim Angels games, then in the 80s I lost – or rather deliberately misplaced – my interest in the sport. I don’t remember the exact year; it was when there was yet another player/management strike. Free agents had become the thing; it seems like you didn’t know the players anymore (“Wait…he was a Dodger and now he’s a Yankee?”), there was no team loyalty or team identity on either side of the management/players…it used to be you could follow the career of a player, having come up through the farm system….
Then came the latest the player/manager/owner strike.
I remember thinking,
“Hmmm, which group of multi-millionaires do I feel sorry for?”
And that was that.
I became a fair weather fan – one who would watch The Big Games ®, particularly if there’s a team I had an interest in (rooting for California or West Coast teams, and against CHEATERS like the Houston Astros…or just arrogant assholes like the Yankees).
BTW: Why do we sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” when we are already out at the ballgame?
Yet again, I digress.
When Belle asked if I were interested, moiself realized that *I* had never been to a MLB playoff game. And when your 26-year-old daughter solicits a visit from her (much older, ahem) mother…
I started gettin’ spontaneous. I booked train passage to and from Tacoma, found a (very expensive, yikes ) hotel room, and crossed fingers for our odds in getting the tickets, which would be for sale depending on what happened in the first three games.
Game 4 would be on Sunday (10/16). My train reservations were for Saturday afternoon. MH advised me to get to the Portland train station early, as President Biden was in town that weekend. I took his advice to heart; I’d not been paying attention and had no idea Portland was in for a presidential visit, but I remembered a story I’d read about our most recent decent President: An Average Person ® had traveled many miles to attend a political rally, where she got to speak with Obama. She invited him to visit her state, because “…it would be such an honor to have a presidential visit.” Obama thanked her for the invitation, then warned her in good humor that, in reality, a presidential visit is a massive inconvenience to the area of the visit. Presidential visits cause backups and delays for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, even public transportation users, and are difficult to plan for, as, for security reasons, the presidential limo motorcade (and the decoy limo) and entourage routes can’t be announced in advance. So, maybe the people who are invited to the speech or meet-n-greet or whatever consider it an honor, but for almost everyone else, it’s an irritation. I like the fact that Obama was aware of/acknowledged that.
As it turned out, Biden’s visit impacted a train’s departure four hours earlier in the day, but as I checked in I was told that my train (departing at 3:38p) was on time. Then, for the next two and a half hours, Amtrak moved our departure time ahead, first in 5 minute increments, then ten, then….. Train station personnel on their intercoms and passengers googling on their cellphones were trying to find out what was going on. The delay wasn’t due to the presidential visit (Biden’s entourage was already out of the area)…something about how due to a “police action” our train was stopped across the river. Turns out there was a person “laying on the tracks.” 
Our train finally arrived and we boarded, coming on three hours after our scheduled departure time. Then, the train just sat at the station. And sat. Sat sat sat sat. What now? Eventually, the conductor announced that “someone up ahead had set a fire next to the train tracks.”
Fucking Portland, I texted to Belle, who had already moved back and then cancelled the dinner reservations we’d had. She passed the time on her end by giving me updates on the game. It was do or die for the Mariners: they’d lost the first two games; thus, if they lost game 3 (which I – mistakenly, as it turns out – assured Belle ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS  ) there would be no game four.
The hours went by; the game went into overtime. Belle messaged at one point,
“Heading into the 15th inning now still 0-0.
Maybe we’ll just end up going to game 3 tomorrow.”
There would be no ballgame on Sunday. Still, I had a very lovely day with my daughter, which included taking the ferry to Vashon Island. Belle, who works at Schilling Cider, wanted to show me another cidery she and her fellow Schilling-ers had visited. We got to-go sandwiches and enjoyed a picnic on the orchard grounds of Dragon Head’s Cider. We sampled their amazing Columbia Crabapple blend, chatted with the affable DH employees, and just chilled out on an unseasonably  warm October afternoon.
After our island visit Belle wanted to go to her apartment to see her cat and rest up for the evening. When she dropped me at my hotel moiself noticed that the area –The Point Ruston development in Tacoma’s Ruston Way Waterfront – was hoppin.’ I got in the hotel elevator along with four other people – two couples, both of whom asked me, “Are you going to the concert tonight?”
Now, you could hear music coming from outside the hotel, and I said something about how I’d just told my daughter that it was such a nice night, you’d think someone would have scheduled a band to play outside in the amphitheater (where they have a summer concert series)…but then this weather is unexpected so it would be hard to book a group at the last minute…
My elevator buddies all looked momentarily confused, and one of them said, “No, not that – Elton John.” I thought she meant an Elton John cover band was playing outside. I laughed, and said, “Yeah, right, I don’t think so,” and another one of them chimed in and told me that Elton John was playing at the Tacoma Dome.
Later that afternoon I went out to a nearby market, and returned to the hotel for another Elevator Encounter ®. A couple who’d just checked in got in the elevator and didn’t know how to operate it. I showed them how; they punched the button for floor 5. Another man who got in the elevator at the lobby floor didn’t say anything, and didn’t make a floor selection. When I got off at my floor (3) the couple wished me an enjoyable evening. I turned around and asked, “Are you going to the concert?” they enthusiastically replied, “Yes!” and asked if I was also going. I laughed and said that no, “…and I had no idea it was even taking place until people in elevators started talking about it.” 
* * *
Department Of Weird Carpet Walking Man
That evening over dinner I told Belle the story of my elevator encounters, and also about what happened after the second encounter. The previously-mentioned man in the elevator, whom I thought gave off “didn’t belong” vibes (and wore a big scraggy beard, torn jeans and dirty shoes) exited the elevator when I did. I lagged behind; I let him go first, to keep an eye on him, lest he turn out to be the El Creepo Guy® who follows lone females off of hotel elevators to see what rooms they go to.
So, he’s walking ahead of me, verrrrrry strangely, weaving from side to side, sometimes taking large steps and sometimes tiny steps. As I observed him I realized he was walking so as to avoid stepping on the dark(er) blue spots on the hotel’s carpeted hallway – like a kid does when playing the “Don’t touch the lava!” game or “step-on-a-crack-break-your-back.” I got out my phone to film him, stopped moiself, then relaxed when he removed a key from his picket and let himself into a room.
After dinner Belle came up to my room to get something I had for her. On her way out of the hotel I got this series of texts from her:
I JUST SAW THE GUY WALKING WEIRD ON THE CARPET.
It had to be the same guy. He was avoiding the dark spots.
He’s like a natural phenomenon.
* * *
Department Of Carolyn Hax  Gem Of The Week
Context: re advice to a letter writer who is being told by her husband’s family that if she objects to his extravagant spending habits she will be “emasculating” him.
“Is there a worse word (or concept) than ‘emasculating’?
It’s basically a verbal encapsulation of the concept that the genders must
work in concert toward preserving the standing of men.”
* * *
Punz For The Day
What’s the difference between a pickpocket and a second base umpire?
One steals watches and one watches steals.
Did I tell you the joke about the pop fly?
Never mind; it’s way over your head.
Why was Cinderella kicked off the baseball team?
She ran away from the ball.
Did you hear about the baseball player who can spot a fast-food restaurant a mile away?
He leads the league in Arby eyes.
* * *
May you remember that those who are not pro-choice are no choice;
May you read Carolyn Hax’s column – what are you waiting for?;
May you one day be enchanted by a Weird Carpet Walking Man;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Don’t make me use the term gubernatorial, which is a word that ought to be banned in public, IMO.
 For reasons revealed later in this post.
 A protestor? A drunk or loony? We never found out. Just pick ‘em up and toss ‘em aside, disgruntled passengers helpfully suggested, to anyone who would listen.
 A sweep in a MLB series playoff.
 18 innings, 1-0. Sounds to me like a soccer score.
 And that’s why I had to spring for the pricy hotel rooms, as so many places were completely booked up, with the Elton fans, I assumed.