Sun 27 Jan 2013
As was noted when I began this perspicacious series six years ago, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen (1916-97) once wrote that he kept a file of items to use whenever he had space, so I began keeping a similar file, which I labeled “Quotes Worth Saving.” Here is the latest installment from it:
“A list of things that Americans judge more favorably than Congress, according to Public Policy Polling, a survey firm, includes colonoscopies, root canals, lice and France.” — The Economist, Jan. 19, 2013
“‘If you want to see my penis, you’ll have to fly to Britain.’ Ewan McGregor in Premiere magazine about a full-frontal scene in the forthcoming ‘Young Adam,’ which was cut out of the American versions of the movie.” — San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 5, 2003
We interrupt this program for an update on non-human animals. This Red-shouldered hawk was seen at Mitchell cabin on Sunday, Jan. 20.
“A very well-placed San Francisco city commissioner just had his lively little daughter bounced out of a very prim Catholic elementary school. Her crime? Calling one of the nuns ‘Mister Sister.'” — San Francisco Chronicle Feb. 20, 2011
“From a description of a 20-minute videotape of activity outside of bars in Hoboken, New Jersey. The video was shot in April by police in support of a proposed ordinance prohibiting local bars from admitting patrons after 1 a.m. • A man is leaning against the wall of a bar drinking. Next to him, a friend is undressing. • Two men leave a bar fighting. • Two men enter a bar fighting. • A young man and woman lean against a fence and begin kissing passionately. Another woman taps the man on the shoulder. He leaves and she takes over for him. • A woman leans on her boyfriend and vomits. • A woman urinates beside a parked car as her boyfriend acts as a lookout. • A man and woman walk down an alley together in zigzag patterns. Eventually they walk into a brick wall.” — Harper’s Magazine, September 1994
A Red-shouldered hawk along the levee road near White House Pool, which I photographed during a full moon back in 1985. Here is how the photo — unfortunately straddling the newspaper’s fold — appeared in The Point Reyes Light.
“After two days of testimony, a jury in Lake County, Ill., has convicted a woman who was painting her nails while driving when she struck and killed a motorcyclist at a red light. Lora Hunt of Morris Ill., was found guilty of reckless homicide in the death of Anita Zaffwe in Lake Zurich, Ill., on May 2, 2009.” — San Francisco Chronicle May 7, 2010
“As psychologist Robert Leahy points out: the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s.” — Slate magazine, Jan. 31, 2011
“The sexual epithet beaming from the electronic billboard at the Marin County Civic Center was so alarming that at least one startled motorist called 911 early Sunday morning: ‘F–k! F–k! F–k!’ Somebody hacked the billboard after breaking a door and cracking a keyboard code, according to Jim Farley, head of the Cultural Services Department, which oversees the sign advertising Marin Center events. ‘They ripped open the door in the middle of the night, cracked the code and reprogrammed the message on the sign,’ Farley said. ‘It took brute force and computer skills….’ Chris Haeuser, Marin Center box office manager, ….speculated the caper was the work of teenagers, noting that adults might have caused more mischief by posting a message saying something like ‘Golden Gate Bridge closed.'” — Marin Independent Journal, July 26, 2011
“Police Commissioner Jamie Slaughter is married to Stacy Slaughter, vice president of communications for the San Francisco Giants, so baseball is a constant topic in the house. Slaughter says this week his son asked him if he knew what day it was. Dad was expecting to hear it was the first day of winter break, but no. ‘Position players report to Spring Training,’ 8-year-old Ben said.” — San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 19, 2011
A bobcat hunting gophers outside my kitchen window on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
“MARION, Ala.—Members of two feuding families were in jail Tuesday after years of quarreling erupted into a small-town riot in which 150 screaming people hurled rocks and tools — and even struck the police chief. Five men named either Moore or Sawyer and several juveniles were arrested on assault charges after Monday’s violence, said District Attorney Michael Jackson. Authorities said a 2- or 3-year-old dispute between the two families prompted a melee that eventually swelled out of control to include friends and gang members. It wasn’t immediately clear why the families didn’t get along.” — Associated Press, Aug. 8, 2009
From an obituary for political activist Joseph Cannon Houghteling: “He had a wry sense of humor, [his wife] said, and got a kick out of the thought of someday having his ashes thrown upwind from a boat so that his remains would blow back into the eyes of his mourners, forcing them to shed a tear.” — San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 2009
“At the same time he was selling US secrets to the Soviet Union, former FBI special agent Robert Philip Hanssen was a key supervisor in a 1980s domestic-spying program…. The program, which lasted for more than a decade, monitored peace and anti-nuclear activists and other groups that the White House worried could be manipulated by Soviet propaganda…. As a result, the FBI invested thousands of hours collecting political intelligence, [and in one] instance it warned that Philadelphia was ripe for Soviet infiltration.” — Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2001
I’ll finish with a highly educational news story. The marching band director for the University of California at Davis, Tom Slabaugh, complained in a memo to school officials that “on the band’s fall retreat in 2007, four drunken band members were caught urinating in a dormitory elevator, and at band practice the next day, four others took their uniform pants down and simulated the incident for a photographer. At outdoor rehearsals, male members dropped their pants to get a laugh while women sometimes stripped to their bras, he wrote, and one evening practice was disrupted when a bass drummer began performing lap dances…. In his memo and in meetings, Slabaugh urged UC Davis to give him the power to remove bad actors from the [student-run] band.” — San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 6, 2008