The Great Plotnik

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Five Things To Do In Honolulu

The Great BZWZ flies in for a burrito today. Actually, she won't leave the airport but has a short break between flights as she heads to a conference in Honolulu. With luck, the plane will land on time, she'll get to run out to the waiting area, pick up the burrito her parents kindly provide for her to tide her over through her second five hour flight, perform the Dutiful Hug Ritual and then run back through security and jump on her next plane.

Naturally, seeing as BZ hasn't been to Hawaii since the days when Ducknik had a regular convention there at least every other year, she is interested in things to do in the little free time she will have. She is presenting a poster at the conference but will probably have at least one day to cruise around.

If the weather's nice -- forget the cruise. Walk out the door of the Ala Moana Hotel and jump into the warm Pacific. But if she's got a minute, Plotnik's top five (without a car) would be:

1) The Doris Duke home on Diamond Head. (bus from Hawaii Academy of Art)
2) A bike ride down Kuhio to Kapahula and up the hill towards Kumamoto's Nursery.
2a) On the way, a stop at Bailey's new and used Hawaiian Shirt Shop. Bring cash.
2b) A few blocks away, a stop at Leonard's Bakery for a malasada
2c) That music shop next door to Bailey's, the home of the most beautiful ukelele in the world
3) Dinner at Indigo (Chinatown)
4) Live music at sunset in the banyan court which just so happens to be in her hotel
5) A hike up Diamond Head to view forever. You can also see forever from Doris Duke's house, which is on the back side of the mountain.

With a car -- well, you go on a big circle to the North Side, for shave ice in Haleiwa, for shrimp from the shrimp farm, for watching the huge waves at the Pipeline, past the cultural center on the way home, buy a pineapple on the side of the road, drive back over the Pale into Honolulu.

As you can tell, Plotnik truly loves Hawaii, each part of every island. Mmm, chocolate covered macadamias. Mmmm, frangipane and tuberose. Mmm, gorgeous water and that silly, wonderful music. Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

No Tech and the Highest Tech

Sorry about the TMI yesterday. Plot is feeling perfectly fine today, thanks.

Meanwhile, the end result of the mystery towing in Brooklyn seems to be two parking tickets, both fightable. No one knows what happened or why they towed the car but Plotnik's guess is they decided they needed the street at the last moment for a movie shoot and apparently a VW Passat with a red club on the steering wheel was not in the script.

So they towed it. They couldn't very well tow it back because that would take coordination between departments, as would notifying the people whose cars they had towed away. You have to ask yourself whether they would do that to people in Manhattan or a wealthier part of Brooklyn like Brooklyn Heights? Ehhh, probably.

Last night Plotnik went to a reading of Dan Hoyle's new play "Scrubbed," which had some terrific readers like ACT's Anthony Fusco, and Chad Deverman and Carrie Pfaff. Turns out Hoyle can not only act but write too. It's one scary play, all about the "scrubbers" who are hired to eliminate any bad data that has accumulated about you on the internet. No reviews yet, though -- this was just a preliminary reading.

Did you know that a bunch of 12-year-old hackers have threatened the Mexican drug cartels with exposing their high-up links in the Mexican government? It is apparently true. Think about it. The only people who can scare these animals are techno geeks in America. The geeks are winning and maybe it's good? Maybe it's not?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Still Ouch. Afterwards: Way Less Ouch

It's time for this jaw-ear ache to go away. I guess we all know what that means. The Great PD and BB are already back in Brooklyn. No more excuses. Sigh.


So Plottie went to the Doctor. Both his ears were jammed up -- and he was worried about his aching jaw -- maybe that contributed to last night's less-than-kindly review of the new play at ACT.

Who has a tree? Plotnik wants to carve 'Plottie Loves Sarah' on that tree. She's the nurse's aide who cleared out Plot's ears. What a relief!

See, they won't let you use q-tips in your ear anymore, which works, but possibly damages your ear drum. Instead you're supposed to use this ghetto ear drop garbage you buy at Walgreen's which just makes everything worse. Delightful Sarah pulled out the fire hose and cleared those suckers in fifteen seconds flat.

Doc says just come in every three months and do the same thing, forget Walgreen's. OK, you're on.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Only in New Yawk

Isabella and her fellow-Brooklynite Asha, whose family was visiting in S.P. at the same time as Belly, met up at the playground at the bottom of the hill. Then Isabella helped Papa pull beets.

Here's an Only in New York story. Dance-Nik, you're gonna love this.

When PD and 5H and BB left Brooklyn last week, they had to leave their car parked somewhere. So The Great PD found a spot on Lafayette Street where he could park until they got back.

The Great 5H had to work this weekend, so she flew straight home from Stiletto City, while PD and BB came up here. So, yesterday, she called PD to ask him where he'd parked the car, and he told her: "Lafayette, between Vanderbilt and Clinton."

Half an hour later, she called again saying "Where again did you park the car? I can't find it on Lafayette."

PD thought about it and said, "no, that's exactly where I left it, in a zone where you don't have to move it until Monday."

"Well, it's a Monday zone, but the car isn't here."

5H spent more time walking around, looking for the car, but then had to go to work, plus it was already starting to snow.

The old Passat is not exactly the kind of car thieves are looking for, and it had been parked with a club on the steering wheel. It made no sense for it to have been stolen. So, from Saint Plotniko, PD called the 311 number which records all towed-away cars. The lady in Brooklyn looked and said they had no record of it, and that the car had probably been stolen.

"No way," said PD, "maybe you have the license plate wrong. Would you please check by make and model?"

She wouldn't do it, but finally relented, and five minutes later came back and said:

"Sir, this is your lucky day! We found it! It is parked in front of a fish fry place at 395 Myrtle."

"What? How did it get there?"

"We towed it over there."

"What!? Why did you tow it away? It was legally parked."

"Well, we needed the street."

"WHAT!!? You needed the street? Why did you need the street?"

"I really can't say, Sir. The notice says "Needed street. Towed vehicle to 395 Myrtle."

"But how was I supposed to know you did that? Did anyone try to contact me? Are you sure this is the correct car?"

"Yes sir, the license number is..." and she quoted the license plate number, only it was the wrong license plate number -- that is, they had entered one of the letters wrong. It was the right car, but officially had the wrong license plate number, which is why PD couldn't find it on the OTHER website where you can search for any infractions on your car -- but you search by license plate.

So they towed the car because they "needed the street," found a spot three blocks away and left it there, without notifying anybody, and then entered the plate incorrectly. Who knows how many more cars they did this to?

One more thing: PD google-mapped "395 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn" and found out the car was now parked in a two-hour meter zone that expired at 4pm last Wednesday.

The end of the story is not written yet, but this morning, as Plottie was dropping PD and Bellybone off at the airport, PD's phone rang and it was The Great FiveHead, telling him she has found the car, that it is indeed parked at 395 Myrtle, and has a pile of $45 parking tickets splashed all over the windshield, all for two-hour zone violations. There are probably 12 per day since Wednesday.

But at least it's there. They'll fight the tickets. As you know, it's easy to fight City Hall.

New York, New York. It's a helluva town.
The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground
New York, New York!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Photos from Stiletto

The Great PD's new camera shoots lots of photos very fast. Here are some beauties from last week in Stiletto at Mummy P.'s house.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Papa's New Exercise Regime

It's a quiet morning and all is right with the world. Isabella and The Great PD arrived late last night and this morning Belly and Plot-Papa did their exercises together in the new Exercise Room formerly known as Pool Room. (This means you can lay down on the rug now.)

The exercises consist of Papa doing his push ups with Isabella climbing on his back. A 42 pound weight diminishes the ultimate count. The other exercise is Isabella trying to steal Papa's watch.

Currently, she and Bobo are baking a cake. This is how a house is supposed to sound.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guess Who Got Her Ears Pierced?

Auntie Little Bear is in charge of this rite of passage for all the girls in the family. Isabella spent two days in Orange County last week so -- zingo!

Quite a few years ago, when the internet was new, and Plotnik didn't know any better yet, he saw an advertisement from his employer AOL that read: "FABULOUS BUY! DIAMOND EAR RINGS FOR YOUR SWEETHEART! NEVER AGAIN PRICE! ACT NOW! HURRY! C'MON! WHAT, YOU DON'T TRUST US? PSHAW! HURRY!

OK, he was new at this, everybody was. So be paid, like, $9.95 or maybe it was $29.95, for never-again fabulous diamond ear rings for his sweetheart.

Ducknik was nice about it. They were probably beautiful, but they were so small she couldn't really pick them up. Plotnik would estimate .00000001 carat, or .00000002 for both. These glorious dust-sized specks of sparkly stuff sat unworn for many years (SEE ABOVE PHOTO), until now! We know where they're going tomorrow when Belly and The Great PD arrive for a short visit on their way home from Stiletto.

So you see? They were for Plotnik's sweetheart after all, and the Good Ducknik, who never ribbed Plottie about his astonishing gullibility, will have found them a nice home.

Plotnik figures if a smaller ear wears the same diamond, the diamond is larger, right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seventy Four Years Ago

What it says on the back of this photo is "On the beach Michigan City 1938." Mummy P. is 24 years old in this picture, and how about that smile and sun hat? If you look closely you can see the signs of an early pregnancy, with the perfectly healthy daughter she would give birth to but then lose after only one day.

The seldom photographed Poppy P. looks a lot older, doesn't he? But he was the same age as she. Plottie's got his chin, looks like Schmekl got the rest.

The Great Plotnik is wondering whether that's their car next to her elbow?

Think about the next 75 years that Mummy P.'s been witness to. Wow, what a photo.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Have you ever done something that is soooo stupid, that you know not to do, that you even set up systems to keep you from doing it, because you'll feel so idiotically numbskully brainfarterocious if you do?

I know you have. Me (ouch!) too. (Ouch! Stop hitting myself! Ouch!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

That Door Used to be Purple.

Just as Plotnik moves into his new "let the old stuff disappear, embrace the new..." philosophy, we see this announcement:

As many Plotnikkies realize, when you punch the link, this was the original home of Great Plotnik World Headquarters, only it didn't look like this back then. A local politician bought it (you're looking at him), renovated it with code allowances not allowed to the Plotniks but granted to him, bought up the property around him and fenced it in, then decided to move away. The house is now for rent for $4500/month!

In the same issue of "Curbed" from which this article was taken, we see the big red box -- the Circuit City on Sunset that now is being turned into offices, according to the article. No mention of how it was torched during the Rodney King riots, but the McDonald's next door was left untouched. Revolutionaries got to eat!

When you think about it, the Plotniks' old house is the essence of what has happened in Stiletto. Built in the 1950s, it was a little box, next door to its twin, both lots carved out of a piece of rock in a neighborhood nobody wanted to go into. The word "beautiful" never came up when talking about Schmecko Park. When Plot and Duck showed Mummy P. the house they had been able to buy, she said "I wish you'd told us you'd needed money."

The Plotniks waited for the neighborhood to appreciate, but it didn't happen until after they moved to Saint Plotniko.

Now, if you want to live on that piece of rock, and buy scones on the corner for $3.50, nobody will tell you about the time vandals pulled the elementary school's pet goat up over a twenty foot fence so they could steal it and roast it. And you can pay $4,500 per month to rent that house on that hill where "beautiful" is just about the only word that fits.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eighteen Years in Fifteen Pictures

Saturday, February 18, 2012

He'll Miss the Coffee

The responses to buy Lamar are still coming in:

"Hey I'm Daniel nd I'm untreated in ur pool table"

Plotnik thinks that texting has not improved the nation's chances in international spelling bees.

"Hey wil u take $200? And deliver it 2 my hous?"

So if Marco doesn't show up today Plottie has quite a few other takers. But seeing as Marco already paid cash for Lamar he's probably going to show up as planned.

"I liv close to u. Wher do u live?"

Plotnik has been thinking about why his friends never wanted to play pool, when they had a chance. To learn to be a good pool player you need to be (1) unemployed, (2) have a hair piece, and you have to have (3) spent a lot of time in bars.

Now several of his pals satisfy (3), and everyone has been (1) for at least a little while, but the only person he is sure has a (2) never (3)s and has probably never been (1). So that explains it.

Hanky Girl, don't give me that malarkey about hints. When you want something, you don't hint. Not calling you a liar or anything. ("Rugelach? I don't have any. Uh uh. No, she didn't leave any with me.")

"Hey, my name is Lamar. I'm really going to miss the smell of that great coffee. Shee, mon."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Saturday for Lamar

Lamar is leaving tomorrow afternoon, so Plotnik racked 'em up and played his old pool games with himself last night. You throw out the cue ball and one other ball and you knock in the one. Then you throw out two balls with the cue ball and you knock them both in. Then you throw out three, and four, and try to keep knocking them all in until you miss.

Plotnik sometimes misses the first one, but then sometimes he knocks 'em all in. He's never really gotten past seven.

Or you can rack 'em all up and break 'em and then just whap whap whap pick off the easy shots and then whaaaaaaap the slightly harder ones and then ooooooops.

Or you can play rotation and try to knock 'em all in in numerical order, which is kind of fun. Sigh.

Or you can just toss the balls on the table and then shoot quickly, not allowing yourself time to think about it. Sigh.

But, really, none of it is really all that much fun unless you're playing with friends. Plotnik should have traded the pool table for a few pool playing friends. They're out there -- he just didn't do anything about it. But the good thing is now they can all come over and we can sit on the sofa. Just, uh, kidding.

Marco, who bought the table, is bringing his table guy over tomorrow afternoon to disassemble poor Lamar, remove his green felt and then his three piece slate, and his body, and then take off ol' Lamar's legs. They'll load him out the door and into the glue wagon, then when they've attached the weapon of mass destruction they'll set him back up in the day care center. Just kidding.

C'mon, CIA guy who is monitoring this blog. I AM KIDDING!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

So Long to Lamar Odom

Yes, R.I.P. to the ol' pool table, though it's still sitting in the living room. Plotnik has perhaps not accepted it completely yet.

The first people in the door put up the cash.

Now, what if they come back and say, Gee, I'm so sorry, but we need to raise money for my grandmother's funeral in Honduras? Would Plotnik give them their money back? Would Ducknik give Plotnik a cup of tea with ground up cue chalk?


Well, nobody plays pool anymore at Great Plotnik World Headquarters. There are no teenagers left around here. Now, the Plotniks will finally have the living room someone in the family has always wanted. Furniture! Coffee table! Gala parties! Live concerts!

At least, the people who move in after Plot and Duck die can do that if they want to. Or, if they prefer, there's room for a full sized pool table.


Lamar Odom just outlived his usefulness. Management traded him to a young family who will use him, if they don't just turn around and sell him to Chinese investors, which is what the last people who bought electronic equipment from the Plotniks said they planned to do with it.

World Headquarters will finally start looking like the proper corporate/religious enterprise to which it aspires. Do you think the Pope has a pool table in his living room? Is the Pope still alive? Does the Pope pee in the forest? How many Popes does it take to chalk a pool stick?

Well, as problems go, this is a tiny one. Up, up, up Plotnik! It's the new world out there! Take that cash and buy yourself a new bicycle, you cheap bastard, spend it for once!

Heh heh heh, ain't gonna happen. See ya, Lamar.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Or You Can Bring an Axe and a Bucket.


Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm a Fish in a Barrel?

Plotnik walked into his local chocolate shop on 24th Street this morning. He said to the owner "The day before Valentine's Day must be your favorite day of the year." The owner pursed his lips, pointed his fingers into the shape of a pistol and pretended to fire: "Bam! Like shooting fish in a barrel!"

Rather disturbing, isn't it?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Time It Wasn't Gay Pride. Then Broccoli Rabe and Sausage.

Plot and Duck are still searching the stores. Yesterday they went back to Crate and Barrel to look at a couch. They drove -- DUMB! And yet -- there's a parking place! Right on O'Farrell, just past Powell, practically in front of the store! Maybe it wasn't too dumb to drive after all?

When they came out of the store Plottie looked at the corner of O'Farrell and Stockton and saw there was a concrete barrier erected so you couldn't take Stockton through to Grant and cross Market.

He also noticed a sign that said: No Left Turn and another sign that said No Right Turn. This meant no straight ahead, no left and no right. Also, O'Farrell is a one way street so Plotnik could not back up.

Don't you just love driving in Saint Plotniko? But guess what Plot and Duck had forgotten? THE CHINESE NEW YEAR PARADE!

Doh! In S.P., the two things you avoid at all costs are Chinese New Years and Gay Pride. Don't drive anywhere on those two days. If they ever combine the two into Chinese Gay Dragon Day you may as well stay in bed.


Everybody who loves Southern Italian food, especially from Sicily, must love the classic Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. The rabe is in now at the Farmer's Market, and you only see it like this -- young, thin, not too bitter -- for a few weeks each year. Plottie made this classic last night and you can't beat it.

Take two hot and one sweet Italian sausage and remove the meat from the casings. Put in a saucepan and saute, stirring now and again. You want it to brown and release as much fat as possible.

Cut one large bunch of young, thin broccoli rabe into three inch slices. Slice up the whole bunch this way. DO NOT LISTEN TO RECIPES THAT TELL YOU TO BLANCH THE RABE. (This makes it watery and it will not absorb the sauce.)

When the sausage is brown, toss out all the fat and then throw in the broccoli rabe. Stir a lot, it will cook down very fast.

Take two large cloves of garlic, slice thin and toss into the pot too, along with half a cup or so of chicken or vegetable stock.

Cook 3/4 pound of rigatoni to al dente stage, save one half cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Throw pasta in with the sausage and rabe, adding the pasta water to thicken the dish (with the starch from having cooked the pasta in it).

Add a lot of hot red pepper flakes. The dish should be hot, but you can decide about that. Stir the whole thing around five more minutes.

Add freshly grated pecorino romano at the table, or parmesano if you don't have pecorino. Both are delicious.

Take a bottle of Morse '07 Mourvedre, plus the pasta, to the corner of O'Farrell and Grant and stand there watching the gay dragon, or any other dragon, as you eat your dinner. Clean your plate and ask for more.

(No, Plot and Duck did not do this. They stayed on 26th of October Street, but did the rest of it.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Crystal Kitten Begins Her New Season as Guard Cat

She's been out there for several years guarding the alstroalmerias and daffodils in the early Spring, then moving over to watch over the roses and lilies later on.

We've never had such fat parsley for such a long season. It still hasn't flowered so there's no end in sight.

Here come the first asparagus spears.

The first daffodils and callas.

The first lavender and rosemary flowers.

Rangpur lime leaves and broccoli rabe.

And all those beets. They've taken months to grow fat greens and roots. It's time to put more seeds in the ground right now as we pull these.

We've still got to wait a month or so to put out tomato plants. Each year Plotnik says he won't grow them again the next year, because there's only enough sun in the Saint Plotniko summer to grow little (but delicious) Sun Golds. But he will relent. He always relents.

Plotnik would love to have his corn patch back, but only if he could have it in Pennsylvania again. That Eastern corn -- there's nothing like it out here. Same with the tomatoes and apples. Everything else of ours is better than back East, but those three -- corn, tomatoes, apples -- and let's add pizza -- there's not a lot of point to doing it here. But we do. Of course we do, and Crystal keeps away the grizzly bears.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Boom! Boom! Room! for The Great Sheila The Good

A very special Great Plotnik Hall of Fame Award has been granted to our fine Plotnikkie friend whose Plotnikkie name is The Great STG (which stands for Sheila The Good). STG actually got in the car and drove to the Chulte Truck the other day, which when you live in Stiletto City is a Big Big Deal. She spoke to the owner of the truck and took this picture, misunderstanding that we wanted a photo of the truck, instead of a photo of HER, The Great STG who had received the GPHoF award!

But no matter. She discovered that the new owner had no idea what chultes are either because he bought the truck from someone else and he not only doesn't make chultes any more but was not exactly excited to devote any extra time from frying whatever it is that he does fry, to speak in depth to The Great STG.

He did opine that chultes may be Nicaraguan or Salvadorean and that they may be like quesadillas.

Like Plottie suspected: something fried, with cheese.

We now offer the traditional Plotnikkie Boom Boom Room Hearty Cheer for the excellent Great STG, Great Plotnik Hall of Fame Award Winner!

Boom! Boom! Room! (clap, clap, clap.)

(Incidentally, if you ever want to sell or buy a house in Stiletto City, The Great STG is your gal. She sold several for the Plotniks, including the one whose current occupant is the pol who will probably become the next Mayor of Stiletto.)

(Will he continue to live in Schmeko Park? Or will he move, like they all do, to Shmancock Park, so he can live in a mansion and be protected by a hundred cop cars?)

(A hundred cop cars in Shmecko Park is just too funny to imagine.)

(Ninety of them will get graffitied.)

(The other ten will bring the CHULTES to the mayor.)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

First Jesus, then The Jewish Lego Block with a Screw-Off Cap

You need to see "Jesus in India" if you're in the Bay Area and want to see something completely off the wall, funky and very funny. You can read the San Francisco Theater Blog review of "Jesus in India" here.

Plotnik bought a bottle of Mogen David Concord Grape today, to make bbq boneless short ribs. He prefers Manischewitz, because it is always so perfectly awful, and yet delicious-in-a-sick-kind-of-way, but Bev-Mo only had Mogen David.

It tastes exactly the same. The difference is Grandpa Ben never put silver foil over a bottle of wine that looks like a bottle of wine. He always covered the weird Manischewitz bottle rectangle that looks like a Jewish Lego Block.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Chulte, Chulte, Who's Got the Chulte?

The other day, Plotnik posted a picture of a taco truck parked around the corner from Langer's in MacArthur Park, Stiletto City. Research since then has failed to turn up what a 'chulte' is.

It is likely to be Mexican and not Central American, since the truck offers no 'pupusas' for sale, and quesadillas are common in all parts of Mexico. The neighborhood is equally Mexican and Central American so either one could be possible.

So, who is willing to go down to Westlake Avenue and Seventh Street, one block east of Alvarado, walk up to the truck and order a chulte or a plate of chultes for that matter, then take a picture and send a photo and report to The Great Plotnik? For this service, a Great Plotnik Hall of Fame Medal would be awarded, as well as a Hero Photo published.

Also, you could treat the chulte as an appetizer and walk a block to Langer's for a pastrami, for lunch, and if you can still walk after that, head over to Mama's Tamales a few doors down for some take-out for dinner.

If no one volunteers, Great PD the job will have to be yours in a few weeks.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Super Ehhh Sunday

The Super Ehhh came and the Super Ehhh went. Plot's left ear was completely closed yesterday -- he didn't know it closed on Sundays - but he didn't miss much when he and Duck went to Design Without Common Sense to continue their furniture hunt. DWCS reproduces furniture from famous designers. Plotnik now takes back what he said on Friday about the expensive chair at Crate and Barrel. That chair was an olive in the martini glass compared to the knockoff Mies Van der Rohe or knockoff Charles Eames or knockoff Somebody Else at DWCS.

It is true that there are people who feel that if you spend a thousand dollars you have received ten times more than if you spend a hundred dollars. And there are people who would just rather spend the thousand dollars because it makes them enjoy what they purchased more.

Then there are certain pastors of small splinter-flocks who think spending ten bucks instead of a hundred or a hundred instead of a thousand JUST MAKES SENSE. He doesn't care if the label says Mies Van der Rohe or Crate van der Barrel.

They got to The Great Domin-Nik and J-Whacky's house by halftime. The chili was great and the company was too, and somebody won the game and somebody lost, ehhh. By then Plot's ear was killing him and Duck's eye was killing her. What a crotchety bunch of old *arts. They could use some better design themselves.

Monday morning, no more aches, no more pains, and Downton Abbey is getting interesting again.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Ehhhhh.

Super Bowl: don't care. Nobody in Saint Plotniko cares. We came too close. Who wants to see Indianapolis, anyway? The whole city needs a wardrobe malfunction.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Hard to Chase the Train

Super Bowl Sunday is tomorrow. Valentine's Day is mid month. President's Day is a week later. How does Plotnik know? Super Bowl Sale! Valentine's Day Sale! President's Day Sale! If it weren't for ad circulars the Post Office would go out of business even sooner.

Walk into Bernal Heights Post Office on 29th Street now (which isn't in Bernal Heights) and it's empty. The clerks are sweet as sugar. They used to smile like executioners and take a break right in your face with a long line and no other clerks in sight.

No longer. "Hel-LO Sir! What can we do for you today! Would you like stamps with that?"

You're history, Dear, and Plotnik is only sorry in theory. The Post Office was the employer of choice, along with the military, for a generation of minorities who could not get hired anywhere else. But they got fat and complacent and then they ignored the technological revolution. And they're too tired to run after the train now that it's left the station.

How about a machine in the lobby to weigh your package, sell you stamps and take your credit card? Charge a quarter for the service. No one would stand in a line at Christmas if they could help it.

How about hiring someone at the Diamond Heights Branch who speaks English you can understand? Nothing wrong with Chinese, boys, lots of people enjoy speaking it, but the majority of them are in China.

How about actually bringing the package to the door, not just bringing the already-made-up "sorry we missed you" yellow sticker? How about actually ringing the doorbell?

Well, it doesn't matter, does it? We will be down to no weekend service before the year is out and after that probably three days a week. Lots of people will lose their jobs. That's not good at all. And you can't blame China this time.

Friday, February 03, 2012

You Could Tip the Sax Player in the Subway 2500 Times

Plot went furniture shopping today. It was kind of fun. He sat in lots of chairs. The most comfortable one cost $2,500. For one chair. ONE. And Plot and Duck are looking for two.

What about the sense of proportion here? Could any of Plottie's dear flock spend $2,500 for one chair? We're not saying you're not entitled, any more than you're not entitled to buy a $70,000 car or a $2 million house. This isn't a car or a house. It's a chair.

Self-righteous indignation is not something The Great Plotnik likes in himself. So let's end the discussion right here by saying neither Ducknik nor Plotnik harbor any desire for that chair. But it was seriously comfy.