Monday, August 31, 2020

Palo Alto is the weirdest I've ever seen it.

It turns out fires are very effective at getting people to pandemic isolate. The smoke has just been oppressive for almost two weeks. We were able to see the mountains for one day, and now things are back to chunky. Because of this my car sugar is critically low. I've been trying to find renegade car shows without much luck.

So, this weekend Mr S. and I decided to go to Palo Alto. I figured it was the only sure place to find cool cars in the wild.

During the housing crisis,  Palo Alto was sort of a safe haven. Things never felt bad there. EVER. It was a nice respite because out here in the burbs, things were super scary at the time. Palo Alto had always been a daycation place because the money spigot is always flowing. I think the air is made of unicorn farts which smell like skittles.

Plus it turned out that my current favorite burger place was open in Palo Alto. The closest one near me has been closed for the whole pandemic. I didn't really think they were coming back.

Anyway, normally Palo Alto is very vibrant. There were a decent amount of people out, but the whole vibe just felt completely off. I don't know if it's because there are no students or faculty on campus. Thus businesses were struggling extra hard.

For example the burger place tacked on a 20% tip. I've never had that happen in P.A. And generally it makes me pretty bitter because we never saw the server again. And I've been tipping well over 20% since the pandemic for most places I routinely visit. I don't want to go into how much because I am not virtue signaling - only pointing out that I'm not being cheap. But in any case - it should be my choice. A business in my city tried to do that a couple of years ago and got shredded!

Also, the pan handers are SUPER aggressive now! This is new. It's not that there are never panhandlers in P.A., the city just usually keeps them in check.

This guy would walk up to cars and just stare at you. When you shook your head no,  he would motion for water. I must have said no four or five times. Finally he said - fuck you! I was glad I had my dash cam installed. You can also see the line of RV's parked on the street. It stretched for almost the whole stretch of the Campus on the El Camino.

This is in PALO ALTO! So crazy. To the left is the Stanford campus. To the right is Town and County for those familiar with the area.

I went out to lunch the next day in my city and was shocked for the same amount of people it actually felt tons better out here in the burbs.

They really need to bring the projects back for these people - but no one wants them.


  1. Gotten any good pictures with the dash cam?

  2. Capital of Texas RefugeeMonday, August 31, 2020 5:36:00 PM

    "For example the burger place tacked on a 20% tip."

    That just means they stopped paying their servers anything beyond the minimum required by law, and that the servers stopped pretending they provide service.

    This is all just a preface to swirling around the drain.

    "... the whole vibe just felt completely off ..."

    You'd stay away in droves if it felt like there could be a riot or looting because some people want to have these things happen as a result of someone saying a "bad word" or shooting a criminal.

    But I always love the "God will provide" type signs these bullybeggar people carry, it's like the secret message is "God punishes me for believing God cares about my worthless ass despite ignoring the Seven Deadly Sins".

    You know those campus ministry types who would show up on the steps of any convenient student center to shout their messages of Christian-scented hate?

    "God is making you miserable because He wants you to suffer for your sins" goes over really well with them, but I'm pretty happy to have converted one of these guys to the cause of being happier and living a better life.

    He got a real job, got a girlfriend, got a stable place to stay, cleaned up his act, and stopped using Christianity as a crutch for his personal disasters. He stopped shouting and started listening, worked as a bartender, and seemed to be liked a lot by his regulars.

    But just to be safe, I'd make sure I had a gun in my other hand while telling that kind of bullybeggar that God wants him to suffer for his venality and his lack of cooperation with the divine.

    Some people just need to meet a bigger asshole to set them right. :-)

    "I went out to lunch the next day in my city and was shocked for the same amount of people it actually felt tons better out here in the burbs."

    Yes, because that's where the real American economy is now.

    Does anyone seriously believe it's in all of those mostly vacant office towers anymore? Without an office environment to daddy them, where will the Millennials grow up now? :-)

    Such tempests in teapots! Oh, brave new world, that has such people in it.

    Plenty of people rediscovered that they like cooking at home and not just working from home, so they don't do take-out, they don't do delivery, they just hit the grocery stores every now and then to make sure the fridge and freezer stay stocked.

    Those day-glo freaks who used to paint the face, they joined the human race ... and bought a K-Cup machine, a few small crates of K-Cups, and some Mini-Moos to replace their Starbucks habits.

    You go to Palo Alto on a dare ... and you go it alone! :-)

    I'd imagine the pressure to stay away from dangerously angry people on the streets only intensified after a few of these riots and lootings.

    "They really need to bring the projects back for these people ..."

    Read about the history of Pruitt-Igoe and Cabrini-Green sometime.

    The new "projects" are Section 8 vouchers, another Florida innovation, BTW.

    But it even works better in Lancaster, California! *snort*

    These bullybeggar people could have Section 8 housing and still behave this way because there's nothing quite like getting something for nothing by being nothing.

    If the bullybeggar people seem like they're low-level criminals, that's not an accident: they'd rather grift and give nothing in return than do something that resembles work.

    In Bizarro World, the pigeons in the parks feed these people. :-)