For me, festivus starts with
visiting all the places I usually shop for groceries. At each one
I get a bike load of holiday cheer to put on the table at the
This was my bike getting home from
Safeway. That string bag has a ham in it. Yumm! On the other side
is a totally stuffed panier. Turns out I can carry something like
$50 to $70ish in 2018 dollars per load. I remember when I couldn't
figure out how to carry even $20 in food. Partly that's because
I'm better at carrying stuff. It's also because dollars just don't
go as far as they used to. Sad about that.
My garden contributed this huge haul
of collards. It was time to hack them back anyhow. This was by far
my largest single harvest in 2018. My arms were tired after
carrying it all the way back from the garden, despite the fact I
gave some away along the way. Virginia helped me process it all
down to some naked stalks and a lot of good food.
Yeah, I know, Christmas trees are
not the festivus thing. The problem was that the clubhouse came
with a Christmas tree, and taking it down was not an option for
me. Since the evening was mostly about talking to people in a warm
and comfortable place, I put away my camera until the airing of
I started things off by talking
about my new grievance for the year. The only band at San Jose
High School football games was the Bulldog Alumni Band. This was
because sometime between when Virginia graduated and when we
started paying attention they had declared Lincoln (another high
school in the more affluent part of town) to be the "music magnet
school" for the valley. The net impact of this was no band for the
Bulldogs football games. Hello!? Football is all about learning
how to work together as a community to support the guys on the
field. How are those guys going to feel supported when the other
team has a 100 piece marching band and they have nothing? It felt
like the bulldogs were being discriminated against. I'm grateful
for the half dozen alumni band members that were there to add a
little pomp when the Bulldogs make touchdowns.
Phil is irked by all those people that call his home town
"Que-pertino". Hello!? Look at the name. Cupertino. There is no
"Q" in the name! It's pronounced "Coo-pertino". He muttered about
that guy that ran for City Council last fall as a case in point.
Peter is bothered by the fact they took down all the apple trees
in Cupertino and replaced them with a company named Apple Inc.
Gerry is bothered by the fact that there are no politicians who
are willing to step up to the plate and do what's required about
Eric agreed with Gerry.
Stephanie watches all the private jets flying into San Jose
airport over the homeless encampments and wishes the economic
disparities in our system weren't so huge.
Diane is also bothered by the "Manhattenization" of the bay area.
She is hoping all the creativity assembled here can do something
Boone thinks we need to ban cars. He's worried they will cause too
much climate change which will result in the end of the world as
we know it.
Dana used to ride her bike
everywhere and she enjoyed it a lot. Since her health problems
have made her somewhat disabled she's had to switch to an electric
car powered by solar panels on her roof, which is still pretty
good. She thinks riding together to promote biking is a great
Ann thinks we need a new political party. The two party system has
created a situation where there isn't enough difference between
the two parties for it to matter.
Mary Kay thinks packaging is way out of hand. When she grew up on
a farm in Mountain View nothing had packaging and everybody was
happy. What happened? It would be great if we could go back to no
Barry had two grievances. The first was property managers that
keep raising the rent. The other is Apple, which is putting
Lithium polymer batteries that have some likelihood of exploding
in peoples hands.
She is upset because there are too many situations where people
with solutions aren't being listened to by people who are supposed
to do something about a problem.
Al is upset because the tax credit
for getting an electric car is expiring in three days. He thinks
we need a new President that will give us tax credits for electric
powered bikes, scooters, skateboards, and cars. He's also an
inventor with a great way to power up your personal transportation
device. Unfortunately I can't talk about that because he asked me
not to say anything about it.
Rob wishes Uber and Lyft drivers would pull over in parking spots
before letting off their riders. He hates it when they get in his
Lloyd thinks there is too much negativity in the world.
Nat wishes people would realize that nuclear power is safe.
Green hat complained about a years
worth of construction to put a new lane on the freeway, and then
all it helped is the fast trak people. Why?
Miles wants everybody to know that
the Peninsula isn't that big. San Francisco is 30 miles away. San
Jose is 20 miles away. Both are easy enough to get to. Ride your
Eddie is mad that the Raiders are leaving for Las Vegas. He also
wishes that Pluto was still a planet.
Julio is worried about all the different battery systems that
electric cars are built around. He sees huge amounts of waste in
our futures from different incompatible systems. He thinks we
would be so much better off if they were all part of one
David was frosted because we hadn't
smoked that great joint he brought to share yet.
Betsy had two things to say: "Money
out of politics." and "Trash out of the bike lane."
That lady wanted us to go back to
being tolerant of newcomers.
Jacob considers Trump half a
grievance. His real grievance is that "public" used to mean "for
the people". What happened to that?
Lizzie wishes people would tip better. She explained that people
who think it's up to restaurants to pay servers don't understand
that's not how it works. As the server you work for the customer
who is eating. People who can't afford to tip shouldn't be eating
out. Servers make their money in tips, so pay your share!
Amanda wishes people would stop treating the world like a trash
can. If she could clone herself all over the world would be
spotless. She enjoys going around her neighborhood picking up
trash every now and then.
Renee is mad at her grandmother's gall bladder for causing her so
much pain. She is mad at that parked car that messed up her knee
and put her out of commission for two weeks. She is mad at the
government for making her ashamed to wear her America pants. Her
summary was "2018 sucked."
Even after so many people had spoken
there was still plenty of attention for whatever grievance the
next speaker had. So proud of my friends for honoring the speakers
so well. Dora is bothered by the fact that INS had let two small
children die in their custody.
We posed for a group shot.
Then it was this and that and having
a good time.
Thank you everybody that rode their bike to the event! There were
more bikes parked out there earlier, but I forgot to take that
picture until later.
To my way of thinking the feats of
strength most honorable were done by those that rode their bikes
to the event. Some feel that the formula for feats of strength
requires arm wrestling. Virginia won round one, Boone won round
two, and Thea won round three. The consensus was that Thea was the
strongest, when all was said and done.