Random Wednesday

Today I’m just going to take on some random thoughts and topics.

The disabled Muni guy.  The comments are all over the place over at SFist which reported on the incident downtown last week.  Check it out and decide for yourself – if you’ve ever had trouble getting on Muni downtown in rush hour you understand the problem.  I’ve resorted to getting on the Inbound subway to the Embarcadero, and getting back on the outbound from that station.  Works well except for the ‘T’, which starts from the Ballpark.

Part of the drama of the Muni incident was the reports that the wheelchair guy has been seen pushing his wheelchair places, fully able to walk.  So is he a disabled privilege abuser?  Which leads me to so-called service animals.  I’ve noticed that some people have figured out a loophole to allow themselves the privilege of bringing their pets into restaurants, grocery stores, aircraft cabins and, believe it or not, the movies.  Understandably allowed for seeing-eye dogs for the blind.  Or a monkey guiding a wheelchair for a quadriplegic or whatever.   But should people whose main disability is missing their dog for a few minutes be allowed to get a status of service animal?  I know a couple people, far from disabled, who got their doctors to certify their pet as a service animal.  Not a trained dog mind you, the pet they already had. I think its a yucky abuse.

I guess it was my car ‘breakdown’ that put me in a negative critical frame of mind today.  I have an old (1998 ) ML320.  I hardly drive the thing, I don’t have a garage space.  It sits outside getting sunstroke, bird pooped, and coated with that special San Francisco grime.  That uber-slime that materializes overnight on the car’s pockmarked skin, from the blowing dirt mixed with damp fog. Every once in a while someone steals the MB badge.  I’ve been told they make popular ‘bling’ on necklaces.

But Hugo (it’s black – I have a habit of naming cars after the color) is generally rock solid, and accelerates like a champ when I do get out on the freeway.  Yesterday honey and I went down to San Jose for the Carrie Fisher ‘Wishful Drinking’ performance.  (More later, I loved Carrie!)  On the way back we stopped at honey’s office in San Mateo where I had parked my car to join honey in the ride down to San Jose in his car (the nice family car) so I could get my car and drive back home.

But my car wouldn’t get out of first gear.  Now,  the car can haul, so I could tell it was revving a bit more than normal but it was still doing Okay til I actually went to get on the freeway.  Then, after revving to 7K rpm and not breaking 40 I had to pull over and get AAA out there.  Which to their credit they did get there quite quickly.  Mercedes own roadside service, meanwhile, still had me on hold waiting to speak to someone when the AAA arrived.

Of course as luck would have it, by stopping and restarting the car something magically changed, and the car shifted smoothly.  I was just going to have the car towed but the tow truck driver said it sounded like a computer glitch, and the car might work if I tried it again.  Which it did.  Like rebooting Windows ’98.

Of course I took it into the garage today to get everything checked.  They told me that with the 98 (the first ML model year) there had been issues with the cars going into ‘limp home’ mode when they shouldn’t – a computer glitch.  And ‘limp home’ means the car stays in first gear.

Anyway,  I have to get it all straightened out because we’re taking my father and sister to Yosemite in a couple weeks – a place my 87 year old father has always wanted to see.  I just hope the fires get controlled so the air quality is okay.

That does it for this rant I think.  Next up – Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking’.

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