Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
I’d consider it a personal favor to me if you can just think a kind thought about the folks who are connected in some way to Granzella’s in Williams, CA. The place is about 90 miles North of here. It is known to me as one of very, very few places where ol’ Bessie let me down.
A little background. In late ’96, Bessie was seven years old and had just a little over 200k on her. I rewarded her for her faithful service by wrapping her around a tree. Bessie is a plastic-and-aluminum Toyota that weighs a little over a thousand pounds with a full gas tank, so when I say the tree was no bigger than it needed to be, I’m not talking very much tree at all. Big around as a rake handle. It split Bessie down the middle, sparing the engine but destroying everything else including the radiator.
The mechanics who put her back together, while dedicated, are best off looking elsewhere for a recommendation. They made her whole against some trying circumstances, some of which were my doing, others of which were decidedly not. But I’m displeased at the mechanical problems that cascaded from that event, and our adventure in Williams some fourteen months later is the prime example of that.
Bessie’s new radiator was the wrong one.
I found this out when a geyser of hot water erupted under the right headlamp housing while I was trying to pass a semi. In January of ’98. Right by Williams.
As luck would have it…”Kidzmom” and I had rented this classic the very night before, in which Kurt Russell’s wife is abducted when his pickup truck breaks down and he goes to get help. I limped ol’ Bessie off the freeway and shut down the engine, which was protesting this sudden expulsion of coolant — probably all of it in half a second, I would guess — through ominous temperature gauge readings. The first ride I flagged down, was a mechanic who owned his own shop.
The boy was seven months old. The intent was to go all the way to Bellingham, 800 miles further North, and introduce him to his grandfather for the first time. Didn’t happen. I figured, and figure still today, that Bessie’s “hiccup” was a cheap lesson, the first warning shot that the hasty repair job a year previous wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Anyway, with a hearty “we’ll be right back!” I left with the mechanic to get his tow truck. We were back within twenty or thirty minutes, I think. The baby was laughing his fool head off. “Kidzmom” was crying her eyes out, hysterical. All would have probably been okay, except for having seen that movie the night before. This was like frosting on the cake.
We “crashed,” in the innocuous sense, in Williams. One of the last chores before the evening retirement was a hasty call to the grandpa, explaining that after everything was ship-shape we were looking at admitting defeat and turning back, making another attempt later. He was understanding about it…disappointed naturally.
This was an epochal event, the first time Bessie had failed to fulfill all of our transportation needs in this mission or that one…my own foolishness fourteen months prior notwithstanding. It was a harbinger of a dismally exciting maintenance record ahead. Which…well…no, she’s mostly been as reliable since then as she was previous. But we didn’t know that at the time. We had a small baby; we were concerned. Granzella’s was a huge help in softening the blow. Mom, boy and I were in much higher spirits as we retired for the night, even though we were a hundred miles from home with our transportation scuttled for the time being. I still have the “Granzella’s” miniature wine goblets we got that night.
I’ll always be the kid’s dad, but I’ve found it necessary to change women. That’s a story with considerable detail to it, that I’d rather not explore here…but I don’t think I can let Granzella’s sampling of misfortune pass by without comment, since they didn’t let my own misfortune pass by without their much-valued hospitality, which made all the difference in the world that evening.
If you have ever passed through Williams, you’ll have the beginnings of an understanding of what a bitter blow this must be. Williams, CA is Granzella’s. There is that…a gas station, a bank machine, a few streets, and that’s about it. Colusa is twenty or thirty miles down the road, and they’ve got stuff there. But economically, you do not want to be the guy who works at Granzella’s, and wakes up to find himself without a job.
For the human-interest angle, exploring the rich history of the place, you can go here.
Oh and Bessie? She’s put together a rich history of her own. Another decade, and a total of 338,000 miles on the odometer plus something (picture to the right was taken a few months ago). Kidzmom and I didn’t make it, and much of this has to do with a predilection for issuing distress calls toward her knight in shining armor, when the situations warranted, as well as when they did not…I think she’d agree with that. This was one of the occasions when, emotionally at least, it was warranted, because the poor woman was a complete wreck. I’ve often felt bad about that since then. But with the passage of a few years, well, it got funny. How could it not? We were watching a movie about a freeway breakdown, on the very night before we left on a nine hundred mile road trip in real life. Seemed like a great idea at the time.
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