* ... RAIN: Count me among those who are enjoying this long period of persistent rain. I can't
* ... CHARLES MANSON: Did you see the headline in the New York Daily News about Charles Manson being hospitalized in Bakersfield? It read: "Satan Calls For The Devil." Meanwhile, social media lit up with comments, many of them lamenting that even a monster like Manson is afforded the best health care while other Americans go without.
* ... BED BUGS: Did you know that 10 years ago bed bugs were virtually unheard of yet now there has been an explosion of them across the country? It's something I think about every time I check into a hotel, so I was intrigued by pest control company Orkin's list of the top bed bug infested cities. (Good news! Bakersfield didn't make the list.) Here is the dirty dozen: Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles, Detroit, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, San Francisco/Oakland, Richmond, Va., and Raleigh-Durman, N.C.
* ... GOOD FORM: Peggy Mellon share this uplifting moment with me: "Yesterday morning, I went to Trader Joes to buy sunflowers for my neighbor, Lenor Freeland, who was celebrating her 102nd birthday. As I was being checked-out, I made mention of this to the young woman who was helping me. She smiled as I told her about Lenor who is still active and continues to be a part of our Brighton Parks Community. Then this smiling Trader Joes employee said 'Please tell her =bappy birthday from Trader Joes' as she took off the cost of the flowers from my bill. One more act of kindness that I thought I should pass on to your readers. Keep smiling."
* ... KAREN GOH: If the turnout for Mayor Karen Goh's swearing in was any indication of how successful she will be, then she just might become one of our most wildly popular mayors. I stopped by a reception for her at The Metro Galleries on 19th Street, and the place was packed wall to wall with well wishers. The goodwill in the room was impressive, and it's clear the community is behind her.
* ... OVERHEARD: At the downtown Post Office a woman greets a friend this way: "Did you hear Jack is back in jail? Won't get out until July."
* ... PLASTIC BAGS: Earlier this week I mentioned that - finally - I am in the habit of remembering to take my own reusable bags to the grocery store. This prompted a friend to mention: "My new rule: never by more than I can carry out in my arms."
* ... TRASH: Gerhard Schmidt weighed in about our trash problem. "The key to this problem is prevention. No one, including waste management people, are doing anything about this. Large item pick-up is available for free. Just look in the recycling pages of the phone book. However, the offenders probably do not read the Californian or the phone book. The solution would be public service spots on radio and TV, as well as billboards. Yes, billboards cost some money, but perhaps less than man hours required for clean-up. Advertising companies might even help with the cost, when the billboards are not reserved. It is therefore not necessary to hoist that sofa onto a pick-up and hunt for a dump site. All that is needed is a phone call and hauling it to the curb."