Feb 232015
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Salt Lake City
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Ahhh Ralph has been eloquent the past few days with tales of airline travel and LA.  While I believe there is a place for such things, Sometimes there need to be comment on things that we can do nothing about.

I am talking about how &*^%ing hot it has been the last few days here in Utah.  Check your local listings, but it seems like September is not being the crisp fall month that I remember from my youth.  Days where you actually needed a jacket in the morning and may be able to do without it by the afternoon.

This past week it has seemed like late summer here.  All temps in the mid 90’s.  This week is scheduled for more of the same.  The air conditioner is still running and the kids are still wearing shorts.  So today, I saying Down with Mother Nature and Down with the Heat!

Now there are going to be those people who say “What’s the big f’ing deal?  It’s hot here too.”  Same statement applies.  I am not sure of Ralph’s climate but whenever I think of California it is nothing but sun and heat.

There may also be those who will give me the business about living in a basic desert state.  It gets hot in the desert.  My Grandpa used to live in the extreme southern Utah town of St George where the summer temps routinely hit over 110 and cool off to the low 90’s at midnight.  That climate sucks.

Up here in Northern Utah we have seasons.  Or we used to.  Now it seems like it is just warm all of the time.  Last December a flannel shirt and a Levi jacket were warm enough.  “So Move.” Some of you will say.  That is not an option.  I would rather just bitch and hone some more cantankerousness.  There is nothing to be done about Mother Nature and whatever PMS is causing this heat wave.

Is it global warming?  I hope not, it will last too damn long for me.  I can only hope that the thermometer bottoms out and we end up having to leave a faucet on at night so the pipes don’t freeze this winter.

All in all there is a climate for every one and you just have to deal with where you are.  If you don’t like it, move.  If you don’t want to move, bitch about it, no one will really care.


Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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Apr 022014
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Groundhog Day 2005 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
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I hope everyone had a good break from the regular cantankerosity and enjoyed Heathers work.  She has some good rants on things us other Coots don’t think about.

Is anyone else out there getting tired of winter?  I know it has been very erratic around much of the US and still continues to be…strange weather to say the least.  Next Wednesday the weather prognosticator of all prognosticators will make his debut and tell us all whether we can look forward to 6 more weeks of winter or not.
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Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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Jan 252012
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Rainy day driving in SoCal

Who hid the road?

The rain has stopped here in the idyllic Sierra foothills. This is the first rain of the rainy season, nearly two months late. In California if it don’t rain during the winter then it just don’t rain at all because it never rains in the Summer. Down in LA, rain is irrelevant or worse, a damn nuisance because it just floods the gutters and runs into the ocean after washing the oil residue off the roads and causing chaos on the freeways. The water is all imported from elsewhere. It’s a convenient arrangement.


California Aqueduct

California Aqeduct

In the hinterlands of Northern California its different. The rivers run all year round and until recently nobody metered water service. It was all you can use for a flat monthly fee. Folks up here are resentful of Southern California who, they think, want to steal their water. (One of the three SoCal aqueducts takes water from the north to the south). More than anything else, water divides California. Periodically proposals surface to divide California into two more homogenous states but they always founder. Northerners want to cut all ties to the south and stop sending precious water south but unfortunately for them Southerners have more population. There are so many more Southerners that a single California state will always provide water to the south no matter what kind of fuss the north puts up.


Culturally, the north feels superior with San Francisco as their prime argument. San Francisco is the crown jewel of California culture and a world class tourist mecca. Southern California has beaches and amusement parks but despite having better culture and multiple centers of culture isn’t a real cultural focus. Not that the southerners care. SoCal is liveable, diverse and culture-rich if you can avoid rush hour traffic. NoCal is insular and isolated once you leave the city by the bay. In Southern California, cities have no real meaning. You can drive 100 miles without seeing an open space and everybody listens to LA radio and watches LA TV. In Northern California, the SF influence doesn’t reach 50 miles. I don’t know why. Either SF isn’t interested in the hicks from the hinterlands or the hicks can’t take the smug superiority of SF.


Sacramento's Tower Bridge

Sacramento landmark

When I moved from the south to the north, it was culture shock for me. Sacramento was always just a far away place where the legislature gathered to plot against the electorate. Turns out it’s better than that. There is some culture here and no rush hour but you can still go the SF for the day. Sacramento is always your number two choice.


Not sure the point of these musings today. The rest of the country is probably fed up with California but after 40 years in the golden state I still can’t forget being drawn here from my earliest childhood fantasies. My grandmother subscribed to Sunset back in the 50’s (and it wasn’t easy to do when you live in Missouri). She adopted California when my grandfather worked in a California factory during WWII. I’d read the magazine and dream about the exotic California lifestyle. There wasn’t a chance that I’d end up anywhere else.


By now it seems that California has reached the end of its run and killed the California dream. California may always have been an illusion but 40 years ago, reality didn’t bite so bad. I don’t know that I will ever pull up stakes and relocate to a less-taxing environment but I am over my love-affair with California. It’s full of memories and my sons call it home. It may be time to move on but it is hard. After 40 years making my bed in California, I may just have to spend the rest of my life lying in it.


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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Nov 062011
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What’s your image of San Francisco?

Forbidden pleasures? Anything goes? The BART tunnel under the bay? Alcatraz?  Hordes of smelly homeless people?

 SF has a well deserved reputation.

It is stunning visually with graceful towers rising out of the bay and a unique cable car experience to get visitors up and down the steep hills. Then there are the great restaurants catering to every budget and taste. It’s also the place were individual liberty is indulged, protected and encouraged from the homeless people clamoring for change on market street to the gay lovers holding hands in the Castro. San Francisco is the place where anything goes without even a pretense of old fashioned conservative values. Los Angeles is often satirized as the home of the fruits and nuts but LA is more like your grandmother while San Francisco is a high priced slut.

San Francisco is a great place to visit because you can pretend that you are crossing the line while remaining perfectly safe. All that tantalizing and questionable living going on right under your nose but you can enjoy it vicariously without risk. When in LA you quickly penetrate the facade of glamor and sin and discover that underneath you find a lifestyle that wouldn’t be out of place in Des Moines. Not so, San Francisco. Wherever you scratch the surface in San Francisco you find life that is bohemian at its best and downright otherworldly at its worst.

The possibilities are limitless!

Everything in San Francisco is geared for possibilities. The City fathers don’t like to inhibit your expression of whatever might be going on in your head. It has never been clear to me whether the motivation is to make a city which is comfortable as an old shoe to weirdos of all types or just a magnificent marketing ploy to attract schlumps with aspirations. Whatever the motive, San Francisco today is a place unlike any other and world renown as a place you want to be.  But look at this.

San Francisco Bans Naked Dining…Here’s Why

So what’s up?

So when I saw this headline about San Francisco banning naked dining I was very confused. For years San Francisco was constantly looking for  limits to push. No barrier was too trivial to break in the search for limitless options and opportunities. And yet, here in the 21st century, instead of breaking down old barriers, San Francisco begins to build new ones. Now, after all the years of freedom from convention, you can’t dine naked in San Francisco. Think about that! Something is actually banned in San Francisco. It is mind blowing. Now two of the three great desires of man cannot be enjoyed together. (The three are food, sex and money, of course .) Now in San Francisco, if you want food and sex, you need to have them separately or remain fully clothed- and what’s the fun with that?.

 It’s the end of the world as we know it!

I think this means the beginning of the end for San Francisco. It marks the weakening of the resolve and clarity of focus that has marked San Francisco over it’s history. Never before has San Francisco buckled before a challenge. Never before has the city by the bay taken back a freedom. When I see that the only reason given is that it endangers public health, I know that the end of San Francisco as we know it is near.

What’s next?  Air freshener in Chinatown?

When public health is considered more important than personal freedom then San Francisco has sunk to the level of Los Angeles or even Des Moines and with that kind of thinking, how long will San Francisco continue to be a tourist mecca. I think it’s all over.

I have to admit that naked dining is not a frequent pastime around our household and it isn’t a calling card at any of the local restaurants we frequent. Still the idea of naked dining does stoke some inner fires and the reality that when San Francisco bans naked dining it makes me wonder what they will be banning next.

So what do you think?

Does this new ban make you think differently about San Francisco. Will you be seeking a different city for that vacation you have been saving for? And what’s your take on naked dining? This may be an opportunity for Des Moines.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Jul 182011
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Yeah, yeah, yeah…so I’ve missed a few Mondays.  Well…I’m here today with something new…

As a mea culpa, I return bearing gifts…or at least one gift…ME ON VIDEO!

All seriousness aside…there are two differences on the Monday posts:

1.)  They’ll be more regular (I promise!)

2.)  Mondays will be all video, all the time.


The videos will have me in them…of course you’ll enjoy them!



Todays show includes:

A shoutout to a regular Cantankerous Old Coots visitor.  Is it you?

Some things the Monday videos will include as topics.

ONE thing they will not have as a topic.

And the topic de jour…Carmegeddon.

Bob@HayleStorm Interactive

Bob comes to us with a skeptical attitude and a full cup of Cantankerousness. He also writes about homesteading and yurts over at JuicyMaters.com and rants about politics at Common-Sense-Conversation.com Most of the time, though, you'll find him at HayleStorm.net, cranking out great websites for clients OR writing tutorials teaching them to build their own sites.

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