a different hair experience

Sacred music Friday will return next week,
the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

When we left Gilroy in 2015 Terry and I left behind our loyal hair stylist, Debbie. Arriving here at Four Seasons I found Stephanie who worked at the salon on site. She at one point stopped spending time here and I saw her at her salon a few miles away. It was easy and simple. She gave me a quick, efficient haircut and charged me fifteen dollars. I gave her a twenty and was on my way. Not Debbie, but it sufficed.

hair stylists business cardsRecently Stephanie told me that she was moving. Her salon was being sold and the new owners had a different business model. She was moving to Menifee, a twenty-five minute drive away. That didn’t work for a ten-minute haircut. I went to a nearby salon and asked if they did men’s hair. They did, and made me an appointment with Taylor.

Taylor is a young guy whose sister and mom also work in the shop. We had a lot in common as he grew up in Hemet as did I. He graduated from Taquitz High School, which didn’t exist when I graduated from Hemet High many years ago. Taylor did a good job. He was thorough and complete, much more so than Stephanie. The bill was twenty-five dollars to which I added a five dollar tip.

It’s the difference between twenty and thirty dollars. It’s a difference that I’m happy to absorb given the added attention to detail.


hard to believe

It really is hard to believe that “many years from now” has arrived.


hearing a familiar voice

Terry and I, you may know, listen to jazz in the evening six nights a week. We listen to the internet stream from KCSM in San Mateo, a station we have enjoyed for many years. For quite some time Saturday evenings were hosted by Michael Burman, a man with a pleasant British accent.

KCSM logoThen early this year he disappeared. First it was someone “filling in for Michael Burman,” but later the shift was officially handed over to someone else. I was disappointed, but got used to it. A few weeks back, however, I was pleased and surprised to hear his voice again. In checking the program grid I was happy to see that the shift is once again his. The station is even doing promos for him during the week.

That makes Saturday evenings just a little more pleasant.


more service for less money

A while back I wrote about how I was able to get more service for less money in our cable, telephone, and internet package. I recently had a similar experience with our cell phone service.

Terry and I had been sharing 2 gigabytes of data on our iPhones for a while. But with Terry’s job, she does a lot of sitting and waiting in government offices, not all of which have WiFi. We were coming up against our 2 GB limit and I asked Terry  to limit her non-WiFi surfing.

Verizon Data screen shotI had thought about looking at different plans for a while, but never took action. I had a couple of calls from Verizon about changing my data plan, but they appeared to be offshore calls, and I wasn’t comfortable talking to the representative. I did get a call from someone who sounded like she was stateside, but she wasn’t really helpful. She asked me if I wanted this much data for this much money, but didn’t seem to be able to tell me how that would affect my total bill.

Finally, I logged into my Verizon account and did some checking. I found that I could get 8 GB of data a month for $10 less than we were paying. And the data rolls over, rather than being use it or lose it as on our previous plan. I signed up.

I told Terry that she no longer needs to restrict her non-WiFi surfing. She’s happy.


buying propane, part 2

I wrote back in April that after we bought our gas grill we had to decide how we would buy our propane: own the tank and get it refilled or use the swap method. I didn’t even know the first was an option until my brother told me about it. None of our neighbors in Gilroy did that. As I wrote at the time, we decided to buy our own tank.

I knew we were saving money in the long haul, but I didn’t stop to calculate how much money we were actually saving. Then the other day I happened to look at the sign on the propane enclosure at Smart & Final, where I go every week, though the sign had never registered with me before. No exchange: $49.99. Tank exchange: $19.99.

The first tank we bought was $39.99 at our local mom and pop Trailer Supply store. It was just over $10 to fill the tank given the price of propane at the time. Even money the first time out and $10 ahead of the game every tank refill after that. Recently I bought a second tank. I didn’t want to run out of propane in the middle of fixing dinner – something that has happened to me. I bought it at the national chain Tractor Supply for $29.95 and took it to Trailer Supply to get it filled, where at the then current price of propane it cost me just under $10.00. That’s $10 ahead of the game from the outset, and ten dollars ahead for every refill.

Greater savings than I had thought. A pretty good deal.

Blue Rhino propane


after a wet winter

Things are a little different here after a wet winter.

  • Gnats. We’ve had gnats since late winter. I asked my brother about that and he shrugged his lizardshoulders and said it was cyclical. “They’re just looking for water,” he said. Terry replied, “Why can’t they look for water outside?” Exactly.
  • Lizards. The lizards are bigger. There’s more vegetation for the insects and more insects for the lizards. The lizards are an important part of our neighborhood ecosystem.
  • Missing sunflowers. The last two years there were lots of sunflowers from May and on. They bring back pleasant memories of my senior year in high school in 1971. This year sunflowers are late and scarce.

But that’s the way it is and that is how it goes.


a visit to the old campus

the Pitzer College campusSeveral weeks ago I received a phone call from a member of the Advancement Office at Pitzer College. Interestingly, he was not asking for money, but was wanting to make sure that Terry’s contact information was correct, which it wasn’t. He also has been talking to alumni around the country to learn what their lives have been like since graduation. He offered to come out to Hemet so he could buy me lunch and talk to me. Immediately after hanging up I had the thought, why would I want him to come to Hemet when I could go to Claremont and visit the old campus?

I did that last week. The campus is very much changed. There are new dorms, which are actually multi-the Pitzer brick I donated: "In appreciation of Profs. Greenberger, Glass, & all faculty who were part of my Pitzer experience. Mike Christie 1975."use buildings that also house administrative functions. The clock tower and McConnell Center, which housed and still houses the dining hall, have been painted. Other buildings have been remodeled. It was interesting and disorienting. I did, however, get to see for the first time the brick that I donated back in about 2006 or so when I was employed and could afford to do such things.

Steve from the Advancement office took me to a really nice bistro-style restaurant in the Village (so much bigger and so much changed!) where I described my life during and since Pitzer. I enjoyed an incredibly delicious Mexican pizza.

It was a great visit and an enjoyable day.