AUGUST 30, 2009

Its been a quiet week on the Island, our hometown set here on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. After the area got bodyslammed with triple digit temps, things have cooled down a bit. The dahlias are all going great guns, but the tomatoes are all doing poorly this year due to the persistent fog that hung around and the unusual cool weather. Sunflowers are all popping out at full strength and in the corner by the Old Fence, the wildflowers are sowing havoc, while the pole beans continue to erupt at regular intervals, so the season is pretty much moving along according to schedule. The eggheads are all talking about a mild El Nino brewing in the Pacific, which means this winter is likely to be a wet one.

Denby sweated out the last of his pneumonia during the heat spell, so that quarter is looking healthier and about 20 pounds lighter. Chad and the coding gang have been hard at work on more improvements to the site and we continue to fix hyperlink breaks and generally neaten up the place.

Our messengers have returned from upstate Minnesotta, again unsuccessfully, to report that Lake Wobegon Mayor Clint Bunsen has gone on vacation, so there is nobody up there to approve the request for Sister City Status.

The end of August is always a time of last minute scampering and final end-of-season hooplas to take advantage of what may be the last dry days for a while. The former Peanut Butter Jam, now the Webster Street Jam will take place here and there will be First Friday jubilations all over the East Bay as the artists buckle down for serious production to fill anticipated desires for the winter holiday period.

Everybody with a boat worthy of the name has been out sailing at every opportunity, including Toby and Tommy in their sloop, The Lavendar Surprise, while Pedro Almeida has been putting in long hours fishing for tilapia in his workboat El Borracho Perdido. Down at the Strand, Marlene and Andre took the dogs for a romp and old fashioned fetch and the usual Sniff and Greet with the other canines out there walking their owners.

Hello, sniff!

Sniff! Hey there! Butt sniff!

Sniff! Nice butt! Sniff, sniff! Wag, wag. Sniff!

And so on.

Someone wrote a letter to the Editor about some dogwalkers misbehaving at the Official Dog Park, which has some of the hounds up in arms. Seems a few owners have been running about ungoverned without leashes and otherwise acting unruly. Creates a bad image of the Island it does. Mrs. Cribbage humping Mr. Pescatore's leg and so on. Nothing worse than a cocker spaniel embarrassed by his owner's lack of decorum at the Dog Park and all the setters have been deploring the sad decay of manners in our time.

As Austin Powers would say, "Oh behave!"

Lionel, he of the Pampered Pup on Park Street, is of the opinion that a good hot dog is always a good hot dog. Indeed the inexpensive and simple fare of the Pampered Pup is Recession proof and he has been selling wieners, bratwursts and sausages hand over fist lately. Just sold fifty pounds of meat to the Native Sons of the Golden West for their End of Summer Grillfest. Lately he is a happy man for he still has his sights set on Jaqueline of Jaqueline's Salon. Both he and Javier were in costume during the terrible debacle of last Halloween, so he believes he still has a chance of investigating Jaqueline's spandex, and so he goes about humming to himself all day long and looking stepping out every now and then to look through the salon windows down the way. Its summer, the weather is perfect, business is great and life is good.

Such is the nature of the male; animals, all of them.

The Island-Life photographer, crusty Schmidt, orders a bratwurst to take with him into the Old Same Place Bar. He remains dour and unsympathetic as usual. "Dee luff sings make idiots," he says before leaving with his own dog, a shaggy object reminiscent of a mop.

"Misthaufen! Komm' mit!"

Inside the Old Same Place Bar, Suzie pours a Fat Tire for Schmidt and sets down a water dish for the dog. The golden light of August streams in through the open door and the window and dust motes dance. Misthaufen puts his shaggy head down and sighs on his paws.

Its the end of summer and its a dog day afternoon. Because that's just the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.