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Mike Gold's Blog

Left coast/right coast – The people you meet

East Coast Rule 1: Never trust anyone. When you grow up in New York City, you take certain platitudes for granted. First among those is, “Never trust anyone as you never know who they really are.”

As this column is named left coast/right coast, I thought it might be interesting to compare people and my impressions from both coasts:

East Coast Rule 1: Never trust anyone. When you grow up in New York City, you take certain platitudes for granted. First among those is, “Never trust anyone as you never know who they really are.”

Just think of Son of Sam. A mere postal worker who had a habit of sneaking up on parked cars and blowing the occupants away with a .44 caliber gun. To say Son of Sam had a personality disorder is sort of like saying it rains in Seattle. Really? What gave you the first clue?

Here is a sample of a letter Son of Sam wrote to famous New York Daily News Columnist Jimmy Breslin, “Hello from the Gutters of NYC which are filled with dog manure, vomit, stale wine, urine and blood.”

Now isn’t this just the kind of person you want to invite home for dinner? What personality disorder? Just a typical misunderstood New Yorker going about their daily business.

Left Coast/Right Coast - So many complaints, so little time

The other day as I stomped on the gas to “get through” a light turning red (I swear Judge, it was still yellow when I went through) I looked up and saw another of those horrible traffic cameras.

Highway 99 Encore: The other day as I stomped on the gas to “get through” a light turning red (I swear Judge, it was still yellow when I went through) I looked up and saw another of those horrible traffic cameras.

See, this is another example of bureaucracy run amok. The poor schmuck doesn’t stand a chance. The lights are timed so if you are dumb enough to attempt to run the light, the yellow signal is timed to be so short that unless you’re traveling at Mach 1 – you cannot make it through before red. Then that ticket shows up with your dumb face looking directly up at the camera – with your license plate displayed below (ask me how I know this).

If you are traveling at Mach 1 or above, you also get a camera ticket for speeding (again, ask me how I know this).

The only good thing here is that a camera ticket is not classified as a moving violation, so it does not go on your insurance and doesn’t increase your premium about 20% for three years (again, ask me how I know this).

Left Coast/Right Coast: Abbrev. (Abbreviations and other offensive intrusions in our lives)

HTHAY? (How the hell are you?) We live in a culture chock full of abbreviations. Sometimes it is impossible to actually understand what the other person is saying.

HTHAY? (How the hell are you?) We live in a culture chock full of abbreviations. Sometimes it is impossible to actually understand what the other person is saying. Example: I went AWOL because my POSSLQ was becoming a PITA. I went away without telling anyone – (absent without leave) because my cohabitator (person of the opposite sex sharing living quarters) had become difficult (a pain in the *ss).

Or I suspect the NSA, DCA, FBI, DOJ or CIA thinks I am an effin (f-king) terrorist because I wrote that the POTUS and FLOTUS (President of the United States, First Lady of the United States) were MIA (missing in action). Too bad as I’ve BTDT (been there done that) and that is a BFD (big freakin’ deal).

Left Coast/Right Coast – Why I love alligators and other animal adventures

I’ll admit I have a fondness for alligators. Why? Well let’s start with extinction and survival. Sixty five million years ago a large meteor hit the earth ending most life. But the alligators survived virtually intact.

Alligators: What’s the connection between alligators and the Pacific Northwest? Well, visitors all over the U.S. bring back baby alligators from trips South. They grow until they’re too big to keep at home. Some owners let them loose wherever they happen to live. New York City has an urban legend that suggests there are monster alligators loose in the sewer systems. Whenever someone’s dog or small child disappears, it is often blamed on these loose alligators.

Sometimes, the urban legend is true. (See next:) The Urban Legend is True. And although I am unaware of any alligators crawling out of Seattle sewers, it is possible. So watch yourself next time you hear a hissing sound coming from under your car.

I’ll admit I have a fondness for alligators. Why? Well let’s start with extinction and survival. Sixty five million years ago a large meteor hit the earth ending most life. But the alligators survived virtually intact. They have not changed in a couple hundred million years. Now some might suggest they have not “evolved." They still have a small apricot sized brain. But if you look up the dictionary definition of intelligence, you will read: “ability to adapt." So I argue alligators must be far more intelligent than we are.

Left Coast/Right Coast – All roads should head east

Okay, I admit it. People from the Pacific Northwest have managed to keep the region’s attractiveness a secret from the rest of the county.

Mike Gold writes for the News of Mill Creek on a regular basis. He is a retired entrepreneur and describes himself as a, “relatively recent transplant to the West Coast. I have lived (born and raised) in the Northeastern U.S. So these observations are based upon ‘living the dream’ in the Pacific Northwest.

Okay, I admit it. People from the Pacific Northwest have managed to keep the region’s attractiveness a secret from the rest of the county.

Our youngest son moved here with us when we first arrived. He constantly complained that the people were very parochial and it was hard for him to “break into” social groups. I thought about it and concluded - why share all the richness of the region with those who don’t deserve it? There are already enough folks here (and the traffic nightmares confirm it).

Left Coast/Right Coast – Public bureaucracies and the barf-bag

Okay, let me say right off, I don’t like bureaucracies. There is just an unnerving aura about them that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Just entering any public office to do business starts my dry heaves. I always carry a barf bag with me.

Mike Gold writes for the News of Mill Creek on a regular basis. He is a retired entrepreneur and describes himself as a, “relatively recent transplant to the West Coast. I have lived (born and raised) in the Northeastern U.S. So these observations are based upon ‘living the dream’ in the Pacific Northwest.”

Okay, let me say right off, I don’t like bureaucracies. There is just an unnerving aura about them that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Just entering any public office to do business starts my dry heaves. I always carry a barf bag with me. Why? Well when you enter their turf, you have surrendered any semblance of power and/or control you have over your life. I imagine it is not unlike your first week of basic training in the military when you are told over and over you are just a “puke,” that your life has no meaning and is worthless unless and until some public official (your drill sergeant) deems you are actually worthy.

Left Coast/Right Coast - Traffic and Seattle Drivers

Seattle drivers are among the most “timid” I’ve experienced. Whenever you encounter any possible reason (including potato famine) for slowing down, Seattleites will do so.

Mike Gold writes for the News of Mill Creek on a regular basis. He is a retired entrepreneur and describes himself as a, “relatively recent transplant to the West Coast. I have lived (born and raised) in the Northeastern U.S. So these observations are based upon ‘living the dream’ in the Pacific Northwest.”

As I learned to drive in New York City – then perfected my techniques in Boston, Massachusetts, I can safely say I’ve driven in two of the worst US cities for bad drivers. However, after six years here, I’m not certain that greater Seattle is not in contention for first place. Here is my reason:

Seattle drivers are among the most “timid” I’ve experienced. Whenever you encounter any possible reason (including potato famine) for slowing down, Seattleites will do so.

Left Coast/Right Coast – Observations on sports and waterfalls

The Mariners and the Seahawks: For some reason, professional football seems to have taken the place of professional baseball in defining part of who a city is. Growing up in New York City, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers or the New York Yankees who defined the essence of being from New York.

The Mariners and the Seahawks: For some reason, professional football seems to have taken the place of professional baseball in defining part of who a city is. Growing up in New York City, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers (when they were still playing at the old Ebbits Field in Brooklyn, or the New York Yankees who defined the essence of being from New York. Kids lived or died on the daily batting averages of their heroes. Mickey Mantle was one of my childhood heroes.

In the movie “A Bronx Tale” (written by Chazz Palminteri – who also plays Sonny, the lead mobster character) Sonny is talking to the young kid he takes under his wing. The kid, nicknamed “C” by Sonny, is talking about how great Mickey Mantle is.

Sonny told C, “What’s so great about Mickey Mantle. He doesn’t care about you or your family. If your father lost his job, see if Mickey Mantle will write a check to your family.”

Poor C, you could see the idolatry drain out of his face as he realized that sports heroes were just well paid people who wouldn’t or couldn’t really help the ordinary working folk. But let your team get into the Super Bowl or the World Series and suddenly the entire city comes together and becomes one with the team.

Mike Gold’s Blog - Left Coast/Right Coast

Mike Gold is a retired entrepreneur providing his views on the Northwest. Photo credit: Mike Gold.

Fly over country: I am a relatively recent transplant to the West Coast. I have lived (born and raised) in the Northeastern U.S. So these observations are based upon “living the dream” in the Pacific Northwest.

The majority of east coast residents, especially those who haven’t travelled much beyond where they were raised, don’t know that there is much of anything beyond Chicago (and that’s giving them some credit). After all, Chicago’s Northwestern University, founded in the 19th century, was at that time the far-reaching “western terminus of the United States,” hence its name.

So what? Well, for starters, people like me when they arrive here are quite surprised at what is here. For example, the University of Washington is in the top 5 U.S. universities in receiving federal funding for research. It is internationally renown for work in the medical field. Some of the leading edge medical research in cancer detection and treatment and the related pharmacology is done right here. Who would have thought?

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