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The Monday Missive


Keeping up with the cabal of insomniacs, news junkies, night-hawking videographers and other well-meaning ne’er do wells who seem to follow this blather sheet over its irregular appearances is turning into a full-time gig.

Your Faithful Scribe, one foot already on the sandy beach of retirement, committed to an occasional delivery of some haphazardly hammered-together words and observations, nothing too fancy, something loose and maybe fun and easy to read a few centuries ago. And he delivered that, he thought, handsomely and with alacrity, something for the guy sitting in the corner booth of an all-night diner to read when he finally swung around to consciousness.

But, despite our own instincts and best intentions, it seems we’ve developed a following of locals leading apparently well-adjusted, totally normal lives who can actually follow the stream-of-misfiring-synapses that has set the tone for this screed and, unbelievably to the author, at least, seem to have connected with it.

Now, that can either go one of two ways. It can be seen as encouragement of the overly-served party guest who – tie askew and lampshade firmly on head – draws reassurance from the hoots of peers egging him for even more clownish behavior and obliges, or it can be regarded as a grudging social acceptance by a community he never really felt a part of to begin with.

For, you see all Five Faithful Readers, your diligent scribbler is truly a Stranger In a Strange Land, disenfranchised from most if not all of your most respected rituals and traditions and constantly on the lookout for that back road out of town (unless there are live wires down across it, of course). Wary of organized religion, the matrimonial arts, and large groups (we’ve seen firsthand what mobs can do) we defy demographics while believing most people see things as they are and ask, “Why?” while we dream of things that could be and ask, “Why not?” – and, yes, we know where we stole that from.

As we emerge from a trying weekend during which a few of those pesky 500 pound elephants entered the room and made themselves known, we search for balance between our usual semi-retired optimism and our ever-realistic pessimism – finding it a hard ball to stand on.

One issue crystallized on Saturday as a News24/680 photographer “legged out” a suspicious occurrence call in Benicia and came across a very sad murder-suicide. Site policy is not to cover those who choose to opt-out of this life in favor of the next but then more started coming in – from drugs, gunshot, local bridges – and with a foreboding rhythm we’ve not seen before.

On the bright side there, at least, we were pleased by the level of professionalism exhibited by Benicia PD, who seemed more interested in processing their crime scene than with ordering a news photographer back a couple of hundred yards from their tape. We saw that as a small win and their friendly post-incident contact as icing on the cake. Thanks, guys, and sorry your town caught a sad one.

As we worked those developments traffic on our roads went all to hell, with simple trips to the market taking hours longer than expected after serious crashes resulted in multiple injuries, power lines down in Lafayette-Moraga, a truck on a BART line bringing that mode of transport to a halt, another crash in the same area requiring a full-body x-ray scan of the vehicle after a “suspicious device” was found aboard, followed by a multi-injury rollover crash in Oakley and another, fatal, crash this morning in Concord.

This whole good driving thing seems to be an elusive achievement for many, though we know unforeseen things can and do happen out on the road.

And there’s plenty to worry about when we’re not busy driving somewhere, it seems, with crews of speedy car-crackers apparently standing by to take stuff from our cars while we’re waiting in line for a coffee or checking out with groceries. One enterprising crew struck in Lafayette, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill this morning alone, and if nothing else you have to respect their work ethic. These guys seem to be on the job around the clock.

Well, they’re bound to roll past a Flock Camera soon enough.

With that, your scribbler will take his leave and move on to his next brain-wrinkling challenge, at which time he may feel compelled to ask for your attention with a few more words.

Until then, thank you for your kind reception and feedback. It’s oddly reassuring knowing others are up at 3 a.m.


  1. And you did not even cover yours truly in foot pursuit last night of a combative drunk, he was ultimately apprehended by WCPD and taken away to MDF. It’s the Wild West out there, Yippy Ki Yay. 108RS

  2. Semi retirement is not for the feint of heart. Providing administrative assistance in my son’s home office, childcare, etc at my daughter’s, writing children’s books, social media advocacy for ADHD early diagnosis and support, an occasional news24-680 tip …. not what I thought it would look like. And certainly not what my parents’ retirement looked like. Maybe we’re creating a new paradigm.

    • Most grateful for the News24/680 reachouts, of course! It’s good if you like to work, not so nice if you want to take time to sharpen your golf game…

  3. Faithful Scribe, I look forward to your occasional delivery of some haphazardly hammered-together words and observations.

    It is always delightful to read your entertaining and informative scribbles.

    Good luck with the golf game. I’m sure you’ll do well.

  4. Don’t lose heart, please. You are the only local news person we can count on.
    Your expressed sense of loss reminds me of how I felt on January 13, 1982, when I lived in Washington, DC. During a huge snow storm, an Air Florida plane crashed into the Potomac and the Metro crashed. We were overwhelmed with sorrow. Here’s a good story about it: https://boundarystones.weta.org/2013/01/13/two-tragedies-one-day
    But these days, loss is the prevailing tone always, I think.
    Stay strong. We are very fond of you, very grateful for your work.

  5. And a thank you for providing the news the Walnut Creek City Council would rather we never know about. What has happened to the Contra Costa Times (Mercury News) ???? Such a poor effort on their part. 108RS

    • Not here to throw shade at anyone… we just do what we do. Stay cool out there, cut someone a break when you can!

  6. Sadly, sounds like a typical week to me. Let’s remember to get out and enjoy the sunshine to fight the melancholy that comes with shorter days. Thanks for keeping us abreast of what’s going on out there.

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