Monthly Archives: June 2005

  1. Arj Barker is seriously funny. His standup, not his blog. His blog is just "heh".

  2. Tony Furtado is bloody amazing.
  3. Yahoo customer service is still abysmal. If Google offers their services, Yahoo will be eaten whole.
  4. Fried Vegas rolls at Yuki. Oh dear, so good.
  5. This feed is better than my main blog. Sometimes it's the same old links, sometimes not.
  6. I haven't been hanging out in the places I used to, and it's been good for me.
  7. The jasmine covering our front trellis is in bloom. Thanks, Sunday--it's beautiful.
  8. There was something else. Something actually interesting. But I can't remember now.

Eyes scrunched and unwelcoming, I walk fast to clear the pissoff in my head. A panhandler has been in my face again. I came off badly, as one does when one tells off a panhandler. I should have slowed down, and let him have the rant I'm about to fling netwards.

A few things can happen when a citizen encounters a panhandler. The following list is not inclusive:

  1. The handlee can give, and be one of those good folks who also give to agencies like Sisters or CCC. The only fault here is that giving to a panhandler encourages more panhandling.

  2. The handlee can give, and go forward knowing they did all they can do. In this case, not only is panhandling encouraged, but agencies who should be getting that feel-good money are hurt.
  3. The handlee can get really pissed off, and not give a damned dime to anybody. Lose-lose.

Panhandlers hurt the city by driving people away. They don't make me afraid, but they do make me resentful. I'm a rare bird--a lot of people are intimidated by panhandlers, and avoid the downtown area because of them. This makes us poorer on many levels.

Personal encounters with panhandlers often leave people with a bad impression--they see an able-bodied person begging for money, and think, dang, all homeless people must be like this. Fuck 'em. Not only are panhandlers not representative of the homeless as a group, appearances can be deceiving. They aren't making a killing, and they aren't out there on the streets because it's fun.

Stereotypes are true and not true. Are all panhandlers feeding a drug habit? No, but many are. It's up to you if you want to support it or not. Are all panhandlers con artists? Absolutely not. But you can bet a few are. Again, up to you if you want to take the chance, or think you can tell the difference.

What sticks in my craw the most is that panhandlers hurt the homeless by diverting funds from the agencies that help them, damaging the economy of a city, and encouraging the populace to enact draconian laws that make it harder for everyone to get along.

So what the hell should we do? My opinion: if you aren't willing to walk away from panhandlers, give meal vouchers. Personally, I don't give because panhandlers make the city a minefield. I don't like people in my face--not anyone. So agencies get my money exclusively.

Various factors have led to a recent increase in panhandling, but only one thing will stop it: don't give. Make sure the homeless have help by giving to the agencies that can really make a difference. Everybody wins.

1 Comment

Last night marked the conclusion of The Next Food Network Star, and the good guys won. I'm glad, especially since I didn't get to vote. Food Network is not so big on their west coast fans, and apparently ran the show early to sync with the east--fine, except it wasn't mentioned in the previous week's show. And I don't watch the damned tube all week. So pout.

But anyway, here's my ^thoughtful^ commentary on each of the contestants:

Brooke
They didn't give this guy a chance, but I think his early elimination was strategic--getting rid of the extra straight white guy. Also, it was hard to tell his performance apart from Hans, so I think they went with the one who had slightly better food skills.

Harmony
Obviously there for her looks, which turned out to be sad, because she was a nice person. But oy, she just wilted in front of the camera. Poor Harmony.

Michael
At first I thought he was obnoxious, but in the end I missed Michael the most, and wish he would get his concept developed despite being eliminated. He has a really cool idea, and all he needs to pull it off is a haircut. Not necessarily a conservative one! Just a better one.

Eric
Eric was out of his league from the beginning. I'm not sure why he was there, and I cringed in embarrassment for him every time he took the stage.

Hans
I bet Hans gets a show eventually. I just bet. When the guy relaxes, he's absolutely great.

Susannah
The only person on the show I actively disliked. She started right out by taking pot shots at other contestants ("you don't want your omelette to fall apart!"), went on to be a freakin' prima donna ("owie! my finger! I don't want to pass out!"), and ended by pointing out how she did better than another contestant. Good lord woman, get a clue: you weren't eliminated because you weren't good, you were eliminated because you'd be hell to work with.

Deborah
I never got her show. Caribbean? Spicy? Her dishes looked a lot like Paula Deen's. And I never knew exactly what she was putting in there. I think she would have made a good host with some help, but right out of the gate, there was nothing that interested me.

DAN AND STEVE!
Woooooo! By far my favorites right from the beginning. What fun it is to watch them work. I'll definitely be watching their show when it premieres.

Final word on the show: out of 10,000 entries, those were the best? Oh come on. Two of the contestants (Deborah and Susannah) were already known to staff, as they'd guested on other shows. So you figure they had those slots set. That leaves six. Of those, at least one was a complete mess, and probably another could have been weeded out in the interview process. I just have a feeling there were some amazing cooks amongst those neglected tapes.

Current favorite song: "Caroline" by Robbie Fulks. I'm also enjoying Madeleine Peyroux, even though she's just another Billie Holiday clone. If others can enjoy the latest Sinatra clone (I believe it's that bubbly guy right now), then I can enjoy the latest Holiday.

Yeah, I'm trying to write here more. More != better, of course. I'm also bloody sick of using titles. Feh.

Some rotten humpleg has squatted on the rightful domain of the Seldovia Herald, published by my wonderful and winsome friend, Savannah (who happens to be Tina's human).

The Seldovia Herald is a shining example of truly independent journalism, serving the tiny hamlet of Seldovia, Alaska. And the idea of this post is to lend this excellent publication some google juice. So please do click on those links.

Via Brad and the Spousal Unit.

  • I've installed Yahoo! Music Engine and subscribed to their Unlimited service. It's very beta and imperfect, but I'm still enjoying it a lot. I've gone from buying 1 or 2 new CDs a week to zero, so this will result in substantial money savings over time.

  • The house is coming along slowly. We messed up the paint pretty badly in the library, but I think we have it figured out now. We had our first guest last week, and had a lot of fun. It's nice to have a real guestroom.
  • Saw someone wearing an Exploding Dog t-shirt the other day, and it made me smile.