karlht: (Default)
2014-03-08 10:24 pm

A little more excitement than I was planning for today

I went up to FOGcon this morning to have lunch with a couple of friends. Had a marvellous time, but had to come home early to pick my wife up to go to dinner with her family in celebration of her birthday.

All was uneventful until I got to the freeway exit for our house, where I saw a number of police cruisers and a bunch of flares blocking off the off-ramp. That's odd, I thought, and proceeded up to Skyline Boulevard to come around via Hickey and Callan. At the corner of Callan and Serramonte, some blocks from the house, I encountered another group of police cruisers and a half-dozen officers directing traffic, not letting anyone into the neighbourhood. I explained the date with my wife and her family to one of the officers, who replied, "I understand, sir, and I apologize. But you can't go up there." There were about two dozen local residents standing on the various corners of Callan and Serramonte, so I asked one of my neighbours what was going on. His response:

"They've got a fugitive holed up in one of those apartment buildings at the bottom of the block. They say he shot a San Francisco cop." Ah, that would explain why there were so many SFPD cars down here in Daly City. (SFGate story link)

So I called my wife and let her know to call her mother and let her know we were likely to be late. And after milling around for ten to fifteen minutes chatting with people and determining that no one really had a firm grasp on what was going on, I decided to see how far up the hill the police perimeter extended. Eventually, I was able to approach our house from the uphill side and make our dinner date.

So, long story short: we're all right, but our quiet little neighbourhood wasn't so quiet tonight. I thought I had something pithy to say about the event, but I don't, really. I just hope this doesn't become the new normal, and I am uncomfortably aware that in too many places and for too many people, this is just daily life.

Edited later to add: They haven't found the guy, but the news story made the front page on KRON and KTVU.
karlht: (Default)
2012-06-13 10:52 am

"It's always sudden."

[Anonymous commenting has been turned on for this entry; you don't need a DW account to comment. Please do sign your comments, however.]

Ten days ago, I was sitting in my mother's living room, listening to her tell stories about her mother and worrying about the pain she was in from a compression fracture in her spine that was not healing quickly enough to suit her, while a dear friend of ours was cooking for us.

A week ago, I was sitting at dinner with my wife and a friend, when I got a call from my cousin. She said, "We're at Sonoma Valley Hospital. Janet has leukemia."

Last night, just after midnight, I got a call from Marin General Hospital. My mother had slipped away in the night, sparing my cousin and me the agonizing decision of how to let her go when it was clear there was no hope.

This is what I wrote in the immediate aftermath:

If I have ever been gentle with you, ever been kind to you when you needed it, been a friend or a support or an ally to you, then raise your glass tonight and drink a toast to the woman who taught me how important it is that we love one another, that we keep one another as safe from harm and as cherished as we possibly can. Remember the good she has done in the world, and tell stories of it to your children and your loved ones. And go forth and make your love manifest in the world — love daringly, defiantly, completely and totally.

Thank you, Janet, for giving me life, and love, and for teaching me to cherish others as you have cherished me.

RIP Janet Roberta Barnes Thiessen. Born December 30, 1940, in Kentfield, California. Died June 13, 2012, in Greenbrae, California. Loving mother, devoted daughter, stalwart friend, passionate believer in justice and fairness, and all around hell of a human being.
karlht: (Default)
2011-12-16 11:00 pm

Thanks, Pop. You were one in a million.

RIP Dennis Allen McDaniel. Born Nov. 12, 1941. Died at home, Dec. 16, 2011.

My wife's family has always done an extraordinary job of loving me for who and what I am, and Dennis's matter-of-fact acceptance of me as a worthy husband for his step-daughter and a welcome addition to his family was always at the forefront of that love. I could ask for no better model of humanity, decency, and dedication to making a marriage work in the face of everything this unfriendly world throws at us. May memories and stories of him gladden our hearts for many years to come.