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With h brown

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

SOS - Court Jester needs a computer


By h. brown


November 16, 2006

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

(Bob Dylan)

Every electronic device in my room is dead or mortally wounded. Is there a message here? My computer died Tuesday and I'll trade a paint job for a replacement.

The old machine is an E-Machine? I don't know anything about this stuff or maybe I would have heard the dear thing cough or something and taken preventative measures. Luke Thomas (who has 20 years experience in the field) came over and looked at my broken computer, sitting next to my broken telephone which is just across from my broken TV, upon which sets my sketchy radio/dvd player. He replaced the power supply with absolutely no effect. "I haven't seen anything like it in all of my life."

That's what Luke said. I get those kinds of comments more than I'd like. Sometimes it's best to pack up like an Indian and get the hell out of the encampment. That's not proving to be so easy either.

I'd planned to have my social security retirement benefits primed and flowing by the time this election was over and be ready to take the meager (yet mobile) funds and go find a cabin somewhere. But the people at social security turned down a copy of my birth certificate, my passport, drivers license, social security card and another half dozen forms of ID.

The military refuses to release a copy of my discharge papers. My home state says my birth certificate is no good because it doesn't have a first name and they won't release it.

Is there a message here?

Gotta do better than that

So, my identity is being erased by the government, my communications links to the outside world are nearly all cut, and I'm getting older every single day without fail. If I weren't normally such a naturally upbeat, party kind of guy, I might be more concerned.

No problem. I'll put out a call for a used computer or a few parts and file stories from the places I usually house-sit. Today's piece is from Anya and Robert's.

Then, Supervisor Daly said he thought my fight to rescue my identity from social security and the military would make a good story for me to write. But, is it interesting? My personal stuff seldom sounds like it would be interesting to anyone other than me. To me, anyway. I mean, do you want to see a picture of my birth certificate on which I'm listed as 'Baby Boy Brown, or a scan of my passport where I look like an East German security agent, or the letters from social security saying that they don't believe I'm as old as I say I am?

Damn! Think about that. Most people would be flattered to have someone doubt their antiquity. Let's just take that story slowly. Maybe the message is that I'm supposed to stay in town, to cover things like the rip-off the St. Francis Yacht Club pulled on the City this afternoon with Peskin, Daly and Dufty nodding their heads up and down like bobble-headed dogs on a red-neck's dashboard.

St. Francis Yacht Club

Fine food and drink.


(paraphrasing Heller)

Yeah, this place is on public land. Some say it's the most valuable piece of public land on the face of the planet. Oh, you can't go in there. That's part of their lease. You see, the City makes the Golden Gate Yacht Club and all of the other clubs that occupy public land along the beach to allow the public … but, not the St. Francis Yacht Club. That's amazing.

A couple of years ago when District 11's Gerardo Sandoval had a tiff with, then supe, Gavin Newsom over special privileges for the club, Gerardo went down to check it out. And, they wouldn't let him in! I shit you not. They said their lease allowed them to discriminate and they were choosing to discriminate against Gerardo, a sitting City supervisor.

And, they got by with it. Nobody mentioned the Sandoval insult. No one seemed particularly upset that Park and Rec was asking for less than a third the rent paid by downtown office lessees. No one batted an eye when citizens called for the same access to the club required by other waterfront lessees.

No one (particularly Peskin, whose legacy will include this) … no one mentioned the fact that the City is getting ready to build a big breakwater outside the entrance to the harbor to accommodate the club's larger yachts while cutting out most of the smaller sailboats.

No one mentioned the coastal engineers who came up when the breakwater was suggested … the coastal engineers who said that the new breakwater could collapse the Marina sea wall. Why does Park and Rec keep giving control of the City's Crown Jewels to the rich?

I can't complain

Really. At least my computer waited until after the election to turn toes up. And, the screw job on my social security will pass. They say it always takes at least 6 months and a lawyer to get your benefits. Hell, I might not leave after all.

That will show them.

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.


Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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