Friday, June 29, 2007

Sutro Baths #1 -- June 29, 2007

Sutro Baths was built by Adolph Sutro, San Francisco philanthropist, at the western edge of the city, near Sutro Heights, his home, and the third Cliff House (depending on how you count them), which he built. Both are visible behind the Baths in this postcard.

My grandfather took me to Sutro Baths several times when I was little. The pools had been converted into ice skating rinks. I remember the Egyptian mummies, the Tucker automobile, and Tom Thumb's carriage. Some years before, in 1958, the Baths had appeared in the movie version of The Lineup, directed by Don Siegel.

I was playing in my backyard one day in 1966 when the sky grew dark and ashes started flying overhead. Sutro Baths, which was being demolished to make way for apartments, had caught fire. The mummies and the Tucker and Tom Thumb's carriage had already been removed.

The developer went bankrupt, and the cove where the baths stood is a nice place to hike.

The western edge of San Francisco, around Land's End, has always been one of my favorite places. I will return there in this blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Waterless Knox #1 - June 27, 2007

The Waterless (air-cooled) Knox automobile was manufactured in Springfield, Massachusetts. From the 07-January-1903 issue of The Horseless Age.

I like the name Waterless Knox. It reminds me of a Doctor Seuss character. It could be the subject of a poem.

The Waterless Knox,
The Waterless Knox,
It rolls over rocks.
Don't use no water,

Then I get stuck.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Rod Beck, RIP -- June 25, 2007

I was sad to learn that former Giants reliever Rod Beck had died at the age of 38. He was an inspiring guy and the Giants would never have won the division in 1997 without his monumental efforts. We'll never have the pleasure of seeing Rod at an Old Timers' game or a tribute like the Giants had yesterday for the members of the 1962 Giants and Yankees. He would have had a great time.

Rest ye well, Shooter.

The photo has nothing to do with Rod Beck. It shows the new scoreboard at Pac Bell Park, during a game against the Oakland Athletics on 09-June-2007. The Giants lost.

I find it hard to locate information like balls and strikes on the new scoreboard.

Red Devils Return to Pacifica -- June 25, 2007

Pacifica is one of the two cities on the San Francisco peninsula that allow the sale of fireworks. Riding home on the bus last Thursday, I saw the fireworks stands lying flat on the ground in several lots. On Friday, I saw that the stands had been set up.

Many Pacificans agree that selling fireworks is a bad idea: We have steep, brush-covered hillsides that pose a fire danger. People use the "safe and sane" fireworks to mask the unsafe and insane variety. Not to mention my cat hates the Fourth of July.

Unfortunately, our charities claim that fireworks are the only thing they can sell that will generate enough money. That can't be true. What about drugs? Weapons? They're not thinking outside of the box.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why? #1 - June 24, 2007

Why do I call my blog "The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion"? It was the title of an 1889-1890 series of articles from Manufacturer and Builder Magazine. The author, Doctor P. H. Van der Weyde, was trying to explain -- well, it's hard to explain. Read an excerpt here:

When I saw the title of the article, my first reaction was that it would have been a good name for a psychedelic rock group. Psychedelic rock is not what it once was, so I thought I would use it as the title of my blog.