Saturday, October 26, 2002

Evanston, Illinois, the suburb of Chicago, is a company town.

Growing up there, I got the chance to study a world-renowned institution that by being local, bred a bit of familiarity and contempt, no - more like resentment.

They employed everybody, had prime real estate, influenced local government.

Just as importantly, they represented Old Money.

That over-arching dominance, money and influence wasnt readily apparent.. until you clocked on to What Its All About.

They Own Everything.

In Evanston, this Institution is Northwestern University. New York, that would be Columbia U.

In Northern California, that role is arguably filled by Stanford University.

(If you want identify what institution -church, school, organization- occupies that particular niche of power and influence, find out who supports the dominant hospital and medical groups in your area.)

So, on high my list of places to see while Im in the Bay Area was Stanford and its company town of Palo Alto.

There is a war on between men and women.. the trick is to respect the enemy.
- Tim Allen

Friday, October 25, 2002

The University's Avenue

The other night Fred and I went a Starbuxxing in the peninsula town of Palo Alto, doors down from Stanford University.

We stumbled upon a mild disagreement in progress, ok - a mild brawl - that had tumbled noisily through the doors of Starbux, wild west saloon style.

Ok, so it was more a lotsa pushing and backing up noisily.

Apparently a panhandler had berated a man for not coughing up cash upon request. Upon spirited refusal of said request, a knife was pulled by the panhandler.

So, the reason the panhandler went running into the safety of the starbux was because the man, instead of being intimidated by blade - went after the idjit.

Anyhoo, long story short.. the panhandler uttered this priceless statement in defense of his actions:
I have the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to pull a knife on someone when they push me after I asked them for money!!

Fred said he said "God-Given right."

At least I have witnesses.

As we walked out when Palo Alto's Five-Oh rolled up a scant minute later, Fred bopped me over the head (verbally) for not bringing my camera along for the trip.


It wasnt that interesting.

I woulda prolly taken pictures of the horrified looks of genteel people not used to a little noise.
As far as I can see, there aint much to see in Palo Alto except for Stanford, Nice Homes and office complexes.. so walking down the University Avenue area of downtown Palo Alto is pretty much it as far as I ve seen.