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Eddie Rickenbacker's in San Francisco

December 30th, 2005

Ending Just Fine
Thursday. I read a piece in the Chronicle this week about the Honda Element, my Honda Element, how Honda had designed it for the 18 to 25's, but discovered it was selling better than pretty well to old duffers like me. The youngsters have dubbed it the Elder-ment. Which doesn't surprise me. The article mentioned it recalls for its older owners an image of the 60's VW bus and that's true. I liked the fact the sunroof was in the back (you can set your tripod solidly on the car floor and poke the camera out the top, something you really can't do with a sunroof up front), but I didn't know it was put in the back so you could more easily carry your surfboard. OK. My surfboard. Makes sense. No complaints. Like the car, like the image or else I wouldn't have bought it.

The cell phone arrived. Quite small, takes pictures, you can dial a number by speaking the name of the person you want to call in your phone book and (of course) you can add various ring tones to annoy anyone within twenty feet. I've finally entered the 21st Century.

Friday. A visit to San Francisco with MRE and MRS this afternoon, Kate O'Brien's, an Irish bar, excellent Guinness. A walk back along Second Street passing Gasser's, the photography store, then by Eddie Rickenbacker's where I've had lunch a couple of times in the past. It has old Indian motorcycles hanging from the ceiling, old Ariels and Harley Davidsons; one marked with a sign saying is was presented to Clark Gable by Samuel Goldwyn after the making of Gone With The Wind and had a value of $65,000. I remember thinking ten years ago when I first saw the sign it may have once been worth $65,000, but if it really was presented to Gable by Goldwyn it's got to be worth a whole lot more than $65k. Doesn't matter, of course. More curious than anything. Clark's Harley.

Still, after Guinness down the street at Kate O'Brien's, we were naturally thinking we'd best cap the evening with Irish Coffee as we were walking toward Market and noticed the “Irish Coffee, $2.50” sign in Rickenbacker's window. After an Irish coffee and a crab, oyster, clam seafood platter (an excellent crab, oyster, clam seafood platter) we decided it best we not sally forth into the night without another Irish coffee. And then another. The evening was just starting to get off the ground, thought I, when one of us began dragging his feet about six or seven beverages into the evening.

Really? Who might that have been?

It seemed to be me. I'm evidently getting more P.C. as I get older. That and the thought I'd like to get up Saturday morning feeling more like a human being than I was going to feel if I continued. No regrets: it's the day before New Year's Eve and my year is ending just fine.

The photograph was taken at Eddy Rickenbacker's with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 17-55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/5th second, f 2.8, ISO 640.