Morton Chalfy's blog

Amblin' Alameda: Little Free Libraries

Have you noticed the book exchanges popping up around Alameda? The Little Free Library movement is scarcely five years old, and new libraries are popping up all over the world. In Alameda, we've visited (and exchanged books with) at least a half dozen libraries, and more seem to be appearing every day.

The libraries are simply boxes on a post - roughly the size of an old newspaper box, but artfully handcrafted. They hold 20 or 30 books each on a rough average and have little doors to protect the books from the elements. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Little Free Libraries

Amblin' Alameda: Everything is relative

This past weekend, my sweetie and I drove up to Chico. The trip entailed three hours of driving through mostly rural scenery. The Sacramento River Valley is flat and broad and hot and the road is lined with grove after grove of nut trees. It offers very different scenery and a different vibe from the Bay Area.

So, what would induce us to take this trip? Babies! Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Everything is relative

Amblin' Alameda: Life with Cats

I just gave one of our cats her morning shot of insulin. Tiny syringe; tiny, tiny needle; and a small dose of insulin, delivered twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart. In her case, once at 10 a.m. and again at 10 p.m. Not an unbearable task. but one with layers upon layers of effects.

The first effect is that our sweet Bessie no longer drinks as though she's parched and is more active, more friendly and much more interactive than when the disease took over. The second effect is the one this regimen has on our lives. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Life with Cats

Amblin' Alameda: Alameda on the move

To get to an unusually early appointment Monday morning, I was up and out of the house by 7:30 a.m. Okay, you can cut out the derisive laughter now, those of you whose days are well under way by that time, and try to remember that some of us don't usually rise until a later hour and that we're not slackers but retirees and the like. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Alameda on the move

Amblin' Alameda: Toothache

Nothing quite focuses the attention like a toothache. Invisible to others, it comes to dominate one's life with its single-minded insistence on being attended to.

Other wounds to the flesh can accomplish the same sort of focus, but only for a while. Usually one can eat and drink and read or watch TV to distract oneself, but a toothache is in a class by itself. Eating and drinking become problematic, and distraction becomes nearly impossible. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Toothache

Amblin' Alameda: Neighborly

For the past several weeks my sweetie has been reading aloud to her granddaughter from Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird," while I eavesdrop from my chair in front of my computer screen. The life described in the book, which takes place in a small town Alabama in the '30s, is predictably full of racism and ignorance and rife with the sort of "neighborliness" we tend to glorify in our re-write of the American past. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Neighborly

Amblin' Alameda: Vernal equinox

We've been altering our east-west route across the city to drive on Central Avenue as often as possible this past week. This winter has been unusually mild, even for the Bay Area, and the trees that line Central have been emerging from their winter hibernation somewhat earlier than usual this year.

At first only a hint of light green was discernible on the trees, but then, day by day, the foliage began appearing in its inimitable magical way. By this time next week we fully expect to once more drive down the road beneath a green and shady bower. Read more >> about Amblin' Alameda: Vernal equinox