TimeZone San Francisco
It was with great anticipation that I left
N.C. Tuesday morning for a return visit to one of my most favorite
cities in the world, and while this would make it an even dozen,
it would mark my first face-to-face encounter with a fellow TimeZoner
– 6 TimeZoners to be exact. In fact, this trip would be replete
with one “first” after another. Here are just a few:
- First Mid-Air Bulkhead Breast Feeding Frenzy
Standing to stretch during the last leg
of my flight to SFO, I am visually reacquainted with two sizeable
ladies with infants setting across the aisle from one another.
While towering over the lady on the left, looking out of her
window, I feel her look at me several times and wondering just
what her problem was, I look down. YIKES! I immediately glimpse
this huge breast with a baby sticking out of one end, and again
I feel the heat of her stare on the left side of my face. Immediately
shifting my body to the right side of the plane, I calm down,
fix my line of sight toward that window and I’m back to being
cool again! I look down to acknowledge this other woman and DAMN!
there is another huge mammary in full view – no baby on this
one, yet. Now this lady is like burning a hole through the right
side of my head and I feel brain running down my neck into the
collar of my shirt. I can’t turn left. I can’t turn right. I’m
stuck in between these two huge boobs that I really DON’T want
to see, but I’m trapped and I know they are thinking I’m some
Sick-O©, so I fake a seizure and eventually end up
back in my seat, two free drink coupons the wiser!
- First TimeZoner Encounter
I had arranged to meet John Davis (ei8htohms)
at the vintage watch store Zeitgeist, on Tuesday evening.
Here I clearly had the advantage, as I had seen photos of John
and was able to recognize him immediately. Poor John. Upon realizing
it was actually me, the disappointment sunk quickly and deeply
into his innocent and youthful eyes, and I felt that fine, familiar
pleasure that comes over one at the sight of a wino falling from
a slow turning vehicle. John would prove to be a most gracious
host, but we would not see any more breasts that day.
After working my charm on the tight-lipped
Berliner at Zeitgeist – I actually got him to open up and spill
his guts – well, he did actually grunt at me once – John took
me to Mad Magda’s for a coffee. This is one of those neat
“hippie” type places that I would have hung around
back in the 70’s. Hell, I’d go there now if I lived nearby. Hey,
I’m cool! So, John ordered a Tatiana’s Tonic with asparagus
milk, which they were out of – it was late in the day
– so I had one with whatever type of milk they had left – bee
milk, I think it was. So, whilst setting out in the garden talking
about our lives, there was a ” geological event” measuring
5.0 on the old Sphincter Scale© although I am so hyper-kinetic
that I didn’t even feel it. Hell, for all I know, I could have
caused it. John? Do you think…?
- First Japanese Lady to Pass Out on
Actually, I think she just dozed off. She
had been perched on the corner of an ottoman in the lobby of
my hotel and I was just lucky enough to be there to break her
fall, albeit only by an inch or two. I couldn’t understand what
she said when I finally got her up, but it was a helluva lot
more than “Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu”. I figured she
had a right to be upset, but when she said
“Dewa ashita” I objected strongly
and immediately checked out of the hotel.
- First Lit Cigarette Accidentally Dropped
into a Moving Baby Carriage
At 44, I have absolutely no recollection
of ever having screamed involuntarily (well, if you don’t count
Rugby in college), but when I realized what I had done, I obviously
panicked! My reaction came only nanoseconds before the mother’s,
but swiftly enough to avert disaster. The police were quite polite.
I will spend years blocking this out of my mind.
- First Dollar Ever Received From a Homeless
I use the term “homeless” descriptively,
as I have no idea whether he was or not. But after witnessing
the above cigarette episode, he just shook his head and said,
“Never seen that happen before”, and, handing me a
dollar, concluded, “Here. You need this more than me”.
Could I BE any more humiliated?
- First Dinner at Zuni Café©
with the West Coast Brain Trust©
If I were to be brutally honest, I’d tell
you I used a business conference as an excuse to get to SFO,
just to eat in this restaurant. But I didn’t. I used the conference
as an excuse to meet the gentlemen that I dined with. Sure,
I benefited from the educational experience and my company will
benefit as well, but I came to meet the men behind the minds,
behind the genius, behind this thing called TimeZone. Here is
a brief rundown on each of my hosts:
– “Dish”, as I call him, but only after 4 bottles of
wine. If “Dish ain’t drinkin’, Dish ain’t thinkin’“
is what the others were telling me. He got really pissed because
I made him stand under a palm frond half the night and it finally
drove him nuts. He did let me set at the table with the rest
of the guys, but told me never to speak to Walt without permission.
– Urban Cool meets the Bad Suit. John was the only one who turned
out dressed appropriately for such an affair as this, but everyone
was too busy dis’n me to notice. They thought I was wearing a
Polo shirt but actually it was RevereWear and the little guy
was carrying a flagpole, not a damn polo stick. My wife got it
with a set of pots and pans. Walt said it was “very East
Coast”. That sort of explains why the stores at home
might have had them in stock.
– George works for NASA. He’s a Rocket Scientist. This put a
whole new perspective on everything for me. The next time you
hear the phrase, “This ain’t rocket science”,
forgetaboutit. My money say it IS. George can turn anything
into Rocket Science©. Before I left the restaurant that
night, everyone in the place was doing quantum physics on cocktail
napkins. I actually learned to calculate the velocity of fluid
into a urinal with one hand. I am smarter now for just having
set next to him at dinner. He also promised to get me on one
of the next shuttle launches!
– “Well hi Fra…wh..where did he go? Damn, he
was just here”. If I could get through all introductions
this quickly, I figure I could meet everyone in China in about
5 years. Let’s see. That sounds like Rocket Science©! Hmm,
square pi times the tangent of x…. Oh well, it was damn
good to meet you Frank. I wish you could have stayed for dinner,
but your patients needed you and I was wearing everyone else’s
out anyway! Is medical science anything like rockets? (George
wants to know).
– I knew Richard the moment he walked up and our greeting was
not only hearty but heartfelt as well. He remembered me somewhere
around the 4th drink. “Oh yeah, that Wrap-Up
thing. Who did those again? You? Oh yeah, I remember. Good stuff.”
I had to cut him some slack because he was out near the epicenter
of the earthquake, and I think his wife drove her car through
their garage and who can concentrate through all of that anyhow?
At least he was there and at least he promised me free watches
and a Christmas bonus. Actually, he is just as fine a man as
you have already imagined him to be. I know this is true, because
he told me so!
– Love him or hate him, he’s the Chairman Emeritus
of TimeZone and not a lot like you might imagine him. I have
a genuine fondness for Walt because he was the first contact
I ever made upon discovering the forum, and he was very generous
with his time and knowledge. It is easy to picture such a person
as an older, perhaps conservative guy, but in “real life”
Walt is quite cool and knows a damn good margarita when he sees
it. He, as well as everyone else, was a lot of fun to be with.
He was also dressed quite “East Coast” himself. Either
that or they’ve finally started selling navy blazers in California.
I was afraid that might happen one day. I’m worried about Walt
though as I fear he is becoming jaded. He’s having to buy several
watches at once so he can reconfigure them into something wearable,
and while that is fine for now, I see all of these strange watch
combinations hitting the secondary market, driving watchmakers
nuts. Who can work on a Lange housed in a Chopard case with a
Patek dial and a JLC back? The shipping costs alone will be a
formidable! But he, like the others, falls squarely in the “great
So that, my friends, concludes my most
excellent TimeZone adventure. The arrangement of this affair
and its flawless execution stands as irrefutable evidence of
people good at what they do. I left the next day feeling much
different about these guys who took time out of their busy lives
to spend an evening with me. I found that I actually liked them!
Even to the point where I really won’t mind reimbursing the restaurant
for the structural damage I caused trying to find the Men’s Room!
Now, if I can just get home without further
T-Bone and Speener Productions© Copyright This© 1999