I never miss a chance to shoot across the bay to Berkeley when I'm in San Francisco, and my just-finished trip was no different. They have some terrific bookstores, and I discovered a new one on this trip.
But it's not just the bookstores that draws me to this place. It's Berkeley's strong sense of activism. When I exited the BART, had I turned east toward the campus of UC-Berkeley, I might have encountered the tree sit-in. A group of protesters have been going out on a limb -- literally -- for the last couple of years. They're upset over a construction project that would result in the axing of some oaks, and they've taken their case to court. The legal issue is a little too complex for me, and I'll leave that to J to sort it all out should she be inclined.
But I didn't head east that day. I turned west. During my walk down University Ave., I was approached by a woman who looked quite normal in appearance. It didn't take long to discover that she had an agenda, though. Something about a local condo developer who had links to the mafia, or so she claimed. I tried begging off, stating that I was not from the area and didn't think I could help. She persisted, walking alongside for three or four blocks. When I finally suggested that she provide me with a web site that I could "explore in greater depth when I had the time," (HINT HINT), she told me one wasn't necessary because all of her words and thoughts were being "transmitted constantly via cellular links to satellites." Why, of course! Fortunately, the bookstore appeared just in the nick of time and I was able to make a polite escape.