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The luck of the draw
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I don’t know how many of you are aware that Hubs, the Kid, and myself have moved to Santa Barbara, Calif.

It’s not a newsworthy event or anything, but it certainly has been a major “culture shock” for the three of us.

We’ve bounced back and forth for the last 12 years between the east coast and west because Hubs could never make up his mind about where he really wanted to be.

“I love the mountains but I miss the swamps...”

“I love kayaking at the coast but I really need some desert time...”

We’ve been poppin’ around the country like a cage full of lottery balls.

The Kid hasn’t lived anywhere for more than about 18 months at a time. If we weren’t changing states, we were changing towns or houses.

Boing! Boing! Boing!

We ended up in Santa Barbara through the “miracle” of circumstance.

Hubs had been retired for 10 years, saw our retirement account take a nosedive in the fall of 2009 and said, “Man. I need to go back to work.”

Unbeknownst to him, I was on the Internet scouring for jobs that he might still be able to do, given his “advanced age.”

I clicked on an opening in Santa Barbara, thinking, “What the heck...let’s give it a whirl...” because I’d heard so many wonderful things about the fair city.

A month later, he got a call from the company.

He was totally bewildered because I’d forgotten to tell him that I’d applied for the job for him.

He was invited to interview for the job, which he gladly accepted.

A few interviews and trips to California behind him, he got the job.

This is where the “miracle” of circumstance kicks in.

He was told, after having been at the job for about two months, that he was something of an anomaly.

First of all, he was beyond the normal age range that they normally hire from.

Secondly, he was hired from out-of-state. That had caused quite a bit of rancor initially among the ranks of the folks he worked with.

Thirdly, and somewhat miraculously, the job posting I’d seen was only listed for one day.

Remember those lottery balls I was talking about earlier?

It was sort of like all those numbers lined up for him to get this job.

We were really jazzed to think that we would soon be living in some high-tone, richly lauded area of the country and were excited to have the opportunity to check it for ourselves.

Well honey, we’ve been here for nine months now and my head is still spinning.

It’s a lush, beautiful setting.

Most of the people are fairly decent.

The problem is that the city is run by a bunch of lunatics.

They vote on the most wasteful things. There are two dissenters on the council; they are the only ones who seem to have any sense.

The latest vote before the council was to approve a homeless shelter in the middle of a somewhat upper middle class neighborhood.

There is an old motel that is being used as apartments and the owner wants to sell it.

The gal who wants to buy it is part of some “church group” and she wants to install some of the homeless in these units.

She insists that the folks who will be living there will have to be working and taking their medication.

Oh. OK. So if one of them refuses to take their meds and wigs out, they’ll be moved out. I can see why these nuts on the council would think that’s OK. They’re crazy, too.

It’s simply a matter of trying to force the residents to accept this faction of humanity as part of their own extended families because it’s a very liberal environment here, you see, and we should all love one another regardless of how much trouble some people cause.

Most of the residents raised a huge ruckus about it, forcing the city council to put this idea on the back burner.

It wasn’t taken off the agenda, it was just categorized as “at a later date,” I guess thinking that the residents will forget about it in time and they can pass the resolution quietly without retribution.

Two council members flatly refuse to go along with it.

They think it’s a horrible idea, as do the majority of the residents, mainly because this “apartment community,” of which there will be about 14 residents, is within two blocks of an elementary school.

Well, I can say with all certainty, that this little gem of an idea is a very bad one.

One of the residents spoke up at a recent meeting and said, “I think it’s a good idea, and I am trying to educate my children that we are all brothers and sisters, and just because someone is homeless doesn’t make them a bad person. I don’t want them to be frightened of the homeless.”


Have you ever taken your children downtown on a Saturday or Sunday? Do you not ever go to the local shopping centers where they tend to hang out and accost you for every last nickel dime and penny you have?

Of course not.

I wonder if he saw the guy, who for the last several days, has had a row with the cops, right there where they want to put this “home?” I doubt it.

The guy is homeless, and he unloads all his stuff out onto the sidewalk every day until the cops come along and tell him he can’t do it.

He then lets go with expletives the likes of which I’ve never heard before.

You can hear this dude yelling for about five blocks.

It’s been a major scene every morning, and I know because I see it on the way to and from the elementary school.

Don’t get me wrong, Santa Barbara is a beautiful place with lots of things to see and do.

We’ve seen a lot, believe me.

I’m wondering if we will be asked to appear on an episode of “How the Lottery Changed My Life.”

So, just remember, kids ... like your momma told you, “be careful what you wish for.”