Word on the Street: Soup

In my new job, I have the opportunity to engage with people from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe as they visit “my downtown.” Today is my first on the job and I am in training all day; I am also in uniform, which means folks know what my role is.

On my lunch break, I was asked by a man in a wheelchair if I would go down the block to the Walgreen’s to see if they have “those soups you pour hot water over” and find out how much they were and if there was tax on them.

Now, I was on a break returning from grabbing a sandwich and hastening two blocks to the office to get out of view because I’m still in training. But I’ve been in training all morning stressing how visible we are in our uniforms, how we are here working for everyone we see. So what could I do? I hurried down to Walgreen’s, found out that the cups of noodles are $1.29 and $0.69 each; store workers didn’t know if they are taxable.

I returned to the man and he was thrilled that they had one for $0.69 and I imagine he was on his way down there as I made my way back to the office.

First of many interesting encounters to come, I’m sure.

If your child were born deaf, would you get them a cochlear implant?

The question was posed on Quora: If your child were born deaf, would you get them a cochlear implant? This was my reply.

Absolutely. I speak to this issue as someone who lost the bulk of his hearing due to spinal meningitis at the age of 10 months in the 1960s. I spent the next three years failing to develop critical language skills as a result of living with hearing loss.
Continue reading “If your child were born deaf, would you get them a cochlear implant?”

Out For a Walk

A man is out for a walk in his neighborhood in an affluent niche of Silicon Valley, a lovely historic district home to a vibrant downtown scene, surrounded by loads of charming old homes lovingly restored and maintained, interspersed with attractive new construction here and there. It’s late afternoon on a bright, sunny day.

As he approaches the driveway of a downtown parking lot, a police car screeches out in front of him, blocking his way; he notices a shadow on the sidewalk in front of him cast by a police officer rushing up from behind, shouting at him. Several other police officers run up from different directions, all shouting at him.
Continue reading “Out For a Walk”

Where I Live: Southtown

We arrived in San Antonio on the first Monday in 2011, relocating here from Silicon Valley so my partner Brian could help build the next generation of Cloud technologies at Rackspace. On Thursday, exhausted from unpacking and settling into our rented house on Barrera Street, we wandered down the block to have a drink at La Frite. Little did we know we were stumbling into the weekly “Lavaca and Friends” Happy Hour. Two hours later, we’d met about twenty of our new neighbors and had dinner with two other couples; thus began our infatuation with Southtown. In October, after 18 years as renters, we became first-time homebuyers, purchasing a home on Vance Street.
Continue reading “Where I Live: Southtown”

Playing Host to Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley is a storybook character popular among second graders. As the story begins, he is a real boy who is later flattened by a falling bulletin board. Stanley learns that life in two dimensions has its advantages, such as being able to slide under closed doors, into sewer grates, and traveling by mail.
Continue reading “Playing Host to Flat Stanley”