The happy (mostly) wonderer


If you’re a new reader of mine, this is one of those columns I write every few months that are filled with random questions that either bother, confuse or simply stick with me on any given day. I call them “wonderings” and I’m happy to put them in your head and get them out of mine. For example:

I wonder … how much time will pass until we stop calling the Crescenta Valley Weekly a “new” newspaper?

I wonder … if the brainiacs in Washington, D.C. will ever do something truly productive and dump the archaic, unnecessary tradition of Daylight Savings Time? Hawaii and Arizona do the sensible thing and ignore the time change. As for me, it would be a welcome change if at least one part of life got less complicated instead of more so. Please?

I wonder … if there will ever be a way to actually lower the cost of water, electricity, gas and other services we simply can’t do without. The recent notice from the CV Water District was as helpful as always in reminding all of us captive customers about mandatory conservation efforts and the ongoing need to use less water. At the same time, they cheerfully inform us that rates are going way up. In other words, if we don’t save water, we pay through the nose – or in this case, hose. But even if we do save water, we’ll still pay more. Pretty good deal, I guess – for somebody. Is that why there were so many campaign signs all over town from candidates running for the water board in this week’s election? Guess there’s a lot of money flowing through them there pipes.

I wonder … what makes the difference between beautiful and ugly architecture? What’s the distinction between elegance and eyesore? I ask because of two new buildings on Foothill that are nearing completion at the same time – the Walgreen’s and the new county library – just a few blocks from each other. I’m not an architect. I’m not a designer. I just drive past both of these buildings several times every day of every week. I know which building I look at and think, “Wow, that’s a beautiful new addition to our community. I’m kinda proud to see the way it’s turning out and can’t wait for it to open.” The other one I drive by and think, “Wow, that thing has high density strip mall written all over it (like the graffiti soon will be, too). I’ll bet it’s not open more than six months before it starts to look shabby. Oh wait, it already does.” But like I said, I’m no architect.

I wonder … who was the chuckle head that invented those annoying stickers they plaster on produce now? Few things are more frustrating than taking a big bite out of a juicy gala apple and chomping on a tiny, sticky little label. Even worse, when you try to take these things off the fruit, you need a blowtorch and grinder to get the little buggers off. I’ve bruised more than a few Granny Smiths in the process. Something I’m certainly not proud of.

I wonder … if the ash and soot that fills the air with every breeze will ever go away? Dusting has become an exercise in futility around our house. And why bother washing a car when it’s just going to be covered with fine gray dust as soon as it’s parked for more than a few hours? (“Sorry, officer, I was driving that fast to blow the harmfully acidic ash off my car! What’s that? No, no … I said ‘ash’! ASH! I wasn’t calling you … Oh, never mind. Just write me the ticket.”) Maybe with another light rainfall or two we’ll finally be rid of the dirty stuff.

Until next week, I’ll see you ‘round town.

Jim Chase is a lifelong CV resident and freelance writer.

He can be reached at