I would just like to say to Mr. Nguyen, he should acknowledge that with such a large group of people that there are going to be elements that are making a political statement and very determined to make their point of view heard, and even on unsuspecting people like myself and others. It was unfortunate to see what happened to that rider’s finger, but I would say he should have done more research — just like the police officer said — he should have known what he was getting into. Of course, that doesn’t excuse the passenger who assaulted him, but to say that anyone can come out and be a child or that law-abiding adults participate in Critical Mass isn’t exactly the safest statement.

Anthony Silva
Point Loma

Got Permits?

Your article on the Critical Mass cyclers (“SDPD — Got an Attitude?” “City Lights,” December 4) brings up an interesting point, although having a fingertip bitten off à la Mike Tyson is too much. Why is it that groups like this think they have even a marginal right to inconvenience the public? Not entirely a San Diego phenomenon, but more prevalent here. These people have no parade or event permit. They feel entitlement by numbers to block off streets, run red lights, and ignore stop signs, a typical cyclist habit, and then they want the police to validate their lawlessness. If they had the courtesy to get a permit, the police could clear a legitimate path for them. Their actions are no different than rioting thugs burning and looting after an athletic event and should be dealt with accordingly.

This attitude leads to other events such as closing the Coronado Bay Bridge and busy streets downtown for various runs and walks. And what about closing the main highways when some idiot pretends to want to jump off the Laurel Street bridge or commit suicide on the interstate during rush hour to get their names in the news. What about Street Scene, the annual fiasco that inconveniences both residents and customers necessary in the dying downtown?

This inconsiderate behavior is very closely related to shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, although the latter examples have somehow received appropriate sanctions.

When did it become a rule that minimal numbers of people (singly or in groups) have the right to inconvenience literally hundreds of thousands of others?

G.R. Morse
via email

Merciful Coffee

Re “Tin Fork,” December 4.

One day I was early for an appointment at Sharp Rees-Stealy Orthopaedic Pavilion, and I had “cawfee” at the Sharp hospital cafeteria. Absolutely foul! I didn’t drink it and never ate there. Better coffee in the orthopaedic waiting room. Mercy Hospital has the best coffee, urn-brewed Boyds Coffee.


Bobby, Ramona, The Pilot, The Emos

Unbeknownst to me, I was the woman in the picture that went with the article “Dog Is My Copilot” (“Crasher,” November 26). Although the article was quirky, casual, and a fun little read, I wanted to straighten out some facts because no one talked with me to confirm any information about Bobby Gordon and/or me, so let me just state the facts:

1. Bobby Gordon is a famous clarinet player who lives here in San Diego. World renowned.

2. I sing with Bobby Gordon on a regular basis, and we perform music in the classic jazz genre (jazz from teens, ’20s, and ’30s) all over San Diego.

3. I don’t know the song “My Funny Valentine.” Wrong era. I was probably singing the song “Sugar,” written in approximately 1918, during the dogfights. Real dogfights at the hangar, that was true.

4. My grandfather was a famous pilot: Max Conrad. He set many world records and was well respected among military pilots and commercial pilots. The fact that he was a famous pilot and I was performing at the hangar was merely a coincidence. And he died in 1980, so if he was at the hangar party (as noted in the article), he would be approximately 110 years old. Plus, I better let Mom know that her dad has been hiding out in a San Diego hangar all this time. Ha ha.

5. Bobby Gordon is 67 years old.

6. My name is Ramona DeRyan.

Now, if you want to do an interesting article, you should come hear Bobby and me rehearse on Wednesday evenings at Albie’s Beef Inn, one of the oldest steakhouses and piano bars in San Diego. The piano player, David Timothy Smith, lets some of San Diego’s great musicians come in and jam with him. Albie’s is what I call God’s waiting room, because the decor is exactly the same as the day it was built and the clientele have planted themselves on the barstools for at least 40 years now. But it’s also now become such a quirky place, full of characters, young and old. Oddly enough, Bobby and I have a following of the very old and the local emo scene. Seriously. You should come in and get a feel for this landmark, the characters who frequent it, and the musicians who drop in.

Ramona DeRyan
via email

The Reader And A Beer

I was pleasantly surprised today when I got off work and headed to the little market for a sixer and a sandwich — the Reader in its usual rack a day early on Thanksgiving Eve. I really look forward to Barb the Diva’s diary every week, and this latest column on her inner child was one of her best — read it twice! She and her husband live a great, interesting, and cultured lifestyle, and she expresses herself in a way that isn’t bragging or condescending. She also pokes fun at herself, her foibles and misadventures, which I think is tremendously appealing.

It’s amusing when she gets the occasional critical letters (almost always women except for that geek who I’d bet my life is a Republican — he had his own ideas a couple of weeks ago on how Barb should conform to his standards of anal-retentive, conservative values. That guy probably thinks Bush is getting a bum rap from the “liberal media.” I suggest the guy should stick to the Union-Tribune) from writers who are obviously jealous/envious of her diva’s world. Keep those delusions coming!

More from SDReader


towelheadedcameljockey Dec. 10, 2008 @ 1:52 p.m.

I think it's ridiculous that Ramona DeRyan's letter for Dog Is My Co-Pilot is put on here.

She's not "setting any facts straight", she's giving more information about her and her band. If Josh Board had to write all of that, the whole article wouldn't be about the party, and would be a Musician Interview instead.

Do people not get that just because a paragraph or a photo is of or about them, that the entire column doesn't have to be devoted to them too? Hasn't the Crasher has always been about the party and not a free page of advertising for someone's business or band.

It would have been fine if she posted the comments in the actual online version of the article if she felt the need, but to write a letter to the editors .. well, seems absurd.

People gets plugs , yet they still want more. Amazing.


JulieParrots Dec. 10, 2008 @ 2:13 p.m.

I agree with post #1. It seems to me that everyone who makes a complaint about Josh's article is almost always about plugging their business or their friends business.


Fred Williams Dec. 10, 2008 @ 3:43 p.m.

If you dislike Josh, you must agree to support a worthy San Diegan.

That's the reason all you disgruntled readers must immediately send generous donations to my newest philanthropic organization.

The Fine Food For Fred Fund (FFFFF) is a charity set-up to provide much needed fine dining to a deserving and worthy recipient. Every day, the FFFFF raises money so that this wonderful man can be treated to sumptuous buffets, scrumptious brunches, and candlelight dining at San Diego's best eateries.

When you donate your cash, checks, money orders, or credit card payments to the FFFFF, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you've helped Fred make it through another difficult day by filling his belly with the tastiest delicacies this town has to offer.

So, if you have a beef with Josh Board and his Crasher column, all you have to do is send your money directly to me.

Fine Food For Fred Fund c/o Fred Williams 55555 Homeless Street San Diego, CA 90210

BTW: If you find that writing your check or money order to the Fine Food For Fred Fund takes up too much space, then feel free to make them out to our sister organization, the Christian Alliance for Spiritual Hope (CASH).


JulieParrots Dec. 10, 2008 @ 11:16 p.m.

Yes that's right. I Julie Parrots am sending my donation of $666 US dollars to support Reverend Fred Williams at the Christian Alliance for Spiritual Hope (CASH). May peace be with you Reverend Fred Williams. ;)


Fred Williams Dec. 11, 2008 @ 4:36 a.m.

Bless you, my child, for you have sinned...and I hope we'll be doing it again real soon.

Yours in faith,

Rev. Dr. Fred "Holy Roller" Williams Pastor/Rector Christian Alliance for Spiritual Hope


JulieParrots Dec. 11, 2008 @ 5:07 a.m.

I must now go into confession Rev. Dr. Williams....


ramonaderyan Jan. 7, 2009 @ 6:51 p.m.

My sincere apologies to Josh Board for my comments to the Editor being published as a "Letter to the Editor". I did not intend for that to happen. I didn't realize that my email to the Editor, which was done online, was really a "Letters to the Editor" piece! I was merely trying to pass on the correct facts about me, my work, and my family, to just the Editor, which I figured would be passed on to the author! I admit my ignorance to the process of submitting public "Letters to the Editor" in an online platform, for I would NEVER publically embarrass an author by pointing out misinformation or lack of fact-checks. I do not self-promote or "plug", and only wanted the staff to consider doing a piece on Albie's Beef Inn because it has so much character! Again, because I didn't know this was going to be published, I had no intention of making any of this about me. Again, Josh Board, my most sincere apologies. I will learn the song, "My Funny Valentine" just for you! :) ~Ramona


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