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San Diego's real census

Oceanside harbor, pier, La Jolla, Little Italy, Ocean Beach, La Mesa, Scripps Ranch

San Diego - Scripps Ranch – Lake Miramar main parking lot, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Geese within 100 yards: 3
San Diego - Scripps Ranch – Lake Miramar main parking lot, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Geese within 100 yards: 3

It’s been a hell of a year, and it’s not over yet. First, in San Diego County as elsewhere in these Divided States, we’ve been treated to a masquerade ball, courtesy of a generous host. Whether one calls it by the bureaucratic “covid-19,” the generic “pandemic,” the conspiracy theorist’s “plandemic,” or the flippant “Kung Flu,” it’s been on the minds and mugs of locals.

A grim interlude in the masked ball was supplied by Antifa and BLM who raged in the region, albeit somewhat mildly (outside of poor La Mesa.) And let’s not forget the election season, which blew over us like a desert wind to fan the flames of our incivility. How long will it take for that fire to burn out?

But the 2020 Census must go on. So from a safe six feet away, I present to you these unofficial, unscientific, and unnecessary findings:

  • Friday, August 20, Solana Beach, 926 Santa Florencia Street, noon to 1 pm: the estate sale of one Dick Ellison.
  • Vintage baseball gloves: 4
  • Prospective buyers: 50 or so
  • Prospective buyers wearing masks: 7
  • Men with canes and a noticeable limp: 1
  • SUVs parked within 50 yards: 9
  • Homes at this address recently sold for approximately $1.7 million: 1
  • Northbound semitrucks on the 5 freeway, as seen from the back yard between 12:36 and 12:37: 4
  • Southbound semitrucks on the 5 freeway, as seen from the back yard between 12:36 and 12:37: 7
  • Cheesy porcelain angel figurines: 4
  • Baseball and softball trophies: 35
  • Baseball and softball trophies with geode bases: 2
  • Commemorative JFK drinking glasses: 7
  • Glass tumblers inscribed with “The Copley Newspapers: The Ring of Truth”: 1
  • Del Mar, 2 pm - Del Mar Race Track, race post time
  • Horse owners, trainers and assistant trainers, jockeys, starter and assistant starters, pony riders, track maintenance workers, stewards, a veterinarian, an ambulance driver, a bugle player, and a farrier: about 100
  • Paying spectators in the stands: 0
  • Oceanside, Highway 101, 2:45 pm
  • 2020 Census banners: 1
  • Iron bars over windows at Beachwood Motel: over three dozen
  • Oceanside Harbor, 3:10 pm
  • Men wearing pink socks and fedoras: 1
  • Dogs pissing on palm trees: 1
  • Men on skateboards smoking cigarettes while wearing long pants and jackets: 1
  • Boats flying “Don’t Tread On Me” flags: 2
  • Boats flying pirate flags: 1
  • Boats flying multi-colored peace symbol flags: 1
Oceanside Pier, 3:15 pm: People on the pier, including outdoor diners: 177
  • Oceanside Pier, 3:15 pm onward
  • People on the pier, including outdoor diners: 177
  • Wearing masks: 68
  • Not wearing masks: 109
  • Anglers: 73
  • Unmasked, tattooed young men walking pit bulls: 1
  • Identical twins: 1 set
  • Small fish schooling by the side of the pier: innumerable
  • Hungry pelicans above school of fish: 6
  • Jet skiers west of the pier: 2
  • Great white sharks sighted (second-hand report): 1
  • Announcements by lifeguards ordering non-surfers to exit the water: 2
  • Number of times I’ve visited the Oceanside Pier since moving to San Diego in 1981: 1
  • Southbound 5 near Cannon Road (La Costa), 5:00 – 5:05 pm
  • Cars bearing “student driver” placards: 1
  • Ostensible student drivers without placards on car: impossible to determine
  • Pickup trucks with Baja plates and overhead racks overstuffed with used furniture and appliances: 1
Cardiff strip mall at San Elijo Avenue and Liverpool Drive, 1:45 pm: Surly, heavily-tattooed clerks in Mar Vista Liquor: 1
  • Monday, August 31 - Cardiff strip mall at San Elijo Avenue and Liverpool Drive, 1:45 pm
  • Retail establishments with restrooms closed to the public: 3+
  • Surly, heavily-tattooed clerks in Mar Vista Liquor: 1
  • Liquor store patrons with masks: 0
  • Surly liquor store patrons walking cute French bulldogs: 1
  • Floor stickers in Lourdes Mexican Restaurant reading “Stay Away”: 7
  • Cardiff - Chesterfield/San Elijo intersection, 2:17 pm
  • Inconsiderate drivers: lost count
  • Carlsbad - Island Way/Carlsbad Boulevard, 2:40 pm
  • Middle-aged men on bikes running red lights: 1
  • Friday, September 11, Normal Heights, 11:45 am – 2:15 pm
  • American flags lining the streets on Adams Avenue: 25
  • MTS “training buses”: 1
  • Men wearing United Arab Emirates Airlines T-shirts: 1
  • In front of Home Start Thrift Boutique - 36th/Adams
  • Mannequins: 5
  • Male mannequins: 1
  • Headless mannequins: 3
  • Women wearing Spandex pants despite sizable derrieres: 2
  • Dogs on leashes: 3
  • Dachshunds: 2
  • Midway District, 3:35 pm – at Midway Drive and Kemper Street
  • Aggressive panhandlers: 3
  • Loudly barking dogs in parked cars: 1
  • People blaring rap and hip-hop from car stereos: 1
  • Audible parrots: quite a few, judging by the cacaphony
  • Used condoms in the gutter: 1
Ocean Beach – Newport Street outside Hodad’s, 3:50 pm – 5:20 pm: Golf carts bearing Nebraska Cornhusker football bumper stickers: 1
  • Ocean Beach – Newport Street outside Hodad’s, 3:50 pm – 5:20 pm
  • Tattooed young women holding hula hoops while skateboarding: 1
  • Golf carts bearing Nebraska Cornhusker football bumper stickers: 1
  • Skinny, black-clad hippie throwbacks loitering on the corner and begging for money: 2
  • People walking by on westbound sidewalk (one minute): 18
  • People walking by on westbound sidewalk (one minute) sporting visible tattoos: 15
  • Ostensible adults on scooters running the stop sign: lost count
  • People with dwarfism in line at Hodad’s: 1
  • 1950s vintage Rolls Royces on nearby streets: 1
Embarcadero – N. Harbor Drive – 5:40 pm – 6:05 pm: Seabirds of undetermined species visible from water’s edge: 6
  • Embarcadero – N. Harbor Drive – 5:40 pm – 6:05 pm
  • Seabirds of undetermined species visible from water’s edge: 6
  • Jet boats in the harbor: 1
  • Men wearing masks that look like terrorists’ kaffiyehs: 1
  • Out of state (or country) license plates in parking lot
  • Arizona: 5
  • Florida: 2
  • Michigan: 1
  • Nevada: 1
  • Pennsylvania: 1
  • Utah: 2
  • Washington: 1
  • Baja CA: 1
  • Little Italy, 6:12 pm
  • Men with dreadlocks gone to seed, carrying hobo packs: 1
  • Middle-aged men on scooters riding northbound on India Street: 2
  • People in or around the Aero Bar on India Street: 0
  • Bottles of single malt Scotch being poured at the Aero Bar: 0
  • La Jolla – corner of Prospect and Jenner, 6:53 pm
  • Women passing by wearing all black: 4
  • Women passing by wearing all black but no masks: 4
  • Women passing by wearing all black but no masks and pretending to be wealthy: 4
  • Ginormous Oriental rugs in the nearest window of Aja Rugs: 1
  • Thursday, September 17 - La Mesa – 8872 La Mesa Boulevard, 11 am to noon
  • Businesses at this address: 6
  • Businesses at this address open now: 1
  • Pedestrians within eyeshot: 0
  • Beater car parked within 100 yards: 8
  • San Diego - Scripps Ranch – Lake Miramar main parking lot, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Cars parked: 27
  • Geese within 100 yards: 3
  • People fishing: 7
  • Rattlesnakes sighted resting under coastal chapparal: 1
  • Couples necking: 2
  • People swimming or wading on the other side of the lake: 1
  • People swimming or wading nude on the other side of lake: prohibited from disclosing.
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San Diego - Scripps Ranch – Lake Miramar main parking lot, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Geese within 100 yards: 3
San Diego - Scripps Ranch – Lake Miramar main parking lot, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Geese within 100 yards: 3

It’s been a hell of a year, and it’s not over yet. First, in San Diego County as elsewhere in these Divided States, we’ve been treated to a masquerade ball, courtesy of a generous host. Whether one calls it by the bureaucratic “covid-19,” the generic “pandemic,” the conspiracy theorist’s “plandemic,” or the flippant “Kung Flu,” it’s been on the minds and mugs of locals.

A grim interlude in the masked ball was supplied by Antifa and BLM who raged in the region, albeit somewhat mildly (outside of poor La Mesa.) And let’s not forget the election season, which blew over us like a desert wind to fan the flames of our incivility. How long will it take for that fire to burn out?

But the 2020 Census must go on. So from a safe six feet away, I present to you these unofficial, unscientific, and unnecessary findings:

  • Friday, August 20, Solana Beach, 926 Santa Florencia Street, noon to 1 pm: the estate sale of one Dick Ellison.
  • Vintage baseball gloves: 4
  • Prospective buyers: 50 or so
  • Prospective buyers wearing masks: 7
  • Men with canes and a noticeable limp: 1
  • SUVs parked within 50 yards: 9
  • Homes at this address recently sold for approximately $1.7 million: 1
  • Northbound semitrucks on the 5 freeway, as seen from the back yard between 12:36 and 12:37: 4
  • Southbound semitrucks on the 5 freeway, as seen from the back yard between 12:36 and 12:37: 7
  • Cheesy porcelain angel figurines: 4
  • Baseball and softball trophies: 35
  • Baseball and softball trophies with geode bases: 2
  • Commemorative JFK drinking glasses: 7
  • Glass tumblers inscribed with “The Copley Newspapers: The Ring of Truth”: 1
  • Del Mar, 2 pm - Del Mar Race Track, race post time
  • Horse owners, trainers and assistant trainers, jockeys, starter and assistant starters, pony riders, track maintenance workers, stewards, a veterinarian, an ambulance driver, a bugle player, and a farrier: about 100
  • Paying spectators in the stands: 0
  • Oceanside, Highway 101, 2:45 pm
  • 2020 Census banners: 1
  • Iron bars over windows at Beachwood Motel: over three dozen
  • Oceanside Harbor, 3:10 pm
  • Men wearing pink socks and fedoras: 1
  • Dogs pissing on palm trees: 1
  • Men on skateboards smoking cigarettes while wearing long pants and jackets: 1
  • Boats flying “Don’t Tread On Me” flags: 2
  • Boats flying pirate flags: 1
  • Boats flying multi-colored peace symbol flags: 1
Oceanside Pier, 3:15 pm: People on the pier, including outdoor diners: 177
  • Oceanside Pier, 3:15 pm onward
  • People on the pier, including outdoor diners: 177
  • Wearing masks: 68
  • Not wearing masks: 109
  • Anglers: 73
  • Unmasked, tattooed young men walking pit bulls: 1
  • Identical twins: 1 set
  • Small fish schooling by the side of the pier: innumerable
  • Hungry pelicans above school of fish: 6
  • Jet skiers west of the pier: 2
  • Great white sharks sighted (second-hand report): 1
  • Announcements by lifeguards ordering non-surfers to exit the water: 2
  • Number of times I’ve visited the Oceanside Pier since moving to San Diego in 1981: 1
  • Southbound 5 near Cannon Road (La Costa), 5:00 – 5:05 pm
  • Cars bearing “student driver” placards: 1
  • Ostensible student drivers without placards on car: impossible to determine
  • Pickup trucks with Baja plates and overhead racks overstuffed with used furniture and appliances: 1
Cardiff strip mall at San Elijo Avenue and Liverpool Drive, 1:45 pm: Surly, heavily-tattooed clerks in Mar Vista Liquor: 1
  • Monday, August 31 - Cardiff strip mall at San Elijo Avenue and Liverpool Drive, 1:45 pm
  • Retail establishments with restrooms closed to the public: 3+
  • Surly, heavily-tattooed clerks in Mar Vista Liquor: 1
  • Liquor store patrons with masks: 0
  • Surly liquor store patrons walking cute French bulldogs: 1
  • Floor stickers in Lourdes Mexican Restaurant reading “Stay Away”: 7
  • Cardiff - Chesterfield/San Elijo intersection, 2:17 pm
  • Inconsiderate drivers: lost count
  • Carlsbad - Island Way/Carlsbad Boulevard, 2:40 pm
  • Middle-aged men on bikes running red lights: 1
  • Friday, September 11, Normal Heights, 11:45 am – 2:15 pm
  • American flags lining the streets on Adams Avenue: 25
  • MTS “training buses”: 1
  • Men wearing United Arab Emirates Airlines T-shirts: 1
  • In front of Home Start Thrift Boutique - 36th/Adams
  • Mannequins: 5
  • Male mannequins: 1
  • Headless mannequins: 3
  • Women wearing Spandex pants despite sizable derrieres: 2
  • Dogs on leashes: 3
  • Dachshunds: 2
  • Midway District, 3:35 pm – at Midway Drive and Kemper Street
  • Aggressive panhandlers: 3
  • Loudly barking dogs in parked cars: 1
  • People blaring rap and hip-hop from car stereos: 1
  • Audible parrots: quite a few, judging by the cacaphony
  • Used condoms in the gutter: 1
Ocean Beach – Newport Street outside Hodad’s, 3:50 pm – 5:20 pm: Golf carts bearing Nebraska Cornhusker football bumper stickers: 1
  • Ocean Beach – Newport Street outside Hodad’s, 3:50 pm – 5:20 pm
  • Tattooed young women holding hula hoops while skateboarding: 1
  • Golf carts bearing Nebraska Cornhusker football bumper stickers: 1
  • Skinny, black-clad hippie throwbacks loitering on the corner and begging for money: 2
  • People walking by on westbound sidewalk (one minute): 18
  • People walking by on westbound sidewalk (one minute) sporting visible tattoos: 15
  • Ostensible adults on scooters running the stop sign: lost count
  • People with dwarfism in line at Hodad’s: 1
  • 1950s vintage Rolls Royces on nearby streets: 1
Embarcadero – N. Harbor Drive – 5:40 pm – 6:05 pm: Seabirds of undetermined species visible from water’s edge: 6
  • Embarcadero – N. Harbor Drive – 5:40 pm – 6:05 pm
  • Seabirds of undetermined species visible from water’s edge: 6
  • Jet boats in the harbor: 1
  • Men wearing masks that look like terrorists’ kaffiyehs: 1
  • Out of state (or country) license plates in parking lot
  • Arizona: 5
  • Florida: 2
  • Michigan: 1
  • Nevada: 1
  • Pennsylvania: 1
  • Utah: 2
  • Washington: 1
  • Baja CA: 1
  • Little Italy, 6:12 pm
  • Men with dreadlocks gone to seed, carrying hobo packs: 1
  • Middle-aged men on scooters riding northbound on India Street: 2
  • People in or around the Aero Bar on India Street: 0
  • Bottles of single malt Scotch being poured at the Aero Bar: 0
  • La Jolla – corner of Prospect and Jenner, 6:53 pm
  • Women passing by wearing all black: 4
  • Women passing by wearing all black but no masks: 4
  • Women passing by wearing all black but no masks and pretending to be wealthy: 4
  • Ginormous Oriental rugs in the nearest window of Aja Rugs: 1
  • Thursday, September 17 - La Mesa – 8872 La Mesa Boulevard, 11 am to noon
  • Businesses at this address: 6
  • Businesses at this address open now: 1
  • Pedestrians within eyeshot: 0
  • Beater car parked within 100 yards: 8
  • San Diego - Scripps Ranch – Lake Miramar main parking lot, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Cars parked: 27
  • Geese within 100 yards: 3
  • People fishing: 7
  • Rattlesnakes sighted resting under coastal chapparal: 1
  • Couples necking: 2
  • People swimming or wading on the other side of the lake: 1
  • People swimming or wading nude on the other side of lake: prohibited from disclosing.
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