My girlfriend and I were having a nice dinner in Point Loma at Miguel's. As we walked in, I laughed about a few things.

When we ate here with my parents once, we wondered if this was a chain, since we had met some friends at Miguel's in Coronado. My stepdad said he didn't think it was. Well, we saw the sign and said "They write their letters the same way, so I think it is." He then said, "I think that's just the style they use. A lot of Mexican restaurants use that style of writing."

I also thought about Miguel Ruiz, a kid I went to elementary school with. He got beat up by other Mexicans when we were bused to this school in Barrio Logan, as part of some integration program.

Over chips and salsa, I mentioned something about these blogs. I asked my girlfriend if she's read them lately, and she hadn't. She said something like "It seems like it's always you bitching about something in the news. Or sounding like a racist."

I tried to defend myself, saying I sometimes blog about our dog. Although, she'd probably content that in those, I'm bitching about picking up dog poop.

So, it's with reluctance that I take one section of the Union-Tribune from yesterday, and comment on the various stories on that page.

The first was on a suspect in jail. He used a blowtorch on an ATM machine. It was early in the morning and of course, at a liquor store.

The police got involved in 15-minute pursuit, and a police dog bit him. I always love reading stories that end with a police dog bite (and not them ending up over a bridge).

This got me thinking about what the percentage of ATM machines are messed with by people trying to steal money. We've all seen the clips of thieves trying (and succeeding), by tying them to the back of their truck and driving away with them.

The next story was about 317 pounds of pot being seized by the Border Patrol. For some reason, I pictured Border Patrol agents at a really crazy party tonight. With a blow torch.

There was a story about 2 gunmen robbing a sushi restaurant in....of course, Clairemont.

What I found odd about this was that the robbers were described as being 5'3" and 5'2" inches tall.

I want to know if anyone in the restaurant said, "What is it you guys want? Lifts? A ladder? What?"

I also wonder if seeing a burglar that is 5'2", makes someone in the crowd think about being a hero. I mean, if you have some 6-footer, weighing 250, you're less likely to try anything. Although, short guys can be dangerous if they have weapons.

Danny Sugarman, who wrote a few books on rock 'n roll, talks about his days managing the Doors, and becoming addicted to heroin. He took a limo to a bad part of NY, and went behind an alley to score some dope from a young teenager. The kid was short, and put a knife up to his testicles. Needless to say, he lost his wallet and didn't score.

The next story in the paper was about a postal worker having a truck he worked on roll over him. I can't joke about this, as my stepdad was a long time postal employee. And geez, what a horrible way to die. Although, I always found that expression a bit odd. As if there was a nice way to die, like falling asleep on a bed of roses, with blue birds chirping in a tree overhead.

One of the current things I've been bugging my girlfriend about is her use of the expression "He died doing what he loved." And the crazy thing is, she hardly ever says it.

It started with the shark attack in Solana Beach. The guy was an avid swimmer and loved the ocean, so she made that comment. He was training with other friends, for a triatholon. When she said he died doing what he loved, I said "What did he love? Being in the mouth of a shark?"

She argued it, saying it would be so much more amazing to die that way, then some car accident, or a heart attack while he was running.

Hey...I think I just came up with a future Off the Cuff question. I'm going to ask people how they want to die.

I wonder if while I'm writing down their answer and someone pulls out a gun and shoots me....will my girlfriend say at the funeral: "He was in the process of writing a story on ways to die. And, he loved writing so much. It's great that he was able to die doing what he loved."

More like this:


Josh Board March 9, 2009 @ 1:16 a.m.

THANK YOU, for donating your time for a good cause.

One of the few things I enjoyed about Gran Torino, was when a character in the film dies, and leaves a house to his church. The character didn't care for the church or religion, but the spouse did. A wonderful gesture that was.

I like to think of people doing that before they die, but giving stuff to charities they feel strongly about. Sure, leave the kids a little something...but help out a charity, too.

(i just realized one of my lines in here sounded a lot like Yoda)


Fred Williams March 9, 2009 @ 7:39 a.m.

The philosopher Robert Nozick, in one of his books, suggested that those who receive terminal diagnoses ought, instead of squandering their resources on prolonging a painful life by a few months, to do something heroic and dangerous that will make the world a better place.


MsGrant March 7, 2009 @ 7:52 a.m.

Miguel's is a chain. It is owned by the same people that own the Brigantine. The guy that got killed by the shark didn't die right away. He kinda bled out. This happened literally steps away from where I was working at the time. I drove into the parking lot and everyone was leaving the office to walk to the beach and gawk. There were television crews everywhere. Myself, I think old age is the way to go.


antigeekess March 7, 2009 @ 11:51 a.m.

"As if there was a nice way to die, like falling asleep on a bed of roses, with blue birds chirping in a tree overhead."

Um, thorns and bird poop?

Screw old age. Hallucinogenics, sleeping pills and alcohol in a gorgeous $5000 a night hotel suite in some exotic locale.

Either that, or a nice flying leap off a mountain somewhere really beautiful.

Kinda like this guy, maybe:


MsGrant March 9, 2009 @ 8:51 a.m.

Why wait until you're dying? Lots of heroes survive. You know, it's difficult to be philanthropic in Southern California, as most are busy just earning a living in order to afford being here. One day I just said "to hell with it". I can stay late at work and resent it, or I can go help out somewhere. Guess which one made me feel really happy? I don't care about money much anymore. Sure, it sucks not to have it, but I think about those that REALLY need it and it makes me look like a millionaire in comparison. I am not some do-gooder sitting on my pious throne, though. I really dislike that some need an event in order to give. Why must I read in Burl Stiff's column about all the money being wasted on fois gras when it can just go to the cause? And who gives a damn about who made whose dress? Uh-oh, gettin' bitter. Gotta go.


Josh Board March 7, 2009 @ 6:56 p.m.

Maybe like Thelma & Louise, but first go to one of those classic car places. Ask to take that '57 Chevy out for a test drive, and.....


[crash sfx here]


Josh Board March 9, 2009 @ 10:41 a.m.

Fred, I liked the comedian that recommend if you have a terminal disease, you go to Hollywood and volunteer to do an insane stunt. One that will probably result in your death, but will make for a great scene in Matrix III or whatever dumb movie they're making.

Regarding those parties that Mr. Stiff goes to (hey...I just thought of my new porno name) -- my uncle, when he was alive, used to laugh at this fundraiser done in Duluth, Minnesota, for PETA.

SO, he started his own ball, on the same night. It was called Carnivore's Ball. And it would raise so much more money than PETA did. You had to wear leather, or fur, to get in. You ate steak, lobster, and it was a big event.

Then he'd turn around and give the $75,000 check to PETA. It was bizarre!


antigeekess March 9, 2009 @ 12:30 p.m.

"A wonderful gesture that was."

Yeeeeeeeeess, good it is to good things do.



rickeysays March 8, 2009 @ 1:10 a.m.

I hope I die doing what I hate. Then I'll be relieved that at least I don't have to do that anymore.


MsGrant March 8, 2009 @ 3:15 p.m.

"Screw old age. Hallucinogenics, sleeping pills and alcohol in a gorgeous $5000 a night hotel suite in some exotic locale."

Love the "anti"dote - to old age!! I'll take a trip to Fiji when I'm 90, armed with LSD, ludes and vodka.

JB - thanks again for your donation to the SD Humane Society. I turned in your pledge during a sponsor match, so Ralphs doubled it. The telethon is still going on, so for anyone who loves animals and wants to help out, tune in to Channel 8 and give the Humane Society a call.


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