Tag Archives: Bay Area

Climate Wars: Why Malaysia’s Tropical beats California’s “Mediterranean”

Surrounded by a sea of overgrown green even Kermit The Frog would consider too much, our newly hired “stager” parked her moderately priced car in front of our house and quickly surveyed the project. Unclear why a house in the San Francisco suburbs that’s in excellent condition needs a major outside overhaul, Diane and I recently gave in to our real estate agent’s wishes and agreed to a major exterior cleanup project. Having successfully found a great app to sell our crap, we even raised enough cash to pay for the project.

staging notes

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Classified as “Mediterranean Climate”, the inland suburbs of San Francisco are a paradise for gardeners, botanists and undocumented workers that do every conceivable form of maintenance seven days a week. Literally the ONLY homeowners in our entire neighborhood that refuse to pay for yard work, a task our generation grew up doing ourselves, we admit that our quarter acre corner lot is a bit “overgrown”. Regardless of cut-rate prices charged by unskilled laborers that generally live an “all cash” lifestyle, given the choice between retiring early in Malaysia versus or up with the neighbors, the choice was always a no-brainer.

 

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Fleeing California for Malaysia before the real “big one”

Years before Diane and I planned to retire early and try expat life in Penang, I was sitting in my little studio apartment in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. Waiting for age 50 to qualify for an MM2H Visa was a quarter century in the future, Like almost everyone else, I had a cold beer in hand as I watched  game three of The 1989 “Bay Bridge World Series” between the San Francisco Giants  and The Oakland A’s, their cross-bay rivals. Only 24 years old and brand new to San Francisco, my world rocked violently as the earth shook for what seemed like an eternity. (It was actually only 16 seconds long.)

giantsToday, October 17th, 2014, marks the twenty-five year anniversary of the earthquake officially known as “Loma Prieta” but remembered as “the almost big one” for those of us who experienced it. Knowing California’s building standards are superior to many less fortunate densely populated areas of the globe, I’d be remiss if I wrote a post about my hardships although 63 people did die and damage was very high by American standards. But there was no internet yet and many fellow bloggers might have been in diapers on that infamous day, therefore I’ve chosen to commemorate the occasion by sharing my experience as best I remember it. I’ve included some short You Tube videos worth watching if you’ve never seen coverage of the event.  Continue reading