THE SECOND STORY | November 20th, 2009

Processing the brain….

(It had been far too long since I’d fired up the engines on the Hubba Hubba, but the stars aligned a couple of weekends ago and late in the afternoon, with a bit (well, a lot) of help from a friend, we motored the 26′ Chris Craft out of the marina and onto the estuary for an easy but brief sunset cruise. We stuck to a three bridge and two shoreline tour. The tide was churning around the bridge structures as their ‘legs’ got in the way of nature’s ebb and flow. Without looking at a tide chart it was hard to know if the tide was coming or going, especially around the east corner of the island when water comes from San Leandro Bay as well as down the estuary. The setting sun cast a great light and color on the Conagra property on the Oakland side of the Park Street Bridge.)

Post/Title Story: Evan may have been about 14 or so and one of Carl’s good friends and supporters offered a summer job to Ev, working on his boat. It was probably 50′ and quite gorgeous, a fishing boat, docked close to the Park Street Bridge on the Oakland side. I think it was a good experience for him. Most of us can only dream of working a first paying job for such a generous guy, a good teacher, and a wonderfully kind man.

I imagine the operative word for that job was ‘education’. It comes in so many ways. One day that summer, as Evan and I were coming into Alameda over the Park Street Bridge, he revealed a new fact he had learned while working with Jim on his yacht. Evan said, “Mom, you know what they do over there?” as he pointed to the silos and machinery. “They process brains!” Hhmmm. Something didn’t seem quite right about that but it clearly had lingered in his head. Then I got it.

“Ev, they don’t process brains there. They process grains. The name of the company is Conagra…as in something like consolidated agriculture….agra….get it? See the sign on the plant?” I had to laugh, but not a big in-your-face laugh. I loved that he had pondered the ‘fact’ for who knows how long, and then shared his knowledge. It was a simple mis-hearing…could have been trains, stains, drains, but what he thought he heard was brains.

As I thought about that story, motoring by the brain factory, I smiled once again. It has been another fun memory, close to home, close to heart.

I decided to find ConAgra’s website and it is awesome….what a history. Check it out.

With that, have a rich-in-blessings Thanksgiving holiday. It’s the best and purest holiday we have, in my opinion. It’s important for me to take time and process that in my brain.

Jaw’in on the front porch…(items that might worth talkin’ about?)
Relief for unemployed homeowners?

Here’s a thought that I’ve been processing in my brain. I’ve wondered about all the money that has been thrown at the housing mess, with it’s roots propagated by the brainless Wall Street greed machines, along with those geniuses in Congress who tossed out the Glass Steagall Act. I fail to see how the government ‘investment’ in stimulating housing purchases has had a trickle-down or trickle-up effect on the economy. It’s not creating new jobs. It’s not creating new industries. The money handed, literally handed, to the banks has not been used to stimulate solid business loans. Those companies have hoarded it! What’s with that? Or, what am I not getting? Maybe I should stick to processing grain.

(I added this next link at 8:19am 11-20). As I was checking email I found this awesome article from Motley Fool. They say it so much better than I ever could. Please consider scanning through it. “It’s Time to End ‘Too Big to Fail.” Keep in mind that I rarely read a daily paper and I don’t subscribe to one in print (haven’t for decades) or online. I don’t watch or listen to talking/screaming heads on radio or TV. They turn my stomach. But I do spend a fair amount of time with familiar and new folks, as a result of my business, and find myself getting earfuls of disgust with every aspect of how every one of our institutions have failed over the last 30 years, some more than once: industrial (auto), financial (banks), investment, education (talk about a disaster), religious (yep, every one and every type), and of course the government. And when I say that I mean the people who run it based on special and extra special interests. It’s time we literally throw the folks out, regardless of how ‘effective’ they’ve been. Make a statement.) Take it back. Okay, that’s the rant for Friday am. Gosh and it’s only 8:30)

Alameda real estate this week…

I put a new listing on the market this week. 2815 Otis is a Spanish style home (2-1), used for many years as a rental, and loaded with some nifty architectural details. Check it out!

Active listings this week 130, 126 last report
Pending listings this week 81, 85 last report

Tuesday Tour
11, 1 repeat

Highest priced NEW listing
Lowest priced NEW listing

New 9

Back on Market (BOM) 3

Price changes

Pending 9

Sold 7

Expired 1


Alameda real estate awards this week….remember this is only my perspective. I didn’t get out on the Tues tour because I hosted 2815 Otis open. So I can only award based on those I did see this week!

Bang for the Buck, Winner, Cute Charming I gave it to my new listing but I think 2832 Encinal and 1709 Broadway look pretty nice!

Get me a facelift

That’s a wrap….carry on! Share some canned goods with the Alameda Food Bank!

best, marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!