Marin Clean Air plays dirty – Please release me – let me go

photo_21523_20120317Marin Clean Air – I can’t quit you – you won’ let me.

MCE –  Marin Clean Err

The only company in California

that  forces customers

(who don’t want their services)

to pay first  before they can quit.

photo_21517_20120317The MCE “Opt Out” Debacle – Yes, Just Sign here…

Can a single guy meet a single girl on Pinterest? Yes, you can!

Pinterest-3The New Free Dating Website?

Check out and Get Interested in Pinterest

Guys have said that their sisters, cousins, aunts and mothers all rave about Pinterest – so  they assumed it was “A no man’s land.”

Don’t dismiss Pinterest as a social media site-for-girls-only-no boys allowed. Au contra ire. Is Pinterest the new, free,

Candace (57, single –again, human resources executive, has run the Bay to Breakers three times, walked to the Dipsea, pastry chef extraordinaire, and an empty-nester) has been on Pinterest for six months. She has very eclectic interests. She started collecting “Pins” – or pictures – of vintage pinup girls. Which led to Vargas pinup’s, which led to cars, which led to an avid interest in Alfa Romeos, her dream: a Tesla, hot rods, and car collections.

Mind you, Candace has been on several times- through the years- and, virtually, struck out. On Pinterest – she felt like the ‘Princess of Interest’ with much interest in her unique pins. And, she met a number of friends- of the male persuasion – and eventually started dating Charles.

That was a year ago. They drive an Alfa Romeo.


Mark, a suddenly-single fly-fishing guide in Montana, has a passel of fabulous pictures of his favorite fly-fishing holes, rivers and streams, colorful fishing flys he crafted and a veritable book -Chamber of Commerce quality –with pictures of Montana. He decided decided to promote his love of fishing and his business and start a site on Pinterest. He had no idea it would cause such a riffle

Fact: Women fish. Fact: Women like fishermen. Mark reports his Pinterest Fly-fishing site was up for thee days and, instantly, he had followers and likes and a whole bunch of new “friends.” And he says it’s better than

Pinterest:The New Free Dating Site

Sure, it requires a modicum of imagination and time to create five ‘boards’ (collections of your favorite things) to aptly promote you and what you ‘like.”

Think about it: are you interested in sports, swimming to Alcatraz, finding the best cup of java in San Francisco, Andy Goldsworthy, Dogpatch, Pastels, The Dipsea, dogs, crafts, fishing, marathons of (—-) fill in the bank, hiking? Perhaps you have a thing for the flowers, Sunday biking or waterfalls in Golden Gate Park or the New Green Apple Bookstore, cronuts and kite-flying? Exploring and examining the City’s eclectic architecture. There are no limits.


Pinterest is Just like Boys and girls, alike: sign Up,  select a “handle,” post a complimentary photograph, write a byline:

San Francisco dreamer (55, single, father of two) – in love with North Beach, Mama’s, Graffeo Coffee, and riding across the Golden Gate Bride to Poggios in Sausalito – ferry back – is looking for a new best friend…even a date for life. Pin me!

Next, choose four or five topics you are interested in – which show off your more “attractive self.”

Create “Boards” – perhaps: Romantic San Francisco, My Favorite Haunts, Great Date Idea, Sports I  Play, Places I’ve Travelled, Dreams, Makes Me Happy,  and click on attractive photographs that resonate with you. Keep Clicking.

And, let the hunt begin!


Pinterest is Great for the non-writer – who prefes to Show not Tell.



Tinder (aka Hookups Anonymous) might not be for you…Instagram might be of interest-

Seriously, give Pinterest a look…you never know who you might ‘like’ and who may ‘like you’ even more…

red door20111001-11


Put me in Coach: Dating Coach

Page Larkin, San Francisco Dating Coach, works with men and women to spice up their online dating profiles, update tired, old, Profile photographs and shows Singles of An Age – how to get back in the game. Contact me at

The Best of Marin County this week

Wooden foot bridge in the woods.Best of Marin this week

Best happiest County Fair in California- Marin County

Best new documentary -Brooklyn Farmer (

Best 2.5 acres rooftop garden in the whole USA- Brooklyn Grange (

Best Small Movie Theater: CineArts at Sequoia- 25 Throckmorton Ave Mill Valley

Best garden/lighting/decor store: Illumigarden in Mill Valley near Sweetwater

Best Furniture Clearance Sale: Scandinavian Design San Rafael

Best Donuts: Johnny’s Donuts in San Rafael

Best Services and Staff: Ritter House – San Rafael

Best New Film: Roger Ebert Film, “Life Itself” at the Rafael Theater

Best Mini Storage: Terra Linda Mini Storage- talk to Janet

Best six-day fireworks extravaganza nightly: Marin County Fair

Best gluten-free cakes in Marin: Beth’s Community Kitchen, Mill Valley

Best organic ice cream: Three Twins

Best new drugstore (with a Wine department) makeover: Rite Aid on Blithedale –it rocks!

Best newspaper column (written by a bartender): The independent Journal’s Jeff Burkhart: The Barfly

Best brunch and Bicycle Parade viewing: Poggio Sausalito

Best Bookstore Book Passages- Best Staff: The Karens




Not so great: Larkspur Courts – on Old Quarry Road –  the tenants forced to leave – in droves – with $800.00+ a month rent increases. Really?



Your first date – in decades?

t finally happened. A date.

Let’s say you are “suddenly single.”

Perhaps you are 50-something, fresh divorced or widowed or just back in the social saddle- dating again. For some singles, it might be decades since your last date…

Concerned, nervous and wondering: have the rules changed?

After weeks of trawling online for a kindred spirit, you’ve connected with someone you rather like.

You exchanged the requisite three e-mails, two telephone calls, and both decided upon meeting for the proverbial ‘Coffee Date.’ Now what?

Relax. Have a good time and avoid these Top 10 Blunders and Bloopers.

Remember:  Never Ever

1. Arrive late and fail to apologize.
2. Post an ancient photo of yourself, which doesn’t remotely resemble you.
3. Assume the other person will pay for coffee. You are a big girl/boy.
4. Take and make phone calls during the date.
5. Share details about your divorce. Nobody wants to hear about it. Really.
6. Advertise you are divorced, when you’re really separated. Truth in advertising is big in this area, too.
7. Ask your date how much they weigh, their height, age, or salary.
8. Regale your date with stories of your past trophy dates and exploits.
9. Step out for a smoke. Return with a toothpick.  Yawn. Three strikes – yer’ out!
10. “Go HR”  this is supposed to be a coffee date, not a job interview.

Now What? Kiss, hug or shake hands?
Let’s say things are working better than you ever imagined. Now what?

How much time do you spend? Thirty minutes? An hour? Remember: There are no hard and fast rules. Common sense trumps any dating data. First and foremost, have a good time.

And, remember the old saying:  “How am I going to miss you, if you don’t go away?”

To hug or not to hug:  that is the question

As the date ends and you are reluctantly leaving one another, you can gauge the level of interest instantly. It’s the old handshake versus hug conundrum. Do they go for the handshake or the light hug?  A perfunctory handshake (no Rosetta stone required ) simply means, “It was nice meeting you.   Next.” Whereas, a light hug means, “Let’s do this again.”

One second date, coming up.


Seven hot summer date ideas


You may have to cross a bridge and enter a rainbow tunnel – to have fun- but the options are numerous

1. Best Place to Have a Cocktail at the Beach in San Francisco: The Riptide – eclectic and funky and fun- claims to have the best staff, best juke box or you could hit The Beach Chalet across the street from Ocean Beach.

2. Best Place to Laugh in the Dark: Just want to laugh? Get tickets to see the movie CHEF- it’s a romp – it’s delightful and totally predictable…a feel good comedy -with a side order delicious…on July 4 Look for Roger Ebert’s New Film, at the San Rafael theater, Life Itself.

3. Best Place for Stargazing: Get thee to one of the Bay Area’s most spectacular sights: Mount Tamalpais – in addition to stargazing – there is hiking, biking, picnic areas, birdwatching, camping,     (See Below)

4. Is That Some Kind of a Record? Many Fog free- hours can easily be whiled away going through the stacks of CDs, vinyl and DVDs at the veritable treasure trove, Amoeba Records on Haight Street. While in the hood, necessary stops might include The Alembic – and the hot, haute, restaurant Cha,Cha,Cha.

5. Best Place to Feel Breathless- Gilroy’s famed Garlic Festival will cure all that ails you. (Save the date: July 25-27 2014) Is garlic is your Midsummer Night-mare? Shakespeare warned: “Most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath.” So, skip the stinky bulb and frolic at many fun-filled events at the very popular, crowded, festival. No, not a breath of fresh air, but so much fun. Yes, Virginia, Garlic Ice cream.

6. Best Place to Nibble, Nosh, and Dine Around – Got truck? Sample all at the delicious foods at anyone of the dozens of Off the Grid Dining events (in Novato, North Beach,Serramonte, Burlingame, Cupertino, etc)

7. Best Place for Kite-Boarding is Crissy Field – and in San Mateo Coyote Point. Both locales are great for watching or participating. Like standup? How do they do that? See: Standup Paddle Board  Cruise scenic Richardson Bay in Marin County.


Wooden foot bridge in the woods.


The Fabulous Mount Tamalpais

Facilities and Activities
Hiking and Bicycle Trails: More than 50 miles of hiking trails are within the park and connect to a larger, 200 mile long trail system. Friends of Mt. Tam provides hike suggestions and hike schedules on their website.
Road bikers are challenged by the infamous seven sisters and the twisting road to the top while mountain bikers can enjoy the Coast View and Dias Ridge multi-use trails as well as park fire trails.
Be aware of park regulations when visiting!

The Bootjack Picnic Area has tables, stoves, piped drinking water and flush toilets.

The East Peak Summit features a Visitor Center and the Gravity Car Barn, a small museum of railroad history (open on weekends only). Picnic tables and a fully accessible restroom are also available.

The Mountain Theater (AKA The Cushing Memorial Theater) was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The natural-stone amphitheater seats 3,750 people and features the Mountain Play each spring, produced every year since 1913. In the summer, monthly astronomy programs are held in the theater, free to the public.

Walk-in camping is available first come, first served at Pantoll and Bootjack. For reservations at Steep Ravine cabins or campsites, or the Alice Eastwood and Frank Valley group camps, visit Reserve America.

For more information about the park and activities in the park led by Friends of Mt. Tam, visit


A loud-talker: First and last date

Handpainted peace sign in dripping colors

My first and last date with a loud talker

 We exchanged e-mails for a week before we spoke on the phone.

He was entertaining – seemingly, we had a lot in common and good rapport. He (Dave, 55, Walnut Creek resident, entrepreneur, consultant) suggested we meet halfway between our two homes at the “1968 Exhibit” at the Oakland Museum.

We met at the museum entrance and each bought our own ticket.

We agreed to first view The Day of the Dead Altars. As we entered the hallowed space with muted light and a number of beautiful, sentimental art altars- celebrating fallen heroes, friends and every day saints. It became quickly apparent that Dave was a loud talker-straight out of that Seinfeld episode.

While others lowered their voices out of respect for the deceased, he commented on the art, the intricate details, the use of color and special effects. Lovely. I softly touched his arm, and spoke in hushed tones, thinking surely he would bring it down a decimal. He did, until his phone rang. He took the call in the museum and I walked away. He followed me like a puppy, oblivious. Fortunately, the security guard showed him the door. I could hear them in the lobby talking. Everyone could.

I wondered if it was too early in the relationship the start ‘nudging’ him.

We entered the “1968 Exhibit” and the first hall was filled with people quietly reading the timeline of that cataclysmic year in history.

As we moved slowly through the room, he peppered me with questions about where I was in 1968. I whispered short answers. I put my finger to my lips and nodded to the quiet-as-a-church-mouse crowd around us. He looked puzzled and launched into, “So, I was just a kid… blah, blah, blah.”


As we continued moving through various rooms, each more interesting, filled with historical kitsch, and 1960’s iconic pieces -people chatted and commented freely. Dave pole-vaulted into conversations- private or not – for the next hour. I swam away from him as often as possible.

 Deal breaker?

The poignant Martin Luther King tribute -a video of his last minutes and Bobby Kennedy’s eulogy at King’s funeral had the crowd huddled in front of a TV screen-silently weeping. Dave broke the silence with a quote about sorrow and single soldiers – several people turned and glared at Mr. Mouth.

Then, he suggested we walk to the new Cathedral near the lake. All I could think of was: bull in a China shop-talker. I politely begged off, looking at my watch and creating an exit strategy – when an elderly couple came up and said quietly, “Sir, this is a museum, not a party. People speak softly out of respect for other patrons”.

Dave said, “What a buzz kill. Madam, this is a free country.” Alrighty then.

Oh! Look at the time!

My car was on the first level of the parking garage and I could leave and be home in less than 30 minutes. I said, ‘Goodbye, nice day, must run, Dave. And good luck.” I didn’t look back. I was in my car, in total silence and home safe.

Lesson learned: What will I do differently next time? I’ll talk on the phone to a prospective date – I will listen – I will ask questions and pay attention.




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