Orange Countian Gothic

The Costa Mesa Grange

The last of the bean fields turned into retail a long time ago, and even the strawberry patches are gone. The Segerstroms kept their own estate as a farm for sentimental reasons, but that’s in Santa Ana. Costa Mesa has been definitively paved. Orange Coast College has a miniature farm for ag classes.

The Grange remains. I see AA groups coming out of there at night, but I have no idea if living or ghostly farmers meet.

more grange

The day room takes it to the next level

BBQ outside Starbucks

When you show up at a Starbucks in Orange County, and Mike of the gray ponytail and the long drug history, who lives in his van, is there with his free ‘n’ easy girlfriend of a certain age that he met at the San Diego Thunderdome Sex In The Bushes Swap Meet, and everyone is high on good weed, and Mike is grilling, and someone has brought lemon meringue pie, and the stoner gamer kid is playing the GTA:Vice City music really loud on the usb mic from his laptop, and Bob is there in his union suit arriving via tandem bike, and the people driving by are smelling the grill and seeing the freaks and nearly crashing with surprise, and no cops show up and the people at the mall couldn’t care less, and then there’s apple pie too…

Then it’s another night on the corner.

Don’t use your debit card at the gas station.

pinzWell you can, but don’t put in your PIN; insist on doing it as a credit transaction. Why? Because people love to steal the PIN. It’s way easier to empty your bank account that way than it is with regular credit card fraud.

Retailers will do just about anything to force you into using the PIN instead of a credit card type transaction, because credit cards cost them money and PIN/Debit transactions don’t. So you have to say it’s credit, punch the credit button, decline to use your pin, and then tell the checker again that’s credit. Or they just automatically present you with the PIN entry screen with no other options.

So, what happens when you use your PIN? Usually nothing, because supermarkets and other big retailers are secure environments. But if you use one of those rollaway ATM droids, or the ATM at some nightclub, not so good. And if you go to a gas station that only takes PIN transactions, like the ARCO here, you might just get royally and electronically screwed.