Papusa City

Do note that in these (somewhat) United States of America my city is among the few in which one can handily get about without a car. So why is it that a car currently dominates much of my emotional life? The answer doubtless lives in my own subconscious. Even without complications, cars pop up in dreams. Driving them seems to represent the course of life itself…in control, out-of-control, able to stop or unable. Whatever. In my more corporeal life, the entire population of San Francisco gets on Read more [...]

Battle for the Diner

I just stumbled across Ralph Nader in the pages of a fairly recent copy of The Sun, and the old crusader seems surprisingly full of optimism…and well grounded. He doesn't believe the nation is really all that divided. In fact, he sees areas of general agreement…such as breaking up the banks, the ones that are ‘too big to fail’…and goes on to cite others. So, what the hell. If he can believe, I can believe. Which brings me back to trains. Honestly, the Amtrak dining car is a downright Read more [...]

Save the Trains

It is like a giving a wrecking ball to your five-year-old. That is the current modus operandi of America's Republican Congress. My British-born wife keeps asking me to explain life in the nuthouse, but I can't. Few people can. Still, the explanations come fast and furious, almost with the swiftness of those behind the wrecking ball. Much of the populace is uneducated. Too many people are watching too many screens. Or conversely, too few people bother to talk to each other face-to-face. Honestly, Read more [...]


Reading about my driving experiences can even bore me. So feel free to skip this latest chapter. Which begins with the rain. We have had a lot this year. Which is a wonderful thing if you are a farmer or a delta smelt. Or even just a Californian. Actually it's splendid. But for those of us of the spinal-cord-Injury persuasion rain is, of course, mixed. Nevermind getting soaked because yet another elevator is broken in the subway system. Driving anxiety only gets worse. And it's bad enough already. And Read more [...]


We seem such a feeble effort, the small crowd that gathers near the subway station in San Francisco's Mission District. There appear to be almost as many television reporters as demonstrators. Whatever. This is us, the Wednesday interfaith demonstration for immigrants' rights. There is the usual slightly maddening wait. Then some music, which turns out to be rather good. Then an introduction of the principals from the various religious groups, one of them my wife. And the San Francisco police, it Read more [...]