Amtrak California

I have, let us say, been dealing with anxiety. The latter being one of those nebulous, borderline useless terms for something vague, pervasive and, I suspect, generally human. Whatever. I still maintain that a conscious effort to sort out legitimate from illegitimate fear is worth the effort. In any case, I do see a general shift in perspective. Let's see if it lasts. In fact, let's see if it is even real. First, let's say that I care about some things more than others, and that at age 72 caring Read more [...]

To the Bench

When I tell people that my hometown is Banning, California, they nod and recall their drive through the place on the way to Las Vegas. This is a sure sign they don't know what I'm talking about. Or maybe they do. Banning is a place one only recalls having driven through. But, no, it's not Las Vegas, which generally involves a drive through that other "B" desert town of Barstow. It's Palm Springs. The last burg before the resort town is Banning. Jane and I just returned from two days in Palm Springs, Read more [...]


It's barely 2019, and I have thrown up my hands. Really. Literally. I just tossed two more of them, tiny plastic hands, in the general direction of Christmas presents. Yes, it is 6 January, and Christmas is allegedly passed. Not really. Jane tells me that this very day is Christmas for the Greek Orthodox Church. And, although I have slightly lost count, the 12 days of Christmas may still be rolling off the conventional calendar. In any case, Jane's daughter Eleanor, son-in-law Martin and grandson Read more [...]

Snow Creek

It is cold in these parts, and in the Gubbio Project a fair number of San Francisco's homeless have spent some time on this colder-than-average day. The contrast is gobsmacking. I arrive in my tweed sports jacket, fresh from my neighborhood of high-tech corporate workers…to sit at a folding table dispensing toothpaste, socks and similar essentials. I record the name of each beneficiary in a computer. And the latter task is not as easy as it sounds. Many of the shelterees answer with a mumble or Read more [...]