"Cup" is the unimposing name of the café down the street, the one run by the Palestinian Sam. It was there this morning, all of us patrons baking in the hitherto extraordinary San Francisco heat, that something happened to my wheelchair. The electronic screen that normally displays such interesting details as speed and battery charge, began flashing its red thunderbolt. Warning. Something terribly wrong. Oy fucking vey. Thing is, this was a sort of nightmare come true. I bop about this town, Read more [...]

Coulter Pines

Summertime, and the livin’ isn't easy, and I do not know about the fish or the height of the cotton…but I do know it isn't even summer. In late spring, heat has hit the Bay Area mercilessly. I made the rather serious mistake of going out this morning for coffee and shopping. Now I have rectified that error by hunkering down inside, air conditioning on. I am, as things go, a lucky person. Never mind the boring reality of heat and neuromuscular conditions. What I notice is that hot weather Read more [...]

Chinese Checkers

Here’s how you know life is telling you to get over yourself.First, start with the conviction that you have something really worthwhile to contribute to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. After all, you have turned up at a local meeting of the HSR. Not that there aren’t local meetings all over the place. And not that all sorts of worthwhile contributions don’t flood in daily to the beleaguered HSR staff.Anyway, you are at your computer writing this noble memo. First, you discuss the Read more [...]

Drake’s Beach

At home I have the luxury of a hospital-type bed that electrically cranks up and down and even vibrates if one isn't getting enough vibrations elsewhere…but I am elsewhere now, Point Reyes, to be exact, that surprisingly wild, and at this time of year, empty bit of national parkland just north of San Francisco.  To anyone who doesn't know the region, being "just north" may not sound like what it is. Close is what it is. As the crow flies, the Golden Gate Bridge is less than 20 miles away. Read more [...]

Our Town

I love this town. This ran through my mind as I emerged from Manny's progressive coffeehouse (for want of better descriptive words) this very midmorning. These sentiments are normally hard to come by in San Francisco as it is today. The high-tech boom, which no longer feels like an economic spurt but a long-range condition, has a cold feel. Actually, this is putting it kindly. More of a soulless feel. And when you think of all the music, comedy and political upheaval that emanated from this extraordinarily Read more [...]

Kings Canyon

Who knows why Kings Canyon acquired its immodest name? Doubtless Google can explain. But I can't be bothered. The place was regal for me even before I saw it. Interesting how preconceptions work in a life. As one friend put it, Kings Canyon is like Yosemite Valley but without the tourists. This was enough to get me there. Actually, the description is not apt. But this doesn't matter. Except perhaps to bolster the element of surprise. And either way, the real surprise was how much Jane and I delighted Read more [...]