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 [...]


Our dog Bixby is an endlessly cheery example of what is possible in a life, canine or otherwise. Eight years after his rescue, what one sees is a timorous, yet happy-go-lucky border collie mix who, moments ago, was standing doing his usual begging for a treat. You can imagine the general stance. A foot raised in anticipation, his little tongue going around in imaginary tasting mode.  And this is where we usually run into trouble. Bixby is too frightened to take a treat directly from my hand. Read more [...]

Lunch on the Embarcadero

It is 4:15 AM, and I am inexplicably awake. I might have been inexplicably asleep. Everything is inexplicable at that hour of the morning. My awakeness continues without further illumination. Our cat, Nutmeg, howls. Jane rises and attempts to soothe her. She announces that it is 4:45 AM. I am now aware of one important thing, the state of my nostrils. They are blocked, and this is not a good thing. Actually, it isn't a bad thing. But the blockage is enough to make an anxious person more anxious. Read more [...]


Well, this has been rather a momentous day in this introvert's mind. I am an incorrigible idealist in matters political. This makes me a chronically disappointed person, of course, barely able to cope with reality as it is. Still, this is a two-sided blade, as it were, and this very day it has cut both ways. I began the day by meeting a young man from Yale. That's right, in the heart of the Ivy League. Ah, but the plot thickens. This kid comes from a modest background, got into Yale on a scholarship, Read more [...]