With Peter’s time in San Diego counting down, we figured we’d better get back over to the zoo for one last visit. We’d been there in 2015, before he even knew he’d attend UCSD… so, five years later….



Here are a few iPhone (as if that’s not obvious) animal shots:










We’d learned that there were a few Rainbow Eucalyptus trees somewhere at the zoo. We inquired, and were directed just outside the main gate. Worth finding!



It was an unfortunate day to have been without my Apple watch.. as I could not count our steps nor note our significant mileage! But we did walk a bunch. After walking all over tarnation at the zoo, we added some tarnation at Balboa Park. That was particularly pretty at sunset, but I’ve already posted too many pictures, so you’ll just have to imagine the glowing light on the architecturally stunning buildings.

Well… here’s one:


And we met Kim and Sandi for dinner at nearby Cucina Urbana… which was its usual exceptional. Then Peter and I dropped Jim off at the airport, as per our Sunday evening ritual, and returned to La Jolla.


The View from Here

February 15, 2020

We are now keenly aware that our time in La Jolla is coming to an end… after four years of 4-5 trips/year, and dozens of restaurants and hikes and walks along the beach. Feels a bit sad but also kind of exciting as we think about what is in store for Peter in his next academic chapter. More on that later.

We are feeling prematurely nostalgic this trip and have decided to spend the next couple visits–likely our last for a long while–returning to favorite restaurants (detailed notes of which I’ve kept…no surprise to my guys).

This morning, we went to Brockton Villa for brunch…


…and had their famous Coast Toast. Yum. No pictures of that, but here is the view from the restaurant (if you looked down from these double palms, you’d see the La Jolla Cove).


And the original…


Sure gonna miss this place.


The Jewel

February 14, 2020

In English, la joya means “the jewel.” I assume that La Jolla is a form of la joya.. they’re certainly pronounced the same.

In any case, Jim and I are in La Jolla, meeting up with Peter within the hour, I hope. He’s still in class. We flew in to San Diego at about noon and headed to a little culinary pocket of mostly Mexican restaurants we discovered a few visits ago, this time eating at a place called Lucha Libre Taco Shop (which is full of Mexican pro wrestling kitsch). It’s considered completely authentic (why wouldn’t it be?) and it was good. We’re now killing time in our hotel room, but spent a good part of the afternoon walking along the beach in this lovely (ritzy) quintessential Southern California coastal town.  Beeeeeautiful day. I might be a bit sunburned.

Some snaps:


I liked the water patterns.




Played a little with this one. Note the surfing blobs out there.



This is a neato front door.


I just love a bare eucalyptus trunk. It is the coolest look. And those roots..


It’s Valentine’s Day… so these just materialized out of nowhere…


Fun to have a thatched hut on the beach for folks to use. This is near what appears to be a popular surf spot; and the waves (which were breaking to the left of this shot) looked pretty fun.


I’m always a sucker for rows of backlit palm trees against a blue sky.


And, Happy Valentine’s Day!  I love us:

When Life Gives You Crazy…

February 13, 2020

…… head to the creek on a brilliantly sunny day.

The crazier it gets, the more we need respite, and the arboretum this morning was that place. So far, just a few trees are blooming, but the place was teeming with artists and babies and duck families.


We couldn’t escape politics (a theme that repeated everywhere I went today). We were doing our usual loop around the creek going over some of the latest alarming news(*), as we do, passing pairs of others similarly animated. I have to believe it’s a good thing that concerned people all over town (and I presume other towns, as well) are in various states of shock.

It was pretty down there, and one could easily escape into the surroundings and loveliness…








Equestrian Center



Greens so green



(*) From my new favorite historian, Heather Cox Richardson, who’s been preparing a daily summary of the day’s notable news now for months (Called “Letters From an American”): “Since the Senate acquitted him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Trump seems to feel untouchable, and he is trying to consolidate his power.” And then she went on to cite the details of numerous examples, including T’s meddling in Roger Stone’s sentencing and AG Barr bending to his will, though that wasn’t the only example. The whole essay today just made me shake. And it looks like there could be a showdown between the two branches of the dem party for the nomination–not news–but that it could become a fight between Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg. That could get complicated and threatening to party unity.




Okay, I’m not going to post every time I spend a couple of hours registering voters, but I just have to say this is about the most tangible, satisfying political work I have ever done, or will ever do. Truly, what could be more important?

Registering voters at CSU Stanislaus (Modesto) is more like a 6-hour commitment with the commute time, but that drive part goes fast when you’re in a car with three other relentlessly motivated, politically engaged/enraged fellow dems… that is some good conversation, let me tell you.

For those keeping track (me, of course), my personal 2020 voter registration total so far is 27 (added ten today).  I’ve toyed with the idea of setting a goal for myself of new democratic voters for the 2020 election … 100? 500? but I’m not even sure what a good target is.. other than as many as possible and every new vote counts.

So, we’ll just keep doing that.



Came upon these a few days ago…


What’s really coming up all over town are blossoms and bulbs and sour grass. There is no rain in the 10-day forecast.. just lots of blue sky and 70 degree weather.  And WOW, but it feels like spring out there.

In other news, Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire tonight. I’m thrilled, AND quaking in my boots.

Like everyone, I want a candidate who will resoundingly beat the Freak Show of a president we’re suffering through now, and send his whole clown car packing in November. I’ve never thought the best candidate would be somebody with my progressive policy preferences (thank you Sweden for showing me the way), but, man, here we are with Bernie winning the popular vote in the Iowa Caucuses and outright winning New Hampshire. What. Does. That. Mean???

I know it’s early.

Though I lean way left, I’ve always been willing for our president to be more middle-ish in order to satisfy and represent the greatest number of people. Seems only fair, in a country as divided as we are, that a president govern from the middle.  But if we WERE ever to get to a better, more equitable society — the democratic socialist country that I dream of — we ought to at least get there in careful steps.

I really think Elizabeth Warren is the thoughtful, smart, process-oriented steady hand we need here. She’s got the policies nailed, but I think she’d govern within the lines and propose a more reasonable, nuanced  path to get there. (Not that any of these things would ever happen with a republican Senate, at least not wholesale, and certainly not anytime soon).

I’m not counting her out, yet, but she’s not doing well right now. And ZOUNDS!, Bernie’s killing it … and I just don’t know how that’s going to go over in the middle part of the country that we have to win in order to secure the electoral college.

(I wonder if, subconsciously, this is why I posted a picture of mushrooms coming up out of the ground. If Elizabeth had won tonight, maybe I’d have been moved to post a picture of bright flowers. Maybe I don’t want an old white guy, even if I love his policies and energy.)



A Man and His Shop

February 10, 2020

Look at this happy guy.



Jim’s working on a coffee table. He’s building the base and a table top that accommodates a tile arrangement custom-designed by a local ceramic artist. I will certainly post pictures of this collaborative table building project as we get closer to a finished product!

For now, I’m just appreciating how the workshop is coming along and how crazily satisfied Jim is with his ever-evolving workspace, and the prospects for endless projects.

So far, time in the garage-turned-workshop has been mostly meta.. he’s been building benches for building projects, and organizing and fixing spaces so he can better organize his future organizing and fixing projects. He’s shuffling tools and materials hither and yon as he designs and builds a variety of vessels and wall units and shelves to eventually store all those things. If that makes sense. Basically he’s setting himself all up to spend many great years in his customized dream workshop.  As workshop guys do, I imagine.