Archive | March, 2009

JPL

March 1, 2009

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Reaching JPL at 8 o’clock in the morning is as easy as breaking into four lanes of solid traffic on the freeway, battling a motorcyclist for the rights to commit suicide on the Oak Road exit, and getting past a security guard set at the entrance to Visitor’s Parking in front of the main entrance […]

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Corroded RV

March 1, 2009

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Friday, March 7, Pasadena, California. The bed seemed a bit hard. I recall saying that, somewhere. Both shoulders are as sore as if I had slept on a marble slab. “Quiet as a tomb,” the manager had said. Superhard beds surely can only be useful to people who either sleep on their back in kingly […]

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Hard Beds

March 1, 2009

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Of course, here we are at the entrance to the Thai restaurant. My best guess at translation of the sign over the door to the Thai restaurant is “Fat Customers”. A young woman in traditional Thai garments greets us in an anteroom decorated with Buddhist prints, originals on silk, I think, and leads us into […]

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Finding Food

March 1, 2009

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One thing I’ve learned about driving into the Los Angeles basin is to stop and go to the bathroom first. There is a Jack-In-the Box at Valencia that serves this purpose. The men’s restroom is in the process of being cleaned by one of the male staff. He works around me while I use the […]

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Driving South

March 1, 2009

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Thursday morning, and we are rolling on our way to Pasadena and then on to the Rotary International meeting in Anaheim. The fifty miles from home to Stockton, California take longer than usual. We pause on this morning’s drive while a farmer reloads a dozen or so bales of hay back onto his trailer. What […]

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Vatican Library Online

March 1, 2009

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I imagine a conversation with a modern Jesus. He is saying, “I’m tired of serving fish. Teach them to fish…remember when I said that? Like, man, no one wants to learn how to fish, anymore. Everyone wants frozen filets.” February 22. Dense fog conceals the valley, but in the foothills the grass has turned emerald […]

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Fuzzy Weather

March 1, 2009

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California is nearly first in offering the “unlimited refill” policy at all of the fast food places. In Texas, I have to go back to the counter and purchase a refill for thirty nine cents. It’s not the money so much as the time and effort. But, I forget, they’re more energetic back in Texas. […]

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Bank Job

March 1, 2009

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I scribble in cramped, hard-to-decipher notes: I’m writing this in the parking lot outside the optometrist’s office near Sutter Creek on February 18. We’re on our way back from the post office and I’ve been asking Lydia why there are so many lawyers, bankers, and insurance professionals in Rotary Clubs. She says it’s because they […]

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Brazos Night

March 1, 2009

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Down on the Brazos, brown Brazos Laugh! – and feel the mud between your toes. Where last week’s flood rippled, an empty can And an engine hood lie rusting in the sand. Next week or next year, these parts will move downriver, the piece of broken china, the half burned milk carton, the used Band-Aid, […]

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Boudin Balls

March 1, 2009

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For years I’ve recommended stopping in Holliers in Sulfur, Louisianna. Spend less than two dollars and eat two good boudin balls. These are hot and spicy. They’ve rebuilt after their fire, but can still be found at the sign of the concrete pig north from exit 20. Now, I’d have to say that although Holliers […]

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