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The View From the Hill

I love California. Wish I could have made it work here. Lived here for six years, three in San Francisco, three in San Diego, and of course I’ve visited many times. Finished my MSW here and worked various and sundry jobs. I was just starting too late to fully enter into ‘the good life’ in the Golden State. But I suppose if it had worked I would just be missing New Mexico and my New Mexico family. Such is life with that greener grass always just over there.

Nine days to look forward to now…doing exactly what I want…being pampered…being the family elder isn’t all bad…

THE VIEW. FROM ARRIVAL IN THE RAIN LAST NIGHT TO RIGHT NOW. The poor man’s version of time-lapse photography.


In the Merry Merry Month of May…



I am in this little Airb&b in the pretty peaceful hills of Oakland, California where, right this minute, life is at its most excellent.

It is pure damn luck isn’t it? My friend was going to have a day just like this and it never happened…for no rhyme or reason bad things do happen. So please don’t talk nonsense about extraterrestrials or taking care of your health…just live each day the best you can and never leave home without that rabbit’s foot.

My California son, daughter-in-law and I are here for Teresa’s graduation. Yesterday at the Greek Theater on the UC Berkeley campus a whole lot of smart ambitious young people stepped up to the proverbial plate seriously believing they can make the world a better—or at least a more safely engineered, solidly constructed, environmentally promising—place to inhabit.

The commencement speaker was a refreshing and damn near inspiring change of pace from the usual platitudinous drivel. While far from a great orator he offered graduates practical, excellent and almost impossible-to-follow advice. Basically he said, “If you as engineers actually care about the crumbling infrastructure of this country, you’ll have to get elected to Congress because right now it’s full of lawyers who are educated only to argue; we must elect more engineers—who are educated to actually do, or we’ll never rebuild our country.’ He went on to say a few pointedly political things about the ever-growing ignorance of what made America previously-great, especially the things for which engineers were and are partially or wholly responsible, for example the beautiful campuses of universities like the UC system and fine roads and bridges and all of the things that make a nation work…

Never mind all that for a moment though. It was sunny and people were happy and there’s hope. We went ‘home,’ ordered Chinese and talked meandering family talk. We are very lucky  to have these perfect days in our lives.

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