march 20--The day after the vernal equinox

At home, sheltering in place. The school is closed, so we are doing our classes remotely. I don't have any lectures scheduled until next week, so mostly just preparing and answering emails from anxious students. They are worried about not getting enough clinical hours to graduate, as we can no longer send them out to the hospitals. I'm not sure how this will all play out for them.

blossom 1

Apple blossoms on the first day of Spring.

It was a lovely day out yesterday. Cold and a bit foggy in the morning, but clear in the afternoon. The weather doesn't seem to know about the crisis that is brewing.

blossom 2

I talked with my new neighbor for a bit. They moved in a few months ago, and seem nice. All three of her adult children have returned from wherever they were and are now staying with her.

I took a walk in the neighborhood, down to the park and back. It felt good to be out. I'm not eating much lately, and have lost 10 pounds in the past two weeks. I can certainly afford it, but it is strange to not have an appetite. I am generally a nervous eater, but not right now.

blossom 3

I've started keeping a paper journal again. I used to write in a journal all the time, but gave it up around the time Malida moved to the US. I am surprised by how much I have to write--about 3-4 pages every night. I can write stuff there that I can't write here. The downside is that there are no pictures.

The sunlight is streaming in through my window as I write. Another beautiful morning.

March 6--Little brass bell

I was listening to something on NPR the other day--a show called Radiolab. It was the occasion of one of their hosts retiring. His name is Robert Kulwich. At one point, they were talking about a little book he has kept for years and years, where he writes things that deserve some kind of attention. They're actually little awards he gives out in his head to things that catch his attention. I liked that.

It made me think about writing here, and the joy it brings me, especially when it is the small inconsequential stuff I am writing about. Every once in a while I drift away from that, and then it gets harder to write anything, until I sit here one day and can't think of a thing. And then months go by, and I remember the little things again.

In the mornings, before I leave for work, I walk out to the front yard with my coffee and look up at the sky for a few moments. If it is still dark, I look at the stars and see how they are doing. If it is already light, I look to see if it will be a clear day or a cloudy day. Daylight savings time always messes that up. Spring forward this Sunday.

Today, it is mostly clear, with some patchy infiltrates. It's supposed to rain a bit this weekend--something we haven't seen for a while. I always welcome rain. I'll be home tomorrow anyway, so it will be a good day to get things done. Things like baking something.

We celebrated our wedding anniversary on the 29th (leap day). It's been 12 years--a year longer than I was married the first time around. We spent the night in Half Moon Bay, which is south of San Francisco. We had a nice dinner at Sam's Chowder House, and got up the next morning and walked along the beach for a while before heading into The City to get some pork buns at our favorite Chinese bakery in the Sunset district.

Miramar Beach before sunset

I should be on my way to work about now, but we are off for the week because of two students in quarantine, and not being sure who was exposed. The students are fine--no symptoms. I still have to go into the hospital to set up some preceptorships, but other than that, free day.

January 189--21 tips for getting old

I read something this morning about getting old, and it essentially said, "now's the time to spend all your money, and don't worry about not leaving it to your kids." Since I don't have any kids, that makes it easy. It also said don't stress about shit--just enjoy your life. Ok.

I survived my procedure last Monday. It's always interesting to be a patient after have been a caregiver for so many years. My nurse was awesome. She got my IV in right away, and gave me a warm blanket. I only remember the very end of the procedure. Malida drove me home and I ate something, then slept for the rest of the afternoon.


Before the procedure, happy about my warm blanket. I have to have another one in 5 years. My first thought was, "I'll be retired then."

I went back to work on Tuesday. There were no students this week, so it was fairly quiet. I got most of what I needed to do done. We have a new textbook this semester, and I still have to update all my lectures to the new book, but I will do that as we go along.

new Mohr

I took a walk to the other side of the campus to see how our building is coming along. In our division meeting, the dean told us it would be done by April, and we could move in around July. In my experience, these estimates are often optimistic, and usually shot down by an unexpected problem or issues with inspections. We'll see. I'll be happy to get out of the temporary buildings, though I have developed a fondness for that side of the campus.

Tomorrow is a holiday, so Malida and I will take a drive up to see the snow, which we usually do at the beginning of the year. I'm going to make some cranberry orange bread today so we have something to eat with our coffee in the morning.
  • Current Music
    Richard Thompson--Beeswing

January 13--With Two Glasses of Water

I'm nearing the end of my surprisingly restful winter break. In spite of how I felt at the beginning, having bronchitis for most of it, and coming down with a touch of food poisoning (thanks Yosemite!) it's been relaxing. Maybe because I was sick, I didn't try to do too much. I mostly read, played The Sims, and watched some movies, stuff I don't do nearly enough during the semester.

To celebrate the upcoming semester, I am in the midst of a prep for a procedure later this morning. I won't tell you what the procedure is, but it involves not eating anything solid for 24 hour before, and drinking lots of nasty stuff. Actually, the nasty stuff is much less nasty now than it was 10 years ago. Not quite pleasant, but not really unpleasant either.



My procedure is at 9, and Malida is driving me. I'm not worried about the procedure--I'm thinking about what to eat when I'm done and all woke up. Maybe something sensible. Maybe not.

The other thing I have been doing with my time off is working on my family tree. I got a DNA test kit for my birthday, and that got me thinking about it. I'll write more about it later when I don't have to keep getting up. My DNA results were only surprising in that I have more Scottish and Irish blood than I thought, but other than that it was pretty much what I expected. No mystery half-siblings lurking in the shadows.

laguna cat

We went out walking along the creek trail on Saturday, and there were all sorts of cats out there. They seemed too friendly to be feral, but it turns out they were. We came across the woman that puts out food for them, and she told us all about the cats that live out there. When they see her coming, they come running. The ducks too, for some reason. She has names for all of them (there are about 20), and she knows if one is missing. This one's name is Ulysses.

Ok, time to go wake up Malida.
  • Current Music
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds--Breathless

January 3--With a lonesome train whistle in the background. Again. And Again.

As I started typing in the subject line, it auto-filled from a previous January 3, and I realized that there was a train going by, again, as it does almost every morning at this time. Our house is about a half-mile or less from the tracks, and I love the sound of the train going by.

We had a nice celebration on January 1st. We had friends over and I made ham, black eyed peas, brussels sprouts, corn bread and scalloped potatoes. The only thing I remembered to take a picture of was the corn bread. Everything was delicious.

corn bread

It was the first time I tried making the corn bread in one of my cast iron skillets, and it turned out perfectly. Now I know.

I was looking back and noted that I took hardly any pictures in December. It was a difficult end of the semester, and all I could think about was getting through it and the winter break. Now I'm starting to stress about the next semester. I need to go in for a while today and get some stuff set up. I have six semesters until I retire.

Tomorrow we take off for Yosemite for a few days, and that will be nice. I can take some pictures there.

south Beach

South Beach overlook at Point Reyes, from the other day. When I took this, I was thinking about the texture and colors of the land just above the beach, and wanting to capture that. This particular view always captivates me.

eta--I just realized I posted this pic the other day as well, but didn't really say what I wanted to say about it. So I'll leave it.
  • Current Music
    The War on Drugs--Strangest Thing

January 1-In Provence and Auvers

Well, ok--2019 is over. Good.

We spent the final few days of the year down in Tomales Bay, which is the body of water that borders Point Reyes on its eastern side. The ocean is on the other side. It was the first time we had stayed on that side of the bay, although we have spent time over there. It was peaceful and relaxing.

tomales bay

Tomales Bay on a Misty Morning.

I'm off work for a few weeks for winter break. The end of the semester was hectic, and I had bronchitis for about the last week and a half of it. I went in the day after Christmas and finished up all the stuff I needed to finish, and don't have to go back until the 14th. It was a tough semester, though I can't really pinpoint why. It just was.

One interesting thing is that our difficult coworker unexpectedly resigned at the end of the semester. Ultimately it will be a good thing, as she was a toxic presence, but it will create more work in the short term for a few people, including me. I'm ok with that.

south beach

South Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore.

We are having some people over today for New Years. I'm making a ham, scalloped potatoes, black eyed peas, greens, and corn bread. Malida works the next two days, and then we are heading up to Yosemite for a few days.

Malida at the lighthouse

Malida at the Lighthouse

I haven't really formed any solid New Years resolutions yet--just some vague ideas about how to recalibrate certain things a bit. Get enough sleep, be a better husband, walk more. Stuff like that.
  • Current Music
    Van Morrison--Dark Night of the Soul

November 24--24 Days

It's 24 days until the end of the semester and winter break. We have no plans for winter break, other than some minor surgery for Malida, and a colonoscopy for me. Whee! Normally we will go somewhere for either Christmas or New Years, but I don't think we will go anywhere this time around, unless it is a short, spontaneous trip somewhere. I had kind of hoped to go down to Death Valley, but it doesn't look likely.

We headed up over the Sierras for our three-day weekend a few weeks ago. We did some hiking along the Caples Creek trail, then over the pass to the east side, and stayed in Lee Vining. The next morning we drove over the Tioga Pass and into Yosemite. It was pretty in the valley, and still some beautiful fall color.

fall color

We spent a couple of hours wandering around looking at things and taking pictures, then headed up to Glacier Point to take a look. The last few times we have been here, the Glacier Point road has been closed. It's about to be closed again, when a storm rolls in later this week, and probably won't open again until late next spring.

half dome

Half dome from Glacier Point. One of my favorite views.

I had to meet with the Dean this week about my pay. Looks like I have been shorted some hours for the past couple of semesters. I do lots of extra things, and my pay profile is somewhat complex, as pay for these things comes from a variety of sources. Something got missed, and they owe me for about 60 hours. That will be a nice little present.

My students are finishing their preceptorships, and the end is near. I'm ready to be done for the year.
  • Current Music
    June Christy--Round Midnight

November 9--What if Batman had been born in Arkansas?

I was planning to finish up work yesterday at about 11 am, but was hit with yet another audit just before I was ready to go. So I ended up working well into the afternoon to get all the stuff they needed to see. Fortunately, our student personnel assistants were there, and they were really helpful. Another hoop we have to jump through to keep the clinical placements for our students.

I woke up thinking about work this morning, which is something I hardly ever do. I am just generally irritated--no particular focus for my irritation. This has actually been a pretty chill semester, and things are going well overall. I'm just irritated. I'll get over it.

pizza moon

From the people who write my subject lines.

Malida's mom, brother, grandpa and niece Nim are all still staying at our house in Thailand. They all seem to like it there, and I suspect we will always have company whenever we're visiting. It's fine with me--we have our own room, with our own little back patio, and I like all of them.

The house in the city is being looked after by Nim's big sister, Nung, who is living there and going to school. Everyone seems happy.

We are thinking about driving up into the Sierras for the weekend, as we both have Monday off. Not sure where we will stay, but probably some place on the east side, so we can drive back through Yosemite on Monday. We missed the fall colors up there, but there is always something to see, no matter what the season.

bodega fog

A foggy morning on Tomales Bay, from our trip a few weeks ago. that dark spot on the right side is the head of an otter looking at us.

November 3--Rotary Dial

It is a crisp, cool morning here. My favorite kind of morning--coffee always tastes better on a cold morning. I have used the word "morning" four times already. Moving on.


Our house in Thailand is finished enough that they had the monks in to do the house blessing last weekend. Now MaMa and Malida's brother are staying there for a week to make sure the blessing sticks. Or something. They are happy with how it turned out. MaMa is working on some of the details like getting curtains, hot water heaters for the shower, and stuff like that.


It was a five-monk event. Lots of folks from the village came and there was plenty of food. I wish we could have been there.

MaMa has done a fantastic job of being the construction foreperson. She has pretty much handled all the finances, made a lot of the day-to-day decisions, and kept everyone on the right path.

I'm thinking about clearing all the junk that has accumulated in my home office. There are piles of stuff everywhere. It does not spark joy. The idea of cleaning doesn't really spark joy either, but it has to be done.

I still can't find the two hard drives that have ten years of my photographs on them. I hid them before we went to Thailand in 2018, and have never been able to remember where. This last time around I hid the credit cards I wasn't going to take with me, and didn't remember where they were until I stumbled across them yesterday. I need a better system.

Work is work. I am looking forward to winter break, which is about 6 or 7 weeks away.


Here's some no-knead bread I made in my dutch oven. It is delicious with some butter. It sparks joy.

October 25--Apple Cinnamon Muffins for all!

Two days in a row! Zowie!

I was having a wonderful day yesterday, and the shift was just about over, when I got an email informing me that our school was being audited by the healthcare organization where we have students in clinical. This meant that we had two hours to produce all the background check, drug screen, and immunization documents on six students. "We" meaning me, as there was no one on campus and my boss is on vacation.

I had to cancel my post-conference with the students and run back to the campus to try and gather all this stuff and send it in. I got it all in just at the deadline, but got a subsequent email that some of the stuff I sent wasn't adequate. Dang. I was already on my way home, so nothing I could do about it. The person requesting the documents is off today, so I can stop fretting about it until Monday.

I made a comment earlier about armor, and how I had visited a museum and seen a very cool armor exhibit a few years ago. I thought it had been in Italy, but turns out it was in Paris I think it was at the same place Napoleon is buried, where there is a military museum--Les Invalides.

guy's face

I love this armor face.

I'm looking at recipes for muffins. I am pretty much settled on making some apple cinnamon muffins this weekend, for no particular reason other than to take my new muffin pan out for a spin. I will half the recipe so we are not overwhelmed with muffins.

While nosing through my photo archives for the armor face picture, I found a shot I took from atop Notre Dame, of the spire and roof that are now gone.

notre Dame

I wonder if it will be restored in my lifetime.