Neptune Direct


November 28, 2020, Plano-

Seventy, as I expected, feels no different than sixty, or sixty-five. The day passed with a variety of activities: Joining a global Zoom gathering, hosted by a longtime friend from Phoenix; picking up another pair of dress casual shoes; munching on burger and fries for lunch and a delectable Pho (Vietnamese soup) and spring rolls for dinner; and exploring parts of Grapevine, TX (photos tomorrow), where Aram and Yunhee will live, come the end of January.

It has been a time of both taking stock of how things have changed, as I mentioned yesterday, and of projecting ahead. I have a sense of what I hope to accomplish in 2021 and beyond. Right now, I am focusing mostly on December, and being there for any children and youth who need me, between now and the Christmas/New Year’s Break. I had planned on taking three days off, to mark the fortieth anniversary of Penny and I having met. That would have taken me to a couple of places in New Mexico that are associated with our first encounter.

New Mexico, though, remains closed to people from most states, including Arizona and there are relatively few substitutes working with my employer, so I will be making myself available from December 1-18, straight through. With any interstate road trip over the holidays looking increasingly ludicrous, I will have plenty of time to check out places in other parts of Arizona, as well as relax with friends, during the Break.

Planet Neptune ends its retrograde, relative to Earth, tomorrow. This sort of event exhausts a lot of people, but generally focuses my attention more sharply and lets me sleep more deeply through the night. That will make it a lot easier both to give my attention where it is needed and to plan realistically for the weeks and months ahead.

The Hotel Project, Day 4


September 28, 2020, Dallas-

We will now send clients’ laundry out, for professional service, if they so choose. There are always considerations, these days- such as sensitivity to detergents and scents. There is also the fear, sometimes founded, of commercial laundries losing items, but that happens when washing machines and dryers “eat” clothing items as well.

I have now enjoyed the “Big 3” of North Dallas food items-Barbecue, Gourmet burgers and Poke; but wait, there’s Pho! I will get together with Aram and Yunhee, most likely this weekend-and enjoy Korean and Vietnamese fare. Another friend will likely be a dining companion, before I leave Dallas and the likely choice will be more poke.

I am getting the hang of this hotel project, and manage to keep actively serving. The source of amusement is that I carry two boxes at a time, when restocking the snack bag table. Others choose to carry one-but I think it really depends on each one’s condition- no judgment.

The Road to 65, Mile 183: Northwestward, Resumed, Day 4- Reno to Mount Shasta


May 30, 2015, Mount Shasta- I am at the base of northern California’s most sacred peak,


in a town where Black Bear Diner came into existence, some twenty years ago.  The little eatery is still here, and in several other locations, across eight states.  So, I had dinner there this evening.



More about that, in a bit.  The day started with my little “grand-niece’s” blanket tent being carefully honoured by everyone, including she.  After my usual breakfast of cereal and coffee, I bid my Reno family farewell and headed west.  The first stop was the Sierra Nevada town of Truckee, both for a bite of lunch, (leftover from last night’s dinner at Pho, in south Reno). and to check out the neat little spot.


Sierra Inn is one of Truckee’s signature hotels.


Truckee Hotel is the other.


The main street was just starting to stir, on this bright Saturday morning.

On the north back street, there is a cute Arts Center:  Kindred Art and Folk Institute


Having been to the performing arts center in Carson City, a few days ago, I am more inclined to notice these places, further along the road.

On the south side of town, across the tracks, runs the Truckee River.


It is about as low here, as it was in Reno, on Thursday.

The grass and meadow flowers are doing okay, though.


I drove on, across the Sierra Nevada, skirting Donner Pass- the site of infamy, in the mid-1860’s, and over to I-5, stopping briefly at Panera Bread, in Sacramento, for a power smoothie.  The Sacramento River, seen from the highway, appeared to be running a tad higher than the Truckee.

I made it to Mount Shasta, the city of a few thousand artists, ranchers and dreamers, around 5:30.  Finlandia Motel, on the west end of town, was my choice of rest stop for the night.  It has a small spa, which gave me a much-appreciated soak, after checking out the town by car and on foot.


The office and lodgings have a fairy tale ambiance about them.


I got to play with my zoom lens a bit, over the past few days.  The peaks to the west of Shasta (southern Cascades) loom larger.


The town has a fine natural foods market, Berrydale.


A barefoot young man, seemingly in a state of befuddlement, asked where he could get espresso.  Berrydale has a small deli counter, but it was 7:30, and even natural foods grocers have to go home at night.

Seven Suns, though, is the main spot in town for fine coffee and tea.


                                   Has Beans is the preferred coffee source in this part of California.

Back to my dinner:  I sat at the counter, and was served by an attentive, mature lady.  Nearby, a local man was working a crossword puzzle.  I was able to give him one of the words, and a man in the booth behind us, gave another.  Our conversation ranged from the arcane (He:  “Different species of people can interbreed very easily”.  I: “That’s because we are all the same species”) to the edifying (He:  “I save all my paperwork.  When the government came after me, I won.”  I:  “That’s good to know.”)  I learn something new from everyone I meet, it seems.