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small gray square In January 1987 I was driving through a blizzard in Texas and New Mexico. The sleet of Oklahoma had gradually become several inches of hard-packed snow on the surface of I-40. On the 17th I was only able to travel 180 miles. I remember spending several hours in a crowded truck stop that day in a kind of a low-level panic-fog. How could I possibly make it through to Los Angeles in these conditions, my VW beetle packed with all my precious gear? Was I to accept the refugee mindset of those around me, glad of shelter here in the western Texas panhandle? In the restaurant at a neighboring table, looking out at the dense snowflakes falling from the gray sky, they were talking about the then-rampant Hong Kong Flu, said virus which I had endured the month before (and it was doozy)... Rapidly I got bored hanging around, it was only going to get worse there, no rooms were available. So I slogged back out through the eight-inch snow, cranked up the engine and drove away slowly, merging into the single lane of traffic inching through the mountains. Peoples' wheels were slipping now and then, visibility was poor, and my first experience with chains was years in the future - a potentially catastrophic situation. But traffic eventually thinned out that evening and the snow stopped falling that night, which I spent in a small town called Santa Rosa at the very bleak "Oasis Motel" (sections of the walls inside were raw cinderblock). The next day I drove almost 650 miles, so sick of snow I was that I didn't stop until I'd reached California, and was rid of it. I called David (in Santa Monica) from the phone booth outside the Needles TraveLodge and advised him, with glee, that there was a palm tree right next to me. I'd made it!

small red square Mixed feelings on today's World Cup results. Too bad the USA team was the loser to Deutschland (but we really weren't surprised, nicht wahr?)

small orange square Summer here for sure today. The heat & sun were such that I finally deployed my hot-weather woven-wooden-bead ventilation seat-cover. It's begun to fray, right in the middle - I must get a new one, perhaps of a different style, like the coily kind more common years ago. I gotta have something, in hot weather, to elevate me off the Toyota's fuzzy bucket seat (which is so comfortable in winter).

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