Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Tacos, Salsa Verde, Wales and Rain

On Tuesday the 15th of January I flew to Los Angeles. Because the federal government is on partial shut-down, I left for the airport early. I had seen news stories that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) personnel who do security screenings were calling in sick at higher-than-usual levels.  Parenthetically, I disilke the tendency of popular culture to demean all TSA agents over the stories of the misdeeds of a few of them. I admire most TSA people, who overall do a good job but do not receive high pay for their efforts.

On Tuesday, the line at security was only five minutes. My flight was on time. i was reading the science fiction novel "Starfire: Memory's Sword" by Spencer Ellsworth on my laptop. This was the third entry in a trilogy. It really held my interest.

I arrived in Los Angeles in the late afternoon. Usually, with an hour to spare, I would stop at Chace Park in Marina del Rey or in Griffith Park in Los Angeles to walk a bit. But once i got my rental car, I realized that the rain would forbid any such action. I tried to stop at a CVS pharmacy to grab an umbrella, but there was not one.

It is a truism that Los Angeles people cannot drive in the rain. But it is true that Tuesday I had to crawl to my hotel downtown through needlessly dense traffic. I finally resorted to a maps application to get directions that sent me through lots of residential neighborhoods. I wish I had simply taken the freeway, but so it goes.

I stayed downtown in the NoMad Hotel. It was a pleasant boutique place. I felt that I had stayed  there before when the hotel had a different name, but I am not sure. Perhaps the decor was familiar.

I went to a business dinner. I was pleased that we eschewed the fancy places and went to BS Taqueria. I had a very presentable Baja-style Dorado taco platter. It was a bit fried for my taste--not always a Baja trait--but it was tasty and the tacos were not over-sized.  I managed to not seem my phone chargers, but it turned up the next morning, after some rather ineffectual charging from the laptop.

The next morning we walked to The Pantry, the breakfast place in Los Angeles that has been in operation since 1924. I had scrambled eggs with turkey sausage and wheat toast.  I bought an umbrella for five dollars from a street vendor, thanks to the sharp-eye of a kind colleague who spotted the vendor. It was the best five dollars I have ever spent,

My business concluded in the evening. I walked to my hotel in the rain. This time, I drove the sensible freeway route,and made it to the airport in no time. On the way, I stopped by Denny's, largely because it required no effort with traffic to visit. So I had my second breakfast of the day--scrambled eggs, fruit, turkey bacon and a ham slice. 

My flight was at midnight. I caught it in good shape, and finished my science-fiction novel on the way. While the prior novel, William Dean Howell's "Their Wedding Journey", took months to read, the new novel took four days. It was a fun read--I breezed through each volume of that trilogy.

When i landed at five a.m., I went home and slept for a few hours. I arrived in the late morning at my office. I walked in Breckinridge Park at lunch. I slipped on a very wet bit of sidewalk.  I am grateful I was not injured. I did get some wet near-mud slick on my khakis. I worried at how unsightly it might prove, but once it all dried it was not really an issue. I took some great photographs of a colorful male American Kestrel.
I should make a resolution about turning around when the sidewalk gets too wet, but I am not big on resolutions.

I worked Thursday in that haze which a red-eye flight can induce. I fancy I am more productive in that state.

Thursday night we watched the science fiction show "The Orville".  I downloaded a new ebook from I am now reading Edward Thomas' non-fiction book "Beautiful Wales". I became interested in Edward Thomas through his reasonably well-known and widely-beloved poem "Adlestrop".  I love that poem, and its single prosaic image that nonetheless summons up an era's passing.

My netbook ereader plan continues successfully.  I read as many pages of the Howells novel in five days as i read on my living room laptop in three and a half months. I knocked out the first thirty pages of "Beautiful Wales", though its prose is less raygun-y than the "Starfire" series.

I worked a busy and solid day today. At lunch, I walked in little Dave Sanford Park in Sachse. This is one of those little neighorhood parks with a small pond surrounded by a walking sidewalk. I got some nice photos of an immature Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. A cold front was moving in.

After work I walked in Schell Park in Plano. My wife and I went to San Miguel Restaurant in McKinney, a place we have visited for at least
sixteen years. It was once again dependable and great. I eschewed my usual enchiladas to have Pollo en Salsa Verde. I really enjoyed it.

Tomorrow I must rise early for some modest volunteer work. Then my wife and I plan a little short-term adventure.

from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice

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