Today I finished the C.S. Forrester novel "The General", which I found an interesting read. I spent my late afternoon with bardcat, with whom I went for a hike on the Spring Creek Trail. I'm always pleased when a LiveJournal person ends up being as kind and interesting as that user's journal persona. We saw a few things on the trail--a swamp rabbit, a giant swallowtail butterfly, Mexican hat flowers (nearly out of bloom), Queen Anne's Lace, and a scissortail flycatcher, but mostly we talked about this and that and cabbages and candle wax and whatever else is in the Lewis Carroll list. I'm so impressed that he's gotten a book of poetry published by a university press in his region--an accolade deserved in every respect.
We drove by Southfork Ranch, so that bardcat could see the "mansion" (the term is a stretch in this context) featured on the TV show "Dallas", which is one of our local conversational items. We had a great time, and I was so glad to hear the stories he had to tell, although I worry, always, that I talk far too much in such social settings. There are so many stories, of course, and with silence I could no doubt hear as many of them as my ears could hold. But I am not always silent.
I tried to phone my father, but missed him so far, but I will remedy that
soon. My wife and I went to Mimi's restaurant, where I had an excellent sole while she had an excellent salad. As my wife always develops "hi, how are you!" relationships with waitstaff, we soon found ourselves in a vivid discussion of the bright waitperson's educational efforts to become a nurse anesthesist. I love that twentysomethings nowadays can be so much more focused than my "generation" was in our 20s. I do not love that in my day, one paid the inflation-adjusted equivalent of 500 dollars a semester to go to college, while now the figure is more like 3500 dollars. This is one more situation in which neglect of educational infrastructure damages our society, but you cannot tell that to the tax-cutting ideacrats in Austin.
We also had a brief chat with the woman who worked at our local Coffee Dreams, which, sadly, closed down this week. I hate to see indies fail, although I take some of the responsibility for its failure, as I did not patronize it nearly enough despite really liking it. I have this fundamental problem with coffee shops. I approve of them, I salute them, and I want to promote them. I don't, though, drink coffee. But there are Italian ices and hot chocolates and even diet sodas to drink, and so I will bear my burden of the collective guilt. The chainstorization of America is not some horrible plot, but instead merely the failure of good-hearted people to live out their Coffee Dreams.
I will work some tonight and/or very early tomorrow on some work things. Then I have an active and vigorous work week. But there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.