NCAA

Am I alone in believing that college sports generally, and the NCAA in particular, is in desperate need of an institutional high-colonic?

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You Know It’s Time to Go Home When

You know it’s time to get off the road and head home when:

  1. It takes you more than 10 minutes to figure out where you are when you wake up.
  2. You lose the ability to remember your hotel room number.
  3. You start choosing McDonalds over hotel breakfast buffets.
  4. You can’t shake that persistent cold/flu/sinus infection because your immune system took a vacation and forgot to tell you.
  5. You spend an hour before bed re-arranging your suitcase and think of it as “nesting behavior.”
  6. A can of tuna and a handful of crackers tastes better than anything on the room service menu in your five-star hotel.
  7. You start snarling at elevators (elevator: “ninth floor!” Me: “Piss off.”)
  8. You look up at departing airliners with undisguised envy.
  9. You know the names of the kids of the housekeepers on your floor.

Goodbye, Beignets

On the way back from Gaviota we pit-stopped at The Cajun Kitchen in Goleta for a breakfast mercifully devoid of windborne clay dust. We rewarded the scouts with beignets.

I tried one, enjoyed it, and decided that I would not feel deprived if it were my last. 

No aspersions on the Cajun Cafe: I have of late, but wherefore I know not, slid quietly into “eat-to-live” mode. Food has become fuel, not fun, and while I still appreciate good food, I don’t give it anywhere as much thought as I used to beyond ensuring that a) I won’t go hungry, and b) I become increasingly Kosher in my habits.

Boring? Maybe. But I don’t think the world will suffer for the lack of one more foodie, and it makes weight management much easier. In the end, I might even live longer.

Gaviota Dawn

Gaviota Beach and trestle bridge.


An early fall morning, just before dawn, and Gaviota Canyon is doing yeoman service as a wind tunnel. The Sundowner winds peculiar to this area are magnified by the narrow pass behind me and they’ve been rocking cars, pulling tent pegs, and making campfires impossible for the past 12 hours.

A fine grit pervades everything, and I wonder how long it will take me to clean up.

But two months (or more, I’ve lost track) of nonstop work, travel, and “drama, not otherwise specified” have made medicine of a couple of days plotzed in a campsite. The waves crash, the squirrels, ospreys, and Monarch butterflies go about their business, and they catch me up in their rhythm, allowing me to reset my tempo and reflect in a way I could not last weekend in a Chicago hotel room.

So I will take the grit. And as the sun rises, I start to see the path forward with unaccustomed clarity.

I reach for my boots. It is time to begin.