Mt. Shasta in the Sun

On the road again….home. It is too soon since we needed the break from work and the same surroundings. It was a beautiful sunny day for a trip, at least on the northern California side. I just wish we could have gotten some pictures of the Castle Crags. The lighting on them was spectacular.

Back in Walnut Creek

We showed up in Walnut Creek area about mid-morning. Stopped in Concord to visit the Koellermeier's to talk old times and business. Later on we headed to John and Josie's place to again talk old times and have dinner. It was a good day and fun to reminisce.

Bob at the Beach

Cool Bob at the beach last week and the Hotel Del in the background. I wish we could do this more often.

Harbor Drive in San Diego

I got a nice photo with interesting lines to it of Harbor Drive, the trolley line and the palm trees. Great view from Joan and Peter's balcony.

Marybeth and Bob

Another great photo of a long time good friend, Marybeth Rymer, and Bob while at the AAFP conference. We have been friends since 1983 while meeting in Santa Cruz at another cat conference.

Hotel del Coronado

We went down by the Hotel del Coronado. Such a famous hotel and great memories of being able to stay in the President's suite at the Del. It is striking, especially from this direction.

More Old Friends

I was sent this photo of myself with two long time friends from AAFP, Canadians Heather Stewart and Sandy Jamieson. We all have been a crazy bunch of people who have fun at our meetings.

View From a Balcony

We were invited over to Joan Miller and Peter Keys condo along Harbor Dr. It is located about 2 blocks from the Grand Hyatt where we were staying. We have been there once before and it is a lovely place to visit and has a great view of the harbor. I was able to capture a new sunset, not colorful, yet full of gorgeous light on the harbor.

Three Cat Experts

Here is a great photo of three top cat experts that I know at the AAFP conference. From left to right: Dr. Susan Little, Dr. Ilona Rodan, Dr. Margie Scherk.

Dinner With Friends

Hopped on an Alaska Airlines plane to San Diego today. We had a nice flight, sunny most of the way down to there. Over to Coronado Island and the Hotel Marisol. This evening we had dinner with our wonderful friends Tim and Karen Becnel from Covington, LA at Humphries Restaurant on Shelter Island.

Possible California Disaster

Bob and I lived down in Walnut Creek, CA for 20 years. We lived near the Sacramento River delta and would spend some time camping or visiting the area. I came across this article about how with a major earthquake and the right circumstances, the delta levees could break down bringing in sea water. The increase in salinity would for one be disastrous for the area. As with the dams further up near the Sierra Nevadas controlling the drinking water sources for Northern California, little has been done to improve the levee infrastructure. California could be sitting on a major disaster for the large population that lives in the state. Read more about this situation here.

California History

California is going through a major drought, especially from the central part of the state south. VDH who lives in Selma in the central valley for many years is writing about serious issues if this continues and the coastal populations cannot get their water in a few years. California is very desert like having lived east of the San Francisco Bay in drier geography.
To know more about some of the water history and a discussion of lakes that have vanished over time in California. One is Tulare Lake. It was once the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. Hard to believe. See if here.

Stained Glass Cats

Here was one of my favorite parts of the practice. I remember when I had the fellow from Russia who was an artist in mosaics and stained glass. I commissioned him to do this piece to replace the glass side window at the entrance. It is an original and a very nice piece. I wish I still owned it.

Civic Feline Clinic Waiting Room

Bob and I stopped by Civic Feline Clinic to say hello. We were able to see Teri, Michele, Angela and also Dr. Ellis. It was fun to be in the old stomping grounds. I miss the feel of owning the practice and seeing it grow. I don’t miss the stress. Here is the waiting room with one of the hospital cats.

Genetics and Dr. Leslie Lyons

While at the conference, I was able to do a podcast interview with Dr. Leslie Lyons. She is a renowned geneticist who is now located at the University of Missouri. She has done amazing work in the genetics field of cats. Her lab has found a number of important mutations that they have developed genetic tests to find these mutations. Here is Dr. Lyons talking about some of the early genomic work to sequence the cat genome. Winn Feline Foundation has been active in supporting this area.

Dr. Niels Pedersen's Retirement

Part of the weekend at the International Cat Conference was to participate in the retirement party of Dr. Niels Pedersen who led the Center for Companion Animal Health at UC-Davis. He has a long history in feline medicine and was very much a pioneer in viral research in cats. Here he is listening to a scientific presentation during the conference.

Old Home For Sale

Our former home in Walnut Creek is for sale. They are asking $799,000. They have made interior changes though the yard, etc. is not as nice as when we had it. We texted our boys about the sale. Scott asked if we could give him a down payment to buy it. Of course, his comments were all in fun or semi-fun.

California and Tulios

Traveled down to Walnut Creek, CA today to our old home stomping grounds. Traffic is worse than ever, especially along N. Main St. We met our friend, Marybeth Rymer, at Tulio’s Restaurant across from my old practice. The food was the same and as good as ever. Bob had his rigatoni with meat sauce and I had the chicken caesar salad. Their dressing is the best ever and the one I love the most. It was the same and I could have carried off another salad or more if I could.

Final California

Paul Rahe finished up his travelogue with a description of arriving to Mountain View California and his impressions of what he saw there. Based on his itinerary, they traveled through the eastern part of Oregon and he did not comment. I believe he missed some of the unique nature of that area. It is geologically different and much like traveling back in time to a different era. He did impart some great advice in this piece, one I wish he had used to describe parts of Oregon too.

Twenty-nine years ago, when I headed off to Istanbul as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, the executive director of that outfit instructed me to send back a newsletter soon after my arrival describing my first impressions. "You will forget that which left you wonderstruck," he observed, "as you get used to the place. That fleeting sense of wonder is invaluable." And so it was.

His coverage and observations of parts of the Bay area are good. We lived 20 years in the East Bay area in Walnut Creek. It was a bit different than the Peninsula area of Mountain View yet close enough.
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