Southbay

In Benicia the airs worsened throughout the week; 20% contained [at best] was just a “nice” way of saying the fires continued 80% OUT OF CONTROL with high winds well into Friday.

Friday was the morning we went south to Santa Clara

where things looked nominally clearer by mid-afternoon

for the Dedication [and Blessing] of Linda’s “Solar Flare”

and Roger Berry’s “Zeno”.

Linda and Roger showed works inside the new Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building endowed by Ed Dowd and several others, all of whom

were present for the lavish lunch which followed on the third floor.

After a brief intermission we returned for illuminating gallery talks by both artists

and some interesting commingling with the faculty [L. went off to experience the VR lab while I got a restaurant recommendation and lots of other fascinating information from Max Sims].

Jon Fernandez and Patsy Krebs, who’d spent an excruciating four hours driving down from Inverness to arrive only slightly before the doors closed, joined us for dinner at the old school red-sauce Italian establishment Max suggested where everything was copiously good.  By 8:30 they were trending north while we retired to our [provided] lodging, where the TV was considerably less interesting than the last place we’d stayed down here.  Less international, more like Utah, though with better reception and lots and lots of coverage of the fires,

with hopes for changing winds, which by the look of things in the morning may have happened.

We breakfasted in-house, were gone by 9:10 and home at 10:03 thanks to L.’s Grand Prix style Mini-driving for some pleasant catching up with Shawn, who’d come up from Oakland to watch the dogs. It provided us a chance to be outside in our furry yard for the first time in five months

and then Linda cleaned the fishpond, an heroic and landmark event.

Afternoon’s air quality was much improved…

as was the next morning’s, though smokes began to re-insinuate Sunday afternoon

around the time I took an ill-fated bikeride that severely gouged my hand.  Chain chain chain;  looking down as the bike threw its chain minutes after taking this picture I crashed into a newly chained-off former access.  Excess. Wounds.

Monday the refineries took the opportunity for some surreptitiously noxious outgassing while the smokes were still with us…meanwhile I was distractedly shopping for food, packing,

loading and trying for bicycle repair in the bad air.

Crappy air and crappier.