Welcome back

It really hasn’t been a great welcome home in California. The flights were OK – packed as usual, but I’ve come to expect that. Southwest is a master at load optimization.

First up, I broke my “don’t talk to your seatmate” rule on the long flight from Chicago to San Diego. I should know better. But the guy in the middle seat really wanted to talk, so I gave in. It was fine for a while, but then he decided to try and recruit me into the “Jesus is the only way to heaven” club. I patiently explained that I couldn’t believe in a God and a system that would intentionally send most of the world’s population to eternal torment; that if God was that cruel I wanted nothing to do with him/her/they/them. I’ll give the guy credit, he didn’t waver. But it went downhill from there.

Next, we got to San Diego around 4pm, and for some reason the freeway traffic was bad. Worse than usual. But we stopped and go-ed our way north in separate cars (we departed on different days). All was fine until a white Toyota from AZ merged into my lane and almost hit me, so I blew my horn. The guy driving went nuts and I found myself in a Mad Max-style vehicle joust for the next mile or so. I would try to change lanes and he would block me. I tried passing him on the right and he swerved at me, driving me off the road multiple times. All the while he’s shaking his fist and giving me the finger, as if I had insulted his mother by honking at him. I finally managed to get by him and get 3-4 lanes away. This is the kind of high stress and dangerous encounter that has become all too common on CA highways. I’m too old for this shit.

Finally, the heat. It was 99 degrees in Fallbrook yesterday, and it’s expected to hit the 100s in a day or two. A solid week of 100 degree, crispy-dry heat. There was already a wildfire burning south of San Diego, and I could see the smoke during my drive north. It’ll be a miracle if we get through the week without a big fire breaking out in northern San Diego, in our neck of the woods. More stress.

The good news is I’ve only got four days before we walk onto a cruise ship and escape to Alaska. Some exercise, a few bottles of wine, and some peaceful scenery and I should be able to chill out.

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