Sometimes little lights show up and beat a big one, even one you figured on spending a little time sunning yourself beside, because you’re not expecting them to hang out and remind you how they look together, or you could look next to others if you have the right setting and timing.

Three day old new moon with Jupiter and Venus in Aries shimmering through translucent high clouds Wednesday, February 22, 2023 in San Pablo, California.

This place turns into the house of the winds whenever a decent cold front passes through the region, there is just something about the angle of the building, maybe the parking garage underneath or the roof overhead. Even rarer: when skies clear and the heavenly bodies line up right.

The day old new moon in Pisces hangs in the dark western sky nearly an hour after sunset Tuesday, February 21, 2023 in San Pablo, California, with Venus in Aries and another object, possibly Jupiter, just a few degrees above it.

I slept poorly after writing about a three-alarm fire that heavily damaged a historic church building, so later today, I countered with: a short walk out in sunshine; dark chocolate; organic sipping chicken bone broth; a ten-mile bike ride; a chat about health with the maternal unit.

Several small and bright orange California poppies growing out of a mulch bed on a sunny Monday, February 20, 2023, along the Wildcat Creek greenway in San Pablo, California.

It’s always a pleasure to walk around the room and meet folks who’ve heard of you or are just now realizing you exist, and it’s also a pleasure to sit in a backyard with a friend and acknowledge that both you and they exist. Both these things were fun and I should do it more often.

Black gold and white balloons float above a dry erase board sign saying Welcome to Changes outside a venue in the 1500 block of North Main Street in Walnut Creek, California on Sunday, February 19th 2023.

Oh, hello, loud rattling noise, making yourself heard at speed along the highway this morning. We were listening to something uptempo, so we couldn’t immediately place you. But then our dealership found you, and now we wait for a body shop appointment after a holiday weekend to fix you.

A plastic housing panel pried loose far too soon from underneath or behind a Honda Civic front bumper at a dealership Saturday, February 18, 2023 in Walnut Creek, California.

A full day, with a financial thing that required some face to face consultation, a surprisingly good sandwich from a butcher shop, a decent schlep around one of the water bodies that feeds a local creek, solid views driving downhill and some flipping through magazines at a bookstore.

An East Bay Regional Park District wooden sign post marking the end of the Jewel Lake trail Friday, February 17th, 2023 in Berkeley, California, with mid afternoon sun casting a couple of feet long shadow behind it on leaf covered ground.

I managed to talk with one of two of the folks who reached out, and that’s going to have to be enough. At least I was home, and had enough together to take care of some things and be present in certain ways and watch the pendulum seeing less narrowly than last month or earlier this one.

A sunlit view of westbound Highway 24 in Orinda, California including exit signs pointing drivers south into downtown Orinda or north along Camino Pablo toward Orinda Village and Richmond, California

Today felt like everybody popping out of the woodwork and wanting some form of response. Did they deserve it? Much more often than not, the answer was no. So I held my tongue, tried not to bite it cleanly through at certain points, and made it all the way to the end of the day.

A mask obscured, hoodie wearing man walking back and forth in sunlight of the corner of Pringle Street and North California Boulevard Wednesday, February 15, 2023 in Walnut Creek, California.

I had to enter a federal building today. After the metal detector, while retrieving my belt, shoes and watch, I showed a guard my press pass. He asked if my paper used to be the one he’d delivered growing up. We traded memories of the old newsroom, and I managed not to crumble into dust.

A screen inside the Edward Roybal auditorium inside the Ronald V. Dellums federal building Tuesday, February 14th, 2023 in the 1300 block of Clay Street in Oakland, California shows a Flickr image of police officers carrying out a warrant service during Operation North Star 2, a recent United States Marshals Service interagency fugitive apprehension operation.

The cat’s in the hallway, yelling at A., and I’m thinking I’ve been a better steward of my thoughts here and elsewhere, and I’ll be better again someday if not soon. I’m not going to put money on it, but I might put time. Isn’t that stuff just as expensive as cash, if not more?

More cotton candy pink clouds seen against pale to deepening blue skies floating in the western sky shortly after sunset Monday, February 13, 2023 in San Pablo, California.