I met a friend for a Friday lunch at Luigi’s. Nothing like a Friday lunch. The week’s work is done, should be done or, if it isn’t done, may never be done and Friday lunch, which can trend long, is a way to celebrate.

I had no idea a block of ice could last three days sitting in a luke-cool fridge. Maybe, that's an idea. Rather than buy a new fridge for $1,400, how about a $2.50 block of ice at Smart & Final?

As we approached the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., I turned on the Joan Baez version of "We Shall Overcome." The bridge and its history felt like a "We Shall Overcome" moment.The original "moment" was March 7, 1965 — Bloody Sunday — when police attacked civil rights demonstrators with…

We were on our way to Fancy Gap — yes, that's the name, you may or may not want to Google it — and we were lost having taken a detour.

There is always an upset on a trip. A moment when the underdog thunders down the backstretch in dead last and blows by the field in the final furlongs with the favorites fading like old silk.

There are different ways of feeling small. Stand next to the world's tallest man at a circus. Lie on your back and look up at the Eiffel Tower. Gaze at the night sky crowded with stars.

You never feel worse than the day you see the cardiologist. Whether you’re healthy, on death’s door or somewhere in between, it’s like walking into the arena with 40,000 excitable Romans in the stands ready to give you a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

Everybody I know has hearing aids and no one uses them. They're like a scarf, or a fashion accessory that never comes out of the closet to either adorn or warm a neck.

I can’t add much, but I have to mention it: The Final Four game between UCLA and Gonzaga, which the latter pulled out with a 40-foot miracle bank shot in the last second of the overtime, wasn’t only a great game but as entertaining as TV can get.

Recently, we bought a Cotita stainless steel propane fire pit from Wayfair for our back deck. The propane tank is discreetly housed underneath the gray rectangular base, which makes the fire seem like magic until the propane peters out and you're left staring at the blue decorative glass won…

A patient of Mike MacDuff’s called to say the dermatologist was retiring after more than 48 years in Bakersfield (he started with Norm Levan and then established his own practice a year later). That makes me feel old, something MacDuff could have done something about had I availed myself of …

Andrew, our oldest grandchild, turned 6 recently. I remember holding him the day he was born and I’ve thought about that a lot this year. The joy and an instant bond. Andrew was born and I had been born again.

We have no fence between us and our neighbors. We had a fence, an ugly chain-link fence. Chain-link can be beautiful in a utilitarian sort of way when adorned by sweet peas or hidden by plumbago, but when it is not, chain-link is like prison; you’re inside the gates, no matter what side of t…

A couple of days ago, Roger Federer played his first tournament match in 14 months. The first logical question, and I am not offended, is why should anyone, outside his rather large and passionate group of fans, give a darn?

Last week felt like a coming-out party and maybe because February was gorgeous. Sunny, cool, as if spring had come early, but I guess with the almonds, pears and plums blooming, spring always comes early to the valley regardless of what the calendar says.

At first glance the desert looks like death, especially in a dry year, but then you stop and look and realize you could have missed it had you not paused and looked again.

This morning — every day that I can — I sliced four pieces of homemade honey wheat berry bread and dropped them in the toaster. Two cycles later they were crisp, brown and ready for butter time.

Last Saturday, I was coming home from some brisk morning exercise and drove by what appeared to be a party — balloons, banners, tables, tablecloths, chairs and a bunch of people, some of whom were milling around a taco bar that had been set up on the front lawn.

I apologize. If I were dismissive, cavalier and not compassionate enough when people told me about their reactions to the vaccines, I’d like a second chance, a redo, an opportunity to say that I have seen the light after experiencing the sweaty darkness and have become a more sensitive person.

Concerned that I might be running short of material, Mariella Canepa sent a list of column ideas. Rather than hoarding them and eking this thing out, I’ll tackle the whole bunch in one column.

Smart money, informed money and clean-air-loving money favors having a gas fireplace over the traditional wood-burning one like we have.