On the evening of 9/11, in San Francisco, conversation at dinner turned to baseball. The question was a asked: what years recently did the Red Sox win the Series?  No one could remember. I texted my son Ben, baseball player extraordinaire, and Keeper of Sox Knowledge, and asked him but got no reply.  The conversation moved on to other things. The evening ended. We all went to bed.

I woke from a sound sleep at 4:30 AM because some kind of alarm was going off. Not a siren but a beeping. Loud enough to wake me. I sat up, confused, and then heard an enormous explosion. Lights were flashing. It was like the end of the world. (Later my friend Janet, who was awakened in a different room, said she thought immediately that it was a terrible repeat of 9/11/01)

Later my SF daughter told me that all the car alarms on her street went off.

It was a huge thunderstorm---almost unheard of in San Francisco.  I just found this amazing photo of it online:

SF storm copy

I don't know the name of the photographer but he wrote this:

I awoke last night to the sound of thunder (well actually it was 4:30 this morning). How far off I sat and wondered. 
Drove to the Marin Headlands but it was way too foggy so I went low near the Coast Guard station for this shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Sat in my car with a remote shutter listening to podcasts. Wrapped a poncho around my camera when the rain started. Took lots of shots, this was about my fourth shot of the morning when I got lucky. You should of heard me say "YEEEESS!" when I saw the huge strike and the sky lit up white/blue with light. 

As for the beeping alarm that first woke me? It was my son in Maine, 7:30 AM there, and he had just noticed my texted question and replied (not realizing I was in California): "2004 and 2007"

I finally got to the movie "Julie and Julia" while I was on the west coast. During the late summer, when everyone else saw it, I was in Maine, and our little local theater there didn't show it. It was fun seeing Meryl Streep do what she always does so well---and particularly fun because the REAL Julia Child lived near us and shopped at the same grocery store we use, at least for meat---we have a great butcher at the (shameless plug) Fresh Pond Market.

I noticed a little oddity that the director should have avoided, though. At the end of the film, JC receives the first copy of her book in the mail from the publisher. It arrives in---and she tears open---a padded envelope, the kind we all use now, but which did not exist then.  A small error, but since they did such a good job, particularly, I thought, with her clothes...they shouldn't have let that one slip by.