I usually publish three to five New Leaf Journal articles each week. Yet as of today, May 12, 2024, I have not published an article since May 1. I like to tell myself that my devoted readers have been wondering whether something happened to me. Sadly, I doubt much of anyone has wondered this. Let me pretend.

But I digress.

I flew to Texas for vacation on May 7. This had been planned for a while and my original intention was to schedule some articles for publication ahead of time. Unfortunately, my day job intervened in the lead-up to the trip (and during the trip). You will surely be surprised to know that many people from the former Soviet Union want asylum.

I return from my trip on May 15 and look forward to making up for the very sparse slate of new articles (and newsletters) in the second half of the month.

(I should also publish our April 2024 month-in-review article before June.)

At some point I figured that I would just start publishing new articles when I return. Perhaps I am spoiled by writing at a desk with two monitors and a fairly capable desktop computer, but working on a somewhat underpowered 2020 laptop with a subpar screen resolution is a drag.

(By the way I run Fedora on the laptop. EndeavourOS on my main workstation.)

But then I remembered that I had a fun way to belatedly announce my vacation. I flew on Southwest Airlines. There is an air travel story much like there was the last time I went to Texas, but I will save that one for when I get back. Southwest Airlines handed out napkins with drinks (I got apple juice by the way). But this was not ordinary napkin.

It was a napkin with a question.

According to the napkin, “[t]he best ideas are born on napkins.” While I am not sure that this is true, I suppose that it is a good line. In any event, the napkin then asked for my idea. I know a good article prompt when I see one, so I stuffed the napkin into my carry-on luggage.

(I only had carry-on luggage by the way.)

I had a eureka moment about 30 minutes before publishing this very article. What if I used the napkin to tell New Leaf Journal readers why I have not published an article in almost two weeks?


A Southwest Airlines napkin. At the top in orange text, the napkin reads: "The best ideas are born in napkins." Toward the bottom, the nampkin says in the same text: "Whats yours." The "Southwest" text is at the very bottom in blue. In the space between the question and Southwest I wrote "Telling NLJ readers that I am on vacation in Texas until 5/15."

While the late news update is the main point of this photograph, I hope that readers take note of my impeccable hand-writing.