Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Problem with Trump

Proud, fellow Americans?
In case you missed it, this week, the United Sates was downgraded from "full democracy" to "flawed democracy" in the latest Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, which cites declining trust in the government as the cause of its new rating.
The United States' downgrade puts it at 21 in the international rankings, below Japan and tied with Italy.
Yesterday, Peter Sagal, host of the popular radio show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me tweeted
Trump Admin is going to kill me because I can't stop looking at Twitter and will walk into a fire.
I understood completely.  I am finding that the main problem with our new president is that it seems that there is something outrageous that breaks every few minutes.  I know Ned told me to turn off all media for four years, but with Facebook, Twitter (which I am reading more and more--how else are you know to know what DT is thinking?) and the news, it is like a train wreck that I can't turn away from and I can hardly get up from my desk.

Of course today it's Walt's fault.  He needed the car, so I'm stuck at home with the choice of housework or the latest from Trumpland.  Guess which won.

For about half an hour,  watched the debate in the House of Commons in Parliament, each more angry than the next about the Muslim ban.

[aside:  Yes I know it's ban on immigrants from terrorist countries, but if the Affordable Care Act can be dubbed "Obamacare" forever more, this will always be, in the minds of thousands of people, a Muslim ban...mainly because it doesn't include all Muslim countries, as shown in the chart for the Photo of the Year yesterday.]

When was the last time you heard an elected official (Emily Thornberry) in a body like the House of Commons refer to the leader of a friendly nation as a "disgusting individual" ??  And Britain has traditionally been our friend.  What in the world are they thinking of us in countries that already don't like us?

My God...he's only been in office a little over a week!!!

Garrison Keillor says: ...he motored out to the CIA and stood before the memorial wall honoring the heroes who gave their lives in anonymity and he bitched about his newspaper coverage. The next day he boasted that his inaugural's TV ratings were higher than those in 2013. The day after that, he told the congressional leadership that he lost the popular vote because millions of illegal votes were cast, which everyone in the room knew was a bald-faced lie, except perhaps Himself. The man is clueless, tightly locked inside his own small bubble. A sizable minority of Americans, longing for greatness or wanting to smack down an ambitious woman and to show those people in the hellhole coastal cities what the real America is all about, has elected him. To him, this minority is a mass movement such as the world has never seen. God have mercy.

Look at what else he has done in a week.  He put a gag order on the EPA and the National Parks Administration and forbade them from posting to social media or giving interviews (because they might talk about climate change).  But you couldn't keep them silent.  Anonymous tweeters started putting up updates anyway and he was finally forced to remove the ban.

He started dismantling Obamacare without a hint of anything to replace it.

He's removed the experts from the National Security Council and replaced them with Bannon.

And just last night he fired the acting Attorney General for doing her job.  Echos of The Apprentice.  Did he call her and say "You're fired" ??

As Keillor says, Greatness is in the eye of the beholder. American self-respect is what is at stake here, ladies and gentlemen. The only good things to come out of that inauguration were the marches all over the country the day after, millions of people taking to the streets of their own free will, most of them women, packed in tight, lots of pink hats, lots of signage, earnest, vulgar, witty, a few brilliant ("Take your broken heart and make it art"), and all of it rather civil and good-humored. That's the great America I grew up in. It's still here.

When I woke up at the usual 3 a.m. this morning, the folks on Morning Joe were apoplectic in their opposition to the Muslim ban and how it was rolled out. 

I'm about to start putting my money (figuratively) where my mouth is  I don't have enough money to donate to every organization that asks for money, but this morning I am joining a group of people who are writing postcards.  I guess it's the first step in my getting more involved than reading social media.  Marching is not something I am likely to be able to do, but I can write.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Yesterday's Photo of the Day showed the table of food for our tea party in celebration of Chinese New Year.  My friend Nancianne invited seven of us to join her and five of us were able to come.
We were greeted with a lovely tray of tangerines.  Nancianne says that tradition is that if you eat tangerines before the 4th of the new year, you will have good luck.  

(I assume that's the 4th of the Chinese calendar new year!)

There was a beautiful table full of goodies (including delicious almond cookies) and two kinds of tea.  

We just sat and got caught up on our lives and had the best time.

Then today Walt and I went through the ritual we go through 4 times a year, once on Paul's and once on David's birthday(s) and anniversaries.

First buy some flowers.

Drive to the cemetery and leave flowers.

Then go have sushi.

...and so we mark the end of what would have been Paul's 48th birthday.  We'll do it all over again on David's 45th, a week from today.

Gung Hay Fat Choy.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Stealing

1.) When was the first time you ever swore or said something profane?
I have no idea, but I'm sure I felt very naughty about it.

2.) Have you ever had unrequited feelings for someone?/Have you ever been friendzoned?
I have no clue hwat "friendzoned" means, but of course I've had unrequited feelings for someone...isn't that what adolescence is for?

3.) What's a false assumption a lot of people have about you?
That I must be witty and outgoing.  (I am, but only on paper.)

5.) If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be and why?
So many choices.  Maybe my son Paul (whose birthday would have been today) just to find out what exactly happened the night he died.

6.) What did you do on December 12th last year?
Oh, I love having a blog and a log of what I write each day!  On December 12 last year, I wrote a mini biography of my mother, with the idea that it would help caregivers know who she was before she got dementia.

7.) When was the last time you truthfully told someone you hated them?
I don't think I ever told anybody I hate them.  Too strong a feeling for people I know face to face.  There are a few politicians that I might say that about....

8.) What is your opinion on this song? What about this song?
You Tube wouldn't let me see the first song, but the second song, though written in 2010, made me feel like a Hillary supporter at the end of Trump's first week in office.

9.) In less than four sentences, describe the entire plot of the last book you read.
Well,, the last three books I read were non-fiction, but the last plot book I read was "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult, which was the story of a mass shooting at a high school, by a kid who had been bullied all of his life, with lots of background information and the shocking revelations at his trial.

10.) Describe the appearance of the most untrustworthy person you can think of (they can be a person you've met or a made up person). Are they male or female or neither? What about their appearance makes them untrustworthy?
Well, he's tall, overweight, has weird hair, wears suits that are never buttoned with usually a too-long red tie.  He has squinty eyes and a sarcastic mouth that rarely smiles and the personality of a petulant toddler.  Actions make him untrustworthy.

11.) What is the most cringe-worthy thing you've ever seen?
The inauguration of the untrustworthy person described above

12.) What is your biggest regret?
There are lots of things I regret, but I take the positive position that I am the result not only of the good things that happened in my life but also the bad.  If this bad thing hadn't happened, that good thing would not have happened, etc.

13.) Do you have any cousins? When was the last time you saw them?
I have 32 cousins, but only two or three that I ever really knew in my life.  All three of those are dead and I miss them every day.

14.) Describe the worst birthday you've ever had.
I honestly can't remember a bad birthday that I've had.

15.) When was the last time someone provoked you to the point of violence?
I am not a violent person

16.) OH NOES!!!! Someone has gotten you to drink a truth potion and now you have to truthfully answer every question you are asked!!! What's the worst possible question someone could ask you?
I'm certainly not going to reveal that here!

17.) Describe, in detail, your first serious relationship. Describe how it ended.
My first boyfriend was named Bill.  We started dating when I was 13 and we dated for four years.  Our relationship ended when he decided to become a Jesuit.  He has been in the Jesuits since 1960

18.) Introduce your best friend. Tell the story of how you met.
This is my friend Char.  I first saw her in about 1961, when I moved into a dormitory at UC Berkeley.  It was a double dorm; I was in the smaller dorm and she was the grad resident for the larger dorm.  I was immediately afraid of her because she seemed strict and didn't seem to like me (though in reality she probably didn't notice me).
Later, we met socially at the Newman Center on campus and became friends.  After I quit school, I lived with her husband and baby for a few months while I tried to get out of credit card debt.  When she and her husband and two kids moved to Alaska I wrote to her frequently (she says my letters helped keep her sane in the Fairbanks winter, pregnant and trapped in a cabin with two toddlers!)
When they returned we lived just a few blocks apart.  Her 5 kids and our 5 kids grew up as siblings to each other (and now, 50 years later still act like siblings when they see each other)
We did wild and crazy things in those years (like trying to fit two large live Christmas trees into her small Saab, having pumpkin pie baking sessions, and a few pumpkin pie fights, etc).
In our later years, Walt and I went on several cruises with her and her husband, until her husband died a couple of years ago. 
We live about an hour apart now; she is in a retirement community, but we try to get together as often as possible.  I had lunch with her last week and we are going to a show together next month, for example.
(I also have taken embarrassing photos of her all throughout our nearly 60 years as friends and she is just so glad that I now have access to social media to make all of them public.)

19.) To the introduced friend, has our interviewee lied in any of these questions? Are you surprised by any of these answers?
Well, she's not here to defend herself, but I suspect she would agree with everything I wrote.

20.) To finish up, what is your biggest irrational fear and how did you get it?
The only big irrational fear I have is that a semi-truck is going to roll over on top of me while we drive next to it.  I developed that fear in 1986 and I still don't know why and I still have it. As a kid I also believed there were snakes under my bed.  I got over it by growing up.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday 9

Welcome to Saturday 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!
Saturday 9: Brokenhearted (2012)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here
1) This song is about a girl who is eager and anxious for her new lover to call. Do you owe anyone a call? An email? A text?
I have a few SwapBot partners to whom I should be writing.  Also, following the death of Orva Hoskinson yesterday, I need to write to the co-founder of The Lamlplighters, Ann MacNab.  I think I owe her a letter anyway.

2) The lyrics are peppered with the informal English exclamation, "cheerio!" What pops into your head when you close your eyes and think of England?
Oddly enough--and this surprises me, since we have been to England so many times and have seen so many things--but the first thought that came into my mind was walking along Hadrian's Wall, also called the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin. It was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in 122 AD in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, immediately north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons, including the Picts. 

[thanks to Wikipedia for details!]  It was kind of Rome's answer to the Great Wall of China, though not nearly as impressive

3) This week's artist, Karmin, is a husband/wife duo who met at college, and that meeting changed the course of their lives and careers. Think of someone who has had a huge impact on your life. Did you know, as soon as you met, that this was going to be a life-changing relationship?
There are a handful of people who had a life-changing impact for me.  I never thought in any case that this would be the result.  It all started with Sister Mary William, in high school, who invited me to be on the yearbook staff.  Out of that started a lifetime of writing.

4) Though she sings about consuming tequila, the female side of Karmin, Amy, is a big proponent of healthy eating. She recommends organic foods that are free of pesticides, hormones, food coloring and added sugar. Think about your most recent meal. Was it a good example of "healthy eating?"
I had lunch with my mother at Atria today.  Yucky meal.  Billed as "shrimp fajitas" but it was a limp, torn corn tortilla resting on top of some shrimp and a mounds of rice and refried beans.  Impossible to make a  real fajita out of the plate, but I suppose it was healthy, if not exactly appetizing.

5) Husband Nick has his own Twitter account (@NickKarmin), but he doesn't use it often. His last tweet was back in August. What's the last thing you posted to social media? (No, your blog doesn't count.)
The very LAST thing was a response to this article, which a friend sent me on Facebook

Before that, I shared a list of all the terrible things Trump has done in his first week in office (It's nearly a page long in tiny print, and enough to make one shudder.)

6) Karmin performed "Brokenhearted" live on Dancing with the Stars. DWTS is very big business for ABC-TV. So many people vote for their favorite couples each week that their phone and text systems often overload. Have you ever voted for a contestant on American Idol, DWTS, The Voice, etc.?
I may have voted for DWTS a time or two, but I haven't watched any of those shows in a very long time.  I OD'd on them.

7) In 2012, the year "Brokenhearted" was popular, the average cost for a gallon of gas was $3.91. In 2016, it had dropped to $2.40. When it's time to fill up your tank, do you shop around for the lowest price/gal.? Are you brand loyal and always return to the same station, regardless of price? Or do you just buy gas from the nearest station when you're running low?
I'm pretty much brand loyal to Shell, and Walt is to Standard.  It's not really a big deal for me, but the Shell station is closest to our house

8) In 2012, the Space Shuttle Endeavor was retired and placed on permanent display at the California Science Center, a Los Angeles museum dedicated to encouraging excitement and enthusiasm about air and space travel. Let's say you had a long weekend to spend in Los Angeles. Would you go out of your way to see The Endeavor? What else would you like to do during your time in the City of Angels?
I probably would not go to see the Endeavor, but I'd sure as heck get to the Hollywood Forever cemetery to lay a bouquet of yellow roses on Judy Garland's grave!

9) While we're thinking about aviation ... Statistics show that it's still a predominantly male field, and less than 10% of commercial pilots are women. Would you be nervous flying with a woman pilot?

Of course not.  One of my aunts was the very first female pilot to get a pilot's license in California, in the 19-teens.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Last Day at Logos

Well, here it is--the very last Today at Logos entry.  It was an ordinary day, with nothing really special about it.  My 4+ years at Logos has ended with a whimper, not a bang.  I was sorry that Bruce didn't come in and I haven't seen the train guy in awhile either, but my friend came to say goodbye.

I had a nice note from Susan, who always writes to us after each of our shifts to thank us and let us know how much we made.  My note said, "Bev, you've been with us since the beginning of our volunteer search, and Thursday afternoon in your slot!  I know a lot of regulars who are going to miss seeing you there."

Vojka was working in the morning and was talking to a guy named David, who is going to be doing my slot when Logos re-opens as Friends of the Public Library.

First thing that happened was that Susan called to let me know that her new grandson, Gabriel Peter, had just been born (in New Jersey), after 19 hours of labor.  Congratulations to the new grandparents (Susan and Oeter's first).  Ashley will like his name, since it's the name of her son too.

The first customer, who came to the desk as I was congratulating Susan, was a guy who bought 3 coffee talble books all, about Florence (one was on the Uffizi gallery).

David, who had left wth Vojka, returned to buy a book on music (I think was something about how jazz shaped American music).

That morning I had been inspired by my e-mail friend Claire, who makes pictures of a doll doing various fun things to send to a little boy she knows.  I found a teddy bear in the house and decided his name was Benny and that I would take him on adventures to send to the girls.  Today he went to Logos and found a book to read about his cousin Paddington.

I'm looking forward to finding various things for Benny to do to entertain Brianna and Lacie.
A guy came in wanting to know about volunteering.  I didn't have any information about what the Friends were going to do, so I had him leave his contact information.

A middle aged woman looked around for awhile and then said how happy she was that the Friends would be taking over because she loves the store.

A girl came in who had just discovered the store the day before and loves it. She said she thought Logos was the ideal of a small book store. She bought a copy of "David Copperfield" and as she left, she was saying "Look at me! I bought a book!"

A guy I didn't really recognize bought four bargain books and said he was really sorry to see me leave, but hopes that the Friends make a success of the store.

A guy bought a tiny Berlitz Spanish travel dictionary and a big coffee table book with photos from sites around the world.  He found a bonus--a bookmark from the Getty museum--inside.

A guy wearing a UCD cross-country shirt, a sweat band around his head, black-rimmed glasses, and ear phones (not ear buds--these puppies were huge) came in looking for books by French philosopher Jacques Derrida.  He didn't find Derrida, but bought 2 books on philosophy and a copy of the Quran.  He had chosen four other literature books, but put them back, when he added up the price.

Peter's friend Tom came in with another book for Peter and took back three books he had donated awhile ago.  He never pays for anything.  Susan says he uses Logos as his personal lending library.  Such a nice friendly man.

A dark guy with very dark eyes was looking for books on woodworking.  He found one on box making and said he bought it for a shop on campus.

My friend (whose name is Willard) came in at 4:15.  The time had flown by since 2 and I was surprised it was that late already (I was engrossed in "Judy and Me" by Sid Luft, Judy Garland's former husband, which I had received the day before).  Willard bought 2 bargain books and a book on Japanese history and one other history.  We said our goodbyes and, as he was carrying a copy of this week's Sacramento News and Review, I showed him my review and he said he would start checking the paper for my reviews.  I will miss seeing him each week.

A guy came in with a bargain book by Vince Flynn.  I told him how much I enjoyed his books and he said he had just read one of his books and enjoyed it.  He was sad to learn that Flynn died a few years ago, which means no more Vince Flynn books!

A very large, round guy came in to ask about the book store changes.  He was carrying a blg slurpy sized drink in a massive hand.  He did look around a bit, but didn't buy anything.

Three women came in together.  They were a vision in knit.  One had a chartreuse tam-o-shanter and matching chartreuse sneakers.  One had a wine colored mult-layer scarf around her neck.  The guy who was with them, bought a Jack London book.

The man I have thought of as "Physics Guy" because he seems to come in each week to buy a book on physics was my last customer.  He bought 2 bargain books and 2 books on thermodynamics.  I mentioned that I had typed "Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics" three times, in the days pre-computer.  He was not impressed, or even interested.

And then Susan was there with photos of newborn Gabriel Peter.  A hug, a goodbye and then my days at Logos are over.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Who could turn the world on with her smile?
The smile is now gone, as it was just announced that Mary Tyler Moore has died.  What a huge part of our past she was!

I am watching the tributes to her on Tv and they mostly center around her ground-breaking series. The Mary Tyler Moore show in which she played a successful single woman, living on her own, the show they said was the first of its kind (forgetting, I guess, That Girl with Marlo Thomas, who was also a successful single girl living on her own)

Oprah has often said that The Mary Tyler Moore show was her inspiration and that, in some way, she owed her career to Moore.

However, I mostly remember her as Laura Petrie (not PEEtrie, as a news reporter said today) on The Dick Van Dyke Show.  It is still some of the funniest stuff on TV.  Char and I can still go into convulsions talking about the episode where Mary, who has been accused of snooping, opens a box that is delivered to her husband.  It is a rubber raft, which immediately inflates and there were more laughs over the scenes of her trying to figure out how to put the raft back into the small box.

Another classic was the one about the walnuts .  Rob is having a nightmare, in which Danny Thomas is an alien from the planet Twylo.  It's like an invasion of the body snatchers and the way you know if your friends have been turned into aliens is they have eyes in back of their heads, they lose their sense of humor and their thumbs...and all they eat is walnuts.

And who can forget the time Laura accidentally revealed on a talk show that host Alan Brady (Carl Reiner) was really bald.

I always loved the episodes where the quartet of Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, RoseMarie, and Morey Amsterdam did musical numbers,

But I loved the new Mary Tyler Moore Show too, with its wonderful ensemble cast.  And who can forget the episode about the death of Chuckles the Clown?

Mary Tyler Moore always seemed to be such a genuinely nice person who really did turn the world on with her smile.  How glad I am that I was around to watch her in her hay day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It Just Doesn't Stop

I had my monthly lunch/bitch session with my friend Kathy yesterday.  Things are so scary, watching Trump systematically destroy everything Obama did in the past 8 years and feeling so helpless to do anything.

It seems we no longer live in a country which supports free speech, since the EPA has been given a gag order not to write on social media or give interviews about anything that is happening with that department (including information on climate change).  But there are work-arounds and anonymous people from the EPA have set up information Twitter accounts on personal computers, so until the new administration decides to have certain accounts banned from Twitter, we can still find out what is going on.

I have tried many times to get into Twitter, unsuccessfully.  I even took a class once trying to find out how to make heads or tails of it, but so much seems to be originating on Twitter these days and my new phone makes it easier to check that bit of social media and I'll tell ya watching our new president tweeting, especially on this business of the millions of illegals who voted and cost him the popular vote (no supporting information) it's like watching a toddler standing there stomping his foot and shrieking.

This whole insistence that, evidence to the contrary, he had "the largest viewing audience in the history of inaugurations" and that, evidence to the contrary, up to 3-5 million cases of voter fraud, which robbed him of the popular vote.  (Research has found only four episodes of voter fraud and one was a woman who voted twice...both times for Trump.)  He has to be the biggest, the best, the highest, etc.  I heard this morning that he is ordering a "major investigation" of the illegal votes.  How much is THAT going to cost the tax payers, for essentially nothing but to feed his ego?

I think it was when he signed the go-ahead with the pipeline that he introduced it by saying that he was a great lover of the environment and had received many awards for environmental action.  This self-aggrandizement is disgusting and unbecoming the head of our nation and a terrible thing to show people in other countries.

However, in other news, while I was sitting at lunch with Char on Monday, I was rubbing my arm through my long-sleeved shirt because it itched and there was a lump.  I pulled back the sleeve and saw this.

It's a nearly cured scar from when I set my arm on fire.  At the time, there was no sign of any burn on my arm and I never thought about checking it the next day, but apparently I should have. But it's almost back to normal now. I will remember to check for signs of injury the next day, the next time I set myself on fire.

After lunch, I went to Atria.  I had been there the day before, but my mother had been sleeping.  I sat there for an hour, reading, waiting to see if she would wake up, but she never did.  I had bought a bunch of junk food for her, since she hasn't had any food in her apartment in awhile, and I left her clean laundry on the bed.  I also wrote a note for her, that I left on her chair and then came home.

She was awake when I got there yesterday, but lying on the couch.  The note I left for her was still sitting on her chair, so she had not sat in that chair at all yesterday.  I somehow feel that she saw the note and thought someone had put it there and she was not supposed to remove it and just sat on the couch instead.

She got up and sat in her chair, reading my note several times, each time asking me if I had written it.  Then she'd put it down next to her and then see it again, as if for the first time, and read it again.  She is having difficulty recognizing words now and so she reads slowly and has to sound out many simple words.

The other thing she spent time doing is looking at a photo of her 90th birthday party.

This framed picture sits on the floor next to her chair and from time to time she pulls it out to look at it and ask what it is.  It is a picture of all the people who came to her 90th birthday party and any of them signed the border of the frame into which we were going to put the group photo.  She looks at the photo and doesn't recognize anybody.  Yesterday I found the book I made for her after the party and showed it to her, reminding her about what fun she had at the party and how many people came to celebrate with her.  She doesn't even recognize me in the photos and doesn't always recognize herself.

But even with how depressing it is to leave her at the end of a visit, it's still not as depressing as coming home and watching the news this week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Alternative Facts

Life is going to be so much easier...and more fun...now that "alternative facts" are popular with the new administration.  I have a few alternative facts of my own and it's time to get them off m chest.

Alternative Fact:
That fat old lady you see pictures of on this journal frequently isn't really me.  In real life, I'm middle aged, slim, and beautiful.

Alternative Fact:
I laugh when I post pictures of that messy house, since I am compulsively neat and tidy and my house is a real show place.

Alternative Fact:
I rarely watch TV (and when I do it's only PBS specials).  In real life, I love the outdoors and you can usually find me hiking or biking somewhere in the country.

Alternative Fact:
My mother doesn't really have dementia.  At 97 she is remarkably mentally sharp and a real social butterfly who is involved in many activities at Atria and has a large circle of friends with whom she spends her time each day.

Alternative Fact:
Polly isn't really a pain in the butt.  She's a loving little dog, who always has a wagging tail and who loves everyone, especially guests who visit our house.

Alternative Fact:
Donald Trump won the popular vote, if you discount the millions of illegal votes cast
(Real fact:  number of illegal votes found--4, and one of those was a woman who voted twice--both times for Trump)

Alternative Fact:
I am a health food nut and when I had lunch with Char yesterday, I had a big salad and did NOT have a delicious vanilla malt while I waited for her to arrive.

Oh yes, the world of alternative fact is a pleasant one, where you can believe whatever you want, whether it's the truth or not.  The sad thing, of course, is that there are real facts that the rest of the world has to deal with.

Real Fact:  I am sleeping so well these days.  I am going to sleep before midnight and sleeping all night without the middle of the nigh waking.  And if I wake up in the middle of the night, I go right back to sleep.

I finally decided that this new sleep schedule is because I am so depressed about our 45th president and his actions the first three days of his administration (Siri: how many days in four years? - "1,460," she says.  3 down 1,457 left to go.) that I just want to sleep until it's all over.

Back to real facts.

Char and I had what seems to be our February Fenton's luncheon.  We don't specifically plan to eat at Fenton's each February, but I've checked a few of our previous lunches and it seems that we are always meeting at Fenton's Ice Creamery in the Nut Tree shopping center in February.  I have offered many times to drive down and meet her somewhere closer to her house (mine is only about 20 minutes away from Fenton's) but we both love their crab salad sandwich, which is unlike anything we have found elsewhere, and Fenton's makes the only malt-tasting malt that I have had since I was a kid, so I don't protest when she says she really doesn't mind driving all that way.

Naturally, our conversation centered around the Orange Menace and what he is doing to this country in only 3 days.  We also agreed that these silly assertions--about voting numbers, crowd sizes and other things that have dominated the airwaves since the inauguration are merely a cover-up for what is going on in the Oval Office.  So far he has raised mortgage rates on FHA loans (which affects primarily military families), set the wheels in motion for repeal of Obamacare, with no alternative in sight, cut funding to any health center that disperses abortion information, which is going to remove routine health care and contraception advice for millions of families around the world and removing the stop on the pipe line.  But you don't hear talking heads spending an hour discussing those.  They are discussing alternative facts and proving that they are NOT dishonest when they report things. 

I heard a talk show host say "why does he persist in saying these things" and I think it's blatantly obvious ... it's a smoke screen and we are more likely to get irate about those than about what he is doing, in the meantime.

Since this morning he released this tweet saying he really won the popular vote but so many illegals voted that it skewed the vote in Hillary's favor, I wonder what other destruction of the Obama legacy he has in mind for us today.

May it all come back to bite him in the butt...and soon.

Alternative fact:
I actually voted for Trump and think he's doing a fanTAStic job.

I think I need to go back to sleep now.

"The Party told you to reject all evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."
George Orwell, 1984

Monday, January 23, 2017

My Dream House

When we went into the town of Winters on Friday, we passed a house with a wonderful wrap-around porch.  How I miss our porch.

Our house in Oakland (which we left in 1973) had a lovely front porch.  Best part of it was that you could sit out there and greet your neighbors as they passed by.  We knew more people in the neighborhood there, I think, than we do here--and we lived there only about 4 years and have lived here more than 43 years.  All because of that porch.  It was a place that you could fence off so that toddlers could play and not wander out into the street and the new baby, whoever it was, could lie in a bassinette and get some fresh air.

I like our house here, but this is a neighborhood where the houses are built so that your life is lived to the back.  There were several house designs to choose from when we were meeting with the builder for this development, and we chose the only two story one, because it was the only one that had windows to the front of the house.  all the rest of them had windows that were high up, to let in light, but to keep out the prying eyes (I guess) of passers by.  

So no more sitting on the porch at night and waving at neighbors and no seeing neighbors sitting on their own porches either.

I did a google search for "wrap-around porch" this morning and found this one which combines the two things I would love to have in a house.

The other thing this house has, in addition to a porch, is a turret.  I have all of my life longed for a turret.  It would be this wonderful small room, filled with books and furniture that you could sink into and just lose yourself in a book.

I just love the look of this house.  Having grown up in San Francisco, there's something just wrong about a town that has no Victorian houses in it.

This house also has possibilities:

While not as unique as the Victorian, this does have a couple of advantages. The turret is more subtle, and not up quite so high, so not as many stairs for these complaining knees to climb.  And also, if you look to the back, it seems to be on the water.  It doesn't look like the ocean (which would make it perfect), but beggars can't be choosers and being on any body of water is appealing to this Aquarian.

Of course the only way either of these houses would work for us is if they came with a full staff to clean it, 'cause I'm certainly not going to.  I'm just going to hobble up the stairs, sink into a comfy chair, and lose myself in the turret room until time to go downstairs and sit on the porch and wave to the neighbors.

The flat I grew up in in San Francisco didn't have a porch and it didn't have a turret, but it had a window seat.

It looked quite different when I was living there.  There were no trees on the street, parking was parallel and there was no garage, it was a basement that had no access from the street.  But this is the house and like most of the houses in San Francisco, it had that wonderful window jutting out over the street where you could sit (there was a seat built into the window area) and look out onto the street.

In fact, one of my fondest...or at least strongest...memories is sitting in the window seat and watching cars struggle up the hill (you can't get a feel for the steepness in this picture, but it was one of the steeper hills in the City), especially when it was pouring rain.  The hill was intimidating for people in the best of weather, but in the rain it was absolutely terrifying.  Bill Cosby in one of his earliest albums, when we all still thought he was funny, had a bit about driving up a hill like that and finding a stop sign at the top.  That was our hill.  You take a deep breath. brave the steepness (in those days nobody had automatic transmission either) and then when you get to the top, there is a stop sign.  I saw many a car back all the way down the hill to find another way to get to the street at the top of the hill.

Our house now has windows onto the street, but no porch, and there is no turret.  I live my life in my cozy little office at the back of the house now, never see the world in front of the house, and don't really regret it, but if I were just starting out again...and if I were quite wealthy...I would definitely be shopping for a Victorian house with a big wrap-around porch, a nice turret to read in, and a body of water to look out on when I looked up from my book.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The March(es)

While the new president was busy raising the mortgage rates on FHA mortgage holders (which Obama lowered earlier this month) and passing out inauguration hats made in China while saying we were going to only have things made in the USA,  the women of America (and many of their male partners and friends) saw through his duplicity and took to the streets all over the country to protest this new administration.

If I were able to walk more than a couple of blocks, I might have gone to the march in Sacramento, but instead, I stayed home and followed my friends on Facebook.

Schuyler and her Dad

former Lamplighter Tricia Gooch
San Diego

Char, 2 of her daughters, and her granddaughter
Walnut Creek, CA

My colleague, Debra, editor of the Winters Express
 marching in Sonoma, CA

Suellyn is a friend we met on our Russia cruise
Not sure where she was marching.  Florida, I think.

Internet friend Sharon
Washington, DC

Shelly and Ellen

My friend Gabi, there with her husband Alec
Olympia, WA

The two on the left are SPCA foster moms

Ari is a Davis High graduate, friend of our kids
Has her own theater company in New York

Vicki and daughter Annika

My Logos buddy Sandy and her family

My friend Kathleen and her daughter

Kag's kids -- the one on the right wasn't born when Paul died.  - Oakland, CA


Sacramento capitol flags at half mast

(Ned was also in Sacramento, but posted a video)

But then I came across this page, which shows photos of marches arund the world both here in this country and in....I stopped counting at 30 different countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.  (The photo from Oslo made me laugh, after watching all the ones that came before it).  I refer you to this page and please do look at all the photos...they are marvelous!

With all these protests, worldwide, Press Secretary Spicer came in and gave a blistering speech about the dishonest media distorting "the largest crowd ever for a presidential inauguration ever" visual evidence and Metro records notwithstanding  Never once mentioned the protests.

Oh it's going to be a long 4 years!!!!!

Photo of Jeri and Phil and their friends

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Lovely Day

I hear there might be "something" going on in the country's capitol.  I have been blissfully unaware of it all.

First, I woke up at 6 (after not going to sleep until after 2) and thought I'd go to the couch and see if I could get back to sleep.  When I woke up it was 9:45.  Wonderful.  All the festivities would have been over, if I was aware of what was going on.

Walt and I drove out to neighboring Winters to the Putah Creek Cafe, where we had a lovely brunch.  They sat us at a booth and I looked across at Walt and decided it was a good thing I was not Sheldon Cooper.  It drove me crazy enough and I don't even have OCD.

I had worn black because I felt like I was in mourning.  I also don't drink, but decided the day called for it, so I had what turned out to be a delicious berry mimosa.

I had a waffle and he had a panini and then we drove out into the countryside to look at flooding.  Given the fact that it had poured earlier...and that it was a Friday...the back roads were nearly deserted and I was able to take this photo of one of the many walnut orchards.

You can always tell when it's a walnut orchard because they graft English walnut trees onto black walnut trees to produce the walnuts we are familiar with but they all look so unmistakable with their two-tone trunks.

Later on we passed lots of flooded fields.

And we also found another way to get from I-80 to Davis when there is heavy traffic.  A great shortcut to know!

I dropped Walt off and then went to Atria to visit with my mother, a person who has never heard of Donald Trump, despite reading the newspaper every day.

She had no clue we had a new president, knew nothing of anything political, and I could rant and rave as much as I wanted and her response was "where did those chairs come from?" "So what are you doing tonight?" or "Well...life goes on."  But at least she listened to me, which was cathartic, if unhelpful.

I came home, checked out the eagles' nest to see how big the baby is getting, then turned on a Law and Order: SVU marathon until time for Jeopardy.

If anything important happened anywhere in the world, I was blissfully unaware of it.  And that was a lovely way to spend the day.  Ned would be proud of me.

I was able to see BOTH parents in the nest.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Today at Logos

I was happy to see Sandy in the store, with her wife and a mutual friend.  She won't be working next week, so this was our goodbye, but we have promised to get together for coffee or lunch or something after the dust settles.  She'll be my eyes and ears to how the new guys are doing, since she plans to volunteer for a bit longer.  We also commiserated on tomorrow's inauguration.  She and Wendy are doing a TV blackout too (though told me I should keep my TV on, tuned to some station like Hallmark or The Food Channel so if someone is keeping track of how many TV sets are tuned to election coverage, we will be counted as NOT being tuned.  My god we are sounding like we are living "1984," trying to fool Big Brother.

"Pete Seeger" was the first customer.  He bought a book on music and paid by credit card, so I was able to find out his real name.  Several "old friends" came by today and it felt like I was saying goodbye to each of them.  I hope that Bruce stops by next week.

A guy came in with questions about the takeover and if there would be one more half price sale before Susan and Peter walked away (I didn't know)

A guy bought a thick French dictionary, a photo book on whales, and "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."  He asked about when the store changes hands and said he'd be in one more time before the Friends of the Public Library take over.

I had to enlarge this on the scanner to figure out what I wrote. which was that a tall man in a striped knit cap was looking at the music section and finally purchased a copy of "Elementary Training for Musicians."

A middle aged woman wearing a sweatshirt that looked like that old Partridge Law shirt I burned came in (it had an emblem that said "Golden Gate Basset Rescue" on it).  She asked about volunteering with Friends of the Public Library and I had to tell her I knew nothing about what they did and did not need or how their volunteering was going to work.  She talked at great length about the new public library they had built in Alameda, which she hates and which sounds completely out of place in that warm, cozy, Victorian-laden town!

A woman with long straight hair and Michael Straham teeth came in, briefly.  She had a very odd backpack which was split so that it had two satchel, one on each side.  I was just barely able to snap a photo of it as she was leaving, without making a purchase.

A guy with a beard and "man bun" found two bargain books and a regular book that came to $6.34 but he didn't have that much cash and the machine rejected his credit card.  He said he'd been having problems with the card and asked if I could hold the books while he went to his bank to sort it out.  I did.  He returned, bought the books (no problems this time) and then found 3 more bargain books on his way out, so all in all bought six books--and a bag to put them in.

A guy buys a book on fluid mechanics from the bargain book section.
Another guy in a beanie and dark glasses was looking for a copy of Plato's "Republic," but did not find it.  I commented that I had sold a copy of that book last week and he said that it is required reading for a course he is taking.

My friend came at 4:05 and bought 2 bargain books and a book of Tea, which had been one of the display books in the window.  We talked about how it was my next to last day and he said he would see me next week.  I will miss him.

Peter's friend Tom, who usually brings Peter a couple of books each week, brought him a math book and a Mark Twain anthology.

A distinguished man with a neat grey beard bought 2 sci fi books and asked if we bought them back.  I explained the whole "for charity" policy of the store and how it didn't make any difference anyway, since we would be gone in a week and it would be up to the Friends how they handled things.

I was glad to see the Antiquarian, since it is probably the last time I'll see him.  He didn't buy anything today, but we talked about the change over.  Apparently his wife is the treasurer for a Friends of the Public Library in nearby Roseville.  He left telling me it was nice knowing me.  Nice man.  I'll miss him too.

John, who reminded me he's "the big Lawsuit fan" stopped by to say hello.  I hadn't seen him in a year, during which time he and his wife of 14 years have divorced.  He says he sees me on Facebook from time to time and so he knows about "the Trump thing" and told me his ex wife and their daughter are going to D.C. for Saturday's march.

I was glad that Susan came in early to relieve me because I had to catch the bus home (Walt was in San Francisco at the symphony).  We naturally talked about the ending of things  She also asked if I would write an article for The Enterprise.  My colleague had planned to write one but she felt that I would do a better job since I was more intimately involved.  Whether the paper will want one at all is questionable since the lady who writes the business column devoted a lot of space to the news about Logos just a week ago, but I've written to the editor to ask what she thinks.

It takes >30 minutes to get home by buy, so I had a chance to listen to my audio book and then when I got home and checked Facebook, I learned that Trump has decided to go back on ALL his promises not to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and they are on the chopping block for the $10 trillion in cuts he wants to make over the next 10 years.  He also plans to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

I think I need to find a bunch of other Erma Bombeck books.