Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The next four years are gonna be rough, wild, hang on to your hat.

I won't join the throngs of journalists noting all Donald Trump's deficiencies and actions, there's plenty of that for you to read, i won't repeat it that much.
I would ask you to compare anything 'Trump' to the founding fathers words and deeds. Or to Lincoln's Gettysburg address. There is no comparison between the two mindsets. Trump has already taken steps to dismantle help for mortgage applicants, and the ACA. And who knows how many other things. I don't see how these moves will 'make america great again'. This man just has a mean agenda.
We are in for a weird 4 years, fer sure.
The USA has always been a work in progress, and at times great upheaval - like the Civil War, that still echoes through our culture In equities abound, but that is true worldwide.


Is this what we want in the White House??

'The official biography also mentions that Mrs. Trump is a “successful entrepreneur” who launched a jewelry collection in 2010.
But the version that the new Whitehouse.gov first launched with, immediately after the Inauguration ceremony, took things one step further, specifically calling out that her jewelry line was available for sale at QVC.'


Before the inauguration, i penned the following thoughts.

Topics this time round? perhaps..... How bout 'gettin' old'? 
Hopefully we will all get there. I'm gettin' there, hope to do it gracefully. You wouldn't want to not get old, would you? And let the song lyric 'hope i die before i get old' be true for you, would you?

Or maybe it should be about recent events of all sorts, in particular 'The Donald' being elected to the oval office. That might be the biggest thing on our radar but far from the only thing. The Donald being elected shows how much discontent there is a-brewin' in our land. Many people feel they have been short-changed, 'their jobs shipped overseas'. It's not that simple. For one thing, it is a fantasy to think that what was before (life-long factory/blue collar jobs) would last forever.
My Dad was somewhat of an example. He started up a Chevy dealership in a small town in Maine in 1956. By the early 70's he was gettin' eaten up by asian imports. In 1978 the state decided it wanted to build a new bridge over the river next to his place... and took the land and his business from him -  'imminent domain' it's called. The government (supposedly 'of the people, by the people, for the people') can run roughshod over anyone.
He didn't get too mad, he got even - found a job w/ the state of Maine, something financial i think, he graduated from Wharton.

Personally i have been thru many rebirths, reincarnations - photography has changed immensely in recent years if you hadn't noticed. Anyone who was a traditional/analog photographer like me has had to reinvent themselves many times over in. We have no choice. Grow or die.

And refugees flooding various countries? They are honestly fleeing severe persecution, from ISIS, & Assad to name a few. And central american gangs who would kill anyone who doesn't do their bidding in a heart beat.
But I've got to wonder why middle eastern peoples aren't taken in by other middle eastern countries. There seems to be little reason why they shouldn't be... except that no one over there can get along w/ anyone who isn't their sect, tribe, family, that are hopelessly lost in a mindset a thousand years old.
Why do they go to european countries, and expect to get along if they don't assimilate?
Ah, 'assimilation', that is the key here. One can't expect to move to Denmark, and practice sharia law. Or in the USA either - we may be crazy and cruel sometimes, but sharia law has no place in this land, none.
When europeans came to america, they wanted to become american, speak english. I once had a chinese-american woman next door neighbor, much younger than me. We chatted a good bit when we met in the hallway, and i asked her if she spoke any chinese. The answer was 'no', her parents greatly discouraged it, they wanted her to become American.

I took a cab ride recently, the driver was from Guatemala, and a very talkative guy. When i mentioned i was from Maine, he said he had been there, doing harvesting work, probably potatoes. Wherever there is work to be done, these people will go there. Yeah sure, there's a few ne'er do wells and deadbeats, but for the most part these immigrants, legal or not, are hardworking friendly folks. And the best burrito i ever had?..was not in SF, but in Coos Bay, Oregon of all places. my 'road-trip eating advice'? Go Mexican -  rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, tortilla chips, some simmered meat (carne asada, or the great 'puerco' or 'pollo'(chicken)) - what's not to like?

On all the killing going on?

Some people wail and moan when they see killer whales attacking larger whales, sharks tossing seals in the air before eating them. Polar bears, Lions, Tigers, all killing. Uh... yes - killing to eat. we do the same, but sugarcoat it. It's called a cheeseburger, sausage, many other names.

Humans are the cruelest species - we can kill because we are... angry or just plain psycho.
It's in the headlines every day.

I don't think animals are capable of that, though i have had to deal with one dog that 'reverted', lost all it's senses, and needed to be put down.

We can talk with the animals, and if we listen, they can talk with us.

Animals are alot sharper than most of us give them credit for.

How a Donkey Became My Running Partner
We’d agreed to take this donkey because we figured he’d be fun and trouble-free. I didn’t know he’d set my life on an entirely new course.
Running With Sherman

'Running With Sherman' is a weekly column exploring connections between humans and animals. 

Next week: Training a Donkey

Looks like this could be a very interesting story...

When a dolphin needed help off the coast of Hawaii, he was determined to let a scuba instructor know.
A wild bottlenose dolphin, tangled in a fishing line, swims up to a diver in Hawaii and waits while the diver cuts the line free.


And someplace in Japan, they are herded into a cove and slaughtered.

And for what? Dolphin meat?

"Since 2000, researchers such as Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, have found high concentrations of mercury in the whale and dolphin meat sold around Japan. In their studies, Taiji residents who eat dolphin meat had high level of mercury in their hair.  The Japanese Ministry of Health issued warnings on the consumption of some species of fish, whale, and dolphin since 2003. It recommended that children and pregnant women avoid eating them on a regular basis."


And on the relentless digital assault on all our senses:

Not sure how i came across this link, but reading the title now, at 1 AM - 'how-to-be-alone' - makes sense to me. "Be alone"- stand outside the sound and fury of life, examine it, question it. Being alone is definitely not the same as being lonely, i can vouch for that.


On the other hand, technology accomplishes amazing things:

'A photogrammetric image of a ship from the Ottoman era that most likely went down between the 17th and 19th centuries. The discoverers nicknamed it the Flower of the Black Sea because of its ornate carvings, including two large posts topped with petals'.

Credit: Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP


From The Wall Streeet Journal, Dec17-18:

An excellent article in the Wall St Journal titled 'Sticking to the script', about how digital is not satisfying all the people all the time. I read the paper version, i could not find the link online. I did however shoot a bad digital image of the NP page w/ of all the various accessories people are now acquiring in what could be called 'keyboard phobia'.

Clockwise from top left: note-cards, mechanical pencils, pencil sharpener, penholder/tray, stapler, notebook, various pens and stationary, last but not least a tape dispenser, all well designed, much more than utilitarian.

Even with eloquence and emojis, email is rather banal. Pull out a classy pen, and all take notice. A book by John Komurki details the resurgent interest in writing related paraphenalia. They are joining watches as symbols of a person's style and taste.

I regularly write up job orders on a form at work, and many have commented on my handwriting. Why? I took a calligraphy course when i first arrived at boarding school, age 10. You learn how to write w/ a thick nibbed pen, make the letters the way scribes did hundreds of years ago.

It's influence remains, you see it in serfif typefaces

I have a collection of writing implements on my work table, various pens, pencils, a variety of colors and nibs, my favorite being a neon 'happy halloween' pencil, there's just something silly about it, makes you really want to pick it up, and write something ... unique, outlandish, wierd. 

The second favorite is a 'star wars' pencil, not neon, but almost as colorful. And many others, various nibs, colors - a writing implement for any thought, any shape or color.
It's amusing fun to choose one, for whatever task, the checkbook, the check... whatever.
Maybe just make some wild scribbles on a page.

The world isn't going to get any saner, so pour yourself a strong one.

A Love Letter to Drinking in Bars


"Every great bar is a breath of paradise, and the best ones know, in their gleaming surfaces, what Proust meant when he said that the true paradises are the paradises we have lost. I write this from the Fumoir Bar at Claridge’s in London, a dream of a bar, the best in the world, where trails of laughter and forbidden smoke are present in every glass of whiskey."

Bottoms up, ladies and gentlemen.
I won't call for a toast until the next 4 years are over, and the USA has not melted down into the racist, xenophobic, insulting, narcissist miasma that seems ahead of us.