Lance and I are visiting friend (and mentor to Lance) Chuck Kimmerle and his wife Brenda in Casper, WY. Lance and Chuck are talking shop. Earlier today, we went to the Nicolayson Museum of Art in downtown Casper. Brilliant! Great building, great collection.
And we three all found a new favorite, Sarah Williams. [...]]]>
Here is a great article on the latest research on the effect of the disease on a person's perceived identity. The fact is, there is much that remains intact in Alzheimer's patients, at least in the early stages.
The light at 7,000 feet elevation here in Santa Fe is almost unbearably bright, and casts deep shadows. This is the view in our room at the St. Francis Hotel, a downtown Santa Fe landmark. We got the room using the app Hotel [...]]]>
The news from the Ukraine is unsettling. It is going to take skilled diplomacy to tamp down this crisis, if it is even possible. Eastern Europe replete with ancient grievances, as well as some very large more recent grievances. The region bore the brunt of World War II. Civilians suffered bloody repression by Stalin, then Hitler, then Stalin again. The area has mass death in its recent memory. Not just in the concentration camps, but in massacres of civilian [...]]]>
Packed and left Carlsbad yesterday morning just as the coast storm set in, drenching the area in horizontal rain. I took one last walk down to the beach to see the ocean during a storm. The water level was higher than I had seen, I suspect due to a combination of storm surge and tide.
The month in Southern California went by fast. It gave me a feel for the place. Some random observations:
•Drivers were polite and sensible, [...]]]>
The nursing home in tiny Hoffman, MN is forced to close.
These closures are due entirely to deliberate--and faulty--state policy. Almost every nursing home in rural Minnesota, particularly in Northwest Minnesota, is in trouble. Reimbursements from the state have been cut drastically over the past few years. It is impossible for nursing homes [...]]]>
Just for kicks, I went on the MNSure website, registered, and evaluated a bunch of insurance options. I didn't qualify for subsidized health insurance, but I sure enjoyed looking at the options I had to replace my present plan.
Within an hour, I had replaced my present plan with one 65% cheaper, and had added Lance to the plan--at a small cost, since he is young and healthy. All in all, our household is completely insured for less than half [...]]]>
They could really put it away, George, Thomas, Benjamin and the crew.
An excellent Ken Burns documentary on Prohibition gets underway with a section entitled "A Drunken Nation." He details the heavy drinking of the early Republic, and the social problems it created.
The article cited in the post above shows how artists renderings [...]]]>
Here is one of Bach's simpler major works for organ, a Prelude and Fugue in E minor. This one is sometimes nicknamed the "Cathedral" because it seems to have been composed for a space with ample reverberation.
The organ in this video has been refurbished to 1750 standards. Imagine what this organ would have sounded like to the ear of a person in 1750, an ear unpolluted by loudspeakers, [...]]]>
The pitchers and catchers are reporting for spring training. In one week, the Twins play their first spring training game.
I am lukewarm about the team's chances this year. I think they should have brought in a more aggressive, less accomodating manager, somebody who incites a little respect, even fear from the players––a Billy Martin, without his propensity to ruin a pitching staff.
Or, Tom Kelly. But Kelly is weary of [...]]]>
Funny how when we get better after a health issue, we forget what it was like not to feel so good.
Such is the case with my tonsillectomy last summer. The surgery and its aftermath were miserable. However, the surgery has changed my life.
Every previous winter, even when have gone south, I have been plagued by sore throats and a sore neck from swollen glands.
This winter? Nothing. Not even a cold. No rounds of [...]]]>
Balboa Park in San Diego is like a permanent state fair. Lance and I went there today. My main goal was to hear the weekly pipe organ concert at the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world. But we also took in two of the fifteen museums on the premises.
The museums were just our size and speed. We spent half an hour in each. The Timken Museum of Art is only about [...]]]>
The beach is growing on me. Yesterday, I went wading. The water is cold, but I got used to it. Today, I took a several-mile walk and watched the surfers try to catch waves. They are amazingly persistent. I can see why surfing must be one of the most strenuous sports: just paddling to where you might get started is a chore.
On the beach, families play. All nationalities. A couple of women of Mideastern descent walked covered in their flowing [...]]]>
Seven years ago, Lance and I took a trip to China and were hosted by my cousin Roy and his partner Michael. We haven't seen them since--until today. Lance and Michael picked up right where they left off. Both are quiet, sensitive, introspective souls. While Roy and I jibber jabber about politics, they [...]]]>
The life-long goal of rocks deep under the ocean waves is to escape from their watery grave and once again bask in the sun as they did 14.3 million years ago. Kelp can help. Here we see a seaweed which grabbed onto several rocks and then pulled them to shore via wave action.
...from a haunted time.
Went out to sing karaoke the other night one block from the house here in Carlsbad. There were a lot of people about 10 years older than I who were fond of some of the great ballads of the early 1970s.
•Moody Blues Nights in White Satin was one, but it sent me off in search of other favorites.
Now, here is a kid with a head on his shoulders at an early age.
College athletics is all-consuming. Just because you can do well at it doesn't mean you should.
There is big money involved in college sports––and none of it goes to the players.
I like this young man's [...]]]>
Lance arrived last night. The drive to the San Diego airport to pick him up was complicated by driving rain. The airport is in downtown, so it is quite a rigamaroll to get there and back. To get back on the freeway, you end up going through residential neighborhoods. I can't imagine those people living so close to such ridiculous amounts of traffic.
Today, we went to the Birch Aquarium. Not a gigantic [...]]]>
Saw the movie this afternoon and loved it.
Somebody who knows prairie small towns was behind the movie. There were several scenes which only somebody who has lived in such a town would appreciate.
I think it is the best depiction of present-day small town life that I have scene. Nebraska wasn't as cartoonish as the movie Fargo.
The cinematography was beautiful. The acting started good and got stronger as the movie developed. [...]]]>
Just moved in to the place here in Carlsbad. Right near the beach. The rollers come in with a roar. One-hundred yards to the east is the Amtrak line. I love trains, so I don't mind the whistles. I get a lesson in the Doppler effect every twenty minutes. No whistles during the night.
I am walking distance from about 40 cafes, as well as all the boutique shops in Carlsbad Village. I like the food, don't care about the boutiques. On a walk just now I [...]]]>
The social problems created by the oil boom are moving eastward.
With men and money in plentiful supply, the exploitation of women gets worse.
Here we have it in stark relief: Unfettered growth can create as much suffering as [...]]]>
Thats the magic number until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.
What are the hopes for the Twins?
My hope is they will give great prospects Byron Buxton and Alex Meyer a try. Why not?
One good reason why not: Look what happened to Aaron Hicks last year. After a great spring training, they [...]]]>
This year's visit to Tucson went too fast. On Saturday, I move to Carlsbad, CA for a month in a little beach bungalow.
Last night, neighbors Pat and Howard had me over for a goodbye dinner. They have been a touch of home for me here.
Another touch of home: Fertilians Keith and Cathy spent a few days in Tucson, and happened to rent a hotel room only a few minutes from the Glass Cottage where I am staying.
Two nights ago, [...]]]>
Attended a good all-Bach pipe organ concert yesterday in Phoenix. Jonathan Dimmock played the Visser organ at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Most pipe organ concerts attract a handful of enthusiasts, and that is about it. The church was quite full for this Bach concert, which was heartening. Dimmock played some of the old favorite organ [...]]]>
Charles Blow argues for the traditional book.
I agree. All of the media noise, and it is constant if you don't consciously tune it out, is no substitute for sitting down and immersing yourself in the thoughts of one person for an afternoon, or perhaps several days.
At the same time, it is good to make sure the [...]]]>
Here is an insightful essay which argues that Martin Luther King's most important legacy had nothing to do with speeches and marches. I was shocked to find out that he was only 39 years old when he was assassinated.
Here is the David Remnick http://www.redwoodfallsgazette.com/article/20140116/BLOGS/301169985/-1/blogs01
I am working with my editor on a book. She was born and raised in Kansas and now lives in Colorado. As we plow through the manuscript, some of my regionalism becomes apparent, namely my affection for the word "up." We load up the kids. We fill up our coffee mug. We get worked up. We like the word up in Northern Minnesota, and I used the word dozens upon dozens of times without even thinking. [...]]]>
I am working with my editor on a book. She was born and raised in Kansas and now lives in Colorado. As we plow through the manuscript, some of my regionalism becomes apparent, namely my affection for the word "up."
We load up the kids. We fill up our coffee mug. We get worked up. We like the word up in Northern Minnesota, and I used the word dozens upon dozens of times without even thinking. [...]]]>
We need to learn this. People with a dementia diagnosis can go on to live many years of fuflfilling life. This is important as we get better at early diagnosis. The early diagnosis can be a blessing if and only if we do not stigmatize those with dementia and if we work to understand what is happening in their brain in order to help them help others.
For the curious, today was about the fifteenth consecutive day of perfect weather. That never gets on the news. Seventy and sunny. Again.
I went for a bike ride. When I returned, the park where I start and end my rides crawled with cops. One was putting police "crime scene" tape around about four acres of the park. I shrugged it off and wheeled home.
Later, I pulled up to a sushi bar for supper and saw on the local news that a "suspicious" [...]]]>
Just got off the phone with Aunt Olla. Her room at the Hilton is a little cool in the -30º weather, so she was sitting in the hallway. She was as sharp as I have heard her in at least six months. Amazing.
She accused me of calling to gloat, which I admitted to. She told several stories I hadn't heard before, including one about the time she and her husband Doc were in Estes Park and couldn't find a room. Doc was a talker, so pretty soon he [...]]]>
People are taking seriously the damage done by fundamentalist religion...
Glass artist Dale Chihuly created an exhibition of works amongst the plants at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Scottsdale.
Here is a fascinating article by the screenwriter for the Mandela movie into the problems they confronted, and I believe resolved in spectacular fashion. It is particularly interesting that Mandela's family has endorsed the film, including his former wife Winnie, who doesn't exactly come out looking angelic.
Was riding on the bike path yesterday. It was full of people walking, biking, having fun. Up ahead on my right, I saw a teenage couple idly throwing pebbles. I swerved to the left to go around them, and whizzed right under this tree. As I passed, I heard a sensous voice say, "I love you!" only a few feet from [...]]]>
Here is a great story from the Miami Herald on four Miami football players who came to Mayville State to play football.
When I taught some college classes at Crookston, I had in class several players from the inner city who were recruited to play sports at the college. I have always wondered about the ethics of bringing young players to the forlorn [...]]]>
Conservative columnist George Will nails it on the head: Mandatory life sentences for non-violent drug offenders are filling our prisons and creating thousands of needless individual tragedies. "Sledgehammer justice," Will calls it, and he is right. It is wrong.
Had a good Christmas yesterday. Drove to Scottsdale, where Cousin Tina had a good breakfast waiting. We then went to the movie "Long Walk to Freedom," the story of Nelson Mandela. It came out yesterday.
The movie was very well done. It was factual rather than preachy. I highly recommend it. Afterwards, we had a nice Christmas meal at Tina's. While he was puttering in the kitchen, I looked through a photo book about Mandela and was struck by how [...]]]>
Found this delicious version of Bach's Chaconne tonight. Although this piece was written for solo violin, believe it or not, it stands up well when transcribed for piano. This is probably the best piano version I have ever heard. Simply beautiful.
The great violinist Jascha Heifetz said of this piece, "I have played it for 50 years and I still don't understand it." That's Bach. You can [...]]]>
Facebook allows people to stay connected, but every now and then it can tear at the community fabric. People post opinions which aren’t thought out, others get offended, then a battle begins which seldom ends well.
Merry Christmas, everybody! From Eric and Lance.
Merry Christmas, everybody! From Eric and Lance.
A force for evil is identified and rightfully condemned.
The windows from the glass cottage cast a rainbow on a barrel cactus. Those of you who get the Fertile Journal can read Bruce Flaig's article this week about the science behind the prism effect.
Some more thoughts on the local school board's vote to reinstate a Nativity scene in the lunchroom which had been removed due to concerns about separation of church and state:
•The writers of the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers are clear that government cannot be used to compel or favor one religion over another. This is an venerable freedom, and one well worth preserving and defending.
•The constitutional [...]]]>
And it isn't as far away as you think....
Here is a fun article on a young Minneapolis entrepreneur. He has a great idea for using leather scraps which are discarded by the larger companies to make unique handbags.
What's fun to me as well is Lance took the portrait used in the article! Scott is formerly from Grand Forks, and is a friend.
Oh my, I came home for a few days and we have a nativity scene controversy in town. It is really no longer a controversy. It has been resolved. The Fertile-Beltrami school board voted 4-3 to reinstate the scene. The wording of the measure allows for religious symbols if they are accompanied by other holiday decorations.
That should be the end of it.
Efrian Rios Montt is a name most Americans don't know, but should. He was a Pentecostal minister, a friend to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and a Guatemalan politician who had the support of President Reagan, who called him a "man of integrity and commitment."
Rios Montt became dictator of Guatemala in 1982. The CIA supported his rise. When he became dictator, he set about [...]]]>
Was introduced to a new game today at the Indian restaurant where I eat the noon buffet on a regular basis: Kabaddi. The host at the restaurant did his best to explain the sport, which was on television. I told him he should write up a brochure, as he had to explain to several patrons what was going on.
I didn't get it all, but it seems like a combination of football, wrestling and tag.
In 1983, a college history teacher told me that in his view, the next major conflagration would happen in South Africa, where the black majority was agitating to throw off the oppressive rule of the white South African minority.
Due to Nelson Mandela, the conflagration never happened.
"Blessed are the peacemakers." Mandela was a peacemaker. He presided over the transition in power in South Africa without exacting revenge for the [...]]]>
Of course, a cold spell in Tucson is a different animal than a cold spell back home. Frost warnings last night. Some rain. Clouds. A chilly day, only in the 50s. This will continue for a few days.
I am always in touch with those back home. Lance is ensconced in the house preparing his museum show for the Rourke Gallery in Moorhead. Dad took Uncle Orv in for outpatient surgery this morning. Joe is working to get his step-daughter out of Thailand, [...]]]>
This is one of the great pieces Bach wrote for organ, played on an organ from Bach's time. The numbering system of Bach's music runs from zero to a thousand or so, and it is convenient for those like me who get confused between one A minor Prelude and Fugue and the other.
This piece is in A minor. It is an impish, even demonic work. Modern fundamentalists would be right to be scared of [...]]]>
The Twins have signed two pitchers, Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco. This is unusual behavior for them.
Just as importantly, they are working on a deal to bring A. J. Pierzynski back to catch. With Joe Mauer moving to first base, the 37-year-old Pierzynski would fill a big hole.
The catcher is the most important defensive player on the diamond. An experienced catcher can squeeze a little extra out of a shaky [...]]]>
A little math reveals that North Dakota produces about 10 barrels of oil per second. Within three or four years, that will double. That is a river of oil!
Each train of oil that rolls through Fargo represents about 60,000 barrels of oil. North Dakota produces a trainload every two hours. Some of that goes through pipelines, of course, but it is helpful to visualize what is going on out there.
To continue the [...]]]>
Well, I'll be jiggered. A Christian leader who takes Christianity's message seriously....
Nicholas Kristof's Thanksgiving column is must reading. A profound meanness has swept our nation.
Beautiful, clear morning in Tucson. It will reach 70 degrees today. I am joining the next door neighbors and their friends and kin for dinner. I will provide the mashed potatoes. Should be fun.
The city is quiet this morning. Even the trans-continental trains seem to be taking Thanksgiving off.
Was informed last night that there was a family of rattlesnakes in the back yard this summer. Rattlesnakes are actually pretty [...]]]>
An unusual rain, too. Sustained over two full days, resulting in 2.5 inches. Tucson gets rain during the monsoon season, but it comes in gushes. This was gradual.
I went to a mall yesterday to spend time at Barnes and Noble. I felt a drip on my head. Then I looked around. All through the mall were buckets and piles of paper towels. The roof leaked like a sieve.
The temperature cooled as well. Into the upper 40s at night, upper 50s [...]]]>
My favorite hymn done by my favorite singer...
I have gone to the same sushi place four times since I came to Tucson. I love it. I sit at the bar and watch the dignified Japanese chef. In his mid-sixties or so, he is all business.
Last time, he loosened up a bit. I like to cut my sushi into smaller bites so I can enjoy it more, I told him.
"No, no, no!" he replied. "Take whole piece and chew 30 times to enjoy!"
Tonight, I tried to cut down on [...]]]>
Over the past couple of days, the birds found my bird feeder. Than tonight, so did this guy. Javelina look cute, but are not to be messed with. One inflicted a $200 vet bill on a local dog two weeks ago.
Notice how he kneels to get at the seed. A little later, he walked right up to the side [...]]]>
I heard from home that Aunt Olla was in a tizzy so I called her to find out what was up.
At first, she couldn't hear me at all. She is awaiting a new hearing aid, but usually she can talk on the phone without difficulty. This was new. Eventually, she said "call me back and see if we get a better connection."
"Wow, this is so much better," she said. "That other ear is no good." She had been trying to hear [...]]]>
Taken at sunset tonight from the front porch...
Here is the obituary for Jeanette, who I will always remember as the first customer I ever waited on at the nursery.
In the early days, Grandpa never kept hours. You were free to come when you were free. Jeanette was a night owl, and she usually showed up late. Really late. It was 10 p.m. in May. Mom and Dad were exhausted. And up drove Jeanette. I offered to go out and wait on her, [...]]]>
Pardon my absence, but I have been on a writing binge. This week I am averaging 4,000 words per day, which is an improvement over last week. I am working on two projects. When one hits a wall, I go to the other. That works well. My willingness to write is completely due to encouragement from an editor and a coach. Push on! they say, it will sell. Without such encouragement, subconscious doubts lead me to put off work to avoid the eventual rejection of my [...]]]>
Here are two of the three visitors of roughly equal size to pass through the backyard here in Tucson this morning...
Last night, I attended a gathering with friends at a ranch fifteen miles north of the northern fringe of Tucson, near the small town of Oracle. The party was to honor those who created this event in September. Of course, I was along, not as a participant, but a mooch––which nobody seemed to mind. There was a band. There was food. Some of the art installations were still up and lit. And the sky [...]]]>
Almost every morning this week, this has been the scene through the back windows. There must be a balloon staging area behind the mountain.
It takes a while to get settled in a new place and to get the mind settled. Today, it happened: I felt relaxed and at ease for the first time since arriving in Tucson. It blew hard for a while today, but that never lasts, and eventually it was a perfect mid-80s day. I am working on two writing projects this winter, and so far I have averaged 2,500 words per day. I hope I can keep that up. Called the Hilton to check in on Aunt Olla today. [...]]]>
It takes a while to get settled in a new place and to get the mind settled. Today, it happened: I felt relaxed and at ease for the first time since arriving in Tucson. It blew hard for a while today, but that never lasts, and eventually it was a perfect mid-80s day.
I am working on two writing projects this winter, and so far I have averaged 2,500 words per day. I hope I can keep that up.
Called the Hilton to check in on Aunt Olla today. [...]]]>
Although this picture is blurred, it captures the chaotic spirit of the 60,000 people who took part in the Dia de los Muertes procession in downtown Tucson last night.
Boy, did I ever hit the jackpot renting this winter. I am in a glass cottage on a three acre plot. I will post pictures as I go along. I have a view of the mountains in both directions. I am able to open up the doors during the day and let the breeze come through. At night, I have an overview of the city of Tucson and its twinkling lights. Yet, thanks to the ordinances controlling light pollution, I am able to see the stars just fine.
I am at [...]]]>
Oh, the wonders of the interwebs. Because I follow the writer Nina Munk on Facebook, (I met her while we were on the same summer program at Cambridge University in 1986 and haven't talked to her since) I knew that she was going to deliver a lecture in Albuquerque today on her latest book,http://www.redwoodfallsgazette.com/article/20131028/BLOGS/310289908/-1/blogs01
As I crossed Nebraska today, I decided to give Aunt Olive a call. I was really calling to see if she could hear her phone, as she lost her hearing aid again last week. She could, and she answered, but the conversation was a little tough. "I am in Nebraska!" I said. "You're in the bathtub?" "No, I am in NEBRASKA!" "In a box?" No, NEBRASKA! "Oh! For heaven's sake. What are you [...]]]>
As I crossed Nebraska today, I decided to give Aunt Olive a call. I was really calling to see if she could hear her phone, as she lost her hearing aid again last week. She could, and she answered, but the conversation was a little tough.
"I am in Nebraska!" I said.
"You're in the bathtub?"
"No, I am in NEBRASKA!"
"In a box?"
"Oh! For heaven's sake. What are you [...]]]>
After a harried few days of social activity and packing, I am on the road.
It is always tough to say goodbye to Aunt Olla, as she is 102 years old. I stopped at the Hilton this morning, and it took a while for my departure to sink in.
Aunt Olla doesn't skirt the issue.
"So, do you think I'll die before you come home?"
I said I didn't think so.
"Time goes fast," she said, recovering her [...]]]>
•The introduction of torture of human beings as American policy has been one of the most shameful abandoments of our ideals in our history and it was primarily caused by one man: Dick Cheney. Cheney is one of the darkest figures in our recent political history.
•The owners of the Minnesota Vikings are running an amazingly [...]]]>
Aunt Olla called yesterday morning.
"I just read in the Fargo paper that gays can get married!"
Yes, I said, in Minnesota, at least.
"Well, isn't that nice!"
She informed me that her schedule was clear enough so she could see company again. I wasn't aware that it had been full, but I usually go in once per week. So, I went in yesterday afternoon.
I was digging in her desk drawers looking for her [...]]]>
I don't think some young people today know how to boil an egg. A good article here.
When I went through high school, junior high home economics was still cooking and sewing. Nothing wrong with that at all. But it was also completely segregated. Although some girls had rebelled in the 1970s and registered for industrial arts, only one did in our class and she was [...]]]>
The amazing phenomena that is New York City just got more amazing as the tunnel that has been in progress for 43 years has been completed and Lower Manhattan's water supply is secured for generations. Look what lies beneath the leafy 778 acres of Central Park.
Watch this video of our near-Vice-President and try to distinguish it from this legendary video.
We need a beauty queen for president!
A fascinating map.
There are lots of rumors about the Obamacare "disaster," (the website has been a disaster) and, from Sean Hannity, pure lies. Provable, verifiable, blatant lies. Anybody who takes that clown seriously should check out the article.
A weblog reader and retired Presbyterian minister submits some interesting background on the End Times movement, as well as the truly troubling Christian Reconstructionist Movement:
"I've just been reading the article cited in your blog, regarding the End Times scenario being run by the Tea Party Republican faithful. I was reminded of two things:
One of the most unique and beautiful areas of our country, but one which, because it is difficult to capture in photographs, and because no interstate highway runs through it, is neglected: The Palouse.
One of the most unique and beautiful areas of our country, but one which, because it is difficult to capture in photographs, and because no interstate highway runs through it, is neglected: The Palouse.
Chris Matthews nails it. This article lays it out. The irrational hatred of President Obama is behind this government shut-down. He is a milquetoast moderate, but because they have constantly hinted, without one shred of evidence, that the President is a deeply a radical Muslim, Marxist, Leninist, anti-colonialist, [...]]]>
As Washington descends deeper into destruction, led by the Ted Cruz vandals, Hillary Clinton gives a speech which brings out the best in American world leadership.
This needless, stupid crisis has already eroded our economic leadership. These people are in essence traitors.
An excellent article about the religious fundamentalism which is turning the GOP into a nuthouse. The religious right has been so stirred up into thinking Obama is the anti-Christ, or the next best thing, that they are willing to destroy the world economy to oppose everything he is affiliated with, including a relatively harmless law already on the books, the [...]]]>
Here are two beautiful shaggy cap mushrooms, right at the perfect stage to be harvested. To harvest the entire shroom, I take a knife and cut about an inch below the surface. The meaty root is really the best part. There are so many in the yard that I have been discarding the cap, which sometimes [...]]]>
If I live to be 103, I want to do it just like this man. Eat a $100 meal every night.
This picture came in from Thailand this morning. Brother Joe's wife Kae just left for Thailand last week. She is working to bring her daughter Shampoo, pictured here, back to the states. We are eagerly anticipating her arrival, which could take several months. In the picture are cookies sent by my mother along [...]]]>
Michelle Bachmann again proves she's nuts. She could be ignored if only a substantial minority of bozos in this country didn't agree with her.
Let's just summarize the basics here, folks:
•If you believe we are in the End Times, keep your goofy eschatalogical fantasies limited to your cult meetings on Sunday [...]]]>
Nobody but nobody nails it better than Elizabeth Warren. I agree with her completely.
This has been a great fall for the garden. In addition, it has been fun learning about wild foods. I wrote a column on perslane, but there are others.
Saturday was sister Tracie's birthday. She loves wild food, so I picked and cleaned five baggies of lamb's quarters, a plant identified, along with perslane, as one of the two [...]]]>
Here a Republican castigates a Park Ranger, who probably is working without pay, for closing a memorial. This is Tea Party ugliness at its peak. We defund you. We vote to close your monument, then get mad at you for doing your job to close it. It is always about rage, expressing rage at government, rage at almost anything. It doesn't seem to matter! These [...]]]>
Aunt Olla looks with trepidation on Elvis, the nursing home's resident dog. Usually prone to wandering around the entire Hilton about fifteen minutes behind the snack cart, today Elvis came in to Olla's room, laid down and would not leave.
"This is just plain weird," Aunt Olla said, [...]]]>
Here is a letter from a man serving in Afghanistan in a non-military role. He will not be paid during the shut-down, but he will be expected to work. Worse is the message we send when we accept the notion that all government workers are leeches and all government work is unnecessary.
The absurd shut-down is unnecessary, but it is also unpatriotic. And crazy. [...]]]>
The Republican cuckoo-birds are going to shut down the government tonight and think its a great party. This will be fine and dandy until the Medicare checks stop coming to their guillible supporters. Medicare. Social Security. Veterans benefits. All of it stops because the Republicans in the House want to repeal a law on the books as a condition for paying the bills. They are nuts. They are bad for the country. And they must be defeated. Fully and finally. [...]]]>
We held a small celebration at the new Fair Meadow Assisted Living, which is attached to the Fertile Hilton. Aunt Olla was in fine form and drank in every minute of it. Three of her schoolkids were able to come. All three are in their upper eighties.
We must have had nearly two inches of rain in the past twenty-four hours. It was one of those fall weather patterns where a bunch of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico comes north and meets a cool front from Canada.
The rain is welcome for the long-term.
Tomorrow, we are celebrating Aunt Olla's 102nd birthday with a small party at the new assisted living attached to the Fertile Hilton. I will have pictures and commentary sometime [...]]]>