Monday, March 25, 2019

So What's New?


Every day for the last couple of weeks I find myself thinking about writing a new post.  Thinking about it, but not doing it.  What’s new and interesting, I think.  And come up blank.

Checking the news doesn’t help.  Death and destruction, man made and nature at work, continue unabated.  Political dysfunction at home and abroad is the order of the day.  Trump and Brexit.  Brexit and Trump.  Protests in Europe and South America.  Acts of terror everywhere.  On and on.  Over and over.  The same thing.  Nothing new.

What’s the point of focusing on the obvious?  Is cynicism an appropriate response?  Maybe, except I know that cynicism may ease the upset temporarily but won’t really help.  How about good old fashioned complaining?  Same result – doesn’t help.

How about bemused non-involvement?  Just laugh at it all.  That may be a promising approach, but could also just be a cop out.

Sports?  That could be interesting.  The Champion’s League quarterfinals offers some interesting matchups.  I watched a Netflix series on Formula One and enjoyed it.  March Madness is a welcome diversion for some, but not me.  How about baseball?  The season starts soon.  Trouble is my Giants look like they are going to be just as woeful as last year.  So sports has promise, but is a mixed bag.

An enlightened path would be to not get sucked in.  Let circumstances that I can’t control just unfold.  Let them do their thing and look at what I can control.  Which is how I relate to the world around me.  And encompassing it all, the context in which I can live joyfully, is gratitude.  Being grateful for my blessings – my relationships, my good fortune, the peace that envelops my personal world.

That’s not bad.  True, it isn’t new.  But I can renew it every day.  Gratitude.  That’s worth remembering and writing about.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Expect the Unexpected!


Can we protect ourselves or prepare for the unexpected, especially when the unexpected carries with it brutal results?

Examples:

The tornado out of nowhere that kills indiscriminately . . .

Wildfires. . . Floods . . . Suicide bombings. . . Mass shootings . . .

A massive stroke . . . Heart attack . . . Stage 4 cancer diagnosis . . .

Unexpected death of a loved one . . .

Earthquakes . . .

Being declared redundant, i.e. getting fired without cause . . .

Sudden end of a relationship . . .

That’s enough, you get the message.

The answer is “no,” we cannot protect ourselves or prepare for the unexpected.  We cannot change what happens.  What we can do is be responsible for how we relate to what happens.  Are you a victim or a survivor?  That’s up to you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Doubleheader!


We’ve got a doubleheader tomorrow.  In Hanoi Trump is meeting with Kim Jong Un.  In Washington, Michael Cohen will testify before the House Committee on Oversight.

No matter what happens in Hanoi, Trump will call it a win, a victory of unimagined proportions, a historic world shaker that rivals the Resurrection.  In reality, while we may not be on the brink of war with North Korea, they are not going to denuclearize anytime soon.

What might happen, and I think it would be a good thing, is that we could agree to sign a Peace Treaty that would end the Korean War (the fighting ended in 1953).  A probably negative reaction from South Korea and Japan (who will feel threatened by this) will need to be managed.  A Peace Treaty would be more of a win for Kim than Trump, but no matter, Trump will claim victory.

My expectations for the Cohen testimony aren’t great.  I hope he says something we don’t already know, and I hope it is damning for the President and his family, but if he is a dud on the new news front I won’t be surprised.

Will I watch?  You betcha!

Friday, February 15, 2019

I'd Like To Be Wrong, But . . .!


I’d like to be wrong, but . . .

I think the Giants will again be a sub .500 team this season.

Unless the left and center Democrats unify around a candidate and a message they will blow their chance to take back the White House.  To the Progressives I say, “Don’t be so broad minded that your brains are falling out.”

Like all species, homo sapiens have a limited life span.  Extinction is inevitable.  We will be done in by something – climate change, A.I. machines, evolution, wars – something.  Or maybe a combination of destructive forces.  The myth purveyors who preach that we are the last word in creation will be disappointed.

Its fair to see hope in the generation of young people who are on the cusp of adulthood.  Unfortunately, the human condition is such that as they grow older they will fall prey to the downside of growing older – frustration, disappointment, health concerns, making a living, etc. 

At this point I have to hit the pause button.  Are my conclusions inevitable?  I hope not.  It isn’t inevitable that youthful optimism be overtaken by cynicism.  For all my gnarly, curmudgeonly grouching I haven’t abandoned all hope.  I complain about what I see as a defense mechanism to shield me from the abyss of watching my youthful optimism being betrayed.

So don’t give up the fight!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Random Thoughts!


I’m with the crowd that thinks it is a bad idea for the Starbucks guy to run as an Independent.  Another ego trip for a rich man.  Bad idea!

Brexit is another bad idea.  I want it to go down in flames.  Let the people vote again.  This time the “Let’s Remain in the EU” will win.

When the Super Bowl matchup was set I was on the fence.  I’ve never been anti-Patriots and never cared much one way or the other about the Rams.  But as the days have gone by I find myself off the fence and strongly pro-Rams.  Dunno why.  Just feel that way.

I’m conflicted about Afghanistan.  On the one hand, we should get out of there.  In the end, the Afghans have to choose what they want.  We can’t beat them into doing it our way, nor can we win their “hearts and minds.”  On the other hand, my problem is that I hate to open the door for a Taliban-led country again.  No easy answers here.

A happy thought:  Trump is now more than half way through his term.  Less days to go than have already gone.  Time flies, but not fast enough.

Antarctic weather in the Midwest.  Brrr!  No way.  Better them than me.  For the record, its 58 at the moment here in San Francisco.

I just finished reading “The Spy and the Traitor,” by Ben Macintyre.  Incredible story, well told.  I recommend it.

Also, watched the Jimmy Breslin/Pete Hamill documentary on HBO.  Interesting and very well done.  Reminded me of when I lived in New York – a lifetime from the past.

Stay warm.  Have a nice day!