Monday, May 22, 2017

Yosemite!

Tomorrow morning we will head to Yosemite for our annual pre-Memorial Day pilgrimage to a place like no other on this planet.

I was awestruck the first time I laid eyes on Yosemite and my awe has never diminished.  The individual iconic natural wonders – Yosemite Falls – El Capitan – Half Dome – Mariposa Grove – and more are incomparable on their own.  But it is the totality, the feeling, the experience that makes it even more special.

I know the geologic history – the earthquakes, the glaciers, the water and ice that worked for millions of years to give us what we have today – but I still find it near impossible to get my head around how it happened.  Granite cliffs and valleys formed millimeter by millimeter day after countless days.  Amazing!

So I shall go – and bask in the wonder – awestruck one more time.  Lucky me!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Thoughts for Today!

Trying to use rational thinking to figure out irrational acts by an irrational president is an exercise in futility.  The pundits who do this are wasting their time.  Best to just sit back and wait for the next irrational act that will astound, appall, dismay, surprise – whatever.  It’s an ongoing process that isn’t going to end soon.

Good news from Europe this morning: A surprise victory for Merkel in a usually unfriendly (to her) part of Germany.  Macron is moving quickly in the right direction.

The Chinese are filling the global leadership vacuum left as the U.S. turns inward.  They’ve committed the first $100 billion of what could be a trillion dollar “One Belt, One Road” development project stretching through Asia and Africa to Europe.

North Korea’s latest missile test again ups the provocation index.  Unless they change their ways they will have to be stopped.  A diplomatic solution would be nice, but may not be possible.  I lay the odds at 50-50 that force will be needed to stop them.  What happens when a crazy one faces off against a crazy one?  Your guess is as good as mine.

The Warriors came from being down 25 to win.  An amazing feat, even though an injury to Kawhi Leonard made the comeback easier.  Go Warriors!

The Giants have won three in a row.  Given their woeful display so far this season, three in a row can be classified as a miracle.


Sticking with sports to round this out:  Even if you don’t like Chelsea, you’ve gotta love Antonio Conte’s enthusiasm and unrestrained joy at finishing atop the Premier League.  Well done!

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Mysteries!

Some things are mysteries to me.  For example:

Why do people support things that are not in their self-interest?  For example, health care changes may be bad for them, yet they say they support the changes?  Why?  I don’t know.

Why do people continue to support their hometown team, even when the team stinks?  This probably has something to do with their concern that their neighbors will call them traitors if they withdraw their support.  Or maybe their DNA demands they behave this way.  Whatever – makes no sense to me.

Why do people continue to patronize merchants when it is inconvenient to do so or when there are less expensive alternatives?  Because we’ve always shopped there?  Because daddy was a loyal client?  Who knows?  But be careful – once they’ve given up on ‘old reliable’ it’ll probably be a permanent change.

We are well into the digital age.  Why, then, do people continue to want hard copies of invoices, receipts, statements, etc.?  Maybe because they don’t trust that their computer, or device, or the cloud will produce should it really be necessary.  Or maybe just because the ‘tried and true’ is more comforting.

I hear that only 25% of people prefer watching programs or news on their TV screens.  75% prefer iPhones or iPads or whatever.  Not me.  Those devices are too small and/or are contrary to my life style.  If I need any evidence about how far removed I am from the millennial generation, this is it.  They are indeed a mysterious race of people.


At the same time, I am interested in watching Vice News along with their main demographic, millennials, so go figure.  Of course, I watch on a big screen TV.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TV Shows!

I’m in the middle of watching several TV shows, some streaming, some weekly, some NetFlix, some Amazon, all of which I’m enjoying.  Only problem is not enough time to really keep up with all of them.  Seems like we’re in the middle of another golden age on the tube (or device if that’s your preference.)

Specifically:

“Billions”
“America Crime”
“The Americans”
“Sneaky Pete”
“Rectify”
“Blacklist”
“Fargo”
“Silicon Valley”
“Better Call Saul”

And I intend to check out:

“Bosch” (new season)
“Fortitude” (new season)
“Genius”
“Guerrilla”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”

And coming later this month:

“House of Cards” (new season)
“Twin Peaks”

And some unfinished business on DVDs:

“Homicide: Life on the Street” (Seasons 6 & 7)
“House M.D.” (Seasons 4 to 8)


Like I say, not enough time to watch them all!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Random Thoughts!

How wonderful it was that the Trump “armada” threatening North Korea was headed in the wrong direction.  Kind of says it all, methinks.

Arrogance sums up Bill O’Reilly and other guys like him who go after women who aren’t interested.  I can’t get my head around wanting to sleep with O’Reilly, but I’m sure there are many women who would be interested.  Why, then, go after the others?  Arrogance, an “I’m entitled” mentality, trumps (no pun) intelligence.

Fascism by any other name.  Erdogan claims that the new powers he has as a result of Sunday’s referendum are simply to improve Turkey’s democracy and have the government run smoother.  Sounds like Hitler when he was “elected” in 1933.  Fascism by any other name.

Protest, yes.  Protest violently, no.  Big mistake, and stupid, for anti-Trump or anti-Coulter or anti-any other right wing figure to allow their dissent to turn into violent demonstrations.  Gives ammunition (figuratively I hope) to the bad guys.  Free speech, in Berkeley or anyplace else, should be protected.

Be prepared for the current Supreme Court to rule on the wrong side of many issues as we go forward.  Civil rights, secularism, women’s rights, crime, etc. etc. will all be eroded, maybe temporarily, maybe forever.  I expect the worst.


Look around – stability is threatened and under siege all over the place.  In Venezuela, Indonesia, France, Nigeria, Kashmir, the Middle East, etc., etc., etc.  And here at home.  Good luck to us all.