Monday, May 25, 2020

Other Things!

Everyone’s attention is on the virus, especially as the U.S. death toll nears 100,000.  But that’s not the only thing that’s going on in the world.

In the future the University of California is not going to require SAT or ACT tests for admission.  Tradition be damned, the future is now.

In Hong Kong, the “one country, two systems” promise made by the Chinese when the British left in 1997 is on the way out.  The inevitable protests soon to come will be nasty.  And in the end Hong Kong will have the same rules as the rest of the country.  No surprise, really.

A defiant Netanyahu is finally going on trial.  He’s guilty as hell and will not be convicted.  And it’ll take years for the process to play itself out.  So much for the rule of law.

Speaking of the rule of law (or lack thereof) Trump lackey Bill Barr will continue to use the Department of Justice to subvert the constitution.  And no Republican has the guts to stop him.

In Germany they are playing football again.  No fans, but real games.  And the Spanish will play again soon.  No word yet on when the Premier League will join them.  My guess – pretty soon.

The never ending violence and terrorist acts continue apace in several African countries, Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, etc.  No end in sight.

In the U.S., cops and vigilantes continue to kill unarmed black men.  Also, no end in sight.

Also in the U.S., homelessness continues to be a seemingly unsolvable problem.  Lots of good intentions.  Lots of talk about it.  Lots of theories about what to do.  No end in sight.

Beautiful weather in California.  A glorious spring.  Warm and sunny.  Only one problem – no rain.  We’re headed for another drought.  Lots of worry and no answers.  Can’t control this one.  I wonder why desalinization isn’t more available.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 27, 2020

What to Say?

I haven’t posted a blog comment in a while.  Every day I think I have something to say but can’t figure out what it is.  So I’ve been saying nothing.

We’re in our second month of being locked down, sheltering in place as they say.  Unlike many people not as fortunate, we haven’t been particularly inconvenienced by all this.  With grocery and restaurant deliveries, the internet, TV, and my Kindle plus frequent neighborhood walks, we are comfortable in our bubble.

I do wonder what life will be like when the crisis passes.  Likely different, but how?  Given our ages – 87 and 80 – we will still be considered vulnerable and will probably be advised to be extra careful about exposing ourselves to a potential infection.  Being risk averse, I expect we’ll follow the advice.

Until then, I appreciate the sunny days, the beauty of the bay and bridge, the peace and quiet we enjoy, and our good health.  Much to be grateful for!

Thursday, April 02, 2020

April Fools Day + One!

I’ve been safely tucked away in my bubble for several weeks now.  Except for a walk every other day I stay inside.  Have groceries delivered.  Order in from restaurants.  Watch a lot of TV.  Plenty of time for reading.  In truth, not all that different from before “shelter in place” entered our lives.

We’re luckier than many.  No jobs to lose.  No rent to pay.  No serious pre-existing medical conditions.  Given we’re in our 80’s, old age makes us vulnerable, but we tend to be careful anyway, so no great life style change is called for.

Our trip to Europe scheduled for May is cancelled.  At first I thought of just changing it to September, but as the pandemic has gained strength I’ve decided that’s too soon, so for now we’ll just put it (and any other trips) on hold.  We’re really glad we’ve done so much travelling over the years.  If we have a bucket list for places we haven’t visited and want to go (and that would be a short list) they can easily be put on hold too.

Even though we haven’t been seriously impacted, these are strange days indeed.  Very weird.  A transformative time.  There will be no getting back to normal.  What will pass for normal will be a new normal.  What will it look like?  No way to know.

So for now, we’ll sit back and watch it all unfold – and do whatever we can to stay healthy!


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Shelter in Place!

So we’ve been told to stay home for the next three weeks.  First area in the country to take this step.  Probably a wise move, given what’s going on these days.

I’ve been following this pandemic thing more and more attentively over the past few weeks.  The increasing severity.  The seemingly inexorable spread from Asia to Europe to here.  The lack of any effective response from our national government – self-congratulatory happy talk about how well we’re doing and shifting blame for what isn’t going well.

And wondering how it will affect me.  Given how old we are, both Sandra and I are high risk candidates for succumbing to a viral infection.  Neither of us has underlying medical conditions that would make it worse, so that’s a good thing.  And given that our life style is such that we are not out and about much regularly and don’t interact with many people often that’s also a good thing.  So at least initially, being told to shelter in place isn’t a big problem.

We do have a trip to Europe scheduled for May.  A couple of weeks ago we decided that we’ll make a decision about going on April 1.  Given what’s happened since then, it now looks like the likelihood of being able to go or wanting to go in May is about zero.  Maybe reschedule for September?  We’ll see.

My last foray out of the house was Friday when I went to the grocery store.  I hadn’t given much thought to what the store would be like until I arrived and found the parking lot was full and there were more people wanting to shop than I’d ever seen before.  The environment was insane.  People rushing around grabbing this and that, disconcerted, in a panic mode.  I managed to buy most of what I wanted, and I was sobered by what I’d just encountered.  Made what’s going on very real.

To be continued . . .

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Search For The Silver Lining!


I keep looking for some good news.  The search is a challenge:

The Democrats are imploding.  The last debate was mostly depressing.  Shouting.  Nasty personal attacks.  Little substance.  The only winner was Trump.  Despite some baggage he carries from the past and despite lacking in charisma, I favor Bloomberg.  I watched him in a Town Hall setting on CNN yesterday and he was more impressive.  Knowledgeable, articulate and thoughtful.  He would make a good president.

The coronavirus is spreading rapidly.  We have a trip to Europe planned for May.  If I were doing the trip today, I wouldn’t go.  Better to stay in my protected bubble here.  It is premature to make any decisions, but its on my mind.  Ironically, we’re in the middle of watching a Great Courses lecture series on the Black Death, the plague that hit in the 14th century.  Eerily similar to today.

The plight facing the million or so people in northwest Syria, who are sandwiched between an advancing government army, backed by the Russians, and the closed border with Turkey, is horrific.  No food, no shelter, no place to go, children are freezing to death in the cold, the bombs keep coming – horrible!  The world stands by, mouthing impotent platitudes, and does nothing.

Communal violence has broken out again in India.  Hindus and Muslims fighting each other (with the Muslims doing most of the dying) and the Modi government doing little to help and even aiding and abetting the burning, beating and killing.  Shameful!

Israel is about to have another election, the third in recent times.  Odds are that again they won’t be able to form a government and a fourth election will be needed.

And so it goes . . .

For those of us fortunate to be safe and secure and not immediately threatened by the craziness that we see wherever we look, it is a good time to be aware of and grateful for the blessings that have come our way.  Blessed Day!


Monday, February 03, 2020

Good News is Hard to Find!


Looking around for some bright spots:

Forget about a conviction, the U.S. Senate refuses even to hear witnesses or look at evidence.

The U.S.-Israeli peace plan throws Palestinians under the bus.

A new virus, so far unstoppable, is making its way from China to infect the entire planet.

In East Africa, swarms of locusts of biblical proportions are eating everything in sight.

A fourth quarter collapse costs the Niners the Super Bowl.

In India, Modi is taking steps to make sure Muslims are second class citizens.

Japan is talking about dumping radioactive water from Fukushima into the sea.

Innocents continue to die in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, etc. etc. . .

AI is making 24/7 surveillance of all of us inevitable.  Big Brother is here.

Like I say – Good news is hard to find!


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Thoughts!


How we doin’?

Australia is burning –
Puerto Rico is shaking –
The Philippines is blowing up –
Venice is flooding –
Iran is protesting –
America is impeaching –
Innocents are dying – in Kenya/Iraq/Somalia/Afghanistan/Syria +++
France is striking –
Hong Kong is rebelling –
India is Hindutva-ing –
Central Americans are emigrating –

OK, any good news?

Yes, here by the Golden Gate it is quiet, the sun is shining and the Niners are winning!