Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I would never advocate violence against our politicians, no matter how insipid they are, no matter how despicable their actions.

But there are times when I see what they do for political points, or to push their agenda , without regard to the effects on people, and I think I hope someone else has fewer scruples.  I wince thinking that.  But is it too much to hope that some kind of non-violent action will get these bastards and their gleeful wrecking of us and our ideals out of office?At the moment, it certainly feels like it.

I know - "Wait till the next election, vote them out.  If they aren't voted out, it means they're acceptable to most people".  And I know that Trump has a solid 25% of the voting population who would support him no matter what he did.  Some would do it if it meant damaging their own families.  Others would say well, its the Democrats fault for not just going along with us. The number varies, from 24 to 26 percent, depending on the issue, with a high degree of overlap. But its consistently right around that core number.  As long as the opposition is disorganized, thats all he and his crew need to continue, because with that number, the politicians -- thinking first of themselves -- will not bail on him, will not resist.  Some will.  Most will not.

It sucks and it sickens me. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Images and Thoughts

One of the wallpapers that I have on my PC is an image taken, apparently, by a Depression-era photographer  It is of a woman, very plain, looking through the window of a black car. A small child peeps over the edge of the window. The door of the car is dusty, with dents.The impression I get is tiredness -- the woman, the car, the whole environment.  Just TIRED.

I like the image for a couple of reasons.

For one, it reminds me of how good I have it.  The image comes up on my computer, my personal storage and play device.  When that picture was taken, no one could possibly have imagined a world like this one, where such things were possible.  It would have been magical. And it reminds me that when I get really irritated because, once again, my PC has disconnected itself from my wireless printer, so that, despite the cheerful oh-just-do-this instructions on various web sites (most usually "just uncheck Use Printer Offline, and you will be good to go), I know that I will almost certainly have to turn the PC off and turn the printer off.  I shouldnt have to, and all those cheerful instructions seem to assume that of course I don't have to do that; further, my shaky knowledge of how these things work say the same thing to me, that -somewhere- there is a connection process that happens when the PC starts, and that sets a bit somewhere to say yes, this printer is usable, but something has unset it, and so now you have to go through that process again.  You shouldn't have to, this is a magical world, but guess what, you do.  Live with it

And the picture reminds me of how bad things can get, in our world, how downtrodden people can get, how abandoned they can get.  Which I guess is exactly what has happened.  And it scares me to think how bad it COULD get, with people who are totally oblivous to the world I live in, because my world, my magical world, is as far away from their world as mine is from daily life in Bangladesh. Those people, those powerful, rich people, they could squash my without noticing.  They could.

And they might.

Sunday, July 02, 2017


I totally loved this.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Fast Dads


I've been working my way through a science fiction series where, prior to recently, I've only read occasional books, which led me to say so, when did THAT happen? and what are these people talking about? I finally figured okay, make the effort, read the whole damn thing. 

In reading the series -- I'm up to about 12 or 13, and I think there are about 20, overall, -- I find that the author, after the first eight or so, has some rules of thumb -

- when nothings going on, find a clan with a bone to pick with the most powerful leader, and start some kind of clash
- if REALLY nothings going on, muse about the origins of the conflict.  Feel free to back two hundred years.
- every third book or so, rehash the last two, and then give a bit of a preview of the next book.  Throw a little extra material in the middle to pad it.

Really, this is getting a little old.

Friday, June 02, 2017


I spend a fair amount of tme texting with a guy who is an avowed conservative.  Doesn't see anything wrong with Trump, thinks people should just 'back off and let him do his thing'.  This person used to describe himself as a Tea Party person; he doesn't, any more, but the basics are all still there.  NATO?  What's it good for, anyway?  Pissing off other countries?  About time.  Removing the right to abortion? You don't like it, move to a state where it's legal.  Not earning enough to make such a move possible?  Your problem, not society's.

I talk to him in the hopes that I can understand a little of what motivates such a person, and in an attempt to find common points of agreement.  Well...

I read a flame by a liberal person on Facebook of a conservative (who, actually, may not have deserved it, based on subsequent comments) regarding the reality of climate change.  Seeing these two people, Iwonder if  it might not -- probably is not -- possible for people of diametrically opposed viewpoints to come to an agreement on key issues. At least not without really, really good negotiating skills, or alcohol, or both. Even then, the points of agreement are lilkely to be superficial.  In my case, he's still going to be strongly 'pull yourself up, don't ask for society's help'.  And I'm not. How can we possibly comunicate? I believe it's possible, but I think it takes skills far in excess of what I have. 

That's a sobering concept, and a saddening one.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

To me, this is a sexy picture


I'm using a Tshirt and cutoffs kind of guy.  But I do appreciate excellence in clothing:

Friday, May 26, 2017


Got a very kind note from a friend today. 

We had sent her an Amazon gift card for her birthday (she lives in Canada, and the prospect of paying cross-border fees did not enchant) - just a way of saying Congratulations, hope you are doing well in your law studies, keep in touch.  And what she said in return was that she'd had a very tough week,  law school not being a bucket of fun, plus she's working, and when she got the notification of the card, it was like 'balm on a wound'.  She said she almost cried.

I was overwhelmed, myself.  Its nice when you can do that for someone.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Potty Training

Well, not exactly.  But doing it in another country can be intimidating, and requires some advance awareness.  This article, which is set in Italy, is mostly  applicable to France, too.  (Really?  No toilet paper??? Yeah. )