Sunday, November 20, 2016

BOB ALLEN'S MUSIC LIVES ON



New musical interpretations and arrangements from pianist and educator Bob Allen will be  no more.    He died peacefully August 29, 2015 at age 75.   More time has passed than I realized since I learned of his passing but his music will always linger on.  

Audio samples of Invitation, My Favorite Things, My One and Only Love and West Side Story 

An email I received from Bob that Spring noted he and wife Mickey were doing well with this added observation :   
 “This business of getting old is certainly not for the faint of heart. I don't think young people could take it! :) It just takes more doctors and good drugs!"

Bob's words can be most appreciated when the challenges throughout life he encountered are considered.   A Memoriam may be read at the American Council for the Blind with recollections of his personal interests.   His determination evidenced at an early age as he developed skills generally thought of as being only for the sighted.   

I described further adaptations he made in later life, due to health issues, in these two previous posts also featuring what seems now to be an especially moving YouTube video of his piano music arrangement of "One Less Bell To Answer":  




Bob’s unique musical arrangements were enjoyed in Central Ohio performances by so many people over 50 years.    Bob Prahin (Bob Allen was his stage name)

 “… was a titan of Columbus jazz, well-known for his 20+ year engagement with his trio at the Christopher Inn downtown and countless memorable performances throughout the region. He released 8 albums with the trio, including a popular live album recorded at the Christopher Inn.”  Andrew Patton wrote in JazzColumbus Weekly.
  
When the Christopher Inn first opened Bob continued performing as a duo with my husband as bassist as they had been entertaining at Stouffer’s University Inn where I had first heard this marvelous pianist.   Several  years later we relocated out of town when my husband’s career path led elsewhere but I recall with pleasure a return visit which included a memorable evening listening to the trio at the Christopher Inn.

"Love For Sale"  5:08

Bob’s trio continued to entertain at lounges, the Maramor,  regularly at Hyde Park Grill for many years where I last listened to the group in 2006 with his mesmerizing arrangements such as in this informally recorded video by Victoria Summers December 18, 2004:
“He loved to incorporate counterpoint into his arrangements..."

"Invitation"  13:28

“…bandleader Rick Brunetto, who considered Prahin a mentor and his dearest friend…was quoted by JoAnne Vivano in the Columbus Dispatch:

“He was a great virtuoso pianist,” Brunetto said. “He could almost move people to tears with the beauty of his ability to play.”

“Brunetto joined the trio as a drummer in the mid-1970s and played with Prahin for 13 years.”

“I consider him to be the greatest musician I’ve ever known,” he said. “It’s just a terrible loss to the music community.”

“Among his greatest gifts was his creativity and the ability to blend classical music and jazz into something new, said Brunetto and Prahin’s wife of nearly 11 years, Mickey Prahin.”

How often do we realize too late we should have made responsive contact sooner with special others in our life?    I guess we get caught up in our own lives allowing more time to pass than we realize.    Perhaps when we reach “a certain age” (but which one I’m not sure) we should check-in with each other more frequently.    Remembering Bob, we’ll always have the music….

"Moonlight Becomes You"   7:07

"Love Story"   5:18

"I Say A Little Prayer"  4:13

30

Friday, November 11, 2016

VETERANS DAY - CALIFORNIA SECEDE? -- PROTESTS


SALUTE TO ALL VETERANS ..

(USA wars are fought in name of all citizens)


A Tribute always and especially to WWII Veterans 

---our nation would not be here today -- free as we know it -- if not for them.

T H A N K    Y O U   !

 * * * * *

 

A NEW COUNTRY ?      NEW CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA is the biggest economy in the U.S. and the sixth largest in the world.  

CALIFORNIA  population racial demographics already reflect what those of the United States of America are expected to be in 2044 -- a diverse nation of people -- based on the Census Bureau's projection:

"By 2044, the United States is projected to become a plurality nation.While the non-Hispanic White alone population will still be the largest, no race or ethnic group is projected to have greater than a 50 percent share of the nation’s total."


Some Californians are considering options for the state to secede from the United States.  
Such an action is partially based on  the rhetoric which the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump  has previously directed toward various Silicon Valley business leaders and their enterprises, including media ownership.    Specifics may be read at this link to the  Guardian article describing current seceding issues.

Here is a link to the official site for California secede.


NEW INFLUENCES
 
The 2016 Presidential Election outcome has increased the impetus for more California residents to give serious consideration to supporting our state becoming our own country.

The degree of actual support for California's secession remains to be seen.   Other states in past years have had residents suggesting seceding for their own various reasons, most recently  as described in Texas. (by Phillip Bump, Washington Post.)

Inquisitor includes comments that select social media is suggesting  some Californians may see if  other Western states such as Oregon, Washington, Nevada  may be interested in seceding.


MY PERSPECTIVE

I presently think  this grand experiment of our democratic republic is best successfully perpetuated if California remains within the union of our fifty states plus Washington D.C.  

Citizens responsibility is to consider the current needs required as we continue to
-- sustain the viability of our way of government with thoughtful voting choices
-- refine, define, change, alter and correct our mistakes by demanding officials act only
    within the parameters  prescribed by these three  USA documents known collectively as

The Charters of Freedom:
Declaration of Independence
The Constitution
The Bill of Rights


The Great Questions  

Has "the establishment" (including the President-elect, House of Representatives and Senate members) received, correctly processed, determined to rectify the existing  inequity situations  -- including the economic gap described in "The Rich and the Rest" by Christina Pazzanese?


How long can our nation's way of government survive as we strive ethically and morally  to provide liberty and justice for all -- to be a positive force in the world and for humanity?  



* * * * *

ELECTION PROTESTS developed as I began this post......

This is the United States of America.    Traditionally the hallmark of our democracy has been a peaceful transition of one administration to another.   In fact, current President Obama has initiated transition arrangements following candidate Hillary Clinton's earlier concession of the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump.

However, the offensive nature associated with President-elect Trump's conduction of his campaign has resulted in eliciting strong emotions from voters.    That coupled with the election's outcome triggered citizen protests which began earlier Wednesday afternoon  in New York City outside his Trump Tower residence --- he was the winner when the Electoral College votes were tallied, but received fewer popular votes than his opponent.

This is the second time in the past five elections the Electoral College winner garnered fewer popular votes than the opponent.   In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George Bush following the U.S. Supreme Court's intervention to terminate controversial vote-counting in Florida.    A candidate designated to be President based on winning Electoral College votes but not the nation's  popular vote had occurred only three times before in the 1800s.

Most recent developments are that protest groups in cities from coast to coast  have amassed, saying in reference to President-elect Donald Trump, "He's not my president!", stressing Trump did not win the popular vote.    Regrettably, vandalism, disruptions, freeway traffic blockage and some arrests began to occur Wednesday night around midnight necessitating law enforcement response here in Los Angeles as I wrote this.

Typically, only a few protesters are responsible for violence in such events -- always a risk they'll infiltrate the peaceful groups, but with their own destructive motivations -- such as looters, anarchists who desire and will instigate crowd chaos for their own agenda toward overthrowing our way of government.

Fascists, too, benefit from inciting violence as often citizens will relinquish their rights and freedoms to leaders/law enforcement for promised security -- only to eventually find themselves living in an autocratic form of government, a dictatorship presided over by a demagogue systematically depriving them of their rights.

 Undermining freedom in a democratic government can be a many years lengthy process, achieved in slight, incremental, sometimes seemingly innocuous small steps.   Systematic attacks and discrediting other government branches -- judicial, legislative -- also The Fourth Estate (the press) -- to create mistrust in all systems are part of the fascist pattern documented throughout history.  (Legitimate shortcomings in the branches and press must be addressed and corrected, but citizens must guard against being seduced by a leader's conspiracy intimations, intentional distortions of truth through innuendo, deliberate falsehoods.)  

These, hopefully, primarily peaceful protests in additional cities around our nation continue Thursday -- they include many high school, college students of the most populous millennium generation who may be most concerned about their future.   Those of us who are older care about the younger generations and the world in which they will live long after we've departed this earth.  We must pay attention.

After Trump's weeks, months of vitriolic diatribes, misogynistic,  racist, sexist, name-calling directed toward his opponents and others, his sudden measured adoption of rational manner the final week or so of his campaign, and his speech after the election may have aroused suspicions and mistrust in the minds of many citizens -- they may be wondering:

-- who is this allegedly prevaricating,  narcissistic, sociopathic, fascist-sounding person?

-- what are the ethical and moral values of Donald Trump?

-- what does the real Donald Trump truly believe?

-- who is the real Donald Trump?

Most of our citizens do not take lightly a leader whose behavior throughout much of his presidential campaign was insulting and  boorish, to say the least.  Some citizens might also even be inclined to interpret his tactics and some language he has used as mirroring that of fascists whose similar activities, words and actions are described in histories of the nineteenth and twentieth century.  Fascism is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution.

Let our republic have a peaceful democratic transition to the legally elected new leadership.

Let us actively oversee all actions of those we've entrusted to occupy government positions.

Let us use our votes and  all legal means to ensure governing individuals each actually fulfill their Oath of Office.

Let us guard and protect our privacy,  rights and freedoms. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Quotable Thought



" Elections belong to the 
people.  It is their decision.
    If they decide to turn
their back on the fire and
   burn their behinds, then
     they will just have to sit
            on their blisters."

                         ---Abraham Lincoln

                                  

Friday, November 04, 2016

POSITIVE FUTURE POSSIBLE


"When someone shows you who they are, believe them, the first time."  

I wholeheartedly concur....with Maya Angelou.

The Republican Party Presidential candidate has repeatedly shown us who he is -- we need to believe him.   He clearly at heart is not the person he's been trying hard to present this past week or so prior to the election.   His Party's platform, assuming he would even try to promote it -- and I don't trust what he might do -- will not lead our nation to prosperity, especially since the financial approach is a repeat of a previously unsuccessful plan.    He and the wealthiest class will benefit most despite the platitudes of his caring about the rest of Americans -- campaign platitudes which are just that and nothing more.   If in doubt, consider news reports showing workers and businesses who've lost income owed them. 

A positive future is possible, I believe, with Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
I trust this candidate will make every effort possible to promote prosperity for this nation with plans she has outlined.  Hopefully, the legislative branches, especially the House of Representatives, will recognize they are long overdue to accept and engage in meaningful compromise for the good of the people which is precisely their job.   I am aware of her alleged shortcomings but believe them to pale in comparison to those of her opponent.

My perspective.....
I've given serious thought to what is at stake in this election as likely most readers here have also done.     I observed with great interest all the prospective candidates as they each burst on to the scene -- then their numbers were whittled down to the two major political party candidates.  I've been aware of all the shenanigans of one candidate turning this election into the basest of reality entertainment -- heard all the lies, innuendos -- noted the media suckered into providing free promotion of that individual, lessening the credibility of much of the serious news media in the process.   

Consider this.....
Third party candidates will receive votes from a small percentage of people who believe they're making a statement.  Unfortunately,  the reality is this is an empty gesture that will  serve to do little more than sway the election to one of the two realistic potential winners.   This is a critical time for our nation that would be best served if a choice between the top two candidates is made  based on major party platform, consideration of probable need  for Supreme Court nominee appointments.

After the election, third party voters need to then align themselves to actively promote whoever their favored candidate is for the future and build their party  to viable numbers for the future elections.  Some may well believe we need to relegate to lesser status that major party taken over by their current candidate repelling so many of their number -- or maybe some of that party can form that third party, and other possibilities.      

MORE ELECTION THOUGHTS

This is a momentous election year---with choices unlike any others in my lifetime --- so
--- we better get it right on who we select to be in charge of decision-making for us and our nation ---  if we want to retain our constitution's democratic republic as intended by our founders. 
Our next U.S. President needs to be------


... someone who understands our nation's importance and place in the world for our own security and need to foster peace
... someone who respects our country's various relationships with that of other nations
... someone who recognizes the significance of fostering unifying actions within our country
... someone who demonstrates genuine understanding of the needs of all socioeconomic groups 

... someone who actually offers realistic plans and solutions for problems facing our nation rather than simple-sounding grandiose or previously failed trickle-down financial schemes

.... someone not afraid to release their income tax form to demonstrate the truthfulness of claimed charitable contributions, true net worth
....  someone whose life's work has evidence of public service beyond self-aggrandizement
....  someone who speaks civilly of all genders
....  someone who does not disparage, ridicule, belittle and bully other individuals
....  someone who can verbalize meaningful ideas so does not have to resort to name-calling


....  someone who appreciates the need to value and preserve the fourth estate  instead of automatically condemning the press when they report the truth or what is unfavorable to them  
....  someone capable of using reason to recognize and build on what's positive in our government
....  someone  who.........there are more positive comments that could be written .......

VOTE TUESDAY,  NOVEMBER 8, 2016



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BASEBALL DILEMMA

Cubs win World Series ending 108 year drought!     

In 10th Innning after Rain Delay       

 Update 11/02/16



Fall 1948 approached with change in the air for our little family of three -- my parents, new teen me, and two dogs.   A few months prior, I had to heart-breakingly part with my dog, King, which I've previously written about.   Property, all other animals and most of our belongings were sold at public auction that fall.  We moved into a small Trotwood trailer, hitched to our old Plymouth car and drove across the country in search of a climate a doctor reportedly thought might be a more healthy environment for Pop considering his worsening heart and respiratory problems.  

In the months ahead I attended four different Jr. High Schools in various states before we finally unexpectedly settled in one state half-way back across the continent from the Southwest.  We were returning to the  Great Lakes Midwest area but stopped in the South, considerably short of where we had originally started.   Our western Arizona  destination had been reached, but after only a few months in residence,  the ensuing dust storms sweeping across the desert  soon proved to be the exact opposite of Pop's needed healthy breathing environment, so we had headed back home.   

This trek, plus where we actually put down roots in the South for a number of years,  proved  to be an educational experience contributing significantly to  influencing my attitudes and helping form my beliefs -- including my personal philosophy toward marriage, culture, race relations,  living.   

Throughout that relocation trip the memories of the Cleveland Indians good fortunes winning the 1948 Baseball World Series stayed with me .   Their memory seemed to offer  a stable sense of place that was important to me long after the baseball season ended.    That Spring, Summer and Fall we had followed the Cleveland Indians march toward winning an American League pennant.  
I had immersed myself in the sport, charting score cards of every radio broadcast game we heard.  
To this day the names of many of the '48 Indian players and some of their unique plays are etched in my memory.    



The Cleveland Indians in winning the 1948 Baseball World Series, had their first championship since 1920.   Their Boston Braves losing opponents had not won their National League pennant since 1914, so still had that win in which to take pride.     I never followed a major league baseball team as closely afterward, but the Indians always had special meaning for me well beyond sports and baseball.  They symbolized much more to me those many  years ago --  a connection to my often longed-for home state since I was living in a somewhat isolated environment.   

My marriage many years later ultimately lead to my living on the West Coast.    I've long since ceased to regularly follow baseball or any specific team.   I've been aware the long-suffering Chicago Cubs baseball team fans have been awaiting their turn -- to be not only a National League pennant winner participating for the first time in the World Series since 1945  -- but to win that title, too, since 1908 was their last championship.    Through the years when I've heard mention of how the Cubs finished another year without winning, I've come to wish they could -- now, they finally have a chance. 

The Cleveland Indians last represented the American League in 1997, but haven't won a World Series since 1948 -- that significant year to me.    I surely do wish they could finally win again.  
Actually,  I would prefer these two teams were each in the playoffs against some other team -- one this year, the other next year -- rather than against each other, so each could possibly be a World Series winner. 

 I read sports writers predict a Chicago Cubs win, but I have mixed feelings, wanting the Cubs to win, but.....my reticent feelings,  associated with my allegiances to those long ago '48 Cleveland Indians,  coupled with their once symbolic meaning to me, have me wanting the Indians to win, too.  The first game is completed in the Indians favor.   I think this will be an interesting World Series to follow.   Perhaps, when the games conclude I'll be happy with whoever wins, but feel a touch of sadness  for the other team. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

UNIVERSITY IS LONGWOOD BUT VEEP DEBATE LOUSY

Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia was the setting for the first and only 2016 Vice Presidential debate.   I was more than a little annoyed when the Republican candidate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, falsely called the institution Norwood.   Longwood University students, including a proud family member of mine, must have been impressed.   Longwood is an outstanding  university, but any school should, at the very least, be appreciatively  named correctly by guests on their campus.    The university deserves Pence's apology -- or just like his running mate is prone to do -- does Pence not apologize either?

I guess the name glitch was an honest mistake,  but this was the only university where Pence and the Democratic candidate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine would debate in this election.  Surely Pence could get the university name  fact correct, or maybe bothering with such details affecting ordinary people aren't that important to him.  Of course, Kaine had an unfair advantage since he was more familiar with his home state, plus he had even once been Governor of Virginia.  Unfairness is a theme the seed of which the Republican  Presidential candidate may be not so subtly planting as a potential possible accusation he'll unleash if he doesn't win this November election.  

I couldn't help thinking that Pence might have become infected with just saying whatever came to mind regardless of accuracy as his running mate is infamous for doing.    Pence continually having to defend all of his running mate's denials that he didn't say what he actually said, I can imagine  results in discerning fact from fiction becoming more than a little challenging. 

The candidates talking over each other angered me as that is not debate.   Let the speaker spout their mistruths, falsehoods, distortions -- then the opponent counters with the facts.   That's the purpose of rebuttal.   What's so difficult about doling that?   Difficulty occurs when the issue to be addressed is avoided and the subject is even changed which infuriates me, too.    Just cut off the sound on their microphones when they talk over each other,  ignore the moderator, or if they don't answer the question -- that's a penalty that will train them real fast.      

I get disgusted with name-calling and labeling, also, but that's a tactic used primarily at the higher presidential candidate level this election and mostly by Gov. Pence's running mate.   Let's cut that presidential candidate's microphone, too, when he pollutes the airways in that manner.  I know, easier said than done.

One of these two Veep  candidates will become only a heart beat away from the Presidency.  Though we can't vote separately for a Vice President, maybe we should give serious consideration to whether or not we would want a person in that vice-presidential position who willingly and so readily has been reinforcing his running mate's obvious falsehoods -- lies that even a child would recognize.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

WATER, WATER, MAYBE GRAY WATER TOO

WATER FOR PROFIT

The arguments have been made by both parties:  the City of Claremont for eminent domain takeover of our water system from Golden State Water Company, owned by an even larger conglomerate.

The latest from The Flow:  
"Aug 16, 2016:  The City and GSW rested their cases on July 15. Closing arguments took place on August 10. Judge Fruin has 90 days to render his decision about Claremont's right to take over the water system by eminent domain. If the decision is in our favor, the cost will then be determined by a jury. GSW attacked La Verne's ability to administer the water system--see La Verne's response in the blog.

"You can get some information on the current state and the history of the effort.

"For a short summary of past events and future steps, see the January 5, 2015 blog post titled "City of Claremont Water Acquisition Process".     

[La Verne is a neighbor city comparable to Claremont, but whose water rates have been much lower.]

* * *
Refreshing your memory as to what I refer, here's a slightly edited version of what I wrote about the water situation in my city, "Water - Matters of Import 2013", 02/01/13

Water continues to be a volatile local issue with citizens in my city --  reaching an explosive level from residents long simmering anger over outrageous water rates.  Our rates have been significantly higher than the surrounding cities served by this for-profit water company owned by an even larger conglomerate.  There is also anger with the California Public Utilities Commission and their Division of Ratepayer Advocates for failing to meet their mandate to obtain the “lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service levels.”  There are legal reasons why this has been allowed to occur.

Studies are being made as the city moves closer toward a goal of taking over our water for the future generations to come who will most benefit from any savings.  The water company has refused to sell us our water rights.   Our city officials are exploring other options including acquiring ownership through eminent domain.  The company probably fears the latter and has recruited groups outside our city to make this a greater issue than just about citizens wanting fair, just and reasonable water rates instead of our lining the pockets of a far-removed corporation focused on excessive profit.  There are many facts that have bearing including residents responding positively to significant reduction in water usage for several years while the company profits increased as they sought even greater rate increases i.e. they want over 25% increase in 2013.

Years ago I recall reading that water would be the oil of the future.  Also then, PBS broadcast a special documenting that large water corporations were quietly buying up water rights all over the world.  If we think paying outrageous amounts for gas, or not being able to afford to operate our cars is a calamity, at least car makers have finally begun offering us vehicles that use alternative energy.  Somehow, I think our bodies will be less inclined to tolerating major water cutbacks - if we want to continue living - than our vehicles having less gas.  So far, I don't know of any sufficient alternative water substitute.

Here's a link to 10 videos about the world water situation.   You may be well-advised to explore your local water source, who owns it and what is projected for your water cost future.

For many years we’ve been conditioned, with erroneous information in many instances, to believe we should purchase bottled drinking water.  So, we are being slowly moved toward even more water commercialization.  An expectation of raiding what may seem now like an endless water source with desalinization of our oceans may need to be limited in centuries to come.

Many of our fresh water streams, rivers, lakes and even our oceans are all too frequently under assault from pollution. Mining of various sorts, including coal, have contributed to this situation as have the deepest of underground penetrations such as with fracking.  We already have seen the devastation of oil pollution in Alaska and the Gulf accidents from which neither area has recovered.  Still some were  prepared to run an oil pipeline from Canada through a major water acquifer area. Water acquifers must be protected across this nation, just as ours here in my town need to be which this current water company wants to continue controlling.  

* * *
Since I wrote the above we've had the Flint, Michigan water crisis where lead was found in the drinking water with devastating consequences, especially for infants and young children.   This event, coupled with stories of water issues elsewhere,  lends support to consideration of  buying and using bottled drinking water -- but how pure is that water? -- or installing individual water purification systems in residences.   Then there is gray water/grey water -- recycled waste water.

Presently North Dakota with other American Indian tribes and environmentalists are protesting plans to run oil pipelines under the Missouri River, the source of drinking water for some.  Concern focuses on other issues as well as the potential for water contamination should accidental oil pipeline leakage or accidental spillages occur.   21 st Century oil spills are noted  on Wikipedia though the list is incomplete.

Meanwhile, in Claremont, we patiently await the Judge's ruling on our lawsuit to establish eminent domain over our water system.  Then will be the determination of  how much we will have to pay for the system.   Our monthly water bills may well not be lower in my lifetime, but water system acquisition supporters believe their children, grandchildren and other future residents will benefit.    

Sunday, September 11, 2016

RECOLLECTION

Remembering .....9/11
......those whose lives were lost then and later

.....those still living who cope with the effects of what they encountered  then and later

.....those families and friends affected then and forever

So much going on in this world for which we have concern that reflection on painful experiences from the past is unwelcome.  Yet we need to consider events in our history lest in our haste to seek change we be doomed to again select a leader with questionable judgement capabilities (a fault one candidate from that same political party demonstrates almost daily) which so many now agree in hindsight was made following 9/11 -- that year not-so-long-ago.

On a more personal level  I shared my experience of  that day in an archived 2011 post titled
  
9/11 Remembered 10 Years Later  --  for anyone who may not have previously read it.
 (Post will appear after clicking on link if you scroll down below current post which reappears.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PEACOCK FEATHER DILEMMA - REPRISED

Almost a decade ago I became intrigued with peacock feathers.   I was prompted then to share the dilemma I encountered.   If I placed peacock feathers in my home would their presence be a positive or negative influence -- bringing me good or bad luck?    I still have the same question.  (The original post was 7/18/08 with some interesting comments from around the world of others peacock feathers views and experiences.)

Are peacock feathers displayed inside the house good or bad luck? This is my dilemma. The owner of several male peacocks offered me some of the birds' feathers. "No," I was assured by the feather-giver, "I did not chase down the birds and pluck their tail feathers. These colorful birds are molting. Peacock feathers displayed inside your house may bring you good luck!" That was all I needed to hear to convince me to give these iridescent green and blue colored feather plumes an opportunity to work their magic in my life.

I welcomed these good luck omens to thwart Murphy's Law that continues to impact my daily life since I first wrote about a series of persistent undesired events to which I have been relentlessly subjected. Murphy's Law is the one that predicts everything that can go wrong will go wrong. In my case, that has included household mechanical objects breaking down, with a few even beyond repair, along with a sprinkling of unusual personal medical matters. (See earlier posts with links on right side bar.)

One reader suggested I was experiencing bad juju brought on by evil spirits which I determined was hoodoo for sure. Certain suggested remedies to counteract these malignant forces may have played the devil with those spirits, subsequently lessening the ill effects of some of those original problems. Also, my personal ongoing efforts have been reaping results and resolutions, despite new unwelcome issues that perversely persist in emerging.

I'd been ripe for needing more magic, when coincidentally I discovered on YouTube that John Fogerty recorded a tune "You've Got The Magic" on an unreleased album titled "Hoodoo." 



I immediately concluded that song meant I had the magic all right, now that I had these lucky peacock feathers. That's what I thought until I later learned the rest of the male peacocks story. I then began to wonder if those birds had encountered evil spirits and bad magic, too.

But I didn't know about possible bad magic connected to peacock feathers then, as I was busily conducting a quick Internet search about positive belief systems associated with these good luck bearers. I learned peacocks and their feathers are described as representing protection, safe-guarding, harmony, good luck, serenity, peace of mind, and relaxation. The unnamed Google site writer additionally notes:

"This bird is also valued as a protection for the psychic self. There has been lore that writes that to have a peacock feather within the home this helps to safe guard any of the energy in the environment. I personally have always had peacock feathers in my home, even when I was a child in my room. I also know that some native people also use the peacock feathers in fans and some crafting. While I have heard some individuals speak of not having them in the home but I can say that nothing has never come about for me. I found the feathers and consider them to be a gift from The Creator."

What was meant by, "...some individuals speak of not having them in the home but I can say nothing has never come about for me"? Is possible bad luck being intimated here? I also note the writer to whom bad luck has not occurred "...found the feathers... ." Does the fact I was given the feathers rather than having found them make a difference in the magic flow of positive versus negative energy? I think it's important to consider all these little intricacies. These may be the fine print guiding how magic works, just like the fine print of legal agreements. Perhaps magic shouldn't be over-simplified any more than life can be.

So, suddenly complicating matters is my encountering unexpected new information indicating that peacock feathers displayed inside a home are not always considered good luck. The Google link notes that while
"In India the peacock was believed to have a thousand eyes in its feathers... In Java, the peacock was associated with the Devil. In Mosul in northern Iraq, there is a sect of Yezidis who hold that the Devil is not evil, and call him the Peacock Angel.' Also, I noted, "Myth has the peacock representing fidelity, as it dies of grief, or remains single, if it loses its mate."

Additional contradictions between good versus bad luck omens emerged as I learned more about the story of the male peacocks from whom my feathers came. I don't like to even think about the misery to which those birds have been subjected. Not only are they molting, but I wonder now if they may be depressed, too. How would that affect the magic? Consider this, the three cocks were each deserted by their mate. How else to say it, other than, those female birds abandoned my feather-donating male birds -- the peahens literally flew the coop together.

What does that say about fidelity? The whereabouts of these missing partners, the much more drab appearing hens, is unknown. They have been absent for so long, their owners no longer expect they will return. Speculation is that after fleeing their mates, the hens may even have been victims of the area's wildlife predators. On the other hand, the hens may well be living a whole new life. Surely they wouldn't have aligned themselves with new bird companions, would they?

Obvious to me is the fact the abandoned male peacocks have been decidedly unlucky birds. Molting or not, no wonder they're dropping their tail feathers. Life must be disappointing to them, with or without their awesome filigree-like plumes tipped with those strikingly penetrating eyes that have been compared to an evil eye.

Have I been mesmerized by evil spirits, because I think the delicate peacock feathers projecting a play of sharp bright dark blue and green colors, are most attractive and fascinating to gaze upon? The colorful patterns provide glimpses of white accents surrounding those hypnotic piercing black eyes.

I hope I've made the correct decision, because these frond-like feathers stand majestically tall in a corner of my home, hopefully bringing me good luck.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

POLITICAL CONVENTIONS OF YORE

Election intrigue continues as this preliminary to the 2016 Presidential campaign goes on.   I haven't had so much fun following all the unpredictable antics beginning prior to the Primary Election -- and now, with rumors that one of the political party's pre-convention planning may include determining how to thwart their presumptive candidate's nomination --  since I was first able to vote -- listened to and viewed political party conventions.

That's not to say I haven't considered  this year's election prospects with great concern, even alarm, especially with the rhetoric of one candidate,  but sometimes I have had to laugh in order to keep my sanity.  Make no mistake there are vital issue outcomes at stake in November's final vote. 

When I harken back to the '50's -- more people were beginning to afford owning TVs then -- cable was emerging to allow viewing in communities previously without service -- I could actually see and hear the nominating convention process that had  previously only been described on radio.

TV was becoming the hot technology of the time -- in the years ahead video was  progressing  from black and white to color -- sound was evolving from high fidelity (hi-fi) to stereo (stereophonic) sound -- actually allowing us to view the convention halls with newsmen (no women) who had star-like status calling a sports-like play-by-play from up in their booth overlooking activities on the stage and in the auditorium below.

On the convention floor investigative news-types scurried about from state groups to state groups seeking news crumbs, or ideally some major revelation with which to startle their news anchors and the viewing public.  Then there were only three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) who competed rabidly with one another to be the first with some new information bit.

The party platform and convention rules had been ironed out in meetings held in the days before the televised convention began  There was likely some "fine-tuning" in many areas throughout  the actual convention along with delegates jockeying about in support of their candidate.

Each state's elected representatives arriving were busy back-slapping one another.  There could be contentious moments between groups as to who actually had the legitimate credentials to represent their state, but those disputes we viewers were often only privy to after the fact in news commentary during the proceedings.  

The higher-up electors with political party bosses were busy negotiating one thing or another  in those legendary cigar and cigarette, occasionally a pipe, smoke-filled rooms.   Who was picked to be a convention's keynote speaker  always had great significance.

When the opening ceremonies preliminaries  finished in the auditorium, the countdown began.  From the stage a stentorian-sounding voice began an alphabetical roll call of each state.  As a state's name was called to cast their votes for the candidate(s) chosen in the months earlier primary election process, we heard that delegate group's leader shout out a flourishing response of varying length.

Each state's spokesperson praised their state's assets, attractions and claim to fame.  Their words often started with "The great state of ...(fill in the blank)... with many lakes...", or "The magnificent state of ...(fill in the blank) -- home of more presidents than any other state...," or one of my favorites was the declaration "The territory (or commonwealth) of ...(fill in the blank)...proudly casts its votes for......!"    Alaska and Hawaii had not yet become states until 1959 in different months when I first viewed these conventions.    So, I always was fascinated as they passionately advocated their state's attributes and dedication to our 48 continental United States as that phase of the procedures concluded.

Votes were tallied and then began the process of determining a winner.   If the first ballot had not decided one, in subsequent balloting states representatives maneuvered about more freely, deferring to one another for nominating a candidate.  Some delegates were released from voting for the candidate they were pledged to on the first ballot so they could vote for whoever.   Some years more than one ballot was required to select a final candidate as tensions would build from ballot to ballot with sessions going late into the night.   Ongoing pressure-filled meetings out of the camera's sight and newsmen's hearing (yes, still just men)  were the order of the day.

Who knew what all was going on off camera but news accounts offered lots of "leaks" from 'informed sources' -- spiked with a quote taken out of context --  plus adding a degree of  speculation -- all made for a tantalizing mix.  Once a candidate was finally chosen the normal loud boisterous noise became ear-splitting with the sound reverberating throughout the auditorium.

Another day and it was time to select a Vice President.  In some elections wheelin' an dealin' to decide the Vice Presidential running mate was an activity if -- he--  hadn't already been selected but generally the choice was ostensibly the nominated President's choice.   That's right, "he", until the year many years later when a "she" was actually selected for the first time to be the running mate or second banana Veep by one of the two major parties. 

That final night  we also ultimately  met the Party's chosen Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, their spouses.  Other activities, speeches, culminated in delegates vocalizing in noise-making volume becoming louder, faster, higher in pitch, reaching almost sound barrier breaking level with balloons and/or confetti snowing down on all.  Viewers were there -- seeing it all!

Here's a link to the simplified version of what we can expect in 2016 as Political Party Conventions Day-By-Day will proceed like this:

Day One -- Keynote Speaker
Day Two -- Credentials and Platforms
Day Three -- The Nomination
Day Four ---   Picking a Vice Presidential Candidate

Suspense fills the air for the Republican Convention already in progress for preliminary behind the scenes rules making and platform determination.  There are rumors the Presumptive Presidential Candidate rejected by so many party faithful could encounter delegate rules changes jeopardizing his nomination -- or not!   What then?   Reportedly none of the Party's  living previous presidents or the party's prior nominee will attend the convention in Cleveland, Ohio  beginning July 18-21, 2016.  

The Democratic National Convention is in Philadelphia, PA July 25-28 with their presumptive presidential candidate expected to be nominated with little dissension.   Her primary competitor has finally endorsed her, but only after achieving adoption of some issue positions he promoted.   If she -- that's right, a "she" -- is nominated, this would be a first for our nation so could arouse a high level delegate reaction.

Both conventions will be telecast and also can be viewed via live streaming video on the internet.