Wednesday, October 26, 2016


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, 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


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



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


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


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


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.  

Monday, July 11, 2016


More tragedies across this nation .....
 -- needless loss of life
 -- families... loved ones ... friends left to mourn,
 -- communities, cities, states 
     deprived of individuals contributions to all our lives.

Hopefully, we will unify .....
  -- listen 
  -- to understand... appreciate our differences ... respect one another

May we correct .....   
  -- our individual
  -- our national shortcomings

May we have love -- not hate

May we have peace!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016


Juno is in orbit around Jupiter!

What mysteries about earth's beginnings will we learn?

My spirit is lifted with renewed optimism for the future as I experience feelings of patriotism and pride from Independence Day 2016.    I welcome positive events that stimulate such reactions for me reinforcing that I  live in a great nation and am committed to my country continuing to be so.  These are a couple events prompting such views. 

NASA scientists at Jet Propulsion Lab shared on the internet their ecstatic reactions to the Juno spacecraft's successful precise movement into orbit around Jupiter after a five year journey from Earth.  I viewed NASA's live streaming video of this event July 4th night simultaneously with PBS's program Capitol Fourth orchestral patriotic music playing and spectacular colorful visions of  fireworks filling my television screen.   

One NASA scientist observed  how Italian Astronomer Galileo in 1610 first observed moons moving around Jupiter.  This was just one of his many discoveries but one with profound implications for scientific study. 

This Guardian link features a video of the NASA scientists event mentioned above.

Hope everyone had a special 4th.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


What will be the final outcome of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union? 

Will the petition for a second referendum on remaining or leaving the EU prevail? 

Will Scotland and/or Ireland withdraw from the UK to join the EU?

Will other countries leave the EU, too?

What will be the effect on European unity? 

These are the kind of times when individuals and groups that no majority in a country wants to assume power manage to slip in -- sometimes stealing a nation's government right out from under them.    When it's too late citizens wonder how this could be allowed to happen, but it occurred in Europe beginning in the 1920's/1930s.    This could occur in the United States -- make no mistake -- if we aren't vigilant.   We should be concerned.  Prevention of such an evolution is the answer!

Consider this, too, staunch conservative commentator and columnist George Will is reported by news media to have stated he is leaving the Republican Party and is urging others to do the same.  Better late than never --  as I believe the handwriting on this wall has been present for many years when we consider how this party has performed in our legislature with little done to correct their ineffectual governing and numerous legislators poor job performance.  Voters failed to throw them out.

Think about this too ........

Billionaires Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch met in Scotland I noticed -- just to socialize?

Remember what transpired in Great Britain with Rupert Murdoch's foray into media ownership there -- employee's activities -- accusations of questionable governmental political relationships?

The U.S. has the distinction of Mr. Murdoch having become a citizen, being allowed to acquire the right to use our airwaves, then, by some analysts criteria, lowering factual news broadcasting standards on the network his company owns.      

He purchased the Wall Street Journal....has reportedly been dedicated to preserving newspapers though his publishing history in his home country of Australia and what occurred in Great Britain caused many concern over the quality of his publications.

Huffington Post's Michael Levin interviewing author Sarah Ellison in 2015 regarding the WSJ -- "The editorial page has stayed true to itself..." which some had been concerned might not occur.  There were ongoing legal matters in Great Britain at the takeover time which some reportedly thought might have taken precedence on his time.

Former WSJ employee Ms Ellison further observed:
" It [WSJ] used to be a watchdog on the corporate world, on American business" "...much more interested in the geopolitical landscape and finance."
" It’s tilted rightward politically."   Previously the WSJ was thought by many to lean to the left.

USA Today June 2015 article describing what Mr. Murdoch owns "....Everything".  I strongly recommend you read this article listing that includes the broadcast media he owns.  

I wonder if Mr. Murdoch will provide Mr. Trump financial backing and/or what else for future campaigning? 

Would Mr. Murdoch want anything in return for his support of Mr. Trump?

Billionaires in charge will certainly have the average citizen's best interests at heart -- or will they???

Is my concern premature?  It is just conjecture presently, or maybe even unjustified?   

Pay attention to what transpires with politicians and their supporters in the U.S. as we  move toward and through the July political party presidential nominating conventions.

I think there will be little doubt after the conventions who the candidate is -- that I haven't even named here -- who we'll need to support to keep our nation stable at home and in the world.

We, the people, can make a difference to preserve this nation and move progressively forward into the future.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


We're having a heat wave...temperature was 107 degrees here in Claremont Monday – 122 record-setting degrees in Palm Springs, California -- an hour auto drive east.   The highest temperatures I recall experiencing were 115-116 a couple days years ago in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Hot days like even the lower temperatures we're having now generally didn't occur until three or four weeks later in the year if we had them at all.    Do you suppose this might be one more indicator of global warming and/or climate change?  Is there any question!

Fires we don’t usually experience until fall started, also, yesterday – in communities west of where I live – ground growth, shrubs and trees are a tinderbox due to our drought.  The cause is thought to be due to a car crash which led to a second fire with both continuing to spread closer together for a massive out-of-control burn. 

Driving on an afternoon errand I could see the blue sky was being swallowed by the darkening reddish brown smoky clouds moving toward our city which they had reached by the time I arrived home.  We're not threatened by fire but the air pollution is unhealthy so I'll be staying indoors.

Cities west, Asuza and Duarte (home of City of Hope Medical Center but not reported as threatened) are the communities whose foothill residences edge into the mountainsides burning.   Evacuations of people, animals...firefighters on the ground...helicopter water drops...planes spreading fire retardants.  Wild animals, including bears, deer, smaller creatures... leaving the forests...fleeing to neighborhoods.  So far no homes lost.  Concern the wind velocity might increase or direction might change through the night.   

The electric power grid has been down in some other Los Angeles County areas.  One area's residents are reported to be enraged to be without power due to a "planned outage" on this record-setting predicted hottest day.  Some resident's complain they didn't even get an advance notice others report having been given.  I can identify with their protests as the same failure to notify me has happened twice in recent years.  I understand needed preventative work, but doing so on this specific day doesn't make sense?

Other southwestern states are being clobbered by similar drought effects.  This is what we experience plus our earthquakes much as other states are primarily subjected to tornadoes, massive flooding, hurricanes, winter’s freezing snows.  

Ella Fitzgerald is one of my favorite jazz female vocalists who recorded this Irving Berlin song with Enoch Light’s arrangement in 1958.   This song was introduced in the 1933 musical show As Thousands Cheer by Ethel Waters – the song subsequently was featured in several movies and recorded by numerous singers.