Saturday, February 20, 2016


Just before I began writing this the lights instantly flicked off with the TV screen simultaneously going to black.  Just as quickly the lights and TV came on again before I could reach for my chair-side flashlight.   Well, I wondered, what was that all about ..... car hit a light pole? .....  squirrel or rat on the transformer? ...... power company activity?   Later, a TV news story reported an earthquake in So Cal at a sufficient distance that I didn't feel any jolts or shaking effects, but think that must have caused my brief power outage.  Just one more unpredictable event in life.

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Now, I'm hearing on the news a possible third political party candidate is having his supporters rev up activity to be ready in case he decides to join the Presidential Primaries fray.  He'll probably  need to do so in March if he makes the leap.  Would he be a savior or a spoiler I wonder?   All in due time.

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This past week I attended an afternoon social sponsored by REAL Connections (click on link),  a group whose progress I've been following  since before their official July 2012 launching.    This is a membership program created especially for people 60+.   The purpose is to enable people to " live in place" independently, in their home, apartment, or  mobile home.   Members form a "village" or a community of mutual support -- the village organization is a "go-to" trusted  resource to facilitate enjoying vibrant living by staying connected with others. 

People of all ages can volunteer and local organizations can join in serving the older adult community.   Some of the membership benefits include a single, trusted source to call for information, referrals and resources; access to a network of pre-screeened service providers, transportation, "personal assistant" type convenience services, social activities.   I haven't chosen to join to date, but increasingly doing so is attractive.

Most of those present as members or prospects like me at the casual social appeared to be Boomers.   Some volunteers were younger including a lady with an elder friendly dog and pup.  I met and talked with a nurse who decided she would join and coincidentally a couple other nurse volunteers.   A gentleman member there, active at the organizational level. too,  mentioned he also had an application pending with the retirement community where we met, noting he was on a three year waiting list, laughingly adding that by doing so he was hedging his bets.    

Our local Community Senior Services has included REAL Connections as one of our areas resources for ageless living.   REAL Connections is associated with countrywide Village to Village Network (click on link) where you can view a U.S. map, explore whether there's a Village near you and obtain information to aid in starting a Village in your area should that be a possibility you might want to promote.   

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Can't believe it, but summertime is here in Southern California with temperatures in the 80's -- pushing 90 degrees in record February heat.   We're all wondering what happened to our El Nino rains?   Something about a high pressure system pushing the storms to the northern part of California as instead we're receiving dry hot high winds..

That's just fine as long as they keep dumping snow in the four mountain ranges -- Shasta Cascade, Klamath-Siskiyous, Sierra Nevada, and the Coastal Mountain Range -- all together said to be a total of 138 mountains more or less.   Snowmelt from those Sierra Nevada mountains  provide many of us a portion of the water we rely on as described here.    Now weather predictors tell us El Nino's rains will come the end of February and in March -- we'll see!

Last Weekend I checked out my local area strawberry patch as February had been the earliest I had ever known those addicting luscious red fruits to be ripened for sale.   Not only was the stand open, but they had first begun selling berries this year in December -- just before Christmas!   Had I only known I would have been their first customer.   One more indicator of our climate changing.

I continue to wonder what's next in this political year as candidates have rigorously pursued voters, first in Iowa and next in New Hampshire.  Now they're off to South Carolina with their numbers not winnowed down enough to suggest who would actually receive their political party's nomination though both major political parties have unexpected front runners.   Rumbling in the background continues that a possible third party candidate may join the fray if he doesn't like the two major party finalists selected.

So far this rather unorthodox election campaign has resulted in an increase in the number of election primary voters.  More citizens fulfilling the voluntary responsibility expected of those of us  living in our democracy/republic is encouraging.   Pundits, candidates and voters are finding not much is predictable which makes this election of interest to more people, I think.  

I  know what principles, political issues and plans to resolve our nation's problems are important to me.  I know the candidates whose views I can most closely share presently.  But we have many more election primaries in the months ahead as each candidate tries to effectively express themself to convince voters to select them.  The bottom line is the candidate in each party who becomes their party nominee needs to be electable!  

I don't think Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem did their candidate and women voters  any favors by suggesting we should vote on the basis of gender.   Coming from an older generation, cognizant first hand of gender discrimination, I do understand the intent of their words.  But, frankly, I was offended, and I think many younger generation women might be resentful, too.  Hopefully, the candidate won't be penalized by voters.    

Some pundit discussions I've heard have included observations that democracies around the world are being clobbered by extremist anti-establishment candidates.  The world is truly in a state of flux and our nation is not an exception.  What could this mean for our future?


Thursday, February 04, 2016


"Write if you get work!"   and   "Hang by your thumbs!"

Bob Elliot died Tuesday at 92 -- Half of the Bob & Ray (Goulding) comedy team I fondly remember first laughing with beginning in "radio days".  Click on the following link for a taste of their low-key deadpan type of humor that influenced future comedians:
Internet Archive building an Internet Library with streaming video.

Monday, February 01, 2016

So Cal Update

Rain and snow have come to California courtesy of El Nino, finally.  We're still shy of adequate amounts to fully replenish our needs to overcome the drought we've been experiencing.  Regrettably the storms have brought high winds with many trees felled, flooding, ocean cliffs collapsing leaving an uninhabitable dwelling, other related destructive consequences in some areas, and worst of all a life lost.  We are predicted to receive more storm than we may want in the next two to three months.

Fortunately, where I live in So Cal (Southern Calif.) we've primarily benefited from the weather and been spared most of the negative effects.  Mountain area resorts have been elated their ski area recreational activities are thriving.   I can only wish others would be spared any damages to person and/or property from the future moisture we need.

This Presidential Election year continues to be unbelievably bizarre compared to any I recall in my lifetime.   The American public is truly angry and seems to be saying, "a pox on politicians" as we know them.   Seems to me replacing some of those in our Congress might serve to be a more effective step toward having our nation's problems meaningfully addressed, but that must wait until another election.  However, this election is critical in many ways including the next President potentially needing to make several Supreme Court appointments.

Whoever is finally elected President cannot "fix" everything despite the verbose blustery pronouncements of some -- but amazingly to me there are many people who seem to believe such a miracle could occur.  Issue views espoused by most candidates so far seem to indicate a void of moderate positions.

Surprisingly, supporters for some candidates have squeeked out of the woodwork from elections-past to lend excitement to this whole affair.    Will all this hullabaloo bring out more voters?   Maybe -- in this nation that seems to want news as entertainment and worships celebrity!

I think the Republican Party is fighting for survival as they appeal to the most extreme conservative elements and nourish base divisive human instincts in their followers.  One of their candidates has literally turned this election inside out and upside down with the result their expected front runner(s) seem to have been lost in the shuffle.  Their multitude of candidates are slowly whittling down in number as Iowa and later New Hampshire are the first States whose supporters will express their opinions this month.  These States chosen candidates in either Party ultimately may not be the final Party candidate.

The Democratic Party has found itself unexpectedly having a strong race between two candidates with a third shadowing those two.  They have moved toward more liberal positions on a few issues that might not have been expected if there hadn't been such a fierce competition.  They have maintained a consistent strong stance defending all Americans,  as our nation's Constitution prescribes, in contrast to rhetoric from their opposing Party.  

Recently mutterings have been heard that a candidate might form a third Party if the surviving candidate in at least one of the Parties emerges as a nominee.  Ah, the battle of the billionaires!  I thought some of that money group were the ones everyone is angry with -- part of the 1% -- suffocating the middle class and thrusting all the rest of our population into the less-than 99%.  

So much more could be said and getting into the specific issues which is what I'm really interested in seems almost premature at this point with all the drama that's going on.   There's plenty of time for getting to those matters for some of us, I guess, after all these candidates get sorted out since Californian's don't vote until June.   Also, this will be the first Presidential Election when all of those who have registered no political party preference can vote either Party.

When all final Presidential candidates have been selected, then, perhaps, we will have a better idea of exactly what issues will be pursued so, if in doubt, our choices will be evident.