Sunday, December 27, 2020


                            HAPPY NEW YEAR ---- 2021  ! ! !    Friday

        "The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas as this holiday weekend ends, we begin to celebrate Kwanzaa and we ready for New Year's Day.  Soon to follow are these significant countdown date facts augmented by my point of view .....

January 5, 2021:    Georgia runoff election for 2 seats determines U.S. Senate control.

January 6, 2021 at 1 p.m.:     U.S. Electoral College vote finalized,                                              certified in Congressional joint session -- if law and order prevails.

   ? ? ? ? ?                Current Lame Duck President exits the White House as he continues his desperate efforts to undermine our democracy, damaging this nation.

January 20, 2021 at noon:    President Biden is inaugurated.                                                                    

Another exciting week at my house as I continue to follow the Stay At Home admonition from health authorities as being necessary to limit Covid-19's spread and to avoid becoming infected.  

FaceTime proved to be the means by which our family virtual interaction was enjoyed Christmas Day with expanded participant contact expected in the week ahead, but probably on Zoom due to technical compatibility issues.  Additionally, I received videos of selected packages being opened to augment  the holiday fun.   Given the three hour time difference I could view the recorded action on a delayed basis allowing me to avoid having to arise at the young one's early-rising hour in their home.  

As this year comes to an end I have been reminded of how few holiday greeting cards with personal notes I wrote for mailing with equally few received.  I was made aware the already diminished number of friends and family decreased even further this year.    Additionally, I'm reminded of a virtual friend about whom I said no more than to announce her untimely departure when I learned of it several days after her death.

A tribute to this lady, Ronni Bennett, who created her "Time Goes By" blog is very much overdue.  For anyone reading this who is unfamiliar with her, I recommend you explore her blog.  Her writings, other features, can be accessed in the blog's archives under a variety of topics.  The blog will continue with her dear friend, Autumn, writing there.  

I recall with nostalgia my entry into the blogosphere years ago, first only reading, eventually cautiously commenting on TGB when I was simultaneously learning how to use a computer and discovered the Internet.  Ronni encouraged me in email correspondence to write, then later completely surprised me by asking me to be a TGB guest blogger on one occasion.  My response to her was one of incredulity, "You must be crazy!" as I did not perceive myself writing anything worthy of publication on her blog.  I did finally write  a piece for TGB, then ultimately started this blog, though my Internet blog launching was quite accidental.

I've shared Ronni's interest in presenting the life of elders as it really is.  I've enjoyed engaging in terminology discussions she fostered at TGB including our questioning the use of "senior" as applied to older people, but no one could come up with a better word.  She also wrote her somewhat controversial use of the word "elder" as meaning in the sense that it refers to those in generally older generations, whose years of experience can provide ideas worthy of being listened to by others, with respect.  She focused on overcoming the decades old practice of age discrimination which she had experienced first hand and persists today.  These are only a few issues she addressed.

Ronni's writing hallmark was truth and honesty.  She provided factual information supported by documentation on matters of vital importance, especially to those 50 years and older on topics including Medicare, Social Security and more.  Age discrimination, language used to characterize older people were issues of significant interest as she wanted to see that negative practice overcome, one to which she had been subjected.   

She pinpointed governmental actions, or lack thereof, that had bearing on elder generations, ultimately all citizens sooner or later -- everyone becomes old, if they live long enough.  She expressed her point of view on many topics, political and other.  Ronni clearly noted when what she wrote was her opinion versus a known fact as any responsible journalist would do.  She used an alter ego, Crabby Lady, on occasion to express her dissatisfaction, downright anger at any manner of injustice she perceived.  

Ronni entertained us with her good humor, sometimes stimulated our feelings of sadness as well as happiness, also arranged to provide some musical pleasure on her blog.  She demanded civility on TGB, did not allow comments designed to elicit free advertising and promotions, set a standard of quality influencing how others administered their blogs.  

I've hardly scratched the surface of what Ronni's "Time Goes By" blog, information provided there and commentary has contributed on the blogosphere and to all those who visited there.  Her influence went well beyond the blog with writings, media and technology conference appearances.   I haven't even touched on her professional career prior to starting this blog which can be sourced on TGB.

"Time Goes By" will continue, reincarnated by her dear friend, Autumn, as mentioned earlier, in whatever form she may choose which I will look forward to visiting.  I will miss Ronni Bennett, but will always remember her with high regard, respect and affection.  

                           H A P P Y    N E W     Y E A R   ! ! !

Sunday, December 20, 2020


 MERRY CHRISTMAS ... Friday, Dec. 25th ! 

"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."


T'is the season to be especially careful avoiding those who phish and scam.                                              I've had two just this past few weeks.

The first phishing on my laptop was a sudden pop-up of smaller screens, 3 overlaying one another allowing partial reading of content, claiming to be from Apple, looking very legitimate.  They alerted my computer was locked and anything I did would basically only make everything worse, especially if I tried to shut down the computer,  I would lose everything.   The reality was I no longer had control of my cursor, it had disappeared from my screen, so I couldn't do anything.  

This was a very aggressive attack my tech guru son thought when I contacted him.  He concluded the message was not from Apple and probably was a phishing expedition.  He determined some action we could take, so after considerable inconvenience, time and effort, with his assistance I regained full use of my computer without losing anything.   We subsequently ran some malware determining all was clear.

My son recounted the experience of someone he knew who received a similar popup, had accepted it as legitimate so contacted the perpetrators per the instructions who offered  help as purportedly from Apple.  They reportedly were in an English-speaking country very tech-savvy.  They offered to troubleshoot his problem for a fee to release his computer from this lockup preventing all the disaster that could happen.  This person purchased their service revealing personal financial information in the process.

Fortunately, my son learned of this soon after so intervention was quickly initiated to block the bank payment.  However, all of this person's bank accounts and previously arranged automatic bill payments had to be cancelled, reprogrammed with new bank accounts opened -- a time-consuming activity to insure his funds future bank safety.  

The second phishing scam has come in an email; set up like a business form.  It starts out like this:

"This tracking update has been requested by:                                                                                   Company Name:     xxxxxx Pecan Co. (I've removed co name)                                                       Name:                      Shipping Dept.                                                                                                 E mail:                     "Not Provided By Requestor"

"Reference Information Includes:"                                                                                                     An  Invoice Number and a long list of items including what says it is a FedEx number, highlighted  for me to click on which, of course, I did not do.

(Please note the actual form did not have indentations, but Blogger insisted on altering the accurate form from each line aligned on the left, one under the other as I typed it to reproduce  for publication so you could see exactly what it looked like.)

Independently in  Google Search I found xxxxxx Pecan Co. on the internet appearing to be a legitimate company, but I didn't click on it either.


COVID-19 infections rage on with no indication of slowing.  L.A. County ICU hospital beds available for coronavirus patients have declined to 0% at last report.  

One hospital in our east next door community and county continues to report: "we are in internal disaster mode."   

The hospital immediately adjacent west of our city and the one I served for a time period years ago before I associated with a local retirement community has continued to have ICU beds available, unlike many L.A County hospitals reportedly.  Our Claremont Courier newspaper's Steven Feischundneff reported:

"Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said during a news conference on Wednesday:

Hospitals adapt and surge.  They add staff,  they clear out beds.  They discharge patients whenever they can.  They cancel surgeries, they cancel procedures that can wait.  They flex their staffing resources.  These actions, while critical, cannot continue indefinitely.  There are simply not enough trained staff to care for the volume of patients that is projected to come," Dr. Ghaly said."  

Referring to my local area hospital she said: "Outpatient elective surgeries and procedures continue being performed, but a need for post-operative admission to my area hospital prevents all elective surgeries and procedures requiring that service."  The hospital " prepared to further expand its surge capacity should it continue to experience increases in COVID-19 patient admissions."  

Vaccine:   A phone call to the hospital as I write this confirms "selective hospital personnel are receiving the Covid-19  vaccine."    

This has become very personal for me as someone I care about (not a family member) who lives in a different SoCal county has been coping with a potentially life-threatening medical problem, plus now also needs surgery to minimize, even eliminate a new  risk from a just diagnosed cancer, yet unknown whether spread to lymph nodes.   Ironic, we joke in dark humor about the poor timing that these medical problems should emerge now.  Doubtless there are many across the country, around the world even who are faced with a similar or worse situation during this pandemic. 


I will be home, alone, celebrating virtually via FaceTime with children and grandchildren from their different locations across the country.   My holiday dinner with adequate quantity to allow leftovers which I favor is being delivered the day before for microwave reheating.   Free time will allow me to indulge in whatever gives me pleasure at the time -- perhaps some Christmas music including "Silent Night", "The Christmas Song", "Blue Christmas", "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas", "Sleigh Ride" to name a few.

Another family celebrates Christmas ... old friends with whom I have contact with mostly at just this time of year report she and husband are donning Hazmat suits to fly east to spend Christmas with family.   

While all is in limbo for so many of us, we adapt, accommodate, cope in many ways, often turning to humor of all kinds.  So .....

I try to keep up with the latest health information.  In these days of ruptured truth it's sometimes difficult to recognize fact from fiction, but here's the latest notice you'll want to know about -- keep in mind phoniness, alternate truths are frequently the order of the day:

Did you receive the latest health alert?

Tonight at 10 pm local time                                                                                                                   a medical satellite is  flying over earth                                                                                                to take everybody's temperature.                                                                                                         Please stand naked outside your door                                                                                                  and wave your Medicare or other insurance card.

(Another staggering of the lines done automatically by Blogger, not at all as I set it up but cannot be corrected.)

I confess.  I cannot lie.  I purloined and edited the above health alert from a cartoon where I often get my humor fix to release those healing endorphins at Oddball Observations. 

I wish each of you a Merry Christmas ...

     Stay Well, 

           Count Your Blessings, 

                  Wishing You Peace and Joy

Diana Krall sings "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep"


Sunday, December 13, 2020



The U.S. Government Election Officials report:

"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."

Significant Past Date .....

December 8, 2020:  Safe Harbor Deadline -- States had to choose electors to be accepted by Congress; voting disputes had to be resolved.

Personal POV .....

The present White House occupant still continues his efforts which very much resemble those of someone trying to stage a coup in his desperate attempt to stay in office as U.S. President for another four years in any way possible, legal or otherwise, despite having lost both the popular and electoral college votes.

Just when it seems he could sink no lower in the tactics he would employ to achieve such a travesty of justice, he descends even deeper into the morass of his behavioral cesspool to establish himself in what appears to be an effort to convert our nation to an autocracy, thus destroying our democratic republic, betraying his oath of office and the U.S. constitution.

Tragically for our nation in this effort many of his cult-like supporters have mindlessly accepted his falsehoods, fear of socialism, other bizarre conspiracy tales as fact -- apparently so confused they are no longer able to discern truth from fiction.

Other Significant Countdown Dates Reminder .....

December 14, 2020:     Electors Convene and Vote in D.C.         Be alert for possible efforts to coerce Congress to alter electors legal votes.

January 5, 2021:        Georgia runoff election for 2 Senate seats -- results will determine control of the U. S. Senate

January 6, 2021 at 1 pm: The vote will be finalized and certified in a joint session of Congress.

January 30 20, 2021 at noon: The President is inaugurated.


--My city's Covid-19 infection reached the fourth highest new case rate in Los Angeles County this past Friday                            -- L.A. County ICU hospital beds available are continuing to dip down, currently at 5.3% as I write this Saturday night 12/12.                --for those with other medical requirements including from surgeries  beds may not be accessible.

--One nearby local hospital official reports in our local Courier newspaper,"we are in internal disaster mode."

Pfizer Covid-19 first shipment to Los Angeles County of 327,000 vaccines will occur Sunday, 12/13.                                     --The first hospital to receive the vaccine is Cedar-Sinai prepared to store in their required deep freezer.                                  --One-half dozen hospitals will receive the Pfizer vaccine.            --Vaccinations will be administered to health care personnel and residents in long term care facilities. 

--The first shots are expected to be given Monday, 12/14.              --A second shot will be required in the future to complete virus antibody resistance.                                                   --Anti-body immunity development will take several weeks after both shots received.                           

-- Long Term Care facilities in my city will be among the first including the one I had most recently served who report expecting to receive the vaccine and begin inoculations Monday, 12/14.

Local newspapers going out of business in cities are a concern I've previously written about. They are referred to as legacy media in the net lingo of today.  The term means media that is considered "old" which newspapers are considered to be as are radio, and television; also applies to Web sites using outdated technology.  Netlingo says: "With legacy media, the receiver does not contribute or interact with the content and remains totally passive."

Newspapers are important because they tell us what is going on in our town.  Local reporters also keep us informed about our local government and what officials are doing affecting all of us.  This can be positive actions officials take, reveal information we might want to change, and even be a deterrent to instances of official corruption.

Also, reports: "Covid-19 is crushing Newspapers, Worsening Hunger for Accurate Information."

A year ago Salt Lake City's Tribune became the first legacy newspaper to adopt a nonprofit status as described in this NPR article in an effort to adapt and survive which has been successful to date.  

My city's local newspaper, Claremont Courier, has been struggling to survive also.  I've maintained my subscription which is now only weekly, also receive their Net highlights.  The Facebook page I prefer to not access but is available which my adult children can appreciate who live in other states.  The original publisher's son who was in the newspaper business on the east coast became the editor some years ago but his parents are now deceased.

Peter Weinberger, who is that publisher is in the process of sustaining our Courier's life by converting our newspaper to nonprofit status much like the Salt Lake paper has done.  The Courier is three months away from adoption of this transition if the IRS accepts their application.  They expect to accomplish this reinvention by Spring 2021 which pleases me immensely.  I also learned in the recent update my neighbor is intimately involved through a tech company he founded in aiding with this process.

Do you have a local newspaper where you live, perhaps one that didn't survive or has adapted to the Net so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your community?  

I think this is vitally important to insure good government starting at the local level, a critical element in our democracy.  Maybe your life is such that you have less focus on these matters which may need to occur for some of us, especially in our aging years.  What do you think and how do you learn about what's going on where you live or are you caught up with other matters in your life? 


Sunday, December 06, 2020


A song lyric from "Young At Heart" keeps popping into my mind as I think about what has been happening in my life this past week.  Michael Buble's words refer to love but they also have a different meaning for me presently as I apologize to lyricist Carolyn Leigh for changing the second line here:   

"Life gets more exciting with each passing day, 

  And problems can occur or are on their way" 

Only in mid-November I wrote:

"My furnace stopped working -- the penalty of having a long-lasting piece of equipment is manufacturers stop making parts so that if you need one, it's not readily available, but if you do get one it's very expensive.  Is that what is meant when they say, you can't win for losing?  Fortunately, that part of my furnace, though determined to be at risk for malfunction, is still operating but who knows what the future may bring."

I found out what the future would bring and how quickly, a week ago, when I awoke one morning to colder than usual temperatures in my bedroom.  Of course, such problems usually occur outside normal repair company working days, instead on weekends and holidays.  I was fortunate I thought since this was a Thursday, and my always accommodating service company was able to respond the next day.

There was bad news then when the serviceman determined that motor part "at risk for malfunction" had permanently gone kaput (my technical term), would need replacement.   The other choice was installing new furnace/AC units, no inexpensive undertaking.  In any event,  I had to go through the weekend without heat before further resolution could begin to occur.  Considering my present units were 28 years old, that they had survived considerably past their life expectancy with few repair problems, I used the time to determine new units seemed the best choice.

A week later was the earliest new units' installation could occur and as luck would have it, outdoor and inside temperatures only became colder during that time period.  Keep in mind "cold" is a relative term, depending on the climate where we each live as I didn't experience even freezing temperatures.  Nevertheless, wearing thermal socks, using a heating pad on my feet, attiring myself in fleece-lined lounge wear, wrapping myself in a flannel bed sheet became the order of the day.  My fingers were also constantly cold requiring I frequently warm them, prompting me a few days later to order fingerless gloves on the internet since I expected to have to use them writing this blog piece.

I couldn't help feeling like a pantywaist as these temperatures when I lived in snow country years ago would have been considered a delightfully warm fall/winter day, but my body had acclimated to a warm clime long ago -- plus aging may have altered my body thermostat's efficient operation, too, or maybe my blood circulation is sluggish -- whatever -- I was cold.  At least, I'll be better prepared for cold in the future should the need arise.  

My wonderful service company was able to install my new units at the end of that first week instead of the following Mon., so I've enjoyed comfortable warmth this weekend as I type this.  Naturally, the weather is warming up outside now.   I was probably lucky this didn't happen earlier, too, as my service company man said they had contracted the virus which slowly swept through their staff.  So, they had just shut down the company for three weeks and only recently resumed business.  Yes, they masked when they came into my house as did I, also I wiped down knobs and various areas after they left, just in case.  Who knows what areas I may have missed.

On a broader note, Covid-19 infections continue to increase across the nation.  California residents have been severely impacted with our state plan for coping now being divided into 5 geographic regions.  ICU bed unit % of availability determines if a Regional Stay Home Order (click on link) becomes effective in each of the regions you can read about on the link.  For regions with under 15% ICU bed unit availability, the order goes into effect Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

Los Angeles County were I live has already had the number of available ICU hospital beds decrease to under 15% triggering us to be the second region needing to follow the Stay Home Order.  Nowhere in the entire U.S.A. have we begun yet to see the numbers of the possible increase in infected patients from Thanksgiving when so many people traveled or gathered in groups conceivably risking exposure to contracting Covid-19.

Lock-down conditions pretty much prevail now for those of us in Los Angeles County.  Basic safety care needs to continue -- including washing our hands, staying in our homes, wearing masks, avoiding others than those living with us and taking care even with them.  Businesses are faced with increased challenges trying to survive as many have to temporarily close.

You may want to avoid reading the remainder of this opinionated commentary ..... 
I feel compelled to say the failure of some citizens in this country to recognize the need to simply wear a mask beyond intelligent comprehension for understanding.  

I am a now retired health care worker who sometimes had to use personal protection equipment (PPE) such as mask, gown, gloves through those years.   I suffered no ill effects from having to do so even on those occasions when all I needed was a mask so wearers need not fear personal health damage.  I encountered patients needing to be protected from potential germs unknowingly carried.  I rehabilitated other patients with contagious diseases that might have infected me.  Some patients were on ventilators, many needing to be safely weaned off them to eat and speak if if they were to begin partial or complete recovery.  Should we health care workers protest the inconvenience of wearing masks, etc. by refusing to do so, too?

I think the reasons given by some in the public for choosing to not wear a mask to be the height of ridiculousness, and stupidity, not to mention dangerous, uncaring of others as well as themselves,  to put it mildly.  Religious groups refusing to do so are adopting a position 100% contrary to what they claim to believe about caring for humanity.

I shudder to think what those people would have belly-ached about had they been asked to sacrifice as people did in WWII for not just a year or two but several years.  I wonder how that attitude and behavior would have adversely impacted that war effort, lives of American troops dedicated to saving the world from fascism -- incidentally and coincidentally much as it threatens our nation and others in the world today.  

What has happened to the common sense, intelligent critical thinking and humanity of so many people in this nation, or did it never exist to the degree I thought it did?

Sunday, November 29, 2020


Thanksgiving has passed -- another day home alone for many of us, but I have much for which I give thanks.    I enjoyed a delicious traditional turkey dinner delivered a couple days earlier that required my only re-heating the food in my microwave oven.  I ordered small quantities of turkey, dressing, gravy, yams with pineapple, various vegetables, cranberries and two pieces of my favorite pumpkin pie.  

I intentionally wanted to have leftovers from this nearby family-owned deli.   I was glad they had  decided to keep  their deli open after having to close their long-time independent grocery a few years ago.  They always featured quality meat and fresh seasonal locally produced fruits and vegetables but couldn't survive the competition from newly opened Sprouts and Trader Joe's just a few blocks down Route 66 from their city location.  Farmer's markets are the sole source of such produce now.  Wolfe's deli has thrived and I've occasionally purchased select items there before but only a full dinner once before.    I think I will order meals for Christmas, later New Year's Day, some different food items from their varied menu offerings since everything was so tasty.  

FaceTime calls with my children and grandchildren interspersed with videos of them preparing  food highlighted my day.  Other times internet videos of their playing games and crazy antics came across the miles as they enjoyed time together in pleasantly warm outdoor weather.  They took care to maintain distance from each other, wore masks.  I felt almost as if I was there in person for a long overdue family gathering -- maybe another time after this coronavirus is relegated to history.  

Then, to bring me even more pleasure one of my PBS stations aired the most entertaining, exciting, colorful, energy-filled showing of the 1981 Tony award-winning Broadway musical "42nd Street" filmed at London's Drury Theatre.  The next day this spectacular tap dancing production aired an encore for me to view once more to my great delight.  The show apparently is only available in SoCal streaming on PBS Passport as part of their membership benefits but was aired specially for all this holiday.  There are numerous YouTube video excerpts and here are a few for any tap aficionados like me.

Here's another excerpt.....

A final excerpt.....

Our city's restaurants are expected to contest, possibly even violate, despite $$$ fines, the recent admonition they've been given to reduce even further to 20% occupancy outdoor customer seating capacity continuing with daily closing hours recently set at 10 p.m.  Owners believe these new requirements shouldn't apply to our town since Covid19 infection percentages are below the overall level of our County, Los Angeles, that dictated the criteria specified to have necessitated this change.

However, the total numbers of people with the coronavirus in our county have increased in alarming numbers.  We haven't even seen what may occur in a couple weeks following this holiday, since many people travelled rather than staying at home as recommended.  Small businesses income in our town has been severely impacted.  Local Claremont Colleges (5 undergraduate, 2 graduate) have been offering virtual classes only, so most students are not presently living on campus or in our city to patronize them either.

Pity the children told Santa's coming but are having to wait for what must seem like an eternity, since advertisers started talking about Christmas in October this year, the earliest ever, I think. When I was a child Christmas wasn't promoted until after Thanksgiving.  Those weeks until Christmas seemed to me to last forever, but the time has been much longer now for little ones to have to wait since advertising and promotion started even before Halloween this year.

Ordinarily I would rail about this commercialization starting so early, but it may make sense this year given the pandemic.  Predictions have been there would be so much shipping of items as to overload our system so we should start early.  So kiddies ..... delayed satisfaction has likely stressed the patience of all adults in our culture even more, since so many expect instant gratification under the most ordinary circumstances.  

Our little ones may not understand at all and will just have to accept this seemingly never-ending wait for Santa in their world.   I appreciate the adults have wanted something to feel happy about so decided to rush Christmas.  Maybe it's just a matter of how all is presented to the wee ones.  My children adjusted to what they thought were lucky neighbor friends celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah.   Now, more outdoor lights and decorations are going up in my neighborhood which all ages can enjoy, though some elsewhere started decorating before Thanksgiving -- but maybe avoiding mentioning Santa until after Thanksgiving is a good idea any year.  

I hope all are having a pleasant long Thanksgiving weekend.  No doubt, you too, are making whatever preparations may be needed for our next upcoming holidays.  I don't think I'll write a holiday letter again this year to mail.  I have only a few greeting cards to address as the number of family and friends still living has continued to dwindle, so will likely restrict myself to just the personal messages I ordinarily write.   I don't expect to mail packages and will instead have items shipped directly to recipients from wherever I purchase them, or maybe I'll just send a check for them to select what they want.

How was your Thanksgiving?   

Are you making plans now for Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's, other holidays?  

What do you remember about the wait for Christmas or other seasonal holidays when you were young?

Sunday, November 22, 2020


Day after day our local TV news features photos of traffic lines that appear to have no end as people line up in their autos, waiting for hours well into the night at the Dodgers baseball team stadium for drive through free Coronavirus testing.

Most of California is now under a voluntary 10 p.m. - 5 a.m. curfew due to escalating coronavirus infection numbers that if they continue increasing may lead to institution of a lockdown.

Viewing the vehicle lineup reminds me of hydrogen-powered cars which have long appealed to me as a possible preference over electric and gas autos.  Now it seems Lancaster, California has become the first U.S. hydrogen city and is reaching out to Japan for this purpose.   Here's how you drive a hydrogen powered car HERE.

Also, here's what some auto manufacturers are doing to explore hydrogen-powered cars:

Driving, whether a gasoline combustion engine, electric or hydrogen vehicle, they especially matter now as a means for shopping for picking up our purchases from stores and using drive thru services.  

When I lived in the Great Lakes midwest a popular fast food drive thru restaurant there was White Castle -- for what are now referred to as "sliders" -- tiny little hamburger/cheeseburger sandwiches.  My husband said as a boy he used to be invited with other classmates to the owner's home to celebrate their son's birthday who was their friend.  Each attendee received a gift far more expensive than they could afford to give the birthday boy he still recalled from so many years ago.

Many years later as adults when we moved to California a very popular drive thru here was a family-owned fast food restaurant famed for the high grade meat quality as were other ingredients, plus their excellent service, called In 'N Out Burger.  They continue to gradually expand into other states.

Through the years tragic family owner deaths gave rise to customers wary speculation the business would be sold with the expectation any new owners would sacrifice quality.  The business did finally stay in the family under the guidance of a granddaughter reassuring customers product quality would be retained.

Whenever I frequently drive by the nearby business on ol' Route 66, sometimes stopping in myself,  there are always waiting lines at each of the two drive thru windows, but outdoor seating only -- perfect for coronavirus business today.  Even after my children became adults, moved out of state, when they return home for a visit, sooner or later they want to make a run to In 'N Out for burgers, shakes and fries.  We were not frequent customers so our children considered going there a treat. 


Efforts to undermine citizen trust in our democratic system of government continues to be the focus of our U.S. lame duck President.  So far, his efforts to invalidate the popular vote or to hijack the  Electoral College votes have not succeeded.  State and national election officials declare this has been the most secure election in American history but the current President continues making claims otherwise with no supporting evidence.  

Transition efforts normally in progress by now continue to be blocked forcing the newly elected President to prepare to take office without such cooperation potentially jeopardizing the safety of the American people and our nation.  A reminder of important timelines to track:

December 8, 2020:         Safe Harbor Deadline -- States must choose electors that will be accepted  by Congress; voting disputes must be resolved.   

December 14, 2020:        Electors Convene and Vote in D.C.

January 6, 2020 at 1 pm:  The vote will be finalized and certified in a joint session of Congress.

January 20, 2021 at noon: The President is inaugurated.

So what vehicle powering system do you prefer, or is there some other type about which you might fantasize, i.e., solar, to take you to what favored drive thru in your area?

Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving this coming Thursday!

Sunday, November 15, 2020


Another exciting week in this strange viral infused earthly dimension in which we live.  My gradual but limited re-entry into the outside world where that infamous Covid-19 virus awaits to sneakily invade our bodies continues, though caution remains wise.  The latest word is the treacherous germs are proliferating, infecting increasing numbers of us, so increased care may be the order of the day.

--My long postponed dental checkup and cleaning that I finally rescheduled went well.  Then,  a few days later a long-ago broken tooth suddenly became released from its adhesive as it has a couple times in the past.  Fortunately, I did not swallow the tooth section.  There was no pain.  Later my dentist stated consideration of a possible root canal with an Endodontist was in order. Multiple x-rays revealed said canal could not be seen.  Seems as we age those canals can narrow and might not easily be found -- who knew, I didn't.    

Pondering the issues I imagined what complications an Endodontist might encounter trying to find the canal as the victim patient reclines with their oral cavity exposed -- mouth open -- for the unknown period of search time.  Fortunately for me, with my questioning and hesitation, my dentist concluded another, hopefully, long term adhesive applied to the broken tooth was a viable option in preference to a root canal. 

I hope this tooth portion will continue to adhere for a lengthy time, allowing me to avoid any other intrusive dental procedures.  The last time of gluing lasting only a little over a year, so I would like to set an endurance record this time as it has lasted much longer in the past.  How about a super glue that lasts forever?  Or, one of those adhesives resisting thousands of pounds of pressure and stress?  

Digressing in a different direction.....

--Health care workers who observe and treat the whole person within appropriate professional limitations as opposed to more narrow interventions are the kind I like and was the type service I provided.  So, I was delighted to be the recipient of such service at my dentist's office when a piece of equipment I was using, unrelated to dentition, received much needed adjustment I had thought wasn't possible.  Considering during previous weeks/months several other medical offices directly associated with that item had been completely oblivious to the issue, much less adjusting it, I was impressed with such observing caring sensitivity.

Moving on to a variety of other topics.....

--I received in the postal service mail a sample newspaper specifically addressed to me that I'd never heard of previously.  Very impressive in size, sections, topics covered.  The editor's letter explained how objective the content was and yet even a superficial skimming through quickly revealed the newspaper was very biased.  

I think this is an example of the forces that will be at work in the coming years to weaken and undermine our democratic government, to continue promoting views the majority of our voters just rejected.  The paper will remain unnamed since I have no desire to provide publicity or promotion of any kind including that which is negative.

--Don't you love it when you receive conflicting recommendations from two different medical doctors for just relatively common ordinary matters where you wouldn't usually seek a third opinion?  Take that med -- don't take that med -- huh?

--Our lame duck President still has not admitted defeat -- still keeps spreading his fantasy falsehoods that massive election fraud has occurred accounting for his lower popular vote in his effort to buy time.  The U.S. Government Election Officials report "The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."

The current President's actions continue to be a threat to national security, damaging to democracy, weakening our system of government, betraying his oath of office to safeguard American citizens.  Incredibly his political party leaders say and do little to rein in this dangerous loose cannon.  

He fails to provide transitional cooperation with our newly elected President which is damaging to our nation's security.  One might wonder how any patriotic citizen who supports our constitution, believes in our democratic form of government and freedoms could continue to support our prevaricating current President over our newly elected one.  

--My furnace stopped working -- the penalty of having a long-lasting piece of equipment is manufacturers stop making parts so that if you need one, it's not readily available, but if you do get one it's very expensive.  Is that what is meant when they say, you can't win for losing?  Fortunately, that part of my furnace, though determined to be at risk for malfunction, is still operating but who knows what the future may bring.

--Our local commercial television stations interrupt all sorts of programming to cover vehicle chases as news -- local community police departments, county sheriff departments, California highway patrol following behind cars, vans, even trucks with police helicopters overhead and TV news stations 'copters flying along, too.  They televise this action because it attracts increased viewership.  I wonder if such news coverage is popular in other metropolitan areas?  

--The joys of living have been interspersed with various interruptions such as I experienced this past week as noted above.  They do serve to be an interesting contrast with the routine ordinariness of life as we live in this current pandemic environment.  Each of you have your own unique experiences infusing your lives.  

--Our existence does go on with both the serious and mundane challenges of daily living -- the same, but ever-changing from day to day, week to week, month to month.  What is keeping your life in motion? 

Sunday, November 08, 2020


I am thrilled beyond words with tears welling-up in my eyes as I write this,  that the majority of United States voters are preserving our democratic republic, the constitutional form of government our nation's founders gave us "if you can keep it", as Benjamin Franklin cautioned.  Our democracy and our freedoms prevail as I could only hope all citizens in other nations might benefit from also.

Projected winners for the offices of President and Vice President in the U.S. have finally been made:  the Joseph Biden-Kamala Harris ticket are expected to win; defeating the incumbent President Donald Trump and V.P. Michael Pence after their serving only one four-year term, but a very long, harrowing, grim, demoralizing, chaotic one.

U.S. voters have tried to patiently await the ballot counting in our fifty states which continues as I write this.  Meanwhile, the incumbent is filing multiple lawsuits contesting various state vote tallies citing undocumented, so far, voting violations.  

To date our citizens have been highly engaged in this election with a historic number of people voting.  If the totals prevail, as is expected, Biden-Harris have received a record-setting number of winning votes, 74 million.  The incumbents have also received record numbers of votes but sufficiently less than our projected winners, Biden-Harris.

Biden-Harris are expected also to receive the most Electoral College votes in addition to having won the popular vote.  The incumbents did not win the popular vote four years ago but did acquire the most Electoral College votes which is what enabled them to assume office.

How symbolic that the state of Pennsylvania popular vote totals will give the Biden-Harris Presidential/Vice Presidential candidates the necessary Electoral College votes to officially become elected.  Philadelphia, PA is where our founding fathers wrote and signed our constitution.  

Here is a timeline that could still be problematic if states delay in reporting results:

December 8, 2020:          Safe Harbor Deadline -- States must choose electors that will be accepted by                                                                                        Congress; voting disputes must be resolved.                                                                                                      (Described in this ABA Journal article)

Here are the final timelines once our individual states popular votes are finalized:

December 14, 2020:          Electors Convene and Vote in D.C.

January 6, 2020 at 1 p.m.: The vote will be finalized and certified in a joint session of Congress.

January 20, 2021 at noon:  The President is inaugurated.

Our citizens have rejected efforts to alter our form of government which would have turned it into an autocracy led by a vindictive man who has created primarily chaos in our country for four years, nurtured hate-filled divisiveness and violence, tragically has failed to fulfill his basic oath to protect each of us as the pandemic continues to take lives.  

I am fully aware there will be no quick fix for all the challenges facing our nation.   I hope our citizens will continue to provide the meaningful support and patience to aid our new leaders unifying efforts by thinking primarily of what is best for our country, ultimately each of us.

I celebrate our nation once again will have leaders I can respect, of whom I feel proud, who present the true soul of the majority of American people who care about each other in all our diversity and about all people around the world. 

Thursday, November 05, 2020


As we await the results of the U.S. Presidential election, if you missed WiseWebWoman's message from Newfoundland click on The Other Side of Sixty which included this:

Monday, November 02, 2020

 TIME GOES BY .... What it's really like to get old

               Ronni Bennett, 1941-2020

Veronica "Ronni" Bennett passed away Friday 10/30/2020 at 6:28 PM PT.

           Comments will not be published. 

Sunday, November 01, 2020


HALLOWEEN NIGHT is when I am writing this for scheduling to publish early Sunday morning.   Coincidentally, Daylight Savings Time also takes effect Sun. Nov. 1st at 2 a,m, when we must turn our clocks back one hour -- except in 2 states, Hawaii, Arizona and the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona.

Halloween we ceased to have trick or treaters come to our door and our street years ago, so I stopped leaving my inviting outside light on.  Young people also stopped being dropped off here from other nearby communities to seek treats from our residents.  I'm fairly confident there was no one this year either, given the safety restrictions due to our pandemic Covid-19.

We haven't had any small children living in our neighborhood for years but a few babies now.  Long ago families started having private parties in their homes rather than allowing their children to go door-to-door when news around the country reported problems with some hazardous items being found in candies.

After the first couple years of stocking up on Halloween treats once our children were grown and gone from home, then having all the candies left over, we finally stopped buying any.  We could at last avoid the temptation of consuming those left-over goodies ourselves, though at least I bought only candy we liked.  We didn't need the sweets, but couldn't let them go to waste, could we!

I recall when we first moved here and our children were small, there were lots of other young children.  Trick or treating was a fun experience.  First, we went with them, then as they became older, they went only with their friends.  

For a few years, a father in our community had rented  a gorilla suit.  After the really little ones had made their rounds, typically early in the evening, they were taken home by their parents.  The night was quite dark by then as the "gorilla" began to make random unexpected appearances coming out of the shadows on some streets to the mostly older children.  

Especially the first year he confronted the children, they hadn't known about him so he gave them quite a scary thrill.  Subsequent years they harbored anxious anticipation wondering if, when or where the gorilla might appear.  They speculated about what else might be out there.  

A few years I had an audio tape of Halloween sounds -- wolves howling, chains rattling, voices moaning, cats screeching with other eerie noises and music -- that played from out of our pitch-black darkened garage.  This gave pause to some coming hesitantly up our drive.  Only one time was I disappointed with the behavior of some older unknown when I discovered one of our carved pumpkins sitting by our front door had been smashed by an obvious kick.  

Generations Halloween experiences change over decades.  My mother who would have been young in the early nineteen-hundreds when our nation was primarily a farming society, during horse and buggy days, had more restricted outings.  Some families might get together, church groups which were often social centers, or small farm area civic centers that had a store or two might have special Halloween events.  Older kids had limited travel capabilities from farm to farm (no cars) but could manage to get about.

Mom recalled a story where she lived in those days before indoor plumbing when one neighbor had their outhouse turned over.  Unfortunately, unknown to the tricksters, someone was sitting on the throne at the time.   Imaging in my mind what this might have been like in that odiferous environment is almost beyond comprehension if you've never had the treat of using one of those facilities.

The years when I was little we lived in a small town.  My decade older brother was cautioned by my mother when he went out, to use care about anything he might do, especially on Halloween.  Soaping people's windows was common then, so she put soap on a window, had him clean it to show him how difficult it could be to remove the soap.

She intended to discourage him from any such activity -- that soaping was not acceptable harmless fun.  She also stressed that he use good judgement to avoid participating in any actions others in his group might do if he knew they were wrong.  She reminded him also that with his red hair he would stand out, likely be remembered when others might not, even if he was innocent, if observed by victims of any nefarious activity from his group's members.

Years before kids went out only one night for treats, Mother said they used to go out two nights.  The first night was to ask for treats, then the next night to trick those who hadn't given them a treat.  The custom had long before become one Halloween night when I went out, but it was called Beggars Night.  I had shelled corn from a cob to throw on someone's porch that same night if I warranted they deserved a trick which seemed harmless enough.  

I'm still regretful in my now aged state about throwing corn on the porch at one home.  An older lady had come to the door angrily shooing us off with no treat.  Maybe she couldn't afford to buy candy to give out,  it was hard to keep going to the door, she was ill or had dementia.  What if her vision was poor, she had difficulty standing or walking I've sometimes since thought?

I realize now how inconvenient and even hazardous that could have been for her, stepping on those kernels and needing to clear them from her porch.  I've thought since of my own grandmother who I loved dearly, but we just ran away and down the street to the next house.  I wish now I could take that corn back, or would have at least swept it off her porch.  

This is finally the week our 2020 Presidential election occurs.  News reports indicate we're likely to have a record-setting turnout of voters all over the country.  All accounts are that a high percentage of voters submitted their ballot early as I did, too, depositing mine in an official drop box where I usually voted in person.  Checking on the internet revealed within only a few days that my ballot had been received, accepted, so would be processed for counting.  My family members in other states across the country voted early, too, as did at least one California friend that I know about. 

Voter suppression in some states being instituted primarily by the Republican Party hardly can be considered patriotic or in keeping with the tenets of our Constitution, nation's founders, or our democratic republic's ideals.

I'm also appalled and alarmed at any actions threatening the security of candidates campaigning in an effort to suppress the expression of views.  Such behavior is totally unacceptable and un-American.

Whether or not the outcome of the election will be determined by the end of election night, or even in the wee hours of the next morning, remains to be seen with so many mail-in and drop-box ballots to be counted.

-- I hope we'll be spared premature announcements of a winner by news media or candidates, other pundits until all the ballots have been counted.

-- I hope the popular vote winner also wins the majority electoral college votes unlike the travesty that has occurred in our nation's recent past twice to our nation's detriment.

-- I hope the U.S. Supreme Court is not drawn into deciding who our next President will be given the seriously questionable legal interpretations as they previously have made.

-- I hope we will know the results of this election by the time I write here next week.

I WONDER what are the Halloween recollections of others?   I expect most want election  results resolution much as I do.

Sunday, October 25, 2020


Consider with me whatever these thoughts surfacing in my mind during this pandemic may prompt you to think about in your own lives.  I think I am blessed with a somewhat optimistic outlook on life as I consider my situation, that of the current world and especially in my own country, the U.S.   I don't know why I tend toward an optimistic perspective, whether it's genetic, environmental, or due to other unknown factors.  Maybe it's the water I drink.

My mother mostly modeled positivity with a considerable dose of stoicism through circumstances she experienced in her lifetime including during the previous 1918 flu pandemic.  Years later we shared some unexpected significant life changes beginning when I was only a child to which we adapted.  I was able to observe her demeanor, how she coped, acquiring increasing appreciation and understanding for how she managed as I became an adult.

In my mother's case, her religious faith coupled with the secure foundation of her farm family upbringing were strong influences for her coping mechanisms in a very different time from that of my own generation.  Her religious/spiritual beliefs were personal, private, non-extremist, devoid of politicization.  They were not the kind pressed on me or others, a practice which might be better for all today to clearly separate church from state.

My life has been presented with its share of complications of varied complexities beginning when I was very young, so I have had adversities to address before, a few of which, unfortunately, could even be characterized as traumatic.  Fortunately, without denying such, I still developed an overall outlook somewhat like this song's lyrics.  (Much to my surprise I discovered among name vocal artists recordings a version by actor/director Clint Eastwood, not known as  a singer.)

Particularly during this pandemic time as I hear and read about many having all sorts of difficulties adapting and coping, I am grateful to feel fairly comfortable with how I have been able to manage, at least to date.  I do know what exists today is no guarantee for what the future may hold.  Certainly, my circumstances have not been without challenges as I age, incur some unexpected medical issues, and practice living in place in my home with no family nearby and too many friends long since deceased.

Also, anyone reading this blog knows I have very real concerns about the state of our government, our nation and the world.  I have ample reasons to be emotionally depressed, negative in attitude, even feel overwhelmed with the future's uncertainty.  For whatever the reasons, generally speaking, I do not feel that way though I am acutely aware of the potential for worse case scenarios both personally and with our country, even the world.  I do not ignore any of them, but they generally do not press on me emotionally though I do have my moments.

I try to consider what my options are in order to be as prepared as possible mentally and otherwise for what might occur which I've attempted to do throughout my life with varying degrees of success.  Beyond all that, knowing there are factors over which I have no influence, I simply go on with my daily life much as most of you probably do, too.  Always, the unexpected may occur, does and has, which is just a given, but I'll not fret about it.

A board game I had growing up was called "Pollyanna", the glad game, though I don't recall that I ever read the book which prompted the games creation.  I do know the name has become associated with describing someone "excessively cheerful and optimistic who wants to pretend life is all sweetness and light" as defined in Oxford Languages.  I certainly know life is not "all sweetness and light" as I'm sure you do, too.

Though I've never been accused of being a "Pollyanna" and never thought of my outlook on life as being excessively optimistic, some might not differentiate the nuances in meaning.  But don't confuse my type of optimism with that version prostituted to the extreme by our nation's leader's prevarications -- bald-faced optimistic-like lies.  

I do think between this pandemic,  how it's been handled, the general state of the nation and the world with the creeping autocracies featuring fascism ideologies, racism, environmental planet preservation issues, other inequities that a whole lot of negativity has been created.  This negativity permanating our lives can be as contagious as a self-replicating virus and we know something about that now, don't we.  

So, when I express some potential optimism and hope for the future I do so fully cognizant of the immediate reality, possible implications in the present and time to come.  (Countermanding this "permanating negativity" here's Steven Wilson's tune "Permanating" he performs with the Bollywood Dancers to lighten the mood.)

Positive Psychology  discusses that Pollyanna Principle but also notes "A tendency to be optimistic and find a silver lining does impact health and well-being" in beneficial ways as I think we need to keep reminding ourselves.  I think science and we can readily conclude the degree to which one is optimistic does have some bearing on the quality of our lives, though I wonder how many people agree with that view in practice.

I think the ability to find and envision reasons to be optimistic, thus have hope for our future, is vital to our mental, emotional and physical health.  I also believe the language we choose to use describing situations to others and to tell ourselves, especially, has some bearing on the attitude we create, thus influencing how well we cope.  (I rather like this version of jazzy sentiments Paul McCartney sings with artist Diana Krall and her musical group to convey the message.)

There are various means we can use to best adapt to whatever our situation.  Resilience is a means defined by numerous dictionaries and psychologists as our being pragmatic, able to adapt, withstand and recover from significant stressful events, adversity, trauma, threats, to return back into shape.  We're all mustering our resilience to survive this pandemic, our governmental and world situation as well as our own challenges.

I find being resilient, even stoic for a limited period of time, beneficial.  Combined with a degree of humor, being realistically optimistic without rigidly specifying a specific time when all will be resolved or overcome, can be a healthy approach to survival.  

Critical, too, is having hope for the future, again without defined timelines given the uncertainty, optimizes my overall wellbeing to travel the adversity of any rough and rugged road ahead.

I wonder how others view the manner they approach what they do to effectively deal with life's adversities, be it this pandemic or other experiences including from the past -- if either optimism or hope are present in your life now and as compared to other times?

Sunday, October 18, 2020


This is the anniversary of my fourteenth year blogging though on a couple occasions I took a hiatus for periods of time, once thinking I might permanently stop writing here.  Starting my blog, coincided with a major life change following my husband's death in his sleep months earlier in 2006.

Launching my blog was accidental when I was experimenting with setting up a site unsure if, or when, I would even want my own blog.   Exploring the blog idea I unintentionally clicked in error a trial piece I was composing,  thus publishing my words onto the world-wide web.  I left my blog there because I was so digitally uneducated then, also just learning to use a computer, I didn't know how to remove it.  

Once my blog was started I was erroneously under the impression I must write daily which I came to recognize altered my everyday activities in less than positive ways for me, especially upsetting my sleep patterns.  This proved in time to be problematic since my body did not readily adapt at my age then to such an erratic sleep schedule unlike my experience when I was younger.

Writing proved to be very time consuming, requiring considerable editing, was not the dashing off in twenty minutes I expected.  Implementing ideas for a blog site involved a learning curve and more time.  Too long later I eventually realized the obvious, that the frequency of writing and publishing was solely at my discretion, regardless of what I thought were others expectations.

Prior to my blog's internet entry my husband's ashes distribution delays followed by my later travel east for a period of time to join friends and family for his life's celebration seemed to keep my life more unsettled than I realized.  After I returned home I eventually began to resume part time work, started the blog.   Only years later in retrospective reflection of my first couple of years as a widow did I realize how I was coping during that time.  Interesting to me is how a loved one's death can have such a profound effect over time in unexpected ways not initially recognized.  

My life has continued to evolve with each passing year as I've aged, with all that entails in terms of my lifestyle and physical well-being.  One of the most challenging aspects of these years has been the loss through death of increasing numbers of family and friends until very few remain living.

Fall has arrived -- autumn long my favorite season but now emblematic of my life's stage.  Living many years in a Great Lakes State when I was younger, I was treated to fall's magnificent leaves changing colors from green to golden yellow, shades of flaming reds to rust and rich browns embracing the trees before gently fluttering to the ground in preparation for winter's snows.

I looked forward to those years when late in the season we'd experience a period of cold temperatures, often the first frost, then unexpectedly a brief episode of unseasonably warm, dry weather would suddenly emerge ..... Indian Summer had arrived ..... in which I reveled but miss here in So Cal.'s foothills though may be experienced in the mountains higher elevations.

Music resonates for me in relation to so many aspects of life including nature.  Here's legendary trumpeter  Chet Baker's instrumental jazz version of composer Victor Herbert's "Indian Summer", the original tune to which romantic lyrics were added years later.  The song became a popular tune sung by several vocalists becoming a favorite of mine several decades ago.

Contemporary "Indian Summer" has become the title of quite a different romantic tune referring to the nation.  Here's today's popular exceptionally talented trumpeter Chris Botti I had the pleasure of hearing in person in recent years capturing this new melody for his instrumental version.


Life for each of us is somewhat like these two songs.  Each have variations as interpreted by different relationships to the music, though as the years go by other changes also occur.  One song may fade into obscurity, remembered by fewer people with each passing year, eventually disappearing from the consciousness of others.

A new song given the same title yet quite different from the other song is introduced to then current generations.  The new melody begins its inevitable journey to the years ahead probable oblivion, too.  So it is with our lives and may even be so with our blogs, eventually.  

While I'm keenly aware of the dwindling years, in the meantime I intend to keep enjoying autumn, winter, as well as each spring and summer.   Music, blogging will enhance living my life to the fullest and hope your life is filled with joy, too.

Sunday, October 11, 2020


Be forewarned that I am feeling compelled to express what weighs most heavily on my mind right now with thoughts on the future of our nation.   Of special interest presently, as I cast my ballot and others vote across the U.S.A.,  is my concern our current nation's leader seems to be continuing to betray our constitutional capitalistic democratic republic.  We would be wise to remember his words and actions the past four years have gradually, chaotically bit by bit seemed to be systematically designed to destroy our trust in our government.

His goal appears to have been to alter our governmental system into what could be described as a capitalistic theocratic autocracy.

Capitalistic because of his strong emphasis on money, but largely for the benefit of himself and an oligarchy of a select number of the most wealthy supporting him, but not the majority of our citizens.

Theocratic because he panders to a religious extremist minority-in-number dedicated to forcing their protestant social beliefs on everybody rather than living in a society tolerant of others that also permits them to practice their own views.

Autocracy because he chooses to dictate everything to everybody, diminishing or eliminating the power of our other branches of government -- legislative, judicial and condemning anyone questioning him including in the fourth estate -- our free press.

Our government system will cease to exist as will freedom for anyone who might think or speak differently from him given his intolerance.

We would be wise to ask ourselves if our President is betraying or violating his oath of office to defend the intent of the country's founders and our constitutional democratic republic.

Is he placing our nation's citizens at risk of losing our democratic republic as one of the founders, Benjamin Franklin cautioned -- "if we could keep it"?  When asked "And why not keep it?"  Franklin responded, "Because the people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good."  So it is we could lose the freedoms our founders gave us.

While our current leader claims to care about all of the people, quite obviously that is just one more of his documented thousands of lies.   What is really alarming to me is how many people supporting him apparently do not realize what he is doing or don't care.  

Our leader is aided by this backing of the political party he hijacked whose members have failed to learn any of the twenty lessons from the twentieth century Timothy Snyder describes in a few hours of easy-read layman's language in his small paperback book "On Tyranny":

"Timothy Snyder reasons with unparalleled clarity, throwing the past and future into sharp relief.  He has written the rare kind of book that can be read in one sitting but will keep you coming back to help regain your bearings."

This book description is by Masha Gessen who eloquently predicted four years ago what to expect from our new leader then -- it has and is occurring.   Gessen also described how to survive based on experience as a citizen reporter in Russia ultimately perilously dissenting with leadership there before needing to come here and having dual citizenship with the U.S. now.  

A recent Guardian interview includes this statement from Gessen, "I never thought I'd say it, but Trump is worse than Putin".   Gessen went on to say,  "in order to actually survive Trump's attempt at autocracy we have to give up the idea of some imaginary pre-Trumpian normalcy and commit to reinvention.  And that is really what these protests are about."

Trump defies a basic democratic tenet by refusing to state he may not relinquish the office of the President if he is determined not to have been reelected.  This from a person who is in office now having received less than the majority of popular votes in 2016.  He suggests resolution of the 2020 election winner may end up being decided by our Supreme Court, apparently in expectation they will decide in his favor.

I can't help wondering if an earlier election in 2000 with Florida's hanging chads was erroneously given to a Presidential candidate that actually lost the election when our Supreme Court was injected into that process, then chose to decide who would be our President.  The consequences of that decision in subsequent years have been profound in our country and the world.

Preventing a stolen election in 2020 is critical but may not be easy since the Republican Party with the U.S. Senate leader seem complicit in allowing the loss of our democracy as does the Attorney General.  They think they control their President who has seduced them by establishing several of their ideological goals, but when unable to prevent potential takeover if he is reelected, they will find in the following years they've given away our and their democracy and freedoms.

The Republicans have been taken over by a minority-in-number faction of their once proud political party backed by private ultra-wealthy forces but fronted by those claiming to be representative of ordinary people under the guise of the Tea Party nomenclature intended to misleadingly imply a connection to a historical American event.  Reference: Dark Money.

The Supreme Court may be a wild card presently but there is ample reason to be concerned their allegiance for constitutional interpretation will fall on the side of big money, just as it did when they basically concluded corporations were people, unleashing corrupting monies into political campaigns.  The pending appointment replacement for Associate Justice Ginsburg is another factor.   Reference: 'Corporations Are People' Is Built on an Incredible 19th-Century Lie -- "How a farcical series of events in the 1880s produced an enduring and controversial legal precedent."

We citizens must be ever vigilant in order to preserve our freedoms and rights best achieved with our current system of government, not an autocracy led by a dictator.  We must educate ourselves and vote at every election level.  We do need to continue progress toward healthcare as a human right, equality for all, and a more equitable distribution of wealth.  Along the way, we better take action to preserve this planet on which we live or eventually for future generations nothing else will matter.

Sunday, October 04, 2020


Ever-changing unexpected, unpredictable events continue to occur in our government about which we're all being informed by our news media, so I'll limit any review of most particulars here.  Suffice to say the pandemic continues to wreck havoc in the world to some degree from one country to another.  Here in the US. the inevitable viral spread keeps surfacing with varying intensity giving me concern as to how our lives are being affected, how our future will unfold.  

My previous post reveals how I discovered I use the British, not the American or French method to prepare my scrambled eggs.  I was intrigued with how some who commented described their own egg scrambling methods.  I don't think I'm overly picky about food but I do have some basic expectations when I eat out.   I recall a couple incidents unrelated to scrambled eggs that were quite objectionable.  

I was at an upscale restaurant with an old friend I hadn't seen for a while who had returned home for a short visit with her mother.  They lived in a small community whose local newspaper latched on to her visits as a social item worthy of note whenever she came to town.  She laughingly told me she had long since gotten use to her notoriety there which prompted headlines like "E (her name) is back in town!"  After all, girl/woman continuing to make good -- working in NYC television industry with celebrities was news during those years when TV was the prominent technology with only three major networks, long before cable and our digital world.

She took me to the most prominent of one of her small town's primo hotel's restaurants where we were practically the only people in the dining room.  I'm sure they were impressed and pleased to have her there.  Having placed our dinner orders my friend had my full attention as we caught up on our lives while waiting for our dinners to be served.  As I took a sip of my water I became vaguely aware of feeling something soft at the corner of my mouth.  Continuing to concentrate on what my friend was saying, I paid little attention as I just automatically reached with my fingers to remove what I felt on my lower lip.

Seeping into my consciousness then was the realization I was sipping water so there shouldn't have been anything of substance.  Glancing at the unknown as I laid it on the table after a few shocked seconds I incredulously recognized I was looking at a very large dead water-soaked cockroach/water-bug.  My friend was equally repulsed as was I.  The waiter we called over was mortified as he should have been since I think he surely would have noticed the creature when he brought our filled water glasses if he had been paying attention. 

Ever since that experience, I check all water glasses I'm served and hope that waiter learned to examine water-filled glasses, too.  As you might expect, the restaurant manager was quick to volunteer they were giving us complimentary dinners.   

Years later when having lunch at a different restaurant I suddenly realized the strawberry pie filling I was eating had a strange crunch on one chew.   Examining the remainder of the pie in front of me I discovered a rather large-sized neck piece of a broken glass bottle.  I was frozen for the moment, concerned I might have swallowed glass bits.  When I summoned the restaurant manager  he said they would pay for me to get an ER medical examination but I must sign a form first relieving them of any responsibility though I wasn't asked to pay for my lunch.   Of course I refused to sign the form.  

What I learned at the hospital was I must await the food to process through my body, then if bleeding symptoms appeared I would know there was a potential problem.    I was very alarmed for a day or so waiting to be certain my bodily system was unimpaired.   I did contact the attorney wife of my employer who counseled me to do nothing further at that time as I was concerned about future implications for myself and husband.  Those days were a different time since subsequent years lawsuits have become much more prevalent over every thing that happens.  Fortunately, I never exhibited any symptoms indicating interior body damage so no further action was taken.  

No doubt some of you may have had some dining experiences you hadn't expected, leaving a bad taste in your mouth.    

Sunday, September 27, 2020


We're getting to the scrambled eggs as I promised in my previous blog post,  but I want to review what else I wrote that was and still is on my mind .....

One of California's largest ever wildfires grown now to over 114,000 acres has threatened for the third time the billion dollars worth of vital communication towers on historic Los Angeles area Mount Wilson but again was repelled.  This Bobcat Wildfire is finally over 63% contained.  The area air quality in my city is slowly improving.

Issues pressing on my mind continue to be associated with the U. S. Presidential election, the Supreme Court Associate Judge replacement situation given the tragic death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ongoing corona virus threat, perpetual increasing environmental and climate change concerns to name a few matters occupying my thoughts.

Our state's Governor Newsom's recent announcement:

"Executive order directs state to require that, by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles.  Transportation currently accounts for more than 50 percent of California's Greenhouse Gas Emissions."

I may well not be around then or driving a car.  Self-driving vehicles may be most prevalent in fifteen years, or perhaps we'll have combo car/plane vehicles by then a la The Jetsons.  I would be disappointed to miss all that which can be an ageing problem should the grim reaper pay me a visit inconsiderately causing me to miss everything.

The flying car that had intrigued me, the Terrafugia FX, ownership of which was acquired from the American inventors after the business was moved to China is no longer a U.S. option, unfortunately.  The prototype I had seen in a video featured a sleek design with folding wings so the car could easily park in the typical 2-car garage.

However, we may have a flying car sooner than we think as the Japanese have announced having one by 2023.

On a different note, I've encountered another issue for consideration that has come to my attention.  Who knew scrambled eggs were prepared differently by the French, British and Americans?  I didn't, but perhaps you did.  I assumed the way my Mom scrambled eggs as I have continued cooking them was the way everybody did.   So, when I've been displeased with some restaurant's eggs, I've learned it may just be because they used a different cooking method.

Little did I know that my method and tastes for scrambled eggs has been for the British style.  I thought those scrambled eggs I didn't like that I was served at restaurants were lazily prepared -- that they just dumped the egg into the skillet, when they actually were scrambling the eggs American style, but that doesn't make me like them any better.

The Insider article describes the British scrambled eggs as "dry", but I don't experience mine as dry at all.  The American style is really dry, especially by comparison with mine, I think.  As for the French style, I don't know if I've ever been served scrambled eggs cooked in that manner though they sound moist and tasty.  I've not tried cooking any in French style and am not likely to do so -- sounds like more work than I like to do now, plus I want the minimum of cooking utensils to have to clean afterward, so guess I'm lazy in that regard.  What system do you use for the basic scrambled eggs?

Meanwhile, in the White House, I wonder if our leader is coping with scrambled brain disorder that many of his appointees seem to have acquired also, given the thoroughly mixed-up approach to governmental administration to which we've been subjected for four years.  At least one department head with little or no experience in the area to which he was appointed to administer has bowed to the Peter Principle effects causing him to take a leave of absence from his position.  I can only wish his departure will become permanent and a few other unqualified department head appointees would join him, like the Postmaster General and the list goes on.

In reviewing the article about how efforts to overcome the PP issues in subsequent years evolved, the summary culminated in saying followers of such a leader must be "honest and credible" to compensate in order to help their leader overcome his shortcomings.  Unfortunately, honesty and credibility are lacking not only in our leader but he demands his subordinates do and think as he does, so most eventually abandon those qualities to meet his criteria as expected for accepting their appointment by him.  

As long as this federal government administration that makes no pretense about ignoring an ethical and moral, if not legal mandate, to represent all of our citizens, not just his supporters (cult?), remains in control of our U. S. government -- we can expect more of the same chaos and much worse.  Voters have the power to extricate our nation from this quagmire by draining the current controlling administrative cesspool despite our leaders threats of not leaving office if he loses the majority vote.