Sunday, September 25, 2022


 REPUBLIC -- "If you can keep it."  [Democracy]

        Accountability for Jan. 6 insurrection

U.S. Select House Committee on Jan. 6th Hearings continue in the fall.

QUESTION:  Are there "echoes" we can observe in recent years and now of what preceded the Holocaust as shown in the new PBS Ken Burn's three program series with that title? 

SEPTEMBER SONG -- Ray Conniff's arrangement.

     Harry James Orchestra's triumphant tour of Japan in 1964.

Fall, my favorite season has arrived along with a week or so of cooler temperatures but summer is sneaking back this week to give us high 90' s to 100+ F (37+ C) here in Southern California, U.S.  I'm not complaining as I read about hurricane Fiona tearing through Newfoundland where WiseWebWoman ("Other Side of Sixty" Blog HERE) whose last writing featured photos of her beautiful St. John's city.   I await to read news from her after the storm hoping her city is spared.  Meanwhile, click on this PBS 9/24 report.

My Fiberoptic internet installation updated from my previous blogpost about our community finally receiving this speedier connection -- I have now been able to see how much faster it is when downloading, then installing Apple tech data.  This task was completed in only a few minutes compared to up to an hour or more required previously.  

Cannabis use is a topic that has periodically come to the forefront in our city ever since ..... "California became the first state to allow medicinal cannabis use when voters passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996.  Today, cannabis is legal in California for both medicinal and adult (recreational) use."  Laws and regulations HERE

Our residents like some other cities have resisted allowing such businesses selling Cannabis.  Now our City Council voted to place a measure on our November ballot seeking to establish a tax on businesses that sell, deliver, test, distribute, manufacture, process, and cultivate cannabis in our city.  It sets gross receipts tax rates for the sale of cannabis and hemp sales in the city.  There would need to be many further actions including some involving the public before any businesses could setup here.

Subsequently, following an educational presentation to our city council, a business existing in a nearby community established by a retired nurse and her daughter, who is also a nurse working in hospice offered that information to the public.   The nurse daughter has taken specialized training studying cannabis so provided in-person and virtually, an educational session on the substance.  They also sell cannabis and counsel purchasers on its use.  I chose to take the virtual session though at the one on site they shared some actual items for individual examination.

They presented filmed testimonials of a few cannabis users for various medical problems, discussed side effects including noting with use short term memory problems could occur which I wouldn't welcome.

It is not my intention to influence anyone to use or not use cannabis.  I've not used cannabis, but I do support controlled research especially for medicinal use which finally began some years ago.   I do think seeking the latest information on cannabis would be most appropriate before using the product, including consultation with a knowledgeable person such as this nurse appears to be.

The use of cannabis continues to be federally illegal.   The Center of Disease Control (CDC) position on cannabis you may read HEREVarious reliable medical internet sites also provide detailed information.  

Meanwhile, I've found the anecdotal reports of those who have used the various cannabis products being legally sold now to be of interest.

Cannabis use for medicinal purposes was a discussion topic on Ronni Bennett's "Time Goes By" blog.  "Marijuana and Old Folks" she wrote about 1/31/2020 describing her views with many of her readers sharing their own perspective and experiences. You may read that blog post HERE.   (Note:  A direct link does not work I discovered after publishing this post.  You must scroll down to Categories on that  right side bar home page, click on Health,  next you scroll down that last page of blog post title listings for the blog title above.)

The use of cannabis continues to be controversial with some unresolved concerns.  I would consult with my doctor regarding use in case there could be conflicts with other medications.   Attitudes have obviously softened allowing selective use medicinally and recreationally in some locales.  Check for what is legal where you live if you are interested in cannabis. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022


 Republic -- "If you can keep it."  [Democracy]

        Accountability for January 6th Insurrection

U.S. Select House Committee on Jan. 6th Hearings continue in the fall.

QUESTION:  Are more of the American people beginning to realize the threat to turn our form of government into an autocracy by using fear and intimidation of possible  violence by those inciting a civil war?

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms died at age 96 years, 8 September 2022, Balmoral Castle Scotland.  She reigned 70 years.



Dull moments seldom appear in my household.  I always have something to either demand my attention or I am attracted to engaging in numerous other activities that give me pleasure.

Wonders never change -- last week I was writing of our unusual excessively hot humid temperatures.   Now, thanks to that rare Hurricane Kay coming up our Pacific Coast from Mexico our heat wave ended.   Kay became a lesser tropical storm after colliding with a high-pressure system from the north resulting in our experiencing very welcome but unusual cooler temperatures.  Never mind, we're promised some hotter weather again before our summer ends.

The dreaded mud slides in previously burned forest fire areas have brought devastation but not to my community.   I shudder when I view TV news reports here and around the world of those driven from their homes or worse, thanks to the vagaries of climate change.

Long-promised and even longer awaited conversion to fiber-optic internet service has finally come to our neighborhood and more specifically my home.  Even my landline phone service transmission is now changed to the internet with an 8-hour backup battery should my electricity ever cease.  

The scenario wasn't that efficient leading up to the installation of this fiber-optic change but that only took several hours for the technician to accomplish one afternoon this past week.  Granted for that final actual change I didn't have to do anything, but somehow, I always seem to feel almost as tired as if I had done the labor.  I don't recall feeling that way when I was younger so wonder if that is just me, or is it an aging thing?   Oh, and another thing, why does everything always happen at once instead of occurring on different days?

The previous week I was busy getting exhausted as the young men working in my garage replaced by hot water heater.  In the midst of all this came my phone company agent to discuss my ordering installation of their fiber-optic system for internet and phone.   He had no printed material to leave with me to review and consider later.   We took a photo of his working rate form and particulars with my iPhone for my convenience.  

I phoned the agent the first of the week, discussed further installation matters and placed my order.  He immediately connected us with a third party to initiate the change portion taking place by phone which took about a half hour.  

As luck would have it, at the end of that process there was a glitz resulting in my having to call their customer service number.   I was apprehensive since I had gone through that process a week or so earlier which became one of those recorded message nightmares.  The message was:  "We're working quickly to answer your call, but it is taking a little bit longer than normal and someone will be with you soon."  

That time they eventually said there would be a 45-minute delay.  I could hold or they would call me when the customer service agent was available.  I optioned the call-back which came after 45 minutes but I still had to hold again.  No offer for a call-back as before.  Totally exasperated after another 45 minutes passed just as I was about to hang up a real live person answered.  What kind of weird system was that?

This time I wasn't offered the call-back option, had to hold 45 minutes again, became exasperated again and was ready to disconnect just as a service representative answered.  Turns out there was no need for me to call them but I had no way of knowing that then.  

My on-site installation occurred several days later as scheduled -- new line to my house and all the changes inside accomplished by the technician in a few hours.  

My landline phone now goes through the internet, has an 8-hour backup battery if the electric power shuts down.  I can't see that the internet speed on my computer is any faster than what I had, but I'll see.

Isn't progress wonderful!

Sunday, September 11, 2022


 Republic -- "If you can keep it."  [Democracy]

     Accountability for Jan. 6th insurrection.

U.S. Select House Committee on Jan. 6th Hearings continue in the fall.

U.S. Dept. of Justice and FBI deserve respect for doing their jobs.

QUESTION:  Were any of those classified documents missing from empty folders found at Mar-a-Largo and other security information in boxes like those confiscated by government authorities transported by the ex-President to his Bedminster, N.J. residence as theorized by ex-FBI agent and seen in Daily Mail, U.K. video in Washington Post article questioned in Newsweek HERE?

Note:  "Trump and the Mar-a-Largo documents: A timeline -- Washington Post HERE.

9/11 A date embedded in our memories as are those whose lives ended that day.   


Updating Southern California weather effects where I live should any who might want to know what climate changes on this planet may bring to some in the future.  Refer to my previous post describing the situation.

Given our extreme heat wave, we managed to avoid any rolling blackouts with our power grid withstanding day-after-day heavy demands.  Residents voluntarily cut back further on power usage including during our flex alert prime time usage expanded by one hour on each end of the five hour block for a total of seven hours (3 - 10 p.m.)

Hurricane Kay formed in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico's coast moving north toward our Los Angeles area fortunately only becoming a tropical storm breaking heat and rain records.  A California hurricane is a tropical cyclone with usually only the remnants affecting us though they are rare.  The last hurricane was 25 years ago.

Periodic rain bursts from Hurricane Kay came to various locales across the Southland, finally even a couple very light rains to my own neighborhood.  Some beach communities built up sand dunes along the shore to contend with high surf and possible flooding.  People living inland in areas where forest fires had burned away soil-holding vegetation filled sandbags for placement against possible excess water causing damaging mud slides to homes and businesses.

East of where I live one forest fire only 5% minimally controlled day-after-day kept spreading causing several occasions of thousands being told to evacuate their homes.  Two people died in their car apparently trying to escape the flames.  Finally,  though only a small amount, enough rain came to curtail the fire's expansion which is now 50% contained.

I was delighted to see dampened pavement on my driveway one morning and a bit more the next day.   This light rain almost invisible to the eye was hardly sufficient to impact our drought but was enough to give vegetation a brief refresher.  

Let It Rain -- Diana Krall en live sur RTL

Equally, or maybe even more importantly, our temperatures have cooled down now.  In fact, our temperatures are in the 80's, a bit below our previous years usual numbers.  In a few more days our humidity will lessen to the drier level we usually have that is more comfortable, especially if the heat increases as is expected.  

My week brought me water in a way I did not welcome with the discovery of a leak when a patch of water which hadn't dried up in the heat I observed coming from underneath my garage door.  The week before I had noticed water but couldn't detect an active specific leak though I had my suspicions as to the source.  Now, with this obvious water it was time for the plumber.

A new hot water heater was the order of the day as I expected.  The plumber thought my heater was probably about fifteen years old -- quite a long life well beyond the usually expected ten years or less longevity.  I vaguely recalled reading these heaters operated best if drained periodically but realized I had never done that.  Maybe it would have lasted even longer if I had.

I could recall only that my husband had taken care of the last purchase sometime before his 2006 death.  I didn't have the old purchase receipt to make a cost comparison with the quote I was given for a new hot water heater.  I was really surprised to learn how expensive installation of a new one would be.

I did check the internet verifying what they said was the cost of the unit, the quality of the brand as the highest rated one, so I decided not to delay installation in order to get other price quotes.  Additional copper piping and connections were needed since the old ones were long since beyond being workable.  

They said they could install the new hot water heater for me right then, that Friday afternoon, so perhaps it was best not to delay.  The two young men (most service workers are young to me any more) worked steadily and hard for several hours and labor isn't cheap.  Hopefully, there are no more appliances or other items needing replacement anytime soon.

I expect others of you living in individual residences have had to go through the hot water heater experience but I'd never had to give much thought to one -- we just always had hot water wherever we lived, but then my husband probably always looked after this essential I just took for granted.  

Sunday, September 04, 2022


 Republic -- "If you can keep it."  [Democracy]

      Accountability for Jan. 6th insurrection.

U.S. Select House Committee on Jan. 6th Hearing continues in the fall.

U.S. Dept. of Justice and FBI deserving of respect for doing their jobs.

QUESTION:  What has happened to the documents missing from the empty file folders marked 'classified' found mixed into personal belongings of the ex-President -- items he allegedly illegally took to his Florida country club resort home -- documents he kept there even after all such records owned by our government his attorneys falsely reported had been returned as required?  

"TOO DARN HOT" from the musical film 'Kiss Me Kate' / 1953                                                Ann Miller dancing and singing Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter                                      Starring: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn,                            Bobby Van, Tommy Rall, James Whitmore, Bob Fosse, Ron Randell 

HOT TIME IN THE OLD TOWN ... many days and nights!

HOT is a term describing the climate in many places around the world including my own here in Southern California, U.S.   People are flocking to our SoCal beaches to stay cool.   Monsoonal thunderstorms with lightning erratically roll through some communities (not mine) dropping short bursts of rain.  Bears seek humans' swimming pools in which to cool themselves.   

100+ degrees Fahrenheit (38+ Celsius) our thermometers have been recording beginning last week, continuing into this current week only to get hotter in some SoCal communities -- think 105 - 115 F (43 - 53 C). 

Earlier in the season, we received in our mail forms to submit encouraging those who can and want to participate in our utility power company's 'flex alert' program for which they give $$$ credits.   

We're now on 'flex alert'.  We're asked to eliminate using electric appliances like our ovens, clothes and dishwashers, turn off other devices, to not charge electric autos, between 4-9 p.m.   This is also the time period during which we are asked to conserve water due to our drought I've described here previously.  

Additionally, for several consecutive days we are being advised we could experience 'rolling blackouts'.  This usually means our power could periodically be cut off for an hour, then turned back on, during days and nights.  

Provision excluding such power outages can be arranged by individuals whose medical conditions require they must have electricity for their life-sustaining equipment.  

Our several years drought has aggravated our parched vegetation due to such extremely hot weather in areas here and in northern California creating even greater susceptibility to fire.  Our rationed water is also required to combat these fires.  The flames have destroyed acres of countryside along with some resident's homes, causing thousands to evacuate, injuring some and threatening, even taking the lives of people as well as other life.

The future our world is predicted to face includes increasing extreme temperature changes which we are just beginning to experience.  In simple terms, in each succeeding year to come, our summer days and nights are likely only going to get hotter.

Perhaps being aware of what others experience now may help inform some to think in terms of their own communities -- what they may be able or want to do in anticipation, if or when they have a similar situation.

Los Angeles has taken the actions so far by only two other cities, Miami and Phoenix -- appointing a Chief Heat Officer, Marta Segura, to "oversee the City's response to extreme heat events" described in a city press release.  She was previously director of climate emergency mobilization.

The L.A. city plan will include a warning system, interagency emergency response plans, also long-term strategies to reduce exposure.  Smithsonian magazine describes "Heat is the leading weather-related killer in the U.S."

"Americans who are over the age of 65, Black Americans, children, patients with cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and economically disadvantaged populations are more vulnerable to heat and face a higher risk of death, on top of the disparities in mortality reporting" reported by the Environmentally Protection Agency (EPA).

"The idea of Chief Heat Officers isn't exclusive to the US.  Since Miami announced its position, Athens, Greece, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Monterey in Mexico, and the Santiago metropolitan region in Chile have all hired in similar positions."

The world in which we live now and will in the future is projected to be quite different from the one into which I was born more than three quarters of a century ago.  I think the expectation some seem to have that we can recapture life in the world as we once knew is not at all likely.

Resistance to the changes coming only makes the accommodation more difficult.  The complications of too much water, flooding, presents massive threats some in the world have already been experiencing  from which we need to be learning, then taking preparatory action now. 

Flooding washed out a major connecting freeway (I-10) between L.A.andPhoenix recently, so we are not immune to too much water in some drought areas also vulnerable to the effects of excessive heat.  Adaptation to our evolving new world now is our challenge.

Our energy source to power cooling, heating, and lighting our homes, our transportation vehicles, and systems to operate all our devices on which we increasingly depend in most other facets of our lives are central to our existence.  

Not all of us are able to incorporate all of the necessary changes into our daily lives but we might best do what we can.  Also, I'm no longer a candidate for taking on extra employment to augment costs of some recommended special projects as I might once have done when younger.  That situation becomes a fact of life for most at some stage in life.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping cool with air conditioning, doing all I can do in the way of conservation of electric and water usage as necessary.  There is more I know would help in overall conservation beyond these immediate special needs I would like to be able to adopt.  Some adaptive actions I would take but I'm no longer physically able to perform some of the required tasks that could mitigate upkeep.  In other desired actions the cost is prohibitive, considering given the unknowns of what my personal future needs may be I expect is true for others, too.

I wonder .....

..... if others reading here view the future as I've considered it to be?

..... if other readers here  have or will be doing all they think could or needs to be done to adapt to this future that is confronting us now?

..... if special action is being taken in your community to prepare and adapt to changing weather and/or environmental conditions where you live -- locally or in your state?

Sunday, August 28, 2022


 Republic -- "If you can keep it." [Democracy]

     Accountability for Jan. 6 insurrection

U.S. Select House Committee on Jan. 6th Hearings continue in the fall.

U.S. Dept. of Justice and FBI deserving of respect for doing their jobs.

QUESTION:  What possible justifiable reason could explain why an ex-President would take highly classified, even top-secret documents to his home when his term in office ended -- then keep them though instructed to return them, subsequently his lawyers even lying he had returned them all?


Events in Los Angeles have caused me to think about automobiles, speed, and the attraction they hold for a segment of our population.  Some  communities in California have been besieged with what are called 'street takeovers' angering residents where they occur and creating other more serious problems.  These illegal affairs can occur at any time of day or night.  

Imagine being awakened by auto engine roaring sounds, some vehicles without mufflers, in the middle of the night with the various car induced odors of exhaust smoke and burning rubber permeating your home.

Groups of people gather about various streets to view these show-off drivers circling at high speed, 'burning rubber', doing 'donuts' which leaves their tire marks on the street.  Tires squealing, exhaust smoke fuming, braked cars skidding about, sometimes into the onlooking crowd, occasionally injuring some, a few even dying.  These cars and drivers are sometimes arrested though frequently they have dispersed before law enforcement can arrive at the scene.  

Recently, the $588 million Sixth Street Viaduct, the largest bridge project, 3,500 foot long, in the history of Los Angeles became the city's newest attraction.  Locals enthusiastically were walking, skating, biking there on opening day since it was closed to automobile traffic on that occasion.  

Los Angeles Newest Attraction: 6th Street Bridge -- Yellow Production:  The 6th Street Bridge connects Boyle Heights to the Los Angeles Arts District with some amazing views of the downtown Los Angeles skyline along the way."

Subsequently, those street takeovers began happening on the bridge necessitating law enforcement and city officials to devise ways to end them.  Initially the bridge was shut down for a period of time.  Later, they installed some round speedbumps but they ceased to be a deterrent.  The final solution is yet to be announced though the takeovers seem to have lulled for now.  Some have suggested a divider in the middle of the street should have been installed as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has, since no takeover problems on that bridge.


Some people have suggested these auto street takeovers are a consequence of people imitating a "Fast and Furious" movie that premiered in 2001, continuing through the years with subsequent features.  Last week scenes for the franchise's 10th installment, "Fast X" was shot.  This Variety article link features a photo of the street scene created by these cars and describes the complaints numerous residents in that area have.  Note:  the film shoot was completed as planned.

Here's another takeover blocking traffic on the new bridge not involving cars.


Time will tell in the future when and how these street takeover problems are resolved.
But then, there are also people climbing on the arches, taxpayer costs for removing graffiti.


Early in the 1970's when we moved to Southern California I became aware of the car culture and what they call lowriders.  I must confess to not seeing the utility of converting these autos into being able to perform acrobatics, much less investing so much money into those cars.  Probably there are lots of other non-car hobbies people have that may not seem to make sense either.  Whatever gives a person pleasure, I guess.  Given there's a demand for these lowriders, apparently money can be made with them.  I must admit the plush-looking interiors and fancy colorful exterior paint is quite fancy and even attractive on some.

Lowriders TAKE OVER Whittier Blvd!  Los Angeles, California

I was never interested in most car activities, like auto races that attract many people, or events where vehicles deliberately crash into one another.  My cousin, now deceased, was disappointed when we were young and I declined to go to hot rod racing events with him.  

Recent years, a lifelong friend, also deceased now, had told me her sons are into mud bogging with big trucks -- definitely not appealing to me.  They have even created their own site on which to indulge in their pastime.  When the boys were little, I remember her three young sons playing with Tonka trucks in a dirt and sand pile in their back yard.  I think it's interesting they graduated to the real big trucks and started a successful gardening business when they became adults that prospers today.  

Speed in vehicles doesn't give me a thrill as some say they feel.  I do recall purchasing my second car, a used Plymouth, when I was in my mid-twenties, taking it out on a country road one day.  I don't know what prompted me to do this but I pressed the 'pedal to the metal' driving over this roller coaster paved country road going over 100 mph, then the car stalled.

I was out of gas -- the only time I've had a car ever run out of gas in all my presently continuing driving years.  I had just passed a farmhouse, so could easily walk back where I  encountered a very pleasant accommodating farmer who gave me enough gas to power my car back to town.  I'm surprised he was so nice because he must have seen me flying by his house and probably wouldn't have thought too highly of anyone traveling that two-lane road at such a rate of speed.  

'Running out of gas' in quite a different way is an expression with which I readily identify the older I become, but we won't get into that right now.

I might add, I've never been automobile obsessed as I perceive some to be, much less attracted to speed.  Also, I don't like noise, so I've always disliked the revving roaring motor sounds of all kinds of cars and motorcycles.  I guess the sound signifies power to some but it's just plain noise to me.

What will the future bring if we get rid of the combustion engine?   Our California Air Resources Board approved new regulations requiring 35% of new cars sold in our state to be electric vehicles by 2026 -- 100% by 2035.  Our California Governor Gavin Newson announced this week he plans to eliminate sales of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. I've heard news reports that as a safety measure for pedestrians that auto manufacturers are designing ways give electric cars sound because they run quite silently.  

Whadda yew think about all this car business I've brought up in this latest epistle I've written?

Sunday, August 21, 2022


Republic -- "If you can keep it" [Democracy]

           Accountability for Jan. 6 insurrection

U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearings will continue in the fall.

U.S. Dept. of Justice and F.B.I. deserving of respect for doing their jobs.

Stars / Feelings  (Medley / Live at Montreux, 1976)


"Stars lives come and go ... they all have a story."  Perhaps this is Nina's story, too, as she also refers to Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin.  This talented artist left our world in 2003 at age 70 years.   In her mid-twenties she aspired to being a classical concert pianist.  

Composer Janis Ian commented on YouTube: "I wrote the song [Stars] when I was 21, and already a 9 year veteran of the music industry.  Nina's version is brilliant.  She re-writes it some here and there, and I've never known whether the ad libbed sections at the end were because she forgot, was overwhelmed, or what - but brilliant nonetheless.  One of the most underrated arrangers and pianists ever, too." 


The heat must be getting to me.  I'm lacking enthusiasm of thought to focus on writing here.  There are so many issues hanging fire, so to speak, all of which are on my mind from the local to the national level as well as what's occurring around the world.  I'm sure you are as aware of them as I am, so I'll not bring up the matters.  I'm trying to patiently wait for many of them to move forward toward some resolution.  Frankly, it doesn't look like that will occur anytime soon.

Also, I need to focus attention on some personal things here that require more of my time which I'll be doing in the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, I've resumed some occasional pleasure reading but nothing of any consequence for my reviewing here.  They're autobiographies of a couple of now deceased women, each a decade or so older than me.  One woman had a career in D.C. legitimate news journalism to which I had paid some attention.  The other out of NYC focused on show biz gossip and facts to which I've never paid much attention.  I  like to think about what I was doing when some events they note were occurring in their life.

I was glancing through some notes I've written from time to time for possible blog topic elaboration in the future, but I'm presently not motivated to further develop them.  What I'm relating now reminds me of how our perspective in life evolves with experience over the years.  

I guess I could say in this instance I would be generous to myself by saying I simply mis-spoke.  This is a regretted utterance I've never forgotten from the moment I heard the words coming out of my mouth.

I was a teen describing to a life-long year-older dear friend when she asked, the names of several Florida cities on the Gulf she might want to visit.  They had been included on my high school senior class trip itinerary after we departed New Orleans, heading to the Atlantic east coast.  After one Gulf city I mentioned, I hastily added, "Oh, you don't want to go there!  There's nothing but a bunch of old people."

I instantly realized, as her mother listened, that her grandmother who I knew and loved had moved to Florida.  I thought of my own dearly loved grandmother and felt chagrined at my utterance stimulating heart-sick feelings I've never forgotten.  Now that I'm one of those "old people" I can't believe I was so insensitive as to say those words.  After all, if we're fortunate enough to avoid the alternative, we all become "old".

Sunday, August 14, 2022


 Republic -- "If you can keep it."  -- (Democracy)

Accountability for Jan. 6 insurrection.

U. S. Select House Committee Hearings will continue in the fall.

QUESTION:  Why were all those files reported by the Ex-President's lawyer as having been returned to U.S. government still in Mar-a-largo, possibly placing  our nation's security at risk?

"Cheats and Liars" (Official Music Video)

by Elles Bailey 

"Bristol-based, multi-award-winning, genre-crossing' Elles Bailey's ... video "Cheats and Liars' written with Ashton Tucker from her album "Shinng in the Half Light", released earlier in 2022.


Some readers here may recall my writing a few years ago about my frustration with a neighbor's backyard leaning wall subjecting a corner of my attached wall to increasing pressures causing the concrete blocks to destructively pull apart.  A licensed arborist informally noted years of rampant uncontrolled growth and underground roots on the opposite side of the neighbor's wall was causing the escalating leaning on that wall that was pulling the corner of my wall out of alignment and away from the rest of my wall.  Obviously, the situation would only worsen if some action was not taken by my neighbor with the property owners on the other side of his wall to correct the problem.

Thinking my neighbor would be pleased I had discovered this problem so early, I invited him into my backyard to see what was happening.  I thought he could act to contact those tall hedge owners who would want to correct the problem before his wall collapsed and would be much more expensive to repair.  My wall was their victim, too, so the neighbor and those other property owners would be responsible for any damage expenses, wouldn't they?  Duh!  Logic and what is just does not always apply.

I was given the impression the neighbor would pursue the issue and get back to me, expecting we would act together.  His wall kept leaning.  The corner of my wall cement blocks continued to be pulled further and further apart from one another threatening the integrity of my entire back wall.  The neighbor actually never really acknowledged what his eyes and mine, plus scientific measurements with photos taken over time showed.  

City officials even became involved to examine the issues in a neutral manner exclusive of any monetary matters in which they don't become involved when I finally contacted them with my concerns. They did point out problems to my neighbor.  Concluding much later that the neighbor seemed to be taking no action, I consulted further with our city officials to receive authorization to disconnect his wall from mine.  By this time the damage to my wall had reached a degree I had to hire reconstruction which was not inexpensive (10K).

Had I realized the neighbor would persist in inaction, apparent denial of the obvious, and was doing nothing meaningful to rectify the problem, I would have disconnected my wall from his sooner.  We had talked periodically, and he observed in person what was occurring to my wall, plus I emailed him photos and data believing he was addressing the issue with the owners on the other side of his wall.

Finally, I was surprised to be told by city officials they had asked and the neighbor said he would provide me some financial reimbursement for my expense.   I allowed time to pass. expecting to hear from my neighbor.  When last he came to my home, and we talked, he mentioned having some vision problems which were altering his immediate activity.   When discussion of my wall reconstruction costs came up, I told him the total I paid.   I did not press him on reimbursement when he said nothing, since he was dealing with those medical vision issues. 

I expected I would hear from him following some resolution there and he considered the information I had given him.  Time passed, so hearing nothing further from him I emailed a brief query asking about his intentions.  I eventually received an even briefer two or three word unsigned response to the effect the problem was mine.

I reluctantly considered legal action, but such a small case was not of interest to attorneys or cost effective for me to press them.   I was experiencing some medical issues of my own affecting my mobility at the time so small claims court had to be ruled out.  I am confident I would have won given my accumulated documentation. 

Serving the lawsuit was going to be seriously problematic since the neighbor no longer lived in the home or even in our city.  There is no assurance in small claims court a judgment will be collectable if the person chooses not to pay, even though the last I knew the owner was employed in what is typically a high paying profession.

Subsequently, the neighbor's house was sold.  New owners are in the construction business I recently learned.  They independently replaced their back wall which finally fully collapsed when unusually severe winds blew through our city last year causing much damage.  They are not pursuing costs from those property owners on the other side of their wall.  

The tall hedges have finally been cut down, though I've wondered if root growth or possible expanding above ground growth into the area behind my reconstructed corner wall section could possibly be a problem in the distant future.  I did send a letter to the property owners on the other side of my neighbor's wall alerting them to my concern.  I wanted to have that information on record.   There is no recompense for my wall expense from the new neighbor owners, of course, which I didn't ask for and wouldn't expect.  

A wall section separating our properties has a weakened section the new owner plans to replace but I declined to contribute to the cost of doing so.  The problem previously given a band-aid was caused by growth on that neighbor's property since there have never been any plants on my side of the wall.  The previous owner of his property had been cautioned by city officials that his plants were of concern as causing that wall problem.  I became aware he had all those plants dug up which occurred just prior to his selling the property.  This news appeared to be not previously known to the new owner which I think helped him understand my perspective.  I hope to hear no more about wall issues.

Some individuals, companies, businesses, disregard what is right and fair if there is no way to enforce what is even legally and morally just.  They justify doing so by saying, "It's just business", with no conscience or sense of guilt much less empathy or compassion for the abused party.

I've known life is not always fair, that there are people who really don't care about others or seem to have any moral compass.  I always feel such disappointment, anger, sometimes sadness, not to mention regret  -- especially, when I think about what I anticipated doing with the money I had to pay to repair my wall, to say the least -- when I encounter such individuals.  Justice does not always prevail.  

No doubt some of you may have similar stories of injustices you've experienced.

Sunday, August 07, 2022


Republic -- "If you can keep it".  (Democracy)                                                        Accountability for Jan. 6 insurrection.                                                                        U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearings will continue in the fall.

QUESTION:  Will legislators get their priorities straight to concentrate primarily on doing their jobs legislating and lessen one-upmanship in political game playing?

Ella Fitzgerald -- Accentuate The Positive {The Harold Arlen Songbook}

"Sticky words" -- I've done it again!   I see after publication in my previous post a "their" that should have been a "there", not just once but twice!   Here are the offending words I wrote:
"Perhaps we might ask are their there writers producing entertaining older people's stories?  Are their there screen writers creating stories for films?"

Oh, woe is me if the grammar monitors noted as the Blogger automatic language didn't catch my mistake.  I hastily added those sentences in my last re-reading when the hour was late, tired, and did not conduct further editing.  I do know the difference for use of their/there but for some reason when I hastily type, my brain is not selective with those words as it should be.  Mostly I'm thinking of what I want to say, I guess.

Strangely, this word glitch seems to occur primarily with these two words, their/there, as I'm not aware of other such homophones that my brain ignores when I type (words that sound the same when spoken but are spelled differently, have different meanings, to which could be added "they're").  Possibly my brain's automatic editing mechanism is short-circuited on these words for some reason.  If you ever notice my writing other such incorrect words, let me know as I'm curious.

This isn''t the first time I've become aware of this word mistake.  Years ago a blogger whose writing I respected wrote a post about word errors some bloggers made.  She specifically mentioned their/there as an example.  She expressed concern about the difference mattering for correct usage.  

I had to laugh, immediately responding in a comment that I knew I was guilty of mixing their/there.  I stated I knew the difference in usage, didn't know why that error occurred and probably needed to take greater care editing.  Yet it continues as I've noted periodically in my writing and now this.  I long ago alerted my brain to be more careful when I was typing those words.  Clearly, my brain function has been unresponsive to my chastising on each occasion.  Now I'm wondering what other errors I may be making that I haven't taken the time to identify.

Maybe if I was writing an article for renumeration my brain would give writing those words greater significance.  But then, I might also have the luxury of others editing my compositions for such errors before publishing.  

Blog writing for me has been a bit more casual than some writing I've done I must admit.  It's not that I don't care.  I do try to avoid feeling pressured about any aspect of blog writing and publishing.  Sometimes I do just sorta throw a piece together at the last minute so am hurried.  I tend to think of my blog writing as primarily an entertaining pastime that surprisingly to me others read.

I will confess that over the years when I engage in personal correspondence with friends/family who know me well, beginning with using old-fashioned pen and paper, then using a typewriter, now in emails/texts they and I sometimes misspell words.  We may not want to take the time to check the spelling, may use them incorrectly when we can't think of the exact word we want.  We may not punctuate correctly on occasion, too, for a variety of reasons.  Perchance our lives have been hectic, we're exhausted, our time is limited, we're having interruptions, or more.  If any rules have changed we may not have kept up.   

We don't judge or concern ourselves with each other's errors, sometimes apologizing or laughing about them, since we know the other is not illiterate.  Keeping in touch with legible content is the priority and our relationship is all that matters.  If anything is unclear, we question but don't condemn.  I guess this falls under, we know the basic writing rules, or most of them, but allow ourselves to break some of them on occasion.

Perhaps I tend to think of you, my blogger buddies, in somewhat the same way as those friends -- that you will overlook some of my shortcomings when you read here as I do reading some of your blog posts.

My apologies if my sometimes-lax writing offends some or discourages reading here.  I do recognize and respect the value of more careful writing.  I am sometimes irritated by books I read with writing errors since I expect more from them.  I tend to judge businesses poorly but laugh at some of them if their advertisements violate the writing rules.  I've read some deliberately make such errors just to attract the attention protesters/protestors give them.  

I wonder if others of you have become aware of experiencing writing errors you persistently but unintentionally make though you know better, or may allow to occur with less thorough editing?

Sunday, July 31, 2022


DEMOCRACY -- "If you can keep it."  Accountability needed for Jan. 6 insurrection.     U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearings will continue in the fall.

QUESTION:  Why does gaining the release of a basketball star erroneously held and a former U.S. Marine accused of being a spy seem to take precedence over the release of a teacher, Marc Fogel, wrongfully being held by Russia, appearing to be ignored?  Is life fair?

Read Washington Post link about teacher Marc Fogel HERE.

Read Reuter's link about "Americans Held Captive Abroad" HERE.


Movies with story lines featuring older characters are few.  When I was viewing Amanpour & Co. on PBS (Thursday 7/28, Season 5, Episode 20) HERE.   I was surprised to see a couple of actually older actors being interviewed promoting their new movie.  These two critically acclaimed actors have appeared in numerous movies but primarily as character actors though never together before.  Now, here were a couple of older actors in a movie about older people.

Dale Dickey, link HERE, award winner, has played mostly hard tough women in theatre, television, movies including "Winter's Bone", "No Exit".

Wes Studi, link HERE, producer, musician, actor, Oscar winner, is a Native American Cherokee Indian.  He has frequently been cast in western movies including "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee", "Dances With Wolves".

These talented actors have been cast as the romantic leads in this rare film about a "seasoned" (of a certain age) man and woman meeting again for the first time since their young school age years.  The backdrop of open western skies above rugged Colorado mountains, lakes, solitude offers spectacular scenery as seen based on the film preview.

I have not seen the movie but this Independent Film's reviews are positive from the New York Times to Rotten Tomatoes 5 star rating. The Curvy Film Critic's review there expresses a point of view with which I agree:  "It was more than wonderful to witness Dale Dickey and Wes Studi as romantic leads while screaming to Hollywood zeitgeist of green lighting gremlins that audiences need more stories with folks that look like a regular old people..."

A LOVE SONG /Official Trailer/Bleecker Street

"THE DUKE", another movie with a couple of "old people" I have yet to view but look forward to seeing is based on a true story of a "humane thief" in what has been described as a "dramedy".  The movie stars, favorites of mine, Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent.  Broadbent's character says:  "Will return painting if provide more help for elderly."  


"THE LAST MOVIE STARS", a movie series I eventually will get around to viewing.  This film is considered to be a documentary of the lives of actors Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward, the past performances of both I've enjoyed.

THE LAST MOVIE STARS /Official Trailer/ HBO Max

There are numerous other older even more well-known "seasoned" stars whose acting prowess I enjoy viewing, especially some of the women since the male actors seem to appear in more roles whatever their age.  Some of these women are Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine are just a few that immediately come to my mind.

Perhaps we might ask are their writers producing entertaining older people's stories?  Are their screen writers creating stories for films?  

Maybe you know some older people's stories that would make a good movie or you could even write one?

I'm reminded of deceased blogger Ronni Bennett's blog "Time Goes By"  (still accessible on the net) with a link there to "GEEZER FLICKS" or HERE for an extensive list of films she and readers there compiled.  The last film addition in 2020 before closed to comments.

An ongoing list of movies is provided by AARP  HERE which also includes movies starring older actors and some story lines about older people's lives.  The first awards were in 2002. 

MOVIE SCREENING FREE -- AARP offers a free movie screening HERE.

TV FOR GROWNUPS -- AARP had recommendations HERE.

This is the end of the line for what I have to write this time.  Now it's your turn.  

Sunday, July 24, 2022


This blog is either going to the dogs, is for the birds, or maybe it's just the cat's meow.  All this started when I came across a Jeanne Moos video captioned:  "People are posting their cats' reactions to this new video game" HERE

Later I found this video of cats and dogs reacting to that STRAY video game:

Subsequently I received some feline education with Jackson Galaxy and the game cat in action: 

Earlier, I had been intrigued with another of Jeanne Moos' videos given my ongoing interest in our Big Bear Bald Eagles occasionally featured on this blog:  "Eagle appears to clutch baby hawk for dinner, then decides to adopt it: "HERE".

The piece de resistance was a Jeanne Moos video captioned: 
"See what happens when you put a group of introverted dogs together".


I decided to look up this Jeanne Moos who was featuring quirky videos that appeal to my sensibility to discover them all and others on her CNN  profile site HERE.   

I immediately recognized some of the other Moos' wacky videos at which I've been laughing.  I had never before given much attention to the source.  Jeanne Moos, 72 years old, has been a national news correspondent for 34 years at CNN who eventually evolved into this entertaining video niche many of us are enjoying.  Perhaps you have or will find them a fun view, too.  
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Southern California, aka SoCal, where I've lived for 50 years is certainly having its share of hot weather as is the rest of our country.  News reports of the high temperatures in other parts of the world where some readers here live are experiencing heat unlike anything they've had before, too.  Many such countries such as the U.K. are quite unprepared with buildings lacking air conditioning as one example.

Before my family moved here, we lived a few years in the Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona area.  Previously we lived in the Midwestern Great Lakes area where I recall 80 to 90 degree Fahrenheit temperatures (32 Celsius) felt sticky miserable due to the humidity but few homes had air conditioning. 

Initially in Arizona we had an evaporative house cooling system in the dry heat which I liked for all but a few weeks when the air became much more uncomfortable due to higher humidity outdoors in their monsoon season.

During the few years we lived in Arizona more people were moving there as continues to occur and more land was becoming converted to golf courses requiring much watering in the summer and year 'round.  Simultaneously, we noticed humidity was increasing.  For the first time ever that winter, local news media reported the area experienced smog.  The climate was becoming much less desirable, so we installed air conditioning.  The next year an employment change resulted in our moving to California.

I recall only a few days toward the end of summer our Arizona temperatures ever were in the 3-digit area of 110 Fahrenheit degrees (43 Celsius) or above.  In 2021 Phoenix set a record for F115+ (46+ Celsius) or more consecutive days of such high temperatures since 1895.  Certainly, the humidity is no less now and probably more than when we lived there despite the drought.  

Future temperatures will only become higher.  Countries that are now experiencing high temperatures they've not had before, where air conditioning has not been needed have my concern for how well residents there are able to cope, especially our older generations.  

The nation's first publicly funded Heat Response and Mitigation Office was established in Phoenix in October 2021 with David Hondula of Arizona State University named director.

Hondula said at his appointment "...changes, including planting trees, installing shade structures and adding light-colored surfaces to streets and roofs, can make the city cooler."  He reports finding success in cooling the temperatures a few degrees with residents saying they now notice a difference with the use of special cool-grey paint sprayed over their paved streets.  Cooling ultra-white paint is being used in various ways also.  Volunteers are planting "...trees for a new Phoenix 'cool corridor' " reported in the Arizona Republic newspaper.

So little is being accomplished by our federal legislators, especially in the Senate, House actions are blocked from even coming up for a vote that address environmental issues.  We can thank them for the slow progress adjusting to climate changing issues.  I find it very difficult to accept such a short-sighted view of environmental concerns and failure to act more aggressively toward some resolution given the threat to our earth.  

Local communities and individuals can adopt ways to achieve some change as our contribution with or without federal involvement.  Perhaps more ways will be found in communities where each of us live to cool our environment.  There may be unique ideas some of you are aware of or that are being undertaken where you live that could be described in your comments here.  

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U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearings 

Eight hearings have been held.  More hearings are expected in the fall.

PBS NewsHour -- "20% of Americans are paying no attention to the hearings"

Sunday, July 17, 2022


 U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th HEARING

"The eighth Jan. 6 committee hearing on its finding is scheduled for prime time July 21 [Thursday] and will walk through the events of Jan. 6, 2021 "minute by minute," Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Tuesday.  The hearing will focus in on the 187 minutes between Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally on the Ellipse and his tweet urging his supporters to go home," USA Today reports HERE.  (check schedule where you live for date, time confirmation, where to view)

"Thank You for Your Servitude" by Mark Leibovich is a book worth reading about some in Congress who have been cynical and hypocritical "about-face" enablers now making excuses for our ex-President, shifting his accountability for words and actions by blaming others.  Fear has been a factor which is a hallmark of authoritarianism.  The author is interviewed on Amanour and Company-PBS with segments you can view on the site HERE, also on this video: 

PBS NewsHour 


Earlier today, Sat., July 16th as I write this, I received my Covid 2nd booster vaccination.  Originally, I planned to wait for the next vaccine expected in October or November.  Currently, scientific/medical reports convince me given the rapidly increasingly high level of Covid infections here in Los Angeles County that having stronger protection now would be wise.  Outdoor exposure, especially in groups, may even be a more real possibility I also read.

This BA.5 omicron variant has evolved " be more contagious and evade the immune protection that people had from infection, vaccination or both" Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, is quoted saying in the "Mayo Clinic News Network" report HERE.

"A new study published in Nature found the variant was four times more resistant to messenger RNA vaccines than earlier strains of omicron.  The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines."  

Currently there is no evidence of a higher death rate from BA.5 but " have very little protection against BA.5 in terms of getting infected or having mild to moderate infection.  You have good protection against dying, being hospitalized or ending up on a ventilator."

"...among the unvaccinated with this variant, they're about fivefold more likely to get infected than people who have been vaccinated and boosted, about 7 1/2 times more likely to be hospitalized, and about 14 to 15 times more likely to die if they get infected," says Dr. Poland.

I keep wearing my "N95 masks or a KN-94 mask when indoors and in crowded areas outdoors" as Dr. Poland recommends.   What new variants may be in the offing, I wonder?

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Environmentally, the SoCal drought with hot temperatures rolls on, water usage restrictions continue -- so what's new?

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I've been trying to locate some lab sites that are easily accessible for parking, require minimal walking to the store and once I'm inside since I've been having some mobility issues.  Most of the large chain drugstores place their pharmacies, clinics, labs where they can draw blood clear at the back of their stores.  It sure would be nice if they provided riding carts as some grocery stores do but that seems not to be the case.  

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Podcasts seem to be popular with many people though I haven't devoted time listening to any of them.  They could be enjoyed I realize while engaged in other necessary activities about the house.  Maybe some podcasts could be an entertaining source of humor.  There seem to be an abundance of podcasts described as humorous including for seniors, older people, boomers, other age groups, various interest areas.  Perhaps some of you have favored podcasts.  We do need lots of humor.  

Laughing is contagious but living alone can limit that shared stimulation.  I recall when I was in undergraduate college some of us operating our campus radio station gathered in the control room one day.  We decided to record ourselves laughing which started with artificial laughs.  The next thing we knew we were laughing genuinely at the ridiculousness of what we were doing.  Our laughing kept getting more hilarious to each of us until we all were laughing so hard our stomachs hurt, tears were coming from our eyes -- we were quite out of control. 

I wonder if there would be a health care market for such a potentially therapeutic recording releasing all those healing endorphins -- a simple plain recording of laughter, nothing else, with which to laugh along?

Sunday, July 10, 2022


U.S. Select House Committee on January 6th Hearing -- Tues., July 12

UPDATE:  Hearing time had been changed to 1 pm ET (10 am PT)

     Tuesday, July 12, starting at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT

           (That's Emmy nominations morning in Hollywood.)

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Shirley Horn -- "Here's To Life"                                                                                                 John Williams and The Boston Pops 1993

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Has my daily life become too filled with routine is a question I asked myself recently?   I realize I've been spending more time in my home than in years past partially due to aging's slowing but also as a consequence of efforts to minimize Coronavirus exposure.  Maybe this perpetual sameness so many days after days I feel is beginning to be too repetitive.

Unfortunately, the number of known individuals contracting the latest Covid-19 variants BA 4 and most dominant now BA 5, is increasing exponentially daily.  The actual official infection numbers are less accurate now due to so many home tests in use with the result not being as easily tracked for reporting by health authorities.  Here in SoCal's Los Angeles County, we're being told to possibly expect reinstatement of mandatory mask wearing by month's end if infection rates continue to increase.

These virus variants, especially BA 5 are much more able to avoid some of the protections our vaccinations with boosters have provided.  Much of our U.S. population seems to behave as though this pandemic is over.  Saying or believing so does not make it so.  Covid 19 coronavirus goes about infecting at will, evolving new more virulent variants, not caring what humans may think.

At least, so far, vaccinations and booster shots have seemed to prevent development of more serious illness and deaths for most who become infected.  Still our older population, especially those with various medical conditions are at risk.  I keep wearing my N95 masks when encountering others.  Perhaps I'm being unnecessarily cautious.  

So, it seems my daily routine may continue to be somewhat limited if I want to minimize risk exposure to contracting Covid 19.  To break my routine in what is beginning to feel like a monotony of sameness I've thought I need to introduce new and more activity variation into my life.

Coincidentally, I recently encountered a Business Insider article about routine which introduced a new term to me: "Routineology":

A review I read of the book The Art of Routine said in a review: 
"Conventional wisdom suggests that the best way to navigate our noisy new world is to accept change.  Open up to novelty.  Go with the flow.  Live in the moment.  Embrace the relentless pelting of content minute by minute.  But routine experts Angel Iscovich, MD, Joe Garner, and Michael Ashley are here to say that's a bad idea.  Humans don't just benefit from structure; they require it."  

I have a certain amount of routine as I've always had during most of my life but too much of the same pattern day after day can lead to a rather boring existence absent excitement.

Some researchers emphasize commonly held healthy habits of those living long lives due to eating mostly "plant foods", also "...maintaining strong relationships, and moving regularly".  Isovich makes his point by focusing on unhealthy habits of some 100 years and older.   

This Insider article reinforces what many scientific studies have shown that routines are important in our lives including throughout our aging years.  Intriguingly, however, this article indicates that healthy eating may not be a necessary feature for all who live a long life.

People 100 or older are only a fraction of a percent of the population.

A few examples cited include centenarians who swear by the significance of their daily intake of potentially unhealthy items such as whiskey or in quantities of ice cream or bacon.

For many years or decades, Elizabeth Sullivan, a retired math teacher in Texas drank three cans of Dr. Pepper daily she reported on her 106th birthday:  
"People try to give me coffee for breakfast.  Well, I'd rather have a Dr. Pepper," she said in a 2015 interview with a local TV station.  "Every doctor that sees me says they'll kill you," she continued.  "But they die and I don't, so there must be a mistake somewhere."

Then there's Agnes Fenton, "... New Jersey's oldest living resident until she died at age 112 in 2017.  Her secret?  Three Miller High Lifes every day and a shot of Johnnie Walker Blue daily, her obituary says."

"Her habit began after her doctor prescribed her alcohol in 1943 to treat a benign tumor.  She maintained it until a few years before her death."

Dr. Iscovich argues that structure is what matters, not so much that it must be healthy.  His conclusion is:  "People who live past age 100 often have 1 trait in common:  a penchant for routine, even unhealthy ones."  

Novel and spontaneous experiences are acknowledged as important for happiness and fulfillment, but "...humans are wired to live rhythmically" as begins in the womb.  This routine extends throughout life into "...the field of chronobiology, or the 24-cycle that affects your sleep, focus, and sociability."

Coordinating these cycles is " ...the key to finding purpose, meaning, joy --- and longevity," Ischovich and his co-author Michael Ashey state, "pursuing those activities that reduce fear of the unknown and mitigate stress [that] can lead to a more controlled environment, offering stability and aiding in longevity."  They also write: "Coupled with the importance of consistent activities is the need for purpose."  

Humans will persist in seeking to learn what extends human life though there seems to be no one simple answer.  Meanwhile, we'll each make judgements  based on the latest scientific findings about what we think we need and adopt those practices.  

I don't think specifically in terms of wanting to live a century or longer.  I do think in terms of wanting to be as healthy as possible with my mind intact for whatever the number of my years.  Quality of life is what matters to me.

That said, perhaps I'm wise to reassess my daily routines to experience the best of life.  What about you?

Sunday, July 03, 2022


                          Happy 246th Birthday U.S.A. !

Celebrating our nation's Declaration of Independence 

                                     July 4, 1776

Yankee Doodle (1991 Remastered) 

The Robert Shaw Chorale -- Traditional Battle Cry of Freedom

Our nation's founding fathers subsequently wrote a constitution giving us a republic ... "if you can keep it" Thomas Jefferson said.

Threats from outside our country have been combatted  but perhaps none like the assault from within such as our current one involving our most recent ex-president.   We must be aware of what we are facing so that we can optimistically confront and overcome this threat to our freedom and independence.

Dangerous, frightening, challenging are only a few of the words I might use to describe these history-making years.  Efforts to convert our form of government to an autocracy appear to be that former president's undertaking.  He has proven his words cannot be trusted when he speaks of saving democracy, believing in law and order since his actions are just the opposite.  

His political party and most of their senators and house representatives appear to support him given their public stance.  Only a few of their number have had the courage to publicly oppose that ex-president.

Even our Supreme Court has made court rulings jeopardizing our system including some years ago when a ruling allowed contributions of what has become excessive amounts of corrupting funds to begin unduly influencing our political campaigns.  

Most recently a newer combination of SCOTUS judges appear to be making rulings based more on political ideology using warped constitutional interpretations.  

They have taken away a woman's right to control her own body's health with a ruling that may even threaten other individual rights.  Gun rights have been expanded endangering citizens even more.  The separation of church and state has been undermined which is most counter to our constitution.  Environmental health protections have been weakened with other adverse rulings possibly in the offing.

Election systems throughout our country are in danger of being corrupted by this ex-president and his supporters.  Their efforts to suppress voting continues in selected states to acquire power by any means, legal or otherwise persists.  Lies and false conspiracy theories continue to be spread by our ex-president and his supporters.

An attempt to prevent a peaceful transfer of Presidential power occurred in a seditious act January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol.  Currently, the U.S. House Committee on January 6th is conducting hearings on that insurrection to establish how it occurred and who was involved.  Our Attorney General's office will determine if the facts reveal accountability for what appears to have been a coup effort.

Much testimony suggests the ex-president demands individual allegiance to him over all else.  This is contrary to government officials' oath being first and foremost to the U.S. constitution.   Morality and ethical behavior appear to be mostly lacking in those previous administration officials.  Many refuse to testify under oath to the committee.

Given all these circumstances, my thoughts move along the full spectrum of positive to negative views then back again to our nation's future as events unfold.  I am determined to believe our nation's democratic republic grand experiment will overcome this threat from within to which we are being subjected.

Democracy is  fragile.   We the people have the power to keep this independence for which many died those many years ago and in subsequent years.  Our elections will be critical. 

I realize most if not all reading here likely recognize all that I've written.  I refuse to be discouraged and hope you will not be either.  This coming patriotic holiday simply arouses thoughts and feelings in me I feel compelled to express.   I am optimistic that truth and real justice will prevail however long is required.  

Happy Fourth of July to one and all ! 

Sunday, June 26, 2022


UPDATE:   United States Select House Committee on January 6th .......

                           Hearing Tuesday June 28th  1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT)

There are a couple new-to-me blogs of interest I've discovered which you may appreciate, too.  Coincidentally, both of these gentlemen bloggers live across the pond from the U.S.  Take a dip, you may enjoy reading them as much as I have.

The first blog that came to my attention is written by a man with an interesting blogosphere history I learned about in a recent comment in case you missed reading it.  Ian Bertram has started a new blog, "Ian's Jottings", featuring an intriguing variety of topics.  You can visit Ian's blog HERE

Ian's no stranger to the blogosphere since Ronni Bennett at "Time Goes By" (TGB) first introduced his "Panchromatica" blog years ago.   Some of what she wrote included:

"He's a serious man with passion for world peace and human rights, but he also has a wicked sense of the absurd as demonstrated by ...  this link I took from his site."

You can read what Ronni wrote May 4, 2004 HERE.  (note: some links there may no longer be active.)  She had been visiting Ian's site before starting her blog.  Ian had discovered Ronni's early blogging efforts and they both regularly posted photos on "fotolog".  

When Ronni concluded she needed to give up her beloved longtime Greenwich Village brownstone apartment on Bleecker Street making her first move to Portland, Maine, Ian responded to her request to be a TGB guest blogger during her moving days.   

I've visited the new blog, "Ian's Jottings", and suggest you read his  June 16th "welcome" post  to gain information about his other blogs, art site, intended "jottings".  Based on his writing I've read,  I look forward to a variety of appealing subjects including his memoir, music featuring talented artists and much more.  The alternate history topic such as "Dunkirk" is entertainingly thought provoking as is considering his unusual idea that is revealed in "Green Earth", given our world today.

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The second blog, "Tone Deaf",  I discovered later which I sought after reading Roderick Robinson's comment on Sabine's blog "Interim Arrangements".  When I visited Roderick's blog I learned he had written several books.  I was fascinated when I read what he wrote about in one of his books, Opening Bars:  "Everyone has a voice so why not sing -- but at eighty?"  That's right, he became a singer at the ripe age of 80 years.

Exploring some of Roderick's blog writings I discovered he dabbles a bit in political commentary occasionally enhanced with a bit of poetry, has had a lifelong interest in aviation, is adapting to some significant medical issues and most recently has explored writing about everyday happiness.   He asks a pertinent question about the life he's lived that we all might ask about our own life you can read HERE.

Roderick's humor emerges with a light-hearted touch in his writings to also blend into one blog discussion about bellybuttons.   Subsequently, there's a description of perfection and then there is the account of his being insulted.

His novels are enticing especially since I note one is set in Arizona.  His appealing self-assessment:  "In my novels all women are heroines."  Hm-m-m!

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Norah Jones with pianist Marian McPartland.  Tanglewood Jazz Festival 8/30/2003

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United States Select House Committee on January 6th -- more hearings in July

"Donald Trump and his supporters are a clear and present danger to democracy."  

      Preserve our constitutional capitalistic democratic republic when you vote.

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SCOTUS recent warped political interpretations of our constitution defy common sense with serious ramifications:

Separation of church and state is now compromised based on a recent case ruling.

Regulations in numerous states to restrict gun proliferation have been invalidated per a ruling.

Women's rights retracted including making decisions affecting the health of her own body.                             (Women no longer equal with men who are permitted to  make health decisions about their body.)