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.

                      <                                          ^                                        >

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!

                              <                                        ^                                         >


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

                                <                                       ^                                           >

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.

                                 <                                         ^                                         >

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.)  

Sunday, June 19, 2022


FATHER'S DAY I celebrate in tribute to my son, to my husband's memory, and to all those fathers who are uniquely special in the lives of their family. 

SMILE -- Steven Tyler sings to his father; Chris Botti on trumpet, for your viewing at this link: 

That emotionally moving singular performance was originally slated to be embedded here but then became unavailable for use in that manner.)

                             ^                  ^                   ^


I'm not much in the mood for writing since I've learned what I really didn't want to know when I finally mustered the courage to conduct an internet search of a friend's name.  The closest of my undergraduate college friends with whom we've kept in contact with each other all these years has died.  

Jean has been writing she wanted to talk with me but preferred to call, so I waited for her to write a message advising that she was feeling up to talking and when she would phone.   Her last email message to me included her saying she felt "like a slug."  Now, I've discovered that two weeks later she died.

In the days before the internet, I might never have known about the death of some friends since family doesn't always make contact to convey that information.  Most close friends long term have lived many miles distant from me for most of our years during our adult lives.  Seldom, if ever, did we even see each other and in most instances hadn't even met each other's now adult children.  

This close adult life-long friend, Jean, is the third in the past decade I've learned has died but only after I finally searched their name on the internet.   I was hesitant about checking for the second person a few years later after that first loss experience.  Though a letter and phone calls had elicited no response, I delayed further internet checking before finally searching only to once more find the result that I didn't want.  

So, on this third occasion I finally acquired the courage to search a name once again on the internet.  The screen instantly appeared and there Jean was, smiling directly at me, her face and name next to a column titled "Obituary".

I'm so glad I took a side trip stop-over to visit her and her husband as she urged I do on my flight home from visiting with my family several years ago.  I wish now I had stayed longer.  We could have enjoyed so much more time together.  Now, there are only the memories.  So much I could write, but as I said in the beginning, right now I just can't bring myself to immerse deeper into sorrow's moody pool.   I will miss her!

In the decade before this current one when my friends' deaths began becoming more prevalent, some adult children never contacted me then, either, about their parent's death.   One did, but not until a daughter wrote a year later, and another when a son wrote several months later.  

One husband phoned me across the continent quite soon after his wife's death, then broke down on the phone and it was all I could do to emotionally keep it together as I felt I must for him.  Days later the adult daughter called and after determinedly thinking I must keep my emotions under control for her, I could not.

I don't know why with other friends who died I never heard from family, especially in one specific instance.  But  I can appreciate simple contact delays as I guess there's really no longer any rush for any reason.  

I know from my own experience there can be complications after a loved one dies, plus family members personal lives may have extra-demands, too.  There's usually a rush of attention, followed by diminishing concern at some future point in time directed at the deceased's immediate family.   Then that all ends and the remaining significant family member is truly alone.  

All the grieving, adapting, coping can be overwhelming, giving way to the never-ending sense of loss for family and some friends.   On reflection,  after my husband's unexpected sudden death, I have been aware of not handling some matters in the manner which I intended or did so only part-way from what I expected to do.  

Age differences between friends seem to matter little, especially since I've been older.  I often think of one older-than-me long gone friend who wrote me once, "There are no friends like old friends."   New friends, not always easily acquired when we're older, but who can become dear, rarely have the depth the history of time with shared life experiences and changes provides.  

I note also, when an older friend dies there can be a different way of thinking about losing them than when a younger-than-me person departs.  The older person is often said to have had a long life versus the younger one said to have died too young.  When someone my same age dies, as was Jean, the loss resonates in a uniquely personal identification way.  

I've written here before that I've found one of the most difficult aspects of ageing is the longer I live the more friends and family die before me, the fewer who remain living.  My old friends and family once quite expansive in number are now down to less than I can count on one hand for the former, two hands for the latter.  Memories can be cherished though they're not as rich as future personal interactions.   No matter how many of those for whom I care deeply depart this earth, incorporating their loss into my life never becomes easier.

                                ^. ^. ^                           ^. ^. ^                            ^. ^. ^

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

   Judge Luttig quote from the third House Hearing held on June 16, 2022.

United States Select House Committee on January 6th next Hearings:
--Tuesday,   June 21:   l p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT)  
--Thursday, June 23:  3 p.m. ET (Noon PT)  
One more Hearing to be scheduled.

Judge J. Michael Luttig PBS "Frontline Interview" May 25, 2022 "filmed for a forthcoming documentary looking at challenges to American democracy"  HERE.

Sunday, June 12, 2022


Planning how I can landscape my front yard to adapt to the mandated water allocations outdoor watering restrictions due to our SoCal drought (described in my previous post) occupies my thoughts.   Other matters do not go unnoticed.  

Gasoline price regularly -- every night -- goes up overnight here in SoCal -- anywhere from 1 cent to 5 cents a gallon.  We're well over $6 a gallon and going up every day.  Is gasoline going up in price like this where you live?

Toilet Paper -- I've noticed for some time when I put the new tissue roll on my holder how it seems to slide back and forth further and further.  I took a closer look the other day, pushing the new tissue roll clear to one side.  There was a whole inch of open space on the opposite side.  I remember when I used to put a new tissue roll on the roller and the tissue filled the whole roller side to side.  So, the tissue rolls are skinnier now then they used to be for ..... I don't know how long that's been the case.  The tissue is diminishing in size., I guess.    Is each perforated tissue section still a square or a rectangle, instead of being the square now, too -- I didn't check that tissue width dimension --- are there also fewer sections?

Apparently, a lot of products are getting smaller in various ways to allow for the producer's increased costs as a way to avoid raising the item's price to consumers.  Is it greedy profiteering or should we be pleased, given inflation's impact, that they're trying to keep customer's costs down with this adjustment?

Have you noticed changes in sizes, quantities of any products you use, and what about the cost of that gasoline.....?                                                                         *                            *                                *

The United States has been hosting the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles with a theme "Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future" for our hemisphere.  The summit brings together the heads of government for North America, Central AmericaSouth America and the Caribbean.

We certainly could benefit from positive relationships with all our neighbors including Canada on this continent.  Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua were not invited.  This met with disapproval by some other nation's leaders including Mexico's President who did not attend in protest though an official representative was present.   Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and several other nations were also absent.

Some Summit achievements:  in "...the Los Angeles Declaration a nonbinding migration blueprint established legal pathways to enter the countries and set new parameters around aid".  Politico also reports: "The Biden administration has committed to a three-fold increase in resettling 20,000 refugees from the Americas over the next year.  Other pacts revolved around addressing climate change and driving clean energy, advancing food security, mobilizing new investments in the region and incentivizing increased trade, though they lacked major funding and many specifics."

I hope we're able to create a feeling of goodwill with all and Latin American countries strive to make their homeland more invitingly livable for their citizens.  Most would like to stay home and not trek to our borders seeking to immigrate.  Usually those with autocratic forms of government/dictators typically don't place a priority on what their citizens need.  Surely not a form of government we would want in the U.S.    *                     *                      *

Our U.S. citizens need to consider how much survival of our democratic republic depends on our voting to elect to office only those candidates (including judges) dedicated to supporting our form of government.  Our primary election completed recently with only 20% or less voting in our state -- such an important time to weed out unsuitable candidates before a November general election to keep in mind before next time.          *                     *                     *          

Mass shootings continue, I see reported in the news.....  like most of you, I'm impatiently awaiting our legislators to take some action on gun control.  Weapons intended for warfare, as so many mass shooters and others have used seem unlikely to be banned.  I suppose it's necessary for those who want to keep those AK-47s and others readily and easily available for purchase here in the U.S. -- especially for all those eager to engage in seditious activities to overthrow our government, rid us of our oppressive democratic republic so we can enjoy the freedoms of one-person authoritarian dictatorship rule -- she said sarcastically.

I'm sure that would be much better as I look around the world at Putin in Russia, leadership in China, and North Korea.  Or maybe we could have a mix with theocratic leadership like Iran.  Doubtless a touch of return to days of yore like the Taliban offers Afghans would be very foreword thinking, but our Supreme Court may already be working to make that a reality. 

SCOTUS seems to think interpretations of our constitution must not adapt to changes in the world in the centuries since our founders established our nation.  Never mind that the vast majority of American citizens believe otherwise, and I'll bet our forefathers who wrote that constitution would agree.

Mentioning sedition as I was earlier, reminds me of the televised House Committee Hearing I viewed this past week investigating the January 6th U.S. Capitol event.  

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. presented this timeline of events leading to the attack on the Capitol in the first hearing June 9th.

Our local Claremont Courier newspaper features a front-page photo taken by freelance photojournalist Amanda Andrade-Rhoades who grew up here, later returned to intern at the Courier.  She covered the January 6th event for the Washington Post where she lives now.  She was included with their staff to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage.  (I think the Post must have her Jan. 6th photos as I only saw one on her internet web site; none will be available to appear in this post.)

"Eye of the Storm" photos, and the Courier's Andrew Alonzo's interview with Amanda describing her first-hand experience in the midst all day long of the insurrection notes what every community resident might wisely consider based on what she saw:

"What gets me is that the people who were there, they are not backwater hicks.  They are your neighbors. ... I think it is a big mistake to think our neighbors are incapable of being extremists ... and incapable of attempting to perform a coup at the U.S. Capitol."

(This interview with photos may be available on the Courier website after their June 10th issue is archived should you want to read the entire content.)

Not everyone recognizes the seriousness of what occurred January 6th, if they even paid attention to the events.  One very sensitive sportsperson referred to that Jan. 6th atrocity as a "dustup at the Capitol"  He later apologized, but subsequently was fired from his defensive football coaching job in D.C.  

I remember viewing the actual January real time live TV news coverage of the events and being absolutely horrified at the violence.  (Be forewarned a little more personal sarcasm to follow.)

The worrisome days that followed my seeing those protesting people -- what a relief when I learned they were just vacationers visiting Washington and government offices, very friendly people, who I guess just got a little exuberant in their actions.  "The love I've seen, I've never seen anything like it." our ex-President said.  I could see how those people might have been filled with the spirit of love.  

Sometimes, I guess some people just get so excited when visiting government buildings they like/love, that they have so much energy coursing through their body that they break windows, kick in doors, attack law enforcement officers, are motivated to want to lynch a government leader and shout obscenities.  Doesn't everybody?

Viewing that hearing last week really mind-jolted me back to reality.  They showed so much film coverage that demonstrated to me that what I originally thought I had seen January 6th, I really did see.  Those people weren't being friendly.  They were physically hurting people, some even died.  How could I have doubted what my own eyes had seen and how I perceived what I saw?

How could our former President have misunderstood what happened January 6th?  He was there in the beginning and talked to those people.  Didn't he tell them to go to the Capitol, using words intimating he was going to walk there with them?  Why didn't he go?  Instead, he went to the White House, watching on TV what transpired.  Did he really believe they were all just friendly tourists?   

I'm really concerned that if that's how he interpreted what he saw he either has vision and hearing problems, or he must have slipped a brain cog.  The only other explanation I can think of is that he was lying about what those people were doing.  Surely, our former President wouldn't lie about something like that, would he?

That question prompted me to see what the internet might show about this "lying" business.  I was overwhelmed with so many links documenting the ex-President's lying -- incredibly, over 30,000 lies that the ex-President has been telling from when he assumed office, continuing even after his term expired and now.  Wow!   How could anyone want to be associated with him, much less defend his actions?  This is just all too much to think about presently.

Oh, one other matter ..... Curiously, Rupert Murdoch's Fox TV was the only network that didn't broadcast that hearing.  In fact, Fox didn't even interrupt with commercials for a couple hours or so whatever programming they broadcast.  I guess that's not all too surprising that Fox wouldn't want viewers tempted to be exposed to reality and facts when we consider the problems Fox  News Department/network has had from time to time with reporting accuracy.  

I keep remembering the sight on TV of our ex-President soon after his election meeting in Scotland with Murdoch.  I would think those who profess to be advocates of freedom, individual liberties, and proponents of real truth would have no qualms about their viewers seeing these hearings.  

There are more hearings to come.  The next one, the only one televised in non-prime time, on Monday, June 13th at 10 a.m. ET (that will be 7 a.m. PT where I live).  Check the broadcast time where you live.  You may read the coming hearings schedule with expected content and where you may view them on television or the internet HERE.

Sunday, June 05, 2022


May Gray ... June Gloom ... but no rain.

SPIRIT FLEDGED.....  the Bald Eaglet flew early the morning of May 31st in a video you can view on my previous blog post in case you missed the update.  She continues to return to the nest periodically but will gradually hone more skills, then ultimately fly away to live independently.  


Our persistent drought caused by little rain and meagre mountain snowfall resulting in water reserves depletion has necessitated restricted water use regulations in California.  SoCal where I live the restriction specifics vary from county to county, city to city.  Los Angeles, for example, has a different water company than my city so large swaths there are restricted to watering 2 days a week while further inland we are allowed to water only 1 day a week.

I'm sharing what mandatory water conservation and rationing presently looks like, at least in my city, with details for any who might be interested.  Possibly in years to come water shortages will affect more communities in other states, countries, besides those already affected.  So, you may consider what some of you might experience in the future.  

Our lakes, reservoirs, even mighty rivers like the Colorado feeding southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico have had declining reserves these past several years.  Read how our southern border neighbor Mexico challenged also is coping in this azcentral article HERE.

The U.S. share of the Colorado river waters is divided among four upper basin states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico) and three lower basin states (Arizona, Nevada, and California).

The past year, 2021, California had to institute a Stage 1 voluntary 15% water reduction that regrettably wasn't met in too many communities.  My property was allocated to use 2 to 4 gallons less water monthly than I used the previous year.  I haven't reviewed every month's record but think I readily met my allocation, even using less water.

June 1st this year, 2022, our water company conservation plan had to move us into a mandatory Stage 2.   

(I can't help wondering if all those individuals so opposed to government prescribed "mandatory" actions i.e., wearing a mask, getting vaccinated will refuse to cooperate for the good of the community on water conservation, too?)

Here's a summary provided on the City of Claremont's web site:

 Level 2 Water Supply Shortage In Effect

New Outdoor Watering Restrictions Starting June 1, 2022

Days of the week table

Water restrictions table

The next stage -- Stage 3 -- "mandatory" no watering outdoors.  I hope this stage not needed.   

[Water use is most commonly discussed in CCF (centum cubic feet) and gallons].       

 .     .     .Water usage -- 1 CCF  =  748 gallons.

My allocation varies each month.  (20% of my 2020 water usage.)                               

(The result is I am allocated 2 to 4 gallons less in all but one month I've determined.)  

        For example:  I'm allocated 17 CCF for June.                                                                                    (Rest of the year will be between 17-19, one mo. 20 CCF)

          April shows I used 6 CCF; previous month 11 CCF; April prior year 17 CCF.

          My current bill dated 5/23 (only 29 days) shows: I used 11 CCF well under my allocation.

[The yearly differences probably are due to the amount of rain we received allowing me to turn sprinklers off for a day, a week, or however long, or decrease the time water sprinkles in each of my 3 zones in front yard and 3 zones in back yard.  (The 4th zone to my parkway in the front yard I turned off several years ago).  Rain, temperature, and other factors affect how much water is used which is quite variable from year to year.]

There is a $2.50 emergency surcharge per CCF assessment if a customer uses more than their water allocation.

Repetitive water usage above allocation, then ignoring notices to cease will result in expensive installation of devices to decrease water emitted in addition to more expensive dollar fines.

No customers are being asked to reduce their water usage below 8 CCF per month.  Based on an average four-person household, the 8 CCF minimum accounts for daily indoor usage of 50 gallons per person.

[Interestingly, when I researched average at-home water usage I found a wide variation in the estimated gallons used from 60 gallons per person according to Water Footprint Calculator.  The U.S.Geological Survey reports 80-100 gallons average per person.

The Environmental Protection Agency 75 gallons per person based on average family use of 300 gallons per month.  Obviously, individuals' habits determine actual usage.]

Consult the EPA site for much more specific estimates on actual water usage in gallons for various functions, for example like the one item using the most water in households, the toilet -- using 3-4 gallons per flush with older toilets; 1-2 gallons per flush with newer toilets.   

There are indoor water conservation measures encouraged I've followed for many years with my washing machine, dish washer.  We're urged to operate them only when we have full loads which I always did anyway.  

Electric energy savings have been encouraged for some time here in So Cal.  We are urged to not use our electric appliances between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.   Now, we integrate our water mandates with our voluntary energy conservation measures.  

Fortunately, what could be considered conservation measurers have been common sense behaviors becoming second nature from childhood for me.  They simply continued being almost automatic throughout my adulthood.  Not much was ever wasted, including electricity and water, though I've never had water formally rationed like this before. 

The EPA link features an interesting pie chart of water usage items, also simple instructions for how to determine how much water you use.  

If you receive a water bill, it will provide a monthly CCF total.  Follow the example provided in the EPA link to determine your water usage.

I haven't yet figured out how to water special areas more than once a week since my gardeners who typically cut the grass only come once a week and likely won't need to mow grass that often.  Unfortunately, I'm currently not able to hand water myself and no teens in the area I could hire.  I need to obtain some of the special adapters described.  I had a hose shut off nozzle purchased some years ago but it seems to have grown legs and walked away.  I have a short soaker hose for one tree.  The longer one I had for years disintegrated.   As  you can see I'm not well-prepared for this so have to make time to figure it all out.  

I'm not really interested in incurring the expense of installing a drip irrigation system so I'll have to see what I can conjure.   

I'm concerned about various hedges, bushes, and several trees in my yard.  I hope my one remaining Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow bush I rooted that had grown so wonderfully survives.  The lovely petite white and lavender bloom was spectacular this spring.  I fully intended to photograph the scene beginning years earlier for permanent embedding on my blog given the connection which prompted my blog's name but obviously I've not done so.

Two young city trees in the parkway I'm responsible for watering but I capped the sprinklers to that area several years ago before the city even planted them.  The city did recently announce they will be surveying our city trees and provide extra water for any they deem in need.  "City of Trees" is our town's awarded designation based on the many quite lovely and majestic trees around town.

I'm prepared my grass will likely die.   Unfortunately, I'm no longer able to perform yard work to gradually transition my landscaping.  Years earlier long before any yards in our area had converted their grassy areas I had obtained a landscaping proposal I rejected since the whole approach which also contributed to excessive cost was not what I wanted.  I'll see when fall arrives what growth has survived and consider what is needed.

The climate changes affecting water availability we are experiencing vary within our country and around the world.  Drought, warmer temperatures, vulnerability for forest fires once mostly occurring only a few months a year are now a year 'round concern primarily here and in our western U.S. states.   Other areas of our country's residents do not experience water limitations and, in fact, have an over-abundance with flooding, more fierce storms.  Other countries experience this, too.

What sort of climate changes, if any, have you noticed where you live?  

Has your community had to make any adjustments, or have you had to make any personal adaptations?