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?