Sunday, October 25, 2020

Navigating Life

 My family always depended on me to navigate during long car trips. I was the map reader. (once, when it was my turn to drive, husband navigated me across a river into a different state/ NOT where we intended to go) Even without a map, I seem to have a 'navigation bump.' I'm thinking it began when I was 8 and climbing mountains on my own with just a lunch bag. Mom taught me to take direction from the sun, to stop and eat the lunch when the sun was right above me (usually on a rock in a meadow surrounded by sheep), and then head back home, reaching home before 5 pm. 

I also use landmarks. Don't tell me to turn on such and such a street. Tell me to turn right at the church, then left on the street behind the church. Telling me your address is fine, but telling me that it's the fifth house on the right is better.

I almost always can tell if I'm going north or west. But why I kept turning east to get to the beach after I moved to the Pacific coast confused me, until I realized that my mind KNEW that the beach was to the east (in Maryland). :) (news note - the beach is to the west of us here on the Pacific coast. :) )

I feel like I'm going uphill when I go North. And I always feel like I'm going downhill when going South. Do you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Halloween candy


 They used to sell bags that had only one type of candy in it.  

This year I wanted to buy a bag of Butterfingers, which I used to be able to get, and all I see at stores are bags of LOOK HERE WE HAVE SAMPLES OF 4 to 8 DIFFERENT CANDIES. Don't want that -- too much in them that I don't want to eat.   Besides, the kids on my circle are growing up and either don't trick or treat any more, or else they take everything in the bucket out front that I set out for the kids, leaving nothing for other kids.  

I bet nobody comes this year which is why I only want to put out candy that I like to eat.  

Monday, October 5, 2020

Stranger in the house

Something black on my living room wood floor.  

Spider? No. Too fat/ too long. Look closer -- it's a baby lizard. Hmmm, inside my house is no place for him. No food.  

So I topped him with a plastic cup, slid a stiff sheet of plastic under the cup, took him outside, and tossed him into the grass. He'll do better there. So many baby lizards around right now. It's a population boom.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Heather Cox Richardson summarizes the presidential debate:

Heather Cox Richardson   ----- September 29, 2020  (Tuesday) 
 My house is blissfully quiet, but my ears are still ringing. 
 The first presidential debate of 2020 was unlike anything we have seen before. CNN’s Jake Tapper said: "That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck." "He was his own tweets come to life." “We’ll talk about who won the debate, who lost the debate ... One thing for sure, the American people lost.” 
Conservative pundit William Kristol called it “a spectacle… an embarrassment… a disgrace… because of the behavior of one man, Donald Trump. The interrupting and the bullying, the absence of both decency and dignity—those were Donald Trump’s distinctive contributions to the evening, and they gave the affair the rare and sickening character of a national humiliation.” 
 Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? 
 In a normal presidential debate, both candidates try to explain their policy proposals, jab at their opponent, and convince undecided voters to move in their direction. If this had been a normal presidential debate, its weight would have fallen on Trump, who is significantly behind Biden, to win voters. Biden’s goal would simply have been not to lose anyone. 
 If we were calling this like a normal presidential debate, Trump lost. He did not move the needle in his direction. Biden won; he did not lose anyone. But this was not a normal presidential debate. Trump long ago gave up the pretense that he wanted to win a majority of voters. For months now, he has made no effort to reach outside of his base. Instead he has focused on solidifying and radicalizing it. As his trade war with China and the coronavirus has weakened his support, he has given massive grants to farmers, promised checks to 33 million elderly to help pay for prescriptions, splashed transportation grants around, and recently even offered grants to lobstermen who have lost business because of the trade war.
 Trump set out tonight not to convince undecided voters to support him, but rather to harden his supporters and encourage them to disrupt the election so he can contest the results until the solution goes to the Supreme Court where he hopes a majority will rule in his favor. 
He laid it all out tonight. His performance was no accident. He came out determined to dominate the debate in much the same way as Fox News Channel personalities or talk radio hosts dominate their shows. He interrupted, argued, lied, and generally sucked the oxygen out of the room. He cheated, refusing to follow the rules that he had agreed to, thus demonstrating that he would not be bound by the rules everyone else had to live by. He bullied moderator Chris Wallace of the Fox News Channel into repeatedly appeasing him by saying, for example, “Mr. President you’re going to be very happy, because we’re going to talk about law and order,” and “Let me ask — sir, you’ll be happy, I’m about to pick up on one of your points to ask the vice president.” Trump was attempting to demonstrate his dominance. 
 He went on to echo the grievances and lies that his supporters have come to believe. Ignoring the more than 200,000 Americans dead of Covid-19, he insisted he was the victim of Democrats' lies about the disease. When Wallace tried to rein him in, he attacked him for being unfair, although Wallace never once fact-checked Trump’s lies. If Trump had a strategy at all that involved voters, it was to try to keep them from backing Biden. Trump kept yelling at him about “Law & Order,” as he likes to tweet, and kept trying to drive a wedge between Biden and the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party, finally saying to him: “You just lost the left.” 
 Trump tipped his hand, though, when Wallace asked: "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?” Trump demanded names of such groups, and Wallace named, among others, the Proud Boys, the hate group that helped to organize the riot in Charlottesville, Virginia. After hedging, Trump finally answered: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left." 
"That's my president," the head of the Proud Boys posted on the social media chair that will still host them. Within an hour the group had new shoulder patches designed with the words “Stand Back and Stand By.” 
 Trump called for his supporters to act as poll watchers to prevent a fraudulent vote. He is losing badly in Pennsylvania, a state he needs, and tonight he lied that Philadelphia election officials refused to permit his poll watchers to observe voting. “Bad things happen in Philadelphia,” he said, “bad things.” The truth is that seven satellite offices where voters can register and apply to vote, complete, and drop off mail in ballots opened in Philadelphia. Poll watchers are not allowed because there is no polling taking place. Trump’s calls for poll watchers are pretty clearly calls for voter intimidation. 
 Tonight, again, Trump refused to commit to accepting a Biden victory, saying that he could not agree to fraudulent results. He suggested the election could take months to solve, and that he “definitely” wants the Supreme Court, including his new nominee Amy Coney Barrett, to “look at the ballots.” (Democrats have said Barrett should recuse herself from any election-related cases; Republicans say that is “absurd.”) 
 It was a performance designed to show a strong man who is calling out his armed supporters to enable him to seize an election he cannot win freely. But Trump performed as he did because it’s all he’s got. He has no policies, no platform, no plans that he can sell to the American people, and no attention span either to govern or to explain how he wants to govern. So his only option is to dominate. Even he knows that ploy is a desperate one. Tonight’s tell was actually in his dominance play itself: overt bullying like he displayed tonight is actually a sign of weakness and abuse, not of true power. 
 The bar for Biden going into this debate was low: since he is so far ahead, he simply needed not to lose votes. But he did well. First of all, he managed to retain his train of thought, which was no easy thing with Trump interrupting and lying and yelling, clearly trying to derail him and, at the very least, bring out his stutter. He put to rest Trump’s insistence that he is failing mentally. 
 Despite Trump, Biden also managed to explain some of his policies, too, as well as pointing out that more than 200,000 Americans have died on Trump’s watch, and that he has done the economy no favors. Under Trump, he said, America has become “weaker, sicker, poorer, more divided and more violent.” But Biden’s strongest moments were ones Trump teed up. When Biden defended our troops from Trump’s “losers” and “suckers” comments, citing his son, Beau, who died of cancer after his service in Iraq, Trump missed the opportunity to acknowledge Biden’s loss, and instead repeatedly attacked Biden’s son Hunter, who struggled with substance abuse. Trump insisted—incorrectly—that Hunter was dishonorably discharged from the Navy (in fact, he was administratively discharged), and tried to smear him. Biden looked directly at Trump to say that Hunter had a drug addiction he is managing, and Biden is proud of him. While Biden spoke as a father defending his son, his message will resonate with the 20 million Americans who are battling addiction. 
 Most important, though, Biden made the debate about the country and the American people, not about Trump. While Trump listed his own grievances, Biden spoke to the camera, asking Americans what they needed, what they think. He promised that we can accomplish anything if only we work together. 
He urged people to ignore the chaos and vote. “Vote whatever way is the best way for you,” he said. “Because he will not be able to stop you from determining the outcome of this election.” 
 Biden also refused to be scared off by Trump’s threats not to honor the election results. He brushed them off, saying “I will accept it, and he will, too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared once all the ballots are counted, that’ll be the end of it.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Things kids used to do by themselves

 Things I did as a kid that kids probably don't do now because they might be dangerous:  

Riding a bike without a helmet and riding for miles. Drinking from the hose. Going sledding down a steep hill that ended onto a busy street. Was tricky to stop in time, but we managed it. Walking home from a friends alone at late at night. Staying outside until dark, playing with the neighborhood kids. Climbing a mountain just outside of town by myself. Mom gave me a paper bag lunch, told me to eat it when the sun was directly overhead and then immediately come back home. I never made it to the top of that mountain, but I met a lot of sheep and picked lots of buttercups to take home to share with my brother and sisters to see if they liked butter. Visiting Farmer Brown's barn when the baby lambs were born and getting to pick them up and hug them. Walking on Railroad tracks to the river and back. (there was only one train using the track and it ran at 5 pm.) Putting pennies on the track so the train would flatten them.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Dear Red States

Found this on Facebook and found it to be funny, but leaning toward truth:

 DEAR RED STATES; WE'RE LEAVING.

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.
In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast.
We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country that includes Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Washington D.C.
We also get the vast majority of the major shipping ports. So good luck with getting goods in or out of the country affordably.
We also get Costco, Starbucks and Boeing. You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.
We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Branson, Missouri.
We get Intel, Apple and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Mississippi.
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue; you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happier, intact families.
Please be aware that California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home.
With the Blue States unified, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at your state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools -- Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the Penn, Princeton, and Yale; and Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Smith, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, Barnard, and Radcliffe colleges; plus UCLA, UCB, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.
With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and Rand Paul.
We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
Additionally, 62 percent of you believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties. (See that part about divorces. ...)
Oh, and you can have all the new COVID-19 cases since you're too dumb and self-centered to wear masks.
Peace out.
We are the people of the
Blue States
*Cut and pasted.
Copied from a friend, who copied from a friend, who copied from...etc! 
Original author unknown!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Drive in restaurants in the 1950s

 Remember when you could sit in your car and order food and they'd bring it out to the car and attach that tray to your side window?  (There was even a place where the waitress were on roller skates)  Well A& W was one of those places. 

My sister and I used to exercise horses and there was an A&W nearby. So we rode over to get root beer floats. For some reason they didn't want to deliver to us on horseback. They made us hitch the horses to the side of the building and walk to the ordering window.