Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Hungry Are Not The Enemy, Hunger Is

or so the activists say on TV. But for me now, hunger isn't the enemy, it's barely even a memory. One of my readers told me not to say that the turkey was stuffed, and now I am. But, ha, ha, we had corned beef. We did that once many years ago. My sister came up from Seattle, and when she went back to work, she told them about the corned beef. Her co-worker said, "You Jews can't do anything right."
I have been off my diet for a few days. Saturday was my anniversary, well, Karen's too, and we went to a movie. Oddly, on a day that celebrates two becoming one, I got my own popcorn, because, as I explained to Karen, I don't like to share.
Today is Thanksgiving, and of course, we all have a lot to be grateful for. Fox News must be pleased that the day after a Republican report completely disproved all of the deranged accusations they'd been making about Benghazi, thirty thousand of Lois Lerner's emails were discovered. "Will there be any smoking guns?", the interviewer asked about the unread emails. "I'm sure there will be," the guest  who hadn't read them, said. Of course, when it comes to smoking guns, Fox has been positively ecstatic about Ferguson.
In other, better, news, The Earth Girls were featured in the Alaska Dispatch Holiday Gift Guide:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If Only The House Republicans Had Some Way They Could Reform Our Immigration System

In church last week, the pastor read the story of the battle of Jericho. I know you shouldn't pick and choose among truths, but, probably because of my own personal history and pathology, I don't like stories about walls tumbling down.
At work, the word has gotten out that I'm planning to retire, possibly because every morning I tell them, "Ha, ha, just five more weeks till I leave you losers behind forever." I've never been more popular, although it's the kind of popularity that a dead raccoon by the side of the road has among crow connoisseurs. Like they say in church, "Where the body is, there the vultures will gather."
All the carriers are coming by to look at my route with a view to bidding on it. The underlying, unflattering subtext is, "If that old man can handle it, how hard can it be?" 
Political watch: It's been 517 days since the Senate passed bipartisan immigration reform and John Boehner said that the House would take up a bill of its own. They haven't, but now they're so insulted by the President's actions that they can't be expected to pass a bill about anything, not even a bill to implement their own ideas to reform immigration. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Scary Messages Are Coming From Inside The House

I heard an interview with an Idaho Republican Congressman today. Representative Labrador is willing to leave the country without an Attorney General, stop hearings on judicial appointments, even threaten another government shut down in response to the President's action on immigration. Apparently, the one thing House Republicans aren't willing to do, and haven't been willing to do for the last year and a half is take up the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013.
I can't even...
but only because that's an example of aposiopesis from Chapter Seven in the eloquence book.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I Sing The Body Electric

I went back to the doctor a few days ago to find out what the MRI I'd had revealed.  The doctor asked, "If the pain starts in your neck, why didn't you have a cervical MRI?"  So, on Tuesday I went and had another MRI. It went okay, as far as I know; I fell asleep. Earlier that  day, though, I had an EMG. That's a procedure that involves a needle and electricity and is slightly painful. That part wasn't so bad, but it also involved a cattle prod-like device that caused a sort of twitching. It really felt like hiccups, but grand mal hiccups. Monday I go back to the doctor to find out what that was all about.
As you know, I try to give my customers a boutique experience. I try to anticipate their needs even before they do. So yesterday, I gave one of my customers her mail, and then before she even thought to ask, I also gave her my take on the elections. I told her that going forward, she should read my blog to know how to vote. She was gracious, but she said that she didn't read blogs. Apparently when it comes to gazing at navels, she'd rather gaze at her own. Well, okay Kristin, read it or be in it. She's a professor, a job I could never do. I mean I could talk, I just don't listen to myself that closely, I've usually already heard what I'm saying.  If a student came up after a lecture and said they didn't understand what I was saying about gremlins, I'd be I'm not sure either, was I talking about the car, or the imaginary creature?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Bullys For Billionaires

I got an e-mail from the President today. He said I shouldn't be cynical because of the election results; that cynicism is easy, but doesn't lead anywhere. It is easy, though, especially when you hear John Boehner talking in that voice that sounds like an orange hot air balloon looks.
A hot air balloon that is gloating, "I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Of course, that works sometimes. The Wizard had a pretty good run after his balloon took him to Oz, but ultimately, someone always pulls the curtain back, revealing, in this case, a big man with small ideas. 
Of course, there is a case to be made for optimism, too. Only Nixon could go to China. Maybe McConnell can go to the White House and find a way to work together with the President. Probably not, though. He's spent the last six years blocking any progress in the Senate, and even though it's contributed mightily to gridlock and made America despise the very government they elected,  it's made him Majority Leader. Plus, I could be all optimistic, but according to Clive Thompson writing in Wired, cynicism online makes people look smart. I don't want to brag, but knowing that Don Young is our congressman, makes me feel simultaneously depressed and like a genius

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I'm Not Saying The Republicans Are Like Slaveowners. I'm Saying The Electorate Is Like Antebellum "Poor Whites"

White and off white, rich and poor, ignorant and educated, that patchwork that is America (or the third of it that voted) came together like the generation that made the world safe for democracy and made democracy safe for billionaires. The last time there were this many Republicans in the House of Representatives was during the Great Depression. Coincidence? I doubt it.
There is nothing new. Mark Twain* said (and it really was Mark Twain, not just me saying Mark Twain because he probably said it since he said so many things) that people tend to vote against their own best interests. In Alaska, as around the country, several ballot measures, including an increase to the minimum wage, passed, but candidates that opposed the measures were elected.
When I was young, one of my friends used to drive by a house where a German Shepard would rush out and chase his car. One day, the dog made a super-canine effort and managed to bite the tire of the car as it went by. The wheel kept rolling, of course, and the dog's teeth were pulled out. Now that they've caught the government, let's see what happens.

*<...the "poor whites" of our South who were always despised, and frequently insulted, by the slave lords around them, and who owed their base condition simply to the presence of slavery in their midst, were yet pusillanimously ready to side with the slave lords in all political moves for the upholding and perpetuating of slavery, and did also finally shoulder their muskets and pour out their lives in an effort to prevent the destruction of that very institution which degraded them.~A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Speaking Of Getting Old

To update a recent post, the MRI was for a pain in my neck, shoulder, back and arm. By the time of the MRI, the pain, which really has been intermittent for years, was gone again, but this time it left a numbness and tingling in my wrist and fingers. Wednesday I go to the doctor to find out what it all means.
The only thing that was even slightly abnormal on the MRI was a bulging disk, so I assume that's the problem with the numbness and tingling. I don't really want them operating on my neck, but maybe traction, or PT, or ignoring it will work. 
My leg only hurts now when I walk, and not always then, either. So, basically, I'm getting old. Which as they say, beats the alternative. Until, I guess, it doesn't.
Oh, and speaking of alternatives, even though I think we can all agree after this brutal election campaign that we don't want anybody to win, we definitely want some of these people to lose. So, if you haven't already, get out and vote. It might even make a difference.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Campaigning is Not Governing. It's The Antithesis. So, At Least There's That

I may be dating myself (and it's none of your business who I date) but I seem to remember a time when people ran for elected office, and then the campaign ended; the winners governed and the losers got jobs.

Now, it's endless elections, endless wars, endless buffets and nothing new under the sun. Solomon said there is "a time to be silent and a time to speak," but no one ever seems to just shut up and do something. We used to have movers and shakers, now we have mavens and doyens, pundits and panjandrums, but nothing ever gets done. 
Also, hey you kids get off my lawn.