Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A market broke out in the parking lot at Fire Island bakery in our neighborhood. There was birch ice cream made with local birch syrup, foraged and grown mushrooms (and a mushroom powder that we bought) live music with a backup dancing dog, and of course, Fire Island Bakery. It closes in 4 minutes, but it will be there every Wednesday from 3-7. See you there?
It finally got above 60 and simultaneously I finally fit into the shorts I bought this spring. We walked to the market and I was slightly overheated by the time we got home. I suppose the takeaway here is that we're going to Iowa in July to melt like a cake someone left out in the MacArthur Park steam bath.
And then there were some photos over on Facebook.

Too obsequious?

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I know there are reasonable and principled individual legislators like Les Gara, but it's crazy to think that a group that can't pass a budget could muster the courage and collegiality to do this, but maybe citizens could? How do we bring ranked choice voting to Alaska?
 Standard disclaimer; I'm too shy and disorganized to do this, or to start a Represent.us chapter in Alaska which this state desperately needs. That's why I'm asking YOU, Facebook friend, to take charge of this.
http://www.fairvote.org

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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I just wrote my Senators again: I just deleted a list of GOP policies that have galled, embarrassed, infuriated or just seemed wrong to me. It was a long list, too long to make you read, but the thing is, none of them really affected me that much personally. But now, the Trump budget proposes changing the way COLA is calculated for FERS and CSRS retirees after we’ve already retired. Senator, this breaks a promise that was made to us that we planned our lives around. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees group had this to say, “The average FERS annuitant would lose: • $23,430 over 10 years • $99,471 over 20 years • $246,185 over 30 years • $487,829 over 40 years The average CSRS annuitant would lose: • $12,598 over 10 years • $60,576 over 20 years • $169,874 over 30 years • $381,418 over 40 years This clearly shows that the Trump budget will cost federal retirees, cumulatively, hundreds of thousands of dollars over their years of retirement, and is nothing less than the theft of promised and hard-earned pensions from our nation’s dedicated public servants." Will you work for federal employees as we’ve worked for the federal government? Thanks, david Here's the list I deleted:gutting environmental protections, breaking the health insurance market without a plan to replace it, ramping up military engagements around the world without any pretense of Congressional oversight or declarations of war, ending net neutrality, allowing ISP’s to invade and profit from their customers’ private information, refusing to even hold a vote on a Supreme Court justice, repealing regulations that protect seniors’ retirement funds, repealing regulations to allow banks to scam their customers, religious bigotry disguised as public safety, deporting beneficiaries of DACA, confirming nominees to Cabinet positions who have spent their careers in opposition to the very departments they now head, restarting the failed war on drugs, pretending that “Supply Side” economics isn’t just a transfer of wealth to the wealthy, facilitating the mentally ill’s access to guns, getting rid of the Consumer Finance Protection which protects citizens from the depredations of financiers.

Monday, May 22, 2017

I began this by looking up George Santayana's quote about history, but it didn't fit the post as I'd planned it, so I'm going to just paraphrase it later on. This post is supposed to offer you relief from my unremitting negativity about Trump and politics, but George Santayana did say this, which seems to sum up the pathology at the root of the Trump regime, "The highest form of vanity is love of fame." Anyway, that's enough about our narcissist-in-chief, now let's make this great post of mine go viral, ok? They say that if you fail to learn the lessons of history, you'll just repeat them, which is so different from grammar, ain't it? So, my father was a charter member of the Greatest Generation. Well, he was drafted into World War II, he didn't enlist, so maybe he's not a Platinum member, but certainly at least Bronze, but, just to finally end this sentence, I'm going to say Silver. My dad was a Silver member of the Greatest Generation. And as such, he went up the beach into France although not on D-Day and he had a typewriter strapped to his leg. Still, he fought his way across Europe and had many adventures in a summer that was below average in temperature. But he had TRAINED in the searing deserts of California to fight his way across the broiling deserts of North Africa. So, the point of all this is that just like the heroes that liberated Europe, we've been training in the exact opposite weather that we will encounter in Iowa when we ride across IT. True, Iowa is not a desert (because deserts are a dry heat), nor a foreign country exactly. Still, we don't fit in very well and our cell phones don't work there. But, heroes overcome, and while they're doing that, I'm going to be looking for deep fried cheese curds.

I'm at the gym flipping back and forth between CNN and Fox coverage of Trump. Fox is explaining why Trump doing everything he criticized others for is good, but the real takeaway from watching them is that our president has a face only a proctologist could love. I know that's a juvenile joke that I probably would have made when I was 12, if only I'd known what a proctologist was.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

What we may never know: http://ift.tt/2qXGk5E

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During the night, Sarah and I were exchanging insomnia updates. I told her when I wake up, I like to check if Trump is still president. She said that worked pretty well for Osama bin Laden. I don't think it will turn out the same way, though. If Seal Team Six burst into his compound, I don't think any of Trump's wives would jump in front to save him like bin Laden's did and if Trump yelled, "Don't shoot," they couldn't because he's their commander in chief. They'd just have to smile sheepishly and leave. It would be embarrassing. Nope, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Robert Mueller. Next post, why that won't work, either.

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While the nation is transfixed by the rat king in the Oval Office, the work of transferring wealth and power to the wealthy and powerful continues in the darkened lairs, warrens, and bunkers of government. Incidentally, I was looking for a pejorative term for the denizens of the west wing and stumbled across rat king, a term I'd forgotten, or more likely, suppressed after reading a fascinating book called Rats by Robert Sullivan. Anyway, it is a particularly apt term for Trump organization. You can look it up. http://ift.tt/2rw4BwJ

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Monday, May 15, 2017

http://ift.tt/2rjvLWV

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Good news. Don Young replied to me about his vote on the health care reform bill, "Please know that I will keep your thoughts in mind moving forward"
Is it as embarrassing for Gen X'ers to watch NKOTB  prancing around on the Today Show as it is for Boomers to watch a septuagenarian Mick Jagger in tight jeans doing pelvic thrusts?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Here Are The Pictures From The Last Post. Who Knows Why They Don't Post Automatically






It was a beautiful day for a protest. Here are the signs we made and then deployed in front of Senator Murkowski's office. My signs are a lot like my posts: just a few more words than anyone has time for. As far as I could tell, nobody was willing to circle the block to finish reading them, so I'm posting them here. April was there with Jesper. He's a natural born leader as the crowd took up his chant of, "Dump Trump." A good time was had by all as we held a wake for democracy. MoveOn.org #comeygate

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Back then, Charles Mathias declared that “it is not right for any institution to investigate or prosecute itself.” Will today's GOP stand for the rule of law? Hard to say. Right now it looks like they don't "stand by anything." From the Atlantic http://ift.tt/2pA9rYH

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This Is From Last Year, But I Don't Think I Posted It Here

On Saturday, shopping local, I rented a chain saw to cut down invasive Mayday trees. It didn't work, nor  did the replacement. They wouldn't front me a chainsaw for the next day, even though I said, "I've spent all day driving back forth, I'm not going to start this project at three o'clock."
Today, I went to the gym, ran some errands and then went to Home Depot where I rented a chainsaw and realized, it was THREE O'CLOCK. It turns out, though, things go much faster when the chainsaw actually works. As the trees came down, my testosterone went up. I felt so manly.
Such a nice feeling (if the manly even have feelings).
A shame, then, that it didn't last very long. This next is a bit of a Public Service Announcement.
Leah reported a noise that might have been running water, if any water was running, which it wasn't. It really was more of a rustling noise coming from behind the dryer. We were worried it might be a mouse since we'd had them this winter before running a trap line throughout the house. We really don't have the staff to deal with mice right now because May is the beginning of our annual ant infestation and that has to be our focus. We shifted the dryer and cautiously looked behind it. No mice, although it's amazing how much stuff accumulates back there. I wonder if the FBI ever looked behind the Hoffa's dryer. Nothing, and then another rustling noise, maybe from the dryer vent hose? Ambre is taller than I am so, she undid the clamp and I took the hose and looked down it. Nothing. So, then feeling a little more confident that nothing was going to burst out at me, I undid the bottom clamp and looked in the hose from the other end, and nothing there either. As an aside, I think I'm as brave as the next person, especially if the next person is a hysterical eight year old girl standing on a chair screaming . And it isn't that I find mice terrifying, it's the jack in the box nature of looking for them that builds so much tension. Cheerfully, now that I was sure that the rustling was just a natural phenomenon probably the settling of the hose, I suggested turning on the dryer with the hose off of it. Which is when a cloud of lint, a dime and the mouse blew out the back and crashed into the wall. We were both stunned, but I quickly recovered and the mouse quickly  died of his injuries. So the lesson, and the PSA, is, if you have a dryer vent, make sure there is a flap on the outside to keep stray animals from wandering in.

A lot of jobs have a first in, last out policy. Apparently, it doesn't work that way for amendments. If Trump had been president back then, Sam Donaldson wouldn't have had a cubicle, he would have had a cell. http://ift.tt/2qTQt30

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Monday, May 08, 2017

Evangelical Christianity began with a justifiable skepticism about government, but it also has a tradition of following charismatic individuals rather than synods and presbyteries.  Also, not mentioned in the article, they found Scriptural ways to justify owning and raping other humans. Supporting a thrice -married, pussy-grabbing, serial sexual assaulter mustn't seem like such a stretch.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/05/a-match-made-in-heaven/521409/

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Monday, May 01, 2017

I just logged into the RAGBRAI site and I have a wristband number. I told Karen that it appeared that we'd won a place in the ride. This wasn't the lottery she'd been hoping to win and was concerned that we'd used up all of our luck on the wrong drawing. I told her this is just the beginning of great things and then I reminded her what my dad used to tell my mom, "Stick with me baby and I'll give you jellybeans as big as diamonds."