Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I left the Democratic Party quite awhile ago because they weren't liberal enough for me. I've been an independent voter that usually had to vote for Democratic Party candidates as there weren't any other candidates that came close to my ideals. And when President Obama arrived on the political scene I was quite happy to give him my vote. Twice. I think he's one of the most honest and intelligent Presidents we have ever had. I hadn't agreed with him on many issues and he he hasn't acted on those things that would have set him apart from other Presidents. Until the last few weeks. His decision to free millions of undocumented citizens from  the threat of deportation was a master stroke. Republicans were apoplectic! And now the show stopper...a connection with Cuba! This idiotic and misguided attempt to force Cuba to our will was doomed to fail and we looked like fools in the eyes of the world. We fought a war in Vietnam and now they are a trading partner of ours. We fought China in the Korean war and half the stuff in our house came from there now that they are a favored  trading partner. How could we possibly feel threatened by Cuba? This economic blockade of Cuba, starting in 1960, should have been lifted 50 years ago. What was the sense of it? Here it is, 54 years later and Cuba is still there and so are the Castro brothers. In the meantime we lost all chances of winning over the citizens of Cuba. For what? Stupid pride?

Thank you President Obama. I'm not rejoining the Democratic Party because of this but I do feel a little less embarrassed at being an American.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


The main thrust of the storm is past us. The flooding almost got to us. I say almost but the water didn't even make it to the sandbags arrayed in front of the patio door. The field behind us turned into a lake and then spilled over into our yard. An indication that the developer and the city failed. The existing drains just aren't big enough for storm like this.

As much as we enjoy getting this rainfall, we are dismayed at the lack of snow in the Sierra's. I used the Cal Trans traffic cams to see what kind of snow we were having at Donner Pass (7,200') and saw rain washing away the little snow that was there. And all of the rain will end up in the American River which joins the Sacramento River and that flows out to the ocean through the Golden Gate. Gone.

Since there is very little to do except watch the rain falling, I've been exploring Pinterest. This could be habit forming if it hasn't already done just that. I have a Pinterest account and have various 'Boards' where I collect images and share them. Pretty much normal. Then I decided to see if there were any old pictures of Los Angeles for me to collect. I was astounded at the number and variety of photos available. Pick any subject at all and type it into the Search field and chances are you will find that someone has a collection of images for your subject.

As a former IT techie computer nerd type, I'm impressed by the number of servers it takes to store all of these images; data. And I'm impressed by the wonderful resource this data represents. Pinterest is international, so you can find just about anything via their search engine. Now add in Google Images and Microsoft Bing and the data available is simply staggering! I almost forgot Wikimedia and Flickr. You Tube and Tumblr. Plus hundreds of thousands of blogs. Is there any image we can't find?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


There's a storm coming. According to the local news media, this is the BIGGEST storm since 2012. The news media is in it's full disaster mode; The hype gets very tiring after awhile. Yes, it's a good sized storm and some trees will be lost and a few fences as well. But I seriously doubt that we will see much more than that here in the valley. Now up on the foothills there is going to be a different story as those slopes were burned over during the past few summers. No trees, no brush or grasses to stop the flow of wet and heavy dirt. That will be dangerous!

Here;I asked the kids if they could find a dozen sand bags for us. We're at an age where moving sand bags is beyond our capabilities. Our future son-in-law came over and stacked them along the patio slider. This is where water rose pretty high a few years ago during a storm. Then he graciously put down some sand bags around the door of our neighbor. He's good son-in-law material.

Today was the usual day to get a few things at the grocery store and at the first store I saw a lot of anxious shoppers. 'Storm shoppers'. They were rushing from aisle to aisle in their quest to stock up for the duration. That was Raley's market and then I drove to Trader Joe's for some other items. Same kind of crowd! But Trader Joe's crowds are better behaved than most. I left the Trader and drove to Safeway for the final leg of my shopping. We have the time and the stores are close enough for us to shop for bargains among the three stores. Safeway was the worst of the three. People were frantic. carts were going every which way and I considered myself lucky to get out of there without any scars.

I was doing all of this shopping while driving my new car. We bought a bright red, brand new Scion Xb (Toyota) I wen t shopping for a vehicle to replace my Ford pickup as it was becoming more and more difficult for me to get in the darn thing. I had to use a hand to hold onto my cuff, lift and get it on to the floorboard. Then I would invariably hit my head on the door frame as I lifted myself onto the seat. So I set out to look for vehicles that would allow me to get in and out without injury. I tried the Nissan Cube and it fit me just right. We have a Nissan sedan that has been a great car for us so I liked the idea of owning another Nissan product. But...2014 is the last model year as was the Honda Element, another possibility. That left the Scion as the last chance. At the dealership I opened the door and sat right down as if seating myself in my living room. I was almost hooked. I drove the little car and it was surprisingly big inside; plus it had plenty of power. Under the hood is the Toyota Camry engine; that was a plus as Toyota's have a good reputation. Then I was hooked and bought it right then, giving up my old pickup in trade. I wasn't a bit sad to see it go.

It took a few days to get used to the car. It has such a short hood it seems as if you are very close to the car ahead of you. But I love the way it handles; turns on a dime. U-turns are a snap and I can get into parking spaces in a flash. And it's red. Very red. I had to have one. The dealer couldn't find a red one in this part of California and had to get one from a dealer in Reno. They drove it over the Sierras to get it here so my 'new' car had a 178 miles on it when I bought it.

Well, I'm rambling now...just waiting for the wind and rain. Time to close this before we lose power.