Over the Mountains

Wrapped in clouds today I know that Mt. San Jacinto is still over there. We’ve seen all these mountains from our front room for 30 years. Yesterday, in the middle of the storm the Obama family plane landed here in Riverside and drove on to the other side of San Jac to a rainy, windy Palm Springs.

It will be clear soon, the air will be clean and Palm Springs has gotten used to movie stars and leaders. They’ll treat you fine. Barack said the first day at least he won’t set his alarm clock. Besides they’ve come West: three more hours.

I know a couple nice Mexican food joints. And there’s a great ice cream place on the main drag; great shakes. But people there will know even more options. There’s time.

I have this image of Barack padding around in his bathrobe while Michelle makes pancakes….or visa versa. Try the Boysenberry syrup.

Women’s March

Women’s March:
Of course we know that ‘Rump cannot be reached. You can’t break through. BUT… others are watching. Congressmen, Senators, state legislators, governors; literally thousands of elected officials around this nation are sitting up and taking notice when millions of citizens take streets against hate, THEY are the key.

There will be those who try to dismiss you as paid agitators. Agents of George Soros. But it ain’t gonna work this time. I myself have enough friends and relatives who braved the cold and rain and stood up for morality, and against outrage. And I know George Soros has never had tea at your house.

The key now is the many many ‘Rump enablers who must be put on notice. They are being watched by tenacious citizens. Elections are coming. Demogogues, wannabe dictators, liars and bullies like Mr. ‘Rump won’t succeed alone. America must isolate him and send him slinking “alone” back to his tower in Gotham city.

Gaslighting

“Gaslight” was once a gen-teel term referring to that pschic manipulation in an old movie. It is becoming now those boys gathered behind the woodshed giggling as they demonstrate the combustion properties of human produced methane.

Risk

The Miracle of Science:
Anxious to turn loose the dogs of pollution, all sorts of the ‘Rumpsters have been and will continue to attack “Science” They are doing it by casting doubt among the uneducated, Kristianists and others who would cling to ancient superstition. They will do it by withholding data, casting aspersions on Scientists, spreading doubt, cutting off funding for all manner of research that would make America Smart Again. All to benefit the polluting industries.

One man’s story:. Last year I was blind from cataracts. Medication brought it on. The loneliness of a blindness coming so quickly cannot be described.

But my daughter, working with ophthalmologists, found me a top notch doctor and a few incredibly simple procedures over a couple months brought back sight, better than ever. The Miracle of Science.

Someone taught that opthalmologist. And he studied. Someone researched until they invented just the right anaesthetics to numb an eye for a few minutes, and created a tiny knife that could slit the edge just so. Someone made the little vaccuum that pulled out the clouded lens. And someone invented the unfolding acrylic implant that could be teased into place so that the instant it was unfolded I could look up…up at the ceiling, the surgical lights, the nurses….. And on the way home I could grill my wife “When did they build that?” and “Those vines have really grown on that wall.”

I was so pleased and proud yesterday to hear my son, who is researching and teaching DNA describing the anomolies that can affect people from birth. My Developmental Psychologist wife also explores a world that tries to tease out “Nature and Nurture” in the human world. I could say the same for my psychiatrist son. Not to be left behind are the rest of these wonderful offspring who live a life of curiousity about so many things.

I am far from a scientist but I am so greatful to have them close at hand. The Motto at City of Hope. A National research and cancer treatment center, “The Miracle of Science with Hope”

The Miracle of Science With Hope

The Miracle of Science:
Anxious to turn loose the dogs of pollution, all sorts of the ‘Rumpsters have been and will continue to attack “Science” They are doing it by casting doubt among the uneducated, Kristianists and others who would cling to ancient superstition. They will do it by withholding data, casting aspersions on Scientists, spreading doubt, cutting off funding for all manner of research that would make America Smart Again. All to benefit the polluting industries.

One man’s story:. Last year I was blind from cataracts. Medication brought it on. The loneliness of a blindness coming so quickly cannot be described.

But my daughter, working with ophthalmologists, found me a top notch doctor and a few incredibly simple procedures over a couple months brought back sight, better than ever. The Miracle of Science.

Someone taught that opthalmologist. And he studied. Someone researched until they invented just the right anaesthetics to numb an eye for a few minutes, and created a tiny knife that could slit the edge just so. Someone made the little vaccuum that pulled out the clouded lens. And someone invented the unfolding acrylic implant that could be teased into place so that the instant it was unfolded I could look up…up at the ceiling, the surgical lights, the nurses….. And on the way home I could grill my wife “When did they build that?” and “Those vines have really grown on that wall.”

I was so pleased and proud yesterday to hear my son, who is researching and teaching DNA describing the anomolies that can affect people from birth. My Developmental Psychologist wife also explores a world that tries to tease out “Nature and Nurture” in the human world. I could say the same for my psychiatrist son. Not to be left behind are the rest of these wonderful offspring who live a life of curiousity about so many things.

I am far from a scientist but I am so greatful to have them close at hand. The Motto at City of Hope. A National research and cancer treatment center, “The Miracle of Science with Hope”

Smugness

I sat with a friend called as a witness in a felony trial. She was a little frightened and just wanted someone there with her.

As we waited in the courtroom with people coming and going, around the corner came Ruthie, my classmate in grades 6-9. I had not seen her since we both left school. I left for grade 10 because of boarding school. She left at the same time because our high school had stairs. I hadn’t known where she went. Ruth rolled around in a kind of cage and that made her even easier to recognize. She had gotten polio like so many kids of the 1950’s.

Ruthie had gone up to fifth grade by an open telephone line five miles from home to school. Something very unique in those days. But her mother was tenacious and persuaded the telephone company and the school to work together.

When our baby boom bubble moved to the Lincoln Bldg. Ruthie joined us in her cage. There we had separate rooms for separate subjects and Ruthie chugged along with her books on the rolling seat taking her place in the hallway throng.

I thought of her recently when I heard an outrageous story of a girl who suffered a medical emergency and finally back at school, on cruthes, was met with taunting and bullying that calls out her disability.

I’m sure there must have been some nasty comments directed at Ruthie. But in those four years of grade school I never heard it. She was one of us.

I did not get a chance to talk with her there in the courtroom. But I did learn she had succeeded. She was in the courtroom because she was an Assistant District Attorney.

In my own career in architecture I have had to explain to owners why the code requires their new building to have ramps, wider halls, an accessible bathroom, why the doors must swing a certain way, why the parking lot must have a certain number of handicap dedicated spaces.

It’s about bringing the Disabled out of the shadows. It’s about ability. Giving people a chance at success and independence.

Abilities

I sat with a friend called as a witness in a felony trial. She was a little frightened and just wanted someone there with her.

As we waited in the courtroom with people coming and going, around the corner came Ruthie, my classmate in grades 6-9. I had not seen her since we both left school. I left for grade 10 because of boarding school. She left at the same time because our high school had stairs. I hadn’t known where she went. Ruth rolled around in a kind of cage and that made her even easier to recognize. She had gotten polio like so many kids of the 1950’s.

Ruthie had gone up to fifth grade by an open telephone line five miles from home to school. Something very unique in those days. But her mother was tenacious and persuaded the telephone company and the school to work together.

When our baby boom bubble moved to the Lincoln Bldg. Ruthie joined us in her cage. There we had separate rooms for separate subjects and Ruthie chugged along with her books on the rolling seat taking her place in the hallway throng.

I thought of her recently when I heard an outrageous story of a girl who suffered a medical emergency and finally back at school, on cruthes, was met with taunting and bullying that calls out her disability.

I’m sure there must have been some nasty comments directed at Ruthie. But in those four years of grade school I never heard it. She was one of us.

I did not get a chance to talk with her there in the courtroom. But I did learn she had succeeded. She was in the courtroom because she was an Assistant District Attorney.

In my own career in architecture I have had to explain to owners why the code requires their new building to have ramps, wider halls, an accessible bathroom, why the doors must swing a certain way, why the parking lot must have a certain number of handicap dedicated spaces.

It’s about bringing the Disabled out of the shadows. It’s about ability. Giving people a chance at success and independence.

We Can Beat This Guy

from CommonDreams:

“It’s not a question of us working with Trump. It’s a question of Trump working with us.”
by
Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

As he tours the U.S. in the wake of Donald Trump’s devastating electoral victory this month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is using his growing influence within the Democratic Party and among the voting population at-large to outline how the country can prevent slipping backward and in fact can move forward—even with Republicans soon in control of both the White House and Congress.

“We can beat this guy. We can beat this agenda,” the one-time Democratic presidential contender told a sold-out crowd at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston on Sunday. “But we have to do it in a way that we have never done it before, and it’s essentially reaching out to people who do not or may not agree with us on every single issue. We have got to bring people together because we are fighting for the future of this country.”

He similarly urged a crowd in South Portland, Maine on Monday: “No, you’re not going to give up. You’re going to fight back and mobilize.”

As for what that mobilization might look like, Sanders offered some clues in an interview with PBS Newshour that aired Monday night. The senator from Vemont said the future the Democratic Party and a progressive agenda must be focused on challenging the interests of the elites while advocating on behalf of everyday Americans and the working-class.

“The bottom line,” Sanders said, “is you cannot be a party which takes money from Wall Street, which is not strong on the pharmaceutical industry, which is ripping us off every day, which is not strong on health care in taking on the insurance companies, which has not shown a desire to stand up and fight the economic establishment, and then tell working families that you are on their side. People see through that.”

In a separate interview with GQ magazine published Tuesday, Sanders elaborated on how doubling down on such concerns will also help hold Trump accountable:

But what we are working on right now is to transform the Democratic Party. I will introduce legislation that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Mr. Trump talks about his concern about working families. I look forward to him supporting it. I am going to introduce legislation—I or somebody else, it’s not just me—demanding pay equity for women workers. I hope Mr. Trump supports that. We’re going to have very definitive legislation on infrastructure. I hope Trump supports that. Trade policy, Trump based his whole campaign on trade.

“It’s not a question of us working with Trump,” Sanders said. “It’s a question of Trump working with us.”
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The Boy Who Needed a Backpack

There once was a boy with a bag. not a backpack.
Who carried a separate snack pack
he stuffed in his pocket where he could lock it
and save for lunchtime and breaks.

So he walked off to school but he didn’t feel cool
even with his bag full of things too big for his pockets
The pockets were good for some things,
like acorns and rings, or wadded up strings or bits of dog fluff
but he needed a place for the much bigger stuff
a book and a bat a coat and a hat
and something he kept for all seasons,
a tail from a rat once killed by the cat
which he kept for his own secret reasons.

So he ambled and grumbled and mumbled and stumbled along with his bag
past trees and bushes and always he wishes for some way to better his lot
“If only this bag were a backpack,” he thought in his mind “I could carry behind leaving hands free
to reach down for treasures I see like rocks that other kids don’t see.”

Oh pain it started to rain just a spatter a drop here and there
it started to get his feet a bit wet and even a bit in his hair.

When along came a fella’ with a yellow umbrella
who said “You need a flap and a different strap to make that bag into a pack.”

“the flap will hide all the goodies inside and keep everything safe from the weather.
Other kids can’t peek at the treasures you’ve hid and will leave all your cookies alone. Then the treasures you find can ride safely behind as you carry them safely back home.”

He went to his closet and looked around surprised at the things that he found
under the shoes and behind the skies he looked ’til he sees there at the bottom his backpack. He had a backpack. A very good backpack with straps and flaps to cover his stuff with nothing inside it ready and willing to go.

So he filled up his backpack and there on his back,
He carried his book and his bat and his stuff, his bits of dog fluff until with enough
he closed up the flap away from the rain now what should he do with the bag?

He remembered the train. That wonderful train. It fit just right in the bag.
And so with no trouble he found he could double the things the things he could carry around.

With happy new freedom he could much see them things on the ground.
The feathers and twigs, leaves small and big, things, the quarters and rings and many more things went into his bag as he’d roam.

and carried them all the way home.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Last night, lying in the back bedroom, the one closest to the hill and wildness something bumped the house. And again.

Later I heard coyotes discussing things, settling scores, keeping in touch, hard to tell. In spite of living here over 30 years I still am not clear what these guys are going on about.

This morning my wife said her sleep was troubled by them. Her mind raced with memories that our blind deaf little Cocker Spaniel wandered off one night last winter. Despite tags and chips that should be tracked back home we found no sign. Her collar may be up there in some den. We can only hope the end was quick. Coyotes are effective.

The loss of our little friend snowballed into ruminating about her recent trip that had bittersweet moments, of old friends who have suffered loses; these lost husbands, these suffered health threats, these had family problems. It sounds like everyone had to describe where they’d been and where they are now. They were glad for a new ear to hear, a new shoulder to cry on.

Recently I had my own opportunity to bleed, to explain that “Yes, things happened, lots of bad things, but look where we are now.” “Your children shall be like olive shoots around your table.” and “The Lord has restored what the devouring locust has taken away.” We sit with friends and try not to focus too much on ourselves, our troubles. But we want them to know that it’s OK. After all these years it’s OK. And we hope the favor of their listening is something we can return. Stronger together.

We have to face an uncertain future. No promises. As we age there are many things that we don’t understand. We are worried when things go bump in the night.