Friday, June 16, 2017

Back home in Paradise Village:  the palm trees outside the building where Margaret and I live are fresh and very much alive.  It's interesting to speculate about how the very first palm tree grew.  How many millions of years ago, I wonder, was the very first palm tree born? Evolution is an interesting phenomenon.  Everything alive, including Nancy's cat and the Davids' dogs, and you and all of the people alive on earth today... all of us and everything fit somehow into the evolutionary scheme.  I believe it.  Of course, I don't know what to do with the myths of the holy books... how to fit the stories of the beginnings of things into those classic, mythological accounts of beginnings.

Oh, I'd better say something about why there were no pictures and no accounts of days for the past week.  I had a little procedure done at the hospital... everything went well... Now I am back home again after three days in hospital.  Nothing to worry about.  I had some good thinking and reading time.  It was glad to come back to Paradise Village yesterday.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

On my walk around Paradise Village this morning with Jim Fudge, I couldn't resist taking another picture of the small lily.  Just as I was getting ready to take the picture, an ant darted onto the surface of a petal, and I solved the problem of seeming always to take the same pictures of the same flowers day after day.  I don't remember ever taking a picture of an ant...  The Lily just happened the time to be included.

I had been watching the Senate session in which the Ex-director of the CIA explains what the President before he fired him.  I was glad to hear James B. Comey say President What's His Name lied when he denied asking the FBI director to stop the investigation of Mike Flynn. I especially admired the courage of Jim Comey when the President asked for his loyalty.  'The President said, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty."  I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed.  We simply looked at each other in silence.'

Resisting the impulse to rage in writing here is one of the hardest things I have done in a long time.  Resisting the impulse is easier when I watch Jim Comey explain calmly why the President's expectations and actions have been wrong.  I keep wondering how much longer the citizens of our country can put up with the misbehaviors of this president... and then I remember the Nixon years and the misbehaviors of that president... and I remember the resilience of my country and how we got through those bad years with a better understanding of our country and of its leaders.  I had thought we would't see times like those again, but here they are.  We will recover again.

My advice to those who feel like raging is to hold fast to the exhilarating feeling of freedom that comes to us when the weaknesses of our Democracy are laid open for the world to see, and we know the bad times will end and order will be restored.  Perhaps this man who is president will resign. Although I hope it doesn't happen, perhaps he will manage to hang on to the office for four years; but whatever happens, the country will not only survive but will become stronger.  We have a good example of what not to do, and we aren't likely to forget the lessons we are learning.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Today is Irene's Birthday.  At dinner last night the waiting staff sang Happy Birthday.  Lovely evening last night.  Ruth made a peach pie for Irene's Birthday.  She and Margaret decided how to cut it.  Today I found succulent's so beautiful that I was reminded of Irene.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

I went out for the walk around Paradise Village with my friend Jim Fudge this morning, and the flowers are beautiful here.  I don't know what this flower is, but the flower, except for the size and the color,  is very much like the orange Bird of Paradise that blooms all over this place... so I'm guessing this is also a Bird of Paradise.  It is spectacular and beautiful.  The smaller flower is a lily of some kind... beautiful, too.

Monday, June 05, 2017

A Mistake Turned Into Something That I Couldn't Throw Away... Life is sometimes like that.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Dan McSwain, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, wrote a piece which was published in today’s newspaper that I hope will be widely read. The piece which begins on the first page is the story about how citizen David Ross became concerned about and dedicated himself to helping the homeless in San Diego. It’s called “One Man’s Quest: Water for the homeless.”  It continues on page A15.  

The plight of the homeless includes many deprivations, but until today I hadn’t thought water was one of them. I’ve worried about the people who live on the streets in our city, but David Ross does more than worry. I live in my apartment with plenty of everything a person needs for a comfortable life.I was wrong to think that common things available to me, like water and bathrooms, are not easily available for everybody. Eighty-three year old David Ross has made a commitment to help the homeless.  I worry.

I take pictures. I go to church. I worry. I live in a country which is known around the world as a place where there is plenty of everything for everybody. There should be no one any place in this country where people don’t have enough good drinking water, and there should be no one any place in this country who can’t find a toilet when one is needed.  There should be no children in this country who don’t have a safe, secure place to live… to sleep. I will probably continue to take pictures and I will probably continue to go to church; but I plan to find something more than worrying which makes sense to do to help people who don’t have enough of the basic stuff for living.

I have been constantly complaining about the inadequacies of the President of my country, and his inadequacies worry me.  His picture alongside Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the second page of the Los Angeles Times today is typically accompanied by one of his inane responses to a serious situation.  He is saying, “I have absolute confidence” China will try to put pressure on North Korea. He talks. I worry.

Neither his talking nor my worrying will change anything.  He will continue to talk as he did last week when he withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord. He will probably continue to decline to affirm NATO’s Article 5— the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s mutual-aid clause, which states that an attack on a member state is an attack on all. He is inadequate. If I continue to do nothing but worry, I will be inadequate; so I will find something to do to help the homeless in San Diego.  Already there is one man, David Ross, and there are others who have found sensible ways to respond to the needs of the homeless in San Diego.  This week I will find ways that I can help.  I will continue to worry, but I will find a way to do more. David Ross is two years older than I am, so......

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Across the street from the pier in Imperial Beach someone had made a mural.  Murals are important because they say something about a place.  I'm still trying to figure out what this one is trying to say about Imperial Beach, a place I like. The parking garage is on the ground floor of the building where I live.  I don't have a reason for taking the picture or for including in this BLOG post.

Friday, June 02, 2017

With the Davids we went to see the movie Wonder Woman at The Lot, a new movie theater in Point Loma.  Wow!.  It's an impressive place and the movie is good.  After the movie we had lunch at a restaurant... very good... It's also called The Lot.  Seeing the previews of coming attractions and then seeing a movie about a comic book character, I came away thinking the world has really changed or I have really changed or perhaps both have changed.  Someone tell the President.  No, don't tell  him.  He wouldn't understand.

The first rose was on the table at The Lot.  The hibiscus is growing on a tree on Harbison Street not far from our building.  Both flowers, by the way, are real.  Life is good.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Margaret and I went to an astronomy lecture tonight.  The subject was about Europa, Jupiter’s smallest moon.  Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo.  Jupiter’s smallest moon is slightly smaller than our moon. I am always looking for reasons to be alive longer, and learning more about this moon of Jupiter as we explore the solar system has me really curious to know if this place with water and oxygen could possibly have some form of life. 

I was thinking midday that my BLOG writing today would be a statement about the foolish president of our country’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, but I decided against doing it… mainly because there is nothing that makes sense about his decision to join the two other countries of all the nations on Earth, Syria and Nicaragua, which declined to be part of the Accord. 

Today was my volunteer afternoon at the Museum of Photographic Arts, and I decided to take pictures of odd plants growing in the part of the Park that was a nudist colony in the 1935-1936 California Pacific International Exposition.  The area is now a butterfly garden. I’ve never heard any reasonable explanations for having a nudist colony as part of the 1935-36 event. I don’t expect to hear anything from anybody that makes sense of the President’s statements today.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sky…  San Diego is known to San Diegans as a perfect place to live.  I am one of those who think the people who live here are on to something important… something more significant to the health and mental well being of everybody than the beautiful beaches and rocky shorelines. We have placid weather… smooth peaceful skies. We have come to the close of the month of May and everybody here knows about May Gray. British would say May Grey.  We are beginning the month of June and we can expect June Gloom. These two months with their “bland” climates in our region are gifts. I’m ready to admit that occasionally I wish for a stormy day, or at least a story period for even one day.  Instead we get weather that is generally cool with an overcast sky.  Sometimes the sky is clear, but mostly there is the smooth overcast of high fog or clouds. What I wish for is a real storm with flashing lightening and roaring thunder, but then I am reminded that not everybody in San Diego lives in a safe, secure, dry place.  I remember the homeless people of our area.  I picture in my mind’s eye the streets in Southeast San Diego that are lined with the makeshift homes of hundreds of people.  Some people sleep without even a tent.  Some people sleep close to a building or under a bridge.  Some people have made shelters of pieces of found material.  It is when I remember those people that I am glad we don’t have roaring, violent storms. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Sung Dynasty in China was a time when ceramic art reached a high level of development.  When we lived in Southeast Asia, we managed to get some good pieces.  Most of the ceramics we managed to get in Malaysia and in Singapore were from later dynasties; but according to an expert at Singapore University, the vase in this picture is from very early in the Sung Dynasty.  The Time period for the Sung Dynasty is 960 to 1276, so that means this ceramic pot was probably made around a thousand years ago.  Wow!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Surfing at Imperial Beach on Memorial Day...  Perfect day... This was one of those days when the experience of others made me wish I had learned to do it when I was younger, but I was glad the experience wasn't forced on me today.  My perch on the pier seemed exactly right for me.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A vase from China... I was sitting in our living room and looking at it and wondering about its history.  We have another vase exactly like it.  I'm wondering if they were made on the same day.  Each vase has four sides, and each side is a different scene... flowers and insects.  We bought these vases 50 years ago in Singapore.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

California... Southern California... A couple of days ago I read about the Ski Areas of California having a bumper year for that industry because of the record snow fall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The world there will be white with green around the edges for a long time.   This morning's paper included a picture of a wild fire not for from where I live. We are reminded that the world burns, too. I was reminded that California is a place that can be as green as Ireland for part of the year, that part which includes plenty of rain; and it is also a place where deserts seem to spring up overnight.  For the past month I have watched a transformation taking place at the place where I turn off Interstate 805 to get to our community.  For months I kept thinking I should stop and take photographs of the beautiful tall green grass growing near the roadway.  Now I have waited too long.  The green grass has turned into the dry grass of summer.  I stopped today to get pictures and decided that this small patch of California is what all the people who grew up in the Great Central Valley think of when they live far away and think back on their homeland. Someone seeing the pictures now that summer is here won't remember the green of winter and spring.  When I lived in Southeast Asia where everything is green all year, I longed to see the summer beige of California.  Now that I live in Southern California, I long to see the green of that other time of the year. Change is good. Life is good.