Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waiting for the Ball to Drop

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cali and Tommie
Running with the Pack

For three days… nights, actually… I’m enjoying the experience of being the alpha male to a 3-dog pack… well, 4-dog if I’m included in the count.  Here’s how it happens.  I’m dog-sitting with Son David’s and Son-in-law David’s Cali, Thomas, and Cookie; and before bedtime I take them out for a short run.  Back in the house we all know where we sleep.  I’ve got the big bed.  Cali has a generous pad on the floor.  Cookie and Thomas have their places.  It has happened the same way every night, so I’m assuming it’s the same routine when the Davids are home.  After everybody beds down in appropriate places and the lights are out and presumably we are all asleep, one after the other they come to the big bed.  Little Thomas lets me know he is standing beside the bed wanting to be taken up.  I pull him up, and he settles in close to my back… affectionately determined to settle in.  A couple of minutes Cookie comes in, jumps up on the bed, and snuggles under the cover below her brother.  Not even five minutes later Cali comes into the room quietly and jumps onto the foot of the bed and settles in.  I manage it by considering myself the leader of the pac, and it would be rude of me if I turned them out.


Also today...

I rode my bike down to the waterfront before the rain came, and took pictures of a couple of my favorite sailing ships.

H.M.S Surprise

The Star of India

Life is Good!

Monday, December 29, 2014

...San Diego at 5:30 in the morning...

I am fortunate to be among the “older” American citizens with good personal health and retirement income good enough to afford what any reasonable person should consider “the good life,” so this RANT isn’t about me.  It’s about INCOME INEQUITY among those regular Americans who haven’t retired yet and are still going out to work for their living and are worrying that they aren’t getting ahead to an extent that will allow them to retire comfortably someday.

SO… WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE SYSTEM THAT MAKES POOR PEOPLE POORER AND RICH PEOPLE RICHER THAT THE TEA PARTY CELEBRATES?   Do those people actually know the statistics about incomes of people living in the real America…I’m wondering not so much what the LEADERS of the Tea Party movement know, but what the lower and middle income folks who voted them into positions of power don't know?  Ted Cruze and Mark Rubio certainly know about the income gap between the rich and ordinary, salaried working Americans.  Polls show most Americans are under the impression that the highest paid corporate leaders today make maybe 30 times what the average workers in their corporations make… but that was the situation in the 1960s.  As a matter of fact, the country’s highest-paid corporate leaders in 2014 are paid 350 (not 30) times the average worker wage. The L.A. Times reported earlier this month that “Microsoft shareholders approved an $84-million pay package for the company’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella,”  a man who has run the company for less than a year. 

According to a report from the Center for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies, "Boeing, Ford, Chevron, Citigroup, Verizon Communications, JPMorgan Chase and General Motors each paid their CEOs more last year than they paid in income taxes to the U.S. and state governments."  That means those companies are not funneling their profits to the workers in their companies as wages that would make workers’ families lives easier… nor are those companies contributing their fair share of the cost of making America a country where ordinary people’s lives are enriched.   How can these CEOs not be at least a little bit embarrassed that the ordinary American people who buy the goods and services of the companies that make the rich richer are basically being shafted by a system that clearly favors the wealthiest citizens.  This year I bought an automobile made by General Motors Corporation.  The credit card I use to buy just about everything, including that automobile, is issued by Chase Bank.  Ted Cruze, Mark Rubio, and at least some of the Tea Party leaders elected to Congress know those facts, but the Tea Party people-on-the-street supporters who are average wage earners probably don’t know because apparently they get most of their information about government and the economy from Fox News.  The irony in this present system is that the sections of the country where most Tea Party representatives and senators are elected are among the poorest, least well-served places in America.  Boehner and McConnell are determined to lead the House and the Senate to repeal The Affordable Care Act.  It’s not going to happen as long at Barak Obama is President; but they’ve promised they are going to try to repeal it in spite of the fact that they know repealing it would snatch health care from approximately 10 million working-class Americans.  The Kaiser Family Foundation has paid for a study that determined the people who would be most affected by having health care snatched away from them live in 383 congressional districts, mostly represented by Republicans. 
Go figure!

Sunday, December 28, 2014


After a rough kittenhood with nobody
and no place for curling up and napping
Jeremy’s cat landed on all four feet…
with him and Samantha in a college dorm.

...and the holiday season rolls on.

Celebrating with Colin and Kim in their new home...
Colin, Nancy, Margaret, Jerral, David H. David M.
Kim was in the Kitchen making wonderful lunch.

... and Ed's fantastic Iraqi dinner at Ali Baba Restaurant in El Cajon.
Patrick, Nancy, Margaret, Nancy, Sam, Ed, Elaine

Friday, December 26, 2014

This is the day after Christmas, so it must be winter...

Neither red nor green,
the light beckons me through
another unsafe intersection,
and I make it.

I make it by feet,
an easy feat to outdo,
not a bother, a small extension,
another gift?

A million heads and three
twisted tails.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

CHRISTMAS DAY with family… 
Joy to the world
and to each other

Susanne and her family couldn't be with us,
so she send a couple of her creatures
to liven the Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I’m thinking the orb weaver spider (Argiope argentata) that lives in our back yard has grown accustomed to my presence as I have grown used to its being there.  It has strung a carefully constructed web across a pathway between the rosemary bush and a jade plant to catch dinner, and I respect its effort and go another way when I’m walking there.  More than a month ago when I saw it for the first time, it was startled when I brought my camera very close for a picture.  Now it doesn’t flinch or hurry to the edge of the web when I approach. I like this creature; and when an old man with a camera is joined in the back yard by a fine grandson who also likes cameras and spiders and who once upon a time enjoyed fantastic myths (and perhaps still does) about a young man who became spider man and goes about helping people who are in trouble… Ahhhh.  Life doesn’t get much better than this.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


The past
as far back as then
and as close as now
is all shadow.

The future 
as distant as never
and as near as always 
is a dark cave.

From where then
does this light come
that brightens my way
one step at a time?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Today's BLOG post is another potpourri experience... Jeremy is home from U.C. Santa Cruz for the holidays, so I got him to stand still for a couple of pictures.  I went looking for a picture of police officers to go with the text and hit the jackpot with the row of motorcycles.

Symptom of a sick society…
A mob chanting, “What do we want?  Dead cops!  When do we want it?  Now!”

A couple weeks ago I joined friends attending a rally in City Heights to express concern over the death of a young man in Ferguson, Missouri.  The emphasis there was concern over a death of an American in an American city, a death that could have been prevented.  The majority of the people attending the San Diego rally were joining their voices in raising a call for an end to senseless death… period.  

In the year 2015 I will begin my eighth decade of life.  I’m guessing the phrase “In retrospect”  is loaded with much more significance than it carried when I was a teenager. I remember some experiences fraught with intense feeling when I was twenty-something and thirty-something, but I don’t remember doing much thinking and reacting retrospectively. I was the parent of young children then, children who are older now than I was then; and I’m guessing that I was impatient when they insisted that they wanted something NOW!  I had/have wonderful children.  In retrospect I am keenly aware of my good fortune to have been gifted with such persons as they were then and are now.  

An important task of parents and teachers and all elders in a community is to teach active patience, deliberate patience, learned patience… and to teach the importance of hesitating and being sure before insisting “I want it now!  Children must learn that “I want it now” belongs in that linguistic bank of expressions reserved for dire, very special circumstances.  An important responsibility of adults in any community is ensuring that young people grow into adulthood having learned that they may not get everything they want; and if they do get what they want, getting it probably happen at the exact moment when when they become aware that they want it. 

I remember my Dad saying that my Mother wouldn’t say shit if she had some of it on her hand.  It was his way of telling me to be careful with language.  My siblings, our cousins, our neighbor children were cautioned, “Be careful what you ask for because you might get it!” 

…SO, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it?  Now!” scares and sickens me.  Chanting for the death of anyone is unacceptable. 

On my bicycle ride today I stopped to take a picture of the replica of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s flagship San Salvador that is nearing completion down by San Diego Bay across from the airport.  It occurs to me that Cabrillo and his crew had to practice patience on their voyage to explore the west coast of North Americas.  On June 24, 1542, Cabrillo’s expedition sailed out of the Guatemalan port of Navidad near the modern day city of Manzanillo.  On San Diego Bay Cabrillo’s ship anchored for six days probably somewhere on Point Loma’s east shore not far from where a group of dedicated volunteers are building the exact replica of The San Salvador.  After leaving San Diego, they sailed up the coast perhaps getting as far north as Oregon.  Cabrillo died January 3, 1543, on San Miguel, one of the Channel Islands.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

'Tis the Season...