Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday December 7

Nothing much going on. The weather is much the same though we should get more sun which is always nice.

I finally found my tatting needles. You know the frustration of knowing you have something and you simply can't find it. I found my shuttles sometime ago and put them in a spot where I can get at them. The What-not Room has been reorganized so I can actually be able to find most things. I still haven't tackled the closet. That may remain a project for the new year. I actually started looking for a new set of tatting needles but couldn't find any anywhere locally and most of my usual on-line needlework outlets no longer carried them. Ah, well, that is behind me. Now I can relearn the little tatting I learned once upon a time.

So the social scientists are finally getting on to this phenomenon: households composed of very old parents and their old children. I wonder what notions the not-old-at-all researchers will find to tell us-who-are-old about our own lives.

THIS is supposedly the best advice a former general in charge of our forces in Afghanistan had for our current Secretary of State--and it is pathetic. What we need is a modern Walter Cronkite to tell the American people that this is a lost cause. Unfortunately, in this age of corporate media, we don't have one.

The real mark of time's passage: when there is no one left who remembers living through an event. That time is quickly coming for the WWII generation. And this comes just after the funeral of the last WWII veteran to serve as president: George H.W. Bush--age 95.

I crochet and have since I was a teenager. I found this Interweave article on the history of the art fascinating. I was one who thought it was older than it is.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thursday December 5

Cold and overcast with a chance of both snow showers and sun over the day. The seed catalogs are coming in and soon I need to make some choices of what to get and where. I have seen some spectacular flowers in those catalogs that have arrived--far more than I have room for. The rosemary cuttings I took about a week ago are still looking good--no wilting or shriveling or other wise giving up the ghost.

Rebecca Gordon on on life at "Trump speed." We stopped viewing and listening to TV news, for the most part, some time ago. We do watch the weather report but most of the rest is fluff or Trump. Neither of which is of much use to us.

John Feffer at Foreign Policy In Focus has a good assessment of #45's performance at the G20. Not good.

This sounds all too familiar.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday December 5

We have a winter sort-of wonderland. We still have quite a bit of snow from the lake-effect snowfall yesterday and, overnight, some freezing rain and drizzle which makes things slippery. Thankfully we aren't going anywhere, I think. Plans have a habit of changing around here.

No mail today because of the funeral of GHW Bush. We saw most of the arrival ceremony Monday because we couldn't really avoid it--it cancelled the last half of Jeopardy. At one point Mom asked "how long they were going to draw the whole thing out?" She also asked if other deceased presidents had as much pomp involved in their funerals. I think it is a further proof that we have an empire (though, evidently, one on the decline) and empires have emperors. We simply call ours "presidents" and pretend that we have a real choice of who will occupy the throne.

An interesting notion: walking backwards into the future. Our culture seems to devalue the past and we don't really learn from it. Politicians of the 1930s put legislation in place to control banks and the big financial interests which the politicians of the 1990s dismantled which paved the way for the crisis of 2008 from which many have not yet recovered. We have quietly forgotten the Korean conflict and Vietnam--and learned nothing from either. I haven't even heard or read of anyone on the "lessons" of Vietnam for about 20 years now. Obama spent a lot of time exhorting us to not dwell on how we got into the financial mess but to just move forward. We are bogged down in Afghanistan (and Iraq and Syria and parts of Africa) and simply shrug when a military officer tells Congress that we have a stalemate but can't pull out because our (putative) allies can't defend themselves.

This is a long article reviewing The Curse of Bigness by Tim Wu. It makes a number of interesting points to chew on.

I got to this article at the Telegraph by checking a story on a prepper blog. I have read about the Chinese "social credit" system for the last few years so this isn't really a surprise. I just didn't expect it so soon. How long, I wonder, before we see the same here?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tuesday December 4

We had lake effect snow over night--a couple of inches on top of the slushy mix of last evening. We may get more depending on how the winds off Lake Michigan set up. The city trucks have been out plowing but the teams from our landlord haven't shown up yet.

Found this item a bit earlier this morning. By the time the idiots at the top of the political food chain realize what is going on those at the bottom will have figured out how to adjust. Too many interests higher up are too invested in the status quo to recognize when that status quo is failing.

Ben Fountain writing at tomdispatch has some interesting facts about the 2018 election.

I wonder sometimes what it is about the term "unsustainable" these guys don't understand. Or the word "stalemate." If we are at a stalemate and the situation is unsustainable why are we wasting more money, materiel and lives on it? And the notion that getting out now would leave the "country" unable to defend itself is problematic since the conflict is between different Afghan forces. Who represents the country? And I would question if, what ever side they think is the "country" can't protect itself now, what makes our military think delaying our departure with more losses of our money, our people and our materiel would make it more able to defend itself.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday December 3

Not terribly cold right now though we have had bouts of snow which hasn't lasted long. The skies are gray with a few times the sun tried to peek out. We did go out for a bit because Mom wanted some stamps with a Christmas theme for the cards she had ready to mail. I wanted some embroidery thread and some new cross-stitch magazines.

One of my favorite gardening bloggers, Carolee at herbalblessings, noted that November was somewhat colder and wetter than usual where she is and that, as she has gotten older, she doesn't much like gardening in inclement weather. That was something I noted over the summer when the heat forced me to curtail my gardening. Some days I was lucky to get an hour or two of time in the gardens. I don't do late or very early season gardening because the gardens on the patio are too cold and various schemes to provide protection don't really work all that well for containers. They lose heat too easily. Instead I garden vicariously by reading bloggers like Carolee.

I got another reminder of age recently. I tried to start a counted cross-stitch pattern on 14-count aida cloth and totally messed up the counts. Twice!!! I simply couldn't see where I had gone wrong. I think though part of the problem is the fabric itself. I had set squares into an intended quilt top and then washed the whole piece after the piecing. I always do that for a quilted piece before I put the sandwich together to finish. I didn't have problems with earlier motifs I did but this time nothing seemed to work right. I am going to try some of the unwashed aida cloth for another piece and if I have more difficulty I guess I will have to switch to an 11- or 12-count fabric. My mother gave up needlework ten years ago because her eyes gave her fits. I don't want to do that.

Forecasting Intelligence has a good post that as he remarks has gone unreported by the mainstream media and largely ignored by the political classes. So far the demographic data I have seen show Africa as the only major area where fertility rates are still high. Most other areas of the globe have rates barely above replacement or, in some cases, below. The only reason the U.S. population hasn't begun to shrink is immigration, much of which our politicians are busily trying to block.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December 1

Welcome to December. We have rain and a fair amount of it to wash away some of the snow. I got the icy space where our trash tote goes cleared and got the salt from the shed. I hope I don't have to us much of it through the rest of the season.

So George H.W. Bush has died. It was hardly unexpected given his age and how frail he looked at his wife's funeral. That leaves us with four ex-presidents still living.

I simply can't resist linking to this idiocy. I guess the clerk can be excused since New Mexico has only been a state for 106 years. As Mom asked: what about newer states?

Friday, November 30, 2018

November 30

Ah, the last day of November and the stretch run to our season of overindulgence, a.k.a. Christmas.

On the political front I found this Atlantic article this morning which lays out the implications for the current administration of the latest guilty plea from #45's former personal lawyer. Not pretty for what it says about him, his sycophants, and for us as a political society.

One of the Google alerts I have followed for a few years now is one on "heatwaves." As I read the headlines over the last couple of days about brutal heatwaves hitting Australia accompanied by bushfires I had a gut reaction: these heatwaves seem to come earlier in their spring than before just as the heatwaves north of the equator are marching north earlier in the year. Like I say, it is a gut reaction and I don't have any hard evidence that the perception matches reality. It seems to me that no matter what #45 believes (or doesn't believe) climate change is smacking us in the face at every opportunity.

I am glad to see this story. I have never been a great fan of Bruce Rauner but living in Indiana I couldn't vote against him. For any who don't know he is the lame duck governor of Illinois. I think urban agriculture should be encouraged in every way possible.

So #45 is a fraud. What else is new?? As I wrote above, that he is in the White House says nothing good about us.