Thursday, September 17, 2015


I plan a slow and easy day today.  We spent yesterday in Chicago with Mom's sister whom we haven't seen in a very, very long time.  We walked longer and farther than we usually do by a very long way.  Enjoyed catching up with her and seeing what has been done with Millennium Park and the new Maggie Daily Park.  But today is the day for resting sore muscles and joints.  We haven't been in Chicago since just before Cloudgate (a.k.a. The Bean) was installed the differences are striking.  We looked in at the Art Institute/Museum but did not view anything.  It now costs $20 each with additional charges for the "special" exhibits.  They do have a "senior discount" of a whole $1. And that was intended as a bit of sarcasm.   All the other museums have similar entry fees.  That might not sound like much I think you can see how a simple excursion to one museum (with transportation, lunch, admission to the museum, admission to one special exhibit) can easily top $100.  The old conglomeration of small shops and unique eateries we remembered were gone.  I remember going up to the old main library and within a block you could find three or four small hole-in-the-wall bookshops.  Not any more.  I don't know how many Starbucks (vastly overrated) and other chain fast-food establishments.  Every retail store seemed to be part of a chain.  The noise was overwhelming.  I wondered several times if people are plugged into their iPods or other music to drown out the city-sounds.  Better than half were wearing ear-buds and another quarter were busy on their smart phones which might be a way to block out the jumble of visual images.  We are both glad to be back in our quieter and less congested environment.

This is a sad commentary on our modern life from the BBC--a three-year-old with type 2 diabetes.  The article did say she was American, grossly overweight and getting little exercise.  But, given what we saw available for food in downtown Chicago yesterday and her parents, if they aren't affluent enough to afford the fees at the parks and good day care isn't available, may not be able to get her out to get adequate exercise, perhaps we shouldn't be all that surprised.  My aunt mentioned the "meanness" going on up there and we saw a half-dozen park police on our relatively short walk.  Would you trust going out with your toddler?  Evidently the parents were able to make beneficial changes which reversed the condition but it makes you wonder if how we live now isn't hazardous to our health and, if so, how hazardous.

So Kim Davis thinks she is being persecuted for her religious beliefs?  Consider this and then tell me about persecution.  I would also like to know if the ex-husband had to attend "parenting" classes in this matter to maintain his rights to co-parent.

I have read about "food waste" for some time now.  Evidently the EPA and USDA are joining forces (with Obama as cheerleader) to encourage Americans to reduce food waste 50% by 2030.  Of course, I don't see any specific actions proposed.  I did skim the U.S. Food Waste Challenge site and most of the information I saw is common sense.  However, it involves practices and mind sets that have gone by the wayside over the last 50 or more years.  How are they going to get people to go back to those practices and attitudes?

I saw a title this morning that says quite a lot about our expectations of a president:  If she failed as a CEO, how can she succeed as POTUS?  It assumes that a successful businessperson can succeed at president.  Does anyone really think Herbert Hoover, a very successful mining engineer and businessman, was a successful president?  If you do I suggest you examine the origin of the term "Hooverville."  It also assumes that we want and need a business mentality in the Whitehouse.  However, many questions which beset the president don't reduce themselves to black-and-white or profit-loss terms.

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