“It’s simple: It’s the shit you don’t need for the life you don’t want.”
Happy Birthday to two of my friends and favorite mystery writers, Sheldon Siegel and Christopher G. Moore
TODAY FROM AMERICA:
A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:
1. The dog days of my life
The first week of July has passed by with a lazy whimper. The temperature reached 110 degrees in some places nearby, leaving me listless and uninterested in things like temperatures. We watched fireworks on the evening of July 3rd surrounded by what appeared to me to be most of the population of the foothills.
One of our fish, the Siamese fighting fish (named Croc), died during the week. I guess he just gave up the fight. Our crayfish (Sushi) died a few days before. He curled up, waved his pincers at Dick once or twice and left to go wherever crayfish go after they die. I, unfortunately, was too hot to care and huddled next to my fan while Dick and H deposited the carcasses of our friends in the trash. Now and then every family must endure some tragedy. This was the week for us.
The second week of July has begun with no foreseeable break in the 100 degree temperatures. S has left to return to Thailand for a few months claiming to have saved H from the near starvation and poor nutrition to which she believes he has been subject. I still cling to my electric fan and retreat into an impervious shell of disinterest.
My temporary membership in the health club with the pool ended this week, so I now will forgo swimming except on weekends at the local community pool and resume exercising at my old club.
HRM and Pookie by the pool
While at the man cave ruining my health with a hand rolled Madura Lonsdale and a Coke, I watched The Godfather, Part II. It’s got to be one of the 10 best American movies ever made. You may have noticed that most dramatic movies made today are dark and have a bluish tint. I used to know why but I forget. The Godfather movies are dark but use a reddish tint. This gives them the feeling of antique grandeur.
Recently some clouds have appeared darkening the sky. After vamping around awhile moved on leaving us still parched and panting.
2. Excitement in the hood
Yesterday while lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I received an email from Stevie that the local news reported the main street by my subdivision was blocked by police because some guy, armed and holed up in his house, threatened anyone who approached. Shots were fired and the gunman ultimately surrendered. This is the third gun shooting incident in this upscale community in the past year. The gunmen were all troubled sons of local residents still living at home. Dick was walking the dogs in the area and observed the blockade. I remained where I was, pleased by the thought that these elegant homes seethed with the same craziness that exists in our most crime ridden cities. They seem, however, to prefer to despair in private rather than in the streets for all to see.
Speaking of crime ridden cities. Below is a color photograph of New York’s Mulberry Street in about 1900 at the time that DiNero prowled that same street in Godfather II and about sixty years before I lived there. It seems a lot more interesting place than EDH. What is it about people who the first thing they do when they are financially able to do so is to run and hide from others? Maybe it is just an American trait. In Rome and Paris and even BKK, rather than moving to the suburbs when finding oneself more financially secure, the residents choose to fix up their existing apartments and condos instead.
B. SNIPPETS FROM T&T’S PAST:
“Bangkok is one of those cities I have experienced, like Rome and a few others, where one cannot get from where one is to where one wants to go without first going someplace where one does not want to go… unless one takes an uncomfortable, slow, and inefficient bus (in this case over two hours and four bus changes) and accepts the ignominy of the Duchess of Westminster’s dictum, “Anyone seen in a bus over the age of 30 has been a failure in life”
12 Capt. Coast 0001
July 12 – On this date in 927AD Æthelstan, King of England, secures a pledge from Constantine II of Scotland that the latter will not ally with any Viking kings, beginning the process of unifying Great Britain. This is considered the closest thing that England has to a foundation date.
Birthdays: 100BC – Julius Caesar, 1817 – Henry David Thoreau, 1895 – Buckminster Fuller, 1904 – Pablo Neruda, 1908 – Milton Berle, 1935 – Van Cliburn, 1955 – Bambi Woods. The Heir to the Crown of Tonga also celebrates his birthday today.
Deaths: 1536 – Desiderius Erasmus, 1804 – Alexander Hamilton, 1849 – Dolly Madison, 1935 – Alfred Dreyfus, 1973 – Lon Chaney, Jr., 1998 – Jimmy Driftwood.
Feast days and holidays: Feast Day of: Hermagoras and Fortunatus, Jason of Tarsus, and Nathan Soederblom. It is Independence Day for: Kiribati, São Tomé and Príncipe. And finally, on this day in Mongolia they celebrate the Second Day of Naadam.
A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
They want a change in ideology.
“There is an ideology that accommodates the worst of efficient markets, supply side economics, and neoliberal economists like Milton Friedman. It is called right-wing hackery…”
This is Ashok (Ashok Rao)
B. Testosterone Chronicles:
1. On Marriage:
Marriage, after all, was invented primarily to make sure that those, with enough resources for it to matter and who agree to live together know how those resources are used and who gets them if one party dies. Wherever the eager lovers overlooked entering into whatever version of a prenuptial agreement was available at the time, the marriage contract promoted by either a Church or the State provided the missing terms. (Kings and Queens have always entered pre-nups of one type or another. It was included in the dowry, especially when the dowry included say, a kingdom.) Love never had anything to do with it.
2. On the evolution of political ideology:
The tragic truth, however, is that the young as they age become conservatives, ethnic groups as they move into the middle class do so also. The gay community is now free to vote Republican without shame while the black community is prevented from voting even if they are Republican. And worse of all, the seven and eight year olds of our nation seem to have been indoctrinated in many of our schools to hate others as well as to despise science.
We progressives can slap ourselves on the back all we want, but as usual we have failed to grasp the grim realities of politics which is that it is an eternal war of attrition and the opposition is better equipped and trained while all too often all we have is our optimism to sustain us as the barricades are overrun while we wait for popular support that never comes.
“And so, does the destination matter? Or is it the path we take? I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.”
Sanderson, Brandon. The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, The) (p. 818). Tom Doherty Associates.