Saturday, January 24, 2015

CONSEQUENCES OF DIVISIVE POLITICS.

On January 19th, the Bridger Pipeline,running oil from Canada to Baker Montana where it meets the Butte pipeline, had a leak into the Yellowstone river near Glendive, Montana.  The  system gathers crude from Bakken producers in eastern Montana and North Dakota. The company cannot yet say when the line will reopen or what caused the leak.
 
Since the new Republican Congress was sworn in, they’ve challenged the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline, when we are no longer dependent on imported oil and we have oil surpluses with the solar farms and electrification of autos. And gas prices are so low, Jim reported to me that he paid just under $2 a gallon in Arizona. 
 The new Republican congress attacked women’s healthcare, Social Security, Wall Street reform and they are pushing back against net neutrality.  Republicans are circulating bills––some disguised as "bi-partisan." These bills are proposing fake net neutrality to confuse the issue––the bills were written by members of Congress bought and paid for by Big Cable.

They won't stop working to decimate Obamacare and Wall Street reform. They won't stop trying to give new tax breaks to oil companies, or to millionaires and billionaires. (That recent bank written 1.1 million compromise on the Dodd-Frank bill putting us in the same position for another meltdown,for example.)

This isn't Democracy as I've known it. Am I just imagining a non-productive, low wage, poorly educated population, an imprisoned black population, and charter schools that teach a false history?  Am I just imagining that our country is moving backward, getting poorer and more violent and militant? Am I wrong about the growing ranks of the jobless and homeless with no opportunity to retire with a pension or at least, social security? What have they done to the middle class?

It will be a hard long slog to change things, slowly, at the state level, bit by bit. Or convince Republicans that their agenda isn't right for our country. Can you help?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HOLIDAY AT INCLINE-DAY 2

DSC06220 (Copy)

Sunday was ski day at Incline. I don’t ski, I’m the photographer, mule. There is a lot of clothing, gear and ticketing, and waiting around.
DSC06226 (Copy)

The sun was very bright. The weather balmy. The predicted rain didn’t show.
DSC06233 (Copy)

Cedric dons his goggles.
DSC06235 (Copy)

No,wait!  Virginia is going to wear the goggles. Cedric put on a light weight pair of sunglasses.
DSC06224 (Copy)

Sisters.  Aren’t they sweet?  Where did those goggles go?
DSC06222 (Copy)

Finally, they are ready to go. Kristanne is skiing for the first time since high school. Austin is skiing for the first time. Last year he chose snowboarding, but this was their togetherness plan. Notice the dark clothing.
DSC06240 (Copy)

Am I supposed to pick them out from all the rest from a great distance?
DSC06227 (Copy)

Owen only uses a snowboard. Doesn’t like to ski. And, of course he does it in all black clothing.
DSC06228 (Copy)

Theo only skis. Dressed in black. Both boys use the big runs.
DSC06237 (Copy)

Both Austin and Kris had a brush up lesson and skied three of the beginner hills, which was fine with them.
DSC06236 (Copy)

The emergency services brought in this injured skier, a reminder of how dangerous this sport is. There were two accidents that day.
DSC06231 (Copy)

People like to start their kids at a very young age. This little guy didn’t ski, but he wasn’t much younger than others I saw on the bunny slope.
DSC06229 (Copy)

Mt. Rose Ski area supplies incentives by entertaining the kids and a disc jockey playing popular music LOUDLY that appeals to young people.
Everyone had fun. We packed a great lunch and everyone went out for a couple more hours. I read Virginia’s newspaper and started a new book.
At the condo the non skiers watched the Patriots vs. Ducks?  Or Sea Hawks? And hung out visiting and snacking. We had another big family dinner. This time, I cooked the dinner of chicken boudin, Virginia prepared several salads to go with it. Doug’s and Virginia’s cookies, Cedric’s pies and Sees candy. No lack of desserts. Yum.

And, while we were gone, Laurie finished the puzzle.
DSC06241 (Copy)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

INCLINE VILLAGE HOLIDAY

DSC06186 (Copy)

Friday past, Doug, myself, and a lot of baggage loaded into Ken's seven passenger Tahoe and headed for a rented condo at Incline Village. It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a hot tub, a foos ball table, books, television, and, plenty of room for our gang of 11. (Missing was grandson's Mason and Alec.) Our first stop was the Great Basin Brewing Company for lunch, in Reno.
DSC06188 (Copy)

Ken is growing a mustache, and his son, Stewart lives in a house close to his campus at University of Nevada at Reno. All college kids like a free lunch, and it gave Stewart, who has facial hair, a chance to rib his dad on his "paltry" mustache.
DSC06189 (Copy)

After lunch, we picked up my oldest daughter, Kristanne and her son Austin at the Reno Airport and drove to the condo.
DSC06194 (Copy)

On Saturday morning, (Virginia and her gang have yet to arrive), Doug, who is known for his fabulous omelets was relaxing when his brother said, I'm hungry now, where is that omelet?  I love this, Doug, in pidgin English, said, "you-want-omelet-now? OK." Ken got his plate of eggs in about one minute, including a do it yourself kit.
DSC06195 (Copy)

The omelets were full of veggies, cheese and ham, made to order, and delish.
DSC06196 (Copy)

Later Saturday morning, youngest daughter Virginia, her husband Cedric and their boys, Theo and Owen arrived. Theo and I started a jigsaw puzzle, all the while wondering if all the pieces are present. It was a challenging puzzle.
DSC06197 (Copy)

We are a games playing family, and soon Laurie and Kris were playing RummiKub. Virginia read her paper she brought from home.
DSC06198 (Copy)

Stewart drove up and he, Doug and Ken had a game of Elevator going at the other end of the table.
DSC06201 (Copy)

It was chit-chat, relaxation and games. Elevator, Thirteen, Phase 10. People jumped in and out of the games, as they changed throughout the day.
DSC06202 (Copy)

Theo and Austin went out, played in the snow, came in, jumped in the hot tub and came up to make their lunch before going back in the tub. Theo taught Austin to put the "right" kind of potato chips in his turkey and cheese sandwich.
DSC06210 (Copy)

Cedric tried a hand game Austin brought that is popular at his school. It is a Japanese game where you toss the ball on the end of the string and catch it in one of two cups and on a peg. I think it is Chandra? Much harder than it looks.
DSC06211 (Copy)

Cedric spent part of the afternoon baking pies for dinner. We all demand a pie fix. His are the best.
DSC06215 (Copy)

We play a lot of cards. Stewart laments that in his generation only a couple of his friends actually play cards. Virginia brings a card game she discovered in Mexico, an auction game we play only once. I think it is called Ah Fiance.
DSC06214 (Copy)

Laurie cooked Saturday night's dinner. A big pot of Mexican chili with cilantro and cheese, her  home-made corn tortillas. A black bean and pepper coleslaw, a bowl of guacamole, and dipping chips. Hardly anyone was hungry enough for dessert.
DSC06216 (Copy)

By bedtime, the puzzle was unfinished. Theo, Cedric, Laurie, myself and Owen all worked off and on during the day on the puzzle. More tomorrow.

Friday, January 16, 2015

GIRLS AND BEER.

DSC06176 (Copy)

I am very ambivalent about birthdays. I don’t celebrate my own, nor others, normally. Other people remember mine. I often don’t. But, Margo on the right, was also not celebrating her birthday, but here we are having a birthday get together for Margo. Basically just an excuse to have a girls night out. Amanda, on the left, is new in town and works at Quyle pottery. A new Brewery in town, we decided to try their beers. But, check out the glasses, Amanda’s glass is tall, Margo has a mug.
DSC06182 (Copy)

Pam and I each have a heavy “brandy” style glass?  Beats me. We ordered a taster and my favorite beer is Black Butte Porter. This brewing company doesn’t make a porter, but their stout was excellent and the rest of their beers were too. Glad we went, but, just a pass on the food. So, go for the beer.

Pam Quyle runs a pottery in Murphys that started with her parents 61 years ago. We’ve been long time friends and Pam decided we will have dinner at my house in February. She is the organizer so, now I know what kind of beer everyone likes. February it is. Maybe we’ll  not celebrate another birthday if we can find a friend born in February? I gave Margo the best card. We’re all single. On the front it reads, “I was trying to find a man for you.” On the inside it read, “But, why get something so useless.”

I know, its bad. I was the fourth recipient of that card. I scratched my name out and put in Margo’s. It’s a girl thing. It went well with the beer.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ARE YOU RELATED TO GENGHIS KAHN?

DSC06172 (Copy)

My great-grandmother started this quilt when she was 94 years old. It was her first time to use an electric sewing machine, her eyes were weary, and the quilt is very poorly sewn, and was unfinished. My mother handed it to me, and I asked my quilt guild friends at one time, could it be rescued? Their answer was, only keep it if it has memories for you.
I've finally hemmed the border and yarn tied it, nothing of beauty, but useable. Quilters have many homilies about working on quilts, a lot of nostalgia induced from working with saved scraps of material, parts of your children's clothing, Aunt Elsie's wedding veil or a favorite blouse or dress. As I worked some magic crept in. I thought of the few encounters I had with her. She spoke a jumble of French mixed in with her English. I could see her beautiful smile when she picked up my older sister's first child, and hugged her. She would touch my cheeks with soft, soft hands. I traced her work closely with my hands and thought about her. It crossed my mind that she touched this quilt, handled it, and it has never been washed. Could a person feel the DNA from a past great-grandmother?  Silly, I suppose but I got emotionally involved with this homely quilt.

My mother's family was French. When she did an extensive genealogy, she found out that there was some American Indian blood in her family, which explained the hawk nosed Indian features of some of my uncles.
Speaking of features, when I was growing up, my dad used to call me his "little Mongolian" because I had very slanted, Asian looking eyes. One of my brothers and my oldest daughter have that same feature, except, as we aged, our eyes have become more occidental.

Now, a genealogist I know, red-haired and blue-eyed, had serious burns and went to a plastic surgeon. He told her, I see you have Asian or African background from the way your scars rope.
She told him it couldn't be, she had traced her ancestry into the 1600's and had a clear view of who she was.

Segue forward to DNA ancestry testing which is very popular and affordable right now. The plastic surgeon was right. She knew there was a family story that the grandson of Genghis Kahn, Kublai Khan had invaded their Polish village in the 1200's. From the British Royal Museum, she got a map of Khan's conquests and sure enough, their village of Besko was invaded. Kahn pillaged and burned his way across much of Asia and Europe, killing the men and impregnating as many women as he could. They say now that one out of 200 men are related to Kahn. Hmm!  Interesting. Maybe my Dad knew something I didn't and I could be related to Genghis Kahn.  Guess it is time to get a DNA test.

See what can happen to you when you connect with the past through an old quilt?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Congress Critters from both parties work against what is best for the 99% of working people who just want to raise their families, have a decent job,  and get a bit of fun out of life. I side with the party who champions working people most. But this came in my mail:

Democrats who shill for corporations at the expense of their constituents.  We must let them know we are watching and won’t forget when it comes time for re-election.  I'm disgusted that I sent money to five of the people on this list and I've let it be known I won't send another dollar.  That is a Republican bill trying to gut the DODD-FRANK protections from another Wall Street melt down.(It didn't pass, by the way.)


The second one is the Keystone Pipeline. The Governor of North Dakota keeps touting the jobs it will bring, some say exaggerated numbers, but no mention is made about the town flooded with oil from a pipeline leak that ruined their wells and made them evacuate their homes and businesses. Leaks, we are told, happen all the time in these pipelines.  Gas is at its cheapest in years and we don't need that pipeline. It is an environmental disaster as we get cleaner and cleaner energy.

KeystoneDoddFrank

I can't say they are ALL TOTALLY bad, but it needs watching.

And, since I'm on the subject of congress critters, I should apologize for this, but these people are holding public office. All are newly elected Republicans for 2015.
20140106_new_congress_v3_02
20140106_new_congress_v3_04
20140106_new_congress_v3_05 (Copy)
20140106_new_congress_v3_03 (Copy)20140106_new_congress_v3_06 (Copy)
There are a lot of good Republicans out there, but, are there so few good ones around they vote in people so out of touch with reality?
My information came from Daily KOS.

Well, I've had my rant for the day. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have something more positive on my mind.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

MADDIES RETIREMENT GALA.

DSC06067 (Copy)

I attended a retirement party for my friend Madelaine Krska. She retired from the county as head of the Elections Department and is moving to Arizona as soon as she sells her place. Dang. Maddie gave all the good parties. Now, none of us know what to do?
She requested we come in costume so I went as a gambler. I didn’t make any money at it, but I had a lot of fun.
DSC06165 (Copy)

This is Maddie and a friend whose name I don’t know.
DSC06079 (Copy)

The Arts council puts on a fun event named for the Great Gatsby, and many people at the party attend that event and dressed to do the Charleston and show off their 1920’s and 30’s costumes.
DSC06078 (Copy)

I fit right in with the gangsters.
DSC06112 (Copy)
.
DSC06105 (Copy)
.
DSC06114 (Copy)
.
DSC06087 (Copy)
.
DSC06148 (Copy)

Irene sang along with the band.
DSC06143 (Copy)

I normally take decent pictures. With my spare battery in the motor home I avoided flash in a very low light situation, and should have taken 25 good flash photos instead of 104 lousy ones, most of which I had to throw out. Those I saved are mostly marginal. Dang, again. I gambled and lost.
DSC06074 (Copy)

Goodbye, Maddie. We’ll visit you in Scottsdale.
DSC06135 (Copy)