In Quick Rotation

Some Left-Coast Gay Money

I have consciously been trying to keep politics off this blog and confining such discussions to my Twitter feed. Twitter is like the wild west, where anything goes and where politically ranting tweets have become the lingua franca. I self censor not so much not to offend, but because such arguments either fall on deaf ears or end up singing to the choir. However, like volcanos occasionally have to erupt, then too so do I. The genesis of this eruption is the never-ending stream of revelations emanating from the Whitehouse, first about collusion with Russia, but now superseded by Stormy Daniels. The spark that has ignited this blogging conflagration was this morning’s 4 AM thunderstorm. It was a doozy. While, I was lying awake in bed, my fevered brain kept ping-ponging back-and-forth between stories about Stormy Daniels and the stormy weather going on outside. Here are a few of the little ditties that I came up with and played in quick rotation on the juke box of my mind: 

  • Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky,
    Stormy Daniels. Keeps raining all the time
  • Oh Rudy, don’t take your lies to town
  • Sarah, Sarah, Stormy’s blowing up your smoky eyes.
    Sarah Huckabee, no time is a good time for goodbyes
  • Doctor, Doctor, gimme my records back,
    I got a bad case of loving her

  • The old Donald had a fling E-I-E-I-O
    And on his fling he porked a porn star E-I-E-I-O
    With a oink, oink here, and a oink, oink there
    Here a oink, there a oink, everywhere a oink, oink
    The old Donald had a fling E-I-E-I-O

The doctored fiver pictured above, I received in change while last in California. I had some difficulty while trying to process it in Photoshop, which recognized the image as currency and for fear of counterfeiting, wanted to have nothing to do with it. My work around was to first apply a vignette with another, less sophisticated app that tinted the original image enough to satisfy Photoshop. 

Earth Day

Great Blue Heron’s Call-to-Arms

Today, is Earth Day, not quite a national holiday, but a holiday near and dear to us both. Yesterday, we celebrated it properly by attending its festival in Forest Park. We arrived carbon neutral on our bicycles, not bookkeeping our own CO2 exhalations, which were minimal. Anyway, it was the easiest way to travel.

The Saint Louis festival is a conglomeration of booths. Some are nonprofit and some are for profit. It really is a mish-mash. You can be discussing regional bike politics at one booth and then fending off aluminum siding salesmen at the next.

The fun of Earth Day is shopping among these often disparate environmental, political and economic approaches to saving the planet. A class of pitches are from our utilities. Our lovely sewer district was pitching its greenness, with its program to uncross the streams. We were already too aware of this initiative. The electric company was asking us to subsidize their shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources, which is mandated by law. Under the current administration a little consumer push could be in order. I need to research this some more.

Cars are another big category at the fair. In past years, multiple manufactures would ply their higher MPG wares, in an effort to show their greenery. This year only Subaru dared. Separate were the electric vehicles. Headlined by Tesla with its new model 3 and whose sole salesman was overwhelmed by the crowd. 

Man holding dog leash: It’s time to go.
Boy petting skunk fir: I don’t like skunks.
Man holding dog leash and plastic bag: Well, I don’t like holding sh!t.
Booth person: Get use to it, man.

Corporate America aside, it is the more informal organizations that I dearly love. These civic organization’s booths are populated by volunteers. They are generally more closely aligned to saving the environment and they were way more fun to speak with. We had a great time and stayed longer than expected. 

Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Beneath the Santa Monica Pier

One place you don’t want to be during an earthquake is beneath the pier in Santa Monica. Another place that you don’t want to be is at home with me today while MSD tears up the road in front of the house. MSD has laid all of its sewer pipe and now plans on repaving the street, but before they can pave, they must first tear up the old surface. Our shaking was caused by a Bobcat with a pile driver. It rattled the windows, shook the house and caused a few things to fall. Anne got a late call to substitute and she was out of here. The shaking didn’t last too long, but it was soon followed by a steam shovel that was attended by a parade of dump trucks. Our side of the street has been excavated down to the subsurface.

We parked the car around the corner in expectation of not being able to use our driveway for a while. I also put out the recyclable dumpster for tomorrow, but I am now unsure how it will be emptied, what with a moat in front of us and no drawbridge to be had. Plans call for replacing the old asphalt with new concrete. This means that we will be out of our driveway for a week, so that the concrete can cure. Then they plan on doing it all over again on the other side of the road.

The really earthshaking recent events though have been the FBI raids on Trump attorney, Michael Cohen. Purportedly related to Stormy Daniels, this line of inquiry looks capable of superseding the rest of the Russia investigation. It seems ironically fitting and proper that his presidency could be brought down by one woman and a stripper at that. As Trump said, this is a disgrace, his disgrace.  

Election Day Recap

Purple Pickle Plant Flower

The old adage goes that all politics is local and this was certainly true yesterday. Anne worked her marathon election official gig again and I supported one of our friends, who was running for office. Sandi won her seat on the Maplewood city council. In a three-way race, she easily beat her two opponents with 58% of the vote. I only helped her a little, but I got a free t-shirt out of the experience. Her ward has two polling places and I poll watched at the satellite site, the VFW hall on Big Bend and tagged team with her husband Chris.

I only spent two hours at the poll, compared to Anne’s double shift, but it was still quite interesting. While Chris ran home to attend to the dogs, I was still accompanied by Lois, who was soliciting signatures for an upcoming medical marijuana ballot initiative. In her company, I was just a greenhorn and she the seasoned pro. Pat Dolan, our county councilman also swung by. His election isn’t until August, but he wanted to plant a yard sign for the exposure. It was a nice experience and I look forward to repeating it again this year.

Today, is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I remember that day and the days that followed. I was in high school at the time. Living in suburban Maryland outside our nation’s capital. King’s death sparked riots in Washington and elsewhere. Buildings within blocks of the Whitehouse were destroyed by arson, causing the sale of gasoline into cans to be banned. I was mowing lawns at the time and this would have inconvenienced me, except that I had learned to siphon gas out of the tank, making this law seem just silly.

Later, my high school in an effort to teach us all about discrimination ran an exercise, where for a week blondes were “discriminated” against. They were restricted to special lunch tables in the cafeteria and also subjected to other indignities, which I don’t remember anymore. I do remember that one of my blonde friends temporarily dyed his hair, so he could pass. This exercise made the national news causing additional notoriety. In hindsight, I am left wondering, what were we thinking? I guess we just didn’t know what to do. 

Bike, Bike, Bike


It was a day to get militant. It was a day to get out. It was a day to bike. It was a day to get out and be militant about biking. I started the day, by cycling in Forest Park. Normal for me, this is my exercise cycling. Later, Anne and I walked over to attended the grand reopening of a neighborhood bike shop, Mesa Cycles, now under new management. It appears to be a Specialized outlet now.

Later still, we hit Immaculate Conception for Trailnet’s annual chili dinner kickoff.

There, we ended up politicking. We dined with the Maplewood mayor and spouse, Barry and Deni. It was delightful. Our longtime friend and cycling enthusiast Sandi joined us. She is running for a seat on Maplewood’s city council. I volunteered to help her on election day. Which means that I only have to pull a twelve-hour day, as opposed to Anne’s fifteen that day. 

Repel Boarders

Castillo de San Marcos Cannon Firing

When we visited St. Augustine, we toured Castillo de San Marcos, a national monument now, where reenactors portray 18th-century Spanish soldiers. Built to repel first the English and then Americans, you could think of it as a not so successful wall. It could not prevent the annexation of Florida by the US.

Static fortifications seldom succeed in the face of dynamic forces. History is rife with examples. The Great Wall could not prevent the Mongols from conquering China and the Maginot Line didn’t stop the Germans. So, I don’t see why anyone thinks that a southern border wall will prevent illegal immigration. Especially since most undocumented people enter the US legally and overstay their visa.

I don’t really have a dog in this fight, since my family members are all citizens, plus I have ancestors that came to America even before San Marcos did. Even they were immigrants though. We are a nation of immigrants. Once, that idea distinguished us from other countries. What ever happened to the ideal of Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free?

I said that I am not personally affected by this debate, but I am touched by it. It hurts me to witness my country doing wrong. This is not the first time that the US has turned nativist, but it is happening again now and I don’t like it.