Sunday in the Sun + 23 July 2017

Sunday in the Sun logo

So, off topic right out of the blocks, but remember Nick Drake’s Riverman? The song? Well, check out Andy Bey’s version, on his album Shades of Bey. If you like his voice, check out his album Ain’t Necessarily So. The eponymous track is out there, but so too is Hey, Love and Someone to Watch Over Me.

Well, ahem, The Deep End of Your Dreams is, yes, serving as a prelude to TimeShadow. A few months ago I decided to expand the current version(s), so the timeline for the final work will include Deep End, then NightSide/Asynchronous Mud (and a third installment of that arc), then the long (and as yet unseen by you) version of TimeShadow. I have no clear picture of what’s happening with the story I passed along to my niece (the HBO wunderkind), but apparently a few people are interested enough to push it around and see what they can do with it. Who knows. Until I hear one way or another I’m going to play with it some more, see where it takes the story.

I no longer am a part of the Wednesday Night Margarita Group so am only getting second hand reports of what’s going down in Steamboat, other than tequila, but my evolving road trip is more than making up for the loss. I went to a cabinet shop today to turn in some drawings for a few kitchen modifications I want to get done before moving into the “new” house (which was, I think, built in 1891), and the fella in there was a real Trump supporter. He espouses an interesting version of American history, needless to say, but what impresses me most is the logic, such as it is, of his arguments.

Politicians are, in his worldview, the scum of the earth. I should clarify. Career politicians are the scum of the earth, yet that’s the only kind there are these days. He claims Jefferson, Madison et.al. never envisioned such an animal as the “career” politician. Farmers like Jefferson would ride to the Assembly and do their thing for a few weeks, then go back to the farm and do their main thing for a few years. So engaged, the cabinetmaker said, our founding fathers were grounded in the real world and their policy decisions reflected real world needs, and were paid for with real world resources.

It’s kind of easy to follow this stream of thought. It’s logical and, to a degree, grounded in the reality faced by the founders. It’s also completely inapplicable in the 20th-21st centuries simply because the world changed into something the founders could never have imagined. Yet the beauty of the constitution is that it’s a living document designed to breathe and grow IN a changing cultural landscape, yet you can construe my cabinetmaker’s Weltanschaung to embrace a sort of Jeffersonian simplicity, or maybe a longing for such simplicity. Whatever…such a worldview may not be appropriate these days…or – is it? Really…think about it.

One other theme in the cabinetmaker’s soliloquy is his take that we’re fast approaching a complete breakdown in this country. That, in other words, civil war looms. He likes to think the Right will win this war because the Right is well armed and the Right practices at the range more than Liberals do. Oh, he hates Liberals and loves the Freedom Caucus. I would guess he owns a dozen or so AR-15s, and I assume he’d enjoy a little Civil War just to get in some appropriate target practice. Or maybe he’d watched the first half hour of Gone With The Wind last weekend.

I wonder if he made it to the hospital scene?

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One of the Republican No-votes last week, a female senator who will go nameless, said something to the effect that the senate Repeal and Replace bill was mean and she just couldn’t go along with it. Which kind of makes you wonder why almost 50 Republicans DID go along with it. Is this what happens when you design a bill with ideological purity in your heart, and not the needs of your fellow man? My cabinetmaker employs about a dozen people and he provides no insurance for his employees – because Obamacare didn’t require it of him. His shop is too small.

“What about you?” I asked.

“Oh, I get it through my wife’s job. So do most of the guys who work for me.”

There’s no logical inconsistency in this fella’s thinking, is there?

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Oh, just down the road a bit, in Appleton, Wisconsin, you’ll find the world headquarters for the John Birch Society. Gee, isn’t that an interesting coincidence?

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From Popular Science, this bit on the weather so far in 2017: “A famous 1936 image shows the people of Nebraska sprawled on the capitol lawn to escape record-breaking temps that had turned their AC-free homes into slow roasters. These vintage photos can make modern summer heat seem cool in comparison. But it isn’t. Average temperatures today are warmer than they were a century ago. And this week, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the first six months of 2017 the second warmest on record. First place went to 2016. What, you say, no records broken this year? Not so fast. Researchers actually expected2017 to be cooler than 2016. Because this year, unlike last, is not an El Niño year. El Niño, otherwise known as the southern oscillation, causes circulation patterns that tend to lead to warmer global temperatures. Absent this cyclical climate phenomenon, temperatures tend to be cooler. But as NOAA’s data and maps illustrate, that hasn’t made much of a difference this year—it’s still hot as heck out there.”

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The Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality has inspired so much “racial hatred” that white people in America should fear for their lives, a correspondent for the National Rifle Association’s streaming network said Wednesday. In a segment produced for the American gun lobbying organization’s online channel, conservative host Grant Stinchfield said race relations are deeply strained in the country after Barack Obama’s presidency.  “But nowhere is near as bad as it is in South Africa where white families are being tortured and killed almost every day in racist violence. It is a warning for the United States that you will never hear from the mainstream media in this country,” he added.

from the Huffington Post

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President Donald Trump plans to nominate his longtime campaign aide Sam Clovis to head science at the US Department of Agriculture, despite the fact that Clovis lacks a background in science and a congressional rule maintains that the role must be filled “from among distinguished scientists.” Clovis, who has been serving as senior White House adviser to the USDA since Trump took office, has a background as an economics professor and a former talk radio host, but he has no formal background in the hard sciences. The White House announced Trump’s plans to nominate Clovis Wednesday night.

from CNN

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A candidate challenging Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake for his seat said Thursday that she hopes John McCain — the state’s senior U.S. Senator who has been diagnosed with brain cancer — will “step away as quickly as possible.”

Kelli Ward, who is challenging Flake in the 2018 Republican primary, also said that she hopes Arizona’s governor would consider appointing her to fill McCain’s seat. Ward ran an unsuccessful campaign against McCain in the 2016 primary.

 “I hope that Senator McCain is going to look long and hard at this, that his family and his advisers are going to look at this, and they’re going to advise him to step away as quickly as possible,” she said on Indiana radio WOWO 1190 AM, according to audio published by CNN. “So that the business of the country and the business of Arizona being represented at the federal level can move forward.”

McCain’s office has said he is now considering treatment options, and McCain himself said he plans to return to the Senate soon. “I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support — unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!” he said in a tweet on Thursday.

Ward said President Donald Trump’s agenda will be held up in McCain’s absence due to fewer Republican votes in the Senate.

“That can’t stand,” she said in the radio interview. “We can’t have until the 2018 election, waiting around to accomplish the Trump agenda, to secure the border and stop illegal immigration and repeal Obamacare and fix the economy and fix the veterans administration, all those things need to be done and we can’t be at a standstill while we wait for John McCain to determine what he’s going to do.”

McCain’s office declined to comment on Friday.

from Time

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election counted Russia’s FSB security service among her clients for years, Russian court documents seen by Reuters show. The documents show that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, successfully represented the FSB’s interests in a legal wrangle over ownership of an upscale property in northwest Moscow between 2005 and 2013. The FSB, successor to the Soviet-era KGB service, was headed by Vladimir Putin before he became Russian president.

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Asked what he plans to do when he leaves the presidency, Vladimir Putin paused and smiled. “But I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the presidency,” the Russian leader replied, to laughter and applause from an audience made up almost entirely of Russians who were born after he first became president in 2000.

from The Guardian

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(from CNN) President Donald Trump has just given Russia what he might call a “beautiful” gift. According to the Washington Post, Trump has decided to dismantle a US program that was arming and training some of the rebels fighting the Syrian dictator, President Bashar al-Assad. When asked about the report, the White House and the CIA declined to comment.

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And I’d almost bet you haven’t seen anything in our mainstream media about China and India about to go to war over a border dispute in the Bhutan region? Go ahead. Try to find something.

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America’s latest aircraft carrier is about to be commissioned. Soon. The new magnetic catapult system still isn’t operational.

Say what?

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So, I’m about two weeks out from having a real desk and someplace other than Starbucks to write in. Lots to do to keep busy, but I’m taking notes out there. Sunday in the Sun, where it rains when the sun shines.

Y’all be careful out there. Oh, the girls are in heat.

Swell.

the girls.jpg

29 thoughts on “Sunday in the Sun + 23 July 2017

    • Who COULD fit that mold? Who and where is that reluctant warrior? Unbridled ambition seems to be the caricature these days, but is it true? Every politician professes noble ambition, steadfast resolve to conform to a purity of ideology – yet almost every politician soon devolves into the same toxic brew of greed, ambition and a steely resolve to ignore any but an extremely narrow range of constituents, who just may indeed simply be lobbyists. Does the Freedom Coalition in word AND deed best fit the definition of adherence to ideology? Or how about Bernie’s acolytes? But can either reach out to the “other side?”
      I keep wondering what it’s going to take to get us back on the same track. Some kind of reboot that leaves the country more or less intact. When you get right down to it, most of the people in this country are doing relatively well; true – the economy is aimlessly puttering along (and generating huge debt) yet all in all I’d say most of the discord I see is manufactured – by polarized media who thrive on generating hysteria.
      It’s a little like Citizen Kane (Hearst); WAR is good for business, so lets keep stoking the fires.

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      • Sadly, it seems that exposure to national politics really does have that corrosive effect on politicians. I knew Jeanne Shaheen back when she was a State Senator and a freshly elected Governor back in the 90’s. Yup, I was the UPS guy who delivered all the stuff she and her daughters ordered, so I was usually stopping at their beautiful farm house, which was on a typical lane and a half tree lined NH road just outside of Durham, a couple of times a week. Anyway, the causes she espoused then, and everything see and hear about her now are so completely different its mind boggling. But, she is the only national politician I have met, and I’m remembering her through the filter of a 20 something year old guy delivering packages to the house of the nice lady, with a couple of cute daughters, who makes killer chocolate chip cookies.

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      • About the only Pol I can think of that hasn’t changed all that much is CAs Jerry Brown. I’ve watched him since the 80s, and he still seems on the same road he’s always been on. Elizabeth Warren intrigues me, however. Not because of her brand of politics, but because of her persona. I can’t tell whether she believers the things she says she believes or not; to me she projects a calculating shrewdness that’s hard to take…as in: she talks like a “progressive liberal” but she projects something else. She sure knew enough to keep away from the Clinton train wreck, but hasn’t been all that effective countering the Trump mess. One minute I think she’s dangerous, the next a simple opportunist. Sometimes she sounds decent, too. Needs to work on her message, I guess.

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  1. The Constitution lives and breathes?
    Not according to the originalists.
    As a written document it was and is now perfect. No changes or updates needed.
    Just like the King James Bible. There are no contradictions and no doctrines differ, especially from old to new Testaments.
    And, most important, all elected officials with an R behind their name agree on all subjects at all times on all matters.
    For the record, the 4/5 rule is still in place, women are not permitted to vote, only land owners can hold office, Manifest Destiny gives Caucasian Christian Men the power to claim as their own the property of all others, Native Americans are illegal immigrants, greed is good, and it’s ok if you are a star.

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  2. I found this quote from the Village Voice today. “The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently.”

    The rest of the reply to a reader’s question is here:
    https://www.villagevoice.com/2014/08/06/ask-andrew-w-k-my-dad-is-a-right-wing-asshole/

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    • Precisely so. Fueled by media on the left and on the right, pouring hate on the fire. I keep thinking about an old episode from the original Star Trek, Federation vs the Klingons and a little rotating beastie near the ceiling that fed off all their hatred, growing stronger after each outbreak of hostilities. Or a feedback loop, with each side growing more and more entrenched as the noise drowns out all thought of reason. Maybe it’s time for “the people” to step back from the abyss, even if all our politicians (and their minders) don’t want us to?

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  3. The current debate between the disparate elements of the r’s reminds me more of the ferenge (sp?) as they argue the rules of acquisition and profit.

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  4. I don’t think you can get a VW/Audi diesel here in the US currently. They bought our TDI Passat back from us in late February.

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    • Sorry, it”s been some kind of a lame joke.
      Few days ago the longtime clandestine collaboration of VW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, BMW to circumvent parts of the environmental regulations on diesel engines has been revealed. And it seems authorities had been looking away generously.

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  5. Having thought rather highly of my driving skills I hate to acknowledge that being in my seventies things ain’t what they used to be (if they ever were). So my current car, a VW Golf based minivan, had to have all these features for comfort and safety like active cruise control and active lanekeeping. Even not being absolutely perfect they are worth the money.

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      • Yes and yes.
        I did test drive comparable models of Audi, BMW and MB. The outrageous prices for any option necessary or wanted ruled them out for me. I don’t need/can’t afford the better image of these companies.
        I’d like to thank you for pointing to the songs of Andy Bey. I hadn’t heard of him before. His voice is exceedingly special. It took me a bit for getting used to it. Then his interpretations of familiar songs got to me. Thanks again.

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      • Porsche has priced the Boxster absurdly. 53K base, but add one or two nice option packages and you’e at 75-80K. A C-class MB based at 43 with active safety features swells to 59? An Audi A5 from 53 to 64?
        Mr Honda got my business, again. The LKAS lane keeping system on the new CR-V blew me away. AND it’ll take all three pups to the dog park. AND every time I sit in it I’ll think about that damn A5 coupe and kick myself in the ass.
        Life ain’t purdy, sometimes.
        And yessir, glad you found Andy’s music. He’s something else. His voice was made for Gershwin.

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  6. I don’t think we have the active cruise control and active lane-keeping on our A4, but it will tell you when other cars are too close, if someone is in your blind spots, and it will also apply the brakes if something is too close to the front end. But all that tech is only as good as the sensors supplying its data. What happens when the car is covered in snow or ice? Or a raindrop covers one or more sensors?

    My wife came home from work on Monday, and said the low air pressure warning light came on. In order to reset it, you have to get the tire pressure reading from each tire and input it into the MMI (funny, my F150 TELLS me how much pressure is in each tire). LR, LF, RF, all 35 psi as called for on the door jam. RR, 42 psi. 42. WTF. There aren’t mystical unicorns or aliens who run around putting air into random tires. No nails, punctures, ect. on it. The only explanation is it left the dealer with 42 psi. But why didn’t the car detect it? The owners manual claims the OBC monitors individual wheel rotational speeds to determine tire pressure. So why didn’t the system detect it before?

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    • Whenever I’ve run into a slow leak like that the tire in question has had a bad seal around the bead. Taking a bad pot hole or bumping a curb can do it, or just a bad install.
      The Subaru’s EyeSight system is defeated by driving into the sun; sensors go blind and it switches off. Most of those sensors are windshield mounted, too, so pick up some snow.
      Yup, garbage in, garbage out. These systems are not Boeing quality.

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    • The system of your car can’t determine or calculate tire pressure. It registers differences of tire rotational speed usually caused by changes of tire pressures and therefore tire circumferences. It needs some driving distance to accomplish that, at least if the differences are small. To be effective it has to be set to an actual status believed as correct and reset after a tire change for example. Your car demanding to input actual pressure readings is in my opinion a measure to avoid legal matters in the US.
      All this doesn’t explain why you got those pressure differences. I can think of several possibilities but that wouldn’t be helpful.

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  7. Well, the tire is at 35 psi now. We drove up from the Eastern Shore to Boston yesterday, with no sign of pressure loss. Go figure. Going out to dinner in the North End tonight, and We have Budweiser Deck tickets for tomorrow’s Red Sox game, so I have a cold Bud at the game for you.

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    • I don’t know how I did it (perhaps my realtor’s brother working for the Packers?), but I have now finagled season tickets for home games – at Lambeau Field. I’m so excited I’m about to pop.
      Informed yesterday that most 2017 cars now have done away with the original TPMS sensor set-up. The new sensors are embedded in the tire side-walls, on the assumption all cars going forward will have receivers. New Blizzaks this year will have them, too.
      And I just bought a Big Green Egg. Jumping’ Jehoshaphat, but the thing is huge…

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  8. I’d like to brag a bit about my early contacts with Jazz besides listening to AFN or records played by my elderly siblings. The first live concert I can remember had been Louis Armstrong and his All Stars in Lübeck in the late 1950’s. What a wonderful and heartwarming show. Until today I love ‘Rockin’ Chair’ and ‘St.James Infirmary Blues’ of the ’47 Town Hall Concert together with Jack Teagarden. The most fabulous concert for me had been with Lambert, Hendricks & Ross in Hamburg around 1960. Around 150 to 200 true fans packed in the front rows of a concert hall made for at least 1000 people and those three became some kind of a close-knit community. In the end everyone left exhausted and very happy. I can’t remember experiencing that intensive kind of rapport again.
    Thanks again for your suggestions.

    Like

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