Dave's Journal, July 2016

A Lot of Water's Gone Under the Bridge


Can a State Secede from the USA ?

(This question comes up as the UK is leaving the EU and some politicians in Texas are blustering about seceding from the USA.).

The answer is: "No. Not legally."

jpg Aside from the issues of
# Although the current generation of Texans would remain US citizens and have dual citizenship, their newborn children and grandchildren would not be US citizens, having no rights and benefits from US federal programs like SocSec, Medicare, Military protection, etc
# having to establish trade, treaty and military agreements with other countries (US, Japan, EU, China ....)
# having to establish foreign embassies and build diplomatic relations around the world
# having to get passports and temporary visas to enter the USA and be subject to immigration quotas
# having to establish their own military and equip it (war planes, battleships, tanks, rocket launchers, missiles and warheads)
# having to establish their own border security and airport security

Aside from details like those, the legal facts are:
# the Civil War clearly showed it is not legally possible for a state to leave the union - "..... one nation, indivisible ...."
# the Constitution has well-defined rules for becoming a state and specifically has no provisions whatever for a state to leave the USA.

So, my Texan friends ...... stop wasting your time and energy blustering about seceding.

The "Cars of Summer" July 4th Event in Worcester

(They Don't Make 'em Like This Anymore)

I never get bored looking at old cars. They had character. They had style. They had personalities.

Big fat chrome bumpers - hell, chrome everything! Fins. Hood ornaments. Whitewalls. "Suicide doors" !! Huge steering wheels (no power steering). Today, all cars look the same. Not back then they didn't. Anyway, here are some pictures from today's outing.

I fell off the diet wagon and had a hot dog there, which triggered an unstoppable urge for more so we picked up some at the store and I ate 2 more at home and slugged down 2 beers. Sh#t .... it's a holiday weekend, right?


The next great carshow is Tutto Italiano which happens Aug 7th.

July.03.2016 ..... pretzels and beer for lunch ..... not only fell off the diet wagon, but caught my leg in the spokes and it's thrashing me down the road !!

July 4th

Imagine a 4th of July party. Old white guys. One of them still wears his US Marines polo shirt (below, on the right). There is beer, beer, wine, beer. Someone makes the mistake of saying "Hillary" or "Obama" or "Democrats" or "Liberals" or "Muslims" One can only imagine the outcome, huh!
Happily though, I ducked out as soon as one of those words popped up, as I've learned not even to try to talk politics with these guys. (I should have bought that damn " Make America Great Again" hat at the rest stop on the way down here !! )

Anyway, these 3 guys went to school together when FDR was the President. They think Reagan was somewhat of a socialist. (That's Deb's father in the middle.)


I have come to believe (seriously) that people over 70 should not be allowed to vote - it's not our future, it's not our world to deal with, and for the most part we won't be here long enough to suffer the long term consequences of how the vote turns out.

Noel Neill (aka "Lois Lane")

Superman's first onscreen Lois Lane, Noel Darleen Neill, passed away at her home in Tuscon, Arizona, on Sunday at age 95 following an extended illness...... The actress first played Lois Lane in 1948's Superman, 1950's Atom Man vs. Superman, and in the TV series The Adventures of Superman opposite George Reeves. She also played Lane's mother Ella in 1978's Superman and Lex Luthor's wife Gertrude Vanderworth in 2006's Superman Returns, among other Superman-related credits.

Sad news for kids my age.


Got out early this morning to the wildlife place. Not a thing in sight, but a few bees and black flies and lots of nasty virus infected mosquitos. "You win some. You Lose some", I thought, and came home and had Frosted Mini Wheats with spoons of raisins ("Potasium is good for you", I said).

I currently have this fixation to get some real "bangers" (Irish / English sausage) somewhere and make me up "bangers and mash" some morning.

I told Deb this morning "If the Republicans had a traditional candidate up for president right now, Hillary would loose the election, due to the FBI statement yesterday. But the R's have Trump as their best offering and he's got a longer list of past sins."
I am glad to see now that internet news people are saying the same thing.

I think ..... if the R's dump Trump, they have a good chance of beating Hillary at this point. Their best option is to keep the fight in the gutter, keep Trump away from any seriuos topics.

I believe someone is working up a stream of video clips of Trump flipping out on a variety of topics. I saw a short clip and he looks really stupid.

Hillary's 30,000 emails ..... if you are really curious, you can search through Hillary's emails here : WikiLeaks / Hillary

I did for a short while ..... incredibly boring stuff.

jpg Wandering around the internet, I stumbled into websites about historical NYC. One thing and another, I bought a few used books ($1-$3 each !!) on the topic, and they make good reading.

I have been saying "The buildings in Europe are so beautiful and historic, made of stone, classic architecture. You don't see that here in this country". Well . . . truth is that at one time you did see that here - fabulous massive classic designs in stone, as beautiful as anywhere else. Problem is, we demolished most of those buildings (for various arguable reasons).

That (above) is a picture of Penn Station, demolished in 1963. Below is a picture of what "they" replaced it with.


As the Brits say ..... God save the Queen.

Sometime in my life I read .... "A civilization shouldn't be judged on the monuments it builds, but rather on the monuments that it tears down."

Whatever ...... I will enjoy my books and remember that the US really did have cities of incredible classic architecture. Then we tore much of it down.

I have lost my sanity. I have become an obsessive news junkie, agonizing over sh#t going on all over the world that has no relation whatever to my day-to-day life. This is insane ! I prowl around Google News clicking item after item getting mad at all the stupidity, violence, etc etc. I hope the weather is good tomorrow so I can get away from this screen.

The Realities of Refugees in Europe

I am getting one hell of an education today on the refugee crisis in Europe. Why we don't see this stuff on our TV news coverage is beyond me. Go to Youtube and search on "Europe, refugees". Some videos are 15 - 30 minutes long, but are shocking and eye-opening.

This stuff has to get onto US TV news !

Yesterday, in Gerardo's Itailian Pastries, I saw this guy (my age) with a cochlear implant, tapped him on the shoulder and we had a chat. He loves it! Very happy. He did it in Sep2015, and worked hard to relearn how to hear, but he said "It's a miracle." So I am encouraged. The plan says that I call the hospital this week to meet with their new surgeon, and we take it from there.

Today, Deb and I are off to Boston, as the weather is scheduled to be really nice.

Boston indeed was very nice today, and indeed " .... 'twas hot as the witch's tongue".

We walked along the Charles River, then over to Commonwealth Ave. and dreamed about living in one of the apartments there (dream on ! ). Sat for a while watching people. Then over to Newbury St. for wine and salads.


There are benches along the Charles River and we sat there for a while. Noticed that some family had a plaque made for the bench we were on.....



Dave's Journal is 9 Years Old !

This started out as a "2-week trial run" on July.18.2007.



It occured to me today that it was 50 years ago this month (July 1966) that I started my first "real" job - with Northrop Aircraft Co. outside Los Angeles. Junior Engineer, aircraft performance analysis.

Three years later I went to Aerojet General - reliability & safety designer of electro-mechanical bomb fuzes (Vietnam war stuff dropped from airplanes).

Three years later to General Electric and wandered my way through a career and a half in aircraft jet engines and then submarine turbines, until 2007.

Time flies, I'll tell ya!

Learn Something Every Day

Got a new cell phone this week, and have been "setting it up" now for days. It's fun to set up new toys, then they get boring, but we haven't got to "boring" yet. However we got to "holy sh#t", we did.

Google is a vague universe to me, and I don't really want to live in it all the time, but I do allow Google to track my phone via GPS. I did this in case I get hurt out on a trail and can't call 911 myself. I'm thinking, when I don't show up at home, Deb will call Mike and Mike knows how to track me with this GPS thing and tell the med-evac helicopter where I am - or at least, where my phone is. Thus ..... they can retrieve my body and give me a proper burial (as necessary).

jpg So today I turn my phone on and get a message from Google .... "How did you enjoy your visit to Kimball's Ice Cream yesterday? "
WTF ? ..... hey Deb did you use Google maps to find Kimball's ?? ....no? ... no? .... hmmmm. So I delete the message on go on to the next message which asks me "How did you enjoy your trip to the Audubon Sanctuary this morning?" .... WTF ????

And then I see a little Google map that shows where I have driven, each day, since I got the phone !!!

Since I hold Mike personally responsible for the criminal misuse of technology that his generation is now inflicting upon us old people, I text Mike.

He says they have been doing this for 20, 30 years. That's how they prove that criminals were at their crime scenes and guys were at stripper bars, crack houses and girl friend's houses.

File this under ..... "Turn off That GPS Tracking APP on Your Cell Phone"


Deb took her nieces shopping today, so I slipped back into Boston, basically to test a lens I haven't used. It was #@#%#ing hot, even though I stayed along the river and there's lots of shade there. The lens (a 1970's Minolta) worked out very nicely. Happy I got it. Made some video clips, but not sure what exactly I'm gonna do with them.


There was some drama with one of the sailboat school boats. The two little kids got caught in the wind, dragged way out and the boat capsized. The rescue boat for some reason called for help and Boston city fireman and cops came clamouring in. Mostly they watched but you could see they were ready to jump in as necessary.

Don't know why the rescue boat just didn't lower the sails and tow them in. "Tough Love" ????

Had lunch with Mike at Porter Square, on the way home.

It just occured to me that if Hillary wins the election, three of the worlds most influential governments (US, Germany, UK) will be lead by a woman.



I am not a sit-on-the-beach person

and neither is Deb. But we go to Hampton Beach, NH once in a few summers, and walk along the water, then along the shops, then stop somewhere for salads and drinks.
Today was the beach day for 2016, and off we went.


(I'd like to say that this is my artful interpretation of the beach, but truth be told, I had the camera set wrong when we got there. Painful to admit though . . . . it is the most interesting beach shot I came home with !!!)





Weeds, bleach, mulch, cow manure .... 900F and sunny .... I quit !!

Fox News: never has any good news about the Democrats, and never has any bad news about the Republicans.

MSNBC: never has any bad news about the Democrats, and never has any good news about the Republicans.

Can't believe either one of them. They kind of remind me of the cow manure I dug into the garden yesterday.

I must say . . . .Deb's retirement is not too bad (for me). I thought she'd drive me nuts, but ..... so far so good.

Today she surprised me by wanting to go to the Worcester Art Museum - she is not the artsy person on the team here. But it was a "cat" exhibit so she was interested.

It was good. They had a lot of local artists' work and lots of it was from younger people and the stuff was really nice to see. In fact, the "amateur" art had more feeling than the "professional" art. The pro stuff was technically "more perfect" but the amateur stuff felt a little more "soulful". This ties into my view that snapshots of family and friends are the best pictures you will ever make. All your "artwork" may be interesting and provocative, but your snapshots show the world who you are (or were).


Reported from the New Yorker: Dave, your comments about "feeling" and "perfection" ..... have you seen that in other arts?

Dave: Hi, Mona, been a while. Love your hair, and the shoes are killer.

Reporter: Ever so kind, Dave, but let's talk "the arts .... feelings .... perfection." Can you just walk us through your thinking on these.

Dave: Sure.
I'm reminded of the Nutcracker ballet.
Way back, I took the kids maybe six times to see it during Christmas. Four times were the Boston Ballet Company, once was Chicago and once was The Canadian Ballet Co.

Reporter: Did the kids like it?

Dave: ......ehhhhh

Reporter: Okay, so go on.

Dave: The Boston performances always had an edge to them. You could catch small mis-steps, a slight weakness in a jump, a twitch in a high catch. It all kind of held your attention, thinking "somebody is going to fall up there!!". But they never did fall or even stumble ..... it was just subtle wavers and shakes you could hardly notice.
By comparison, Chicago was really really perfect. Canada was very perfect. Both Chicago and Canada felt boring as their ballets progressed.
They looked robotic. Perfectly robotic. And it was inspiring and perfect, but it was boring. To this day, I say the edgy Boston Ballet people did the best (if less-than-perfect) performances.

Reporter: Fascinating observations, Dave. You are ever so insightful, and I must say devilishly charming in Armani shorts, shirt and Peruvian alligator shoes. So ..... listen .... do keep my cell phone number handy. I'll be back from Paris later this year. We can do brunch again at Cisco's on the Cliff.

Dave: You bet, Mona. Take care .... and ....... could you take your shoes off and use the back door so Deb doesn't hear you leave? Thanks a ever so much.

[Fade to Black]


Stumbling around the TV, I found The Adams Family, from .... what? .... the 1960's? Wondered whatever happened to Carolyn Jones after that. Can't remember if I "googled" her or "wiki'd" her, but I read her bio. She died at age 53 "after a tough battle with cancer". She had the most beautiful eyes - like Betty Davis.

Carolyn's eyes.

Porsche 356 Speedster

Back in my school days, fantasizing about what cars I was going to own, the Porsche 356 speedster was always on the short list, and I saw one today in prestige condition.

This is the model Porsche that James Dean was killed in ..... that counts for something, right !
It's the kind of car that dreams, myths and legends are made of.



And here I am, reflected in someone's hub cap.


(My hair is actually cut short ..... don't know why it looks long and windblown there. )