Dave's Journal, June2017
Early This Morning
Met Ferruccio and Joanne at Via (Worcester) for lunch. Great time - talked for hours about life, aches & pains, parents, kids, cousins and people we hardly know.
Joanne told us that cousin Janet's book has just been published:
Bankruptcy: A Love Story
When Janet Lombardi phoned her financial advisor on a gray January day in 2007, she discovered something frightening. Her husband, Josh, an attorney, had emptied accounts without her knowledge. Her advisor spoke bluntly to her: Get yourself a good accountant, attorney, and private eye. Bankruptcy: A Love Story, Lombardi's debut memoir, lays bare the financial and other infidelities in her marriage. It traces the story of her family's plunge into economic turmoil as Josh faces prosecution and prison. Set against the backdrop of
September 11th, the memoir roller coasters through sexual desire, addiction, financial collapse, and squandered love. As wife and mother, Lombardi confronts her own desires and demons as she travels the road to survival and navigates questions of love and redemption.
We saw Janet (there on the left) a year ago at J&F's 40th anniversary.
Planet Earth is Gong to Be Fine
People don't understand (or don't want to understand) that the atmosphere is rulled by very complex thermodynamics and thermodynamics allows for extremely unstable events (once they start, there is no stopping them - like pushing something off a cliff).
Truth is that history shows us how well planet Earth survives natural / atmospheric catastrophies - the planet (overall) simply settles into a new physical state, all the existing life forms die away and new ones evolve.
So .... the planet is going to be fine. Stop worrying about it.
This fine morning, I mingled with the common, gritty and gentle people at the outdoor Rietta flea market. It was fun; I met Mike there but we separated and wandered by ourselves. I bought a nice homemade wood planter for the back yard, and a rusty old toy truck (only the front cab was left of it) because I think someday I will create Art with it. There it is below, sitting under a shrub in the yard.
I was thinking to see Wonder Woman today, but it's Sunday and will be packed with screaming little kids, so I'll see it tomorrow.
One of my engineering buddies (actually a former Wentworth Institute student of mine) has kept in touch with me for the last 10 years, since he graduated. He is wicked into airplanes and race cars, and he races 100mph go-karts !! You gotta ask yourself what it feels like on a track in a go-kart race at 100mph, right ?!
He recently spent an hour in Boeing 737 flight simulator training.
Big deal. So what.
Today I warmed breakfast cereal in the microwave, I read my email and I saw the new Wonder Woman movie. Now THAT'S a life !!!.
This One Goes Back 30 Years
Rachel, Rachel, Rachel
She is visiting this weekend, between Summer trips all over the eastern USA.
Went to Kimball's yesterday for ice cream and old cars.
The groundhog / woodchuck that has been living under our shed brought out her twins today ..... here they are !!
==>> My 2017 car pictures (so far) . . . . . Cars2017
♪♫♩♬♪ Rachel & Boston & Ducks, oh My ♪♫♩♬♪
The big problem with the USA today is that we hate each other and lots of people think that it's okay to shoot "the bad guys" (who are, of course, always the guys we happen to hate).
Can't blame the President - he is neither the problem nor the solution - we've been killing each other in masses long before Donald Trump took over. You may blame him for not even trying to promote peace and quiet - "law and order" is not "peace and quiet" - but truth is that We, the People are satisfied with a society where (imagined) good guys shoot (imagined) bad guys.
It's another unsolvable problem. It takes generations of a widespread cultural evolution to change stuff like this. It's like a disease that is due to your lifestyle - can't cure it without changing how you live.
Happy Birthday Rachel !!!
Father's Day: What Better Game Than "Cornhole"
(aka "Beanbag Toss") ?
Sail Boston 2017
About 40 "tall ships" from around the world came into Boston two days ago. I watched a lot of it on TV, and we are going into the city on Wednesday to see them dockside.
Most of the smaller ships came in under sail, but most of the big ones were tugged in or had their own engines running.
One very impressive scene was a big ship from Ecuador being tugged in and the sailors were standing on the masts. There were several other big ships did the same thing. VERY impressive to see.
I've seen it twice now, and will probably see it again or buy the DVD.
What I liked about it (very much) is that the hero(ine) was always a woman; I don't mean polite, sweet and charming, I mean that she always showed feminine emotion. No Batman (I love Batman) hard-as-carbon facade. No Superman (I hate Superman) emotionless inhuman strongman act.
The downside of the movie is (are?) the last 10 minutes, when it gets very obviously CGI intense, mimicking computer battle games. Pointless crap except that it keeps the gameboys in the audience happy (being that the heroine is a girl, you know).
Anyway .... very good movie, and portrayal of a female superhero.
(People are recalling Sigourney Weaver in "Aliens" - yeh yeh yeh, but she acted more like a macho tough guy than a woman.)
Tall Ships in Boston
Yesterday. The day did not go anything like the plan, but happily it went from a D to a B+ as it progressed. I'll spare you the details.
Weather was warm and sunny, people were everywhere - stuffed into every nook and crany along the harbor, in the cafes and on the ferry.
It would have been a much nicer experience if the ships had been docked along the harbor walk, but the water is not deep enough there to do that. So you had to wind around through construction sights in the Seaport area, and backtrack often (dead ends everywhere). Then we ferry'd to the Charlestown Navy yard to see 2 or 3 more ships, plus the USS Constitution (which is being worked on through this Summer). Ferry ride is always nice.
We boarded a few ships - amazing how perfect they are, and the international sailors are dressed to kill (no pun intended).
When we got back on land, we ate and drank at Tia's. While at Tia's we saw Coast Guard security and Boston police, cuff and arrest a sinister looking dude outside the Marriot hotel; then we walked down the "Greenway" to the car.
Here are some pictures; I gave a few of them a postcard look (color, soft effect, white border)
Walking back by the Greenway (about 6:30PM), there was a food wagon with a corral *packed* with upscale office types; it actually took me a while to believe what I was looking at, but, yep, it was just a food wagon !
The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") was a mess the day it became law, and everyone knew it, but they mashed together something to get the votes to pass it.
I remember saying "If they work together to get this law running correctly, it will take 10 years to make it work right".
But instead of "working together" the D's and R's decided to spend years pissing on each others shoes over this topic.
The R's politicized it with their "Repeal and Replace" attack and felt the need to change the name to "The American Health Care Act" (who could reject something called "American", huh?). The D's sat on their butts and never addressed the law's operational problems.
This should have been done smoothly and intelligently, but our leaders can't let that happen. Must make it a "win / lose" zero sum game so they (both sides) look like they are not making any compromises. (It never dawns on them that making compromises and "meeting in the middle" is how good laws - that will stand the test of time - get written.)
Anyway, I am glad to read in some media that the "repeal and replace" wording has been slowing dying out and is being replaced by words like "amending" - which is what they all should have been working on these last few years. Hope they also scrap the new name - meaningless.
Chrissy Had a (Surprise) Birthday (Party) Yesterday !!
Lately I have become addicted to dark chocolate - the pricey European stuff they sell in upscale packaging. It is fabulous (almost erotic) to let it melt in your mouth while sipping on espresso, and that's exactly why I am addicted to it.
Made the mistake today of reading the label (never do this). The 2 little bits that I eat every day have 60% of the saturated fat the [?? surgeon general ?? ] says you should consume. 60% - 2 little pieces !
Well, sh#t, something's gotta kill me. May as well be chocolate and espresso.
On another dietary note, Deb and I had lunch at the (they say) "famous" Coney Island Hot Dog Diner in Worcester. This place is ancient and no attempt has been made to clean up the furniture; it was the first date that Deb's parents had back in 1952. Deb had a burger, I had to go with two dogs that, although they gave me the remaining 40% of my daily fats, simply did not come anywhere near a real Coney Island hot dog (what could?).
Got home, the water department turned the water back on (they had some problems) and I thought about showering. I didn't actually, but I thought about it because I got a "men's" catalog that now sells the soap you see in the picture there. Bourbon and Tobacco Soap. I love the description - "organic fair trade shea butter" - that's even more erotic than dark chocolate and espresso (ooooohh - there's a soap for you, dark chocolate and espresso!).
This stuff is not that crap you're using that you buy at the drug store - this is real "guy soap", you whimp.
But I'm glad they make this stuff, it gives me something to make fun of when I don't have too much else to write about.
Today at the Local Art Museum
The 82nd exhibit of local artists is up and showing, and I went today. First thing I noticed is there are only about half of the usual pictures and sculptures in the exhibit. It was kind of sparse. (I did not enter anything - have not made any real "art" this year.)
But what was there was good. Nothing drove me particularly wild, but nothing was "WTF is this??" either.
There was a room of paintings by a guy local named Lionel Reinford, not part of the big exhibit. He originally came from Honduras years back; went to U Mass and then Harvard and became a local teacher here. His bio page on the wall says he "paints the world the way he wants it to look, not how it actually looks". This kind of rang a bell with me, and today I enjoyed his simple childlike vision of how the world "should look".
I Am Not Going Blind
This is funny (in a self-deprecating way).
I've been having increasing difficulty reading (I have bi-focals); getting slowly worse.
When you're 40 you don't even pay attention to sh#t like this, but when you're 72 "I'm going blind".
So I went to the local eye people (where I get my glasses) and set up an exam appointment. The nice girl behind the counter said the word "cataracts?", which did not help my paranoia one bit. I made an appointment and drove home (cataracts and all).
Then I gave this a closer look. "Hey, those little pads that hold your glasses on your nose are gone - they must have fallen off. Hey, you know how your glasses have slipped down your nose and now rest on the end of your nose? Hey do you realize that you cannot actually see through the bottom half of your bifocals? Is it time to investigate alternative explanations besides you going blind?"
So I drive back the eye guys and ask the nice "cataract" girl if they can replace the missing nose pads. She says "sure we can, for $5". I pace the floor and scratch my head and say "Okay".
I'm sure you know the end of the story here. The new pads relocated the glasses up where they should be and I cancelled my exam appoinment.
On the way home, I slipped into a church and lit a few candles to thank whatever saint is in charge of old guys' failing eyes and the accompanying paranoia.
Some tabloid giggles .....