Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

The Las Vegas shooting

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

paddock

Sunday evening saw the worst mass murder in US history at a country and western music concert. 22,000 people were gathered in Las Vega when a man for unknown reasons opened fire for a hotel suite across from the concert.

The shooter was Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old man who lived in Mesquite, Nevada, a small retirement-type community outside Las Vegas. The Reno Gazette-Journal has information about Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, who is currently out of the country. Law enforcement reported Paddock had property in Reno, Nevada, and sent a SWAT team to investigate his home up north. Police have not determined a motive yet, but there is speculation the shooter had large gambling debt. Paddock’s brother reports the murderer was not violent, he was not a “gun person,” had no military experience, was not religious or political. Paddock’s father was on the FBI’s most wanted list for bank robbery.

Were there two shooters ? I wonder.

There is also a suggestion that he was wealthy and debt was not an issue. He was a “high roller” or, as the term is used in Las Vegas, a “whale.”

Why would he choose a country music concert. CNN tells us that country music fans are Trump supporters.

This, if true, might suggest a motive. What if the shooter was a Trump hater ?

A video of an anti-Trump protest in Reno, where the shooter has a home, has now been deleted by You Tube.

They do that when the narrative is threatened.

Another site that the man in the NASA shirt and the pussy hat is not Paddock.

We should know pretty soon and it is suggestive that nothing is coming out about motive. If he was a Tea Party member, (remember Aurora CO?), we would hear about it 24/7. The girlfriend is out of the country, another interesting fact. What does she know ?

Of course, the left immediately focuses on gun control.

The fact that they do so quickly is another hint that the motive may be a problem for them. Has anyone else noticed how quickly James Hodgkinson disappeared from view ?

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, said on the Senate floor that the gunman apparently volunteered on his presidential campaign. Sanders said he was “sickened by this despicable act.”

Hodgkinson praised Sanders on social media, CBS News has learned. The FBI is going through his posts, mainly on Facebook, where he was highly critical of President Trump, calling him a traitor. The social media company said his two profiles have been removed from its platform.

He has also been removed from the news and from history. How long before we know about Paddock ? The police have had his cell phone and computer now for 2 days. What do they know about motive ?

Segregation is returning.

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The strange goings on at colleges and in the streets of cities like St Louis makes me wonder if blacks have decided to revert to segregation.

Peaceful protests Friday turned violent when protesters broke a window and splattered paint on Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house. Police in riot gear responded, moved the crowd away from the house and eventually broke up the group with tear gas. Later, at least two armored vehicles were deployed.

The protests began Friday morning after a white former St. Louis officer was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a black suspect.

Krewson-Official-Photo-Profile-250px

In 1995 Lyda’s husband, Jeff Krewson, was tragically murdered in an attempted carjacking in front of their Central West End row house. With the support of family, friends, and many great neighbors, Krewson continued to raise her 2 kids there.

Why would any white person want to live in St Louis ?

The man shot by the officer, who was charged with first degree murder in spite of the fact that the man he shot was a drug dealer and armed and fleeing police at high speed.

The videos of the incident clearly show that the shooting was part of a confrontation.

Why in the world was the policeman overcharged?

The riots in Ferguson and Baltimore show that cities with large black populations are powder kegs.

A white reporter is attacked while trying to provide news coverage.

He asks why they picked on him ? He is white. He says, “My boss told me if there is any violence, leave, so we are leaving.”

It doesn’t require court judgements that blacks don’t like.

White and Asian students studying at Dartmouth’s Baker Library are harassed.

Why is this going on ? Dartmouth is an even more leftist campus than when I was there 25 years ago.

I don’t seem to be the only one noticing.

What are the Democrats up to today? They’re going back to their roots and have gotten back into the sign-posting business again. They’re putting up signs in every cafe in the land to let us Deplorables know we can’t sit with them. They’re trying to be sneakier about it this time. The signs don’t say “TRUMP SUPPORTERS GO AROUND BACK” or “DEMOCRATS ONLY.” Oh no! That would be too obvious. Instead, they’re posting these. I found this at the local coffee shop I had been frequenting instead of Starbucks. I haven’t been back since.

It seems to be all over, not just streets and college campuses.

This book, which explains how Affirmative Action harms black students, might help.

Sander and Taylor have long admired affirmative action’s original goals, but after many years of studying racial preferences, they have reached a controversial but undeniable conclusion: that preferences hurt underrepresented minorities far more than they help them. At the heart of affirmative action’s failure is a simple phenomenon called mismatch. Using dramatic new data and numerous interviews with affected former students and university officials of color, the authors show how racial preferences often put students in competition with far better-prepared classmates, dooming many to fall so far behind that they can never catch up. Mismatch largely explains why, even though black applicants are more likely to enter college than whites with similar backgrounds, they are far less likely to finish; why there are so few black and Hispanic professionals with science and engineering degrees and doctorates; why black law graduates fail bar exams at four times the rate of whites; and why universities accept relatively affluent minorities over working class and poor people of all races.

Those black students were not studying for final exams like the white and Asian students they harassed. Maybe they know it is no use.

Now, Dartmouth has all sorts of black only facilities but still the BLM protests and harasses white and Asian students.

I think I know why. I spent 15 years teaching medical students in small group settings. Many of these students were black but few were American born and raised. Most were foreign born and grew up in countries that do not have the American black obsession with victim rights.

I don’t know the solution.

More Monsoon Season

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Monsoon season began July 11 with the first thunderstorm. We missed the worst of the flooding which has been significant in the lower part of Tucson. We are in the foothills and while there is considerable runoff in local streets, we have seen no flooding.

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Back Yard

While we have had enough hard rain to hide the mountains behind us,the city has had flooding.

Flooding

The flooding has been worst in the southeast part of the city and we are northwest.

gutters

I had installed new larger gutters in anticipation of monsoon season but the rain that day exceeded their capacity and they were overflowing.

Rainbow

We did have a rainbow the other day.

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End of the Rainbow

It’s not often the you live at the end of the rainbow but we did that day.

Monsoon season, in other years I have been here, lasts until late August so we have a month more.

Monsoon Season

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

We moved to Tucson in January. The weather was cold at the time and I have seen it snow in downtown Tucson in January. I used to come over here to play golf in past years, one reason I eventually decided to move here permanently. The weather 9 months of the year is delightful. Even January warms up in the day to around 70 and I have been here to play golf when we had to wait for early tee times for the frost to melt on the greens.

Summer is hot but I told Jill it never got over 105 in my experience with Tucson. This year made me look bad as we had a couple of weeks of 115 in mid day. Finally, Monsoon Season got here and the heat is well down. Humidity is up to 65% but it is not oppressive like it used to be in Chicago, where I grew up. July 15 is the beginning although the local papers said it was expected earlier. My theory is that it is related to Mexican hurricane season which begins about now. The first Mexican hurricane of the season was “Dora”
and stayed in the Pacific.

Dora’s center will remain well off the Mexican coast, and will begin weakening soon. That was June 26.

About two weeks ago, we began to see afternoon thunderstorms arising to the northwest and sweeping to the south of us. The first real rain came a day or so after July 10 when I took this photo on our walk.

July 10

It did not rain that day but it was close.

The next day, July 11, early in the morning, we had a big thunderstorm with lots of lightning and thunder nearby. I had to leave for work at 4 AM and stopped at a gas station to get gas but the power pole across the street had been hit by lightning and the pumps were out. I finally got gas at another station but the low pressure warning light came on my dashboard and the last time that happened, I had a nail in a tire.

Not wanting to try to change a tire in the rain half-way to Phoenix, I called and cancelled out of work and went home. I went to the tire store about 9 and they found the valve stem in that tire was leaking so it was just as well I quit.

The next few days followed the same pattern and we have had a thunderstorm every afternoon for a week.

Thunderstorm1

Last weekend, a group of people from south of Phoenix went swimming in a “swimming hole” in the national forest east of Phoenix and north of Tucson. We had had flash flood warnings all week. Streets in Tucson often dip into dry “washes” and each has a sign, “Do not enter if flooded.”

Anyway, 9 people are dead and one is not yet found. In Monsoon Season stay out of canyons and stream beds.

Rainbow

We even had a rainbow last week.

Sunset

The storms are over by sunset and Juliet and I can usually take a walk just before dark.

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This is what the sky about 2 PM looks like every day. I expect this will go on into August, when in my previous experience here, the real heavy rain comes. I have seen the river over its banks and the swimming pool overflowing.

Our street and the dog walks I do.

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

The new house in Tucson is located in a pretty spot in the Catalina foothills.

I walk the dog most evenings especially as it is now starting to warm up.

house-view-west

The west view from our house shows how much of the area here is open space.

Our street and Juliet,

The sunsets are spectacular, even from street level.

Ocotillo sunset

We have huge Ocotillo cactuses on the property which are just starting to leaf out and bloom.

our street

The view to the east shows the mountains.

Grand kids

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

For Christmas last year, I gave my son and his wife a lovely painting of their children.

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Laguna Beach

It was done by a Laguna Beach artist whose work I like very much.

I hope they will enjoy it especially when the children are grown and gone on with their lives.

William and the AR 15

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

william-ar15

Here is William with the AR 15 at the shooting range. It’s mine but he gets to shoot it.
william-ppk

He was also pretty good with the Walther PPK. The .45 1911 is a bit big for his hands now.

B 17 nose and Joe

Here’s his father with a birthday present, a ride on a B 17.

Special gifts.

The New House in Tucson

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Today we went through the new house to plan work to be done once it is ours.

UPDATE: Escrow has now closed and we are the owners. The work on the ceilings had begun. I was there yesterday and the contractor did some demo work to convert the little laundry room so it faces the garage. The wall between is thin and has a header existing so the wall can be opened. The water lines look old and he will replace the valves. There is no gas access so he will tap off the gas to the A/C and water heater which are across a small hallway. We have a gas dryer and like it. The A/C unit is old but, hopefully, has some life left in it.

house-front

Here is Jill walking out of the front door. The view shows the west side. The slope down to the street is our property. We will have some of the trees trimmed and clean up the slope a little but it has many interesting plants and we will keep it pretty wild.

house-view-west

This shows the view to the west. The hill down to the street is our property. Most of it is not useful except for privacy,

pool view

The pool will have to be drained and replastered. We will get a quote on adding a little water feature like a waterfall for the return. There is no heater but most pools here are warm enough by midsummer. If we were to add a spa we would add a heater. Not for a while.

Patio view

The patio is nice with a grass yard, rare in Tucson, for Juliet. The far wall has cracks and needs repair but we will probably move it to make the yard larger. The grass will stay the same but we may add another palo verde tree.

wall cracks.

This wall needs repair and I will get a quote for moving and rebuilding it. This area can be incorporated into the yard with a palo verde tree and some cactus. The grass area will stay the same. That may be a project for next year.

house-kitchen

The Kitchen has formica counter tops that are in good shape and we will leave them alone. Some day, we will replace them. We will bring our own refrigerator and washer and dryer from California. The garage is large and has two recesses where we can put the washer and dryer. It will require some replumbing. The present washer and dryer are front loading and stacked in a small nook that can be converted to a closet. See above. The washer and dryer are now gone and the closet space they were in is larger than I remembered. The appliance we are moving will fit easily and there will be minor replumbing. A new gas line will be run from the A/C source and there run will be only a few feet. I don’t know if there is a gas outlet for the range. The electric range is staying and we can use it until we decide to get a gas range. The kitchen has no pantry and I think we will convert a closet adjacent to the kitchen to a pantry.

The two bathrooms are 1970s era cabinets but that can wait until we have done the other work. There are popcorn ceilings which will be stripped and painted before we move in in January.

Bedroom

This is one bedroom and has the adobe wall painted. The entire house will be painted an off white instead of the colored walls.

Bedroom 2

The other bedroom has a sliding door going outside. That bathroom, Jill is already planning some remodeling. It has a nice walk-in closet and she wants to remodel a closet opposite. I should add there is a third bedroom currently used by the seller as a workshop. He is a clockmaker. All three bedrooms are nice size. The workshop bedroom is the smallest.

I am very pleased with the location and view.

We are on the foothills with Oro Valley just to the west.

January can’t come fast enough. It’s here and we are packing like mad. The seller has moved. WE let him stay until the new year. Now the work begins and will take most of the next two weeks.

Why we are losing America.

Friday, October 7th, 2016

norman_rockwell-homecoming_marine-1945

This painting, of a young Marine just home from the war, shows us how much we have lost. I remember when the guys were coming home from the war. My parents had parties for them. My father had enlisted in the Navy in World War I even though he was only 15.

albin-1918

He looks older but was only 15 and, after the war ended a few months later, admitted his age and came home. He had no intention of being a peacetime sailor.

Saloon

Here is one of the parties after the war. Our house had a basement party room with a fireplace (that smoked) and a full bar plus a juke box and, at one time, a penny slot machine that I wish I had now. Sid White, sitting in the front, was a B 17 crewman who was shot down and spent several years in a POW camp.

Standing at the far right is my uncle Tom and his wife Mavis. He had spent the war in Europe. Standing to the left of Sid is Bud Gonya who was a Seabee in the Pacific. He is wearing a vest over a white shirt. My father is standing behind the bar directly behind Sid. Next to him is Chuck Quinn, a neighbor and friend of Bud Kerrison, my cousin who is to the right of them. Bud is behind Mavis and was a B 17 bombardier in North Africa. Next to Bud and perhaps sitting on his lap is Pat Neary who would marry a friend of Bud’s from the North African campaign named Frank Flanagan. Sitting next to Sid with her arms on his shoulders is Ellen Smith who would marry him. Her brother Jimmy was in the POW camp with Sid.

Most of these girls were friends of Bud’s sisters Ruth and Marian and quite a few of them married friends of Bud from the war. I was only 7 years old at the time and had a lot of fun meeting and getting to know these people.

There has been criticism of this “Greatest Generation” who probably spoiled their children, “The Baby Boomers” who have gone to destroy their parents’ world. I think this group had grown up in the Depression and gave considerable credit to the government, credit we now believe to have been excessive. On the other hand, Roosevelt had done a credible job of running the war.

Everyone was happy it was over and the country had a period of prosperity that continued until the 1965 Johnson Administration set off an inflationary spiral that has brought us down, perhaps forever. The 1960s also introduced the violent and anarchic Baby Boomers who wrecked the social institutions over the next 40 years.

Rockwell would not recognize the country we have become.

Alaska in September.

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

We spent ten days in Alaska this month. The weather was almost perfect with only one rainy day which coincided with an 8 hour train trip.

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We stayed at the Hilton, where I stayed when I was there 23 years ago. We had dinner the first night at Simon and Seaforts, which I considered the best sea food restaurant I had ever visited. For some reason the food was not as good as I remembered but it was still full on Thursday night.

The next morning, we got up early and caught a bus at the Convention Center, called the Eagan Convention Center. There followed a six hour bus ride, broken by a short stop at McKinley Wilderness Lodge, about opposite Mount McKinley (Denali now).

denali-jill

The view from the Lodge is terrific. We were still a long way from our destination, however.

The bus finally dropped us off at The Denali Cabins, which are right outside the park on The Parks Highway.

There we were picked up by another bus, this one to take us to the The Denali Backcountry Lodge, another 92 miles into the park.

The Backcountry Lodge is a private company that occupies (with some passive resistance by the Park Service) some old gold mining claims. It was not there when I visited the Park 23 years ago although the gold claims go back to before the park existed. There is another lodge back there called The Kantishna Roadhouse, and the whole area is a community called Kantishna, although some old prints show that the name was originally Kantshitna. You can’t find a link to the old name but it was there on a photo of an ancient poster.

We left the Denali Cabins at 1 PM and arrived at the Backcountry Lodge at 7:45 PM, a trip of seven hours. Part of that is the 92 miles, of which the last 72 are gravel. Part of the time was spent looking at animals we encountered in the park.

denali-bear1

This was the first bear we saw on the way. We also saw caribou.

Caribou single

Here are two about 100 yards away. When I was there before, 23 years ago, we saw caribous cross the road just ahead of us but not this time.

Finally, we arrived at the lodge just in time for dinner, which they had delayed about 45 minutes for us. There were about 30 people staying there and our table mates remained as such the next few days.

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