Archive - 2013

March 11th

Abuse culture

This article is spot on. In a religious group that promotes male dominance, there will be sexual abuse, it will be covered up, the perpetrator will be reinstated, and the victim will be blamed. And the members of the group close ranks and deny anything of importance happened. In these male authority cults, the sheer desperation to retain in authority even the most unsavory leaders boggles the mind. Pure evil. And very common. 

March 10th


Elizabeth Warren is just what the banking industry needs right now. She is absolutely correct. We need more of her. 

Death list

Called Aunt Olive two days ago, and I later found out that in response to her rough night of heart problems last week, she has compliled a "death list" of five people she would like to see before she dies. However, she sounds no worse for wear on the phone, so this action might be premature. Or, maybe we should all do it right now. 

I am on my way across the country. Last evening in a small freeway town I had the single most bizarre restaurant experience in my life. I was drawn into the restaurant by the sign which said it was Basque food. I have had very good Basque food before, so I went in. 

The restaurant was dated and drab, yet at the top of the specials list was steak and lobster for $64.95. The listings underneath were just as expensive. I finally worked my way down to baked lamb for $14,95. 

First came half a loaf of bread with a big bowl of soup, complete with a full-sized ladel. The soup didn't have much flavor. It was chicken and rice. I ate too much of it. Then came a huge lettuce salad. Just lettuce. Nothing else. The lettuce was covered in sour cream. It was not very good. Then came the main meal, served family style. 

A large platter containing four huge chunks of lamb, baked to black. A dish of potatoe au gratin, which was a whole baked potato covered in cheese sauce. Then, for good measure, a dish of rice, a dish of boiled green beans and, bizarrely, a dish of spaghetti with sauce! This was food enough for a family of four and I was alone. I ate one out of the four chunks of lamb and was full. And it was awful. Awful. So I, for some reason, asked the waitress for a box, but the stuff in it, paid and left. 

I dumped the box in the first waste basket I saw. 

If that was Basque food, it isn't the Basque food I remember. It was more like a medly of dishes from a school cafeteria in the early 1970s. 

I don't know if I will ever eat again. 

March 8th

Yosemite, cont.

Pictures of Yosemite, and I have plenty, will have to wait until I get home next week. They are not loading and I lack the technical expertise to solve the problem. My technical expertise consists of waiting to see if the problem goes away on its own. 

What a great refuge here at the Yosemite Bug. It is the perfect place to work. Quiet, calm, no hassle. 

March 4th

Yosemite Bug

Digging in for a week at the Yosemite Bug hostel. Don't think I am sleeping in a bunk, we have a nice cabin on stilts on the side of the mountain. We walk on catwalks to get to the door after climbing switchbacks from the main lodge. The main lodge is a completely happy, rustic place where you are free to spend the entire day hanging out, working, whatever. After two days negotiating Los Angeles, I did nothing but sleep and stare at the ceiling today. Lance is going to go shooting photos in Yosemite, which is thirty miles away. I will stay back and do some editing and writing on the book I am hoping to finish by the middle of the month. 

We were supposed to return home March 1, but after looking at the weather forecast, I decided to fulfill a long-time goal of renting an alpine cabin and writing. We'll see if the reality matches the ideal!

Meanwhile, back at the Hilton, Aunt Olla had a very tough night a couple of nights ago. Might have been heart issues. She was unresponsive twice during the night. They called my cell phone out here in LA. Those middle of the night calls are scary, but I am so glad they keep me posted. Tracie, Joe and Kae went in the next day. Olla had been up all night, yet she seemed no worse for wear and told stories they had never heard before, just as if nothing had happened 12 hours before. Incredible. I was about to drive home, but when I heard the good report, I decided to continue on with plans here. As a matter of policy, I have decided that not taking long trips just because you have a 101-year-old back home isn't the way to approach life. The 101-year-old might live to 105, and who am I to think I am that important anyway. 

I still can't load pictures here. Frustrating. I guess the thousand words will have to do. 



March 2nd

Los Angeles

 Lance and I left from Phoenix for Los Angeles this morning. It was a six hour drive, and featured LA traffic in spades for the last hour. Wow. This place is something else. 

We went to Culver City, which is a suburb, to visit a sister Lance recently discovered named Sarah. I had a picture of us all, but the site is not loading right now. 

Sarah lives in an area of town known as Little Ethiopia. There are dozens of Ethiopian restaurants. Dozens. We picked one and had  a great meal. 

The entrees come on an enormous platter. You scoop them up with teff bread, which is like a crepe. Very good flavor. 

Lance just met his sister last month. She works for a video game company. Her job makes no sense to me, but it does to Lance. They talked shop the whole time. Wow. There are worlds out there I do not understand. 

The two share a father who lives in St. Lucia, an island in the Caribbean. It is thrilling for Lance to discover and meet Sarah. He has five more new siblings to meet. 

The congestion is quite something in Los Angeles. The reason for it is obvious, too. The weather is spectacular. It was 86 degrees up in the hills outside of LA when we were driving past snow-covered peaks. Down closer to the ocean it went down to 81. 

Tomorrow, up to the Yosemite area. 



February 26th

News of the day

•I am excited that a bi-partisan group of legislators in Minnesota is endorsing a plan to increase nursing home funding by 5%. This after nursing homes have absorbed up to 40% in cuts over the past few years. This is going to keep many nursing homes from closing, if it passes. Call your legislator!

•Meanwhile, the bulk of North Dakota legislators distinguish themselves as bumbling neanderthals. Wow. And they are a majority.

•Chuck Hagel's confirmation moves slowly forward, despite Senate Republicans' revenge politics. The United States Senate must revise its rules and discard some of its stupid traditions, especially those which allow an intransigent minority to block all business. This has been going on for about 180 years, since the southern Democrats would obstruct anything having to do with slavery. Nothing good has ever come of Senate obstruction as far as I know, although I am open to hear of cases proving the opposite. 

•Why in the world is it okay to eat cows but not horses? I think cows get short shrift. People protest horses as food fur stores, but do they ever stand outside the steakhouse? McDonalds? They should picket baseball stadiums. Baseball players catch the ball with cow skin--stop to think of it, the ball itself is wrapped in cow skin. What if it were puppy skin?  I stand with cows! Although I will continue to eat them. Not as often as I each chickens and fish, but often enough. Oh, and I love eating pigs and they are more intelligent than horses! What gives? It is a dog-eat-horse world out there, people. Get over it. 

•Those darn Republicans. Now some of them are endorsing gay marriage. Where are the bigots going to go? How are they going to save their own marriages from this grave assault? Where can they hide so they don't have to see people different from them? How can they recover the freedom to impose their morals on the general populace? 

February 23rd

Copper mine


Went for a drive yesterday afternoon and found the Ray Copper Mine 11 miles south of Superior, AZ. It had a good observatory. One could watch and hear the machinery grind away in the far distance. 


February 22nd

Heart warmer

Local boy Kent Erdahl, (Son of Larry (at the bank) and Elaine (Elaine is one of Emil and LaVanche Petersen's girls, from up north of town) Erdahl), now a TV reporter in Indianapolis, files this fun story. Great job, Kent!  

February 21st

Cat crisis


Here is Vinny. He is a cat. He has been at the nursery for several months. He is very friendly and loving. He was recently taken to the vet to be tutored. I don't know what they taught him, but they say the tutoring will help in many ways. In fact, male cats, once tutored, are the ideal cat. I believe this. When I went home recently, Vinny treated me as if I was a long-lost friend. 

My sister Tracie loves animals and she is trying to place Vinny in a loving home. Vinny cannot be at the nursery during the spring season as we have had bad experiences with cats sitting in the wonderfully soft seedling trays and killing thousands of petunias in one night. This gets expensive. Fast. So, although we believe Vinny to be a dignified and noble addition to our farm place, he's simply got to go. 

Sister Tracie has expressed a willingness to drive a good long distance with Vinny to take him to a new home. He is well-adjusted to trips in a kennel, as Tracie found out when she brought him in for tutoring. 

If you are interested in Vinny, please send me an email.

Thank you!

UPDATE: I was kidding when I used "tutored" in place of "neutered." I was thinking about the old Far Side cartoon where one dog proudly tells another dog out the car window, "I am going to the vet to be tutored!"