Monday, October 17, 2016

Back to it...

The blog's been on hold for a couple of weeks - what's been goin' on? Nothing terribly inspiring on the political front, for sure!

There was the TV debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - the one when Trump said Clinton would be in jail if he were to become president. That brought on a wan smile. Then there was the debate between would-be vice-presidents, Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. Well, that one had me yelling at the TV, "Kaine, can you not shut your flippin' mouth for two minutes together and let the other guy speak?!" I was not impressed with Tim Kaine, at all. Mike Pence's politics makes him a no-no for me, but can't argue with the fact that he did come over as far more presidential/vice-presidential than either Trump or Kaine. Clinton darn well ought to be coming over as presidential - she has been aiming for the job her whole life!

Then during last week ...oh dear! But really, was anyone surprised to read about Trump's past unpleasantnesses? Haven't we seen and heard enough over many, many months to realise that, if someone began digging through old records and videos, something nasty would emerge - it'd be more surprising if it hadn't. What has emerged, so far, is nasty, but par for the course from a guy like Donald Trump, I'd have thought. It won't change many minds, nor will anything worse that might be presented for our disgust during the next weeks. I wish all media would be silenced, blinds down, by presidential decree, until 8 November at 10p.m!

What else? During the first week of bloglessness we had a surprise and lightning fast visit from husband's younger daughter, who lives in Austin, Texas. We'd intended taking off for a few days before that, but one or other us us feeling one degree under resulted in our sitting tight for a while longer.

We left last Monday, heading for Kansas, ended up in Hutchinson for a night or two. We really wanted to visit the Cosmosphere there - a museum affiliated to the Smithsonian. We arrived there at around 9.30 one morning, to a car park full to the gills, and two school buses just arrived, also full to the gills. The foyer was heaving, very noisy, with several teachers trying to keep the excited chit-chat down to a dull roar. We thought it best to postpone our visit, and instead drove around a couple of nearby small towns discovering antique, vintage and junk stores. Looked again at the Cosmosphere later in the day, but the car park was still overflowing. Another time, perhaps.

We then moved on to Emporia a little further to the north and east, wandered around that area, taking in some very nice scenery, as far east as Ottawa, Kansas and Baldwin City - not at all the classic Kansas scenery of featureless flatness, more like wooded areas of Missouri. The trees up there have begun to turn orange and deep red - especially the Maples. One little town was preparing for their annual Maple Festival at the weekend.

We arrived home Sunday afternoon, via Ponca City in the northernmost reaches of Oklahoma.

We kept an eye open, during travel, for election lawn signs. There weren't many. It seemed to us that Trump-Pence ones were slightly more in evidence, but still were few and far between. OK and KS are both deeply red states, of course. A few Clinton-Kaine signs were around too. Most lawn signs, by far, were for local and state positions. Perhaps this indicates that nobody, of either persuasion, is feeling particularly presidentially inspired this time around. I know I'm not!

Weather? A whole year's worth in less than a week! We left with temps in the 80s, an overnight storm, then within 24 hours, in Kansas (maybe in Oklahoma too), temps dropped to mid 40s with a knife-sharp cold wind blowing all day. Two days like that, then a slow climb back to the high 80s by the time we reached home yesterday.

I almost forgot - it's Music Monday... and it's a mad world ain't it? Cue Adam Lambert:


mike said...

I almost didn't check-in today, thinking you were going for three weeks (or more) of R&R! Sounds like you and anyjazz had a pleasant road trip. Emporia is one of my favorite cities in Kansas...the university and students add a zestful life-force with a dash of sophistication. I've traveled south on the turnpike too many times and always enjoyed the scenery of that region, with its convergence of rivers and hills. I just looked at home sales in Emporia and I'm amazed at the low prices...the closure of Tyson Foods must have brought-on a recession. Did the town appear tattered or kempt?

You said, "...but can't argue with the fact that he [Pence] did come over as far more presidential/vice-presidential than either Trump or Kaine,"...only if you discount the Trump-esque lies he told. Pence's countenance reminds me of Harry Potter's nemesis, Draco Malfoy:

22 more days of this dissimulation!

BTW - "Black Mirror" season 3 begins on Netflix next weekend.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Hi again! :-) First, how are you feeling, health-wise? I hope things have not deteriorated further, and that diet adjustments are helping?

Yes, thanks - it was a very pleasant week, nice change of scene. I like Kansas. It ain't exciting or dramatically scenic like some of its neighbours to the west, but I always feel kind of peaceful there, and it's ever so slightly more "with-it" than Oklahoma.

I didn't realise that Tysons had closed down. The building dominates one part of town. I'd read in one hotel review that the smell from the factory was off-putting, so we were wary of staying there. It turned out that a new batch of hotels and retail outlets has sprung up on the other side of town, so we risked it. No smells at all! Emporia is another of those towns we come across regularly where a whole new area has sprouted, outside the old (they term it "historic"!) original part of town. It didn't seem tattered at all, even the "historic" part. In fact most smallish towns we drove through in Kansas seemed far better kept than similar towns in Oklahoma. I commented to anyjazz that the people are, perhaps, more "house-proud", or town-proud which could be a reflection of the DNA of many original settlers from Scandinavia. I think folks from that part of the world tend to be that way inclined - very tidy etc. :-)

We met some friendly Kansan antique store owners/managers, all very helpful with local knowledge - some with pets to keep them company, such as an absolutely gorgeous bulldog called "Curly", in McPherson, and a very noisy cat called "Daisy" in Ottawa. :-)

Politics: Pence - yes, lies come as part of the package this election season it seems! I'm not a H. Potter fan, but I see what you mean about Draco Malfoy - the Pence hair-do!

I must remember to look into "Black Mirror" again. It's a while since we saw some of the episodes. Thanks for the heads-up.

Last evening we watched an old VHS tape I picked up in a junk store for 99 cents - it fitted the season well: "My Fellow Americans" - a comedic take on US presidential personalities - from decades past. Roger Ebert's review gives a good taste:

There was one scene especially pertinent. Two ex-presidents, played by James Garner and Jack Lemmon, on the run, were picked up by a poor family who, it turned out were having to live in their car and trailer. A great line by the mother when she demanded they get out of their "home" on discovering their identities - "We're Republicans, we lost our jobs after you, President...... raised taxes, and we lost our house when you President.....caused a mortgage meltdown (or words to that effect).
We invited you into our home to help you - now get out!" Bernie would have been proud!

mike (again) said...

Wiki states that Tyson Foods ceased operations in Emporia, but I find on other sites that the facility is used for storage and ground beef processing. So, guess your advice to sleep on the other side of town was correct...LOL.

Thanks for asking...I'm feeling better, but with qualification. I still feel like I need to find the missing 10%, which is better than the 50% missing a month ago. From online self-diagnosis, I had a gall bladder attack with acute pancreatitis...pancreatitis is common in about 10% of gall bladder attacks. Most resolve in a month without medical intervention, faster with intervention. I requested my blood analysis from the gastroenterologist's office to see if I was tested for a pancreatic panel. I certainly don't believe I have stomach or intestinal ulcers, as I explained prior. Gall stones are often misdiagnosed and can occur in many places within the bile ducts, not just the gall bladder. This was my third gall bladder attack in a little over a year and this one left me completely wiped-out for the long-term.

Ed Tamplin's October 16th weekly column ties this election to the end of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, as we've discussed previously. The next synode in 2020 provides the important POTUS election.
"That compelling timeline suggests this election will not define America. It may explain why progressive policy is markedly absent and personality politics and ambition has taken precedence. Also why many Americans feel that a vote for either candidate may make little difference to their lives. On past evidence – they’re absolutely right! We are entering lame duck territory and the big show doesn't debut until 2020."

Twilight said...

mike ~ I'm very glad to know that you're feeling (somewhat) better health-wise - whatever was the cause of that ultra-discomfort. Once away from the healthy exuberance of youth the body takes its slower time to heal itself - I find this to be true myself. If all else is in reasonable working order still, absent serious disease interference, heal itself the body will, but sl-ow-ly.

Thanks for the Tamplin link - good piece that! The 2020 cross-roads reference came back to mind a few minutes ago as I was reading some commentary on Chris Hedges' recent article at Truthdig. A commenter called "cloudhopper" wrote, among other things:

The world is changing and we are at a cross road from one Major Age to another Major Age. It simply depends if we will transit it without totally killing each other off and destroying the planet. We are very, very close to the mindset of the people in Ancient Atlantis. They had all the technological advances one could only dream of. They already discovered a huge energy source but it was all for not when their technology outpaced their morality. Cloning, slavery and other things were common place. They actually destroyed themselves by their negative vibrations with the flood. Religious texts say that God destroyed them. Yes and no.

I'm not 100% sure about Atlantis, but if the myth fits....

R J Adams said...

Good to see you're back, Twilight. I'm sure the break did you good. There's been plenty happening both in Europe and America while you've been away, but none of it's positive. Between them America and Britain seem hell bent on starting WW3, Hillary wants to set up a no-fly zone in Syria, which would mean shooting down Russian bombers, and Boris Johnson is demanding Putin be hauled before the International Court of Justice. Hey, get in the queue, Vlad!

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Thanks, yes, the break helped to clear the mind - or what's left of it. ;-)
If WW3 lurks in the wings, as seems quite likely, we'll have plenty to worry about. Trump's loutish comments will soon seem to have been very small beer.

Twilight said...

Last para of Paul Street's piece at Counterpunch today:

Meanwhile, the seemingly endless quadrennial presidential extravaganza grinds on to the final high holy electoral day with the “mainstream” media focused to an absurd, Aldous Huxlean degree on the silliest and ugliest imaginable matters of (major party) candidate personality and character while the two most pressing threats of our or any time – climate change and nuclear war – are pushed to the deadly margins of permissible public and political discourse. It is truly insane – I don’t know any other word for it.
"Pick Your Poison? Presidential Politics and Planetary Prospects"

by Paul Street

Kaleymorris said...

Glad you are back home.

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris ~ Thanks. :-) We'll likely be gone again in a while, just for a short hop - before winter proper sets in and it starts to get dark very early, after clocks are put back an hour.

As Matthew McConaughey (as Dave Wooderson) said in "Dazed and Confused":
"Ya gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N'!" :-D