Friday, June 30, 2023

It's Not Getting Any Cooler

Our local NPR outlet ran a story about the increase in burn cases seen in local ER's.  Apparently, asphalt in full sun in triple digit temperatures without a cloud in the sky reaches either 150 or 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  

That's enough to cause second degree burns, which they are seeing on addicts who fall asleep on the pavement and on the elderly, who fall and cannot get up.  Just thinking about G'ma's thin skin on the hot sidewalk makes me cringe. It would separate like tissue paper in a flame.

There's a lot to be worried about as we age.  I don't think that burning sidewalks ought to be one of them.

The Babe Ruth League Indiana State Champion 8U Eastside girls are driving from the Chicago area to Louisville for the Regional Tournament.  They haven't been able to practice outdoors because the smoke from the Canadian wildfires has caused their air to be unsafe.  They are on their way to a Ring of Fire,

with heat advisories galore.  

Climate change?

We're going to look back on these beginning days of the planet overheating as naivete run amok.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Happy Anniversary

I've been spending a lot of time with my parents in the past few weeks.  With a new baby in the family, there's lots of kvelling (delighted bragging over good news) to be done.  Daddooooo would really appreciate this.  

They were married 73 years ago today, June 29th, a Thursday.  Just like today.

I don't remember many significant gifts they exchanged, beyond the custom jewelry from Daddooooo's silversmith friend.  But I do remember the green glass vase he bought one Mother's Day, while we were at the nursery buying her annual gardenia corsage.  

G'ma could never have something fragile; it'll just get broken.  She said it.  We assumed she meant it.  That morning, we held an impromptu family meeting decided to prove her wrong.

The vase sat on an end table in my parents' living room from my pre-teen years until the house was sold.  It moved with her to New Jersey and two places in Tucson, and then, when she died, I took it home.

I'm really glad that she had that vase. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Some Days...

On the plus side, I did remember to bring the 30 pairs of new socks to my friend at Pilates this morning.  She'll distribute them to the women who live on the street and find food and comfort where she volunteers. Those socks have been waiting to be delivered for a month; it felt good, finally, to send them on their way.

I was feeling pretty good about life in general this morning.  The bagel store had perfectly toasted lovelies to go with the lox and cream cheese I had at home. The line at the post office was just long enough for me to browse the card selection and select a smiley note for my grandson, who, his mother informed me, will be happy to receive mail addressed to him and him alone.

There were lots and lots of pretty new stamps to buy, and I did.

Tomie dePaola's Strega Nona, endangered animals with glossy, sticker like pictures, Roy Lichtenstein's Pop Art, and some elephants and flowers just because.  The sailboats are for postcards.  After making my purchases I learned that the price of postage is going up once again, on July 9th.  I left the post office feeling quite smug.

The bagels, the stamps, and I then went to the library.  They were closed yesterday, a fact which was noticed but forgotten by me and by three or four other cars and their occupants yesterday at 10.  They reopened today, to a healthy crowd at 9:58am.
The new shelving that caused the closure is lovely.  So was the stack of books I grabbed.
I've started at the top.  Lessons in Chemistry has been on the NYTimes Best Seller list for 32 weeks. After 30 some pages, it was easy to see why.  The day just kept getting better.

And then.....

The last call you want to make in the summer in Tucson is to the HVAC company.  But TBG discovered that the air on the far side of the house, where his spin bike lives, was stagnant.  There was no cooling air coming from anywhere.

I pushed the buttons on the thermostat and called the HVAC company.  Tomorrow was the soonest they could come.  Our service contract would cover the trip charge but our warranty was for 1 year and that ship has sailed.  We were resigned to feeling good about tomorrow and not Thursday or Friday when the phone rang.  A technician was in the area and he cold come right over.

Smiles all around until he showed us the cause of the problem - packrats have eaten through the wires to the condenser.  They nibbled so close to the connector that a temporary fix was impossible.  The tech had no condensers in his truck.  He ordered one from our hallway.  We hope to have it installed tomorrow. 

For that, we will have to pay.

We'll also be paying Mr. Pack Rat to come out once again for a search and destroy mission.

TBG is spinning and sweating as I type this on the cooler side of the house.  I'm trying to decide if this has been a good day.  The sun came up and I was here to see it, so, by definition, it is a good day.  But the fact that our house doesn't work is disconcerting.  

We have a plan in place.  It's a good plan.  We won't be crushed by the cost, though we will certainly notice it.  

I ought to be able to read that and smile.  Unfortunately, anxiety seems to be my default position.  

I need to work on that.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Summer in Tucson

The leaves on the trees have folded in upon themselves, exposing as little to the air as possible.  

I've done the same, wearing as little as possible and interacting with the sun only when I must.  If I'm not out of the pool by 9am, I'm not going in at all.  By then, the water temperature is in the mid-nineties; there are days when I wish for a shower of ice cubes to cool things down .  

Despite slathering lotion and spraying SPF50 on every available surface, just walking through a parking lot leaves me with tingly arms.  Taos Bubbe and I went to the Grateful Dead Meet Up movie in a semi-abandoned mall on Saturday afternoon.  Google Maps couldn't find the theatre and neither could we. 

We wandered past empty big box stores, deterred by security fencing from exploring further.  Plus, it was really really hot, too hot to do anything but get into my car and drive around the parking lots until we stumbled on the building.  We parked 3 spaces in from as-close-as-we-can-get.  We were sweaty when we went through the doors.

I love Tucson in the summertime.  The 18 minute drive to pilates took me 11 minutes this morning, and I was dawdling. Most afternoons, I'm the only car on the road until I reach the major north/south streets.  Sunday morning felt like driving during Pandemica.  There was no one else out.

Securing a dinner reservation is never a problem. Venues are uncrowded.  Cashiers have time to chat.  It feels like a small town filled with people who have chosen to be here..... even when the outdoor thermometer registers 112 degrees bumping languidly into one another.

Monday, June 26, 2023

State Champs

They are the Indiana State Champions.

They play in the Babe Ruth Softball 8U Division.  After a weekend of elimination games, sometimes coming from behind, sometimes crushing their opponents, they proved themselves to be the best in the land.

Much excitement ensued.  

They move on to Regionals next weekend..... in Louisville, Kentucky.  Air fare from Tucson is more than $1100 per grandparent.  It's a 26 hour drive.  Just looking at the map is exhausting.
We'll be relying on live updates from the excellent app Little Cuter, channeling my thoughts, just sent me.  

Should they win it all and move on to the World Series, the games will be held on  Florida's Treasure Coast.  Fort Pierce,  home of the Federal Courthouse in which Donald Trump will be tried, anchors the northern end of the Treasure Coast.

I'm not considering attending in person.  

It's not only the fact that it would hurt my soul to spend money in Ron DeSantis's state. It's that the temptation to wear one of my woke t-shirts in public would be, I'm afraid, overwhelming.... and incredibly dumb

There will be live streaming of the World Series games.  I may even learn how to cast it from my phone to the tv.  We won't miss a single play and my I can remain happily on my high horse.  It's a perfect solution.  But, as Little Cuter says, one step at a time.

Right now, we are reveling in the wonder of it all. State Champs!!!!!

Friday, June 23, 2023

It's The Weekend

We're watching Stewart Granger movies, starting with The Prisoner of Zenda (a scene for scene recreation of the original).

We are in sports deprivation season, the time when the Tour de France is TBG's only opportunity to watch grown ups participate in sports. 

If we lived closer, we'd be spending time at the softball field, watching what could end up in six games on the way to a state championship and a trip to Regionals in Kentucky..

Instead, we'll rely on our favorite photographer/wife of the coach/mother of the player for updates, and consider taking a trip to the Bluegrass State.

Little Cuter and I relived memories of her travel soccer team's trips to Ft. Bragg and Ukiah (twice in 8 days) and Los Gatos.  She told me that a middle school teammate's daughter was now playing on the same field their moms once called home.  

What goes around comes around, in lots of wonderful ways.  I've been smiling about this all day.

Thursday, June 22, 2023


I have the best brother.

Don't argue with me.  It's true.

He's the glue that binds me to my sister.  She doesn't read The Burrow.  Therefore,  I'm free to say that she's often been a difficult presence in my life without running the risk of her not talking to me for months.  I enjoy her company when she's not being a lunatic.  I'm sure she'd say the same about me.  But every year, Brother creates a conference call so that we can sing her Happy Birthday.

He laughs when I promise to hang up when she misbehaves.  He doesn't scold.  He understands.

He understands that we are all screwed up in our own little ways, but that the common thread running through us is one deserving of respect.  I'm glad someone is alert to keeping the flame alive.

He's a collector of interesting pieces of wood, which he turns into interesting decor

or alligators with wheels and a jaw that opens and closes as it rolls along.
He's the occasional drop-in-for-dinner guest at Little Cuter's house.  It's just off the highway when he's driving to visit his daughter in Chicago; he calls from the road and leaves when the kids go to bed.  He's the perfect guest.

He came after my perforation and, for a week, he caulked and replaced and repaired and improved and installed, all while keeping us amused with what are now called Dad Jokes but which will always be, to me, Oh, Brother! jokes.

Every once in a while he'll send an edition of his personal newsletter, filled with riddles and conundrums and absurd articles from arcane sources.  Every part of the parcel is decorated.  I always learn something, even if I didn't know I didn't know it.  

He is the most comfortable-with-himself human I know.  

And today is his birthday, so raise a glass.... a beer.... a whiskey.... water with no ice, and celebrate.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Politics - Random Thoughts

Among the more inane defenses the talking heads have come up with for the lying liar, maybe he just didn't understand is the most infuriating.

The man was in charge of the whole country for four years.  Will his lawyers say that he's really that dumb?  Let's look at what he might not understand, shall we?  

He keeps insisting that the papers are his.  Can that possibly be construed from the verbiage of the Act itself?

(3) The term "personal records" means all documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, of a purely private or nonpublic character which do not relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President.
Seems pretty obvious to me that maps and plans and documents marked Classified would relate to Presidential duties.

Hunter Biden is a troubled souls.  So is the lying liar.  

Hunter Biden struggles with addiction.  The lying liar struggles with the truth.

Hunter Biden's lawyers worked out a plan; he's not going to prison.  The lying liar didn't listen to his lawyers, who then left him; there are a lot of judicial districts who are vying to be the first to send him up the river.
I'm no fan of Hilary Clinton.  She shouldn't have been using her private server while doing the government's business.  

Then, again, neither should Ivanka.
A tweet that rang true to me :
"please vote for me instead of donald trump bc i support donald trump the most"  
-gop presidential primary field for some reason


Seems that Kamala Harris is starting to run for President in 2028 while reassuring the nation that she's qualified to step into Joe's shoes should the need arise.  Joy Reid is one-on-one with her tonight.  

I'm not tuning in.  

There's really only one functioning party in America right now.  Without drama, why bother.




Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Summer Vacation

School always started the Wednesday after Labor Day and ended right around Brother's birthday, the 22nd of June.  For some reason, schools here in Tucson think it's wise to let the kids run free when it's 104 degrees in the shade and no one is playing outside.  Summer Break starts in mid-May and school begins again the 1st week in August.

So, vacation is halfway over this week, and I haven't begun any of the Grandma's Garden projects that are on the To Do List.  I haven't called the irrigation specialist nor ordered the cedar planters nor figured out where the tubing is for the hanging baskets we received from a Federal grant program.  

It's a matter of an hour or so, and then the actual work.  I just kept looking at the calendar and seeing May and June and feeling like summer vacation was a while off.  

Wrong-o, Turkey Toe as the Cuters and I used to say.

What's the rush, I wonder?  Who stole summertime, that lazy space between 4th of July and Labor Day?  Personally, I want it back.

August afternoons, hot and unscheduled, used to make me smile more than any other time of the year.  After camp, after my summer job, before school began, there was a hiatus.  I promised myself on one of those afternoons that I would always, each and every year, take a walk and feel the sun and the heat and the lack of anywhere to go or anything to do. 

Knowing the scholars are at their desks interferes with the whole notion of down time.  

Wouldn't it make more sense, if you're sticking to a 9 month school year, to start in January and end before Thanksgiving?  Families could travel and visit and be with their loved ones over the holidays without worrying about missing school.  

Plus, here in the desert Southwest, you can actually enjoy the outdoors for extended periods of time during the Fall and Winter months.  Why not keep the kids in air conditioned comfort during the hottest months of the year, and let them enjoy their time off without sweltering, many of them in un-airconditioned homes.

Just a thought. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Watching Golf

So much time is spent walking.  Tanned below the sleeves of the ubiquitous polo shirts and the brims of multi-logoed caps, they walk.  It's pretty where they walk, but, to quote Mark Twain, golf, to me, is a good walk spoiled.

TBG tells me that in his youth, 250 yards was considered a long drive.  With new technologies and designs, he thinks Arnold Palmer could have hit 500 yards.  Consistently.

We saw Arnie, up close and personal, at the Kemper Open last century.  We found seats on the bleachers at the 18th tee, and just as we settled in the crowd rose to its feet as one.  Being polite golf fans, they immediately returned their bottoms to the planks and I was able to see what the hullabaloo was all about.

There, 10' in front of me, was Arnold Palmer, smiling, waving his cap, mugging for the crowd.  The man had the biggest forearms I've ever seen.  

In 2010, I walked PGA's Accenture Match Play Opening Round at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain.  As you can see if you click through, I was more impressed with the greenery and the adjacent activities than the sport itself.

But TBG is mesmerized, following Rickie and Collin and Rory.  He's groaning at missed chances and trying to will the little dimpled ball into the hole with the stick in it.

I've read two books and the Sunday NYTimes, spruced up the yard for a Juneteenth breakfast with friends, and swum 100's of laps since he started watching on Thursday.  

We're each having a very good time.

Friday, June 16, 2023

What Would An 11 Year Old Have Known?

There's a new Pilates teacher at the studio.  She just graduated from the UofA.  She didn't grow up in Arizona.  She's absolutely lovely; watching her come into her own as an instructor is an added attraction to the workouts themselves.  

Before I became the bionic woman, much of my practice was limited by my destroyed joint.  A lack of strength coupled with a lack of confidence made standing pieces challenging, if not altogether impossible.  But now, full of courage and lacking any physical reason not to try, I asked for a session that would end with us standing atop the reformer, one foot on the wood, one foot on the mat, 2 heavy springs keeping us tethered.  

No, that's an unattributed photo from the interwebs, not anyone resembling me or anyone I know.  But that gives you the general idea.  We were doing the splits.

Before my surgery, I needed help getting up and settled on the two surfaces.  I couldn't move the carriage facing either direction.  My hip wasn't holding me stable nor was it moving.  So, I stood there and imagined it.  I engaged the muscles and, used Professor Harold Smith's Think Method.

I was doing the work, even though nothing was really moving.  The feeling was there and so was the desire.  So today, when I got up there all on my own, when the carriage moved, ever so slightly at first as I reassured myself that I wouldn't fall, then settling into a small but definite pattern.

Pilates is aspirational - no one does it perfectly.  It's all about the journey, and Mr. Personality on the reformer next to me insisted that I share my experiences with the new teacher.  As always, I ask if she'd been in Tucson for a long time.  Nope, just for college.

Tucson's children knew about the shooting , all of them.  It was obviously less of an immersive experience for those growing up elsewhere.  The teacher remembered that it happened at a grocery store, which is something, since we don't show up on the lists of mass shootings any more.  

It was long ago and far away and I walked down the stairs from the studio without holding the hand rail.  It didn't hurt.  I wasn't worried.  I just did it.  

Then I went to the grocery store and found a parking space right in front.  I walked on the sidewalk without realizing that I was coming upon the small, perfect, stone memorial to the shooting that happened right where I was standing.  

I placed a remembrance stone on the gilded plaque, as close to a gravestone as CTG has, and went on my way.  

It happened at a grocery store.  Much more has happened since.

Thursday, June 15, 2023


Doesn't that make you smile?
Kind of takes your mind off the idiocy of someone indicted for a crime making a speech and admitting that he committed that crime, doesn't it?
I tried not to focus on the Americans who supported the lying liar outside the courthouse in Miami , nor on the 75 million Americans who, according to Kari Lake, are also in his corner.   Oh, where is the weaponized DOJ when we need them?

Then Queen T found this while watching MSNBC.  
She took a shot of the screen (vs a screen shot... and am I proud that I know the difference!) and sent it along in the family chat, with the words on the sign spelled out for those of us with aging eyes: 
Years in Prison.

Okay, if you're not smiling now, there may be no hope for you.  
Here's one last chance.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Flag Day

Parts of this have appeared before.

June 14th is Linda-from-Kindergarten's mother's birthday, a fact which I remember for no reason at all.  It's also Flag Day, although you'd hardly know it by looking around.  No parades, no speeches, just my flag outside my front door.

It's one of my favorite holidays.  Just me and my flag.  And Linda's mother.
Back in 1970 or '71, Daddooooo was quite annoyed at the American flag patch on my jeans shorts, . He felt that using the flag to cover my tush was the height of disrespect.

Of course he was right; the Flag Code prohibits such behavior. Then again, it also prohibits all the machinations the NFL puts the flag through in the name of patriotism. I wonder what he'd say about that.

Back in 2015, though, I wondered how he'd react to soccer fans, with their flag clothes and their flag faces
The Smithsonian Channel tried to convince me that Betsy Ross did not design and or sew the American Flag.  

I'm sorry, but NO.  

G'ma and Daddooooo took us to Fredrick, Maryland, where we looked up at her window and imagined the flag going proudly by. 

It certainly felt real to me. I was 9 or 10.

So, until they can show me the label or a receipt,  until I can hold the proof in my hand, I'm choosing to ignore their reality.

I like this holiday and I don't want anyone messing around with it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

He's Toast

 As Laura said of me, From Bill Barr's mouth to God's ear.

Bill Barr is another spineless sycophant, swirling around the vortex, creating chaos (cf his misrepresentation of the Mueller Report) and advancing his own version of the narrative.  That version reflects what's palatable to what he thinks is the winning-at-the-moment side.

I suppose, then, that I should be glad that Barr went on Fox this weekend and said that if the DOJ can prove even one of the crimes in the indictment brought against the lying liar, He's toast.

I'm not sure it will be hard to do.

The indictment starts by pointing out that just because you once worked there doesn't mean that you get to keep the stuff you read there. (Charges 4 and 37)  And it certainly doesn't mean that you can take that stuff home to your bathroom (no matter how ornate the chandelier - Charge 28).

nor leave boxes of it, unattended, on a stage. (Charge 25) It's against the law.

Why?  Because, as the indictment goes on to tell us, he didn't just take what could be construed as personal mementoes (cf his love letters to and from autocrats around the world..... which aren't his, anyway.

He took national security documents.  Geo-spatial data, nuclear capability data, troop deployments,  Eyes Only documents, and more - all of it very valuable to our enemies and very dangerous for the stability of our nation and the world. (Charge 3)

The lying liar doesn't seem to be a sentimental sort, nor one who'd be interested researching the minutiae of governance or history. Bragging rights while thumbing his nose at The Man (Charge 34) seems like a small upside when compared to the downside - decades in prison.  People go to prison for much less egregious violations of the Espionage Act.  

So, why?  And why hide them and lie about them and get yourself into real serious trouble?  Just like in Watergate, I think you've got to follow the money. 

There's public, small dollar, Twitter fueled fundraising.  

Then there's private, extra-legal fundraising - selling your nation's most sensitive secrets to the highest bidder.  

He's not been charged with setting up a marketplace. But Charge 41 shows him to be very interested in the contents of those boxes. 

He went through them, the ones he tried to get his lawyer to say didn't exit.  Taking our stuff and lying about it, that's Charge 54c.

He told people, on tape, that he couldn't show them the document he was waving in front of their faces because it was secret and he couldn't de-classify it any more.  Knowledge of the crime and putting the lie to his irrelevant I declassified it nonsense is in Charges 34 and 35.

And, my very favorite charge of all, Charge 54a, where the real petulant child emerges, the real reason he's in deep doo-doo right now.  

I don't want anybody looking, I don't want anybody looking through my boxes, I really don't,  I don't want you looking through my boxes.

His brain cannot accept the fact that he can't just do what he wants.  Never could.  Never will.  The only way to stop him is to keep him away from the Presidency forever. Since the Republican party has largely fallen into the witch hunt mire, that starts and ends at the ballot box.

I have confidence in  the American voter, Still, just in case, DOJ should change that pesky rule about not prosecuting a sitting president.  

It seems like he's toast, sure, 

Still, just in case.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Hanging Over My Head

Little Cuter and I discussed that which neither of us had touched for a while.  It was a painful subject, one laced with joy and consternation in equal proportions.  There were others involved.  We had been excited about the initial planning, but life changed in unexpected ways and our plans needed some adjustment.  Neither of us wanted to face it.  We'd danced away from it several times until the phone call where she said, Should we just do it now?

We did. There were no repercussions of any significance, though we had been prepared for a discomfited reception. Good friends are good friends and you're stuck with us they said.  We hung up smiling.

With that in mind, today I tackled the Projects to be Dealt With Eventually pile.  My stomach was in a knot.  My hands were sweaty on the keyboard.  My head was saying DON"T DO THIS while my inner sense of something or other kept plucking away at the tasks.

I called. I spoke to agents. I was rewarded with smiles, helpful answers to befuddling questions, solutions that met my immediate and long term needs, and delightful conversation.  That was at First Republic which is now part of JPMorgan/Chase.  I stayed on the line for a while so that I could compliment the men who helped me.  Their supervisor thanked me for my patience and assured me that they would be properly rewarded.

A handshake?  A smoothie?  A bonus?  The details didn't matter.  I finished my (first) project and moved on to the next bundle of aggravation.

Once again, I was pleasantly surprised.  The woman who answered my phone told me a quick and simple way to solve a problem that has lingered for many years.  It will take about 6 months for a final resolution, but a final resolution is now in hand.  As she said, It's been coded in. Don't worry about anything else.

I marked my calendar for six months, and the points in between she mentioned, and I moved on.

Guess where I am right now?  Waiting in the chat for Comcast/Xfinity to resolve my issue.  I received another text message reminding me to order my new boxes.  My Account still said they'd be arriving May 24th.  Despite knowing better, I decided to try and contact them again.

The chat box was unresponsive on the main website.  The link to send an email didn't work, either.  I did manage to send an email, but who knows to whom that went (customer service @ comcast doesn't seem very personal) or when attention will be paid.  

Through a Google search, I found a number I hadn't tried before.  I clicked into the chat.  There was a quick response: Please don't worry, you are connected to the right team. We are a team of experts and a one-stop solution for all your Xfinity-related concerns. I will be more than happy to help.

I typed in my relevant information.  

I'm still waiting for a response.  It's been twenty minutes.  

There's a lot to be said for fixing a problem when it arises instead of allowing it to lie heavily in your brain, on your heart.  The anxiety of facing a distasteful situation goes away once the situation is addressed.  

That feels quite obvious, seeing it written down like that.  I think I'll print it out and tape it to my desktop, to my car's dashboard, to my bathroom mirror.  Perhaps I can save myself future anxious moments.

On the other hand, trying to fix it and getting a response like this, after 20 minutes of nothingness, makes me question my desire to engage with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Thank you for the details that you provided, Susan. I apologize for any delay in responses. Due to the nature of working via social media and how we interact with customers here, we can not always respond instantly. We understand your time is valuable, and we sincerely appreciate your time and patience while we work to get back to you.

Friday, June 9, 2023

No One Is Above the Law

The prosecution has to convince twelve jurors that the lying liar is guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of violating the Espionage Act.

This shouldn't be hard, since not only are there photos,  but he has already admitted that he committed the crime. 

And yet there are still people who will vote for him. 

I'm not dwelling there. At this point,  it's like arguing with a wad of gum. 

Instead,  I'm reveling in the fact that our institutions held.  A former President is facing off against the might of the American justice system. 

I end up at Merrick Garland, whose ill-fated nomination to the Supreme Court began the era of the Trumpian remake of that body and whose tenure as Attorney General may end in the incarceration of the Orange Menace. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

The Saudi Golf Association

A brief synopsis for those who haven't followed the drama:

In 2021, the Saudi royal family's sovereign wealth fund (the Public Investment Fund), run by MBS (the guy behind the dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi), created the LIV Golf Tour to compete with the PGA.  

The PGA responded by banning LIV players from all PGA events except the four majors.  Those are the ones you recognize - The US Open, The Masters, Open and PGA Championships - the ones with big advertising revenues.

The players who stayed with the PGA took the moral high ground. They were not taking Saudi blood money.  911 and human rights and that pesky dead journalist made strong arguments for eschewing the new Tour.

The players who had no such scruples were pilloried by some but handsomely rewarded by the Saudi's money.  
Brooks Koepka $100 million
Bryson Dechambeau: $125 million Dustin Johnson $150 million Phil Mickelson $200 million
That was the story until this week.

The PGA Commissioner announced that all was forgiven, he didn't mean all those nasty things he said about the Saudi's and LIV.  The PGA would be joining forces with its bastard brother.  It's rather less a partnership of equals than the PGA being bought, lock stock and golf clubs, by the Saudi's.  

The same Commissioner who trotted out 911 families to talk about the travesty is now saying blah blah blah blah blah, the players who stayed are feeling the betrayal in their pocketbooks.  That's serious money, life changing money, help your family, start a foundation, buy your Mom a whole host of houses money.  

Standing by your principles comes with a cost.  But playing along side someone who took the money and ran and is now being welcomed back with open arms has got to burn.  

This is where you need a union, guys.  Organize and demand the same kind of bonuses the defectors got for forcing the issue.  Call it a Retention Bonus.  Why wouldn't they agree?  The PIF reports $650 billion in assets under its management.  What's the big deal?

The larger question of golf's professional association's association with the murderous, repressive, reprehensible Saudi regime has gotten lost in the shuffle.  Sports talking heads have moved on from Monday morning's OMG It's The SAUDI'S to Well, it's business by Wednesday afternoon.

Now that everyone is benefitting from the PIF's largesse, what's a moral golfer to do?  There's no other game in town.  

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

I had a brilliant idea for this post but then a family of quail - mom, dad and about a dozen babies - just scurried across the front yard and all rational thought vanished.  

It was a quiet moment in my head.  I felt my face smiling and my eyes scanning but that was all.  

No random memories of the mistakes I've made along the way popping up to disturb me.  No nagging list of To Do's peeking through some brain cells.  No planning for the future, near or far.  

Dinner is in the works.  The dishwasher is emptied.  The laundry is merrily flinging itself around without any help from me.  The yucca's flowers are hosting finches for dinner outside the library window.

Why am I looking for something to stress about? 

I had an angsty childhood.  It wasn't a particularly unhappy home, but I was a worrier, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.   I knew that as long as I worried, nothing bad would happen.  So, I worried.

Medication and therapy helped a lot.  I no longer feel a knot in my gut when I wake up from what are still, many times, tumultuous dreams (getting shot didn't help there.... nope, not at all.... that subconscious is really hard to tame).  

Yet there are times like these, when all is right (for the most part) in my world, when the here and now is peaceful, when there's nothing to disturb my mood, that I have to push through a vague level of unease to get to the serenity.

Hard wired from my youth?  Remnants of a New Yorker's natural skepticism? Twisted synapses that mistake calm for distress?

First world problem, for sure.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Looks Like Something Went Wrong

Xfinity and Comcast (they are the same but not really; I've never taken the trouble to figure it out) have decided that June 12th is the last day that TBG can hold on to his beloved DVR boxes.  After that, the technology will be changing and several vital pieces of our service will be unavailable.

We need two new boxes.  They take 5-7 days to arrive.  I waited until we were leaving the kids in San Francisco before ordering mine, not wanting them to be undeliverable if we were not at home to receive them.

The note in My Account on the app said they would arrive between May 24-25.  Once it got to be June, I began to wonder.  I did a lengthy on-line chat with a lovely young woman who saw the initial problem, ordered me new ones, and sent me a link to confirm the order.

I clicked through to the link, which caused me to lose her chat.

The link was on a self-replicating loop of Click Here/Blank Page, over and over again each time I started over and clicked through again and again and again.

I gave up and hoped for the best.

The next day, I got a message from FedEx saying that they'd deliver a box to me after having failed to do so before, but only if I'd send them $1.85 for their troubles.  For two bucks, why not?  I hoped it was my Comcast/Xfinity order.  I set Sunday for the delivery date, knowing we'd be home all day.

Did the FedEx truck come to your house?  It certainly didn't come to mine.  I'm trying to figure out where it is, but no one can find that ticket, either.  There was no indication of the sender's identity on the request for $1.85.  While I wonder what I'm missing, I've still got the Comcast/Xfinity issue looming.

So, it's Monday and I'm home from Pilates and have had lunch.  With the Women's College Softball World Series game between Oklahoma (undefeated in 51 games) and Stanford on mute in the background,  I started again.  

GunGun was my first live agent on chat.  We made similar progress, getting me all the way to the confirmation link which, once again, malfunctioned.  GunGun's chat had also disappeared; I had no choice but to start at the beginning.

This time I knew to bypass the first few prompts by typing Agent in the first box.  Annekia was also helpful, encouraging me not to swipe away to anything else so that her chat would not disappear.  She sent the link to my email, which I opened on the computer and which did exactly the same thing as it did on my phone.

Live chat was obviously not going to help.  I thanked my latest agent and tried, once more, out of frustration, and was rewarded with a new screen:

 Looks like something went wrong

Please use the back button in your browser, and try again

If the issue persists, please call 470-903-4674 for assistance
placing your order

Relishing the notion of speaking to a real human being instead of a keyboard (were they all AI???), I dialed that number, listened to the prompts because they had recently been changed, and was once again in a self-replicating loop of pressing the correct prompt and being sent right back to the beginning again. Over and over and over again, I pressed 1 for an existing customer only to be rebuffed, refused, denied access to anyone or anything until, one momentous time, I heard a quick busy signal before being disconnected.

I was so peeved that I went back to the computer and clicked on the original link with enthusiasm vigor  fury passion my finger and, lo and behold, I got something new.

I saw a sign-in screen with my user name already inserted.  I typed in my password and got another new screen.  I was on a roll.

This one was greyish-bluish with a friendly font telling me This should only take a moment above 3 dots blinking in a row. I was mesmerized and channeling calming thoughts as I stared at the damn dots for a lot longer than I should have.

Then I stopped and began typing to you.  Nearly half an hour later, the dots have disappeared, replaced by the generic company home page.  I didn't witness the switch, but the dots were still blinking when I checked about halfway through this post.  

Only a moment must mean something different in their world.

I'm done trying for now.  Maybe the phone number will be less busy tonight.  At this point, it's hard not to take it personally.

Monday, June 5, 2023

I Wish.....

This started in the subjunctive, then moved to the passive, toyed with the future and ended up stuck here, in the present tense, wondering what sounds right.  

I don't want to whine.  I don't want to be dogmatic.  I want to be understood in that wishing-on-the-first-star, blow-out-the-birthday-candles, if-only kind of way.  

I know I can't have my wish.  I know it's irrational to demand it of the universe.  But I find that some part of my brain goes to this strange, how-can-I-make-this-happen place and I find myself being comforted by believing that it could be true

But it  can't come true, and I'm peeved at the Universe.

What do I want?  

I want to do a Superman move a la Richard Donner and turn back time.

I want this to be the year that Joe Biden enters his 8th, not his 9th, decade.  

I read a quote in Vanity Fair that sums it up for me.  A friend, referring to Rupert Murdoch, said People say that 60 is the new 40.  But everyone agrees that 80 is 80.  

I like Joe.  I like him as my President.  I think he's doing a great job wrangling an ornery Congress and the Progressive wing of his party and getting things done.  After all, RBG was 87 when she died and, except for hanging onto her job too long, seemed to be making smart decisions up until the end.  I will vote for him again, if given the chance.

But 82 is 82 and if that's the age of the next incumbent then I'm looking pretty closely at the Vice Presidency.... and I'm not sure I want to go there right now.

A girl can dream......

Friday, June 2, 2023

I'm Taking An Early Weekend

There are tapes - there are always tapes! - that may send the lying liar to the pokey for espionage.  But rather than revel in the how stupid is he? realm, I'll leave you with this photo, from the my son, filed under Times Have Surely Changed.

Take Your Daughter to Work Day...
(but isn't that every day?)

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Sunflowers, Vol. 2

 When I first wrote about them

I had no intention of creating a series.  But, they are impossible to ignore. I was doing laps and admiring this at every other turn,
until I stopped and watched my planter become a cafeteria, an automat, a free lunch kitchen for three and then four little yellow finches.  They* were balanced on the lower leaves' petioles,
nibbling on the stems and the leaves 
and the petioles themselves. 
The flowers are happily untouched as they begin to unfurl at the top of the highest stem.
And when they begin to fade away, 

they leave orange tentacles to attract the birds who might be interested in what's left inside their gently wilting plumage.  

I had my Do not go gently into that good night moment, then turned to revel in the giant stalks popping up in every corner, seeds I planted in a lone pot at the far end of the yard 
Even if their ungrateful faces are facing defiantly away from she who gave them life.

*Unfortunately, you have to make do with my avian avatars since I don't swim with my phone in hand.  And, yes, chicks don't fly but they do eat bugs and they are yellow and it was the only icon with feathers, which makes a bird a bird as The Golden Book taught us so many years ago.