Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pankaj Mishra

Started his THE AGE OF ANGER, early on very impressed, a cogent discussion of today's world.
posted from Bloggeroid

Yard sign

The good life

Listening to jazz, counting my blessings.


An escape from the world, no doubt about it. Like living in a hotel in Switzerland. Write, read, play ukulele, eat at one of three options (or at home), let weekly housekeeping deal with mess, watch nightly movies that appeal to me, bake bread for strangers, hop the MAX, walk to Starbucks, play games or join groups, or hide in secluded spots inside and out ... I expect to love it. But I worry about Harriet. Hard to please. And having a bad day.


Like watching an ice cube melt.

And then the house, waiting, waiting.

Not the best of times.

Sick at heart

Krugman writes that Trump or the Republic will be gone within the year. Sounds about right to me.

More protest + more Trump response = martial law

Seems inevitable to me. Then what? In revolutions, often what matters is which side the Army is on. I have no idea.

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Expect to make my own breakfast at R. Can't top it.

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The challenge

The anti-Trump resistance will fail if we don't ditch establishment Democrats



And it should be led by women.

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Danger zone

Lessons of Holocaust being forgotten, says Prince Charles


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27 days

Hoping to get there before martial law. I'm serious.

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Monday, January 30, 2017


First try, much went wrong ... Continued to check taste ... Do better next time.

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Light rye

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The bottom line

"Precisely because the problem is one of temperament and character, it will not get better. It will get worse, as power intoxicates Trump and those around him. It will probably end in calamity—substantial domestic protest and violence, a breakdown of international economic relationships, the collapse of major alliances, or perhaps one or more new wars (even with China) on top of the ones we already have. It will not be surprising in the slightest if his term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. The sooner Americans get used to these likelihoods, the better."


http://pubx.co/xaWxJx from Bloggeroid

Good morning

The Muslim ban has brought the US close to constitutional crisis



Many, many predicted disaster from a Trump presidency. Not many this quickly -- though HRC did. Are there enough sane Republicans in Congress to deal with this before he declares martial law?

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28 days

... if all goes well.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday story hour

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Sad times

Martial law

Some weeks ago I predicted T would declare martial law this summer. Alas, likely sooner than that.

Trump v. Clinton

Those progressives who saw no difference between T and C look like imbeciles now. However, there is a broad perspective in which this makes sense, and history could make it so. What this perspective ignores is present tense on the ground human suffering, as with refugees and immigrants. Some progressives get so abstract and theoretical, they become blind and deaf to the tears and cries right in front of them.

For the record, Trump. is considerably more inept and dangerous than Clinton.

Unless a new progressive coalition is led by women, I have little hope for its success.

I am not your Negro

Upcoming documentary on James Baldwin, as good as any American writer in my lifetime. Just preordered script.

29 days

A glass of buttermilk never tasted better.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

No surprise

Trump isn't surprising me, unfortunately. He is being himself. Those, especially progressives, who saw no difference between Trump and Clinton, or who thought the office would change him, were blind to reality. There's a lot of it going around.

And Putin won't change either. Once a KGB officer ...

But his supporters continue to surprise me. And depress me.
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A humane country

“To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength.”

— Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on Twitter.

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Saturday = MJQ + ...

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Neither of us have much energy today. The waiting, I think.

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Asked myself, what did I do differently? Had countdown titles with no post. Added post, fixed. Logic rules.

Temporary "fix"

Reduced days on start page until I figure out how to get column back, content of which is now below posts. Bummer.


Lost right column.

Waiting game

... next 3 or 4 days, waiting for appraisal report. If cool, rent storage for H's remaining downsizing, to deal with ASAP at R, and rent a 1 BR, our new home, and begin moving boxes. Once we rent, we'll have a meal ticket, begin using it.

Knock on my wooden head - which is getting sore.

30 days

tick tock
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Friday, January 27, 2017

Old man

Trip for groceries did me in late this afternoon.

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The progressive press, by and large, is pretty pathetic, spinning the news as egregiously as their rightwing counterparts. Give me the BBC.

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31 days

tick tock

Good vibes

Re appraisal. We'll see!


"That’s right: we now live in a world where overwhelming evidence of anthropogenic global warming is available but Trump declares the evidence does not exist, and a complete lack of evidence of voter fraud leaves Trump insisting voter fraud exists.

Reality hasn’t been turned upside down. It’s been twisted inside-out."


Thin souled

'Trump doesn't care about culture': how will his presidency affect the arts?


Gorbachev's warning: stop this prep for war

Thursday, January 26, 2017

All day sauce

... for spaghetti tonight. Doesn't get any better.

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Literary awards

I've received awards during my career, I've not, and on several occassions I've been a judge, giving awards to others. Some thoughts.

Hands down, the most satisfying awards are those I did not apply for. The others turn writers into marketers, a perversion of literature and its support.

Most awards would better support literature by being a lottery. This would remove personality and politics from the procedure.

Awards are not about writers and literature. They are about judges and personal taste.

Awards with entry fees make a bad situation worse.

The quickest, easiest way for a new arts organization to gain credibility is to give an award. A shameful reality.

Since awards are a crapshoot, respect for language and honesty would make them a literal crapshoot, that is, A LOTTERY.


Finished my novel. Salinger said an artist's only task is to aim for perfection by his own standards. By this ruler, I've done the best work I can do with this book. Can't do better.

I'll still write. A memoir of ideas long brooded. Short stories, where I began.

And one hoop to go.

Bigger picture

Speedy universe expansion challenges Einstein’s theory




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Tick tock, the doomsday clock

32 days

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My feelings on the downhill side.

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Liar-in-Chief: the interview

Slow cooking, all day long

Turkey legs in oven, tomato sauce on stove. Good smells today!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

La La Land

We liked it. The scenery made me homesick.

33 days

... until Russellville.

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Conservatives against Trump

International humanity

Dutch respond to Trump's 'gag rule' with international safe abortion fund


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California rules


Sanest state in nation. I miss it, still consider it home, get teary eyed watching game in Rose Bowl and seeing San Gabriel mountains, my front door view growing up.
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Slow motion

Watching the political scene is like watching an impending disaster in slow motion and hoping for a last minute rescue.

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What I look forward to

Writing regularly again.

Practicing ukulele regularly again.

Engaging fantasy of living in a hotel.

Meeting new people.

Riding MAX (stop at doorstep) to new places.

Watching movies in Russellville theater.

Baking bread for new customers.

Explorations unknown.

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Moving forward

Waiting for appraisal to be scheduled.

Received tentative closing statement. We're in better shape than I projected.

Russellville is ready for us.

This is great. Trump is horrific. Zero sum universe.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fear and deep sorrow ...

... about the political climate. The arrogance of Clinton camp, taking rust belt for granted when on the ground staff were screaming she was in deep trouble, turned the election. She lost it herself.

And now we get tests of courage: who steps up against challenges that erode already damaged parameters of free speech, equality and choice?

And what about the conflict between the hidden tyranny of corporate power and the visible tyranny of a mentally ill con man? Some say the former will use him - and dump him. We'll see.

Come on, Russellville!

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A predictable direction/disaster

Resurrection of Keystone and DAPL cements America's climate antagonism



How much will it take before Hillary-hating progressives realize Trump is far, far worse? Will they belatedly work to stop him?

Oatmeal maple rolls


Two shocks rattling in my brain: a mad man in the WH; and we actually sold the house. Feb 27 should be first night sleeping at Russellville.

A good place to disappear!

"I prefer not to."

Herman Melville's Bartleby and the steely strength of mild rebellion


Monday, January 23, 2017


This appears to be happening ...

Wooden head

Knock, knock! Reached post inspection agreement on house sale! Leaves only appraisal to screw it up. Looking damn good.


CBS News confirmed reports that President Donald Trump brought a studio audience to his visit with the CIA on Saturday. The news agency reports that an official said the visit left a wake of “unease,” “made relations with the intelligence community worse,” and was “uncomfortable.”


Progressives who disregarded or under-estimated the danger of Trump hopefully now are resisting this sick madman. They did NOT give T the election but their energy is needed now. This is an historic crisis and we've just begun.

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Cheddar bread

Earlier cheese breads just ok but this is really good. First with artisan flour using la cloche.
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Don't any of Trump's inner circle or supporters, don't any elected Republicans, care that a lying conman, possibly mentally ill, is President of the United States? Has the national character shrunk this low?

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A tough week ...

... of negotiations, I expect. Ends up the potential buyers made their offer above listing without ever seeing house and property in daylight. Amazes me. So they and agent came by yesterday. Also had inspection results, not yet shared with us. They clearly want house but at what final price?

Appraisal should be soon as well.

What happens, happens. I'm impatient to move but not panicked to sell.

In a week or ten days, we should know where we stand.

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Orwell and Trump

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday morning

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Letter of the moment

November 29, 2016

Dear President Obama,

We are writing to express our grave concern regarding the mental stability of our President-Elect. Professional standards do not permit us to venture a diagnosis for a public figure whom we have not evaluated personally. Nevertheless, his widely reported symptoms of mental instability — including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality — lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office. We strongly recommend that, in preparation for assuming these responsibilities, he receive a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation by an impartial team of investigators.


Judith Herman, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry 
Harvard Medical School

Nanette Gartrell, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry 
University of California, San Francisco (1988-2011)
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (1983-87)

Dee Mosbacher, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor 
Department of Community Health Systems 
University of California, San Francisco (2005-2013)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Glass

Half-empty: Only a violent revolution, as in the past, can remove the corporate power brokers and lead to a genuine redistribution of wealth and freedom. The two party system is impotent. There is no genuine revolution that is peaceful.

Half-full: Women, by their biological differences, are perfectly placed to create and lead a revolution not driven by testosterone and warrior myths, which might lead to methods and results never seen before. They are the last peaceful alternative and hope.

The march

Best thing about it, cut across labels and stereotypes, included women and men, poor (including homeless) and rich, blue and white collar, straight and LBGTQ, all races, American and international, probably the most widespread and diverse connected protest marches in human history.

I heard someone dismiss the marchers as naive, elite women. He either is very uninformed or his misogyny is showing.

Of course, the question is, Now what?

posted from Bloggeroid

Glimmer of light

'This is the upside of the downside': Women's March finds hope in defiance


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Biggest protest in U.S. history

YouTube saves the day again


Unplugging toilet without plunger.

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Protest and violence

Yesterday, typically, protest in Pdx deteriorated into violence. Today a much larger protest, organized and led by women, was 100% peaceful.

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Voices from the march on Washington: 'You better pay attention to us now'


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As historic as "I have a dream" ...

Trump's first 24 hours bring global protests, a dark speech and uncertainty


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The women are doing this right, AROUND THE WORLD! Can they maintain the energy? The Women's Freedom Party?

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Millions of women marching around the world! If they can sustain this energy into an international movement, focus on biology where men cannot take over (body issues, biology defining politics), they could lead a powerful progressive movement. "The upside of the downside," as Gloria Steinem put it.

But you have to stream this historic event on the net because CNN thinks it's more newsworthy to watch Trump sit in church. Shameful!

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Why is a president going to church news? Why more important than hundreds of thousands of women marching around the world?

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Women's march

Hugely important! Love to see half a million on Trump's doorstep.


Perfect medicine for the "historic" day.

Then v. Now

“One of these is a presidential inauguration in 2017 for a man named Donald Trump and the other is from 2009 for a man named Barack Obama. Can you tell which?”
posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My fish stew

Salmon, sausage, clams, mussels, shrimp, my Italian tomato sauce, white wine, clam juice.

My, my.

Pride & perfection

Started rereading my novel Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones. The best executed work I've done, the distance between goal and deed very, very small. And enough positive feedback, including reviews from strangers at Amazon, to tell me others respond appropriately. Great satisfaction to revisit this. The structure is perfect. The content is intensely personal. Almost no one has read it, but almost no one has tasted my bread either. Perfection and
popularity are two different things.
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Portland today

... really sucks. A far cry from the bohemian European-feel of the 1980s, when two theater directors and a composer were on the city payroll, when "this is the way Greenwich Village used to be," according to my NY agent, when daily free concerts and shows filled Washington Park through the summer ... how fortunate to have experienced this!

Comes to mind after driving for groceries in rush hour traffic, thaw in full swing. Worse than LA when I was there. The new tech suburb of Silicon Valley.

Best to say about it: great time and place to sell a house!
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Once I've disappeared into Russellville, I plan to revisit some of the works that influenced me over the years.

Danzig, Number: the Language of Science
De Rougemoint, Love in the Western World
Brown, Love's Body
Berman, The Reenchantment of the World
Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian
Dos Passos, the USA trilogy
Weill/Brecht, Mahagonny

Listening to West Coast jazz along the way.

Eager to begin!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Leonard Peltier!

2 days to do the right thing, Mr. President.

My buttermilk

... keeps getting better and better. Ambrosia!

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Thursday. Onward.

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TS on football training

Another great post, two in a row. TS can be engaging in a thoughtful way when he takes time off from bashing Hillary.

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Monday, January 16, 2017


At R, I'll do my writing on the Alpha Smart. That's practically going back to the typewriter! Perfect.

Social Media suck

Too many goddamn folks like to hear themselves pontificate and social media encourage them. This discourages reflection. Discourages silence. Feeds universal dumbing down. We're already dumb enough!


Tried driving out of here. Big mistake! Lucky to get back safely after around the block.

Wait for the thaw.



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Trimmed and ready

With the kindness of the gods, out of here in six weeks!

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Trump supporter

On the radio, in an alternate universe. Thrilled, because Trump has already brought more jobs here than Obama did in 8 years. Thrilled, because after years of divisiveness, Trump will unify the country.

That's what he thinks, expressed with great passion and joy. Too many like him, and it's hopeless. This guy clearly would pick up a gun to defend his savior.

Which brings this to mind.

Most of my adult life I've considered the most important human question to be: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW? Epistemology. (Hence my short story, "The Epistemological Uncle").

Our schools ignore this, by and large. A college philosophy class might consider it. I was lucky to have a renegade high school teacher, Paul Finot, who used a book entitled How To Lie With Statistics to broach the issue.

My own serious study over the years ended in two parallel concerns: the Scientific Method and Faith. In school and culture, we get too much of the latter and not enough of the former. But these are the yin and yang of knowledge.
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A hit

Harriet couldn't stop eating my oatmeal maple rolls. Making more (for me, ha ha) this morning.

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Or buy at Amazon for a few bucks.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Progressives ...

... who give KGB Putin the benefit of the doubt are naive, in my youthful experience as a Russian linguist in the Army Security Agency. This doesn't mean we should over-react but this dude plays hardball. Russia's Pussy Riot is right on!
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Not bad ... too subtle, more syrup next time. With WET scrambled eggs,

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Oatmeal maple rolls in oven.
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Glad we got dug out yesterday. Need a trip to the store. Needs to get closer to 32, though.

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4 back to back Pac 12 women's bb games on TV this afternoon, including UCLA-Oregon. Beats the pro playoffs.


There are things I do very well. Others, not so well.

Since Harriet's heart attack, circumstances have thrust my weaknesses to the forefront. At Russellville I can focus on my strengths again.

O may it actually happen!


Trump will over-react against a considerable protest movement, which will flame protest, enrage Trump and ... what? Martial law?

When Trump is impeached, we get a theocracy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


More than Trump, his supporters who don't care what he does.

Afternoon delight

Good vibes

A neighbor phoned if we were ok, needed anything. Sweet. I baked them bread.

I hired help to dig us out. Mobile again.

Friday, January 13, 2017

12 hr sauce

... is smelling mighty fine!

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Snow day

Snow, snow, snow

Going nowhere today but I need to do a couple of outdoor chores.

The last work of home ownership before Russellville.


10 degrees this morning. Below freezing all day.

Catch up on paperwork, I guess.

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Tomato sauce

Probably a 12 hr version.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Women's BB

The superior game (no dunks). Tomorrow eve, Ore St at UCLA, Pac 12 network.

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Kid at Xmas

Too excited to sleep. I think we'll finish the deal this time. Knock on my wooden head. KNOCK KNOCK!

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Guarded optimism

... about the new offer. Yes!

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New offer

Over list! Waiting to see details and sign


Got out in it. Maybe 10 inches along our long driveway. Snowed in! Hopefully a shovel delivered tomorrow.

Food delivery a lifesaver today. Thaw expected next week.

Hanging in

One offer won't work, rejected. Other still active.

Amazon Prime

Getting basics, eggs and milk, delivered. Hope they can get in.

Snowed in II

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Snowed in

Later today, put on my boots and evaluate our isolation. No thaw for days. May have to hike to store before then.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Two new offers, get details this afternoon.


... of my local professional irrelevance came today. Disappointing but not surprising.

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All this snow ...

... and no shovel, which I gave away when it looked like we were moving before winter. Talk about being snowed in.

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Still snowing

Maybe six inches, still accumulating.

No house showing today or likely rest of week.

"A dusting of snow"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


The leftover tomato sauce. Will make a large batch and freeze dinner portions. Difference with "commercial" us huge.

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Italian tomato sauce

Days later, even more extraordinary! Incredible.

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Go where?

Sour dough

Harriet likes it more than I do. I may try a starter.

Beat this, Billionaire!

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Couple last night loved house. Artist wife loved art studio. Expect offer.

More today. Very active market.

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Limbo bimbo

Behind in a number of basic house chores. Too much vegetating. Catch up day.

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Sour dough experiment not going well. Dough dried out. But a little water resurrected it. Onward, see what happens.

Words of wisdom

From article in The Guardian by Jonathan Jones:

"Let's face it: art and serious culture are completely marginal to American life. Trump’s victory proves that."

Very sad but so true! I should have realized this as a young man and ... what?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Caraway Rye

posted from Bloggeroid

Artisan flour

Never going back. Well, not when baking my artisan breads. Superior f!our in every way, worth the expense. But now can buy it 7 lbs at a time. Saves a tad.

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Great start to week. Scraped ice off car, slid out driveway, and did a few pressing errands.

Now for a quiet afternoon. No phone calls for showing today.

Streep's speech

Thank you. I love you all. You’ll have to forgive me. I’ve lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend. And I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year, so I have to read.

Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said, you and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners and the press. But who are we? And, you know, what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places.

I was born and raised and created in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Italy. Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Ethiopia, raised in — no, in Ireland, I do believe — and she’s here nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is here for playing an Indian raised in Tasmania.

Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. If you kick ‘em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts. They gave me three seconds to say this. An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, passionate work.

There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. Okay. Go on with that thing. This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution.

So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists, because we’re going to need them going forward. And they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.

One more thing: Once when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something, we were going to work through supper, or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, ‘Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?’ Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy.

We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight. As my friend the dear, departed Princess Leia said to me once, ‘Take your broken heart, make it into art.’ Thank you.
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Better all the time

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Two scheduled but pretty icy outside. We're staying put.

Ice storm today

That's what they say. Great film in such a setting.

Sketch sleeps peacefully, the foundation of my comfort.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Scholarly hero

How ‘Sherlock of the library’ cracked the case of Shakespeare’s identity


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Lots of action

7 recent showings of house. Nice young couple today, said Pdx has almost nothing suitable for them, ours has little competition in this market of first timers.

Rather expect an offer soon. But suitable?

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Slouching toward sanity

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Happy New Year

Friday, January 6, 2017

Leftover pasta

Everything made from scratch ... Spectacular!

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Imported tomatoes

... from Italy on porch bright and early. Therefore sauce, 6 hr version. Already delicious, incredible canned tomatoes. I see another keeper coming. Semolina in house for pasta.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Looking good

Retirement restructure provides better profile than my estimate. This is very good news for the short and long runs both.

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Peasant bread

White, whole wheat, rye.

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New adventure

I make my own pasta but not as often as I should. Now am going to try making my own sauce. Found 12 hour recipe too time consuming to ignore. I like to be busy.

Future dinner: my own sauce on my own pasta with my own bread!

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Aging dough

A week in refrig now. Bake after another week. Sour dough clone? That's what the book says. First time trying it.

Sanity begins ...

... at 2 a.m. And lasts a few hours.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Interested buyer

Back tomorrow for second look, expect offer. Sure is a seller's market.

2 today

...as busy house market continues.

Cold spell! Not above freezing all week. But compared to elsewhere, very lucky!

Adds up to, Just get through the week.

New retirement structure becomes operative. No glitches, please.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Tough holiday

Low energy, showing house, Sketch to vet, low energy.

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Quotation of the season

"In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."  George Orwell

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Olive Bread

Dusting of snow. Two house shoppers today. Third in a few days. Hot market continues. Third the charm?


To Russellville before Spring!