Tag Archives: climate change

A successful surgery, the march and falling on the side of the average Joe and Jane …


Last week was kind of a good news week. Ellen had successful melanoma surgery, their old man carried a sign, and Reid was just days away from a father and son trek to Minnesota. 


May 1, 2017

Ellen/Reid: This note will no doubt hit your mailboxes while I’m in your midst, but so be it. This serves a useful function since I will likely forget most things I need to tell you so might as well put thoughts down on paper while the remembering is good. Yeesh. It’s hell to get old.

Reid, it’s good we’ll take the drive. Actually, you will drive and I will ride shotgun. The car will be relatively light except for the Legos and bird feeders that will be in the trunk for the girl’s birthdays. A couple of books for each might be a good idea, too, so there will be a side trip to Barnes & Noble sometime today. It this sort of trip that is fun to look forward to, just hitting the road with a cup of coffee and some tunes. Which reminds me, there are a few more favs from Pandora to download today.

Ellen, your surgery sounded routine. What a relief that it was caught in stage 0. That your surgeon suggested ice cream – and ‘buy yourself new shoes’ – was a great, assuring response from him. The scar will be wavy and ugly for awhile but that fades away and smoothes out over time. You’ll be back to normal in no time flat. Ah, the sins we pay for from our over-sunned youth. At least you have time to educate the girls and keep them covered up. And all the sun you can keep off yourself now will pay healthy-skin dividends down the road. I’m covered head to toe each time outside right now and don’t mind looking like a nerd. Any more than I already do, that is.

The climate march in Washington was interesting. I hadn’t done anything like that since my college days and the Vietnam war. The chants are pretty much the same, only different words. Lots of marchers were gray hairs; maybe we feel we need to demand climate action for the Emmas and Georgias of the world since all of this has happened on our watch. But I think the march fell on deaf (and dumb) ears. Honestly, the more that is seen/heard from Trump, the less I trust him (not that I ever did). He is just a loose cannon, and despite his grandiose self-proclamations that his presidency has done more in 100 days than any before him, none of it is true.

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There’s something good about being part of a larger, citizen-mobilized effort. There are significant doubts, however, about whether Pres. Trump and his cadre of non-climate change believers were paying attention.

What is astounding is he has almost completely abandoned his campaign oaths to his base; he’s put it to them on The Wall, 52 percent of his tax cut goes to the 1 percent, he’s shafting Trumpers (and us) on health care, and he front loaded his cabinet with billionaires and Wall Streeters. He is about smoke and mirrors and deflection and distraction. Drain the swamp? Are you kidding? How can that be when D.C. was already in the hands of Republicans? How’s that help the average person? As for the protest itself, there has to be a better way. Sure, there is strength in numbers, but we might be better off taking the message to the outlying areas where Trump supporters live. The dialogue needs to be civil but forthright; is dirty water and filthy air in your best interest? How well do you want your kids to be educated? How’s your health care working out? Oh, and those manufacturing jobs? When do you expect those to come back? The only thing that will really matter is the mid-terms in 2018. But ‘spin’ and fear mongering are art forms in politics now. Who knows what it will take to put government on the side of the average Joe and Jane.

My rehab is on pace. Been walking 3-6 miles a day with no discomfort or set backs (knock on wood). At the check up last week they gave me the green light to start light work on the elliptical today but in view of the road time this week those workouts won’t begin until I return. What bugs me most is the air-bloated, skin-stretching nature of the surgery. I don’t know when that will truly go away. We’ll see. Just gotta keep the weight off, I guess.

Well, enough blather and pontificating. See you both – and the girls and Tim and Liz – real soon.

Love, Dad

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Sandburg’s thoughts on an election lost … note to Dave: sausage is a prime ingredient in low country boil


The election has come and gone. 

To be honest about it, I feel it is a populace gone awry. Already, Pres.-elect Trump is moving to scale back climate change – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the new administration. The kids will hear more about my disappointment – and hope – in this week’s letter (note: letters are delayed here one week so Ellen and Reid can read them first).

I wonder what Pulitzer winner Carl Sandburg would think of us now? How would he view his single issue, racist and (in my view) uneducated common man and the collective betterment of America? Taken aback, perhaps? I think, too, it’s important for Ellen and Reid to know that there is a communal good at stake.

But how we fare in the coming four years is for historians to decide, rather then common men like me.


November 7, 2016

Ellen/Reid: So this is it, the final 24 hours until the election madness/chaos is at last over. That is, until the next election cycle begins next year when 2020 candidates start to jockey for position. By the time this reaches you, the results will be old news. Hopefully not of the shocking variety. That Trump reached this far says something about us, none of which is good. Suffice to say, this election stuff, national and local, is completely off the edge and out of control. The process is contrived and way too long. And it’s all mud slinging and posturing and ‘I’m louder than you’ and single issue mentality and mean-spirited partisanship.

I wonder where all of this will end up taking us, and at what speed. Yesterday I took another drive to check out Hendersonville, North Carolina and one of my stops was Carl Sandburg’s house in neighboring Flat Rock. Sandburg was a Pulitzer winner and his writing often dwelled on his hope for, and confidence in, the collective resolve and unifying spirit of the common man who could push the country forward as one entity. I wonder what Sandburg would think of us now as we devolve to pettiness and single issues with no attempt at civility or discourse or considered thought. Already, Republican senators dismiss the idea of any notion of action on the Supreme Court vacancy if Trump isn’t in. They’ve institutionalized, and thus made okay, the idea of petty politicization. Where are leaders who can set that aside? But that horse has long since left the barn.

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This photo doesn’t match any topic in this post. It was during my Monday walk at Renaissance Golf Course. The Carolina blue sky reminded me of hope in the light of a new day. That may be the best we have with our new administration.

There’s too much money, too much super-PAC and super-organizational control already in play, and too many puppet masters pulling our strings; the Koch Bros., et al. I told a friend in the midst of the Sandburg tour that in some ways we have too much freedom of expression if we can’t find a common ground on literally anything. I know this sounds naive, but I think the demise is in part informational since too many people are told what to think rather than how to think. We have too much loose ‘information’ Continue reading

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Big time climate deniers…


November 5, 2012

Ellen/Reid: Was traipsing past the frozen turkey aisle this weekend and at 99¢/lb., the food additive amped-up frozen birds seemed a pretty good deal.  I guess we are coming into that season of gluttony, of which I am only too happy to contribute.  Ellen, Reid and I will do as much of the heavy lifting in the kitchen as you will allow us. 

Reid can bring it in the kitchen. This is a couple of Thanksgivings ago in Hilton Head. He knows his way around pots and pans.

Our one demand is that Emma toddle around the kitchen and look cute-as-can-be in her little self propelled mobility thingy.  The tunes will be cranked up, and the rule is that ‘cooks are allowed to consume wine during the preparation of any and all foods during the duration of such preparation.’  That’s not my rule, but it sounds like a good one.

There is a Carolina blue sky out there this morning but MinnesotaIllinois like temperatures.  Unseasonably cold here but most likely mild by your standards.  The feeders are now stocked with sunflower seed, and the squirrels have resumed their shameless marauding of the bounty.  My pellet gun is at the ready but I seem to have lost a step when it comes to loading/aiming/using the darn thing.  All the fricking rodents need is a couple of seconds to take it on the lam and they seem to be laughing all the way to the cover of trees.  I hope they choke on a seed hull.

We’ll know the results of the elections well before this arrives.  There was a big article in the paper this morning about the tea party.  Zealotry knows no ends.  On the same page was an equally big article about a major meeting of climate scientists here in Charlotte.  They estimated that by 2100, the sea will have risen 39 inches or so, but they caution that they are erring on the low side.  The low side.  The folks here in North Carolina, particularly a consortium of developers on the coastal side, are still big time climate deniers.  I know I rag on that and your dad will never be confused with a rocket scientist, but holy smokes, the nutcases east of here are a testament to poor public education in these parts.  The environment is enough to vote ‘Blue.’  In short order, housing foundations will form new underwater reefs, and scuba divers will be able to swim out and around the 10”x10” treated lumber posts that homes once rested upon.  Mt. Everest will dip below 29,000 feet in above-sea-level elevation.  We didn’t invent idiocy here, but we are damned well perfecting it.

The porch lights were again off for Halloween.  I don’t know that there are more than 3-4 candy-eligible kids in our development, so they probably exported their bags to other neighborhoods with higher densities of children.  I would have eaten all the candy anyway had any been purchased.

For the first time, I paid property taxes by check rather than have them included in the escrow portion of my mortgage payment.  Ouch, ouch, ouch.  That is one big &(*$%# check.  Gag-ola.  But I like this ‘hood and tis’ better than paying interest.  Talk about the acid test of my budgeting powers over the next year.

Reid, I am mystified why the tepid little fleece comforter from the National Wildlife Federation has yet to arrive at your office.  There’s not much to it, probably enough to possibly keep your tootsies warm on a cold night.  But it went for a good cause.

Next Monday is an off day, and a friend at the bank has proposed golf.  I am getting to the point where I think ‘anything but golf.’  Still, it is on the calendar.  It will be another round of abject humiliation.  You should be glad you have other hobbies.

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