Thursday, June 27, 2019

Watergate

I remember the night that Richard Nixon announced his resignation.  I cried.  And it all began in the buildings above, with a bungled second rate burglary of the Democrat's Presidential Campaign headquarters.  A breaking and entering that yielded nothing worth having, an illegal act that was then covered up.  It was the cover up that destroyed him. Year's later Martha Stewart lied about receiving and trading stock on insider information.  She went to prison not for the stock trades (that were illegal) but for trying to cover up her indiscretion.  Bill Clinton was dragged through hell, over lying about a blow job.  All too often, it is the cover up, more than the initial act, that gets people in trouble.  

There may have been "no collusion," the problems are with the acts trying to interfere with the investigation. Obstruction of justice is a crime, just ask Martha.    

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Way We Were Wednesday - A Disconnected Life

While reading about the need to be constantly connected to our phones and all of the electronic communications therein, I was reminded of my maternal grandparents.  

In 1961 my grandfather Dale broke a leg in a farming accident.  It was seldom talked about, and the details are kind of a fuzzy, as I recall a tractor rolled over.  While recovering from that, he had a major heart attack.  Being the early 1960's, before the days of drive by bypass surgery, his doctors advised him to retire.  In the spring of 1962 they sold the farm, bought a 30 foot travel trailer and a new Chevy pickup truck and retired.  

When they left the farm for the last time, they had the phone disconnected, and never had a phone again.  My grandfather lived 14 years, my grandmother almost 30 years without a phone.  And you know, they did okay.  They split their time between Michigan and Florida.  They moved anytime my grandmother had a spat with the neighbors, two or three times a year, she was not an easy person to please.  Over the years they owned a couple of "permanent homes," but those seldom lasted long.  The nomadic life, living without a phone, or a fixed address suited them just fine.  

Could you live a disconnected life? 

I turn my phone off at night,  when I am home it is on the desk in my bedroom, I only answer the house phone if I know who it is on the caller ID.  I moderate this modern day addiction, but I would find it hard to live without. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Model T Ride

My paternal Grandfather worked at Fords, as a true Michigander would describe working for the Ford Motor Company, for about 35 years.  He was a "job setter."  He installed and adjusted the grinding wheels on machines that finished the surfaces on gears for differentials and transmissions.  He described the machines as "being the size of a house." He left Ford, a year before the hourly workers pension plan was started - moved the farm to do what he wanted to do and seldom looked back.  

Recently Jay and I took a ride in the back seat of a 1929 Ford, it was built at the Rouge plant in Detroit, odds are my Grandfather worked on some of the parts that are still moving it down the street.  

A neat connection with my family past. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Around, and Around and Around I Go

A good thing happened on Friday morning, I woke up.  It is always a good sign to wake up and still be alive.  Then a bad thing happened, I rolled over and thought to myself, "time to get up and drag myself through more of this shit."  

I will explain in coming posts, but my normal pleasant commuting routine has become a summer nightmare, the subway system has closed a bunch of stations for rebuilding this summer.  In short my morning commute has gone from 45 minutes to 75 minutes, my afternoon commute from 45 minutes to 90-120 minutes (it took me over two hours to get home Friday night, it is only 9 miles, a fit man could walk it faster.) That hell will continue through September 8. 

I have been crazy busy in the office, though I am down to only one behind schedule project.  Not unusual for me to be busy.  I am working on some exciting cutting edge concepts that could make a real difference in our older-old age.  

Dreading the day, is really unusual for me, for a decade I have rolled out of bed in the morning excited about another day of doing interesting things.  Enthusiasm, and a belief in the work I do, has carried me through the challenges of the past.  I need that to come back.   

Sorry about the downer post, I guess it comes around to all of us sooner or later. 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Sunday Five - You Asked For It Again!

A month ago I asked you submit questions for the Sunday Five, here is the second installment of your questions. 

1: From Anne Marie in Phill What is your favorite pie/candy/cake/cereal?
2: Also from Anne Marie, How did you and Sweet Bear meet? 
3: From Mistress Maddie  Since you travel so much, if someone offered you an all expense paid trip for three weeks, anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
4: From Deedles, who really should start blogging, Do you ever read anything trashy or light (by others' standards not yours)? 
5: From Ur-Spo, AKA Dr. Michael, What is your meaning of life?

My Answers: 
1: From Anne Marie in Phill What is your favorite pie/candy/cake/cereal?  Pie-cherry, Candy-chocolate covered cherries, cake - black forest, cereal - I don't eat. 
2: Also from Anne Marie, How did you and Sweet Bear meet? At a party hosted by one of the professors at Rollins, I was alone, he was there with a date - who dumped him shortly afterwards.  
3: From Mistress Maddie  Since you travel so much, if someone offered you an all expense paid trip for three weeks, anywhere in the world, where would you choose? How about three weeks with a car exploring rural France.  
4: From Deedles, who really should start blogging, Do you ever read anything trashy or light (by others' standards not yours)? Not often, but yes.  I like a good legal mystery thriller, there are some great anthologies of gay fiction (or gay friction.)  I read 50 Shades of Grey, and laughed at what they thought was kinky. It is a sick world, if you know where to look.  
5: From Ur-Spo, AKA Dr. Michael, What is your meaning of life?  Life is not rehearsal, "you only get one shot, one opportunity" (bonus points for anyone who can cite the song that is from.) Be kind, try to leave the world a better place, but do things you enjoy, life is too short to not have fun along the way.  

Your answers in the comments, please! 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Climbing to the Top



We had most of day, free in Cleveland.  We decided to take a slow drive along the cost of Lake Erie and see where the slow roads took us.  We stumbled across the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse.  This lighthouse sits atop a hill, overlooking the lake, right at the end of the main street in Fairport.  94 years ago, it was replaced by a more modern lighthouse on a jetty at the entrance to the inlet.  There is a small but interesting museum, run by volunteers, and the lighthouse is open to be climbed.  And climb it we did.  To old fat guys all the way to the top.  

Climbing up or climbing down, which is harder? 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Going Nuclear


My father was a big fan of nuclear power plants, after retirement he accumulated a portfolio of stock in electric utility companies to collect the dividends on.  Nukes generally paid, better, when things are good the profit margin is higher.  When things are bad, they can get very bad.  Later in life, he unloaded most of the nuke stocks, the risks started to worry him.  

I am sure I am not the only person who did so, but I made money on Three Mile Island, or rather my self-directed retirement plan did.  I didn't own the stock when things "melted down," thankfully, or I would have lost a lot.  The stock dropped precipitously, and was considered radioactive. I watched it and read the news reports. When it looked like General Public Utilities might survive bankruptcy, I had my retirement plan buy 400 shares, at $2 each.  My broker said, you are throwing away $800, there is no guarantee.  I took the risk.  Months later they emerged from bankruptcy without wiping out the shareholders.  A few months later the company resumed paying dividends, and the stock went up in value. Later on GPU was acquired, I ended up with cash and stock in the company that bought them.  I still have it.   That $800 risk, ended up being worth about 20 times that, and it has paid dividends for decades. 

I no longer believe nuclear power is the future.  64 years after we unleashed the nuclear jenie for power generation, we have not figured out how to put it back in the bottle, how to deal with the waste left behind.  Eventually the cost and danger will outweigh the value of the energy.   

What is the future of energy?